cogs in a machine

we can think about a machine as a system, if you prefer…

we, each of us, exists within a machine/system…
there is an almost infinite number of machines/systems within
to exist…the human body itself is system/machine…
my handy dandy dictionary defines a system as:

SYSTEMS: 1. A set of things working together as parts of a mechanism
or an interconnecting network. “The state railroad system”

  1. a set of principles or procedures according to which something
    is done: an organized framework or method. “The public school system”

so, we are individually, as human beings a system/machine… but we also
exists within many diverse and complex systems/machines…

and as we go through the day, we are part of the system that is existence…
when we eat or drink or shit or fuck, that is being a cog in the machine.
we are part of a system/systems every second of the day…and when we die
and we are buried or burned, we still remain within the machine/system…
our remains don’t disappear, they get recycled into the system and we are reborn
as plants or animals or rocks or air or whatever…

each individual cell within us, is part of our system, and each one of us, as a person,
exists within a larger system and that larger system, say the planet earth, is part
of another larger system, the solar system and that system is part of a larger system,
the galaxy, and that galaxy is part of a much larger system, the universe…
each part, be it planet, sun, solar system, galaxy is just another cog in the machine/system…

and we return to us, as individuals, we are part of the overall larger system that
is existence…and we exist as cogs within many diverse systems…
and we are unaware of this basic fact of existence, we are simply cogs
within a great number of machines/systems…

we simply go about our day, working, living, eating, talking to our cat,
and at every moment of our daily existence, we are cogs in a machine/systems…

and when do we become wise? when we first begin to see that we, each of us,
is a cog in the machine…part of a system…of many diverse systems…

a car, that is a machine, a system… and within that system, we have cogs in
the machine, for example, we have brakes, or steering wheel, or the gas cap,
many different, diverse cogs in the machine/systems we call a car…

so, imagine yourself as a part of a car, a cog in the machine, perhaps the pedal
that brakes the car… the pedal has no idea it is part of a machine, part of a system,
it one job is to start the process of braking the car… the start of wisdom comes
when one realizes that you are no different than the brake pedal and is part of a
machine/system… awareness of one’s existence as a cog in the machine is the start
of wisdom…

so how do we as human beings understand our place within the machine/system?

we have created systems of thought that identify the various machines/systems
we live in…we call them disciplines, such as history, philosophy, economics,
science, theology… and within each discipline, we examine our individual
and collective place within the various machines/systems we live within…

understanding that no matter how complete or thorough or exhaustive
we think we are, we cannot, ever, work out all parts of that systems or
our role within that machine/system…no system of thought, no
discipline will cover all aspects of a system/machine…

the smaller a system/machine is, the more one particular cog
impact it… so, I live within this condo with my wife… as it is just
the two of us, as a cog within the machine/system, I can have
a great deal of impact because this system/machine is just
my wife, me and the condo…but let us expand this idea of a system
to the entire condo complex… as it is now more complex, with more moving parts,
my impact, as a cog in the machine, is less…we have 30 units in our building,
and as we have but one unit, we have less impact, as a cog in the machine because
the system now has 30 units… and we can expand that thinking into the block
we live on, at every point of growing larger systems, we, individually have less
impact on the entire system…so my one unit, unit number 8, has less and less
and less impact on the system as the system grows larger…
and if we increase the system to the city I live in, then the
influence of my one condo unit decreases until it becomes negligible…
the system has grown too big for my one unit or even my entire condo
building can have any real impact upon it… and as my city of 30,000 or so,
when we place the city into the even larger system of the county, then
my city has less and less impact… and my unit, #8, has disappeared from sight…
but I, as a cog, part of a condo building and as part of a city and as part of
a county, I still play a role within those systems, but with every increase
in the size of the systems, my impact grows smaller and smaller and smaller…
but it is still there… just really hard to see…

and the same is true of us individually as human beings…the smaller the systems/machines,
the greater the impact my individual self can produce… but the larger the system,
the less impact my individual self can do…it is still there, it is very small…
no more than being a cog in the machine/a system…

so we have individual disciplines like history or economics that places me, my individual self,
into context of the large systems…

as we cannot, ever, be able to entirely see all aspects of the machine/system,
that is basically what Godel’s incompleteness theorems say…
we cannot ever create a discipline that will cover all aspects of a system,
especially as the system gets larger and larger…

so by its very nature, we can never see the entire system/machine as it works
and moves… there will always part of the system/machine that we will not be able
to explain or understand…

and to cover that missing part, we have created such things as philosophy
and theology…theology especially…there are gaps in our knowledge of the
universe and we use theology to jump those gaps… we use philosophy to jump
those gaps of missing understanding of our place as cogs in the machine/systems…

can a brake pedal know or understand it role within the system/machine of
a car? no, not because of its lack of awareness, but because by being a cog
within the machine/system, it cannot, ever, see or understand its role
within the machine/system… we, as human beings, just as the brake pedal has,
we have a large blindness within us because we too are just cogs in the machine/system…
and by being cogs, we cannot see the entire machine/system of existence…
there are and always will be gaps in our knowledge of existence, of the entire
system/machine that we human beings exists within…

so what is the first step of gaining wisdom? that of becoming aware of,
or having knowledge of the fact that we are cogs in the machine/systems…
and then we can begin the process of seeing ourselves outside of or separate
from the system/machine… Plato’s “The allegory of the cave”
then gives us some sense of what happens when we begin to imagine ourselves
apart or separate from being cogs in the machine/system…

to become aware is to become separate from our fellow cogs in the machine/system
as we are now aware of the fact that we are only cogs in the machine/systems…
awareness creates separation from our fellow human beings… we can now
see what creates alienation in people… to become alienated from society/state/culture is
from our becoming aware of our being cogs in the machine/systems…

think about this…

and I shall be back…


ever read “Zen and the Art of motorcycle maintenance”? I don’t recommend reading it without reading my harmonic triads thread first. :wink:

so here we are… simple cogs in the machine…

with a vast number of theories and explanations to understand
our place and role within the machine/systems…

an example is the varied number of theories explaining the American
revolutionary war… there are dozens of theories that attempt to
explain the how and why of the American revolutionary war…
from Beards understanding that the founding fathers were motivated
by economics and not by philosophical theories… and we have Marxist theories
and theories about slavery and we have theories that the American revolution was
about territorial/nationalist one…and which one is right?

Basically we can never really know because no matter what theory we put forward,
it will not be comprehensive enough to cover all the details about the American
revolutionary war… there are simple going to be facts and details that will
go beyond any theory we put forward to explain the revolutionary war…
there will be missing parts and gaps in our knowledge of the American Revolutionary
war…always… the question becomes, if we cannot, ever, explain the entire
history and existence of anything, that there will aways be gaps and missing parts,
how do go on, or understand without knowing those gaps or missing parts?

in other words, it isn’t the certainty of existence that is clear, because there cannot
be a “certain” clear understanding of existence… there will always be gaps
and missing parts to our understanding of what the universe is and
what it means to be human and what is existence and what is the “meaning” of life?

it is not the certainty of existence we must think about, but it is the
the gaps and missing parts of existence, be it historical, philosophical
or theological, that we must think about… not what is in my life, but
what isn’t, and what can never be in my life, what are the gaps and missing
parts of existence that I need to think about?

it is not certainty that drives life, but uncertainty…those missing gaps
and missing parts that exists within our own existence, that is what we should
be engaged with…the search for certainty is a search for a Chimera…

Chimera: a thing that is hoped for or wished for, but in fact, is illusory or impossible
to achieve…

and we see this in the Buddha… he says that existence is a Chimera,
and we should engage with what is the real… this understanding that
existence is not really real, is an old understanding… in the philosophies of
India, thousands of years ago, part of their principal points were about
the unreal nature of existence…to forgo the illusionary aspect of existence
that we see and believe to be real but aren’t… the basic point of Christianity is
that existence, as we see it, isn’t real and the only “real” is god and to become “real”,
we must return to god…anything else is illusionary… and false…not real…

existence isn’t real… it is false and fake and has nothing to do with reality…
this is philosophy 101… theology 101, science 101…
the search for existence is the search for what is truly real, not fake or false
like the things we see or believe in…

existence is about finding what is real and what isn’t…

in human beings, we see the body, the thing that is real however is the soul,
and not the physical body… that is another basic point of Christianity…
the basic fundamental teachings of Christianity, of Buddhism, is that
what we see around us isn’t what is real about existence…
that we see phantoms and ghost in seeing the human body and in seeing
buildings and in seeing trees and rocks and in seeing the earth itself…

we have to get past this illusion of existence, that the body and what we see
is real… that is the basic point of theology, science, and philosophy…
think of Kant’s “thing in itself” the thing in itself is the idea that
any object has an existence independent of the human mind’s
perception of it… again, an attempt to find out what is real and what isn’t…

and that the human perception creates existence… do things exists without
a human mind to perceive it? that is one of the basic arguments
of philosophy and goes back to the very beginning of philosophy…
as it does in the philosophy of India and China and Japanese philosophy…
the starting point of all philosophy begins with, “what is real and what isn’t”

and we return to the original problem, in that no matter how comprehensive
we are, we cannot ever create a theory that will encompass all of our understanding
of what is real and what isn’t…there will be gaps and missing parts in every theory
we create about what is real and what isn’t real in existence…

we don’t live in a certain, set universe, we live in uncertain and
unknowable universe… but what does that mean for us?

if we cannot be certain, about anything, then do we continue to search for
a certainty that cannot, ever, be found or do we learn to live within,
be a part of uncertainty… if we acknowledge that the universe is
simple going to have gaps and missing parts, then we are closer to
a real understanding of what it means to be human…

the next step is to live with and within uncertainty…
what is existence? we are not sure and we can’t ever know
because of the gaps and missing parts of any theory or
principles about what it means to be human or what it means to
existence within the universe…

those who seek certainty within science, theology or
philosophy are doomed to failure…

the next step is to learn to accept and believe in the missing parts
and gaps within human knowledge and understanding…

we cannot overcome those gaps and missing parts, no matter
what theory we can come up with…gaps and missing parts
of existence is a basic part of existence, the questions becomes,
can you live within and with gaps and missing parts of knowing
what it means to be human? what is the point of, the meaning of
existence? we can’t ever know because of the gaps and missing
parts of our knowledge of existence… can you learn to live with that?


K: I’ve read it three times, the first time I was 18 or 20, I didn’t understand a word of it,
the second time, maybe 10 years later and much philosophy later, I understood it,
the third time, maybe 10 years later and it seem simple and quite basic, really
was beneath my effort as it was, to be blunt, a simplistic understanding of the
universe…I haven’t read it in 20 years and have no interest because it was
way beneath any understanding of what it means to be human…I have
gone way beyond the book and so, I don’t need it anymore…


let us think about these “gaps” and “missing parts” within
a discipline like science or math…

math believes itself to be “rigorous” and closer to the “truth” then
any other discipline and yet, even within math, we can see
that it has gaps and missing parts… this is known because of
Godels incompleteness theory… no matter how far widespread
a theory we devise, it will miss aspects of math that make it
incomplete…if something like math is incomplete and holding
gaps and missing parts, then think about something as “fuzzy”
as theology and philosophy and science must have in terms of gaps
and missing parts…

so in terms of this, we can see how science-based philosophy like
Descartes and Kant and Spinoza will miss the gaps and missing
parts within philosophy… because they are thinking that by the use
of the “Scientific method” they are being complete and thorough,
that the gaps and missing pieces of their research isn’t that great
and by the use of the “Scientific method” they have reduced the
incompleteness of their theories…the gaps and missing parts are
small and growing smaller within their theories, by the use of the
“Scientific method” …
so within the science discipline, we can see that any attempt to
a “theory of everything” is doomed to failure… thus in Einstein’s
attempt to spend 30 years of his life trying to create a “theory of
everything” he was doomed to failure… as will be any modern
attempt to create a “theory of everything”…the gaps and missing
parts of existence prevent us from ever being to create
a “Theory of everything” and as the size of the various systems/machines
help decide our ability to create theories, we must know that we can
better explain smaller machines/systems because the smaller system/machines
has fewer moving parts… just as we can work out how I can impact
the smaller systems/machine of my life, within my condo, better then
how I can impact my entire building of 30 units and how my possible
impact becomes ever smaller as we increase the size of the system/machine
being studied…and what is my role within that system/machine becomes
ever smaller due to the increased size of that system/machine…

as cog in the machine/system, my impact becomes ever smaller as
we examine the ever-larger systems/machines in the universe…

think about the various systems that we human have devised,
for example, the role of the individual within the economic system
of capitalism…as we focus more and more on the smaller systems/machines
of human existence, my individual impact grows larger, the smaller the system
we study…and within the entire system of capitalism, the one, the individual
has less and less and less impact as the system gets bigger…my own individual
impact upon capitalism is basically negligible as we reach the study of the entire
capitalism system/machine…so what does it mean to me individually
if my impact on capitalism becomes smaller and smaller and smaller as we
grow economically larger and larger? my impact becomes smaller
and thus we have less and less control over the machine/system of
capitalism… and because of this, we can see a movement within
people to disengaged with and drop out of the system because
why should we be part of a system/machine that we can no longer
impact in any, way, shape or form? Individually, my voice no longer
counts within the capitalistic system… so why bother being a part of it?

if we have an economic pie and my share of that pie is to be so small as
to be insignificant, why bother with capitalism?
if I am to make do with such a small part of the pie, that I can’t really do
more than just spend my days working to put food on the table and a roof
over my head, why should I engage in a system/machine that gives
me the bare minimum of what it takes to exist? to barely feed myself
and my family to barely house and educate and give health care to myself
and my family, why should I bother with such a system that gives
me, basically nothing over my 40 years of working within capitalism?

after 40 years of busting my but for capitalism, what do I have to show for it?
the bare minimum, a condo, a couple of cars, a TV set and virtually no money to
retire on…and in that retirement, I will have, given the mortality statistics of
America today, I shall retire around 66 and die around 76, give or take,
barely 10 years of retirement and most of that will be in ill-health…
(Hospital bills are already reaching to be the majority bills I have today
and I am still 4 or 5 years from retirement)

what is the point of killing myself for 40 years plus, to get a maximum of
maybe 10 years of retirement? that seems to be pointless and frankly dumb…
and I already have 44 years of working to get maybe 10 years of retirement?

what a ridiculous concept…and in the end, I will most likely wind up
working closer to 50 years to get my crappy 10 years of retirement…

so how does the rigorous concepts of math and science or even philosophy,
help me solve my problem of me working 45 years to get a crappy
10 years of retirement?

it doesn’t and that is the point…

as science and ART and philosophy and math and history and economics,
should offer me some insight as to what it means to be human,
but it should also give me some insight into such basic problems
as why should I work myself to death over 40 years to get a crappy,
at best, 10 years of retirement?

and we have other problems needing insight into, such as
income inequality and climate change and pollution
and the population explosion and the current failure of
democracy in America…

how do we seek out those answers if we have gaps and missing parts
in all areas of study and understanding… including such disciplines
as in history, science, math, economics, philosophy, biology,
Astronomy, to name just a few…gaps and missing parts in
every single one of those areas of study…

how do we overcome those gaps and missing parts of such disciplines?

or said another way, how do I become whole given the incompleteness of
the universe?

How do I overcome the gaps and missing parts of human existence to become

that is the question?


I guess I’m not understanding. I never needed it. But, like Kant & many others, it is helpful to define the gaps so as to know how to fill them. But people are gonna do it how they’re gonna do it, I guess. That’s how all learning happens, I guess. Like Stuart. “Let me do it!” Except he never grows up. Even though he’s big. We should probably all blame his mother.

K: and you will never understand because you are bound to the ism’s and ideologies
of religions and of being saved…you see everything through the prism of
religion and god… and the man of philosophy and the man of science will
not understand because they see the universe through their chosen
ism and prism… ideologies don’t set one free, they hold one back because
the universe is defined through the ism, the ideology…
one narrow viewpoint of existence thus missing whole sections of
life which are seen in philosophy, history, economics, philosophy…
because your prism/ your ism, you can only see existence one way
and one way only… thus your blind spot, your gaps and missing parts
are huge and widening all the time…

to focus on the prize is to miss all the other aspects of existence…
you are certain you are saved and part of god’s plan…
that is a very narrow viewpoint in which to view the universe…
and it’s very narrowness is its failure… you believed that god saved you…
he didn’t… you narrowed the universe to a point of it being comfortable for you…

I am happy being a cog in the machine/the system of religion, you say
and it works for you… and the man who is so simple as to be happy
with a toy truck is not one to be envied…he is to be pitied…

you have mistaken your toy truck as being the entire point of existence…
it isn’t… and maybe one day, if you are lucky, you will see this…
as for me, I have other fish to fry…


Hay, Kropotkin, how am I to be saved?

you are asking the wrong question…

how are you supposed to live?

that is the right question…

“What am I to do?” " What should I believe in?" “What can I know?”
“What ought I hold to be true?”

today’s man of religion is no different than today’s man of science or a
man of philosophy… they are just merely ism’s and ideologies to be studied…
and left in the classroom or in the temple and once outside the doors, best
forgotten and not used…

the point isn’t to study philosophy or religion or science, the point
is to engage with philosophy, religion or science…
don’t just study it, become it… philosophy isn’t something to be studied,
it is something to begin the process of living… using philosophy as a way of life,
not just another discipline to leave in the classroom and forgotten…

and the same for religion and science…
don’t just study them, live them, use them as a way of life…
“What am I to do?” use philosophy or religion or science as a way of life…
not just a field of study to get a grade in or to get past it to what I really
want to do like in becoming a CEO or an engineer… philosophy, religion, science
should impact us in our daily lives, in every minute and every second, and in every
aspect of our lives…philosophy, religion, science as a way of life…

you want to find the gaps and missing pieces/parts of existence, it is best
to find them while living them…what are the gaps and missing pieces/parts
of philosophy… it is best to find that through living in and becoming
philosophy… as a way of life…not just as a field of study to be forgotten
once out of the classroom…if you won’t bother using philosophy or science
or religion, as a way of life, don’t bother studying it… it won’t do you any good…
to understand philosophy, religion, science, you have to, you must live it…
and then and only then will it make sense to you…

studying philosophy without making it a way of life, becomes pointless…
don’t do it… live philosophy or forget philosophy…

live religion or forget religion

live science or forget science…

but Kropotkin… you are asking for too much…

no, I am not asking enough…I am asking that one takes
philosophy or religion or science seriously enough to make it a
way of life…and not just some forgotten field of study that
amused on for a couple of months… live it or end the study…

get real or get lost…


so to engage in an earlier question, what is real and what is transitory?

we cannot know that until we fully engage in philosophy or religion or science,
as a way of life… as a field of study, we are confused as to what is real and what is
not… but if you dig deeper and live it, what is real and what is not, becomes
clearer… it is in living as if philosophy was a way of life, that we
can begin to answer the many questions of existence…

“what am I to do?” “what should I believe in?” “What can I know?”
“What should I hope for?” are questions that can only be found in making
philosophy or religion or science as a way of life…


But Kropotkin, shouldn’t you be empathetic to my needs and wants…
shouldn’t you care about what I need or want?

short answer, no… I don’t give a shit… if you are too lazy or
to frivolous, to take philosophy seriously and as a way of life, I don’t
have any sympathy for you… get real or get lost…


This actually happened. Over & over. Cuz it worked.

K: as I have made pretty clear over the years, I don’t do video’s…
I think they are a remarkable lazy way to talk about a topic…


You seriously need to laugh. Most importantly at yourself. How can you truly take anything seriously in any life-changing way if you can’t even laugh in the middle of the worst of it, in light of the best of it? How can you genuinely care unless you are able to care freely? Fricken gotta laugh. Not out of spite. Not as an eff you. But because love lifts you higher, and you know how it ends, and makes everything simultaneously deliciously ridiculous and momentously flooring. Or something.

Sorry our perspectives are missing. The video is funny. Imagine pausing for one second to laugh at how absurdly ridiculous a situation is - how blind to the bullshit people must be - laugh, a real good laugh - before you let it be an angry laugh again. The kind you don’t ever want to hear from a woman.

Will help you regain composure. From there, perspective.

Needs to happen.