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 Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet

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Temperance
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PostSubject: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Thu 27 Jul 2017, 14:55

I am not sure where to put this, but, as I suppose I'm actually struggling with Cartesian Dualism today (like you do), the philosophy section of Res His seems to be the most appropriate place for the somewhat muddled musings that follow.

I am reading Susan Bordo's most famous book at the moment, a collection of essays with the daunting title of Feminism, Western Culture and the Body. It is a text many people will have read years ago, as it was originally published in 1993, but, as with everything, I come late to it. I am finding it fascinating.

We all are aware how Western civilisation today is obsessed with the body and with body shape, but as any anorexic girl (or boy) will tell you, the real issues are about control - power - and a perceived lack of power. Dieting seems to be the plague of our times, but  the need/desire to control the body and its functions goes back a long way. Here's Michel Foucault:

Historians long ago began to write the history of the body. They studied the body in the field of historical demography or pathology; they have considered it as the seat of needs and appetites, as the locus of physiological processes and metabolisms, as the target for attacks of germs or viruses; they have shown to what extent historical processes were involved in what might seem to be purely biological "events" such as the circulation of bacilli, or the extension of a lifespan. But the body is also directly involved in a political field; power relations have an immediate hold on it: they invest it, mark it, train it, torture it, force it to carry out tasks, to perform ceremonies, to emit signs. "

(Michel Foucault: "Discipline and Punish")


Probably quite enough food for thought there, and one is tempted to simply add "Discuss" and then run; but I'd like to add a bit more - about what Bordo calls "the dualist axis". She refers by that (I think) to our human dualistic heritage, a heritage which began with the Greeks, found its most lurid expression in Augustine and finally was (I think) "metaphysically solidified and scientized" (Bordo's rather confusing words) by Descartes - the famous Cartesian Dualism - the view that human existence is bifurcated into two realms: the body or material, on the one hand, the mental or spiritual on the other. Am I right in thinking that for Plato, Augustine and Descartes the body was experienced as various unpleasant states - a "prison", a "swamp", a "cage" a "fog" - states from which the soul, will or mind struggles to escape?

People in other times and in other cultures have always had an "aesthetic ideal" of the body, of course - the highly-trained body of the aristocratic warrior or of the Greek athlete for instance, or the delicate and fragile appearance of the aristocratic woman who was expected to walk and dance gracefully. Fat princesses or portly fighters after all have never been acceptable. So yes, other people in other times have dieted, fasted even, and have exercised to achieve the ideal: Greek culture indeed made a science of the regulation of food intake as a road to self-mastery and the healthy practice of "moderation in all things". And fasting was often aimed at spiritual purification. Bordo puts it rather well when she suggests that these practices in the past can clearly be viewed as instruments for the development of a 'self' - whether an 'inner' self (for Christians?), or a 'public' self (for the aristocrats?) , practices "constructed in an arena in which the deepest possibilities for human excellence may be realised". The old ideal of mens sana in corpore sano?

But surely this "pursuit of human excellence" is not what we are witnessing all around us today - purely physical transformation and control of an unruly body is the goal. Body image is all, and it is wiser not to inquire too closely about mental and/or spiritual states, or about the means used to achieve such bodily transformation. Perfection and control no longer seem sane, healthy or admirable: the relentless pursuit of the impossible is now making people mad - or is making them despair. Whatever happened to moderation and sensible discipline - not to mention a joyful celebration of the body's potential for pleasure and joy? The body now - whether male or female - is viewed as a dangerous rebel which has to be controlled and constrained by methods that appear to be increasingly pathological, if not downright crazy: prolonged, deliberate starvation; repeated, dangerous purging; ingestion of dangerous drugs; nightmarish invasive surgery; compulsive, joyless exercise. It is indeed madness. What on earth would Plato or Augustine make of it all - let alone Descartes? Would  they understand the modern body malaise as a sickness of the soul? Indeed would Augustine especially be tempted to say "I told you so?"

And as for Juvenal...

You should pray for a healthy mind in a healthy body.
Ask for a stout heart that has no fear of death,
and deems length of days the least of Nature's gifts,
that can endure any kind of toil,
that knows neither wrath nor desire and thinks
the woes and hard labours of Hercules better than
the loves and banquets and downy cushions of Sardanapalus.
What I commend to you, you can give to yourself;
For assuredly, the only road to a life of peace is virtue.


EDIT: This post/topic seems a dreadful muddle this morning . What am I actually talking about  - I'm not sure I know myself. And perhaps this is in the wrong place. Mentioning Plato etc. does not make a post "philosophy". But what the heck - will let it stand.
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Fri 28 Jul 2017, 13:17

About the EDIT (BTW Temperance, what does EDIT means overhere. I am not used to the British way of composing a message, (perhaps even not in Dutch...perhaps with your explanations I will know what it is in Dutch...for me it is "composing" a message...but I saw that you already used the "edit" to remove a message???))
"This post/topic seems a dreadful muddle this morning . What am I actually talking about  - I'm not sure I know myself. And perhaps this is in the wrong place. Mentioning Plato etc. does not make a post "philosophy". But what the heck - will let it stand."

No, no and no...I will try to explain and comment it later...I have even nowadays to "work" on the fora during day time because of a crowded evening on the fora Wink...

Kind regards from your Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Sat 29 Jul 2017, 12:14

@Temperance wrote:
I am not sure where to put this, but, as I suppose I'm actually struggling with Cartesian Dualism today (like you do), the philosophy section of Res His seems to be the most appropriate place for the somewhat muddled musings that follow.

I am reading Susan Bordo's most famous book at the moment, a collection of essays with the daunting title of Feminism, Western Culture and the Body. It is a text many people will have read years ago, as it was originally published in 1993, but, as with everything, I come late to it. I am finding it fascinating.

We all are aware how Western civilisation today is obsessed with the body and with body shape, but as any anorexic girl (or boy) will tell you, the real issues are about control - power - and a perceived lack of power. Dieting seems to be the plague of our times, but  the need/desire to control the body and its functions goes back a long way. Here's Michel Foucault:

Historians long ago began to write the history of the body. They studied the body in the field of historical demography or pathology; they have considered it as the seat of needs and appetites, as the locus of physiological processes and metabolisms, as the target for attacks of germs or viruses; they have shown to what extent historical processes were involved in what might seem to be purely biological "events" such as the circulation of bacilli, or the extension of a lifespan. But the body is also directly involved in a political field; power relations have an immediate hold on it: they invest it, mark it, train it, torture it, force it to carry out tasks, to perform ceremonies, to emit signs. "

(Michel Foucault: "Discipline and Punish")


Probably quite enough food for thought there, and one is tempted to simply add "Discuss" and then run; but I'd like to add a bit more - about what Bordo calls "the dualist axis". She refers by that (I think) to our human dualistic heritage, a heritage which began with the Greeks, found its most lurid expression in Augustine and finally was (I think) "metaphysically solidified and scientized" (Bordo's rather confusing words) by Descartes - the famous Cartesian Dualism - the view that human existence is bifurcated into two realms: the body or material, on the one hand, the mental or spiritual on the other. Am I right in thinking that for Plato, Augustine and Descartes the body was experienced as various unpleasant states - a "prison", a "swamp", a "cage" a "fog" - states from which the soul, will or mind struggles to escape?

People in other times and in other cultures have always had an "aesthetic ideal" of the body, of course - the highly-trained body of the aristocratic warrior or of the Greek athlete for instance, or the delicate and fragile appearance of the aristocratic woman who was expected to walk and dance gracefully. Fat princesses or portly fighters after all have never been acceptable. So yes, other people in other times have dieted, fasted even, and have exercised to achieve the ideal: Greek culture indeed made a science of the regulation of food intake as a road to self-mastery and the healthy practice of "moderation in all things". And fasting was often aimed at spiritual purification. Bordo puts it rather well when she suggests that these practices in the past can clearly be viewed as instruments for the development of a 'self' - whether an 'inner' self (for Christians?), or a 'public' self (for the aristocrats?) , practices "constructed in an arena in which the deepest possibilities for human excellence may be realised". The old ideal of mens sana in corpore sano?

But surely this "pursuit of human excellence" is not what we are witnessing all around us today - purely physical transformation and control of an unruly body is the goal. Body image is all, and it is wiser not to inquire too closely about mental and/or spiritual states, or about the means used to achieve such bodily transformation. Perfection and control no longer seem sane, healthy or admirable: the relentless pursuit of the impossible is now making people mad - or is making them despair. Whatever happened to moderation and sensible discipline - not to mention a joyful celebration of the body's potential for pleasure and joy? The body now - whether male or female - is viewed as a dangerous rebel which has to be controlled and constrained by methods that appear to be increasingly pathological, if not downright crazy: prolonged, deliberate starvation; repeated, dangerous purging; ingestion of dangerous drugs; nightmarish invasive surgery; compulsive, joyless exercise. It is indeed madness. What on earth would Plato or Augustine make of it all - let alone Descartes? Would  they understand the modern body malaise as a sickness of the soul? Indeed would Augustine especially be tempted to say "I told you so?"

Temperance,

I did first some research about Bordo and her book...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_Bordo
https://books.google.be/books/about/Unbearable_Weight.html?id=rezqDU30R5wC&redir_esc=y

I also commented a book about the body. Researched it even intensively in several threads on the different boards.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Brown_(historian)
https://cup.columbia.edu/book/the-body-and-society/9780231144070
https://www.amazon.com/Body-Society-Renunciation-Christianity-Columbia/dp/0231144075

Temperance, I will further comment in addendums for fear of loosing my message...

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Sat 29 Jul 2017, 13:33

Temperance,

"Probably quite enough food for thought there, and one is tempted to simply add "Discuss" and then run; but I'd like to add a bit more - about what Bordo calls "the dualist axis". She refers by that (I think) to our human dualistic heritage, a heritage which began with the Greeks, found its most lurid expression in Augustine and finally was (I think) "metaphysically solidified and scientized" (Bordo's rather confusing words) by Descartes - the famous Cartesian Dualism - the view that human existence is bifurcated into two realms: the body or material, on the one hand, the mental or spiritual on the other. Am I right in thinking that for Plato, Augustine and Descartes the body was experienced as various unpleasant states - a "prison", a "swamp", a "cage" a "fog" - states from which the soul, will or mind struggles to escape?"

"what Bordo calls "the dualist axis". She refers by that (I think) to our human dualistic heritage, a heritage which began with the Greeks, found its most lurid expression in Augustine and finally was (I think) "metaphysically solidified and scientized" (Bordo's rather confusing words)"

My layman's! approach about the "dualist axis". I would rather say that the human is an "individual unity". The brain is part of the body and in the brain are formed the thoughts from the mind

Temperance, did a short research about the difference between the brain and the mind on the net...and it seems to be a difficult question...
The best I found was:
http://www.differencebetween.info/difference-between-brain-mind-and-mental
Source:
http://www.differencebetween.info/


Thus if I understand it well: the body, the brain, the mind and the mental state are one unity and it tends to be individual, although there are categories of humans which seems to have some similarities.

And the mind has a very strong influence on the body: Studies of the American army during WWII said that in the mass of casualties, those survided who had a strong will to survive and others who were in much better shape died because they had lost the will to survive.
As I said in my thread: I prefer democracy above dictatorship. Plato and the Romans are 2500 à 2000 years ago and in the meantime a lot of thinking is changed as the Greeks and Romans had still a pantheon of gods. Scientific research has in the meantime a lot explained although I agree not all.

Sorry Temperance have to leave now for the daily "escapade" with the wife...mostly cafés...but now visit to the grand-daughter...

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Sat 29 Jul 2017, 15:59

Thank you for responding, Paul.

With respect, I rather think there is rather more to all this than "the brain and the mind and the mental state..."

The brain is not the soul...

But I struggle with philosophy and theology, as I have often admitted. I'm still fascinated, though, by Plato, Augustine, Descartes and the rest. Just wish I understood better. Still reading my Bordo book...


Last edited by Temperance on Thu 03 Aug 2017, 08:24; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Sat 29 Jul 2017, 20:33

Temperance,

"With respect, I rather think there is rather more to all this than "the brain and the mind and the mental state..."
The brain is not the soul..."

No Temperance, the "mind" is the "soul". Read once my link to "The difference between brain and mind" I admit to have deliberately chosen this one Wink , because other sites started already with the "immortal" soul...

"But I struggle with philosophy and theology, as I have often admitted."

You know, I often admitted it too, I am only interested by the history of theology and religions...I gave my point of view to Priscilla when she recently popped up again on the boards (you will remember it). But as I said to Priscilla I don't understand why we couldn't discuss the matter in all serenity and with respect. Until the Beeb history messageboard I walked always with a wide bow around the shelves about philosophy too...and I am not proud of it...

From what I retained from my twelve years debating on the boards:
The mind receives impulses from the brain and retains the impressions and with all these impressions, many times repeating impressions, it is learning and combining and reasoning. One mind is not the other as some minds are better in combining and reasoning than the others, due to heredity or a better ability to combine outside factors from the environment. The big discusssion: Nurture versus nature. Studies with monozygotic twins. The latest news in the debate: about fifty fifty for nurture and nature (environment and genetics (heredity))

They are doing tests to create artificially intelligence in robots. As the human the robot learns from different situations and impressions and after a while, haphasardly they learn from their own experiences and start after a time again haphasardly to develop an own "character". Although I don't see immediately the gain of these robots as there are that many equivalent humans on the earth, some 9  milliard (billion) in some time, it is perhaps interesting to do research on the human mind?
No the future is perhaps bleak in that perspective. I saw a documentary about the smart missiles directed from a control post somewhere in Texas and operating in Irak. They have eyes, but they don't see only the close theatre, while they have to hit a car on 7 meter close and the operators are waning about the fact that they don't see the whole environment and so make mistakes. And they will now let the missile indepdentely decide by its computer if to hit or not...in some time there will to be rules of behaviour in my opinion to retain states from hitting the civil population in at random collateral damage...but who will punish...the UNO...

That's it for the moment Temperance. I have to speak yet about the body culture, especially the modern one...

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Tue 01 Aug 2017, 22:27

Not yet the body culture as I promized Temperance, but rather again about your "Discipline and Punishment" from Michel Foucault.

As usually I have a lot to say about it all but as it is already quite late (one hour later than at the other side of the Channel) I read it all but will only now publish my links to comment them tomorrow...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Foucault
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madness_and_Civilization
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Archaeology_of_Knowledge
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discipline_and_Punish
https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surveiller_et_punir
http://brainconnection.brainhq.com/2008/08/26/think-like-an-ancient-egyptian-the-first-mention-of-the-brain/
https://danieltoker.com/2013/11/04/greek-philosophy-and-neuroscience/

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Wed 02 Aug 2017, 18:16

Paul! That is awful of you! A list https stuff? How on earth can anyone reply to that lot?
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Wed 02 Aug 2017, 20:01

@Priscilla wrote:
Paul! That is awful of you! A list https stuff? How on earth can anyone reply to that lot?

 Priscilla, dear girl, didn't you read my message from yesterday fully?

"As usually I have a lot to say about it all but as it is already quite late (one hour later than at the other side of the Channel) I read it all but will only now publish my links to comment them tomorrow..."

Tomorrow, that's today...

Kind regards from your Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Wed 02 Aug 2017, 21:21

Temperance,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madness_and_Civilization

"Foucault contends that at the dawn of the age of reason, in the mid-seventeenth century, the rational response to the mad, who until then had been consigned to society's margins, was to separate them completely from society by confining them, along with prostitutes, vagrants, blasphemers and the like, in newly created institutions all over Europe – a process he calls "the Great Confinement."[2]
The condition of these outcasts was seen as one of moral error. They were viewed as having freely chosen prostitution, vagrancy, blasphemy, unreason, etc. and the regimes of these new rational institutions were meticulous programs of punishment and reward aimed at causing them to reverse those choices.[2] "
 "Freely chosen unreason" They were wrong while they hadn't freely chosen the unreason, because the mind was derailed, but that didn't they know yet in that time. And I will comment it on the "Punish" item. Punish the "body" has no sense, while it is the brain and additionally the mind that is involved....

"For Foucault the modern experience began at the end of the eighteenth century with the creation of places devoted solely to the confinement of the mad under the supervision of medical doctors, and these new institutions were the product of a blending of two motives: the new goal of curing the mad away from their family who could not afford the necessary care at home, and the old purpose of confining undesirables for the protection of society. These distinct purposes were lost sight of, and the institution soon came to be seen as the only place where therapeutic treatment can be administered. He sees the nominally more enlightened and compassionate treatment of the mad in these modern medical institutions as just as cruel and controlling as their treatment in the earlier,rational institutions had been.[2]"

Perhaps, Foucault is thinking about the circumstances and experiences of the Fifties, but today...
And there is critique:
"Sociologist José Guilherme Merquior discusses Madness and Civilization in Foucault (1985). Merquior argues that while Foucault raises important questions about the influence of social forces on the meaning of, and responses to, deviant behavior, Madness and Civilization is nonetheless so riddled with serious errors of fact and interpretation as to be of very limited value. Merquior notes that there is abundant evidence of widespread cruelty to and imprisonment of the insane during eras when Foucault contends that the mad were perceived as possessing wisdom, and that Foucault has thus selectively cited data that supports his assertions while ignoring contrary data. Madness was typically linked with sin by Christian Europeans, noted Merquior, and was therefore regarded as much less benign than Foucault tends to imply. Merquior sees Madness and Civilization as "a call for the liberation of the Dionysian id" similar to Norman O. Brown's Life Against Death (1959), and an inspiration for Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari's Anti-Oedipus (1972).[7]"

I had and have occasionally family in the psychiatry. One forty years in a mental clinique...she said that they have good periods, when one can communicate with them and then periods in which they are completely insane. And they are followed daily by psychiatrists. And of course there are degrees. The community tries to let them as long as possible at home, especially if they have a sane partner, but if they are a danger to themselves and the community they have to enter in a mental clinic. The other family member with older people with dementia (and in recent studies they say that they perhaps can improve the recovery; while it has a lot to do with bichemicals in the brain). And those with dementia are not that far of the situation of insanes.

Will add the following comment in an addendum...

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Wed 02 Aug 2017, 21:38

Addendum to the previous message.

Temperance,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Archaeology_of_Knowledge


I read this difficult summary. Do Foucault himself knows about what he speaks? Scientists and all those, who want to be considered as scientists have such a difficult language and mostly they fail to explain it in layman's terms...
What I made of it, but I could have misunderstood:
During the different time periods, there are forms of communication. But it aren't the specific sentences and words which are important, but the general public, who lives in a specific time period and have a specific world vision about the world and all things in that world. As such the "same" sentence becomes perceived by people from different times as "another viewpoint"...
If it is that I find it quite normal and it is not necessary to make all that scientific fuss of it?

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Wed 02 Aug 2017, 22:34

Addendum to the previous message.

Temperance,


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discipline_and_Punish


As I had difficulties with the word "body" I read also the French equivalent to be sure about the word "body" and yes it was "corps" in the same sense as the "body" of the English wiki (BTW: "corps" has also all the same other meanings as "body" in English).

"He traces the cultural shifts that led to the predominance of prison via the body and power. Prison used by the "disciplines" - new technological powers that can also be found, according to Foucault, in places such as schools, hospitals, and military barracks.[1]
But Wink ...
In a later work, Security, Territory, Population, Foucault admitted that he was somewhat overzealous in his argument that disciplinary power conditions society; he amended and developed his earlier ideas.[2]"

 "The emergence of prison as the form of punishment for every crime grew out of the development of discipline in the 18th and 19th centuries, according to Foucault. He looks at the development of highly refined forms of discipline, of discipline concerned with the smallest and most precise aspects of a person's body. Discipline, he suggests, developed a new economy and politics for bodies. Modern institutions required that bodies must be individuated according to their tasks, as well as for training, observation, and control. Therefore, he argues, discipline created a whole new form of individuality for bodies, which enabled them to perform their duty within the new forms of economic, political, and military organizations emerging in the modern age and continuing to today."

I was so confused by the continuous use of the word "body", while I didn't understand the meaning of it, that I looked to the French wiki, to know if it was really "body" that was meant.
I would rather expect the word "mind" instead of "body" in this sense...

"Foucault's argument is that discipline creates "docile bodies", ideal for the new economics, politics and warfare of the modern industrial age - bodies that function in factories, ordered military regiments, and school classrooms. But, to construct docile bodies the disciplinary institutions must be able to (a) constantly observe and record the bodies they control and (b) ensure the internalization of the disciplinary individuality within the bodies being controlled. That is, discipline must come about without excessive force through careful observation, and molding of the bodies into the correct form through this observation. This requires a particular form of institution, exemplified, Foucault argues, by Jeremy Bentham's Panopticon. This architectural model, though it was never adopted by architects according to Bentham's exact blueprint, becomes an important conceptualization of power relations for prison reformers of the 19th Century, and its general principle is a recurring theme in modern prison construction.
The Panopticon was the ultimate realization of a modern disciplinary institution. It allowed for constant observation characterized by an "unequal gaze"; the constant possibility of observation. Perhaps the most important feature of the panopticon was that it was specifically designed so that the prisoner could never be sure whether they were being observed at any moment. The unequal gaze caused the internalization of disciplinary individuality, and the docile body required of its inmates. This means one is less likely to break rules or laws if they believe they are being watched, even if they are not. Thus, prisons, and specifically those that follow the model of the Panopticon, provide the ideal form of modern punishment. Foucault argues that this is why the generalized, "gentle" punishment of public work gangs gave way to the prison. It was the ideal modernization of punishment, so its eventual dominance was natural.
Having laid out the emergence of the prison as the dominant form of punishment, Foucault devotes the rest of the book to examining its precise form and function in our society, laying bare the reasons for its continued use, and questioning the assumed results of its use."

"But, to construct docile bodies the disciplinary institutions must be able to (a) constantly observe and record the bodies they control and (b) ensure the internalization of the disciplinary individuality within the bodies being controlled. That is, discipline must come about without excessive force through careful observation, and molding of the bodies into the correct form through this observation."

Utterly nonsens in my humble opinion...
First again "body"...the "body" is nothing, only "flesh", some apparatus of a pump and conductors, connecting electrical wires, which transmit the orders of the brain, some digestion entity to transform food to body material and blood all to feed the working of the controling brain in humans and yes in higher animals too, perhaps in other animals too?
And by all these measurements, they can't control the brain and the mind, as each individual has his own personal lifeworld that is apart from the outerworld. And to break that you need more sophisticated methods as "brainwashing". I read about it from American stories during the Vietnam war...

Follows then a history of the exploration of the brain and the inquiry about the brain as central commanding centre of the body, while we spoke about the brain and the mind...

First the Egyptians and then the Greeks. The Romans had no new thoughts as they remained in the thinking world of the Greeks;

http://brainconnection.brainhq.com/2008/08/26/think-like-an-ancient-egyptian-the-first-mention-of-the-brain/
https://danieltoker.com/2013/11/04/greek-philosophy-and-neuroscience/

And even an Aristotle thought that the seat of the brain was the heart:
"We now think that the opposing view – cardiocentrism – is obviously wrong. But thinkers as prominent as Aristotle subscribed to this view. Why? One possible explanation is that these philosophers observed that when the heart stops beating, you die, and so they conjectured that the heart must control the mind. Many prominent ancient Greek physicians held this view, and indeed the debate between cardiocentrism and encephalocentrism continued well into the Renaissance.

Kind regards, Paul.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Thu 03 Aug 2017, 08:22

Lord, I've certainly  opened a can of Wiki worms here...


Paul wrote:
 "But, to construct docile bodies the disciplinary institutions must be able to (a) constantly observe and record the bodies they control and (b) ensure the internalization of the disciplinary individuality within the bodies being controlled. That is, discipline must come about without excessive force through careful observation, and molding of the bodies into the correct form through this observation."

Utterly nonsens in my humble opinion...

Not so sure it is "nonsense", Paul - certainly not where women and "docile bodies" are concerned. The "prison", after all, need not always be an "institution".

No time now, but back later...






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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Thu 03 Aug 2017, 09:18

Temperance!

"certainly not where women and "docile bodies" are concerned. The "prison", after all, need not always be an "institution"."
Yes, very appropriate and to the point pictures... Wink
But Temperance you don't want to say, if I understood it well,  that of all women that I know, you have an inferiority complex. I was during the last year during the kidney dialysis with some 45 nurses (40 female and 5 male). One at a time of course...
And I didn't saw not much difference in behaviour Wink ...even some male was more timide than a lot of manly women (I don't call names because if someone of them read my utterings overhere...) As for the aesthetic point of view: There were all kind of women, as about the five man, there was one where women and even men would have had a second glance at, I suppose. Of course my personal views were a bit disturbed by my genetic hormones...I had a special attention for the female doctors...Can it be that I have a submission complex to women?
I think I had it already from my seven, when I was in love with the female lay school teacher dressed in a skirt, the only one among the vast majority of nuns of course dressed as the nowadays muslim women. That feeling of submission I had again at the seaside (14 years) towards a girl, the sister of a friend. Do I need a psy Temperance?

Kind regards from your friend Paul (in submission Wink )

PS: I give a "feast" for all the nurses, doctors and copatients in September...

PPS: I forgot...
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Thu 03 Aug 2017, 15:27

I'm sure I'm riddled with complexes, Paul, inferior, superior and middling -  you name it. Smile

Your mention of the various nurses and doctors and your reaction to them had me unaccountably thinking of a Carry On film:




Actually not such a silly clip. Foucault's ideas about "social constructs" (all decades old now) can be applied to "ideal" bodies as well as to other things (like "madness" and "homosexuality"). What on earth does Barbara Windsor's appearance tell us about bodies as social constructs? That sequence would never pass muster in 2017 - yet it's still oddly funny and the actress is actually a very well-liked woman - liked in a way that today's dreadful Kim Kardashian (with her enormous and profitable backside) is not. I suppose because the Carry On stuff is just meant to be ridiculous. But the humour is not merely "ridiculous": it is both crude and cruel. And if we were to attempt a deconstruction of this apparently "harmless" and "silly" humour - what about the subversive and unsettling role of Hattie Jacques? How do we - as men and women - react to her?




Phryne was of course "a legendary courtesan in ancient Greece". She was put on trial for impiety, but was acquitted after her defender Hypereides removed her robe and exposed her naked bosom to the jury.

What was her "impiety" - and how did her bosom help exactly? Does having an approved bosom make one less guilty of impiety or blasphemy? What an interesting thought.

But to be absolutely serious: this is a hugely distressing article, written only two years ago; and nothing seems to be improving. So many young women - and increasingly young men too - are  in agony over their bodies. What on earth is this body malaise really all about?

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/feminism/2015/12/why-it-so-hard-women-accept-their-bodies


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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Thu 03 Aug 2017, 18:25

Temperance, I read something disturbing even more recently - about a month ago - about young females (I'm not using 'female' disparagingly - more that the subjects of the article are not really fully-grown women. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-40410459 There was something on the BBC about young ladies wanting operations on their vaginas (seemingly the youngest was aged only 9). I did mention that when I was getting over my low red blood cell count I spent far too much time on YouTube and watched some illuminati and "Truther" videos. It's surprising how much time such folk who were setting themselves up as holier than the rest of us were spending time scrutinising the private parts of certain famous women (albeit through clothes) in order to try and prove they were transgender. There really are some very odd videos on YouTube (or there were 6 months ago).

Could Shakespeare's

"Tell me where is fancy bred
Or in the heart or in the head?
How begot how nourished?"

have alluded albeit tangentially to the head v mind (the mind being located in the brain and the brain being in the head) argument?
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Thu 03 Aug 2017, 21:13

Ah, what an excellent quotation, LiR - but perhaps the next lines say it all...




Tell me where is fancy bred,
Or in the heart or in the head?
How begot, how nourished?
           Reply, reply.
It is engender’d in the eyes,
With gazing fed; and fancy dies
In the cradle, where it lies.
   Let us all ring fancy’s knell;
   I’ll begin it – Ding, dong, bell.

Ding, dong, bell.


These words were set to music by the brilliant Jocelyn Pook for the soundtrack of the recent film of The Merchant of Venice. This is one of the most beautiful and haunting things I've heard for a long time...






But I digress.

This thread has got terribly muddled, hasn't it - my fault. I've got a bit bogged down with Foucault and feminism. I was actually interested in dualism - the idea that body and mind are separate, but I am struggling terribly with all this. The following is from the "Philosophy Basics" site - link given below. Basics! Lord knows what the advanced version is like!

Neo-Platonic Christians identified Plato's Forms with souls and believed that the soul was the substance of each individual human being, while the body was just a shadow or copy of these eternal phenomena. For St. Thomas Aquinas, the soul was still the substance of the human being but, similar to Aristotle's proposal, it was only through its manifestation inside the human body that a person could be said to be a person.

http://www.philosophybasics.com/branch_dualism.html

I'd best stick with Wobbleweapon: I  can understand him - most of the time!
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Thu 03 Aug 2017, 21:53

Temperance,

and now we enter the last chapter of your start message, the relation of the human mind with his/her body.
About the Carry on films: I saw them nearly all, but by growing older I prefer now the more "fine" British humour. As such I preferred more for instance: "To the manor born"
https://www.theguardian.com/media/organgrinder/2007/sep/24/areturntothemanorborn



"What was her "impiety" - and how did her bosom help exactly? Does having an approved bosom make one less guilty of impiety or blasphemy? What an interesting thought."
Yes, men are many times the slave of their hormones...but it is changing...in the clinic I referred to, it are mostly female doctors and they are many times the bosses...the same in the industry...I read today in the press that in Belgium the most performing enterprises are those led by a woman...and they gave even five examples of leading firms...but there is also the other side of the coin...I read already about sexual harrasment (not those bosses I just told about) of men by female bosses...might is so tricky for humans, men and women alike...

Yes about Hattie Jaques...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hattie_Jacques
Beautiful face in my opinion...
"She was married to the actor John Le Mesurier from 1949 until their divorce in 1965,[1] a separation caused by her five-year affair with another man. Jacques, who had been overweight since her teenage years, suffered ill-health soon after the separation from Le Mesurier and her weight rose to nearly 20 stone (130 kg). She died of a heart attack on 6 October 1980, at the age of 58. Her biographer, Francis Gray, considers Jacques had a "talent for larger-than-life comedy which never lost its grip on humanity", while she could also display "a broader comic mode" as a result of her "extraordinary versatility".[2]"

I think that as you talk about obesity and not controlling it, it has lot to do with the mental state of the person involved...I think stress can lead to obesity...but as you mentioned it can also be a nearly irresistible desire to fit the common size as promoted by the advertisements, who earn then from the unneccesary products that they can sell to the adepts. And they are able nowadays to spent a lot of money for their desires, even the have nots are able to spent some money as the social basket in Europe is much better than in the US. I guess you are speaking in your message about "Westeners". My sister in law who is tall and corpulent wanted to lose weight (I think in the perspective of men, She was widow). She came into a jojo effect trying all kind of methods. She is now at sexty and accepted her shape I think. I even received one method from her, I think it was the Weightwatchers. I read the brochure and saw that it was very easy: eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, drink a lot of water, don't eat too much fat and they promoted potatoes in reasonable quantities for the transit of the food through the body. I had never a problem with overweight as I very loosely followed that method. But it is perhaps easy for me, as I have a good burning of the fats, I think from genetics from both parents.
I remember Minette telling us that she had a problem with her former husband, even harassment due to her rather thick body shape (if I recall it well). That gives problems to the mind even resulting in a more bigger shape I presume.
Yes there is a body cult and as with all things the solution of the covering of the shape of the body lays between the two excesses: the golden mean. And in my humble opinion it is not bad that younsters try to keep a good shape as it tends to promulgate a good and healthy lifestyle. But one has to convince his own mind that the shape of the body is a given and that one has to live with it, even if it is not the ideal shape as promoted by the ancient Greeks. The mind has to accept the shape and the general picture of the body.

And to return to the start of the message: After all it is the "mind", "who" is important, while from there come all thoughts, not from the body.

Kind regards for this evening Temperance from Paul. .
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Thu 03 Aug 2017, 22:22

Thank you for replying, Paul. I have just typed a long message and have promptly lost it. I clicked on Preview and got the dreaded "Webpage expired" message. My own message gorn.

Will try again tomorrow. I agree entirely with the "moderation in all things" approach, by the way.

PS It is much more interesting when you give your opinions and thoughts rather than lots of links! I think we should all restrict ourselves to one link per post! (Hint!)
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Thu 03 Aug 2017, 22:29

Temperance,

http://www.philosophybasics.com/branch_philosophy_of_mind.html
Am I then "adhering" Wink  to the branch of the Monism?
http://www.philosophybasics.com/branch_monism.html
And yes they are mingling again "mind" with "soul"...
Am I a bit "Spinoza"?
I don't find yet my way in all the stuff...
My take was that the mind from birth on receives all kind of impressions and then construct in an haphasardly way a global picture during lifetime and the mind combines all these impressions in a certain, I suppose, rational way to make up an individual mind. I guess also that by the genetic hereditary the "wiring" of the brain can be influenced and as such this genetic influenced brain can generate other pattersn of combining of the impressions than the other individual..
But on the first sight I don't find "my take" in the link... Wink

Kind regards again Temperance from Paul.

PS: reading your texts we seem to come to the core of the question

PPS: Thanks for the beautiful poem and song.
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Thu 03 Aug 2017, 22:33

@Temperance wrote:
Thank you for replying, Paul. I have just typed a long message and have promptly lost it. I clicked on Preview and got the dreaded "Webpage expired" message. My own message gorn.

Will try again tomorrow. I agree entirely with the "moderation in all things" approach, by the way.

PS It is much more interesting when you give your opinions and thoughts rather than lots of links! I think we should all restrict ourselves to one link per post! (Hint!)

Temperance,

I feel with you. How many times it happened to me too, when returning from Google seeking for a translation or link about a certain subject.

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Sun 06 Aug 2017, 15:19

Following her interesting post on Priscilla's Bling thread. I have asked permission from ferval to reproduce her message here, but will not add anything until she responds - hopefully allowing me to transfer her comments and the lovely image of the little "skinny" dancer to this topic.

I asked above what is the real reason for our modern body "malaise". I am still no wiser. But it is surely more than a "feminist" issue, important as that approach is.

Bordo mentions Plato in her chapter on that most distressing of body image disorders, anorexia nervosa, a condition that is now being reported as increasing alarmingly among men and boys. (There was a recent BBC programme in which Nigel Owens, the 46 year-old rugby referee, spoke honestly about his terrible struggle with image, "fitness" and an eating disorder. See Telegraph article: Nigel Owens' Body Battles )

Here's Bordo:


"While the body is experienced as alien and outside, the soul or will is described as being trapped or confined in this alien 'jail', as one woman describes it. 'I feel caught in my body' - 'I am a prisoner in my body': this theme is repeated over and over again. A typical fantasy, evocative of Plato, imagines total liberation from the bodily prison: 'I wish I could get out of my body and fly!'..."

Is it inappropriate to drag Plato into this? Anorexia is not a philosophical attitude after all; it is a debilitating affliction, a recognised mental illness. And yet, and yet... As Bordo herself goes on to comment, quite often a highly conscious and articulate scheme of images and associations - virtually a metaphysics - is presented by anorexic women and girls. The scheme is strikingly Augustinian, with evocations of Plato. This does not indicate, of course, that women who diet to the point of starvation are students of Plato or Augustine, but that the anorexic's metaphysics makes explicit various elements, historically grounded in Plato and Augustine, that run deep in our culture. Augustine often speaks (as did Saint Paul) of the "two wills" within him, "one the servant of the flesh, the other of the spirit", who "between them tore my soul apart". And Plato was no better! In the Phaedo he describes the body as "fastened and glued to me", "nailed" and riveted to me". It is alien, a not-self, a not-me. Is this madness? A sickness? Of the soul or of the body? Of both?

I'm still trying to understand what the enlightenment thinkers believed about the mind/soul/body: they too seem to have experienced the body as a confinement or a limitation. Bordo says that "for Descartes, the body is the brute material envelope for the inner and essential self, the thinking thing; it is ontologically distinct from that inner self, is as mechanical in its operations as a machine, is indeed, comparable to animal existence".

The body as machine? A "brute material envelope"? How horrible. Surely it is more - or it can be more? Those words suddenly make me think of a nightmarish modernist painting - I'll have to search for it - but also of a refutation of them in ferval's defiant little dancer. I jokingly said of her (the girl, not ferval) that she had the "ballet bug" (what dancers call the intense happiness that comes from practising their difficult and very demanding discipline). That immediately also brings to my mind a quote from Billy Elliot - going from Plato to Lee Hall (like you do):

Dance Tutor : What does it feel like when you're dancing?
Billy: Don't know. Sorta feels good. Sorta stiff and that, but once I get going... then I like, forget everything. And... sorta disappear. Sorta disappear. Like I feel a change in my whole body. And I've got this fire in my body. I'm just there. Flyin' like a bird. Like electricity. Yeah, like electricity.







Now that I can understand - yes - even at my age! Augustine - and Plato - should have taken up the dance.


EDIT: It was vorticism I was thinking of (I think). This is Epstein:


The soul of man after the Enlightenment?


EDIT 2: Thank you, ferval.


Last edited by Temperance on Mon 07 Aug 2017, 07:46; edited 3 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Sun 06 Aug 2017, 15:36

@Priscilla wrote:
Adornment seems to be a way of compensating for personal doubts about ones body  (see Temp's interesting thread on that) - perhaps, anyway. In collections of the Indus Valley relics are several necklaces of pierced stone (agates) and lines of large plain baked clay beads which may have been coloured - a model bronze dancer wore many amulets  - but no clothes - is dated circa 2500 BC. I think ferv and ID will have many more ancient examples to offer..... and not all for women, either. I suspect that male bling is edging back into fashion with diamond and gold studs for a good ol' status-flaunt.

I'm not sure about 'doubts about our body' but it seems evident that, as soon as our funny old species (and closely related ones), acquired consciousness of our body, and the technology needed, we started to try to change it. We decorated it with the ornaments you mentioned but also painted it, tattooed it and scarred it. We shaved it or elaborated the hair growth, cut or cultivated nails, pierced bits of it and even found ways of changing the shape of bone - elongated skulls have been particularly popular. Temp's body image thread, and perhaps this might have been more appropriate there but it seems to me that these threads overlap, is another aspects of this and the choice of desirable body shape had been as varied as any other in this context from those obese palaeolithic and neolithic 'godesses' to that wonderful little skinny Indus Valley dancer (great bling there) to the Greek ideal of the sculpted physique of a kouros.

And not just our bodies: as soon as we developed consciousness we began finding ways to alter that as well so is this discontent - or aspiration - with what evolution has given us a defining characteristic of hominids? I don't know of any evidence of bodily transformation in the apes but I might be wrong. Several species of animals are partial to a belly full of fermented fruit though

Here's that wee dancer, isn't she a wonderful, feisty little madam?


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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Sun 06 Aug 2017, 22:54

Temperance,

I will come back in due time on your subject "modern body malaise"

But first this:
"Here's Bordo:
"While the body is experienced as alien and outside, the soul or will is described as being trapped or confined in this alien 'jail', as one woman describes it. 'I feel caught in my body' - 'I am a prisoner in my body': this theme is repeated over and over again. A typical fantasy, evocative of Plato, imagines total liberation from the bodily prison: 'I wish I could get out of my body and fly!'..."
Is it inappropriate to drag Plato into this? Anorexia is not a philosophical attitude after all; it is a debilitating affliction, a recognised mental illness. And yet, and yet... As Bordo herself goes on to comment, quite often a highly conscious and articulate scheme of images and associations - virtually a metaphysics - is presented by anorexic women and girls. The scheme is strikingly Augustinian, with evocations of Plato. This does not indicate, of course, that women who diet to the point of starvation are students of Plato or Augustine, but that the anorexic's metaphysics makes explicit various elements, historically grounded in Plato and Augustine, that run deep in our culture. Augustine often speaks (as did Saint Paul) of the "two wills" within him, "one the servant of the flesh, the other of the spirit", who "between them tore my soul apart". And Plato was no better! In the Phaedo he describes the body as "fastened and glued to me", "nailed" and riveted to me". It is alien, a not-self, a not-me. Is this madness? A sickness? Of the soul or of the body? Of both?
I'm still trying to understand what the enlightenment thinkers believed about the mind/soul/body: they too seem to have experienced the body as a confinement or a limitation. Bordo says that "for Descartes, the body is the brute material envelope for the inner and essential self, the thinking thing; it is ontologically distinct from that inner self, is as mechanical in its operations as a machine, is indeed, comparable to animal existence".
The body as machine? A "brute material envelope"? How horrible. Surely it is more - or it can be more?

You seem still to adhere to the dualist Bordo view, as I still adhere to the monist view...
http://www.philosophybasics.com/branch_monism.html
Monism is used in a variety of contexts, (within Metaphysics, Epistemology, Ethics, Philosophy of Mind, etc), but the underlying concept is always that of "oneness". Wherever Dualism distinguishes between body and soul, matter and spirit, object and subject, matter and force, Monism denies such a distinction or merges both in a higher unity.
The term "monism" itself is relatively recent, first used by the 18th Century German philosopher Christian von Wolff (1679 - 1754) to designate types of philosophical thought in which the attempt was made to eliminate the dichotomy of body and mind (see the section on Philosophy of Mind for more details).

And I maintain that the body is a tool of the mind, is directed by the mind. Of course there are the uncounscious actions of the body to keep the body alive. For me is the just born child a blank blackboard in his mind, but the brain is wired according to some heriditary genetic pattern as is the rest of the body. And from there there emerges a mind, by combinations of experiences and by learning and it develops to an individual mind, who! directs all the actions (apart from the unconscious ones) of the body and matures to direct his life and make decisions in that life and think about life itself (in the metaphysical? sense).

Have to be early up tomorrow...that was it for today...

Kind regards Temperance from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Mon 07 Aug 2017, 07:40

Paul, some of your message above appears in a blue print which is quite impossible to read. Would you mind changing it - if possible?

For those who are struggling like me with monism/dualism here is a simple explanation:




https://www.simplypsychology.org/mindbodydebate.html




Paul wrote:
And I maintain that the body is a tool of the mind, is directed by the mind. Of course there are the uncounscious actions of the body to keep the body alive. For me is the just born child a blank blackboard in his mind, but the brain is wired according to some heriditary genetic pattern as is the rest of the body. And from there there emerges a mind, by combinations of experiences and by learning and it develops to an individual mind, who! directs all the actions (apart from the unconscious ones) of the body and matures to direct his life and make decisions in that life and think about life itself (in the metaphysical? sense).




The human "unconscious" is a bit of a problem isn't it? And why do we humans think "about life itself"? Why on earth do we bother, if we are just sophisticated robots?

I think ferval's point about our strange human desire to "modify" our bodies - attempts at modification that started so early in our history -  is interesting. Why do we do this? What is the point of these "modifications" which so often damage us? The body is obviously being used as a sign - but signifying what?

Is this just about mind and body - what about the idea of an immortal soul? Theological nonsense, I suppose, that has no place in our brave new world.

A terribly muddled Monday morning message, typed before tea and toast, but what the heck - will still send. And all England this morning is twittering about the Channel 4 Diana programme - that desperately unhappy bulimic girl who still haunts us all, but why?

PS That blue print is driving me crazy - I really can't make head nor tail of your message, Paul.


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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Mon 07 Aug 2017, 07:57

PS Perhaps I should put this on the Art thread, but I wonder if vorticism, as mentioned above, is relevant here? Probably not. The movement died a death very quickly, but the images can still disturb today - more so than a hundred years ago, perhaps. Was this rather nasty movement - in a strange and haunting way - indeed prophetic; and not just of the World Wars and of the celebration of humans as efficient "fighting machines", but of the scientific/technological nightmare we are now living in? Seems to me that the human is now merely recognised as a soulless machine - a machine that can be tinkered with certainly, but a machine whose destiny is always the scrap-metal yard. I much prefer Plato's image of my soul as a bird that will soon be liberated - but then I would, wouldn't I? But all around the machines are in despair - and machines aren't supposed to be so negative, are they? They are not supposed to feel.

Epstein's Maimed Machine






 Nude Descending a Staircase (Marcel Duchamp)
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Mon 07 Aug 2017, 10:19

Just edited my message above and, as I pressed "Send", I remembered how ferval said I often "got on her wick" (Ley Lines thread). I bet my disjointed ramblings this morning are causing very real irritation up there beyond the Wall. Smile

I'm irritating myself actually - time to shut up!
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Mon 07 Aug 2017, 22:24

@Temperance wrote:
Paul, some of your message above appears in a blue print which is quite impossible to read. Would you mind changing it - if possible?

For those who are struggling like me with monism/dualism here is a simple explanation:
https://www.simplypsychology.org/mindbodydebate.html
Paul wrote:
And I maintain that the body is a tool of the mind, is directed by the mind. Of course there are the uncounscious actions of the body to keep the body alive. For me is the just born child a blank blackboard in his mind, but the brain is wired according to some heriditary genetic pattern as is the rest of the body. And from there there emerges a mind, by combinations of experiences and by learning and it develops to an individual mind, who! directs all the actions (apart from the unconscious ones) of the body and matures to direct his life and make decisions in that life and think about life itself (in the metaphysical? sense).
The human "unconscious" is a bit of a problem isn't it? And why do we humans think "about life itself"? Why on earth do we bother, if we are just sophisticated robots?
I think ferval's point about our strange human desire to "modify" our bodies - attempts at modification that started so early in our history -  is interesting. Why do we do this? What is the point of these "modifications" which so often damage us? The body is obviously being used as a sign - but signifying what?
Is this just about mind and body - what about the idea of an immortal soul? Theological nonsense, I suppose, that has no place in our brave new world.
A terribly muddled Monday morning message, typed before tea and toast, but what the heck - will still send. And all England this morning is twittering about the Channel 4 Diana programme - that desperately unhappy bulimic girl who still haunts us all, but why?
PS That blue print is driving me crazy - I really can't make head nor tail of your message, Paul.

Temperance,

"PS That blue print is driving me crazy - I really can't make head nor tail of your message, Paul."

I had to say it yesterday and it was already that late. Nielsen had once the same problem in blue or was it in yellow. You simply select with the arrow of your mouse and the blue becomes light blue and the letters white and easely readable" Sorry for that...

"The human "unconscious" is a bit of a problem isn't it? And why do we humans think "about life itself"? Why on earth do we bother, if we are just sophisticated robots?
I think ferval's point about our strange human desire to "modify" our bodies - attempts at modification that started so early in our history -  is interesting. Why do we do this? What is the point of these "modifications" which so often damage us? The body is obviously being used as a sign - but signifying what?
Is this just about mind and body - what about the idea of an immortal soul? Theological nonsense, I suppose, that has no place in our brave new world."

I rather would speak about a conscious mind, who makes all kinds of reasonings, and yes perhaps unreasonal dreamthinking too just arising out of the blue haphazardly and not based on anything consciously experienced. I have also a problem with dreams, while they seem to recall experienced events but in a, from the real world, total other sequense and oddly connected...
"we humans": our experienced minds try at the end perhaps, because they become more and more on a higher level of thinking and at the end start to think about their own existence and the role of it in connection with the other minds?
Was it to you or to Priscilla in your latest thread that I spoke about my take of the timeless universe with these millions of worlds, with certainly also conscious minds on them, a universe with consciuous minds, perhaps on one or another way interconnected...isn't that God...

Temperance,

monism...I am not a new adept...just thoughts...as my take on the universe...it are only thoughts as those from you...and for the moment I stick to what I can logically approach from what I perceive for the moment...I know a philsopher will say that you can't trust observation...

OOPS, Temperance I have to stop...already half past eleven in Belgium and tomorrow early up for check in the clinic...and have in the morning to "prepare" for it...

Kind regards from your dedicated Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Tue 08 Aug 2017, 12:39

Paul wrote:
 ...isn't that God...



Probably wisest to keep God out of this - that way madness (not to mention dramatic exits stage left) lies. That said, the concept of the Incarnation is really rather interesting -  the word made flesh and all that.

However, moving swiftly on...

A line from Bolt's A Man For All Seasons has been going round in my head this morning. In the famous "garden scene", Henry VIII loses it completely with Thomas More and yells at him: "It is a deadly canker in the Body Politic and I will have it out!"

The "Body Politic "- you never hear that nowadays, but it was an old metaphor found in Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Seneca, Machiavelli, Hobbes and many others - the state or society imagined as a human body, with different organs and parts symbolising different functions, needs, social constituents, forces etc. - the head (or soul!) for the sovereign, the blood for the will of the people and so on. Feminism seems to have inverted and converted this ancient metaphor: instead of the Body Politic we now have the Politics of the Body.

But I am wary of the old feminist discourse - that which portrays men as the "enemy" and oppressor of the female body - seeing them always as sexual brutes and "cultural denominators". If you look at all this from the deconstructionist angle you see how unsophisticated the "old" feminist approach is: it betrays its own insensitivity to the multiplicity of meanings that can be read in every cultural act and practice. Nothing is ever simple, certainly not where men and women and bodies are concerned.

But to hell with all the feminist intellectuals - here's dear old Eddie Cantor's verdict on it all. I'd love to have a go at deconstructionist reading of the following very interesting media text. Nothing changes, does it, although the times, and what is deemed "acceptable", certainly do? Here's Keep Young and Beautiful from 1933.What should we make of it (including Cantor's make-up and the smiling black girls serving as the beauticians and dressers of the white women's bodies*)?

But, God forgive me, I love the dance routines and I'll be singing this merry tune all day now.


YouTube link removed - see below.

Annie Lennox has done a version of this song with just a touch of irony, of course. But you know what - I prefer Eddie Cantor. Everyone misses that last line he slips in (just before he drowns happily in the swimming pool): "Oh, Death, where is thy sting...?" It is actually clever - even subversive - stuff.

EDIT: *This reminds me of the following:

In 1987, I heard a feminist historian claim that there were absolutely no common areas of experience between the wife of a plantation owner in the pre-Civil War south and the female slave her husband owned. Gender, she argued, is so thoroughly fragmented by race, class, historical particularity and individual difference as to be useless as an analytical category. The "bonds of womanhood", she insisted, are a feminist fantasy, born out of the ethnocentrism of white, middle-class academics (presumably male and female).

But I digress, as usual...


Last edited by Temperance on Tue 08 Aug 2017, 14:30; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Tue 08 Aug 2017, 13:51

Had to remove previous YouTube link - hope this one is OK:


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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Tue 08 Aug 2017, 19:47

Temperance,

"Probably wisest to keep God out of this - that way madness (not to mention dramatic exits stage left) lies. That said, the concept of the Incarnation is really rather interesting -  the word made flesh and all that."

"that way madness (not to mention dramatic exits stage left) lies."

Temperance can you explain what you mean by that?

"the concept of the Incarnation is really rather interesting -  the word made flesh and all that."

Temperance, I think that I know what you mean. After all I was three years in a nun school and then in a Roman-Catholic "collège".
But is it possible that a mind becomes a body? But I agree that a hypnotist can become master of another's mind (although I suppose not completely, have to search what the latest point of view is about that) and by that can become master of another's body, the same as a strong persuasive mind can inlfuence other's minds and as such direct their body. Perhaps if the surgeons, one time, would be able to connect all links of a brain to a receiving body, a kind of a "donor brain"... If it is from a young girl, will I, old man, have then all the thoughts of that young girl and act as a consequense according to it?

Temperance, I would not belittle or ridiculize your point of view, and I respect your view, but I want only to show what are the consequenses if one tries to understand the phenomena of "incarnation"...

Kind regards from your dedicated Paul.

PS: I have still to answer on the new hype of the body shape.

PPS: And there is Triceratops again...I will first answer to Caro's snuff thread...
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Wed 09 Aug 2017, 08:48

Paul wrote:
 
Temperance, I would not belittle or ridiculize your point of view, and I respect your view, but I want only to show what are the consequenses if one tries to understand the phenomena of "incarnation"...

I know you never ridicule anyone, Paul.

The Incarnation is a rather tricky subject, isn't it?

What a crazy and rambling thread this has turned out to be. Carry On films, the Incarnation and postmodern feminist thinking (using the word "thinking" loosely). What on earth are we - you and I - on about here? Lord knows!

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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Wed 09 Aug 2017, 20:52

Dear Temperance,

"What on earth are we - you and I - on about here? Lord knows!"


We are discusssing very seriously Temperance !!! (I couldn't resist Wink )

PS: I did some quick research, as we have the same expression in our Dutch dialect, but there it is in the same sense as your English: "God weet het" (God knows it), but for heaven's sake I didn't find it on the web. At the end after a lot of research I found in Dutch Dutch: "God mag het weten" in your English sense...(God may know it)
In French it is "Dieu le sait" (accompanied by a shrug of the shoulders Wink ). And from my Russian lessons, as the female professor said, it is often used in current Russian language: Bog snaet (sna-et) (God knows), but I didn't find it either. All about "gods" and all that. At the end I found in our sense: "tolko bog snaet" (only God knows). In my French-Russian, my Dutch-Russian dictionaries, God is not mentioned, perhaps because these books came directly from Moscow in the Soviet time (and costed nearly nothing because they were bought with Belgian money and were prized in Rubels (for instance, because it is stamped in the couvercle (flap?) of my Dutch-Russian dictionary: 3 rubels and 12 kopecs) (0.04 British pounds but in the worth of the Sixties). In my English-Russian dictionary, although also from the same source, God was mentioned, and it was even said that Bog was only in religious texts with a capital letter, otherwise it was bog...

PPS. I have not forgotten the "body shape hype", but will first start again on Triceratop's Case Yellow/Dunkirk thread...

Kind regards from your Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Fri 11 Aug 2017, 09:08

@PaulRyckier wrote:
Dear Temperance,

"What on earth are we - you and I - on about here? Lord knows!"


We are discusssing very seriously Temperance !!! (I couldn't resist Wink )


I was indeed, Paul, attempting to discuss something very serious when I started this thread, so let me come clean. I offer the following from the Bordo essay, "Whose Body Is This?"

Since the seventeenth century, science has "owned" the study of the body and its disorders. This proprietorship has required that the body's meanings be utterly transparent and accessible to the qualified specialist (aided by the appropriate methodology and technology) and utterly opaque to the "patient" herself. It has required too the exorcising of all pre-modern notions that the body might obey a spiritual, emotional or associational rather than a purely mechanical logic. In the context of such requirements anorexia (and hysteria) have challenged modern science, not only with their seeing insistence on the power of the body to behave irrationally and inexplicably (Weir Mitchell once called hysteria 'Mysteria'; and anorexia was an "enigma" to Hilde Bruch), but also the spectacle each presents of the "patient" (however unconsciously or self-destructively) creating and bestowing meaning on her own body, in a form that is opaque and baffling to the Cartesian mind of the scientist...

...the "relentless pursuit of excessive thinness" is an attempt to embody certain values, to create a body that will speak for the self in a meaningful and powerful way... the fact that slenderness is so compelling in the contemporary context (and not just to anorectics, of course) suggests that in our culture slenderness is, rather, overdetermined, freighted with multiple significances. As such it is capable of being used as a vehicle for the expression of a range (sometimes contradictory) anxieties, aspirations, dilemmas. Within such a framework, interpreting anorexia requires not technical or professional expertise, but awareness of the many layers of cultural signification that are crystallized in the disorder.


I would suggest that fat is not merely a feminist issue*: it is increasingly an existentialist one. Or - in an increasingly chaotic, meaningless, mechanical world - once again a spiritual one.

Discuss (or don't, as you see fit).

PS Fat is a Feminist Issue is the title of the famous text by Susan Orbach.
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Fri 11 Aug 2017, 10:30

PS I've been looking at old adverts - the "Ionized Yeast" adverts from the 1930s and a few others. I don't know whether to laugh or cry...


https://witness2fashion.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/1933-june-p-58-skinny-girls-ad-with-measurements-ironized-yeast-adbig.jpg




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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Fri 11 Aug 2017, 10:57

@PaulRyckier wrote:
Dear Temperance,

"What on earth are we - you and I - on about here? Lord knows!"


We are discusssing very seriously Temperance !!! (I couldn't resist Wink )
Paul.

Well, yes, we are discussing so many things that it's getting very difficult to sort them out.

Bloody Des Cartes, that unfunny old stand up, I'll believe that consciousness can exist without the neural network to support it when the first 'mind' is downloaded and functions. Unfortunately the opposite state is one with which we are sadly familiar with the advance of medicine but then the controlling mind is not that of the patient and even the autonomic functions are generated externally.

The body, as discussed, is the original theatre on which we perform our social persona and as such is reflective of current cultural practices and norms (you can't be too rich or too thin) but is also subject to the varieties of mental aberrations that crop up when the mind bit goes awry. Anorexia nervosa can be one of the dysmorphias, (If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off), an addictive behavioural response to over-enthusiastic dieting and exercise, a way of de-sexualising oneself (remember all those religieuse, and no not the cakes!) or, and isn't this the most oft proposed cause, a way of taking some kind of control in a world of powerlessness  and sometimes abuse. Compulsive over-eating is the opposite symptom of similar conditions.

I'll leave 'souls' to those who believe in them.
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Fri 11 Aug 2017, 11:54

@ferval wrote:
The body, as discussed, is the original theatre on which we perform our social persona and as such is reflective of current cultural practices and norms (you can't be too rich or too thin) but is also subject to the varieties of mental aberrations that crop up when the mind bit goes awry. Anorexia nervosa can be one of the dysmorphias, (If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off), an addictive behavioural response to over-enthusiastic dieting and exercise, a way of de-sexualising oneself (remember all those religieuse, and no not the cakes!) or, and isn't this the most oft proposed cause, a way of taking some kind of control in a world of powerlessness  and sometimes abuse. Compulsive over-eating is the opposite symptom of similar conditions.


One must surely agree with all that, ferval. Sounds so simple, doesn't it? Problem sorted. Except it isn't.

If only the answer to our human misery (not just starving in the midst of plenty) were so straightforward...

Minds going "awry" is an interesting phrase, too. "Awry"  -  "out of the normal or correct position; askew". The "normal or correct position" -  a chilling thought, or not, depending on who's deciding what is "correct" or "normal"? I've been remembering the film Regeneration this morning - which showed, among other things, the treatment of mutism in shell-shocked soldiers by that awful Dr Lewis Yealland. He forced his patients to speak and in doing so, he took away their voice. Siegfried Sassoon was fortunate to be treated by Dr W.H.R. Rivers whom he thanked for "the gentle miracles". I like the thought of "gentle miracles" when dealing with human despair.



PS Re souls - the Catholics have an expression - cura animarum - the "cure of souls". Lovely, old phrase for a lovely, old idea, but like all lovely, old ideas it's all gone sadly pear-shaped (no pun intended).
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Fri 11 Aug 2017, 22:53

Ferval,

perhaps nitpicking...it is Descartes. You let me doubt...did research...no not Des Cartes (cards), but that
bloody person: Descartes...
For the rest fully agree with you as I see the mind directing the body via the brain...and yes you can have physic damage of the brain by which the mind can't work correctly...but I guess (have to ask some erudites if there is proof of that) that the mind itself also can turn in disarray, even without brain damage...
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Fri 11 Aug 2017, 23:42

@Temperance wrote:
@ferval wrote:
The body, as discussed, is the original theatre on which we perform our social persona and as such is reflective of current cultural practices and norms (you can't be too rich or too thin) but is also subject to the varieties of mental aberrations that crop up when the mind bit goes awry. Anorexia nervosa can be one of the dysmorphias, (If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off), an addictive behavioural response to over-enthusiastic dieting and exercise, a way of de-sexualising oneself (remember all those religieuse, and no not the cakes!) or, and isn't this the most oft proposed cause, a way of taking some kind of control in a world of powerlessness  and sometimes abuse. Compulsive over-eating is the opposite symptom of similar conditions.


One must surely agree with all that, ferval. Sounds so simple, doesn't it? Problem sorted. Except it isn't.

If only the answer to our human misery (not just starving in the midst of plenty) were so straightforward...

Minds going "awry" is an interesting phrase, too. "Awry"  -  "out of the normal or correct position; askew". The "normal or correct position" -  a chilling thought, or not, depending on who's deciding what is "correct" or "normal"? I've been remembering the film Regeneration this morning - which showed, among other things, the treatment of mutism in shell-shocked soldiers by that awful Dr Lewis Yealland. He forced his patients to speak and in doing so, he took away their voice. Siegfried Sassoon was fortunate to be treated by Dr W.H.R. Rivers whom he thanked for "the gentle miracles". I like the thought of "gentle miracles" when dealing with human despair.



PS Re souls - the Catholics have an expression - cura animarum - the "cure of souls". Lovely, old phrase for a lovely, old idea, but like all lovely, old ideas it's all gone sadly pear-shaped (no pun intended).

Temperance, just back from dinner, have a bit time before sleep...

"PS Re souls - the Catholics have an expression - cura animarum - the "cure of souls". Lovely, old phrase for a lovely, old idea, but like all lovely, old ideas it's all gone sadly pear-shaped (no pun intended)."

Cura animarum (the cure of the souls) to bring salvatio (salvation)  to the religious people:
"salvation"
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04572a.htm
"(Greek soteria; Hebrew yeshu'ah).
Salvation has in Scriptural language the general meaning of liberation from straitened circumstances or from other evils, and of a translation into a state of freedom and security (1 Samuel 11:13; 14:45; 2 Samuel 23:10; 2 Kings 13:17). "

I don't deny that a priest can't bring, the same as a psychiatrist, an exit for the mind in a state of distress to a feeling of comfort again (not sure I guess if there is no brain damage, but that is the same as in the case of the psychiatrist (again I guess)).

But as the priest works for believers it is perhaps an easier task , as the believers have already the bond of belief with the priest and therefore are easier to influence?
More difficult for psychiatrists with non-believers? Although the modern psychiatry has a lot learned in the last decennia...

Temperance while we are on religion. Religion seems to have had a strong influence on the humans from the dawn of the humankind...and in the Bling bling thread of Priscilla I mentioned Hinduism.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinduism
Concept of God.
"The Nasadiya Sukta (Creation Hymn) of the Rig Veda is one of the earliest texts[157] which "demonstrates a sense of metaphysical speculation" about what created the universe, the concept of god(s) and The One, and whether even The One knows how the universe came into being.[158][159] The Rig Veda praises various deities, none superior nor inferior, in a henotheistic manner.[160] The hymns repeatedly refer to One Truth and Reality. The "One Truth" of Vedic literature, in modern era scholarship, has been interpreted as monotheism, monism, as well as a deified Hidden Principles behind the great happenings and processes of nature.[161]"
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Sat 12 Aug 2017, 09:38

@ferval wrote:
 ...an addictive behavioural response...



I entirely agree that eating disorders - obsessive dieting, full-blown anorexia, compulsive eating and bulimia - along with other normal activities gone mad (drinking, shopping, sex, internet use), plus, of course, gambling and drug use, are addictive behaviours which unhappy humans use to distract themselves from the misery, perceived powerlessness and utter meaninglessness of their lives.

It is a sad and mysterious state of affairs when so many people living in the first world seem to be addicted in one way or another: indeed, "borderline" addiction (the phenomenon of the "functioning addict) is almost the norm in our affluent society. Yet why should this be? Yuval Noah Harari, whose latest book, Homo Deus, I'm reading at the moment, notes that we in the West are now more or less free from the three terrible scourges that have dominated our history - famine, plague and war -  yet we have substituted others. We now seem compelled to starve ourselves in a relentless pursuit of thinness; or make ourselves desperately sick in an epidemic of drink and drug abuse; or even perpetrate violence - self-harm/suicide - upon our own bodies. It is madness.

For the first time in history, more people die today from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals combined. In the early 21st century, the average human is far more likely to die from bingeing at McDonald's than from drought, Ebola or an al-Qaeda attack.

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow Yuval Noah Harari (2016)

So what on earth is going on? What is this human malaise that afflicts the Western world when, apparently, we have never had it so good?

Those are the questions that made me decide to put this thread here and why I mentioned Plato, the philosopher, and Augustine, the theologian, in the topic title. I wish we had a Philosophy and Religion section, but nordmann, in his wisdom, lumps religion with superstition. Religion and philosophy shall never meet, at least not on his site. Perhaps he is right: philosophy and spirituality are better partners. Here is Harari again. He puts nicely what I have been trying to get across here for the past five years:

The assertion that religion is a tool for preserving social order and for organising large-scale cooperation may vex those for whom it represents first and foremost a spiritual path. However, just as the gap between religion and science is narrower than we commonly think, so the gap between religion and spirituality is much wider. Religion is a deal, whereas spirituality is a journey...

...Spiritual journeys...usually take people in mysterious ways towards unknown destinations. The quest usually begins with some big question, such as who am I? What is the meaning of life? What is good? Whereas most people just accept the ready-made answers provided by the powers that be, spiritual seekers are not so easily satisfied. They are determined to follow the big question wherever it leads and not just to places they know well, or wish to visit.


I think Plato and Augustine would agree with that - and Socrates and Jesus of Nazareth too?


Last edited by Temperance on Mon 14 Aug 2017, 07:23; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : tortured sentence construction.)
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Sat 12 Aug 2017, 17:06

PS I've been talking to a friend about all this today - like you do - and he has reminded me of Pascal.


Blaise Pascal, the 17th-century mathematician, physicist, and philosopher
famous for accomplishments in geometry, probability theory, and the
development of modern economics and social science,
proposed that the human soul was creatively designed to connect with
God. Pascal referred to the design of the soul
as a God-shaped vacuum; to fill the vacuum, the soul was designed to
consume whatever objects, events, or experiences that seem most fulfill-
ing. The only caveat is that once temporal experiences are consumed, the
soul is left more ravenous and emptier than before. Oftentimes, people
attempt to satisfy the emptiness in their souls with various behaviors or
chemicals; although these seem satisfying when first used to quench a thirst
for fulfillment, Pascal noted that only a relationship with God (given the
limitless love, compassion, and wholeness found therein) can fully satisfy
the soul’s vacuum.


But that - and I - are hopelessly out-of-date, I suppose. Perhaps, even though people in ancient times rejected his thinking, old Epicurus was ahead of his times. Didn't he explain that worshipping gods is a waste of time, that there is no existence after death, and that (the pursuit of?) happiness is the sole purpose of life? His thinking seems to have become the default view today. Yet I read this in my Harari book:

Despite our unprecedented achievements in the last few decades, it is far from obvious that contemporary people are significantly more satisfied than their ancestors in bygone years. Indeed it is an ominous sign that despite higher prosperity, comfort and security, the rate of suicide in the developed world is also much higher than in traditional societies.

Remember the old Prince song Sign O' The Times?






In France, a skinny man died of a big disease with a little name
By chance his girlfriend came across a needle and soon she did the same
At home there are seventeen-year-old boys and their idea of fun
Is being in a gang called 'The Disciples'
High on crack and totin' a machine gun

Time
Times

Hurricane Annie ripped the ceiling of a church and killed everyone inside
You turn on the telly and every other story is tellin' you somebody died
A sister killed her baby 'cause she couldn't afford to feed it
And yet we're sending people to the moon
In September, my cousin tried reefer for the very first time
Now he's doing horse - it's June, unh

Times
Times

It's silly, no?
When a rocket ship explodes and everybody still wants to fly
But some say a man ain't happy unless a man truly dies
Oh why?
...
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Sat 12 Aug 2017, 20:33

Temperance,

I have a lot to say about your two latest messages, but I promised Triceratops to start with his Fall GelB and Rot...
But I come back!! Not to haunt you Wink but simply to discuss further on the "openstaande" (open standing?) points of view.

Kind regards from your dedicated Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Sat 12 Aug 2017, 22:06

Does anyone know if an historical analysis of the lyrics of that Prince song has ever been attempted? Some of the events listed seem quite obvious while others seems disjointed or random or even just made up. I'll give it a go.

Sign O' The Times was written in 1986 so the skinny man in France could be a reference to Rock Hudson whose diagnosis of AIDS was publicly announced while he was in hospital in Paris (although he subsequently died in California) in 1985. That said, there's no record of Hudson having a girlfriend at that time (and certainly not one who subsequently died as a result of having also contracted HIV). So it could refer to someone else.

Street gangs in U.S. cities called 'The Disciples' seem to be 2-a-penny so that part's self-explanatory. Needless to say that with his high work ethic in music and sport etc, Prince Rogers Nelson was scornful of the lazy and self-pitying mentality exemplified by gang culture.

Hurricane Annie is tricky. I can't find any reference to such a hurricane and certainly not one which killed people inside a church. There was a Hurricane Anna in 1961 but that is only known to have killed one person. Away from the Americas there was a Cyclone Annie which struck Queensland on New Years Day 1963 but there were no known fatalities. And 11 years later on Christmas Day 1974 Cyclone Tracy destroyed much of Darwin in Australia's Northern Territory killing over 50 people although there are no reports of them being in church (despite the feast day). If we go north of the Equator from Australia we get to the Philippines which are regularly hit by typhoons. One of the deadliest on record was Typhoon Amy which struck in 1951. It made landfall on 9th December (a Sunday) and killed hundreds of people across the archipelago. In a deeply religious country such as the Philippines it's quite possible that some of those were in church. It was a particularly cruel event as the country was still reeling from the eruption of the Hibok volcano only 5 days earlier which had already killed over 500 people itself.

Not sure regarding the bit about the woman killing her child because she couldn't afford to feed it. It's possibly a news item from the 1980s. It seems more likely to have been a psychiatric case rather than any meaningful socio-economic indicator as such. Either way a tragic event if true.

Prince's cousin's name is unknown. Whoever he was he seems to have progressed from marijuana to heroin in just 9 months. Probably not that uncommon a time-frame however.

The rocket ship exploding is definitely a reference to the Challenger space shuttle disaster of January 1986. That was only a few months before the song was written.

The most intriguing line, however, is one about 'a man ain't happy unless a man truly dies'. I don't know which religion or sect might professes this. Particularly the difference between dying and 'truly' dying. Does anyone know what this refers to?
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Sun 13 Aug 2017, 08:11

@Vizzer wrote:

The most intriguing line, however, is one about 'a man ain't happy unless a man truly dies'. I don't know which religion or sect might professes this. Particularly the difference between dying and 'truly' dying. Does anyone know what this refers to?


I think it's a reference to Saint Paul's teaching about the "old" person dying and the "new" one being reborn in Christ. Prince was raised in a religious home and, like so many black Americans, knew his Bible backwards. There are many biblical references in his lyrics. Prince later became a Jehovah's Witness  - something I didn't know. He was apparently very conservative in his beliefs. There is a certain irony in that, but there you go: life is full of ironies. Sign O' The Times is a great song.

Prince died of an overdose of fentanyl, a powerful painkiller (it's 50 times stronger than morphine). Yet more irony in that, I suppose, given the Pascal thinking mentioned above, but the artist apparently was taking the drug to combat extreme physical pain.


I know no one is in the least bit interested, but here are a couple of Pauline references that are perhaps relevant to the puzzling lyrics. There is also the "first" and "second" death which is in Revelations, but best not to go there. The Book of Revelations is a bit - er - weird.


Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. (Paul's Epistle to the Colossians)


I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

(Paul's Epistle to the Galatians)
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Sun 13 Aug 2017, 17:04

I've just been reading today's Sunday Times. On page 26 of the News Review there is a very short piece about the late Glen Campbell. I quote:

Glen Campbell, who has died aged 81, once revealed that at the height of his fame he spent his nights hoovering up lines of cocaine while reading the Bible...

Oh dear. Had I better retire from this thread with as much grace as I can muster?

A wise step probably. Or I could admit that I believe that religion too can become an addiction - and a very dangerous one at that. I have somewhere a book by a Father Leo Booth, an Anglo-Catholic minister. The book has the interesting title When God Becomes a Drug, and in it Father Leo describes how he once heard - at an AA meeting - someone stand up and declare: "My name is - . I am an alcoholic, a drug addict, a child of an alcoholic, and I am a recovering Roman Catholic." Apparently everyone in the room fell about laughing.

Yet Father Leo's book looks very seriously and very wisely at the problem of religious addiction which he defines thus:

I define religious addiction as using God, a church, or a belief system as an escape from reality, in an attempt to find or elevate a sense of self-worth or well-being. It is using God or religion as a fix. It is the ultimate form of codependency - feeling worthless in and of ourselves and looking outside ourselves for something or someone to tell us we are worthwhile...

...In a sense, religious addiction has very little to do with God or spirituality, just as food addiction and alcoholism have less to do with the substances involved than with the way in which they are abused.


That makes a heck of a lot of sense to me.

So what then is the Good Life - a state where addiction will be unknown because it is unnecessary and how can we attain this happy state? Back to Plato for an answer, I suppose.

Someone once told me to stop worrying about it all and just "be happy". Mmm.


Last edited by Temperance on Mon 14 Aug 2017, 08:21; edited 3 times in total
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Sun 13 Aug 2017, 17:56

Dear Temperance,

"Oh dear. Had I better retire from this thread with as much grace as I can muster?
A wise step probably. Or I could admit that I believe that religion too can become an addiction - and a very dangerous one at that. I have somewhere a book by a Father Leo Booth, an Anglo-Catholic minister. The book has the title:When God Becomes a Drug and in it Father Leo describes how he once heard - at an AA meeting - someone stand up and declare: "My name is - . I am an alcoholic, a drug addict, child of an alcoholic and a recovering Roman Catholic." Apparently everyone in the room fell about laughing."

Dear Temperance you made my day Wink Wink Wink ...everything is an addiction...have to be alert (on my "qui vive") that this forum becomes not addictive for me... Wink Wink Wink

"Someone once told me to stop worrying about it all and just "be happy". Mmm."

It could been me...


PS. Temperance don't stop now, now that it becomes interesting.

PPS; But first before the whole range of comments, the Triceratops thread...

Kind regards from your dedicated Paul, as ever...
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Sun 13 Aug 2017, 22:07

Temp and Paul and everyone else, ... please keep going.

In haste I'm posting these three beauties ... well at least they were seen as exemplars of feminine beauty by Rubens. But by modern standards they would probably be dismissed as chubby if not actually over-weight. Although it has to be said, plump though they are, they still appear to have a BMI of  of less than your average North American (or UK?) citizen.

Anyhow this was how Rubens, in 1635, imagined the 'The Three Graces':




From my admittedly somewhat limited experience of the naked female body ... these three feisty gals look fairly average/normal to me. To Rubens, I think, beauty was  simply to be found in the female form ... the regular, normal, everyday female form.
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Mon 14 Aug 2017, 10:28

Fairly average in weight terms maybe and definitely not regular attendees at the gym (Gymnasia, the old Greek ones - now there's another avenue for exploration) but they have been to the waxing salon for a full-body exfoliation. Ouch.

So what about the current hipster phenomenon? All these beards, man buns and checked, lumber jack shirts, the epitome of roughty-toughty maleness amongst intrinsically urban, middle class and coffee obsessed men, what's that about and why does it go largely uncriticised in a world where gender stereotyping is an issue exemplified by the furore about the Clarks girls shoes called 'dolly babe'?

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/13/clarks-withdraw-girls-school-shoe-after-accusations-of-sexism
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Tue 15 Aug 2017, 16:05

Mmm. Did women go to the gym in Ancient Greece? Thought it was just all the desirable young men showing off their lovely, naked bodies for the older men to drool over. (Gym comes from the Ancient Greek term gymnós meaning "naked" - no trendy lycra necessary back then.)

Plato was a wrestler, wasn't he, in his youth? I bet he was a right little poser. Clever with it, too, of course.

Seriously, did women have gyms or places to exercise in ancient Greece?

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PostSubject: Re: Plato, Augustine and Sticking to Your Diet   Tue 15 Aug 2017, 16:47

Spartan women certainly trained for athletic events, outdoors and in the buff it is thought, but they were shameless hussies to the starchy old Athenians who liked their women kept strictly indoors. I think P is your women to ask about this.

Here's a wee Spartan lassie playing 'Catch me if you can'. She reminds me of the Mohenjo Daro dancer, the same insouciance and attitude.

 
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