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P FOR PHILOSOPHY

I have a little white shell on my necklace, this little shell is from Africa.

One day a Japanese colleague Shihori asked me about where did I get it. She told me her grandparent worked in Africa and they had a shell which look the same with mine.

That is a little coincidence.

The next day I were walking around Brooklyn to get some fresh icy air. And I saw a lot of these little shells in a garden of a house. They look exactly like my little shell ! The only difference is the size, they are as big as my hand. They were spreading all over the soil, like the shells on the beach.

I were wondering, are they also from Africa? Are there any connections between my little shell and Shihori’s grandparents and this little garden? Is this an innate or adventitious connection?

Or, we can also think of how Bateson defined them. They seems to be in the same story, they have the same form, but different size. Secondly, they all situated in Brooklyn. Thirdly, they were all from the sea.

Then I started to take away my perception and the above conclusion. If they are not shell, what are they actually connecting to?

How many spiritual leaders, how many writers believe in what this little girl did : a self-affirmation? I believe, therefore I am. We have been believing and praying for what we desire for. That can be another answer for how the world is created, if you are not interested in science.

René Descartes, started from 1639, started to argue on the world we perceived. In his treatise <<Meditations on First Philosophy>>. He thought the world we have in our mind is an representation of our mind. This representation actually separate our mind from the actual world. Let’s make an easy example, the yellow color I have in my mind is different from what you have in your mind. Although we have a “definition” on yellow, but the perception, which how this definition is transmitted to our brain is different.

The more affirmation we have like the little girl, the more connected we are with the “world” we perceived. Talking about this “world” is the perceived, or I would even say fictitious world of ourselves. Does this mean the affirmation and ego distinct us from the real world? It is a tough question, because if we affirm the answer of the question. We are denying the world we are living in right now. The airplane we took, the internet we are on at the moment are all from the imagination from our ancestors, imagination brought inventions.

These days there were horrible weather in New York City. Living in the most dangerous district in Brooklyn we were luckily not being affected seriously by the weather. Protected by the concrete block and being an indoor slave for days, that was our hurricane and storm.

The weather changed dramatically according to my mood, or the reversed. It was not the first time that when I feel bad, the weather turns bad. For most of the time I thought it is the typical woman’s emotion that we love constructing excuses for our bad emotions. In ancient time we already sang and danced to the sky for the weather we desired. Researchers studied on Princeton’s commencement day and found out the there was comparatively less average rainfall. Some researchers believed this is the effect of the collective mind of all alumnus and parents.

While after two weeks of horrible weather we had a perfect sun-shinny weekend. At the moment I were organizing my emotions to understand the relationship between me and the sky. Instead of recapturing the past I am imagining the past, which is not under my memory. This is an approach inspired by Joan Didion’s <<The Year of Magical Thinking>>, which she kept thinking those moments before her husband died. Could we really used our consciousness to transform what is accumulated by the concept of time? We are living in the world of “geosphere” & “biosphere”, in 1922 Vladmir Vernadsky introduced Noosphere. One of the fundamental differences between Noosphere and the others is that the Noosphere accumulates through time, it is irrelevant to the accumulation of history. Every radical change is defined as “Revolution”.

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Biography

“Let’s Rethink the Prophecies”, last modified October, 2009, http://www.oocities.org/athens/5484/6doreen2.htm

Roger D. Nelson, “Wishing for Good Weather:A Natural Experiment in Group Consciousness”, Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 11, No. 1 (1997), pp. 47-58

“to imagine is to transform yourself into the world of someone else.”

<<Imagination: Living in a World of Stranger>>, Grace Wu ¹

With the acceptance of everything you owns came from your previous imagination. Where does a newborn baby come from? Doesn’t or does the power of imagination already exists as particles before it forms the flesh and cells? Does imagination jump from time to time or it flow along time? Can we imagine from the future of what we have right now like <<The Curious Case of Benjamin Button>> that Benjamin imagined himself to be younger and started foreseeing him as a little baby? Besides analyzing scientifically how a baby is born, we see our imagination travels beyond time.

Love and hate also comes from someone’s imagination. You can keep spreading Baobab seeds all over the world as a love spell to catch your little man. But at the same time you man can also pray to Baobab trees to keep you. The common stand of “true-love” then comes from the same level of imagination between two, so as hate.

The concept “Anattā” from Buddhism eliminate the existence of “self” from us. On a general ground Anattā is opposing the idea of magic. A magician makes things happen from thinking of themselves.²  “I want fire.” Anattā and magic can be described as the realization of unconsciousness versus the realization of desire.

To transform oneself to what we desire, instead of realizing what is our desire one can undesire his own desires. This is also a process of weaving imagination through time. We have been brain-washed by all education system to treat imagination as an accumulative process. We start from an initial idea and we elaborate it further and further. The possibility of imagination grows with time. If we understood self or life as a process of growth, thus to eliminate “time” in imagination is also another form of Anattā. Think like Benjamin Button, imagine the earlier, imagine the decreasing time.

In reality we still have no methods to eliminate or decrease time in absolute sense. “I am so busy, I have no time” This misconception of shrinking time is in relative sense. Time is filled up with materiality so it seems to be shrunk, indeed time isn’t shrunk until we start to imagine beyond time.

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Bibliography :

1. Grace Wu. Imagination: Living in a World of Stranger , http://www.pecha-kucha.org, last modified Oct 21, 2012. http://www.pecha-kucha.org/presentations/625

2. Daniel M. Wegner. Self is Magic. Psychology and Free will. New York: Oxford University Press. 2006. PDF e-book.

A story from churchmate,

There is a big jar of candies on the table. One day, a little girl saw it and she was amazed.

“But mama said I cannot eat the candies.” she looked at these ball-shaped candies, they are colorful, they are shining, they are attractive.

She used her tiny finger to get one big yellow ball, she smiled it, and smiled it. It looked indifferent. She touched the candy by her nose, again and again; it looked indifferent. She gave a light try of the candies using her little tongue, it tasted so sweet so good. She got another try on the red one, the green one and the blue one.

Finally, the whole jar of candies became white. When the little girl realized it was already so late. She felt like her parent is coming home soon and she was super nervous.

The door opened, the mother can only see a empty jar on the table.

A story from Christiana

When a child was born, her parent gave her a beautiful yellow color with her.

Then this girl grew up with this yellow color, and one day she found another beautiful color : red in the world. She was so fascinated by this red color. So she picked up a tiny bit of red and turn herself into orange.

Her parents were so sad because they don’t found any of their yellow on her anymore.

But who realized inside this girl’s very sharp orange ,most of it is from the yellow from her parent?

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