Weird - I see only clarity and consistency - in the relational nature
Surely "dependent arising" is pretty standard buddhist take on
causation - a view shared by many long since departed MD posters -
nothing whatsoever to do with "relativism". I seem to remember
Pirsig's mutual "valuing" language for causation being branded
"relationalism" round these parts.
I'll get me coat.
On Mon, Feb 13, 2012 at 6:17 PM, david buchanan <dmbuchanan@hotm...> wrote:
> Howdy MOQers:
> There is relativity in the Einsteinian sense and there is relativity is the "anything goes" sense, but Watts is talking about relativity in neither of those senses. He's making a point about the RELATIONAL nature of existence. He's saying that "things" are what they are by virtue of being tangled up in a total situation, in a context, in RELATION to all other "things". "They exist in relation to each other," he says. As you can see here, Watts goes on to explain this sense of relativism:
> "... Indeed, it would be best to drop the idea of causality and use instead the idea of relativity. For it is still inexact to say that an organism “responds” or “reacts” to a given situation by running or standing, or whatever. This is still the language of Newtonian billiards. It is easier to think of situations as moving patterns, like organisms themselves. Thus, to go back to the cat (or catting), a situation with pointed ears and whiskers at one end does not have a tail at the other as a response or reaction to the whiskers, or the claws, or the fur. As the Chinese say, the various features of a situation “arise mutually” or imply one another as back implies front, and as chickens imply eggs—and vice versa. They exist in relation to each other like the poles of the magnet, only more complexly patterned."
> Because of this kind of kind murky confusion, which is fairly constant, I think it would be very unwise for anyone to take MOQ lessons from Marsha.
>> From: valkyr@att.... >> Date: Mon, 13 Feb 2012 03:51:25 -0500
>> To: moq_discuss@moqt... >> Subject: Re: [MD] Truth and Relativity 2.9.9
>> For those Alan Watts fans, he writes "it would be best to drop the idea of causality and use instead the idea of relativity."
>> From 'THE BOOK: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are' by Alan Watts
>> "As soon as one sees that separate things are fictitious, it becomes obvious that nonexistent things cannot "perform" actions. The difficulty is that most languages are arranged so that actions (verbs) have to be set in motion by things (nouns), and we forget that rules of grammar are not necessarily rules, or patterns, of nature. This, which is nothing more than a convention of grammar, is also responsible for (or, better, "goeswith") absurd puzzles as to how spirit governs matter, or mind moves body. How can a noun, which is by definition not action, lead to action?
>> "Scientists would be less embarrassed if they used a language, on the model of Amerindian Nootka, consisting of verbs and adverbs, and leaving off nouns and adjectives. If we can speak of a house as housing, a mat as matting, or of a couch as seating, why can't we think of people as "peopling," of brains as "braining," or of an ant as an "anting?" Thus in the Nootka language a church is "housing religiously," a shop is "housing tradingly," and a home is "housing homely." Yet we are habituated to ask, "Who or what is housing? Who peoples? What is it that ants?" Yet isn't it obvious that when we say, "The lightning flashed," the flashing is the same as the lightning, and that it would be enough to say, "There was lightning"? Everything labeled with a noun is demonstrably a process or action, but language is full of spooks, like the "it" in "It is raining," which are the supposed causes, of action.
>> "Does it really explain running to say that "A man is running"? On the contrary, the only explanation would be a description of the field or situation in which "a manning goeswith running" as distinct from one in which "a manning goeswith sitting." (I am not recommending this primitive and clumsy form of verb language for general and normal use. We should have to contrive something much more elegant.) Furthermore, running is not something other than myself, which I (the organism) do. For the organism is sometimes a running process, sometimes a standing process, sometimes a sleeping process, and so on, and in each instance the "cause" of the behavior is the situation as a whole, the organism environment. Indeed, it would be best to drop the idea of causality and use instead the idea of relativity."
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