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An Empirical Inductive Method . . . Applied to a Panpsychism Model of Consciousness

  1. Jun 13, 2004 #1

    Les Sleeth

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    Metaphysics in philosophy has always had a big problem: evidence. The approach in the past was to assume facts a priori, and then for discussions to proceed rationalistically. Most thinkers now understand that with logic alone we discover little about the metaphysical nature of reality.

    Over a hundred years ago Charles Peirce recognized the rationalistic problem that plagues non-empirical philosophy, and offered his concept of pragmatism to help. Here I’d like to suggest another possible aid, specifically for metaphysics, which I’ll term empirical induction. I propose three steps for empirical induction:

    Step 1. State the premises and the evidence which supports the premises. No premises are allowed in empirical induction which are not backed up by experience (observed, felt, etc.); but because of the nature of metaphysics, evidence is allowed to be supported by any kind of experience (i.e., not only sense experience). However, experience which has a number reasonable alternative explanations weaken the strength of the evidence. For example, reports of seeing the Virgin Mary might very well be hallucinations, hysteria, a dream, an exaggeration, a lie, etc.

    Step 2. Formulate an inductive model. Relying on the experience-supported premises, construct an inductive model of the metaphysical principle(s) or situation about which one is hypothesizing. An induction model is a “whole” that is inferred from a limited number of parts. For example, in the observable world archaeologists have unearthed Europe’s ancient tools, weapons, surviving remnants of villages, grains preserved from scorching, pottery, domestic animal remains, religious relics and monuments, art, and so on. From these “parts” prehistorians have attempted to infer what European Neolithic culture—the “whole”—was like. Neolithic culture as a whole is invisible to researchers because it no longer exists, so the only way they have of gaining insight into it is to inductively reconstruct from surviving artifacts a concept of Neolithic life.

    Step 3. Test the inductive model’s explanatory strength, which is how well it explains, or yields sound theories for, known aspects of reality. A model of God, for instance, which doesn’t account for or contradicts how aspects of our universe have been observed to function would be considered a poor model in empirical induction; a model of God which helps explain quantum factors, universal forces, relativity, life, and consciousness would be considered an excellent model in empirical induction (such a model might contribute more to why than how things appear and/or work as they do).

    To demonstrate the empirical inductive method I’ll attempt a panpsychism model of consciousness. Before starting, let me reassure those of the physicalist persuasion that this is just a reasoning work out. Don’t be so worried about me actually “believing” what I am about to theorize is possible that we can’t have fun with this exercise in inductive thinking. Also, I want to acknowledge that a panpsychism model, in my opinion, doesn’t work without an explanation of how that consciousness came to exist. There isn’t enough room here to model that, which means we are starting not at the beginning, but with panpsychic consciousness already in place.

    Preface to the Panpsychism Model

    Panpsychism is the theory that consciousness exists independently of physical processes, possibly as a universal principle. There are a number of variations, and here I will add my own twist to it (for more on panpsychism see:http://websyte.com/alan/panpsych.htm

    Panpsychism is a good candidate for empirical induction. Besides being a metaphysical theory, it has become a contemporary notion (for some anyway) in consciousness studies. In fact, this thread is partially a response to the call by non-physicalists for a new consciousness science they say is necessary because of the so-called “hard problem” of consciousness. Yet for such researchers the hard problem of consciousness itself has a hard problem, and that is how to add an empirical aspect (i.e., experiential confirmation of hypotheses) to a non-physical science. If consciousness is non-physical, yet all we have for providing empirical information is the physical senses, then it seems there can never be a science of any non-physical aspect of consciousness.

    A possible solution would be if consciousness could experience itself and thereby circumvent the physical senses. Obviously we experience the operations of consciousness, so what I mean is if consciousness could find a way to experience its essential nature. And guess what? There is a well developed science of that.

    An Ancient Science of Consciousness.
    It was begun long ago, during a period in first millennium B.C. India when thousands of men took to the forests and roads to live a hermit’s life and explore the inner self. This grand experiment was a convergence of inner savants that parallels the brilliant concurrence of physicists in the first half of the twentieth century exploring quantum and universal laws. Similar too was the ascetics’ decidedly unsentimental investigative approach (yogic), with its emphasis on the development and application of inner technologies.

    There are extensive variations and misrepresentations of what’s called “meditation.” People do many things onto which they slap that label, but what the experts in the above paragraph developed is something very specific: union (although they called it samadhi, which means union). To understand what union is, consider the following analogy:

    Imagine a pickup truck, whose bed is waterproof, filled with water and speeding along on an old, bumpy country road. The water in the truck is in a constant state of movement, vibrating, sloshing about, bouncing up into the air, etc. so that when the driver observes it, all he sees is the moving-ness of the water surface. If that’s the only way he’d ever perceived water (a silly concept of course), then he might be surprised to see how that water exists when he brings his truck to a stop. What he would observe is that all the water formerly in movement, and appearing distinct from its base pool, now reunites with its source. In that condition, all the vibration and jets of water that had been flying up in the air merged to become one thing.

    That analogy is similar to union, where the actions of the mind are allowed to return to a “foundation” out of which they arose in the first place. To achieve the stillness of union, it isn’t that one actually stops, calms or empties anything (that would be the mind trying to still itself, an impossibility); but rather, one learns how to recognize the “feel” of the foundation, and feels that enough to where it starts to predominate as an influence in consciousness (I mean during practice). When one feels it start to prevail, one can then practice how to “let go” to it (a skill that normally takes a lot of practice), and when successful one will be absorbed back into that foundation (usually for anywhere from a few seconds up to a few minutes). With enough time spent in that “ground state” one eventually acquires a strong sense of what the basis of consciousness is, which is utterly impossible to see while one’s “pool” is stirred up by mentality, conditioning, strong sense stimulation, emotions . . .

    The empirical inductive method is applied in the next three posts, with each post dedicated one of the three steps of the inductive method.

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  3. Jun 13, 2004 #2

    Les Sleeth

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    Step I. Empirical Induction Applied

    STEP 1: State the premises, and the evidence which supports the premises, for a consciousness model.

    I will rely on my own experiences with and studies of union to help establish the model’s premises. My qualifications for my role in this report are that I’ve practiced union at least an hour a day for over thirty years (something like 11,000 hours of work developing a single skill), and I’ve studied the history of past adepts with an analytical eye just as long. By “analytical eye” I mean looking for how consciousness works and how it’s connected to the physicalness of the body. Here is what I can personally report I’ve experienced regarding the nature of consciousness (which has also been reported by others who’ve experienced union), and which therefore might be relevant to a panpsychic consciousness model:

    The basis of consciousness appears to be vibrant illumination
    In union, one can see consciousness is illumination (seen inside one’s consciousness, so obviously not with the eyes). I used the word “illumination” instead of “light” because people (especially at PF) might think of photons. But the illumination of consciousness is not “particlized,” it is smooth, homogeneous. In terms of its vibrancy, I don’t mean vibrating, but rather super-finely energetic. It isn’t so much seen as it is heard (as before, not with the ears, but rather one listens with consciousness itself).

    The periphery of the illumination, which is generally spherical, seems to be in a condition of counterbalanced polarity.
    This counterbalanced condition appears to differentiate the illumination on its periphery into two modes: a mode that accentuates sensitivity, and internal to that, a mode which accentuates concentration.

    The illumination at the periphery very subtly pulsates overall.
    This is a very gentle convergent-divergent “sway” the pool of illumination is subject to. Over time, one becomes convinced this subtle throb is joined to one’s autonomic system because it appears to move one’s breath. My opinion is that the sway is due to a shift in prevalence between the modes of the illumination’s peripheral counterbalanced polarity.

    The illumination’s center remains in a condition of homogeneous illumination which I refer to as the core.
    In contrast with the fringe’s polar differentiation is the center, which remains unaffected by peripheral operations.


    (There are 6 diagrams total. Because of size limitations for posts, some might have to be downloaded and enlarged to read the words.)

    The diagram represents non-physical illumination present as consciousness in the human brain. Keeping in mind the diagram is a two dimensional representation of a three dimensional shape, it represents a spherical arrangement of illumination I’ll term an entity. The illumination’s orientation at the outermost area of the entity is facing away from the center, which, along with its somewhat refined constitution, makes it receptive to stimulation; that’s why I’ve labeled it “sensitivity.” That outer orientation is counterbalanced by an internally-oriented “concentration” of illumination; although it sacrifices the sensitivity of refinement, the amassing from concentration gives the advantage of power. The internal tension created by this polarity is moderated by a “pulse” which seems to be due to the shift in prevalence between concentration and sensitivity modes. Finally, cloistered in the center is illumination which is not density-differentiated for specialization of sensitivity and concentration, and so remains in its natural homogeneous condition.

    Panpsychism Indications from Union Experience “Impressions”
    1. In the experience of union, there is a strong impression that one’s personal illumination is also fully part of a huge continuum of illumination.
    2. A secondary impression in union is that this illumination continuum feels conscious in a very “general” way.
    3. A final impression to list is monistic in that everything which exists feels like it’s a form of that illumination, though the non-living physical stuff doesn’t seem individually conscious.


    by Les Sleeth
    Copyright 2004

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  4. Jun 13, 2004 #3

    Les Sleeth

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    Step II. Empirical Induction Applied

    STEP 2: Formulate an inductive panpsychic consciousness model

    To construct our inductive model, let’s start with the “panpsychic” part and then work down to the details of human consciousness.

    From the impression there is a large illumination continuum, we might theorize that a point on the illumination continuum is able to link to a central nervous system, and then emerge through it on the other end; accordingly, we might think of nervous systems as emergent technology and the effort to emerge as emergent striving.


    A nervous system would be seen as individuating a point of illumination within the “generalized” illumination of the continuum. In humans, the brain is seen as helping the illumination organize for mental functioning. Relying on the monistic impression, we’d say the reason the physical body and pure illumination can interact is because the physical body is actually a “form” illumination itself (i.e., there is no real dualism); the electrochemical conductivity of the brain’s neurons serve as a sort of compartmentalized “sponge” which holds consciousness in place overall as a single body.

    Now let’s use the above concepts to model consciousness structure and fundamental consciousness processes. One can observe three main processes that establish consciousness; these aspects are fully interdependent. The first I’ll call base sensitivity (“base” distinguishes it from the sensitivity “mode” described earlier). By “base sensitivity” I mean the neutral, underlying ability of consciousness to detect. I liken this “base” sensitivity to how any mechanical sensing device is sensitive, such as a motion detector. Base sensitivity is that aspect of consciousness which can detect, sense, feel. All three areas defined in the structure model of consciousness – sensitivity, concentration, and core -- possess base sensitivity, but in differing degrees (the “sensitivity mode” is where it’s obviously most accentuated).

    With the second main process — I call it retention — things start to get complicated (like base sensitivity, all three areas of consciousness are subject to retention). We not only detect things with consciousness, we retain a record of the detection; if you think about it, without retention what we sense would immediately pass, and we could never learn, develop, evolve. Even a simple sense impression, such as seeing a blue dot on a white wall, is retained as an after-impression for awhile subsequent to looking at it. But many other events we sense-feel are retained a lot longer, some permanently. I’ve broken down retention into three degrees, each one corresponding an area of the structure model, and each penetrating consciousness more deeply:

    1) Sensitivity Retention. This retention is associated with the sensitivity mode. We sense things all day long, both from outside ourselves and inside. Much of what we sense we ignore or let quickly pass without paying much attention to it. Because we give it minimal attention, it is not strongly “retained.” However, the accumulation of this information over time might account for intuition.
    2) Embedded Retention. This retention is associated with the concentration mode. That which we’ve felt/sensed and paid attention to, whether to purposely learn and remember or from repetition (such a driving the same route to work everyday), becomes entrenched in consciousness as memory. Unless reinforced, this retention will fade over time.
    3) Integration This retention is associated with the core. This is the most permanent retention where related information is absorbed into consciousness and seems to “blend” in with our general awareness. This generalizing process is the basis of knowing.


    Integration allows the third main aspect (after base sensitivity and retention), which I simply call knowing; that is, I am representing knowing as the result of “integrated” experiences. For this abbreviated explanation of why knowing is basic to consciousness, first we must distinguish between several types. Again, I’ve identified three degrees of knowing, all in the core of consciousness, but each more deeply (and permanently) integrated:

    a. Action-engendered – information relating to an action such as riding a bicycle blends when we suddenly “feel” how to do it
    b. Mentality-engendered – information relating to a subject blends and suddenly we “understand”
    c. Being-engendered – information that seems universal to all central nervous system life blends and we “realize” our existence more deeply.


    That knowing which is “being-engendered” is hardest to explain, and it is also what I am suggesting is most present in consciousness at birth. What I mean by it is certain characteristics which are so close to our foundational nature, that when we experience them they tend to “blend” more quickly and deeper (love for example, which might be interpreted as the experience of the underlying unity of all consciousness). I will try to further justify applying the term “knowing” to integrated experience in the next section.


    by Les Sleeth
    Copyright 2004

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  5. Jun 13, 2004 #4

    Les Sleeth

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    Step III. Empirical Induction Applied

    STEP 3: Test the inductive model’s explanatory strength, which is how well it explains, or yields sound theories for, known aspects of reality.

    Some of testing for explanatory strength was done in the last post while interfacing the illuminative entity to the brain. We might elaborate further on the overall action of experience with another diagram:


    The diagram demonstrates sense perception, where an “energy event” is any occurrence in reality that results in information, and which we are sensitive enough to detect. The idea is that the accentuated base sensitivity of consciousness’s sensitivity mode, and made present through the physical senses, is struck by an energy event. The sensitivity mode responds with an energy event analog, which is “drawn” inward by the concentration mode if consciousness concentrates on the event. There it become embedded as a memory. The core, whose nature is to know, therefore “knows” consciousness has felt something. With sufficient related information, the core may absorb it as a conscious singularity, or what we call an understanding. Because the core always remains “one,” it can only “know” in the singular, so everything that reaches it is generalized. This generalized knowing, I am saying, is the subjectivity aspect of consciousness.

    When a living entity dies, we’d expect the consciousness to return to the general panpsychic continuum. We might expect that whatever was most integrated while it was a living entity would return with it, and so in that way the general continuum grows in general knowledge. Then when some “point” is drawn into biology and a nervous system, we’d also expect that point to already possess a general level of knowing.

    Let’s depart from the specifics of knowing for a second to consider how the panpsychism model provides possible metaphysical help to the theory of evolution. Also, in providing this help, it better explains why I want to make knowing central to any incipient consciousness.

    Because outside of living systems, physical process (which were never part of a living system) do not self-organize “progressively” beyond a few steps, we might hypothesize that it is the panpsychic association with matter that causes it to behave evolutively (i.e., progressively self-organize). If so, then the panpsychic dimension is a universal evolutive force.

    Earlier consciousness was allied with the concept of emergent striving, which was presented as the general panpsychic continuum striving to emerge in biology. So the reason panpsychic consciousness has had a progressive organizing effect on matter (i.e., in biology) is because it is trying to evolve an emergent vehicle; that is, panpsychic consciousness is using biology as emergent technology, organizing it in such a way that allows it to continuously improve (i.e., evolve) the quality of emergence. This hypothesis is supported by the fact that the history of progress of evolution is a history of the sophistication of the central nervous system (i.e., where emergence occurs).

    Also consistent with the idea of a “progressively organizing” character present in life is how when a living form dies, its systemic organization collapses like a house of cards. It goes fast, really fast, yet its chemistry and chemical potentials are still present. One moment it is alive, and all its chemistry is operating cooperatively to sustain possibly the most sophisticated piece of machinery in the universe, and the next moment it is just a bunch of substances, all going their own way. Why does “death” cause it to suddenly fall so much faster into disorder? What it appears likes is, at that moment of death some integrating influence is lost. What I therefore infer from life’s unique aggregating and emergent behavior is that evolutiveness imparts integrating encouragement to developing life forms that operates by organizing toward higher levels of adaptive functionality, whose purpose is to allow evermore refined emergence.

    One might surmise the first instance of biological emergence began when the proper conditions existed here on planet Earth, and the force of evolutiveness four and half billion years ago could begin its organizing ways using Earth’s chemistry to pull together a life form. Evolutiveness marshaled rich resources building system on top of system, each dedicated at first to the overall purpose of sustaining and progressing organization that could thrive in the harsh conditions of Earth. As it developed, the living organization became an organism, and new organisms branched off to evolve in unique ways.

    As the planet became more supportive, eventually the evolutive force gave priority to paths with the most emergent promise, and these became the lead evolutive structures; but left behind were evolutive effects still alive in all surviving species. The non-selected forms continued to physically evolve in the sense that they could adapt to environmental conditions, but since they were no longer the vanguard of the evolutive thrust, such peripheral evolution was not where one might find continuing consciousness evolution. The evolutive force continued to push, leaping up through species after species, ever seeking the highest possible expression of itself (“seeking” in the opposite sense of how water “seeks” the lowest point) until after billions of years of evolutive momentum, the modern human came about.

    It should be plain that in this model, after survivability is established, the drive toward emergence is the most powerful force of evolutiveness, and that the human form was eventually singled out as the lead evolutive structure to surpass all other life in the sophistication of its emergence. Consciousness is emerged evolutiveness.

    At last we are back to knowing because if the panpsychic continuum is supplying consciousness to life forms, then we might predict there are areas within it which are more allied with Earthly life than other parts of the universe, and areas of that aspect which are more evolved than other areas. That is, there could be a dog area, an amoeba area, a bandicoot area, of course a human area, etc. When born into biology, each point would be in possession of the general knowledge of its area. That would account for the apparent different levels of consciousness refinement among species.

    To explain “refinement” one might compare the ability to smell between a dog and a human. A dog can smell hundreds of time more powerfully than a human, but a dog will also eat feces. The human’s ability to appreciate delicacy in taste and smell shows a refinement that is independent of the power of the senses. Humans also seem born with a higher capacity for learning, love and joy than dogs. How do we know how to learn or laugh or love? I say, there is a refinement in human consciousness with which we are born which I attribute to what we, as consciousness, already know when we are born.

    I’ll close this inductive reasoning exercise by attempting a bit of explanatory effort with physics. There is some evidence for the monistic proposition that when form-less illumination is compressed, it “particalizes” and can become matter (which would make it the originating substance and potentiality of all physical forms). The discovery of cosmic background radiation in 1964 has since led to the conclusion it is left over from the earliest moments of the universe. After billions of years this radiation has not lost its nature as light; it has, however, lost energy and oscillatory enthusiasm because as the universe expands, it “stretches” the wavelength of that cosmic background radiation and slows down its oscillation rate. Is it stretching back to formlessness?

    Another interesting tidbit is that the proportion of light to nuclear particles is hugely in favor of light, and growing more so every moment. Physicist Steven Weinberg estimated the comparative densities to be, “. . . depending on the actual value of the particle density . . . between 100 million and 20,000 million photons for every nuclear particle in the universe today.” Two more tasty facts are that by colliding powerful light beams, matter has been created (as particle-antiparticle pairs); and going in the opposite direction, the disintegration that results from an electron-positron encounter yields photons.

    We might imagine how compressed illumination becomes an atom. If enough illumination were compressed, we would expect its vibrancy to be accentuated and so become “vibration.” More compression we might expect the vibration to differentiate into phases: a converged phase, and a diverged phase, which is exactly what an atom looks like with its nucleus surrounded by the electron cloud (atoms are certainly polarized little oscillators aren’t they?). What does an atom emit in decay? Why light and energy. Light would be accounted for by the monistic illumination theory, and energy would be explained as the force of decompression. After all, what is energy but movement power.


    Well, I hope you all enjoyed this little demonstration of inductive reasoning. All constructive comments are welcome and appreciated. :smile:

    by Les Sleeth
    Copyright 2004

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  6. Jun 14, 2004 #5
    Hello Sleeth,
    Here is a link to a paper on Quantum, consciousness and panpsychism: a solution to the hard problem. The latter part of the paper has some interesting experiments, to obtain through experience, objective data.
    Enter four 0000 before 3489 and the link should work.

    Your EMPIRICAL INDUCTIVE METHOD is interesting. How would you go about obtaining the evidence for union, for second persons knowledge? How would you defend against Step 1. State the premises and the evidence which supports the premises. ? Union is not like love that most people have. experienced.
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  7. Jun 14, 2004 #6

    Les Sleeth

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    Thanks for the link, for some reason my computer won't open it.

    I know the post is long and makes quite a few points, but part of what I suggested as qualifying for empirical evidence is inner experience, which cannot be made objective. If you were to undertake studying the history of union, you would see there are reports about that experience spanning nearly 3000 years. That is "empirical" evidence because it is supported by experience.

    I also suggested that any inner experience which can be explained in other reasonable ways (such as visions of the Virgin Mary) weakens the evidence. But the practice of union has always been accompanied by very specific circumstances and practices, and those experiencing union report very similar things, even though many of the reports are separated by long distances and time, as well as differing cultural settings.

    If someone is able to achieve union, but if it is unavailable to objective scrutiny, then should we treat it as irrelevant? Many do, especially those in science, because they've already decided that the only experience worthy of trust is that which the senses provide, and that which others can externally observe.

    I am simply saying that there is a history of people who've claimed to have directly experienced the nature of their own consciousness, and that the best of these practitioners have been just as devoted to realizing that experience, as the best scientists have been to realizing perfection in their epistomological approach. It doesn't make sense to insist that the standards for an inner proof be the same as that of an external proof.

    As far as the uncommonness of union experience, you are correct. But I wonder if one is justified in saying that if union is the experience of the essential self, then maybe it is something humanity might want to be more interested in. It seems a sort of ignorance to be something (consciousness), but not know from first-hand experience what that being actually is.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2004
  8. Jun 14, 2004 #7
    I will try and get it to you when I get home from work tonight by private e-mail. I think its important that you read it. Then I will comment.
  9. Jun 14, 2004 #8


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    You're getting paranoid, my man. Damn, you make some good threads, though. What ever happened to the abiogenesis thread you promised? Anyway, I'll read this in more detail later. I'm very impressed, though.
  10. Jun 14, 2004 #9
    Hey les, goodwork and admirable training.

    Yes, this model of consciousness is becoming more pervasive. Such is the conclusion. Human or human like intelligence and consciousness may be the creative component and organising princaple of an eternal universe.

    We find this in Buddhism with the compassion of an infinite number of Bodhisattvas, but we also find it coming up more now in the humanist studies of the 20th and 21 centuries. Even Bucky Fuller stumbled upon this concept inhis objective omnidirectional solutions.

    This 'sensing and comprehending' duality of our nature, thinking and feeling, 1 and 2, Quantum and Universal, or, even more poetic, spirit and soul, perhaps is a natural synergy that humanity is just beginning to acknowledge and apply, understand. When we discover this natural process internally, it is often natural that we discover this process externally. Yet do do this, we also must find the synthesis, the 'both' or that which is both thinking and feeling, true or false, objective and subjective. Indeed a mystery, yet we ourselves find that we too are embodiments of this mystery, since we are the synthesis of both senseing and comprehending.
  11. Jun 14, 2004 #10

    Les Sleeth

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    Hey, it's not paranoia when everyone is out to get you. :surprise:

    I love the abiogenesis topic, but because it was a regular theme of mine (at the old PF), I've felt like first doing new things that have been on my list for awhile (plus I worry about boring members here with another abiogenesis thread). I will get to it.

    I look forward to your comments.
  12. Jun 14, 2004 #11

    The world is full of cranks. If we were to take every single claim seriously, we'd be lost in a sea of madness where absolutely nothing makes any sense. There are yogis and their unions, fundamentalists and their "born again" experiences, people who claim to have died and personally met Jesus Christ, alien abductees, people walking outside their bodies and having a chat with John Lennon... where does one put a stop to the madness? The answer is clear: in that which is true to each and every one of us; the rest remains a mystery at best, but more often than not it's just delusion.

    There is a history of people who've claimed any sort of lunacy one can think about, and quite a few things one would never think about.

    You are absolutely right there. Given our ability to engage in fantasy and accept as real any sort of delusion, the standards for "inner proof" must be a lot higher than those for "external proofs".

    (I'm "quoting" there because "inner proof" is nonsense; what you refer to as "external proof" is the only kind of proof there is)

    It is quite ironic how people who see themselves as more "spiritual" tend to slide into self-righteousness. The sentence "what being is" is total nonsense; one could just as well talk about "where location is located", "the velocity of speed", "the redness of red", or any other nonsense.

    That people seriously pursue an answer to a meaningless question is amusing. That they believe they actually found the answer is bewildering. That they proceed to claim the rest of us, who clearly see the folly in such endeavours, are missing anything important in our lives, that is simply annoying.
  13. Jun 14, 2004 #12

    Les Sleeth

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    So I can better resist being overwhelmed by the intense, driving, passionate need to express deeply caustic sarcasm, why not let's agree. I won't talk to you, and please don't talk to me (or about me).
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2004
  14. Jun 14, 2004 #13

    Les Sleeth

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    Thanks MR.

    Part of what I wanted to suggest in this thread is that the internal aspect of us has different rules for knowing it, as well as for exploring what it might reveal to us. What external and internal have in common is our ability to experience each; different is that while what we experience outside of us others usually can too, some of what we are able to experience inside us is unavailable to others. At least one person here at PF believes if others can't experience what is inside me, then it must be irrelevant. But about some inner things, I am not even willing to allow it to be tested by others. That's because it is MY exporation, my determination, my acceptance that matters, and no one else's. Having said that, I also think that inner experience might have potential as being externally trustworthy (which is the reason for proposing an "empirical induction" concept) if we could develop some sort of standards by which to evaluate it.

    I would add that I think a lot of otherwise really smart people are conditioned by the epistomological standards of the West. These standards aren't that of the "truth," but instead are ethnocentrically weighted and consequently predisposed to value physicalist discovery. So many times I've been challenged here at PF by someone who had assumed the only standards for proof are those associated with externalism. Have they objectively and thoroughly investigated any other possibility? Are they still in possession of an unbiased view?
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2004
  15. Jun 14, 2004 #14
    I agree that it is a different animal altogether, the subjective realms, but do you suggest that one set of rules or princaples of navigating it are universal?

    The distinction between the external and the internal are almost a perfect reverse. the external does not lie, if you did not know the hole was there, that does not mean it wont hurt when you fall in. Laws of physics govern there.

    Now, you suggest the internal world is different, and I agree, but i also suggest that this is the same thing as the quantum realm, or the realm that seems to throw everything we know out the window. And as difficult time as we have understanding that realm, and equally and certainly not less with our own internal realm. So even inside of universe, which is 'universal', pardon sounding so cheeky, and the quantuam realm, which is localised everywhere. the qauntum realm sounds mysteriously human to me, and how could it not be so? All we learn about it seems to only reflect the human being studying it. How could that be any different in the internal realms?

    Well, in a way, he does have a valid point. I mean, it sure is relevant to you, yes, but how can we ever know or experiance for certainty what you experiance for certainty? Even if there is an empircal system, which you suggest, that can possibly habit or repeat such an experiance, there is still no way ever to verify that with any objectivity. We find ourselves back at square one in the whole dance. It becomes VERY relevant when we realise that all of us perform internally and how that affects our objective reality in whole.

    Or perhaps I have missed your point a bit too. I am still studying your model, and through this discourse, hope to understand it more.

    i may challenge you a bit too, for objectivity's sake, please do it back a bit with me too, I do think you are on to something.

    Consciousness = Quantum, everywhere the center. Each indiviudal is a doorway in, wormholes are in the head. If the physical, e=mc2 has no bearing in the quantum world, and it is rendered moot. Choas. Where are we ever closer to choas all of us collectivly other than in the private world of our own feelings?

    would not that then be true for all else, and wouldnt that cripple your model?

    could you define a bit 'externally trustworthy'? You mean with the same certainty as 2+2=4, but repeated in other internal realms, or do you mean having a bearing in objective reality?

    also, I dont know how familiar you are with psychedelic research, Grof, Hoffman, Leary and the gang, but they were going in these realms too. I mean, that is the stir that LSD caused, you could take an external object and put it in your mouth and have an internal explosion, and it worked on everyone.

    It seems to me then that all reality is composed of both externalism and internalism, both, all the time, whether we like it or not.

    Some of the logic crowd cant let go of aristolian points of view, they confuse the equation with the territory.

    Logic can not understand humor, nor poetry, nor feeling. And those things make up approximatly at least half ;-) of our existance. and they are VERY relevant. why, they are human! without your uniqueness, we would all be like cacti! So unless we can create hyper expansive models that address all aspects of human existance and relevance in universe, we find ourselves faced with the same puzzles as the quantum physicists.

  16. Jun 15, 2004 #15
    I was not talking to you, I was offering some ideas on a public forum. When I wish to talk to you, I will send you a private message. And I take your request for me not to talk about you as an attempt at censorship; I believe you are spreading lies and I see no moral reason not to stand in your way whenever it fancies me.

    Do you really believe people can be so naive as to do that? Is it really possible that someone may be silly enough to oversee the fundamental difference between a symbol and the thing it symbolizes?

    I don't know if I'm a logical person, and I certainly have no idea if my points of view are aristotelian, but I do marvel at the inconsistent perspective of those who proud themselves of not being constrained by reason. For, having claimed that there is more to experience than words can describe, they nonetheless proceed to try and describe the very thing they have clearly state as undescribable. One can only laugh at the foolishness.
  17. Jun 15, 2004 #16
    I think this thread is incredibly interesting and fun to think about. I appreciate Les taking the time to draft all that. I see some good counterpoints coming up and anticipate an interesting discussion.

    I'd like to make a general request to anyone reading that if you aren't going to show some initial respect for the discussion and it's participants, as one would expect in a philosophy forum, then please don't be disruptive and continue to post. Thanks.
  18. Jun 15, 2004 #17

    Les Sleeth

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    I would agree that if I am lying, in a public forum, it is a noble thing to expose that. To lie is to purposely deceive, to deliberately mistate facts, to intentionally mislead. One might even include being manipulative for selfish aims. The public deserves the truth don't they?

    But doesn't the public deserve objective opinions too, and that such a serious accusation as lying to the public be supported by facts? Unless you want to adopt McCarthian tactics, don't you think should prove me a liar? Instead, you've just slandered me, in a public forum, without feeling the slightest need to make your case. What about the morality of that?

    I know I've not lied, so I suspect that to you a "lie" is to disagree with you, or to find your ways of debating as distasteful as I do. You know, there are dozens of other threads in which you might participate.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2004
  19. Jun 15, 2004 #18

    Les Sleeth

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    Thank you Fliption, I am eagarly looking forward to your feedback. For me too this is a subject of great interest. I am hoping for help refining my ideas about an inductive method, as well as any input on the concepts about how consciousness and biology interface.
  20. Jun 15, 2004 #19

    Les Sleeth

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    You know, I forgot that in the last segment of the "empirical induction method" (Step 3) are some points which are relevant to abiogenesis.
  21. Jun 15, 2004 #20
    i believe it was unnecessary to lable these ideas as lunacy. are you affraid that he may have a workable idea that will diminish your solid view of reality??

    why not experiment and report your findings. if you think that the physical world is all there is then say so and explain yourself. many of us disagree. many of us have experienced a greater (broader) reality. it is a nice place, why not visit??

    name calling and shouts of censorship are juvenile. let's have an adult examination of the idea or be silent.

    olde drunk
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