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Passions in Poetry

Is Life A Dream, A Distant Memory, Or Nihil?

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Obscurity
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since 12-04-2003
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In A Melancholic Dream


0 posted 12-09-2003 05:20 AM       View Profile for Obscurity   Email Obscurity   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Obscurity

Ive always wondered, what is life. It's a vague, and rather broad question, yet it still is the most minimalist question above all. It's our thirst to know ourselves, and know what awaits us that makes us wonder.

Some may say 'Whom are we to know', others may say 'We may never know' but I disagree, I think it's our own spirit that drives us to question why and who we are. It is our spirit that drives us, but what are we to believe is the question.

And yes, everything I said in those two paragraphs probably don't make any sense

My views on life are liberating to myself, they provide me to believe that Im not only here and that I do have something beyond this... My views are that my life is mearly a dream, and that life... is an illusion...

What are your views on life?
Alicat
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1 posted 12-09-2003 10:50 AM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

If life is indeed a dream, the waking being nihilism, then stones cast in water leave no ripples spreading much farther than the sinking stone. For life is much more than the here-and-now, what-was and what-will-be. Synergistic, greater than totality, for the question of life presages the question of death, for one is never truly dead until all the ripples their life caused cease to be. The same could be said that one is never truly alive unless ripples they create.

Some may give credence to past lives, though if such is true, the past exerts only passive pressure through dreams and disjointed memories. Aside from this, early childhood factors, prior to active memory for most, carve deep niches in our psyches and take a great effort of will to change.

One thought strikes me, and this could be my own take on your initial query. If indeed life is a dream, a distant memory, or nihil, then there is no responsibility for actions, as nothing really matters nor does anything really happen. It's all a dream, where consequences have no place.

Alicat the Persnikitty
Ringo
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2 posted 12-09-2003 01:15 PM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

Actually, I am recently getting the feeling that my life is the result of one too many anchovi pizzas before bed.
lol
As for the actual discussion at hand, My views are that the majority of the population is asleep. It is possible for them to awaken, and- in fact- there are times in each life where they are shocked into brief periods of consciousness... however, it is only when we are able to control these periods of "awake" that we are truly conscious.

We are all equal but we’re individually different
and able to reach the impossible if we try.

Stephanos
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3 posted 12-09-2003 01:30 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Obscurity:  
quote:
Some may say 'Whom are we to know', others may say 'We may never know' but I disagree, I think it's our own spirit that drives us to question why and who we are.



Your very question presupposes that life is not illusory, and that there is something real to know.

quote:
My views on life are liberating to myself, they provide me to believe that Im not only here and that I do have something beyond this... My views are that my life is mearly a dream, and that life... is an illusion...



If your life is merely a dream and an illusion, then wouldn't you yourself be unreal?  How can such a belief be "liberating" to self that is non-existent?  Or how does this belief lead to the conclusion that you are "here" and "have something beyond this", if "here" and "beyond" only refer to unreal states of affair?


Your conviction of the possibility of ontological certainty (or at least reality), and your belief that life is just an illusion are contradictory.


I, like you, believe in ontological reality, and the possibility of real knowledge.  But I don't believe that life is somehow "unreal".  I don't know what such a belief would be based upon.  I think it's a fun speculative philospher's game, until you really begin to believe it, then it can become a nightmare.  

Stephen.

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (12-09-2003 01:33 PM).]

Local Rebel
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4 posted 12-09-2003 04:58 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

All who believe life to be illusory please send me all your money.. since you don't need it
Stephanos
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5 posted 12-09-2003 05:33 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

"While my own existence cannot be logically proven, it is nevertheless undeniable. Have you heard the interaction between the philosophy student and her professor? "How do I know I exist?" demanded the student. "And whom shall I say is asking?" came the professor's reply. You can't help but chuckle, can you? Because you realize that at the moment that you deny your existence, you affirm it at the same time, for it is you denying that you are here to deny anything! Some things cannot be logically proven but yet cannot be denied without affirmation and therefore establish themselves as truth." (Ravi Zacharias)



Stephen.

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (12-09-2003 05:33 PM).]

Obscurity
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6 posted 12-09-2003 09:48 PM       View Profile for Obscurity   Email Obscurity   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Obscurity

quote:
One thought strikes me, and this could be my own take on your initial query. If indeed life is a dream, a distant memory, or nihil, then there is no responsibility for actions, as nothing really matters nor does anything really happen. It's all a dream, where consequences have no place.


But if everything is choice, then there should be no consequence. However contradictary that may sound, is it not true? If the burglar decided not to break into the house, he would not be in jail. If the man decided to use protection, he would not have a family. In our lives, choice is the utter essence of our own discipline. Whether there be consequences to actions, or not, it's our own choice that has the effect.

You as well, posted that "It's all a dream, where consequences have no place." How do we know that are dreams do not have consequences? Whom is to say that we don't have control of our own dreams? That this leads to our choice in our own dreams? I forget the name of the practice, but I believe there is a way to have such discipline that you begin to control your dreams. In any sense, our choice are made by us, there's no way to say that we are not in control of our dreams.

quote:
Your very question presupposes that life is not illusory, and that there is something real to know.


An illusion is far fetched statement, is it not? Our dreams are the concepts of our mind trying to comprehend the things that we cannot understand, life may be the essence of the things we cannot understand. There is something 'real to know' in life, almost all believe that. How can life, be so bleak and so meaningless? Ive seen the shadows, and Ive seen the bliss, how can life hold such importance, without there being anything that holds importance above that?

quote:

If your life is merely a dream and an illusion, then wouldn't you yourself be unreal?  How can such a belief be "liberating" to self that is non-existent?  Or how does this belief lead to the conclusion that you are "here" and "have something beyond this", if "here" and "beyond" only refer to unreal states of affair?


Your conviction of the possibility of ontological certainty (or at least reality), and your belief that life is just an illusion are contradictory.


I, like you, believe in ontological reality, and the possibility of real knowledge.  But I don't believe that life is somehow "unreal".  I don't know what such a belief would be based upon.  I think it's a fun speculative philospher's game, until you really begin to believe it, then it can become a nightmare.


Again I'll state, that 'illusion' is a far fetched statement. As is nothing is an illusion, more so a dream. Though, if Dreams are illusions, that doesn't mean that I myself do not exist... for there should be something behind the currents, beyond the conception of life. No existence is not what I stated, since dreams and illusions do exist, don't they? There is always something beyond the bland blitterness of life. As Ive said, dreams are not unreal, they are as real as we make them. Dreams do exist, we all know this, is it so hard for us to believe that we may be in a dream beyond our own understanding and conception? It's human nature to understand everything that goes on around us, and since you ask how can it be liberating to know that your unreal, I'll change that. 'How can it be liberating, to know that everything you see and everything that you know to be a dream'... It's liberating to know that I am not trapped in such a melancholy life and it pains me to see the bitterness of what you call reality.


Stephanos
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7 posted 12-09-2003 10:04 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Obscurity:  
quote:
'How can it be liberating, to know that everything you see and everything that you know to be a dream'... It's liberating to know that I am not trapped in such a melancholy life and it pains me to see the bitterness of what you call reality.



Okay ... so you don't mean that life is "unreal".  But it was asked in your initial question when you used the word "Nihil".  So you're ruling that one out... good.  But I'm still not sure what you mean by "dream" other than a blanket of mysticism over what now exists.  

Before we proceed, we must differentiate between your "dream" and my "reality" ... for my reality also includes the wondrous, the hopeful, the tantalizing possibilities of new frontiers, the hope of eternal life, as it were.  What makes my "reality" so melancholy?  And what makes your "dream" so different?

Just trying to see the distinction.

By thinking of life as a dream, are you trying to establish a dualistic hope, that there is something else better, and more real, even if it is mysterious and unknown?


Stephen.

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (12-09-2003 10:09 PM).]

Obscurity
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In A Melancholic Dream


8 posted 12-09-2003 10:25 PM       View Profile for Obscurity   Email Obscurity   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Obscurity

quote:
Okay ... so you don't mean that life is "unreal".  But it was asked in your initial question when you used the word "Nihil".  So you're ruling that one out... good.  But I'm still not sure what you mean by "dream" other than a blanket of mysticism over what now exists.  

Before we proceed, we must differentiate between your "dream" and my "reality" ... for my reality also includes the wondrous, the hopeful, the tantalizing possibilities of new frontiers, the hope of eternal life, as it were.  What makes my "reality" so melancholy?  And what makes your "dream" so different?

Just trying to see the distinction.

By thinking of life as a dream, are you trying to establish a dualistic hope, that there is something else better, and more real, even if it is mysterious and unknown?


The original question to this post was to ask what peoples views on life were, and that's why I refered to Nihilism.

Though onto dreams, if I understand you correctly, you want me to explain how life can be a dream? It is true, that there is a blanket of mysticism over what I assume we both refer to reality to. Whether or not what my views on life are, this is our reality, so it makes no matter on how we refer to that. Though on almost any view in life, there is a blanket of mysticism that covers what else is out there, is there not? I'll try to put it in the most rudement perspective that I can, but Im not sure how well it will come out.

Lets say I'm playing a video game, once I die that games over, yet I still exist. The utter essence of this example, is pretty self explanatory, yet it still provides a solid foundation on how we can relate to what my views on life are.

I never referred to your life or your reality, melancholy, I referred to my views on life as melancholy, because that's exactly what my life is... It's dark yet ambient, it's depressive with a moment of bliss.

And towards your last paragraph, in the most simplistic terms... Yes, that's exactly what I am implying.
ThisDiamond
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9 posted 12-12-2003 08:50 PM       View Profile for ThisDiamond   Email ThisDiamond   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit ThisDiamond's Home Page   View IP for ThisDiamond

I just saw this, and would like to join the discussion.  All thoughts and feelings are valid...for we do not know the answer...

So I believe, that life is a state of learning...the soul remains in stasis as we develope into whom we choose to be.

We live among laws to protect society, but truly the only right or wrong is what is clearly felt within the body...and in saying that, the little voice of conscience is a physical discomfort with our decisions.

In truth, we are amazing in our sense of self...and as that is consumed, it is fuel for greater things.

I wish to live in the world, and never be bound to it.

Enjoyed the views here.  Thanks for coming up with the topic.

TD
Essorant
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10 posted 12-13-2003 03:08 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"A dream" is a charming metaphor or kenning for life;  
But there is a very substantial difference:  Dreaming is dependant on life, but life is not dependant on dreaming.  
In our dreams we paint from lifecolours; if you take away life there are not those colours any with which to paint and therefore dreaming ceases; if you take away dreaming, the colours continue in life for that life is the maker of dreams, what life partakes in and what partakes of life its creator; if you take away dreaming life has yet much more substance, but if you take away life it makes an end to all dreaming.

[This message has been edited by Essorant (12-14-2003 09:56 AM).]

Jason Lyle
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11 posted 12-13-2003 10:35 PM       View Profile for Jason Lyle   Email Jason Lyle   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Jason Lyle

Who exactly is doing this dreaming?

Jason
Obscurity
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12 posted 12-14-2003 12:53 AM       View Profile for Obscurity   Email Obscurity   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Obscurity

Yourself.
Essorant
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13 posted 12-14-2003 10:46 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

If life were but my sliding dream,
then would all things be what they seem.

Local Rebel
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14 posted 12-14-2003 12:59 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

row
row
row
your boat

gently
down
the
stream

merilly
merilly
merilly
merilly

Obscurity
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In A Melancholic Dream


15 posted 12-14-2003 09:18 PM       View Profile for Obscurity   Email Obscurity   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Obscurity

However quaint that lullabye is, I prefer not to have spam in my thread, for it's rather an elegant conversation, thanks.
Local Rebel
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16 posted 12-15-2003 12:14 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

How can it be your thread if I'm dreaming it?
Midnitesun
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17 posted 12-15-2003 12:47 AM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

"Is Life A Dream, A Distant Memory, Or Nihil?"

Perhaps, it is all of the above at one time or another? Not meant to be a flippant answer. But I've changed my POV so many times, and yet I am still open to more changes, challenges, questions, 'proofs' and theories. I find dreams to be an enhancement to life (kind of a job perk so to speak) that sometimes give me new perspectives on my past, and probably temper my present behaviors. Dreams are also a flashlight into the future. (beam me up) I DO exist in the here and now, yet somedays, even pinching myself doesn't seem to be sufficient proof that I am anything more than a figment of my own imagination. I am mere dust, and will return to nothingness once my 'soul' has departed. (LOL, sorry Local Reb, you can't have my $$$, my daughter says she needs it)
Anyway, this thread has given me much to comtemplate tonight, and contemplating what Life is usually forces me to assume the position...
er, the position wherein I sit quietly bent like a pretzel and contemplate my navel and how it seems to have endless stories locked up within that even deep meditation won't release.
AH, life. It IS a dream, it IS a memory, it DOESN't seem real.
But it IS, and that's enough to satisfy me.
Obscurity
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18 posted 12-15-2003 01:08 AM       View Profile for Obscurity   Email Obscurity   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Obscurity

quote:
How can it be your thread if I'm dreaming it?


My dream, my thread. You are a degenerate [deleted by moderator]. How about reading the entire thread next time. You come into this thread, and try to moch? Was that your purpose, or are you just so out of sync that you decide to say 'To Hell with it, let's just do anything I want'... [deleted by moderator]

[This message has been edited by Brad (12-15-2003 05:51 AM).]

Essorant
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19 posted 12-15-2003 01:19 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Obscurity,
Get your wits together.  
I really hope you will
delete that before the moderators come; or get out of the forum, because it is shame to see anyone speak like that.  It doesn't belong here.  Delete it and I will delete my comment right after...
Obscurity
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In A Melancholic Dream


20 posted 12-15-2003 04:15 AM       View Profile for Obscurity   Email Obscurity   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Obscurity

I will not delete a comment, when someone insults my personal integrity and makes a mockery out of the freedom of philosophical and religous views without the fear of temperment or persecution.

[This message has been edited by Obscurity (12-15-2003 04:16 AM).]

Brad
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21 posted 12-15-2003 06:06 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I went ahead and deleted the offending language and the personal threat. While such things are, of course, not conducive to philosophical discussion, it is also true that the boss doesn't like that stuff either.

I think the dream argument has more or less been smashed by 20th century philosophy (Davidson --RIP--and the usual suspects -- for those who know me), but I wanted to point out the LR's response, while flippant, is a legitimate philosophical question. Obscurity, you have either made a simple, logical error or have confused your pronoun usage (both are easy to do, but not really  worth the time to get worked up about.)

What is more disturbing though is that final response:

quote:
I will not delete a comment, when someone insults my personal integrity and makes a mockery out of the freedom of philosophical and religous views without the fear of temperment or persecution


This is precisely the reverse of the freedom you are trying to invoke here. LR, you, and others have the right to express views that you may or may not agree with. But one can't really be deleted because you don't like the tone. At least as long as it contributes something legitimate to the discussion.


And it does.

  
Local Rebel
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22 posted 12-15-2003 05:35 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Well that was rather unfortunate.

No, Obscurity, I'm not mocking you -- I'm koaning you.  And restating your own philosophy in simpler terms -- which fits nicely into Row Your Boat.

While I agree with Brad that in (western) philosophy circles the notion is somewhat obsolete there are plenty of adherents who have worked out rather elegant points of this philosophy and you could begin by studying Hinduism.

I haven't singled you out -- not picking on you at all -- I challenge just about everybody -- even the Boss...

And you can too -- as long as you do it respectfully.

Brad -- nice to see you -- you've been missed.
Local Rebel
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23 posted 12-15-2003 05:56 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Ah, here tis...

quote:

No one can die. None can be degraded forever. Life is but a playground, however gross the play may be. However we may receive blows and however knocked about we may be, the Soul is there and is never injured. We are that Infinite.

-Vivekananda

Stephanos
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24 posted 12-15-2003 11:47 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
However we may receive blows and however knocked about we may be, the Soul is there and is never injured. We are that Infinite


How can the Eastern monistic view, harbor such a dualism?  If All is one, then death and pain are as much a part of "the one" as more positive elements.  How can the assertion be made that Divinity = non-injured life, while death and pain are seen as temporal and illusory, if there is no distinction in the universal monad?  I think the purest Buddhistic thought claimed that even "good" life is Samsara, and the answer is to escape ALL desire.  So the ultimate state seems to be limited to obliteration, not peace, light, or goodness ... for with these, there is distinction made.


Stephen.

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (12-15-2003 11:48 PM).]

 
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