Define Physical

  • Thread starter Les Sleeth
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  • #151
Les Sleeth
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StatusX said:
However, you claim you are going above and beyond normal, materially correlated experience. Allow me to try to roughly explain how I interpret your description of the union, and please correct me if I'm wrong. You think the brain is sort of the physical channel of consciousness. Consciousness exists in a non-physical realm and interacts with the physical world by mingling up with the brain in some way. When you have this union experience, you are leaving the brain and experiencing pure consciousness, with no physical ties whatsoever. Is this close to what you're saying?
You are pretty close. Let me give you a quick rundown of the practice and experience so that when I answer the next part of your question, you will have that as reference.

From the way union practice works, I’ve come to believe my consciousness is constricted by the brain. The first step toward union is letting go of the body, which is felt as the body relaxes. Surprisingly, jaw tension is the biggest factor in letting go (this is historically reported too). As one relaxes one feels one’s body energies integrate, so that is a sort of mini-union right there.

If one can learn to turn one’s attention 180 degrees around and look directly back at that point of “subjective” consciousness, and allow the mind to quiet, an inner brightness and vibrancy become apparent (these are totally independent of the senses; in fact, sensory deprivation makes them more apparent). If one can then relax into that, a very subtle and gentle pulse can be felt, and then one can relax further into that. At this point, if one can stay “with” everything, union is possible. There seems to be nothing one can do to make it happen other than to continue to focus on letting go to the inner facets without expectation.

When union does occur, one suddenly feels blended into something very bright and expansive, breathing becomes so subtle it seems suspended. Every great once in awhile (for me it’s happened maybe ten times over 30 years) very subtle harmonies seem to pass through consciousness giving it a thrill. And every once in awhile (for me, maybe once or twice a month) the merging is so complete one experiences something I can only describe as “bliss” (if I practiced more, I think I could achieve “bliss” more).

This full “bliss” experience is rich, it renders one speechless (you could talk but it’s the very last thing you want to do), and you feel like you are (okay, I know this is going to sound trippy) part of the entire universe, not just your body. Also, one’s vision is altered. Everything looks much brighter and sparkly, almost like someone changed your internal light bulb from 100 watts to 150 watts; and the view of external reality tends to look panoramic all the time (I really enjoy this part of the experience, I call it “seeing”). The brightening and panoramic aspects have become a permanent part of my conscious experience, which is also commonly reported.

Here’s a couple of favorite quotes of mine of past union practitioners to give you a sense of how people try to express the experience. The Sufi Nimatullah Wali, “In the prison of form we still rejoice—watch what we do then in the world of essence . . . we are drowned in the universal ocean, we do not seek water now.” Monastic Julian of Norwich, “And then the Lord opened my ghostly eye and shewed my soul . . . I saw the Soul as it were an endless world, and as it were a blissful kingdom.”


StatusX said:
If so, here's the problem I see with it: How do you know? I assume you can remember the experience whenever you want. So, in some way, it is tied to your physical brain in that you were able to store it in memory. You also reason about the experience, although you claim the experience itself transcends reason. Now, I doubt you are reasoning while having the experience, as that would go against all you have said. So you are reasoning based on the memory of it. Is this correct so far?
Yes, except I wouldn’t attribute reason or memory only to the brain. I’ll explain below.


StatusX said:
Now, if reasoning and memory are governed by the physical brain, and not the pure sensitivity, they supervene of the laws of physics. This mean that in principle, they could be reductively explained in terms of neurons and physics. So how do you know your reasoning about the union is correct if it is governed by the very laws you have decided you've transcended?
My view is that the brain helps consciousness organize itself so that instead of being dedicated to one thing (simple awareness), it is taught to compartmentalize regions of itself for special functions (like thinking and short term memory). In union, when one is lifted out of the constriction the brain is causing, one can see what it is doing to one’s consciousness. At that time (union) one returns to wholeness, but what’s been learned about how to compartmentalize is retained. Over time one learns to prioritize the holistic experience over compartmentalizing (just to be clear, it isn’t one or the other, it is which is given first priority).

My answer to your implied point, why there is such a correlation between brain states and consciousness, is because we are absorbed into the brain like water saturating a sponge. We are dependent on it, especially without union experience to offer another avenue of perception. Without that escape route, and personal experience of it, then I’d have to agree with your point. In fact, a lot of so-called “spiritual” people IMHO are reasoning from a view that is fully brain dependent; the idea of spirituality appeals to them, but they don’t really know much experientially. That’s partly why I believe this whole subject is not given proper consideration by the practical minded . . . i.e., because so many people are talking from imagination and what they’ve read, rather than from what they have personally experienced.

There is still another issue which is, is my description dualistic? No it isn’t, but this is too complicated of a subject to detail here. But basically the consensus among union practitioners is that the essence of consciousness and what is physical is the same primordial, existential stuff but differentiated by the conditions they are subject to. My characterization of the main difference I see is “mass.” I say that because union shows a homogeneous background substance between all the “things.” This is what the Zen monk Kakuan was talking about when he said in the experience of union, “. . . all merge in No-Thing. This heaven is so vast no message can stain it. How may a snowflake exist in a raging fire?”


StatusX said:
I've explained the difference before. In making subjective judgments about the subjective world, subjectivity is not just the best tool but it's the only tool. But with the union reports, you are using subjectivity to make judgments about the objective world. By objective, I don't mean material. I mean you are claiming the union exists independent of your personal experience of it. This further fact cannot be known a priori.
I don’t get this. How am I claiming “union exists independent of your personal experience of it”? Do you mean that others have reported experiencing it? If that’s what you mean, then it is no different than using other’s reports of subjectivity to confirm such a thing exists.

If you mean I am saying that union experience reveals aspects about reality unavailable to the senses (which I have said) that too is no different. We accept that sense data reflects aspects of reality don’t we? Union is simply another conscious avenue for receiving information. Some have even referred to it as a “third eye.”


StatusX said:
I need to be a skeptic, to not accept a potential explanation for a phenomenon until it has been shown beyond doubt to be the only reasonable one. If I can present an coherent alternative explanation for the union reports, I call that progress. It allows us to strip them both down and determine which is the truth, which I want to find as much as you.
Absolutely. However, you are not going to be able to make a fair evaluation based on my report alone. At a minimum, you are going to have to study the phenomenon of union experience; and to really know, you’d have to experience it for yourself. My point is simply that we should look at all the areas of human consciousness that have been reliably reported to see if it helps us understand consciousness better.

I cannot see how union can be passed by. It is so unusual. It produced the Buddha and, in my opinion, Jesus (and many others mostly unknown to the average physicalist :biggrin:). Also in my opinion, even followers of these men today do really understand it was union (a full and permanent blissful sort, not in and out like me) that made these men so special to those who knew them. I think ethnocentric conditioning is why modern consciousness studies has decided to pooh pooh it all as weird Eastern stuff or religion.

I’m saying, forget about all the weird religious and mystical trips people have attached to it, and just focus on the experience of union itself. What is this consciousness potential? And what is it about reality that allows this consciousness potential to be realized?
 
  • #152
selfAdjoint
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Okay, this actually seems approachable by a physicoid kind of model. We have something, call it Ylem for the moment, which has at least two states, one of which is physical (quantum fields or curved spacetime or whatever) and the other is not physical. To me that means not energy dependent (where I insist that the word energy is used only the way physicsts use it). However the nonphysical state can interact with energy dependent things, neurons in your brain, to produce physical sensations. Would this fairly represent your thinking?

Presuamably that interaction would be a kind of condensation from the one state (nonphysical) to the other (physical). In considering changes of state, physicists finfd it handy to define an order parameter, a number that increases in a higher state and decreases in a lower one. Would you be amenable to a look into the possibility of such an order parameter in your case?

Another question, do you regard the consciousness "field" as one or as many? Are individuals separate fields or are they just nodes in a unified extent?
 
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  • #153
StatusX
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Les Sleeth said:
My view is that the brain helps consciousness organize itself so that instead of being dedicated to one thing (simple awareness), it is taught to compartmentalize regions of itself for special functions (like thinking and short term memory). In union, when one is lifted out of the constriction the brain is causing, one can see what it is doing to one’s consciousness. At that time (union) one returns to wholeness, but what’s been learned about how to compartmentalize is retained. Over time one learns to prioritize the holistic experience over compartmentalizing (just to be clear, it isn’t one or the other, it is which is given first priority).

My answer to your implied point, why there is such a correlation between brain states and consciousness, is because we are absorbed into the brain like water saturating a sponge. We are dependent on it, especially without union experience to offer another avenue of perception. Without that escape route, and personal experience of it, then I’d have to agree with your point. In fact, a lot of so-called “spiritual” people IMHO are reasoning from a view that is fully brain dependent; the idea of spirituality appeals to them, but they don’t really know much experientially. That’s partly why I believe this whole subject is not given proper consideration by the practical minded . . . i.e., because so many people are talking from imagination and what they’ve read, rather than from what they have personally experienced.
As of right now, neither of us can be proven right. But there are ways to decide between the two views in principle, and probably in practice some time in the next century or two.

First imagine there is a way to sense what every single neuron is doing. Then imagine we have a complete neurocognitive theory, and with the knowledge of current states and sensory input, we can use it to predict future states, including the states of all motor neurons. Then we could scan your brain before you go into the union experience, obtain all sensory input you get immediately before it (which you would probably admit is largely unimportant), and predict exactly what you'll say about it when you're done. If this could be done, could accurately predict what you say (or at least give accurate probabilities for the possible things you might say, the actual choice being random), and if these neurocognitive laws were derivable from the laws of physics, then all your union reports have been explained. That is, you didn't say what you did because it was true, you said it because that's the way you're wired.

(Now, please don't take this the wrong way. I recognize that if I'm right, I'm wired to believe physicalism. But just because we're wired to believe certain things doesn't make them false. I believe the sky is blue, and whether physicalism is true or false, that belief is definitely right. All I'm presenting is an alternate explanation for your reports.)

On the other hand, if no reliable predictive model is ever found, that is a good case for your theory, that the material brain isn't the sole cause of our behavior. Remember, by physical, I mean the fundamental science, including consciousness. It may be that your union experience is a significant part of the theory, and your reports are caused by the experience. If this turns out to be the case, then we're both right, in a sense. But I'll admit that at present, I'm leaning towards the idea that the material brain is sufficient to cause all of our behavior. In other words, the material world is causally closed under the current physical laws.

I don’t get this. How am I claiming “union exists independent of your personal experience of it”? Do you mean that others have reported experiencing it? If that’s what you mean, then it is no different than using other’s reports of subjectivity to confirm such a thing exists.

If you mean I am saying that union experience reveals aspects about reality unavailable to the senses (which I have said) that too is no different. We accept that sense data reflects aspects of reality don’t we? Union is simply another conscious avenue for receiving information. Some have even referred to it as a “third eye.”
When I made that (admittedly ignorant) comment about predicting the future, I was referring to this type of epistemological problem. When people have religious experiences, they feel they are in direct contact with god, or feeling a beauty they could never have imagined by themselves. But these are all feelings. They could, in theory, have originated in the physical brain, no matter how profoud they seem. That they felt what they felt is indisputable. But the further assertion they make is that the experience said something about the objective world (eg, that god loves them, etc). You are making a similar objective claim, and so an objective method is needed to prove it true. I suggested such a method above.

Now you could counter with "But how do you know the physical method is objective? The same argument against the union reports could be used against physicalist reports. The only difference is that there are more people who agree with physicalism than with the union, at least in the west." This is true, but there is a difference. Physics can be used to make predictions about future observations, and the union can't. So yes, it is possible that a reductive physical explanation for union reports only appears to accurately describe the universe. But this appears very unlikely. For now, I'll just say I take it as an axiom that that isn't true, but I can try to address this more systematically later.

Absolutely. However, you are not going to be able to make a fair evaluation based on my report alone. At a minimum, you are going to have to study the phenomenon of union experience; and to really know, you’d have to experience it for yourself. My point is simply that we should look at all the areas of human consciousness that have been reliably reported to see if it helps us understand consciousness better.

I cannot see how union can be passed by. It is so unusual. It produced the Buddha and, in my opinion, Jesus (and many others mostly unknown to the average physicalist :biggrin:). Also in my opinion, even followers of these men today do really understand it was union (a full and permanent blissful sort, not in and out like me) that made these men so special to those who knew them. I think ethnocentric conditioning is why modern consciousness studies has decided to pooh pooh it all as weird Eastern stuff or religion.

I’m saying, forget about all the weird religious and mystical trips people have attached to it, and just focus on the experience of union itself. What is this consciousness potential? And what is it about reality that allows this consciousness potential to be realized?
If I try it, I might just change my mind completely and start to believe you. This is what I'm afraid of. I reason with the same tool I would use to experience the union, and it is a coherent possibility that the experience would affect that tool in such a way that would cause me to start to believe it was profound, even if that wasn't true. Right now I feel I am objective, but such a profound experience may change that. I'm not claiming this is the reason for your beliefs, I'm just saying that I would rather try to determine what the union is objectively, and only then try it out to see what it's like.
 
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  • #154
StatusX
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Getting back to the original topic, I found this passage in a book I'm reading by Chalmers, and I thought it was relevant:

Of course, there is a sense in which the physics of the universe must entail the existence of consciousness, if one defines physics as the fundamental science from whose facts and laws everything else follows. This construal of physics, however, trivializes the question involved. If one allows physics to include theories developed specifically to deal with the phenomenon of consciousness, unmotivated by more basic considerations, then we may get an "explanation" of consciousness, but it will certainly not be a reductive one. For our purposes, it is best to take physics to be the fundamental science developed to explain observations of the external world. If this kind of physics entailed the facts about consciousness, without invoking consciousness itself in a crucial role, then consciousness truly would be reductively explained. For the reasons I have given, however, there is good reason to believe no such reductive explanation is possible.
Here Chalmers and I would agree conceptually, while differing in terms. He may just be using this terminology to make for easier reading, but if not, and he truly believes the "fundamental science" shouldn't be called physics, I think he's being short-sighted. For aesthetic reasons, I think there should be a single field that studies the absolute bottom (the fundamental science), and it should always be called "physics". If Chalmers' terms are adopted, there will be two theoretical pillars, physics and conscious studies, and no single basis. But again, it is just a terminological difference; I agree that current physics cannot account for consciousness.

Here's another relevant passage. The context is how consciousness is not entailed by physical facts, and yet it still seems to arise from them in a systematic way:

Some people will think that this view should count as a version of materialism rather than dualism, because it posits such a strong lawful dependence of the phenomenal facts on the physical facts and because the physical domain remains autonomous. Of course there is little point arguing over a name, but it seems to me that the existence of further contingent facts over and above the physical facts is enough modification to the received materialist world view to deserve a different label. Certainly, if all that is required for materialism is that all facts be lawfully connected to the physical facts, then materialism becomes a weak doctrine indeed.
Again, terms differ but the ideas are mostly the same as mine. I would distinguish materialism and physicalism using their root words as follows: physicalism is the view that all facts about the universe are facts about physics, that is, the fundamental science governing the external and phenomenal in a mathematical way. Materialism is the view that all facts are facts about matter, where matter can be thought of as anything that has energy. Materialism denies a hard problem of consciousness while physicalism accepts it, but doesn't yet have a solution for it. Here, Chalmers intends materialism as I do, but discusses how others use the word to refer to what I would call physicalism and what he would call dualism. The only problem I have is with his last sentence. How is it a weak doctrine to assume every fact is determined by laws and boundary conditions? I'd say that's a pretty ambitious assertion.
 
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  • #155
Les Sleeth
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StatusX said:
As of right now, neither of us can be proven right. But there are ways to decide between the two views in principle, and probably in practice some time in the next century or two.
I agree. I suspect this thread has about run its course. It has served to greatly clarify, for me anyway, why everyone believes what they do about "physical." I really appreciate everyone exerting so much effort to make themselves understood.


StatusX said:
If I try it, I might just change my mind completely and start to believe you. This is what I'm afraid of. I reason with the same tool I would use to experience the union, and it is a coherent possibility that the experience would affect that tool in such a way that would cause me to start to believe it was profound, even if that wasn't true. Right now I feel I am objective, but such a profound experience may change that. I'm not claiming this is the reason for your beliefs, I'm just saying that I would rather try to determine what the union is objectively, and only then try it out to see what it's like.
You of course must decide how to study a subject. I'll just give you my report and say there is nothing to fear in the objectivity or intellectual department. Once you can get your mind to shut up, things appear more clearly as they are . . . it reflects like a "polished mirror" as they say in Zen. It is the nonstop action of the mind that colors and prejudices consciousness.

Objectivity, in fact, is one of the most cherished achievements of union. Since that ideal was particularly accentuated in Zen, I'll leave you with a couple of things said by my all-time favorite Ch'an (Zen) master, Joshu who lived in 9th century China and practiced union for 40 years before ever trying to teach.

Joshu preached, "When the mind does not arise, everything is flawless. Practice meditation for 20 or 30 years and if you do not attain realization, then you may cut my head off."

A monk asked Joshu, "Master, where is your mind focused."
Joshu answered, "Where there is no design."

A monk asked, "What is the very essence of enlightenment?"
Joshu answered, "It is when the first thought has not yet arisen."


Joshu preached, "The moment there is a distinction in terms of affirmation or negation, everything gets confused and the mind is led astray."

A monk saw a cat and asked, "I call it a cat. Master, what do you call it?"
Joshu said, "You calling it a cat."

A monk asked, "Master, could you please teach me the state of true tranquility?"
Joshu answered, "If I teach you, it won't be tranquil anymore."

A monk asked, "When you do not carry a single thing with you, how is it then?
Joshu answered, "Put it down!"
 
  • #156
Les Sleeth
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selfAdjoint said:
Okay, this actually seems approachable by a physicoid kind of model. We have something, call it Ylem for the moment, which has at least two states, one of which is physical (quantum fields or curved spacetime or whatever) and the other is not physical. To me that means not energy dependent (where I insist that the word energy is used only the way physicsts use it). However the nonphysical state can interact with energy dependent things, neurons in your brain, to produce physical sensations. Would this fairly represent your thinking?
Yes. :smile:


selfAdjoint said:
Presuamably that interaction would be a kind of condensation from the one state (nonphysical) to the other (physical).
I would say my impression is that consciousness interacts with the brain by constricting itself in the various areas of the brain. That works because the brain itself is highly constricted "Ylem" and it is set up to work in response to constrictive and anticonstrictive conscious force.


selfAdjoint said:
In considering changes of state, physicists find it handy to define an order parameter, a number that increases in a higher state and decreases in a lower one. Would you be amenable to a look into the possibility of such an order parameter in your case?
Sure, but I don't understand how to do it. I can say that I do observe order in the union experience, which is why I've argued against order alone defining physicalness.

My observation is that consciousness seems to be "Ylem" that has structure, four aspects which are: a counterbalanced polar periphery, an integrated core, a pulse, and an interpolar area.

The outer polar phase is the sensing part of consciousness; the inner phase of the periphery is the concentrative part of consciousness (i.e., the peripheral polarity is defined by outward-oriented sensitivity and inward-oriented concentrativeness); and the core is what I believe we've all been describing as subjectivity. Also, the whole thing subtlely pulsates, which I imagine is due to a shift in prevalence between polar phases. Finally, in between the polar extremes "feels" like where I do my thinking, so I have envisioned an area in consciousness one might call the "interpolar" zone.

In other posts I've included the diagram found at the end of this post of my impression of how consciousness feels and appears in union.


selfAdjoint said:
Another question, do you regard the consciousness "field" as one or as many? Are individuals separate fields or are they just nodes in a unified extent?
Hmmmm. In union experience I feel like I join with a larger field. It is very difficult to describe the experience of being unified with something but still individual. The way I try to describe it is to say I am a "point" in the larger field. So the field as a whole seems aware, and some of its points (i.e., other consciousnesses) seem to be becoming aware.
 

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  • #157
loseyourname
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Les Sleeth said:
And I say "relationalness" is just how you recognize physical, not what it is.
If you continue to insist that there is such a thing that is intrinsically physical, then you are right. But this is all definitional. Do you think that any object exists that has intrinsic attributes but no extrinsic attributes? Or vice versa? If not, then according to my model, there exists no thing that is only physical or that is only non-physical. Physical and non-physical are simply different ways of describing the same thing.

Regarding relationalness determining it, let's say we lived back when no one understood the cause of electricity. When they would experience static electricity, they'd say it was not related to any physical cause, "it's magic!", when really it is physical.
Why does that matter?

So my complaint is that what you call relational is superficial. Also, if you did see the deeper thing, because there is order to it, I think you'd want to tack "physical" onto that too. You won't admit it, but I think you are physicalist through and through.
Not according to my model, I'm not. I've explained that my model assigns a place for both physical and non-physical attributes to all that exists. According to your model, I'm certainly not. I definitely do not hold the belief that no non-energetic structure exists.

Let me become impressionistic for a minute. What it is about union that tells me "the cause of the experience is massless" is the presence of what I've called "illumination." It is homogeneous, thick, very present, no "parts." After the experience, when one looks about, it all looks unified, one.
I get the feeling you'll be offended by me pointing this out, but you'd have the same impression if you looked at a unified white surface, especially if your vision was imperfect. Is there really any way for you to know that what you are looking at has no parts or energy? Or do you simply get that impression and is it possible that you are either mistaken in your impression or that your ability to experience union is imperfect?

I ask only for the sake of rigor. As Status points out, we can quantitatively confirm whether or not the observations we make about the natural world are correct. If we were impressionistic about everything that we observed, we'd have a lot of wrong ideas about nature. Not to say that you are incorrect. It just seems that you don't have particularly strong grounds on which to say that what you observe through union is unified and non-energetic.

Well, what's made you accept qualia/subjectivity is the same sort of thing behind my reports to you about union experience. That and studies of past practitioners.
I don't accept that qualia/subjectivity is intrinsic. It may be, it may not be. If I accepted that it was, then I would be staunchly arguing for antiphysicalist models of consciousness, which I am not doing. I do think that Status accepts this, however, so you can ask him how he does. I'd be interested to know, because my guess is that it's nothing more than "impression."

I don't care. What I care about is the missing parts in the consciousness studies models. The explanation definitely will not be the same without the missing parts.
That's fine. I admit that western consciousness studies has largely neglected phenomena of the type you are representing. Not entirely, but it has. I just don't see why you're so hung up on terminology. If western consciousness buffs did study union, but called it physical, would it really be that big of a deal?
 
  • #158
Les Sleeth
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loseyourname said:
. . . then according to my model . . . Not according to my model, I'm not. I've explained that my model . . . I definitely do not hold the belief . . .
I'd be a lot more impressed if I could detect the weight of your own personal experience in your comments. I suspect you are in too big of a hurry to be an expert. But hey, maybe I'm just stupid and slow, so unlike you I needed most of my life to decide important things.


loseyourname said:
I get the feeling you'll be offended by me pointing this out, but you'd have the same impression if you looked at a unified white surface, especially if your vision was imperfect. Is there really any way for you to know that what you are looking at has no parts or energy? Or do you simply get that impression and is it possible that you are either mistaken in your impression or that your ability to experience union is imperfect?
How'd ya guess? I've spent pages explaining this, and yet your comments show not the slightest appreciation of my side of this argument. Why? See my next comment.


loseyourname said:
. . . we can quantitatively confirm whether or not the observations we make about the natural world are correct. If we were impressionistic about everything that we observed, we'd have a lot of wrong ideas about nature. Not to say that you are incorrect. It just seems that you don't have particularly strong grounds on which to say that what you observe through union is unified and non-energetic.
You are committed, a priori, to only quantitative confirmation! So it doesn't matter what I say does it. If it can't pass your little filter, then it ain't worth much is it? Since you are so sure you are on the right path, please continue. If I'm still alive in 20 years, let me know how your theory of knowledge has worked. :cool:
 
  • #159
loseyourname
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Les Sleeth said:
I'd be a lot more impressed if I could detect the weight of your own personal experience in your comments. I suspect you are in too big of a hurry to be an expert. But hey, maybe I'm just stupid and slow, so unlike you I needed most of my life to decide important things.
In what comments? We're trying to define a word. In doing so, generally we look at how the word is used in as many contexts as possible, look at roots, and try to figure out the best way of expressing what that words means. It doesn't require personal experience of the word. Reading alone can do the trick.

You are committed, a priori, to only quantitative confirmation! So it doesn't matter what I say does it. If it can't pass your little filter, then it ain't worth much is it? Since you are so sure you are on the right path, please continue. If I'm still alive in 20 years, let me know how your theory of knowledge has worked. :cool:
You're making quantitative statements. Parts and energy are quantities. Why should I not be commited to a quantitative confirmation? If were talking about feelings here, I'd have no problem with qualitative confirmation of qualitative statements. But you aren't just making qualitative statements.
 
  • #160
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Physical: all that which contradicts the non-physical
 
  • #161
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Physical: mass
 
  • #163
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Photon has no rest mass

Enos said:
Physical: mass
Does a photon have mass? Are photons affected by gravity(mass-attraction)?
Does a photon burn your skin at the beach? Does gamma-ray photons knock the nulceus of an atom apart?

I would say that any bosons of spin-0 and 1 are physical?

Gravitons may be quasi-physical?
http://home.usit.net/~rybo6/rybo/id11.html [Broken]
See above link for my version of both Riemann(curved/Pod) graviton and its Euclidean visual a the triangular hexahedron.

The phyiscal Universe is not micro-infinte, because gravitons exist, ergo there may be temporay spaces of nothingness between the formation and annilation of quatumly discreet gravitons, operating at speeds a fraction beyond that of our conventionaly accepted speed of EMradiation.

Rybo
 
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  • #164
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Physical - This is an idea thought up many years ago that falls way short of reality.

In other words - Physical is a fantasy landmark born out of affection for ones own ignorance.
 
  • #165
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"Define Physical "
That which is detectable by our 'senses'.
 
  • #166
Les Sleeth
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nameless said:
"Define Physical "
That which is detectable by our 'senses'.
As I think I argued earlier in this thread, you've described a potential of the senses, and a way to recognize some things that are physical, but it doesn't define physicalness as a quality unto itself.

My own working definition right now is: anything physical is a component, product, behavior, and/or effect of mass.

I believe that would cover every known aspect of physicalness (e.g., a proton is a component of mass, EM radiation is a product of mass, oscillation is a behavior of mass, and gravity is an effect of mass).
 
  • #167
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Les Sleeth said:
As I think I argued earlier in this thread, you've described a potential of the senses, and a way to recognize some things that are physical, but it doesn't define physicalness as a quality unto itself.

My own working definition right now is: anything physical is a component, product, behavior, and/or effect of mass.

I believe that would cover every known aspect of physicalness (e.g., a proton is a component of mass, EM radiation is a product of mass, oscillation is a behavior of mass, and gravity is an effect of mass).
Hi Les.
I think our different perspectives are in evidence here. From my perspective, I have found that for us to have experience of the possible 'existence' of 'matter', it must be detected by our 'senses' in some way. All that our senses are capble of detecting is that which is commonly referred to as 'physical matter.' If we have not 'experienced' it, for us, it doesn't exist, other than as a 'belief'. It has never been shown to me that there is an "itself (aside from mind) to have qualities unto".
You are positing, from your perspective, I think, that 'physical matter' has independent 'existence' seperate and distinct from 'sensory/mind'. From that perspective, I can hang with your 'definition'. Seems as good as any. Though 'mass' and its hypothetical 'connection' with 'gravity' have been 'bypassed' in the sense of 'cause and effect' by current science.
 
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  • #168
Les Sleeth
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nameless said:
Hi Les.
I think our different perspectives are in evidence here. From my perspective, I have found that for us to have experience of the possible 'existence' of 'matter', it must be detected by our 'senses' in some way. All that our senses are capble of detecting is that which is commonly referred to as 'physical matter.' If we have not 'experienced' it, for us, it doesn't exist, other than as a 'belief'. It has never been shown to me that there is an "itself (aside from mind) to have qualities unto".
Yes, I see it the same way except for your denial of the "itself" part, which to me seems like solipsism. First what I agree with:

To know the material world, we need to experience it with our senses.

All our senses can detect is the physical world.

If we haven't experienced it, FOR US, it doesn't exist.

But then you say that "other than a 'belief' it has never been shown to [you] that there is an 'itself'." Yet if you accept science, then mustn't you acknowledge how you receive information? Your sense experience of a campfire reaches you via outside information. You feel the fire's heat with nerve receptors, and hear the crackle of the logs burning and see the flame's light the same way. You can tell that fire isn't only in your mind because someone can douse it with water, and all your experiences stop.

You can take the radical view that the dousing is purely a mental event too, but it requires you to recategorize huge amounts of information we have about light, heat, sound, etc. The more obvious view is that consciousness is waiting inside the brain to receive information the senses' nerve receptors detect and send to it.

If so, then physicalness is happening independently of our perception of it, which would mean physicalness has an "itself."


nameless said:
You are positing, from your perspective, I think, that 'physical matter' has independent 'existence' seperate and distinct from 'sensory/mind'.
Yes, except the distinction doesn't have to be absolute (and therefore create duality). The "itselfness" of aspects of reality may ultimately be different conditions of the same thing (the way ice is a different condition than steam, yet of the same H2O). So physicalness would be determined by one set of condtions, and consciousness decided by another. In such a case, distinctions are ultimately conditional rather than in essence.
 
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Les Sleeth said:
Yes, I see it the same way except for your denial of the "itself" part, which to me seems like solipsism.
sol·ip·sism ( P ) Pronunciation Key (slp-szm, slp-)
n. Philosophy
1) The theory that the self is the only thing that can be known and verified.
2) The theory or view that the self is the only reality.


I do not agree that the 'self' can be known and verified. That is why philosophy has been debating this subject for millennia. Nor do I, of course, hold the view that self is the only 'reality'. Perhaps the writers of the dictionary and I have different experiences of 'self' and 'reality'. But I don't think that I hold to 'solipsism'.
AND, I am not 'denying' objective existence, I am just saying that it cannot be known whether it exists or not. That I have not, as yet, seen any evidence. No atheist here, perhaps an 'agnostic'? *__-


But then you say that "other than a 'belief' it has never been shown to [you] that there is an 'itself'." Yet if you accept science, then mustn't you acknowledge how you receive information?
If you accept Quantum Mechanics as 'science', and QM is redefining 'reality' as we 'know' it for all branches of science. I do not 'recieve' information, I manufacture 'information' in my mind. If you are interested and have about 20 minutes, you might like to read http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~ursa/philos/ty99.htm#argument to gain a more indepth understanding of my meaning here. I do not, of course, agree with everything that is being said here, but he does explain quite adequately why we can never know if there really is an 'out there' .. out there. And 'science' has no qualms with his (and my) understanding.

If so, then physicalness is happening independently of our perception of it, which would mean physicalness has an "itself."
Please see the site that I offered to explain why I disagree. I'm not being lazy, but it is a bit extensive and he puts it better than I have the time or space here. Thanx for understanding.


Yes, except the distinction doesn't have to be absolute (and therefore create duality).
Any 'distinctions' at all are a 'duality'. To have any kind of a physical 'reality' in 'existence' (I'm aware of the redundancy here) , 'duality' must likewise exist.

The "itselfness" of aspects of reality may ultimately be different conditions of the same thing (the way ice is a different condition than steam, yet of the same H2O).
So 'matter' might be one large homogenous mass of which we make 'artificial' distinctions? With 'nothing' beyond the 'borders' of the 'mass'? I tend to agree that 'within the parameters of classical physics' (who's days are numbered!) that science cannot find a 'definite' place where one 'thing' ends and another 'thing' begins. There is an endless 'fractalling' in nature, it seems..

So physicalness would be determined by one set of condtions, and consciousness decided by another.
Cant 'hang with you' here. 'Materiality' is, yes, determined by all sorts of (artificial) conditions, but Consciousness is not 'decided' by anything. As far as I know, Consciousness just 'Is', and according to QM, is the 'Ground of All Being', which puts it in a 'different light' from 'Being'.

Is 'consciousness' the 'ground of dreams' at night? Dreams appear in Consciousness and dissappear when one wakens. Was the 'substance' of the dreams 'real'? Was the dream hammer that you hit your dream thumb and experienced very real dream pain real? Material? Physical? Conscious 'Is', dreams come and go, but consciousness remains, unaltered, unalterable!?
I think that 'dreams' are the most perfect analog for our day to day lives.
What about 'dream physics'? If you put a few 'dream cells' under a 'dream' microscope... are they truly of differing 'substance' then any'thing' else in 'dream reality'? Is everything artificially dualistically divided within the dream also? Ultimately, isn't it all just made of 'dream stuff'? Hologramic mind stuff? One can study the Hell out of 'dream physics and substance' and and still find no place that one 'dream' thing ends and another begins.. etc...

I would posit that if properly studied, 'dream reality' will run parallel with 'waking reality', as far as science is concerned, having the same 'paradoxes' that defy our senses, having the same philosophical problems and logical conundrums (do I get a prize for being the first on this site to use this word?), same 'laws' and unknowns, etc...

In such a case, distinctions are ultimately conditional rather than in essence.
Yes, yes, yes! I think that I agree here. Conditional = subjectively fictitious duality. Essence = that which is in an unchanging state of omniversal symmetrical permanence, like Consciousness, perhaps?
 
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  • #170
Les Sleeth
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nameless said:
Please see the site that I offered to explain why I disagree. I'm not being lazy, but it is a bit extensive and he puts it better than I have the time or space here.
I see that view (mental monism) as, if not solipsism, then idealism. You are correct that we can never be sure if we can ever know "if there really is an 'out there'." But that is true not just about "out there," but about everything. No matter what you posit as true, I can cast doubt by saying what if you are hallucinating, or insane, or a concept in the mind of God, etc.

Where does that get us? Well, we end up catatonic. So I say, accept the constantly reaffirmed experience, not as totally telling us all there is to know, but as at least real for what it does tell us.


nameless said:
Any 'distinctions' at all are a 'duality'. To have any kind of a physical 'reality' in 'existence' (I'm aware of the redundancy here) , 'duality' must likewise exist.
Nope. As I pointed out, ice and steam are not dualistic, they are the same essence (water) subjected to different conditions.


nameless said:
Cant 'hang with you' here. 'Materiality' is, yes, determined by all sorts of (artificial) conditions, but Consciousness is not 'decided' by anything. As far as I know, Consciousness just 'Is', and according to QM, is the 'Ground of All Being', which puts it in a 'different light' from 'Being'.
If consciousness just "is," then why do we see less-evolved states of it? The problem for me is that something that "just is" must exist in an eternal time frame, and therefore has to have already developed every conscious skill possible. Yet it is obvious that we still learn and grow consciously. So I reason that there is something more basic than consciousness, which has the potential to accidentally become conscious, and then keep evolving.
 
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Les Sleeth said:
You are correct that we can never be sure if we can ever know "if there really is an 'out there'." But that is true not just about "out there," but about everything. No matter what you posit as true, I can cast doubt by saying what if you are hallucinating, or insane, or a concept in the mind of God, etc.
I agree with you. I am not positing anything as 'truth', just a 'better' hypothesis. You are correct, in my understanding, about the 'out there' and also we can never be 'sure' about the 'in here', hence my instruction as a child "not to believe anything I see or here and only half of what I think.... and I never know which half." There aught always be doubt, about everything, otherwise we risk becoming zealots and fanatics and fundamentalists! 'This' is also where we learned that the more that we 'learn' the less that we 'know'!

Where does that get us? Well, we end up catatonic.
I don't think that I'm catatonic... Wait, let me go check....
Nope, I don't think so... perhaps..
Though, I never claimed sanity,
"That man lives best who's fain, to live half-Mad, half sane."

So I say, accept the constantly reaffirmed experience, not as totally telling us all there is to know, but as at least real for what it does tell us.
I shall not yield, sir, to the collective hallucination, nor is it in my nature! I have paid dearly for being honest and authentic in my life, it could not have been otherwise. How can one Awaken from a dream and then go back to accepting the 'dream' as 'reality'? Shedding 'delusion' and then reaccepting that delusion? Not I.
Being lucid within the dream does give one certain 'options' that are not available to those who are not lucidly dreaming...

Nope. As I pointed out, ice and steam are not dualistic, they are the same essence (water) subjected to different conditions.
You know, Les, that I have been reading your one substance hypothesis and if you had a 'better understanding/experience' of Consciousness you might be able to interchange your 'esse' for Consciousness. Much of your delicate juggling would no longer be necessary and the basic structures that you are proposing would still hold. For instance, Consciousness, as the basic 'Ground of All Boing' can contain the hologramic reality of our lives and everything truly would be made of the 'one/same' basic 'stuff', dream-stuff, the same 'stuff' that populates the universe of our night-time dreams. No me and rocks and water and bananas.. just holograms within a sleeping 'mind'. And so our daily wakeful sleeping dream likewise. No real dualism anywhere other than in our mental hologramic dreams. Therefore there can be no 'materiality' anywhere other than in our 'mental hologramic dreams', inclusive of a physical 'self'. For an 'objective' universe to exist, 'dualism' must be an ultimate 'reality'. I think that we are agreeing that it is not.




If consciousness just "is," then why do we see less-evolved states of it?
This is what I meant earlier about your understanding Consciousness better. Perhaps what you are referring to here is that you are perceiving 'others' that are capable of very limited access to consciousness. Hence all the various 'disciplines' toward Awakening within the Dream into Consciousness. If the reducing valve in the brain opens a bit, we go from 'body centered consciousness' to maybe a 'social consciousness' to omniniversal and beyond Consciousness/Awareness. There are no 'states of consciousness', just 'expressions' of one's degree of 'access'... All religious/spiritual (whatever that means) discipline is geared to open that 'reducing valve', spoken of by Huxley in his "Doors of Perception", in the brain. Entheogens, mantram, fasting, extatic dancing, etc.. increases the CO2 in the brain thus reducing its 'stability', the 'solidity' of the 'reducing valve' that just lets in a trickle of what is potentially availabe, a bit of Consciousness.

The problem for me is that something that "just is" must exist in an eternal time frame, and therefore has to have already developed every conscious skill possible.
Again, from my perspective, you are misusing the term consciousness. A 'skill' is dream mechanics. I am a highly skilled 'dream mechanic'. But that is all, because I can 'play' with and in the 'dream' it is still a dream, and all the 'skill' there is cannot convert a dream into anything else. Some dreamers are more skilled than others. The more Consciousness one ... 'Is', the less one can/has to 'Do'. I cannot explain what I have 'found' as Consciousness as words are temporally linearly conceptually very limited. Ya just have to test the water for yourself. But I do think it fits into your 'esse' position, from my understanding.

Yet it is obvious that we still learn and grow consciously
Ahhh vanity. If you are positing that consciousness is a state of 'awake' vs 'unconscious' desires, drives, choices, etc.. then I say that the average citizen sleepwalks through his day. Most are so lost in their dream, confused, with their egos demanding that they are so very more aware and awake and conscious than almost anyone else, that our individual dream is the 'One True Reality' and we are willing to fight and kill to uphold that egoically emotionally held delusion!

So I reason that there is something more basic than consciousness, which has the potential to accidentally become conscious, and then keep evolving.
If you knew Suzie like I know Suzie, you would no longer reason thusly.
Why do you think that QM with all their vibro-strings and branes and Higgs fields, ad nauseum, finally states that Consciousness is the Ground of All Being? To what does QM refer when it speaks of Consciousness? Or the Sages through the millennia? It all comes together 'here'...
Within Consciousness there is 'ego/mind' that dreams our 'selves' and our 'universe'.
Consciousness provides the 'raw material' of infinite POTENTIAL from which all 'else' (dreams of self and world) springeth.
 
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  • #172
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What reality is not physically based?
 
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Loren Booda said:
What reality is not physically based?
Can I play?
How about the 'reality' of your thoughts and concepts?
The 'reality' of your memories?
The 'reality' of your nighttime dreams?
The 'reality' of galaxies?

The only 'reality' that 'appears' to be physically 'based' is the reality of 'delusion'.
Delusion being, 'the believing/acceptence/assumption of illusion to be reality'.

If you are about to suggest that this is all 'physically based' on the physical living brain, forget it. If, by 'based' you refer to some sort of 'prime state of Reality', you haven't studied 'matter' too deeply. It doesn't take that long for the apparently 'solid' to seem more like a 'concept', a 'thought', a 'hologram' than a banana or a galaxy! The simplest of high school science will show you how 'solid' apparently solid matter really is...
 
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No wonder I moved to the social sciences.
 
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If that is all you care to comment on my reply to your question, I'm glad I didn't waste more time than I already have...
 

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