# Prove existence

Paul Martin
nameless said:
I'm having a very difficult time corresponding 'thought' with 'Consciousness'...
'Thought/mind' is ultimately linear...
Consciousness/Awareness just 'is'...
I can't accept an 'equivalency of Consciousness and Mind...
Mind/brain is not a one came first proposition, they are mutually arising aspects of the same phenomenal 'event'...
Thought is a function of mind, so is brain...
thoughts are things, Mind is not...
Thoughts and ideas. I still can't hang with a 'thinking' mind...
NOT MIND, THOUGHTS!...
LETS NOT EQUATE (CONFUSE) MIND (OMNIVERSAL) WITH 'THOUGHTS', ABSOLUTELY SUBJECTIVE.
While I was at the pumpkin patch (an American thing preparing for Thanksgiving) with my granddaughters, I was thinking how to address the difficulties represented in these quotes. My mind began to wander. It occurred to me that if Beethoven and Goethe had a forum like PF, their thread might go something like this.

Goethe: Ludwig, old pal, I have been wondering just exactly what music is. I thought you would be the right person to ask.
Beethoven: Why, yes. I can tell you. Music is a wonderful experience.
G: Yes, yes. That is certainly a feature or a property of music, but I want to know what it is, exactly.
B: Umm. It's a rewarding profession?
G: Yes, but I want to know its ontology. Of what is it ultimately composed?
B: Composed? Oh, that's easy. Being a famous composer myself, I can tell you that music is composed of compositions.
G: Composed of compositions? Don't be ridiculous. That's too circular. It tells me nothing.
B: Well, what do you mean then?
G: Of what is music made? What are its parts?
B: Parts? You mean pieces?
G: Yes. That's it. What are the fundamental pieces of music?
B: Do you want a list of them? There are thousands of pieces of music. I have composed many of them myself.
G: Look, I'm trying to discover the ontology of music. I'm searching for something enduring. Do these pieces of music endure?
B: Well, some of mine have lasted over two hundred years.
G: That's a start. Now are these pieces fundamental? Or are they made of something else as more fundamental constituents?
B: Oh, I see what you're getting at. Yes, all pieces of music, even though they are quite different, are made of notes. That is probably what you are looking for. Right?
G: Yes. Now we're getting somewhere. Music is made of notes. Now, what are notes made of? And how long do notes endure?
B: One question at a time, please. Hmmm. When I compose music, the notes I make are made out of ink. The notes are written on the manuscript.
G: Wait a minute. I know I can hear music...
B: (Speak for yourself)
G: So are you saying that I can hear ink marks on paper?
B: No. No. The notes you hear are tones. The notes on paper simply represent the tones.
G: OK, so we need to figure out which of these types of notes are ontologically fundamental to music. How long do these tones endure?
B: Well, a good tenor can sustain a tone for maybe a few minutes, but a violinist might be able to hold one for an hour or so. We would have to consult Guiness to find out the world record.
G: Never mind looking it up. In any case it wouldn't compare to the longevity of the ink notes which you said can last for centuries. The ink note must be the fundamental essence of music.
B: That's fine with me, because I can't hear anyway. But you can't hear the ink notes so you wouldn't be able to enjoy the music without the tones. Where would they fit in?
G: You're right. Music is something you hear to enjoy and you can't hear ink marks. So how about the tones. Are they made of something or are they fundamental?
B: Tones are made of vibrations.
G: Ah Ha! I think we almost have it. Music is fundamentally vibrations.
B: So is noise. . .

My point is that except for having fun, it is pointless to try to learn anything about Mind/consciousness/thought/awareness/ideas/concepts/etc. by precisely defining terms. We can't precisely define the terms without knowing exactly what is going on. And if we knew exactly what is going on, we wouldn't need to define terms or even discuss it. There would be some value if one of us knew exactly what is going on and he was intent on getting the other guy to understand it. But I don't think that's the case. At least I certainly don't know exactly what is going on.

So my approach (which might just be laziness or cowardice) is to lump all of those terms together as synonyms, not spend too much time trying to differentiate among them, and then posit that they all inhere in a single entity about which I can't say very much. The only thing I would venture to say about it is that it is the only "thing" that those terms apply to, and I doubt very much if it is perfect, infinite, omni...etc.

Brains, on the other hand are something quite different which I think deserve some discussion along with other phenomena that we experience. So with that, I'll proceed to some specifics of your delightful post.

I changed my mind. I'll post this much now and then get to work on the rest. Thanks for your patience.

Paul

nameless
Paul Martin said:
My point is that except for having fun, it is pointless to try to learn anything about Mind/consciousness/thought/awareness/ideas/concepts/etc. by precisely defining terms.
It seems, though (and I did enjoy being a fly on the wall during Beethoven and Goethe's discussion. T'was all I could not to 'buzz' in! *__-) tha as our understanding deepens and changes thereby, so does the meaning (for us, anyway) of many of the words that we use.

We can't precisely define the terms without knowing exactly what is going on.
But as we learn, the terms take on different shades of meaning. We can fairly 'precisely' offer definitions of the words according to our current understandings.

And if we knew exactly what is going on, we wouldn't need to define terms or even discuss it.
I don't know if it is a need, but I feel 'drawn' to sharing with others the 'treasures' that I have found on my travels. Discussion is one way. Poetry is another. Head speaks to head, heart to heart. Some things, only the head can understand; some things only the heart can encompass!

There would be some value if one of us knew exactly what is going on and he was intent on getting the other guy to understand it.
Hahahaha... I doubt it. Even if one knew exactly 'what is going on', the next person would still argue! Hahahahaha... egos! I still feel that there is benefit in dialog and the attempt to understand the next person in order to more fully understand elephant. This is NOT found in 'debate' and 'argument' however.

So my approach (which might just be laziness or cowardice) is to lump all of those terms together as synonyms, not spend too much time trying to differentiate among them, and then posit that they all inhere in a single entity about which I can't say very much.
I can certainly respect this, but it does make discussion a bit more difficult. If all the blind men describing their portion of the elephant merely said that it was 'warm', incorporating wrinkly, hairy, thick like tree, like snake, etc.. into the one term 'warm', none still would have any better understanding of elephantness.

Brains, on the other hand are something quite different which I think deserve some discussion along with other phenomena that we experience.
True. That might be interesting. Relating to the topic at hand though. *__-

So with that, I'll proceed to some specifics of your delightful post.
I changed my mind. I'll post this much now and then get to work on the rest. Thanks for your patience.
Paul
Take your time, I am enjoying this.

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moving finger
Paul Martin said:
My point is that except for having fun, it is pointless to try to learn anything about Mind/consciousness/thought/awareness/ideas/concepts/etc. by precisely defining terms.

Your fictitious Goethe/Beethoven conversation is very good, and very entertaining – a pity that you stopped at the point where it seemed to be converging on the answer (Goethe suggests music is vibrations, Beethoven counters that so is noise…….).

My conclusion from this is the same as my conclusion from the Oxford University analogy. That pure reductionism does not provide all of the answers. Take apart Oxford University, break it down to its constituent parts, and that does not provide a complete understanding of what Oxford University means. Similarly, take apart music, break it down to its constituent parts, and that does not provide a complete understanding of what music means.

Goethe thinks he can “understand what is music” purely through reductionism – through breaking down the elements of music into their most basic and enduring components. He cannot, any more than one can understand what is Oxford University by breaking down the elements of the university into their most basic and enduring components.

MF

nameless
Music has many different meanings to many different people.
So turn down your damn car stereo!

moving finger
Paul Martin said:
Goethe: Ludwig, old pal, I have been wondering just exactly what music is. I thought you would be the right person to ask.
Beethoven: Why, yes. I can tell you. Music is a wonderful experience.
G: Yes, yes. That is certainly a feature or a property of music, but I want to know what it is, exactly.
B: Umm. It's a rewarding profession?
G: Yes, but I want to know its ontology. Of what is it ultimately composed?
B: Composed? Oh, that's easy. Being a famous composer myself, I can tell you that music is composed of compositions.
G: Composed of compositions? Don't be ridiculous. That's too circular. It tells me nothing.
B: Well, what do you mean then?
G: Of what is music made? What are its parts?
B: Parts? You mean pieces?
G: Yes. That's it. What are the fundamental pieces of music?
B: Do you want a list of them? There are thousands of pieces of music. I have composed many of them myself.
G: Look, I'm trying to discover the ontology of music. I'm searching for something enduring. Do these pieces of music endure?
B: Well, some of mine have lasted over two hundred years.
G: That's a start. Now are these pieces fundamental? Or are they made of something else as more fundamental constituents?
B: Oh, I see what you're getting at. Yes, all pieces of music, even though they are quite different, are made of notes. That is probably what you are looking for. Right?
G: Yes. Now we're getting somewhere. Music is made of notes. Now, what are notes made of? And how long do notes endure?
B: One question at a time, please. Hmmm. When I compose music, the notes I make are made out of ink. The notes are written on the manuscript.
G: Wait a minute. I know I can hear music...
B: (Speak for yourself)
G: So are you saying that I can hear ink marks on paper?
B: No. No. The notes you hear are tones. The notes on paper simply represent the tones.
G: OK, so we need to figure out which of these types of notes are ontologically fundamental to music. How long do these tones endure?
B: Well, a good tenor can sustain a tone for maybe a few minutes, but a violinist might be able to hold one for an hour or so. We would have to consult Guiness to find out the world record.
G: Never mind looking it up. In any case it wouldn't compare to the longevity of the ink notes which you said can last for centuries. The ink note must be the fundamental essence of music.
B: That's fine with me, because I can't hear anyway. But you can't hear the ink notes so you wouldn't be able to enjoy the music without the tones. Where would they fit in?
G: You're right. Music is something you hear to enjoy and you can't hear ink marks. So how about the tones. Are they made of something or are they fundamental?
B: Tones are made of vibrations.
G: Ah Ha! I think we almost have it. Music is fundamentally vibrations.
B: So is noise. . .
...
G : yes, then Music must therefore possesses a quality which distinguishes it from mere noise. What do you suppose it could be?
B : Music is a kind of noise which is pleasing to the ear?
G : Now that is perhaps getting closer to the truth. Of course, there are many different ears, therefore we cannot assume that what is pleasing to one ear is necessarily pleasing to all ears, or can we?
B : Yes, you are right there. One has only to look at (listen to?) some of the awful noise that is produced in the name of “pop music” these days. Not a patch on my symphonies of course.
G : But nevertheless still Music?
B : I suppose one could say that. Not pleasing to my ear, but I suppose there are some who enjoy it.
G : Then “Music is in the ear of the listener”, is that it?
B : Just as “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”? Yes, I suppose so.
G : So what do we have…..Music is relative….. one man’s Music is another man’s noise…… and really any audible vibrations could qualify as Music, as long as someone (or something) could claim to enjoy listening to it?
B : Now that is stretching things a bit far…… but I wonder….. hmmmmm…. Have we finally captured the essence of Music?
MF

nameless
Uh, I could be incorrect, but I thought we were discussing 'existence'?

Paul Martin
nameless said:
'Thought/mind' is ultimately linear (and thereby creates the universe that it 'studies' in it's own image); sequentially correlating concepts, memories, impressions, constructs, categorizing (insidious), processing, computing, analyzing... Basically a bio-computer for processing our 'sensory' data input.
'Consciousness' is the 'ground of the Matrix', (Thought IS the Matrix!) observes but doesn't record, categorize, etc... as that is the property of 'mind'. Consciousness/Awareness just 'is'. Timeless. Wholistic. Non-mechanistic, as mechanism is linear, and that would require temporality. DreaMatrix stuff.
I have tried to remove these 'objectionable qualities' of 'thought' so I could fit it into your hypothetical paradigm, but without all those temporo-physical aspects, there's nothing left of thought (besides a foul smell *__- ). What remains is Consciousness.
nameless said:
By cracky, that IS my world outside of the 'DreaMatrix'. But 'there', there is no longer a 'me' as I am a part of the 'DreaMatrix'. 'There' is no 'differentiation' for a 'me' to exist independently from 'else'.
It seems clear to me that you and I agree except for some semantic choices. You have studiously categorized the terms 'Mind', 'thought,' 'consciousness', etc. so that some of them refer to the erstwhile "nameless' world", AKA "ultimate reality", and others refer to the temporal/phenomenal world so beloved by science. I attempted to avoid the categorization (and mainly the hard work involved) by simply using all terms in both contexts, but capitalizing them when referring to ultimate reality and using lower case when referring to this mundane world of bodies and beds. It probably remains to be seen which would serve us better in our discussion.

If quantity is any measure, you will notice that my method gives us twice as many terms to use as your method. So, e.g., to me, 'mind' is what you are talking about, being the temporal mental world of an individual human, but 'Mind' is what Gregory Bateson was hinting at by suggesting that the entire universe (I suppose he meant all of reality) is something like a mind. So, I would say, yes, all of reality is in fact a Mind. But this Mind, being different from all those minds, is outside of time and space and furthermore, there is only one of them.

Now, if we may be so bold as to speculate on some of the aspects of what this Mind might be like, then it might be useful to talk about aspects we find in minds and see if it makes sense to extrapolate them to Mind. We might want to take that tack later on.
nameless said:
I like the notion of one mind dreaming a bunch of brains and egos, etc... Ok, if we equate Consciousness with Mind, One Mind that functions in the role that I posited for Consciousness, then that Mind 'dreams' a brain that originates 'thought' (at least among some people.. *__- ) in which arrises 'self' and universe... The Dualistic world of phenomenon. Am I close here to your conceptualization?
Yes, very close. We might differ only in how we imagine that that Mind actually 'dreams' up those things. But I think we both believe it does.
nameless said:
What I was doing was perhaps interbreeding mind and thought. Thought is a function of mind, so is brain, so... An I understanding your view of the elephant??
Yes, except perhaps for the interbreeding part, I think you understand my view of the elephant.
nameless said:
AAARRRGGGHHHH! Nooooooo! Thought is linear, as above. Perhaps Mind Is, but would be wholistic, non-temporal, as Consciousness, but 'thought' is sequential, as explained above.
We don't seem to agree on this idea of 'thought'. On the other hand, I don't have a very clear view of this part of the elephant myself so I can't expect you to agree with me yet.

It might help if I explain some of the difficulty I have in making sense out of my hypothesis and its implications. We start with this one, ultimately fundamental, ontological constituent of reality. I think the name we give it is unimportant, but we could call it 'Mind' for now. I have posited that Mind is conscious. That is, Mind can at least know. If it can know, then it can know something. Again the labels are not significant, but we could call the "something" it knows, 'thoughts' or 'ideas' or 'concepts'. Since the first of these terms evokes capital letters and exclamation points from you, and since you indicated some puzzlement at my use of the second one, let's for the sake of civility call the known things, 'concepts'. And then, adding my capitalization convention, we have our starting point:

In (or near) the beginning, the Mind knew some Concepts.

This immediately raises a question that one of you forced me to think about in another thread: Did the Mind really know the Concepts? Or did the Mind only think it knew the Concepts? A related question, or maybe the same question phrased another way, is, Did the Mind know that it knew the Concept?

In my opinion, this leads to a finite (N.B. not infinite) regress. I would say that the Mind knew that it knew that it knew... that it knew the Concept (for some finite number of 'that it knew's). I think this could only have happened if the Mind was able to remember and recall that Knowledge of the Concept and come to know that, indeed, it knew. This spawns and generates temporality. We have a change for the first time. The Mind went from a state of not knowing to a state of knowing. And following that was a succession of similar changes of state.

Now, with temporality, Consciousness would be able to acquire new talents like noticing, judging, and choosing. These would lead, in turn, to yet new capabilities like imagining, creating, and experimenting. Now we come to the problem that plagues me.

The question is what is the substrate which supports these Concepts (which are known, noticed, chosen, imagined, etc.)? In other words, how exactly does that memory and recall function work?

We could just posit that memory and recall are simply intrinsic capabilities of the Consciousness. After all, if you are positing, why not posit large? But that would have to be some prodigious memory to keep track of, say, all the numbers populating the matrix of the Hilbert space describing what has happened to this world since the big bang. (People who admit infinities wouldn't need to blanch at this problem, but for us finitists, it seems to be a hard problem.)

Instead, my guess is that there have been levels of development, along the lines of the helix I have mentioned before, where a relatively simple primordial Mind actually constructed some sort of memory/recall device simply using primitive Concepts. Then that primitive memory device could be stoked up with much more complex Concepts, including such things as numbers and algorithms, which could in turn, be used to construct or devise an even more powerful and capacious memory/recall device at the next level. These levels are the turns in my helix.

It could be that our phenomenal universe is a virtual reality being played out in the memory of some such device built in some "physicality" one turn of the helix below our own familiar phenomenal physicality. And, being here in this particular physical world, we can even now see that Mind (or minds - I won't argue which at this point) has devised new memory devices (DRAMs, RAMs, etc.) which have been populated with numbers and algorithms which play out virtual realities which the Mind (or minds) enjoy experiencing. (I suspect that in order to make the next complete turn of the helix, most of our entire phenomenal universe will have to be harnessed and connected up into a single giant computer-with-memory, containing all the information about the behavior of this physical universe, and Mind's experience with it, since the BB, and at which time that computer will come up with some much more advanced Concepts which will be used to launch the next round of physicality. Sort of like Teilhard de Chardin and Frank Tipler have suggested. But that's beyond the scope of this post. We're trying to keep it simple.)

So the problem is, what was that very first primitive memory device? It seems to me it can only consist of Concepts because nothing else exists, unless the Mind itself had such a capability. One memory scheme would simply be a delay loop (those were used in some of our earlier computers). With this implementation, Mind would simply endlessly repeat, as in a mantra, or a whale's or a bird's song, some Concept or other. Then as distinctive features of this 'song' (a faint smile comes over Pythagoras' face as he stirs in his grave -- wasn't it he who thought that music was at the root of reality? Or am I thinking of someone else?) are noticed as they pass by the attentive part of Consciousness, the Mind would recognize and remember that feature. Some sort of permanence would have been achieved without the Mind having to constantly attend to, or know about the remembered Concepts.

This isn't very satisfactory, but it gives you some idea of how I see the problem and of my meager attempts at solving it. Any new ideas would be greatly welcomed.

(Incidentally, for those of you who remember me relating an altered state experience in the Dentist's chair under the influence of nitrous oxide, this scenario of how reality all got started is my best recollection of how I remember seeing it. When I woke up from that experience, I distinctly remember having been shown how it all got started and how it works, but I couldn't remember any of the details. I did get the impression, however, that it is within the power of human intellectual activity to figure it out from first principles.)
nameless said:
How about that the Mind/Consciousness has/creates ego which conceptualizes Duality (a 'me' as distinguished from 'other') which allows a brain (vs not brain) which views this 'created Duality' through its cognitive grid as a 'material universe'? Meditation and other disciplinary practices take us in the reverse direction of realizing 'Oneness' and Consciousness/Mind?
Yes. I buy all of that.
nameless said:
Such is the nature of synthesis. It has been exceeding rare for me to find another that I can actually hold discourse at this depth and understanding. How do you think that we are doing so far? I feel good, still, that we are describing the same elephant, but your description of your end actually makes sense to me and inspires thought and synthesis.
Thanks for your kind words. I am greatly enjoying this discussion and I think we are doing well so far. I hope I didn't mess it up by entering the Twilight Zone with this post.

Paul

Paul Martin
moving finger said:
Let's not be so hasty. Yes, we humans have a conscious appreciation of what we (anthropocentrically) believe Oxford University comprises, but I respectfully suggest that one could (in principle) envisage a machine-version of Oxford University (where the faculty and students are replaced by non-conscious machines). This machine-version would of course NOT be identical to the human version (I am not suggesting it would be), and to any human being it would clearly "not be" Oxford University as we (humans) know it.
I would suggest the entity "Oxford University" does not pre-exist as a necessarily and exclusively human artefact in some platonic sense. Rather, the entity "Oxford University" is context-dependent and in fact it is whatever we define it to be. In a non-conscious machine society there could be the equivalent of Oxford University for machines - but no consciousness is involved.
I think you have pointed out another disagreement between you and me. It seems that you believe in strong AI. I definitely do not. I think my conviction comes from my long career working with computers and gaining some familiarity with what they can do and what it takes to get them to do it. I fully realize that there are people with as much experience with computers as I have had who do believe in Strong AI, but that hasn't changed my opinion.

Worse than that, as you must have gathered from these discussions, not only do I believe that computers can't become conscious, I believe that human beings (the biological part) are not conscious either. I think that what appears to be consciousness in us humans is really the Consciousness of a single entity completely separate from the body/brain. I know this is an unorthodox view and that I can't present a compelling case for it, but I mention it just to show you how difficult it would be to convince me that a machine can become conscious when I don't even think an organism can become conscious.

If we changed the rules a little, I might agree that a machine could become conscious. That is if we allowed the machine to be controlled remotely by a conscious operator. If you built such a machine, you might be able to sneak it past the administrator of the Turing Test and it might pass. This is essentially what I think human bodies have done. I think brains are a communication device allowing the brain/body to be operated remotely by the Conscious operator. In fact, if we ever learn enough about the brain to discover how that communication takes place, we might duplicate the device and install it in our robot thus making it just as conscious as we humans seem to be. But, since the robot would still be remotely operated (by the One Consciousness rather than by a human), it would still need that rule change. If you would accept that rule change, maybe we don't disagree on Strong AI after all.

But regardless of that disagreement, it shouldn't stop us from having a reasonable discussion. One or both of us might stand to gain some insight, and even if we don't, I'm sure it will be enjoyable. At least for me, and I hope it can be fun for you as well.

I'm glad you suggested not being hasty. I would like to take this slowly, and savor it piece by piece.

We have been discussing the putative "essence" of Oxford University. Nameless has just opined that he thought we were talking about "existence". I think we were. I think we were asking the question, Is there something that exists which is the fundamental ontological constituent of Oxford University? And if so, what is it?

From what you said about my Beethoven/Goethe piece (BTW thank you for your comments and for completing it. You did much better than I could have.) I think you would agree with me that there is no fundamental "thing" which is the essence of the University. We are talking about a Concept. The University is essentially a Concept, and that Concept involves buildings, grounds, documents, people, traditions, history, etc. But, Concepts can only inhere in minds (Mind). So this moves us into the discussion nameless and I have been having.

The question is, What minds (Mind) are we talking about? If we start with human minds as candidates and ask, Which among them harbor the Concepts that constitute Oxford University?, I think we would have to agree with Wittgenstein (or was it Quine?) who said that to capture the full meaning of any concept, you have to include the total context of everyone who has ever used the language expressing the concept. In other words, the meaning of the term "Oxford University" involves the ideas entertained in the minds of everyone who has ever heard, read, or used that term since it was first coined.

Now, if we agree with that, then my departure from most people comes into play. I say that none of those humans was conscious but instead, the Consciousness which entertained the Idea of 'Oxford University' from the perspective of each of those brains in those human beings, was in all cases the one and only Conscious entity which drives them all. That is simply a direct consequence of my hypothesis of only a single Consciousness in all reality. Now, if you don't buy into my hypothesis, then, we'll just note the disagreement and move on.

But regardless of whether you agree with me or not, I can consider that Consciousness operates vicariously in the various human brains, and Consciousness has the illusion in each case that the individual being driven at the time is indeed conscious. So they appear to conduct themselves exactly as Wittgenstein saw them. They go about communicating with one another, inventing and using words, which are more or less understood for all practical purposes. The notion of 'Oxford University' is sufficiently well understood in order to allow people to visit, or attend, or work there or to talk about it in any number of contexts.

I would say that the same thing happens with individual humans who seem to understand concepts like 'see', 'know', 'think', 'understand', 'feel', 'imagine', etc. well enough to be able to communicate among themselves about certain aspects of mentality. Just as two Mars rovers might 'see' each other, 'know' how to avoid collisions, 'understand' their mission, etc. when in fact, all of those things are really done by the JPL scientist.

So, I think that we might agree that there is no essence of Oxford University except for concepts. I would just add that, in my view, all of those concepts are held in a single Mind, and not in a collection of human minds.

Now, as for the machine-built Oxford University, I would say there are two cases: The first is if you allow the rule change that let's the machines be remotely operated by a conscious operator. In that case, I would say that even though it might not resemble the present Oxford University, you would still get an equivalent, as you say, and there would be no on-site consciousness involved. The second case is if you don't allow the rule change and you disallow conscious involvement altogether. In this case, I am strongly persuaded that a machine University is impossible and can never happen. I don't even think the first robot student will ever reach the point where it would even consider applying for admission. Just my humble opinion.

Now, what about the essence of physical things? Is there some ontologically fundamental stuff of which everything is made? Here again, I would say that it all boils down to concepts. All of the theories of science are, at base, nothing but concepts. Even the fundamental particles are mathematical points with no real substance to them. So if we want a complete explanation of the physical world, and if we have posited a Mind, then the Mind is capable of harboring whatever concepts are required for the physical world to exist and the explanation lacks nothing. But without such a Mind, how can theorists explain how concepts can lead to anything substantial, and how concepts can even exist in the first place? Those seem to be fatal stumbling blocks to me.
moving finger said:
If consciousness is the essence of everything else, does this mean that any concept of an entity existing “without consciousness” is meaningless?
It's a little tricky to unravel what you are asking here, but I think I understand the question. Let me make sure.

If, by "an entity existing "without consciousness"", you mean an entity which is not conscious itself, such as a rock, then some concept of that entity, e.g. a concept of the rock, could certainly have meaning to a conscious entity which held that concept. So the answer is 'no', such a concept is not meaningless. It can have meaning to the consciousness which is the essence of everything else.

If, by "an entity existing "without consciousness"", you mean an entity existing in a hypothetical reality in which there were no consciousness at all, then your question has an inherent contradiction making the question itself meaningless. On the one hand, your question takes as a premise that "consciousness is the essence of everything else" and on the other hand stipulates that there is no consciousness at all in this hypothetical reality. That would mean that there is nothing at all in that reality, no concepts, no entities, no anything.
moving finger said:
I disagree. A non-conscious machine could in principle "understand" what constitutes a Rolls Royce, and could thereby construct one, without any consciousness being involved.
Yes. We disagree on the possibilities for machines. I think we also disagree on the role and profundity of consciousness, but at least we agree on the severe limitations of reductionism.

Good talking to you, MF

Paul

nameless
Paul Martin said:
It seems clear to me that you and I agree except for some semantic choices. You have studiously categorized the terms 'Mind', 'thought,' 'consciousness', etc. so that some of them refer to the erstwhile "nameless' world", AKA "ultimate reality", and others refer to the temporal/phenomenal world so beloved by science. I attempted to avoid the categorization (and mainly the hard work involved) by simply using all terms in both contexts, but capitalizing them when referring to ultimate reality and using lower case when referring to this mundane world of bodies and beds. It probably remains to be seen which would serve us better in our discussion.
I still got a problem with 'thought', capitol or small 't', being anything more than a temporal phenomenon born with the omniverse in the Big Bang of the Launching/Creation of the dreaMatrix, but Consciousness/Mind/Awareness can all be 'Reality' in .. 'my' world! *__- Still attempting to locate 'Thought' in 'Here', but no luck so far... I'll keep you posted on developements! Unfortunately, I seem to have waaaay too much thought... 'here'. *__-

If quantity is any measure, you will notice that my method gives us twice as many terms to use as your method.
"If quantity is any measure"... An interesting redundancy.
I, personally, have enough trouble understanding meaning and implications of the 'few' words I use. I roll my eyes at multiplicity and redundancy of words with only slight variation.

So, e.g., to me, 'mind' is what you are talking about, being the temporal mental world of an individual human, but 'Mind' is what Gregory Bateson was hinting at by suggesting that the entire universe (I suppose he meant all of reality) is something like a mind. So, I would say, yes, all of reality is in fact a Mind. But this Mind, being different from all those minds, is outside of time and space and furthermore, there is only one of them.
Hologramic Content of mind = Omniverse?!

Now, if we may be so bold as to speculate on some of the aspects of what this Mind might be like, then it might be useful to talk about aspects we find in minds and see if it makes sense to extrapolate them to Mind. We might want to take that tack later on.
I'm having a poblem here. I started to respond and stopped to think. Mistake!
Now, I am really f**ked!
I seem to be running into 'demons in the machine', so I'm going to go 'Eastern' for a moment and see if that paradigm would provide a 'better' construct.

It is Bindu, undifferentiated potential (UP), perhaps 'within' or perhaps a 'component' or 'aspect' of Consciousness/Mind, that seems to equate to Chaos, or the 'aspect' (of Consciousness) that is equivalent to QM's 'possibility/probability waves'. An immanently pregnant almost limitless sea of possibility, bursting to collapse into one of all possible 'futures' (realities) by the singular focused 'touch' of Consciousness. "The Ground of all Being" is Consciousness/Mind that must 'focus' upon a possibility wave (quanton) in the 'sea' of Bindu (UP).
The 'reality/omniverse' that is thus formed (from the 'union' of Consciousness and Bindu) manifests within 'Mind' 'hologramically'.
A hologram contains all the information for the totality/structure of the hologram in every point within the hologram.
Exactly as http://www.heartspace.org/misc/IndraNet.html" [Broken] that is also interesting and perhaps relevent.

"We calculate, but that we may calculate, we make fiction first." -Nietzsche

Yes, very close. We might differ only in how we imagine that that Mind actually 'dreams' up those things. But I think we both believe it does.
Perhaps this was a useful construct above? I'm liking it more and more.

In (or near) the beginning, the Mind knew some Concepts.
Amen! I always thought that the relevant portions of the Bible could be rewritten, interperted, according to modern understandings and concepts. No attempt to preserve the origional 'agenda' though, only 'Truth'. Yours is a GREAT beginning! I'd leave out the 'the' of the Mind, and the 'some' though, it weakens the power of the phrase.
"In the Beginning, Mind knew Concepts and the Omniverse was Born.
BANG!
But Ignorance was upon the face of Conceptual Man and he began to Believe."
Leave in a bit of King James' quaint phrasing for poetic and dramatic reasons...
Paul, I think I'm going to try it! I presently am on page 54 of the book that I'm writing, but the damn thing pales before my new project. I might need collaborators (fellow conspirators?)... *__-

This immediately raises a question that one of you forced me to think about in another thread: Did the Mind really know the Concepts? Or did the Mind only think it knew the Concepts?
One of 'me'?
I 'understand' that all that I know is conceptual within mind. I still enjoy the Concepts even though I understand that it is all 'hologramic fiction' within conceptual Mmind (covering all bases! *__- )
Or, put another way, what's the difference? Does it matter whether I am 'really' happy, or just 'think' that I am?

A related question, or maybe the same question phrased another way, is, Did the Mind know that it knew the Concept?
Who is the 'Observer' of 'concept'? Consciousness/Mind? Not necessarily 'knowing' but 'observing'?

In my opinion, this leads to a finite (N.B. not infinite) regress. I would say that the Mind knew that it knew that it knew... that it knew the Concept (for some finite number of 'that it knew's). I think this could only have happened if the Mind was able to remember and recall that Knowledge of the Concept and come to know that, indeed, it knew. This spawns and generates temporality. We have a change for the first time. The Mind went from a state of not knowing to a state of knowing. And following that was a succession of similar changes of state.
I'm seeing unnecessary complications and forays down non-existent rabbit holes. On the other hand, could it be possible that 'Mind' can be 'Mentally' ill? Then it can know that it can know that it can...

Now, with temporality, Consciousness would be able to acquire new talents like noticing, judging, and choosing. These would lead, in turn, to yet new capabilities like imagining, creating, and experimenting.
Nooooooooooo... Consciousness/Mind transcends temporality which is a hologramic construct... within Consciousness. All that temporal stuff, the linearity of thought, for instance, happens within the hologram!

"The function of Mind is as a perceiver, but thoughts find their origin in the 'memory' of Mind's Perception."

"Perception is an active process!" -K.C.Cole, Sympathetic Vibrations

"The true nature of Mind is to perceive in receptive awareness."

"Thought doesn't enhance the joy and beauty of life but only removes one from the 'direct experience' of it."

Now we come to the problem that plagues me.

The question is what is the substrate which supports these Concepts (which are known, noticed, chosen, imagined, etc.)? In other words, how exactly does that memory and recall function work?
Back to the 'material world'? Brain function? Thought? Actually, I lean to the view that all moments are 'created' simultaneously. It is 'awareness'? Consciousness? that 'flits' from already extant moment to moment (like a frog from lilly pad to lilly pad) as the Observer. Our momentary existence comes complete with memories. Every moment. Memories ain't necessarilly related to anything 'real' and thusly, not to be trusted.

We could just posit that memory and recall are simply intrinsic capabilities of the Consciousness. After all, if you are positing, why not posit large? LETS NOT GET SCATOLOGICAL HERE! But that would have to be some prodigious memory to keep track of, say, all the numbers populating the matrix of the Hilbert space describing what has happened to this world since the big bang. (People who admit infinities wouldn't need to blanch at this problem, but for us finitists, it seems to be a hard problem.)
Memory = temporal = not 'Real' .. just another Construct of the Dreamed.

Instead, my guess is that there have been levels of development, along the lines of the helix I have mentioned before, where a relatively simple primordial Mind actually constructed some sort of memory/recall device simply using primitive Concepts. Then that primitive memory device could be stoked up with much more complex Concepts, including such things as numbers and algorithms, which could in turn, be used to construct or devise an even more powerful and capacious memory/recall device at the next level. These levels are the turns in my helix.
I fear you'll find yourself in an 'infinite' loop by your attempt to anthropomorphise that which is 'transcendent' of anthropos and Is the 'matrix' structure within which the concept of anthropos, the dreaming dream, has 'life'.

It could be that our phenomenal universe is a virtual reality being played out in the memory of some such device built in some "physicality" one turn of the helix below our own familiar phenomenal physicality.
Dude, you're too old for those drugs! They could break your brain!

'Occam's Razor' trims away unnecessary complication in the persuit of 'Truth'. 'Truth' has always been accepted as simple (by those who experience it), and any 'complexity' is just an obfuscation created by 'belief' in the 'illusion'...

And, being here in this particular physical world, we can even now see that Mind (or minds - I won't argue which at this point) has devised new memory devices (DRAMs, RAMs, etc.) which have been populated with numbers and algorithms which play out virtual realities which the Mind (or minds) enjoy experiencing.
I would guess that the 'Observer' enjoys observing the Dreams; unless Mind is Mentally ill, which would answer all kinds of questions, by the way! *__-

(I suspect that in order to make the next complete turn of the helix, most of our entire phenomenal universe will have to be harnessed and connected up into a single giant computer-with-memory, containing all the information about the behavior of this physical universe, and Mind's experience with it, since the BB, and at which time that computer will come up with some much more advanced Concepts which will be used to launch the next round of physicality. Sort of like Teilhard de Chardin and Frank Tipler have suggested. But that's beyond the scope of this post. We're trying to keep it simple.)
A little LATE to keep it simple? Hahahahahahaahaha...
Due to the nature of the 'Holoverse' (!) the possible 'expansions' are relatively endless. Whatever Consciousness/Mind wishes to 'find' like some bitty new 'particle', by conceptualizing something to find, the 'sought' is 'brought' into 'material' manifestation. Build a machine to find a 'posited' Hereford shaped 'moo-on', and it will! So the potential permutations are endless. Which is why (OK, now is the time for all you fine classical physicists out there to put your hands over your ears and ignore the rest of this ...'opinion'!) I don't take the 'hard' sciences too seriously (they're like dogs chasing their own tails, always thinking that they are getting closer yet always finding more distance to cover...), except where it intersects 'Truth'. Like QM, and there are still damn few within the QM community that truly understand the 'import' of their own work..

So the problem is, what was that very first primitive memory device? It seems to me it can only consist of Concepts because nothing else exists, unless the Mind itself had such a capability. One memory scheme would simply be a delay loop (those were used in some of our earlier computers). With this implementation, Mind would simply endlessly repeat, as in a mantra, or a whale's or a bird's song I BEG YOUR PARDON! PERHAPS OUR 'BABBLING' SOUNDS LIKE ENDLESSLY REPEATING NONSENSE TO A WHALE OR A BIRD?, some Concept or other. Then as distinctive features of this 'song' (a faint smile comes over Pythagoras' face as he stirs in his grave -- wasn't it he who thought that music was at the root of reality? Or am I thinking of someone else? THE BEATLES?) are noticed as they pass by the attentive part of Consciousness, the Mind would recognize and remember that feature. Some sort of permanence would have been achieved without the Mind having to constantly attend to, or know about the remembered Concepts.

This isn't very satisfactory, but it gives you some idea of how I see the problem and of my meager attempts at solving it. Any new ideas would be greatly welcomed.
Simplify! Simplify. Simplify...
One cannot apply Dream Science to 'Reality' as 'Reality' is not Dream. I fear that your conceptual 'borders' between Dream and Reality are a bit... 'unstable'?

(Incidentally, for those of you who remember me relating an altered state experience in the Dentist's chair under the influence of nitrous oxide, this scenario of how reality all got started is my best recollection of how I remember seeing it. When I woke up from that experience, I distinctly remember having been shown how it all got started and how it works, but I couldn't remember any of the details. I did get the impression, however, that it is within the power of human intellectual activity to figure it out from first principles.)
Nitrous would be effective in reducing the brain's oxygen supply, thereby increasing the CO2 content which opens the 'reducing valve' that limits 'input' a bit. Visions can be experienced. I'd recommend mescaline though as a more effective tool of consciousness expansion (access).
"Better living through chemistry!"
*__-

I hope I didn't mess it up by entering the Twilight Zone with this post.
Hahahahha, dude, I LIVE in the Twilight Zone! Hahahahhaahahah...
Good night...

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igot_noid
I read a great deal of this thread and find it very interesting.

But i have been posed by a question. What is it to exist? (i.e define existence).

And if you do have a fair definition for this (by this i do not mean simple dictionary definitions which always define existence as "the state of existing" etc), then i would be grateful if you could answer this question: What is it to not exist?

Could you please also give me an example of something which does not exist? And I personally believe that doing so is not possible (i.e such a thing can not be comprehended by the human mind). Am I correct in saying this?

Forgive me if my post seems a bit off topic. I am new to the forum, and haven't been able to browse enough to find a thread which does help me.

nameless
igot_noid said:
What is it to exist? (i.e define existence).
The philosophers have been battling out this question for millennia.
Would you like a one line answer or two? *__-
I shall offer you one answer (another answer will be an additional $10.00!)thusly; If you can conceive of it, it 'exists' for you. If you have no concept of 'something' it does not 'exist' in your universe. If you wish to go further and question your own existence, that might take a bit more time (and an extra$50.00!). But, hey, what is more important in life than to find who or what you really are, if anything. The Hindus say that "the purpose of life is 'Self Realization', not self gratification."

What is it to not exist?
'Nothing' is Perfect, just not very interesting!
I have found that there is no difference between 'existence' and 'non-existence'.
Your question, for most, would be faulty, for a non-existant person that would know the answer to your question couldn't possibly answer your query as they do not exist!
Another answer might be; very lonely.

Could you please also give me an example of something which does not exist?
There, want another?
Seriously folks, if I actually gave you an example of something that has previously not existed for you (your first response would probably be to argue with me as so many do, as that item doesn't exist in your world and you would therefore argue that it 'doesn't exist'...), my description will initiate concepts for you and bring the item into existence in your universe.

Forgive me if my post seems a bit off topic. I am new to the forum, and haven't been able to browse enough to find a thread which does help me.
Take off your shoes, wander around, take your time, make yourself at home.. Theres no rush. If you don't find a relevant thread after searching all over, start your own. If it is redundant, someone will surely let you know.
Welcome aboard!
*__-

igot_noid
Call me stupid… but you seem to have contradicted yourself in each part of the above.

But my humble and inferior mind can understand this from what I read:

- All that which u can conceive exists… in your own perception of the universe. Does that mean that 'nothing', as it self, exists?
- Existence is the same as non-existence and so if taken the way u explained (i.e. without an extra say $20- for input) that means that everything that what you can't conceive also exists? - However the part about if u described something, would only meant that that already exists in your 'universe'. I am talking about non-existence and existence as a reality. That is existence as what it truly is in the universe, not what it is in ones perception of the universe. Therefore the question i pose to you is: is it possible to define existence (which is something that does exist in my 'universe') in terms of reality and not just ones own perception of reality? I do not believe you are correct in saying that there are many universes (that is a matter of personal opinion), but only that there are many ways in which people define their universe. In fact (as far as i can tell), there shud only be, by its definition, only one universe. Last edited: igot_noid btw.. i do not at any stage intend on arguing with you, it is just that i found it difficult to find an answer to my questions in your reply. also, i am a practicing hindu. *___- nameless igot_noid said: …you seem to have contradicted yourself in each part of the above. And you have a problem with that? Is 'consistancy' that important to you? More important than 'Truth'? Logic does not = Truth. Do you think that you can 'logically think' yourself into Nirvana? Satori? Think yourself into 'Enlightenment'? Logically? Sequentially? Temporally? If you are seeking easily digested 'answers' to your 'mountainous' questions, you will be disappointed. But my humble and inferior mind can understand this from what I read: - All that which u can conceive exists… in your own perception of the universe. Does that mean that 'nothing', as it self, exists? Whether or not anything 'exists' independently of mind, is nor can ever be 'known'. All you can see, hear, etc.. all you think, feel, conceive, everything that you 'perceive' in and as 'your' universe truly exists solely within your mind. There is much modern scientific 'evidence' that seems to support the hypothesis that, no, there is NO-THING 'out there' in front of your nose. This has been well discussed (and argued) elsewhere on this site. Read. - Existence is the same as non-existence and so if taken the way u explained (i.e. without an extra say$20- for input) that means that everything that what you can't conceive also exists?
Not for you.
If you cannot conceive of it, it cannot exist for you. For example; 'Spirit guides' seem to be very real to those who seriously maintain the 'concept' of their 'reality' inclusive of their conceptualized 'Guides'. Sheerest of nonsense, though, to those who don't have that 'concept' of their 'reality'.

Therefore the question i pose to you is: is it possible to define existence (which is something that does exist in my 'universe') in terms of reality and not just ones own perception of reality?
No.
Yes, but it would be from ignorance.

I do not believe you are correct in saying that there are many universes (that is a matter of personal opinion), but only that there are many ways in which people define their universe.
You certainly aren't alone in your 'belief'. Most people accept their sensory/mental 'evidence' as a true gauge of 'Reality'. Otherwise, they must engage in the difficult and painful practice of 'self' examination. 'Ego' says that you are truly the arbiter of 'Reality' and any differing opinions are simply wrong! After all, the only 'Real' Reality is the one that 'I' percieve! Thence the arguments and the bloodshed

Infact (as far as i can tell), there shud only be, by its definition, only one universe.
Wasn't it you, a few moments ago, who refused to accept a dictionary definition of 'existence'? Yet you (lazily) resort to the dictionary for 'universe'? Was the dictionary written by 'Enlightened Sages'? Google up the terms 'Omniverse', 'Metaverse', 'Multiverse', and after the publication of my book, 'Holoverse'! *__- (****! I just Googled 'Holoverse' and the term is already out there! Figures! Hahahaha...)

btw.. i do not at any stage intend on arguing with you, it is just that i found it difficult to find an answer to my questions in your reply.
If you truly believed that you had a "humble and inferior mind" (and that was not a vapid platitude), of course you wouldn't argue.
No, I'm not interested in argument. It benefits no-one and nothing but ego.
You are asking very weighty questions. If the level of 'difficulty' bothers you, perhaps a different question? 'What makes the sky blue?' 'Where do eclipses come from?' (and no, there is no dark planet Rao between the Earth and the moon!) These are easily answered (superficial) questions. Actually, the more 'superficial' the question, the more easily found and digested the 'answer'. Is it 'ease' that you are truly after? It is not difficult to find a comfortable chair.

You will not find any 'answers' in 'my replies' (perhaps, though, you can find some food for thought), you can find answers, if 'answers' exist, to the 'deeper' questions, within yourself, within your own 'mind'. Use it. Hone it. Perfect it. Then discard it. You cannot 'find' Truth, you 'become' Truth!

Even if I could magically touch your forehead and share all that I Am, I would not deprive you of the inestimable joys and wonder of hard won 'discovery'.
Is that not what life is about?

dubmugga
slightly off topic but I like the terms NEGAVERSE and ECHOVERSE too...

...one implies a negatively charged universe of equal dimensions between which we flip at superliminal speed and the other implies waves of thought reverberating through many universes

as you were...

nameless
'Twas A Negaverse Christmas

Twas a Negaverse Christmas and all through the land,
Not an evil thing stirred, like a dead bird in your hand.
Crystals were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that energy would be collected there.
The youma were nestled all snug in their beds,
As visions of energy danced in their heads.
And Zoisite and Malachite, as you might suspect,
Had just settled down for a long winter's neck.<^_^>
When out in the throne room, there arose such a clatter,
Zoey sprang from his lap to see what was the matter.
Malachite soon followed, quick as a flash,
Angry enough to turn someone into a fine hash.
The energy from the dais lent a dim glow,
And barely shed light on what happened below.
When what to the generals' wondering eyes should appear,
But a quite drunken Beryl, and a keg full of beer!
With sleight of hand so cunning, so slick,
She produced Tuxedo Mask, whippity quick!
More rapid than racehorses, she spoke gibberish:
"We've beaten the Scouts! They had a death wish!
I've invited all our friends who aided the fight,
There's Galaxia, and Fish-Eye, we've got them all!
So come on, get busy, we'll have a big ball!"
As hungry cats set before roomfuls of mice,
They came: didn't have to tell them twice!
To the middle of the bash, the generals they flew,
Zoisite, Malachite, Jedite, and yes, Neflyte too!
Then, they all saw it, by the great hand of Fortuna,
The graces had granted them Sailor Scouts and Luna
They all fainted quickly and by the time they came around,
Their poor ears were ringing with a terrible sound.
Beryl had started cheers and was refilling her stein,
When, from above, there came a moon's shine.
The villains collectively gasped and began to hack,
But Zirconia went further and had a cardiac!
The light: how it twinkled,
It fostered despair
In the hearts of the villains
Who all gathered there.
It was the Moon Princess, with her heart and her wands,
Who had come to liberate Sailor Scouts from their bonds.
She raised her Moon Wand, and in a voice loud and clear,
Yelled, "No Negaverse Christmas this year!"
The villains were worried and they vocalized their peril
For the Negaverse and for the life of Queen Beryl.
"Cosmic Moon Power!" Serenity shouted, sans fear.
And the glimmer of death came uncomfortably near,
But the inebriate Beryl, she lost drunken awe
And without missing a beat, she began to withdraw
The most evil weapon; one might say "It rocked!",
An M-16 rifle, fully loaded and cocked.
She emptied a magazine into the air,
And some of it took off the long, pigtailed hair
Of the Moon Princess as she fell with a thud,
Into a pool of her own lunar blood.
The Queen dropped the rifle and held out her hand.
The Crescent Moon Wand came to her on command.
The youma rejoiced and began to giggle and titter
As the Silver Imperium Crystal began to glitter.
We heard Beryl exclaim as they fade from our sight:
"Merry Christmas to all! Earth will be ours by moonlight!"

Email comments and praise to ThreeLites@aol.com
Send hate mail to billgates@microsoft.com

I'm pretty sure that this will have meaning to someone who will appreciate it. Wiccans?

There are listings for Echoverse, some are from you!
Sillyverse?
Cheese McVerse?
Dubmuggaverse?
*__-

igot_noid
I must admit i am a great fan of logical reasoning, however am able to accept every thing you attempt to explain (in your own personal abusive way i might add.. btw: do you have many friends?). I really don't think you understand what i am trying to say here (actually i think i just can't word it correct - but hey dnt blame me if english was my second language).

How can non-existence never be able to exist, if i (in my own universe) believe it exists in the first place? What i am saying is that there must be something that doesn't exist because such a thing exists in my head. I understand tha it being in my head is existence in itself, but i dnt believe in this actual thing, just that there is such a thing. (i knw the first thing going in your rather ignorant mind is that "if u did ever find this thing, then it would exist for u in ur own universe", but hypothetically, what if someone else found this, and i had no knowledge of it, but that it exists).

igot_noid
Oh... yea..Saying i had a "humbler and inferior mind" was just an attempt to satisfy the ever so lasting need of yours to feel superior to others (especially the people whom you don't personally knw). This is clearly shown by the way you speak (or atleast write) in this forum.

nameless
igot_noid said:
Oh... yea..Saying i had a "humbler and inferior mind" was just an attempt to satisfy the ever so lasting need of yours to feel superior to others (especially the people whom you don't personally knw). This is clearly shown by the way you speak (or atleast write) in this forum.
Ahhhh, opinions are like... Hahahahahah.. I guess that you are the spokesman for everyone here? And after just being here for a relative few moments? Startling progress you make! Learn to walk at 3 months old? I'm sure that you'd still remember something so recent..

Ahh, so you were being disingenuous in your words, sarcasm..
And I gave you the respect of answering your dishonest crappola as if you were asking an honest question. Silly me. I spoke to you honestly, from the heart. Obviously you are unused to such communication. You must have many 'friends' if honesty and forthrightness mean so little to you.

Congrats, you have wasted my time, but wait.. maybe not? There are lurkers just reading these words that can understand and find value therein.
"Words from the heart find homes in many diverse places. Stones cast from the hand of ignorance find no mark at all!"
If not you, gee, oh well. I spoke to you with the same love and honesty with which I speak to my children, I guess that you are not used to that. A shame. No I don't look down on you, or feel superior. Your youthful insecurity is showing though. Well, if you don't like my apples, young man, just leave the tree alone. So, I won't waste anymore time with you. Good luck with your maturation.
(English is your second language? You do well! Is your first language Australian?)

moving finger
dubmugga said:
slightly off topic but I like the terms NEGAVERSE and ECHOVERSE too...
...one implies a negatively charged universe of equal dimensions between which we flip at superliminal speed and the other implies waves of thought reverberating through many universes
as you were...
with respect, all these ideas seem like they originate from the PERVERSE...

MF

igot_noid
ah yes.. the ever-so ignorant response.

No Hindi was my first language, because i live in Australia does not mean i was born here. Neither does me practicing Hinduism or speaking Hindi mean i was born in India (now I knw you are wondering where I was born, but we'll leave that for you). People move. Things change. Might be hard to believe and understand, but hey.. it happens. Live with it.

And my queries were honest, as were me reading your "honest" replies. I have great respect for you at the philosophical level. However, i do not understand the neccesity of adding quick smirk remarks between each and every well thought out answer. You seem to not want to help people who don't have as great as understanding as you do in philosophy. Quite hyprocritcal i belive, because i am sure at some stage in your life that you were a 'questioner' doing just as such to gain knowledge (perhaps)... (trail of thoughts)

And it is this lack of respect for those wishing to learn which has, in me, aroused a certain dislike for you.

And I gave you the respect of answering your dishonest crappola as if you were asking an honest question. Silly me. I spoke to you honestly, from the heart.

To this you have left me with nothing but to say: heart? what heart?

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Divisionbyzer0
nameless said:
Define 'existence'?
Are you assuming that there is a 'me' to 'have' a mind?
Are you assuming that 'mind' exists?
'Cogito ergo sum' seems like a self-referrential fallacy. Does 'thought' always reflect absolute 'reality'? If not, why assume your 'existence' from thought. We have heard this quote for so long that it is assumed to have validity. Another cognitive fallacy.
What if there were a 'thought' floating through the mists hallucinating a 'Me' and a 'my universe'?

Then couldn't you still be said to "exist", but rather as a "thought" floating throught the mists, as opposed to existing as your conventional perception of "yourself" informs you that you exist.

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
igot_noid and nameless, please keep the discussion civil and relevant to the topic at hand.

nameless
Divisionbyzer0 said:
Then couldn't you still be said to "exist", but rather as a "thought" floating throught the mists, as opposed to existing as your conventional perception of "yourself" informs you that you exist.
Certainly, if you wish to 'expand the definition of 'existence' to include to include the 'temporal', to include the 'constructed' and 'dependent'.
I was (and am) referring to 'inherent' existence. Existence that is self-consistent, self supported, not affected by time, etc... 'Ultimate existence'.

meL
nameless

STAY :-)

IT is happening right
on "time"
.
.

nameless
meL said:
nameless
STAY :-)
IT is happening right
on "time"
.
.
STAY??
Like Sit? Roll over? Play dead?
What is IT?
Nothing happens.
There is no time.
There is just this Dream...

I can't.
Quite the opposite...

Good night.

gumbythescientist
existence to me is interaction. Wheather or not you percieve that interaction taking place it still happened in someone elses perception so even if I don't exist as myself someone still perceived me as exsisting even if I didn't acknowlage my own persona so in the end wheather you think you exist or someone else does the only truth I know is that there is existence

quantumcarl
zelldot said:
does nothing exist apart from my mind?
No. Your mind made nothing up. That is, nothing does not exist.

What exists may be an illusion or may be a desperate attempt of your mind to continue surviving in the illusion you have created. However... we can with all confidence report that something exists and nothing does not exist.

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igot_noid said:
What is it to exist? (i.e define existence). And if you do have a fair definition for this (by this i do not mean simple dictionary definitions which always define existence as "the state of existing" etc), then i would be grateful if you could answer this question: What is it to not exist?
Could you please also give me an example of something which does not exist? And I personally believe that doing so is not possible (i.e such a thing can not be comprehended by the human mind). Am I correct in saying this?
As stated by Ayn Rand, "to exist is to be something, as distinquished from the nothing of nonexistence"...to exist is "to be an entity of a specific nature made of specific attributes". The equation for any specific thing that exists is "A = A", e.g., a thing is itself. The concept of existence is an axomatic concept of philosophy, which thus cannot be analyzed or reduced to other facts or broken into parts. Thus, to answer your second question, to "not exist" means that what you observe is "nothing". It is very easy to provide examples of nothing, so now open your left hand and observe what it holds. Either it holds "something" that exists, or "nothing"--so which is it ? Consider when your computer turns off for no reason while reading this forum, do you not clearly comprehend the concept of nonexistence of electrons flowing into it that provide the energy. So I hold that you error when you conclude that the human mind cannot comprehend "nonexistence", for without this ability, neither would it then be able to comprehend its opposite, "existence".

Critical_Pedagogy
zelldot said:
does nothing exist apart from my mind?

i would say that your mind doesn't exist, and it's just the material self that exists.

dgoodpasture2005
zelldot said:
does nothing exist apart from my mind?

yes this statement is true... apart from your mind... nothing exists... when you cease to exists, your mind will be gone, and with it, existence... i think it's safe to say you will fall into/become nothingness. The mind creates consciousness of existence.

Dmstifik8ion
By asking, "does nothing exist apart from my mind?", you demonstrate that nothing exists in your mind.

Jonny_trigonometry
what is the definition of a word but other words? How can we be sure that we're all talking about the same thing? The words we use are independant of the things we feel, we can't fully express ourselves to each other, we can only outline a thought or feeling, never share it 100%. When we speak of existence and mind, we all may have different ideas of what they are. These are just words, and we all attach different interpretations to those words, and interpret how others use those words in slightly different ways than they meant to provide. I would argue that it is impossible to prove existence because we can't all fully agree what it means.

If we can all agree that it can't be proven, then we can prove existence because it being true is the contrapositive of the truth of the idea that it can't be proven. If we all understand this paradox, then we all agree on this idea, and so we can justify the existence of it; therefore we have just proven existence.

If we all can agree that if we all agree on something it doesn't make that something true, then we are no better off from where we started. If we all can see the problem in the last statement, then we can all agree that the problem exists, but that we may be wrong in our conclusion, and if that we all recognize that idea then the idea exists and so does existence.

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QuantumTheory
dgoodpasture2005 said:
yes this statement is true... apart from your mind... nothing exists... when you cease to exists, your mind will be gone, and with it, existence... i think it's safe to say you will fall into/become nothingness. The mind creates consciousness of existence.

So are you saying when you die all consciousness dies? Maybe your physical body dies, but that's it. Sorry, I have to disagree. Evolution does not prove there is a god or not. Do you really think Earth is just a freak accident? No other planets have been like earth, that we know of. Mars perhaps once had water, but that's all we know.

quantumcarl
As far as "proving existence" goes... Des Cartes said
I think, therefore I am
which was accepted and still is today as proof of existence. I think the statement is weak and proves nothing. I think my renovation of the statements makes more sense... here it is: