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The true nature of 'I'

  1. Apr 29, 2003 #1
    I posted this at Mentat's "I think, therefore I am" thread:

    As I see it, 'thinking' is how existence is assertained - along with 'sensation-of-awareness'. Thus thinking is the source of knowing that 'existence is'.
    Therefore, it can definitely be claimed that 'thought' is evidence of existence. Since it is.
    Therefore, since am-ness equates to existence, we can definitely say that "I think, therefore I am.".
    Descartes was correct I think, about this. The only talking-point is the meaning of 'I'. "Who exactly am I?", is the only thing left to ponder.


    My last sentence is the reason for this thread. Can we identify 'I' in relation to its sensations and its ability to think & feel & will?
    Actually, this is exactly how we define ourselves - relatively to the things which we sense. But if we accept that existence can only be ascertained through ones own self (ones sensations; ones ability to think/reason; and ones emotions), we observe that things are identified within our own sensations - within ourselves. I.e., we see things within 'I'.
    This is significant. From the whole of I's sensations, the identity of the self is ascertained by regarding some parts of those sensations in relation to others. For example, your sensation of sight, which clearly exists within 'you', tells you that 'you' are separate from all other things within that sensation. But such knowledge is clearly nonsense; for how can 'you' be separate from something-else which resides within your own sensation?
    Awareness is not separate from itself. It is singular. And any thing which is seen within that awareness is clearly existing as a part of that awareness. Not separate to it.
    So; if 'I' is to make a true judgement of the self, then it clearly needs to encompass the wholeness of its sensations. The wholeness (fullness; truth; absoluteness; richness; whatever... ) of I resides within the wholeness of its sensations.
    I contend that if the mind can see a universe within itself, then that mind is the wholeness of that universe. Not a finite part of it.
    Hence, 'I' is the absoluteness of existence.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 29, 2003
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  3. Apr 29, 2003 #2

    FZ+

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    Agreed.
    Nope... Notice word "through". That's how I see it. Suppose our senses and sensations, our axioms of reason etc are telescopes. Though these items may be considered constructs of the mind, the things we see with them are not. They provide instruments, but do not limit the existence of what we see with them. With these instruments, we can see outside of our mind, and create an internal image, a sensation, of what is external. So we do not neccessary see things within "I". We see things through "I". This is very significant.

    Some have postulated that there are in fact two selfs, an internal essence which represents the entity of awareness itself, and an external amalgamation of the consciousness, and the percetions with which it had control. It is hence possible for a self to be sensed within the self.
    There are other alternatives. One is the concept of self-awareness as a sensation outside that of sight. This is shown to be largely genetic a trait, and this is what identifies a self aside from the other information. But note this, that which you find within the sensation is your mental image through the telescope, not you itself. In this case, the telescope is also a mirror. Your reflection is you, yet it is part of the mirror. It is a virtual image. Hence awareness is as an abstract concept possibly singular (though some evidence cast doubt on this, from neuroscience), but an image of awareness may exist to be apart from the awareness itself. While the image is within the awareness, the awareness in reality is not within itself.
    Interjection: What makes you think "I" can make a true judgement of the self? How will you know this truth?
    Hence this is true, and also false. An image of thing that is observed must exist within the awareness, but an actuality of thing can exist outside. These two are separate but joined by mental association. This is what I term the essence and the form.
    Hence this statement is non sequiter. The sight of the universe is an internal image, but the actuality of the universe, it's form, may exist outside. The mind may be part of the universe.
    Actually, this does not follow. Didn't you begin by stating the self is defined in relative terms? And as the mind senses not the universe, and sees not the truth, is the "I" not undefinable?
     
  4. Apr 29, 2003 #3
    Let's consider a 'red ball'. What is it?
    Firstly, your awareness of the ball comes in the shape of a form (within your awareness) which our reason has defined as 'a ball'. Secondly, the sensation of 'red' is definitely an inner sensation. Thus, knowledge of a 'red ball' is gleaned through the reasoned analysis of sensation.
    You say that our sensations are looking outwards (like telescopes). But it is quite evident that when you become aware of a 'red ball', that you're looking directly within yourself. You are not looking outwards at anything. You are looking at the sensation-of-colour, and the sensation-of-form - both of which are a part of your own being.
    Hence, you are looking within yourself and thinking that you are seeing an external reality. But in actual fact, your are definitely observing an inner-reality (of the sensations of the self). And it is only your judgement of these sensations which has led you to believe that you are looking outside of yourself.
    The subconcious-mind needs to understand external-data (if indeed there is any external-data), in order to create a representation of 'reality' through the senses. But the aspect of the mind which is lost within its own sensations ('you'), have no idea what external-reality is like. You only understand what your own being-of-sensation tells you, through your reason. In other words, 'your' whole understanding of existence comes directly from within your own being, through subjective-sensation & reason. Not from without.
    I agree with that final sentence. Exactly like dreams. But this doesn't make awareness a plurality. It just means that the mind has the ability to shift perception.
    As I said in my first post: the true self can be identified in relation to the whole of its sensations, and other attributes. Rather than as just a finite-speck observed within its own sensations.
    The true self is absolute in relation to known existence. Not 'relative' to known existence.
    At-present, this is the case. But it doesn't mean that this method of defining the self is correct. Hence my argument.
    Within the self, resides a whole universe-full of existence. The mind senses a universe within itself. And "the truth" of identity cannot be seen within the 'relative' - but within the 'absolute'.
     
  5. Apr 29, 2003 #4

    FZ+

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    But, you see, this part of myself is not the ball. It is the virtual image of the ball within my brain. If I alter my perceptions which produce this image, with drugs for example, I can create new images. But the ball itself remains constant. When I touch the ball, my drugged visual IMAGE clashes with my lucid touch-image to form a new image. Then I get confused. :wink: I am looking within, but that which is within is a reflection of that which is without. There is no reason to thing of the virtual image as real. Indeed, it fails one of the tests for reality - it disappears when I stop thinking about it. But I can get reacquainted with the ball, and see that I was drunk and that it was in fact blue. Hence, my image has changed, but the ball has remained constant.

    No. Where does reason come from? Reason is a genetic trait that still does come from without. Western reason is for example very different from eastern reason. And there is no justification for the infallibility of reason - rather, it is an axiom. And you see, the word is still through. Your perceptual mind and reason is the conduit, even if it is self-made. There is no reason to make it the terminus. That is crucial. Hence the scene from which the image is painted is not neccessarily in the mind.

    No, but that was not the point. I was generating alternatives. I do not agree with this one myself. But then again, schizophrenics have been shown to have multiple awarenesses....

    Absolute in relation is rather an oxymoron. If your knowledge of true self comes from comparisons, then your truth can only be relative. It can never be absolute. Insufficient data.

    But not the whole universe. And without the whole universe, and without external measurement to determine absolutes, you can never define that truth. Paradox? (almost sound like Wuli there... heh)
     
  6. Apr 29, 2003 #5
    This post sure looks like you actually read my posts regarding 'I'-ness. I have posted several topics, on this theme, in which some fundamental property of 'a mind' is that it can reflect on itself as 'I', that it is able of be aware of that. But that is not a definition of existence but that of identity, thought and mindfull awareness.
    But that what is fundamental to me, being me (the me as I reflecting to itself as I) is not the whole of me, but just the central unit of awareness. Like in the computer analogy, the 'I' has the role of the CPU, while the capacity of the whole computer (all of my brain/mind) has more capacity and ability to recognize things as 'I'. But the 'I' is important, because it gives me an identity, without that I would just be a very sophistocated biological machinery.
    Now, existence can not just be defined as having the property of 'I'-ness. It is just what distinghuishes me with material existence as such, that I have a mind. And a rock, or a chair, has not (can not reflect on itself as 'I'). By the way: even when most of the universe consists of material things that have no mind of themselves, sinc the universe also includes me, one could state that the universe has a mind, and the universe can reflect on itself, because we (as minds) exist. But this is not to be understood as there being a mind on itself and for itself, and seperate from our mind, that is 'out there', like you stated over and over again in your 'mind hypothese'.
    That just refers to the 'Absolute Idea' as was portayed by Hegel, which acc. to this philosophy is the basic principle that would govern this world. (See als Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy in General


    We do not experience someone else's 'I'-ness, let alone we could experience the 'I-'-ness of the material world (the universe) as such.
    We only experience our own 'I'-ness, but in some way, this 'I'-ness is universal, which means for any other 'I' (a mind that can reflect on itself as 'I') the awarenss of 'I' is the same. In this way one can say that 'I'-ness is universal (to all minds).

    If existence were just defined as all that has this property of 'I'-ness, then I could as well assume that nothing what I know of, has existence of it's own. It would lead me to the conclusion that it could be the case, that the existing world (everything that is not 'I') could be inexistent. But that ain't a proper concept, cause in last instance, not only the world would be inexistent, but also 'I', because 'I' could not exist, without the world existing (my property of 'I'-ness is realy related to all of the material world; I am an endproduct of a long material process!).

    In other words, this is a strong point against any belief that mind ('I'-ness) could exists, without an existing (material) world. And there is no reason to assume that the material world itself can reflect on itself as 'I', that is, in the cases in which it can do that, we talk about an existing mind, in the form of a human being for instance. The mind is a product of nature, of the material world, it is the way in which the material world can reflect on itself. But anything material does not have that ability. It would be absolute nonsense to state that 'I' (any mind) could exist, without the material world that formed it. Let alone of 'I' (any mind) could have 'created' or 'shaped' the material world.

    But I guess you never saw that point in the conclusion, and turn things exactly upside down and inside out.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2003
  7. Apr 29, 2003 #6
    Yeah, for sure. You are God. Now we know.

    But couldn't you please create some other universe, we get a bit sick of this in this universe.

    By the way, the universality of the 'I' (the ability to reflect on itself as being 'I'), is in no way the same as claiming the 'discovery and proof of the mind of God', cause all you did is discover that 'I'-ness is universal (for minds).

    For the mind of God, which you yourself claim is seperate of yours, so you don't have first hand experience of that, you also have to proof that such a mind can exist without a material world (since your mind can't, cause it was a product of the material world, how could you claim some other mind could?) and can 'create' such a material world, just by 'thinking' it!

    In other words, your basements of all of your ideas, are in reality very poor. Nothing substantial!
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2003
  8. Apr 29, 2003 #7
    Re: Re: The true nature of 'I'

    greg says: product of the material world includes what is not here when you are not. you don't even know what your oun mind is.
     
  9. Apr 29, 2003 #8

    Kerrie

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    lifegazer~

    are you referring to what is most commonly known as perception? in my opinion, perception is everything, yet perception is unique to each individual...

    are you also saying that reality is only within the (human) mind? if so, what about the minds of the animals, the minds of plant life (if possible)?

    and are you saying that all the minds of every living being on this planet alone are singular?

    please understand these are valid sincere questions, as i have for two years tried to understand your philosophy---but admit when your threads get longer then 2 pages, i lose interest fast (not in you, but in my inability to understand your ideas)...
     
  10. Apr 30, 2003 #9
     
  11. Apr 30, 2003 #10
    who am 'i'?

    here is my theory.
    i define 'i' as not me but just 'i'.
    obviously, i is just a letter.
    but there can be more to that than this.
    i is like a picture, with a thousand words.
    'i' is our souls, our inner being, our true self, our power.
    'me' is the guy you see in the mirror. the one who everybody remembers you
    'myself' is your thought. your ego and your concious.
    words can mean alot of things.
    the power of 'i' is infinite.
    i can extend to impossiable things.
    'i' is a spirit, your spirit.
    you are put into this world, filled with **** and lies.
    it depends weather you want to believe them.
    therefore, you think you are 'me' and thats who you will be.
    because, you make this world what you percieve it to be.
    you make this world real, you make yourself real, you make yourself you and no one else(unless you were controlled and allow yourself to be) can make your self what you are today except you.
    thats what it means when you say, 'i think, therefore i am'
    just my theory.
     
  12. Apr 30, 2003 #11
    Re: Re: Re: The true nature of 'I'

    That's true, we only have partial understanding of ourselves.
    But with help of science, we might be able to understand not only the material world, but also our mind.
     
  13. Apr 30, 2003 #12
    If you want to understand his ideas, note that these ideas are not that original, but can be characterised as 'objective idealism'.

    Hegel for instance (Absolute Idea) was a representor of this philosophical viewpoint (Phenomenology of the mind).

    See also this Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy in General

    and Hegel by Hypertext
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2003
  14. Apr 30, 2003 #13
    It's interesting enough that your conclusion is that "I" is the absoluteness of existence, and yet you refer to "we". I'm not just being picky on words here, I really think it is strange that you can think yourself the creator of all of you percieved reality, while at the same time acknowledging "our" existence, as though it were something seperate from your own.
     
  15. Apr 30, 2003 #14
    Re: Re: The true nature of 'I'

    You still don't understand my philosophy. I have never said that 'i' (lifegazer) have created my own perceived reality. Indeed, 'i' (lifegazer) am a part of that "perceived reality". 'lifegazer' is an experience, not a creator.
    The creator of 'my' perceived reality is the same as the creator of 'yours': The Mind.
    We are all united within The Mind. 'Separation' is a state-of-mind. Or rather, states-of-mind.
     
  16. Apr 30, 2003 #15
    Yes. You perceive via sensations.
    I agree.
    No. I'm saying that human-minds are within A Mind.
    The same place as everything else you'd care to mention: The Mind.
    I'm not sure I understand the question correctly. 'we' are singular perceptions of existence of It.
    No problem. I don't think many do understand my philosophy.
     
  17. Apr 30, 2003 #16

    Kerrie

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    is this It concept something that people should take as literal in the sense of being a mystical magical thing, or do you have a basic proof of what convinced you to perceive this?
     
  18. Apr 30, 2003 #17
    'You' and the world are related. 'The Mind' is the creator of both. My theories don't deny that 'we' are related to our sensations (our world). If you cut my body, I shall bleed. If you pop drugs into my drinks, I'll start talking nonsense (LOL). But like I say, your objection is irrelevant to my argument. The true 'I' is the Whole... not one of its changing 'parts'. Within the context of my argument, drugs don't affect 'The Mind' itself. They just affect 'us'.
    Tut-tut Fz. Have you been taking assertion-drugs again?:wink:
    You know you can't prove that. And even if it were true, it would make no difference to my argument. Read it again - it makes no mention of an external reality.
    The point is that the Mind cannot see anything unless it can create a sensation within itself which mirrors the reality it is portraying. Therefore, if the Mind has the sensations and the know-how to create
    "a universe" within its own self, then that Mind must be as complex as the Universe itself. Its characteristics can be derived via consideration of the 'work' it puts into itself, and also the abilities it has to create the end-product ("a universe").
    A genetic trait? Are you saying that a carbon-atom swapped places with a hydrogen-atom, and out popped 'the ability to reason'?
    Incorrect. The conclusions to Western-reason are different to the conclusions of Eastern-reason.
    It is not reason which is infallible. But mankind itself. Emotions abuse reason.
    The absolute-definition of The Mind - gleaned from absolute considerations of 'everything', is that The Mind is omnipresent; omniscient; and omnipotent... in regards to everything known about existence. Because everything known about existence comes from it, to it, and is seen within it. Therefore, it is everything seen; it knows everything which it mirrors with a corresponding sensation; and it has the power/ability to create the universe we sense and understand.
    It is quite simple to attribute labels to The Whole in relation to its parts.
     
  19. Apr 30, 2003 #18
    Re: Re: Re: Re: The true nature of 'I'

    greg says: were is the I sense in a baby doesn't it has to learn what he is and what he is not the ego is what the I sense has kept for ists definition but it is still not the I sense what it was at birth is closer
     
  20. Apr 30, 2003 #19
    This is a very interesting perdicament. Thus it calls for an "interesting" question. Does 'the ability to reason' come standard as a genetic trait, or does it develop? Is there anyway of knowing?
     
  21. Apr 30, 2003 #20
     
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