Examining the fundamentals of QSR's philosophy

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

Examining the fundamentals of QSR's philosophy

Postby Jason » Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:16 am

David,

in Wisdom of the Infinite, Chapter Two, you write:

The Logical Proof of Cause and Effect

There are two ways of proving that things cannot arise without cause. The first involves recognizing that a thing cannot exist without its constituent parts, while the second involves recognizing that a thing cannot exist in the absence of an external reality. Although these two proofs may seem isolated on the surface, in reality they are both expressions of the one core proof - namely, that a thing cannot arise in the absence of other things.

It is easy to see that an object cannot exist without its constituent parts. A car, for example, cannot exist without the engine, wheels, doors and windows which comprise it. Eliminate these things and the car automatically disappears. Moreover, the existence of the car is dependent not only on these parts existing, but on their being fitted together in the correct manner. Or to state this in more general terms, a car only comes into existence when the causal circumstances are ripe.

The same reasoning can be applied to anything else in existence. If a thing exists, it will necessarily be comprised of parts. It is an inherent fact of existence. Even if a thing does not seem to have easily recognizable physical parts, such as a smooth sphere or a portion of empty space, it can nevertheless be divided up conceptually into parts. We can mentally carve a smooth sphere into two imaginary halves and conclude that the sphere cannot exist without the existence of these two halves.


Ok, simple question, if I perceive just such a smooth sphere, why would/must I necessarily divide it up conceptually into halves or parts? It seems that a seamless sphere could be perceived by me without it being conceptually divided into parts.
User avatar
Jason
 
Posts: 1312
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 1:02 am

Postby David Quinn » Fri Apr 27, 2007 10:28 am

You don't have to divide it up into parts if you don't want to. But nonetheless, the truth remains that the sphere cannot possibly exist without whatever parts a particular mind cares to carve out of it.

Similarly, we don't have to divide a tree up into parts if we don't want to. The tree, however, cannot exist without the parts that we conventionally create, such as "leaves", "branches", "trunk", "roots", "carbon molecules", etc.

-
User avatar
David Quinn
 
Posts: 5331
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2001 6:56 am
Location: Australia

Postby Dan Rowden » Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:48 pm

A smooth sphere has "parts"; there are things that are necessary for a sphere to exist: dimension, space, a surface, an empty middle etc.
User avatar
Dan Rowden
 
Posts: 5463
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2001 8:03 pm

Postby Laird » Fri Apr 27, 2007 3:51 pm

Dan Rowden wrote:A smooth sphere has "parts"; there are things that are necessary for a sphere to exist: dimension, space, a surface, an empty middle etc.


What if there were not?
User avatar
Laird
 
Posts: 954
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:22 am
Location: Tasmania

Postby Dan Rowden » Fri Apr 27, 2007 4:50 pm

Then it obviously couldn't exist. Those are aspects of what a sphere is. Your question is like asking "What if a square had no sides?"....
User avatar
Dan Rowden
 
Posts: 5463
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2001 8:03 pm

Postby Jason » Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:32 pm

David Quinn wrote:You don't have to divide it up into parts if you don't want to. But nonetheless, the truth remains that the sphere cannot possibly exist without whatever parts a particular mind cares to carve out of it.


Are you saying then that a sphere could actually exist for me as an unidvided unity, if my mind, for whatever reason, doesn't carve it up any further?

David Quinn wrote:Similarly, we don't have to divide a tree up into parts if we don't want to. The tree, however, cannot exist without the parts that we conventionally create, such as "leaves", "branches", "trunk", "roots", "carbon molecules", etc.


In both examples you give above, the sphere and the tree, in the first sentences you seem to say that internal division of the sphere/tree isn't necessary, but in the second sentences you say that it is. Can you clear that up for me? Are you saying perhaps, that things are always composed of parts even if my mind doesn't create and/or isn't aware of those parts?

You also say that it is the mind that is responsible for carving up things. Isn't that an assumption? What evidence or reasoning do you use to support that position? How would you respond to the rephrasing of these points, whereby the idea that the mind is responsible for dividing reality was removed, and restated simply as "the reality I currently experience is composed of divisions and parts."?

Also, when you say that the mind "conceptually" divides up reality, do you mean this in the limited sense of intellectual/language-type cateregorization/division? Or does that include non-intellectual differentiation, such as occurs within the perceptual realm of experience and is composed of sensations rather than intellectual divisions? In other words, are you limiting this conceptual carving to "red" the thought, or does it also include "red" the pure visual sensation?
User avatar
Jason
 
Posts: 1312
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 1:02 am

Postby Jason » Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:47 pm

Dan Rowden wrote:A smooth sphere has "parts"; there are things that are necessary for a sphere to exist: dimension, space, a surface, an empty middle etc.


Aren't those mental categories that are overlayed onto the pure sensual experience of the sphere? Abstractions? What if we were to think of a particular sphere as a purely visual sensation and experience, your average human most of the time probably isn't consciously overlaying those intellectual categories onto the sphere that they see.

Referring to David's last post, "molecules" could arguably be said to make up the sphere too, but several centuries ago the intellectual concept of molecules didn't even exist. Given that fact, how much more or less inherent to the existence of a sphere are the mentally overlayed categories of dimension, surface etc?

Moving away from the sphere example for a minute, how about the smallest possible element of vision, essentially the single "pixel" of visual sensation(probably a single rod or cone in the eye from a scientific point of view). Let's imagine that a single star in the night sky represents this element, just a single miniscule point of light. I'm not sure I could actually assign a shape to it, and my visual system would be incapable of resolving anything smaller than this. Isn't this an example of a fundamental limit on the degree to which something I experience can be further divided? There could be no smaller parts within this visual dot. That seems to violate the idea that every "thing" is indefinitely internally divisible into further parts.

Further, if we take the view that all things are composed of other things, we obviously end up with an infinite regress of each thing being composed of yet other things. To apply this to David's example of a sphere being composed of two halves, the sphere is also composed of four quarters, or one million millionths, or one billion billionths etc. If we then take his view that the mind is responsible for creating all these divisions/parts/things, we end up with the conclusion that at each and every instant the mind is responsible for creating a literally infinite number of things. That means the mind is completely unlimited in power in this aspect of its operation, doesn't this seem highly improbable?
User avatar
Jason
 
Posts: 1312
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 1:02 am

Postby Laird » Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:22 pm

Dan Rowden wrote:Then it obviously couldn't exist. Those are aspects of what a sphere is. Your question is like asking "What if a square had no sides?"....


And your answer is "I cannot imagine it". But can you imagine the possibility that you could imagine it?
User avatar
Laird
 
Posts: 954
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:22 am
Location: Tasmania

Postby Laird » Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:24 pm

Jason wrote:If we then take his [David's] view that the mind is responsible for creating all these divisions/parts/things, we end up with the conclusion that at each and every instant the mind is responsible for creating a literally infinite number of things. That means the mind is completely unlimited in power in this aspect of its operation, doesn't this seem highly improbable?


What if rather than creating these things, it was instead perceiving them in the unlimited mind of God? [minor edit]
User avatar
Laird
 
Posts: 954
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:22 am
Location: Tasmania

Postby Dan Rowden » Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:33 pm

Laird wrote:
Dan Rowden wrote:Then it obviously couldn't exist. Those are aspects of what a sphere is. Your question is like asking "What if a square had no sides?"....


And your answer is "I cannot imagine it". But can you imagine the possibility that you could imagine it?


It's got nothing to do with what I can or can't imagine. It's to do with what a thing is. Without those things I mention there simply isn't a sphere. It's part of what it is by definition.
User avatar
Dan Rowden
 
Posts: 5463
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2001 8:03 pm

Postby David Quinn » Sat Apr 28, 2007 9:05 am

Yes, although Laird cannot yet imagine this, an imagination that is not disciplined by reason lacks power and substance when it comes to philosophizing.

-
User avatar
David Quinn
 
Posts: 5331
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2001 6:56 am
Location: Australia

Postby Unidian » Sat Apr 28, 2007 9:32 am

A woodsman has a trusty old knife. It has had 6 blades and 4 handles, and yet it has always been the same knife.
I live in a tub.
User avatar
Unidian
 
Posts: 1843
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2005 7:00 pm

Postby David Quinn » Sat Apr 28, 2007 9:42 am

Jason,

DQ: You don't have to divide it up into parts if you don't want to. But nonetheless, the truth remains that the sphere cannot possibly exist without whatever parts a particular mind cares to carve out of it.

J: Are you saying then that a sphere could actually exist for me as an unidvided unity, if my mind, for whatever reason, doesn't carve it up any further?

Yes, in that case, it would exist for you as an undivided unity.


DQ: Similarly, we don't have to divide a tree up into parts if we don't want to. The tree, however, cannot exist without the parts that we conventionally create, such as "leaves", "branches", "trunk", "roots", "carbon molecules", etc.

J: In both examples you give above, the sphere and the tree, in the first sentences you seem to say that internal division of the sphere/tree isn't necessary, but in the second sentences you say that it is. Can you clear that up for me? Are you saying perhaps, that things are always composed of parts even if my mind doesn't create and/or isn't aware of those parts?

No, parts are always a creation of mental projection. At root, Reality is a seamless continuum which lacks any kind of boundaries. It is our minds which determine, for example, where a leaf ends and a twig begins.


You also say that it is the mind that is responsible for carving up things. Isn't that an assumption? What evidence or reasoning do you use to support that position?

It partly comes from many years of experiencing the way that seemingly-firm boundaries easily dissipate with a change of perspective, and partly from the realization that the idea of beginnings and ends being physical is meaningless.

For example, if you look at a leaf and its twig under a microscope, only a seamless continuum is observed there. You don't see a sharp boundary delineating the two. The boundary that we habitually imagine is there from our normal perspective, isn't actually there when observed more closely.

From the perspective of causality, everything dissolves into a sea of causality. Causality doesn't pay any more attention to our mentally-created boundaries than the wind does to our mentally-created state boundaries.


How would you respond to the rephrasing of these points, whereby the idea that the mind is responsible for dividing reality was removed, and restated simply as "the reality I currently experience is composed of divisions and parts."?

It doesn't articulate the truth that boundaries are indeed mentally-created. It is such a harmless statement that even most ignorant and materialistic of people wouldn't have trouble with it.


Also, when you say that the mind "conceptually" divides up reality, do you mean this in the limited sense of intellectual/language-type cateregorization/division? Or does that include non-intellectual differentiation, such as occurs within the perceptual realm of experience and is composed of sensations rather than intellectual divisions? In other words, are you limiting this conceptual carving to "red" the thought, or does it also include "red" the pure visual sensation?

I'm talking about all experience, without exception, whether it be intellectual or non-intellectual. Wherever there is an experience of a boundary, in whatever form, it is the result of conceptual projection on our parts.

-
User avatar
David Quinn
 
Posts: 5331
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2001 6:56 am
Location: Australia

Postby Laird » Sat Apr 28, 2007 5:32 pm

DR: Then it obviously couldn't exist. Those are aspects of what a sphere is. Your question is like asking "What if a square had no sides?"....

L: And your answer is "I cannot imagine it". But can you imagine the possibility that you could imagine it?

DR: It's got nothing to do with what I can or can't imagine. It's to do with what a thing is. Without those things I mention there simply isn't a sphere. It's part of what it is by definition.


If all things are defined in the mind, and if the mind exercises imagination, then new definitions become possible. A new definition might allow for that which the old definition did not. Imagination of the possibility is the starting point. Anything is possible.

David Quinn wrote:Yes, although Laird cannot yet imagine this, an imagination that is not disciplined by reason lacks power and substance when it comes to philosophizing.


I can imagine that the power and substance lies in the possibilities that arise out of questing. I quest for philosophical possibility before certainty. I prefer to speak of associative thought than reasoning.
User avatar
Laird
 
Posts: 954
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:22 am
Location: Tasmania

Postby Jamesh » Sat Apr 28, 2007 5:41 pm

David wrote: At root, Reality is a seamless continuum which lacks any kind of boundaries. It is our minds which determine, for example, where a leaf ends and a twig begins.


The above is the point David becomes irrational about reality.

At root, Reality is NOT a seamless continuum which lacks any kind of boundaries.

It is a seamless continuum only when taken as a whole that consists of dualistic interactions. No thing could exist without boundaries and in fact that is all things really are - they are the viewable boundary that forms between two causal opposite absolutes. This is why he can say things do not exist it is because they are not really there, they are not of their own making*, all that is there is that which causes the boundary. *Except that once a form exists, it dualistic reacts with everything else and is thus partly of its own making or destruction.

It is our minds together with actual differentiation which determine where a leaf ends and a twig begins.

David's point makes sense only in relation to the naming of things, but not the underlying differentiation. No matter what perspective one may take, some form of differentiation will present itself to our consciousness.

Ps - I no longer desire responses from David on this matter, but I don’t want others to be lead into the same delusion he has.
User avatar
Jamesh
 
Posts: 1524
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 3:44 pm

Postby sue hindmarsh » Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:43 pm

James,

I'm with you on not wanting people to continually fall into delusions - and with that in mind, I need you to clarify some of your thinking above.

Firstly, if “our minds together with actual differentiation” determine all things, what then does it mean when we mistake one thing for another? Also, if the boundaries of things are part and parcel of their fundamental reality, how do other animals, possessing different senses, interact with these same things?

--
User avatar
sue hindmarsh
 
Posts: 1083
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2005 9:02 am
Location: Sous Le Soleil

Postby Jamesh » Sun Apr 29, 2007 4:43 pm

Firstly, if “our minds together with actual differentiation” determine all things, what then does it mean when we mistake one thing for another?


It means little in relation to absolute reality. To mistake one thing for another requires firstly that some form of mental image of a thing, and an associated name, is stored in memory as a result of previous experiences. Our minds have evolved to compare current experiences with stored images from past experiences, in order to provide the quickest identification and reaction possible to new experiences. This occurs to such an extent that it can even produce optical illusions - often what we see is a conglomerate of what we have seen before. It also occurs as a way to limit the complexity that would be caused by having to create new names for things that are sufficiently similar in practical terms to something else. In terms of reality, as nothing is the same as it was one moment ago everything we view is actually always a new thing, although it may appear to be the same. When walking through the bush we may mistake a snake for a fallen branch. This would have occurred because the brain is geared to think "close enough is good enough" when in a rapidly changing environment - it simply does not have time to identify everything in great detail.

If two things have exactly the same appearances but are markedly different, then it just does not matter until such time as we are caused to note the difference, in which case it will immediately become a different thing - the girl thought the diamond her boyfriend gave her was real, but when she went to value it, she found out it was not a diamond at all, and it immediately became a different thing (lol, but so to does what this diamond links to - for instance it changes the concepts in her head about the thing called "boyfriend").

But you know all this, so I wonder what you are alluding to with your questions?

Also, if the boundaries of things are part and parcel of their fundamental reality, how do other animals, possessing different senses, interact with these same things?


In the same general manner as us. What appears to the animal will be somewhat different, perhaps ever markedly different (if the animal was a bat for example). For many complex animals it will also have much in similarity to the appearance we see. This is because we evolved from the same Tree of Life and thus would often have quite similar senses, unless such senses had been caused to alter to different environments to humans.

The point I am making is not about the nature of the appearances, I am not comparing one appearance to another, but simply noting the fact that different appearances can be caused AND such different appearances are not JUST caused by the mind of the observer but occur also because there are real differences in the underlying reality.

By the way when I speak of boundaries existing in THINGS, I am not speaking of something that is a pure black or white type boundary - I don't think such boundaries ever exist in things - differentiations are always "fuzzy". By fuzzy I mean for each defined property of an appearance, the degree of differentiation gradually increases. Boundaries are only absolute in the "void", where the two forces I speak about are not in a state where they are acting directly upon each other. If they are acting upon each other then they immediately become things, whether we can observe them or not (ie QM strings).
User avatar
Jamesh
 
Posts: 1524
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 3:44 pm

Postby David Quinn » Sun Apr 29, 2007 11:47 pm

James wrote:

No thing could exist without boundaries and in fact that is all things really are

On the contrary, things couldn't exist if boundaries were real. It is only because there is no beginning or end to anything that causality is able to operate.

-
User avatar
David Quinn
 
Posts: 5331
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2001 6:56 am
Location: Australia

Postby Jason » Mon Apr 30, 2007 1:50 am

David,

David Quinn: You don't have to divide it up into parts if you don't want to. But nonetheless, the truth remains that the sphere cannot possibly exist without whatever parts a particular mind cares to carve out of it.

Jason: Are you saying then that a sphere could actually exist for me as an unidvided unity, if my mind, for whatever reason, doesn't carve it up any further?

DQ: Yes, in that case, it would exist for you as an undivided unity.


That answer is in direct contradiction to multiple parts in your "The Wisdom of the Infinite", for example just a little further down in the same section which we have been addressing in these posts, you write the following:

If a thing exists, it will necessarily be comprised of parts. It is an inherent fact of existence.

-

To sum up, then, a thing cannot exist in the absence of other things existing both inside and outside of it.


DQ: Similarly, we don't have to divide a tree up into parts if we don't want to. The tree, however, cannot exist without the parts that we conventionally create, such as "leaves", "branches", "trunk", "roots", "carbon molecules", etc.

J: In both examples you give above, the sphere and the tree, in the first sentences you seem to say that internal division of the sphere/tree isn't necessary, but in the second sentences you say that it is. Can you clear that up for me? Are you saying perhaps, that things are always composed of parts even if my mind doesn't create and/or isn't aware of those parts?

DQ: No, parts are always a creation of mental projection. At root, Reality is a seamless continuum which lacks any kind of boundaries. It is our minds which determine, for example, where a leaf ends and a twig begins.


This is contradictory in several ways. Firstly, you are actually using parts/boundaries(in this case thoughts and writing), to try to prove that reality "lacks any kind of boundaries."

Secondly, reality includes within it the mind, and if we take your belief that the mind creates boundaries, then reality must also therefore include the boundaries that the mind creates.

Third, pure direct experience at this exact moment shows that there is no lack of boundaries - this is beyond doubt.

And lastly, here is a quote from another section of your book, Chapter Six, "Brain Constructions":

Any conclusion that we care to reach concerning what lies beyond the construction will be nothing more than a tentative inference, one that is created within the construction itself. Even if we received compelling evidence that the construction is really a computer simulation, we would still have no way of ascertaining for sure that this is what is really happening. The computer, which is thought to be responsible for the existence of the construction, would be in the same boat as the brain. It is something that we would only experience within the construction itself. At bottom, it does not matter what we choose to postulate or imagine lies beyond consciousness, it will always be nothing more than a creation existing within consciousness


This quote directly contradicts your claim in the previous post that "reality is a seamless continuum which lacks any kind of boundaries", because by claiming this you are(in your very own words from your book) positing something that "lies beyond the construction".

J: You also say that it is the mind that is responsible for carving up things. Isn't that an assumption? What evidence or reasoning do you use to support that position?

DQ: It partly comes from many years of experiencing the way that seemingly-firm boundaries easily dissipate with a change of perspective, and partly from the realization that the idea of beginnings and ends being physical is meaningless.

For example, if you look at a leaf and its twig under a microscope, only a seamless continuum is observed there. You don't see a sharp boundary delineating the two. The boundary that we habitually imagine is there from our normal perspective, isn't actually there when observed more closely.


None of that in any way proves that it is the mind that creates boundaries, or that physical beginnings and endings are meaningless. The only thing you have shown is that boundaries can change, nothing more.

Whilst I think that fact alone lays to rest your argument, there is another problem in your argument. In your reply to my question above, you said that "it partly comes from many years of experiencing the way that seemingly-firm boundaries easily dissipate with a change of perspective". In other words, these recurring patterns of experience, from your past, give you reason to believe this. Yet if we look once again at your book, in the very same chapter we have been disussing, you write(about David Hume's ideas):

When we observe a match being struck to produce fire, for example, we cannot be certain that the striking of the match was the actual cause of the fire. Our minds merely observe a succession of events - first, the match being struck and, second, the flame erupting into being - and it is only through our past experiences of watching a similar succession of events that enables us to assume the two are causally linked. But we can never be sure that this assumption is valid.


So here in your book you are actually arguing the exact opposite of what you argue in your last reply to me! In your book, you say that recurring patterns of events from the past, cannot validly be used to form the sort of assumption that you have given in your reply to me. In other words, just because in the past you often found that boundaries changed when your perspective changed, you cannot validly assume that these two changes are linked.

I think this is especially problematic given that you are using this as part of your basis for supporting an argument from your book which is under the chapter entitled "Entering the Logical Realm" and from the sub-section "The Logical Proof of Cause and Effect".
User avatar
Jason
 
Posts: 1312
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 1:02 am

Postby sue hindmarsh » Thu May 03, 2007 11:33 am

Sue: Firstly, if “our minds together with actual differentiation” determine all things, what then does it mean when we mistake one thing for another? Also, if the boundaries of things are part and parcel of their fundamental reality, how do other animals, possessing different senses, interact with these same things?


James: In terms of reality, as nothing is the same as it was one moment ago everything we view is actually always a new thing, although it may appear to be the same… we may mistake a snake for a fallen branch…because the brain is geared to think "close enough is good enough"…

But you know all this, so I wonder what you are alluding to with your questions?


Well, I was trying to work out how, with your idea of all things having “actual differentiation”, one thing could be confused with another thing. You see, if a thing has a clear and definite boundary,(a beginning and an end), I'd say that thing therefore inherently exists (exists independently from all other things). But your above answer doesn’t take that fact into account. Above you have the “brain” affecting the existence of the thing (snake or branch). Which just doesn’t add up? I know later on in your post you loosen your interpretation by suggesting that boundaries are “fuzzy” – but that still doesn’t make your concept of existence any clearer. Either things have hard and fast boundaries (and cannot interact); or they don't have boundaries (and can interact).

My other question about other animals with different senses interacting in the world, was another attempt of mine to understand your idea. I was trying to figure out how you could have things possessing boundaries, as well as having them interact with each other. For example: if a brain has boundaries, and say a tree has boundaries; how is it that these two things can ever have a relationship?

It gets even wilder with your “fuzzy” boundaries idea, because “fuzzy” doesn’t really make any difference to your idea of things having boundaries in the first place. You do go on to say that:

Boundaries are only absolute in the "void", where the two forces I speak about are not in a state where they are acting directly upon each other. If they are acting upon each other then they immediately become things, whether we can observe them or not


Which still doesn't make it sound any more logical, as now you’ve got things having boundaries – “actual” and “fuzzy”, but not “absolute”. That is, except in the “void”. But by defining the void as being comprised of “absolute” boundaries, your idea becomes even wilder, because now you appear to have thrown the definition of “void” out the window.

It just all sounds too topsy-turvy to define things as coming into existence when “absolute” boundaries inhabiting the void, crash into one another, have a relationship, (and then, I take it, move on to another relationship).

I’ve got to say, James – your idea leaves me completely befuddled.

.
User avatar
sue hindmarsh
 
Posts: 1083
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2005 9:02 am
Location: Sous Le Soleil

Postby David Quinn » Wed May 09, 2007 9:30 am

Jason,

DQ: You don't have to divide it up into parts if you don't want to. But nonetheless, the truth remains that the sphere cannot possibly exist without whatever parts a particular mind cares to carve out of it.

Jason: Are you saying then that a sphere could actually exist for me as an unidvided unity, if my mind, for whatever reason, doesn't carve it up any further?

DQ: Yes, in that case, it would exist for you as an undivided unity.

Jason: That answer is in direct contradiction to multiple parts in your "The Wisdom of the Infinite", for example just a little further down in the same section which we have been addressing in these posts, you write the following:

Quote:
If a thing exists, it will necessarily be comprised of parts. It is an inherent fact of existence.

-

To sum up, then, a thing cannot exist in the absence of other things existing both inside and outside of it.

A thing always has the capacity to be mentally divided into parts. So even though to you, in a particular moment, a thing might appear as a unity, another person could easily come along and conceive of it as having parts. Or your own mind could do this in the very next moment.

And regardless of whether you perceive a sphere as a unity or not, the fact still remains that such a sphere couldn't possibly exist without its two halves.


DQ: Similarly, we don't have to divide a tree up into parts if we don't want to. The tree, however, cannot exist without the parts that we conventionally create, such as "leaves", "branches", "trunk", "roots", "carbon molecules", etc.

J: In both examples you give above, the sphere and the tree, in the first sentences you seem to say that internal division of the sphere/tree isn't necessary, but in the second sentences you say that it is. Can you clear that up for me? Are you saying perhaps, that things are always composed of parts even if my mind doesn't create and/or isn't aware of those parts?

DQ: No, parts are always a creation of mental projection. At root, Reality is a seamless continuum which lacks any kind of boundaries. It is our minds which determine, for example, where a leaf ends and a twig begins.

J: This is contradictory in several ways. Firstly, you are actually using parts/boundaries(in this case thoughts and writing), to try to prove that reality "lacks any kind of boundaries."

I'm not denying the appearance of boundaries in our moment-to-moment experiences. Indeed, it is only through the appearance of boundaries that consciousness can operate and we can distinguish anything at all. But nonetheless, these apparent boundaries only find their existence in the moment of their appearing to us. They aren't really "out there" in the world. They are simply a product of our conceptual frameworks.


Secondly, reality includes within it the mind, and if we take your belief that the mind creates boundaries, then reality must also therefore include the boundaries that the mind creates.

Yes, so when I say that there are no boundaries in reality, I am meaning it in the sense that there are no boundaries outside of what our minds "choose" to project onto reality at any given moment.


Third, pure direct experience at this exact moment shows that there is no lack of boundaries - this is beyond doubt.

Yes, the appearances of each moment are undeniable.


And lastly, here is a quote from another section of your book, Chapter Six, "Brain Constructions":

Quote:
"Any conclusion that we care to reach concerning what lies beyond the construction will be nothing more than a tentative inference, one that is created within the construction itself. Even if we received compelling evidence that the construction is really a computer simulation, we would still have no way of ascertaining for sure that this is what is really happening. The computer, which is thought to be responsible for the existence of the construction, would be in the same boat as the brain. It is something that we would only experience within the construction itself. At bottom, it does not matter what we choose to postulate or imagine lies beyond consciousness, it will always be nothing more than a creation existing within consciousness"

This quote directly contradicts your claim in the previous post that "reality is a seamless continuum which lacks any kind of boundaries", because by claiming this you are(in your very own words from your book) positing something that "lies beyond the construction".

This division between what lies within the construct and what lies beyond it is still just a mental creation and a momentary appearance, and nothing more. Both are still dualistic illusions which only exist in the moment.


Jason: You also say that it is the mind that is responsible for carving up things. Isn't that an assumption? What evidence or reasoning do you use to support that position?

DQ: It partly comes from many years of experiencing the way that seemingly-firm boundaries easily dissipate with a change of perspective, and partly from the realization that the idea of beginnings and ends being physical is meaningless.

For example, if you look at a leaf and its twig under a microscope, only a seamless continuum is observed there. You don't see a sharp boundary delineating the two. The boundary that we habitually imagine is there from our normal perspective, isn't actually there when observed more closely.

Jason: None of that in any way proves that it is the mind that creates boundaries, or that physical beginnings and endings are meaningless. The only thing you have shown is that boundaries can change, nothing more.

The fact that boundaries can change from moment to moment is proof enough that they are mentally-created. For example, one person might conceive of the earth as ending at the surface of its land and oceans, while another person might conceive of it as ending at 50km above the surface where the atmosphere thins out. Who is right?

Where a thing's boundaries are imagined to exist is dependent upon how one conceives of the thing in question.


Whilst I think that fact alone lays to rest your argument, there is another problem in your argument. In your reply to my question above, you said that "it partly comes from many years of experiencing the way that seemingly-firm boundaries easily dissipate with a change of perspective". In other words, these recurring patterns of experience, from your past, give you reason to believe this. Yet if we look once again at your book, in the very same chapter we have been disussing, you write(about David Hume's ideas):

Quote:
"When we observe a match being struck to produce fire, for example, we cannot be certain that the striking of the match was the actual cause of the fire. Our minds merely observe a succession of events - first, the match being struck and, second, the flame erupting into being - and it is only through our past experiences of watching a similar succession of events that enables us to assume the two are causally linked. But we can never be sure that this assumption is valid."

So here in your book you are actually arguing the exact opposite of what you argue in your last reply to me! In your book, you say that recurring patterns of events from the past, cannot validly be used to form the sort of assumption that you have given in your reply to me. In other words, just because in the past you often found that boundaries changed when your perspective changed, you cannot validly assume that these two changes are linked.

You're right that one cannot use past empirical experience as a basis for proof. Empirical experience can only suggest truths. It cannot prove them beyond question.

The real proof consists of realizing that a thing's boundaries are created by how one conceives of the thing. Conceive of the thing differently and the thing's boundaries will change.

-
User avatar
David Quinn
 
Posts: 5331
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2001 6:56 am
Location: Australia

Postby Jamesh » Mon May 14, 2007 11:05 pm

I decided to revisit a reply to Sue from the 3 May, that I started but didn't bother finishing. I just use these opportunities to brainstorm and rant about my TOE.

Well, I was trying to work out how, with your idea of all things having “actual differentiation”, one thing could be confused with another thing. You see, if a thing has a clear and definite boundary,(a beginning and an end), I'd say that thing therefore inherently exists (exists independently from all other things).


It cannot have definitive boundary because the nature of defining that which exists is in the eye of the beholder. Also it always changing and in motion so an absolute boundary is not possible. Nothing would change if boundaries were absolute. That there is not an absolute boundary, except at the void level, only means that the boundary is not absolute, not that there is NO boundary.

No thing inherently exists, effects-wise - except that at the time of observation, that which makes up its form, that which is the cause of its ability to be observed, does indeed inherently exist. This content cannot be other than what it is at that time, so therefore it is inherent. No thing can exist independently from everything else, for that matter nor can infinite things, namely the fundamental forces - they also are dependent on each other for their existence.

In terms of beginnings and endings, yes things do have this clear and definite boundary, but lol it is the sort of boundary that, for the full process to occur, could take the entire life of a bubble universe. IMO, if things arise from the void, then they must at some stage return to the void. Note however that all this means to me is that the two fundamental forces, that are the content of all things, returns to a more pure state - a state where each of the two forces become less relatively intertwined. Now while I can say "a thing" can dissolve to some level of dualistic purity, this same process can never apply to entirety of The Totality.

To picture what I'm saying think of a black hole as a location where the contracting force is near pure, all the matter rushing in to be devoured by the black hole is balanced portions of expansion/contraction, and the so called empty space around all this is the expansionary force in a near pure state.

Eventually all the matter rushing into the black hole will be torn apart by the stronger contracting force ratio, and the matter will disappear. This process is emitting energy, which is matter where the expansionary force is dominant, and the contracting force or gravity will be sucked into the black hole in a very pure state.

Things, as what they really are, namely as semi-defined patterns of existence, do have beginnings and endings, but such beginnings and endings never exist independently from other things. Nonetheless, they do exist independently from all other things BY THE DEGREE that their particular pattern of existence, is bounded by the existence of other patterns of existence that are more directly in their vicinity, or sphere of potential causal effect, than less direct patterns. For example, the obvious differences between the nature of the sun and the earth will remain that way until changes in patterns of existence means the sun expands and becomes a closer, stronger pattern of direct influence so much so that it totally consumes the earths patterns.

But your above answer doesn’t take that fact into account. Above you have the “brain” affecting the existence of the thing (snake or branch). Which just doesn’t add up?


Well that is not at all what I said in that para. See below. I just meant the brain will determine the appearance based on how its own nature interprets the patterns of differentiation it becomes aware of.

In terms of reality, as nothing is the same as it was one moment ago everything we view is actually always a new thing, although it may appear to be the same. When walking through the bush we may mistake a snake for a fallen branch. This would have occurred because the brain is geared to think "close enough is good enough" when in a rapidly changing environment - it simply does not have time to identify everything in great detail.


Mind you, the sensory tools our bodies have, rather than the brain, do or can "affect the existence of the thing". To observe any physical thing our bodily causal patterns/flows must interact with the causal patterns/flows emanating from the observed thing. It is just our effect is so small as to be almost of no effect. For example - We hear a soundwave, but in doing so our ears change the sound wave to another pattern, so if we weren’t there observing this sound, then the pattern would be something else - therefore we are affecting the thing to a minuscule degree. I know this is petty but folks round here like to talk about absolutes.

I know later on in your post you loosen your interpretation by suggesting that boundaries are “fuzzy” – but that still doesn’t make your concept of existence any clearer.

Either things have hard and fast boundaries (and cannot interact); or they don't have boundaries (and can interact).


Well as we all know, things are all interconnected in a continuum, so therefore some people say the existence of things is a delusion, and it is from that singular perspective. However that does not make such a perspective absolutely correct because we as observers can clearly see that the universe is not the same from one location to another, therefore it is as equally valid AND invalid to say that things do not exist.

Why do boundaries have to be of an absolute nature that you state above, namely if there is a boundary then things cannot interact and if there are no boundaries then things can?

For example, lets say you have perfectly made and perfectly working 50 metre waterproof watch - so there is a boundary where water can not get into the watch when you dive up to around this level (as I said boundaries are fuzzy). Is this an absolute boundary? Yes and no. The watch is perfectly made and maintained so the boundary up to 50 metres is absolute –without some external influence other than just water pressure it will always be waterproof. OK, then dive to 750 metres – what happens to this boundary? The absolute boundary is likely to disappear and the watch will no longer be waterproof in such circumstances.

I hope you get what I mean - it is not that there is any ABSOLUTE boundary between one thing or another, but nor is there NO boundary between one thing and another.

In things boundaries are related to the relativity (differences) between patterns of fundamental forces.

In your efforts to make your mental concepts to be only the truth and nothing but the truth, you are taking mental shortcuts by making the relationship between one thing and another into a “One OR The Other” concept, rather than what reality always is which is “One AND/OR the other, depending upon the perspective taken”.

Boundaries are only absolute in the "void", where the two forces I speak about are not in a state where they are acting directly upon each other. If they are acting upon each other then they immediately become things, whether we can observe them or not


Which still doesn't make it sound any more logical, as now you’ve got things having boundaries – “actual” and “fuzzy”, but not “absolute”. That is, except in the “void”. But by defining the void as being comprised of “absolute” boundaries, your idea becomes even wilder, because now you appear to have thrown the definition of “void” out the window.

It just all sounds too topsy-turvy to define things as coming into existence when “absolute” boundaries inhabiting the void, crash into one another, have a relationship, (and then, I take it, move on to another relationship).


Fair enough. What I say is confusing and very abstract - but that does not make it illogical. I don't have the memory to tackle this scientifically, and I'm not satisfied with the mantras of the QRS, that are true on from one perspective and not true on another. I'm utterly convinced that as dualism applies to all things it must also apply to that which causes everything.

I have been defining the two forces in the void as having absolute boundaries. Perhaps I am mistaken. My theory has always had the problem that some form of separation is required of one or both forces in order for things to form. I guess I've been avoiding that because I don’t know the answer. The problem is that if any fundamental thing was separable even as a force, then it cannot really be absolute, however… we can see such separation of force in things (as in measuring explosions or gravity for example), and we humans can even store it as power, so this separation must somehow exist at the fundamental level.

One must remember I am talking about forces that no-one will ever directly see, as when in their pure state do they exist in time or space, but in a non-spatial, instantaneous form. While folks may balk at the existence of such a non-spatial realm, I don’t. It is clear to me that space is caused and is therefore not the most fundamental type of existence possible. If there is space then that which precedes space must be opposite in nature - it must be non-dimensional.*

The problem lies with my inability to conceptualise other than linearly - to have a non-linear consciousness (though for that matter I can’t see any being ever evolving that could have a non-linear consciousness). The void is absolutely non-linear, but as a result creates linearity in things. Alas though we are stuck with thoughts that are linear based and language that is spatially based, so I can offer no satisfying explanation, but the following are some thoughts on the matter.

In linear terms within the non-spatial void, the expansionary "surrounds" a nucleus of contracting force. The expansionary force is always "larger" than the contracting force, as its sole property is to enlarge itself. This being the case then it would envelope completely the contracting force. We see the same outcome in physical things, planets and atoms are completely surrounded by vast areas of empty space. As the contracting force is in the "centre" only some of the expansionary force expands into the "area" where the contracting force "just was" - and where this occurs this becomes a physical Universe, a part of the finite world.

Now if the totality was linear this would only occur once, but it isn’t - it is non-linear. It is this very non-spatial, non-linearality that creates the fundamental separation that is required. Somehow the expansionary force causes the contracting force to continuously separate, and wherever such separation occurs, then a universe is created. With each separation the expansionary force surrounds the newly separated contracting force unit.

This means in the context of an infinite totality, each quark or string element could be the start of a new potential new universe (though it may not end up as an universe because of it being relative to pre-existing things that could bound its growth. For example it may push the once separated contracting force units to congregate into a black hole).

In reality the expansionary force might react with the contracting force like sand flowing through an hourglass, where the causal effect on the expansionary force is to slow it down in a funnel like effect - it must just bind the full power of the expansionary force. If the hourglass is non-linear, as in this slowing down process occurs in all directions then there will always be causal differentiation between the centre of the non-linear hourglass and the outside, the expansionary force flows into the centre of the sperical hourglass but has no where to go, so it builds up pressure until it explodes outward causing the hourglass of the contracting force to fracture. We see a similar action when dying stars explode, and as a star is made of atoms, when atoms explode.

*If there is space then that which precedes space must be opposite in nature - it must be non-dimensional

This is an interesting thing about opposing physical causes - they cause a different outcome with each level of causal impact. When there is physical opposition, the outcome is always in one sense the opposite and in another the same, as that which preceded it. At the "thing" level, two things in opposition merge into a new thing (for example oxidisation). Note however that as things are generally complex, as in consisting of many related layers of form, that the outcome of a causal interaction does not necessarily create an opposite appearance. Causal actions are non-stop and over short periods the vast bulk of these result in no discernable change - rest assured though that the changes, where two forms are merging into a new form, are occurring everywhere.

At the generic thing level, although things change, nothing fundamental can be lost or gained by the action of causes. Same (contracting force), Same (expansionary force) but Different (effect).

The effect can range from hardly different to completely different. For instance appearance-wise it may just make something green slightly more bluish, but when one applies this to "things arising from the void" to the very fundamental, then the initial outcome is completely opposite to the void. This is why, as seen from the linear perspective (which is not reality), Space is the first outcome in the creation of thingness, and this space is directly opposite in its nature to the non-spatial domain of the truly infinite. After space arises forms of matter including energy, which are opposite to the illusionary nothingness of space. All individual things are just a combination of space and matter at different levels of relativity. Things are continuously arising in this manner, and if we were technically able to dissect each layer of thingness we'd eventually get to Space. They are continually arising because the fundamental forces never stop being forces that expand or contract. There is never any non-causal action even in the void. They don't just create Space and stop being causes, they Add causes to Space to create from, then Add Causes to Space and Form to create Things.
User avatar
Jamesh
 
Posts: 1524
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 3:44 pm

Postby Jason » Tue May 15, 2007 1:39 am

David,

David Quinn: You don't have to divide it up into parts if you don't want to. But nonetheless, the truth remains that the sphere cannot possibly exist without whatever parts a particular mind cares to carve out of it.

Jason: Are you saying then that a sphere could actually exist for me as an unidvided unity, if my mind, for whatever reason, doesn't carve it up any further?

DQ: Yes, in that case, it would exist for you as an undivided unity.

J: That answer is in direct contradiction to multiple parts in your "The Wisdom of the Infinite", for example just a little further down in the same section which we have been addressing in these posts, you write the following:


If a thing exists, it will necessarily be comprised of parts. It is an inherent fact of existence.
-
To sum up, then, a thing cannot exist in the absence of other things existing both inside and outside of it.




David Quinn: A thing always has the capacity to be mentally divided into parts.

So even though to you, in a particular moment, a thing might appear as a unity, another person could easily come along and conceive of it as having parts.


The existence of other people's consciousness, let alone the contents of their consciousness, is uncertain.

David Quinn: Or your own mind could do this in the very next moment.


You're making uncertain assumptions and predictions about a future state. The only certainty is in the way things actually are divided at the present moment. That alone invalidates your argument, but also in a similar way: how do you know the "thing" you see undivided one moment, is definitely the same "thing" that is divided the next moment?

David Quinn: And regardless of whether you perceive a sphere as a unity or not, the fact still remains that such a sphere couldn't possibly exist without its two halves.


That's nonsensical and you are contradicting yourself. A unity is not divided: by definition. A unity does not have halves: by definition. And you previously said that all parts are mental projections, so if my mind perceives a sphere as a unity then it simply is a unity, there are no halves that "really" make up the sphere beyond my mind's perception of the unity-sphere. You need to make up your mind on this issue one way or the other, and stick to it.

DQ: Similarly, we don't have to divide a tree up into parts if we don't want to. The tree, however, cannot exist without the parts that we conventionally create, such as "leaves", "branches", "trunk", "roots", "carbon molecules", etc.

J: In both examples you give above, the sphere and the tree, in the first sentences you seem to say that internal division of the sphere/tree isn't necessary, but in the second sentences you say that it is. Can you clear that up for me? Are you saying perhaps, that things are always composed of parts even if my mind doesn't create and/or isn't aware of those parts?

DQ: No, parts are always a creation of mental projection. At root, Reality is a seamless continuum which lacks any kind of boundaries. It is our minds which determine, for example, where a leaf ends and a twig begins.

J: This is contradictory in several ways. Firstly, you are actually using parts/boundaries(in this case thoughts and writing), to try to prove that reality "lacks any kind of boundaries."

David Quinn: I'm not denying the appearance of boundaries in our moment-to-moment experiences. Indeed, it is only through the appearance of boundaries that consciousness can operate and we can distinguish anything at all. But nonetheless, these apparent boundaries only find their existence in the moment of their appearing to us. They aren't really "out there" in the world. They are simply a product of our conceptual frameworks.


Yes all we have is momentary appearance, that being the case, if boundaries exist in the moment then they are the very bedrock of what reality is. I find that your philosophy and book in general repeatedly try to cast boundaries in a light that suggests that they are unreal, imaginary, delusional, projected and so on, and I think that's one of the dominant and fundamental flaws with your ideas and/or your teaching style/arguments.

J: Secondly, reality includes within it the mind, and if we take your belief that the mind creates boundaries, then reality must also therefore include the boundaries that the mind creates.

David Quinn: Yes, so when I say that there are no boundaries in reality, I am meaning it in the sense that there are no boundaries outside of what our minds "choose" to project onto reality at any given moment.


If there is nothing but/beyond/behind direct appearances of the moment, then why use the words "project onto reality"? That gives the impression that there is something beyond that can be projected onto. It suggests that appearances and boundaries are less real, because they are projected over real reality.

The imagined dichotomy of mind-projected-boundaries vs/onto realer-unitary-reality is a fantasty. There is just momentary appearance, which in the end means simply "there are boundaries", end of story.

J: Third, pure direct experience at this exact moment shows that there is no lack of boundaries - this is beyond doubt.

David Quinn: Yes, the appearances of each moment are undeniable.


Agreed, so why imagine(or phrase ideas like) there is some reality that is beyond our perception of momentary apperance, upon which we "project" boundaries?

Jason: You also say that it is the mind that is responsible for carving up things. Isn't that an assumption? What evidence or reasoning do you use to support that position?

DQ: It partly comes from many years of experiencing the way that seemingly-firm boundaries easily dissipate with a change of perspective, and partly from the realization that the idea of beginnings and ends being physical is meaningless.

For example, if you look at a leaf and its twig under a microscope, only a seamless continuum is observed there. You don't see a sharp boundary delineating the two. The boundary that we habitually imagine is there from our normal perspective, isn't actually there when observed more closely.

J: None of that in any way proves that it is the mind that creates boundaries, or that physical beginnings and endings are meaningless. The only thing you have shown is that boundaries can change, nothing more.

David Quinn: The fact that boundaries can change from moment to moment is proof enough that they are mentally-created.


If that's sufficient proof, then you have certainly set a low bar for proof in this particular instance.

David Quinn: For example, one person might conceive of the earth as ending at the surface of its land and oceans, while another person might conceive of it as ending at 50km above the surface where the atmosphere thins out. Who is right?


This is no proof whatsoever if you consider certainty as a necessity to progress in philosophy, which I do. As I said above, the existence of the other persons consciousness and its contents is uncertain, it's basically just an empirical/scientific assumption. And you need to make up your mind on this issue as well, and stop switching around: if, as you have agreed previously in your post, boundaries are appearances of the moment, then obviously the boundaries that are assumed to be within another person's consciousness are not appearances to you. So you are making a meaningless point.

David Quinn: Where a thing's boundaries are imagined to exist is dependent upon how one conceives of the thing in question.


If boundaries are absolutely certain and undeniable appearances, it is ridiculous then to say they are "imagined". Imagined compared to what? There is nothing imagined because there is no alternative, there is no hidden "non-imaginary" reality beyond these so called "imagined" boundaries.

Whilst I think that fact alone lays to rest your argument, there is another problem in your argument. In your reply to my question above, you said that "it partly comes from many years of experiencing the way that seemingly-firm boundaries easily dissipate with a change of perspective". In other words, these recurring patterns of experience, from your past, give you reason to believe this. Yet if we look once again at your book, in the very same chapter we have been disussing, you write(about David Hume's ideas):

Quote:
"When we observe a match being struck to produce fire, for example, we cannot be certain that the striking of the match was the actual cause of the fire. Our minds merely observe a succession of events - first, the match being struck and, second, the flame erupting into being - and it is only through our past experiences of watching a similar succession of events that enables us to assume the two are causally linked. But we can never be sure that this assumption is valid."

So here in your book you are actually arguing the exact opposite of what you argue in your last reply to me! In your book, you say that recurring patterns of events from the past, cannot validly be used to form the sort of assumption that you have given in your reply to me. In other words, just because in the past you often found that boundaries changed when your perspective changed, you cannot validly assume that these two changes are linked.

David Quinn:You're right that one cannot use past empirical experience as a basis for proof. Empirical experience can only suggest truths. It cannot prove them beyond question.


So your proof is invalidated then. My very point was that part of your argument in your last post was based on the use of something resembling the scientific method, which went something like this:
1. The last fifty times my perspective changed, boundaries changed also.
2. There must be a link.
3. I'll assume therefore that boundaries are caused by perspective.

David Quinn: The real proof consists of realizing that a thing's boundaries are created by how one conceives of the thing.


It's a false realization if it is based on fundamentally flawed reasoning, and in these posts so far I have wripped to shreds many or all of your supposed proofs and arguments for this realization.

(Note: some of the points I made in this post I would consider to be working from particular, and in a sense lesser, philosophical levels. I described what this means and entails in an earlier post on this thread.)

[Edits: Made a few small changes to make this easier to read.]
Last edited by Jason on Tue May 15, 2007 3:22 am, edited 3 times in total.
User avatar
Jason
 
Posts: 1312
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 1:02 am

Postby Elizabeth Isabelle » Tue May 15, 2007 1:56 am

Jason wrote:Quote:
David Quinn: And regardless of whether you perceive a sphere as a unity or not, the fact still remains that such a sphere couldn't possibly exist without its two halves.


That's nonsensical and you are contradicting yourself. A unity is not divided: by definition. A unity does not have halves: by definition. And you previously said that all parts are mental projections, so if my mind perceives a sphere as a unity then it simply is a unity, there are no halves that "really" make up the sphere beyond my mind's perception of the unity-sphere. You need to make up your mind on this issue one way or the other, and stick to it.


Do you have one unified body? Does it have a left half and a right half?
.
User avatar
Elizabeth Isabelle
 
Posts: 3748
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 11:35 am

Postby David Quinn » Fri May 18, 2007 12:54 pm

James wrote:

I'm not satisfied with the mantras of the QRS, that are true on from one perspective and not true on another.

If you are seeing that the truths we speak are not necessarily true in all perspectives, then you are not seeing these truths.

-
User avatar
David Quinn
 
Posts: 5331
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2001 6:56 am
Location: Australia

Next

Return to GENIUS FORUM

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 3 guests