Rest, and “the rest”, is an ultimate concept upheld in the dissertation, and it has serious consequences for logic as we know it, and seems to stand in opposition to pragmatism. Rest, however, is not as easy as it sounds. Buddhist monks do quite a lot of work for the sake of rest. As I got older I learned that rest is hard, because you have so many people around you and before you, working and having worked so hard. If you don’t wear the orange robe of a monk, people will look down on you for, not just resting, but striving to uphold rest as a concept that is defensible.
Ultimately we work for the sake of rest. We want to “have done” something so that we can kick up our feet and relax with some entertainment. Of course it is also true that we rest for the sake of work, but “rest” seems to have fallen as a concept and “work” was in the ascendant.
I practice meditation 3-4 hours a day, and I have discovered that to meditate successfully one must also practice ‘sila’ or virtue, such as the 8 precepts in Buddhism. Not lying, taking care not to hurt little critters, helps your concentration inside and outside meditation. As Buddhist monks propose, it must be realized that “striving for peace” can only be truly successful if such striving is also restful. To have rest be a means as well as an end, requires ‘sila,’ at least the 8 precepts, Here is a good explanation of the 8 precepts,
- 1. Panatipata veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
- I undertake the precept to refrain from destroying living creatures.
- 2. Adinnadana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
- I undertake the precept to refrain from taking that which is not given.
- 3. Abrahmacariya veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
- I undertake the precept to refrain from sexual activity.
- 4. Musavada veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
- I undertake the precept to refrain from incorrect speech.
- 5. Suramerayamajja pamadatthana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
- I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicating drinks and drugs which lead to carelessness.
- 6. Vikalabhojana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
- I undertake the precept to refrain from eating at the forbidden time (i.e., after noon).
- 7. Nacca-gita-vadita-visukkadassana mala-gandha-vilepana-dharana-mandana-vibhusanathana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
- I undertake the precept to refrain from dancing, singing, music, going to see entertainments, wearing garlands, using perfumes, and beautifying the body with cosmetics.
- 8. Uccasayana-mahasayana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
- I undertake the precept to refrain from lying on a high or luxurious sleeping place.
Yep, if you really want rest, you have to give up that entertainment you were looking forward to after work. All of the 8 precepts are a matter of ‘abstaining’ from certain actions and speech. There is nothing to do. You have to spend your restful hours striving for true rest.
“Shapiro uses an example called the “forced march” to display the power of his theory to handle vagueness with “competent speakers.” The forced march is done by a group of such speakers who examine the hair on the heads of 2000 men arrayed from entirely bald and progressing gradually to Jerry Garcia. They must reach a consensus each time, and Shapiro is concerned with the eventuality that, starting with Jerry Garcia, and inferring that a a small tuft of hair less on the next man preserves hairiness, the inference will break down and the competent speakers, one by one, will be filled with conflict until they decide that one of the men is bald (well before they get to the entirely bald man at the other end of this continuation). Shapiro argues that on breaking the inference with a particular man (lets call this man B(a)), classical logic requires that this break spreads to the men near B(a), so they are now also “bald” even though some of them were only a moment before considered “not bald.” Interestingly where exactly this spread of baldness around B(a) ends, and end it must before Jerry Garcia, is unknown, or deferred to further investigation. Needless to say, the deliberation of competent speakers on which men are bald and which men are not is neverending. Instead of admitting that logic is wrong, we are directed to work and deliberate on the problem forever, and if we ever throw up our hands and stop working, the consistency of classical logic would be questionable. (Nightingale 2018, pg 12)”