The Meaning of Life
Lecture 6: The Seeker


1. Treading Water
2. The Seeker
3. Childhood and Youth
4. Siddhartha

March 9, 2012

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (For the Lord thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.
Deuteronomy 4:29-31


Transcript

Greetings and welcome to lecture six, "The Seeker". We have been getting a lot of information lately and we are halfway there, but as Zeno says, we can never be halfway there because once we are halfway there we are no longer halfway there and we must draw another line. But in saying this, most of the content has been spat out and now we are just going to be connecting the dots. So if you are worried about the content, there is not heaps of it left. We just got to ride the slide down now that we have walked up to it. So I hope your ride down the slide is enjoyable.

What we have been talking about is res extensa and res cogitans. The res extensa is the extended thing, the phenomena of the world, the outside thing. Res cogitans is the cognition, consciousness, the inside thing, it is the mind. So we are talking about a mind/body and we are looking at relationships between that mind and body. We get idealism which then deduces the physical into the mind. So the physical is a result of mental states. The materialist say that the mental is reduced to the physical manifestations. We have talked a lot about idealism and you have read a lot about idealism but we have not really done much on materialism, realism, I have heard it called physicalism before.

Libnitz claimed the most simplest substance was a monad and this monad is the smallest particle of a thing. And then these monads act in accord with one another. They are not a causal relation but instead act freely: not interacting at all. He says that there is a central "queen" monad, and he thinks that is the soul. Which still leaves us in the dark; that doesn't answer to many of our questions. But I thought that I would present to you a material view of this situation since we have been looking through ideal views. I am more persuaded with idealism than realism, however I think there is a synthesis of the two.

So we have been doing online learning. I have been in university for a long time now, since 2002. I did have some times that I had to work and I couldn't do university but I then did diplomas while I did that. I did part-time a lot too, but I did external. Which means they sent their books to me and I download the lectures. So I am learning this whole online thing and the material that I am giving and what I am giving you resources to, I am trying to better everything that I have done. And everything that I have done is paid but this is not paid, this is free. So I want you to feel free to email me about anything that you would like to talk about and we can talk these subjects through.

I am not like one of those university professors. I am not a status person, I am looking you as a human being. Because you are a fellow sufferer and part of mankind, and that is the light that I am looking at you. The professors in university and every teacher that ever comes along that I have experience with is not doing this. They want to present their information and be done with you. And that is not my considerations: I am not here to do that. For these questions will haunt us for all of our days and if we learn to tackle these questions then we can then build upon what it is that we know. And that is why talking about these questions is important. We are in a real world and this is real life study and there is going to be an exam at the end of this course, so just want you to be aware of that.

I care about you and I care about your soul only second to my soul. And I would like your soul to be as pure as possible because that is the exemplar of human beings. And I am going to be an exemplar at every stage and second that I can manage to actually become that and I encourage you to do that as well.

We have gone through a lot of information over the last two lectures so the only information that we will be talking about here, to the most degree, is about you. For the seeker is you whether you realise it or not. So what we need to do is become conscious that we are the seeker. And I will teach you why you are the seeker. If you have gotten through this far in the course then you are a seeker like me. But everybody is a seeker and we can see this clearly in everyday actions.

When we wake up we look for the clock to see what time it is, so we seek for the clock. We seek where we are going to put our hand to pull the sheets away from our beds. We then seek to get our clothes and then to go into the shower we seek the towel. If we want toast then we seek the toaster, the bread, and all of the commodities that we might put on toast. And once we find them, so after the seeking is done then we are no longer concerned about the task of finding them because the item is found. But if we do not find don't find them then we get agitated for not being able to find them. If you lose your wallet or something this can be a very frustrating thing, and you will look everywhere and it turns out to be somewhere that you should of probably known anyway.

But this is the process that everybody is going through. They are seeking and they are seeking. So they search and then they find. After they find they must interpret. So you must interpret the information that you found. Then you have to convey that information if any of that is relevant to another person. And then we have to learn how to convey that in the manner that would be understood by the other. We then discuss it with that other and through this discussion we then find out what the other person knows about it. We can then elaborate and if we have a confusion we start an argument. And that argument then might settle a situation and clear up any misunderstandings within that situation. Then we make a harmony of our two voices and our two understandings from what it is that we were talking about. This harmony takes into considerations both perspectives and makes a unison out of it.

After this process then we can compose a method to describe what it is that we just solved. And we can do this through different types of expression and that is where the painter comes in. Then we must perform. So if the understanding does not have any practical application then there is no result of that understanding and was not a useful topic to focus in on to practically apply to the world. These are the things that we are constantly doing.

I will talk of an everyday situation that might happen. So if you are sitting on the computer and then your mother comes in and says, "Well, what is the time?". And then you look at the computer and you say, "It's 10:15". We went and we searched: you looked on the computer to find out the time. You interpreted that time from your understanding from the concept of time. And then you conveyed your interpretation to your mother. Your mother then brings up the discussion, she says, "It can't be 10:15, it feels much much later." So then she brings up an argument from the discussion and then you feel it must be 10:15 because the computer says it is and it couldn't lie to you and you have no reason to think it lies to you, so you then hold true to 10:15.

What can happen is you feel threatened by the argument. And when you feel threatened by the argument and your pride comes in, and you become arrogant about the situation and this brings upon self-righteousness. This argument that was once just a discussion of just basic value to assist necessities within our lives then becomes a problematic situation. You say, "No, it must be 10:15. I am almost positive it is 10:15." Maybe even you even some reason say you "know" it is 10:15 because you had another experience that made you think that it was around that time. And then it turns out that daylight savings time happened and you were both unaware of that, you both forgot about that. So then, "Oh, it was actually 11:15, my bad".

So then after the discussion you came to the conclusion that there was an issue that needed to be resolved and through that you make a harmonisation of "what is" or what is closer to be accurate. And then from there you can compose the accurate data and resolve the situation. So that is how it works on a functional level. We should be thinking about this because if we want to be healthy then we need have healthy reactions towards our meaning and communication within the world.

So we are constantly searching and through this we then "create!" because we combined different things to make something else. We have a whole bunch of stuff in the world and we take some of that stuff to make other things and perform certain functions within this world. So we are the creators because it is our nature to be creators because our created is also a creator.

I have heard life and the search being compared with having cards. So you are dealt a certain set of cards and you have to play that hand the best that you can. You don't have a choice of that hand and there is not really much that you can do about that hand. But you need to play that hand the best that you can. We do understand that a lot of people that have bad hands do really good in poker. So we are sort of learning how to live this life. I have heard it interpreted too as you only having one set of hands until you find that right person, you gain another hand at least from some perspective. And you can mix and match cards and play around with them and sort of combine the cards to give yourself a more complete and appropriate set for development.

And this is what I strive for and I accept nothing less. And that is why I do not look at females twice because the females that are around anywhere are not going to be of this calibre. It is something that I search for through means of my intellectual property, which is then the website. I am looking for my One through my ideas because my one through my physical is not appropriate for the one that I desire that can help me become and develop into the best person that I can be. And this person I want is both of the most physical and intellectual beauty, for they too, their soul will scream their physical. I want the whole kit and caboodle and I will accept nothing less. And I am happy being alone for the rest of my life if that is what happens. But there is two sets of cards but as it stands we are only given one and for someone to have two sets of cards stands almost impossible: an out there idea that is only actualised in a few people's lives. To get that one that they can combine lives who share the same passions but also desire to gain passions too and that is where we come to harmonise two different individuals into one.

I have gone on too much about relationships and this is not about relationships. We can consider it actors in a play. I have heard people call Shakespeare just a soap and you know what, it is! But the thing is is that each of these characters are portraying deeper meaning that can help us understand something within the human situation. Of courses our current soaps are nowhere of the caliber of Shakespeare but his plays are like a meaningful soap opera. But of course you do not have Shakespeare's writing these cheap shows.

We have got the keyhole perspective, which is Sartre again. Before I talk about the keyhole I want to talk about Sartre man, this guy was a ladies man. He did not only get beautiful women but he got beautiful women that had beautiful minds as well. I think he is a interesting guy and a lucky guy, but I think he should of stuck with one. He should of went the monogamy way. Hannah Arendt and Simone de Beauvior and I am sure there is a whole bunch more brilliant women that he's had his hands on. So, back to women, it is always back to women!

If I am doing my job right hopefully I am starting to wake you up. If you can start stretching now and rub your eyes and look around then you might be able to see what it is that you are doing. And if you can see what it is that you are doing then you can modify what it is that you do to the best of your ability to optimise the self that you so desire.

The keyhole... Talking about Sartre and women but not the keyhole... I am going to go back to the keyhole. We will talk about waking up in a sec, okay. We are looking through a keyhole and we are looking at someone else doing something on the other side and then someone else comes along up the stairs and looks at us looking through the keyhole. I then become "realised" about someone looking at me and I become awkward and think about what it is that I am doing. What am I doing and how I am looking to other people while I am doing it? So then you get embarrassed. But someone comes up to look at the guy that is looking at you at you looking at the guy in the keyhole. So we are always being looked at, and then that is where I was talking about waking up. We need to stretch our legs and get out there so that we can develop our human existence together in unison instead of fighting so much. This is our problem; this is our human condition. Are we going to go beyond it or we just going to continue to wallow in the pains of our past follies? That is the question.

At the end of the day what you got to do is you got to paint your life. There is blemishes on this painting and there is always times that you just think that those blemishes just are not worth it. You make those black marks. The reason those black marks on the painting are there is because you spent some conscious activity to put them there. So to get rid of them or to adapt them to become beautiful is not an easy task. But we can. We can do that. We can accept our follies for what they are and then look at them and then learn how to tweak them to transcend them into virtues instead of follies. And that is how to paint a life to get a result of a work which is going to stand the test of time. And to stand the test of time it is going to have to be of effort. It is not going to be an easy thing.

We are going to have to think through what it is that we are doing. And this is the seeker. So the seeker seeks the highest good. The seeker has woken up to his or her seeking, and their seeking before only sought menial mundanities in life. And now the conscious seeker then becomes a seeker of the highest good. So in everything that one does a highest good is sought. And as one looks for the clock that they use to tell the time, they are not only looking at the clock but the idea of the clock and the nature of that clock which is created by human. In a recursive fashion we can start to understand the whole from each individual thing that we interact with.

We will stop there with the content of the lecture and I will talk about the relevant readings. We have two today. Our first author is definitely a seeker. In Reminiscences of My Childhood and Youth by George Brandes we are explained his childhood and youth and it is a piece of work that I greatly appreciate that he shared into my life that inspires me to continue on the path that I have chosen. There is a lot of material out there that does this but this is a good one and I hope you enjoy.

We got another treat for you today by Hermann Hesse. Siddhartha is a seeker but he is not looking for dogmatics. He is around the time of Buddha so then he goes out and seeks Buddha and he finds him. They then converse and it is this conversation that I really want you to take note of. The main reason why I am including this reading is because there is two highly spiritual people who are conversing and it is a heart feeling experience to reflect on the words of two wise men that are talking on a different level than our mundane chit chat that we normally do. And it is really interesting the content too so I want you to enjoy this, this is a treat; it is a good part of it.

I think that is all I have today. I do want to say that we have the choice. We always have the choice. The human is given one choice in life and life is every single second that exists. These seconds are the choice to do good or to do wrong. What you understand to be good and wrong might be different then what another decides is good and wrong. But that is part of the glory of human and we work out errors in that manner. So if you find your highest good and we share those highest goods then we can make a synthesis and both come to better understandings of what is good and what is not.

But at the end of the day we have a road here. And it just started. We can either choose to walk this road or just sit down and watch TV the rest of our lives. Which would you prefer?

‹bermensch