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Invisiblebuttonion
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Registered: 04/04/02
Posts: 303
Loc: Kansas
*cough* EXISTENCE *hack*
    #2268080 - 01/24/04 11:27 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

So...all things (or objects) are,

1. impermanent, temporary, in flux, constantly changing
2. relative in the sense that we can only know what a thing is relative to what it is not (a solid object relative to the background of ?non-that object?, space for example)
3. dependent on a countless number of conditions to be what they are (me- air, money, my mom?s intention to have me, evolution of homosapiens, phsysical laws)


So when you say that something exists, what are you really saying about that thing?


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


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OfflinePed
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: buttonion]
    #2268292 - 01/24/04 01:11 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

When we say something exists, we are expressing that our mind has apprehended an object and, by basis of imputation, has assigned inherent existence to that object. Conventionally, the apprehension of an object such as a table is perfectly valid. A table performs a function that other validly cognized objects do not. Seeing this, valid distinctions can be made. However, it is ultimately a mistaken awareness.

I'm reminded of the thread regarding Land Ownership. (Here)

The way we mistake our view of reality and the way things exist can be clearly expressed by illustrating the way we mistake our view of our territorial world. It is easy to relate to the illusions of borders. I intend to suggest that the illusion of boundries between conventional objects -- the illusion that objects exist independently and from their own side -- is not different from the illusion that borders truly exist between two nations. I also intend to suggest how these illusory views are the root of all our suffering.

Land ownership and the division of nation states is not necessarily mistaken or dangerous. The way the world is structured, it is necessary to assign priority to certain plots of land and designate certain individuals to preside over that land. In a better world, land ownership would require an individual to care for that land as though he were it's protector, and not it's exploiter. We do not behave this way because we have arrogance. We have arrogance because we, the human race, have assumed ourselves to be the owners of the earth. Having cultivated this view for countless generations, it follows that we would perceive it as natural for certain human individuals to dominate certain sections of the earth.

One of the major points that sets humanity apart from other living beings who populate this earth is our arrogance. We have made assumptions about what means "superior" and, based on those assumptions, have concluded ourselves as supreme. How foolish, to be the ones who establish the parameters that define our own position! If we assign significance to raw intellect and innovative capacity, humans clearly set the bar. But if we assign significance to mobility and beauty, we must bow to dolphins or parrots. Neither dolphins nor parrots as a whole have left such a scar on this earth. Should humanity ever depart this planet, its impact would remain detectable for centuries. Our arrogance has allowed us to fill the atmosphere with poisonous gasses, to flood the oceans with toxic chemicals, and to destroy the habitat of countless species, even creating a graphable rate of extincion.

Clearly, our arrogant assumptions have had disasterous results, and must be erred in some way. But how have we made such assumptions? Why do we have such arrogance?

When we are travelling, the boundries that have been put in place by the geopolitical structure seem very real. If we are in Canada, and cross into the United States, we feel as though we have left a place that truly exists and entered another totally distinct place that also truly exists. If we check carefully -- and we rarely do -- we'll quickly discover that the border does not exist, the laws of either side do not exist to any tangible effect, and any distinctions to be made from where we were and where we have arrived are completely dependent upon mind, upon view.

We don't experience border crossings in this way, however. We tend to assign great importance to the fact that we have "left Canada" and "entered the USA", as though we had left a movie theater and arrived in the parking lot. We even insist upon capitalizing the names of countries and territories. Immediately upon crossing the line, we assign feelings and imputations upon our new location. We look around and think "This is America". "This is Washington State." None of these exist. A deer migrating from Northern Washington State a to Southern British Columbia would experience no such radical change in view. To us, the experience is quite vivid and quite real, but has no valid basis.

By analyzing our experience, we can see that the boundries that divide our planet exist and function only in dependence upon our mind. By furthering our investigation, we can extend this analysis into every aspect of our lives.

Observing our experience, we find that we assign significance to departing our house and entering our garage. We view these as two totally seperate places. We might assign favour to our house because it is warm and comfortable, but disfavour to our garage because it is cold and dusty. Where do "warm", "comfortable", "cold", and "dusty" exist? Only in our mind.

You might say: "Well, there are walls between myself and the garage. Those walls keep in heat, light, and sound energy, because they are solid. Therefore, it is valid to say that the garage is truly seperate from the house." But investigate carefully! The variance in temperature between the house and the garage is only as glaring as our experience informs us. The wall is merely an energetic gradient between the house and the garage. The same is also true for light and sound. A loud enough sound can be heard on the opposite side. A bright enough light can be seen on the opposite side. Where do "loud", and "bright" exist? Only in our mind.

The distinction between our house and garage is experienced as though it was very real -- but if we look closely, we will see that we cannot find the exact point where the garage begins and the house ends. Therefore, it follows that they are the same entity, and are only nominally distinct (seperable only by name).

Discrimination is empty of inherent existence. It is only because we are ignorant of this truth that we are capable of assigning importance to ourselves, boundries to our land, and owership and exploitation of that land. If through simple logical investigation we can dissolve all boundries between ourself and other objects, it does not make sense to say "I am important, that is less important." It does not make sense to say "I will destroy the inhabiting animals of this place, because they are less important." Profoundly understanding this, we would find ourselves incapable of behaving toward the earth and eachother in the way that we do now.

It would be foolish to swing to the other extreme and attempt to behave as though we were all one formless continuum of visible and invisble energy. It may have it's truth, but it is a subtle truth that we have not realized. The boundries to be drawn between our bedroom and our bathroom are valid in conventional terms.

We are capable of interacting with the world as physical beings because we have realized conventional truth. We are capable of our technolgocial and sociological innovations and advances because we have a direct realzation of conventional truth. Though, because we lack direct realization of ultimate truth -- one aspect of that truth being that all things are only nominally distinct -- we are capable of holding the incorrect view that we are superior to others, that our wishes are more significant than that of others, thereby using our conventional understanding to bring harm to ourselves and others, to initiate wars, to be blind to an impoverished lack over huge sections of the globe, or simply to become angry with others in traffic on our way to work.

Our constant habit is to become attached to those people and things that we find attractive, averted to those we find unattractive, and indifferent toward those we find neither attractive nor unattractive. We perpetuate this habit because we have another mental habit which spontaneously apprehends the conventional distinctions between objects as existing seperate from mind. Ultimate truth tells us that nothing exists independent of mind. We lack equanimity, and therefore have the ongoing potential to suffer.



All beings suffer.
Suffering has a cause.
Because it has a cause, suffering can be ended.
Mindfulness and awareness bring an end to suffering.


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


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


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2268401 - 01/24/04 02:02 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

:eek:

Always an experience reading your posts, man. Your words are not going wasted, that is for sure; my mind soaks them in like Miracle Grow and utilizes them. Always love taking in your perspective.  :thumbup:

Much love!  :heart:
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:


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Invisibleraytrace
Stranger

Registered: 01/15/02
Posts: 720
Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: buttonion]
    #2269341 - 01/24/04 08:28 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

In a world stripped of concepts, there is no existence as existence is itself a concept. Therefore, a fundamental prerequisite for existence is the existence of concepts. Concepts however cannot exist without a conceiving entity. Therefore, existence requires consciousness.

The existence of a thing implies the existence of the concept of a thing. If the concept of a thing does not exist, we cannot refer to it in any way and thus its existence becomes a null concept. Thus, the concept of a thing and by consequence the thing, is a mere state of a hypothetical system that is responsible for consciousness or is conscious. I will refer to it as the conscious system.

(1) Constant change implies that there is a never-ending action, because if action would cease to exist, then change would be at some point impossible and therefore it will not be constant. Thus infinity is an inevitability.

(2) The concept of a thing is distinguished by the concepts of other things through the concept of not that thing. Thus, discreteness can exist, so that all experience does not merge into a single point, which allows dimensions to exist.

(3) The fact that a thing is defined by a set of conditions, reflects the state of the conscious system, which further determines the next state of the system but also forces it to never be in (experience) the same state twice, because that would put the system in a loop which contradicts buttonion's first proposition as it would cause a stable organization in the system (that is all that is) and therefore no more change.

Thus far I have asserted that all that exists is an infinite non repeatable experience.

So when we say that a thing exists, we are really saying that the experience of everything that can exist, has existed or will exist if it does not now. Which sucks.


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OfflineFrog
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2269569 - 01/24/04 09:35 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

Nice post by buttonion, and nice response by Ped.


--------------------
The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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Anonymous

Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: buttonion]
    #2269651 - 01/24/04 09:59 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

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OfflinePed
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: ]
    #2271194 - 01/25/04 09:58 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

I would love to engage you in debate, Mr_Mushrooms. It's not an opportunity I've had very often. Debate is one of the foremost activies of any serious idea explorer, and is a powerful excercise in humility, listening, and correct seeing. Without continual debate, my perspective on Nagarjuna's view is prone to degenerate.


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


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


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Anonymous

Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2271267 - 01/25/04 10:37 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

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InvisibletrendalM Happy Birthday!
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: buttonion]
    #2271287 - 01/25/04 10:43 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

"What does it mean to exist?"

One of the more difficult questions to answer...but I'll venture a reply even so :wink:

Classically, I would say that "to exist" means to exist physically within the confines of spacetime. The coffee mug I am drinking out of exists, because it can be described as a collection of physical matter.

This, however, does not touch upon the question of imagination and thought. Also, with the invention of computers arises another problem - does "software" exist? It is not a physical entity...nor is thought/imagination!

So then, I would say that "to exist" means to be a clearly defined entity within the confines of a specified system.

Software does not "exist" within the confines of our everyday human "physical" existence...but software does exist within the confines of a computer system. Likewise, imagination may not exist as a physical entity in spacetime ("may" being the important word there) but it surely does exist within the confines of the human mind system.

Now something should be said about systems within systems. Software exists within the computer system...and the computer exists within the spacetime system. The same can be said for thought/imagination.

All for now...maybe some more thoughts later :wink:


--------------------
Once, men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free.
But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.


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Anonymous

Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: buttonion]
    #2271340 - 01/25/04 11:02 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

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OfflinePed
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: trendal]
    #2272059 - 01/25/04 03:28 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

>> The coffee mug I am drinking out of exists

Let's investigate and see if we can pinpoint the exact location of the existence of a cup of coffee. Where does the cup of coffee exist? It's function is to contain coffee which can then be carried to the mouth for consumption. What if we removed the handle? Well, now it may be a bowl of coffee. What has changed in the nature of the existence of the cup of coffee after removing the handle?

What if, instead of removing the handle, we slid the coffee cup off the table and onto the floor. What has become of the existence of the cup of coffee? While we are pondering, our startled roomate comes into the room and asks "Is everything alright? I heard a loud noise!". She does not encounter what sits on the floor and think "there is a cup of coffee on the floor." She thinks "there is an awful mess on the floor."

Our friend dismisses herself and asks us not to be so clumsy. Now we've got the task of cleaning up this awful mess. Let's get down onto the floor and examine what's there closely. We can see the broken fragments lying amidst the coffee. We should pick those up and put them in a safe place where they won't hurt anybody. One by one, we pick up the pieces and place them into a bucket. Once finished, we can look inside. What is inside the bucket? Certainly we would not think "there is a coffee cup inside the bucket." We would think "there is a pile of broken china in the bucket." What happened to the existence of our coffee cup? All the components that made up the coffee cup remain, but our coffee cup no longer exists. Where did it go?

Now let's sop up this puddle before somebody slips and breaks their arm. A cloth should do the job. We can set the cloth on the puddle and let it absorb the liquid. Lifting the cloth after a few moments and wiping up any remainder, we've cleaned up the mess and are ready to get back to relaxing. We can open the cupboard and place the cloth inside a new cup. Let's bring it to our roomate as an apology for startling her. She will be delighted!

But she was insulted! "This is not a cup of coffee!" she says. But why? All the elements of the contents of our cup before the accident occured remain, and are inside this new cup. Is it not a cup of coffee? How has the introduction of the cloth destroyed the existence of a cup of coffee?

The answer I am eluding to is, of course, that the coffee cup and it's contents never really existed at all. The appearance of a coffee cup, as well as the appearance of the cloth, bucket, cupboard, table, chair, kitchen sink, window, even our roomate all exist in dependence upon the presence of an apprehending conciousness. The existence of a coffee cup, or any phenomena of this sort, is a phenomenona existent in dependence upon name and basis of imputation.

You might say "Yes well that's fine Ped, but the only reason we make this mistake is because we can't immediately experience the presence of the molecules and atoms which comprise the coffee cup and it's contents, which do in fact exist." But if we disassemble the coffee cup and place it under a powerful microscope that can actually show us chemical bonds, we must observe molecules.



This is ortho-terphenyl (C18 H14), a molecular consituent of glass. Assuming this representation to be the actual molecule, we can explore it in much the same way we explored the coffee cup. Focus your attention on the lower right-hand ring. Is that ortho-terphenyl? No, it is not. If it is not ortho-terphenyl, we can discard it as unnecessary. Suddenly our molecule is behaving differently! In removing the lower right-hand ring, our molecule is no longer ortho-terphenyl. That must mean that the the lower right-hand ring actually is ortho-terphenyl, which means we have many ortho-terphenyl molecules here. This is clearly absurd.

What if we removed just one carbon bond? Is this atom ortho-terphenyl? Of course it is not. It must follow then, that we can remove the rest of the carbon atoms, because none of them are themselves ortho-terphenyl. But before we even remove half of them, our molecule has disintegrated! Why is this happening? Because the existence of a molecule is a phenomona existing in dependence upon parts.

If a molecule, or any object were inherently existent, it must exist independently of it's parts. An object that exists in dependence upon parts can only exist inherently with the presence of an apprehending conciousness to assign it inherent existence. If we divide all the parts upon which an object is dependent, we find that there is no object remaining at all. This means that even the molecules, atoms, and energies which comprise our universe are not themselves inherently existent.

Homage to Shariputra; "Emptiness is not other than form; form also is not other than emptiness."
Homage to Shariputra; "Likewise, feeling, discrimination, compositional factors, and conciousness are empty."


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


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


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InvisibletrendalM Happy Birthday!
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2272095 - 01/25/04 03:39 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

Well all you are really talking about here is reductionism and the idea of Meaning as employed by human consciousness.

My computer screen is only a "computer screen" as long as I am here to think of it as a "computer screen".

Without anyone here to make such a distinction, it would probably be best to just describe the monitor as a collection of fundamental particles. What those fundamental particles are is still up for discussion...but some examples would be quarks, electrons, strings, ect.

I had used the coffee cup example as an example of physical existence. The cup of coffee exists as a physical object (or collection of objects, whichever you please) independantly of my personal consciousness. It may not be a "coffee cup" without my consciousness...but it would still exist as a physical object (I think).

Also, your idea of mopping up the coffee with a cloth, then placing the wet cloth in a cup and calling it "a cup of coffee" does have a flaw to it. A "cloth soaked with coffee" is not "coffee". It is a cloth soaked with coffee :wink:

I see no need to argue over semantics on this one :smirk:


--------------------
Once, men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free.
But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.


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Anonymous

Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: trendal]
    #2272108 - 01/25/04 03:43 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

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InvisibletrendalM Happy Birthday!
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: ]
    #2272112 - 01/25/04 03:45 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

Tren, did it ever occur to you that semantics are all we have?

Well...good point :smirk:


--------------------
Once, men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free.
But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.


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OfflinePed
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: trendal]
    #2272179 - 01/25/04 04:18 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

>> It may not be a "coffee cup" without my consciousness...but it would still exist as a physical object (I think).

Based on this comment, it seems that we agree that objects are subject to the imputation of an apprehending conciousness, and therefore any conventional discrimination between two objects is dependent upon the presence of an apprehending conciousness. If it is understood that "coffee cup" is a mere imputation upon a physical object, then it must follow that all physical objects are only nominally distinct.

If we were to depart the room and encounter somebody on the bus who had an interest in electronics, we may wish to discuss our computer monitor with them. During the discussion, our mind may recall the appearance of our monitor, and, if asked, we would say "It is at home sitting on a desk." But the discrimination between monitor and desk, and all other discriminations, are non-physical and exist only in dependence upon mind.

Based on your comments, it seems that we would agree conventional discrmination between two objects as being a mental phenomena dependent upon the presence of an apprehending conciousness. In the absence of an apprehending conciousness, then, it must follow that our monitor and our desk are not unique objects. Therefore, the monitor has no inherent physical existence. It is merely an indivsible part of all physical existence.

Being that discrimination exists in dependence upon mind, any object that is to have inherent physical existence must remain staticly independent and discretely existing apart from all other phenomena. This is clearly not the case. Since all things everywhere are in a constant state of molecular, atomic, and energetic flux, it must follow that no object apprehended by mind can have it's own inherent physical existence.

Understanding this, we can recognize that no physical objects can exist inherently, independently of mind.

>>It is a cloth soaked with coffee

The illustration of a cloth soaked with coffee was meant as a reversal to the illustration of a broken coffee cup. Just as the destruction of the cup obliterates the conceptualization of a coffee cup, so does the introduction of an increasing element such as a cloth destroy the conceptualization of coffee. The intent of these illustrations was to demonstrate that objects such as "cup" and "coffee" exist only in dependence upon basis of imputation. We do not typically experience our reality as though the objects we encounter are mere imputations of our mind.

I extended this demonstration into the realm of fundamental particles, including quarks, electrons and so forth. These supposed elementary particles exist in the same way as the conventional objects that we interact with: in dependence upon other phenomenon. For an object or elementary partical to have inherent physical existence, it must exist discretely and totally seperate of all other phenomena.


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


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


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InvisibletrendalM Happy Birthday!
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Registered: 04/17/01
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2272186 - 01/25/04 04:21 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

Ok, now I see exactly where you were going!

Yes, we are of the same mind on this :wink:


--------------------
Once, men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free.
But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.


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Invisiblebuttonion
Calmly Watching

Registered: 04/04/02
Posts: 303
Loc: Kansas
Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: buttonion]
    #2273061 - 01/25/04 10:16 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

All righty, WOW, great responses. I?m not going to be able to give a detailed response for everyone.

Ped: Holy crap you are prolific. Completely anticipated where I was going. So I will have to move on!

Raytrace: Deep, I think we are in agreement? and watch out for that nihilism, take your vitamin C and drink lots of water.

Trendal: It sounds like you and Ped were ultimately on the same page, and I am on the boat with Ped.

Mr. Mushrooms: Ahoy dastardly nave! Your time has come! *raises flag on quickly approaching pirate ship*  :grin:You haven?t gotten over that Platonism bug yet? I think I have what you need. And because my position questions a premise of your existence nomenclature (yeah, that objective reality thing) I?m going to hold off on tackling that for now.



So after some inquiry (thank you Ped), we begin to see that existence doesn?t seem to include the qualities we usually assume. I think the three points I laid out help to appreciate this. 1) Things are constantly changing, 2) they have to be understood relative to some background, and 3) they are utterly dependent on other conditions for their ?existence.? When we normally say something exists, it implies some sort of autonomy and consistency for that thing- but the things that we imbue with existence actually have none. So we arrive at the idea of conventional truth- these things we acknowledge as existing exist only by convention rather than in actuality. Denoting ?things? is an act of the mind.

Now you might be saying,

?Yes, yes of course. We don?t directly perceive reality- the mental models we create of reality are not perfect. But our models do somehow correspond to the underlying objective reality though. Objective reality in some way is different here and there- it goes in and out, something here but not over there- this underlying reality is what our perceptions are somehow tied to.?

BUT, the implication of conventional existence is that it applies not just to these individual objects that we acknowledge, but also to the idea of reality itself, an object. Objective reality is just a convention as well.

The correspondence (or realist) theory of truth is deeply ingrained in most humans. It basically says that a belief is true if it corresponds with a fact. This idea is definitely part of our folk psychology and probably innately programmed in us. A drawback of this view is that there is no way to show that our beliefs do actually correspond with reality. Of course, just because there is no way to prove that a belief is consistent with reality does not mean that there is no objective reality. True. And so we could just go on and think that these theories that have stood the test of rational thought and empirical criticism, that we hold to be true, are at least ?moving toward? reality. OK. But still there is no way to reasonably argue for this reality (except for what appears below).

On the other hand, the pragmatic theory of truth basically says that what is true is what works and what is consistent with the wider system of beliefs. There is not necessarily a real reality behind things according to this view. Whereas a realist might say ?this theory is or is getting us closer to what is actually going on? the pragmatist would say ?this theory is useful as means to our goals and consistent with other experience.? Buddhism is a pragmatic view.

Guess how we validate correspondence theory or realism?! Not through correspondence theory. Pragmatism!  How else could we? Realism does work- it helps us achieve our goals, it?s consistent with what just about everyone else believes, and it appears to be easily adopted by the human organism. We use it because it is pragmatic, not because it corresponds with reality. So the whole idea of an objective reality is simply a convention.



SOOOO? now it seems that an analysis of whether realism or a pragmatic view (like Buddhism) is the most pragmatic should be undertaken (he, he). I?m going to stop here for now though because I don?t want to risk losing readers. Thoughts or comments?


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


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OfflineStrumpling
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: buttonion]
    #2273409 - 01/26/04 12:21 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

"So when you say that something exists, what are you really saying about that thing?"

If I were to make the claim that something actually "exists," I would probably be implying that it is not just an idea in the mind, but an "external" object/process/phenomenon.

This only makes sense if one doesn't believe that "my mind creates all"


--------------------
Insert an "I think" mentally in front of eveything I say that seems sketchy, because I certainly don't KNOW much. Also; feel free to yell at me.
In addition: SHPONGLE


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Anonymous

Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: buttonion]
    #2273872 - 01/26/04 05:03 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

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Anonymous

Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Strumpling]
    #2273876 - 01/26/04 05:06 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

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Offlinegnrm23
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: buttonion]
    #2274244 - 01/26/04 09:35 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

somewhere in r a heinlein's writings is a simple observation that goes something like this:
the dictionary has 28 definitions of the word "be" - every one of them false-to-fact !!!
:wink:


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Invisibleraytrace
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: buttonion]
    #2274716 - 01/26/04 12:59 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

Bravo buttonion! Excellent thread!

Although I made my initial post just to have fun with reasoning, I do agree with you.

On the other hand, the pragmatic theory of truth basically says that what is true is what works and what is consistent with the wider system of beliefs. There is not necessarily a real reality behind things according to this view. Whereas a realist might say ?this theory is or is getting us closer to what is actually going on? the pragmatist would say ?this theory is useful as means to our goals and consistent with other experience.?

I just wish that more and more scientists today would become aware and consider seriously the pragmatic theory of truth.


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: trendal]
    #2274723 - 01/26/04 01:04 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

Software does not "exist" within the confines of our everyday human "physical" existence...but software does exist within the confines of a computer system.

No, it doesn?t exist in either of the two. Software exists only within the confines of cultural context. Software is essentially non existent for an alien culture, while it can exist independently of any computer system, when you run an algorithm in your mind.


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OfflineAlan Stone
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2274769 - 01/26/04 01:28 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Ped said:
The way we mistake our view of reality and the way things exist can be clearly expressed by illustrating the way we mistake our view of our territorial world. It is easy to relate to the illusions of borders. I intend to suggest that the illusion of boundries between conventional objects -- the illusion that objects exist independently and from their own side -- is not different from the illusion that borders truly exist between two nations. I also intend to suggest how these illusory views are the root of all our suffering.




This implies you don't believe space is real, since distinction between objects requires a physical seperation - a 'beginning' and an 'end' of the object(s) in question. I agree. Space is an illusion created by our minds to allow us to structurise the world we perceive, and in turn survive.

Quote:

Neither dolphins nor parrots as a whole have left such a scar on this earth.



Nor do those species have opposable thumbs with which to efficiently manipulate tools. This has more to do with their influence on the Earth (well, that and conceptual thought) than their ultimate value as a life form. Nevertheless, I agree humans aren't superior to any other species. In fact, for a species that is alledgedly intelligent, we're rather inferior if you consider our detrimental effect on wildlife.
Our disastrous effect on our own home planet is related to the inherent laziness of the human being. Because of this laziness, we've invented newer and better tools, and we've also given our individual power away, first to a representative (clan leader), later to a government. With the creation of nations, there's a reason for large scale wars. Combine this with our need for comfort (creating the complex production and distribution networks we have now) and you'll see how
it was inevitable we rid the Earth of its natural balance.
We've made grain crops dependent upon us through selection (selecting the tougher stems that don't allow the plant to lose any seeds we don't intend it to lose) ten thousand years ago, and now the whole natural world is dependant upon our whims/needs, call it what you will.

Quote:

We don't experience border crossings in this way, however. We tend to assign great importance to the fact that we have "left Canada" and "entered the USA", as though we had left a movie theater and arrived in the parking lot. We even insist upon capitalizing the names of countries and territories.

To us, the experience is quite vivid and quite real, but has no valid basis.



I've never felt much for governments, but the only reason I acknowledge territorial borders is practical and legal consideration. The validity lies in the practical ramifications. The borders are illusory, but you're still forced to take them into account for practical purposes. Just like there's no validity in inheritance of power through bloodline, but it still applies in the real world (if need be in the form of heirlooms and capital).

Quote:

By analyzing our experience, we can see that the boundries that divide our planet exist and function only in dependence upon our mind. By furthering our investigation, we can extend this analysis into every aspect of our lives.



The fact these concepts still exist must at least tittilise the mind to such a degree that it makes one wonder why. There can only be one answer: concepts have served our survival, and still do. I think it's safe to say most people realise their garage isn't radically different from their living room on a spatial level.
The distinction lies in function, and we need to assign a function to everything. The only things that lack function as such are concepts that don't need to correlate to external reality, like philosophy, religion and art.

Quote:

Where do "loud", and "bright" exist? Only in our mind.



So you view external stimuli as the mind's projection of received energy? A hologram created by the brain using neurological input?

Quote:

Profoundly understanding this, we would find ourselves incapable of behaving toward the earth and eachother in the way that we do now.



The truth has to be felt as well as known. Pure memorisation of your statements wouldn't do the trick, values cannot be transferred as easily as concepts can.

Off-topic:
Suffering cannot ever be extermined in my opinion unless we learn not to grow up. This may come across as a blunt statement, but please allow me to explain.
To grow up in this context, is to abandon playfulness, to abandon fantasy as a tool and a form of entertainment, to concentrate on the material and, finally, to become rigid in ones beliefs.
Imagine what the world would be like if we lived our lives on a need-to-do basis, if we abandoned all bullshit like a market economy, and focused on what we need to survive, nothing more. If we taught our children how to be content instead of teaching them to 'do better' than we ourselves have. If we taught them fundamental values and not how to manipulate others into thinking your child, as an individual, is superior and worhty of more power than the other.

The world we have now is impossible to totally grasp. None but a selected few (probably around one hundred people would be my guess) know what's causing world events, who's causing them. In my ever so humble opinion, the madness should stop and everyone should review what's really important in their lives.

This doesn't go to say you should quit your job and slack around all day. To extinguish suffering requires mental effort as well as labour. The mental exercise, as indicated beforehand, is to learn to be content. The physical effort should be concentrated on what you really need. This is different for every individual, although most people could really live without a cell phone that can act as a camera, personal agenda, notebook, game console and whatnot. The key is to stop the maddening grind as a cog in the corporate machine.


--------------------
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: raytrace]
    #2274810 - 01/26/04 01:46 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

raytrace said:
Software does not "exist" within the confines of our everyday human "physical" existence...but software does exist within the confines of a computer system.

No, it doesn?t exist in either of the two. Software exists only within the confines of cultural context. Software is essentially non existent for an alien culture, while it can exist independently of any computer system, when you run an algorithm in your mind.




Well in that case, the "software" would exist within the confines of the mind system (alien or otherwise).

Saying "Software exists only within the confines of cultural context" makes no sense unless you take computers themselves to be a cultural context :wink:


--------------------
Once, men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free.
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: trendal]
    #2274819 - 01/26/04 01:50 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

heh computers aren't just cultural context - they're going to help us save our asses


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Strumpling]
    #2274854 - 01/26/04 02:04 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

No, they are definately not a cultural context :wink:


--------------------
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OfflineAlan Stone
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: trendal]
    #2274863 - 01/26/04 02:07 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

Of course they are. If an alien culture arrives here by means of astral travel, and sees <insert company name here> <insert program name here> work on a <insert manifacturer here> computer, they'll have no idea what's causing the images. So basically, they'll have no idea what computers or software are. They'll just see a frame with changing images.


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Alan Stone]
    #2274873 - 01/26/04 02:10 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

You're confusing content with programming!

The words on this page are content...the "code" used to display the page is programming. Any alien race which manages to travel to the Earth (through whatever means) will probably have come accross their own version of the concept of programming.

If I look at an Italian program, I won't understand a word of it...but that doesn't make it not a program :wink:


--------------------
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: trendal]
    #2274890 - 01/26/04 02:21 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

Well in that case, the "software" would exist within the confines of the mind system (alien or otherwise).

yes, it would exist within the mind, but only in one that is orientated with our culture.


Saying "Software exists only within the confines of cultural context" makes no sense unless you take computers themselves to be a cultural context

The devices we call "computers" need cultural context themselves to be...well computers. An alien that had no previous contact with human culture will presumambly use a PC as something to stare at while getting high (not to imply that humans don't do that)

In order for a process to be computation you need someone that interprets it in an appropriate way. Nobody prevents me to use a waving flag to compute, but I first have to define a set of principles that when applied on the movement of the flag decipher desirable meaning. So, a waving flag might be a computer for an alien race but it is not a computer for me or in general.

By extend, software exists only culturally. Is it clear?


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: trendal]
    #2274892 - 01/26/04 02:22 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

exactly, Trendal - let's bring this one home:

Regardless of whether or not an alien race came down and checked out our computers, the computers are still there, and so is the software. If all people were to vanish, the computers would still be here, and so would the software, it just wouldn't be useful for any other animals here (in fact its probably pretty ugly..).

Kind of like how DNA seems to contain "software" that shows life what to do! We barely have ANY clue how it does this, but its still there in the DNA code - its just not easy to understand. There could be software running all around us (like in the matrix for instance?) without us knowing it. But it would still be there, and it wouldn't just be cultural, because even if the whole culture died, it would remain..


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: raytrace]
    #2274904 - 01/26/04 02:26 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

"By extend, software exists only culturally. Is it clear?"

It is no clear to me at all..... It doesn't matter how usefull or understood the programming (software) is - its still there, and it would still exist no matter what interacted with it in what ways.

The computer could be used improperly by an alien, sure, but the programming, the software, would still be there - I don't see what you mean.


--------------------
Insert an "I think" mentally in front of eveything I say that seems sketchy, because I certainly don't KNOW much. Also; feel free to yell at me.
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: raytrace]
    #2274918 - 01/26/04 02:31 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

By extend, software exists only culturally. Is it clear?

Nope, still not any more clear...

The devices we call "computers" need cultural context themselves to be...well computers.

Not exactly...they require conscious knowledge of them to be considered "computers". This is different than cultural context. As Strumpling said, the computer would still be there and would still do it's thing if our culture ceased to exist. If another culture came upon it and didn't know what it was...it wouldn't magically start doing something different! It would continue doing what it is programmed to do - whatever that may be.

Now this new culture could, in time, figure out what the computer is, what it does, and what it can be used for.

Have they changed into our culture?

Just because another culture doesn't know what one of our words is for something, or our description of it, doesn't change what it is :wink:

I can call an orange an apple all I want...but it won't make it an apple except to me, and then only in the word I am using for it.


--------------------
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But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.


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OfflinePed
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Alan Stone]
    #2274919 - 01/26/04 02:32 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

>> Our disastrous effect on our own home planet is related to the inherent laziness of the human being. Because of this laziness, we've invented newer and better tools

Underneath such laziness, though, is our capacity to prioritize ourselves over others. We are only capable of prioritizing ourself over others because we perceive ourselves as islands of conciousness experiencing objects as though they were "waiting" for us to encounter them as they are. If we profoundly understand that distinctions between self and other, self and object, object and object have no inherent existence, we would find ourselves incapable of prioritizing ourselves over others, and therefore incapable of experiencing suffering, or causing others to experience suffering.

Laziness is dependent upon the ability to cherish one's self, and the ability to cherish one's self is dependent upon the ability to grasp at one's self, to perceive the self as seperate. Being that we have the ability to reverse these wrong views, it follows that laziness is not an inherent attribute of the human being.


>> So you view external stimuli as the mind's projection of received energy? A hologram created by the brain using neurological input?

Something similar to this, yes. "Loud" and "Bright" are opinions, but we do not experience "Loud" and "Bright" as though we had an opinion of them. If somebody drops a vase and we hear a sound that disturbs us, we think "That was a very loud sound." But if we're at a rock concert and dissatisfied with the quality of the audio, even sounds many times greater in volume than a fallen vase may be dissatisfactory, and we may think "The sound is much too quiet." We experience either of these circumstances as though that's how they actually were, ignoring the reality that either of these are phenomena dependent upon a circumstantial basis.

Conceptually, it is easy to understand that our entire experience is comprised of views and opinions pervaded by our predispositions, but downloading this understanding into every moment of our experience is very difficult and requires practice.


>> The truth has to be felt as well as known. Pure memorisation of your statements wouldn't do the trick, values cannot be transferred as easily as concepts can.

This is what was meant by the words "Profoundly understanding this".


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Strumpling]
    #2274921 - 01/26/04 02:33 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

maybe...just maybe...we should take this discussion out of this thread. anyway, I need to go now, I will get back to this later.


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: raytrace]
    #2274923 - 01/26/04 02:33 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

No need to, this still ties into "existence" :wink:


--------------------
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But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: trendal]
    #2275691 - 01/26/04 07:23 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: trendal]
    #2276070 - 01/26/04 10:05 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

(1)

Strumpling:
Kind of like how DNA seems to contain "software" that shows life what to do! We barely have ANY clue how it does this, but its still there in the DNA code - its just not easy to understand.
Yeah, we use that metaphor. But people refer to most of nature as doing some sort of computation. Does this means that software is all around? In that case there is no reason to exclusively refer to what is in front of you as a computer.


(2)

trendal:
they require conscious knowledge of them to be considered "computers"
Well, in this case this means being aware of the cultural significance that we have assigned to that process, which is to compute in a certain way.


(3)

this new culture could, in time, figure out what the computer is, ?
When you deal with the question what is a computer, inevitably you have to deal with the buttonion?s second proposition. What is a not a computer?

A computer is indistinguishable from any other physical process. Anything a computer does can be understood without giving the explanation that it computes.

Moreover, a good part of contemporary computer scientists consider that natural processes can be understood as performing computation.

(maybe now you can try to answer this in your head: What is the difference that will make this a computer and not something else?)


(4)

? what it does, and what it can be used for.
So, you are presented with a strange something. You don?t fucking have a clue what it is doing, why the hell does it have to occur to you that it computes?

Ok, so the alien might had this crazy dream: an aliengel reveals to him that this piece of jumbled materials actually computes. Great! From this point, all he has to do is equivalent to taking an arbitrary physical process who spits out some funny patterns, and think of it as computer by projecting on it some wildly complex assumptions.

Have they changed into our culture?
Our cultures do not have to match, they have to intersect in the particular point, which is quite improbable.


(5)

Just because another culture doesn't know what one of our words is for something, or our description of it, doesn't change what it is
Probably true, but perspective does change what things are.


I can call an orange an apple all I want...but it won't make it an apple except to me, and then only in the word I am using for it.
You can call anything a computer viewed from the right perspective, both oranges and apples will do

Is anything objectively a computer?

consider: Can information exist by itself? What is information without consciousness? Does information still exist if put in different context?


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: raytrace]
    #2276775 - 01/27/04 05:12 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

So, you are presented with a strange something. You don?t fucking have a clue what it is doing, why the hell does it have to occur to you that it computes?

I don't have to know that it "computes" for it to still compute! Just because I have no idea what it's doing...doesn't change what it's doing.


--------------------
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But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: buttonion]
    #2276943 - 01/27/04 07:53 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: trendal]
    #2277048 - 01/27/04 08:45 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

Allright then, please answer the question: What is the difference that will make this a computer and not something else?


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: raytrace]
    #2277059 - 01/27/04 08:48 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

What is the difference that will make this a computer and not something else?

What we refer to as a "computer" is a specific ordering of a group of smaller physical constituents, with an intended purpose for use.

A table is not a computer because it does not follow the same specific ordering of smaller constituent parts. Which is the same reason a computer is not a table.


--------------------
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But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: trendal]
    #2277088 - 01/27/04 08:59 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

There is no specific ordering (add more emphasis here) that will make something a computer. Therefore, there is no objective computer.


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: ]
    #2277108 - 01/27/04 09:04 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

Thanks for your post Mr. M. I consider it very high praise. I'm going to do some further research as well. Eggh, but school is starting. James and Rorty are two big proponents of pragmatism. I think I read that Hilary Putnam has some contention with Rorty.

"God is dead", is reality next? (he, he)


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: trendal]
    #2277158 - 01/27/04 09:30 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

What we refer to as a "computer" is a specific ordering of a group of smaller physical constituents, with an intended purpose for use.





*puts on realist costume*

Right. You have defined the computer at the physical level and at the functional level. It is a physical thing composed of other physical things and it is there to serve some purpose. Unless you believe in some divine purpose, ?purpose? is an idea created by human beings- we describe physical things as intended to do this or that. The purpose of a tennis racket is to hit a ball, the purpose of my calculator is to compute arithmetic. If purpose is an idea created by human beings, if there are no beings to imbue the world with purpose, the computer will not continue to exist as a computer at the functional level.

The same applies to the idea of software. Describing a disk as software is describing it at a functional level. If no being is there to use this physical thing in the software way, then how much sense does it make to refer to it as software. None. A functional description is completely tied to the beings intention to use it as such. The term software is a convention. It is an abstraction.

So there is a computer sitting on a planet with no beings around who are able to use it as a computer. Is it a computer?

Your going to say

?if there was a human being there to use the computer as it was intended, they would really see that it was a computer that was there all along.?

But function, teleology, utility- these are all ideas. With no humans, these ideas are gone.

And maybe it is a windbreaker or a house for some aliens. But its not a computer unless there is someone there to recognize it as one.


*takes off realist costume and takes a shower (meditates)*


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


Edited by buttonion (01/27/04 09:31 AM)


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: raytrace]
    #2277196 - 01/27/04 09:50 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

Well raytrace, it would appear that our views of objective reality differ here on a fundamental level. That being the case...I have nothing more to say :smirk:


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But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: buttonion]
    #2277202 - 01/27/04 09:54 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

Ahh, excellent bost buttonion!

I tend to view this as the difference between objective reality and subjective reality (ie: the human experience of "reality"). I'm sure I've stated it elsewhere: I think the two are quite different.

Yes, without any beings around to think of the computer as a "computer"...it is not really a computer. However the collective ordering of the system remains the same - it is only the meaning which is lost. Without me to think of my computer as such, it remains simply an ordered system of fundamental constituents (be they atoms, particles, strings, ect).

"Ideas" may be created by humans...but I think that certain concepts exist indipendantly of human existence.


--------------------
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: buttonion]
    #2277233 - 01/27/04 10:08 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

The term software is a convention. It is an abstraction.
Bingo!


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Invisiblebuttonion
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: trendal]
    #2277320 - 01/27/04 10:42 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

"Ideas" may be created by humans...but I think that certain concepts exist indipendantly of human existence.





So tell us what these concepts are and we'll try to convince you otherwise.


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


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Invisibleraytrace
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: raytrace]
    #2277401 - 01/27/04 11:04 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

What is really funny is that abstractions are not really needed in the universe, yet we experience them and this is what makes things real. Isn?t this almost mystical?

The universe may still exist independently, but what exists is merely a continuity, a continuous causality: no apples, no oranges, no brains to perceive them.


Edited by raytrace (01/27/04 11:14 AM)


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: buttonion]
    #2277412 - 01/27/04 11:07 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

Unfortunately this is not something I can explain at the moment, as I lack the language to do so. That may sound like a cop-out...but it's just the way it is and I wouldn't be comfortable throwing myself on the block on this one :smirk:

Give me a few days, I'll see what I can come up with in way of an explanation.


--------------------
Once, men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free.
But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: trendal]
    #2277598 - 01/27/04 12:39 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

>> I tend to view this as the difference between objective reality and subjective reality (ie: the human experience of "reality"). I'm sure I've stated it elsewhere: I think the two are quite different.

We all seem to agree that a large portion of our experience is pervaded by imputation of conception.  We encounter an object that performs a function, and we assign a name to that object based upon the function it performs.  Consequently, we make the assumption that the object inherently exists based upon the names and functions we have imputed upon it.  We all seem to agree that this is a mistaken awareness that improperly constructs our reality, and that by removing the incorrect basis, we can discover what is actually there.

Buttonion has put it very beautifully; The term software is a convention.  It is an abstraction.

When we encounter an object such as a chair, we immediately assign it inherent existence based upon it's function.  Our mind spontaneously informs us that the object we have encountered is, independently, a "chair".  It's very easy for us to remember that "chair" is a conceptualization that exists in dependence upon the presence of an apprehending conciousness.  "Chair" is an example of convention, and can be easily ruled out as not inherently existent.

Having discarded the conceptualization of "chair", we may encounter the object again and decide that it is "wood".  Our bothersome minds might continue informing us that infront of us is an inherently existent "chair", but careful attention ensures that we see past this deception and apprehend only "wood".  Clearly, it is comprised of an arrangement of wood fibres and has a warm wooden colour.  But if we continue our investigation, we discover that wood is comprised of molecules, atoms, energies, and so forth.  It exists in dependence upon other phenomena.  If we are to remain true the original reasoning that carried us past the conceptualization of "chair", we must also recognize "wood" as another convention, a nominal distinction decided upon by the presence of an apprehending conciousness.

Without much difficulty, we can place "wood" in the same category as "chair", as conventional truths that exist only in dependence upon mind.  Having dismissed these two conceptualizations, we can encounter the object again, thinking "I have discarded two assumptions made by my mistaken awareness.  Now I must have arrived at what is actually there."  It is natural for us to fall back upon a new basis for experiencing an object as though it were "out there".  Each passing instant of our experience informs us that we are a segregated block of conciousness, encountering objects which are wholly apart from ourselves.  It is not easy to oppose such a deeply ingrained mind.  This time, we might conclude that "assembly of fundamental consituents" is the object that is actually out there

We have arrived at this point using our reasoning:  "A chair cannot exist inherently because 'chair' is merely a conceptualization imputed upon an object.  In this case, 'chair' has been imputed upon a piece of wood.  By the same token, 'wood' does not itself exist inherently because the appearance of 'wood' is dependent upon other phenomena which perform a function, such as molecules, atoms, and so forth.  In this case, these fundamental consituents function to give rise to the phenomena which we have categorized as 'wood'.  Since it is only the mind which apprehends this phenomena as wood, 'wood' is a mere imputation, and cannot exist independently of mind.  Therefore, it is these fundamental constituents which exist inherently.  All other apprehensions are mere concepts and must be disregarded."

Though, if we are to adhere to our original reasoning, we must remember that distinctions between atoms, electrons, particles, waves and so forth are determined by convention.  In the same way that the apprehension of "chair" is a mere imputation upon a phenomena, "atom" is a mere imputation upon the appearance of another phenomena.  Our mind encounters a chair and spontaneously informs us that infront of us is a chair, existing from it's own side.  In the same way, with the proper instruments, our mind encounters an atom, and spontaneously informs us again, that based upon it's function, we have encountered an object existing from it's own side.  If we have concluded the former to be a mistake, we must then conclude the latter also to be a mistake if we are to maintain the integrity of our own line of reasoning.

Like peeling an onion, we can discard each layer of our experience and discover that underneath all of our conceptualizations is only empty space.  To Buddhists, this is called "emptiness".  We must remember that distinctions exist in just the same way that objects such as "chair" and "wood" exist.  Just as we mistakenly apprehend "chair" as inherently existent, we mistakenly apprehend self and other as an inherently existent distinction.  If we check carefully, we'll discover that there can be no boundry between self and other, because such a boundry can exist only in dependence upon a mind that believes this is so.  If we profoundly understand this, we can avoid the extreme of concluding through this reasoning that nothing exists at all, while simultaneously opposing the extreme from which we are presently abiding: the experience which informs that things exist apart from us, from their own side.  We can come to understand that all things, animate and inanimate, are intimately and inextricably connected with ourselves.

Analyzing our experience, we can quickly discover that it is the grasping at an inherentely existent and independent self which gives rise to the appearance of boundries between objects in the first place.  No such inherently existent self exists.  If, through training and constant practice, we were to profoundly oppose the mind that apprehends objects as inherently existent, we would eventually internalize the wisdom realizing ultimate nature of reality, and the boundries that exist in our experience would begin to disintegrate.  Our experience of the world would change, our encounters with other people would change, and most importantly, we would be incapable of experiencing suffering, or of causing others to experience suffering.  After all, suffering is a phenomena that occurs in dependence upon a mind which opposes other phenomena.  If that mind is profoundly aware that there are no independently unfolding phenomena, that mind would be incapable of apprehending or perpetrating the phenomena of suffering.  There would only be harmony, stillness, tranquility, and bliss (How's that for seductive, eh Mr. Mushrooms! :laugh:).

If anyone is interested in learning more about this subject, feel free to PM me, and I will connect you with resources of further learning.


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


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OfflinePed
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: raytrace]
    #2277614 - 01/27/04 12:52 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

>> What is really funny is that abstractions are not really needed in the universe, yet we experience them and this is what makes things real. Isn?t this almost mystical?

Abstractions are necessary for us to properly interact with our environment. Beyond this, they are useless and often harmful. If we were to begin ignoring the conventional truths behind our experience, we would be incapable of getting out of the bed in the morning, or of interacting with other beings. The mistake is in assuming conventional appearances to be ultimately true, inherently existent and real.


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


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OfflineStrumpling
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: buttonion]
    #2277706 - 01/27/04 01:32 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

Here's what I think it comes down to:

We are creators - we create machines that complete processes. We create labels for these things as well. Once the machine is built, and its processes are running, the computer is there. It is there no matter what. The software is there too - it is there no matter what.

It doesn't matter what label one gives to it, the machine and its processes are still there, REALLY. Something doesn't need "meaning" to exist in my opinion, just ask a rock and it will show you it doesn't need meaning.

I feel like we're going in loops here, but I don't see computational software as an abstraction any more than a chair is, or a "spear."

If we make the thing, it is whatever we made it as. If somebody makes an object and calls it a Flambungo, then it is a Flambungo "objectively" because the creator, regardless of whether or not he's still around, intended it to be a Flambungo. This means somebody else can walk up to it and give it their own subjective label, but since they didn't create the thing, it is only their label to them, and it is a Flambungo "in reality."

You can trace it back further if you wish and ask "what is this Flambungo made from?" Closer inspection could reveal that it is composed of rocks and sticks.

Let's zoom forward several hundred thousand years and take notice of no more humans and an alien race coming down to Earth. The alien walks up to the Flambungo and sees rocks and sticks. They will "objectively" (objectively since they don't realize it already has a label.. to them, it would objectively be what they see it as, like a rock is objectively a rock because we gave it that label) label it as "construct of rocks and sticks," which they don't realize is a Flambungo.

Since they don't know what a Flambungo is, is it still a Flambungo? Or is it now demoted to "construct of rocks and sticks" level? They don't know a Flambungo is used to kill snakes, so since that aspect of it is now unknown, is it unreal too, and no longer a quality of the object?

What has happened here? Has objective reality changed since the creator is no longer around? is that possible?

If a tree falls in the woods....

This is where labels and objects collide, and often conflict. I think we're attacking an age-old question with different labels, lol and I'm getting tired of the loops hehe

"But function, teleology, utility- these are all ideas. With no humans, these ideas are gone."

If you are taking that angle, then are you of belief that no processes exist without mankind around to check them out? The tree makes no sound when it falls in the woods with nobody around? I thinhk what happens here is people get the label confused with what the label is implying, what the label is pointing to.

some think this way:

If an object is an object with nobody around, then a computer is a computer with nobody around, and software is software with nobody around.

or some people think this way:

If an object is not an object with nobody around, then a computer is not a computer with nobody around, making the software non-existent as well.

I believe the answer to this question comes down to one's basic fundamental ideas about how we percieve "external" data.

well I've answered nothing again, so I'd better just hold if off right here lol


--------------------
Insert an "I think" mentally in front of eveything I say that seems sketchy, because I certainly don't KNOW much. Also; feel free to yell at me.
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Edited by Strumpling (01/27/04 01:42 PM)


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OfflineStrumpling
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Strumpling]
    #2277746 - 01/27/04 01:46 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

reading over my last post, I see some errors in "objectivity."

If somebody makes something out of other stuff, is that thing "objectively" what they call it, or is it objectively simply a construct of its components?

If that is so, then basically the entire physical universe is objectively light doing light's thing, and nothing more.

I just realized how little thought I'd put into this type of subject before, when I thought I had it all figured out :wink: hehe silly brain!


--------------------
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Invisibleraytrace
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Strumpling]
    #2277862 - 01/27/04 02:17 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

If an object is an object with nobody around, then a computer is a computer with nobody around, and software is software with nobody around.

Our computers at least may have a physical manifestation, so something may be there. But software? Software is strictly a construct of the mind. It is just us that we project the existence of the process we call software on the causal relationships observed on a designated piece of the continuity.

Then again, please check proposition 2 given in the beginning of the thread: what is not a computer?

If it is not possible to (objectively) discriminate between what is a computer and what is not a computer, then I guess aliens most probably will use it as a heater.

I have some more comments, but later


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: raytrace]
    #2277877 - 01/27/04 02:20 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

But software? Software is strictly a construct of the mind.

It may be that the concept of "software" is merely a construct of the mind...but if you are going to admit that "something" of the computer exists physically without anyone around...then you must admit that the software (which exists physically as a set of electrical/magnetic/optical values within the physical computer system) still exists as "something" when no one is around.


--------------------
Once, men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free.
But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.


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Invisibleraytrace
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: trendal]
    #2277912 - 01/27/04 02:32 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

I might admit that something is there, but not something of a computer.

What you refer to as the set of electrical/magnetic/optical values, without cultural context, is no different than any other set of measured values e.g. I can measure the physiological characteristics of a tree and assign some more values for the nutrients exchange with the environment, but the final set of values I have gathered is no different than the set of electrical/etc. values.

Without context, they are an arbitrary set of measurements from the physical environment. In principle, there might be a race that would consider the measurements of the tree attributes as a valid computer program.


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Invisibleraytrace
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: raytrace]
    #2277946 - 01/27/04 02:43 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

If it is not possible to (objectively) discriminate between what is a computer and what is not a computer, then I guess aliens most probably will use it as a heater.

please, don't give me the "it is the same thing just different words". These are entirely different concepts.


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OfflineStrumpling
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: trendal]
    #2277986 - 01/27/04 02:55 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

yeah that's what I was trying to say with the "if an object is an object with nobody around.." deal - well-put :smile:

"Then again, please check proposition 2 given in the beginning of the thread: what is not a computer?"

A rock is not a computer.

Are you getting at the idea that we as humans are computers running software? Actually according to the definitions of computer from www.dictionary.com, anything that performs calculations is a computer. I perform calculations; watch: 2 + 2 = 4 hooray I'm a computer!

The whole universe could be a computer simply because there's a calculator on my desk, and that calculator is part of the universe. Therefore, the universe does calculations, making "computer" an acceptable label for the universe.

I may see what you mean though when we get this far though like if we create a computer, its a computer to us but not to them (an alien).

What makes this confusing is that we need to introduce an alien race in order to put a new perspective on our situation - this creates a whole other collective subjective which could easily be confused with a conflicting objectivity. I still stand by the premise though that if we make something and call it a computer, and define what that means, and put software on the computer, and define what that means, then it is a computer. The problems comes in the label:

Would "computer" mean a man-made calculating machine, since ommitting "man-made" from the definition would include mankind itself as a computer by definition, and we are trying to describe this machine we made as different from ourselves?

If we include "man-made" in the definition for computer, then I see how with no humans around, an alien would not see it as a computer (or the thing the word "computer" points to) if they didn't know it was man-made and didn't know that it calculates.

The definition and label of this object would be totally different, but it would still be the object it was at the time of creation.


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OfflinePed
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Strumpling]
    #2278101 - 01/27/04 03:22 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

>> What has happened here? Has objective reality changed since the creator is no longer around? is that possible?

No, it is not possible. An objective reality must be an unchanging reality. Since there is no unchanging reality, there is no objective reality. Reality is entirely subjective.


>> It may be that the concept of "software" is merely a construct of the mind...but if you are going to admit that "something" of the computer exists physically without anyone around.

The response to this is related to the second, third and fourth paragraphs of the response to:


>> The tree makes no sound when it falls in the woods with nobody around?

That's correct. If there is no entity possessing an ear conciousness to apprehend as "sound" the vibrations that move through the air, then there is no sound. This is cleary understandable. Though, if we are to maintain the integrity of this reasoning, we must extend it into every element of our experience, because "vibrations", "air", "molecules" and so forth cannot be apprehended as such without a conciousness available to do so.

At the end of the game, "existence" itself cannot come into being without a conciousness available to apprehend it. Existence serves as the condition upon which conciousness thrives, and conciousness serves as the condition upon which existence thrives. The two are forever locked in dynamic unity, much like what is seen in the following example:



The inner world and the outer world are the same entity and are only nominally distinct. Therefore, it follows that there is no objective existing reality. Every aspect of existence is a dependent-related phenomena. Just as current does not come from a battery until both the positive and negative terminals are connected, action does not come from inaction until both the concious and existential terminals are connected.

We are able to see further and further into the macroscopic universe because our minds continue to probe further and further into the macroscopic universe. We are able to see deeper and deeper into the microscopic universe because our minds continue to probe further and further into the microscopic universe. Since the inner world and the outer world are the same entity and are only nominally distinct, our explorations into the outer world are like us trying to touch our own finger tip using our finger, or trying to bite our own teeth, or to see the back of our heads by craning our necks.


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OfflineAlan Stone
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: trendal]
    #2278118 - 01/27/04 03:27 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

trendal said:
I don't have to know that it "computes" for it to still compute! Just because I have no idea what it's doing...doesn't change what it's doing.



It all depends on perspective. On the conscious level of a human being living in the Western world, it is still computing. However, on another level there's just electrons serving as cue balls in divine snooker, passing eachother by and colliding. For all we know, our galaxy could be a set of cueballs on a yet bigger motherboard.


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Strumpling]
    #2278120 - 01/27/04 03:28 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

If somebody makes an object and calls it a Flambungo, then it is a Flambungo

Do you have any good sources for a slightly used Flambungo? I thought one would go nicely out on my vermada right next to my chammy...


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



The proof is in the pudding.


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OfflineAlan Stone
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Swami]
    #2278181 - 01/27/04 03:49 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

Stop wase-timing !  :stoned:


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2278308 - 01/27/04 04:44 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

"If there is no entity possessing an ear conciousness to apprehend as "sound" the vibrations that move through the air, then there is no sound. This is cleary understandable. Though, if we are to maintain the integrity of this reasoning, we must extend it into every element of our experience, because "vibrations", "air", "molecules" and so forth cannot be apprehended as such without a conciousness available to do so."

so are you saying that without a conscious being, the everything is simply the everything, and that it takes consciousness to isolate pieces of the whole from itself through observing differences in perception?

Like if nobody's around when the tree falls, the thing that the word "sound" points to occurs. It doesn't make a sound, but something happens that if somebody were around, they would call sound. What we mean when we say sound - that happens when that tree falls. Vibrations of air molecules or whatever - that occurs, there's just nothing around to "apprehend" this event. But still, the air molecules vibrate, even though they don't have those labels and aren't separated from "the whole" by a conscious being, they're still there, part of the whole - just not recognized as "sound" obviously because we made that word up to describe the phenomenon that actually happens.

that's how I see it anyway, for now :wink:


--------------------
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OfflinePed
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Strumpling]
    #2279377 - 01/27/04 10:54 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

>> so are you saying that without a conscious being, the everything is simply the everything, and that it takes consciousness to isolate pieces of the whole from itself through observing differences in perception?

Yes, but it is much more subtle than we first realize. The old koan "If a tree falls in the forest, does it make sound?" is only a means of referring to the way all things exist everywhere. This is how it was originally intended, as a means of pointing to a profundity so vast that it is unspeakable except by skillful linguistic gesturing.

We have firmly grasped the understanding that an apprehending conciousness is required to assign "sound" to a certain series of phenomenon. Where we have gone astray is in assuming that this is the level at which this explantion stops. We can see this by refining the question. "When a tree falls in the forest, and nobody is around to experience the phenomena of molecular vibrations, does it release any energy?" The answer to this question is the same. "No. Molecules, vibrations, energy and so forth cannot exist independently of an apprehending conciousness." We can take this even further with the question, "If an assembly of fundamental consituents is destroyed amidst another conventionally unique assembly of fundamental consituents, and no sentient arrangement of elementary particles is available to interpet the interaction between these two conventional distinctions, is there an ultimately distinguishable phenomena unfolding?" Again, the answer is no, for all the same reasons.


>> they're still there, part of the whole - just not recognized as "sound" obviously because we made that word up to describe the phenomenon that actually happens.

There is no phenomena that actually happens. There can be no actuality. Implicit in the word "actuality" is seperateness, and there can be no ultimate distinction between reality and observer. The two are the same entity, and are only nominally distinct.


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


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Gyroscope full album available SoundCloud or MySpace


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InvisibleKeyannki
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2279556 - 01/28/04 12:09 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

Ped: so you're claiming there are no elves, werewolves, vamps, or dragons, huh? :laugh:

next, you say illusory.  I'd say its 3D expression, working progress.

there is no objective reality. Reality is entirely subjective.


fundamentals can be proven wrong all the time. I have enough proof to know there such objectivity.  an invocation of samatha is not subjective if two or more people feel it, especially in waking state.



now about the Koan.  take a trans-hypothetical scenario:

black mage concocts a lovespell.  heehee The target doesn't have a clue.  the mage releases the spell from  long distance (miles).  The target is caught under the spell, under the mage's control.

it doesn't have to this spell.  can be any. Attaching an entity. Energy draining. the main point is the theoretical possibility of the manifestation and target (whatever it is) having no awareness of it.


next, America and Canada.  Oh, there is a distinction.  Separation and division serves several purposes - Creativeness, individualism, independence.  whether it is used for or perceived as good or bad is dependent on the beholder. You. Even the names of the country as the mentionables above has its own discrete characteristics and personalities.  One of them in America is a vibration of the no. 5. any large governing bodies, whether business or the armed forces, love to do very very illegal, inethical acts.  Enron, Amway/Quixtar, and  world.com  in corporate business

in the military - air forces using uppers and downer drugs to maintain the pilots performance. as of late, there has been reports of pilots making decisions on impaired judgment.  there is current case involving two pilots erronaneously bombing a canadian company.  there as another one in the first gulf war where nine brits died from a pilot's mistaken, substanced-influenced recognition of ground enemies.

there is more but i'm offtopic.


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OfflinePed
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Keyannki]
    #2279676 - 01/28/04 01:19 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

>> Separation and division serves several purposes

That it does. Convention allows us to properly interact with our environment. The error is in assuming these conventions to be ultimately and inherently real.


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OfflineStrumpling
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2279716 - 01/28/04 01:49 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

So I think the idea is that without conscious beings, there is no label, so there is


















.


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2279743 - 01/28/04 02:17 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

you didn't answer my first question.  please answer it. and the hypothetical too.  what i briefly presented is very real to those who practices it. as such, it is anti-thetical to the Koan.  if the target is not aware of it, it shouldn't work at all according to your explanation.


another example, someone sees *it* in a dream before it happens in reality.

That it does. Convention allows us to properly interact with our environment. The error is in assuming these conventions to be ultimately and inherently real.


I didn't mean convention. I'm referring to the essence and spirit of free-will. I was specific about it. separation to you is creative distinction to me as a way of expressing Free-Will's individualism. in my example on America, even if it was inethical, its still expression of America's individualism, the no. 5.


now, if it isn't real, there's no point in playing the game of life.  how else would a soul, evolving, learn to grow if it couldn't be fooled? being fooled is the right description. how about using it as just a tool. 


for me, 3D is very much real to me. at the experience level.  nothing quickens the heart like a mack truck bearing down on you. knowing full well if you don't jump out of the away, you're pancakes. the trauma and pain received from such an impact will be carried past physical death if it happens.  the continous karmic stream of this event will manifest in the next life. who knows, the soul will develop some new phobia.  scared shitless of every vehicle he/she sees. :wink:


Edited by Keyannki (01/28/04 02:19 AM)


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OfflinePed
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Keyannki]
    #2279768 - 01/28/04 02:43 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

Your question seems to be about premonition.

If someone is able to anticipate an event before it occurs, how can it be a mere appearance to mind?

The quick answer is that the moment of premonition is an awakened karmic imprint of clairvoyance as attained by that individual in a past life as a highly realized practitioner of some form of mental discipline, be it Buddhism, Paganism, Martial Arts, and so forth. With concentration comes a widening of perspective into both time and space. In this way, both the premontion and the actual phenomena are appearances to mind.

You may not believe in Karma or past lives. By the same token, I may not believe in werewolves and black magic. I sincerely hope that we can mutually respect eachother. It is difficult to engage an individual when there is no mutual respect.


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2280002 - 01/28/04 07:42 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

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Invisiblebuttonion
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2280086 - 01/28/04 08:32 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

Wow Ped, you really have a gift for conveying these mind-bending ideas. It takes me a long time to organize my thoughts and compose posts about it. I wonder what your background is. Have you posted about you background elsewhere or can you give a brief history?


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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


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: buttonion]
    #2280545 - 01/28/04 11:16 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

Training and practice, that is all. And a whole lot of patience, perserverance. I've been studying Buddhism for about two years; formally practicing for about 6 months. As an independent scholar/meditator, I found my practice to be quite directionless, and found it difficult to connect ideas with eachother smoothly upon articulation. After I began formal training under a teacher, these problems began to evaporate. There is a lot to be said for cultivating single-pointed concentration!


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Strumpling]
    #2280900 - 01/28/04 01:20 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

Something doesn't need "meaning" to exist in my opinion
Software is meaning. And meaning cannot exist independently of context.

The whole universe could be a computer simply because there's a calculator on my desk, and that calculator is part of the universe. Therefore, the universe does calculations, making "computer" an acceptable label for the universe.
No, I truly mean that anything can be a computer on its own right.


A rock is not a computer.

Ok, lets have a look at your rock. On a first appearance it?s just an ordinary rock, nothing special. Now, we wear our all-purpose glasses and zoom into the rock ? zap ? there we are. Holy fuck, what is going on? A rock is not something static, it?s a process! Lets switch the glasses to objective-computer-detecting mode ? zap ? there we are. Holy fuck, again! There are countless computers and computer within computers here. Why?


Lets take out my laptop and compare them. What do we have here? Two pieces of the physical universe obeying the same physical laws. What we objectively see here is just causally-linked events. By projecting our assumptions on these events, we create the notion of information. Information does not have inherent existence beyond what we define it to be. Moreover, the organization of these causally linked events cannot prevent us to see computation going on in their relationship. We just have to define the appropriate framework or appropriate context if you like, to make it meet our purpose. Architecture does not matter.

(According to the Church-Turing hypothesis, any two computers are equivalent since they can emulate a Turing machine which can reach the limit of what can be computed by a machine based on ordinary materials)

The only requirement that any piece of the universe needs to be a computer is to contain causally-linked events, which is really the only sort of piece of universe you can find. We use the laptop instead of the rock just because our culture created it in a way that is efficient for us to use.

Therefore, a computer does not objectively exist.


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: raytrace]
    #2280916 - 01/28/04 01:26 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

I agree with Ped up to the point that our reality is just abstractions. However, I do not share his opinion that there is no objective universe whatsoever. My position is actually between Ped and Strumbling. Our reality is just abstractions but there is an objective universe.

But what is this objective universe?

What exists objectively is a dance (read: a continuous dynamic process composed of causally-linked events). Whether it is choreographed (determined) or not may not be safe to answer. Science says it is. And it may be. But that does not prevent indeterminism to come into play. How? Through subjective experience.

What is objectively happening, is happening. There might be no way to change that?

- BUT -

Our reality is constructed by the abstractions created in the consciousness. There is an infinite set of abstractions we can experience. Consciousness is the choice of which abstraction to experience from the infinite set. This is different from free-will. There might be no objective free-will, but there is an implicit choice of what to experience on the act of perception. This choice is indistinguishable from existence.


Now, you might say that it is the process of thought i.e. the function of neurons that determines your choice. BUT, consciousness has to precede brain function, simply because without consciousness, there are no brains.

Objectively, brains (notice the parallel with computers) do not exist. They merge with all other objects into the faceless objective universe. Something that is not discrete, something that does not have something else to compare itself to, cannot be said to exist.

If this still doesn?t do the trick for you, then consider this:

Thoughts do not exist in the objective universe, cause what is a thought without someone being conscious of the thought? Thought is the meaning of a brain function, but there can be no meaning without consciousness.

How can you insist that software or thoughts exists independently of an observer, when both are the ?meaning? of a physical function??

To claim that software or thoughts exist independently of an observer, that is they exist objectively, means that you are claiming the existence of another reality separate from matter i.e. a metaphysical world. That makes you a dualist.


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: raytrace]
    #2280924 - 01/28/04 01:29 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

>>What is really funny is that abstractions are not really needed in the universe, yet we experience them and this is what makes things real. Isn?t this almost mystical?

Ped:
Abstractions are necessary for us to properly interact with our environment.

Well, they may be necessary for us to exist, BUT the universe would exist anyway and everything would probably happen in the exact same way if consciousness and thus abstraction would not exist. That is because everything would follow the same physical laws. The particles would do the exact same movements, but we and the reality we experience would not exist. Consciousness mysteriously comes in, without being necessary.


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: raytrace]
    #2280959 - 01/28/04 01:47 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

If you are about to reject what I am saying anyway, at least read carefully what I am saying


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: raytrace]
    #2281305 - 01/28/04 03:23 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

It seems your position is that while our experience is completely pervaded by our abstracting minds, beneath the abstractions we impute upon our experience of reality is an underlying objective reality existing and unfolding continuously from it's own side, independent of all sentient beings.

I see the relationship between conciousness and existence to be the ultimate dependent relationship which has brought all of our universe into being, and continues to propell it. We can understand that a system cannot operate without the continuous input of some form of energy. We can also understand that energy which is put toward structured use occurs in dependence upon the relationship between two causal factors. A magnet and a coil of wire on their own are inert. The moment they become involved in a dependent relationship, energy is produced. In this same way, conciousness on it's own is inert unless involved in a dependent relationship with an existential plain. And an existential plain is inert unless involved in a dependent relationship with an apprehending conciousness.

Being that existence and conciousness are involved in a dependent relationship, if either is removed from the equation, both will cease. It is because conciousness and existence are involved in a dependent relationship that the objects we apprehend exist in dependence upon mind. It is because of our delusions that we perceive objects as rigid and distinct. Even having overcome our delusions, all things that we perceive exist in dependence upon mind.

As I had said earlier: Existence serves as the condition upon which conciousness thrives, and conciousness serves as the condition upon which existence thrives.

We seem to have no qualms with the notion of removing concious subjects from the plain of existence, and imagining that existence would continue on into endless time. However, if we were to contemplate removing the existential plain from experiential conciousness, we encounter a thick and hazy fog. It is unfathomable. Why this double standard?


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2281425 - 01/28/04 04:08 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

yeah, I get your point and I consider it to be valid. However, I think it is more convenient to adopt a framework that acknowledges the abstraction of an objective universe, as it allows as to explore existence by scientific means, which I think is consistent with a pragmatic paradigm whose utter purpose is to serve the purpose we have set out to serve. And I think that the pursue of knowledge is a reasonable way (edit: for some of us) to spent our time locked in existence. So lets play the realists, but lets not forget we just play.


Edited by raytrace (01/28/04 04:13 PM)


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: raytrace]
    #2281539 - 01/28/04 05:02 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

I suppose I am not making much sense to some (maybe to all) but I will continue anyway.

There is a problem that arises with the accumulation of knowledge. Knowledge has the potential to be used in many ways. One of them is to gain power. And indeed we can see how most scientific and technological developments so far have been used in this direction. The problem becomes apparent when you consider where increasing power leads. It is an one way road. Power will eventually have to be released and if the power is massive, this equates destruction. You can see that in history.

A way around this, is to use the knowledge to create games that are culturally oriented. That will allow us to express ourselves, communicate and bring us closer to each other. Cultural games do not necessarily lead somewhere, you just play around, I mean sooner or later we have to do something, we can?t just meditate all day.

So, when it comes to choosing a new technology, it would be good to consider whether it is culturally oriented or power oriented. When new toys arrive, be conscious where they lead to.


Edited by raytrace (01/28/04 06:11 PM)


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Invisiblebuttonion
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: raytrace]
    #2281594 - 01/28/04 05:41 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

So lets play the realists, but lets not forget we just play.




Great quote! That's the point I was hoping to make in a nutshell. This is basically the conclusion of most of Alan Watt's books. Now everyone is to linger in this view- by all means don't forget it- and see what unfolds.


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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


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: buttonion]
    #2281635 - 01/28/04 06:09 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

:wink: I have my sources too


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: buttonion]
    #2281839 - 01/28/04 07:38 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

An object exists. Subjectively and only subjectively.


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2283203 - 01/29/04 08:12 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

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Invisiblekaiowas
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: ]
    #2283604 - 01/29/04 11:03 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

wow, I wish I had come here earlier :lol:

i remember when I was a kid, if I put a blanket over my couch and the coffee table, I now have a fortress!!!!!  hehehehehe  :grin: I think it is the intent on the object the determiens how it's viewed.

i agree with the point of view (yes point of view) that we exist only because our conciousness tells us so.  I have been thinking about this for such a long time, and here's what broke me out of thinking that everything is objective.

here's one for ya MM, I think physics will really shine in this case.


Physics always talks about a frame of reference. The next time you see a table, go and touch it.  is it hot, or is it cold? go and touch a wall, is it hot or is it cold? now compare with the wall and the table.  the wall is only cold relative to you because there is stuff inside of you moving around faster than that of the wall. is the wall colder than the table?  it may be slight or you may not tell. does that mean they are at the same temperature? what IS TEMPERATURE? so are you gonna say that the table is actually cold?? no, cold and hot don't exist, but only to the viewer.  in physics they would always say that the table is cold relative to you, the observer.

i just touched my chin with my hand, my hand is coldER than my chin, it's all a part of me, so am i to say I am hot (am i?? hehe), or am I cold, or am i both, or is just really me attaching stuff to what I think is a part of me.

when I go to a concert, a band will come on and do their best (or thats my assumption anyway) one person may like it, and one person may hate it.  so did they put on a great performance??


"I see the relationship between conciousness and existence to be the ultimate dependent relationship which has brought all of our universe into being, and continues to propell it. We can understand that a system cannot operate without the continuous input of some form of energy. We can also understand that energy which is put toward structured use occurs in dependence upon the relationship between two causal factors. A magnet and a coil of wire on their own are inert. The moment they become involved in a dependent relationship, energy is produced. In this same way, conciousness on it's own is inert unless involved in a dependent relationship with an existential plain. And an existential plain is inert unless involved in a dependent relationship with an apprehending conciousness."

with the coil and magnet you are referring to is farade's law.  sincey ou are referring to physics, energy isn't released, energy is just an idea that describes what the interaction is taking place. energy is this sence (the physics sense) is not released, it just changes.  I think this will fit nicely with the motif you have constructed.

I never knew what a chair was until someone told me the idea of it, until then I never really was concerned or aware of it.  does a child know what the word fuck means a bad thing?? was it originally bad at all|?? the child knows something is up only if a reaction is taken from the parents.  cuss words are only bad because we think they are. now you could say, well I person could say the cuss word with a lot of force, but then again the force is only there because the person put it on the word.  a child has no idea until someone is like "no you can't say that" or visibly express shock.  I remember flipping off my parents when I was in kindegarden, a friend showed me it, but I had no idea what it meant.  it wasn't bad to me until my parents said it was.



my question is, how eaily are we all influenced then??  if one flashes the same thing on the television creen, newspapers, and just about everywhere else you go (advertisements), can that have an effect on what you think matters?  After 12 years of conditioning at school, many are ready to be a consumer, and are ok with it, withot really sitting down and seeing what other avenues to take.

we are not taught about what it means to interact with nature.  we never really got a chance to know.  of course I am old enough now (and I did make my choice) but i feel many don't even care to make a choice.  am I going to work all my liufe jsut to sit down and watch a game of super bowl on sunday jsut because in my house it's "tradition"

tradition huh???  well then my tradition will be to go to the forest every superbowl sunday :lol:

it is all in our heads how things work. if things are constantly changing (one of the premises of this post) then why do many of us go against the flow of it.  is that many don't even think a flow exists?

i think this is why many people are drained and stressed.  what time is it seem to be the question,  oh and don't forget, time is money.  it's damn near like a downward spiral.

btw much love to this thought provoking thread.  :thumbup:


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Annnnnnd I had a light saber and my friend was there and I said "you look like an indian" and he said "you look like satan" and he found a stick and a rock and he named the rock ooga booga and he named the stick Stick and we both thought that was pretty funny. We got eaten alive by mosquitos but didn't notice til the next day. I stepped on some glass while wading in the swamp and cut my foot open, didn't bother me til the next day either....yeah it was a good time, ended the night by buying some liquor for minors and drinking nips and going to he diner and eating chicken fingers, and then I went home and went to bed.


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OfflineStrumpling
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: kaiowas]
    #2284293 - 01/29/04 02:28 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

the examples you were using (hot, cold, best, worst...) are way more relative than terms we have used in this thread..

Hot and Cold? you said "in physics they would say it is cold relative to you" or something like that - nah I think in physics they would give the temperature of the item, not say its hot or cold..

best and worst? I think in science they would say the band performed and 35% of the audience seemed to enjoy it and have a good time, but the rest of the audience was booing and seemed disappointed.

I realize everything is relative and can be broken down to mere "opinion," and that may be your point, but discussing whether or not the "thing" that we label "ROCK" exists without reference is a much more scientific angle than whether or not the notions that we label "hot" or "cold" exist without reference.


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InvisibleSkorpivoMusterion
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2284720 - 01/29/04 04:50 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

Discrimination is empty of inherent existence. It is only because we are ignorant of this truth that we are capable of assigning importance to ourselves, boundaries to our land, and ownership and exploitation of that land. If through simple logical investigation we can dissolve all boundaries between ourselves and other objects, it does not make sense to say "I am important, that is less important." It does not make sense to say "I will destroy the inhabiting animals of this place, because they are less important."

In all due debative respect, Ped, your argument is not only flawed it is self refuting. If discrimination is empty of inherent existence than how can you determine that we are in fact exploiting the natural environment. At what point do we go from a healthy environment to a polluted one. Where is the line between when an animal is extinct and overpopulated? It seems by your argument they could only exist in the human mind.


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Invisiblekaiowas
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Strumpling]
    #2284877 - 01/29/04 05:49 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

"I realize everything is relative and can be broken down to mere "opinion," and that may be your point, but discussing whether or not the "thing" that we label "ROCK" exists without reference is a much more scientific angle than whether or not the notions that we label "hot" or "cold" exist without reference. "

nah, my point was to show that our senses fool us, a lot. with the hold or cold thing. ped used the example as the wall as a gradient for the heat, and I'm saying that the wall itself, the property we assign to it, really isn't there. we rely a lot on our senses and to me, the how cold is a rock, is one of the key indicators in my brain that "tells" me it's there.

this is why i pointed out the energy thing. people act as if energy actually exists (when talking about science) but it doesn't. it's just a term we use that discribes and anaylzes the motions of atomic particles (such as atoms moving faster feels hotter than I do).

I used the example of me touching my chin. I am one whole body, but if you look at me further, I have organs, and these organs are made of tissues, and the tissues are made up of cells and so on.

I think feeling and seeing is on the same level, especially when the co-mingle in our head to tell us what our reality is.

I see what you are saying though, and I'm sorry I didn't think up of anything on that level hehe. *shuts up*


--------------------
Annnnnnd I had a light saber and my friend was there and I said "you look like an indian" and he said "you look like satan" and he found a stick and a rock and he named the rock ooga booga and he named the stick Stick and we both thought that was pretty funny. We got eaten alive by mosquitos but didn't notice til the next day. I stepped on some glass while wading in the swamp and cut my foot open, didn't bother me til the next day either....yeah it was a good time, ended the night by buying some liquor for minors and drinking nips and going to he diner and eating chicken fingers, and then I went home and went to bed.


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OfflinePed
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #2285168 - 01/29/04 07:43 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

>> In all due debative respect, Ped, your argument is not only flawed it is self refuting. If discrimination is empty of inherent existence than how can you determine that we are in fact exploiting the natural environment. At what point do we go from a healthy environment to a polluted one. Where is the line between when an animal is extinct and overpopulated?

There are conventional lines between these things. Conventional discrimination, conventional distinctions. They appear to us quite vividly. Conventionally, there is a glaring distinction to be made between wealth and poverty. Conventionally, there is an observable distinction to be made between care and exploitation. Conventionally, there is a distinction to be made between chair and table, between proton and neutron. It is only because we cannot see beyond convention that these things remain true.

>> It seems by your argument they [environmental problems, and so forth] could only exist in the human mind.

And that they do. Because our minds assume conventional distinctions to be reality, it is a conventional reality that appears to us. If we could see past conventional truths, conventional problems like poverty and war would simply evaporate. The very condition upon which these problems depend falls away, and they cease their appearance to us. Avalokiteshvara (below) said when giving the Heart Sutra on vulture mountain: "There is no suffering, and there is no end to suffering." This is not so much self-refuting as it is profound and liberating, because it forces us to untie contemplative knots by assigning proper context to our experience. Ultimately, there is no suffering. Conventionally, there is no end to suffering. Ultimately, there is no exploitation of the natural environment. Conventionally, there is no end to the exploitation of the natural environment.

In the words of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso: "We all wish for world peace, but world peace cannot be achieved unless first we establish peace within our own minds." This statement suggests quite strongly that pursuing peace "out there" is a hopeless waste of time, and can never bring any real harmony to this earth. We can already see today that the UN Security council has been effective in some respects, yet still there is war, pre-emptive attacks, nuclear weapons programs, terrorism, genocide, and so on and so forth. These things will not end by constantly rearranging our outer circumstances.

Continously, for genereations, we have been searching "out there" for objects to bring us happiness. The right husband or wife, the right car, the right house, the right furniture, the right kids, the right job, the right career, the right bottle of brandy, the right friends, the right food, the right religion, the right drugs, the right city, town, country, and so on and so forth for the duration of our lives. We live and die accumulating material things, achieving no more for ourselves than what animals can achieve. Our lives are filled with hardship and difficulty, continously.

We are always searching, never finding. Why? Because we're probing into a realm that is completely pervaded by our own minds, assuming that it is entirely discrete. We cannot purify and harmonize that realm without first purifying and harmonizing ourselves.



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InvisibleSkorpivoMusterion
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2286440 - 01/30/04 07:02 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

Because our minds assume conventional distinctions to be reality, it is a conventional reality that appears to us. If we could see past conventional truths, conventional problems like poverty and war would simply evaporate.

Ped just to clarify and verify, could you please define in no more than one paragraph what you mean by "conventional."


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #2286669 - 01/30/04 09:27 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

let me take a stab at that,

convention = consensus + context
?


btw, I plan to read this whole thread when I have the time, but until I do, it doesn't exist :wink:


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OfflinePed
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #2286724 - 01/30/04 09:54 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

Conventional truth in one paragraph:

In the context of interpreting our physical experience, a convention is considered a conventional truth if it correctly performs the function it implies. For example, our conventional minds tell us that an object such as a chair is an island of physical existence amidst many other totally distinct physical objects. This is perfectly acceptable because, as ordinary beings, we need to be able to distinguish between objects in order to function in our daily lives. If we could not make this conventional distinction, we could not perform such simple tasks as sitting on a chair.


And the follow up:

Our minds spontaneously apprehend objects as though they were discrete and inherently existent. Speaking as a Buddhist, we need to soften this mental habit. As ordinary beings, the key is not to completely abandon conventional truth, but to realize fully and completely that our reality is actually structured much differently. We need to find the balance between these two extremes. An accomplished Tantric Bodhisattva has directly realized the wisdom understanding true nature of reality, but is still able to use a pen to write a book. He has trained his mind not to be deceived by ordinary conventional appearance. Eventually, it is desirable to abandon conventional truth entirely and become a Buddha, to depart this realm and enter what's called the Dharmakaya, the Truth Body.

http://selfknowledge.com/109716.htm


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InvisibleSkorpivoMusterion
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2286766 - 01/30/04 10:18 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

In the context of interpreting our physical experience, a convention is considered a conventional truth if it correctly performs the function it implies. For example, our conventional minds tell us that an object such as a chair is an island of physical existence amidst many other totally distinct physical objects. This is perfectly acceptable because, as ordinary beings, we need to be able to distinguish between objects in order to function in our daily lives. If we could not make this conventional distinction, we could not perform such simple tasks as sitting on a chair.

Ped with all due respect, you cannot use the term you are defining to define said term. Please define the term in less than one paragraph without actually using the term.



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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #2287581 - 01/30/04 04:20 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

A conventional truth is a popularly recognized fact conforming to the established practice or accepted standards of ordinary beings who are either perceptually aware, merely conceptually aware, or completely unaware of ultimate nature.

A simple definition does not clearly define the term and leaves it open to misinterpretation. Examples are absolutely necessary if the definition is to be made clear. The meaning of conventional nature has been presented quite clearly. I'd suggest that you read the rest of this thread carefully, as this topic has been discussed at legnth with many examples.


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2287733 - 01/30/04 05:31 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

A simple definition does not clearly define the term and leaves it open to misinterpretation. Examples are absolutely necessary if the definition is to be made clear. The meaning of conventional nature has been presented quite clearly. I'd suggest that you read the rest of this thread carefully, as this topic has been discussed at legnth with many examples.

No one asked you for a "simple" definition. What you were asked for was a clear and coherent definition which did not include the word being defined. This is a rather "conventional" rule of philosophy and logic and is the place at which all real philosophical discussion generally begins.

I have read this entire thread and most of your logical errors can be traced back to your first error. That being the idea that consciousness has primacy to existence. A thing must exist before you can be aware of it. If nothing existed there would be nothing to be aware of. We may not necessarily know what a thing exists as and often what we perceive changes depending upon the tools we use for perception, but our perception does not actual change the thing.

The idea that our consciousness has primacy to existence seems rather arrogant coming from someone who seems concerned with humility.

:nut:


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #2288043 - 01/30/04 07:55 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

Okay. You've made your position quite clear.


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2288060 - 01/30/04 08:02 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: ]
    #2288183 - 01/30/04 08:48 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

lol this is well past me now


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Strumpling]
    #2288206 - 01/30/04 08:53 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: buttonion]
    #2288318 - 01/30/04 09:21 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

I will try to differentiate here between an objective reality and an objective universe, to refine one of my previous answers (#2281425 ) to Ped, where I mistakenly used objective universe instead of objective reality. This is what I think distinguishes my position from Ped?s.

**

Without consciousness there may be no objects or reality as we know it, but I do not think that there can be no objective universe at all (edit: well, except maybe in the sense that consciousness is needed to take the role of the observer in certain quantum effects).

We become (subjectively) aware of what is ?out there? by slicing this weird continuity that is the universe, and this slicing is what creates our reality. There may be infinite different ways to slice it, but there are certainly ways that it can not be sliced, and this is precisely why there is something objective.

Our scientific measurements of the universe may be an accurate reflection of the objectivity (always only up to a level of precision), but the reality we create based on the said measurements is only one of the possible realities, and always dependent on a pre-existing ontology i.e. a particular slicing of the universe.

**

So, there may be no objective reality, but without necessarily implying the lack of an objective universe. The only way to go about examining what exists ?out there? is, well, by adopting the realist?s view, but that should be only just to achieve our aims.

What I consider important is that a lot of things we take for granted as existing objectively, are merely by-products of the slicing of the universe we currently follow.


Edited by raytrace (01/30/04 09:54 PM)


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: ]
    #2288361 - 01/30/04 09:32 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

Mr_Mushrooms:

A thorough investigation of philosophical worldviews seems very important to you. In order to cater to this kind of precision, it would be helpful to address you in private. When posting publically, I try to keep mindful that others will be reading these posts too, and may not have the same background as the person I'm specifically addressing. Being considerate of this means that much of what is discussed becomes needlessly superfluous. Ideas become thinly spread when a wide demographic is being addressed. As such, we'd both be in a much more productive position if discussion was held one on one.


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2288398 - 01/30/04 09:44 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: raytrace]
    #2288775 - 01/31/04 12:54 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

One of the major mistakes we might be making when approaching the notion: "Does existence depend upon conciousness?" has to do with our perceptions of the nature of conciousness.

When we turn our focus to our conciousness, the very first thing we encounter is our self-grasping mind, or ego. We encounter this sense of "I" that is quite strong. We grasp on to our sense of "I" very firmly. We look into the mirror, and the mind says "I". If we examine the self-grasping mind very carefully, we find that it thrives, like a young child, on praise and attention. There could be no greater degree of self-importance fed to the self-grasping mind than for it to ponder -- even for a moment -- that the entire universe exists in dependence upon it. As SkorpioMusterion suggested: this notion is quite an ego-trip.

It is the self-grasping mind which encounters an object and informs us that it exists apart from us, that it has been "waiting" for us to encounter it. Boundries in space are equally as necessary in time if we are to perpetuate the deliciously seductive habit of self-grasping. Space and time too are dependent upon mind -- but not the self-grasping mind that we so readily identify with. Boundries and distinctions are what depend on the self-grasping mind. Dissolve the self-grasping mind, and we dissolve boundries and distinctions.

So, when contemplating what it means to suggest that all things exist in dependence upon mind, it's important not to attribute this vast ocean of existence to the self-grasping mind. The conventional objects we apprehend as ordinary self-grasping beings, from the dirt in our vacuum cleaner to the immense clouds of stars which fill the sky, exist as an objective reality only to the mind which grasps at it's own existence as being objective.

The reason this is, of course, is because all things exist in dependence upon mind, upon view, and upon basis of imputation.

What I'm suggesting is deeply personal. I'm suggesting that our experience of reality and the way it is structured is directly connected to the experience of ourselves and the way we are structured. Buddha told us that the way we perceive ourselves is a mistake. He said that if we perceived ourselves correctly, we would not suffer, because we do not wish to suffer. Suffering is not a part of our nature. What we long for is happiness -- and it is a special yearning. It is a yearning that is not so much a desire as it is a pervasive sense of loss, of estrangement.


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: raytrace]
    #2288976 - 01/31/04 02:46 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

Ped: my angle is different from yours.  I am future-minded and my awareness is cosmic. our the philosophy of the commonwealth is the same.  here is some brain food..

If someone is able to anticipate an event before it occurs, how can it be a mere appearance to mind?

well, then it is not strictly present-time awareness anymore, which is what Zen attempts to reorder.  I'm a guessing a strict Zen teacher will say its an aberration, and tell the student to keep zenning. :smile:

Now back to your assertion about the tree makes no sound when it falls.  I find it does regardless whether anyone is in the vicnity or not.  Only the student being questioned should answer "no" and "yes" and provide explanations accordingly. The student should understand there is distinction between experiencing the auditory domain and knowing it will cause an auditory vibration [physics].

next, back to "reality is subjective."  the dictionary definition states it is within the confines of the mind, illusory.  you seem to contradict yourself the moment you state the illusive nature of all things.  you're saying its a working paradox?

I have no awareness of what is subjective or not.  I allow it to be real in this game.  I've glimpse the possibilities of all possibilities.  That in theory karma is just an applied concept based on observations of very insightful, gifted people. ie: Siddartha  That being "supreme" over others is just another experience the soul wants to know what is like.  Spirit of Free-Will is what I call it.  At soul level, anything goes.  Earth is a free-for-all, for now. 

There is way to pre-arrange it depending on the soul's evolveness.  I know clearly the theoretical applied way that can bring harmony or complete imbalance before childbirth.  therefore, it can manufacture suffering and karma.

the scale of suffering is monstrous here, but compared to the universe, its an atom of sub-atoms within sub-atoms.  the real question is who started it all. Who is controlling the game..  whoever it is is the main contributor of the suffering in this world and other worlds outside this solar system. in theory, mind you. hehe

past life mechanics:  I recognize the correlativity of each fundamental's approximate truth based on buddhists, atheists and xians.  The insight came to me one day.  EACH awareness of individuality with each human lifeform discontinues after physical death but the compilation of her/his life continues, etherically, into the next life with Spirit of Chance thrown in for the human genome.  therefore, the next incarnate doesn't remember at all the previous one but certain aspects will manifest, accordingly. I would speculate that there is some law or pre-incarnate agreement not allowing anyone to remember the past lives, and to prevent an individual from transfering the previous consciousness to the next as a way to evolve.
Or that the soul is not evolved enough to know how to attempt it.

though there are exceptions.  Some beings can do the transfer and remember but are rare.  ie: Tibetan masters

weres and black mage:  like you stated, there is an operating domain independent of your beliefs or your current recognition. 
you may be speaking to one. :laugh:

tata


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2289344 - 01/31/04 09:25 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

Although I appreciate that you two could have a more efficient debate through private channels, I would really hate to miss the chance to observe and participate. Please reconsider using a public forum.


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: buttonion]
    #2289384 - 01/31/04 09:51 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

It is almost distressing to think that almost every second of our existence in this form is wasted upon a constrictive reality.  That a small adjustment of the chemical balance of the brain can yield a chillingly different reality. 

I don't know about a number of things postulated in this thread, what I do suspect is that we have more conscious control over all forms of reality than most would realise.  I cannot begin to suggest a workable theory, but it seems to me that conscious optimism has a very distinct effect on "destiny".

Have you ever wondered how depressed people seem to have an endless stream of misfortune and negativity that seems to manifest itself seemingly through pure pessimism? yet your friend who seems blindly carefree and optimistic has the most spectacular run of good luck and fortune?

I think people discount this concept all too easily.  They expect silly things like positive affirmation about winning the lottery and unsubtle things like this, things that their mind cannot possibly purely conceive expectation of a positive outcome about. 

As has already been mentioned before, we are bound by our minds and our minds will not go outside these boundaries willingly.  We can mold these boundaries unconsciously AND consciously.  It is more traditional for this to be done unconsciously, for example when the sportman/woman increases in skill playing their sport.  We further our belief (expand boundaries) for success which is then translated into our physically objective manifestation of increased dexterity, fine control (whatever) during the act of the sport.  However if we are to think sincerely negativily about our performance in the sport, our performance is correspondingly attenuated.  Watch any sport, you will see this concept in effect.  This implies that belief is the precursor of objective reality, rather that reality is the precursor of belief (which of course is how most would see it).  Our boundaries are filters, they have slew rates (limits to how fast an input/output can change).  We cannot turn ourselves from heavily negative to positive polarities.  Time has a relationship to the boundary, if the boundary did not flow, perhaps time would never change.  We are constantly changing, its hard to stop time.

I do not know much about what will happen when we exit this existence.  Will we be freed?  Who knows.  But I do suspect that acknowledgement of the very real power within would be instrumental in making it as smooth a journey to the next realm as possible.

I could talk for hours upon hours about this, but I will leave some time to think and respond, rather than dig too deep :smile:


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2293463 - 02/02/04 06:35 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

Ped:

Firstly, I would like to say that I appreciate that you take the time to respond to the posts directed to you.

Then, I have a question for you. In fact I have several, but I would like to concentrate on this one for now. So, can you please give me your opinion on this:

Do you think that there is any possibility that science can approach the nature of consciousness? Or is it that since it's based on "objectivity" is unable to touch on this, thus making this a matter totally out of our reach (in the conventional way)?

I suppose that your answer is implicit in what you've said so far, but I would still value an explicit answer addressing the particulars of my question.


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2293630 - 02/02/04 08:40 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: ]
    #2294222 - 02/02/04 12:54 PM (19 years, 1 month ago)

Firstly, thank you both for your thoughtfully worded and polite questions, and for this opportunity to discuss the points raised.  :heart:


>> Do you think that there is any possibility that science can approach the nature of consciousness?

Absolutely.  In fact, I think it's inevitable.  Science has reached realms of enormous uncertainty, and is being forced to ask questions of itself that no scientist wishes to answer.  Already, science has begun to realize that the results of any experiment are impacted by the presence of an observer.

Relativity theory introduced the idea that we cannot speak about space without simultaneously speaking about time, and vice versa.  Relativity theory tells us that space and time are only nominally distinct, and are two interdependent phenomenon which support the perpetuation of another phenomena: a four-dimensional continuum called "space-time."  Having accepted this, we discovered that there is no universal flow of time, as was asserted in the Newtonian worldview.  Different observers will have differing experiences of sequential events in time if they move through space with differing velocities relative to the observed events.  In such a case, two events which are seen as occuring simultaneously by one observer may occur in different temporal sequences for other observers.  With this discovery, all measurements involving space and time lost their significance.  In relativity theory, the Newtoninan concept of absolute space as a stage for physical bodies must be abandoned and so must the concepts of absolute time.  Both space and time are now understood by physicists as mere elements of cognition a particular observer draws upon for describing observed phenomena.

The concepts of absolute space and absolute time were the foundation upon which our explanations for the descripton of natural phenomena stood.  Their modification entailed a modification of the entire framework we use to describe our experience.  Science encountered this obstacle fifty years ago, and is encountering it again today with quantum theory.  Each of these advances have asked us to examine the relationship between ourselves and our environment and have come seperated by only fifty years.  Science is hurtling toward the nature of conciousness at an unprecidented rate, and like all major discoveries and advances -- we can't see it coming.


Quote:

If we check carefully, we'll discover that there can be no boundry between self and other, because such a boundry can exist only in dependence upon a mind that believes this is so.


How does one correlate the perception of an external chair with internal reflective states of consciousness? And particularily, could you elaborate on the last sentence I quoted above?




Analyzing our experience, we can quickly discover that it is the grasping at an inherentely existent and independent self which gives rise to the appearance of boundries between objects in the first place. No such inherently existent self exists.


Please lead us through the logic of this step by step.




These are two excellent questions.  I intend to answer them simultaneously, because they are essentially the same question.

As ordinary human beings, our experience is mistaken because we hold two mistaken views:

1. The mistaken view that objects exist discretely from eachother.
2. The mistaken view that objects exist from their own side, discretely from the self.

These two mistaken views validate eachother.  If our experience informs us that there are many unique physical entities existing upon a constant plain of space and time, then it follows that we are also a unique entity existing discretely among other unique entities.  By the same token, if our experience informs us that we are a totally independent entity existing apart from all other objects, it follows that all of these objects must exist entirely apart from eachother.

If we were to reform either of these views, the other view must reorient itself to support our new experience.  For example, if we were to reach an understanding that all phenomena are only nominally distinct and are entirely interconnected and interdependent, we would find ourselves in conflict with the view that we ourselves exist discretely, independently.  This is logically detailed, step by step, with the following five points:

1.  Presently, we conceive of ourselves as a totally independent phenomena experiencing an orchestration other discrete phenomena.
2.  Through investigation, we discover that all phenomenon are dependent upon other phenomenon.
3.  If all phenomenon are dependent upon other phenomenon, no observed phenomenon can be truly distinct.
4.  By opposing the appearance of boundries between observed phenomenon, the consequence must be the dissolution of the boundries between self and other.
5.  Therefore, if we conceive of boundries between self and other, the consequence must be the appearance of boundries between observed phenomena.



1.  Presently, we conceive of ourselves as a totally independent phenomena experiencing an orchestration other discrete phenomena.

This is self explanatory.  In the context of our current experience, we enter a room and immediately apprehend all the objects within it as being inherently existent, "waiting" for us to encounter them.  We conceive of others as being totally apart from us.  We see ourselves as an island of conciousness moving about amidst many other animate and inanimate islands of existence.  Our minds spontaneously and habitually behave in this way.


2.  Through investigation, we discover that all phenomenon are dependent upon other phenomenon.

We have reached an understanding throughout the progress of this thread that all phenomena exist in dependence upon other phenomena. A truck cannot exist inherently because it exists as a truck in dependence upon the presence of a mind -- a phenomena -- which apprehends "truck". Understanding this, we inform ourselves that a "physical object" exists in our garage, inherently. But a physical object cannot exist inherently because it's appearance exists in dependence upon parts. If we seperate the parts of a physical object, the physical object ceases to exist. Therefore, the physical object exists in dependence upon supporting phenomena. It is the transistory effect of a series of causes.


3.  If all phenomenon are dependent upon other phenomenon, no observed phenomenon can be truly distinct.

If we conduct the same investigation upon the truck's supporting phenomenon, we find that they too exist in dependence upon other phenomena. Therefore, no phenomena can exist inherently: all phenomena exist in dependence upon other phenomena.  Each phenomena has a cause, and each phenomena has an effect. The effect of one phenomena serves as the cause for another phenomena, the effects of which give rise to further phenomena. All phenomena occur due to the relationship between cause and effect.  Understanding this, the boundries between objects begin to break down. We have uncovered, at least intellectually, the essential unity of all things.


4.  By opposing the appearance of boundries between observed phenomenon, the consequence must be the dissolution of the boundries between self and other.

Having intellectually discovered this essential unity, we cannot continue to conceive of ourselves as an inherently existent and independent entity.

Imagine a cork floating atop a vast and boundriless ocean which stretches on without beginning or end. A cork cannot possibly exist this way because a cork is, like all phenomena, a phenomena that exists in dependence upon other phenomena. In a continuum where all phenomena have the same essential unity as the waves of an ocean, there is no supporting phenomena to perpetuate a discretely existing cork.

If we have dissolved the boundries between apprehended objects but continue to grasp onto an inherently existent self, we would be like this cork floating atop the ocean without beginning or end. It's been explained that all phenomenon exist in dependence upon other phenomena. If the self is a phenomena, it too must exist in dependence upon other phenomena. If we have dissolved all apprehended objects into a beginningless, endless soup of cause and effect,  the supporting phenomena for an inherently existing self has disappeared.


5. Therefore, if we conceive of boundries between self and other, the consequence must be the appearance of boundries between observed phenomena.

We have seen that dissolving the boundries between seemingly discrete objects necessarily calls for the disolution of boundries between a seemingly discrete self and it's environment.  There is no perceivable phenomena to give arise to an inherently existent self if there is no perceivable distinction between observable phenomenon that are not ourselves.

We can follow this logic in reverse. If we experience phenomena as being independent and inherently existing, then the experience of ourselves must follow. The intensity with which we experience ourselves as an inherently existing and totally discrete phenomena is directly proportionate to the apparant reality of a universe which is filled with inherently existing and totally discrete phenomena, and vice versa. Either view supports the other.

Just as we cannot hold the view that we are totally distinct amidst an array of non-distinctions, we cannot hold the view that we are non-distinct amidst an array of distinctions.  Since it is our mind which gives rise to all of our experience, a mind which conceives itself as being totally distinct will naturally apprehend the objects it encounters as totally distinct.



>> What does it mean to "profoundly understand this"?

A profound understanding is an understanding which has internalized itself beyond mere intellectualization.  An intellectual concept can carry no impact on our experience.  Presently, my understanding of these views is largely conceptual.  Through, with opportunties to repeatedly articulate and discuss these points (thanks guys!), and with repeated contemplation of these points on the meditation coushin, they gradually begin to seep in and effect change on the way I experience reality.

The first understanding I've directly experienced is that all beings experience their outer world differently.  Each person at a busy train station experiences that train station differently.  Each of us at the train station associates feelings with certain structures, certain colours, certain atmospheric conditions such as the light or sound levels, and so forth.  Each of us are experiencing very subtle feelings of attraction to certain elements of our experience, and aversion to other elements of our experience.  These subtle feelings impact the appearance of our surroundings to us in totally unique ways.  Each person is experiencing their reality differently, and all of us are assuming our experience to be absolutely objective, and real.  When this understanding begins to awaken itself on certain occasions, the view of my surroundings becomes very bizarre, like an enormous joke.  I can begin to speculate on the way others experience the train station based upon the way they appear to me -- happy, sad, tense, relaxed -- and through concentration actually enter that experience and alter the way the train station appears to my mind.

I grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  When I was a child, Winnipeg was a wonderful and magical place vibrant with colour and magic.  The sun shon hot and gloriously in the summer, the air was crisp and clean in the winter, and Winnipeg was like a carnival of wonderous experiences just waiting for me to encounter them.  This is how I experienced my surroundings at that age.  Eventually, I relocated from Winnipeg to Calgary.

After I had begun to emerge into adulthood, I went back to Winnipeg to visit all of my old friends.  When I arrived back at my old house on my old street, none of that magic was there.  I was expriencing Winnipeg to be quite boring, quite drab and grey.  It appeared to be quite an undesirable place to live.  Looking back on this experience and the experience of my childhood, I can observe that during either time my mind was informing me that this was how Winnipeg "actually" was.  All the way down to the most subtle aspects of either experience, the mind continued to inform me that each observation -- whether conciously entertained or subconciously apprehended -- was absolutely real.  But this cannot be so.  If it were real at age 5, it should be real at age 15.  Nothing related to my old street has radically changed in the span of ten years: except my mind.


>> Please explain what you mean by "training and constant practice". I find logic to be a better tool than meditating or examining koans.

A mere conceptualization of points which totally oppose our current experience cannot effect change on our current experience.  Training and practice are what cause our conceptualizations to trickle down into our more subtle minds, and alter the way we experience our reality.  We cannot simply throw a bunch of ingredients into a bowl and expect a cake to appear.  By the same token, we cannot simply toss a bunch of logic into our minds and expect a realization to appear.  Training and constant practice are like the heat in an oven which causes the cake to rise out of the pan.  Training and constant practice cause realizations to arise from our conceptualizations.

Koans are very skilful logical tools.  They contain a logic which is very subtle, and which must be uncovered by the student.  When the student uncovers the profound logic behind a koan which first appears as nonsense, it is internalized very quickly.  This is the wonderful technique of Zen.


>> And how do we avoid reaching the obvious, yet extreme, conclusion that nothing exists at all?

If, through investigation, we obliterate the existence of objects through the application of various reasonings, yet continue to conceive of ourselves as inherently existent, we encounter the intellectual extreme which concludes nothing to exist at all.  Though, if in conjunction with our investigation we continously conclude thruogh the same reasoning that objects cannot exist inherently, we must understand that there is an intimate relationship between the existence of an object and the presence of apprehending conciousness, an observer.  This is the pivot upon which inherent existence and non-existence swing.


>> Are you referring to physical suffering? Perhaps a mind so imbued might not be able to recognize the suffering. However, that does not mean the body would not be affected by it. True or untrue?

The body is subject to it's end like any other impermanent phenomena.  Cultivating a mind that understands dependent relationship would not make us invincible!  Though, it would prevent our minds from becoming disturbed by the appearance of physical suffering.  When physical suffering appears, it's intensity is quite dependent upon our state of mind.  If we oppose the appearance of suffering, and naturally that is what all of us do, that pain will be intensified to the degree of our aversion.  A major aspect of physical suffering is our own aversion to it.  If we have cultivated a mind that understands dependent relationship, the emptiness of inherent existence of all phenomenon, then our aversion to physical suffering would naturally be quite low.  It would simply appear unimportant to us.

I once told a story about my teacher's teacher Gen Tharchin.  He had been bitten by a snake whilst meditating outdoors.  His object of meditation at the time was emptiness.  He did not experience any pain or fright, and infact found the sensation to be quite interesting.  He roused himself from equipoise to seek medical assistance using only the logic "If I continue to delight in this experience, I may die, and I will not be able to help others."

A mind which opposes suffering depends upon a mind which conceives phenomena to be seperate.  If we obliterate the mind which conceives of phenomena in this way, all suffering must cease.  Suffering and mistaken views are dependent upon eachother.  Buddha's intention was to alleviate our suffering by exposing our mistaken awareness.


>> Is impermanance a construct of consciousness, a mere conceptualization, and if it is such, then how can it be assigned existence? Does impermanance exist? How do we know this?

Saying "imperanance exists" is similar to saying "running exists".  Running is an action observed by apprehending the patterns of other phenomenon.  The runner's legs are moving quickly, he is breathing heavily, sweating and so forth.  Through these observations, "running" appears.  In the same way, by observing that all phenomena depend upon the relationship between cause and effect, we observe that all phenomena are impermanent.  "Impermanence" appears.

This touches on the emptiness of inherent existence of concepts.  I have not reached this part of the book!  Regardless, I will make an attempt.  If the runner were to pause for a drink of water, then the concept of running in that moment would cease to exist.  If we are to examine a man running along a track, and for the sake of exploring this question we were to deliberately impute "running" on to that man, we would be able to conceive of "running" as a phenomena existing "over there, by the man."  Though, the moment the man ceases his rapid leg movements and other indicators, our imputation of "running" evaporates.  We no longer have substantial basis to impute "running."  In this way, "running" is a phenomena existing in dependence upon basis of imputation, and therefore cannot inherently exist.

Impermanence is an observation of patterns and therefore must follow this same reasoning, but since impermanence is a concept imputed upon a series of patterns which have no beginning and no end, can it be said that impermanence can be assigned existence beyond mere conceptualization?

I suppose this question depends upon our approach.  If we are approaching the impermanence of phenomena with the conception of ourselves as totally distinct, then the answer would be "impermanence is a physical law", in the same way we currently understand gravity.  We experience gravity as though it were a phenomena that would occur regardless of the presence of an apprehending conciousness.  Approaching the question in this way, we are forced to conclude that impermanence is a phenomena that exists inherently.

Though, if we are to approach the impermanence of phenomena with the conception of ourselves as inseperable from all other phenomena, then we must understand that the observations we make of other phenomena are pervaded by conciousness.  Understanding that conciousness and existence are two mutually dependent phenomenon, we must conceive of impermanence as a merely conventional awareness, as not inherently existent.  Although it may be a conventional awareness, it must not be discarded.  It performs a valuable function which guides toward ultimate awareness.

That was a very challenging and multi-layered question.  I will have to contemplate it much further.  Thank you!  :smile2:


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Anonymous

Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2294576 - 02/02/04 03:46 PM (19 years, 1 month ago)

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Invisiblebuttonion
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2294752 - 02/02/04 04:30 PM (19 years, 1 month ago)

...errhh, just to let you guys know, I am going to be tracking this conversation with great interest. AWESOME!


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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


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2316372 - 02/08/04 11:33 PM (19 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

"When we say something exists, we are expressing that our mind has apprehended an object and, by basis of imputation, has assigned inherent existence to that object. "






ME: You disagree that through imputation, we assign existence to an object?

DAVID: Well, im saying that we impute relative meaning onto the perception of the object. I'm just saying it does'nt cause the opportunity to impute that object with meaning. Or put simply, it doesn't create the existence of that object as a perception....It is cold(read:indifferent) perception that does this.

ME: No no no, It is imputation that causes the inherent existence of that object!

DAVID: Sure, yah, as long as it is inherent existence. Humans at least, cannot percieve inherently an object. So the mind fills in the holes (through meaning and imputation) in ways the eyes and hands cannot. Perception merely gives the mind input from the external, that describes to a certain extent what it is, when it is and howit is...the mind gives the input pragmatic meaning.  :loveeyes:


[NOTE. I did'nt just read the first couple of posts and responded. I did read the thread.] :stoned:


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OfflineDavid_Scape
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: David_Scape]
    #2316554 - 02/09/04 01:15 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

Our concepts do not inherently exist with 100% truth attached to them. As every person who has handled something they thought incorrectly about knows.

  The main points of this thread were talking about things that are abstract (like concepts/ideas) and how they change as the world around us does.  Abstract concepts, as we attach them to input, can be broken down considering how the enviroment or object being observed behaves. Like the braking of a cup, or the taking apart or the understanding of a truck. Or the seperation of a molecule, or the ripping of an atom. 

Okay, better yet, i just found a better way to explain this:

Everybody, look at your keyboard. You know that real-time video, full-color 3D image-stream that your eyes and brains inside the back of your skull are providing you? That is not abstract, it is perceptions. :nut:

Okay, now, as you're seeing the keyboard, more is going on. Implicit things are going on. You are not just a video camera looking thoughtless at some object, you are a self who has a mind that has concepts (ones that you learned to use so well when you were little they became subconscious) that attaches them to the world in an attempt to make it manuverable and meaningfull.

A cup seperated of it's atoms does not follow that things are not distinct. All it shows is that your concepts are not 100% right and that your ideas are not quite distinct.


Edited by David_Scape (02/09/04 02:26 AM)


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OfflinePed
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: David_Scape]
    #2317408 - 02/09/04 10:43 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

Mere imputation is only the first layer of incorrect experience. There must also be a consideration of phenomenon dependent upon parts, of which there are none excluded.

If a phenomenon such as a television is occuring in our living room, how is it that it is distinguished from other phenomenon such as the fireplace? At first glance, if we are flexible, we can easily understand that "television" is merely a mental imputation upon a visually apprehended object, which is subseqently contrasted against another imputation upon a visually apprehended object, "fireplace". It is important to notice that our mind informs us of the existence of these objects spontaneously. We glance at our television and are immediately informed that "television" is existing from it's own side. The same is true for the fireplace. We can easily see how this experience is false, yet pervades every instant of our lives.

With the understanding that the experience of our television occurs largely in dependence upon the power of our imputing mind, we can investigate further to find out what is actually occuring in our living room. We must understand that this object is a phenomenon that continues to unfold in dependence upon the continuous unfolding of other phenomenon.

Let's take a trip to Japan and visit the Sony TV factory there. Looking around the large assembly room, we see TV parts everywhere. There are glass screens of all sizes over here, plastic chassis of all different shapes and colours over there, circuit boards and cathode ray tubes over there. In the factory, these all appear to be discrete objects. They are, for the sake of convention, independently unfolding phenomenon all over the shelves of this factory filled with efficient workers. When the workers guide these various phenomenon together, a new phenomenon arises, as if by magic. One of these phenomenon now sits in our living room. Clearly, we can see that the seemingly isolated phenomenon of our television is actually unfolding in dependence upon the unfolding of countless other phenomenon.

We can now take this investigation even further. Upon what do the materials which comprise our television depend? Their continuous occurance depends upon a proper assembly of chemical consituents. Is this a discretely existing pile of chemical consituents? Do these chemicals exist in dependence upon any other nearby phenomeon?

If it were to become warm enough in our living room, our television would disintegrate. The chemical consituents of our television continue unfolding in dependence upon the ambient temperature of our living room. Is the ambient temperature of our living room a discretely unfolding phenomenon? Of course it is not. It is impacted continuously by our air conditioning system, the sun hanging in the sky, even the heat of our own bodies. All objects that exist in our apprehended 'toy box' reality exist in dependence upon their surroundings, and are a part of a delicate and ongoing balance. All perceivable objects are involved in constant interchange with all other perceivable objects. Each object we apprehend, including our own self, is intimately involved in a deep relationship with all other phenomenon in the universe. It is only the mind which is able to ignore or disregard certain phenomenon and draw boundries within our experience. Only in convention can there be any plurality.

Understanding this, how can we view ourselves or the apprehended objects that surround us as distinct, except by allowing our minds to continue assuming this to be true?

The interconnectedness of our universe can be demonstrated by considering the impossibility lowering the temperature of an object or space to the degree that is considered "absolute zero", the cessation of all atomic motion. Scientists have been able to cool an object to temperatures of one billionth a degree Kelvin, yet never have they approached true asymptotic decelleration. There is a reason for this. It is because there cannot be a total isolation of the object or space which is to be cooled in this way. There is always an avenue for energy -- the effect of other phenomenon -- to approach the super cooled area and perpetuate molecular and atomic motion. The Scientific community considers reaching absolute zero to be more implausible than time travel. The thermodynamic laws which prevent us from reaching absolute zero are considered quite concrete, yet the laws of quantum mechanics which decide the plausibility of time travel remain as mere conjecture.


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Anonymous

Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2317772 - 02/09/04 12:28 PM (19 years, 1 month ago)

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InvisibleSkorpivoMusterion
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: David_Scape]
    #2317787 - 02/09/04 12:31 PM (19 years, 1 month ago)

I decided to play around with your avatar. :grin: (dont worry, I was gentle)















:grin:



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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #2319765 - 02/09/04 10:00 PM (19 years, 1 month ago)

wow skorp!!  those are really good!!  do you do nature scenes??? :wink: :grin:


--------------------
Annnnnnd I had a light saber and my friend was there and I said "you look like an indian" and he said "you look like satan" and he found a stick and a rock and he named the rock ooga booga and he named the stick Stick and we both thought that was pretty funny. We got eaten alive by mosquitos but didn't notice til the next day. I stepped on some glass while wading in the swamp and cut my foot open, didn't bother me til the next day either....yeah it was a good time, ended the night by buying some liquor for minors and drinking nips and going to he diner and eating chicken fingers, and then I went home and went to bed.


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OfflineDavid_Scape
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2320475 - 02/10/04 02:31 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

"If a phenomenon such as a television is occuring in our living room, how is it that it is distinguished from other phenomenon such as the fireplace? At first glance, if we are flexible, we can easily understand that "television" is merely a mental imputation upon a visually apprehended object, which is subseqently contrasted against another imputation upon a visually apprehended object, "fireplace"."

Just for surety, when you say "visually apprehended" are you refering to the raw visual input that the mind apprehends,yay or nay? :thumbup: :thumbdown: ?

"It is important to notice that our mind informs us of the existence of these objects spontaneously. We glance at our television and are immediately informed that "television" is existing from it's own side. The same is true for the fireplace. We can easily see how this experience is false, yet pervades every instant of our lives."

Yes, if by spontaneous you mean fast and seemingly innert, it is. But it is also important to notice the distinction between the concept of the "existence of the television"  and the raw input percieved by your mind that is supposed to be the "television". The problem i get from these examples, is that raw perception is ignored as the foundation for our concept of "existence".


"Let's take a trip to Japan and visit the Sony TV factory there"

I love sony! yay!

"Clearly, we can see that the seemingly isolated phenomenon of our television is actually unfolding in dependence upon the unfolding of countless other phenomenon."

That's correct. I still consider it distinct however.

To not consider it distinct would be confusing abstract concepts with HOW things are and WHEN they are. Which is important...not irrelavent as might have been implicitly assumed.

I call the How and the When of an object it's informational structure (im sure philosophers or somebody has the real word for it, but blah.).When something looses it's informational structure, the object looses it's 'behavior' if you will. This is important in distinction. Cause we all know that deep down in da atoms we're all the same stuff. But the informational structure is different. I don't think me and my keyboard would like it very much if our When and How were'nt distinct. Would you?     

If you accept the premise that the mind recieves raw input/perceptions (which you are conscious of)  and then  gets processed or imputed, then you probably agree that that 'raw input' is external or at the very least, indifferent to you.

And if you accept that How, When and Where are important variables to think about when considering questions like " what makes an object distinct?" or "contrast"  then you'll begin to see that the ever descending phenomina of an object - while still very relevent, is not sufficient by itself to answer the question correctly.  :crazy2:



:eyemouth:


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OfflinePed
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: David_Scape]
    #2321008 - 02/10/04 11:56 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

When I say "visually apprehend", I am making reference to the mental experience that arises when the eye conciousness encounters an object.

When I say "spontaneously" I mean without effort, passively.

All forms have parts. Taking the television as an example, it is clear that it is composed of many parts. The television is not identical with it's parts, nor is it indepdendent of it's parts. If the television were identical with it's parts, such as the chassis and the picture tube, we would have countless televisions in our living room. On the other hand, if the television were independent of it's parts, we could remove all the parts and the television would still remain. We must conclude that the television is different from it's parts, but dependent on them. This is true of all form, and therefore all form are dependent-related phenomenon dependent upon parts.

We say that we see our television when we see the parts of our television -- the screen, control buttons, speakers and so forth. Similarly, other people develop the thought that they are seeing our television when they enter our living room and see or touch the parts of our shiny big screen. Other than the parts of the television, there is no television to be seen or touched. Clearly, the parts of our television act as the basis for designating, or imputing, our telvision. Our television is merely imputed, and the basis of imputation for our television is the assembly of our television's readily perceivable parts. By convention it is quite correct to impute "television" upon the basis of a glowing screen, control buttons, speakers, antenna, and so forth, and therefore the parts of our television are a valid basis of imputation for our television. Sometimes, we impute phenomenon upon an invalid basis, such as reacting in fright upon encountering a toy rubber snake. In this case the basis of imputation, a length of striped rubber, is not a valid basis for imputing a snake, and therefore the snake that is imputed upon this basis does not actually exist. Since a phenomenon exists only if it is imputed upon a valid basis, no phenomenon can exist without a basis of imputation. Thus, form is a dependent related phenomenon depending on basis of imputation.

As near as I can tell, everyone has reached an agreement on these points. Yes, the television exists as a distinguishable object in dependence upon it's parts. Yes, the television exists as a mere imputation upon parts. Conventionally, it is quite correct to view the television as distinct. There are no arguments from me on this point. In the following paragraphs, I am attempting to bring this discussion beyond mere convention, per the topic of this thread.

As explained above, form depends upon a valid basis of imputation. It follows that form must also depend upon imputation by consciousness. For example, our own body depends upon its parts as a basis of imputation, but it also depends upon the mind that imputes our body. These two, a valid basis of imputation and the presence of an imputing conciousness, need to come together in order to establish the existence of a phenomenon.

The mind that imputes or designates an object is a conceptual mind. The first way in which a conceptual mind imputes an object is the process of naming; it is a conceptual mind that first imputes a name to a particular basis of imputation. The second way in which a conceptual mind imputes an object is by subsequently apprehending the appearance of the basis of imputation as the designated object.

We can consider the example of John being elected the Chairperson of his committee. The conceptual minds that originally designate John as the "Chairperson" impute "Chairperson" in the first manner. Through the process of naming, a new phenomenon "Chairperson", comes into existence. Subsequently, any conceptual mind that apprehends John as the "Chairperson" imputes "Chairperson" in the second manner. In the case of the Chairperson it is not difficult to understand that the phenomenon is imputed by conception, and that there is no "Chairperson" is existing anywhere but our minds. Through careful investigation we can realize that all forms and all other phenomena are also imputed by conception in this way.

Form is dependent upon mere imputation by conception because apart from the imputation by conception there is no form to be found at all. Again, considering the example of the Chairperson can help us to understand this. Clearly, if no conceptual mind designates John as the Chairperson, there is no chairperson anywhere. If we examine John's body in search of a chairperson, or an indication of a chairperson, we shall find no such thing. Apart from the mere imputation by conception there is no chairperson at all. Although it is perhaps more difficult to realize, the same is true of forms such as our body, and of all other phenomena. Thus, form is a dependent related phenomnon depending on mere imputation by conception.

We can search for the inherent existence of objects by conducting the same investigation as we did for the "Chairperson" aspect of John. We will discover through carrying out this investigation that we cannot locate the inherent existence of any object upon which we conduct our investigation. We will discover that all phenomenon are unfolding in depedence upon causes, upon name, upon parts, or upon basis of imputation. Our investigation will continuously guide us back to our own mind.

It is not difficult to realize that form is a dependent-related phenomenon depending upon parts -- a less subtle type of dependence; where as it is very difficult to realize that form is a dependent-related phenomenon depending upon mere imputation by conception -- the most subtle type of dependence.

The fact that a phenomenon is dependent related can be used as a reason for establishing the emptiness of the phenomenon. For example, if we realize that our body is a dependent related phenomenon depending upon parts, this can lead to the inferential realization that our body is empty of inherent existence. If our body were inherently existent, it would have its own existence independent of all other phenomenon and therefore would not depend on parts for its existence. The fact that our body does depend on parts is a clear indication that our body is not inherently existent. Similarly, our body being dependent upon causes, name, and basis of imputation can also be used a reason to establish an inferential realization of our body's emptiness of inherent existence.

The last type of dependence -- dependence on mere imputation by conception -- encompasses all other types of dependence and points to the subtle nature of phenomenon and therefore must be realized directly; logical explanations serve only as gesturing. There are many logical reasons that can be used to establish the emptiness of inherent existence of phenomena, but the "king of logical reasons" is considered the "logic of dependent relationship", which has been partially outlined above (There are three other less subtle explanations of dependent relationship). It is such a powerful reason because conceiving phenomenon as being dependent-related is directly opposite to conceiving phenomenon as inherently existent. Ordinary beings conceive each phenomenon to have its own existence within itself, quite seperate from, and independent of, other phenomenon, including the self. A realization that phenomena in fact exist in dependence upon other phenomena directly undermines this false conception of inherent existence.

>> what makes an object distinct?

Only the self-grasping mind.



Tayatha Om Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi S?ha


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2321602 - 02/10/04 02:55 PM (19 years, 1 month ago)

Holy moly, man.  :smile:

so was my reasoning appropriate about the Koan on the tree?

Only the self-grasping mind.
You're very certain on the theory of illusions.  well, i guess this world, and everything in the universe is illusive.  Every darn theoretical physics theory out there is most likely a cause of  self-grasping minds then? ~_^

yu're asserting the recognition of a fundamental representation of reality based on a very tenable system and your own analysis/experience. 

However, the "body" does not inherently exist is quite ahem cold, analytical periscopic view.  I don't recognize what you say.  I may recognize what you apphrehend as false (your examples previously) but it doesn't mean it is.  As I mentioned before, its "apologetic contradiction" of a perfectionist unless you're not using the precise words in your explanations or I didn't see your clause of "my personal theories are working progress."  How can it be false if the person doesn't have your unique awareness, self-realizations, and knowledge? you don't detect an aberration when you use "false"?

if there is a fundamental, I love the love of expression in ALL Life.  the beauty of existence in its infinite capacity to create and evolve.

tata


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Keyannki]
    #2323542 - 02/11/04 09:22 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

>> Every darn theoretical physics theory out there is most likely a cause of self-grasping minds then?

Or a symptom, yes. Almost any scientific discovery can be slotted into the interconnected view with only some minor adjustments. Western people, who dominate theoretical physics and most of the advanced sciences, typically abide within heavily divided views. As a result, their theories and discoveries are coloured with this outlook. We can see this by observing the level of competitiveness and selfishness in our capitalist social order. Because we have such a self-centred worldview, we have built a society which thrives on gathering matieral things for the self, and the self's closest companions and protectors. The way we handle our resources and assign hierarchy to a heavily populated society is coloured by our self-grasping view.


>> However, the "body" does not inherently exist is quite ahem cold, analytical periscopic view.

It may appear this way to someone who cherishes and is attached to the body. To those who see no value to such attachment, it does not act as an obstruction to an understanding of the idea which was being presented through the example of the body's dependent-related unfolding. The view I am presenting is the Buddhist view. It is being presented because a number of individuals have requested that it be presented. There is no clause stating that these are my personal theories and are working progress because these are not my personal theories. They are a careful articulation of views which have been handed down to me through a lineage of Buddhist teachings.

I'm sorry if you see this view as cold, analytical, periscopic. It is not intended as such.


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OfflineDavid_Scape
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2332527 - 02/13/04 09:27 PM (19 years, 1 month ago)

"Form is dependent upon mere imputation by conception because apart from the imputation by conception there is no form to be found at all."

Form is not based on impuation. Impuation is based on form. 

Okay, lets just ignore everything i said before. Just forget it. I read your response, but im not going to get into it all. And i really don't need to, because im really only challenging a couple main premises.

The main thing im challenging, is the premise that the existence of an object is based on impuation. I challenge this because it ignores the fact that we recieve input that is unadulterated by our mind.

The mind recieving unadulterated input is important in determining whether an object exists without imputation or not. Because if it does exist, then imputation does not assign existence to an object. It only assigns a convient symbol to a phenomina in the field of perception. If it does'nt exist, then the input must be coming from the mind and thusly, not external. If it is not external, then we can say the mind is what assigns official existence to an object.

Now, it can be said that we do recieve unadulterated input, but that we do not perceive it's true nature, or that "imputation" is the only thing that distinguishes the existence of objects. Now, i suppose this could be said, but it could'nt officially be proven or deduced- even if we see that every phenomina is dependent on other phenomina. This is because there'd be no offical way to establish credibility to our perceptions. (this is bad for me, considering I already have a slight solipsist problem.)

The main crossroad (i think.), between your position and mine, is when,.......Well here, answer me this:

Look at your keyboard.
Is the perception of your 'keyboard' only an impuation?
Or is it a perception that is not of your mind's doing, that you then impute with your mind?

:stoned:


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: David_Scape]
    #2334011 - 02/14/04 11:13 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

A major part of all imputation by conception is the assumption of seperateness. Because we are able to impute conceptualizations upon phenomenon, we are able to continuously apprehend phenomenon as seperate, discretely unfolding.

When we glance downward at our keyboard, we are first informed that there is a discretely existing object beneath our fingers. We are then immediately informed that this discretely existing object is designated as "keyboard". Finally, we apprehend these two experiences as truth, and assume the keyboard to be a discretely unfolding phenomenon, the existence of which is occuring inherently, from it's own side, independent of mind. This is how we experience reality.


>> Look at your keyboard. Is the perception of your 'keyboard' only an impuation? Or is it a perception that is not of your mind's doing, that you then impute with your mind?

Implicit in this question is that "keyboard" is an imputation upon a discretely unfolding phenomenon. While it is agreed that "keyboard" is a mere imputation, it is not agreed that this is a mere imputation upon a discretely unfolding phenomenon. However, the presence of a discretely unfolding phenomenon is required before we can begin imputing a concept such as "keyboard." This is because our conceptualizations require a basis of imputation. Contemplating this, we can discover how our imputations continuously support our experience of discretely unfolding phenomenon, and our experience of discretely unfolding phenomenon continuously provides bases for our imputations.

Disregarding the name we have chosen for it, how is it that our keyboard exists as a discretely unfolding phenomenon?

Your suggestion as I understand it has been that an object exists discretely, but our experience of that object remains pervaded by our imputations. If we were to remove the imputations, we would discover the true nature of the object, a discretely unfolding phenomenon. My response to this suggestion has been that if we are to remove all of our imputations, such as "keyboard", "plastic", "rectangle", "grey", and so forth, we would discover that we are no longer able to apprehend the object as distinct. The reason for this is has to do with two elements of our mistaken awareness:

1) The assumption of the inherent existence of mere imputations
2) The assumption of discretely unfolding phenomenon

These two elements of mistaken awareness are mutually dependent upon one another. If one were removed from the equation of our experience, the other must cease its function. If we stop our experience of discretely unfolding phenomenon, the basis for our imputations disappears. In the same way, if we stop our experience of mere imputations, the parameters which define phenomenon as distinct suddenly vanish. Because this is true, if we are to select an object and gradually remove the imputations from our experience of that object, it would gradually become more difficult to continue viewing the object as a discretely unfolding phenomenon.

Take the example of the keyboard. If we discard the imputation of keyboard, we must fall back upon another imputation such as plastic. Now, we are expericing a grey piece of plastic. If we discard the imputation of grey, we might fall back upon the imputation of bumpy. This is a bumpy piece of plastic. However, we are still relying upon our imputations. We can throw out bumpy, since "bumpy" is an entirely subjective experience. Understanding that plastic is a dependent-related phenomenon, we know that it too is a categorization of our minds. We can throw out the imputation of plastic. Now all we have left is a rectangle. If we discard the imputation of rectangle, how are we able to distinguish this object from another object, such as our mouse? Here, it becomes impossible to continue our invesitgation.

Apart from imputation, there is no experience of seperateness, and therefore there is no form to be found at all.

The mistaken awareness of discretely unfolding phenomenon directly supports the mistaken awareness of inherently existent imputations upon those phenomenon. We cannot impute an object without first apprehending it as distinct, because there must be a basis for our imputation. By the same token, the mistaken awareness of inherently existent imputations directly supports the mistaken awareness of discretely unfolding phenomenon. So long as we continue designating objects by their functions, size, shape, appearance and other ultimately meaningless attributes, we will continue to experience all phenomenon as distinct.

It is not possible to discover the underlying nature of a distinct object by discarding our imputations. If we discard our imputations, the distinctiveness of that object begins to break down.


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


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2334310 - 02/14/04 01:00 PM (19 years, 1 month ago)

I've been following this thread all the while... it is very interesting. I haven't really contributed because there isn't much I can say...

But I agree with Ped. All there is, is energy. Energy flowing. All of this stuff around us, these walls, this keyboard, the Earth.. isn't it all just energy?

Like Ped says, where do we draw the line? Is it a keyboard? Is it plastic? How far are you going to reduce it to find the "truth"?

All I've found is that there are forms of energy, at different levels. It flows, everything is always changing, and it is all of the same. From our extremely limited perspective, this energy has stabilized and we have solid objects and set rules for our existance...

Well, time is dependant on the perspective as well. All of what we can see when we look into space, what we label as our "universe" has happened in the equivalent of a second from a higher, more encompassing viewpoint. This "vein of energy" that we are in could at any moment flow back into another one, which would totally change everything...

I would be willing to bet that I have universes within my own body, and that our stars are just subatomic particles composing a different "universe"... as above, so below, etc... an infinity existing within an infinity.

I no longer see space as existing. It is just our limited perspective from within that gives us the illusion of space. All of this is within one single point of energy, and is just subdivisions... and the subdivisions aren't actually there.

This is why I haven't contributed, I find it as being more of an image type thing.. very visual. I find it impossible to put into words because it involves shifts in perspective that communication cannot provide for.. only experience.

Anyways, thanks to everyone who has contributed. I really appreciate it! :laugh:
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:


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InvisibletrendalM Happy Birthday!
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: buttonion]
    #2334324 - 02/14/04 01:05 PM (19 years, 1 month ago)

I just (yesterday) picked up the new book by Brian Greene, "The Fabric of the Cosmos". He is the same author as The Elegant Universe, an excellent book on String theory and quantum physics, for any who have read it.

His new book is about existence, the nature if spacetime, and related concepts...so when I get it finished you can expect some more posts by me in this thread :wink:


--------------------
Once, men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free.
But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: trendal]
    #2334388 - 02/14/04 01:19 PM (19 years, 1 month ago)

Thank you for the references, trendal.


--------------------
The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: fireworks_god]
    #2335377 - 02/14/04 06:39 PM (19 years, 1 month ago)

"But I agree with Ped. All there is, is energy."

I always wonder if it is possible for there to be an absense of energy, like an absolute, true "nothing?"


--------------------
Insert an "I think" mentally in front of eveything I say that seems sketchy, because I certainly don't KNOW much. Also; feel free to yell at me.
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Strumpling]
    #2340544 - 02/16/04 10:03 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

Hi goodfellas

I am new to this forum, but have read your philosphical inquiries with great interest. Our common experiences with consciousness-altering substances is no doubt very helpful when pertaining to such explorations (perhaps mainly because a change in consciousness gives another frame of reference from where to measure reality). There are lots of interesting issues at hand here but I will just take up the tread where it ended and comment on Strumplings question:

>>I always wonder if it is possible for there to be an absense of energy, like an absolute, true "nothing?"

As has been stated in previous contributions; there is really nothing that is separate from anything else. Reality is painted with dotted lines, due to our choice of cathegorization. 'Nothingness' can not be separate from 'being', and if nothingness cannot be separate it is no longer nothingness. There is nothing that is separate from anything else, I stated, well there you have it! If there is something that is separate from anything else, it is nothing :smirk: But then of course if it were separate from us we would never have anything to do with it.


Hegel taught in his dialectical approach that every idea pursued to its end becomes its opposite. If we were to look at a fundamental concept like 'existence', the idea of existence would, when explored, eventually lead to the idea of non-existence. Then we would have a paradox since existence and non-existence are mutually exclusive concepts. But in a dialectical approach a seeming paradox can be united at a higher level. In this case the higher level of the static being and non-being is becoming. So we see that enfolded within the notion of being is becoming, and so it all begins...


--------------------
There are no differences between men and gods,
one blends softly causal into the other.
-Frank Herbert, Dune.


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OfflinePed
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: The_Visionaire]
    #2340773 - 02/16/04 11:21 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

Indeed,

"Form is emptiness; emptiness also is form. Emptiness is not other than form; form is not other than emptiness. In the same way, feeling, perception, formation, and consciousness are emptiness."


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


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Gyroscope full album available SoundCloud or MySpace


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2341674 - 02/16/04 02:37 PM (19 years, 1 month ago)

Or a symptom, yes.  Almost any scientific discovery can be slotted into the interconnected view with only some minor adjustments.  Western people, who dominate theoretical physics and most of the advanced sciences, typically abide within heavily divided views.  As a result, their theories and discoveries are coloured with this outlook.  We can see this by observing the level of competitiveness and selfishness in our capitalist social order.  Because we have such a self-centred worldview, we have built a society which thrives on gathering matieral things for the self, and the self's closest companions and protectors.  The way we handle our resources and assign hierarchy to a heavily populated society is coloured by our self-grasping view.

I would agree there is division. theoretical physicists' main goal is illumination by a discourse of distinction in their theories by conceptualization.  the degree is beyond average people's understanding.  ie: loop quantum gravity - spacetime continuum is a mass of a network of nodes spinning

whether it is self-grasping, I beg to differ.  I do like the concepts' congruency with "space being an illusion."

It may appear this way to someone who cherishes and is attached to the body.  To those who see no value to such attachment, it does not act as an obstruction to an understanding of the idea which was being presented through the example of the body's dependent-related unfolding.  The view I am presenting is the Buddhist view.  It is being presented because a number of individuals have requested that it be presented.  There is no clause stating that these are my personal theories and are working progress because these are not my personal theories.  They are a careful articulation of views which have been handed down to me through a lineage of Buddhist teachings.


Roger that.  I'll cut to the chase.  I don't normally respond unless I have to.  I was compelled to come into this thread.  I guess my radar saw a huge blip before. :laugh:

Aight, Ped-san.  the short and sweet.  What you're using is Spirit Relativity's conditional form to comprehend the emptiness of all forms of existence. The condition is illusionism.  True Spirit Relativity has no other conditions (isms) but is to observe the interdependency of expression of *All* forms of existence, unconditionally.  A fundamental by itself.  when you use another one, operating precedently, you express dualness.

Why? for one, the laws of Numerology assert the no. 2 is the expression of duality.

the nearer you resonate to SR, the needless of the conditions and the mass and density of your consciousness becomes more light. 

Everything has a mass and density.  :cool:

there you go.  I gave away too much already.  I'm off into the wilderness, again.


Edited by Keyannki (02/16/04 02:41 PM)


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OfflinePed
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Keyannki]
    #2345027 - 02/17/04 09:36 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

>> What you're using is Spirit Relativity's conditional form to comprehend the emptiness of all forms of existence. The condition is illusionism. True Spirit Relativity has no other conditions (isms) but is to observe the interdependency of expression of *All* forms of existence, unconditionally. A fundamental by itself. when you use another one, operating precedently, you express dualness.

I'm not familiar with "Spirit Relativity." The interdependence of phenomenon is being used in these articulations to demonstrate that form as we apprehend it does not exist inherently. There is no intent from my side to convey the emptiness of all forms of existence. Rather, the emptiness of inherent existence of form is being demonstrated. These two views serve as examples for eachother and are not ultimately dualistic.

It is extremely difficult to express a unified view to ordinary dualistic individuals such as ourselves. Dualism pervades even the most subtle aspects of our experience.


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


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OfflineDavid_Scape
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2377891 - 02/26/04 01:03 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

I submit to ped, and i thank you!

And at the risk of sounding cheesy, this thread is responsible for a very very important turning point in my life. I thank you :heart: , and everyone who participated in it!  :sun:



[Sorry to bring this thread up again, but after finding out, I could'nt get myself to post again without expressing it.]


--------------------
focusing
Flow
The Enneagram


Edited by David_Scape (02/26/04 02:27 AM)


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Anonymous

Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2378325 - 02/26/04 06:09 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

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OfflinePed
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: ]
    #2378597 - 02/26/04 08:39 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

Eagerly awaiting, my friend!  :smile:


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


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Gyroscope full album available SoundCloud or MySpace


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Anonymous

Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2380115 - 02/26/04 03:10 PM (19 years, 1 month ago)

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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2433102 - 03/14/04 10:43 PM (19 years, 18 days ago)

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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2434019 - 03/15/04 07:27 AM (19 years, 17 days ago)

Ped writes:

An objective reality must be an unchanging reality. Since there is no unchanging reality, there is no objective reality. Reality is entirely subjective.

????

Could you please explain the chain of reasoning leading to this conclusion?

A star is real. It exists whether there is a consciousness around to perceive it or not. Yet that star is in constant flux -- it changes constantly.

The fact that motion exists doesn't mean that existence is subjective.

pinky


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Phred]
    #2434040 - 03/15/04 07:38 AM (19 years, 17 days ago)

Oops. Upon reading further down the thread, I see that Skorpivo was here before me.

As Skorpivo points out, this is a battle between two fundamentally opposed views of reality: the "primacy of consciousness" vs the "primacy of existence".

Since the "primacy of consciousness" supposition inevitably reduces back to solipsism, it is logically irrefutable. Logic and observation are null concepts to a solipsist.

pinky


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OfflinePed
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Phred]
    #2434378 - 03/15/04 10:14 AM (19 years, 17 days ago)

We can carry out an investigation to pinpoint the actual location of the star. We should be able to accomplish this by removing that which is not the star. 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.

If each of the star's parts were of the same nature of a star, then we would have a great many stars in one location. This is obviously nonsense. Since each of the star's constituents are not of the same nature of a star, we should be able to remove those consituents and discover the inherent nature of the star. What we discover, however, is that no such inherent nature can be found. This is because a star exists in dependence upon parts. At present, we perceive a star as though it possessed it's own inherent nature. No inherent nature can be found anywhere except within the assumptions of an imputing conciousness.

When stars are born, they aggregate from clouds of gas which have collapsed under there own gravity. The collapse is halted by internal pressure at the newly forming the core of the star. During the collapse, the potential energy of infalling hydrogen atoms is converted to kinetic energy, heating the core. As the temperature goes up, the pressure goes up to stop the collapse. A balance is found in this way which persists for ten or so million years, before finally exhausting it's heat energy, dropping pressure, and completing it's initial collapse. A star is perhaps the best example of a dependent-related phenomenon, because it is difficult to pinpoint a moment in time when the star came into existence. At which moment was there only a cloud of gas, and what occured independently of mind that changed "gas cloud" to "star"?

Where is the star's inherent nature?

A star cannot exist as a "star" without a conciousness present to assign it such categorization. If a star were to exist independently of the imputing conciousness, it must have an absolute beginning, and it must have an absolute end, both spatially and temporally. It is difficult to pinpoint these locations becase it is only the categorizing mind which decides upon such distinctions.

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. Therefore, part of the criteria for assigning an object true inherent existence is it's permanent, unchanging state. Since no objects exist this way, no objects exist inherently, independently, and from their own side.


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


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


Edited by Ped (03/15/04 11:33 AM)


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2434519 - 03/15/04 10:51 AM (19 years, 17 days 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


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OfflinePed
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Phred]
    #2434649 - 03/15/04 11:19 AM (19 years, 17 days 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)


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Anonymous

Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2434742 - 03/15/04 11:45 AM (19 years, 17 days ago)

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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2434864 - 03/15/04 12:21 PM (19 years, 17 days 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


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OfflinePhred
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2434928 - 03/15/04 12:33 PM (19 years, 17 days 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


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Anonymous

Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2434985 - 03/15/04 12:52 PM (19 years, 17 days ago)

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Anonymous

Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2435027 - 03/15/04 01:04 PM (19 years, 17 days ago)

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OfflinePed
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Phred]
    #2435369 - 03/15/04 02:48 PM (19 years, 17 days 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.


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


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Invisiblebuttonion
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: ]
    #2435475 - 03/15/04 03:09 PM (19 years, 17 days 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*


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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


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2435527 - 03/15/04 03:21 PM (19 years, 17 days 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

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OfflinePed
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: ]
    #2435690 - 03/15/04 04:04 PM (19 years, 17 days 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.


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


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Anonymous

Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2435875 - 03/15/04 05:00 PM (19 years, 17 days ago)

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OfflinePhred
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2436648 - 03/15/04 08:05 PM (19 years, 17 days 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


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InvisibleEvolving
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Phred]
    #2436943 - 03/15/04 09:02 PM (19 years, 17 days 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.


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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.


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: buttonion]
    #2437021 - 03/15/04 09:15 PM (19 years, 17 days ago)

man u make me think hard. ahaha


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: ]
    #2443660 - 03/17/04 02:01 PM (19 years, 15 days 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.


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


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Gyroscope full album available SoundCloud or MySpace


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


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OfflinePed
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Phred]
    #2443678 - 03/17/04 02:04 PM (19 years, 15 days 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.


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OfflinePhred
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2443890 - 03/17/04 03:14 PM (19 years, 15 days 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


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Phred]
    #2443932 - 03/17/04 03:34 PM (19 years, 15 days 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.


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OfflinePhred
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: infidelGOD]
    #2443975 - 03/17/04 03:54 PM (19 years, 15 days 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


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Phred]
    #2444124 - 03/17/04 04:50 PM (19 years, 15 days ago)

I have thought through what you said.
your response tells me that perhaps I was unclear in my last post.

as I indicated, there is nothing wrong with relying on your senses to build a "provisional" worldview. I do it all the time. but if you are questioning the efficacy of sensory input to arrive at absolutes, at some point you have to rely on something other than the senses to avoid cirular reasoning do you not? so you asked - what then do we rely on? some traditional thinkers would say that we should rely on philosophical examination. but they also admit (whether they realize it or not) that philosophical concepts are ultimately contingent on sensory input. as you said - senses are the starting point.

so where do we go from here?
why go anywhere? some people desperately seek absolutes - a safety blanket against the cold reality that is essentially and ultimately unknowable and in flux. some people want to build a house of cards and "make it all fit". but I ask; what's wrong with a provisional worldview? I'm perfectly content in relying on my senses to build an incomplete and flexible reality, like the proverbial reed that bends in the wind and stays whole, while the oak tree snaps like a twig and lies shattered in the aftermath of the storm.

when I pointed out that human perception and human reasoning cannot arrive at absolutes, maybe you assumed that there was something else I relied on to get there, like divine revelation. no. my point was that there is no there there.

I am agreeing with you that the senses are the foundation of our reality, and as such, a provisional reality is all we have.


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Phred]
    #2444386 - 03/17/04 06:19 PM (19 years, 15 days ago)

Pinky, can I have one of those marbles that you are handing out? I will take a "moonie" if you have one...


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The proof is in the pudding.


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InvisibleSkorpivoMusterion
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: infidelGOD]
    #2444510 - 03/17/04 06:51 PM (19 years, 15 days ago)

Quote:

I'm perfectly content in relying on my senses to build an incomplete and flexible reality, like the proverbial reed that bends in the wind and stays whole, while the oak tree snaps like a twig and lies shattered in the aftermath of the storm.




Nothing in the world is more flexible and yielding than water. Yet when it attacks the firm and the strong, none can withstand it, because they have no way to change it. So the flexible overcome the adamant, the yielding overcome the forceful. Everyone knows this, but no one can do it.
~Lao Tzu



:wink:


--------------------
Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love.


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Offlinefalcon
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: buttonion]
    #2445530 - 03/17/04 10:53 PM (19 years, 15 days ago)

So when you say that something exists, what are you really saying about that thing?

That it is a something.  That it is. It is a something. Is it not something? How can it not be something? There are somethings. It is a thing that can be called a something. There are some things. Some things are called somethings. It is one of the things called a something. It is this thing that I call a something.  You recognize this as a something.  I recognize this as a something. You call this a something. I call this a something. There are some things that can be recognized as somethings.  We can share this recognition of these things called a somethings. :crazy2:

Thank you Dr. Suess and Donald Rumsfield.

Can you write a shopping list? If you can this is the kind of question you should avoid.  If you do not avoid this kind of question you are apt to end up in some deep shit that leaves unable to write a shopping list.


--------------------
Quote:

OrgoneConclusion said:
I have done it before and it never has an effect on the true believer so what is the point?




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OfflineFrog
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #2445919 - 03/18/04 01:08 AM (19 years, 15 days ago)

Quote:

SkorpivoMusterion said:
Quote:

I'm perfectly content in relying on my senses to build an incomplete and flexible reality, like the proverbial reed that bends in the wind and stays whole, while the oak tree snaps like a twig and lies shattered in the aftermath of the storm.




Nothing in the world is more flexible and yielding than water. Yet when it attacks the firm and the strong, none can withstand it, because they have no way to change it. So the flexible overcome the adamant, the yielding overcome the forceful. Everyone knows this, but no one can do it.
~Lao Tzu



:wink:





Cool.  I am prompted to tell a story.  :grin:

I had a date, once, with a guy who was looking to get married and have kids.  I had already had five kids, so needless to say, we weren't a match. 

However, he told me something that I thought profound.  He asked if I would rather be the rock, or the water running around it.  He later explained, after I made the wrong choice, that it's better to be the water, because it is steady and can flow around any obstacle, without being disturbed, whereas the rock, no matter how unyeilding, will eventually be eroded by the water.

We should all be the rock, eh?

Edit:  Oh, fuck, I meant "water".  We should all be the water.  Ahhh, fuck it.  Hate the brain reversal thing.


--------------------
The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


Edited by Frog (03/18/04 01:51 AM)


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InvisibleShroomismM
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Frog]
    #2445941 - 03/18/04 01:27 AM (19 years, 15 days ago)

"Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way round or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.

Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water... You put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot... Now water can flow, or it can crash, be water my friend." - Bruce Lee


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Shroomism]
    #2445975 - 03/18/04 01:50 AM (19 years, 15 days ago)

Quote:

Shroomism said:
"Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way round or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.

Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water... You put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot... Now water can flow, or it can crash, be water my friend." - Bruce Lee




Thank you, Shroomism, for clarifying. That sounds more along the lines of what he was saying.


--------------------
The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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InvisibleSkorpivoMusterion
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Frog]
    #2446244 - 03/18/04 05:46 AM (19 years, 14 days ago)

Assuming all Water-H20-Wisdom innately comes from Old Asians,

You were dating HENRY??? :crazy:

:wink:


--------------------
Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love.


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2446262 - 03/18/04 06:01 AM (19 years, 14 days ago)

Well, I don't know about anyone else, but "I" (;)) read your big reply you just made and I totally understand it and agree with it. :thumbup:

I value the knowledge that we are just one little variable within a system wherein all variables are interacting and are dependant on each other. I think that holding onto our individual perspective too much and treating ourselves as distinct and seperate from this dependant system and all it includes is sort of egotistical (read: protective of something that one is afraid to lose).

Quote:


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.




Indeed. :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:


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Anonymous

Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: Ped]
    #2446410 - 03/18/04 07:47 AM (19 years, 14 days ago)

- Post History Deleted Upon User's Request -


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: ]
    #2446435 - 03/18/04 08:00 AM (19 years, 14 days ago)

Quote:

Mr_Mushrooms said:
Similarly, the last purpose has been to inform others that the errors you are teaching are dangerous.




:lol:

I've never found anything Ped has said to be an error.... and certainly not "dangerous".  :smirk:
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:


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OfflinePed
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: ]
    #2446797 - 03/18/04 10:57 AM (19 years, 14 days ago)

>> I "got it" a long time ago

For the sake of future discussion, then, please articulate back to me the idea you're responding to before composing your rebuttal.


>> Most of us know, and acknowledge, that the universe existed before our consciousness. Since that is the case I would like to you explain your position about that.

That time is statically linear -- is this not an assumption?

We understand that electricity cannot flow from a battery until a circuit is completed. When a battery sits at rest, there is a positive terminal existing in space on the right, and a negative terminal existing in space on the left. When an avenue through space is made available for these two terminals to become joined, the potential energy of the battery then becomes kinetic energy, and a phenomenon occurs. This is a three-dimensional phenomenon.

We can view conciousness and the existential plain in much the same way as these two polls. There is a highly organized physical being capable of harbouring conciousness existing in time on the "right", and a receptive existential plain existing in time on the "left". When an avenue is made available for these two terminals to become joined, in this case through time instead of space, the potential energy of this cosmic unit then becomes kinetic energy, and a phenomenon called the "cosmos" is born with a tremendous bang. This is a four-dimensional phenomenon.

At present, this is how I explain the seeming self-perpetuation and self-origination of the universe. It should noted that this view is one of personal speculation, and is not a view which has been imparted to me through my studies. I understand that it is a paradoxical view, and that is precisely why I hold it as a promising one worthy of further contemplation.

We can explore the relationship between mind and reality by considering what it would be like to possess a mind absent of an existential plain for us to interpret. We have discussed this before. It is very simple for us to imagine the cosmos going on without us, because we conceive of ourselves as islands of conciousness behaving as perfectly passive recipients of an aggressive reality. We are mistaken in this view. There is nothing about any object of investigation which informs us of it's existence from it's own side. It is only mind which constructs and imputes the nature of objects, and therefore it is mind which is the aggressive creator of a passively unfolding existential plain. Imagine for a moment, though, that we were islands of conciousness floating amidst a formless, shapeless, colorless void of non-existence. What is the function of mind in a place like this? Can we fathom even for a moment?

In short, mind and reality are the same entity and are mutually dependent, with mind as the aggressive creator of objects of knowledge, and reality as the passive recipient of our individual and conventional imputations. At present, our experience informs us that mind and reality are dualistic phenomenon, with reality as a "box" filled with aggressive objects of knowledge, and mind as the passive recipient of those objects of knowledge. Clinging to this dualistic worldview, science has concluded, in lieu of any other more plausible explanation, that the momentum of the universe came from nowhere in particular, and gradually dissipates into nowhere in particular.


"It is a primitive form of thought that things either exist or do not exist."

-- Sir Arthur Eddington


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

Nothing at all, of course. I had said in my reply that our sense should be our tools, not our teachers. This was a means of suggesting that rather than assuming the sensory data receive to be infallible, we use that information as the object of our investigation, as the laboratory rat upon which to test our wisdom, insight, and further to our contemplation.


>> 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.

On this point, we agree completely. It's through this process compounded upon many others that we, if feeling so compelled, seek the divine revelations that we desire.


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OfflineStrumpling
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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: ]
    #2448606 - 03/18/04 06:46 PM (19 years, 14 days ago)

Mr Mushrooms, I was losing faith in your claim that you would come back later and post stuff on this thread......

shows how much *I* know..


--------------------
Insert an "I think" mentally in front of eveything I say that seems sketchy, because I certainly don't KNOW much. Also; feel free to yell at me.
In addition: SHPONGLE


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Re: *cough* EXISTENCE *hack* [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #2450006 - 03/19/04 12:03 AM (19 years, 14 days ago)

Quote:

SkorpivoMusterion said:
Assuming all Water-H20-Wisdom innately comes from Old Asians,

You were dating HENRY??? :crazy:

:wink:





Henry ain't so bad.  :grin:



Henry at the Pumkin Jam party.


--------------------
The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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