Home | Community | Message Board


Mycohaus
Please support our sponsors.

General Interest >> Philosophy, Sociology & Psychology

Welcome to the Shroomery Message Board! You are experiencing a small sample of what the site has to offer. Please login or register to post messages and view our exclusive members-only content. You'll gain access to additional forums, file attachments, board customizations, encrypted private messages, and much more!

Shop:   Original Seeds Store Buy CBD, Cannabis Seeds, Compare CBD   Amazon Microscope

Jump to first unread post. Pages: 1
Invisiblemr crisper
.

Registered: 07/25/00
Posts: 928
which came first?
    #2148750 - 12/01/03 09:46 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

is the universe a product of the mind, or mind a product of the universe?


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
OfflinePositronius
playboy

Registered: 11/27/03
Posts: 947
Loc: montreal-vancouver-tokyo
Last seen: 12 years, 9 months
Re: which came first? [Re: mr crisper]
    #2148799 - 12/01/03 10:12 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

the mind is a product of the universe.....obviously, to think otherwise would speciescentric.


--------------------
and you know it like a poet, like....babydoll


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
Invisiblesunyata
nonexistentexistentialist
Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 133
Re: which came first? [Re: Positronius]
    #2148924 - 12/01/03 11:30 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

One of my favorite passages from Alan Watts; it's long but contains some fascinating analysis of the chicken-egg paradox:

Quote:

If I first see a tree in the winter, I might assume that it is not a fruit-tree. But when I return in the summer to find it covered with plums, I must exclaim, "Excuse me! You were a fruit-tree after all." Imagine, then, that a billion years ago some beings from another part of the galaxy made a tour through the solar system in their flying saucer and found no life. They would dismiss it as "Just a bunch of old rocks!" But if they returned today, they would have to apologize: "Well--you were peopling rocks after all!" You may, of course, argue that there is no analogy between the two situations. The fruit-tree was at one time a seed inside a plum, but the earth--much less the solar system or the galaxy--was never a seed inside a person. But, oddly enough, you would be wrong.

I have tried to explain that the relation between an organism and its environment is mutual, that neither one is the "cause" or determinant of the other since the arrangement between them is polar. If, then, it makes sense to explain the organism and its behavior in terms of the environment; it will also make sense to explain the environment in terms of the organism. (Thus far I have kept this up my sleeve so as not to confuse the first aspect of the picture.) For there is a very real, physical sense in which man, and every other organism, creates his own environment.

Our whole knowledge of the world is, in one sense, self-knowledge. For knowing is a translation of external events into bodily processes, and especially into states of the nervous system and the brain: we know the world in terms of the body, and in accordance with its structure. Surgical alterations of the nervous system, or, in all probability, sense-organs of a different structure than ours, give different types of perception--just as the microscope and telescope change the vision of the naked eye. Bees and other insects have, for example, polaroid eyes which enable them to tell the position of the sun by observing any patch of blue sky. In other words, because of the different structure of their eyes, the sky that they see is not the sky that we see. Bats and homing pigeons have sensory equipment analogous to radar, and in this respect see more "reality" than we do without our special instruments.

From the viewpoint of your eyes your own head seems to be an invisible blank, neither dark nor light, standing immediately behind the nearest thing you can see. But in fact the whole field of vision "out there in front" is a sensation in the lower back of your head, where the optical centers of the brain are located. What you see out there is, immediately, how the inside of your head "looks" or "feels." So, too, everything that you hear, touch, taste, and smell is some kind of vibration interacting with your brain, which translates that vibration into what you know as light, color, sound, hardness, roughness, saltiness, heaviness, or pungence. Apart from your brain, all these vibrations would be like the sound of one hand clapping, or of sticks playing on a skinless drum. Apart from your brain, or some brain, the world is devoid of light, heat, weight, solidity, motion, space, time, or any other imaginable feature. All these phenomena are interactions, or transactions, of vibrations with a certain arrangement of neurons. Thus vibrations of light and heat from the sun do not actually become light or heat until they interact with a living organism, just as no light-beams are visible in space unless reflected by particles of atmosphere or dust. In other words, it "takes two" to make anything happen. As we saw, a single ball in space has no motion, whereas two balls give the possibility of linear motion, three balls motion in a plane, and four balls motion in three dimensions.

The same is true for the activation of an electric current. No current will "flow" through a wire until the positive pole is connected with the negative, or, to put it very simply, no current will start unless it has a point of arrival, and a living organism is a "point of arrival" apart from which there can never be the "currents" or phenomena of light, heat, weight, hardness, and so forth. One might almost say that the magic of the brain is to evoke these marvels from the universe, as a harpist evokes melody from the silent strings.

A still more cogent example of existence as relationship is the production of a rainbow.(1) For a rainbow appears only when there is a certain triangular relationship between three components: the sun, moisture in the atmosphere, and an observer. If all three are present, and if the angular relationship between them is correct; then, and then only, will there be the phenomenon "rainbow." Diaphanous as it may be, a rainbow is no subjective hallucination. It can be verified by any number of observers, though each will see it in a slightly different position. As a boy, I once chased the end of a rainbow on my bicycle and was amazed to find that it always receded. It was like trying to catch the reflection of the moon on water. I did not then understand that no rainbow would appear unless the sun, and I, and the invisible center of the bow were on the same straight line, so that I changed the apparent position of the bow as I moved.

The point is, then, that an observer in the proper position is as necessary for the manifestation of a rainbow as the other two components, the sun and the moisture. Of course, one could say that if the sun and a body of moisture were in the right relationship, say, over the ocean, any observer on a ship that sailed into line with them would see a rainbow. But one could also say that if an observer and the sun were correctly aligned there would be a rainbow if there were moisture in the air!

Somehow the first set of conditions seems to preserve the reality of the rainbow apart from an observer. But the second set, by eliminating a good, solid "external reality," seems to make it an indisputable fact that, under such conditions, there is no rainbow. The reason is only that it supports our current mythology to assert that things exist on their own, whether there is an observer or not. It supports the fantasy that man is not really involved in the world, that he makes no real difference to it, and that he can observe reality independently without changing it. For the myth of this solid and sensible physical world which is "there," whether we see it or not, goes hand-in-hand with the myth that every observer is a separate ego, "confronted" with a reality quite other than himself.

Perhaps we can accept this reasoning without too much struggle when it concerns things like rainbows and reflections, whose reality status was never too high. But what if it dawns on us that our perception of rocks, mountains, and stars is a situation of just the same kind? There is nothing in the least unreasonable about this. We have not had to drag in any such spooks as mind, soul, or spirit. We have simply been talking of an interaction between physical vibrations and the brain with its various organs of sense, saying only that creatures with brains are an integral feature of the pattern which also includes the solid earth and the stars, and that without this integral feature (or pole of the current) the whole cosmos would be as unmanifested as a rainbow without droplets in the sky, or without an observer. Our resistance to this reasoning is psychological. It makes us feel insecure because it unsettles a familiar image of the world in which rocks, above all, are symbols of hard, unshakeable reality, and the Eternal Rock a metaphor for God himself. The mythology of the nineteenth century lead reduced man to an utterly unimportant little germ in an unimaginably vast and enduring universe. It is just too much of a shock, too fast a switch, to recognize that this little germ with its fabulous brain is evoking the whole thing, including the nebulae millions of light-years away.

Does this force us to the highly implausible conclusion that before the first living organism came into being equipped with a brain there was no universe--that the organic and inorganic phenomena came into existence at the same temporal moment? Is it possible that all geological and astronomical history is a mere extrapolation--that it is talking about what would have happened if it had been observed? Perhaps. But I will venture a more cautious idea. The fact that every organism evokes its own environment must be corrected with the polar or opposite fact that the total environment evokes the organism. Furthermore, the total environment (or situation) is both spatial and temporal--both larger and longer than the organisms contained in its field. The organism evokes knowledge of a past before it began, and of a future beyond its death. At the other pole, the universe would not have started, or manifested itself, unless it was at some time going to include organisms--just as current will not begin to flow from the positive end of a wire until the negative terminal is secure. The principle is the same, whether it takes the universe billions of years to polarize itself in the organism, or whether it takes the current one second to traverse a wire 186,000 miles long.

I repeat that the difficulty of understanding the organism/environment polarity is psychological. The history and the geographical distribution of the myth are uncertain, but for several thousand years we have been obsessed with a false humility--on the one hand, putting ourselves down as mere "creatures" who came into this world by the whim of God or the fluke of blind forces, and on the other, conceiving ourselves as separate personal egos fighting to control the physical world. We have lacked the real humility of recognizing that we are members of the biosphere, the "harmony of contained conflicts" in which we cannot exist at all without the cooperation of plants, insects, fish, cattle, and bacteria. In the same measure, we have lacked the proper self-respect of recognizing that I, the individual organism, am a structure of such fabulous ingenuity that it calls the whole universe into being. In the act of putting everything at a distance so as to describe and control it, we have orphaned ourselves both from the surrounding world and from our own bodies--leaving "I" as a discontented and alienated spook, anxious, guilty, unrelated, and alone.




Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
Offlinefireworks_godS
Sexy.Butt.McDanger
Male

Registered: 03/12/02
Posts: 24,851
Loc: Pandurn
Last seen: 3 days, 1 hour
Re: which came first? [Re: sunyata]
    #2149051 - 12/01/03 12:21 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

I know that the Universe is going to go on without me, but then again, when I tripped on Saturday, I felt that I had changed life for everyone, that everyone was experiencing the new reality that I created, and that life was now going on a faster track and was about to end.. and everyone I talked to on the phone or in MSN seemed to confirm this. As everything started twisting, when I was no longer unable to conceptualize what anything was, I started thinking that the entire world was just something in my mind. (I knew that I had eaten mushrooms, but this didn't mean anything)

After I started coming down, just a little bit, I realized that I was the only one experiencing this, and then I started worrying that I would become psycotic, drifting through life with no control because I couldn't handle it.... perhaps I wouldn't have started if someone that isn't familiar with drugs and would only misunderstand walked in my room, while I was peaking, started asking about the tv, turned on my light and handed me a remote. :grin:

I always thought that the Universe doesn't change to fit the way you look at it, it only changes to you. But then you have an experience and you realize that you still have no way of knowing. You might all be alive and have your own thoughts going every minute, but you are all just characters in my mind.
Peace.


--------------------
:redpanda:
If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you

:heartpump: :bunnyhug: :yinyang:

:yinyang: :levitate: :earth: :levitate: :yinyang:


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
OfflinePositronius
playboy

Registered: 11/27/03
Posts: 947
Loc: montreal-vancouver-tokyo
Last seen: 12 years, 9 months
Re: which came first? [Re: fireworks_god]
    #2149324 - 12/01/03 02:13 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

yeah yeah solipsism.

I dont believe in that, that idea has no weight.


--------------------
and you know it like a poet, like....babydoll


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
Offlinefireworks_godS
Sexy.Butt.McDanger
Male

Registered: 03/12/02
Posts: 24,851
Loc: Pandurn
Last seen: 3 days, 1 hour
Re: which came first? [Re: Positronius]
    #2149378 - 12/01/03 02:39 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

Positronius said:
I dont believe in that, that idea has no weight.




There's no way of knowing, man. I still think that the Universe and all of you will be here when I die, but then again, I can never know that. That is the paradox.
Peace.


--------------------
:redpanda:
If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you

:heartpump: :bunnyhug: :yinyang:

:yinyang: :levitate: :earth: :levitate: :yinyang:


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
Invisiblemr crisper
.

Registered: 07/25/00
Posts: 928
Re: which came first? [Re: Positronius]
    #2149723 - 12/01/03 04:52 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:


the mind is a product of the universe.....obviously, to think otherwise would speciescentric




isnt it speciescentric to assume mind is limited to our species?
which is the greater of the two?
when you build a house don't you have to imagine it first?


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
OfflinePed
Interested In Your Brain
 User Gallery

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 08/31/99
Posts: 5,494
Loc: Canada
Last seen: 5 months, 5 days
Re: which came first? [Re: fireworks_god]
    #2149741 - 12/01/03 05:00 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Of course we will be here. But the concept of our existence which resides in your conciousness is entirely dependent on you. At the end of the story, your assembly of the universe will cease to exist upon your death. The error is only in assuming that our view of the universe is independent of us. That because we observe something as yellow or round, it is so. It is no such thing.

Alan Watts is describing in the above quote what Taoist sages and Buddhist monks alike have been trying to impart to the world for thousands of years: the notion of emptiness. Thank you, sunyata, for the beautiful quote.

Suppose you are chatting with your friends on IRC one evening, when into the chatroom comes a person with a long, obnoxious nickname. That person begins insulting the users in poor taste, and causes a general feeling of disturbance to appear to you. You may think to yourself "This is a terrible person. I wish this person would go away and never return." If you are an operator, you may forcibly remove the subject. In disgust, you leave the computer and distract yourself elsewhere: perhaps in a few cans of beer or in the bowl of your prized bong. In the time that you've been gone, the objectionable IRC invader concludes to himself that he should stop being a silly idiot and actually try to enter the conversation. He rejoins the channel at the same time you do under a different and notably clever nickname, speaks fluently and kindly, and the two of you become friends, eventually meeting in a major city to party together. The IRC invader is never discussed, but still exists in your memory. If you were asked, you might be able to recall the individual and experience the same feelings of tension all over again.

So when an objectionable person appears to us on IRC, we attach all sorts of traits and attributes to them, assuming that they are real and true. We may feel a strong aversion to that person. But as we've just seen, a simple reorientation of context can assign the same individual an entirely new sets of traits, which we may feel attracted to in a way that causes a rewarding friendship to occur. The individual we conjured to ourselves in both instances must then be empty of inherent existence. This is a crude articulation of emptiness. (Pardon this analogy I've created -- I make no claims to have attained spiritual realizations.)

We engage in this same process with every object and experience we encounter. Our entire experience of the world is fundamentally incorrect, because of our assumption that our ordinary view is the correct one, and is the same to our peers. We may share different opinions about certain foods or motion pictures, but when it comes to the basic essence of reality -- the unnoticed elements of our experience -- our assumption is that our experience is independent of our minds. It is not.

We impute this same assumption on to our sense of self. We believe that we are somehow removed from the universe upon which we sit, experiencing it subjectively, and do not carry weight within it's grand scheme. We grasp on to this illusion of self and cherish it, hailing it as more important than all others. Here, all suffering arises. When we hold a wrong view of ourselves, we are condemned to follow incorrect paths in our relentless quest for happiness. We may harm ourselves, we may harm others, we may become insane and commit suicide, or we may lead a genocidal holocaust which claims the lives of many millions.

When we die, the world and universe which has been assembled in our minds ceases to exist. It is never seen again, never experienced again. We all gaze at the same moon each night, but each of us see a different satellite. None of our views are correct. Some of us seek enlightenment to shed these wrong views and see only what is actually there -- and to share that wisdom with others, escorting them away from suffering and into immutable dispassionate bliss.

For many of us, our time is long over due.



--------------------


:poison: Dark Triangles - New Psychedelic Techno Single - Listen on Soundcloud :poison:
Gyroscope full album available SoundCloud or MySpace


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
OfflinePhred
Fred's son
Male

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 12,949
Loc: Dominican Republic
Last seen: 2 years, 4 months
Re: which came first? [Re: mr crisper]
    #2150038 - 12/01/03 07:06 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

mr crisper writes:

is the universe a product of the mind, or mind a product of the universe?

If by that question you are asking if the universe requires a consciousness or multiple consciousnesses capable of apprehending its existence in order for it to continue to exist, the answer is no.

pinky


--------------------


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
Invisiblesunyata
nonexistentexistentialist
Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 133
Re: which came first? [Re: Phred]
    #2150190 - 12/01/03 07:53 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

pinky:

Would you mind giving me/us your thoughts on the Alan Watts passage I quoted above? I realize it's lengthy, but I'm curious what the straight and sober (and skeptical) take on this argument might be...


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
OfflineSpokesman
The HighPhilosopher

Registered: 08/05/03
Posts: 847
Loc: New Jersey U.S.
Last seen: 12 years, 10 months
Re: which came first? [Re: sunyata]
    #2151171 - 12/02/03 09:00 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Sometimes when im really baked i look closely at my naked body in the mirror (in the bathroom ofcourse) and realize that the universe isnt just my perception. Maybe because i realize that just because i thought i was fit didnt make it so. I imagine how i look in this body while i do alot of the things i do and realize that i dont look the way i thought i look and thats why i get unexpected responses from people. I belive we have ultimate control over our lives but it doesent mean that you are seen by other people the way you see yourself. It's like the first time you heard your voice played back on a recorder. You world crumbles at the thought that the joke you told last week sounded so gay coming out of your voice.


--------------------


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
Invisiblemr crisper
.

Registered: 07/25/00
Posts: 928
Re: which came first? [Re: Phred]
    #2151202 - 12/02/03 09:48 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

it's an interesting point, but my question is an 'or' question
one must have beget the other, or am i looking at the same thing from different angles?


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
Jump to top. Pages: 1

Shop:   Original Seeds Store Buy CBD, Cannabis Seeds, Compare CBD   Amazon Microscope

General Interest >> Philosophy, Sociology & Psychology

Similar ThreadsPosterViewsRepliesLast post
* The Rainbow fireworks_godS 433 3 09/08/03 04:01 PM
by fireworks_god
* Rainbow CosmicJokeM 1,104 10 09/10/01 07:32 PM
by oneoverzero
* the source of the rainbow DoctorJ 320 1 05/10/06 02:33 PM
by recalcitrant
* What IS reality?
( 1 2 all )
manna_man 3,032 35 10/22/03 12:26 PM
by fireworks_god
* Classic Watts
( 1 2 3 all )
sunyata 2,464 55 06/19/03 08:14 PM
by Revelation
* Physicalism: A False View of the World
( 1 2 3 4 ... 10 11 all )
deranger 6,149 206 09/14/08 04:32 PM
by ExplosiveMango
* God Thinks Gay People Are An Abomination
( 1 2 3 4 ... 9 10 all )
KingOftheThing 6,901 187 09/26/04 06:25 AM
by Diploid
* An Omen
( 1 2 3 4 5 all )
Swami 3,882 81 07/24/09 03:35 PM
by LunarEclipse

Extra information
You cannot start new topics / You cannot reply to topics
HTML is disabled / BBCode is enabled
Moderator: Middleman, CosmicJoke, Jokeshopbeard, DividedQuantum
1,751 topic views. 6 members, 6 guests and 10 web crawlers are browsing this forum.
[ Toggle Favorite | Print Topic | Stats ]
Search this thread:
Azarius
Please support our sponsors.

Copyright 1997-2017 Mind Media. Some rights reserved.

Generated in 0.029 seconds spending 0.001 seconds on 16 queries.