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How much of life is in our minds?

  1. Mar 8, 2005 #1
    A lot of issues boil down to perspective. we can change a lot by changing our outlook and attitudes.
    Also, like those theories that we're all one big dream, i'm yours, your mine. That just depends on how you look at things. If i lived the rest of my life in a coma fantasy, things really wouldn't be so different.
    Or how about all that mind of matter stuff, if you think hard enough, your body won't feel pain, or will feel whatever you want.
    Or even just math?

    how much of this world is really physical? and how much is what we think of it, how we think of it, or just thought alone?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 8, 2005 #2

    I believe in idealism, the metaphysical philosophy that the universe is composed entirely of consciousness. I have a somewhat like view of that of George Berkeley in that the universe is composed of consciousness but not that of the individual. I believe that there is a type of tangled hierarchy (of consciousness).
  4. Mar 8, 2005 #3
    It's really a definition of what physical means. If you mean real than what is real? If than by our interactions with mass than what is mass? I believe that our existance isn't physical at all, even our minds.
  5. Mar 9, 2005 #4
    I find that perspective has a remarkable impact on my outlook of life. I generally am more introspective and observative when I am at peace with myself, but such times have been rare for me recently. Of course, the world will always go on despite my attitude towards it. As far as life goes, much of it is shaped by our own thoughts and ambitions, dreams and action that we take or do not take.

    Would a physical world really be that terribly interesting if thought were taken out of the picture? I tend to lean towards the side that it is our thoughts that place final layers on this canvas of reality, and that it, like all things, is integral to understanding our place in this world.

    There is an old Taoist belief in the I Ching that problems will cease to exist if the attitude and perspective is changed on the issue. It meshes well in the larger scope of things.
  6. Mar 12, 2005 #5
    People who see problems, see problems. The world becomes a series of problems, and more problems have to be made to support this reality. However the universe we are observing exists; much of its character is determined by our relative ability to perceive it.

    I have considered for the longest time the Buddhist statement that attachment brings pain, or this world is all pain. I think this was a very sophisticated statement, and was probably some deeply imbedded joke. This world is all a product of the central nervous systems ability to sense it, and if all things are the same, just neural signaling; then yes, the world is all pain, or pleasure or how you placed your self in response to the stimuli of your childhood.

    For instance, camping is a terribly unpleasant experience if your companion is constantly searching nervous impulses for the first sign of discomfort. Then the dialogue, instead of oohs and aahs becomes, "It is so cold, God this air mattress is uncomfortable, oh oh oh I hate mosquitos, this cut hurts, that wind is so cold", etc. They have ruined their world, in interpretation. These kind of perceivers cannot be cajoled into enjoying the situation, with out some sort of enormous dues being paid, first of all taking the awful situation they find themselves in, seriously.

    Bobble head co-validation isn't necessarily a wonderful thing either. I think that reality is a much more fluid state, than most people would want to know. At the same time I think that taking the safe route, has turned into a mass annihilation of sorts; subdivisions, strip malls full of people all co-worrying about the same problems created by marketing experts. Try telling someone that their problems are unreal, a product of their mind, and they will wave a sheaf of papers in your face.

    Whether their consensus reality is a product of my mind or not, I sure see a lot of it on the freeways, and encroaching on wildlands and forests. What do the trees think about all of this?
  7. Mar 12, 2005 #6
    You and GB make a leap of faith to believe in some greater spirit/ consciousness/ God / (whater ever name you wish is OK with me) and deny the "physical world". I too am making a leap of faith to do the opposite.

    My only evidence for the physical world is based on my experiences. That they are real is certain (to me). I do not have the standard view as to why and how I have them - See attachment to post 1 of general philosophy's "What Price Free Will?" There you will learn that although I think the physical world is real, I do not believe I am a physical part of it, nor do I believe I am a part of some greater spirit/God/consciousness. I am only non material information in a simlation running in the parietal section of my brain. When in deep sleep, I do not exist. See that attachment if open to a paradigm shifting idea, which explains a lot of things you would not even suspect are related.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2005
  8. Mar 16, 2005 #7
    I strongly believe that our reality is in our minds. I had a thread going about it here.

    I also had started a post here which is kind of related regarding the movie The Butterfly Effect. Upon watching that movie i immediately came to the conclusion that his reality... his life, is all a projection of his mind. I don't think that he actually ever "goes" anywhere in time. I think his reality is just a projection, and what he is doing when he is supposedly "time traveling" is just editing his reality and then saving the changes and reloading the new version.

    I would love to hear people's thoughts on this!

  9. Mar 17, 2005 #8
    I have just watched the movie (what the bleep do we know!) and what you all are talking about is exactly what they are talking about in the movie. It seems to me that we humans or better yet our conscious is becoming wise to its own reality and is starting to learn that it can be manipulated.
    This is very cool stuff and although some things in that movie didn't seem to have much to do with Quantum physics, it still really opened my eyes and set a course for understanding a reality that doesn't seem so real any longer.
  10. Mar 17, 2005 #9

    I think that perhaps this quoted opinion is more about pessimism and optimism, more than the actual fact of life been in our minds... but then again, perhaps this is the real sense of the matter, the physical world does exist, but we each perceive in a different manner... i don't know how much of it can we influence by thought alone.
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