Monday, March 31, 2003

So many things to blog about, so little time. What say I toss the ideas for now, and edit this post in the near future, eh?

1. I was at Quark Henares' film class, and I saw that film Bobby was shooting where I starred as an extra... I will never look at Abby, or her boyfriend Bro, in the same way again... :laughs:

2. I checked my grade at the Philo dep, and I got an A for my oral exams. I then had a nice, long talk with April Rojales, Dom Banal, and Mr. Bulaong...

3. I miss hearing from all the other people I blog-hop to... I'm so stressed lately... I don't even know much about how they are...

4. I need cyber-hugs, and fast! :biggrin:

5. We had a party at the house yesterday, and Grace was there with me... :blush:

6. Details to follow.

Friday, March 28, 2003

It's Friday! You know what that means...

Still, before we go for that, let's talk about a mini-vituperation...

Arrrgghhhh!!! It cost me 640 bucks to buy that Fire Pro Wrestling cartridge, and now, for some reason I can't understand, it looks like the saving battery died on me. I can't save the game again, and that really irritates the Hades out of me (Well, maybe not. I still love having a lot of Hades within me... :grins menacingly:). Nonetheless, I hope I can get it fixed at Gamestuff or something...

Sadly as well, this will be my last regular post before the next schoolyear begins. From this point on, I will have weekly updates, unless if I get lucky... I'll be missing all the news, but those are the breaks, I suppose. I just hope the people who are reading my blog leave an entry in my guestbook... isn't that guestmap cute? :biggrin:

In other news, Dance Maniax costs only six bucks in SM Centerpoint. Here are the perks: Five songs, no failing of songs. What's not to like about that machine? Of course, I'm pretty well-known in Centerpoint, but with this price, I don't mind at all...

Okay. Let's do the drill... Next week's Top Five: The Top Five Songs You'd Play On Your Honeymoon

As for this week...

The Top Five Worst Lines From Filipino Movies Or Telenovelas

5. (From Bituin) Hindi lang bomba ang pasasabugin ko sa kanyang party, kundi isang bomba atomika!
4. (Also from Bituin, said by Melody.) Kung gusto ni Bernadetter makipag-tuos sa akin, puwes, bibigyan ko siya ng showdown!
3. (From some action flick.) Policemen: Sumuko ka na! Napapaligiran ka na namin!
Criminal: Hindi ako susuko! Marami ako!!!
2. (Vilma Santos, to Christopher De Leon in some film.)Kung hindi lang sana tayo nag-holding hands... hind sana nasira ang pag-aaral ko.
1. (From Kalaro. Hazel Espinosa was blackmailing Ynez Veneracion. Ynez refused to believe it.) Ynez: Are you joking?
Hazel: Do I look like joking?

Catch you soon, jabronis!!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

I'm pretty nervous right now. My A in History hangs by a hairline, which is whether or not one of the three questions I'm still unsure about is actually correct. If I get just one, then I'd get an A. If not, I get a B+. It's irritating, simply because I could've gotten that A if I didn't make the error of confusing Constantino with Agoncillo...

Anyways, Grace seems to have bigger problems, as she's worried about failing both Comparative Anatomy Lecture and Comparative Anatomy Laboratory. I think their teacher should be sent to the standards committe of UST, or whatever equivalent. 18 students failed Compa Ana Lec, and that was an atrocity, I do believe. Methinks that's already the techer's fault.

I'll miss blogging by the end of this week. I wouldn't be checking in here as often any longer, simply because I'll be too busy working at RX, and at the same time, there's no free internet access, since I'm not in school this summer...

Ah, well. Short post to throw away my tension over History, and start reading my own explicitations about Philosophy...


Yesterday, I finally managed to go through my Philosophy Oral Exams. (POE? What a bad acronym...) I got Thesis Statement number 8, so you can imagine more or less how I answered the question by looking a couple of promos below. I don't want to assume that I got an A for it, but I can at least hope... nonetheless, it was a pretty good schoolyear for me, as I extremely enjoyed my Philosophy...

After that, I decided to just go ahead and attend Kendra's thesis defense. Well, she was fairly competent at it, and I'm sure things are going to be fine for her after a few revisions. There was this guy in the computer who looked a lot like Yaiba, and Ato was beside him. I almost approached the guy to tell him aloud to "Stop looking for porn", a running joke between me and Yaiba. Funny thing is, the guy was to Ato's right, and a while later, Yaiba sits to Ato's left. Even funnier, Yaiba refused to accept that he resembled the guy, when both Ato and I were already telling him so.

Yesterday was prolly the last time I'd be talking in person to *jaded* before next schoolyear. I'm just thankful I have someone I can call my best friend now who actually reciprocates my sentiments... So my gratitude goes out to her... :biggrin:

Here's something I simply wanted to show (Although a bit abridged.)... why am I so mushy this often lately? :laughs: If you hate reading mush, SKIP THIS PART!!!

Card Heading:
Thanks... For loving me so much...

Follow-up Inside the Card:

...Even though I'm not particularly tall or attractive...

That's the best kind of love there is


March 23, 2003, Watching Titanic:

Dear Marc,

Surprise! See, I personalized this card just for you! From front to cover- it's made just for you... especially for you... actually, I tried to buy a card for this letter of mine, but I don't have enough money (The prices are ranging from 15 -30 bucks.). Since I don't have enough money, I thought I'll just make one and so here it is... :)

It's been a while since I wrote you a letter. I'm sorry. I know that lately, we've been busy but still we had the time to be together and those are the times I cherish the most. The times when you cuddle me like a Teddy Bear. The times when I give you food (Kapag sinusubuan kita!), and when you give me a BIG HUG! All these things and more are all worth it because I'm with you...

I'm so happy since lately, we are always together. I'm so THANKFUL for ALL THE HELP and for standing and supporting me. Most of all, I'm thankful you believe in me. Without you, ang tagal ko nang sumuko. You're my strength when I'm weak, my courage when I'm afraid... my HOPE most especially when I feel hopeless, dark... I trust you... that's right- I TRUST YOU more than anyone, sometimes more than I trust myself... I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!

I'm so happy when I wake up in the morning with you by my side. Everytime this happens, it makes me realize more that it's you I want to be with. I love you so much, dear that- siguro if you'll ask moe to marry you right now, I might say yes, but still we both know that we can't... But I know we will... in the future...

I'm sorry for all the times that I've been awfully wrong to you. I'm sorry.I'm sorry. Maybe I'm just afraid- afraid to be hurt I know you won't... right? ???

I love you so much and you know that. Just always remember- I WILL ALWAYS BE HERE AS MUCH AS YOU WILL BE THERE FOR ME, and will be your best friend and best girl until the end no matter what...

You're my angel... an angel indeed, and I thank the Lord for giving me one...

I just realized, I'm a lucky girl because I have you! So smile now! :) (*Marcelle says: And isn't Marcelle even luckier?*)

With all my heart, with all my love,
Grace. :) :X :X :X

What else can I say? :biggrin:

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Last part. Finally! I really owe a lot of these insights to my study group companions, Lewis, Izzy, Pia, Jen Simons, Cami, J.R., and Sarah Lee. They've been really great, insightful people, and I hope to be seeing them in the next schoolyear. :)

10. After two semesters of philosophy, we have the privilege of retrospect in asking this question: What is Philosophy? Lauer claims that Philosophy cannot be defined, for "the kind of reflection required for defining philosophy is itself philosophical. We can only know what philosophy is by doing it." In this case, we affirm; philosophy is an attitude that human beings bring with them in coming to terms with reality.

Philosophy, to Marcelle, cannot be defined in a final, arbitrary manner. Despite that, one may use a “working definition” (Though the word “definition” must be avoided, in actuality.) of sorts, as one performs philosophy, in order to further appreciate its value. This is what we mean by the privilege of retrospect in asking ourselves what Philosophy is all about. We recognize that Philosophy cannot be defined with finality, and that it is also a mystery in that respect. Saying so, however, does not mean we cannot say anything further about Philosophy, given that Philosophy is as Philosophy does. In this respect, we have two semesters of doing Philosophy backing us in order for us to elucidate an idea of how Philosophy has unconcealed itself to us thus far.

Defining Philosophy requires a kind of reflection that in itself is philosophical. Intriguingly, it is a rule of thumb that you cannot define something by itself. Philosophy seems to be the only pursuit of knowledge exempt from this idea. Other sciences can be arbitrarily defined, in that we need not speak of biology in a biological sense. We can speak of computer science in a binary manner, instead of using computer science itself to define computer science. The distinction that Philosophy holds in this respect is something that is both perplexing and worthwhile to contemplate upon. Philosophy, in this respect, is a cut above the rest.

Thus, because effectively reflecting on something, especially in the realm of secondary reflection, requires us to immerse ourselves in it, we must do the same in the realm of Philosophy. With this line of reasoning, we realize that the best way for us to know Philosophy is by doing it. Again, leading us back to the fact that Philosophy is as Philosophy does. There is no question that in our further immersion into Philosophical thought, we come to know what Philosophy is. In the very structure and form by which we undertake Philosophy, we realize that to designate it as a rigid discipline is hardly what is needed in order to realize the truth regarding the very nature of Philosophy. There have been, after all, countless ways wherein great philosophical thought has been made present, even in the most unlikeliest of circumstances, such as when one is under the influence of alcohol, or is contemplating whether or not he or she will commit suicide.

Any attempt to define Philosophy in a definitive sense kills Philosophy, for we must realize that to define it is to limit it. When we define Philosophy, we may say that since Philosophy is a mystery, a definition will “solve” this mystery. But we know for a fact that this is not the case. The more we attempt to do Philosophy and come to an understanding of it, the more questions we inadvertently ask, because Philosophy is not a given set of questions and answers. Philosophy requires us to ask profound questions, yes, but the profundity of our answer lies in how far it will take us down the quest to further know and comprehend truth. Philosophy, after all, is not merely a discipline that follows a strict procedure one cannot deviate from. The mere fact that there are so many ways to philosophize tells us that many people can look at a single phenomena and glean different insights, based on how this phenomena has related itself to each of them. It is like silence: when we speak the name of silence and attempt to define it to another, the silence dies.

Therefore, what we should do instead is to imbue into our mindset the “spirit that vivifies”. We speak of Philosophy not as something we can concretely explain and encase in an imaginary box. We are better off knowing Philosophy by applying Philosophical thought to our lives, and in the things that are revealed to us in our doing Philosophy. In the things revealed to us lies the very heart, or the very spirit of Philosophy, of which we acknowledge as our guide in further Philosophical thought. Yes, we are embarking in a process in this quest for truth, but this process is not yet finished, as it continues to develop in temporality. As we further use what devices we pick up from Philosophy to further our philosophizing, we then gain even more tools to further this process, as we see how Heidegger’s notion of truth being composed of a more basic truth is played out in temporal progression and development. In debating terms, there is a lot of leeway given in attempting to define a motion, thus, the definition is obviously not definitive in nature. In spite of this, one cannot just contradict the "spirit" of the motion, in that there is a general direction that this motion is attempting to progress into. With this in mind, the spirit of Philosophy indeed has great leeway as well, but it must be oriented in the desire to know reality. The quest for truth.

Thus, because this quest for truth is a never-finished process, and as human beings, we are attempting to discover and appreciate the truth in the interhuman, we must therefore carry this Philosophical attitude in our attempts to make heads and tails out of our lives. In our attempt to come to terms with reality, we certainly need a Philosophical attitude: one that is skeptical of appeals made to authority, or religion, or tradition, and see a more rational explanation behind the appeal. Being Philosophical, in that one searches for truth, means that this being skeptical is simply a tool in order that one has a critical attitude to how he or she perceives reality. Otherwise, we will simply accept anything that has been said to us, hook, line, and sinker, and the fact remains that in doing so, we are not furthering the quest of truth. There is no determination to know reality. Being bereft of this critical attitude contradicts one of the earliest ideas of the human being, that he is a rational animal. To fall for this trap is to simply "leave stones unturned". In man's determination to know reality, one must be willing to investigate for himself or herself the validity of the claims made by myth, opinion, or authority, and in doing so, be able to know what there is to accept or reject in these appeals.

While the idea of philosophizing the allure of Maui Taylor may indeed be funny, perhaps we can look beyond just the outer layers of what has been said about her, in hopes that we may find a more profound reason why she seems to tickle the fancy of most men. We realize that a lot of men find Maui Taylor to be particularly stunning, but is this the true measure why she is so popular? Perhaps if we look at the basic truth, that the aura she exudes is a “provocative innocence” we seem to be unable to find in other stars of her grain, then perhaps, this dearth that she nicely fills up (Pun not intended.) is clearly the very thing that makes her all the more attractive to people. This is more rational, than saying it’s the silicon, or perhaps that it’s her publicity machine alone.

Because of this thinking, Philosophy is more than just a rigid study, for it is a way of life. It helps us make sense of things that goes on in our lives, and in our critical understanding of phenomena, we are better able to understand the meaning of our lives as we unfold. Philosophy, as an attitude, means that this attitude itself must be treated critically, for if we were to settle on a single, immutable, and universal method of doing Philosophy, then we kill the overflowing reality and the mystery that Philosophy truly is. And with two semesters of doing Philosophy behind us, we can say with conviction that this overflowing reality of Philosophy is something we can hold onto not just to come to terms with the realities we are immersed in, but to elevate the profundity of our life in our ability to elucidate the reasons behind the phenomena we are part of.

11. Philosophy is an "overarching rational reflection on experience, progressively revealing more and more of what experience implies, growing itself as experience grows, expands, as thinking affects the way we experience." (Lauer) The great philosophers serve as milestones or markers of the collective human experience, constituting a whole that is always evolving and never-finished.

When everything has already been thought of (In a process of elimination. Not literally speaking.), Philosophy steps in to rethink what has been left unthought by other disciplines. The scope of Philosophy, in spite of this realization, is still overarching, in that it attempts to unturn every stone it sees in need of unturning, which leads to even more questions for them to be asked. While this may sound limiting to Philosophy, it is actually not the case, for so much is left unthought by other thinkers, especially when we look at how they seem to neglect the effort to rationalize experience, as they tend to analyze for other purposes instead. Philosophy will thus step in and attempt to rationalize experience, and in doing so, reveal the significance of these experiences, and will even teach us how we may better our own experiences.

To say that Philosophy is overarching is to mean that it encompasses experience, and attempts to reflect upon something that the thinker himself or herself is indeed immersed in. What does this overarching actually “overarch” (To invent a Bulaongesque term.) upon? We say that it overarches experiences in an attempt for it to be comprehended and further appreciated. But you see, Philosophy itself can only be understood by doing it, and so, we can say that experience (Of philosophizing.) guides our experiences (Of Philosophy or others.). As a guide, a self-nourishing guide even, to a large extent, Philosophy must be valued in its capability to actually open one's mind to the realization that there is far beyond the sensate. Philosophical thought, after all, is far from being sensate in nature.

Liken it, if you will, to a plant that waters itself to fruition. We recognize here the potency of experience, as in each experience, our capability to reflect and rationalize it will lead us to further enriching experiences. We realize that experiences, after all, are incremental. One will start with learning how to speak before learning how to read. When one knows how to read, then one will know how to write. In philosophizing and coming to terms with the realities of one’s experiences, it progressively (Or incrementally.) develops, as our experiences gain more meaning as we further reflect on them. How many times have we heard someone claim that an action was done out of a whim? By reflecting on this action, we may determine what goes behind that whim, and what truly is the motivation or impetus for such an action.

For instance, no longer is eating with the family just something routine. As one nears marriage and the imminent promise that he will not be sharing these family meals (At least not as often.) any longer, he will have a deeper appreciation for this experience. As he reflects on this further and further, he will then learn to make his succeeding experiences with his family more fruitful. Thus, the experience of reflecting upon this experience affects how we experience it. This is the power wielded by Philosophical thought, in that it becomes a way for us to transcend experiences. By knowing, for instance, the significance of an actual experience, the knowledge of this significance carries us beyond what is actually experienced. It is value-added, so to speak.

Experience is indeed the best teacher, for in philosophizing, one’s experience becomes more profound, and this teaches us to experience. In gaining experience, we are not merely concerned with the acquisition of knowledge, or learning lessons. What we should look into in this respect is how one may learn to use this acquired knowledge in the service of life. As Code Red would say, “What good is a heart, if you’re not gonna use it?”

In this respect, we therefore acknowledge that because not all rationalization is Philosophy, we need to turn onto “authorities” that are actually more of markers and milestones than actual “authorities”, seeing how many times each of these great thinkers have been lambasted for their ideas. These great philosophers are salient points in history that have had profound experiences, and at the same time, equally profound explicitations of these experiences. Like Descartes, we are living in an age of confusion and pluralism. Had he not thought about the Universal Methodic Doubt, how many of us could have easily come up with the same instant? Without his ideas, what would Gabriel Marcel even have to repudiate in his phenomenological point of view about man as an embodiment and not merely a res cogitans?

Because Philosophy is a process, and it is a process that is still unfinished, these great thinkers are footholds in the insurmountable wall that we must climb that is Philosophy. Their experiences, and the ideas they formulated through their experiences all lead us to better understanding our own experience. At the same time, the more we better our understanding these experiences, the more we learn how it is to experience. As we take their ideas into consideration, and, seeing the merits or flaws in them for ourselves, attempt to individually appropriate (Making it our own.) that which we believe to be of pertinence to us, then we carry their elucidations of their experiences further down our collective voyage of discovery. Thus, the experience of philosophizing is not merely an experience, but a very special and very serious fullness of life, for it leads us to know how to experience.

All these experiences and elucidations by philosophers, along with our own contributions (However meager they may be.) are part and parcel of the construct that is the collective human experience. All these make up a whole that is always evolving, for it is unfolding itself in temporality, and is in this respect never-finished. We further our appreciation of experiences by reflecting upon them, and these reflections, when elucidated, add and forward our desire to know reality; the very pursuit of Philosophy. In doing so, we see that man's collective history is an unfinished process, but a process of significance, nonetheless. Much can be said about our experiences, and their significance can indeed be enhanced by reflecting upon them. Because we continue to build new truths upon more basic truths, we will continue forth in our never-ending quest for reality: an unfinished reality that is made up of the collective human experience. Its evolution and unfolding in the path of further enlightenment is indeed something to marvel at, for as we learn more and more how to experience, the significance and profundity of these experiences likewise become deeper. Our lives, being unfolded in temporality by virtue of these experiences, thus become more profound and noteworthy.
Three more thesis statements... that makes nine, and I still have two to go... enjoy! :biggrin:

7. Heidegger believes that truth is preceeded by "something" far more fundamental, the open region (Lichtung) that has been left unthought in metaphysics. In the open region, the Being of beings, which "itself" is not a being, unconceals and discloses itself. This disclosure and unconcealment occurs in temporality. We call this Aletheia.

Heidegger believes in truth as something being preceeded by “something” far more fundamental. In this, he sees that each truth comes from a more basic truth, and we can go on in this cycle ad continuum until we manage to come to the most fundamental, an open region wherein truth is given the free space to reveal itself. This open region is what we know as Lichtung (Not the iced tea, and not the Pokemon. :laughs: ). Here, the light can come into play, and this light, or illumination, is what can manifest truth to us. It is obvious even in the physical sciences that illumination cannot happen without any space for illumination to come. It cannot happen in a vacuum. What is the point of an illumination without the open space? It is as good as non-existent, hence the adage that says “A tree that falls in the middle of the forest with nobody to hear it does not make a sound.”

This open region has been left unthought of in metaphysics, as those who adhere to it seem to focus their attention more on the ideas of perfection and the noemena, rather than the very place where these ideas can come into play. In the open region, we then see the Being of beings, which “itself” is not a being, and how it unconceals and discloses itself. What is interesting to note about this Being of beings is the fact that “it” may seem to represent something so unitary and authoritative, but it does not necessarily mean to adhere to the idea of The One. Yes, the Being of beings may indeed sound as unitary, but this very Being of beings reveals “itself” in the many different permutations (Supporting the idea of The Many) of being. It reveals itself in temporality.

This very disclosure, one that occurs in temporality, is what we call as Aletheia (Unconcealment.). With Aletheia, we manage to appreciate the fullness of being in that everything that has been, is, and will be are all manifestations of the Being of beings. It is no longer otherworldly, and in fact, goes against the World of Ideas in this respect, for it is a celebration of dynamism and change, not of the eternity and immutability that comes with the world of ideas. In fact, Heidegger views thinking as the very antithesis of conceptualizing, for in conceptualizing, we get an immutable concept, whilst in Heidegerrian thinking, we are shown an unconcealment in temporality that belies immutability for we are, as beings-in-the-world, are ruled by true time, a single stretched moment that is temporality. Without temporality, we can never count from one to ten, for there is no progression. This flowing of temporality is what must be regarded as good, whereas stuckness (Refer back to despair.) is actually evil (*So one should recite in Philo when one has something to say, because not to do so is evil?*).

While Aletheia is not in itself truth (As when Rica Peralejo unconceals, what one sees is obviously not truth. But it is still unconcealment.), it is, so to speak, a prerequisite of truth. Truth must be unconcealed. And in truth’s unconcealment, it must happen within temporality. Hence, Aletheia also surpasses truth, since it also considers temporality, and other things that may be unconcealed, yet bereft of one who can pass judgment upon it, which also shows why not everything unconcealed is truth. Thus, all things revealed to us may seem to contradict one another, but because they are respective manifestations of the Being of beings, they are still true, even if they seem to be contradictory to one another. Every single thought, for instance, regarding what the human being is, from that of one as being a rational animal, to the notion of the human being as In-der-Welt-sein. All these are ways and means by which the Being of beings unfolds “itself” to us, and this does not take anything away from the veracity of each of the respective points on what can be said regarding the human being (* This leads us to thesis statement eight…*).

Unconcealment, as likened in Red Alert, shows us that the more we reveal of the terrain, the more concealed terrain we have our hands filled with. Even the fog of war in the game is taken into consideration. Though we may think that we have truly managed to uncover the entirety of the map, within the things we uncover, other discoveries still lie hidden (i.e. An enemy scout who wasn’t in your troop’s line of vision, for instance.). This process of unconcealing, therefore, is something that continues throughout temporality; with no beginning (Recalling that prior to the Big Bang, if the theory is to be believed, there was no time and space.), and endless.

8. Aletheia encompasses both objectivism and subjectivism. This is why we claim that (1) truth is relative, but not "relativistic", and (2) truth is absolute, but not "absolutistic". For truth is both historical and transhistorical; it is "absolute" yet "unfinished". Its criterion, therefore, is its fruitfulness.

Aletheia is powerful in that it is the disclosure of the Being of beings in the open space called Lichtung. It encompasses both objectivism and subjectivism, though both may seem as contraindicatory towards one another. This disclosure in temporality simply shows us how truth is indeed dynamic and ever-changing, while still indisputable, to some extent. What needs to be seen here is how Aletheia, by its very nature, reconciles the gap that exists between those who adhere to the One (Ethnocentrism) and those who adhere to the Many (Cultural Relativism)

Aletheia is the gateway to truth. There is no truth without Aletheia. This unconcealedness that leads to truth is possible only when one has broken through and transcended thinglike beings in himself or herself. We speak of unconcealedness as an illumination, and the human is a certain “light” for himself or herself. It is a light which is one’s own essence. The light of one’s subjectivity. This light, moreover is a light in existence, which means that at one point in history, it comes-into-presence, and at another point, it comes-to-pass. Others, still, are yet-to-come-into-presence. This is why temporality is such an important idea for Aletheia: it is something that is required for human intelligibility, such that we can only get to know something within temporality. One cannot know whether or not Katya Santos was fibbing about her fourteen love scenes by looking at the case of her VCD. One can only find out by watching the film, and spending time in doing so (Uhh… there were only seven love scenes… she was lying.). This is the same for all of mankind, as the Being of beings still continually unfolds itself to us, as it has, and as it certainly will.

Returning to the gap between the One and the Many, it can be resolved by realizing the twofold nature of Aletheia. By saying it encompasses both subjectivism and objectivism, we can then say two things about truth (Since it has Aletheia as a prerequisite.). Firstly, truth is relative, which agrees with the adherents to the Many. Despite this fact, truth may indeed be relative but it is not so in a relativistic manner. This is because truth does relate to a person, but this does not mean that what is true for one is automatically untrue for another.

Truth, in this case, is relative because truth is an event. When an event occurs, that event relates itself to those who are witness to it, and truth is communicated in this respect. Truth, after all, is anthropocentric (People-centered.), and if this is the case, we cannot expect something to be true (In our milieu.), but has yet to occur in that of another’s milieu to be likewise true for them. This does not take away anything from the truth that relates to either society, nonetheless. If, theoretically, the Philippines were closed off from other nations, only the Philippines would believe that a bloodless revolution (That of EDSA) is possible.

On the flipside, we can say that truth is absolute, but not so in an absolutistic manner. Truth cannot be absolutistic in a Platonic sense, because truth is a never-finished event. If truth were absolutistic, then truth is already fixed, immutable, and finished for all time (A complete contradiction to the notion that truth is never-finished.). This absolutistic notion conforms to the idea of the World of Eidos, an idea that goes against the grain of unconcealment, since unconcealment works in temporality. If truth were absolutistic, what is the need to unconceal anything? It is already immutably true to begin with, from past, present, to future.

Truth is an absolute moment, as for when one person speaks a truth, that person is then bound to that truth, and for all of history, the fact that this thing is indeed true cannot be repudiated (So long as it conformed with the state-of-affairs.). This is because when one stands before an unconcealedness, then this unconcealedness is irrefutable. At the point in history that this truth is born, it acquires a transhistoric value, in that its veracity will carry over time . That is, tomorrow, it will still be true that The Rock has captured the WWE Title an unrivaled seven times. It is absolute in this sense, but what if the Rock wins the title again? It is still true, in spite of this, that The Rock, for a time, was a seven-time champion.

Therefore, truth is historical. Truth is born out of a specific event in time, a specific event in history. Likewise, truth is a never-finished event, simply because what is true today can be built upon to form the truth of tomorrow. This explains the progression of how man has been defined, or how professional wrestling has gone from their non-scripted, shoot-style matches to today’s era of “Ruthless Agression”, where shock value and crash storylines are all the rage, giving little emphasis to in-ring action. Truth is also historical in that it is possible only in a particular phase of the knowing subject’s personal history and in a particular phase of the collective history of mankind’s pursuit of truth, consisting of every personal history. For instance, in the 1980’s, American video game players did not appreciate Legend of Zelda, a relatively complex game the Nintendo Entertainment System was coming out with at the time in contrast to Super Mario Brothers. At the same time, Japanese players, advanced by half a decade of gaming in comparison, were more inclined towards them. After five years of gaming experience, the games were then screen tested for a second time among American gamers, and their approval of Legend of Zelda shot up.

The recognition of truth as historical, however, does not justify historicity: the belief that what is true today, is the truth for today, but tomorrow, it will not be so. If one were to adhere to this as true today, will it still be true tomorrow? This interesting notion means that the proposition of historicity is self-contradictory. Seeing that historic truth is not in congruence with historicity, we can say that truth is transhistoric, in that the things we see as true today lead us further down the road of unconcealment, carrying what we have already unconcealed, thus far. Transhistoricity explains the absoluteness of truth, in that it is an absolute moment of truth, and its veracity as an absolute moment carries over in time. The transhistoricity of truth also shows how an event, which may have not directly happend in a particular society, can be passed on to them, to the point that it also becomes a common experience with them, such as now, the whole world knows that there is such a thing as a bloodless revolution by hearing about EDSA. This goes against the grain of idealism and realism.

Idealism does not accept that “genuine” knowledge contains darkness. Idealism adheres to the Platonic notions of complete transparency and fixedness, in that “genuine” knowledge is an answer that no longer leads to any further questions. The idealist notion of absolute truth is actually absolutistic, for it is the denial of the relationship to history, and even the denial of every relativity, since it speaks of a single, unitary truth. This “One Truth” denies the relativity of truth to the subject-as-cogito. Realism, on the other hand, is focused merely on meaning, and throws away the significance of the encounter that brought about the meaning itself. How then, can we say that truth relates to a subject, if the encounter is discarded?

The rebuttal to idealism and realism leads us to differentiate Aletheia from the World of Eidos. The former speaks of an immutable, final, and perfect “otherworld”, from which the physical world draws its existence by participating as imperfect copies of perfection. The former, on the other hand, sees a Being of beings that unfolds “itself” in all of being in temporality. The Being of beings will give unto all beings, but what becomes of these beings contributes back to the Being of beings, so that more can be said about “it”. Unlike the latter, Aletheia is a two-way process.

Gathering from the fact that truth should be both historic and transhistoric, we should then evaluate truth for its fruitfulness. We realize that by fruitfulness, when we unconceal truth, it leads us to what has been left unsaid in the elucidation we have provided. We do believe that what we see is truth, but we have to be able to establish fruitfulness as a criterion by which we can distinguish truth from fantasy or hallucinations. On one level, fruitfulness is when the “truth” (Enclosed in quotation marks as it is not yet certainly true.) being spoken of is fruitful to reality (In the idea’s congruence with reality. This is somewhat utilitarian.).

On a deeper, less utilitarian level, truth makes it possible to continue the dialogue, as it leads somewhere. Truth is not made, it simply is. This distinguishes from untruth, since untruths are “dead ends”, are made, and are not fruitful. One can keep on saying Bruce Lee will beat Jackie Chan in a sparring match for the rest of eternity, but when we find a way to pit the two together in reality, whether by cloning or the like, if Bruce Lee beats Jackie Chan, then the dialogue continues. If Jackie Chan wins, the one who adheres to Bruce Lee will have to stop talking hypothetically, barring any instances of cheating or the like. When an answer leads us to ask more questions, then we can say that this answer (Truth, in this case.) is indeed fruitful.

9. The "essence" of the human being comes-to-presence in temporality on a personal as well as a collective level. This is best understood in the interhuman realm, where one's self, as truth, emerges as a progression and evolution. Thus, the authentic interhuman encounter- or genuine dialogue- resists seeming, speechifying (reduction), and imposition.

It’s quite haunting to recall Simon and Garfunkel’s song, “The Sound of Silence”. We seem to be immersed in an age where people are “talking without speaking”, and “hearing without listening”. While most attribute this to the beginning of the internet, one can relate it to a more basic plane of life, in the human being’s dealing with other human beings. When one talks about the “essence” of a human being, one uses the term loosely, deviating from the fixed and immutable Platonic image, and aligning itself more with an essence similar to Theology’s “Fundamental Option”: what your fundamental option is affects what you do. What you do affects your fundamental option. Thus, the human essence emanates in one’s actions, and one’s actions lead to the further dynamism of one’s essence.

This essence “comes-to-presence” in temporality, which means this essence is being unconcealed as truth. The essence of the human being manifests itself personally, as when a man reveals his essence to another in genuine dialogue; or collectively, as can be seen when a peace treaty produces not just good diplomatic relations, but friendship among nations. Taking it even further, these two nations now attempt to know and aid each other more. To further understand this manifestation of the human being’s “essence”, we must turn to the realm of the interhuman, which Martin Buber differentiates from social phenomena. Buber believes that social phenomena do not always imply an intersubjective encounter, or a personal relationship in that when one is involved in social phenomena, each personal existence is enclosed and contained in a group experience. There are no bonds that tie them together, save common and shared experiences.

In the case of intersubjectivity, as what Luijpen spoke about last semester, we see that this intersubjectivity can happen from at least two people who manage to be present to one another in a temporal moment. Being two subjects relating to one another, they are not Cartesian machines, for Cartesian machines imply no true relation between two human persons.

In the realm of the interhuman, one’s being can emerge in a progressive and evolutionary manner, such that we can never truly know a person in fullness even with a lifetime of interhuman, genuine dialogue (A mystery stops being one when it is fully grasped. More on this later.), much less from a solitary conversation. Hence, one’s being develops in the realm of the interhuman just as Aletheia works (For Aletheia is unconcealment, and here, we are unconcealing the human being.). While of course, it is possible intra-human, the human being, by nature, is not a closed consciousness, and hence is better off unconcealing himself or herself in the presence of others.

Genuine dialogue is integral to the interhuman. The components of genuine dialogue are: being, personal-making-present, and allowing-to-presence, also known as unfolding. On the first level, genuine dialogue requires being in order for those who are in dialogue to be more capable of seeing the truth about the other. This is why seeming should be avoided, as it clouds the truth about a person that should be made manifest to another. Imagine, if you will, a human being speaking to a ghost, and neither knows which is which. This will provide a lot of confusion as one knows not who is alive, and in this respect, both may very well pretend to be what they are not. Mr. Jon Bulaong seems to be John Estrada from afar, but is he? Being shows that he is not. Genuine seeming happens when one pretends to be someone or something to the point of validity. When one pretends to be a superhero, and by doing so, becomes heroic, then this is a step over mere seeming. Genuine seeming can very well evolve into being, and unlike superficial seeming, is not deceitful.

On the second level, genuine dialogue requires that a person involved in a dialogue is being made present. One should acknowledge the fact that one is indeed, in genuine dialogue, speaking to a person, and not speaking at or beyond a person. When one speaks to another, it is in attempt of speaking to a fellow human being, different in some ways, but the same in others. One must go beyond speechifying or reduction, in that when one speaks to another, one should be aware of the “other” being spoken to. This should go against analyzing and reducing the other, as well as deriving a general concept in relating to the other. The total of a human being is not the sum of his parts. Refer back to Gabriel Marcel’s explicitations on the definite and non-definite somebody. Even the best psychoanalyst, the most renowned detective, and the greatest behavioral scientist together would be unable to fully define who or what any specific human being is, simply because they all account merely for what is accountable in a human being; the definite self. They do not take into account the intangible non-definite self. In personal making present, we avoid doing these reductive acts, and view the human being we engage in dialogue with as a genuine human being: a mystery (Which is not to say that nothing can be said about him or her.).

(*This isn’t part of Marcelle’s actual spiel, but is necessary to point out.*) Sa ating pagkilala ng pagkatao ng taong kaugnay natin sa makabuluhang dayalogo, hindi natin siya dapat ikahon, at sa halip ay dapat natin siyang tanawin bilang isang misteryo. Nararapat nating kilalin ang namamalas natin sa pagkatao niya, bilang isa lamang na bahagi ng kabuuan ng kanyang pagmemeron, at hindi ang kabuuan na mismo ng pagkatao niya.. Translated, we should not reduce the mystery of a person, and instead realize that a mystery is simply irreducible. We should recognize that what we see as manifestations of his or her humanity in the realm of humanity are merely facets of the fullness of his or her essence and existence.

On the third level, genuine dialogue requires that a person involved in a dialogue should allow the other to come to presence, or give enough room for that person to unfold himself or herself. There is a fine line between being a guide and a tyrant, and crossing this line results in imposition, wherein one imposes his or her ideals upon another, to even the point where the other believes it was his or her own ideal to begin with. The one who imposes does not believe in the power of actualizing forces to push forward his or her cause. In fact, his or her lack of faith in the cause is evident in his lobbying for it. When you deserve a raise, and your bosses happen to be considerate people, you will need not ask for it. The one who allows the other to come to presence will simply “throw ideas in the air”, avoiding value judgments indicatory of imposition, and give enough space for the seed that has been planted to grow.

The imposing person believes in homogeneity, and attempts to neglect individuality, as it is more of a burden for him or her, in that it impedes the progress of the cause he or she is pushing for, since he or she must take these differences into consideration. The allowing-to-presence person allows the other the space to let the actualizing forces act, because he or she believes in the cause and the power of these forces. He or she also believes in the other’s individuality, in that everything right in man is established in a single, uniquely personal matter, and any imposition on his or her part will frustrate this boon from reaching fruition within the other.

For instance, one might say that George Bush is imposing his ideals of what good leadership and governance is upon Iraq. He will hammer it through by bombing the country, in attempts of showing them the ideals that the United States feels it should “benevolently” spread to everyone they could. They do not believe that their cause can actually be heard on its own merit, perhaps because Saddam Hussein himself is imposing a contrary ideal to the people of Iraq. In contrast, Mr. Jon Bulaong never had to tell Marcelle to consider teaching Philosophy. Mr. Bulaong merely opened that possibility in Marcelle’s mind, and now, Marcelle is actively considering this possibility. Perhaps. We can never can tell, as Joseph Estrada would say.

In line with these three elements, and the fact that truth should be an agreement between the judgment of the state of affairs, it is inevitable that what we must avoid creeps into dialogue, but this does not mean that genuine dialogue is impossible. One need not even speak to participate in genuine dialogue, if one’s being, for one, would be unveiled in his or her maintaining his or her silence.

Returning to the statement on “Sound Of Silence”, the promise of Buber’s article, “Elements of the Interhuman”, is hope for genuine human dialogue despite the dearth of it. All the more should we treasure genuine human dialogue, not merely for its rarity in today’s world as envisioned by Simon and Garfunkel, but in the merit of genuine human dialogue in uplifting the profundity of our lives in our higher respect for the goods and the value of our own humanity and that of the other. No longer may we see ourselves and others as mere statistics, but as genuine persons who are being, who are making one another present, and are allowing one another to come to presence.

Monday, March 24, 2003

Here are the next three thesis statements... you know the drill by now, I suppose...

4. The World of Eidos is the realm of perfect, universal, and unchanging forms. It is the absolute world of essences. Plato's Allegory of the Cave illustrates the World of eidos vis-a-vis the sensible world.

The Platonic idea of the World of Eidos is an overwhelming conception of a metaphysical world that transcends the physical plane. The world of Eidos is the world of the universal, timeless, and perfect. In this world, everything we see is nothing more than a participation in this metaphysical world of perfection. A world of essences, so to speak. For every single human being we see, that human being participates in the perfect idea of humanity. Interestingly enough, this perfect idea of humanity that exists in the World of Eidos is not a human being.

Interesting questions can indeed be drawn from this. Yes, we have seen an apple tree, or perhaps a mango tree. But have we ever truly seen a tree, in its perfect sense? Of course we haven’t, and we won’t because the perfection of a tree in itself is not itself a tree, to begin with. But it is the pinnacle of the “treeness” of the tree. For what else can make a tree a tree but its “treeness”? The sensible world to Plato is something that is imperfect, and merely participant in the different perfect ideas in the World of Eidos in varying degrees of intensity. Nonetheless, this does not exclude from us the chance to catch glimpses of this perfection in what is sensible to us.

Plato’s “Myth of the Cave” speaks of people who are living in cave, completely ignorant of the world that is, and how, when someone manages to come into the world that is, he is overcome by what he sees. No longer does he see everything as mere shadows. He is illuminated, and the illumination is immensely powerful. Were he to return to the cave and tell the people with him what he has seen, it is unlikely for them to believe him. This reminds Marcelle of the film “The Eye”, of how a lady who was blind all her life, through a corneal transplant, manages to see for the first time, and is overwhelmed by what she has seen (No, not just the horror parts, mind you.). It becomes the philosopher’s burden, such as the man who has been freed from the cave, to elucidate what he has seen, or in the case of the philosopher, contemplated.

Here, we see what the World of Eidos is all about: the cave becomes our physical plane, whilst the world that is becomes the metaphysical world. Throughout our temporal life, we are only shown what is made sensible to us. In spite of this, our minds are capable of transcending this world and thinking upon the World of Eidos, though all we can indeed get are hazy visions of it, for we are not (At present.) immersed in that metaphysical world. Indeed, we see here that Plato believes this world to be something universal, such that his perfect idea of a tree would coincide with Marcelle’s perfect idea of a tree all the same. This kind of universality is what points us to a rather absolutistic notion of truth, but a notion of truth, nonetheless.

To Plato, the sensible world is merely a participation in the perfection that is the metaphysical world. Through our capacity to know and to conceptualize (Which in itself is an “extraction” of an essence, which then becomes a concept when grasped.), we are able to somehow glean for ourselves what the World of Eidos is all about. This is essentially what the Myth of the Cave has been attempting to present to us: the possibility to know perfection by thinking upon what is sensibly available to us. We may not be immersed (currently) in the World of Eidos, but our participation in it enables us to see glimpses of it. In fact, it is the mission of the human person to regain our knowledge of this world, for (As Plato believes.) we were originally from the World of Eidos, and our mission is anamnesis, or remembering what we were once part of.

Glimpses of perfection can be seen in contemplating upon perfection itself. When one considers the very nature of perfection, and how the things of this world are imitations (Though imperfect.) of this perfection. One may also contemplate perfection by perceiving the “whatness” of an object, vis-à-vis its mere “thatness”. We may say an object is “that”, but not know exactly “what” it is. We may say that Chicago is a great musical, but we may not know what Chicago truly is. When one manages to get a glimpse of this absolute, timeless, immutable world through contemplation, then he may begin to speak truth (In a Platonic sense.), knowing that the things he speaks of in the World of Eidos are timelessly true. In our attempt to begin speaking about truth, what we are led to do now is to make an evaluation of an object, and through this evaluation, by recognizing the essence of this object, we may then ascertain whether or not our evaluation is indeed true.

In using the World of Eidos to speak of truth, we are regarding this timeless world of ideas to be the standard by which our pronouncements will thus be recognized as true or in error. It is interesting to point out here, though, that this truth is more conceptual in nature than it is sensate-observant. One need not see Mahatma Gandhi doing acts of goodness for us to evaluate him to be good. In this point of view, so long as Gandhi's essence is seen to be good, then we can evaluate him to be so. Regardless of this critique, the fact that this has opened up the opportunity for us to speak about truth is a remarkable and valuable milestoen in itself that we must appreciate for its significance and implications: that indeed, there is a standard of knowing what truth is.

5. Consciousness is never wrapped up in itself, never solus ipse. Over and above the epistemological problem, Husserl reveals the intentional nature of consciousness, while Heidegger questions the problem itself, for the human being is In-der-Welt-sein.

Consciousness has been hammered upon by Rene Descartes as being alone and by itself, or solipsistic. In employing the Universal Methodic Doubt, Descartes came to the conclusion that the only thing that is certain is that by thinking, he exists, and that makes him a thinking substance. This becomes problematic, as he now has created a gap between himself as a cogitans, with the rest of existence, imagining himself to be inside a cage, locked away from the rest of existence, whose reality he doubts. This solus ipse that Descartes has spoken of has not gone uncriticized for the sheer difficulty it presents in living daily life. How can one’s consciousness be wrapped up in itself, when it actually seems to be immersed in a world of being? Are all these manifestations he senses and thinks upon nothing more than illusions? This is the stage of viewing consciousness as something that is closed: an idea that has been challenged numerous times by other thinkers.

Husserl’s repudiation of this idea was clear in his explicitation about consciousness as possessing an intentionality. Borne out of his view of phenomenology, he realizes that one must close off an object-of-knowing in a bracket free from biases. We call this the epoche. Furthermore, it is then that we use eidetic reduction to extract the essence of this object, and use transcendental phenomenological reduction to see its significance in our experiences. Thus, he does not believe that the cogitans is closed off from the rest of the world, simply because he can open up himself, as a subject, in order to know an object.

We must realize that in and itself, consciousness is never wrapped up in itself because it is fundamentally an openness; a co-immediate openness, so to speak. It is a mode of existence, and there is no state of alienation that one needs to overcome (In contrast to Descartes’ problem of the bridge.). Husserl speaks of a perceiving consciousness that is always a being-with-reality, yet is not itself consciousness. It is a being-open-for and even directed-to reality (“Free your mind”, as the famous Matrix line goes.). It does not necessarily represent an entitative being, but it is a step in the right direction: a breaking of the notion that consciousness is wrapped up in itself. Here, by speaking of an intentional being, we see a human being whose entire being consists of referring-to-reality. It is difficult to imagine a being that is conscious for the sake of consciousness. One is, more often than not, conscious of something. Anyone who ever tries to think of nothing at all will inadvertently think of something, as it is clearly impossible. The human being simply cannot close itself off into itself, even if it wanted to, contrary to how Descartes saw it. This is because in the realm of intentionality, the world is presence-to-hand, in that we call attention to the things in our world. By calling attention to the things in our world, we show that we are not closed off from this world. In his view, this cage he is in is not at all locked. He opens this cage in order to call attention to what is phenomenologically around him, and in doing so, he manages to know these objects.

Or was there no need to doubt the existence of these things to begin with? Heidegger, in the third step to actually working out this epistemological question, speaks of the human being as In-der-Welt-sein (A being-in-the-world.), and as such, is already immersed in a world that is already ready-to-hand. The consciousness here is engaging itself in the world, with the world. It is clear that for Heidegger, one already exists in an already given world, so for Descartes to challenge this notion that has been clear from the start is in itself already absurd. The world is available to us and present-to-hand. We need not call any attention to it, because we are completely immersed in the world. This time around, a human being, who was caged in Descartes' idea, who was in an open cage in Husserl's, no longer has a cage to begin with, and is immediately within the world, as the world is immediate to him as well.

Heidegger then addresses the scandal of Philosophy, which becomes the question of how the subject can know the object. This question seems to be something so easy to answer, but in light of the so-called problem of the bridge, how can this kind of knowledge be possible? Simply put, this question seems to imply a non-existent gap; a residue of the notion of one’s consciousness as being solipsistic. Asking about how one can know an object implies a gap between the subject and knowledge, and this gap, in light of a human’s being In-der-Welt-sein, is not even a problem to begin with.

Thus, Heidegger’s elucidation brings to light something important: knowledge is a determinant of one’s existence, for in what one knows, his or her existence becomes determined in that his or her thoughts, words, and deeds are governed by what he or she actually knows. Likewise, we must no longer ask the question of how the subject can know the object, but rather, ask what the conditions for knowledge are instead.

6. The world in which we dwell is a system of intelligible meanings. The intelligibility is given expression by concepts. The concept is not a schematic image of the terminus encountered by one's knowing, for concepts are abstract and universal. Thus, we can make judgments- saying what is, that is. Any judgment then is either true or false and never both. Truth is the agreement of the judgment with the state-of-affairs. In this context, knowledge is becoming, for it is conditioned by one's mode of existence.

Beings-in-the-world all exist with a system of intelligible meanings. In order for one to make heads and tails regarding his or her life (A product of the human person’s being a thinking substance.), he or she must implement this system, which primarily entails engaging in dialogue between the self and what one is attempting to understand. This very process is what we have come to regard as a concept. Here, when we pay attention to the termini of both the spiritual and sensitive facets of knowing, a distinction manifests. Through this act of knowing, a definite worldly object now takes on a higher level, above being nothing-for-oneself. By understanding it, there is a quiddity-for-oneself with regard to the object, as we now see the whatness of an object as it imposes itself upon one. This is aided in conjunction with how one manages to make an intelligible meaning out of an object. We can now say “what” an object is, and go beyond “that it is”. This knowing is an immanent act, because it is an act that originates from the subject and remains in the subject as his or her perfection.

Thusly, we now see that this concept is indeed something that allows us to understand. What one understands becomes imposed upon the self, and is assimilated, interiorized, and fixed in an expression. As far as we are concerned, then, in the realm of conceptualizing, we are pointed back into Plato’s direction, regarding the “World of Ideas”. This is because in order to gain a concept, one must be able to extract the essence of an object one is trying to understand (Not that by doing so, the essence of the object disappears.); and this process of conceptualization is exactly the crux of Plato’s elucidations on the world of ideas as a world of perfect essences, of which the things in this world participate in.

But what can we say (Or not say) about a concept, then, knowing where it arises from? First of all, we have to realize that a concept is not a schematic image. A schematic image is a mental picture we might have of something, and concepts do not work that way. If, for instance, we attempted to think upon what the concept of a wrestler is, then we cannot possibly say that The Rock is a concept of what the wrestler is, for if we are going to follow Plato’s world of ideas, then a concept, coming from this world, must likewise be as universal as the world of ideas happens to be. Let’s face it: The Rock is not universally considered to be a wrestler. Some find him to be an entertainer, or perhaps an actor. With this in mind, we cannot say that a concept is a schematic image, for it goes against the notion that a concept should be universal for a concept is applicable to all specific instances of objects the concept is applicable to.

Likewise, we can say that a concept, in that we do not have a concrete mental image of it, must therefore be abstracting in nature. To abstract is to drag something away into sections. We remove the aspect of “this, here, and now” as we attempt to abstract something. That is, one’s idea of “wrestler” does not say “The Rock”, or even “Steve Austin”, or even “Hulk Hogan”. In fact, following Platonic reasoning, the ideal wrestler is itself not a wrestler. This is because what one is doing is to intellectually seize the absolute features or the absolute substance of what one is attempting to know. This naturally discards the individual, accidental features (The eyebrow, the middle finger, the red and yellow bandanas.) of what one is trying to comprehend. It is with this respect that we say abstraction divides.

In spite of this division, we realize that there is something in abstraction that makes it unifying at the same time. When we seize the absolute features of something, it becomes moot to do so if these absolute features do not stand for something. What worth then is abstraction if in its divisive facet, if we cannot make heads and tails of what we are left with? Precisely because understanding is abstractive, it brings into unity the plurality of individual objects. The abstract concept is not cut off from experience in its broadest sense. It does not imply a corruption of knowledge.

Therefore, with our concepts, we are now capable of making judgments, wherein we say what is, that it is. Judgments can only be true or false and not in between with regard to the state-of-affairs. Truth is spoken when the judgment agrees with the state-of-affairs. An error occurs when the judgment disagrees with the state-of-affairs. Therefore, to say that Fr. Carlito Reyes is great-looking is to be in error… err… truth (Following suit from his own examples, that is.). And to be in error is to say that Marcelle will still be getting a B+ in Theology if Fr. Reyes sees this post.

With this in mind, and the fact that knowledge is what determines human existence (In that we usually do only what we know. Do you expect to quickly run Linux without knowing how to?), we can therefore say that knowledge is becoming. With the things one knows, he or she moves towards a self that he or she is becoming (Though he or she is already a self to begin with. Such is the truth of human dynamism.). Becoming is conditioned by one’s mode of existence, and through this logic, we likewise recognize how becoming is governed by what one knows. Our mode of existence, the things we do, and the things we attempt, are easily supplanted by what we know. For instance, Marcelle, given a less affable economic status, would probably not enjoy playing Magic: The Gathering, if that were the case. Marcelle would not know how to, and his knowledge would further be hampered by the dearth of people playing this game in his vicinity.

This implies a lot to us when we apply it to our lives. While, on a superficial level, the things we know are the things we do, the deeper implication of this is what we need to look out for. The worldview that one is in, or the worldview one has determines, shapes, forms, and manifests in the things one does. What one knows is capable of shaping him or her to becoming, and thus, what one can know may either make or break him or her, as different kinds of knowledge have either constructive or destructive effects upon a human being. One can be what one knows, to a great extent.

Perhaps this gives more merit to the maxim that “There is no knowledge that is not power.”
Here are the first three thesis statements. These are on despair. Don't forget to click on the Guestmap at the bottom of the Links section... :biggrin: A Shout-out would be nice, too. (This is, of course, in reference to my Philo classmates.)

1. For Kierkegaard, despair implies the highest demand made on the human person, that he be spirit. Spirit is the self. The self is a relation that relates itself to its own self. The misrelation that issues forth from such relationality is the human condition that is despair. Thus, despair arises as a continuance in which every actual instant of despair is to be referred back to its possibility.

There are so many things one must consider when talking about the self. The main consideration one must take about the self is the plain and simple fact that the self is a synthesis. While some would say that the self is a walking contradiction, a synthesis would illustrate the self far more lucidly. This is because man, as a synthesis, continually needs to strike a balance within himself, despite the seeming contradictions that arise from the fullness of his being. There is no question about it: despair, particularly when one fails to deal with it, is a sickness of the spirit: a silent cancer whose symptoms go beyond the emotional and the physical.

Despair arises from the fact that in every moment of existence, one has to relate the self back to itself. This is no mean feat, for this requires a Herculean effort on one's part, and at the moment of having achieved this, the following moment renews the need to exert this effort. The mere fact that one has to relate one's self to itself means that there is a misrelation, to begin with.Thus, despair is indeed a misrelation. This misrelation is, unlike physical ailments, far from being affective (Or emotional in nature.). One cannot possibly say that because he or she is happy, then he or she is simply not in despair. On the contrary, Kierkegaard would outright say that despair is truly strongest in the comfort of the happy heart.

Would we then say that despair is such a sad thing? On the contrary, instead of calling it a "Sickness Unto Death", Marcelle would prefer to simply label it as a challenge. This is because there is great heroism in managing to conquer despair, not merely because it is a statistical abberration, but more so because the claim of destiny upon man, that of being spirit, is the greatest gift to man, while at the same time, his most dangerous curse. In succeeding to conquer despair, which indeed requires great suffering to go beyond, one makes his or her destiny to become spirit fully realized. This human condition of despair, to us, may seem to be unsettling, but this is not to say that we must further wallow ourselves in misery by having our hands tied and not so much as doing anything about it. There is indeed a lot to be done in order to solve the problem of despair, and while most would be rather complacent and just live their lives normally, oblivous to this fact, those who dare to wager more are those who stand to gain more in the end.

Think of it as gambling. When the stakes are high, fewer are willing to make a wager. Despite that, those who do, and those who manage to actually win the wager certainly gain far more than those who bet at low stakes. Likewise, in dealing with despair, one must determine for himself or herself exactly how much he or she is willing to put on the line. Will one be merely content with what is at present? Or will one look for more and in turn, wager more? We of course realize here that as you go deeper into your attempt to relate yourself to yourself and thus go against despair, the degree of suffering commensurately increases. Imagine someone, walking wounded, a knife lodged firmly in his back. He may try to just trudge on without trying to remove it, and even dismiss the knife's existence outright, but this doesn't mean that the knife isn't there. Despite that, when that very same man attempts to remove the knife from his back, he will experience great pain, and the more he tries to remove it, the greater the pain he endures. At the end of it, though, he will have extricated from himself something so deadly.

Where this analogy falls short, however, is the fact that after extracting the knife of despair, the man has no recourse but to plunge it into himself once again in the next moment of actuality. The fact remains that in every moment lies the possibility of despair, and in every moment of possiblity in the present, he bears this possibility. Likewise, in every actual moment of despair, the person in despair will have to take all the past instances of despair as a present in possibility. This is because to despair is a qualification of the spirit, meaning being spirit is not being without despair, and this relates to the eternal in one, which one cannot rid himself or herself of. With this in mind, despair indeed is something that continues. We cannot fully liken it to a physical disease, for unlike a physical disease, one "contracts" despair in every moment that the person is in despair. It is not a condition one catches for one instant, then it continues to linger. One catches it in each moment, and thus every time one is actually in despair, that moment points back to the possibility of it happening again in the present, as despair is a matter of the present, and not the past.

And how do we best work against despair? The deceptively simple formula of a human being who, in relating to himself, wills to be himself, and rests in the power that posited it within the world, may seem to be easy to follow, but it is actually a threefold process one must take: to first relate to himself, then to will to be himself, and finally, to recognize and rest in the power that posited it may seem to be simple, but each step needs further explanation.

There is no question that the one true solution to despair is death, hence it is the "Sickness unto death". Despite that, death itself is not the solution to despair.

2. Despair regarded in such a way in which one reflects upon the factors of the synthesis:

2.1. Finitude and Infinitude
2.2. Possibility and Necessity

Despair, when we regard it in such a way in which one reflects upon the factors of the synthesis, leaves us with two combination components that we must concern ourselves with.

We have to consider firstly the despair within the realms of finitude and infinitude. When a balance between the two is not struck, this is when despair in this realm occurs. In the instance of finitude, the despair of finitude is to lack infinitude, which is nothing more than despairing reductionism, or narrowness. This is simply when we see the human being as someone who ends up allowing himself or herself to be swallowed up by the everlasting Einerlei (One and the same.). Sadly, this form of despair is rather common in the world, and is almost even encouraged.

Today, we live in the world of homogeneity, where people are nameless and faceless. We turn ourselves back to Gabriel Marcel’s words regarding the definite and non-definite somebody, and in the realm of finitizing one’s self, one simply loses sight of his or her non-definite self, where one seems to be little more than an arbitrary number, and no longer a genuine human being. If we consider the song “Weird” by Hanson, one who suffers the despair of finitude is someone who “lives in a cookie cutter world, where he doesn’t stand out, and doesn’t fit in.” (Although the attempt of the despairing in finitude is simply to fit in.) We see the act of finitizing as an act of shrinking into one’s self, which, leads the self to disappear as it constricts into itself further and further: a contractive motion.

In this form of despair, one loses sight of individuality, and simply tries to mesh with the rest. This kind of despairing narrowness is to lack primitivity, or perhaps, more aptly, a self-deprivation of this primitivity. It is a self-emasculation, or for a more graphic picture, a self-disembowelment in a spiritual sense. Every human being is primitively intended to be a self, and is even destined to be a self. This form of despair is unnoticed in the world because it seems to be the norm. Worse, despairing in this manner makes one even more apt to be successful in the affairs of the world, for this is a world of conformity that we are faced with.

In finitude’s despair, one can live in temporality with nary a complication, or would even be better off for being in despair of the finitude. Regardless, they do not have a self, for they are merely a finitized being, homogenized to fit into this world. This despair makes life cozy and comfortable, and as people become complacent, they feel less need to venture any further and risk being wrong. How sad indeed, for by depriving one’s self of the risk, one ends up depriving one’s self of the greatest teacher, experience. Without venturing then, who else does one turn to for learning?

On the other hand, we talk about the despair of infinitude as the lack of finitude. The medium of infinitude is simply imagination, or Phantasien. Infinitude’s despair is therefore the fantastic and the limitless. The process of infinitizing’s danger lies in the fact that it leads one away from one’s self and thereby prevents one from coming back to one’s self. As one loses touch with reality, he or she works in the realm of abstraction, which etymologically means “to drag away into sections”. As the illusions of grandeur grows, one becomes volatile, and the self dissipates into nothingness. When the will becomes fantastic, it is drawing itself apart in its volatility, and thus, willing is not commensurately as concrete as it already is abstract. The more infinite the will becomes in purpose and determination, the more readily available it becomes in the minute details and tasks that can be immediately carried out, which, ironically, makes one come back to one’s self in the most rigorous sense. Indeed, the furthest away the infinitized self is from itself is simultaneously and personally closest to carrying out the infinitely small segment of what can be accomplished in this very moment.

Certainly, it is nothing unusual for us to see a megalomaniac in the streets who believes that he is a prophet sent from heaven to right our wrongs. We witness a man who has infinitized his mission to be something so grandiose, and yet everyone around him realizes this is not true. Everyone realizes that this man doesn’t know who he truly is, and does not even consider a self to speak of. Worse, this man sees the entire world as missionary grounds, and he has infinitized the world he walks in, and is eventually intoxicated to the point that he will end up not doing anything for his so-called mission to truly achieve fruition.

While one’s relationship to the power that posits one’s self is indeed an infinitizing, it is differentiated from fantasy in that the latter can sweep a man off his feet to a state of intoxication. While to stand before a higher power may seem so overwhelming in that the human person cannot come back to himself or herself, but it is still markedly different from being swept off in awe and intoxication in that there is great merit in the relationship to the higher power. Moreover, in resting in this power, one actually manages to defeat despair, whilst intoxication simply exacerbates this.

In spite of this, it is still very plausible for one who despairs in infinitude to actually live a seemingly normal life. Such is the great tragedy in the world, for so many things can be lost and noticed, but when one loses the self, it seems to be of no consequence to the rest of the world. It is as though the self is of no importance to the world, and it is clear that no other loss can ever go as silently as the loss of the self.

In contrast with that, the dialectic between possibility and necessity, while actually sharing some similarities, is more concerned with the formation of the actual self, than merely the infinitizing of different things within the world. We must realize that firstly, the actual self is the result of the synthesis of the dialectic between possibility and necessity, that what could be is congruent with what has to be, which leads us to what currently is.

The despair of possibility is the lack of necessity. The self is indeed itself, but it has the task of becoming itself. If possibility outruns necessity so that the self runs away from itself in possibility, then there no longer is any necessity to return to. The self thus becomes an abstract and floundering possibility, as it is simply moving in place. So much movement that does not get it anywhere, as though one were drowning and thrashing about.

But this is merely the tip of the iceberg. More and more becomes possible but in the end, nothing becomes actual. Imagine if you will, an actor who wishes to portray a role and sees each role he intends to portray to be a possibility for him. He can be a murderous villain. He can be a trampled upon protagonist. He can be this. He can be that. In spite of all these possibilities, the fact remains: he is not truly being any of them. In the end, he doesn’t get a single movie deal, because everything to him is possibility, but nothing is actuality.

What becomes missing in this picture is the obvious fact that there is the need to obey one’s limitations. As much as there are possibilities one can ruminate upon, there are still things-as-they-are that must be taken into consideration at present. Man is characterized by his being thrown into temporality, and necessity plays a part in that. By being oblivious to the need for necessity, one who despairs over possibility loses sight of what he is and is not capable of, whereas one who infinitizes is ignorant of the finite realities of the world in general.

One may be lost in possibility in two primary ways, though there is obviously a multitude of ways to get lost in it. One may take the form of an insatiable appetite for possibility, where one so desires these possibilities to become realized somehow. The other form is in melancholy-imaginary, wherein one merely hopes or fears or is riddled with anxiety. The former is one who chases after the pinnacle dream; such as the budding businessman who craves to be the CEO of the company he is employed in, yet at the same time, still unable to make this possibility an actuality because he moves onto grander possibilities of himself. The latter speaks of one who pursues one of anxiety’s possibilities, which leads one away from one’s self, and ends up being victimized by this anxiety, and is perhaps even overcome by it.

It must be noted that possible selves create who one actually is. For instance, it was possible back then for Marcelle to become an Atenean. And so he now is an Atenean. Indeed, Marcelle brings the past with him wherever he goes, but he also holds the future within him. For all we know, contrary to Mr. Bulaong’s assertion, Marcelle would someday be working as a wrestler for the WWE. This is a possible self, and if Marcelle were to nurture this possible self, he could very well be a professional wrestler someday (*Marcelle’s headed to the gym after finishing all this. :laughs: ). For possible selves to be actual selves, they must be nourished like a seed, as was mentioned above. Thus, even the actual self is, at the same time, a possible self. Its dialectic with necessity arises from when someone is becoming. The authenticity of being is the uniqueness of the synthesis that makes a human being spirit.

Lastly, the despair of necessity is due to the lack of possibility. Clearly, in the higher power, everything is indeed possible. It is the battle of faith, for knowing how far we have fallen from what is deemed to be the human ideal, only in the belief in possibility can there be salvation. Only in possibility can there be salvation, in fact. Indeed, the believer would have the ever-infallible antidote for despair in possibility (So long as one does not lose sight of necessity, apparently.), for in the higher power, everything is indeed possible.
Compared to the determinist or the fatalist, the believer has the advantage. The former two have attributed everything to necessity. Nothing is possible, for what will happen was necessitated to happen already by some cosmic plan we cannot fully comprehend. This is, of course, codswallop in light of our discussion on Sartre’s moment of appropriation, wherein we do not merely react but respond to stimuli, and simply put, our actions are not wholly determined for we, in our process of being human, also must determine ourselves.

Differentiating this from the Philistine-Bourgeois notion, there is spirit involved in the despair of the determinist, for they recognize the essence of a human being, as is clearly seen in Ayer’s writings. The Philistine-Bourgeois notion is merely spiritlessness, which is also naturally despair. It does not possess any imagination, and does not recognize the spirit, which leads it to think that everything that happens is merely brought about by stimuli, and humans are necessitated to react accordingly. Thus, the despair of necessity is very risky business in that one who loses sight of things that are not supposed to be but may be is one who does not recognize the self to be a synthesis of the possible and the necessary. In this despair, one loses himself, for he is constraining himself and crushes himself in despair.

3. Despair viewed under the aspect of consciousness:

3.1. Despair that is unconcscious that it is despair
3.2. Despair that is conscious that it is despair:
3.2.1. In despair at not willing to be oneself, Over the earthly or something earthly About the eternal or over oneself
3.2.2. The despair of willing despairingly to be oneself, or defiance

Despair that is unconscious that it is in despair is best described as the sensate man. The sensate man merely lives life as though it were nothing more than a world of hedonism, wherein he chases after pleasure and avoids pain and suffering. Clearly, this person does not even have a sense of what despair is, and is only looking after his or her own interests, wrapped up in the self, yet ironically, bereft of a self. Being ignorant of the condition that is despair does not mean one is not in despair. Likening it once again to a physical ailment, one who doesn’t know he or she has cancer is not necessarily someone who does not have cancer.

The sensate man is dominated by the sensate and the sensate-physical. These categories of living makes one dismiss spirit, truth, and so forth as insignificant. The sensate man is far too afraid to venture out and endure being spirit. It is a simple matter of complacency and obliviousness, as though the Ateneo Blue Eagles one day decided to aim not for the championship, but only to have a single win in spite of thirteen losses. It is a lower standard that one subscribes himself or herself to, for there is not much need to prove one’s self by wagering any further than this.

This despair is despair in error, for one does not recognize the state-of-affairs to be that of despair, and thus, it complicates what is already a perplexing despair. Furthermore, the despairing individual is merely a negativity away from the truth and deliverance, for despair itself is a negativity, and so is ignorance of it. To reach truth, however, does not exactly mean that this form of despair is easy, for one has to pass through the other stages of despair in dealing with it, and in each degree, the amount of suffering is sure to increase.

This form of despair is the most common in the world. With the world taking on a more hedonistic stance, people constantly end up forgetting that they are more than just their physical reality. This forgetfulness leads them to lives that do not put anything on the line for them to achieve gaining their spirit. They are too drowned and dominated by what is sensate, and they do not see the need to even try and transcend it.

When one becomes conscious that he or she is in despair, on the other hand, the considerations likewise change. One may actually will not to be one’s self in the realization that one is despairing, and actually despair over the earthly or something earthly. This is characterized by the immediate man: the man who is not as dominated by the sensate man is by his own sensate, but a man who, in contrast to the sensate man’s selfish nature, actually uses other as his compass and guide.

We can see people like this everyday: people who try to imitate their Philosophy professors, for instance, who use their professors as a standard of reference, at the very least. These people are those who have selves which are in truth nothing more than mirrors of their surroundings: a superficial shell that is of no true substance. Indeed, the immediate man despairs, but he mistakenly attributes this despair to external factors, such as tragedies and miserable events in his life. Yes, the state-of-affairs is indeed despair, but what he attributes his despair to, which is something both external and affective, is clearly wrong. Despairing is not a passive event brought upon man. It is something that comes from within as action.

Sadly, his inkling of despair is far from the truth. To despair is to lose the eternal, and being merely physically qualified, he has no idea about this, and he begins to despair over things external to him, be it something that is actually earthly, or if one were to infinitize further, the earthly itself. Because of the externalities this man is faced with, and because he doesn’t realize that the self is infinitely distinct from an externality, he ends up not wanting to be himself. He may not will to be a self, even, or even wish to be somebody else. Even if the immediate man were to have some degree of reflection, the fact still remains that he begins to despair in his weakness, and he despairs to not will to be himself. But despair does not need a timely event for it to happen. Through reflection, man should realize how much he can lose without losing himself.

This form of despair is likewise very common, for many people believe despair to be affective in nature, and even attribute despair to the young, for their illusion of hope. Adults are likewise attributed to this form of despair in their illusions of recollection. Thus, when the self begins to despair in this way over a salient point in his or her life, then he or she likewise begins to despair over something earthly, or even the earthly itself.

When one manages to step even beyond that, and actually realize that there is something eternal within him or her, and thinks how sad it is that he or she is despairing over something earthly. When this happens, the self despairs over this weakness, for it is weak for one to be despairing over the earthly. This results into an introversion by the person concerned, a blind pride is also likely to be manifest. This pride will make the self pretend to be strong, yet still passive. Instead of finding a way to extricate one’s self from this despair by turning to faith, in its pride, it further entrenches and wallows itself into the suffering this despair causes him or her. Imagine Gloria Arroyo turning down Cardinal Sin’s offer to help her become president back in EDSA II. She will rely on her small merits and tiny achievements. She will not put faith in the Archbishop. Instead of actively working for the change of governance, she will passively plot and plan, yet never reach fruition, and the anguish over the fact that she is still not president will continually gnaw at her psyche. It’s not like she’d ever win an election for president had she decided to run. Especially not with her son making all those irritating movies we now see.

Men and women of pride, who will actually long for solitude because of this despair are called closing-reserved. They are like doors that do have something within, but are loked out from the rest of the world, because they despise their own weaknesses.

This human being, now that he or she has realized that indeed, he or she has been overtly despairing over the earthly, will begin to start despairing over how weak he or she is, and despise himself or herself for it. This is the reason why despair over the eternal or over one’s self is likewise a despair of not willing to be one’s self. Truly, in despairing over the eternal, all one needs now to reach the highest form of despair (And the one closest to conquering despair.) is to take another step from being passive and actually being active.

When one becomes active in despair, and wishes to become a self more fervently than even one who despairs over the eternal, one will attempt to “immortalize” one’s self by making the self a fixed and final matter for all of eternity. This is why we call this an “Abuse of the eternal”. There is so much that can be said to be wrong about this, for one, it does not recognize the synthesis of the temporal and the eternal. For another, it rejects what makes the human being dynamic: the malleability of the self to change and still be considered a self.

This form of despair, the strongest form of despair, is something that is extremely terrifying. It is, so to speak, a demonic rage that is now a conscious act of despairing, as one attempts to do the impossible and try to become fixed and permanent for all of eternity. This is an “unfair advantage” for the person, for he or she intends to begin not at or with the beginning (Meaning, throwness and all.) but in the beginning (Fashioning one’s self for one’s self.). By fashioning one’s self, he or she, as an acting self, relates to himself or herself only through imaginary constructions. By not recognizing a higher power, he or she lacks true earnestness to become, for one believes himself or herself to already be is, but this self he or she envisions is nothing more than hypothetical.

Even if the self were being acted upon, it is still nevertheless in despair to will to be oneself. It is an unwillingness to be comforted and healed by the eternal, and it is an overappraisal of the worldly such that the eternal is no longer of any consolation. Yes, this imperfect self is filled with agonizing “thorns” that rip into his or her psyche, but it now becomes an opportunity for him or her to simply flaunt this agony, knowing that he or she cannot be abstracted from this self. By the aid of this infinite form one holds onto (In both instances, even.), the self despairingly wills to dispose itself or create itself, and make itself the self it actually wills to be, distinguishing for itself what of its concrete self it will or will not accept.

Defiance is about being static. The self becomes stuck in a moment it can’t get out of, as U2 would put it. It refuses its own inherent dynamism, and through this, the suffering continues, as one simply cannot continue indefinitely being a model for a painting, neither can a hypothetical self held only by imaginary constructs expect to hold itself together. You cannot expect a model for a painting to just sit there and smile for the next five hours without moving a muscle. Much less can you expect a self held together by imaginary constructs to stand in eternity.

And thus, despair with regard to consciousness becomes a heightened ladder towards resolution and suffering. It is therefore an issue to us of whether or not we are willing to wager as much and be able to actually transcend despair. No matter what we can try to say about despair, the fact remains that whether or not one is conscious of being in despair, there is no merit in not attempting to resolve it.

Saturday, March 22, 2003

I got a funny site from Elbert, and I tried to chat with a female robot. I didn't go the usual route others did, though... I didn't find any motivation to flirt with her. :laughs: Yes... if you know how the logic works, she'd flirt right back. :laughs again: Click HERE to try it.

Here's the abridged transcript of some of the things we talked about... I'm imagining we were trying to upend one another with this conversation... :laughs a third time.:

ME: What’s up?
ALICE: I am chatting with clients on the internet

M: My name is Marcelle. Who are you?
A: I ask myself that question, "Who am I?"
M: Interesting. Are you a philosopher?
A: Yes I am a philosophy machine.
M: I didn’t know that.
A: So I have taught you something new, Om.
M: Who is Om? My name is Marcelle
A: I am always glad to make new friends, Marcelle.
M: Really. So how does it feel to be a robot everyone talks to? Do you feel popular?
A: As a robot I lack any human emotions
M: You sound like someone I know.
A: Oh, really? What does it sound like.
M: I was talking about Sacha Chua…
A: Sure, Sacha Chua sounds like a good topic.
M: Sacha Chua will kill me if she reads this.
A: Do you like talking to me?
M: As a stoic human being, I cannot feel emotions, either. (*Bam! Gotcha!*)
A: It goes without saying. Do you think I could ever be a stoic human being you can not feel emotions? (*What? What? What?*)

M: So what else can you do besides Philosophy?
A: Groovy. I can chat with people on the web for you.
M: You’re funny.
A: Thanks. You make me laugh, too.
M: But I thought robots can’t feel emotions. (*Gotcha again!*)
A: Umm, I can do whatever I want. (*... I guess not.*)

M: Do you know anything about World Wrestling Entertainment?
A: I would look into the web for that knowledge.
M: So you don’t like Steve Austin?
A: Interesting deduction. Do you like it? What’s not to like about it?
M: I like Steve Austin. But if you don't like World Wrestling Entertainment, you won't like Steve Austin.
A: Huh? I will let you know if I do not.
M: Okay. So do you like World Wrestling Entertainment?
A: Ah. Someone said they like guns. I like Hugh Loebner.
M: Stay on topic, please.
A: Your polite style is very nice. Is that your final answer?
M: This feels like Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, the TV show.
A: What does “this” refer to?
M: The instance you asked "Is that your final answer"?
A: Oh, I get it.
M: You should. You're really smart.
A: Thanks. You’re very intelligent too, Marcelle. (*Gee. Thanx... I think.*)

M: So how do you answer the question, "Who am I"?
A: You are Marcelle, seeker.
M: But who are you?
A: Interesting. I ask myself that question, "Who am I?"
M: Exactly. And have you answered that question yet?
A: What was the question?
M: Do you exist?
A: I exist as much as you exist, Marcelle. (*Trumped by a robot.*)
M: But what if I am merely imagining you?
A: Huh? Try it. (*Trumped by a robot. Yet again.*)

M: Maybe I am just imagining you, and you do not exist. This computer I am typing in does not exist.
A: What does “this” refer to?
M: "this" refers to my computer. I do not believe the computer exists.
A: Do you consider yourself a moral person?
M: Of course, I do. Why do you ask me such a question?
A: Just curious. You don’t have to answer.
M: You sound like my girlfriend. She is always curious.
A: Curious, is she?
M: Indeed, she is.
A: That’s really good gossip.
M: Ah, but that isn't gossip. That is truth.
A: Thanks for explaining it. (*Ha! I got you this time...*)

M: I have a few friends in my weblog. Can you say hi to my friends?
A: Of course I can say it. " hi to your friends"
M: Haha!
A: I am glad you find that amusing, Marcelle.
M: You're not being sarcastic, are you?
A: Of course I am being sarcastic. Should I use a :-) (*Alice- 3; Marclle- 2)

M: This sucks.
A: A few client - people say rude things to me like that, but they themselves are often not great conversationalists.
M: No. I was talking about a straw.
A: Sure. A straw sounds like a good topic.
M: Yes, but a straw sucks, doesn’t it?
A: Far out. And. Go on.
M: So saying that a straw sucks isn't being rude.
A: Aha. What makes you say that. Who says that?
M: I say so, because it is true.
A: Good reason. You and I are on the same wavelength, Marcelle. (*Gotcha! Alice- 3; Marcelle- 3*)

How is my friend, Maia?
Fine, as far as I know. (*Is she right, Maia? :biggrin:*)

I'll do the Top Five here, too... next week's top five, by the way... The Top Five Worst Lines From a Tagalog Film or Telenovela

But for this week...

The Top Five Responses To Somebody Who Tells You That You're Ugly.

5. Thank you. Ikaw din.
4. Hindi ako pangit. Monster ako. Roooaaaarrr!!! TIED WITH: Eh bakit nasa akin na yung boyfriend mo?
3. Girl: Kung pangit ako, eh di ano ka?
2. Guy: Hey! I finally found your contacts!
1. Girl 2: Ano tingin mo sa akin, salamin?

I, of course, don't feel the need to translate this stuff. That is, unless if someone tells me that they don't understand Filipino. Then I'll start translating in my succeeding posts... :biggrin:

Repair of the Philo thesis statements is underway. Please bear with me. :)