Author Archives: signature103

About signature103

Language teacher and researcher. Buddhist.

building metaphors

we are forever
building metaphors
bridging gaps
between meaning
and form

transmitting
our intentions
our perfect,
static, timeless
ideals

from the mind
extended, like
antennae
now this –
my simile

constructed
and unplanned
the metaphor is
the foundation of
our abstractions

Process

The world never stops. It is in a continual process of change.

Hume believed necessary connections existed only in logic. For something to “be”, in a static and eternal manner, is something which occurs in language and the mind, and not in the real world. This tendency to “freeze” (or take snapshots of) things and ideas is an error in concluding that a statement of fact is an unproblematic representation of reality. Not only is a fact a step removed from reality but also a statement of fact remains the same (static) while the reality it describes quietly moves on.

Mind, self, soul

Consider these three definitions from the LDOCE:

mind – your thoughts or your ability to think, feel, and imagine things mental.

self – the type of person you are, your character, your typical behaviour etc.

soul – the part of a person that is not physical, and that contains their character, thoughts, and feelings. Many people believe that a person’s soul continues to exist after they have died.

Often the mind, self and soul are synonymous, but as the definitions show they are not used in the same way. There are no true or perfect synonyms. 

While the definition of the mind does not mention character, the definition of self does not mention thoughts. The former is about ability; the latter about quality.

In the definition of the soul both ability and quality are brought together. It also contains or emphasises two further qualities – that of non-physical and (sometimes the belief in) its continuation beyond physical death

I doubt anyone thinks that thoughts and feeling continues to exist in the mind after his or her death, or that one can be described as being a type of person with a certain character or behaviour after his or her death. It is with the soul only that we continue to think of someone’s continued existence beyond their physical one.

But what is this ‘part of the person that is not physical’ that no one has seen and everyone infers to exist? By what evidence does one have to make this inference? I can infer thought from physical reaction, and character from physical attributes. But one cannot infer the existence of a soul from death, apart from the cessation of thought, feeling and characteristics. What can only be inferred is that death is the cessation of these. Souls, then, are the thoughts and remembrances of the characteristics of those who are living, or have since passed

the definition of a soul

cultures posit this.
give it an existence
despite any evidence,
apart from its name.

this thing
is essentially
(                )
no-thing.

& those left behind
gaze at the soul
as though it is there
on the other shore

when in reality
even the shoreline
is a necessary part
of the illusion.

annual check up

sometimes
you just dont want
to know, when
everything
is running fine
running smoothly
it doesnt matter
if the metaphorical “oil”
is just a little dirty

starved
of food and water
i wait for my turn
along with the other
starving people
in the hospital
white rooms
that are never
quite white

the stale stench
fills the space
patients reading books
swiping screens
not wanting to know
not wanting to wait
the ping of machines
marking time, timing
the inevitable

When a person dies …

When a person dies their body (matter) remains and their mind extinguishes. That is observed. Under no circumstances does matter extinguish. It only changes. Conservation is observed. This consistency and predictability of matter is essential to my understanding (call it reason if you will). From nowhere else does my knowledge of the reality start except from the sensation, then perception and conception of it.

When I die, I will not continue as a mind or spirit but the matter will transform into something else that may or may not have a mind.

Does being a material monist mean I feel lonely?

No.