Life after death

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

Re: Life after death

Postby Jamesh » Sat Aug 23, 2008 5:06 pm

One of the paradoxes of infinity, is that at all times one must be alive. Were this not to be the case then infinity would not be a reality.

If the physical universe is unbounded, then at any time there must exist an infinity of exact replicas of the configuration that is yourself at this precise time and at all times.

Therefore it doesn't matter if you die or not -the whole question of "life after death" becomes irrelevant.

Makes it hard to believe in infinity doesn't it, and quite frankly I don't believe in this sort of parallel infinity - not that I can justify this belief.
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Re: Life after death

Postby David Quinn » Sat Aug 23, 2008 5:10 pm

Alex Jacob wrote:"For this reason, just as we were able to correct the flaws in the Hubble space telescope, by computing what was causing the distortion, I think we know enough about what is causing the distortion in the teachings of Jesus to be able to do a good job of making a correction of sorts."

I do see your point, of course, but your 'reverse engineering' may not be accurate, and may not take into consideration certain possibilities that are not possible for you, not entertainable as possibilities. You will therefor reverse engineer him to be a Chinese sage of sorts, with a Zen teaching, and will disregard what may have been the major emphasis of the Jewish Jesus---the social commitment.

Is that in reference to passages like:

"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters - yes, even his own life - such a person cannot be my disciple." Luke 14: 26


"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." Matthew 7: 13


"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn 'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law', your enemies will be the members of your own household. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it." Matthew 10: 34


"Blessed are the solitary and elect, for you will find the Kingdom. For you are from it, and to it you will return." Thomas: 49


"Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life." Matthew 19: 29


"Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. Everyone will hate you because of me, but those who stand firm to the end will be saved." Matthew 10: 21


"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you." John 14: 18


"Whoever has come to understand the world has found only a corpse, and whoever has found a corpse is superior to the world." Thomas: 56


"Whoever finds himself is superior to the world." Thomas: 111

A Jewish, socially-committed Jesus indeed!

All these categories you cling to - Jewishness, Chinese sage, Zen master, etc - are nonsense categories. In the realm of spirit, culture doesn't come into the picture at all. A person is either truthful and comprehends the nature of Reality, or he doesn't. There is no such thing as a "Jewish understanding" or a "Chinese understanding". There is only understanding or ignorance - nothing else.

You'll never come to understand this point until you summon up the courage and leave behind the maze of smoke and mirrors that you continually hide in.

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Re: Life after death

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:05 pm

Alex Jacob wrote:Your interpretation seemed so shallow! I see this as having to do with unseen beings who cultivate us, who operate through our own consciousness in indescribable ways.

I don't think I gave an interpretation yet, I just summarized using the language of the parable.

But your "unseen beings" who operate in mysterious ways, to me that's a shallow insight, so totally exoteric, perhaps at best the first steps toward understanding causality or the web of interdependent arising. To you depth seems to be related to returning to a barely conscious grasp of the world where the unknown must be turned into hard working archons, some archetypal dimension full of pleroma.

Well, I'm sure it's a wonderful vision that gives you the shakes but there's so much more road to travel. But like with all growing up, one has to abandon the childish views and fantasies. Some of them might return later but now better understood in a larger context, purified. Others are now seen pure as product of our desires and attachments, dragging one down, eyes cast to the ground - tunnel vision.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Iolaus » Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:12 pm

Saith Kevin,

Alex wrote:(From Anna): "Jesus taught unconditional love, radical forgiveness, and man's reconciliation with the Father through understanding the goodness of God and through the quickening of the spiritual faculty through contact with the Holy Spirit."

Without understanding, all of that is just empty words. It is magical thinking, rather than mystical.


Or, it might be that my reading comprehension is considerably better than yours. Plus, I try not to make shit up.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Kevin Solway » Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:07 pm

Sorry Anna, I was quoting directly from Alex's post.
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Re: Life after death

Postby mansman » Sun Aug 24, 2008 4:06 am

Again amazed by America, this time with family and parenting.
You know the solution they use now to correct for so many cluless mothers (and sometimes fathers) with family out of control- tv education, always with foreign teachers! Always "nannies" from engilsh speaking UK, you know whY? I think because impossible to find Amrerican women who can show proper way to raise child! Wait, not stop there either, also from UK (hope you sit down) is specialist to train up the other American kids, American DOGS! Im not joking, it strue. Every few months there is new trainer or nanny on tv showing million of American families HOW incompetent and needy they are, if they teachable is another story, time will tell, maybe after 6 moths house is chaos again.
For me says very much about state of the states, if you honest and can see truth got to say that situation is horrendous! a complete disaster shielded by having plenty land and resource and health care and all busy working and taking pills to deal! To block from mind and push down where not have to admit and resolve.
Time to say thank you to good British brothers and sisters for support.
Americans to proud (ie foolish egos) to get help that REALLY need (10 x more) or from non-british authority.
Yes of course there are rare great families with smart parents here, well I think there are, got to be, right? But these keep away from crazy neighbors, or part of strict church.

Amazing to that many bad family think "ah, we are not special, everyone have problems and have disrespect kids, thats the new world all will work out dont worry, as long as keep out of jail its ok" (!!!!!!)
Yes but, is it true that because so many neighbors and friends also have serious problem and produce fuct-up adults that all is well and my family should not expect better harmony and success? Seem people "throw in towel" so severe is situation, hands tied to do anything big because people in power dont allow much change (improvement).
Seriously, to see I get sick in stomach. dont think I stay here much longer.
Its like a virus that more of less is inside brain of all people here, and kids smell it sometimes and resist become same, then revolt and be punished.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Ryan Rudolph » Sun Aug 24, 2008 10:45 am

Jamesh,

One of the paradoxes of infinity, is that at all times one must be alive. Were this not to be the case then infinity would not be a reality.

If the physical universe is unbounded, then at any time there must exist an infinity of exact replicas of the configuration that is yourself at this precise time and at all times.

Therefore it doesn't matter if you die or not -the whole question of "life after death" becomes irrelevant.

Makes it hard to believe in infinity doesn't it, and quite frankly I don't believe in this sort of parallel infinity - not that I can justify this belief.


No, brother universes do not have to have the same configuration as this universe. Each would be slightly different in a causal sense, resulting in different outcomes. For instance: In our brother universes, not all would produce life. And our galaxy wouldn’t exist in other brother universes, there would be slightly differently shaped galaxies with slightly different solar systems. The possibilities are endless.

Just think of it this way – a snowflake, and a tree never repeat in appearance, do you think a brother universe would take on the exact shape of our universe, when the causes that created it would have been much different than the causes that created this universe?
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Re: Life after death

Postby Ryan Rudolph » Sun Aug 24, 2008 10:53 am

And btw, Alex, there are no unseen beings cultivating through you in indescribable ways, snap out of it, although there appears to be one obscene being making some pretty wild claims….
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Re: Life after death

Postby Alex Jacob » Sun Aug 24, 2008 11:02 am

It seems to me, Diebert, that the more we investigate or uncover or open up to the nature of 'subjective connection to reality', meaning the personal perception and understanding of connection in an experiential sense, the less we can really be certain of very much. When one has a very developed intellect, it is the intellect that mediates the perception of one's existential relationship, and the 'doctrines' that come out of that carry with them and express all the modern angles of description, but I guess I wonder what they really reveal to us. On the other hand, when you 'merely scratch the surface' of that shell of intellectual understanding, which sometimes sounds like insistence, I have found that what lies underneath it is somewhat universal, quite subjective and mythological, and seems to place one more in an arena of theism than that of a rational atheism.

To refer to fructifying 'unseen beings' that operate in our background, or in our substrata, may seem to you to be 'exoteric' or simply run-of-the-mill, but it could be that it is more a description of a factual, holistic, psycho-spiritual 'truth'. And it also could reflect and express a spiritual and existential truth or 'reality'. You opt to act as an apologist for the Quinn and Solway (the Father and the Son, who knows wither Dan the Holy Spirit has gone off to, but most likely he preaches pithily to the denizens of cyberspace where the harvest of the faithful is surely bountiful), and never reveal your own thoughts on the matters that are discussed. But you don't seem unaware of the way that mythological and cosmological notions evolve and morph, yet remain strangely integral.

I don't at all see things like you do, obviously because I am a theist, and you could never, it would seem, share such a primitive view, such an outmoded view. For you, to work out language that supports a 'conceptual pathway' to idea of this sort is regressive, but my own view is that the theistic understanding is forward-looking, has to be completely revamped, and in any case is likely never to go away, which indicates that these 'ideas' must be worked with, or worked out. I am acutely aware that most popular theism and the 'theology' that supports it is little more than outright superstition, a way not to have to think deeply about things, and a kind of 'graveyard of meaning', an archaic language-heap. Also, these theistic and pseudo-theological retreats are an area where many nut-jobs take refuge. But though that is true, I don't think it diminishes the relevance of relationship to God, that is, to a potency one faces in the nakedness of one's being, in an experiential sense, in the course of living. For Solway and Quinn this is the 'God' of 'the totality' that has certain characteristics, and Quinn and Solway, in fact, operate with a metaphysic. When pressed, they are forced to reveal it, but then they recoil from it, sew up their lips, get cagey even, and avoid the conversation. Nevertheless a similar 'story' is there, and the 'story' functions, provides guidelines, a structure to hang things on.

You speak (quite arrogantly, which places you very much in the fold of the True QRS Believers, many of whom evince that primary, proud, juvenile, boyish trait) of 'more road to travel', and this 'road' of course can only lead to the glades and pastures where the QRS-tian believers ruminate. The 'road' will lead to wherever you are, or aren't as the case may be. But I do not at all see you-plural as being in such a desirable place, to tell the truth, and I certainly don't want to imitate you. I state my agreements, and they are not few, but on some issues we are simply in different camps---permanently and irreconcilably from the look of it.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Ryan Rudolph » Sun Aug 24, 2008 11:33 am

Alex,

the less we can really be certain of very much


but we can be certain that there are no beings working through us. That is absurd!

but it could be that it is more a description of a factual, holistic, psycho-spiritual 'truth'.


The problem is that you believe in these things for emotional reasons, reality as it is isn’t enough for you, you gotta sugar coat it with all these little spirit friends of yours.

Moreover, I cannot disprove that their isn't beings from another dimension that exist, but guess what? if they exist, they don’t care about you in the sense that they'd be going about their daily business, they don’t care anymore than any other sentient being on this planet. So why should you care? It is speculation, and nothing more. And your intuition can’t tell you crap…because your intuition includes many unconscious longings and yearnings that you want to be true, regardless of whether they are true or not.

You are rejecting 'what is' in favor of something much more magical...How do people treat each other in this world? mundane interaction.. that's all, so deeper dimensions would be more of the same if they in fact exist, which cannot be proven or disproven.

You need to get your mind out of the magical clouds, and into the mundane ordinary.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Carl G » Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:36 pm

Ryan Rudolph wrote:Alex,

The problem is that you believe in these things for emotional reasons, reality as it is isn’t enough for you, you gotta sugar coat it with all these little spirit friends of yours.

...

You need to get your mind out of the magical clouds, and into the mundane ordinary.

That's right, Alex, repeat after us:

I, Alex, believe in these things for emotional reasons. Reality isn't enough for me; I've had to sugar coat it with all these little spiritual friends of mine. I need to get my mind out of the magical clouds, and into the mundane ordinary!

Furthermore, we cannot prove there are no beings from other dimensions existing, but dude, wake up and smell the coffee: if they exist it is certain they don’t care about you enough to be thinking about you while going about their daily business. I don't know how we can know this for sure -- indeed it is speculation -- but I am sure they don’t care anymore than any other sentient being on this planet. Which isn't a lot, right? So why should you care? Before you get to your song and dance response understand this: your intuition can’t tell you shit… (but mine can) because your intuition includes many unconscious longings and yearnings that you want to be true, regardless of whether they are true or not.


Makes sense. Hope this helps, Alex.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Alex Jacob » Sun Aug 24, 2008 1:45 pm

My point, or one of them, is that 'certainty' is a very difficult thing to have when it comes to our 'inner world', to our psychology, and to a definitive understanding, within those inner, subjective realms, but also possibly in respect to the nature and 'purpose' of the entire reality in which we find ourselves.

I don't have a precise definition for 'the spiritual' (anymore), mostly I would use the word 'spiritual' to refer to the higher attainments of consciousness, and to the more exalted ideas about what man can be, but I cannot rule out, based only on my own experience, the sense or knowledge of 'spiritual beings' that interact with us. Clearly, such ideas are closely linked to any sort of 'theism' that exists in this world, and since I am a theist, I entertain not only those ideas but those experiences.

I find it interesting that people of a certain ilk, or division, deride this whole level of experience, and in that group we find you, Ryan, people like Hitchens, other outright atheists, but oddly enough you can't quite put Solway or Quinn in that category. I pushed on Solway for some definitions that he cautiously avoids, sensing the difficult terrain they'd put him in. Better to 'answer' the questions as a crafty lawyer, timidly and rodent-like, which is to say not to answer them at all.

What goes on in our own minds---is that 'unreal'? We all know that it can be delusional, and we recognize delusional people, and we also know that superstitious religion hold quite a pocket of irrational---and I would certainly use the word delusional---people. But is the whole notion of God, a creator-spirit, or even a 'culture' of advanced beings who instruct or guide or 'cultivate' through unseen means, is it impossible? What about psychological beings? Dream figures, or the beings that speak to one in a vision? What is that being and where is it taking place? Are we so absolutely sure exactly and of what precisely we are composed? The only way to definitively say 'no' is to define a pure materialism, with epiphenomena solely a produce of brain-matter, and of course there is a school of thinking and seeing that does exactly this, but according to Solway and Quinn this is not their school. They have a God, that is, all that exists, that is there, staring back at you. It is not matter, it is not spirit, it is not consciousness, but the definition is left open. And so is a description of 'psychology', the 'psyche', and in fact what exactly we are. Solway and Quinn clearly have a 'spirituality', they have God and the soul, but always on their own terms, that they define, administer, defend and control.

"The problem is that you believe in these things for emotional reasons, reality as it is isn’t enough for you, you gotta sugar coat it with all these little spirit friends of yours."

That is really a trite argument, Ryan. My only response is to say 'if it were only so simple'. Atheistic positions---and I interpret you as an atheist though you are free to define yourself as you may, I can't say I understand---always seem to me reductionist, vastly simplifying, satisfying to a simple sort of mind. For example, Corliss Lamont in 'The Illusion of Immortality' (and the 'father' of American 'humanism') does a masterful job of disassembling the possibility of immortality and in essence the theistic position, but it is so grossly simplistic the way he does it, and it excludes so many theorists who come at a definition of theism through inventive and creative angles. All this has to be glossed over with arguments like yours. 'Emotional investiture, sugar-coating of reality', etc. It is not that simple, Ryan.

"if they exist [spiritual being, however one might define it], they don’t care about you in the sense that they'd be going about their daily business, they don’t care anymore than any other sentient being on this planet."

One of the first rules of dealing with crazy, hallucinating people, is you should never agree with any of their hallucinations as a therapeutic strategy. For you, 'spiritual beings' don't exist, or can't exist, so you should stick to your guns.

As I define them, such spiritual beings have a kind of work that they perform within this created world, this platform where conscious life exists. Their whole endeavor is to raise up other beings, other consciousnesses, who can be similarly responsible as they are, and who teach their 'subjects' to do what they do, albeit on other levels. The parable spoke of a 'harvest' after seeds had been sowed. It is not at all so outlandish since this happens in our normal reality anyway. Can I so definitively say 'where I end and where you begin'? Where the human ends and begins? Where consciousness ends and begins?

There are people who are meditators and who have come into contact with 'higher beings' or 'inner guides' in their meditation. What happens there, Ryan? Is that delusional? Psychological? Spiritual? Is it to be cured, encouraged, or reinterpreted? We clearly know how some or even many people speak of such things and who seem off the mark, uncentered, spaced-out, New Age, or what have you. But what about in the best cases? Many creative people, some 'geniuses', describe their 'muse' in terms that you wouldn't like.

Does the Canadian philosopher living in his parent basement decide all matters of such import?
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Re: Life after death

Postby Kevin Solway » Sun Aug 24, 2008 5:39 pm

Alex Jacob wrote:My point, or one of them, is that 'certainty' is a very difficult thing to have when it comes to our 'inner world', to our psychology, and to a definitive understanding, within those inner, subjective realms

To the contrary, the inner world is the only place you can have certainty.

If something is meaningful to you, are you uncertain that it is meaningful to you? And if something appears to you, are you uncertain that it has appeared to you? And if you realize that what you are experiencing might only be in your imagination, and that it might have no physical reality, are you uncertain of that realization?

Better to 'answer' the questions as a crafty lawyer, timidly and rodent-like, which is to say not to answer them at all.

Which question have I not answered? I have sought to answer all your questions clearly.

What goes on in our own minds---is that 'unreal'?

What goes on in our minds is simply what goes on in our minds, and is real as such.

But is the whole notion of God, a creator-spirit, or even a 'culture' of advanced beings who instruct or guide or 'cultivate' through unseen means, is it impossible?

It's not impossible that there is an alien creator being who goes by the name of "God". But it's impossible for that alien creator to be without a cause.

In other words, it's impossible for their to be a conscious creator being who is without a cause. So if that's what you mean by "God", then yes, it's impossible.

What about psychological beings? Dream figures, or the beings that speak to one in a vision? What is that being and where is it taking place?

You said so yourself, "Dream figures". That should give you a clue as to where it is taking place. The Australian aborigines have their "dreamtime". Children have their fairytales. Adults have their science fiction, and their music, and their soap operas. All these things are meaningful in their own way.

The danger is when we start thinking "that which is not", as Swift's Houyhnhms would say. The danger is when we lie, or when we think irrationally, or illogically.

Are we so absolutely sure exactly and of what precisely we are composed? The only way to definitively say 'no' is to define a pure materialism

If by "pure materialism" you mean science, then it can't tell you anything at all with certainty.

They have a God, that is, all that exists, that is there, staring back at you. It is not matter, it is not spirit, it is not consciousness, but the definition is left open.

Not really. If it's not matter, and not spirit, and not consciousness, then that narrows it down quite a bit.

As I define them, such spiritual beings have a kind of work that they perform within this created world, this platform where conscious life exists. Their whole endeavor is to raise up other beings, other consciousnesses . . .

Yes, like "Big Bird" on Sesame street.

There are people who are meditators and who have come into contact with 'higher beings' or 'inner guides' in their meditation. What happens there, Ryan? Is that delusional?

It need not be any more delusional than when a child encounters Big Bird.
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Re: Videos and criticisms

Postby kissaki » Sun Aug 24, 2008 6:12 pm

Ryan Rudolph wrote: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


This is completely and utterly wrong. Matter, speaking strictly from a scientific point of view, may be extremely porous, however, space is not fundamentally empty. The "latest scientific theories," to use your phrase, say that space is constantly creating particle and anti-particle pairs and then annihilating them. This happens at every point in space, and when I say point I mean point densities of 1.6 × 10−35 meters. This is not just a hypothesis or mathematical trickery used for calculation corrections either. Carefully designed empirical experiments actually show that this quantum foam exerts measurable force. Space is actually quite the opposite of empty. It is literally creating and destroying every moment in unfathomable densities, amounts, and speeds.

If you're going to use science as support for your philosophical arguments at least make sure you know what the science is.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Ryan Rudolph » Sun Aug 24, 2008 10:24 pm

Alex,

As I define them, such spiritual beings have a kind of work that they perform within this created world, this platform where conscious life exists. Their whole endeavor is to raise up other beings, other consciousnesses, who can be similarly responsible as they are, and who teach their 'subjects' to do what they do, albeit on other levels. The parable spoke of a 'harvest' after seeds had been sowed. It is not at all so outlandish since this happens in our normal reality anyway. Can I so definitively say 'where I end and where you begin'? Where the human ends and begins? Where consciousness ends and begins?


But that’s our job. You and I. I attained this state with my own blood and sweat, through other people pointing out my errors of thinking, and by myself observing delusions in others – OTHER PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD ALEX! NOT ANOTHER WORLD…

There are people who are meditators and who have come into contact with 'higher beings' or 'inner guides' in their meditation. What happens there, Ryan? Is that delusional? Psychological? Spiritual? Is it to be cured, encouraged, or reinterpreted? We clearly know how some or even many people speak of such things and who seem off the mark, uncentered, spaced-out, New Age, or what have you. But what about in the best cases? Many creative people, some 'geniuses', describe their 'muse' in terms that you wouldn't like.


These people also make money off their ‘visions’, which calls their subjective integrity into question. Show me one person that is doing this sort of thing for free for people, you won’t find very many or any for that matter. What does that tell you?
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Re: Life after death

Postby Ryan Rudolph » Sun Aug 24, 2008 10:30 pm

Kissaki,

It is literally creating and destroying every moment in unfathomable densities, amounts, and speeds.


They are all just empty appearances though. All things are empty; and the behavior of things is where all scientific measurement and observation comes from. However, if all things are empty, then all matter is empty as well, so what is created and destroyed constantly? Nothing, this world is a dance of emptiness…. A theatre of the mind.

If you're going to use science as support for your philosophical arguments at least make sure you know what the science is.


If you’re going to get arrogant with me, you better be absolutely certain that you're correct... ; )
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Re: Life after death

Postby Kelly Jones » Sun Aug 24, 2008 10:37 pm

Kissaki wrote:The "latest scientific theories," to use your phrase, say that space is constantly creating particle and anti-particle pairs and then annihilating them. This happens at every point in space, and when I say point I mean point densities of 1.6 × 10−35 meters. This is not just a hypothesis or mathematical trickery used for calculation corrections either. Carefully designed empirical experiments actually show that this quantum foam exerts measurable force. Space is actually quite the opposite of empty. It is literally creating and destroying every moment in unfathomable densities, amounts, and speeds.

I'm no quantum mechanist, but I very much doubt any scientist would consciously claim that space itself creates and destroys particles. They would probably say something like 'the quantum mechanism is responsible for...' or some such (equally ridiculous) thing. I don't think the average scientist would use logical truths.

So both you and Ryan are right. Empty space (i.e. not-solid-matter) is responsible for particles (i.e. 'solid-matter').
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Re: Life after death

Postby Kevin Solway » Sun Aug 24, 2008 10:37 pm

Ryan I think you're confused between empty space and things being empty of inherent existence. They're not the same thing. Even if there were no empty space at all things would still be empty of inherent existence.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Ryan Rudolph » Sun Aug 24, 2008 10:59 pm

Kevin,

Ryan I think you're confused between empty space and things being empty of inherent existence. They're not the same thing. Even if there were no empty space at all things would still be empty of inherent existence.


Okay, lets go through this - through empirical investigation one can clearly observe that all appearances of matter are 99% empty space. And then you bring up a second proposition that all things lack inherent existence. However, a third proposition that I could bring up is that all things are empty in their essence.

Now, I believe that proposition 1 and 3 imply the same point, while proposition 2 is pointing to a slightly different thing.

To summarize: All things are dependent on other things for their existence, and a thing cannot arise without its past causes. However, all things are empty in their fundamental essence, which implies that all matter is fundamentally empty too. There is nothing concrete there. The mind that abides in an unknowing state of emptiness creates a sane window to the world, but the world itself is fundamentally empty, like the mind, and that is why life remains mysterious in a certain context because we don’t know much about what this emptiness is.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Kevin Solway » Mon Aug 25, 2008 12:06 am

Ryan Rudolph wrote:through empirical investigation one can clearly observe that all appearances of matter are 99% empty space. And then you bring up a second proposition that all things lack inherent existence. However, a third proposition that I could bring up is that all things are empty in their essence.

Now, I believe that proposition 1 and 3 imply the same point, while proposition 2 is pointing to a slightly different thing.

That sounds extremely vague. You're saying that 1 and 3 are sort of the same, but 2 is sort of different.

You can't do anything with that.

What does "empty in their fundamental essence" mean?

If a bucket is 1% full of something valuable, and 99% empty, and the 99% empty space is essential for the 1% valuable stuff, then I wouldn't say it is empty in its fundamental essence.

To summarize: All things are dependent on other things for their existence, and a thing cannot arise without its past causes. However, all things are empty in their fundamental essence, which implies that all matter is fundamentally empty too.

You need to explain what you mean by "empty in their fundamental essence", and then prove the fact that it is so.

There is nothing concrete there.

In what way exactly? You previously said that things are only 99% empty, but now you're saying it's 100%. So there doesn't appear to be any consistency with the argument.

. . . we don’t know much about what this emptiness is.

Unless you can define clearly what you mean by "emptiness" there's no possible way we can know anything about it.
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Re: Life after death

Postby brokenhead » Mon Aug 25, 2008 1:05 am

Ryan Rudolph wrote:To summarize: All things are dependent on other things for their existence, and a thing cannot arise without its past causes. However, all things are empty in their fundamental essence, which implies that all matter is fundamentally empty too. There is nothing concrete there. The mind that abides in an unknowing state of emptiness creates a sane window to the world, but the world itself is fundamentally empty, like the mind, and that is why life remains mysterious in a certain context because we don’t know much about what this emptiness is.

I think I'm with Kevin on this one. That the matter with which we are familiar is 99% "empty" doesn't really mean anything. It is the 1% with which we are familiar and possesses all the properties that make it familiar to us. Matter that is nearly 100% "nonempty," such as a black hole, has properties that we can only guess at and is not familiar in the least.

EM fields and their associated forces make our largely "empty" world very familiar and highly predictable.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Ryan Rudolph » Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:43 am

Kevin,

In what way exactly? You previously said that things are only 99% empty, but now you're saying it's 100%. So there doesn't appear to be any consistency with the argument.


Let me be more clear – its more like 99.99 repeating forever % empty because as I said when you zoom in on what appears to be 1% matter, that is 99.99% repeating forever empty space as well. My point is that empirical evidence at the quantum level basically proves the fallacy of believing in a materialistic mindset, which is just as anti-enlightenment as a new age mindset, or a Christian mindset, or whatever other ideology the mind hopes to cling onto to.

Emptiness as it most fundamental level cannot be understood with abstraction. Or anther way - you cannot define emptiness, and expect the definition of emptiness to be the thing that you are experiencing. Logic cannot contain it. And if you believe otherwise Kevin then that is where there is a serious disagreement between you and I.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Kevin Solway » Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:10 pm

Ryan Rudolph wrote:My point is that empirical evidence at the quantum level basically proves the fallacy of believing in a materialistic mindset

I wouldn't depend on empirical arguments to battle the materialistic mindset if I were you, since empirical arguments are always uncertain. You will find yourself in the middle of a minefield, and wishing you hadn't gone in the direction you did.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Ryan Rudolph » Mon Aug 25, 2008 11:11 pm

Kevin,

I wouldn't depend on empirical arguments to battle the materialistic mindset if I were you, since empirical arguments are always uncertain. You will find yourself in the middle of a minefield, and wishing you hadn't gone in the direction you did.


I don’t think that’s a strong counter-argument at all. I think we can rely on repeated empirical evidence and be very certain of what we’re observing. For instance: if you tried to tell me that the earth is shaped like a disc and that the sun revolves around it, and that we are in the center of the universe, then I’d tell you, you’re incorrect with almost absolute certainty.

That is what repeated empirical evidence does for us – over time it increases our conviction of how things appear to us. Empirical evidence allows us to map appearances, but at the quantum level, empirical evidence is telling us that those appearances are a material fiction…and that is just plain odd. Face it - we live in a queer universe, so you might as well stop resisting, and switch teams Kevin… ; )
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Re: Life after death

Postby Kevin Solway » Tue Aug 26, 2008 12:28 am

Ryan Rudolph wrote:I think we can rely on repeated empirical evidence and be very certain of what we’re observing.

It could happen that, tomorrow, someone discovers that what you thought was "empty space" is in fact teeming with previously undetected and extremely small particles. That would blow your ideas about "empty space" out of the water.

at the quantum level, empirical evidence is telling us that those appearances are a material fiction…and that is just plain odd. Face it - we live in a queer universe, so you might as well stop resisting, and switch teams Kevin

Everything happens by cause and effect, so there's nothing "queer" about our Universe, not even in the quantum realm.
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