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June 26, 2011


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I agree, that objective reality is not for me to fathom out as then it would seem to turn into my subjective reality – on how I see or give meaning to (personally) what is in front of me.

I think [objective] reality remains whether we believe it or not. It is as it is regardless of what we want to call or name it, whether we can see or understand it. I do feel though, that arguments arise because we all have our own experience of life/situations but believe our own version because that is what we have experienced and really it is all we have to go on. But everyone can and does have their own unique experience and their own expression.
It seems to cause ‘separation’ when we build nests out of our experiences by trying to hold on to, grasping, caging it instead of letting go of seeing it from our limited side only. We can live from our memories of an experience.

No one is more or less than anybody, we are all the same. Nothing to grab hold of, simple.(at times)

If I hold onto something that is real for me and close off to things that come my way, be it that someone differs from my perception of experience or circumstances that I think should not be, at that moment I am not in reality I am in my thoughts or beliefs about it. I am fighting with what is. I remain closed, not open. For me, there seems to be no certainty. I actually don’t know what is true or what is false. Oh I can annoy myself trying to figure it out or believing my thoughts or memories about it, but it gets me nowhere just back to the start, going round in circles.

We all fall into the trap of wanting our own subjective reality to be objective – that is believed or agreed upon by others. I have noticed myself doing that at times and boy it doesn’t feel good when I am in the midst of doing it. There seems to be a separation with life and people when it happens.

For me, reality is what is there before I put my colouring on it and it even exists when I do put my colouring on it but is now mixed with opinions, beliefs, and personal experiences and what I make them mean.

I think Brian I am with you on the point – bringing it back to our self (subjective) and our own experience and being aware that everyone’s experience is real for them. We can ‘look’ for ‘answers’ as you say in the big questions of life, but maybe it is under our nose in the simplest things of life, like playing with grandchildren, gardening or ..........salsa dancing :). (Having fun and taking things lightly)


“Confession” ....after further pondering on objective reality post.......

This morning when I read the latest comments from the ‘Guru should know if he is God’ thread, I felt annoyed. Yep, really subtly annoyed! I even found myself ‘putting’ down a lot of the bloggers in my head. Oh yeah. Ye were all a bunch of losers, assholes. Why the hell am I bothering with this blog was my question? Talk about meditation. That is the meditation I was doing this morning and eventually I had to get up as something wasn’t ‘working’ for me.

It took a wee while to look into it. It was all about me and if you want to call it my subjective reality. My thought process went something like:
‘The bad manners of some people, not answering my questions that I put to them’ and ‘who the fuck do they think they are? Think they know everything they do!, nobody is hearing me’....... well except tAo, but he seemed to be putting me in my place.
This is mild folks, mild to what was going on in my brain.

What I did notice was that I didn’t feel good. And blaming other good folk on the blog didn’t give me any relief; in fact it only made it worse.

When I followed the feeling inside (without attributing it to others) I was left with this feeling that I know well, or should I say strong belief - that I am not as good as everyone else, I deserve to be ignored, I don’t count, I’m stupid. Then I cried. Something inside feels shaky and vunerable.It is the one core thing that keeps ‘catching’ me out. Though saying that, I ‘catch’ it quicker that I use to. In the past it went on for months. In fact, I don’t think I recognised it for what it was years back. I think it was Peter who mentioned roots. Well this root (assumption) obviously is not cut off yet as it keeps rearing its ugly head. It is obviously what I identify myself as being. Who am I really? I don’t want to change this ‘identity’ into a better one as I have talked about before – an ‘I love me identity’.

One good thing though, I now can usually recognise the core not good enough feeling [identity]by noticing when I am getting judgemental or annoyed with someone.
I can honestly say that I do feel better when I own my own feelings instead of making it about someone else.

When it is latent, I genuinely can say, I feel more accepting of people, more understanding and I resonate with people with what they say – more connected. It doesn’t mean I agree with everything but that does not be a problem and I find it fascinating the different expressions from people’s comments.

How is that for subjective reality?
It does make me wonder, what is it that makes my consciousness turn from one aspect to the other, from blaming to taking responsibility? Or is any of it true?
I think Brian nails it time and time again when he says we can’t know someone else from a few (or even many) blog comments that we make. Sure, we can build up an image of the person. I don’t even know myself, from all the comments I have written!


Blogger Brian:
Years ago when I was in the hospital for surgery (broken leg) they gave me anesthesia. I started to feel a little tired .... and then ..... the very next thing I was aware of was: I was opening my eyes in the recovery room and it was many hours later. Apparently I had simply ceased to exist.

Is this what you think happens to you at death only on a permanent basis?

Well, obviously I don't know for sure what happens to us when we die. Nobody does, because everybody alive hasn't died.

What we know is that when people die they go away. There is no sign of them being conscious. So, yes, the most likely eventuality is that when we die it's like going to sleep, except we never wake up.

This disturbs a lot of people. It disturbs me. Religions promise relief from that disturbance in the form of life after death, heaven, salvation, eternity in the lap of God.

That's reassuring, but so are other sorts of myths. So to me the wisest thing is to assume that death is The End, since there is no persuasive evidence to the contrary, and to make the most of this life.

A problem with believing in life after death is that one's attention can get focused on a hypothetical afterlife which probably won't happen. Then this life doesn't get as much attention.

While alive, live. After death, deal with whatever comes up (which likely will be nothing). This seems like a fine way of living to me.

18 months left:

Related to this, in another thread you quoted Ramana as saying:

“There can be no moment or condition from which awareness is absent. Its absence means their absence.”

This only proves that an absence of awareness can never be witnessed - not that an absence of awareness cannot be the case. It's not the same (except from the perspective of a subjective idealist.)

The fact that an absence of awareness cannot be witnessed only proves one thing (so obvious as to be a tautology); without awareness, there can be no awareness of the lack of awareness!!

So it may be true that non-being cannot exist (if non-being means non-existence) but the non-awareness of being can - since conscious awareness is dependent on conditions.

Hi 18 months left.

Not only can ceasing to exist happen under the conditions you mentioned but it also can happen, well to me anyway when I forget about myself i.e. when my attention (awareness/consciousness) is not on 'myself' but is engaged in some event be it a striking sunset or some colourful event. In them few moments it is like I don't exist until my mind comes in and I reference it back to myself.

What Brian said above most people being disturbed, I agree. I feel disturbed when I think I won't exist (though sometimes I can wish I didn't).

I do think that a lot of spiritual practices supports this 'hypothetical afterlife' as Brian says and it was one of my 'complaints' to BJ this year when I told him I was sick of following the proverbial carrot on a stick for some 'future' gain. I have a feeling that it is all happening now, right here and even when we die, it will still be now and will deal with whatever comes up if I’m conscious and if I don’t exist, well there will be no I to be disturbed or afraid.

My spiritual practise has been about this fear or disturbance (afraid of punishment) which doesn’t seem to have the same grip on me. (I think). When I say that, it even makes meditation feel like a manipulation.


Rob, your comments make so much sense! Coincidentally (or not...), I agree with them!

"(Consciousness and the brain clearly are tightly connected, so even if consciousness turns out to be immaterial, almost certainly it has effects on objective reality.)"


I wrote this on a forum once, thought I'd share it here:

If human behavior is entirely deterministic, with decision-making entirely reducible to deterministic physics within the brain, then there is no room for experience.

The very discussion of the concept of experience takes place through a physical medium; therefore the qualia themselves must necessarily have an impact on the physical environment. So if discussions of qualia are meaningful, then the brain cannot be fully deterministic because qualia add nothing to deterministic particle-twiddling. If the brain is fully deterministic, then qualia (experience) do not exist.

If you're not a p-zed then you know that qualia do exist.

Therefore your brain is not fully deterministic.


With the ambitious title "Objective reality isn't for us to unravel," the issue could have been dug a step deeper: objective reality isn't for human beings to unravel. It could have answered a common tactic employed by a lot of religionists to attack science. They say that science can never discover objective reality itself. The argument is that as we are using human perception to interface with the world, we can never access the real objective reality as itself but only a perceived (and interpreted) appearance that is eternally one step away from the real objective reality. They think that pulling down science a few steps can reduce the distance between science and religion. The title of this blog post hints an answer to this type of criticism: objective reality isn't for human to unravel. The role of science is not to resolve fully objective reality itself but to produce a consistent model of it to best explain the most phenomena and to best predict what happen next. Science so far is the best method to do that job. The model produced by science is certainly not perfect and isn't meant to be: the merit of science is precisely that it is modifying and refining that model continually. And, it must be remembered, the models produced by religions are worse by far.

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