The Eternal Ideas


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Now Plato says: "The things of this world, perceived by our senses, have no true being at all;

they are always becoming, but they never are.

They have only a relative being; they are together only in and through their relation to one another; hence their whole existence can just as well be called a non-being.

Consequently, they are likewise not objects of a real knowledge, for there can be such a knowledge only of what exists in and for itself, and always in the same way. On the contrary, they are only the object of an opinion or way of thinking, brought about by sensation.

As long as we are confined to their perception, we are like persons sitting in a dark cave, and bound so fast that they cannot even turn their heads. They see nothing but the shadowy outlines of actual things that are led between them and a fire which burns behind them; and by the light of this fire these shadows appear on the wall in front of them. Even of themselves and of one another they see only the shadows on this wall. Their wisdom would consist in predicting the sequence of those shadows learned from experience.

On the other hand, only the real archetype of those shadowy outlines, the eternal Ideas, the original forms of all things, can be described as truly existing, since they always are but never become and never pass away

No plurality belongs to them; for each by its nature is only one, since it is the archetype itself, of which all the particular, transitory things of the same kind and name are copies and shadows.

Also no coming into existence and no passing away belong to them, for they are truly being or existing, but are never becoming or vanishing like their fleeting copies.

Thus only of them can there be a knowledge in the proper sense, for the object of such a knowledge can be only that which always and in every respect (and hence in-itself) is, not that which is and then again is not, according as we look at it." This is Plato's teaching.

[Arthur Schopenhauer]
The World as Will and Representation, p.171


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When clouds move, the figures they form are not essential, but indifferent to them.

But that as elastic vapour they are pressed together, driven off, spread out, and torn apart by the force of the wind, this is their nature, this is the essence of the forces that are objectified in them, this is the Idea.

The figures in each case are only for the individual observer.

To the brook which rolls downwards over the stones, the eddies, waves, and foam-forms exhibited by it are indifferent and inessential; but that it follows gravity, and behaves as an inelastic, perfectly mobile, formless, and transparent fluid, this is its essential nature, this, if known through perception, is the Idea. Those foam-forms exist only for us so long as we know as individuals.

[...] only the essential in all these grades of the will's objectification constitutes the Idea; on the other hand, its unfolding or development, because drawn apart in the forms of the principle of sufficient reason into a multiplicity of many-sided phenomena, is inessential to the Idea; it lies merely in the individual's mode of cognition, and has reality only for that individual.

[Arthur Schopenhauer]
The World as Will and Representation, p.182


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Whilst science, following the restless and unstable stream of the fourfold forms of reason or grounds and consequences, is with every end it attains again and again directed farther, and can never find an ultimate goal or complete satisfaction, any more than by running we can reach the point where the clouds touch the horizon; art, on the contrary, is everywhere at its goal.

For it plucks the object of its contemplation from the stream of the world's course, and holds it isolated before it. This particular thing, which in that stream was an infinitesimal part, becomes for art a representative of the whole, an equivalent of the infinitely many in space and time.

It therefore pauses at this particular thing; it stops the wheel of time; for it the relations vanish; its object is only the essential, the Idea.

[Arthur Schopenhauer]
The World as Will and Representation, p.185


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"Love and Hate" are generally regarded as being things diametrically opposed to each other; entirely different; unreconcilable.

But we apply the Principle of Polarity; we find that there is no such thing as Absolute Love or Absolute hate, as distinguished from each other.

The two are merely terms applied to the two poles of the same thing.

Beginning at any point of the scale we find "more love," or "less hate," as we ascend the scale; and "more hate" or "less love" as we descend — this being true no matter from what point, high or low, we may start.

There are degrees of Love and hate, and there is a middle point where "Like and Dislike" become so faint that it is difficult to distinguish between them. Courage and Fear come under the same rule.

The Kybalion, Chapter X: "Polarity"


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A symbol remains a perpetual challenge to our thoughts and feelings. That probably explains why a symbolic work is so stimulating, why it grips us so intensely, but also why it seldom affords us a purely aesthetic enjoyment.

A work that is manifestly not symbolic appeals much more to our aesthetic sensibility because it is complete in itself and fulfils its purpose.

[C.G. Jung]
On the Relation of Analytical Psychology to Poetry
found in The Norton Anthology: Theory and Criticism
, p.998


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Vision researchers have suggested [...] that the pleasing visual motifs used in art and decoration exaggerate these patterns, which tell the brain that the visual system is functioning properly and analyzing the world accurately.

Some of the motifs may belong to a search image for the optimal human habitat, a savanna: open grassland dotted with trees and bodies of water and inhabited by animals and flowering fruiting plants.

By the same logic, tonal and rhythmic patterns in music may tap into mechanisms used by the auditory system to organize the world of sound.

[Steven Pinker]
The Blank Slate ('The Arts'), p.405


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A wry demonstration of the universality of basic visual tastes came from a 1993 stunt by two artists, Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid, who used marketing research polls to assess American's taste in art.

They asked respondents about their preferences in colour, subject matter, composition, and style, and found considerable uniformity. People said they liked realistic, smoothly painted landscapes in green and blue containing animals, women, children, and heroic figures.

When the painters replicated the polling in nine other countries [...] they found pretty much the same preferences: an idealized landscape, like the ones on calendars, and only minor substitutions from the American standard.

What is even more interesting is that these McPaintings exemplify the kind of landscape that had been characterized as optimal for our species by researchers in evolutionary aesthetics.

[Steven Pinker]
The Blank Slate ('The Arts'), p.408-9

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What makes the struggle for adaptation so laborious is the fact that we have constantly to be dealing with individual and atypical situations.

So it is not surprising that when an archetypal situation occurs we suddenly feel an extraordinary sense of release, as though transported, or caught up by an overwhelming power.

At such moments we are no longer individuals, but the race; the voice of all mankind resounds in us.

The ideal of the "mother country," for instance, is an obvious allegory of the mother, as is the "fatherland" of the father. Its power to stir us does not derive from the allegory, but from the symbolical value of our native land. The archetype here is the participation mystique of primitive man with the soil on which he dwells, and which contains the spirits of his ancestors.

The impact of an archetype, whether it takes the form of immediate experience or is expressed through the spoken word, stirs us because it summons up a voice that is stronger than our own.

Whoever speaks in primordial images speaks with a thousand voices; he enthrals and overpowers, while at the same time he lifts the idea he is seeking to express out of the occasional and the transitory into the realm of the ever-enduring.

[C.G. Jung]
'On the Relation of Analytical Psychology to Poetry'
Found in The Norton Anthology: Theory and Criticism, p. 1001


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In Amish life, silence is an active force, not a sign of introspection [...]  

The person who is possessed of silence lives above verbal contradictions.

The Amish are spared many of the arguments about words of Scripture or theology over which others haggle. For them absolutes do not exist in words, whether in creeds or in position papers, for all such arguments are silenced by the character and example of Christ himself.

[John A. Hostetler]
Amish Society, p. 389


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We like it when a thing is only one thing. But society is always two things; it’s the thing that alienates you, and its the benevolent father; always.

It tilts sometimes; it tilts harder towards the tyrant, and that’s not so good, but that’s an archetypical reality.

What do you have to contend with in life? You have to contend with yourself, and the adversary that’s inside you, that seems to oppose your every movement; [with] the fact that you just can’t move forward smoothly through life without being in conflict with yourself. So there’s the hero and the adversary on the individual level, and then on the social level there’s the wise king and the tyrant.

Those things are always there, that’s our true environment: it’s not these things we see around us; they’re lasting no time. These other things last forever. And that’s what we’re adapted to: we’re adapted to the things that last forever.

[Jordan B. Peterson]
'Joe Rogan Experience #958 - Jordan Peterson'


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That’s a hallmark of truth - it snaps things together.

People write to me all the time and say that, “It’s as if things were coming together in my mind.” Well, that’s what archetypes do, [they] glue things together. The proper expression of unconscious being teaches people what they already know. It’s like the Platonic idea that all learning is remembering.

You have a nature. And when you feel that nature articulated […] it’s like bringing the levels of being into synchrony, that’s what you feel. What [you] think, and what [you] feel have come together. And you feel that ‘snap’ [into] a simpler state, [and you’re] not rife with contradictions any more.

[Jordan B. Peterson]
'Jordan B Peterson | *NEW 2017* | full-length interview'


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Related posts:-
The Principle of Polarity
All is Change
The Colour Wheel
Everything and Nothing
Mind your language 
A Difference that makes a Difference
Shades of gray
Make It Personal
In-between
Everything is connected
This, Not That 
Assuming a position
Forever Becoming
Are you sure? 
Living Things and Dead Things
Where language ends and art begins  
Escaping Uncertainty
Making it up as we go along  
The Tyranny of Novelty
Constellating
 

1 comment:

  1. Absolute Love and Absolute Hate - in fact, all Absolutes - are Ideas. They are the bedrock that we will never be able to dig down to, no matter how deep we go. Reality exists between these poles, one colour fading into the next.

    ReplyDelete