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Passions in Poetry

What reality do we accept?

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Lady Lost
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since 07-13-2000
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0 posted 07-21-2000 09:04 AM       View Profile for Lady Lost   Email Lady Lost   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Lady Lost

I am glad there is a place I can be corny and possible not make sense....but it's cool, because for some reason I always make sense in my own mind...

I was thinking about reality vs. illusion ... Do we accept the reality of the world of which we are presented?  

You can never have too much fiction; reality can be such a bore
Trevor
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1 posted 07-21-2000 10:04 AM       View Profile for Trevor   Email Trevor   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Trevor


"Do we accept the reality of the world of which we are presented?"  


There is no other choice but to. If you feel that what you percieve is real then you accept that reality, if you feel that what you percieve is not real then you accept that reality, ie. the reality of thinking that what you percieve is an illusion. We have no choice but to form opinions based upon what our senses intake, whether we are right or not about such perceptions does not change the fact that we will always accept our own reality for we can no nothing else and if we were to know something else then that would become our new reality. Our own version of reality is reality whether we are right or wrong about what really exists....and what really exists can never truly be known not even by God for what always remains is the question "what if?".

I always thought it would be funny to ask God, if there is one, "What if there is a higher power above you and even with all your might you still can not percieve it?"

Thanks for the topic of discussion, take care,
Trevor
brian madden
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2 posted 07-22-2000 06:38 AM       View Profile for brian madden   Email brian madden   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for brian madden

You can always choose to ignore reality but that qualities you as insane by societies standards. As humans we are designed to adopt and to flourish in our environment. We adapt to it therefore we must accept the reality we are presented with. I could make several references to the film "the matrix."
though I suggest the film "Dark City" much better film.

You can go to great efforts and change who you are but you can not alter the nature of your reality to any great extent. BY that I mean, this is the planet earth there are certain set boundaries rules whatever..not matter how much of yourself you change the world is set in its ways. This world, universe could be a one of those glass snow globe things over God's fireplace or a universe in a bottle kit. We may never truely know and what about the theory that there our reality may not be the only one, that somewhere else (another dimension) there are infinite realities. Yes reality is perception. I mean who is to say which is right. Hitler had some extreme views of the world and to some extent build his reality, granted it was a horrific vision but he had such belief in his vision to make it a reality and on the other scale of things is Jesus Christ whose vision was a bit more comforting. Am I trailing off the point here? I basically agree with what Trevor says.

We can be made accept certain things,
refering the to the book "the Torture Garden" by Octave Mirbeau. In the book a man enters a graden in China with a woman named Clara. The gardens are beautiful but among the scenery common crimnals are tortured by complex methods. Clara argues that the torture and death is beautiful and art. The man is horrified by the darkness and horror around him but slowly he begins to see that it is similar to the darkness in his own soul. He, while horrified by the torture, begins to accept the nature. Which to Clara seems perfectly normal and delightful. THe point being that the garden houses the horrible acts man is capable of but in a beautiful garden. Most of this is probably irrelevant.




why must we pray
screaming? why must not death be redefined? we shut our eyes we stretch out our arms and whirl on a pane of glass-patti smith
Brad
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3 posted 07-26-2000 03:17 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Damn, Trevor, that sounds like something I would say. Oh, excuse me, your worship, I mean I learned that from you.  

Reality is what you believe. If you think 'reality' is an illusion than that is your reality.  It can't be any other way.  This reality can and does change however - this change is also partially conscious and partially unconscious. You can control some of it but not all of it.

Does that make any sense?

Brad

Lady Lost
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4 posted 08-01-2000 08:00 AM       View Profile for Lady Lost   Email Lady Lost   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Lady Lost

...a child, for example, who grows up in the ghetto and perhaps is uneducated and leads a life of crime...we are so quick to judge, but that world is his reality and he has done the best with the environment he was exposed to...if he had been brought up in a more affluent area where education was of better quality, perhaps he would have chosen a different route with his life.  I am not saying that all children who grow up in low income areas are destined to lead a life of crime, but the statistics do prove that it is true in a lot of cases.  I am simply making the point that we are products of our environment and that we do accept the reality of the world of which we are presented...

You can never have too much fiction; reality can be such a bore
JP
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5 posted 08-21-2000 04:17 PM       View Profile for JP   Email JP   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit JP's Home Page   View IP for JP

I have to respond to your last comment Lady.  Products of our environment?  By choice perhaps... There is a concept of personal responsibility that we really have to lend credence to.  To say that one is unwittingly molded by and powerlessly subject to the fluxations and influences of one's environment robs us of the power of our humanity.

Yes, environment does influence us, but it is the individual who makes the choices, not the environment.

Yesterday is ash, tomorrow is smoke; only today does the fire burn.
JP

"Everything is your own damn fault, if you are any good." E. Hemmingway
jbouder
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6 posted 08-21-2000 09:43 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

JP!  You're back!  Well worded response, and I agree with you *Jim pauses to make sure the Earth hasn't stopped turning* ... the environment certainly influences behavior but once we've made the mistake of pointing the finger at "society" (just who is "society" anyway and how can we know WHERE to point the finger, anyway?) personal responsibility is a casualty and, as a result, injustice is left unpunished.  Just an opinion.

Jim
JP
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7 posted 08-22-2000 11:37 AM       View Profile for JP   Email JP   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit JP's Home Page   View IP for JP

...and a darn fine opinion it is Jim!

BTW - I've always considered society to be everyone except me...  


Yesterday is ash, tomorrow is smoke; only today does the fire burn.
JP

"Everything is your own damn fault, if you are any good." E. Hemmingway
Erin
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8 posted 08-22-2000 03:23 PM       View Profile for Erin   Email Erin   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Erin

lostlady~~~i was gonna reply to what your topic was. but a reply of yours caught my eye. i dont think that was a good example that you used. i used to hang around in a really ghetto neighborhood because i was rebeling. trying to get away with anything that i could. i live in a good neighborhood but it was like i wanted to be different then the other girls in the neighborhood. I dressed ghetto while they wore their hair in bows. they are no different from the people that grow up with millions of dollars or grow up without money. They still have feelings. They are still human. And most of the friends that I hung around with in the ghetto are now in college, the army, or have well paid jobs. And you know what they are the only friends I had that were there for me when I needed someone. and you say we are quick to judge them you seem like you were really quick to judge them in your example.



[This message has been edited by ERIN (edited 08-22-2000).]
serenity blaze
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9 posted 08-23-2000 05:12 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

But--does reality need a collective agreement in order to separate it from an individual perception of illusion/delusion?

And if it does, why does the sun not revolve around a flat earth?  Or maybe it does...grinning an evil insomniac's grin now....and further, can one person's perception alter the reality of millions?  Can a child really point out that the Emperor wears no clothes?
Brad
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10 posted 08-23-2000 09:46 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Yes, the child can say the Emperor has no clothes and be believed because no one really believed he was wearing clothes in the first place. The reverse is also true however. The child could have been stoned to death for his heresy because people believed that the clothes were there but that they themselves were the only ones who couldn't see them - they trusted others who 'knew' better than they.

Ay, there's the rub.

One's individual illusions/delusions are at least partly a result of a collective agreement already in place. Without such an agreement, communication would be impossible.

Actually, this has a bearing on poetry as well. At what point, does someone really know when they are able to give an 'expert' opinion on a poem. I've heard some who argue that Shakespeare could be considered a hack - always stated as a hypothetical mind you. For me, this hypothetical person would be so far away from my basic ideas on poetry and literature that he could probably be called, facetiously, insane.

Yet, this person has a right to an opinion, right? If we have such "insane" people running around the world, aren't we moving to a point where "everybody has a right to his or her opinion" becomes tantamount to saying that opinions don't matter anymore.

What does that mean for serious literature (defined here as unpopular but critically acclaimed)?

I think we have to call the Emperor and others on their opinions, we have to discuss it with them, and make them persuade us, not by authority or fear of retribution, but to make us truly see that he (they) are indeed wearing clothes.

What was Reagan's old line: trust but verify?

Brad
serenity blaze
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11 posted 08-23-2000 10:26 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Okay--be patient with me---sigh...so, if reality is a collectively agreed upon opinion, where does that leave history as reality?  Is an event's factual being subjective to the changing "reality" of collective opinion?  I believe I am having a problem with a clear definition of reality (surprise!)  explain please.
Ron
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12 posted 08-23-2000 11:40 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Brad said:
quote:
Yet, this person has a right to an opinion, right? If we have such "insane" people running around the world, aren't we moving to a point where "everybody has a right to his or her opinion" becomes tantamount to saying that opinions don't matter anymore.


If we agree that all people have a right to an education, does that automatically make all educations equal? Does it mean an education no longer matters? The individual with a 180 IQ, who studies hard and goes to Harvard, is probably going to get a better education than the guy attending a second-rate state university with a major in serious partying. And when those two people hit the marketplace, I suspect their salaries will reflect that difference.

I think everyone has a right to an opinion, especially when that opinion is about something very personal (poetry largely qualifies). But that doesn't mean I'm going to lend the same weight to every opinion I hear. Nor does granting everyone an opinion make all opinions meaningless. I suspect in the end, as you pointed out, Brad, the "important" ones to me will be those that don't diverge too greatly from my own.

(And why in the world would you define serious literature as unpopular, but critically acclaimed?)
JP
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13 posted 08-24-2000 10:51 AM       View Profile for JP   Email JP   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit JP's Home Page   View IP for JP

Hey! Lay off the second rate state universities!  I'm as edumacated as the next person!

Yesterday is ash, tomorrow is smoke; only today does the fire burn.
JP

"Everything is your own damn fault, if you are any good." E. Hemmingway
serenity blaze
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14 posted 08-25-2000 12:42 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Okay.  No more questions.  (In case ya didn't notice, I didn't offer an answer either...)  But it did bring to mind an anecdote...one from the world of Fantasy--Disney World...

It's my fifth day there....and I am strolling through Epcot Center...and it's beautiful, truly, every flower perfect, and the people so nice that I asked a worker if they were all on Thorazine...

But anyhow, I'm strolling along one of those perfect promenades, muzak floating in my ears, just walking,when in the way that it happens sometimes, I am walking in tandem with a stranger...at which time, with a blue sky overhead, I hear a roll of thunder...and she turns to me with a smile and says:

"Hmmm...Was that thunder?"

and I replied, wearily,

"I'm not sure anymore...."

and thus, is Reality, at least from my perspective.  Love to All....


(especially Ron...um, that Emperor thing?  Was just a metaphor *wink*)

[This message has been edited by serenity (edited 08-25-2000).]
Christopher
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15 posted 08-26-2000 08:01 AM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

Two things:

Perceptive reality: Advocated and justified! BEAUTIFUL!  

Ron: Just to get this straight... are you implying that the opinion of someone who is Harvard educated IS worth more than the person who wasn't, partying or not? I'm asking for clarification before I disagree.  

Ron
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16 posted 08-25-2000 06:53 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Christopher, your term "worth more" is so loaded with ambiguity and potential preconceptions it falls right up there with "when did you stop beating your wife." You don't really expect me to fall into that trap, do you?  

Is an Ivy League education better than a less expensive one? Does an alumnus of Harvard or Yale command a higher salary than a graduate of Western Michigan University?

Essentially, both questions are related, and my answers will depend on whether you will accept generalities or demand specifics. Certainly, I believe that a non-Ivy League university offers immense opportunities to those willing to pursue them. If you point at two specific people, my answer will be we have to look at the individuals to determine who received the greater benefits. And I will grant that in many instances the non-Ivy Leaguer will prevail.

But, in general, I think you usually get what you pay for in life. If you buy a $40,000 college education you'll likely receive fewer benefits than the person spending $120,000. You'll get less extensive facilities, more mediocre instructors, and a VERY different academic atmosphere. The disparity in facilities has grown less pronounced over the past twenty years, and it's also less important today (because research is less constrained to physical paper). The disparity in the quality (and dedication) of the professors has grown in that same twenty years, and will continue to grow as academia loses more and more respect in society. The best inevitably gravitate towards the best. But I still think the biggest single difference in education is the atmosphere.

I occasionally teach seminars at WMU and the vast majority of people I see are there to get a degree, not an education. The greatest obstacle to their goal is Life, and the only competition they face is with the grading system. Contrast that with an elite university where virtually every single individual is in both direct and indirect competition with everyone else. If they don't excel, they simply won't be allowed to stay. You do NOT graduate from Harvard or Yale with a 2.0 grade average. But, more importantly, the indirect competition produces a sense of camaraderie and impetus to do even better. Many of the big businesses that offer those high salaries to Ivy League graduates are paying as much for the life-long "business network" built through camaraderie and a feeling of belonging as they are for the book knowledge. The best gravitate towards the best.

Does that mean a degree from WMU is useless? Of course not. Does that mean the least from Harvard is better educated than the best at WMU? Of course not. The person who is willing to apply themselves can earn a great education, regardless of the institution. And the person willing to extend their education beyond the institution, to a life-time commitment, will always prevail.

Not incidentally, Chris, the emphasis in my earlier post was more on "partying" and less on "Harvard." The average person cannot graduate from Harvard with a major in serious partying. They can from WMU. I know - because 25 years ago, I did it.  

Lady Lost
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17 posted 08-27-2000 05:13 PM       View Profile for Lady Lost   Email Lady Lost   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Lady Lost

Wow.  I didn't think that there would be so many responses to the question I originally posed.  Now.  Can anyone tell me what movie my question came from? "We accept the reality of the world of which are presented"

"And I still believe you can never have too much fiction because reality is such a bore..."
- REA
serenity blaze
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18 posted 08-27-2000 06:06 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Ron, I must respectfully disagree...regarding the "you get what you pay for education"---I am learning more here, for free, than I ever did at college...but I must concede...I am paying more...attention...
Brad
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19 posted 08-27-2000 06:27 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Well, a lot of new stuff here. Won't try to address it all but a few points:

Movie: I don't have the faintest idea. Guess: Reality Bites?

Collective Opinion: Historical Realities do change with the introduction of new evidence and new viewpoints. Scientific Realities do to. Perhaps the most obvious example is moving tectonic plates in Geology. Forty years ago this was heresy; it is accepted orthodoxy today. My point is you can't have either theory without a collective understanding of what tectonic plates are.  You have to have some sort of base, however arbitrary or vague, before you (plural) can agree or disagree on anything.  Another recent scientific "discovery": brain cells do grow after infancy -- perhaps one of the most important findings of the 1990's.  Still others, it is now known that many ulcers are created, not from stress, but from a germ and can be treated with anti-biotics.  Still, in order for change to be accepted there has to be an agreement on scientific method and medical procedure just as their is agreement and/or disagreement on historiographical method and procedure.

Without it, there are rifts in our realities -- it happens a lot more than you probably think.

Let's see, Ron said:

"If we agree that all people have a right to an education, does that automatically make all educations equal? Does it mean an education no longer matters?"

As you've pointed out, how many people do already believe this?  If education is considered "free and equal" (it's not) it factors out of the equation and status, test scores, and networking take a higher priority. In stricter societies than the United States, this is considered a truism -- you know the countries I'm talking about, Korea and Japan.  It is precisely the fear of assessing someone's education or intelligence (except through the controversial IQ test) that creates this situation. Why? Because it is "subjective", a subjective opinion that goes against the grain of an "objective" meritocratic society. Ron, I have no doubt that you are willing to take that chance and accept the consequences if you are mistaken. I believe I am too.

But how many others?

When it comes to opinions, you have already conceded that you assess others opinions - you agree or disagree, you discuss and debate; you do not say "that's just how I feel" or "well, you have a right to an opinion and I have a right to mine; let bygones be bygones" (which was my original complaint).

I wonder if opinions are left untouched because they are considered subjective rather than objective. Somewhere along the line we are taught to believe that objectivity is good, subjectivity bad. Then, somewhere along the line we learn that objectivity is impossible but people seem to forget that subjectivity (perceptive reality, Chris?) is also just as impossible.

It's still another false dichotomy.

Enough for now,

Brad


  

serenity blaze
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20 posted 08-27-2000 07:55 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Okay, and you are showing admirable patience with the new kid in class...I thank you.

Brad---so, are we saying here that the only absolute reality is that which we collectively create ourselves--and further--that we can actually alter history by altering our "notion" of what that history is?  What about an absolute---such as death?  Can we bring back to life six million Jews by steadfastly denying the existance of Hitler?   This is a fascinating concept to me...who knows, maybe Elvis didn't just leave the building....lol am anxiously awaiting a reply....
Christopher
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21 posted 08-27-2000 08:05 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

Not enough time right now... but did want to say:

Ron - I can try!  

Lady Lost - The Matrix  
Brad
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Jejudo, South Korea


22 posted 08-27-2000 11:34 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Serenity,
I think this is my fault. When you say history, I hear, not what really happened (something we can never know with certainty) but the views and opinions of top scholars of the day based on evidence (almost always textual). A best guess so to speak. I doubt sincerely if this can change what really happened yesterday but it can and does change the future.  That knowledge will influence that 'best guess' in a number of different ways.

Quick note: if you truly believed Hitler didn't exist, you wouldn't be worried about those six millions Jews or would have a different explanation for their disappearance.

Thanks,
Brad
serenity blaze
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23 posted 08-28-2000 12:18 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Thanks Brad, and everyone for the "think".
Lady Lost
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since 07-13-2000
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24 posted 09-01-2000 08:23 AM       View Profile for Lady Lost   Email Lady Lost   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Lady Lost

Not the Matrix, Christopher...can anyone else guess which movie the original question asked is from?

"And I still believe you can never have too much fiction because reality is such a bore..."
- REA
 
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