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Thread: Analysis of The Immorality of Abstraction

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    Analysis of The Immorality of Abstraction

    Brief Analysis of The Immorality of Abstraction



    What is Abstraction?


    Abstraction (or abstractionism) - as understood by The Numinous Way - is the manufacture/creation, and/or use of, an idea, ideal, "image" or category, and thus the denotation, or denoting - usually by means of a name or term - of some "thing" which is either general, a generalization or of a group. Implicit in abstraction is the referring of a "thing", or an individual or individuals, to some manufactured abstraction, and often a judgement, or classification, of that "thing" or individual(s) on the basis of some abstraction which has been assigned some "value" or some quality. The positing of some "perfect" or "ideal" form, category, or thing, is part of abstraction, as is the concept of "progress".

    Abstraction is, and has been, applied to us, human beings, to other living things, and to the physical, non-living, things we perceive with our senses, such as physical matter and energy.



    Ontology and The Numinous Way


    Ontology is basically the study of Reality itself - of what Reality is, and how existence (or Being and beings) relates to Reality. Or expressed another way, of how existence is or can be manifest - presenced - in Reality. Or, expressed in yet another way, how we denote, or describe, through such things as names and categories, what Being, Reality, and beings are, and what if any is the relationship(s) between them.

    According to The Numinous Way, Reality is the Cosmos, and this Cosmos exists in both causal space-time, and in acausal space-time, with causal space-time having three causal spatial dimensions and one causal Time dimension, and with acausal space-time having n number of acausal dimensions (which are not spatial) and an acausal Time dimension. Causal space-time may be said to be the phenomenal, physical, universe we are aware of through our senses, and this universe is governed by physical laws and contains physical, causal, matter/energy (Note 1).

    The Numinous Way makes a distinction between the knowing, the perception, of causal being(s) and the knowing, the perception, of acausal being(s) - with living beings (in the causal) being regarded as a presencing of acausal being (or energy) by virtue of being alive. That is, because they are such a presencing of acausal energy (or acausal being) it is incorrect to apply lifeless, causal, abstractions to them. The error of conventional philosophies - the fundamental philosophical error behind abstractionism - is to apply causal perception and a causal denoting to living being(s).

    For The Numinous Way, abstraction is not a presencing of acausal being or Being but rather a denotation (a description or naming) which not only does not describe or express the essence of the (living) being or "thing" so denoted, but which also through such denotation obscures, or cover-ups, the essence, the being - the reality - of the being or "thing" which possesses acausal energy. This is a devaluing of life - a gross mis-perception of life - and, when applied to human beings, is inhuman: a covering-up of the essence of our humanity.

    The faculty of empathy - which is part of our consciousness, albeit often an undeveloped part at present - is a means whereby we human beings can discover the presencing of acausal being and acausal beings as those manifestations of Life are, in themselves.

    Thus, The Numinous Way adds empathy to the faculties by which we can perceive, know, and understand the Cosmos, and thus the Life of the Cosmos. For The Numinous Way, empathy is an essential means to knowing and understanding Life, which Life includes human beings, the other life we share this planet with (and which we have already observed/discovered) and the other life which most probably exists in the Cosmos, which we have yet not physically observed or discovered.

    From empathy we derive compassion, and personal honour - and thus the ethics of The Numinous Way - and in an important sense compassion and honour are developments of our consciousness: an evolution of our perception, of our very being.




    Conclusion:


    There is thus a fundamental and important distinction made, by The Numinous Way, between how we can, and should, perceive and understand the causal, phenomenal, physical, universe, and how we can, and should, perceive and understand living beings. The physical world can be perceived and understood as: (1) existing external to ourselves, with (2) our limited understanding of this 'external world' depending for the most part upon what we can see, hear or touch: on what we can observe or come to know via our senses; with (3) logical argument, or reason, being a most important means to knowledge and understanding of and about this 'external world', and a means whereby we can make reasonable assumptions about it, which assumptions can be refuted or affirmed via observation and experiment; and (4) with the physical Cosmos being, of itself, a reasoned order subject to laws which are themselves understandable by reason. In this perception and understanding of the causal, phenomenal, inanimate universe, concepts, denoting, ideas, forms, abstractions, and such like, are useful and often necessary.

    In contrast, such abstractions are not a means to correctly perceive and understand living beings. One reason for this is that all Life is regarded, by The Numinous Way, as connected - as particular, individual, presencings of acausal energy. Therefore, each living being should be viewed and understood as unique, as one presencing of that acausal being which The Numinous Way has termed The Cosmic Being. This "acausal reality" - the reality of all living beings - means and implies a respect for all such Life, as it means and implies a personal knowing of such life.


    One immoral consequence of applying lifeless causal abstraction to life, is hubris - the assumption that we human beings are somehow "superior" to other life with which we share this planet, and that this other life is a resource, a commodity, for us to use. Another immoral consequence of abstraction is the judging of human beings according to some abstract criteria, or according to some ideal, or according to some generalized concept, with some human beings thus held in "higher regard" than others, and with some held in lesser regard, or regarded as somehow "inferior" or unimportant.

    However, according to he Numinous Way, the only ethical criteria of judgement is the criteria of the individual - of a personal knowing, for example, of the individual human being. That is, the only ethical, honourable, way to assess and know someone is to know them, personally: to be aware of their deeds, their actions, their behaviour. Without such a knowing, there can be no judgement, and no action against any individual. Hence, for The Numinous Way, the ethic of personal honour sets moral guidelines for personal and social interaction with other human beings




    David Myatt
    JD2454126.337


    Notes:

    (1) Causal space-time, and acausal space-time, are outlined briefly in the essay Acausal Science: Life and the Nature of the Acausal.

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    Re: The Analysis of The Immorality of Abstraction

    By this "David Myatt"?:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Myatt

    Interesting.

    Let's do a little critique, ourselves, shall we?

    Best regards,
    Needle

    http://www.cosmotheism.net
    http://www.nationalvanguard.org
    http://www.cosmotheism.net

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    Re: The Analysis of The Immorality of Abstraction

    Quote Originally Posted by Needle View Post

    Yes, that's the one. He now of "The Numinous Way".

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    Re: Analysis of The Immorality of Abstraction

    Quote Originally Posted by torlundy View Post
    Brief Analysis of The Immorality of Abstraction



    What is Abstraction?


    Abstraction (or abstractionism) - as understood by The Numinous Way - is the manufacture/creation, and/or use of, an idea, ideal, "image" or category, and thus the denotation, or denoting - usually by means of a name or term - of some "thing" which is either general, a generalization or of a group. Implicit in abstraction is the referring of a "thing", or an individual or individuals, to some manufactured abstraction, and often a judgement, or classification, of that "thing" or individual(s) on the basis of some abstraction which has been assigned some "value" or some quality. The positing of some "perfect" or "ideal" form, category, or thing, is part of abstraction, as is the concept of "progress".

    Abstraction is, and has been, applied to us, human beings, to other living things, and to the physical, non-living, things we perceive with our senses, such as physical matter and energy.
    He is describing here what are also known as 'universals', and in a more extreme version, as 'Forms' in Plato.
    If we agree that there are various people, then is it correct to speak of a collective 'people'?

    Yes, of course.

    But is there a sense in which that collective has an existence of its own, above and beyond its constituent elements [in this case various 'people']?

    Thus begins the move to abstraction [or 'generalisation' - the rejection of generalisation implies a rejection of this kind of abstraction].

    'Nominalists' say this isn't possible, and that collective nouns are just that - merely linguistic expressions.

    In terms of racial classifications; is there a sense in which they transcend the individuals which make them up?
    A Transcendental Racialism would say yes, that the abstractions of racial classifications have a reality [or Form] of their own.

    Plato went so as to claim that such abstractions ['Forms', or 'Ideas'] were real entities in and of themselves and existed in a higher realm.

    They are the perfect Forms of what the various examples are merely imperfect copies of.

    Plato then had a problem of accounting for there being a Form of everything, and then had to introduce the notion of an hierarchy of Forms.

    Mosley touched upon this with his Theory of Higher Forms.
    Why are there beings at all, & why not rather nothing?
    [Leibniz/Heidegger]

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    Re: Analysis of The Immorality of Abstraction

    Quote Originally Posted by Moody View Post

    In terms of racial classifications; is there a sense in which they transcend the individuals which make them up?
    A Transcendental Racialism would say yes, that the abstractions of racial classifications have a reality [or Form] of their own.
    Myatt makes what may be a crucial distinction between the folk and race - saying that while "race" is an abstraction, the folk is not.

    The folk is a living being, and thus a nexion. "Race" is an ideal, and thus cannot be and is not a living being, and all attempts to strive for such an unliving abstraction will tend to cause dishonor, or lead us toward dishonor.

    The basis for the folk is the clan.

    This is I think the essence of what Myatt is trying to say.

    Quote Originally Posted by Moody View Post
    Plato went so as to claim that such abstractions ['Forms', or 'Ideas'] were real entities in and of themselves and existed in a higher realm.
    .
    The problem with all this - and with all abstractions, as Myatt claims - is that they destroy or remove us from the Numen, and thus from Nature and our true identity, which we can know via our folk, our folk-culture, our folkish homeland, and thus through Nature and the cosmos beyond.

    In addition, such abstractions cause "suffering" and undermine and destroy empathy and thus lead to dishonor. Dishonor it should be noted as defined ( or redefined) by Myatt.

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    Re: Analysis of The Immorality of Abstraction

    Quote Originally Posted by torlundy View Post
    Myatt makes what may be a crucial distinction between the folk and race - saying that while "race" is an abstraction, the folk is not.
    Both could be used abstractly though. The Folk and The Race can both be seen as abstractions or as universalised categories; there is nothing in either word that makes one less prone to abstraction than the other.
    Of course, if it is just a matter of Myatt's own particular usage, where to him 'folk' is non-abstract but 'race' is abstract, that is another matter.
    I suppose that 'folk' would be a better word to use for Germanic peoples as it is Germanic; however, it doesn't necessarliy escape abstraction.
    However, what Myatt misses here is that language itself tends to abstraction.

    The folk is a living being, and thus a nexion.
    Presumably he is deriving this from the Latin word nexus:

    "–noun, plural nex·us·es, nex·us. 1. a means of connection; tie; link.
    2. a connected series or group.
    3. the core or center, as of a matter or situation.
    4. Cell Biology. a specialized area of the cell membrane involved in intercellular communication and adhesion.
    [Origin: 1655–65; < L nexus a binding, joining, fastening, equiv. to nect(ere) to bind, fasten, tie + -tus suffix of v. action, with tt > s]
    Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
    Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006".


    Which can certainly be applied to the notion of folk [although it can also be applied to race too].

    "Race" is an ideal, and thus cannot be and is not a living being, and all attempts to strive for such an unliving abstraction will tend to cause dishonor, or lead us toward dishonor.
    Does the concept 'honour' escape from abstraction though?
    Isn't honour more than just the sum total of honourable acts?
    Aren't there, for example, potential honourable intentions?
    Isn't there a sense in which the Platonists were right to assert an abstract Form of 'Honour', something that would exist even if there were no honourable acts in the world?

    The basis for the folk is the clan.
    This is I think the essence of what Myatt is trying to say.
    Then what is the relation of the folk to the clan?
    Is the folk an abstraction from the concept of the clan?

    The problem with all this - and with all abstractions, as Myatt claims - is that they destroy or remove us from the Numen, and thus from Nature and our true identity, which we can know via our folk, our folk-culture, our folkish homeland, and thus through Nature and the cosmos beyond.
    But I find the Latin [and ultimately Greek] derived word 'numen' to be quite abstract;

    numen
    divine power or spirit; a deity, esp. one presiding locally or believed to inhabit a particular object.

    [Origin: 1620–30; < L nūmen a nod, command, divine will or power, divinity; akin to nūtāre to nod the head in commanding or assent]
    Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
    Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.


    Note that the word begins as a very concrete notion, but becomes abstracted;


    nu·mi·nous

    –adjective 1. of, pertaining to, or like a numen; spiritual or supernatural.
    2. surpassing comprehension or understanding; mysterious: that element in artistic expression that remains numinous.
    3. arousing one's elevated feelings of duty, honor, loyalty, etc.: a benevolent and numinous paternity.
    [Origin: 1640–50; < L nūmin- (s. of nūmen) numen + -ous]
    Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.


    Note that the notion of honour is included, but numinosity is surely an abstraction from the Roman numen, to nod.


    nu·mi·nous
    Of or relating to a numen; supernatural.
    Filled with or characterized by a sense of a supernatural presence: a numinous place.
    Spiritually elevated; sublime.
    [From Latin nūmen, nūmin-, numen.]
    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
    Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
    Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.



    numinous

    "divine, spiritual," 1647, from L. numen (gen. numinis) "divine will," properly "divine approval expressed by nodding the head," from nuere "to nod" (cf. Gk. neuein "to nod").
    Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2001 Douglas Harper
    WordNet



    In addition, such abstractions cause "suffering" and undermine and destroy empathy and thus lead to dishonor. Dishonor it should be noted as defined ( or redefined) by Myatt.
    Does that mean that concretisation must necessarily lead to honour?
    Why are there beings at all, & why not rather nothing?
    [Leibniz/Heidegger]

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    Re: Analysis of The Immorality of Abstraction

    Quote Originally Posted by Moody View Post
    Both could be used abstractly though. if it is just a matter of Myatt's own particular usage, where to him 'folk' is non-abstract but 'race' is abstract, that is another matter.
    That is indeed the case - as it is with some of the other terms he uses, such as nexion and numinous and presencing. Also, he redefines honour.

    The following definitions are taken from his FAQ: The Numinous Way

    Q: What does the word numinous mean?

    A: As used by The Numinous Way, the term numinous means a presencing of acausal energy, in the causal. In a more ordinary sense, what is numinous is what we might regard as "sacred"; as special. It thus contains, or manifests, presences, beauty, harmony. It reminds us that we are but a single nexion, among many. It reminds us of Nature, and the Cosmos, beyond us - it provides us with perspective. It presences the true meaning of life, the true meaning of our causal existence.

    Q: What is a nexion?

    A: A nexion is a region, in causal Space-Time, where acausal energy exists, or is manifest, of through and by which acausal energy can be manifest, or can be presenced, in the causal. We, as individuals, are individual nexions by virtue of being-alive, just as Nature is another, supra-personal, nexion - a connexion to the life, the acausality, the energy, of the living-Cosmos.

    Q: What is the Folk?

    A: The Folk is regarded, by The Numinous Way, as a type of being: some-thing which has Life; a presencing of acausal energy here on this planet surrounding our star, the Sun, which star is one star among millions in one Galaxy among millions upon millions of Galaxies in the Cosmos. We, as individuals, are part of our own Folk - we are one, individual, manifestation of our Folk.

    A folk arises over time, through living in a certain area - a homeland - through shared experiences, through a common heritage, history and so on. Over time, a specific culture arises, which represents that particular folk, and the folk of this homeland develop a certain character: a certain nature, which in general serves to distinguish them from the peoples of others cultures. This character may be manifest in their way of life, their religious outlook, their literature, their natural music (that is, their "folk music"). Thus, a folk is not an abstract, easily defined, static, "thing" like the concept of race. It is a living, changing, evolving, being - a unique type of life. What defines a folk is thus far more than a certain set of physical or physiological or genetic characteristics. A folk is a symbiotic being - in symbiosis with the being which is the homeland of that folk, with that community or that collection of folkish communities. All this makes the culture, the Way of Life, the ethos (or soul) of that folk living as well. And it is this living which is numinous, which presences the numinous...

    A folk, as something which now lives, shares a common culture, a common heritage - and often or mostly a common genetic heritage - but it becomes a folk because it has dwelt or settled somewhere and forged some common identity, often as result of overcoming some hardship or difficulty or challenge. In addition, a folk is kindred - there is that personal-knowing, that kindred-connection, of a genuine, living family-like community. This means that a folk, as a living-being, is always fairly small - never the impersonal size of a modern nation (which itself is an abstraction) - and could be, and perhaps should be, more correctly described as a clan, a tribe.


    Q: What do you mean by the term presencing?

    A: Presencing means the flow of acausal energy, or energies, from the acausal to the causal, or a manifestation of such energies, in the causal. Thus, a sublime piece of music may be said to presence the numinous, because it captures, it expresses, it manifests, some-thing beyond us, as individuals - something beautiful, numinous, sublime - and as such it may make us aware of The Unity, of the living-Cosmos, and be or become a nexion itself: a kind of "gateway" through which certain acausal energies may flow, or be presenced, which energies may change our consciousness, our being, our life, in certain ways, thus changing us, often in a positive, life-enhancing, way. That is, such a work of Art can access certain acausal energies.
    Thus, to fully understand his recent material - his recent development of his own "The Numinous Way" - one must understand the terms he uses, and not assume that such terms have their ordinary meaning.

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