Life after death

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

Re: Videos and criticisms

Postby Kevin Solway » Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:17 am

Ryan Rudolph wrote:By my calculations – a 50% possibility. Because we have no way of knowing what happens at death, and so there are only two possibilities – continuity or no continuity. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

By my reckoning, the chance that consciousness survives death is only about 0.000001%, because there's plenty of evidence that our consciousness is dependent on physical brain structures, and the brain dies with the body. And we have no evidence of anything else taking over the functioning of the brain when it dies.
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Re: Videos and criticisms

Postby Alex Jacob » Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:44 am

Elephants are said to have some kind of understanding about death. They tend to hang around a dead fellow, and to revisit the place where the fellow died, where his bones are. They evince unusual behavior when they engage in that activity. Something that looks like thoughtfulness.
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Re: Videos and criticisms

Postby Ryan Rudolph » Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:37 am

Kevin,

By my reckoning, the chance that consciousness survives death is only about 0.000001%, because there's plenty of evidence that our consciousness is dependent on physical brain structures, and the brain dies with the body. And we have no evidence of anything else taking over the functioning of the brain when it dies.


I’m not really sure if that degree of certainty is justified Kevin. For instance: the latest scientific theories are basically telling us that material/solid matter is pretty much a fiction, meaning that at the most basic level of reality there is only empty space, and it seems to stretch off into infinity forever. And we don’t actually know what this empty space is, all we can say about it is that it seems to give birth to an infinite number of appearances that are all slightly different, and they seem to obey intelligent laws of causality. And you gotta admit Kevin that that is pretty wild. I mean, on the one hand, it doesn’t make any sense at all, but on the other, it makes perfect sense, so lets just put it this way, if there was a metaphysical essence to reality, then you could use some of this information to support such an argument. You have to admit that it’s not SO outlandish….

What I don’t like about the mainstream atheist movement is that it is very quick to subscribe to reductionist views, where everything is perfectly reduced down into a neat material package that can be understood, isolated, and stripped of all mystery. And if you question reductionism then you are automatically labeled a religious nut job that is emotionally biased, and you’re not a true scientist, and all the rest of it. However, many times the scientists that subscribe to this sort of thinking the most strongly are usually your thick reading glass wearing, tedium chasing, dim-witted academics who continually prove to have a very limited and biased view of reality themselves.

perhaps sanity is somewhere in between.
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Re: Videos and criticisms

Postby Shahrazad » Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:58 am

Ryan,

And any thinker that can get over that HUGE hump is a brave bloke in my boak, I mean boat…I mean book.


I don't believe there is anything after we die. Are you ready to label me a brave blokette?

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Re: Videos and criticisms

Postby Alex Jacob » Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:17 am

To face the 'infinite' is to face 'magic', if you asked me. Even our dear Ryan on some other thread nicely explained that all creation, looked at physically, is a sort of fiction, a game of appearances. It is very difficult to say, definitively, what precisely is behind it.

The materialist's viewpoint---and this is the essential position of David and Kevin---is an outlook that is completely remodeling the human outlook, and rightly so, and in many ways creatively so, productively so. The religious viewpoint---this is just a fact---stands as a graveyard of meaning, where old paths of thought remain unchallenged and unexamined, where we hole up in superstitious understandings of this reality. Just taking that into consideration, indicates that we are at a radical juncture of reformatting our description of reality, and right now, in most ways, religion and the religious viewpoint is on the retreat: it cannot compete with the rationalist's model.

It seems to me that when a 'believer' in an internal and external divinity, such as myself, is talking to another believer, one would use one sort of language, the language of those who are privy to that episteme, who 'agree' about it. But when you speak to someone who is categorically opposed to that agreement-set, the only option is to adopt a very different set of terms. There is in fact, within our traditions (occidental traditions) a lexicon with that alternative set of terms, and that is Jungian psychology, which is a thin mask for a kind of mystical view of reality. It is a similar description that yet takes place within the Western canon. But, it is not now nor was it ever the 'science' it attempted to be, and so remains within a kind of 'pseudoscience'.

I do think there are many ways available to us to speak about a general God, and also to divisions and subdivisions of divine intelligence, but only if the focus of the conversation is exclusively in one territory: the human spirit, human consciousness. Whatever we refer to when we speak of God, personal or impersonal, can only be something occurring within our own consciousness, since in a dull consciousness, or a undeveloped consciousness, there is no perception of either the personalist or the impersonalist 'God'.

My personal way of seeing is that God Consciousness is something we, in the human community, come into, and we have to keep coming into it, to keep having all our ideas challenged, to go through remodeling processes.
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Re: Videos and criticisms

Postby Ryan Rudolph » Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:56 am

Alex,

To face the 'infinite' is to face 'magic', if you asked me. Even our dear Ryan on some other thread nicely explained that all creation, looked at physically, is a sort of fiction, a game of appearances. It is very difficult to say, definitively, what precisely is behind it.


Yes, but even though I’m suggesting that we cannot be absolutely certain there is no metaphysical essence behind reality, (that was my only objection to Kevin), I’m not saying that a metaphysical reality, if there is one, is somehow magical. On the contrary, if there were anything deeper beyond our perceptible reality, we could expect more of the same as far as laws of causality are concerned.

However, In my opinion, the biggest failure of the mainstream atheist movement is the denial of mystery, as many atheists believe that they can explain away the mystery of life. But if you face the fact that enlightened consciousness abides in a state of unknowing emptiness, then a persistent state of mystery comes with that. And btw, its not so much a feeling, but a stark reality about life that implies no matter how much knowledge the enlightened mind accumulates, life remains a giant unanswered question mark, meaning the enlightened consciousness is not molded by knowledge, it always keeps its original form, which is emptiness.
Last edited by Ryan Rudolph on Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Videos and criticisms

Postby David Quinn » Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:01 am

Alex Jacob wrote:To face the 'infinite' is to face 'magic', if you asked me. Even our dear Ryan on some other thread nicely explained that all creation, looked at physically, is a sort of fiction, a game of appearances. It is very difficult to say, definitively, what precisely is behind it.

The materialist's viewpoint---and this is the essential position of David and Kevin---is an outlook that is completely remodeling the human outlook, and rightly so, and in many ways creatively so, productively so. The religious viewpoint---this is just a fact---stands as a graveyard of meaning, where old paths of thought remain unchallenged and unexamined, where we hole up in superstitious understandings of this reality. Just taking that into consideration, indicates that we are at a radical juncture of reformatting our description of reality, and right now, in most ways, religion and the religious viewpoint is on the retreat: it cannot compete with the rationalist's model.

Since neither Kevin nor I believe in "matter", describing us having a materialist's viewpoint is infinitely wide of the mark.

Using rationality to attack and undermine religious superstition doesn't automatically make one a "materialist". Some scientists who do this, such as Richard Dawkins, are indeed materialists, but their attack on superstition overall is narrow and limited. They are still a million miles away from opening their minds to the fundamental nature of reality, which is as far beyond materialism as it is beyond theism.

The current challenge facing the human race is how to approach the magic of spirituality in a non-superstitious manner, without violating rationality. Most people are hampered in this because they can't find a way move their rationality beyond the black hole of postmodernism. As a result, the only way they can conceive of connecting to spiritual reality is by abandoning reason and retreating back into faith, which is the wrong direction.

If a person has to invent magic and superstition in order to be "spiritual", then it is a sure sign that he doesn't yet connect to the true magic of spirituality.

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Re: Videos and criticisms

Postby David Quinn » Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:07 am

Ryan Rudolph wrote:Yes, but even though I’m suggesting that we cannot be absolutely certain there is no metaphysical essence behind reality, (that was my only objection to Kevin), I’m not saying that a metaphysical reality, if there is one, is somehow magical.

Why worry about what is "behind reality", when the magic of reality is already right here in front of us in all of its metaphysical glory?

How many metaphysical essences do you need?

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Re: Videos and criticisms

Postby mansman » Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:00 am

Ryan Rudolph wrote:Alex,

To face the 'infinite' is to face 'magic', if you asked me. Even our dear Ryan on some other thread nicely explained that all creation, looked at physically, is a sort of fiction, a game of appearances. It is very difficult to say, definitively, what precisely is behind it.


Yes, but even though I’m suggesting that we cannot be absolutely certain there is no metaphysical essence behind reality, (that was my only objection to Kevin), I’m not saying that a metaphysical reality, if there is one, is somehow magical. On the contrary, if there were anything deeper beyond our perceptible reality, we could expect more of the same as far as laws of causality are concerned.

However, In my opinion, the biggest failure of the mainstream atheist movement is the denial of mystery, as many atheists believe that they can explain away the mystery of life.
But if you face the fact that enlightened consciousness abides in a state of unknowing emptiness, then a persistent state of mystery comes with that. And btw, its not so much a feeling, but a stark reality about life that implies no matter how much knowledge the enlightened mind accumulates, life remains a giant unanswered question mark, meaning the enlightened consciousness is not molded by knowledge, it always keeps its original form, which is emptiness.
Hey brother Ryan, how are you! I am wondering "if WHO face the fact"? Who is this "you" you are maybe challenging?

Oh, do you mean brother Alex? How would he face it? Or.........?

You have some good thing to say thats good but often Im wondering what is your purpose in writing somethings you write.
Now how nice if you reexplain point of last paragraph, my mind hurting as is!
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Re: Videos and criticisms

Postby Alex Jacob » Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:38 am

If it isn't matter, Brother David, what is it? Of what is 'perceptible reality' composed? (I'll turn off the TeeVee and fire up a fat one as I await your answer).
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Re: Videos and criticisms

Postby Kevin Solway » Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:28 pm

Ryan Rudolph wrote:
By my reckoning, the chance that consciousness survives death is only about 0.000001%, because there's plenty of evidence that our consciousness is dependent on physical brain structures, and the brain dies with the body. And we have no evidence of anything else taking over the functioning of the brain when it dies.

I’m not really sure if that degree of certainty is justified Kevin. For instance: the latest scientific theories are basically telling us that material/solid matter is pretty much a fiction, meaning that at the most basic level of reality there is only empty space

That's not what science is telling us. If reality was fundamentally empty space then we wouldn't be here. The fact that anything exists at all disproves the idea that reality is fundamentally empty space.

You should be careful how much notice you take of the commentators of science. They often don't know what they are talking about.


if there was a metaphysical essence to reality

"Metaphysical" just means "beyond science", or "beyond empirical measurement".

The randomness that is observed when you throw a dice is "metaphysical" in the sense that science cannot determine what the exact result of a dice throw will be. It is beyond the scope of science to do this. And logic itself is metaphysical. The mind is metaphysical.

So you see that the metaphysical reality is part and parcel of our normal everyday world. It's not some other "layer", or hidden beneath the surface.

What I don’t like about the mainstream atheist movement is that it is very quick to subscribe to reductionist views

This is true, but the people who adopt those very narrow views don't even understand their own reductionism. Those who follow-through with their reductionism end with a more spiritual outlook.
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Re: Videos and criticisms

Postby Alex Jacob » Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:01 pm

Kevin wrote:

"Metaphysical" just means "beyond science", or "beyond empirical measurement". The randomness that is observed when you throw a dice is "metaphysical" in the sense that science cannot determine what the exact result of a dice throw will be. It is beyond the scope of science to do this. And logic itself is metaphysical. The mind is metaphysical. So you see that the metaphysical reality is part and parcel of our normal everyday world. It's not some other "layer", or hidden beneath the surface."

Wow, you have radically redefined the meaning and accepted use of the word 'metaphysic'! Always something new on the Genius Forums!

I always understood metaphysic, as it is used esoterically, to refer to higher gradients of matter, a spiritual or soul stuff beyond the range of 5 senses.

Western physics, as I have understood it, proposes that though there may be elements of material manifestation beyond the reach of our senses and our sense-extensions, it is still fundamentally material stuff. I don' think there is any way to define a metaphysical realm, or metaphysical stuff, and they could only refer to matter or energy of which they were not yet aware.

Also, by definition, science could precisely predict the roll of the dice if it had a way to track the movement of the dice at the exact moment it left the hand, the precise angle the corners struck the table, and all other relevant factors. It is, in fact, not 'random' at all, but acutely and definitively mathematical, precisely so, in every sense.

The mind, by definition, cannot be metaphysical either. What occurs in the mind is precisely tied to the material substrata, absolutely and completely. There is nothing metaphysical in epiphenomena, there is only what you cannot map out because it is too vast to do so. Theoretically though, it is possible.
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Re: Videos and criticisms

Postby Iolaus » Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:20 pm

Carl,

Me: But we do seem to be in a strange situation that could stand some real improvement. The question as to whether we can figure it out on our own, may not actually compute. We may not be on our own, and it may not work that way. But, we are definitely partially on our own, and I think it is a spiritual law that help comes only when requested, because otherwise it would be interference and coercion of any kind is evil. Which means that evil influences do come to us without our asking. To be impervious to that, takes some real effort.

You: This is bordering on gobbledygook.

Oh. Seems pretty clear. The we refers to humanity. Humanity is in a strange situation, and we seem oddly recalcitrant to solving our problems.
We may have been receiving, and continuing to receive, various sorts of assist from the outside, therefore, can we really say whether we would find the way out on our own? We know so little about what is out there.

If you want spiritual assistance from outside, it is important to ask. That is because you should invite the help of your own free will. Or non-free will as the case may be! It's sort of like the Star Trek imperative not to interfere in other civilizations.

But evil is predatory, you know that. It does things like invade without being asked. On a spiritual level, there are, I think, such predators. Most people are at least somewhat vulnerable to them, perhaps whole societies make themselves vulnerable at times. Some people are very vulnerable, and others not at all.
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David,

I am surprised you say this. What do you think is the nature of the infinite and of existence? Why do you think I fail to understand the nature of the infinite?

Because your desire to avoid the simplicty of truth infuses everything you say.

You quite often make these sweeping statements, with no content, and I wonder that you don't attempt to explain yourself. I think I understand your truth pretty well, but if I don't, I wonder what you think I don't understand. What is the nature of the infinite?

Perhaps we had better define magic.

Ignorance of causal reality.

That's a good definition and I agree with it. Like I said earlier, I don't believe in magic. Now I not only believe, but know, that minds can communicate at a distance and without words, and most people refer to this as ESP. I also know that you do not believe it, and that no evidence would ever suffice. But the point is, that I have no doubt that there is a mechanism involving cause and effect which allows this mind communication, and that it will be explained one day, and will be physical, much like a cell phone or what have you.

It's not a matter of "making one's mind up", but of seeing into the heart of matters with laser-like precision. (the lack of free will)

Are your guides there to help you in this, or is it their function to get in the way?

The sense of being guided or helped by other beings is fairly rare. At least in the way I was talking about. I am also guided directly by the divine, but that is something else.

I think that you do not know everything, and are wrong about some things. This could be one. There are people who make arguments for free will but I am not good at remembering or reproducing them. Some are about quantum mechanics, but quantum mechanics is difficult, because some of the conclusions they have come to are absurd in my opinion. It seems to me that free will is possible, and that it could be a kind of constrained free will. It may be, for example, that if return is the motion of the Tao, that all beings will eventually return to God because any other choice is ultimately insane and involves ignorance. Yet the being might be able to freely dally as long as they like, or at least for a long time, and the return may involve a series of free choices.

If you are going to equate enlightenment with death, then you'll never summon up the motivation to reach it. But perhaps that's the underlying idea ....


I do not so equate it. You are in the dangerous position of not being able to learn anything new or discard your errors because you cannot have any errors, nor have you a way to investigate them.

Enlightenment is a breakthrough in perception beyond duality. I have not attained that, although I have much insight into nonduality. But only to a point.

Now, what do you mean when you say you do not believe in matter?

The current challenge facing the human race is how to approach the magic of spirituality in a non-superstitious manner, without violating rationality. Most people are hampered in this because they can't find a way move their rationality beyond the black hole of postmodernism. As a result, the only way they can conceive of connecting to spiritual reality is by abandoning reason and retreating back into faith, which is the wrong direction.

Talk to us about the magic of spirituality. I don't know why you use words like spirituality. You do seem like a materialist to me.

Alex,


Wow, you have radically redefined the meaning and accepted use of the word 'metaphysic'! Always something new on the Genius Forums!

I always understood metaphysic, as it is used esoterically, to refer to higher gradients of matter, a spiritual or soul stuff beyond the range of 5 senses.


How is that different than what Kevin said?

The mind, by definition, cannot be metaphysical either. What occurs in the mind is precisely tied to the material substrata, absolutely and completely.


But the mind is metaphysical, I think. The brain and the mind - two different things. The brain may be an interface for the metaphysical. How can you interact with the metaphysical, if the mind is only physical?
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Re: Videos and criticisms

Postby Ryan Rudolph » Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:22 pm

David,

Why worry about what is "behind reality", when the magic of reality is already right here in front of us in all of its metaphysical glory?


You need to understand what I wrote in context to Kevin’s post – He first wrote:

By my reckoning, the chance that consciousness survives death is only about 0.000001%, because there's plenty of evidence that our consciousness is dependent on physical brain structures, and the brain dies with the body. And we have no evidence of anything else taking over the functioning of the brain when it dies.


First of all, David, I agree that the reality in front of our eyes is good enough, but the reason I objected to Kevin’s above post is that he seems to be almost absolutely certain that the material brain/body, which gives birth to enlightened consciousness, is soulless, meaning there is no continuity for enlightened consciousness, which indirectly implies that he is also almost absolutely certain that no deeper metaphysical laws of reality exist at all. However, based on all the scientific theories out there, there doesn’t seem to be a consensus on this, so I’m just taking a more middle-ground position by suggesting I’m not as certain as Kevin that reality is solely material based, which is what his conclusion implies, does it not?

Kevin,

That's not what science is telling us. If reality was fundamentally empty space then we wouldn't be here. The fact that anything exists at all disproves the idea that reality is fundamentally empty space.


Yeah, I don’t know if I can follow your logic there. You seem to be attempting to make sense of something that I find very difficult to make sense of. From what I read, many scientists now believe that atoms are essentially 99.99% empty space, and only 0.001% actual stuff. A good metaphor would be if a football field was an atom, and the field had a ball in its center, that would be the actual material. However, if you zoom into the ball, and see how much ‘material’ it is actually made out of, you will discover that the ball is also 99.99% empty space and 0.001% actual stuff, and this goes on for infinity. So reality is essentially empty space, despite what our senses tell us. It implies that matter is in fact a fiction. It is merely an appearance to the mind.

Now, to my mind, that doesn’t make any sense at all, especially when you consider that you and I appear to be made out of concrete matter, but we continue to exist in this realm of almost pure empty space. And furthermore, we don’t truly understand what this empty space essentially is. And in my opinion, that is a very strange and very mysterious predicament to born into against ones will, and it is difficult to rationalize a satisfying explanation of how this could be.
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Re: Videos and criticisms

Postby Kevin Solway » Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:43 pm

Alex Jacob wrote:
"Metaphysical" just means "beyond science", or "beyond empirical measurement". The randomness that is observed when you throw a dice is "metaphysical" in the sense that science cannot determine what the exact result of a dice throw will be. It is beyond the scope of science to do this. And logic itself is metaphysical. The mind is metaphysical. So you see that the metaphysical reality is part and parcel of our normal everyday world. It's not some other "layer", or hidden beneath the surface."

Wow, you have radically redefined the meaning and accepted use of the word 'metaphysic'!

I just have a deeper notion of what the word is supposed to mean than most people.

I always understood metaphysic, as it is used esoterically, to refer to higher gradients of matter, a spiritual or soul stuff beyond the range of 5 senses.

The metaphysical realm is "higher" only in the sense that it is hidden from foolish people. But it's not hidden from people who have a bit of sense.

For example, a crude materialistic worshiper of science, whose God is science, only gives credit to those things that can be measured by science. Philosophy, and to some degree, even psychology, doesn't exist to them, and they don't recognize the existence of anything that cannot be proven by the scientific method.

These are as people walking around with their eyes closed, and since their eyes are closed, naturally the metaphysical world is hidden to them, and therefore it will naturally appear "mysterious". Anything is mysterious if you refuse to see it. Just as science seems like fanciful thinking to fundamentalists, metaphysics seems like fanciful thinking to scientists.

Western physics, as I have understood it, proposes that though there may be elements of material manifestation beyond the reach of our senses and our sense-extensions, it is still fundamentally material stuff.

There are things that cannot ever, by their very nature, be a subject for scientific investigation. These are things that cannot ever possibly be measured by the senses, even if we had every possible measuring device.

I don't think there is any way to define a metaphysical realm, or metaphysical stuff, and they could only refer to matter or energy of which they were not yet aware.

Matter or energy of which we are not yet aware is matter or energy of which we may become aware, either directly or indirectly, when we have appropriate measuring devices. Such things are entirely physical. The metaphysical is forever beyond the reach of science by its very nature.

Also, by definition, science could precisely predict the roll of the dice if it had a way to track the movement of the dice at the exact moment it left the hand, the precise angle the corners struck the table, and all other relevant factors. It is, in fact, not 'random' at all, but acutely and definitively mathematical, precisely so, in every sense.

No its not.

There is no possible way that science can predict with certainty the result of an individual throw of a dice.

Consider, just for starters, that science would need to be able to measure the starting position of the dice exactly. This means that it would need to measure the starting position to an accuracy of infinite decimal places, which means that you would need an infinite amount of memory, or infinite computers, just to store the starting position of the dice. In other words you can't even start to predict, with certainty, the result of a dice throw. This is because such a task is entirely outside the scope of science. On top of that, you would need to know every possible factor in the Universe which could have a bearing on the result of a dice throw, and there's no possible way we can even know what those factors are, let alone measure them. Once again, we can't even make a start, because science is the wrong tool for the job.

And nor can science predict with certainty the result of dice throws over a large number of throws, and for the same reason.

The mind, by definition, cannot be metaphysical either.

Since the mind cannot observe itself, for the same reason that a fingertip cannot touch itself, the mind is beyond the reach of science.
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Re: Videos and criticisms

Postby Kevin Solway » Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:16 pm

Ryan Rudolph wrote:the reason I objected to Kevin’s above post is that he seems to be almost absolutely certain that the material brain/body, which gives birth to enlightened consciousness, is soulless

I never said it was soulless, just that I don't see any evidence that consciousness survives the death of the brain.

To me, soul is a lot more than mere consciousness, which comes and goes.

. . . meaning there is no continuity for enlightened consciousness

Are not the Buddhist scriptures a continuity of the Buddha's enlightened consciousness? I would say that they are. The scriptures are not his actual consciousness, but they are a continuation of it, since they are linked by cause and effect.

From what I read, many scientists now believe that atoms are essentially 99.99% empty space, and only 0.001% actual stuff.

Ok, but that's not "empty". 0.001% full is positively packed to the brim and crowded compared to 0.00000001%. So it's all relative.
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Re: Videos and criticisms

Postby Ryan Rudolph » Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:33 pm

Kevin,

Ok, but that's not "empty". 0.001% full is positively packed to the brim and crowded compared to 0.00000001%. So it's all relative.


Well, its not that relative, because If you zoom into what appears to be 0.001%, then the parts inside what appears to be matter are mostly empty space as well. So the actual appearance deceives the observer, Basically, the further you dive down into reality at the molecular level, the less “material” you are able to can’t get your hands on, there isn’t any substance there, only an appearance of substance. “matter” is an elusive phantom.

So by saying that you do not have any evidence that consciousness survives the death of the brain is quite extreme because I think you are ignoring half of the evidence. You are buying into a lot atheist materialism, which seeks to sum up consciousness/reality as a purely material phenomenon.

Moreover, to wholeheartedly believe in the death of enlightened consciousness with absolute certainity is to wholeheartedly believe that reality is material based. And I don’t believe you have that sort of justification.

Because I just provided a counter-argument for that based on scientific theories that suggest reality is mostly empty space - roughly 99.99 (repeating forever)%. And honestly, we don’t have a clue what empty space is, although we do know that it is mind blowingly infinite, vast and unfathomable, but no abstraction can capture its essence, not “totality” not anything, so my question to you is how can you be 99.99% certain that consciousness dies with the death of brain, when 99.99 (repeating forever)% of all material in the universe seems to be a unity of vast unfathomable empty space?

Doesn't this throw a bit of doubt into your degree of certainity?
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Re: Videos and criticisms

Postby maestro » Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:44 am

Ryan Rudolph wrote:Because I just provided a counter-argument for that based on scientific theories that suggest reality is mostly empty space - roughly 99.99 (repeating forever)%. And honestly, we don’t have a clue what empty space is, although we do know that it is mind blowingly infinite, vast and unfathomable,


Empty space is not really empty as matter and antimatter constantly appears and disappears

Quantum fluctuation is the temporary appearance of energetic particles out of nothing, as allowed by the Uncertainty Principle. It is synonymous with vacuum fluctuation.


Quantum uncertainty allows the temporary creation of bubbles of energy, or pairs of particles (such as electron-positron pairs) out of nothing, provided that they disappear in a short time. The less energy is involved, the longer the bubble can exist. Curiously, the energy in a gravitational field is negative, while the energy locked up in matter is positive.

George Gamow told in his book My World Line (Viking, New York, reprinted 1970) how he was having a conversation with Albert Einstein while walking through Princeton in the 1940s. Gamow casually mentioned that one of his colleagues had pointed out to him that according to Einstein's equations a star could be created out of nothing at all, because its negative gravitational energy precisely cancels out its positive mass energy. "Einstein stopped in his tracks," says Gamow, "and, since we were crossing a street, several cars had to stop to avoid running us down".


Inflation theory posits that our universe was born out of nothing due to such a Quantum fluctuation and expanded thereafter.

I think empty space is not really empty at all. An appropriate analogy would be a large body of water, in which the particles and energy are various phenomenon, like whirlpools and eddies, etc. Einstein was trying to work on similar lines, in which the whole universe is a field, in which particles are configurations of the field. Strange phenomenon in Quantum physics can be explained due to our ignorance of the underlying field (as shown by Bohm).
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Re: Videos and criticisms

Postby Kevin Solway » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:26 am

Ryan Rudolph wrote:So by saying that you do not have any evidence that consciousness survives the death of the brain is quite extreme because I think you are ignoring half of the evidence.

What you have presented is not evidence that consciousness survives death of the brain.

If consciousness survived death then I would expect dead people to be able to communicate with us in a way like we are doing now. They've had long enough to figure out how to do it.

Moreover, to wholeheartedly believe in the death of enlightened consciousness with absolute certainity is to wholeheartedly believe that reality is material based.

I don't have absolute certainty, I just think it's very unlikely.

Because I just provided a counter-argument for that based on scientific theories that suggest reality is mostly empty space - roughly 99.99 (repeating forever)%. And honestly, we don’t have a clue what empty space is

If you don't know what empty space is, then it might not be empty space.


, although we do know that it is mind blowingly infinite, vast and unfathomable, but no abstraction can capture its essence, not “totality” not anything, so my question to you is how can you be 99.99% certain that consciousness dies with the death of brain, when 99.99 (repeating forever)% of all material in the universe seems to be a unity of vast unfathomable empty space?

Even if there's lots of empty space, it doesn't make any difference to the fact that there is no evidence that consciousness survives the death of the brain.

Doesn't this throw a bit of doubt into your degree of certainity?

No. If the dead starting communicating with me, I would change my tune.
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Re: Videos and criticisms

Postby Ryan Rudolph » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:51 am

Maestro,

Empty space is not really empty as matter and antimatter constantly appears and disappears


What I’m suggesting is that both matter and anti-matter are just appearances, dualistic appearances that are devoid of any substance. There is only empty space, which we cannot understand because it is infinite and unfathomable. And that is the danger of words such as totality because you can trick yourself into believing that you have some sort of abstract understanding of reality, which is nonsense in my opinion, as the mind always reverts back to emptiness, despite cognitive attempts to imagine the vastness of emptiness.

I think empty space is not really empty at all. An appropriate analogy would be a large body of water, in which the particles and energy are various phenomenon, like whirlpools and eddies, etc. Einstein was trying to work on similar lines, in which the whole universe is a field, in which particles are configurations of the field. Strange phenomenon in Quantum physics can be explained due to our ignorance of the underlying field (as shown by Bohm).


No, I think reality is empty, as energy, particles, and everything else are just appearances. The problem I have with the term field is that the mind can trick itself into believing that it actually understands reality conceptually as definitions, which I think is dangerous. A field theory is only practical if it paints a picture that can be used for some useful purpose in reality. For instance: perhaps a field theory could help us understand a particular type of mechanical behavior, and we could use for some invention or something.

However, a belief in knowledge as reality, confuses the mind, and causes the mind to sever its connection from emptiness.
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Re: Videos and criticisms

Postby Ryan Rudolph » Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:45 am

Kevin,

If consciousness survived death then I would expect dead people to be able to communicate with us in a way like we are doing now. They've had long enough to figure out how to do it.


Perhaps there are metaphysical laws preventing such communication. Perhaps the laws of the universe don’t allow it. For instance: we have not been able to alter the laws of causality or any other laws of science with our technology. As it is the nature of technology to only work within the laws of the universe as they are. Moreover, it is highly unlikely for example that we could have a technology that alters the gravitational force because all life would probably cease in our universe if we had the ability to make such changes. It might be in the nature of technology to not have this ability, for our own safety.

If you don't know what empty space is, then it might not be empty space.


I think you are missing my bigger point, which is that enlightened consciousness abides in an unknowing emptiness, which is unknowable conceptually, and the latest scientific theories suggest that the stuff of the universe could actually be the same stuff of enlightened consciousness. Meaning, a vast unknowable emptiness is all there is. And we don’t know for certain if this essence is mortal, immortal – or if there are metaphysical laws beyond our world that govern its progression. There is a lot of uncertainty, and you’re tendency to brush it off Kevin is unsettling.

Here is some quotes from Socrates at his Trial, where he seems to have pondered metaphysics, the possibility of an afterlife, and so on, and it seems that he has given it quite a bit of thought. And from the evidence below, he doesn’t seem as certain as you - and he actually seems to prefer an afterlife, but based on his speech, this is not a man afraid of die.

Socrates attempts to reveal to the court that the soul is eternal and endures forever. He believes that it exists even before the person does. He explains that a person must bring the moral potential of his soul to actualization - to manifest the eternal goodness within, so that it gains power over the personality.

To begin, he tells them that he is not afraid of death. He says that emotions follow from knowledge, and since he has no knowledge of what death is, he has no feelings or emotions about death.

so it is illogical for him to be afraid of death when he knows nothing about it. "To fear death, gentleman, is no other than to think oneself wise when one is not, to think one knows what one does not know"

Socrates asserts that there is "good hope that death is a blessing" (Apology, 41). And he has two viewpoints on what death could be. He believes that death is either an eternal, dreamless sleep where the dead do not perceive anything, or death is when the soul gets relocated to another place.

To Socrates, the second possibility is the greater blessing because he will have the opportunity to go to a world where he can meet his predecessors and continue to examine and question people - to practice philosophy eternally. "I could spend my time testing and examining people there, as I do here, as to who among them is wise, and who thinks he is, but is not"
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Re: Videos and criticisms

Postby Kevin Solway » Tue Aug 19, 2008 3:14 am

Ryan Rudolph wrote:
If consciousness survived death then I would expect dead people to be able to communicate with us in a way like we are doing now. They've had long enough to figure out how to do it.

Perhaps there are metaphysical laws preventing such communication.

There is only cause and effect, and that's enough to work with.

If you don't know what empty space is, then it might not be empty space.

I think you are missing my bigger point, which is that enlightened consciousness abides in an unknowing emptiness

The emptiness of enlightenment is nothing whatsoever to do with empty space.

"Emptiness", in the Buddhist context, means "empty of inherent existence". It doesn't mean "empty" or "empty space".

the latest scientific theories suggest that the stuff of the universe could actually be the same stuff of enlightened consciousness.

Everything in the Universe is automatically the stuff of enlightened consciousness. The latest scientific theories don't tell us anything that wise people don't already know, and those theories don't tell us anything about ultimate reality that we can't work out from our ordinary everyday experience.

Socrates attempts to reveal to the court that the soul is eternal and endures forever.

I believe in an eternal soul, but as I've explained, the eternal soul is not consciousness.

To begin, he tells them that he is not afraid of death.

If you are wise you have no reason to fear death, even if you believe your consciousness will come to an end.

He says that emotions follow from knowledge, and since he has no knowledge of what death is, he has no feelings or emotions about death.

This is because even though consciousness might come to an end, there is still continuity. All "death" is really just a changing of form. It is rebirth. For example, you can be reborn as worm-food.
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Re: Videos and criticisms

Postby maestro » Tue Aug 19, 2008 4:04 am

Ryan Rudolph wrote:However, a belief in knowledge as reality, confuses the mind, and causes the mind to sever its connection from emptiness.


I think the term reality is misleading. There are appearances and there are models. The mind cannot escape modeling the appearances. A model is truthful to the degree it is accurate for the appearances.

To talk about reality is misleading, as if there were an abstract reality independent of the observer.

Emptiness is also based on appearances, like the emptiness of space, and it is a truthful model for the experiences that the mind can have. However using more sensitive instruments the appearance of the vaccum changes and so a model like the quantum fluctuation is more appropriate.
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Re: Videos and criticisms

Postby brokenhead » Tue Aug 19, 2008 4:34 am

Ryan Rudolph wrote:And in my opinion, that is a very strange and very mysterious predicament to born into against ones will, and it is difficult to rationalize a satisfying explanation of how this could be.

Ryan! No person has ever been born against his will. Duh.
Kevin Solway wrote:If consciousness survived death then I would expect dead people to be able to communicate with us in a way like we are doing now. They've had long enough to figure out how to do it.

Your conception of death is understandably mundane. Out of the blue, you would expect dead people to communicate with us if some part of them survived physical death. Why? That's not just narrow minded - it's illogically so. Does a butterfly linger around caterpillars?
No. If the dead starting communicating with me, I would change my tune.

Apart from one's memory of the deceased, I don't believe the dead influence or communicate with the living. But I would love them to make an exception in your case just so I could hear that new tune.
Ryan wrote:A field theory is only practical if it paints a picture that can be used for some useful purpose in reality. For instance: perhaps a field theory could help us understand a particular type of mechanical behavior, and we could use for some invention or something.

Have you ever seen a dog with a shock collar on as he runs into the invisible "fence"?
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Re: Videos and criticisms

Postby David Quinn » Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:36 am

Iolaus wrote:Iolaus: I am surprised you say this. What do you think is the nature of the infinite and of existence? Why do you think I fail to understand the nature of the infinite?

DQ: Because your desire to avoid the simplicty of truth infuses everything you say.

Iolaus: You quite often make these sweeping statements, with no content, and I wonder that you don't attempt to explain yourself. I think I understand your truth pretty well, but if I don't, I wonder what you think I don't understand.

All of it.


Now, what do you mean when you say you do not believe in matter?

If, as you claim, you understand my truth "pretty well", then you should already know this.


What is the nature of the infinite?

It isn't matter. It isn't consciousness. It isn't a spiritual essence. It is staring at you in this very moment.


Talk to us about the magic of spirituality. I don't know why you use words like spirituality. You do seem like a materialist to me.

A perception borne out of the religious fantasy-world you are currently in.

The magic of spirituality cannot be found and enjoyed until you divest yourself of all fantasy, religious or otherwise, and stand completely naked before reality. At the moment, you are swirling around in all sorts of pretty dresses, somehow believing this to be the path to reality.

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