What do you admire more? - Page 3 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

View Poll Results: What do you admire more?
Calm (example: Dalai Lama) 4 20.00%
Intellect (example: Stephen Hawking) 16 80.00%
Voters: 20. You may not vote on this poll

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post #21 of 67 (permalink) Old 08-13-2007, 01:18 PM
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I love how people who don't take full advantage of our marvelous language always blame the listener/reader for their failure to communicate effectively.

Ultimately, the state to which you refer - peace with the world - is one of surrender, which is a conscious choice one must make. I'm not saying it's easy, but I am saying anyone can do it. If something boils down to a matter of choice, we're all equals. That may be fascinating on its own merits, but in my opinion, it's not nearly as stimulating as interaction with someone of superior intellect. Of course, I wouldn't know...
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post #22 of 67 (permalink) Old 08-13-2007, 01:31 PM
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I find no correlation between calm and intellect. They to me are two different entities. Calm, while soothing and worthwhile, leads to laziness and self satisfaction. Intellect knows there is always more to learn and to be aware of it at all times, which takes energy and concentration.
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post #23 of 67 (permalink) Old 08-13-2007, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by QBNCGAR
I love how people who don't take full advantage of our marvelous language always blame the listener/reader for their failure to communicate effectively.

That may be fascinating on its own merits, but in my opinion, it's not nearly as stimulating as interaction with someone of superior intellect. Of course, I wouldn't know...
This from a guy who wants to only have posts about how you should wear the collar on your polo shirt while stylin in da benz.

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Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.
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post #24 of 67 (permalink) Old 08-13-2007, 01:33 PM
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This from a guy who wants to only have posts about how you should wear the collar on your polo shirt while stylin in da benz.
How does one wear the collar on your polo shirt while stylin in da benz? In case I ever where a polo shirt while stylin' in my Benz...

Don't believe everything you think
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post #25 of 67 (permalink) Old 08-13-2007, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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I did not say I "find the topic uninteresting"--in fact a few of the comments are of interest--it is the dichotomy that leaves me cold. It just oversimplifies reality. It is a little like saying I am either conservative or I'm liberal. It leaves a lot out of the human equation. And I feel that what I'm saying is not being critical of you, it is actually contributing to the discussion. Capiche?
Well, you're right, it is overly simple. I don't mean to suggest that the Dalai Lama is an idiot, or that Mr. Hawkings is spiritually bankrupt. The topic was offered as the starting point of a discussion. Please feel free to enhance that discussion and its parameters as you see fit.

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #26 of 67 (permalink) Old 08-13-2007, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by QBNCGAR
I love how people who don't take full advantage of our marvelous language always blame the listener/reader for their failure to communicate effectively.

Ultimately, the state to which you refer - peace with the world - is one of surrender, which is a conscious choice one must make. I'm not saying it's easy, but I am saying anyone can do it. If something boils down to a matter of choice, we're all equals. That may be fascinating on its own merits, but in my opinion, it's not nearly as stimulating as interaction with someone of superior intellect. Of course, I wouldn't know...
Are you suggesting that you would rather be smart than happy, or that the pursuit of knowledge is a path toward happiness?

Also, while I don't necessarily disagree with your assessment, I have no doubt whatsoever that a true master of calm is a much, much rarer creature than a master of intellect, at least in the Western world. Why is that if, as you say anyone can do it?

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #27 of 67 (permalink) Old 08-13-2007, 01:43 PM
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Well, you're right, it is overly simple. I don't mean to suggest that the Dalai Lama is an idiot, or that Mr. Hawkings is spiritually bankrupt. The topic was offered as the starting point of a discussion. Please feel free to enhance that discussion and its parameters as you see fit.
I feel we are helpless but to imitate the world around us; i.e. mother nature. And MN teaches us that the adaptive and strong willed survive. That requires attention and constant maintenance, energy in other words, and energy is not always without excess. Natural selection rules everything it just about seems in one form or another and those who stand on principle or ideology are those who fail to realize the consistency of change.
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post #28 of 67 (permalink) Old 08-13-2007, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by GermanStar
Are you suggesting that you would rather be smart than happy, or that the pursuit of knowledge is a path toward happiness?

Also, while I don't necessarily disagree with your assessment, I have no doubt whatsoever that a true master of calm is a much, much rarer creature than a master of intellect, at least in the Western world. Why is that if, as you say anyone can do it?
I'm not suggesting I'd rather be anything than happy. In fact, I'm not sure if a person who is "at peace with the world" is necessarily 'happy'.

That level of 'calm' to which you refer is something that would be foreign to me. I cannot detach myself from the world in which I live and it's goings on sufficiently enough as to be indifferent to it; you must be indifferent to the world to reach that level of calm. Opinions are the outward manifestation of a person's character. It's impossible to have very many opinions and not find situations which are an affront to them, and being indifferent to that, while admirable (I guess) for it's difficulty, isn't particularly exceptional.

I could simply 'turn the other cheek' each time someone trespassed against me, saying nothing, feeling nothing. I think that's a disingenuous way to go about life though - almost cowardly. You must do something in an effort to right an injustice, else you're complicit in the act...once you do, it's not accurate to say you're 'calm', or in the serene state you were advocating.

Bringing all that back full-circle, if you're in this state of 'peace with the world', you become an emotionless vessel of something. You can't maintain a state of joy about anything once you become aware that the very thing which brings you joy isnt' what it seems. Frankly, you'd have to be pretty ignorant to be "at peace with the world". Maybe it's just me, but I don't suffer ignorance or foolishness gladly, so I doubt I'd be happy in that state.

There's a reason Buddhist monks go into the Himalayas to be at peace and find enlightenment - they don't have to deal with everyday assholes.

Joy is fleeting. It comes in tiny packages, and not often enough for most. I'd find a pursuit of knowledge more fulfilling than the pursuit of indifference to the world around me. To each their own.

I think happiness is a lot like greatness in this respect - there is no path to either, they are the path.

This has been Deep Thoughts with Jack Handey.

Last edited by Qubes; 08-13-2007 at 02:30 PM.
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post #29 of 67 (permalink) Old 08-13-2007, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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You seem to be injecting a throazine-like substance into our calm. This kind of calm is not the result of indifference or some emotional void. The type of calm I am describing equates to universal love and acceptance. If you love everything and everyone around you, you are at peace with the world, and more importantly, your place in it. That can imply service to others, helping others fight injustice, or any other path you choose. You can stay in your Monastery or wander the West like Kwai Chang Caine. It is not an absolute, it is a discipline.

The reason these monks tend isolate thenselves is to empty their minds of all of the useless clutter their life's training has deposited there. That is no small task. It is far more difficult to unlearn what you think you know, than it is to add to that knowledge.

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post #30 of 67 (permalink) Old 08-13-2007, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by GermanStar
You seem to be injecting a throazine-like substance into our calm. This kind of calm is not the result of indifference or some emotional void. The type of calm I am describing equates to universal love and acceptance. If you love everything and everyone around you, you are at peace with the world, and more importantly, your place in it. That can imply service to others, helping others fight injustice, or any other path you choose. You can stay in your Monastery or wander the West like Kwai Chang Caine. It is not an absolute, it is a discipline.

The reason these monks tend isolate thenselves is to empty their minds of all of the useless clutter their life's training has deposited there. That is no small task. It is far more difficult to unlearn what you think you know, than it is to add to that knowledge.
One week in this joint, and those monks would be praying for Thorazine.

"Universal love and acceptance" is a goal that's admirable, if not only artificially attainable. You can't interact with the world at large and love everyone around you, not without intentional or medicinal indifference. I don't see why that's held in such high esteem.

You don't have to possess any kind of special gift to reach this state, is my argument. It all boils down to choice. I think I indicated why - despite the fact anyone could do it, that more people don't, and that's because it's a somewhat looney and fallacious path (I'm being unduly harsh).

There's nothing remarkable about hiding away from the world so that you can claim to be in love with what little of it remains in front of you. There's lots that's remarkable about an invalid who can put unbelievably complex theories into terms that nearly anyone can understand. That's a gift. Things come naturally to Hawking that would take others a lifetime of wrangling to begin to grasp. People like that advance the human cause further and faster than those who live a life of seclusion in pursuit of what's ultimately an introverted mind-fuck of an existence, or who cannot parlay their 'enlightened state of being' into terms the rest of humanity can easily grasp and use to their benefit.

To a certain extent, this resembles the argument between natural science and applied science. Theory is great, but it's in the application of what has been learned that the benefit lies.
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