(START HERE) Gene Odening interview, Part 1 – “The TRIVIUM Method” – #049 (+ video)

Tonight's show is an important one. Without it, it's hard to build on the information presented in the other shows. Here we begin to learn about learning, logic, critical thinking, Hegelian dialectics, Plato, the Trivium, the Quadrivium, the 7 liberal arts, and many other facets of human cognizance.


Gnostic Media’s 1 Year anniversary show!

Tonight’s show is an important one. Without it, it’s hard to build on the information presented in the other shows. Here we begin to learn about learning, logic, critical thinking, Hegelian dialectics, Plato, the Trivium, the Quadrivium, the 7 liberal arts, and many other facets of human cognizance.

My guest is Gene Odening.
This is the story of the 3 successive stages of the “Philosophic Life” which almost all of us live. Some of us live it consciously, others, not so much.
Gene’s story is one of good fortune. Early in adolescence he was given the tools to recognize and to pursue the Philosophic Life, which he undertook to do, not as a vocation but as a serious hobbyist. This is part of what the talk is about, defining those tools and following time-tested ways of applying them.

Gene lived through the first part, the Stage of Preparing For Life, in a fashion which the ancient Vedic Sages called: “Learning by grazing through the fields of the Brahma (the Creator God), in sobriety, and with a guru”. He even had his own guru!

When he was 20 years old, he began the second part, the Stage of Receiving From Life. This is when he began his vocational career and started his family life. Life was good. He and his wife traveled many parts of the English speaking world scouring the libraries in particular; she reading her beloved fiction; he in the reference and antiquarian sections. His quest was to find out what Money was. Money is a very elusive thing. As ghostly as it is, it takes up much of our life’s time and energy. By happenstance, in pursuit of its secrets, almost all other known topics come into view for a closer examination, including Philosophy, a treasure beyond measure.

As he reached the age of about 56, he had the realization that he was now in the final stage, the Stage of Giving Back To Life. This is when one should properly become the elder advisor, not ‘offering’ advise, but giving of it freely when asked. It is also the time of beginning one’s journey through mentality. This is the time of: “Examining a life which has been worth living”, as the Greek sage Socrates counceled.

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  18 comments for “(START HERE) Gene Odening interview, Part 1 – “The TRIVIUM Method” – #049 (+ video)

  1. Robert Paquette
    February 20, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    First of all, I’d like to thank you for sharing this learning system. I think it’s very interesting and exciting.

    But, secondly, I’d like to call you out on your use of a straw man argument to dismiss people who believe in Jesus because of the witness of, as you said: “one book”. The bible (which means books), regardless of which version (or perversion) you may be referencing, is comprised of more than one book. Most protestant bibles contain 66 (a curious number) books; the Tyndale, 74 books; and the catholick (spelling on purpose) 73 books. All of the books in the Old Testament section prophesy of and or display types and shadows of the Messiah to come. All of the books in the New Testament testify that Jesus (actually Yeshua) fulfilled those prophesies. Whether or not you believe the testimony of the 66, 74, or 73 books, is irrelevant to me. But, that you violated the straw man principle which you taught me, is what I dislike. Now, I will not, as they say, throw out the baby with the bath water, and dismiss everything you say, thereby being guilty of an Ad Hominem Tu Quoque fallacy – again, thanks to you.

    Keep up the good work, and thanks again.

    Robert

    • Adam
      December 20, 2014 at 9:50 pm

      Thank you…. seriously… thank you….

    • daniel.tarbuck@yahoo.com
      January 2, 2015 at 9:48 am

      Liked your talk regarding straw man, just wanted to ask if you have read up on gerald massey a hetrodox poet and auther of light of this world?

    • Sandy Brown
      February 6, 2015 at 11:35 am

      This is a reply to the presentation on the trivium rather than to the last comment.

      Of course it can help people to consider the way in which they think and it may help them think and read more critically up to a point.

      However, if we are to commit deeply to critical thinking then the trivium itself must be brought into question, to which end I would like to make the following points:

      1. You spoke about paradoxes and the natural/ man made distinctions and said
      that all man made knowledge is contradictory. Is this all man made knowledge including the trivium? Or is the trivium a miraculous exception to this rule?

      2. If part of the value of the trivium is that it reflects how the mind works (a grossly reductive account of how the mind works, some might say), then what is the point? If that is actually how the mind work, then we apply the trivium whether we like it, know it, or not because it is how the mind works. If it is how the mind works, then why aren’t we already all ‘on the same page’? (To use your phrase).

      3. You make an assumption that nature is not contradictory – how could you possibly know this? Isn’t this another man made view (and therefore contradictory)

      4. If we apply logic to remove contradictions and thereby arrive at some kind of ‘truth of a subject’ are we not ignoring part of the truth of the subject? Who is to say that the contradiction is not part of the truth of the subject? Who is to say that contradiction is not the truth of every subject? You come close to saying this.

      4. Aristoltle is probably the most influential thinker in western history but philosophy has moved on. The work of Russell (after Frege) proves that Aristotle’s logical syllogism is actually wrong because he confused subjects and predicates. Then Russell’s own
      attempt at logical elaboration runs into it’s own paradoxes.

      5. Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason changed philosophy addressing a similar question of how the mind works in a much more sophisticated way, i.e. We need to understand the mind works and what it can know because this will determine the limits of possible knowledge/ what kind of knowledge is possible (see Dan Robinson’s lecture How is nature possible).

      6. Hegel’s dialectic is an account of how reason works within this Kantian framework.

      7. Genealogy (Nietzsche), deconstruction (Heidegger/Derrida) and discourse/ power knowledge (Foucault)
      all look at knowledge as originating in discursive, historical, socio political contexts. Truth, rationality, logic etc themselves are features of western philosophical discourse and not truths as such.

      8. Knowledge does not exist outside of a context. Where is context in Aristotle’s trivium? What is Aristotle’s context?

      9. There seems to be an assumption underlying all of this that it is possible to know the truth by applying a systematic
      approach to knowledge, are you not making the assumption 1. That truth exists rather than being a function of human discourse? 2. That the individual human agent is able to access these truths and come to something approximating perfect knowledge? Are we perfectly permeable knowledge membranes that can understand the universe in which we are embedded while simultaneously being able to understand ourselves from the outside? Would not we have to be able to understand our own subjectivity and how this conditions our own knowledge? How is this possible?

      10. Another way of thinking about knowledge is simply to make sure that as far as possible opinions are supported by facts, but then we run into another paradox – that we are prone to select facts according to our pre existing interpretation.

      Maybe the truth of human discourse – as you say yourself – lies in the contradictions, not the elimination of these contradictions. Contradictions are indeed part of our reality.

      7.

      • James
        March 7, 2015 at 2:20 am

        3/6/2015
        Jewish thought is criticized on the internet a lot on the basis of this notion
        of context. While the traditional culture of Europe had ethics based on what was right or true, and implicit in this is the knowledge or belief that one can know what is morally or factually right or true.
        With the ever increasing dominance of Jewry over culture in America and the West, the Jewish notions, sometimes ascribed to an Eastern mode of thought, of right and true are emerging as prominent and are contrary to the traditions of the West in this notion that what is right depends on the context. For Jewry, or so I have read, the question is always “What is good for the Jews?” i.e. what favors Jewish interests. This has led to attempts by organized, powerful Jewry to determine what is right by a consensus of agreement among the preeminent Jews concerned with a given question.
        By this manner, Jewry, once fierce and vocal proponents of the Constitutionally protected God given right to freedom of speech because it served Jewish interests during the period of secret, and open, scheming and plotting to push for a communist style of political organization to be imposed on the West including America. Also, this belief that what is true is relative to context has led to a falsification of various academic disciplines such as cultural anthropology and history. Some power group determines the truth. a truth that is deemed good for the Jews, and that truth is vigorously enforced, and dissenters ejected, and perhaps punished.
        Instructive to consider is the elderly Jewish couple in Chicago who a few years ago wrote a book, which was published , in which their love story in the midst of a putative “Nazi” concentration camp garnered good
        financial reward and fame; he even was brought onto the Oprah show. When it was exposed that his story was a fraud and the events recounted were false, he insisted, even while acknowledging that the story was
        a fabrication, that for him the story/the book, was true. He appeared quite sincere in this protestation.
        [This filmed interchange with a TV reporter is on the internet.]
        Perhaps Jewish philosophy and European generated philosophy are like apples and oranges and are best examined and understood separately.

    • Nini dePenne
      March 14, 2015 at 6:34 pm

      Beautifully said! Thank you, Robert, for putting such clear thought into your response. I, too, am concerned by the 66 books of the Queen Jimmy Bibble…and have wondered since childhood at the discrepancies between the text adored and worshipped by the scrambled Protestant masses, the Catholick’s grotto version and Tyndale’s. Yeshua taught directly from Torah, whilst referrencing well-known/respected books like Jasher, Jubillees and Enoch – no longer extant to our current cannon of scriptures. What Bozos thought it a bright idea to scour the scriptures of these texts, burnt down the Library at Alexandria, squirrelling more really excellent, revelatory stuff to their deep underground Vatican processing plant, are likely the same Bozos who reduced Grammer to mean
      “Grades K-5″ and expunged Trivium/Qudrivium from their flocks of sheeple.

  2. Michael
    July 3, 2013 at 2:00 am

    fascinating STUFF,

  3. Barry
    August 23, 2013 at 1:36 am

    I would add to Paquette’s point that not only is the Bible made up of multiple books, but that those books are also written by multiple authors from different nations, different time periods and who spoke different languages. Despite the varying and seemingly uncoordinated viewpoints with distance between them in location and time the varying accounts taken together present a theme consistent enough to be considered as one viewpoint, or “one book” as you put it.

  4. Attila Lendvai
    February 13, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    “I’d like to call you out on your use of a straw man […] The bible […] is comprised of more than one book.”

    why does that matter? the idea is the same: something is true because it’s written somewhere, in one, or in 66 books, doesn’t matter.

    “But, that you violated the straw man principle […] I will not […] dismiss everything you say, thereby being guilty of an Ad Hominem Tu Quoque fallacy”

    no, that’s a fallacy fallacy: dismissing an entire position as false because the opponent has made a logical fallacy in one of his arguments.

    an ad hominem would be you saying that he’s wrong about god because he stinks.

  5. May 16, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    thank you very much, I’m 30 and very smart learn very much listening and following the links of pateo.nl

    http://youtu.be/R3Ovrhrf9BQ

  6. Robert Hass
    August 6, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Paquette and Barry – Here’s why the argument regarding logic fallacy in support of the Bible is actually a logical fallacy in your argument – your understanding and acceptance of the Bible as “Truth” or the “word of God” is based entirely on “FAITH” – there is no irrefutable, concrete evidence that proves the Bible to be the “TRUTH”. That’s not to say that the Bible is not the “Truth” or the “word of God” – but, it’s all based on one’s faith to believe the Bile to be the truth – there;s no way to prove that. Faith is NOT reason i.e. reason is the employment of logic in the application of critical thought/questioning. Even though I believe our ability to reason is a gift from God reason still does not and cannot prove the Bible to be truth – although I have faith that it is the truth – with a grain of salt. God Bless

    • Robin
      October 21, 2014 at 9:58 pm

      Thanks for posting this information.

      To Robert and Christians in general:

      Writing from a Christian view point, I used to believe that Christianity was all about faith, that nothing about God could be proven, only believed. I know longer see it that way.

      God can be tested and proven. He tells us to taste the Lord and see that He is good. He also asks us the reason with him. He says he reveals his wrath for those who hold the truth of his existence (hold meaning “suppress”). His wrath is revealed because he makes it very obvious that he exists in creation, but there are those who are “willingly ignorant.” Just as a beautiful work of art has an obvious artist behind it (it would not be logical to assume it painted itself), creation has an obvious creator. The reason for their ignorance is that by acknowledging his existence, they by default become accountable to him. You are very right to assume that your ability to be logical comes from him. He is not only logical, but very wise. He says that a “fool says in his heart there is no God.”

      One way to prove God exists is to seek him. He says that those who seek him will find him. It also is true that some who do not seek him find him. Another way to prove God is try the spirits. The Bible says to try the spirits and see if they be of God. There are clear definitions of the spirit of God and the spirit of anti-God. Given those clear definitions, one can logically assume which spirits originate from him and which do not.

      Lastly, God promises to give us his spirit. God says everyone who receives the spirit of God is born again. When you are born again, you give evidence of this. In the book of Acts, those who received the spirit gave a birth cry and spoke a new language that they had been given supernaturally. If you would like to prove if this scripture is true, you just follow the steps given. The steps are very simple. If you repent and are baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. That’s it. If it happens, you can prove that receiving the spirit is possible. If not, you can assume that it may not be possible, or that you did not fully apply the steps.

      Everyone I know who has applied the first 2 steps always receives the spirit of God, thereby proving that it is possible to receive God’s spirit. The evidence is that they are given the ability to speak languages they have not learned in the natural way. The fruit of the spirit is love.

      Prove God. He’s provable. I dare you. Double dare you.

      Love, joy, and peace to all.

      • Lee
        November 14, 2014 at 11:04 am

        God said these things? So please tell me why people from the past had all these communications with God? Anyway these people you speak of were more than likely enlightened, but through this interpretation of enlightenment the information becomes confused. Jesus was not the God. He was manifested just as you and I are.

    • Jeff
      October 25, 2014 at 7:02 pm

      I love reading peoples posts about faith, religion, and/or related truth. All of these abstract subjects are up to the individual. Truth in the abstract is nothing more than what we choose to believe… Most “TRUTH” is subject to conditions (perceptions) which we may interpret differently as individuals. The even more important/influential “TRUTHS” of ideological, philosophical, and moral standings are often clouded by emotion and are typically not in fact “TRUTH”.
      For example, The Bible states that theft is bad. Therefore, is a thief good or bad? If someone steals necessities from you is it bad? Is theft good or bad? Is a thief who steals for starving children bad? If someone places themselves in harms way for others, with nothing to gain for themselves is it good or bad?
      Are multinational biotech companies creating possibly toxic GMO crops that may alter the natural genome of existing crops? Can GMO crops create a dangerous spread of invasive species resistant to herbicide? Should GMOs be stopped?
      Can Biotech firms create GMO crops that may grow with less water? Can GMO crops be created with added nutritional values? Could GMO crops be used to help curve starving populations? Could GMO crops be responsibly grown and harvested to feed malnourished populations?
      Can situation, perception, or outside influence change truth? A definition of truth summarized is… Truth=Fact. Ultimate facts cannot change. Truth however, usually does or can very easily. Is the world flat? The truth to this question is different depending on who and/or when you ask it. Ultimately, logic may be used to find truths. However, with limited perception we all can find but only limited truth. Some areas we are well equipped to perceive. Did the ball bounce……..? Did Tim lie when he told me his dog was as big as a bear? Did I just get hit with a rock? We can easily perceive these answers.
      Was Jesus an amazing man who taught a righteous lifestyle? Was Jesus a divine messenger of god? Was Jesus the son of the almighty creator? Was Jesus the living breathing form of the one true god on planet earth sent here to guide his creations to the kingdom of heaven for an eventual war against the forces of evil? Is Jesus the god? No person alive today can prove the truth to these questions either way… We simply don’t have the perspective, perception, or abilities… However we can decide to believe whatever we want in these regards and even accept them as “TRUTH” if we wish… I will say this though people as a whole, as a group don’t know sh-t. there is lots more to our world that we cannot perceive than we are able to acknowledge.

  7. Robert Hass
    August 6, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    I might add – my understanding of God is a force of goodness, that some of us call God, that exists in opposition to evil and intervenes in life to that end i.e. to push back against evil using us as the weapon. Evil is created via the misapplication of our ability to reason. I have no idea what form this force of goodness takes – whether it be a supreme-being, a supreme-intelligence, extraterrestrial, extra-dimensional, or… ? I just don’t know I do know that a force of evil exists so, therefore a force of goodness exists and I am on its side. From my research of the history of the Bible’s existence, I’ve discovered that during the dark-ages the Bible went missing for 400 years (est). It’s hard to believe that the Bible has not been man-ipulated, by men with the desire to control mankind. The modern Bible mostly used in the western world is called the King James Version – question: how many versions of the truth is there – or can there possibly be? I tend to use the Bible to learn how to navigate life to act on the side of that force of goodness. If I first and foremost live to do no harm to another I will be rewarded in the end with some sort of further existence – if that’s possible. The only thing that I see that the Bible proves is that there is a force of goodness that many of us call God – and that force of goodness is most powerful – all about knowledge and exists everywhere.

  8. Paul
    January 13, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    It is in accordance with Man’s nature to need, and to seek an explanation for the natural world he found himself in, along with all the other creatures he shared it with. We have sought to understand who created all we see and why it was created since the dawn of man, and for millennia ever since. When it comes to “God”, “the spirit of all life” or “the creator”, I believe, Man simply does not posses the intellectual capacity to understand who and why the world was created any more than a super computer can understand the person who created the super computer, the reason for creating it or the technician who assembled it.

  9. Darryl
    May 25, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    Hoooooly! What an Awesome talk :-) All of my life, I have been using these ideas, unwittingly… When Gene started listing off the Assumptions along with their Latin definition, the lights came on for me… “The Science is settled” is a famous quote from Al Gore… The IPCC says it’s so, therefore the World should just accept it… and the idea that “5 Million Frenchmen can’t be wrong”… Gaud, I could go on… What excites me the most lies in the idea that I am just learning about what I have held to all of my life, but simply haven’t been able to put it into context… Thank you for giving me the meaning, understanding and definitions I was lacking :-) Recently, I’ve been encountering one synchronicity after another… The right knowledge comes along, when I wasn’t looking for it… Recently, I’ve been blown away… and I’m loving it… Being straight and sober, I’m having an Ayahuasca experience, according to people who have experienced it :-) I can’t wait to see what synchronicity happens next :-) This one is very special for me… I feel totally vindicated from hundreds of useless arguments… Thanks again :-) For years and years, I thought there might be something wrong with me… A close friend jokingly tells me that I am a magnet for Controversy, mainly because I rip apart many arguments, without so much as an apology… But, when I am presented with a BS point of view, I have the brains and balls to say so… I guess some people don’t like that… lol It’s great to find like-minded people in this world… :-)

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