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March 26, 2010

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One big mistake made by the "quantum consciousness" proponents is the implication that the observer is somehow separate from all the rest of the universe. After all, the observer is required for all the objects in the universe to come into being.

But where did the observer come from? How does it come into being?

"Oh," they'll say, in a bit of rhetorical nonsense, "it observes itself." Can you say "origination problem?"

If they addressed that point, they would have to concede that the observer is not actually separate from the universe and, therefore, is just another quantum non-thing that can't act independently and, therefore, it can't bring other objects into being because it's not actually and actively "observing". So, then, ultimately, NOTHING ever exists (according to their faulty logic).

BTW, I can only assume you were quoting Sobottka when you referred to Ramana and Nisagardatta as "sages." ;-)

Steven, your comment has some good points. Personally, it makes sense to me that the universe can observe itself, if that truly is needed for quantum phenomena to come into being. Since the big bang occurred with no one around to observe it into action, it sure seems this is the case.

Some theorists (can't remember who) claim that humans, or conscious entities, brought the cosmos into being when consciousness was able to observe the universe. This seems to be the question, though, of how conscious beings were able to evolve when the universe didn't exist before a conscious act of observation.

Regarding the "sages," this was partly a holdover from my old respectful guru-devotion days, and partly a semi-ironic use of the word. I enjoy reading Ramana and Nis; They're clever, for sure, and raise some interesting points. But I agree with you that their brand of spirituality is just about as unbelievable as traditional religions are.

Hey Brian, glad you touched on Prof. Sobottka's course. It's extremely interesting, a lot of food for thought.

A lot of people would label me a "nondualist" (is that even a word?) but my own little mind and ego, interpreting away at reality like everyone else's, doesn't think there's anything wrong that needs changing...even the impulse to change what is perceived as wrong. It's all much of a muchness.

And another "nondual" thingy (to use the technical term) is the mind's realisation that it's never going to figure reality out, completely; and that the mind is the tool for interpreting, rather than seeing some ultimate, elusive, absolute TRUTH.

We are what we are, and it is as you see it. Hurray! Nothing to do but watch FlashForward and pop some popcorn. Or, chuck out the TV and join an ashram. There's not much difference between the two!

Enjoying the blog extremely much by the way.

if all is one, why do we perceive separateness?

even if our perception is faulty as the nondualists have it, there is still no explanation as to why we errenously experience the multiplicity of forms.

why do animals, who have no intellectual mind to speak of, differentiate between different kinds of animals that are prey and others that are threat?

if our actual bodies are merely an illusion, why dont the nondualists stop eating other lifeforms, even vegetarian ones, and get on with the business of living in their nondualistic eternity now, rather than keeping themselves alive in this illusion by eating others?

If we are indeed, one, how do these mystics distinguish between higher and lower lifeforms, between plant life and animal life?

And i also disagree with the statement 'an object is nothing more than a concept'.

There might be a blind person who has no idea he is going to run into a brickwall, but he is going to hit that wall regardless of whether his mind or sense recognise it as existing or not.

The problem with the nondualistist position is they get so caught up with the mind, that they refuse to admit that there is a physical universe, or a plurality of objects that exist, independent of our perception thereof.

Whether we can experience something or not, does not make it unreal, only invisible to the person whose senses cannot detect it.

hell most of modern science is concerned with phenomena which our senses cannot detect and have to be observed through complex indirect experiment or technological progress that eventually enables us to confirm these assumptions.

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