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April 07, 2009


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Hi Brian,
For the fun of it I would like to be for once a contrarian and say
consciousness does change.It is awareness of self that does not.
Let me explain my rather irrational thinking.Consciousness is often
considered to be a stream or a process and is in constant change and movement.Now a process can not see itself
unless it can split itself in two and look at itself.As far as I am able to
understand things ,this might be considered schizophrenic and a person
could land being a Jekyll and Hyde character.Awareness out which consciousness seems to come is unaffected by change.My authority on this is
Nisargadatta (but I do admit my understanding on this could be totally wrong) .
I would be very happy to hear what you and others think on this.
All the best

Obed, I've just started reading my first Wittgenstein book, so these thoughts come especially to mind...

I don't really know what "awareness" and "consciousness" mean. I don't think anybody does. I've read Nisargadatta and can't understand what he means by the words either.

It's how the words are used that produces meaning. I have a wordless feeling that is best expressed by "ageless consciousness." It's a sensation as I described: of something that isn't a thing, because it is my "awareness" (whatever that is) of everything.

The words we use to talk about it don't mean much, or get us anywhere. That's why we can have so much fun going around and around talking about stuff on this blog, just as mystics, theologians, and philosophers go around and around in their own fashion.

I don't think your understanding of this is wrong. I think everybody's understanding of everything is wrong -- if anyone thinks that words can encompass reality. We just do the best we can, hopefully having fun as we do so.

brian, wittgenstein's some heavy going, he'd agreed with "if anyone thinks that words can encompass reality" since language was key to his philsopshy. betrand russell's great.

George, fortunately the book I'm reading, "Clear and Queer Thinking" by Laurence Goldstein, is written by a Professor of Mind and Language who understands Wittgenstein -- and leads the reader through his ideas.

In the chapter I got to this morning, Goldstein is talking about how Wittgenstein rebutted his own notions in the Tractatus with his later writings. Basically, I gather, Wittgenstein no longer believed that words map reality in any sort of direct fashion.

Quote: "We must do away with all explanation, and description alone must take its place." Wow! I think I've said the same thing on my churchless blog. Just not as coherently as Wittgenstein, obviously.

Brian, oh right was wondering which one you are reading, tractatus is heavy going and yep his second one took 20 years coming and he pretty much tore the butt out of his first, get the feeling he was a pretty tortured soul old ludwig. the other one on the limits of language is kant. cheers.

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