Knee Jerks from Russell's "History of Western Philosphy"
“The body is the source of endless trouble to us by the reason of mere requirement of food; and is liable also to disease which overtake and impede us in the search after true being; it fills us full of loves, and lusts, and fears, and fancies of all kinds, and endless foolery, and in fact, as men say, takes away from us all power of thinking at all. Whence come wars, and fightings and factions? Whence but from the body and the lusts of the body? Wars are occasioned by love of money, and money has to be acquired for the sale and in the service of the body; and by the reason of these impediments we have no time to give to philosophy; and, last and worst of all, even if we are at leisure to betake ourselves to some speculation, and the body is always breaking in upon us, causing turmoil and confusion in our inquiries, and so amazing us that we are prevented from seeing the truth.” (Reminds of me hiranmayena paathrena that my teacher recites during surya namaskars…) “It has been proved to us by experience that if we would have true knowledge of anything we must be quit of the body – the soul in herself must behold things in themselves: and then we shall attain the wisdom which we say we are lovers not while we lie, but after death; for if while in company with the body the soul cannot have pure knowledge, knowledge must be attained after death, if at all.”
Made me wonder about schools which talk about jivan muktas. About Ramana maharshi, who said, our nature is bliss. He compared folks in search of moksa to people who are originally under the shade of tree, who venture briefly out of shade, get exposed to scorching sun and return to shade after great difficulty.
“And thus having got rid of the foolishness of the body, we shall be pure and have converse with the pure, and know of ourselves the clear light everywhere, which is no other than the light of truth. For the impure are not permitted to approach the pure… And what is purification but the separation of the soul from the body?... And this separation and release of the soul from the body is termed death… And the true philosophers, and they only, are ever seeking to release the soul.”
Would it be wise to call this very same body, which gave us the base, the faculty to think and ponder all that is mentioned above and try to get rid of the body? Mom frequently says to me, suvar vaithu thaan chithiram varaiya mudiyum (you need a wall to paint) Can thoughts be created without a body in the first place? Of course, considering only the realm of men.
There is one true coin for which all things ought to be exchanged, and that is wisdom.
The founders of the mysteries would appear to have had a real meaning, and were not talking nonsense when they intimated in a figure long ago that he who passes unsanctified and uninitiated into the world below will lie on a slough, but that he who arrives there after initiation and purification will dwell with the gods. For many, as they say in the mysteries, are the thyrsus-bearers, but few are the mystics, meaning, as I interpret the words, the true philosophers.”
Talking about mysticism, my graphology teacher told me people whose ‘m’ is curved in the top at the beginning of the alphabet like to do something far from ordinary. Ok, I should not call that mysticism, perhaps, who want to put up a show of doing something what they perceive important. Reminds me of Ludwig Wittgenstein who grew angry when his students wanted to pursue philosophy. But it is equally appalling that he actually thrashed his pupils as a school teacher. He apparently found Russell mechanistic.
Wittgenstein from wiki:
Die Welt ist alles, was der Fall ist.
The world is all that is the case.
Was der Fall ist, die Tatsache, ist das Bestehen von Sachverhalten.
What is the case—a fact—is the existence of states of affairs.
Das logische Bild der Tatsachen ist der Gedanke.
A logical picture of facts is a thought.
Der Gedanke ist der sinnvolle Satz.
A thought is a proposition with a sense.
Der Satz ist eine Wahrheitsfunktion der Elementarsätze.
A proposition is a truth-function of elementary propositions.
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muß man schweigen.
What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.
Akin to Buddha's silence. God forbid, if we try to express silence in words.