On consciousness

Discussion of the nature of Ultimate Reality and the path to Enlightenment.

Re: On consciousness

Postby Bobo » Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:49 pm

David Quinn wrote:
cousinbasil wrote:
David wrote:If boundaries are fundamentally non-existent and all things are causally connected, it may be asked, then isn't it the case that we are connected to all things in the Universe, even to the furtherest galaxy in the universe? Yet how can this be when we clearly have no influence over the galaxy's behaviour? Surely, for all intents and purposes, we are utterly disconnected from it.

Apart from anything else, the main problem with this point of view is that it lacks imagination. In truth, we are constantly having a say over the behaviour of the furtherest galaxy, even at this very moment. For example, we are not, at this very moment, suddenly transforming ourselves into giant space-goats and dashing off faster than the speed of light in order to gobble the galaxy up. The very fact that we are not doing this allows the galaxy to continue existing. That is a pretty large influence in anyone's book!

But this "influence" is entirely imaginary and therefore arbitrary. Your point is that since this lunatic scenario does not occur, we are therefore a cause of that distant universe.

A contributing cause, yes - one component in the endless array of contributing causes that sustain the galaxy. Our influence isn't imagainary, as it is undeniably true that the galaxy can only continue to exist as long we don't turn into giant space-goats and dash over there to gobble it up. The scenario is imaginary, but our influence is not.


You were arguing that you are causally connected to a far distant galaxy, and the proof that you are causally connected to the galaxy is the fact that you are not causally connected to the galaxy. Isn't it like saying that the Flying Spaghetti Monster exists, and since there is no Spaghetti Monster it proves that it exists.
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Re: On consciousness

Postby Liberty Sea » Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:39 pm

"Why is there Being at all, and not much rather Nothing? That is the question" - Martin Heidegger.
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Re: On consciousness

Postby movingalways » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:33 am

Cathy Preston wrote:
movingalways wrote:
Movingalways do you believe if you don't hang on to compassion you will be hateful, greedy, or lustful? They are beneficial in that they lead the individual through a process. Compassion is not married to wisdom until, like love, you don't possess it at all. Being bound is not limited to hate, greed or lust, it encompasses all worldly things, like love and compassion too. We don't end the suffering of being bound, we realize we are unbounded. The one in ignorance becomes ready to understand by living truthfully, the wise one is an example of this, and as such is not concerned with appearances at all.
#


Cathy, how does a wise one, or any idea of one, live truthfully, when he only aware of his infinity [his fullness] by way of his finite intellect?


Understanding isn't a plateau that you reach then stagnate. Your intellect is only as full as you think it is, wisdom isn't stored in it, it moves through it. Someone who has an understanding of infinity has no fullness. Fullness implies capacity, capacity isn't infinite. Someone who understands infinity, is empty, he hangs onto nothing, he moves through the universe unchecked. The universe itself is mind, as far as we can see in any direction is mind, unbounded, infinite mind. Not your mind nor my mind but one shining luminous mind, besides which nothing exists, the source of everything, it transcends all limits, it is that which you see before you, just this.
@


I would enjoy a continuing dialogue with you on this view, because it lies at the heart of what I have come to know as the grandest delusion of all, the belief that intellectual, sentient consciousness = infinite consciousness. Please tell me how a sentient mind can transcend the limitations of its sentience without using its sentience? In other words, the breath is the first and ultimate limit of a man's comprehension of his Totality - how does one go beyond the breath while he yet remain breathing? Does the Father, Supreme Consciousness, Infinite Mind, breathe? Does the Father die? Is the Father born? Is not the very act of breathing, the Son's cause of his awareness of death? And, is not the Son's primal awareness of breath, his awareness of death, the limit no Son of human intellect can surpass?

A truly infinite Mind would not ponder its existence, name its forms or attach meanings to its forms. A truly infinite Mind would not fear itself, doubt itself, question Itself. The human intellect fails on all of these counts. Why? Because it can only interpret by way of comparison of the principle of sentience, the principle of duality, of "this" and "that." Reasoning. Acknowledging this, a mind comes face to face with the undeniable truth that it may discover endless worlds of finite things, but in the end, one finite thing = another finite thing. "Just this." A cockroach = the universe of things. Which brings it to a point, not of stagnation, but of having to 'turn around', away from the world of calling forth infinite finite things we at first, believe are different, and then, realize are not, to come face to face with the cause of the arousal of finite things. It is here that we truly expand, not into things, for we have seen through their 'ruse', but into our totality of our acceptance of the 'ruse.' Into compassion, into love, the activity of reconciling the arousal of things to their Source. Compassion expansion, love expansion is not Infinite Mind, but it is, from my personal experience, the highest Something a sentient mind can [nondually] know. Compassion/love = nonduality. From this POV, all that comes forth of things is one's simultaneous love of these things.
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Re: On consciousness

Postby Kunga » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:52 am

Liberty Sea wrote:"Why is there Being at all, and not much rather Nothing? That is the question" - Martin Heidegger.


Being is the result of being nothing. Because nothing is something, which is nothing, which is everything, which is nothing. Nothing is something. What is it ? Consciousness. Awareness. Aware of being Aware. Conscious.
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Re: On consciousness

Postby Cathy Preston » Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:32 am

movingalways wrote:I would enjoy a continuing dialog with you on this view, because it lies at the heart of what I have come to know as the grandest delusion of all, the belief that intellectual, sentient consciousness = infinite consciousness. Please tell me how a sentient mind can transcend the limitations of its sentience without using its sentience? In other words, the breath is the first and ultimate limit of a man's comprehension of his Totality - how does one go beyond the breath while he yet remain breathing? Does the Father, Supreme Consciousness, Infinite Mind, breathe? Does the Father die? Is the Father born? Is not the very act of breathing, the Son's cause of his awareness of death? And, is not the Son's primal awareness of breath, his awareness of death, the limit no Son of human intellect can surpass?


You keep splitting everything into two, why is that? The father and son is an allegory, there can only ever be one totality. That totality never lives nor never dies, is never born nor unborn, breath is not separate from the totality, the very air around us is the totality, I am the breathe, I am the air. We die simply because we're born. Cathy Preston will die because she was born, "Cathy" is merely a manifestation of identification with an existent Self, when the identification shifts from self to totality, the manifestation continues to play out, and it's eventual death is it's natural end.


movingalways wrote:A truly infinite Mind would not ponder its existence, name its forms or attach meanings to its forms. A truly infinite Mind would not fear itself, doubt itself, question Itself. The human intellect fails on all of these counts. Why? Because it can only interpret by way of comparison of the principle of sentience, the principle of duality, of "this" and "that." Reasoning. Acknowledging this, a mind comes face to face with the undeniable truth that it may discover endless worlds of finite things, but in the end, one finite thing = another finite thing. "Just this." A cockroach = the universe of things. Which brings it to a point, not of stagnation, but of having to 'turn around', away from the world of calling forth infinite finite things we at first, believe are different, and then, realize are not, to come face to face with the cause of the arousal of finite things. It is here that we truly expand, not into things, for we have seen through their 'ruse', but into our totality of our acceptance of the 'ruse.' Into compassion, into love, the activity of reconciling the arousal of things to their Source. Compassion expansion, love expansion is not Infinite Mind, but it is, from my personal experience, the highest Something a sentient mind can [nondually] know. Compassion/love = nonduality. From this POV, all that comes forth of things is one's simultaneous love of these things.


The world is a manifestation of infinite finite things, the cause of it's arousal is desire, which is caused by our attempt to possess love through things. To reconcile desire to its source, is to realize our emptiness and the impossibility therefore to possess anything. Non-duality is not a repair for duality it's merely a different point along the same line of opposites. At some point one has to take the leap into new territory (Totality) where neither exist.

It's when we finally and truly give up trying to "possess" love that it becomes light.

"Love is not consolation. It is light."
Friedrich Nietzsche
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Re: On consciousness

Postby Liberty Sea » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:13 pm

Jupivix and David, perhaps we need to make a distinction between existence and being.
'Exist' came from the Latin word existere, which means "to stand out". Thus anything that exists, exists in relation to other things, and by means of contrasts. For that reason an existent entity needs a form and boundaries. And if we remove everything that is not x, that which is called x will cease to exist. We can imagine an object in an empty space but when we remove the space surrounding it we can no longer imagine its form. The object would cease to exist because it no longer has a form, but it still 'is', or rather, something still 'is'.
A thing needs a form to exist, but doesn't need a form to be.

Allow me to quote Kevin's words from "The Importance of Being an Atheist" from The Atheist Magazine no.1:
"To understand why it is impossible for a God to exist we need to understand what we mean by existence. The only sensible definition for existence is that a thing is said to exist if it relates in some way to some other thing. That is, things exist in relation to each other. A thing must exist relative to an observer at the very least. Now, God is defined to be infinite, in which case it is not possible for there to be anything other than God because "infinite" is all-inclusive. But if there is nothing other than God then God cannot be said to exist for the reason just explained. God is simply another word for Nature, and Nature certainly does not "exist" - it just is."
This is why Heidegger said only man exists, while other beings just are. Because boundaries and forms only exist in the construction of the mind.
Kevin made a distinction between 'exist' and 'is', between "existence" and "being". He asserted that Nature had "being", but had no 'existence'. He thereby argued that God had no 'existence'. But the logical fallacy here is that he also assumed God also had no 'being', while Nature did. There is really no argument supporting this assumption.
Kevin has missed much of theology. Many theologians asserted that God, while possessing Will, possesses neither existence not non-existence.
Islamic theology of the Sufi, for example, asserted that:
-God and only God has wujud. Wujud is an Arabic word which means That which finds and is found. Wujud is often translated as existence, but not in the meaning of "standing out". God's "being" needs no other being to relate to. God can have Wujud without being in relation to any other being.
-Before the existence of the universe as we know it, God was. God's Wujud is infinite, has no beginning or end.
-The universe is finite, created and sustained by God. God created motion, matter and energy, but works without energy.
-God is outside of the universe. If god enters the universe it will instantly disappear. Because is infinitude enter finitude, finitude disappears. x/∞ = 0.
-Everything gains Wujud by being perceived by God. God is not a thing, so God is not among this every-'thing'.
-God has no shape or form. The sufis are forbidden from imagining God with a form.
-God is the cause of everything. There is no secondary cause. Secondary cause is just a habit of the mind, as David Hume's argument. We have no way of knowing if smoke is caused by fire and not by God.
-God destroyed and recreated the universe constantly. This happens so fast that the human mind cannot conceive it. Nothing stays the same between two consecutive moments. The experience of the moment between destruction and recreation, that is, between two consecutive moments, is called fanaa.
-God is outside of time, for the above reason. Therefore God is outside of causality (temporal causality at least) because (temporal) causality is only possible in time. (Does this mean God have free will, even if he acts with reason and not randomly?)
-Everything exists for God's pleasure. Creation is a grand game, and Allah (God) is is the ultimate prize. This life is just a test, the life after death is the true life.

I am an agnostic Atheist aspiring for Absolute Atheism, and I admit I can't absolutely refute this theory with logic.
If you can, please try.


Kunga wrote:
Liberty Sea wrote:"Why is there Being at all, and not much rather Nothing? That is the question" - Martin Heidegger.


Being is the result of being nothing. Because nothing is something, which is nothing, which is everything, which is nothing. Nothing is something. What is it ? Consciousness. Awareness. Aware of being Aware. Conscious.

That is just dodging the question, or giving a creationistic answer, that being came from the consciousness of God.
"How comes the world to be here at all instead of the nonentity which might be imagined in its place? ... from nothing to being, there is no logical bridge." - William James.
Nihil ex nihilo, but why is there being, instead of nihilo?
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Re: On consciousness

Postby movingalways » Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:08 am

Cathy Preston: You keep splitting everything into two, why is that? The father and son is an allegory, there can only ever be one totality. That totality never lives nor never dies, is never born nor unborn, breath is not separate from the totality, the very air around us is the totality, I am the breathe, I am the air. We die simply because we're born. Cathy Preston will die because she was born, "Cathy" is merely a manifestation of identification with an existent Self, when the identification shifts from self to totality, the manifestation continues to play out, and it's eventual death is it's natural end.


Please read my words carefully, I am not splitting the breath from the totality, I am placing it in its correct order vis a vis one's ascension into the Call of the Something. Breath is an extension or emanation of what you call the totality, it is not the cause or life of the totality. And yes, I do realize that spiritual language is allegorical in nature, that it its glory and its purpose. It was the language of Jesus, as it is the language of all who are moved of the breath of Spirit.

If the totality never lives nor dies, is never born or unborn, and you are not separate from the totality, to what are you referring when you speak of "when the identification shifts from self to totality, the manifestation continues to play out, and it's eventual death is it's natural end."?

The world is a manifestation of infinite finite things, the cause of it's arousal is desire, which is caused by our attempt to possess love through things. To reconcile desire to its source, is to realize our emptiness and the impossibility therefore to possess anything.


Here you are acknowledging the activity of reconciling the world unto its Source! :-)

And when we, as Love, or the Christ, or the bodhisattva reconcile the cause of desire to its source, belief in a caused life itself is reconciled, which is the experience of the ending of causing things to arouse. Therefore, it is true, as you and Nietzsche say

It's when we finally and truly give up trying to "possess" love that it becomes light.

"Love is not consolation. It is light."
Friedrich Nietzsche


Non-duality is not a repair for duality it's merely a different point along the same line of opposites.


The "line" and its corresponding opposites exist because of the arousal of the human intellect to "find a cause." Non-duality is a word suggesting the realm where this arousal does not exist.

At some point one has to take the leap into new territory (Totality) where neither exist.


Since neither you or I are, in truth, separate from the Totality, I assume your use of the word "leap" is metaphorical, as was my use of the word "ascension." If your intent was literal and not metaphorical, an explanation of how this leaping can occur would be appreciated.
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Re: On consciousness

Postby Kunga » Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:42 am

Liberty Sea wrote:That is just dodging the question, or giving a creationistic answer, that being came from the consciousness of God.
"How comes the world to be here at all instead of the nonentity which might be imagined in its place? ... from nothing to being, there is no logical bridge." - William James.
Nihil ex nihilo, but why is there being, instead of nihilo?


There is simply no other logical explaination. Here we are. The Void is alive and well.
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Re: On consciousness

Postby jupiviv » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:38 pm

Liberty Sea wrote:A thing needs a form to exist, but doesn't need a form to be.


If "being" is defined as literally *all* things, then obviously any *thing*, which is not all things, is ruled out from "being".
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Re: On consciousness

Postby movingalways » Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:42 am

Kunga wrote:
Liberty Sea wrote:That is just dodging the question, or giving a creationistic answer, that being came from the consciousness of God.
"How comes the world to be here at all instead of the nonentity which might be imagined in its place? ... from nothing to being, there is no logical bridge." - William James.
Nihil ex nihilo, but why is there being, instead of nihilo?


There is simply no other logical explaination. Here we are. The Void is alive and well.


That is all we need to know, is it not? Anything after that most deliciously wise statement is but fodder for mental masturbation. Not that there's anything wrong with that. :-)

Salut, Kunga!
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Re: On consciousness

Postby cousinbasil » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:56 am

Liberty Sea wrote:-God and only God has wujud. Wujud is an Arabic word which means That which finds and is found. Wujud is often translated as existence, but not in the meaning of "standing out". God's "being" needs no other being to relate to. God can have Wujud without being in relation to any other being.
-Before the existence of the universe as we know it, God was. God's Wujud is infinite, has no beginning or end.
-The universe is finite, created and sustained by God. God created motion, matter and energy, but works without energy.
-God is outside of the universe. If god enters the universe it will instantly disappear. Because is infinitude enter finitude, finitude disappears. x/∞ = 0.
-Everything gains Wujud by being perceived by God. God is not a thing, so God is not among this every-'thing'.
-God has no shape or form. The sufis are forbidden from imagining God with a form.
-God is the cause of everything. There is no secondary cause. Secondary cause is just a habit of the mind, as David Hume's argument. We have no way of knowing if smoke is caused by fire and not by God.
-God destroyed and recreated the universe constantly. This happens so fast that the human mind cannot conceive it. Nothing stays the same between two consecutive moments. The experience of the moment between destruction and recreation, that is, between two consecutive moments, is called fanaa.
-God is outside of time, for the above reason. Therefore God is outside of causality (temporal causality at least) because (temporal) causality is only possible in time. (Does this mean God have free will, even if he acts with reason and not randomly?)
-Everything exists for God's pleasure. Creation is a grand game, and Allah (God) is is the ultimate prize. This life is just a test, the life after death is the true life.

It is not clear from your post what you are presenting. If this is a Sufi outlook, please indicate from which sources you are drawing upon, because I find this to be quite wonderfully insightful. If this is in the Sufi tradition, you can see almost immediately how the sons of Abraham have come to differ. You include parenthetical remarks which I take to be your own. Such as does God have free will? I am not sure randomly acting would evidence God's free will, which is what you seem to be saying. That Nature behaves at all comprehensibly, to me, is evidence of a mind somewhere behind it. There might be no such thing as random in the first place. Even a table of random numbers is a constructed thing - they are numbers that pass a finite series of tests for randomness. If you drill down, you can see that a computer cannot generate random numbers, because an algorithm would be required for the generation, and from the start an algorithm is not random.

You cannot refute the idea of the existence of god by logic. If you look closely at almost any atheistic logic, it almost always degenerates to emotional complaints and about what kind of god would create his creatures to suffer and die. There is absolutely no sense to such arguments. Duh - this god...? It is pure sentimental objection. There is pain. So what. The world is full of pain. The way I see it, that bad things happen to good people proves nothing. It kills me that people get so fucking lazy. "It's so dark!" Well turn on a light, would ya??

Please share the source of the above thinking you present, and that you say you wish to refute. I myself have spent years trying to refute.
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Re: On consciousness

Postby Liberty Sea » Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:53 pm

jupiviv wrote:
Liberty Sea wrote:A thing needs a form to exist, but doesn't need a form to be.


If "being" is defined as literally *all* things, then obviously any *thing*, which is not all things, is ruled out from "being".

Well, and Allah is not a 'thing' either. Nor is 'he' the total sum of things/'all things'. He is defined to be beyond things.
Kevin's mistake is that he fell into the assumption that God was defined to be a thing. His thinking remains trapped in the territory of thing and things. He relates reality to things, as common in the thinking of the Anglo-Saxony language, for the word 'reality' came from the root word 'res' in Latin which mean 'thing'. Reality in Arabic is 'haqiqa', coming from the root word 'haq', which means Truth. One of the names for God in Islamic theology is Al Haq, The Truth. And thus reality is linked again to God, not to things.

That which exists, is. That which is, does not necessarily exist.
If x exists, x also is. If x is, x may exist or not exist. Or, if x is, x may 'stand out' or not 'stand out'.
Consider the possibility of two objects existing in two different dimensions. They are completely unrelated to each other. No causal or spatial or temporal connection. Each may be the only thing that *is" in their respective dimension. According to Islamic theology, they gain being by being perceived by God.

Being precedes existence. Being is the most universal concept, and existence is but a category of Being, a member of the group of All that is. Being is the necessary condition for existence, but existence is the sufficient proof for Being.
Being is the gerund for 'is', not a noun. Being is a metaphysical quality, not a physical entity. According to Heidegger, "Being itself is not a being, but the ultimate condition, which allows all beings to exist. It is a process, which gives being passage from nothingness to existence and by which beings remain in existence."

There is no ' to be' or 'to exist' in the Arabic language. The assertion for God is: "No gods, but the one God" (la ilaha illa allah). Neither 'being' nor 'existence' can describe God. God, according to Islamic theology, is infinite and outside of human frames of references.


cousinbasil wrote: If you look closely at almost any atheistic logic, it almost always degenerates to emotional complaints and about what kind of god would create his creatures to suffer and die. There is absolutely no sense to such arguments. Duh - this god...? It is pure sentimental objection.


Funnily enough, the Buddha's argument consists largely of of sentimental rejections. As evidenced from Compilation of The Buddha's Gospels by Paul Carus:

"If the world had been made by Isvara
there should be no such thing as sorrow, or calamity, or evil;
for both pure and impure deeds must come from him.
If not, there would be another cause beside him,
and he would not be self-existent.
Thus, you see, the thought of Isvara is overthrown. "
This argument is obviously superficial and emotion-ridden. Any simpleton today can come up with the same argument. We automatically suppose that The Buddha was a wise man and not a clever fool, so his arguments seemed to gain more weight due to his status. Raised in a Buddhist tradition and an Atheistic Communist education, even I was affected by such status.


cousinbasil wrote: I am not sure randomly acting would evidence God's free will, which is what you seem to be saying.

No, that is not what I am saying. What I am asking is: If God acts with reason, but outside of time, does God have free will? Is causal determinism only possible in time?
I will provide more information on Islamic theology later. I am studying it myself.
As a newbie I am unaware of your history here and your position, but, if God cannot be disproven with logic, then wouldn't the Atheist Society of Australia immediately collapse, since it doesn't accept an agnostic point of view and its propaganda seem to be "No God. Period. Absolute truth. No more question about that. Deal with it."?
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Re: On consciousness

Postby cousinbasil » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:54 pm

Liberty Sea wrote:No, that is not what I am saying. What I am asking is: If God acts with reason, but outside of time, does God have free will? Is causal determinism only possible in time?

If God acts with reason, then he must have free will. True free will might only be possible if "outside time" is possible. Time is causal determinism. This is what I have been trying to tell jupi.
I will provide more information on Islamic theology later. I am studying it myself.

OK, thanks Liberty - you answered my question. The previous post was a précis of sorts about Sufism - which you must know, is not mainstream Islam. If you you delve into Sufism, you will encounter Mullah Nasrudin. He appears to be the first stand-up comic. Be prepared for a million different spellings of his name, but evidently he was an actual historical figure.
As a newbie I am unaware of your history here and your position, but, if God cannot be disproved with logic, then wouldn't the Atheist Society of Australia immediately collapse, since it doesn't accept an agnostic point of view and its propaganda seem to be "No God. Period. Absolute truth. No more question about that. Deal with it."?

I am not sure of my position myself, Liberty. I am looking for the truth. If you could logically convince me there is no god, I would be in your debt forever and put you on my Christmas mailing list.

As to the Atheist Society of Australia not collapsing. If God can be logically disproved - even by Aussies - then wouldn't the Catholic Church immediately collapse? By the same rationale?

At 55, I am convinced the existence - or not - of God is something that cannot be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. It is incumbent upon the individual to seek all the evidence he can out there, but it the decision paradoxically must be made in here. No one's testimony of what has happened "in here" can suffice or replace one's own epiphany. Yet that is just what happens to believers and atheists of every stripe: they make the decision and stop inquiring.

How does one know that one's epiphany is not illusory? When you get right down to it, both belief and non-belief require faith.

The human mind is so ephemeral and fraught with weaknesses! For as soon as you espouse a viewpoint on the "god question," or any other question, cognitive dissonance takes over. The more you state your opinion, the more you actually believe it - remember, either position on this is based on faith.

The Atheist Society of Australia, for instance, exists for one reason alone: there is no longer a Spanish Inquisition. People with idle minds are now free now to speculate on any and everything. If there is a God, neither the Society nor the Inquisition represent him or speak for him. If there is not, both camps are tilting at windmills.
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Re: On consciousness

Postby Talking Ass » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:18 pm

Curiously, one branch of Hindu hyper-theism offers a conceptual model that seems to resonate with that of the Sufi mentioned above: the notion of The Lord's 'internal' and 'external' energy. In this view, which allows quite spectacular imaginary-intuitive flight, there are infinite numbers of created world, from the lowest hyper-material 'hells' all the way up to a world of The Lord's most 'internal' energy and being. But the world (universe, reality) that we (humans, here at this level: an intermediate level with a 'view' toward both levels) live in and are.expressed in is understood.to be 'the Lord's external energy'. 'Created' by him and yet independant of him, it functions mechanically.and.predictably.and.inevitably.

According to this viewing-system and interpreting-system, we do have a choice as.to.weather we move toward or away from the 'internal energy'. If we find a.way to move toward, we have the chance to ascend upward out of.confining materialism and the entrapping mechanisms. But if we do not, and in a.sense if we.come to believe or be conditioned by surrounding material-mechanical reality, and especially if we.get to captured by the sensual pulse which dominates in this sort of world we are.in, we go.down further into, both in immediate life and future, successive living.

But the 'link' to 'God' is a rather tricky affair since it is through a.means that is fabulously rare in this world. It is inexpressible but is said to be Grace of an unknown order. In our world, like the murky bottom of an ocean, the 'light' that reaches us is always distorted. The 'call' to us from other higher world is always distorted, and so to.find, know, feel an epiphany is always a similitude in which the essence is easily lost.

If.one has experience within this realm of mechanical, distant processes, where advent if this 'God' is.fundamentally rare, one knows because one has done it, seen it, felt it and lived it. And somehow God manifests within this plane. Still, it is like a beam of sunlight through a murky ocean but AS SUCH is distinct.and.clear. one hangs onto it, even with a kind of.desperation, because events of that nature are rare. Still, they always come through the forms that exist in one's mind: the cultural image. But.in essence they are universal.

Unfortunately, those experiences and the inner tools that evoke them, are not 'rational'. They involve something in 'the heart' but what a.drag: our hearts.are like a polluted well, and very little more even needs to be said.

My children, one short, direct prayer.from your heart, from out.of the material.entanglement, from out of.inevitable mechanical causation,.asking for help.and understanding, is a.'doing' of.inconceivable and incomprehensible power. I tell you truly (and I've got to go because I.am.getting HUNGRY and they just filled my barley bag) that such a prayer can set you on A Road Home.

I know, I know, it sounds.completely fantastic, impossible.and.even dreamy. But try it and you.will see. In THAT game of causality (when one plays in the Divine Game of.call-response) a.world of.beauty and delicious mystery opens up.

All of.this.of.course I.have included in my E-Course which, as always, I offer at.a.steep.discount for my esteemed associates of GF.
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Re: On consciousness

Postby David Quinn » Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:18 pm

cousinbasil wrote: At 55, I am convinced the existence - or not - of God is something that cannot be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

The God that is everything certainly exists.

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Re: On consciousness

Postby cousinbasil » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:50 pm

David Quinn wrote:
cousinbasil wrote: At 55, I am convinced the existence - or not - of God is something that cannot be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

The God that is everything certainly exists.

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According to Liberty Sea's reasoning above, that God is, but could not exist, since [utterly] everything could not stand out. Also you yourself have claimed the God of which you speak here cannot be said to exist, and nor not to exist. The context in which you have stated this in the past seems logically consistent, so I could never argue with it.

It is interesting (to me at any rate) that physicists Einstein and Mach before him, in tackling the nature of gravitation, looked to the spinning bucket of water and how the water would form a trough when the bucket spun. Everyone seems to accept the fact of "centrifugal force." But the thought experiments concluded that if one were out in space and the rest of the Universe were not there, one would not know if one were spinning or not. This would not be due to the absence of stars to use as visual guides, but the absence of centrifugal force. No stars, no trough. The visible stars - while not "fixed" as Newton used the term - all conspire to add their gravitation to thus orient us. Since gravity waves propagate at the speed of light, any star that is visible is also within one's past "light cone," or the complete set of everything which can possible physically cause any effect whatsoever, past or present, upon one (or upon one's bucket!)

The "elsewhere" is a conjecture. There is no proof it exists, since there can be no proof by definition. The "elsewhere" is every region of space-time lying outside one's light cone.

Therefore, if the elsewhere is part of your definition of utterly everything, your claim that the God which is this everything is faith-based.

But what about the God who as Liberty described in his Sufism outline is outside of space and time, the one who as his primal act divested himself of utterly everything so that he could have another with whom he could relate? Before Creation, just Himself; after, Utterly Everything AND Himself. This God is precisely the one who stands apart from Utterly Everything, and why it is not possible to describe him or his characteristics.

I suspect most people's faith is based in laziness. Further, I think most people are gullible in major ways. I think the vast majority of Christians, for example, will gladly give an hour to church on Sunday in order not to have to concern themselves with God the rest of the week. Certainly this can be seen in the actions of many people.

But one cannot prove there is no God as I have described here, the Center who is the Source and outside of Utterly Everything. Such a God created so he could love and be loved - therefore he would put the capacity for love within the hearts of men. I do believe I have met such people.

So I do not see how such a God - which is simply a conjecture - could ever be shown rationally not to exist; while those who truly do have faith do not need to be shown that He does.

And you know, David, if you are going to do the knee-jerk thing and reply that such a God could not exist, since Utterly Everything would logically have to include him, may I remind you you have concocted a scenario by which you turn into a giant space monster, fly faster than light and gobble down a distant galaxy, and claim the fact that it hasn't happened is a causally connected to that galaxy and is a contributing factor to its very existence. This monster is obviously a part of your Utterly Everything - it has to be, by your reasoning, because it has a causal relationship to something that physically exists. Yet the Loving God people may seek in their hearts - one who is seminal to Utterly Everything and created Utterly everything by divesting himself of it - can be summarily dismissed.
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Re: On consciousness

Postby Liberty Sea » Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:25 pm

David Quinn wrote:The God that is everything certainly exists.

Aside from the matter of semantics such as existence, being, or wujud, I suppose that would make you a Pantheist, which is by nature a form of Spiritual Atheism anyway. I would consider myself a Pantheist as well, if I am to associate myself with any -ism coined by others at all, but I don't claim certainty about whether God is strictly identical with the universe. As far as I am aware, beliefs that God is identical with universe, or is one with the universe but also has a personal manifestation is not rare. And Islamic theology believes that God while residing outside of the universe also asserts his 'Being' into the universe by perceiving and 'sustaining' it (or by constantly destroying and recreating it). And if he removes his sustaining force, all of existence is gone, which is why in every instant God is immediate and present in his creation.
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Re: On consciousness

Postby Talking Ass » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:43 pm

Esteemed Colleague Liberty Sea, I propose you'll have a difficult time understanding what David means by his Everythin/God non-divinity. I see no use or value for the term myself since this God is only the sum-total of everything. He has carved out for himself a kind of 'atheist's God' and as with the theistic God he can do certain magical and miraculous things with it. In the sense I understand it, it is a sort of 'imagined-awesomeness' that holds or fixates consciousness in a way that (to put.it like this) 'turns him on'. I don't mean that depreciatingly. I think the lofty ideas we hold in our minds-consciousness have this purpose: they excite the imagination, keep us engaged on an inner level, so that we can live our lives.

As to what you said in another place about sincerity in communication forum-wise: you are quite right of course, but I think you must keep in mind that the very topic defined ('genius', etc.) is so contentious and so loaded that these inerpersonal and inter-philosophical conflicts are almost inevitable. If for example I spent my whole life struggling to define.my outlook, and this outlook is the rarest and most valuable tool for navigating life's troubled waters, I will naturally defend a rather fanatical position. I use the term 'desperation' but no-one pays any attention to it.
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Re: On consciousness

Postby David Quinn » Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:28 am

Liberty Sea wrote:
David Quinn wrote:The God that is everything certainly exists.

Aside from the matter of semantics such as existence, being, or wujud, I suppose that would make you a Pantheist, which is by nature a form of Spiritual Atheism anyway. I would consider myself a Pantheist as well, if I am to associate myself with any -ism coined by others at all, but I don't claim certainty about whether God is strictly identical with the universe.

It all boils down to definitions. Things only ever exist by definition, Gods included. Knowing this, why are you still seeking objective realities?


Liberty Sea wrote: As far as I am aware, beliefs that God is identical with the universe but also has a personal manifestation is not rare. And Islamic theology believes that God while residing outside of the universe also asserts his 'Being' into the universe by perceiving and 'sustaining' it (or by constantly destroying and recreating it). And if he removes his sustaining force, all of existence is gone, which is why in every instant God is immediate and present in his creation.

This is irrational thinking. Either God is identical to the universe or he is not. He is either the ALL or he is not. If he is the ALL, then you can't speaking about him inserting his being anywhere. That's nonsense. The Islamics you speak about are wanting God to be both the ALL and not the ALL at the same time - which is irrational.

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Re: On consciousness

Postby Liberty Sea » Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:38 am

David Quinn wrote:It all boils down to definitions. Things only ever exist by definition, Gods included. Knowing this, why are you still seeking objective realities?

It boils down to the inconsistency and messiness of a bunch of definitions. By asserting: "My view is subjective", I am already objective about my subjectivity, so in some sense objectivity is not really unattainable. I simply want to reorganize the system of definitions and see if some objective conclusions can be established.

David Quinn wrote:This is irrational thinking. Either God is identical to the universe or he is not. He is either the ALL or he is not. If he is the ALL, then you can't speaking about him inserting his being anywhere. That's nonsense. The Islamics you speak about are wanting God to be both the ALL and not the ALL at the same time - which is irrational.
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Well, not really. According to Islamic theology, God is the All. But the universe (or universe-as-we-know-it) is not.
It can be stated otherwise that the universe is one with God (or part of God), but God is greater, larger than the universe.
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Re: On consciousness

Postby David Quinn » Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:43 am

cousinbasil wrote:
David Quinn wrote:
cousinbasil wrote: At 55, I am convinced the existence - or not - of God is something that cannot be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

The God that is everything certainly exists.

According to Liberty Sea's reasoning above, that God is, but could not exist, since [utterly] everything could not stand out. Also you yourself have claimed the God of which you speak here cannot be said to exist, and nor not to exist. The context in which you have stated this in the past seems logically consistent, so I could never argue with it.

True, strictly speaking, God/the ALL can neither exist nor not exist. But at the lower-level perspective that we are operating here within this thread, with the question being asked whether God can be proven to exist or not, it is perfectly valid to say: Yes, God/the ALL certainly does exist, on account that we are continually experiencing it.


cousinbasil wrote:It is interesting (to me at any rate) that physicists Einstein and Mach before him, in tackling the nature of gravitation, looked to the spinning bucket of water and how the water would form a trough when the bucket spun. Everyone seems to accept the fact of "centrifugal force." But the thought experiments concluded that if one were out in space and the rest of the Universe were not there, one would not know if one were spinning or not. This would not be due to the absence of stars to use as visual guides, but the absence of centrifugal force. No stars, no trough. The visible stars - while not "fixed" as Newton used the term - all conspire to add their gravitation to thus orient us. Since gravity waves propagate at the speed of light, any star that is visible is also within one's past "light cone," or the complete set of everything which can possible physically cause any effect whatsoever, past or present, upon one (or upon one's bucket!)

The "elsewhere" is a conjecture. There is no proof it exists, since there can be no proof by definition. The "elsewhere" is every region of space-time lying outside one's light cone.

Therefore, if the elsewhere is part of your definition of utterly everything, your claim that the God which is this everything is faith-based.

If the "elsewhere" exists, then it is part of the ALL. If it doesn't exist, then it isn't part of the ALL, except perhaps as a concept.


cousinbasil wrote:But one cannot prove there is no God as I have described here, the Center who is the Source and outside of Utterly Everything. Such a God created so he could love and be loved - therefore he would put the capacity for love within the hearts of men. I do believe I have met such people.

If you want to know and experience God, then you need to give up trying to locate him. He can't be located anywhere - not within a source, nor anywhere else. He is neither outside the ALL, nor within the ALL. You can't find him inside or outside. Learn to give up grasping for him and everything will be revealed to you.

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Re: On consciousness

Postby David Quinn » Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:53 am

Liberty Sea wrote:
David Quinn wrote:This is irrational thinking. Either God is identical to the universe or he is not. He is either the ALL or he is not. If he is the ALL, then you can't speaking about him inserting his being anywhere. That's nonsense. The Islamics you speak about are wanting God to be both the ALL and not the ALL at the same time - which is irrational.

Well, not really. According to Islamic theology, God is the All. But the universe (or universe-as-we-know-it) is not.
It can be stated otherwise that the universe is one with God (or part of God), but God is greater, larger than the universe.

Again, this comes down to definitions. Here the Islamics are defining the universe to be less than the ALL. That is their right, of course, but it is what they subsequently do with these defintions which matters. For example, if they now want to say that God and the universe are identical, then they fall into irrational thinking. Likewise, if they want to say that God is a conscious being who takes an interest in them, they fall into irrational thinking. In each case, they are violating A=A.

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Re: On consciousness

Postby Liberty Sea » Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:01 am

David Quinn wrote:Again, this comes down to definitions. Here the Islamics are defining the universe to be less than the ALL. That is their right, of course, but it is what they subsequently do with these defintions which matters. For example, if they now want to say that God and the universe are identical, then they fall into irrational thinking. Likewise, if they want to say that God is a conscious being who takes an interest in them, they fall into irrational thinking. In each case, they are violating A=A. -

Well, let see what we mean by 'the universe'. The common definition is the total sum of 'things'. But the Islamics suggest that things are not All there is. Perhaps they define their God to be metaphysical, that is, beyond the sensory world, but the physical world is created by this metaphysical being, and therefore is part of his 'body'.
And no, I did not say the Islamic God is strictly identical with the universe.
Don't take me as the end-all authority of Islamic theology though. Each should study it himself.
I will look a bit more on the relationship between matter and energy.
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Re: On consciousness

Postby David Quinn » Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:08 am

Liberty Sea wrote:
David Quinn wrote:Again, this comes down to definitions. Here the Islamics are defining the universe to be less than the ALL. That is their right, of course, but it is what they subsequently do with these defintions which matters. For example, if they now want to say that God and the universe are identical, then they fall into irrational thinking. Likewise, if they want to say that God is a conscious being who takes an interest in them, they fall into irrational thinking. In each case, they are violating A=A. -

Well, let see what we mean by 'the universe'. The common definition is the total sum of 'things'. But the Islamics suggest that things are not All there is.

As soon as they divide the All into the universe and the rest of God, they are already tacitly admitting that "things" are all there are. For they have divided the ALL into two things.

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Re: On consciousness

Postby Liberty Sea » Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:10 am

David Quinn wrote:As soon as they divide the All into the universe and the rest of God, they are already tacitly admitting that "things" are all there are. For they have divided the ALL into two things.

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What is a thing?
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