What is an Idea? (part seven)

Another meaning of the word ”idea” is an expression of a unique personal philosophy and logical system of which you are the main believer and the prime disseminator. In that way, you are also right up there among the great philosophers, no matter what kind of education you have acquired so far and probably do not need to defend your concepts as they did.

In the philosophy of Plato, an acknowledged professional at thinking, contended that a corresponding being in phenomenal reality is an imperfect replica of an archetype (somewhat like the cow in the just previous article, I suppose). In the later philosophy of Kant, a concept of reason was promoted by him that is transcendent but not empirical – this means using methods that are not measurable according to present scientific methods but are still valid.

He also used “idea” as “ideal” in a larger context as describing an inner standard of perfection. This is a logical system presenting a concept of reason that does not depend upon outer functioning calculations in order to be true. Kant used this in the form of a transcendent reasoning; therefore, it remains as theory, to continue to be honed by discussion rather than by empirical worldly standards.

Transcendent means non-worldly, interior, beyond the human condition and the human realm. Some say that the original view of transcendent was based on observations that the Earth was flat and there was this curved ceiling over the top of it, so, to transcend meant it was beyond that curve or went above this curve to where heaven is located. Spiritual language often is based on that unformed, unexamined “idea,” view or concept of where transcendent is located.

A student told me that their understanding of transcendence is where there are no obstacles or negative events. Their personal idea of transcendence is that it is lacking the negative.

In the philosophy of Hegel, he says “idea” is absolute truth, the complete and ultimate product of reason. He is using “idea” in a unique form however, perhaps to shake us from complacency about words and meanings that become boring. I do not think there are others who would refer to “idea” as being the absolute truth, but I am only a beginner in western philosophy.

An idea, as an object, is something that either could, or does actually exist in the mind as the result of thinking about a subject. Gathering and creating a specific state of mind is done by thinking, assembling various impressions, or holistically maintaining a composite view of other indicated states of mind. In that way, this is exactly the same as gathering the elements to construct a state of mind, something more real than material objects, although of shorter duration. This seems of minor consequence until we see how Buddha Shakyamuni gathered and held a very specific state of mind for quite a long time until it shifted into a new paradigm of awakening. To be continued….


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