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January 26, 2012

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It would be reasonable to fear our eternal absence if our absence were not already the case...

It appears I am the center of the universe.

Everything I see, sense and know is centered in myself.

But I can't see, sense or know myself because I can't perceive myself.

I can't because I am subject. I can't sensorially perceive myself because anything which is known is therefore an object.

Subject CAN'T exist as its own object!

So all that is object APPEARS to exist.
Subject alone does not APPEAR to exist.

But object can't exist apart from subject whose manifest aspect it is.

Therefore, it is our APPARENTLY inexistent subject that IS, and our APPARENTLY existent object (self) that is not.

Yet, since object is subject and subject is object, all that they can be, and all that IS, is the absence of myself which is also the absence of everything.

Where, then, am I? Where, then, are you?

We are our absence.

We are already well and truly inexistent, no different than that which we call "dead".

Do you fear THIS, NOW?

No?

Then you do not fear death.

Hi Tucson

Of course you can perceive yourself. You know that you are. You know that you are conscious. It's just that consciousness is not a gross object like a tree or a rock.

Consciousness appears to exist as a composite - it seems to involve cognition/recognition, sense perception, memory, thought etc. We know that these 'things' have correlates in the brain.

A swift clout around the head with a baseball bat would soon settle this - consciousness/subjectiveness would be no more. Thus proving that subjectiveness (as we know it) is dependent on the functioning brain/nervous system of a living organism.

-------

Objects CAN exist apart from a subject. 99.9999...% of functioning in the universe happens without being observed. Most of the processes in your body, brain and environment are occurring right now without being observed.


Another fine expression of personal faith, Churchless! Perhaps you're so certain about where you're going because you're so certain about what you are. For that matter, you're even quite certain what your dog is.

You once believed things that were wrong because wrong-thinking people introduced you to defective ideas. But now you think correctly, because, with the help of right-thinking people who have laid out a highly detailed narrative of reality in strictly material terms, you have wisely replaced those defective ideas with much more correct ones. And this time, you can be REALLY SURE. And that would be....just like last time?

"my petulant complaining about death bringing an end to my enjoyment of life."


Your complaint is not about death but about its timing. Keep living and eventually you'll want to die.

cc, you might be right. This happens with a lot of people. Disease and disability become too much for them; there's a natural desire to die. Nature's way of saying "Time to go," I suppose.

Brian from Colorado, belief in life after death is like buying a MegaBucks lottery ticket. Lots of people do this, each believing they have a chance to win.

Which is true. But it's a very small chance. I recently read that 90% of people believe they have a soul. Yet there's little or no evidence for soul, much less evidence that soul survives after death.

Yet hope springs eternal. People keep buying lottery tickets; people keep on believing in life after death. That's fine.

But people shouldn't base their lives on winning the lottery, because the chances are so small this will happen. Likewise, people shouldn't base their lives on a life after death, because the chances are so small this will happen.

Well, Jon, that is the primary illusion, that we objectify what is functioning (while objectifying) and calling it "me". We make a noun out of a verb.

"I" can't possibly be an object, ever, anywhere, in any circumstances. "I" can only be subject, always, everywhere, in every circumstance.

But as subject, there is no 'always'--for there is no time, there is no 'where'-- for there is no space, there are no 'circumstances'-- for there is no movement.

I am only eternal Subject--and neither in eternity nor in apparent time could I be known nor could there be anyone to know me--for no such entity as 'I' could ever be.

For me, the very worst thing that could possibly happen is to find out that I have survived physical death.

I cannot even imagine wanting to.

"people shouldn't base their lives on a life after death, because the chances are so small this will happen"

All talk of probability aside, what's inherently wrong in holding a worldview that helps one to conceive, and perchance to even sometimes sense, beautiful realities beyond this narrow material realm?

If the belief system one holds offers values and perspectives that help one cultivate a peaceful life and practice tolerance, patience and compassion for other beings, why isn't that a good thing, even if it's a belief system that differs profoundly from your own?

I'll tell you a story: I grew up Catholic, and one day in catechism class, I asked the dour old nun if my dog had a soul. She told us categorically that animals had no soul, as only man was made by God in His divine image. That, without a doubt, my treasured canine friend was in fact, just a temporarily animated thing.... a terminal lump of meat.

So, who'd think that the ideas of an old west coast hipster such as yourself would intersect so cleanly with cheerless, black-clad Sister Mary George!

All I'd ask is that if we ever meet, you won't attempt to strike me across the palms of my hands with a yardstick....

Jon, your statement is imprecise.

"A swift clout around the head with a baseball bat would soon settle this - consciousness/subjectiveness would be no more."

Actually it would settle nothing of the sort. Observing parties - men in white lab coats holding clipboards is what I picture - would indeed fail to obtain any evidence that consciousness/subjectiveness persisted. But that is all.

To state categorically that the consciousness of the strikee is "no mas" in an absolute sense is a metaphysical proposition, the proof of which is well beyond your ability to establish.

The undisclosed part in the discussion, of course, hinges on the fact that your proposition is grounded in a deeper metaphysical assumption that consciousness is naught but a meaningless artifact of matter. But your clipboard-toting proxies shan't prove that one either, amigo!

"consciousness is naught but a meaningless artifact of matter"


I can accept the "artifact of matter" part, but who's to say it's "meaningless"? Whatever consciousness is, it's responsible for the collossal mess we're in and if it can't be understood, enjoy the ride down the toilet of oblivion.

Not really relevant to this thread but want to share

http://i.imgur.com/s162n.png

Very well, cc - I should have said "inherently meaningless artifact of matter."

I suspect however, that the distinction could be a bit subtle for someone who prefers to characterize their experience of being as a "ride down the toilet of oblivion." Have a lot of black outfits in the old wardrobe closet?

:)

Hi Tucson

I agree that there are only verbs. A subject cannot be found. But subjectiveness is clearly obvious - otherwise we wouldn't be talking about it. The rest of what you write is based on assumptions yet to be established.

----------

Hi BFC

Lab coats and clipboards are not required for cutting through magical thinking and unexamined eighth century dogma.

What is consciousness (or subjectiveness)? This knowing, self-reflective awareness that is so palpable right now, right? If we really look at it closely, this consciousness (as we ordinarily think of it) can be found to be composite in nature. If we were to disable or eliminate brain/body related functions such as cognition, sense perceptions, thought and memory etc, what would we be left with? Well, something resembling a field of non-reflective beingness perhaps. Just simple functioning aliveness. But this can hardly be called consciousness in any intelligible sense of the word.

There is life or livingness in deep sleep or under anesthetic - this living animate world might even be called intelligent - the body processes are doing their thing: blood carrying oxygen around the body, respiratory activity, digestive processes, cell renewal, enzymes repairing DNA and so on. But none of this is conscious in any meaningful sense of the word.

Is it my assumption that "consciousness is naught but a meaningless artifact of matter"? Actually no. But it's clear that consciousness as we commonly understand it (this knowing, self-reflective awareness) is dependent on complex conditions - not least the functioning brain and nervous system of a living organism.

Jon, nice thoughtful comment. Facts are wonderful things. Contrary to what many religiously-minded people think, facts help us face in the right direction toward mystery, the unknown, what could possibly exist beyond what is understood now.

Understanding the nature of how consciousness operates, or manifests, in the human body shows us what consciousness is, and isn't, for us Homo sapients. It obviously isn't something separable from the brain, because as the brain goes, so does our consciousness.

Does this prove that some sort of immaterial, non-bodily consciousness doesn't exist? Of course not. That's not how science (and common sense) works. We base conclusions on the best available evidence, leaving open the possibility of being surprised. And your comment is a good summary of that evidence.

Jon wrote: "subjectiveness is clearly obvious - otherwise we wouldn't be talking about it."

--I feel that I am, but I can't find myself. The same goes for any living being. The reason for this is the same reason that prevents us from seeing our own face.

And when we look at each other or at anything we can see at all, including our own hands typing on a machine, is just our object. And our object is part of ourself as its subject.

Nobody can see us because we have no objective existence whatsoever, and we can't see anybody else because they have none. All of us can only see our own objectivizations whatever they may be.

No thing exists as an object. That is why there is no such thing as an entity. How could there be? Space and time are purely mental, concepts in mind. Where else could an entity extend itself?

Others are yourself as whatever you both are and their apparent otherness as your objects is entirely a part of your phenomenal mind. True being is not-being. Absolutely, it could be called as-it isness.

Nothing is, not even us. We are only one another's objects as 'us'.

What we actually are is just total objective absence.

We are not 'that', not 'this', not any concept at all. Nothing mysterious about it. Nothing holy. Just phenomenal notness, AND the absence of the concept of that notness.

We are not conceivable at all.

You can't find the doer of any action, the thinker of any thought, the perceiver of any perception.

The unfindable is all that we are and the unfindable is the found.

tucson, your comments often make me think, "Far out. Seems like there's a lot of truth here, but it eludes me when I try to bring the far out closer."

You should include a tab of LSD with every comment like the one above. That's probably the only way I'm going to ever be able to feel, "NOW, I get what tucson is saying!"

The conditioning we have overrides the obvious. You think you get it, but as soon as that happens you tend to grasp. Then the greased monkey slips from your grip. It's more like the monkey comes and sits in your lap when discursive thought is transcended and the reality becomes clear through negation... Not this, not that. It is not a state. It is just recognized from time to time as life is lived.

LSD, mushrooms, peyote and other cacti have been known to break up our conditioning so we see differently.

Hi Tucson

Come on, we can't see our own face simply because the seeing mechanism is located behind the face - hey, you can't see a microscope through the microscope you're looking through. :-)

Consciousness cannot be found as a discrete object, but there's nothing mysterious about consciousness knowing itself - it's even got a name; self-reflective consciousness. That's what consciousness does - it's the knowing faculty.

You write:

"You can't find the doer of any action, the thinker of any thought, the perceiver of any perception."

Ah, this is coming from a different angle. The Buddha is reported to have said: Events happen, deeds are done, but there is no individual doer thereof.

In this concept, everything is the play of an indefinable origination (or the universe if you prefer). There are no inherently existing independent entities, only the play of conditioned arising. No inherent, independent selves and no ultimate transcendent Self.

I agree with the Buddha dude.

Reflective consciousness creates the primary illusion, oft repeated by me on this blog over the years (and earlier in this thread), and many others over the centuries.

The primary illusion is, da-da, drum roll please...

Objectifying what is functioning (while objectifying) and calling it 'me'.

Objective existence is mythical.
Non-objective existence is absolute.

Objective existence is phenomenal appearance only. Non-objective existence is unaware of existing, and it is phenomenally incognisable.

Objective existence is figuation in mind. Non-objective existence only exists as such in mind, cognising everything except what is cognising.

Objective mind is self elaboration in space-time. Non-objective mind, phenomenally void, knows neither.

Who is saying this? By a mind attempting to see itself and not succeeding because as space-time 'it' appears as 'void'. Intemporally 'it' can't cognise what is cognising.


Tucson

"Objective existence" AS INHERENTLY EXISTING could be said to be mythical.

"Non-objective existence" is just a different type of ontology. The memory of my first car is a type of non-objective existence. Yet this so-called non-objective existence is still dependent on complex conditions.

You write:

"Cognising everything except what is cognising."

This concept comes from an old Hindu philosophical school known as Samkhya.

In this philosophy the universe has two ultimate realities, Purusha (consciousness) and Prakriti (the phenomenal material world.) These two realities are absolutely distinct. There is the experiencer (Purusha) and the experienced (Prakriti).

Even though this is a strictly dualistic philosophy, it's influence can be strongly recognised in the Yoga schools (Patanjali) and Advaita Vedanta.

We are told that we are the transcendental witness of experience. Whatever we can witness cannot be who we are - when all objects have been rejected, what is left is the witnessing self - this is who we are.

But as we have been discussing, there are obvious problems with this - especially in the light of our understanding of Cartesian dualism, Philosophy of mind, consciousness studies, neuroscience and evolution.

It's simply the case that consciousness is a type of phenomena that cannot be found as a discrete object. But just as we can witness imagination in action or memory in action, we can in fact witness self-reflective consciousness in action - or consciousness-ing. Consciousness-ing IS known.

It's also the case that although a specific phenomenal location of consciousness cannot be determined, the complex conditions that give rise to conscious experience ARE locatable. (And can be disabled in seconds via anesthesia or injury etc.)

"...the greased monkey slips from your grip...and sits in your lap when discursive thought is transcended and the reality becomes clear through negation..."


...and you have to deal with that greased monkey in your lap.

cc...Ha! That would be rather messy. Damn monkey. I thought it would sound slightly more appealing than a greased pig. Maybe a slippery eel or rainbow trout in your lap would be a little better.

Jon,
I am not a scholar or very educated. I have read books and scriptures but, for example, I have never heard of Samkhya. I'll leave that stuff to you.

What I try to describe is how things are as 'I' see it, not how 'others' say how it is. It is difficult to describe 'something' non-conceptual with concepts. I am at a disadvantage here. At best I can just point or gesture at what I try to convey.

You wrote: "But just as we can witness imagination in action or memory in action, we can in fact witness self-reflective consciousness in action - or consciousness-ing. Consciousness-ing IS known."

--As 'I' see it, we can do nothing of the kind. We ARE all of those things as they appear. Whatever we think is witnessing those things is just another one of those things. Remember, there has never been a phenomenal subject. The notion is nonsense.

What we see in the mirror does not shave THIS which is shaving it, but our lives are based on that very illusion. We think THIS is shaving itself, but when the matter is considered we find there isn't one!

(If you don't shave, just pretend)

Disputes and discussions are ultimately futile because neither party can really say anything that is true. Dispute picks out the false, which is often apparent, while discussion seeks the truth, which is being pointed at, but which is too difficult to describe.

Maybe this would help:

There cannot be self or other because there is no self that is not other, nor any other that is not self.

I hear you Tucson. And there's a danger that we might be going round in circles at this point. So let's just home in on the nub of the matter in as straightforward a way as possible.

You seem to be saying that consciousness precedes the phenomenal universe.

I seem to be saying that consciousness as we commonly understand it (this knowing, self-reflective awareness) can be found to be dependent on complex conditions.

So let's try a simplistic but pertinent thought experiment.

You are sitting on a bench by the road and a red car speeds by.

Now, while this is occurring, a surgeon is anesthetising or disabling the regions of the brain/body that facilitate sense perception.

And so we are left with no sight of the red car. No sound of the engine. No smell/taste of the fumes. No feeling of the rush of air as it passes.

At this point there may still be a mental image or narrative about the scenario.

And so the surgeon goes deeper.

The areas that deal with memory, language, recognition and conceptual thought are targeted; the various regions of the cortex, the thalamus and limbic system etc.

Okay, what does awareness now 'look' like?

What is left that can intelligibly be called consciousness/subjectiveness?

Please try to answer this as directly and straightforwardly as possible.

(Bear in mind that in a previous comment it has been acknowledged that a non-reflective pulse of life/reality would remain.)

Jon, good questions. This also is the problem I have with a "consciousness is All" or "consciousness is everlasting" philosophy.

If I'm not aware, what good does the philosophy do me, aside from being an abstract idea that, like "God," brings me some solace, peace of mind, satisfaction?

Like you said, consciousness goes away under anesthesia, severe brain trauma, deep sleep, and such. Saying that consciousness continues even under these conditions strikes me as an act of faith, not a defensible argument.

You fellows are asking me to objectively explain the apparent mystery of life, death and consciousness. Even Einstein fell short. I hope you don't expect a pea-brain like me to know...but I can pretend.

What we are doing is trying to find the answer outside as an object (concept). Surely the answer is not an object or concept. Why don't we turn an look within?

If we do, we would again be looking at an object. An object is an object whichever way we look.

Don't we see ourselves when we look within?

You can't see what is not there!

Maybe you would see the absence of yourself which is what is looking. It has been called "the void" and is the nameless, formless, timeless source of all that is whether it is life, death, consciousness or unconsciousness.

They say the "mirror-void" is a resplendent shining mirror which reflects the phenomenal universe, revealing everything and retaining no thing.

I have nothing more to offer.

tucson, oh my (non) God! This is really scary! I feel like i (almost) understood this comment. And it (almost) made sense. Hope I'm not losing my mind.

Keep it up, dude. If you keep on saying what you're saying, eventually everybody who reads you will be enlightened. Or go insane. Assuming there's a difference.

I saw a docu lately on psylocybine that is the active component in paddo's. It turned out that this disabled certain brain parts. This was shown with a scanner. The testpersons described experiences like no self and total hallucination. So perhaps consciousness with out the objects or brains is not that boring at all.

The no-thing or non-self in absolute terms, being beyond mind and ego. However, in relative terms, there is a manifested, mind/ego generated self, myself, things, this and that. These are two separate discussions, with no need for insanity. If there is no-mind, then what is mind?

Roger inquired: "These are two separate discussions---If there is no-mind, then what is mind?"

--It seems to me these are not two different discussions. All phenomena/appearance is mind. Mind is all phenomena/appearance. The subjective is what you can't see because it is what is looking no matter where you look. Therefore, 'you' ARE all appearance, but 'you' can't be found even if 'you' are looking at your hands or feet.

I see phenomena as being bodies/ material. I see mind as being non-material thought.
A subject may look down subjectively at his hands ( for instance) and they will be seen subjectively as objects attached to the subject.

Thanks tucson,

For blogging purposes, there may be a need to separate the two issues for some sort of clarity. Maybe.

The absolute is: non-knowable Subjective. 'you' ARE all appearance, but 'you' can't be found even if 'you' are looking at your hands or feet. This 'you' is beyond the supposed mind/ego.

The relative is: All phenomena/appearance is mind. Mind is all phenomena/appearance. The relative you, me, self, myself as manifested by mind/ego, etc.


Hey Tucson

Simple and straightforward flaw in your approach.

The subject disappears when phenomenal conditions change.

In other words, mind or consciousness (as we commonly know it) is dependent on conditions.

If you disagree look to my (still unanswered) thought experiment.

The unfindabilty of the subject is a non-argument. Memory is unfindable, imagination is unfindable, thinking is unfindable.

'Unfindability' is not sufficient for a conclusion that subjectivity is not a product of the brain - especially in the light of the above argument.


Never said it wasn't, but the brain is just another object. Subjectivity cannot be known as any sort of thing, or a part of any thing, or the result of anything except as its objects conceived in a mind that is itself an object! All, therefore, have no objective existence, none of it.

There is no such thing as a phenomenal object. That is the essence of Bhuddism in 9 words. Study for one year or 100 and sooner or later that is what will be discovered. IT is no-thing at all. That's all there is to it.

If what is being said makes no sense, or appears to be contradictory, that would be correct in a mind split or divided in relativity. In whole non-relative mind it is as it is which is no-thing which is not to be confused with 'nothing'.

So, you ask, "What,then, is there?"

How could there be any such question to answer when there can't be anyone to ask, or any question to be asked, or anyone to answer?

The presence of the concept of an answer would constitute bondage to relativity and the absence of such a concept would maintain bondage to relativity.

Look not to absence or presence. We are conditioned to think that we are what is present which is the absence of what is absent, but when we 'see' what we are we 'see' that what we are is the absence of what is present and the presence of what is absent.

The absence of both question and answer, connoting the absence of any entity to ask or not ask, to answer or not answer, therefore constitutes release from bondage to relativity.

No entity is there to be bound or free, or to be born or to die.

Depending on who is reading this it could be mean a great deal while to others it may be so much gobbledygook. It is just an attempt to say what can't be said, so it really is goobbledygook. I admit it.

Whatever it is I am talking about is a TACIT understanding.

Really, nothing can be said about it.

So, this is, at best, BS. You have been wasting your time.

A old saying about a sage:

If it is a concept, he bows and smiles,
If it isn't--there is nothing to smile at,
And no one to bow.

jon and tucson, seems to me you are both right. Don't ask me why. I don't know. It's just a seeming.

We can't make objects out of ourselves and still be ourselves. Yet that subjectivity is dependent on objective conditions: brain neurons, chemicals, electrical impulses, and such.

It's all a tangled web of... something or other. Not fully subjective. Not fully objective. I guess it's just what it is. But that too... just a guess.

Brian, that is a hillarious and apt reponse!

Tucson, you are just the sort of person to have in any social group. Just, for instance, as things get heated or out of hand, you throw in a no-thing offering which totally throws everthing out. There would be a kind of fizzling sound in all the brains around- then everyone would laugh uproariously, shake their heads mighty confused and go surfing.

Tao, what do you think of what Tucson says?

In mind/ego we can create the illusion of objects and ourselves. That doesn't mean objects and selves don't have existence. In absolute, there would be no supposed mind/ego. What there would "be" is unknown.

Within relativity, I don't have a problem with totally throwing things out. In addition, it is human to be confused and having a need to go surfing.

Of course the brain is a kind of object when we think about it (it's a process actually - no nouns, remember?) But without the brain, memory, thought, perception/consciousness does not occur.

Buddhism says there are no inherently existing objects - just the flux of conditioned arising. There is no ultimate subject in Buddhism - it is not an idealistic philosophy (a couple of later schools may be interpreted that way.)

This "if it doesn't make sense..." business is a bit of a cop-out. We may not be able to grasp the ultimate mystery of existence with our tiny mammalian brains, but we can clearly see that certain propositions are flawed.

You wrote "How could there be any such question to answer when there can't be anyone to ask, or any question to be asked, or anyone to answer?" Hmmm... this is pure advaita shuffle at its most blatant. I thought this stuff had gone out of fashion years ago. See this and cringe. :-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KXidr0z1RY

The thing is Tucson, I know exactly where you're coming from with this - I'm no stranger to these concepts at all - I've been there, done it and eventually had to accept the inescapable flaws that can't be glossed over with advaita speak. But I'm no nihilist (or fit the definition of a materialist.) I do sense that Reality is ultimately a mystery beyond our grasp - it's just that idealism falls well short of any form of explanation. I'd classify myself as pretty neutral and somewhat humble in the face of what to me remains a mysterious and enlivening dance. I'm certainly not here to hassle you into a submission - good luck with your journey.

Then we're stuck also with 'why the rise and fall of conditioned arisings?' Is there a reason? Could the reason be some warped original life creator's/ or the Source's game to make us work hard or play right to try to escape the conditioned experience through meditative effortless effort, good works, flagellation or fine philosophising? Is one particular arising less conditioned than another or a punishment or reward for some unknown past event? Yawn.

But these are conditioned questions, right?

There does seem to be an overriding impulse in most conditioned arising to survive and to create the best environment for life that we have created. Again why?

I am sure that in one of your posts, Brian, you have got this covered.

Jon,

"I've been there, done it and eventually had to accept the inescapable flaws that can't be glossed over with advaita speak."

--What did you do, that later was determined to have inescapable flaws? I agree that the adviata movement is more dualistic than the non---

I can see how in discussion that "Unfindability" could have alternate meanings,

- another way to express non-duality or non-conceptuality.

or
-something that currently is unknown, that one day will possibly become known.


I sense a little touchiness on Jon's part regarding this matter. As Roger says, it's no big deal. Nothing to win or lose. As far as reasoning goes, Jon's red car exercise makes perfectly good sense. I am trying to point to where reason does not go, where polarity and relativity is irrelevant.

This comes to mind... All phenomenality, positivity and negativity are conceptually dependent on space and duration. But in getting to the 'core' of things the space-time continuum is a bubble that bursts in the vacuum of total negation.

Without here or there, was or will be, when or why, who or what, it is just This. Behind the beyond? There is no before to have a behind, no thing to be beyond any or no thing. What would take a journey to where?

Absolute negation of appearance, total phenomenal absence. Nowhere else for the truth to be but wherever 'I' am.

Losing oneself in what is here is finding that here is what one is.

Dear tucson,

Given what you have just said, why do you give a fuck what the capital-gains tax rate is?

Robert Paul Howard

RPH,
You tell me. Why not?

Because "it's no big deal. Nothing to win or lose." "All phenomenality, positivity and negativity are conceptually dependent on space and duration. But in getting to the 'core' of things the space-time continuum is a bubble that bursts in the vacuum of total negation." "[I]t is just This": "Nowhere else for the truth to be but wherever 'I' am." "Losing oneself in what is here is finding that here is what one is."

One might "sense a little touchiness on ["tucson's"] part regarding this matter."

Robert Paul Howard

Why not? Because your speak and actions are riddled with inconsistencies that while you wish to convey as wisdom is rather, beyond the fake nonchalance, only deceitful -- to others first and perhaps to you (I can't say for sure where you stand between just messing with people and genuinely believing your simplistic crap). To others, if you believe that everything is a joke (and even the joke that everything is a joke) as proposed by Tucson then the joke is on you ;)

I just drop by after a long while and I see nothing much as changed ... So funny ...

tucson,

Good message. I'm guessing Jon, through an honest need to search for a truth, got caught up in one of those neo-adviata movements. He probably got "burned" by the cult crap, that one can get exposed to. Maybe, and maybe not.

I liked this, that Jon expressed,

" I do sense that Reality is ultimately a mystery beyond our grasp...."

That said, tucson, I liked,

"I am trying to point to where reason does not go, where polarity and relativity is irrelevant."

Yes, I don't see the point in making such a big deal out of such.

Hi Catherine

I'm really not sure about the ultimate 'why' of things. Meaning certainly makes sense in the relative transactions of our everyday lives - I'm not sure that it's applicable to the bigger picture (whatever that is.)

-----

Hi Roger

For a while I went along with the 'you are awareness' line. It's a nice place to hang out. But I started to have doubts when I realized that this point of view resembled solipsism. One day I questioned a teacher (who I used to correspond with) about a scenario similar to my thought experiment. He just couldn't answer it and went into an over-elaborate dialectic style of reasoning. I've since presented similar questions to other advaita/idealism type teachers and been met with the same avoidance techniques and foggy rhetoric.

-----

Hi Tucson

There's no touchiness here - I thought that we were having a good-natured chat. Hey, I couldn't resist the cringe comment - but it's all good fun.

I've laid out what I think is flawed in this idealist type approach so there's no need to restate these things again right now - it's possible that they might come up again in a future thread. I think that there may be something in what you are pointing to - I just wouldn't call it a subject, witness or consciousness etc.

Jon,

Correct, these so-called teachers are just persons with a supposed gift of Gab. You seem to be a right track, with regards to your own situation. Non-duality doesn't need questions or answers. However, within relativity or duality, there are tons of questions and possible answers, with good and bad teachers.

Best wishes, Roger

Jon,
Great. Glad I was wrong and there was no touchiness on your part. Sometimes good natured kidding is hard to convey in blog posts. Printed words lack inflection and facial expression. My mood and intention is sometimes misunderstood here. Anyway, I welcome any discussion with you should the occasion arise.

Elephant,
It is an interesting coincidence that you would stop by here after a long hiatus at a time when I have made a few comments after a long period of relative inactivity. Indeed, nothing has changed. How unfortunate for you.

RPH,
Discussing matters of non-relativity does not preclude an interest in capital gains and politics that affect them. After all, I do have capital gains. I am one of those filthy scum who pay a lower tax rate than those who have earned income such as the fellow I employed to help me construct my workshop.

What Ob*ma and Buffet dishonestly fail to mention is that the money invested to produce income taxed as capital gains was already taxed at the earned income rate when it was first earned!

Money invested in stocks, etc. is at risk for loss as well as gain. Normally, if you work for a salary, you will get that salary unless the company goes bankrupt or something. There is no risk. But if your investments lose $1 million, you can only write off a max of $3000. However, if your investment gains $1 million you are taxed at 15%. The government already has it stacked in their favor. I can hear tax the rich freaks saying, "Oh the poor fat cat, who only has $850,000 instead of $1 million. If that rate goes significantly higher, say, to 30% as Ob*ma would like, investment will be discouraged because the risk to reward ratio will be less favorable. Investors will be less inclined to provide the capital to help fuel economic recovery.

Sorry, Brian. I broke the rules by getting just a touch off topic...just a teensy bit

Then it is NOT that: "it's no big deal. Nothing to win or lose." And it is NOT that: "All phenomenality, positivity and negativity are conceptually dependent on space and duration. But in getting to the 'core' of things the space-time continuum is a bubble that bursts in the vacuum of total negation."

Perhaps it actually IS that: "Because your speak[ing] and actions are riddled with inconsistencies that wh[at]...you wish to convey as wisdom is rather, beyond the fake nonchalance, only deceitful...."

Perhaps, in fact, "[o]ne might 'sense a little touchiness on ["tucson's"] part regarding this matter'" as if it truly were "a big deal."

Robert Paul Howard


I would imagine that snapping out of the fixation on 'self' as an object does not necessarily mean that one would abandon one's interests and associations that life brings or that one's personality becomes blank. Could not one go on playing one's part in the play, as an actor does, living the dream with vigor, without taking it all too seriously?

tucson,

Good message. Duality does have a good part. That said, I need to get back to playing my part.

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