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July 22, 2016


38 years is a very long time to waste...

Hello Brian. I am wondering what your take is on the difference between Materialism and Idealism. Materialism says that consciousness arises within or is produced by the brain or mind and idealism says that it's the opposite and that all matter including the human brain arise within consciousness which is unending, unchangeable etc. I've been interested in non duality for a long time but find it frustrating in that it reminds me of elements of the Christian faith that I gave up 35 years ago. I wanted to get enlightened but then found out that there is no one to enlighten. I feel like its contradictory in that it says that peace is found by not looking for it. It tries to explain with words that which it claims can not be explained with words. I have been watching some Bernardo Kastrup video's lately looking for some science to help out and like and understand some of what he is talking about but, can't shake the nagging fear that it is all just another non faith, faith.

Harvey, materialism appears much more likely to me. Meaning, as you said, that consciousness is a product of the material/physical brain, so it is as much material/physical as everything else in the universe.

This is a monistic view, that reality is, deep down, a single unified entity. (Assuming reality as a whole can be called an "entity.")

Viewing matter as arising within consciousness can be forced into a monistic mold -- matter only appears solid and physical, but actually is ethereal consciousness -- but this is a stretch. Mostly, a belief in soul or spirit leads to dualism. This creates a divide, both within our own experience of the world and our relationships with other people.

If I view myself as soul-stuff, while others see themselves as matter-stuff, this can (and often does) lead to religious dogmatism and higher-than-thou judgementalism. "Look at me! My destiny is eternity with God in heaven and your destiny is to be dead-and-gone worm food."

I used to lean toward idealism. Now, though, it strikes me as both scientifically and spiritually dubious -- using "spiritually" in a broadly philosophical sense.

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