RE: virus: Altruism, Empathy, the Superorganism, and the Priso ner's

Wright, James 7929 (
Wed, 23 Apr 97 08:43:00 EDT

Martz wrote:
>>Must there be a motive?[JW]<<
>I think so, but it's a fuzzy opinion probably based on some idea of
>cause and effect. I'm prepared to be convinced otherwise.<
We have created a (false?) idea or meme called "self"; having done so,
the error is compounded by ascribing qualities of deliberation and drive
to it, thus creating "motive". This motive is held to be the driving
force behind individual actions.
Do persons in coma lose themselves? Where is it found if they recover?
Can it be measured, counted, pointed at? These are a variety of the Zen
questions I have studied, the end result is still beyond me (my practice
is not complete at this point).

>>if you lose the concept of self, what happens to the concept of motive?

>Can you demonstrate that the concept of self can be wholly abandoned?<

Per above, not personally; my practice has not yet reached that stage. I
am informed through books and such that it is possible, and has been done
by many persons. Eventually I hope to reach this point.

>>Being steeped in a deific culture is a good point: how can you really

>>know when you've overcome or transcended a lifetime of conditioning? <<

>It's a difficult one alright. Question authority, question yourself and
>don't be afraid to laugh at your own stupidity when you find it.<

Still trying! Still capable of laughing at myself, so my self is still

>>I think I'm pretty close to abandoning any need for deities at all,
now; I don't
>>think I need a supernatural protector from the forces of nature.<<

>One would be nice, provided the price wasn't too high.<

I begin to suspect that all such arrangements are Faustian bargains.
<Snip middle section, mostly humor and agreement>
>>Define "improvement", please?<<

>A life more fitting to that which I would choose for myself, mentally
>(first and most important) and consequentially physically.<

We appear to be using different paths to the same end.