The Mystery Within

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  • #26
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Originally posted by M. Gaspar

IACCHUS 32: I believe the Universe is a living, conscious Entity whose natural forces tend toward ORDER. On the physical "plane" (for want of a better way to express it), matter (which is actually energy, as we "know") accretes due to natural spin and gravity. I believe similar forces are at work in the "non-physical" Universe...namely consciousness (and spirit, as well).
I believe there's a similarity between the two, except that the spiritual realm is more "fluid" and in a state of flux, otherwise it wouldn't be able to "abide" in the subconscious realm. Whereas from top to bottom, Heaven and Hell if you will (pardon me), there is a constant influx by which everything exists, both internally and externally.

Originally posted by M. Gaspar

At the moment after the "Big Bang" all "matter" was a "soup" of elementary particles. I think CONSCIOUSNESS is within each particle, and hence was a Soup of Consciousness, too.
If the Universe is conscious, just as with "our soul," then that would imply consciousness resides within matter.

Originally posted by M. Gaspar

After thinking about symmetry for awhile, I came to the thought that consciousness accretes through a natural force corresponding to gravity, and that these "coherent chuncks of energy" -- like the disembodies spirit -- would "hold together" because, after all (and I mean that LITERALLY), the whole process if to expand -- have the Experience -- and contract... then burst forth again into the Universe's NEXT incarnation.

What say you?
Originally posted by Iacchus32

But what of the hidden mystery that lies beyond the forms? What are the inner-dynamics behind this incredible facade we call "objective reality?" Do we really understand what's going on underneath? For instance let's say we take two objects, one that is inanimate, like a rock, and the other which is alive, like a human being? Now the rock will pretty much remain a rock indefinitely, and still retain the energy field that defines it as a rock. But with a human being it's a different story. Granted that when we die we leave behind a corpse, and the corpse will retain the energy field of a dead corpse.

But that's just it, where does all this "conscious energy" which, defines our very existence, go? And I don't mean sometime later, but almost immediately after death? There's obviously some sort of energy pattern or field there when we're alive, but where does it go when we die? Does it just dissipate into the atmosphere? Or, as I'm inclined to believe, does it retain its pattern and return to say, the "collective unconscious?" I can hardly imagine this "living entity," which consolidates itself in a living form (my body), would just dissipate at death. There's just too much consistency about it to suggest otherwise. Or else why would it cling so steadfastly, and coherently, to my body in the first place? Except perhaps for one exception, where do we go when we dream? Now that's a strong indication right there!
By the way, I did die and give birth to myself, only to be rent to pieces shortly thereafter--which, happened on this very day 16 years ago--only to be reconstituted and give rise to a "New Universe" so to speak ~ http://www.dionysus.org/x0501.html
 
  • #27
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Originally posted by FZ+

Nein!
Your psyche is made up of your experiences, instincts etc. The components make the whole. There is no one, reductionist "soul" in the middle of it all. The group exists, but a puppeteer of the players of the mind does not. You talk to the sum of existence and experience, and this is the entity, not a singularity. Nothing lives within you. You just live.

If you die, you die. The components of the whole cease to be together. They change, fall apart, stop working. While the physical parts of you still exist, the complex pattern they make up, that generate the "entity" cease to be. Where does a picture go when the canvas is burnt? Nowhere.
Where's your proof? All you have is the "dead" external facts. Also, would say the picture is alive? (before it is burnt). Or, just a compilation of "dead forms" mixed together in a way to create a "new" dead form?
 
  • #28
FZ+
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Where's your proof? You claim that the best conclusion you draw is the existence of the essence, but I show an equally, if not more probable conclusion. Dead external facts? Oh, so where are these live internal lies then? :wink:
But in this case, there is somewhat more evidence. The idea of education as being capable of affecting behaviour. The principle of brainwashing. Tons of neuroscience experiments. Mathematical models of neural networking in the brain. Tests of how your neurones function. All suggest that the mind is generated by the conglomerate of nerve cells together. We have even see it working in scans. We can even affect it with targeted magnetic fields. No evidence of soul, essence etc can be found. Indeed, it may by definition be never found.

Is DNA alive? no. Are enzymes alive? No. Are proteins alive? No. But together they make a cell, which we term living. If we grind up a cell, do we have powdered life? Our definition of life is very much subjective, and is based on what we feel, rather than an idea of inherent "livingness". It is to do with structures and patterns, not the composition. Hence the painting. To an observer, the painting has meaning. It has emotion. It has something beyond just a combination of chemicals. But once burnt, it is meaningless, just a pile of ash. The incredible structure of a human has meaning. It has life. But once it is destroyed, it no longer has it. The pattern has been destroyed. Just another pile of dirt.
 
  • #29
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From PF 2.0 thread, An unbound existence ...

Originally posted by Iacchus32

Yes, but where do we go when we dream? Now that's a whole new world (dimension) unto itself. It's not tangible in the sense that we can see it or touch it, at least in this world, and yet we've all been there ... Is it possible this is where we go when we die?
From PF 2.0 thread, Whose Dream Is It Anyway? ...

Originally posted by Iacchus32

Who are we and what are we in relationship to that which we dream about? I know for me there's always some sort of interaction going on, and it's hard to believe it's merely a by-product of some electro-chemical process going on in the brain. What are these other so-called "enitities" experiencing when they experience me? It's like I had always been there, and yet separate, as if I were a separate entity. Which, is pretty much the way I experience them.

And yet there are times when I become more concsious in this state and I say, "By the way, I haven't died yet." And they all look at me with puzzled faces and say, "What do mean? It's always been this way. This is it man (reality)." And it's about this time that I begin to wake up, and realize that I'm laying in bed, and there they are still looking at me! And I say, "Hey, I tried to explain it you!" Soon after they would all depart and I would go back to my being unaware of them.
 
  • #30
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Wuliheron: What "mystery" are YOU pondering if it doesn't include consciousness or theories about "God"?
The mystery of identity and, ultimately, existence again. That's pretty much what I think these guys are debating. Psychological studies provide some meaningful insight into this mystery, whereas, I think debating materialistic and supernatural viewpoints gets you nowhere fast.

John Lilly was one of the few researchers to do work in this area before psychedelic drugs were banned from research. He had two psychologists hypnotize him while he took LSD and lay down between two speakers playing classical music. Over a series of such experiments a vivid hallucination emerged.

Lilly dreamed he was a robot and the devil was pushing the buttons that made him act and react. Upon closer examination, the devil himself was discovered to be a robot as well. His nightmare then was symbolic of a kind of doubt each of us might harbor to various extents in light of the paradox of existence.

Is it live or is it memorex? Are we real or illusory? How do we find security and identity under such circumstances? Does existence create us or do we create existence? Is there any difference between ourselves and existence?

If we take the view that logic and science must answer these questions, ultimately we undermine our own identity as individuals possessed of free will and living meaningful lives. If we take the opposite tack of the supernatural, we undermine logic and science which have proven so useful. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss. :0)
 
  • #31
FZ+
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Yes, but where do we go when we dream? Now that's a whole new world (dimension) unto itself. It's not tangible in the sense that we can see it or touch it, at least in this world, and yet we've all been there ... Is it possible this is where we go when we die?
A nice dream, but I think a bit of wishful thinking. Consciousness is remade each time we wake from the peices of memory that make up what we are. Are you conscious when you sleep? When dreaming you are still conscious, but that consciousness is introspective - scans show that you are accessing your imagination, your memories. Death is final.

Who are we and what are we in relationship to that which we dream about? I know for me there's always some sort of interaction going on, and it's hard to believe it's merely a by-product of some electro-chemical process going on in the brain. What are these other so-called "enitities" experiencing when they experience me? It's like I had always been there, and yet separate, as if I were a separate entity. Which, is pretty much the way I experience them.
But funnily enough, that is a self undermining statement. Why do you believe in the existence of these other entities. Because you look for the precise same "electrochemical process", the same "brain". You identify the idea of human beings by the very method you shun. If you abandon it, you abandon all but the self. Then there is no experience other than your dreams.
Why do you post? Why do you talk? Because you apply your subjective view to the world. Because you think that what looks like a human is a human. Because you don't really use the idea of a vague essence, but base your decisions on the structure and patterns of material existence around you.
 
  • #32
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Origninally posted by wuliheron

If we take the view that logic and science must answer these questions, ultimately we undermine our own identity as individuals possessed of free will and living meaningful lives. If we take the opposite tack of the supernatural, we undermine logic and science which have proven so useful. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss.
The problem is that we've become polarized in our views, which isn't to say they can't beome integrated, "as one," right?


From the thread, The Paradox of Existence ...

Origninally posted by wuliheron

This is something Asians tend to know so well, but the west has made a great deal of progress in the sciences by denying the validity of paradox so that has become the western tradition. With the advent of QM and Relativity, however, paradox is once again commanding more respect in the west.
Origninally posted by Iacchus32

This is the yin and yang of it all right? Which speaks of the duality of things, which are opposite and yet inseperable and hence, the foundation for everything ... Is this what you mean by paradox?

Therefore, 1/2 + 1/2 = 1 ... and also, 1/2 x 2/1 = 1

And from the "one mind" we have fallen, to accept "the two," and hence the "knowledge of opposites" ... regarding the fall from the Garden of Eden.

Where before the fall, 1/2 + 1/2 = 1 ... and afterwards, 1 + 1 = 2 (where we don't embrace the opposites a whole, but rather as singular and "seperate").
 
  • #33
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The problem is that we've become polarized in our views, which isn't to say they can't beome integrated, "as one," right?
Its really the opposite. The rational and irrational are inseperable like up and down. The polarity of the west towards the rational is illusory denial of the unified reality. What is required then is not an effort to integrate the two so much as find acceptance for the reality of their already existent integration.

Again, the first serious step in this direction has already occured. Radical Behaviorists have discovered how behavioral models and cognative models can be reconciled by assuming context is more important than content. Thus, the rational approach has finally come full circle and is faced with its own irrational origins. By its own rational standards, it can no longer deny the nature or usefulness of this more integrated approach. Thus, denial inevitably leads back to acceptance, rejection leads back to inclusiveness, dis-integration leads back to integration, etc.
 
  • #34
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Originally posted by wuliheron

Its really the opposite. The rational and irrational are inseperable like up and down. The polarity of the west towards the rational is illusory denial of the unified reality. What is required then is not an effort to integrate the two so much as find acceptance for the reality of their already existent integration.
When we become polarized we go to extremes, when we become balanced in our views and accept the differences of either side we become "integrated" ... just as we have a left brain and a right brain which are supposed to act "co-dependently."

I'm not sure there's really much difference between what you're saying and what I'm saying here?
 
  • #35
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When we become polarized we go to extremes, when we become balanced in our views and accept the differences of either side we become "integrated" ... just as we have a left brain and a right brain which are supposed to act "co-dependently."
Balance is more of an issue for Buddhists than Taoists. This also makes sense in light of your other focuses on consciousness and consensual reality. Essentially, it is the more Pantheistic view of the mystery within. Thus, in some ways it denies it is a mystery.

As I asked earlier, which is it you wish to discuss? The mystery within or consciousness or consensual reality?

Certainly you can look at the brain as being composed of two brains, but the reality is a more complex whole. When CAT scanners first became widely established in hospitals they would scan anyone and everyone that came through the door with a head injury in order to establish a base line of scans with which to later compare others with. A popular Yale honors student came in with a volleyball related injury.

It turned out he had 13 percent of a normal human brain, mostly in the occipital and right periotal areas. Many other follow up studies of left and right brain theory showed similar results. In other words, it is a gross oversimplification to assume this kind of polarity is a dominant feature. The reality is much more fluid.

Likewise, the reality of our already existent integration of the rational and irrational provides a more complete and elegant view of the situation in general. Rather than automatically assuming a causal view of balanced opposites it provides a broader context within which these can also be found.
 
  • #36
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Originally posted by wuliheron

Balance is more of an issue for Buddhists than Taoists. This also makes sense in light of your other focuses on consciousness and consensual reality. Essentially, it is the more Pantheistic view of the mystery within. Thus, in some ways it denies it is a mystery.

As I asked earlier, which is it you wish to discuss? The mystery within or consciousness or consensual reality?
A mystery is only a mystery to the extent that we don't understand what it is. And to the extent that we do, then it's no longer a mystery. So if this can be applied to just about any mystery, then why couldn't it be applied to all mysteries? Therefore, I'm speaking about what is a mystery and what is not a mystery, and hence both.

The reason I start with the Mystery Within (I'm not sure if this has formerly been addressed as such, but it almost sounds that way according to your statements), is that it allows me to refer to the "external nature" of things and, the "internal nature" of things, whereby it's much easier to understand that which is "external" (and observable), to that which is "internal" and may indeed be termed "a mystery" by others. So it seemed like a good way to get at that which may not be readily apparent (and deemed a mystery).

Originally posted by wuliheron

Likewise, the reality of our already existent integration of the rational and irrational provides a more complete and elegant view of the situation in general. Rather than automatically assuming a causal view of balanced opposites it provides a broader context within which these can also be found.
But still, it seems like we exist in one of two camps, that which is rational (science), and that which is irrational (religion).
 
  • #37
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But still, it seems like we exist in one of two camps, that which is rational (science), and that which is irrational (religion).
Yes, but when we meditate, under go sensory deprevation, etc. the distinctions disappear. Many Taoists I know, for example, will talk about "Taoing down the highway" and whatnot. They start meditating while driving and suddenly find themselves at their destination. This is also what professional dancers, musicians, and others relate as their experience while performing. All distinctions are distractions from just doing what they are doing, so they often prefer to just stop making distinctions.

One way to view this phenomenon is that they become integrated on all levels, the other is that they drop the pretense of not being an integrated and whole human being. A common Asian metaphor for the mind is a Cyclone or hurricane. Around the calm center fly all of our beliefs, preconceptions, and desires clashing and crashing and generally wreaking havoc. When we let them go, we allow ourselves to instead just occupy the calm center.

Again, rather than doing something in particular, the idea is to stop doing so much. This same idea has been demonstrated in certain brain scans as well. More intelligent people, for example, have paradoxically been shown to think less. Their mind just adds A+B and gets the answer while less intelligent people tend to take more circuitious routes to derive the same answer.
 
  • #38
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Origianlly posted by Iacchus32

A mystery is only a mystery to the extent that we don't understand what it is. And to the extent that we do, then it's no longer a mystery. So if this can be applied to just about any mystery, then why couldn't it be applied to all mysteries? Therefore, I'm speaking about what is a mystery and what is not a mystery, and hence both.
Then again, if the ultimate mystery is the Mystery of Life, and I believed there was a God responsible for this, then why can't I use the nature of mystery to help define what we already call mysterious, God?

So from the Mystery Within, it leads to the Mystery of Life, and hence the Mystery of God which, I believe is definable ... or at least up to a point, as I've been able to define it for myself ... which I couldn't have done if I didn't know where to begin, i.e., "within."
 
  • #39
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Then again, if the ultimate mystery is the Mystery of Life, and I believed there was a God responsible for this, then why can't I use the nature of mystery to help define what we already call mysterious, God?

So from the Mystery Within, it leads to the Mystery of Life, and hence the Mystery of God which, I believe is definable ... or at least up to a point, as I've been able to define it for myself ... which I couldn't have done if I didn't know where to begin, i.e., "within."
Yeah, you can do that. But with each new abstraction it looses more of its mystery and, possibly, acquires more of our abstractions rather than describing the reality which may be ineffable. Thus even a devout believer in a God might prefer instead to simply meditate and experience the mystery. You might say, surrender to God.

This is one of the areas where both Atheists and Believers can find common ground and acceptance. As Taoists like to say, "Many paths, one mountain." One doesn't convert to Taoism, it either suits who you are and your relationship with the mystery or it doesn't.
 
  • #40
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Originally posted by wuliheron

Yes, but when we meditate, under go sensory deprevation, etc. the distinctions disappear. Many Taoists I know, for example, will talk about "Taoing down the highway" and whatnot. They start meditating while driving and suddenly find themselves at their destination. This is also what professional dancers, musicians, and others relate as their experience while performing. All distinctions are distractions from just doing what they are doing, so they often prefer to just stop making distinctions.
See my new Avatar to the left, this is actually one of the effects I achieve when practicing the meditation I've been working with for the past number of years. What it signifies is a coming to terms of what I'm thinking about, be it past, present or future concerns, while bringing both thoughts and feelings into context with the "present moment," at which point the effect begins to occur. I go into more detail with this in the thread, "The Advent of Color" (in God & Religion section).
 
  • #41
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I've talked to a number of people who experience such things while meditating. Most of the time it occurs when they meditate in the dark and like sensory deprevation they experience vivid cartoons. Giant purple ants, hearts, whatever. Again, as I said before, ulitmately sensory deprevation leads to visions of pure geometric figures.

The ancient chant "Om Mani Padme Om" according to legend contains all the basic shapes within it. Supposidly according to one sandbox experiment I read about and can't varify it does. The square, triangle, circle and whatever.

Rather than sensory deprevation or sitting meditation, most Taoist meditations are moving meditations like Tai Chi and Qi Gong and Yoga. Part of the idea to remain centered in the reality of the living moment rather than getting distracted with mental stuff.
 
  • #42
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Originally posted by FZ+

But funnily enough, that is a self undermining statement. Why do you believe in the existence of these other entities. Because you look for the precise same "electrochemical process", the same "brain". You identify the idea of human beings by the very method you shun. If you abandon it, you abandon all but the self. Then there is no experience other than your dreams.
Why do you post? Why do you talk? Because you apply your subjective view to the world. Because you think that what looks like a human is a human. Because you don't really use the idea of a vague essence, but base your decisions on the structure and patterns of material existence around you.
I reposted this part about dreams by the way, because when I did a cut & paste it didn't include the second paragraph here. Don't know if it will make any difference or not, but thought I would let you know anyway.


From PF 2.0 thread, Whose Dream Is It Anyway? ...

Originally posted by Iacchus32

Who are we and what are we in relationship to that which we dream about? I know for me there's always some sort of interaction going on, and it's hard to believe it's merely a by-product of some electro-chemical process going on in the brain. What are these other so-called "enitities" experiencing when they experience me? It's like I had always been there, and yet separate, as if I were a separate entity. Which, is pretty much the way I experience them.

And yet there are times when I become more concsious in this state and I say, "By the way, I haven't died yet." And they all look at me with puzzled faces and say, "What do mean? It's always been this way. This is it man (reality)." And it's about this time that I begin to wake up, and realize that I'm laying in bed, and there they are still looking at me! And I say, "Hey, I tried to explain it you!" Soon after they would all depart and I would go back to my being unaware of them.
 
  • #43
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Originally posted by Iacchus32

And yet there are times when I become more concsious in this state and I say, "By the way, I haven't died yet." And they all look at me with puzzled faces and say, "What do mean? It's always been this way. This is it man (reality)." And it's about this time that I begin to wake up, and realize that I'm laying in bed, and there they are still looking at me! And I say, "Hey, I tried to explain it you!" Soon after they would all depart and I would go back to my being unaware of them.
Actually it's this kind of "lucid dreaming" state that I believe would account for what people term "alien abduction," for which reason I think the idea of abduction is very unlikely.

Now as for a "spiritual encounter," that would be another story. For if in indeed our dreams were like a portal to another dimension, then it would be much easier to explain the existence of God, than that of extraterrestrial existence.
 
  • #44
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God as "a fact" is dead. God as "an experience" is alive.

Thus instead of going out on a fact finding mission to determine whether or not the sky is blue, why can't you just look at the sky and "experience" that it's blue? Otherwise you would have to continue to debate and argue about it in order to maintain that it's blue, when in fact all you need to do is look at it and acknowledge it for yourself.
 
  • #45
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Originally posted by Iacchus32
God as "a fact" is dead. God as "an experience" is alive.

Thus instead of going out on a fact finding mission to determine whether or not the sky is blue, why can't you just look at the sky and "experience" that it's blue? Otherwise you would have to continue to debate and argue about it in order to maintain that it's blue, when in fact all you need to do is look at it and acknowledge it for yourself.
Why do you speak of God as either fact or experience? God is supposed to be a person.
 
  • #46
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Originally posted by Mentat
Why do you speak of God as either fact or experience? God is supposed to be a person.
Just for starters I have an external shell (outer layer of skin) which comes into to contact with the external world which, for all intents and purposes "is dead." Isn't this what the doctors say? If so, then when people look at me, all they really see is the "dead facts." They don't see the real person on the inside, which is me, nor "the experience" that that entails.

So in this respect everything which is external is factual, and yet dead. Whereas everything held within context of the "factual shell," which is "experiencable," is alive. Therefore when speaking of the material universe, in it's visible form, we're speaking of external dead facts. And yet, to the extent that life remains within the form, then the form becomes animate and has a sense of purpose (or soul). This is the experiece we call life. While it's also the experience that tells you you're not going to find the experience of "God the person" by sorting through the dead facts, but rather, by looking towards the "experience within."

Does that make any sense? While it's almost the same correlation I make in the other thread, Knowledge versus Wisdom. Similarly, Wisdom is to be found by maintaining the "life within."
 

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