Home | Community | Message Board

MushroomMan Mycology
This site includes paid links. Please support our sponsors.


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: Myyco.com Golden Teacher Liquid Culture For Sale   PhytoExtractum Buy Bali Kratom Powder   Unfolding Nature Unfolding Nature: Being in the Implicate Order   North Spore Injection Grain Bag   OlympusMyco.com Olympus Myco All-in-One Grow Bags   Kraken Kratom Red Vein Kratom   Left Coast Kratom Buy Kratom Extract

Jump to first unread post Pages: < Back | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | Next >  [ show all ]
OfflinePhred
Fred's son
Male

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 12,949
Loc: Dominican Republic
Last seen: 9 years, 3 months
Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2434519 - 03/15/04 10:51 AM (20 years, 1 month ago)

Ped writes:

A star cannot exist as a "star" without a conciousness present to assign it such categorization.

Whether a consciousness is available to apprehend an entity doesn't alter the fact that the entity exists. It matters not whether it is categorized as a "star" or a "dorton" or remains unnamed.

Before we can assign distinctions to objects, they must have a beginning, and they must have an end.

If you mean by this that they must have boundaries, so what? Whether we assign distinctions to various entities or not is a matter of indifference to the entities. They exist whether we distinguish between them or not.

Since it is only us who makes the determination of what constitutes the beginning and end of a star, a "star" as we perceive it is completely void of inherent, or objective existence.

Sophism.

If at one point we decide to define a star as limited to that part of it which emits visible light, and later enlarge our definition to include the non-luminous envelope of gas surrounding the luminous portion, it doesn't change the fact that the star exists, and would continue to exist even if every conscious entity in the universe were to vanish from one second to the next.

A label for an entity is not the entity itself.

The same is true when considering the constituents of the star, and the fudamental constituents of the constituents. If they existed as we understand them objectively, they must not have a beginning and they must not end.

Since when is it necessary for an entity to be everywhere at once? A nugget of gold has a beginning and an end if by beginning and end you refer to its boundaries. That nugget of gold exists. I can point to it, I can hold it in my hand. I can toss it into your lap.

Therefore, part of the criteria for assigning an object true inherent existence is it's permanent, unchanging state.

Why must only static entities be considered real? By what chain of reasoning do you claim this? I exist. You exist. Stars exist. None of these entities are static, yet all exist.

Since no objects exist this way, no objects exist inherently, independently, and from their own side.

So sorry, but that is gibberish. If I get to define commonly understood terms any way I wish, then I can "prove" anything as well.

What you are saying is that the screen upon which I am reading your replies doesn't exist, since the screen is changing constantly. How is it then that I am reading your replies?

pinky


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

Extras: Filter Print Post Top
OfflinePed
Interested In Your Brain
 User Gallery

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 08/30/99
Posts: 5,494
Loc: Canada
Last seen: 7 years, 4 months
Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Phred]
    #2434649 - 03/15/04 11:19 AM (20 years, 1 month ago)

Please reconsider your reply after reading the major edits I made to the previous post. I had submitted my reply far too early.

It has never been my position that objects do not exist. It has only been maintained that objects to not exist inherently, independently, and from their own side. The implications of objects existing seperately in this way are not supported by our understanding of how things exist.

>> A label for an entity is not the entity itself

This is precisely the point I'm attempting to articulate. An entity can only be considered a seperate entity -- an inherently existent entity -- in dependence upon name, label, distinction. If we discard all of our labels, which are not themselves the nature of the objects to which they refer, we discover that there is no boundry to be drawn between an object and it's surrounding space, other objects, observers. If there cannot be boundries, there cannot be inherent existence of objects.

Therefore, following this same reasoning, we must conclude that part of the criteria of an independently unfolding phenomenon must be that it be absolutely static, and has permanently fixed boundries. Since no phenomenon exists this way, no phenomenon exists inherently, independently, and from it's own side.


>> Since when is it necessary for an entity to be everywhere at once?

This is not what was implied. If an object possesses inherent existence, we should be able to pinpoint the exact location of it's inherent nature. Part of this investigation includes the discovery of the star's actual boundries. Where does the star begin? Where does it end? We cannot discover these locations because it is up to us to decide what constitutes a star and what does not. The boundry between one object and another is but a gradient of energies and particles. Therefore, there cannot be a true seperateness between objects, and no inherent existence of objects.

By the same token, if objects are to exist completely independent of mind and of other objects, then it follows that they must have fixed spatial and temporal boundries. They must be static if they are to exist inherently. Since no objects are static, no objects exist inherently.

It might be helpful for you to read the rest of this thread. Many of the points you've raised have been discussed at length already.


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


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

Edited by Ped (03/15/04 11:39 AM)

Extras: Filter Print Post Top
Anonymous

Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2434742 - 03/15/04 11:45 AM (20 years, 1 month ago)

- Post History Deleted Upon User's Request -

Extras: Filter Print Post Top
OfflinePhred
Fred's son
Male

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 12,949
Loc: Dominican Republic
Last seen: 9 years, 3 months
Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2434864 - 03/15/04 12:21 PM (20 years, 1 month ago)

Okay, take two.

Let's look at helium first. Is helium the same as the star? Of course it is not. We can discard helium, because helium is not a star. Since hydrogen atoms are not stars, we can discard them as well. Now lets look at the convection shell. If the convection shell were somehow floating through space on it's own, that surely wouldn't be a star either. What's left? The core surely cannot be considered a star all by itself. A photosphere is not a star, so we can discard that along with the corona, which is also not a star....

Sophistry. Any given helium atom is not a star, nor is any given hydrogen atom. This is like claiming that a chair seat is not a chair, therefore we can discard it. Then we say the chair leg is not a chair either, so let's discard that. The glue binding the various chair components are not a chair either, etc, etc.

A gold nugget is a gold nugget. It has boundaries (a "beginning" and an "end") and exists whether there is a consciousness around to perceive its existence or not.

A star cannot exist as a "star" without a conciousness present to assign it such categorization.

So you keep asserting. Yet the star exists, whether we categorize it as a star or as a light source or as a gravity well or even if we choose not to categorize it at all. The label is not the entity.

If this were untrue, and the star existed completely independent of our imputations, it must follow that the star possesses fixed spatial boundries, and no temporal origination nor cessation.

A gold nugget possesses fixed spatial boundaries. It has temporal origination. It need not have temporal cessation in order to exist. It exists. I can handle it. I can pass it to you and you can handle it.

Therefore, part of the criteria for assigning an object true inherent existence is it's permanent, unchanging state.

Same counter argument as I previously presented.

pinky


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

Extras: Filter Print Post Top
OfflinePhred
Fred's son
Male

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 12,949
Loc: Dominican Republic
Last seen: 9 years, 3 months
Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2434928 - 03/15/04 12:33 PM (20 years, 1 month ago)

f we discard all of our labels, which are not themselves the nature of the objects to which they refer, we discover that there is no boundry to be drawn between an object and it's surrounding space, other objects, observers. If there cannot be boundries, there cannot be inherent existence of objects.

First, there are boundaries. Therefore entities exist. I had a bag of marbles as a child. I had over a hundred of them at one point. The bag was not a marble, it was that entity into which I placed my severral marbles. My cat's eye marble was not my aggie marble. They were two discrete entities.

Secondly, to follow your assertions to their logical conclusion, there is only one entity. Existence. There are no atoms, no stars, no Ped, no pinky, no Ped's computer, no gold nuggets, no marbles. The irrefutable fact that I, pinky, can pick up a marble and hand it to you, Ped, has no meaning, because all are one?

Yet there cannot even be the one entity, (the Universe), because in order to exist, it must be unchanging. Therefore existence cannot exist.

pinky


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

Extras: Filter Print Post Top
Anonymous

Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2434985 - 03/15/04 12:52 PM (20 years, 1 month ago)

- Post History Deleted Upon User's Request -

Extras: Filter Print Post Top
Anonymous

Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2435027 - 03/15/04 01:04 PM (20 years, 1 month ago)

- Post History Deleted Upon User's Request -

Extras: Filter Print Post Top
OfflinePed
Interested In Your Brain
 User Gallery

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 08/30/99
Posts: 5,494
Loc: Canada
Last seen: 7 years, 4 months
Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Phred]
    #2435369 - 03/15/04 02:48 PM (20 years, 1 month ago)

I can no longer debate with you, pinksharkmark, because my entire position suggests that there are no boundries, and that therefore entities do not exist as indepedently unfolding phenomenon. There has been extensive and carefully considered logic to support these views. Your position is that our senses inform us otherwise, and the information we receive from our senses consitute irrefutable observations. My entire position is founded on the suspicion our our senses, and our basic assumptions about the nature of reality, are deceptive.

All of the conclusions you've drawn from my explanations have been correctly interpreted. We do not agree.


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


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

Extras: Filter Print Post Top
Invisiblebuttonion
Calmly Watching

Registered: 04/04/02
Posts: 303
Loc: Kansas
Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: ]
    #2435475 - 03/15/04 03:09 PM (20 years, 1 month ago)

Holy Shit! Now that is a post. I second your "*sigh* new posts" comment earlier. I love this topic, but now I am just drawn, compelled, forced to catch up. And this is going to take a while.

*sigh*


--------------------
Concepts which have been proved to be useful in ordering things easily acquire such an authority over us that we forget their human origins and accept them as invariable.- Albert Einstein

Extras: Filter Print Post Top
Offlinefireworks_godS
Sexy.Butt.McDanger
Male

Registered: 03/12/02
Posts: 24,855
Loc: Pandurn
Last seen: 1 year, 3 months
Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2435527 - 03/15/04 03:21 PM (20 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Ped said:
My entire position is founded on the suspicion our our senses, and our basic assumptions about the nature of reality, are deceptive.





We should all know how easy it is to fool our senses and the mental programs that operate them and judge inputs received through them. A simple optical illusion that appears to be animated and moving, but actually isn't, shows that your eyes can be tricked (well, not so much the eyes but what is making sense of the signals the eyes bring in).

Taking a psychadelic will produce all sorts of hallucinations. There is a chemical that is interacting with your mind that is making you perceive things differently. While this interaction is occuring, you have no way of knowing if it is real or not because it looks and feels real. You only have memories to compare them to and the fact, if you can remember it or if it will even make sense to you while experiencing this (it sure didn't make sense to me before while tripping,  :laugh:), that you had taken something that has produced these changes in your perception. It took a couple of hours on the come down to realize again who I was and what I was doing there. :grin:

Dreams can produce memories that are later assumed to be actual memories of things that happened in real life..... someone who has been cut off from social life can sit and swim in his own thoughts and can go insane. They can change their reality towards any end... our minds are extremely flexible, suggestible, and programmable, by ourselves, others, and experiences.

All of this shows how easily influenceable either our senses themselves, or the programming that makes sense of what our senses pick up. No one has ever been able to find the universal, right way to view reality and even if they had, they would probably never be able to communicate it to others. There is so much of a variety in individual experience that it is impossible without some method of directly connecting minds and sharing actual experience....

Myself, I tend towards suspicion of our senses and the mental programming that interprets their signals, and that our basic assumptions of reality are deceptive, after some careful consideration on the subject. :lol:

And Mr. Mushrooms, I will read that tomorrow, I need sleep tonight. :wink:
Peace. :mushroom2:


--------------------
: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:

Extras: Filter Print Post Top
OfflinePed
Interested In Your Brain
 User Gallery

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 08/30/99
Posts: 5,494
Loc: Canada
Last seen: 7 years, 4 months
Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: ]
    #2435690 - 03/15/04 04:04 PM (20 years, 1 month ago)

Mr Mushrooms,

Fantastic reply. You can be sharp with your words sometimes, but you're always clear and concise. I've half completed my response, and provided there are no atom bombs in the remainder of your presentation, should be completed by tommorow afternoon.


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


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

Extras: Filter Print Post Top
Anonymous

Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2435875 - 03/15/04 05:00 PM (20 years, 1 month ago)

- Post History Deleted Upon User's Request -

Extras: Filter Print Post Top
OfflinePhred
Fred's son
Male

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 12,949
Loc: Dominican Republic
Last seen: 9 years, 3 months
Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2436648 - 03/15/04 08:05 PM (20 years, 1 month ago)

Ped writes:

My entire position is founded on the suspicion our our senses, and our basic assumptions about the nature of reality, are deceptive.

Yes, I had figured out already that this is your position.

Before you go, could you answer the following question?

If we choose not to use our sensory input in our task of apprehending the universe, by what other means are we to apprehend it? Divine revelation? I admit I can think of no other method.

pinky


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

Extras: Filter Print Post Top
InvisibleEvolving
Resident Cynic

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 5,385
Loc: Apt #6, The Village
Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Phred]
    #2436943 - 03/15/04 09:02 PM (20 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

If we choose not to use our sensory input in our task of apprehending the universe, by what other means are we to apprehend it? Divine revelation? I admit I can think of no other method.



I know, our apprehension would be predetermined since we have no free will to use in deciding to investigate the universe.


--------------------
To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.

Extras: Filter Print Post Top
Offlinewhiterabbit13
I'm late

Registered: 02/21/04
Posts: 1,360
Loc: Down the rabbit hole
Last seen: 18 years, 5 months
Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: buttonion]
    #2437021 - 03/15/04 09:15 PM (20 years, 1 month ago)

man u make me think hard. ahaha


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

Extras: Filter Print Post Top
OfflinePed
Interested In Your Brain
 User Gallery

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 08/30/99
Posts: 5,494
Loc: Canada
Last seen: 7 years, 4 months
Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: ]
    #2443660 - 03/17/04 02:01 PM (20 years, 1 month ago)

Mr_Mushrooms,

Having struggled through a reply to each of the points in the first chapter of your rebuttal, I've come to a point of increasing frustration with how it seems -- almost deliberately -- that each of the comments I've made throughout this thread have been spoken to extremely distant from the context they were originally intended. Through such words as "conflation", "idealism" and even the suggestion that the spiritual life which rests very near to my heart has resulted in little else than a chemical imbalance, it also appears that there has been an attempt to undermine my position by placing my arguments outside the most commonly favoured categories of critical realism, cold hard logic, and scholastic merit.

All of this no doubt arises from a series of misunderstandings. Before we can continue, though, I see it as pertinent that we both, and all those who choose to contribute to this discussion, be very certain of their motivation. We cannot uncover the truth that we seek if we are submitting our own views not for the consideration of others, but for contention with the views of others. If there is a grasping at our own position, or at the means through which we have arrived at that position, then there can be no purpose to debate at all. We cannot arrive at an understanding in this way, and instead will only ram our heads together like goats.

Indeed, this we have in common: a sincere interest in moving toward the truth. Let us remain focused on that objective.

I am at a unique disadvantage when approaching this issue, because the ramifications of my perspective run against the grain of every aspect of our day to day sensory experience. It is difficult to communicate an idea that instantly encounters such a strong opposing current. Even my own mind continues to inform me the opposite of what I am saying. Therefore, it is not possible to take a scholastic stance when presenting these ideas. How can one submit logical proof of the trueness of an object so subtle that it is invisible? Rather than investigating such a subtle idea in this way, we need to uncover a direct experience of it. This can only be acheived through intuitive means, and then conveyed logically through 'skillful linguistic gesturing'.

The logic behind dependent origination is not something that stands against the overwhelming momentum of conventional experience. We can see this with the quick dismissals that have come from pinksharkmark. These views must be investigated independently, and with an open heart. This does not mean we shouldn't be skeptical. Buddha Shakyamuni said "Do not believe what I say because I am called Buddha. You must discover these things through your own efforts, only then will they effect change."

The faith I have in my own stance comes from both the inferential realizations that arrive through careful contemplation, logical consideration, and the direct experiences that arise from placement meditation, changing the habits of the mind. It has been suggested indirectly that these are forms of self-trickery. More generally, it's been gently asserted that these conclusions have been arrived through invalid means. This is completely unfair, and therefore not conducive to a productive debate. While the means I have arrived at these conclusions are indeed unconventional, this is not grounds to suggest that they are invalid. Just as I would not suggest that they are superior means of investigation, I would appreciate for the sake of this discussion that they not be construed as inferior in favour of other, more topical avenues.

All of this being said, I intend now to present my position freshly, so that hopefully this time it will be clearly understood and kept within the confines of it's intended context. It can then be properly debated.



Dependent Origination and How it is Related to the True Nature of Reality

It should be noted that "Dependent Origination", also called "The Emptiness of Inherent Existence of Objects of Knowledge", is a philosophical worldview maintained by the Madhyamika school of Buddhist philosophy. "Madhyamika" means "Middle Way", and is a reference to uncovering the middle ground between the extreme of inherent existence and that of non-existence.

We can understand how things and events come to be in three different ways. At the first level is the principle of cause and effect, whereby all things and events arise in dependence upon a complex web of interrelated causes and conditions, is invoked. This means to suggest that no object or event can be construed as capable of coming into, or remaining in, existence by itself. For example, if we take some clay and mould it, we can bring a pot into being. The pot exists as an effect of our actions. At the same time, it is also the effect of a myriad of other causes and conditions. These include the combination of clay and water to form it's raw material. But beyond this, we can point to the coming together of the molecules, the atoms and other minute particles which form these consituents (which are themselves dependent upon innumerable other causes and conditions). Then there are the circumstances leading up to our decision to make a pot. And there are the cooperative conditions of our actions as we give shape to the clay. All these different factors make it clear that a pot cannot exist independently of it's causes and conditions. Rather, it is a dependently arising phenomenon.

Does this mean to suggest that our pot does not exist? No. It means to suggest that it does not exist independently, as it appears to. This is a means of highlighting an inconsistency between what our experience informs us of the object, and the actual nature of the object. Our experience informs us that the pot exists indepedently, from it's own side, even though our hands may still be caked in the clay which we just used to bring the pot into being.

On another level, this can be understood in terms of the mutual dependence which exists between parts and whole. Without parts, there can be no whole; without a whole, the concept of parts makes no sense. The idea of "whole" is predicated on parts, but the parts themselves must be considered to be wholes comprised of their own parts.

On the third level, all phenomena can be understood to be dependently originated because when we analyze them, we find that ultimately, they lack independent identity. This can be understood from the way in which we refer to certain phenomena. For example, the words 'action' and 'agent' presuppose one another. So do 'parent' and 'child'. Someone is only a parent because he or she has children. Likewise, a daughter or son is so called only in relation to them having parents. The same relationship of mutual dependence is seen in the language we use to describe trades or professions. Individuals are called farmers on account of their work on the land. Doctors are so called because of their work in the field of medicine.

In a more subtle way, objects and events can be understood in terms of dependent origination when, for example, we ask the question: "What exactly is a clay pot?" When we look for something we can decribe as it's inherent nature, we find that the pot's very existence -- and by extension that of all other phenomena -- is to some extent provisional and determined by convention. When we ask whether it's identity is determined by its shape, its function, it's specific parts (that is, its being compounded of clay, water, and so forth), we find that the term 'pot' is merely a verbal designation. There is no single characteristic which can be said to identify the inherent nature of the pot. Nor indeed does the totality of it's characteristics lead us toward it's inherent nature. We can imagine pots of all different shapes and sizes that are no less pots, in the sense that they perform the function and have the same basic characteristics as our own pot.

Because we can only speak of the existence of objects in relation to an incredibly complex nexus of causes and conditions, viewed from this perspective no objects have any defining quality apart from those we impute upon them with our own mind. In other words, an object does not exist in and of itself, but rather it is dependently originated. One of the primary factors upon which it depends, and indeed that of all objects which comprise our experience, is mind.

Do not confuse this: I do not mean to suggest that without the presence of mind the pot would evaporate into nothingness, or become otherwise annhilated from the equation of reality. This is an extreme. Rather, I mean to suggest that our experience of the pot, and implicitly our experience of all objects and events in our scope of reality, is constructed completely by the interpretive faculties of the mind, up to and including our own tastes, preferences, current mental disposition, and so forth. The matter of how reality sustains itself is secondary, and not intrinsically related to this point.

As far as mental phenomena are concerned, we see that again there is a dependence. Here it lies between perceiver and perceived. Take, for example, the perception of a flower. First, in order for a perception to arise, there must be the presence of a sense organ. Second, there must be a condition -- in this case the flower itself. Third, in order for a perception to occur, there must be something which directs the focus of the perceiver to the object. Then, through the causal interaction of these conditions, a cognitive event occurs which we call the perception of a flower. Now let us examine what exactly constitues this event. Is it only the operation of the sense faculty? It is only the interaction between the sense faculty and the flower itself? Or is it something else? We find that in the end, we cannot understand the concept of perception except in the context and indefinitely complex series of causes and conditions.

If we take conciousness itself as the object of our investigation, although we tend to think of it in terms of something intrinsic and unchangeable, we find that it too is better understood in terms of dependent origination. This is because apart from individual perceptual, cognitive, and emotional experiences, it is difficult to posit an independently existing entity called mind or consciousness. Understood this way, conciousness is more like a construct which arises out of a spectrum of complex events.

Another way to understand the concept of dependent origination is to consider the phenomenon of time. Ordinarily, we suppose that there is an independently existing entity which we call time. We speak of the past, present and future. However, when we look more closely, we see that again this concept is merely a convention. We find that the term 'present moment' is just a label denoting the interface between the tenses 'past' and 'future'. We cannot actually pinpoint the present. Just a fraction of a second before the supposed present moment lies the past; just as a fraction of a second later lies the future. Yet if we say that the present moment is 'now', no sooner have we spoken the word that it lies in the past. If we were to maintain that nevertheless there must be a single moment which is indivisible into either the past or future, we would in fact have no grounds for any seperation into past, present, or future at all. If there is a single moment which is indivisible, then we would have only the present. But without a concept of the present, it becomes difficult to speak about the past and the future since clearly both depend upon the present. Moreover, if we were to conclude from our analysis that the present does not then exist, we would have to deny not only worldly convention but also our own experience. Indeed, when we begin to analyze our experience of time, we find that the present moment is at the same time continously disappearing into the past, and continuously pouring into us from the future.

Where do these observations leave us? Certainly, things become somewhat more complex when we think along these lines. The more satisfactory conclusion is surely to say that the present does indeed exist. But we cannot conceive of it doing so inherently or objectively. The present comes into being in dependence upon the past and the future.

The same is true of objects. An object arises in the present moment only in dependence upon the cessation of it's form in the previous moment. Considering this, how can we conceive of objects possessing an inherent nature? The moment we have apprehended an object and assumed a knowledge of it's inherent nature, it has disappeared into the past. Only as long as the object remains recognizable in terms of convention can we continue assuming knowledge of it's inherent existence.

Aside from the inherent nature constructed and grasped upon within our own minds, there is none to be found. This is the meaning behind the analogies of the coffee cup, television, stars, molecules, and so forth. This is not a commentary to the mechanics behind the momentum of reality itself. It is meant as a means of gesturing toward the illusory nature of reality's appearance, and subjectivity of each object and event which appears to our sensory experience.

When we view reality in terms of dependent origination, it draws us away from our usual tendency to view things and events in terms of solid, independent, discrete entities. It is this tendency which causes us to exaggerate one or more aspects of our experience and make them representative of the whole reality of a given situation while ignoring it's wider complexities. This is at the root of all our suffering. Buddha presented the Madhyamika this way not because he knew it would sell as a "pain pill", but because he understands that our own essential nature is a harmonious one, and that the only way to uncover that harmonious nature is to resolve the dissonance between ourselves and our experience of reality. Since it is our own essential nature which is harmony, and since we ourselves are inseperable from the complete picture of reality, that which is true must be that which brings us closer to our harmonious essential nature. You make take this approach to the question of reality at face value, or leave it behind and continue reading.

Such an understanding of reality as suggested by the above prose presents us with a significant challenge. It challenges us to see things and events less in terms of black and white and more in terms of complex interlinking of relationships, which are difficult to pin down. And it makes it difficult to speak in terms of absolutes. Moreover, if all phenomena are depedendent upon other phonemonena, and if no phenomena can exist independently, our most highly cherished selves must be considered not to exist in the way we normally assume. Indeed, we find that if we search for the identity of the self analytically, it's apparent solidity dissolves even more readily than that of the clay pot or that of the present moment. Whereas a pot is something concrete which we can actually point toward, the self is more elusive: it's identity as a ever-fluctuating construct quickly becomes evident. We come to see that the habitual sharp discintion we make between 'self' and 'other' is to some extent an exaggeration.

This is not to deny that every human being naturally and correct has a sense of 'I'. Even though we might not be able to say why it is so, this sense of self is certainly present. But let us examine what consitutes the inherent nature of the object which we self. Is it the mind? Sometimes it happens that an individual's mind becomes hyperactive, or it may become depressed. In either case, a doctor may prescribe medicine in order to improve that person's sense of well-being. This shows that generally, we think of the mind as a possession of the self. Indeed, when we check carefully, statements such as 'my body', 'my speech', 'my mind' all have within them an implied notion of ownership. It is difficult, therefore, to see how mind can consitute self. But if self and conciousness were one and the same, it would follow, absurdly, that the actor and the action, both the doer and what is done, are one and the same. We would have to say that the agent, 'I', who knows, and the process of knowing are identical. On this view it is also difficult to see how the self could exist as in independent phenomenon. This suggests that the word 'self' does not denote an indepdendent object. Rather, it is a label we apply to a complex web of interrelated phenomena.

Assigning inherent truth to the labels we lay atop interrelated and constantly fluctuating phenomenon is similar to attempting to isolate waves in an ocean by laying a plastic grid over it's surface. There is not one disturbance in the pacific ocean which is not somehow related -- however insignificantly -- to a disturbance in the atlantic ocean. In the same way, there is no phenomena in the cosmos which unfolds independently of surrounding causes and conditions, each of which are phenomena themselves. Thus, without considering the totality of the phenomenon in question, we cannot assign inherent existence to that phenomenon, except by convention. Since no phenomenon is completely independent of other phenomena, no phenomena possess an inherent nature, and all phenomena are ultimately empty of inherent existence.

Here let us step back and reveiew how we normally relate to the objects in our experience. We say "That is tall; that is short; that does this, this does that," and nobody questions us. It is quite clear what we mean, and everybody is happy to accept the convention. On this level, the objects in our experience, including ourselves, exist quite in accordance with these statements. Such convention is part of every day interaction and is compatible with common experience. But this does not mean that somethings exists inherently solely because it is said to or because there is a word which refers to it.

Conventions may be said to be valid when they do not contradict knowledge acquired either through empirical experience or through inference, and when they serve as the foundation for a common discourse within which we situate such notions as truth and falsity. This does not preclude us from accepting that although perfectly adequate as convention, all phenomena exist within our experience in dependence upon the labels and concepts we impute upon them. Consider again in this context the instance where, in the dark, we mistake a coil of rope for a snake. We stop in our place and feel afraid. Although what we see is in conventional reality a length of rope that we may have forgotten about, because of the lack of light and due to our misconception, we believe it to be a snake. The coil of rope possess not the slightest property of a snake other than it's appearance. The snake itself is not there. Upon investigation, we discover that we have imputed it's existence on to something else. So it is with the notion of discretely unfolding phenomenon.

Again, I should emphasize that none of this has been a commentary to how it is that the universe sustains itself. It has been suggested throughout my posts that the universe itself goes on in dependence upon relationship with conciousness, in the same way a coil of wire and magnet create a positive phenomenlogical momentum when involved in a relationship. While I continue to maintain this view, what has been discussed so far should be kept seperate from this context.


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


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

Edited by Ped (03/17/04 02:23 PM)

Extras: Filter Print Post Top
OfflinePed
Interested In Your Brain
 User Gallery

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 08/30/99
Posts: 5,494
Loc: Canada
Last seen: 7 years, 4 months
Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Phred]
    #2443678 - 03/17/04 02:04 PM (20 years, 1 month ago)

>> If we choose not to use our sensory input in our task of apprehending the universe, by what other means are we to apprehend it?

Wisdom, intuitive insight (almost a sense in and of itself), and careful contemplation, with our sensory faculties as our tools rather than our teachers.

Extras: Filter Print Post Top
OfflinePhred
Fred's son
Male

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 12,949
Loc: Dominican Republic
Last seen: 9 years, 3 months
Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2443890 - 03/17/04 03:14 PM (20 years, 1 month ago)

I had asked:

If we choose not to use our sensory input in our task of apprehending the universe, by what other means are we to apprehend it?

Ped replied:

Wisdom, intuitive insight (almost a sense in and of itself), and careful contemplation, with our sensory faculties as our tools rather than our teachers.

Without the raw information provided by our senses -- the percepts the senses provide -- upon what are we to exercise our wisdom, insight, and contemplation?

You had maintained that our senses are not to be trusted in providing us information. I ask again, if we are not to trust the information provided by our senses, what information can we trust? Divine revelation?

The senses are not the teachers, true. The senses merely provide the information -- it is up to us to order that information through the exercise of our rational faculty -- the mind. Yet if we are to discard as untrustworthy the information our tools deliver, what then is our starting point? Upon what other information are we to exercise our wisdom, insight, and contemplation? How is that information delivered to our rational faculty?

Absent the informational input of our senses, I confess I can think of no other apart from divine revelation.

pinky


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

Extras: Filter Print Post Top
InvisibleinfidelGOD
illusion

Registered: 04/18/02 Happy 22nd Shroomiversary!
Posts: 3,040
Loc: there
Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Phred]
    #2443932 - 03/17/04 03:34 PM (20 years, 1 month ago)

I'm afraid you and ped are not on the same page or even the same book.

sure you can use your senses as a starting point to build consensus reality. this is obvious and everyone accepts that, and this is apparently where you have decided to cease your inquiry.

but if one is to question the initial notion that the senses can lead to absolute reality, you sure as hell can't cite sensory input as evidence for the truth of such a claim, because that is the very thing that is in question! doing so would amount to circular reasoning.

if absolute reality exists (a big if), I certainly would not trust human perception, or even human reasoning to uncover it.

Extras: Filter Print Post Top
OfflinePhred
Fred's son
Male

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 12,949
Loc: Dominican Republic
Last seen: 9 years, 3 months
Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: infidelGOD]
    #2443975 - 03/17/04 03:54 PM (20 years, 1 month ago)

I'm afraid you haven't thought through what I am saying.

In order for wisdom and insight and contemplation to operate, there must first be something upon which they may operate. That something is the data provided by our senses. Absent that data, upon what are these other human attributes to act?

It is true that our senses are neither omniscient nor infallible. That doesn't mean they necessarily provide a false picture of what is out there, merely an incomplete one. That is where our rational faculty comes in. Microscopes reveal the actions of things previously inexplicable to the unaided senses. Simple drawing tools such as protractors and straightedges clarify the visual confusion generated by optical illusions, etc.

sure you can use your senses as a starting point to build consensus reality. this is obvious and everyone accepts that, and this is apparently where you have decided to cease your inquiry.

One need not have consensus in order to apprehend reality. A castaway on a desert island need have no other human confirm to him that the unusual species of fish swimming in the lagoon -- fish he's never seen before in his life -- are indeed fish.

but if one is to question the initial notion that the senses can lead to absolute reality, you sure as hell can't cite sensory input as evidence for the truth of such a claim, because that is the very thing that is in question! doing so would amount to circular reasoning.

Please indicate where I have ever claimed that percepts alone "lead to" absolute reality. But if you wish to speak of "circular reasoning", just how circular a reasoning is exhibited by one who discards the evidence provided by his senses while attempting to construct an accurate worldview? "I know it is so because I say it is so despite sensory evidence to the contrary".

pinky


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

Extras: Filter Print Post Top
Jump to top Pages: < Back | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | Next >  [ show all ]

Shop: Myyco.com Golden Teacher Liquid Culture For Sale   PhytoExtractum Buy Bali Kratom Powder   Unfolding Nature Unfolding Nature: Being in the Implicate Order   North Spore Injection Grain Bag   OlympusMyco.com Olympus Myco All-in-One Grow Bags   Kraken Kratom Red Vein Kratom   Left Coast Kratom Buy Kratom Extract


Similar ThreadsPosterViewsRepliesLast post
* pre-existance
( 1 2 all )
fearfect 2,227 31 07/30/04 09:03 PM
by 777
* A big reason why aliens DO exist!
( 1 2 3 4 ... 9 10 all )
Ego Death 14,425 181 08/06/03 10:53 AM
by Azmodeus
* it seems therefore, that God does not exist. whiterastahippie 1,789 12 11/11/11 02:01 AM
by thefloodbehind
* can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality?
( 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 all )
Anonymous 21,772 157 12/21/04 06:31 AM
by deafpanda
* God Exists
( 1 2 3 4 5 6 all )
Zahid 11,817 113 03/18/03 03:57 PM
by falcon
* Death & Time don't exist. Where God comes from...
( 1 2 3 4 all )
Shroomalicious 9,234 69 12/18/02 06:30 PM
by Strumpling
* Dose God exist? Take a look around.
( 1 2 3 4 all )
Bavet 7,000 68 02/06/03 10:46 AM
by Strumpling
* Are you a slave to a God that doesn't exist?
( 1 2 3 all )
Larrythescaryrex 7,611 42 07/30/02 04:00 PM
by Larrythescaryrex

Extra information
You cannot start new topics / You cannot reply to topics
HTML is disabled / BBCode is enabled
Moderator: Middleman, DividedQuantum
21,470 topic views. 0 members, 7 guests and 4 web crawlers are browsing this forum.
[ Show Images Only | Sort by Score | Print Topic ]
Search this thread:

Copyright 1997-2024 Mind Media. Some rights reserved.

Generated in 0.035 seconds spending 0.009 seconds on 15 queries.