Time for a deep discussion.

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Peter
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Re: Time for a deep discussion.

Postby Peter » 28 Jan 2014 19:48

Lets split this into two forms and use the word awareness.

One - the basic components of matter and summerlander I expect you will understand this better that me. At that level all matter is composed of the same stuff but it takes different forms, a plant, a rock a human cell. We eat dust, we eat plants, we die, we rot, we get consumed by plants, our bones turn into rock. In all these stages there are the base state materials in the smallest way that can insert themselves into each bit of matter and form a link to make it work. Rock is strong, plants grow, flesh grows, so each small part has an awareness or memory of what it has done and learns what it needs to do. This is an inherent part and property of these tiny building blocks. If you extract these bits of code they would be memory, if you had senses to experience them they would build a reality like we have, one that we could interact with in our minds so the basics are there.
Next up is up with our consciousness, I say that it is a tool and a product of other processes and so you are right and you are wrong. It is the difference but awareness is a better word for the step before consciousness exists and all materials have the properties of awareness as they all have electrical properties and can be measured. Rocks, dirt, water, plants and so on, but they have no way to experience these properties only express them.

This if off the top of my head so pull it to bits and take me to task.

Do you need consciousness to exist
and need have memories implanted by senses combined with life force to create the state of consciousness.

So its the self expression that is the stumbling block
Who are you I asked, the reply "dont be silly, we are your daughers" many years before they were born

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HAGART
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Re: Time for a deep discussion.

Postby HAGART » 28 Jan 2014 22:40

I'm familiar with the Monty Hall problem, so I would switch doors. It seems counter-intuitive, and my emotions would want me to stick with my original door because it 'feels' right, but the math states I should switch doors.
If we all lucid dreamed this world would be a better place.

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Summerlander
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Re: Time for a deep discussion.

Postby Summerlander » 29 Jan 2014 01:23

The truth is, whether you wrestle with intuition, or you work out the maths, neither can truly reveal where the car is. Even by revealling what is behind one of the doors, you are faced with uncertainty and it doesn't really change anything objectively (the car is still in the same place regardless of what you think). The wrestling, and the illusion of change, occurs in the mind. But I guess most mathematicians would do what you just did: why throw away the opportunity to switch when the initial choice was only 1/3, right?

@Peter:

If I understood correctly, you seem to be coming from a quasi-existential point of view. Let me begin with a disclaimer: there is no awareness prior to the emergence of consciousness in a living being, let alone an inanimate object such as a rock. And electrons, to further clarify, are not aware and do not carry consciousness.

The word "awareness" implies a sentient being, an observer, a self who is aware. This only comes, as evidence points to, when a complex brain is ticking, like a Newton's cradle, until a fault makes it stop.

Let's also be clear on another matter. Living beings can become temporarily unconscious, meaning there is no awareness, not even of time passing, which is why the individual who comes to often feels like he was aware one moment, felt faint, and was subsequently fully aware the next - without recollection of having been out for, say, half an hour!

There is no life force of any kind found in the living human brain or any other part of the body (as the vitalist would hope to find). Creatures don't really possess assets for a purpose, they merely adapt to the chsnging environment if they can, if they have time to "fit" (hence, survival of the fittest as the Darwinian would say) and this determines whether they survive or not.

In evolution, there is no evidence of consciousness being a "tool" or even something that is useful in anyway. In fact, as experiments like those of Libet's demonstrate, and illusions like the auditory continuity reveal in terms of delayed feedback, consciousness is like the last thing to know. Organisms would still be able to do everything they do today even if they weren't conscious. But nature dictates that beings such as us should be conscious. The reason why (more like a "how") we don't know.

So the brain is not at all like a candlestick where the conscious mind is the flame. Why? Because a flame can be seen and touched with consequences, it is something physically real.

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"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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Summerlander
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Re: Time for a deep discussion.

Postby Summerlander » 29 Jan 2014 01:39

As you can see guys (in case you've missed it), the candlestick-flame analogy doesn't apply. The flame is the antithesis of consciousness.

The proposal of an awareness prior to the emergence of consciousness, as something inherent in nature (or even as the quintessence of matter as some monist metaphysicists like to fantasise about), is a non-sequitur and a non-explanation too - for one is then faced with the same problematic burden: well, how is this quantum quintessence aware in the first place if that is the case? We only aggravate the problem if we are to nonsensically assume an argument from the primacy of conscious awareness.

On the other hand, if a system depends on cause and effect for the emergence of an illusory self, then I feel "awareness" as applied to the interacting building blocks isn't the appropriate term here. Perhaps an epiphenomenal gestalt is the more credible proposition, or, even better, something analogous to a centre of gravity - as we all know, there is no such thing. (Think about the formation of planets to know why these centres don't really exist.)

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"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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Peter
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Re: Time for a deep discussion.

Postby Peter » 29 Jan 2014 02:12

There is no center of gravity but there is an immense vacuum that applies pressure.

And without the words that I need to look up to understand I was making the point that we need our senses to build our world and until we can comprehend a different type of existence without the senses we have then we cant really make any useful conclusions.

What do I use to experience the void states? I dont see, I dont hear, I dont feel, I dont taste or touch but something applies.

All elements have memory or else we could not study them and find consistency and purpose and construct or have basis for science. Are all these elements dead or alive. Can some be dead and some be alive when they have the same properties?
Who are you I asked, the reply "dont be silly, we are your daughers" many years before they were born

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Summerlander
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Re: Time for a deep discussion.

Postby Summerlander » 29 Jan 2014 13:23

Forgive me, Peter, but I am compelled to pick apart your post for the sake of avoiding misconceptions and advancing this deep discourse... :)

Peter wrote:There is no center of gravity but there is an immense vacuum that applies pressure.


I'm not sure whether your statement is supposed to be a refutation or a reinforcement of my analogy, but, what applies pressure is matter (which, granted, emerges from a vacuum full of quantum particles) and that is still not a centre of gravity.

What causes matter to converge at a certain point in space is not a pre-existent point of attraction, it is an accumulation of particles that create a bigger object which begins to gradually collapse in the fabric of space-time. The magnetic field emerges and grows stronger, giving rise to the illusion of a pulling centre.

Once the spherical object sets in space, a living being who is unfamiliar with the process of planet formation could look at the globe and infer that there is a centre of gravity holding the planet together by pulling its matter in the same direction. We know this is not true even though it looks that way. Like the self, it is nowhere to be found. This is an unavoidable fact.

Peter wrote:And without the words that I need to look up to understand I was making the point that we need our senses to build our world and until we can comprehend a different type of existence without the senses we have then we cant really make any useful conclusions.


Your argument is an epistemological one which nobody denies its validity. Its foundation is the mystery of how consciousness comes to be. It is true that different creatures sense differently, perceive the world differently, and behave differently. It is also true that human beings differ from one another and indeed there is no way to tell whether your green is my red and vice versa. But we are beginning to understand more about how birds see and dogs smell - with a little imagination, it is something like our sensorial abilities but on a larger scale. And there are creatures that can detect areas of the spectrum of light and sound which we humans can only probe using technology.

So, saying that we can't really make useful conclusions isn't strictly true. We often learn from nature in order to advance technologically. We also use animals to helps us in our affairs because we are aware of their abilities. It has been scientifically established that a canine's olfaction is superior to that of man, and, for this reason, we use them effectively for detection in solving crimes.

I'd also like to add that, without senses, or consciousness for that matter, no world can be mentally conceived and experienced. In other words, a subjective interpretation of an objective world just isn't possible. So there is no point in asking, "What would a world be like without perception?" Well, if this question needs an answer it is that it isn't like anything. It just wouldn't be.

And the idea that the universe has the sole purpose of creating conscious beings (there is no intelligent design behind it, folks) becomes null and void once we consider the anthropic principle: we see the universe the way it is because if it were any different, we wouldn't be here to see it. This brings to mind the possible existence of other universes, many of which are lifeless if their laws of physics differ from our own.

This consideration, and indeed the many-worlds interpretation of quantum theory is a strong one, refutes the idea of a universe that has been divinely fine-tuned to support life. The natural coordinates just happen to be what they are - if they weren't we wouldn't be here to ask questions.

Peter wrote:What do I use to experience the void states? I dont see, I dont hear, I dont feel, I dont taste or touch but something applies.


Don't (do NOT) means not using. You cannot use a positive (I use/I do) followed by a negative (I do not). I'm sorry, but, if you are not using your senses then you are not using and not doing anything at all as regards experience. "Void" equates with non-existence, invalidity, nothingness. A state of nothingness is no valid state of awareness at all. There is nothing to be aware of! And then "void" conflicts with "something" that supposedly applies. What applies, if I may enquire? If you are talking about meditative states, then they are not really void states.

If you are aware of something in those states, like the bliss that monks and practising Buddhists often describe, then you are merely describing an altered state of consciousness (however subtle it may be) - one, by the way, experienced by a living, conscious person - and the experience itself, having been a conscious one, is remembered for its impact. You were aware of something. You felt something. (Note how this phrase contradicts the oxymoronic "I don't feel" in your post.)

What you experienced wasn't void. It was an altered state of consciousness. Like the confusing concept of seeing a smell while tripping on LSD. People who trip for the first time often encounter new sensations which confound them and the element of ineffability tends to make memory-based description difficult. The description isn't always accurate and fails to convey the originality of the experience.

Feeling is unavoidably tied to experience, it is a physical sensation that you experience. :!:

Peter wrote:All elements have memory or else we could not study them and find consistency and purpose and construct or have basis for science. Are all these elements dead or alive. Can some be dead and some be alive when they have the same properties?


I do not see what kind of memory you are talking and your statement sounds like a non-sequitur. Elements don't have memory, they merely interact accordingly. It's not a case of, "I behaved like this before, therefore I must behave like it always." This is not how things work. If you find consistency in the way that a substance behaves, it is due to its physical properties, the structure of its molecules, and the effect that the laws of nature have on them which determines interaction with the environment.

H2O is water, made up of two different types of atoms. Its arrangement causes it to behave the way it does and it can come in different phases of matter: solid, liquid, gas. Now let's take liquid, the type of water we drink to survive. It's fluid due to its atomic structure and how it interacts with the environment. The wetness is another illusion, by the way, which I find is analogous to a sense of self, too. Nothing about a water molecule, let alone its atoms, is wet.

Now, so that I am not leaving anything out, there are indeed certain materials, like polymers, that have the ability to return to previous shapes. But this has nothing to do with awareness or memory. It has to do with environmental stimulation, such as the regulation of their temperatures and/or existent magnetic fields. (If you are a maths genious and wish to delve into this, look up Boltzmann's equation for a detailed understanding of entropy, probability, and correspondence between micro and macro states.)

Yep, physical properties with their interacting physical forces. No thinking, no purpose, no memory. Although "memory" may be applied in the specialist vernacular as a descriptive shortcut and the layman may mistake this for real memory.

Finally, dead and alive never have the same properties. The definition of alive requires certain attributes from an animate object in the universe - attributes which dead inanimate objects do not possess. The working structure of living humans is what is required for them to breathe, move, feed, procreate, think, and have periods of consciousness and regenerating unconsciousness. If this organic system is compromised, then functionality is threatened and the being may die. We can save individuals from coma states but death is the point of no return. It's irreversible because there is serious permanent damage to physical properties required for bodily function and the emergence of consciousness.

I hope this answers your question. 8-)
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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Peter
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Re: Time for a deep discussion.

Postby Peter » 29 Jan 2014 19:50

Nothing to forgive as I did say you will have a deeper understanding of certain aspects of what I posted so all good here.

I'm not sure whether your statement is supposed to be a refutation or a reinforcement of my analogy

I agree that the center of gravity is a concept and not fact and made the point that its just as valid to say that a vacuum is also a force and we really dont know its effects as it is composed of matter and therefore has mass and so will affect or interact in some way with all that is contained within it.

epistemological
Had to look that one up. Yes, and that is the point but not one that answers or avoids but to say that a brain in a jar without senses may still be experiencing but cannot express that experience. My point is as simple as that and I have likened that question to some of my experiences in the void state. I will try to explain that a little more later.

I'd also like to add that, without senses, or consciousness for that matter, no world can be mentally conceived and experienced. In other words, a subjective interpretation of an objective world just isn't possible. So there is no point in asking, "What would a world be like without perception?" Well, if this question needs an answer it is that it isn't like anything. It just wouldn't be.


Our world could not be I agree but say that with a different way or means it could be. I dont know how or in what way but leave the door open on that one as I dont think we are the be all of developed life or possibly the only form.

And the idea that the universe has the sole purpose of creating conscious beings


Dont know where that came from, I tend to think we are a mistake or an oddity of some kind.

? If you are talking about meditative states, then they are not really void states.


I am talking about places within the lucid dream and I can only enter or experience from within the dream so I dont think that qualifies as a meditative state but not sure.

). I'm sorry, but, if you are not using your senses then you are not using and not doing anything at all as regards experience. "Void" equates with non-existence, invalidity, nothingness. A state of nothingness is no valid state of awareness at all. There is nothing to be aware of!


There is no awareness of a body or any of its senses or of a me at all. Feeling is a word I used but in recall it is not correct but I cant get any closer.

What you experienced wasn't void. It was an altered state of consciousness. Like the confusing concept of seeing a smell while tripping on LSD


No that is wrong and yes of course its an altered state, could I be in a lucid dream and not in an altered state?

Feeling is unavoidably tied to experience, it is a physical sensation that you experience.


No it is not a physical feeling and that is the oddity, floating in the darkness and existing but not having anything normal way of referencing so no real way of getting it across to anyone. Just a force maybe, dont know.
From within a lucid I can ask to leave the dream get a feeling of being drawn away, in doing this the dream body I have been using or the construct is dissolved and seems to meld into the substance of the dream itself. All the senses I have been using in a dream are gone and all sense of self is gone. It is not a feeling or any physical impression left of no feeling or expression of me. Something exists in the blackness (normally black but 2 total whiteness) and I am that something and I tend to think that externial senses are totally gone and another way of experiencing is left. I cant express this but will try to gain more of these states and do so at some time.

If you are aware of something in those states, like the bliss that monks and practising Buddhists often describe, then you are merely describing an altered state of consciousness (however subtle it may be) - one, by the way, experienced by a living, conscious person - and the experience itself, having been a conscious one, is remembered for its impact. You were aware of something. You felt something. (Note how this phrase contradicts the oxymoronic "I don't feel" in your post.)


I dont know if they are in what would be a lucid state or not. (Merely describing) again of course I am in an altered state.

experienced by a living, conscious person
The important part is the working brain, not the person and that was the point of this thread. Could a healthy brain in a jar experience, how could it not. But expression of that experience is the hard part. How could we communicate with an alien race if there were no common senses?



My simple thought is that a brain in a jar could experience but could not express that experience.

Sorry for leaving it hanging but any more and it would not be honest as I be a little off mark.
Have you encountered anything like this in you lucid states?

All good here, keep at it
Who are you I asked, the reply "dont be silly, we are your daughers" many years before they were born

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Summerlander
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Re: Time for a deep discussion.

Postby Summerlander » 29 Jan 2014 20:43

You do make valid points centreing around the brain in a vat scenario. I also think we are better off trying to communicate with aliens similar to us and we will probably find similar civilisations in Earth-like planets.

I never experienced anything like what you described in a lucid dream, but I do consider the lucid state to be an altered state of consciousness similar to the waking state. I feel that you tried to describe a naked awareness, something that I have experienced once for a split second via meditation but I think you got there via lucid dreaming.

I understand it feels like the world is gone, thoughts are scarce or non-existent (hence the blissful novelty and enlightenment), you may even experience an epiphany - like something about your true nature has been revealed, and, in a sense, it has: your current identity is only one potential manifest in naked awareness, and this naked awareness is the primordial consciousness, pristine, empty, one of nothingness. Deep within, we are nothing and nothing is home. You went very close to"home" without dying.

However profound the experience was, and I'm sure it got your philosophical juices flowing, it may be a neurological case where what causes consciousness was active but temporarily disconnected from sensorial experience, proprioception, and, largely, memory. Conceptual reality can become a distant world in those states of consciousness. Dissociative comes to mind...

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"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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Peter
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Re: Time for a deep discussion.

Postby Peter » 30 Jan 2014 01:02

I never experienced anything like what you described in a lucid dream, but I do consider the lucid state to be an altered state of consciousness similar to the waking state. I feel that you tried to describe a naked awareness, something that I have experienced once for a split second via meditation but I think you got there via lucid dreaming.


I think that I have had a reasonable amount of these moments and some extended time in that state. This would still only be lots of seconds or minutes at the most. Any attempt to understand and you lose the moment but this is no different that lucid dreaming at first so there is hope to extend the state in time.

yes it could very well be the same as the awareness is full from within the dream and its the mind that is being used not the body. I might be doing it the easy way

I understand it feels like the world is gone, thoughts are scarce or non-existent (hence the blissful novelty and enlightenment), you may even experience an epiphany - like something about your true nature has been revealed, and, in a sense, it has: your current identity is only one potential manifest in naked awareness, and this naked awareness is the primordial consciousness, pristine, empty, one of nothingness. Deep within, we are nothing and nothing is home. You went very close to"home" without dying.


Nice way to put it. It could be where we come from more than where we were as I dont think it is an place that is basic in nature or without its surprises, in a recent dream I entered a portal of shimmering colored dots and had this dissociation while in transit so again plenty to think about

However profound the experience was, and I'm sure it got your philosophical juices flowing, it may be a neurological case where what causes consciousness was active but temporarily disconnected from sensorial experience, proprioception, and, largely, memory. Conceptual reality can become a distant world in those states of consciousness. Dissociative comes to mind...


Again yes but no context. I have no belief system or belief in religion to pin anything to so just explore and record and think about it all.
Is is a major dissociation and I hope a healthy one. The disconnect from normal senses is the most fascinating part. There is experience there and I want to know how It can be experienced and that will give me the what is experiencing answer and also what has been triggered that to allows this to occur.

Thanks for the debate and ideas on this lot, I might have hijacked the thread a little so apologies to everyone but its rare to get constructive feedback on a lot of exeriences and this board is good
Who are you I asked, the reply "dont be silly, we are your daughers" many years before they were born

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Summerlander
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Re: Time for a deep discussion.

Postby Summerlander » 30 Jan 2014 01:50

All input is valuable.

By the way, regarding the Monty Hall problem, what would you guys do? Stick or switch? Give your reason.)

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"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava


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