“Things are only real after one has learned to agree on their realness. What took place this evening, for instance, cannot possibly be real to you, because no one could agree with you about it. ‘Do you mean that you didn’t see what happened?’. Of course I did. But I don’t count. I am the one who’s lying to you, remember?”
Carlos Castaneda

Tales of Power

Tag Archives: metaphysics

Christopher Alexander – Mechanistic: A Mental Toy

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“The mechanistic idea of order can be traced to Descartes, around 1640. He ideas was: if you want to know how something works, you can find out by pretending that it is a machine. You completely isolate the thing you are interested in … from everything else, and you invent a mechanistic model, a mental […]

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Christopher Alexander on Essential Awe

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“… In this conception, value is not something merely grafted onto space, as a passenger might be who carries no weight and does no work. It is part of the same nearly mechanical picture of space that we have come to believe in, and respect and trust. Yet, at the same time, in a most […]

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Christopher Alexander on an Extended Physics

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“… In physics, the effort has always been to take the geometry of a material system and to derive from it, predictions about the dynamic behavior, forces, and causal interactions … which follow from a particular configuration. In art and building … Again we have geometry, but here we seek especially to derive from it, […]

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Christopher Alexander on A Gift from Art to Science

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“What is, truly, the ultimate nature of matter? … I have expressed my conviction that architecture cannot be good so long as we try to to do it within a mechanical conception of matter … I have argued … that we must have a vision of the world in which life, as the foundation of […]

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Christopher Alexander on a Gift to God

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This felt like a demanding excerpt to put together. “When the field of centers appears in something, its deep feeling appears and it is … spirit made actual, spirit made manifest … It is not an indication of God living behind all things, but it is actually God itself … As we understand this more, […]

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Christopher Alexander on Never Truly Beautiful

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“What kind of beauty could go so deep that a person would be afraid of creating it? … Working with architects, I have experienced it again and again. Many traditional shapes, especially the most profound shapes with deep and serious centers in them, for some reason trouble modern architects profoundly. Even when an architect does […]

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Christopher Alexander on Pleasing Yourself

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“In order to create living structure, we must please ourselves … And you need only please yourself. But you must please yourself truly. And to do that you must first discover your own true self, come close enough to t, and to listen to it, so that it can be pleased. Does this sound absurd? […]

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Christopher Alexander on Making as Healing

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“When the I-stuff is created, it nourishes the maker – not only the viewer, but the maker too. For some reason, the process of making things which are alive enlarges us, deepens our experience. I feel more alive for having done it. It is like food … What is the reason for this ‘food-like’ character […]

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Christopher Alexander on Tears, Sadness and Unity

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This resonates deeply with me. A pursuit of happiness has never appealed or worked out for me. If what Alexander is true, then the oh-so-popular notion of “pursuit of happiness” is bound to hit a wall. My experiences of happiness seem to expire quickly, while my experiences of sadness seem resonate deeper and longer … […]

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Christopher Alexander on Schrödinger’s Yellow

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“Schrödinger, the physicist who discovered the matter-wave equation of quantum mechanics, has a great deal to teach us about color and its real existence. He outlines [in his short book Mind and Matter] the following argument. ‘You and I, both see yellow. But according to the prevailing view of science, there is no way of […]

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Christopher Alexander on Color Properties of Inner Light

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This post is an except from an extensive chapter about color. As I was reading through the chapter and excerpting from it the subject of relationships was on my mind and in my heart. When I speak of relationships between people, especially between myself and people close to me, things tend to get personal(!). However […]

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Christoppher Alexander on Windows to the Ground

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This (kind of?) makes up for my not excerpting sooner about centers … but without the previous, softer, experiental introduction, this may be harder to swallow ..anyways … here it is: “I am going to start with the idea that the I exists physically, that there is some plenum, not part of the physical space […]

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Christopher Alexander on Searching for Being

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“Many years ago I lived in India. In the village where I lived, at night especially, some sounds travel a long way … I remember walking around in the fields at night, and once hearing in the very far distance, very, very far off, a flute playing in the night. You could barely pick out […]

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Christopher Alexander on Persuasion through Experience

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“Strangely, I believe the beauty of the world is almost more touching, more profound, if the harsh, ugly world of ours, is married, mixed, with the more perfect world in which the beings are fully living … But it is necessary for us to cross that bridge … It does not come easy. But when […]

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Christopher Alexander on Centers as Beings

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“… every living structure is composed of thousands of pictures of the eternal self. A being is a small thing. It is a name for a center which is connected to the I … But, unlike the phrase ‘living center’ or ‘living structure.,’ the word ‘being’ draws attention to the nearly animate quality that appears […]

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Christopher Alexander on “The I”

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“Some experiences of I, within the things of the world, and especially within the things of nature, is shared, I think, by every human being, in some degree … I look at the waterfall and say I find it pleasing … In a second, also mild, version of this experience, I enjoy the waterfall, and […]

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Christopher Alexander on a Real Relatedness

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I was this person who’s relatedness was damaged by dead structures (physical and metaphysical) of the world. It makes me wonder if being at Bhudeva is a phase of cleansing and re-nourishing? Will I one day look back at it as my “great retreat”? I acknowledge, I want to see, I am willing to experience […]

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Christopher Alexander on Devotional Atmosphere

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“As a matter of observation, it is simply true to say that many of the most beautiful works of art in the world’s history, and many of the most profoundly living structures, large and small, that human beings have created, have been created within … a … mystical religious context. … What, then, about the […]

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Christopher Alexander on Ultra Mechanistic

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For more on this dear-to-me subject see Robert Pirsig’s Lila and the work of Rupert Sheldrake … and this is just the opening of the book “Scientists often like to say that the materialist view of present-day science is potentially consistent with early any view of ethics or religion because it says nothing about these […]

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Christopher Alexander on Inert Matter

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” … our view of matter is flawed … The substance which the 20th century world was made of remained the inert, mechanical space-time of Descartes, Newton and Einstein, of quantum mechanics and the string theorists. This mechanical substance is our cake. So far, our spiritual views and ethical views are only frosting on this […]

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