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3 people discuss a flag in the wind

  1. Dec 4, 2005 #1
    the first one says, "the flag is moving."
    the second one says, "no, the wind is moving, and the flag is inert"
    the third says, "no, they are both moving, the wind moves and also the flag moves."

    a passerby hears their dialogue and says, "mind is moving."

    we can see that all movement is the deception of a mind, when we are in understanding of the nature of a "moving picture"; where the picture is not moving, but there is the appearance of a continuity of motion, via the mind's inability to perceive the frames as being seperate.
    the frames are combined, by the mind, which has succombed to the illusion that the images themselves are moving, due to the rapidity of their appearing to it.

    is all movement a deception, or illusion, imposed by the mind?
    do we perceive movement, because the mind, itself, is moving?

    a better question, perhaps is: if there is not some entity, mind, that is constantly attempting to "make sense of" or "calculate" it's perceptions, will there still be the notion that movement is "real" and "objective"? can there be?

    is our perception of reality an illusion, thusly understood?
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 4, 2005 #2
    Is this not just an example of cognitive bias?
  4. Dec 4, 2005 #3
    how do you mean? bias to what?
  5. Dec 4, 2005 #4
    Well in this case, confirmation bias. Each of the three will have a set idea of what the origin or the motion is and will therefore respond to the stimuli differently, they each wish to confirm their own preconceptions.
  6. Dec 4, 2005 #5
    how can there be a preconception when there is no mind?
    is motion Real? or does a mind make it real? (or seem Real?)
  7. Dec 4, 2005 #6
    Motion is real, things move, but a preconception of motion varies from person to person
  8. Dec 4, 2005 #7
    the assumption here is that "things move", without giving any consideration as to why that is believed, other than, "it seems obvious."

    "it seems obvious" does not equal "True".

    "it seems obvious" when one has not thoroughly explored the question, "why does it seem obvious?"

    philosopher, scientist, priest... all are engaged in the unfolding of Truth.
    one cannot ignore the origination of one's beliefs as irrelevant to Finding the Truth. It is, perhaps, the essential point of examination.

    The search for Truth, built upon a false belief, is the sure way of never finding/Knowing it.

    some clever person once said, "when you assume you make and 'ass' out of 'u' and 'me'".
  9. Dec 4, 2005 #8
    leave nothing to assumption.
  10. Dec 4, 2005 #9
    One must assume some basic truths before moving on. Peano's Axioms in mathematics for example and somebody said something about silly people quote quotations - but I couldn't remember it
  11. Dec 4, 2005 #10
    how can a truth be something that is assumed?
  12. Dec 4, 2005 #11


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    How do you know to leave nothing to assumption?
  13. Dec 4, 2005 #12
    through experience of what can be Known?
  14. Dec 4, 2005 #13


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    How do you know your experiences aren't misleading you?
  15. Dec 4, 2005 #14
    it is the Experience before experience.

    for example, how can you "know" anything without, first, Knowing what "knows"?
  16. Dec 4, 2005 #15


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    sameandnot, how would you propose to differentiate between whether motion exists independently of the mind or is only an illusion?

    Suppose there are two worlds A and B, such that observors in both worlds see motion. Suppose in A the perceived motion corresponds to objective motion, whereas in B the perceived motion is only an invention of the mind. Now suppose we randomly choose an observor P from one of the worlds, A or B, and ask him to tell us which world he belongs to-- the one with real motion (A), or the one without (B). How can P answer this question?
  17. Dec 4, 2005 #16
    this is the primary ignorance, which is the primary assumption.
    all assumption arises from assuming what it is that assumes.
  18. Dec 4, 2005 #17
    first we must see if the mind is a final reality.
    then we may differentiate between "possible worlds"; by knowing who differentiates.
  19. Dec 4, 2005 #18


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    I don't see how this responds to either mine or hypnagogue's question. Also this statement is not really backed up with any arguments, it appears to be an assumption in itself. If you want to reason, you have to start somewhere. You have to make some assumptions. I would agree that its a good idea to once in a while back up and think about the assumptions you make and examine the consequences of rejecting those assumptions, but if you assume nothing, then you really have nothing to do at all in life because you'll never even be able to decide if you exist.
  20. Dec 4, 2005 #19


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    Sorry, I am not understanding you. Please be explicit in defining your terms and presenting your reasoning.
  21. Dec 4, 2005 #20
    how about starting where you are?
    but first, isn't it necessary to find out what you are and where that is?
    we need not assume things when we know the primary area of investigation... that being my self; "what is it that plans to find Truth?"

    "am i what i appear to be?"
    so we see that, were we to "move on" without examining it, our whole subsequent search could be founded in a fundamental mis-understanding. that is all.

    but doesn't that make it very difficult, and is somehow self-defeating? virtually everyone overlooks this inquiry into the self, and, from my experience and observations, it is very difficult to remove a pre-conceived notion. once integrated into a "way", it seems very difficult for the will to free itself and accept an alternate way. their is some value it appears to find, in familiarity, and a comfort in standing in what seems to be known. if there were not assumptions to begin with, there would not be this difficulty; in having to face the fact that the "system of knowledge" that one thought one Knew, was, in fact, deeply flawed.
    so it might prove very valuable to excercise patience in unravelling the Truth. it seems that a wiser choice is to "do nothing" rather than do what is ignorant and potentially harmful, to the self and to others.

    but, as to knowing whether "I" exist... that cannot be doubted. the mere fact that i am posing the question points directly to the fact that, at least, "I" exist. for even if i were being decieved, there must be something that is being deceived, and that thing i refer to as "i".

    The question then is, "as what, do i exist?"; "what do i refer to when i say 'I'?" in this way I come to see what "I" am... because i am looking... *having no doubt that, something referred to as, "I" exists; it follows that, by 'looking'/inquiring, it will be revealed and therefore, Known, sufficiently. Or, perhaps it will be found to be un-knowable. but either way, there will be the enlightenment of the inquiry.

    once i am established in the Knowing of my self or not-knowing of my self, it will be possible to move on to other enquiries, if necessary, without having to "go back" or start over. because i started right the first time.

    (earlier, i was not able to post this message, as my computer battery "ran out", so here it is.)

    first we must see if the mind is a final reality.
    then we may speculate and differentiate between "possible worlds".
    the initial task is always, finding out what "I", the questioner/speculater/enquirer/inquirer/differentiater, is? all the rest depends, solely, on this knowledge.
  22. Dec 4, 2005 #21


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    sameandnot, I'm afraid you still haven't addressed the question I posed in post #15. And what do you mean by "final reality"?
  23. Dec 5, 2005 #22
    what would be the point in asking P? my question is: why not ask yourself? what makes P any more capable of knowing than you?

    so, what is meant by "final reality" is, then, the question that is begging to be answered:

    if "I" am this mind, (which is the same as asking: "if mind is the basis of my being...") then "beyond mind", i cease to exist. through my non-existence, if follows that the physical world as well as my perception of it, too, ceases to exist and the question of motion becomes naught.

    therefore, i see that my perception of the physical world depends on my being a mind and having my identification with it.

    If i am not this mind, then it follows that "the world" is of a quite different nature than my mind perceives it to be. Reality might even be the antithesis of what my mind perceives it to be. if i perceive motion, and am, at the same time, identified with mind, there is really no motion ("beyond mind" and in Reality). when i perceive objects with the mind, there are really no such distinctions, in Reality, to be made. the perceptions of the mind are then to be rightfully understood as illusory and misleading. the same way that a sequence of still-lifes, when flashed before the eyes, misleads the mind into believing that the picture is moving, the mind misconceives Reality and perceives it to be something that it's Really not.

    if mind is not the "final reality" (or ground of my Being, or ground of Reality), it turns out that it is utterly indisposed to ever Knowing the Reality, which it perceives and thereby conceals.

    does this answer the question, hypnagogue? have the words been understandable? it is always so hard to communicate such abstract notions, via words, when what is necessary is the direct experience of that which the words attempt to point to.

    of course, proof is of the mind, so therefore i say, "look for your Self." that is: see what the self is. if it is not the mind, then the reality perceived by the mind is not touching the Reality, of which the mind is dependent upon and all theories expounded by the identification with a mind are deemed false, or rather, "half-truths" if you will. proof is a subjective Knowing, and may never be truly or fully communicable through the mind or its functions. nonetheless, if we can Know that which we are, we will be infinitely more disposed to know the Truth of Reality... if we haven't discovered it in that search, already.
  24. Dec 5, 2005 #23


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    The hypothetical situation I posed was intended as a way of asking the question more concretely: by what means could we come to say that objective motion is, or is not, an illusion? The answer should not change if we ask it of some hypothetical person P in some hypothetical world, or of you or me.

    This is not terribly helpful, as any attempt to distinguish between "mind" and "self" immediately implies non-standard usages of at least one of the terms. Let's start with "mind," as I think that will be the easier and more useful one to tackle. What do you mean by "mind"?
  25. Dec 5, 2005 #24
    mind is the thought; the system of beliefs, the memories, the prejudice, the personality, the differentiator between me and not me, the perceptions of the senses, the storehouse of knowledge, time.

    mind is the ego. it is the idea of what is.

    the idea of what one is, is not necessary to be what you are. (it actually limits it)
    the thought about perceptions are not necessary to perceive what is. (it limits "what is" and confines it to being an interpretation; makes it static, though it is infinitely dynamic.)

    self uses a mind and a body, so it cannot be said to be limited by them. the body/mind is not the self. so, in identification with a body/mind, the self has not been seen to be what it is. rather, it's been assumed to be something, out of apparentness or the unwillingness to look.

    there is the thing that has a mind.

    i say i am my memories because i am identified with the ego/mind.
    the sense of individuality. but this is a false identification. the mind depends on the self's existence. yes?
  26. Dec 5, 2005 #25
    this is no suggestion to avoid the reality of the world and the science that it calls upon for maintaining it presently. (unless, only until "the person that is in the world" is found out). it is merely a call to see what Reality is, for me, the one who is "in it". science is a tool, not for Knowing Truth, but for knowing and using the world of objects. it tells us what the world is. science can not tell one what one is, for the reason that science is self-relfective. (to say that something is something does not work to PROVE anything.) ex.: "this statement is false." if it is true then it is not false, if it is false then it is true. see?


    "everything is relative." if it is true, then it is an absolute and not everything can be said to be relative.

    so, we see that a final, absolute explanation of Reality or the Truth, is not possible in the context of word-usage. perhaps it would take an infinite # of words to define Truth, so that it is not self-contradictory, but, of course, that is impossible.

    zeno's paradox, though dismissed as irrelevant, actually has a nugget of truth in it. such that, no matter how much we learn about and define the world that we receive via the senses, we can never say that we have fully "crossed the stadium". we have never traversed the whole explanse of "knowability". of course, science is very clever and useful, but if what we are concerned with is Truth, rather than ammassing technologies, engineering feats and storehouses of explanation and definition, then we see that we must travel another path.

    this is not stagnation but intense, determined inquiry into the nature of the self. "who it is" that asks the questions and seeks answers. what results from this Knowing, is the actualization of Being and the "going beyond" all that is imaginary.

    many people are constantly looking forward to something. when that something arrives, we put our gaze upon the next something. or maybe we have a whole bunch of somethings imagined at once and will not rest until it is all subject to our experiencing. therefore our life is lived in an imaginary future; one which we long or desire for very much, to bring about. living for the future, and all the while remaining completely ignorant as to what we Really are, which is ever-present.
    the imaginings of the mind are exactly that, imaginary. some aspects of the dream may manifest in reality, but the life lived is always an imaginary one. it never touches the reality of what one is, ever-presently. we are, therfore, moved by our minds. our minds are the engines that propel us constantly towards the future that it has imagined itself to want. but, you know, without the mind's movement we are present to see what is.

    this is an example of how the mind is functioning and may be seperated from the self.

    a wise teacher of mine once taught me:
    if mind moves itself, unmoving mind is self.

    i don't claim to Know, but i am certain of knowing that much.

    we have two modes of being, fundamentally:
    -that one, where the mind is in control, and
    -that one in which the self is in control; using the mind, rightfully, as a tool of its existence, rather than the substance of existence.

    we will always need to use our minds as tool, but presently, due to our lack of inquiry and insight into the self, the mind is using us as a tool.

    once we Know ourselves, we can harmoniously "move on" to what needs our attention... without polluting the "outside" from the "pollution" that is inside; namely, mind.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2005
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