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Everything posted by Release

  1. Release


    Thanks Stephen, I'm looking it up as we speak! ~Michael
  2. Release


    interestingly put Mr. Swig. I'm just wondering how objectivists view drugs that have no real medical value. Lets say, Marijuana (even though it does now have some medical value)...I partake on occasion and when I do I enjoy the music I listen to much more and as a musician find that marijuana helps my creativity. Also, I can really get into things (like certain books) when I partake and I feel that it helps me focus on occasion. Friends have called my usage "self-medicating" because I chose not to take Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, etc etc that my doctor has tried to prescribe to me (bipolar). But it also (when not used in moderation) causes a "fog" to be apparent even days after usage (that is the fog that I was speaking about). That is a side effect that I dont like, thats why I don't smoke marijuana a lot. All in all, I see the benefit to some drugs but I completely oppose drugs that treat these new "disorders" (bipolar, manic/depression, social anxiety). I oppose them because I feel that the only reason doctors prescribe them is to make more money for the drug industry...i feel that human beings have the power to change whatever they want in their consciencesness if they choose the right system and structure their mind accordingly. So, with all that said, I'm coming back to the question of how Objectivists view drugs that aren't considered 'legal' or 'okay' by todays social standard (ie Marijuana). Your insights would be great guys. ~Michael
  3. Release


    I'm halfway through OPAR (although I don't think that this is addressed in that book) so I'm close to seeing the objectivist theory, but I'm curious of the application in my life. I smoke cigarettes and drink a lot of coffee. There has been other things in my past that most would consider vices and there are a couple of lingering ones too that I'd rather not get into. What is the objectivist view on drugs and alchohol? I feel that drugs and alchohol inhibit your integration of reality by creating a fog of 'faux-reality'....but then again can moderation be a consideration on this subject? ~Michael
  4. Wow....thanks for putting it like that. But I would like to clear something up...I never said sitting there with my legs crossed will bring me answers or enlightenment, all I said is that it is a tool. I'm sure there are other ways of concentration and relaxation, but thats the one I learned. With what I've learned I focus on reality and try to analyze my rational though processes. But I like how you flipped the 'pigeonhole' comment on me...I never really thought of it like that. I've always seen the mind as the most powerful tool in the world but I never knew how to unlock it from all its restricting beliefs, more recently I'm seeing things make sense and seeing my mind as a powerful tool. Perhaps everything can be answered through rational thinking. ~Michael
  5. Yeah...the used bookstore up the street has like 10 copies of AS...well, up my street at least. Plus, I agree with nimble...that would kill my eyes. ~Michael
  6. Also Jroberts. That quote you have in your sig: "The Master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence in whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both." is by James A. Michner. Great quote too!
  7. I'm quite aware of what the far east has to offer with philosophy. I've been studying Buddhism for several years and I practiced mediation for a long time, still to this day (for relaxation). I didn't find my answers there and found their logic to be backwards, but still satisfying at times. Objectivism has already given me most of the answers I was looking for in studying eastern philosophy but I feel that these wise men can't be disqualified because they weren't "objective" about reality. Most of the wisest men that follow eastern philosophy are happy, productive, wonderful people. I don't like to pigeon hole myself into one specific form of thinking (regardless of how logical it may be), just for the simple fact that not everything can be answered with one form of thinking. And in no way was I trying to debunk objectivism with the Tao Te Ching....just trying to see opinions on it's contradictory insight. ~Michael
  8. Thanks...me reading the Tao Te Ching was on a whim seeing how I had to return the book to my friend later that day. I picked it up and realized how short it was, so it was no issue to complete it. I'm back reading my "The virtue of selfishness" so hopefully i'll encounter some more insight into objectivism in the next couple days. ~Michael
  9. I just got done reading the Tao Te Ching (a modern rendition) and I've found the book to hold so much truth and understanding in the most contradictory way possible. But out of the contradictions alone, since they are in 'poem' form then should we (as human beings, not just objectivists) view such works as an Aesthetic and subjective rather than objective. The majority of the book was written in a very 'mystic' sense but for some reason it made more sense to me than most straight forward, logical concepts I've read. Who else has read Tao Te Ching? And has anybody found that subscribing to the Tao provides you with more happiness (as it suggests). I've always been in to meditation for awareness and relaxation and all the things that they spoke about (Uncarved block, be your true self) I never understood untill I saw it within me after reading the Tao Te Ching. I know that these concepts aren't the most "objective" ever but would that cripple a new objectivist? Anyone? ~Michael
  10. I'm 23 years old and I (at this junction in life) prefer to read non-fiction to learn. I also try to write out my concepts in form of non-fiction as much as possible to work them out. What introduced me to Objectivism was the book: "GodMan: Our final evolution" which is written by Dr. Wallace (see previous post HERE) At my current pace of learning, I've seen through the Mystic approach of presenting the removal of mysticism and it has brought me to objectivism (which is the foundation of what Dr. Wallace bases his philosophy on). I went out to the used book store in my area and I bought, "Ayn Rand for the New Intellectual", "The Virtue of Selfishness", and the "Ayn Rand Lexicon". They didn't have the title you speak of although that was the first one that I did want to read. I plan on getting that book later this week. "Atlas Shrugged" looked very intimidating with it's 1200 pages of very very small print so I decided against Ayn Rands fiction for the time being, but as I progress I'm sure I'll find myself yearning to read it. Also, to the others who have responded, I thank you for adding your views. I did say in the beginning that I was playing devils advocate to rip this apart for me. It did, the actual process of writing that all down internalized objectivism a bit more for me and I now understand the answer to this question. What I would like to touch base on is the point that Colonal Rebel made. The negative connotation of the word 'Cult' to me has come from my mystic (christian) upbringing and has always carried down a negative image. As I'm removing my mystic constructs I'm seeing that words that were placed in the 'negative' bin while growing up in the church were put there to instill fear into the followers of the faith. Thank you all for your comments! ~Michael
  11. Mr. Speicher, Perhaps I was very lofty in some of my description and that is what I'm trying to avoid and I thank you for pointing out the flaws. As for me, I have just discovered Objectivism (well the direct philosophy) a little less than a month ago and it has consumed me in so many ways and I'm seeing major life changes in a very short period of time. My previous mystic upbringing tells me to be skeptical of these rapid changes but my objective thought compels me to continue discovering at an even faster pace. I think once I finish reading all the material I have selected, I will have a firmer grasp on objectivism, but in the meantime my eagerness probably shows too much. I've read many topics here and you seem to be a very rational human being and you deffinately have my respect sir. And to Daniel...I find much validity in your statement, but isn't a compilation of ideas a 'dogma'? And the books I've been reading ("The Virtue of Selfishness") seems like an organized way to present objectivism and moral values. ~Michael
  12. Before you read this, please understand that I'm playing 'devil's advocate' to try to understand the reality a little better than I do now. Does adherance to one ideology imply cultism? The definition of cult is: Now, with the definition presented I have to set a couple things clear (from my perspective). A RELIGION is a principle or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith. Faith is described by Leonard Peikoff like this. I personally subscribe to that idea and I feel that most objectivists do, it's rational, and makes reality clearer for anyone who would subscribe it. So if Religion is based on faith we can agree (as objectivists) that Religion is bad. So if religion is bad then following an ideology that rejects religion in itself should not be a BAD concept (in the eyes of an objectivist). But that ideolgoy right there brings me to definition number 4 in the above definition of "Cult". From what I've read of Ayn Rand and Dr. Piekoff, the view of mysticism and religion is that it is a disease that has plagued human kind for centuries, a disease of the mind. And in essence, Ayn Rand is the promulgator and the disease that she is curing is the disease of mysticism. In fear that I may be playing semantics with myself and you, the reader, I must look toward the ideology of Objectivism a little more. If the philosophy you subscribe to states that an individual must use reality around them to progress, be productive, and become personally successful, and everyone who does this properly becomes successful, happy, and extremely prosperous in this life, it would seem that objectivism is infallible in this existance by simple fact that it works. It works because when you see things for what they are and simply acknowledge them and don't act on whims, everything that you do produces value for yourself and the people around you because you are being productive and positive. You are only being productive and positive because you are reaping the cycle of benefits that this philosophy has brought you. If this philosophy really is a revolution into a new evolution of man then everyone would have to subscribe to it eventually in order for it to work properly, to cure the disease of man. That right there, when you conceptualize what objectivism is, it is in itself a "Cult" and cultism is what would be needed for the application to affect society. It would need adherants. These statements and questions were triggered by a close friend of mine whos opinions I value. He believes that free choice is the essence of human beings and believes that objectivism is in itself a dangerous concept because of it's necessary acceptance of a doctrine in order for it to properly work. Given, he was just playing devils advocate in one of our conversations, he feels that objectivism is a powerful tool just as much as I do and values it's message; but like me, I have to be objective with my reality and question it. What do you think of this? The opinions of this message board are highly regarded to me because I see a strong intellectual basis in this board. Please rip this apart. ~Michael
  13. Good day, I love reading the posts on this message board. Such a support of intellectualism and objectivity, even on subjects where I normally don't expect such a grand conversation. I myself am a musician, not someone who has mastered any one instrument (if that really is possible) but someone who knows a little about a lot and am trying to further on that. I am though, a musician who has embraced technology more openly than most musicians who play traditional instruments. I do studio work; sound engineering and musical composition with computers as well as play guitar and piano (but I'm a novice on guitar and piano for it was computer music that I learned first). The style of music that I listen to predominately is a 'genre' of 'electronic music' called: "Drum N Bass". It is a very fast (around 170bpms), very aggressive (usually) and usually has no lyrics. The main focus of the music by the average listener is the technicallity it takes to produce it and the pugnacity of the music. 80% of the music is typically fast, dark, and produces aggressiveness and a dark mood within me. On the other side (the other 20%) there is a reinforcement of musical values (music theory) rather than experimentation with synthesis. That side of it is beautiful, powerful (in a different way than the darker material) and most of the time (if done correctly) is very inspiring. A good way to find what the music sounds like goto this website and listen to the Winamp webcast: http://www.bassdrive.com/ Now, I can't ensure that whatever is playing at the moment you listen is going to be good because with every genre there is bad music. A lot of people view electronic music as a fad, or something one would (or only could) listen to if he/she was on drugs. Many media outlets have categorized electronic music as an evil tool of consumption that draws young people to drug use. I found the music when I was 12 years old because of my older cousin. She had given me a tape of what was considered "Techno" music back then in 93'. I listened to the tape so much that my father had to re-spool the actual tape to another cartridge. Well after growing up with it, I was consumed. It was the only music I listened to other than a few VERY select bands (Cake and Bob Dylan). I don't know why i never liked anything else except for electronic music growing up. It may have been that I was so infatuated with the technology of sound production that I appreciated a raw (new) artform that was exploiting technology creatively. Regardless, that is what I primarily listen to, but I have branched out so much (strangely enough, since I've discovered objectivism it almost feels like there was a negative mental construct that limited my ability to appreciate 'different' music and it's now gone...because of objectivism). What I listen to now is ANYTHING I can get my hands on because I know the more diversity I have coming in, the more diversity I will have coming out creatively. Great conversation! ~Michael
  14. There has been a suicide in a close circle of friends that I used to be in. Well, it was my friends wife, she had hung herself. Both Jason (her husband) and I look at the situation with as much objectivity as possible. Because it was a suicide and we knew the state of drug use she was going through. It was almost as if it didn't suprise us. She had taken a dark path with drugs (far more than I've witnessed) and it ended up being her own demise, so in this situation Jason (her husband) understands that fact and is using logic to deal with it. He's doing very well considering, and he has dealt with his emotion very effectively (and he's not an objectivist in any way other than he's a pretty rational human being). My personal view on death has been viewed by my relatives as a detached way of dealing with it without compassion or much emotion. In a lot of ways they are right. I feel that death is a human beings final 'enlightenment'. With death we will know all that we can't comprehend thus far in this world...what happens when we die. The only people I've lost that I've been very close to are my grandparents and they died in my teens. I dealt with both of those situations with a grace because I knew that they lead very long lives (regardless if they were happy or not that wasn't my place to decide). I feel that if one can view death objectively one would have to consider the rationality of the concept of impermanence. If one could realize that nothing living lives forever then one could easily come to grip with the loss of any living thing, regardless of the emotion it causes. That emotion is a natural human process and should deffinately not be ignored. If ignored then it could damage your ability to be rational and succeed because you have repressed an emotion instead of facing it head on. That repression will come back up in different ways through the subconscience and could prevent progress of you, the individual. My condolences go out to you sir and I hope that you and the people that loved this person come out stronger. And to Betsy...I just looked up "The Westerner" by Badger Clark and I found that poem to be profound and empowering. Thank you for citing that because it was something that I enjoyed reading. ~Michael
  15. Thank you all for your very objective views on the subject. I think everyone can see what I was trying to convey with my discription of meditation (vipassanna), except for Bowzer. I would like to address the fundamental concept behind Vipassanna meditation because there seems to be some misunderstanding. Vipassanna is the process of clearing your mind by focusing on your breath, this is all. Think of it as the "count to 10" method when you're angry. When you focus on your breath and clear your mind then the "mud" clears and you are able to relax, focus, and be able to integrate your reality more effectively when you stand up and carry on with your day. Now, I havn't meditated in about a month and I don't feel like I've lost anything in NOT meditating recently, but that is because I've applied the calming, focus techniques to my daily life (what is known as walking meditation in Vipassanna). I respect your view completely Bowzer but I felt it was necessary to clear up the understanding of this particular meditation that is practiced in certain buddhist cultures. Because there is a lot of misinformation and unknowns. I am also not one who believes that you can achieve a "higher knowledge" by meditating or channeling or feng shui or astrology, etc etc...but I do find logical validity in certain practices within the buddhist culture. In a whole, I do not feel that ALL religion is bad, based on the fact of the evil of altruism or the corruption of leaders. I do believe the bible (even with it's contradictions) can be a wonderful moral guide. Also, most buddhists that I've met are some of the most wonderfully interesting people in the world, so in no way am I implying that there is a ONE type of living and that ONE type is objectivism, but I feel the personalization of your experience applied with the TOOL of objectivism will have an end result of ultimate happiness and success. It would be irrational to think otherwise unless it is clear that the person is still holding on to 'dangerous' mystic concepts (the lords will, giving it to god, attainment of elightenment via meditation etc etc.) ~Michael
  16. I understand what you are saying completely. I never thought of it as reducing it to zero (although that is what some of the traditionalist vipassannas teach), I was using it as a mere tool for clarity and FOCUS. I'm a young man who is now coming into the concept of discipline and concentration. I feel that both of those qualities are necessary (for me) to succeed with a rational mind. Vipassanna gave those qualities to me (before I found objectivism) and helped me deal with previous suppressed emotions (or emotions that has changed my views on the world in an irrational way or a destructive way). Then with the application of Objectivism it has bolstered my ability to be aware and thus I dont feel I need meditation anymore. In essence, I feel that this form of meditation for me is what I needed at that time to understand my personal awareness and to gain control over my concentration and focus. After applying an integrated understanding of objectivism (of what I've learned so far) I've exceeded far beyond my vision of capability in a short period of time, so I would have to question the very foundation that ALL forms of meditation can and should be discredited as mystic and non helpful. On the other side of things, I see people who validate their prosperous life on the basis of christianity and I find that their claim that "God" granted them what they've earned as a falicy. I know that christianity is a destructive force 90% of the time, so I could see how all mysticism could be lumped together (including meditation). This is where my dillema is...if knowledge is used in an objective way or techniques are used in an objective way, then how could they damage the foundation of your personal view of objectivism? Looking forward to your responses. ~Michael
  17. As new as I am to objectivism I would still like to interject a comment on the subject. If 2 human beings find themself capable and rational people, decide to bear a child to populate the world with another capable rational human being. The parents of that child would be adding value to themself through emotional and mental pleasures and add value to the world if they produce the best human being possible through their rational and capable views. There are some situations (a lot actually) where the pregnancy was a completely unexpected venture and it would cause a decrease in value to the humans having the child and to the society around them for if they are poor then they would have to use an altruistic welfare system, etc etc. So in those cases I see abortion as a completely moral and rational thing to do. Ayn Rand views abortion as such: ["of LIving Death," TO, Oct 1968] But to ask if it is altruistic to bring an un-rational being into this world, then I would say that it is the opposite of altruism for you are doing what human beings do naturely (and that is a fact in reality). And you are offering value to yourself (through emotional and intellectual means). At the same time, the by-product would be another human being who can follow any path that he or she chooses, altruistic or objective. Regardless, that isn't your choice really after a certain age, individualism would set in and that human being would then choose. But if it is a natural process to concieve children then the act of having birth would produce value if done in a mature, responsible way. Well, thats my take on it. ~Michael
  18. Good morning, Let me give you a brief background of my philosophical studies. At age 16 (after being raised in a Seventh Day Adventist family) I strived to become a preacher and studied avidly with my pastor at the moment and ended up giving several sermons to the congregation. I then moved to the city of Jacksonville, FL and because of my teen years I branched from the church and started looking towards more sensical theological/philosophical ventures such as Buddhism and other introspective disciplines. As I got older I started to see how ridiculous and corrupt any form of Religion is. And I started to break myself from those concepts. It was almost a natural progression. The concept of God seemed absurd as reality started setting in. It wasn't logical. I then got back into a very specific Buddhist practice which is "Vipassanna Meditation". Vipassanna is a meditation for one purpose only, and that purpose is personal awareness through clearing your mind. It doesn't suggest you'll find god, it doesn't suggest you'll understand the mystic concepts of the life, it just allows you to become aware of yourself and the world you live in. Its also explained with a parable of the cup of muddy water. How could you see through it untill you let the mud settle. Vipassanna explains that when you clear your mind of fear, negativity, and personal concepts you've built out of emotion you are able to integrate reality more effectively. After I started on my Vipassanna journey I found extreme benefits immediately with the amount of true positivity in any situation and clearer understanding of everything around me at any given time. I've recently become aware of Ayn Rand (see my other post on my 'new discovery') and it has accelerated my personal capacity for success more in 1 month than anything else I've subscribed to, but I personally feel that if I didn't do the vipassanna meditation I wouldn't of grasped these objectivist concepts as easy as I did. From what I understand from what I've read of Dr. Peikoff and Ayn Rand, the concept of Meditation seems to be regarded as a "mystic" form of knowledge. I havn't read everything i should yet from the objectivist's library but I feel that I wouldn't of gotten to where I'm at now without the Awareness meditation of clearing my mind. I will have to say though, I havn't meditated in several weeks and I still feel aware as I did when I was meditating a lot. Has anyone experienced similiar effects with a form of meditation, either it be your own way of clearing ones mind to find clarity through reality, or the traditional concept of meditation? And would you think that its easy to uproot the mystic filled childhood of guilt and fear through just objectivism alone? Thanks in advance! ~Michael
  19. Thank you argive99...you've expressed the direction I'm leaning perfectly. I try to view these concepts as tools rather than doctrines. Neo-Tech has some invaluable points of view that I subscribe too, and I wouldn't consider the Neo-Tech movement a "cult" in itself, but I believe that people like Mark Hammilton and other enthusiasts have twisted the basic concept into something more than what it is by using terminalogy I would expect to hear from someone of the likes of David Korrish. With the constant banter of Neo-Think and the Immortality of neothinkers compared to Neocheaters and how they usurp our values, it gets very redundant and almost feels as if they are trying to brainwash their students. Thats why I said it was the most "Mystic" way to explain removing "Mysticism". I still read several different portions of the book and take out what I feel is skillful and can be used in life. My primary goal through these studies are understanding myself and my place within the world and how I can be successful. And on a side note, thank you to everyone who has responded. This forum seems like an excellent medium to discuss extraordinary things in a civil way. Respect! ~Michael
  20. Thank you very much. I'm 23 and not in college and I'm thirsting for knowledge right now. I see philosophy as a discipline to be successful in life if employed properly and I've become more aware of the dangerous philosophies that I have encountered in my life by using objectivism, and that to me is powerful. I'm more success oriented now, not for money, but for the simple concept of producing value to myself and others and I'm hoping Ayn Rands philosophies send me on that path. ~Michael
  21. Good afternoon, I've been reading a lot of very interesting and empowering books lately and I've come accross a manuscript written by a one Dr. Frank Walllace. The book is entitled "God-man: Our Final Evolution" and when I started reading it I became very intrigued. The book is littered with 'cult-like' references to Neocheaters (government, religous authority) and cult-like references to life extending technology. The book also promotes Ayn Rand's philosophy and makes clear the errors of Aristotle's views and other NON-Platonistic philospher's, and combines all these 'corrected' philosophies into a book that is considered 'the answer to everything'. After reading several portions of the 1700 page unorganized manuscript, I have been inspired to do more reading of Ayn Rand and Leonard Piekoff. After getting down to the basics of Ayn Rand's Objectivism I can now see that Dr. Wallace is the MOST 'Mystic' teacher of removing "Mysticism' from yourself. I've learned A LOT in the past month, even things that has changed my life for the better, but I'm concerned at the fact that Dr. Wallace has bastardized Ayn Rand's objectivism philosophy in order to brainwash the people that has read his material. Has anyone else read Dr. Wallace and what did you guys take from it (if anything). I will have to say though, without me reading "GodMan", Dr. Wallace's Neotech guide, I wouldn't of found Objectivism and Ayn Rand...I'm just concerned that other people won't see the hypocricy of Dr. Wallace. Thoughts? ~Michael
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