Thursday, 17 July 2014

Terms That Have Resonated With Me

This is a selection of terms and their definitions which were worth finding out those last few years. I was happy to know these words actually exist. And if you have existentialist tendencies or if big words turn you on, then you will probably dig some of them.

  • Sapiosexual: A behaviour of becoming attracted to or aroused by intelligence and its use.
  • Pantheism: A doctrine that identifies God with the universe, or regards the universe as a manifestation of God; the belief that the Universe — or Nature as the totality of everything — is identical with divinity.

    Not to be confused with Panentheism where God lies within and also beyond or outside of the universe.

  • Synesthesia (also spelled synæsthesia or synaesthesia): A neurological phenomenon or condition in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. In other words, it is when the senses overlap or trigger each other in an atypical way. Meaning, one can taste words, see sounds, and hear colours among other mix-ups of the senses. ⠀⠀⠀
    ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    One form of synesthesia joins objects such as letters, shapes, numbers or people’s names with a sensory perception such as smell, colour, or flavour. While experiences remain unique depending on each synesthete, some common pairings were found between the letter ‘B’ and the colour blue, the number ‘0’ and white, and ‘1’ and black. Those were among natural synesthetes.
    ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    While Synesthesia occurs naturally to about 4% of the population, with other sources citing only 1%. Another minority can get a glimpse of what it is while on psychedelics — LSD in particular. However, in a study published in
    Neuropsychologia, researchers at the University of London (UoL) revealed that the one caused by LSD, the “inducer”, is not genuine synesthesia. For it to be considered so, the response must be confirmed by consistency and specificity, meaning that the same inducer must produce the same reaction every time.

    But under the influence of LSD the subjects did not report specific colour experiences with graphemes and sounds. Sounds and colours were no more consistent than with placebos. The results showed that whatever is experienced under acid was not “true” synesthesia. It is still quite the wickedly enjoyable experience.

    The below When Senses Collide: Synesthesia is a 2008 eye-opening documentary about this truly bewitching phenomenon.

  • Biocentrism: The view or belief that the rights and needs of humans are not more important than those of other living things — a sort of new Theory of Everything. It states that life and biology are central to being, reality, and the cosmos — life creates the universe rather than the other way around. In a political and ecological sense, it is an ethical point of view that extends inherent value to all living things. Biocentrism stands in contrast to Anthropocentrism, which centers on the value of humans. The related term Zoocentrism limits inherent value specifically to animals.

  • Dudeism: Dudeism is a philosophy and lifestyle inspired by the modern-day fictional character Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski, as portrayed by Jeff Bridges in the Coen Brothers 1998 film The Big Lebowski. Dudeism's stated primary objective is to promote a modern form of Chinese Taoism, outlined in Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu — Laozi — (6th century BC), blended with concepts by the Ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus (341-270 BC), and presented in a style as personified by the character of “The Dude”.

    Dudeism has sometimes been regarded as a mock religion; though its founder and many adherents regard it seriously.

    Here is a little fun story from a few years back in Venice Beach to break the list:

    The Kid Who Called Me “The Dude”⠀⠀⠀⠀
    ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    While picking up dinner from a local Thai place I got off the bike and went in to pay. Being the weekend, it was busy and they told me it will take another ten minutes, so I waited outside. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    There were three wide-eyed, energetic black kids — two boys who look like they could be fraternal twins and a girl about a couple of years older. Their mother, who’s in her mid-30s with green eyes which beautifully match her skin, was waiting for their order inside. ⠀
    ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    Seeing their playful mood, I began making faces to the adorable kids. And they naturally responded with more faces. I then twisted my tongue, making a u-shape. They tried to mimic it but couldn’t, so I told them that there is a myth about how tongue-rolling is genetic; how to able to do it their father as well as mother must both be able to. But that is just a common myth. ⠀

    The mother was coming out of the place when she heard that very last part and smiled. It was then when one of the boys looked at me from head to toes, nodded his head, and with a certain conviction he said: “I’m gonna call you Lebowski. You and your bike and your hair and your beard and your flip-flops. You’re Lebowski.”

    Uhm. It took me about two seconds to register that the kid did really say that — right pronunciation and all. He could not be more than five years old, so it was quite a surprise. Looking at his mom, I asked: “By Lebowski… does he mean “The Dude”?

    Smiling again, she replied: “I guess, yeah.

    Waow. How perceptive. Actually my friends do call me ‘The Dude’” (*wondering in my mind if it became so apparent).
    ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    O’ the things kids just genuinely blurt out. ⠀⠀⠀

  • Eclecticism: a. Deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.

    b. PHILOSOPHY: Of, denoting, or belonging to a class of ancient philosophers who did not belong to or found any recognised school of thought but selected such doctrines as they wished from various schools.

  • Apophenia: The experience of seeing meaningful patterns or connections in random or meaningless data. Described as “unmotivated seeing of connections” accompanied by a “specific experience of an abnormal meaningfulness”; has come to represent the human tendency to seek patterns in random information in general, such as with gambling and paranormal phenomena.

    Venice Beach, CA - 2014
  • Biophilia: A hypothesis suggesting that there is an instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems; an urge to affiliate with other forms of life; a tendency to interact or be closely associated with other forms of life in nature. 

  • Syncretism: The combining of different beliefs while melding practices of various schools of thought; the amalgamation or attempted amalgamation of different religions, cultures, or schools of thought. It involves the merger and analogizing of several originally discrete traditions, especially in the theology and mythology of religion, thus asserting and underlying a sense of unity and oneness while allowing for an inclusive approach to other faiths. 

 And finally and perhaps more importantly,

  • Frisbeetarianism: The belief that, after death, the soul flies up onto the roof and stays there.

So if you’re high and/or horny now, you’re most welcome. If not, then this may add a thing or two for you to think about.

“Luminaries of Pantheism” is a new eye-catching mural on the Ocean Front Walk in Venice Beach.

The painting features Albert Einstein, Alan Watts, Baruch Spinoza, Terence McKenna, Carl Jung, Carl Sagan,
Emily Dickinson, Nikola Tesla, Friedrich Nietzsche, Ralph Waldo Emerson, W.E.B. Du Bois,
Henry David Thoreau, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Rumi, Adi Shankara, and Lao Tzu.

Art by Levi Ponce. Design by Peter Moriarty. Conception by Perry Rod.


Words With No Direct Translation To English
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