Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Is the mind the same as the body? What is consciousness? Can machines have it?

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Atla
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Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Atla » Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:44 pm

Londoner wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:08 pm
Atla wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:32 pm
Me: Really? So you do not distinguish between your experiences in your dreams and your experiences when you are awake? No way of telling the two apart?

Of course not, I have no idea what you mean? They are very different but of the same nature, same kind.
If you are aware that your dreams and experience when you are awake are 'very different' then you do know what I mean.

So, if all experiences are 'of the same nature', why would some be 'very different'?
Me: And if you were doing a bit of scientific research, you would hesitate to include results you had imagined?

What do you mean?
If all our experiences are all of the same nature, than if I imagine something why can't I include it as a scientific observation?

Whereas if we do discriminate, then we are discriminating between the world described by science and the world of imagination. But then we would have introduced a dualism, which you don't like.

I think your opposition to dualism has become an acceptance that things are 'very different' , but not so different as to be actually different!
Some things you imagine can be used in science, others don't. What about it

Science has methods, standards, but the fact that science has these does not split reality into two, why do you think it does.

Do you understand what backwards reasoning is?

Plus your so-called world of "imagination" is also part of science since 100 years, since observer-independent reality was refuted

When does "different" become "different enough" for you that it suddenly makes a magic jump and becomes another substance?

You don't understand anything

Your questions make no sense

What are you talking about

Atla
Posts: 124
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:27 am

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Atla » Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:57 pm

thought addict wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:34 pm
Atla wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:55 am
thought addict wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:35 am
If you take the view that there is some kind of physical (or external) world, then there clearly are two kinds of experiences.
The first-person-view is not just "yours", it is universal. The first-person-view means that we are reality itself, in "first person", what else could we be.
If one person does not possess their own first person view then do you believe there is only one first person view shared by all brains?

Are you a solipsist that believes there is only one mind?
There is only one first person view, shared by all brains/minds and also shared by everything else in reality, because all that IS reality. It's not literally a view as in vision, it just means that we are reality itself.

What else would we be. I don't see a reason to assume that we are outside reality, looking in. Descartes did for some reason.

There is only one reality and we are it. There are no separations. But I don't think I can be a solipsist, when I don't believe in mental-minds, I however fully believe that you are also real, and that goes for your brain/mind too.

Londoner
Posts: 762
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:47 am

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Londoner » Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:07 pm

Atla wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:44 pm

Some things you imagine can be used in science, others don't. What about it

Science has methods, standards, but the fact that science has these does not split reality into two, why do you think it does.
You use the word 'reality'. As I keep explaining, science does not do metaphysics. Science deals only with measurable phenomena.
Do you understand what backwards reasoning is?

Plus your so-called world of "imagination" is also part of science since 100 years, since observer-independent reality was refuted
You keep repeating that last sentence, yet you do not believe it yourself, since you agree that the nature of empirical experiences and dreams/imagination are 'very different'.
When does "different" become "different enough" for you that it suddenly makes a magic jump and becomes another substance?
Yet again, we are not doing metaphysics. I do not think any type of consciousness is a mystical 'substance'. But perhaps you do? (See below).
You don't understand anything

Your questions make no sense

What are you talking about
Let us try another angle. What do you understand by 'consciousness'? Given the title of the thread, it seems a relevant question. Now, I understand that you believe rocks have consciousness. In order to understand what you mean by this, let us imagine two people are looking at a particular rock. One of them says; 'That rock is conscious'. The other says 'No it isn't'

How would you say they could resolve this disagreement?

thought addict
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:47 am

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by thought addict » Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:32 pm

Atla wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:57 pm
There is only one first person view, shared by all brains/minds and also shared by everything else in reality, because all that IS reality. It's not literally a view as in vision, it just means that we are reality itself.
There is only one hotel, shared by all guests in the world and also shared by all other people in the world, because that IS the world. It's not literally a hotel as in people needing to pay to stay there; it just means that hotels are the world itself.
Atla wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:57 pm
What else would we be. I don't see a reason to assume that we are outside reality, looking in. Descartes did for some reason.
What else would a hotel be? I don't see a reason to assume that hotels are outside the rest of the world, enclosing their guests. The hotel industry did for some reason.
Atla wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:57 pm
There is only one reality and we are it. There are no separations. But I don't think I can be a solipsist, when I don't believe in mental-minds, I however fully believe that you are also real, and that goes for your brain/mind too.
There is only one hotel and every guest is in it. There are no separations between different hotels.

My point is that there's nothing bad or crazy about defining strong separations between objects. It's a way of thinking that can improve understanding rather than complicate it. Sometimes the unified view is the more puzzling one. In some contexts it can even be inconsistent and wrong.

Belinda
Posts: 1566
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Belinda » Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:36 pm

thought addict wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:34 pm
Atla wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:55 am
thought addict wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:35 am
If you take the view that there is some kind of physical (or external) world, then there clearly are two kinds of experiences.
The first-person-view is not just "yours", it is universal. The first-person-view means that we are reality itself, in "first person", what else could we be.
If one person does not possess their own first person view then do you believe there is only one first person view shared by all brains?

Are you a solipsist that believes there is only one mind?
Lacking the clarity that the proper nomenclature would permit, Atla sometimes writes like a substance idealist, or even as you suggest a solipsist. Sometimes Atla writes like a dual-aspect Spinozan. It seems that what Atla is consistently opposed to is Cartesian dualism, and this latter I personally endorse.

I do applaud what Atla has managed to write without undergoing what he obviously needs which is professional instruction in philosophy or even professional advice on which introductory book to study.

Atla
Posts: 124
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:27 am

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Atla » Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:38 pm

Londoner wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:07 pm
You use the word 'reality'. As I keep explaining, science does not do metaphysics. Science deals only with measurable phenomena.
And since the observer-independent reality, everything falls under measurable.
Besides dividing reality into mental and physical is as much metaphysics as it gets.
You keep repeating that last sentence, yet you do not believe it yourself, since you agree that the nature of empirical experiences and dreams/imagination are 'very different'.
No, I said the opposite, that they have the same nature, that there is only one kind of experience.
Yet again, we are not doing metaphysics. I do not think any type of consciousness is a mystical 'substance'. But perhaps you do? (See below).
We are always doing metaphysics, it's not even possible not to.
But you definitely seem to think that your concepts, imaginations have a world of their own,
Let us try another angle. What do you understand by 'consciousness'? Given the title of the thread, it seems a relevant question. Now, I understand that you believe rocks have consciousness. In order to understand what you mean by this, let us imagine two people are looking at a particular rock. One of them says; 'That rock is conscious'. The other says 'No it isn't'

How would you say they could resolve this disagreement?
Consciousness can mean like 5-10 different things depending on context. You guys keep mixing several of them together, and then keep switching and stretching meanings randomly, and I try to adjust to that.

By consciousness I primarily mean the capacity for experience (to put it dualistically) or simply that experience is happening, that there is experience (to put it more nondualistically).

The Western delusion is that minds have experience. The truth is that experience is universal.

Atla
Posts: 124
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:27 am

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Atla » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:01 pm

Belinda wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:36 pm
thought addict wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:34 pm
Atla wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:55 am

The first-person-view is not just "yours", it is universal. The first-person-view means that we are reality itself, in "first person", what else could we be.
If one person does not possess their own first person view then do you believe there is only one first person view shared by all brains?

Are you a solipsist that believes there is only one mind?
Lacking the clarity that the proper nomenclature would permit, Atla sometimes writes like a substance idealist, or even as you suggest a solipsist. Sometimes Atla writes like a dual-aspect Spinozan. It seems that what Atla is consistently opposed to is Cartesian dualism, and this latter I personally endorse.

I do applaud what Atla has managed to write without undergoing what he obviously needs which is professional instruction in philosophy or even professional advice on which introductory book to study.
Yeah knowing the proper nomenclature would help. I'm always trying to convey nondualist ideas in the dual context that I think the other person is having at that moment.
I'm not sure I could read such books, they would probably cause some mental problems for me, as I have already adjusted to nondualism. Besides I already solved all philosophical questions, and I don't really care about philosophy.

Atla
Posts: 124
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:27 am

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Atla » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:11 pm

thought addict wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:32 pm
Atla wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:57 pm
There is only one first person view, shared by all brains/minds and also shared by everything else in reality, because all that IS reality. It's not literally a view as in vision, it just means that we are reality itself.
There is only one hotel, shared by all guests in the world and also shared by all other people in the world, because that IS the world. It's not literally a hotel as in people needing to pay to stay there; it just means that hotels are the world itself.
Atla wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:57 pm
What else would we be. I don't see a reason to assume that we are outside reality, looking in. Descartes did for some reason.
What else would a hotel be? I don't see a reason to assume that hotels are outside the rest of the world, enclosing their guests. The hotel industry did for some reason.
Atla wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:57 pm
There is only one reality and we are it. There are no separations. But I don't think I can be a solipsist, when I don't believe in mental-minds, I however fully believe that you are also real, and that goes for your brain/mind too.
There is only one hotel and every guest is in it. There are no separations between different hotels.

My point is that there's nothing bad or crazy about defining strong separations between objects. It's a way of thinking that can improve understanding rather than complicate it. Sometimes the unified view is the more puzzling one. In some contexts it can even be inconsistent and wrong.
I think you missed what I was trying to say. I was talking about the ever-present first person view, which is at the heart of the consciousness problem, and appears to be a very real ontological (is that the right word?) phenomenon, that we somehow can never pinpoint. I don't see how your example is a parallel to that, it seems to be epistemological (I hope this is the right word).

Atla
Posts: 124
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:27 am

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Atla » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:35 pm

Anyway I described everything as well as I can right now. If some of you get into nondualism, you will gradually realize how I meant what I meant. One can learn nondual thinking from Alan Watts, if you can ignore his life-is-play-and-rainbows crap.

I was bored so I thought I'd philosophize a little. Thanks everyone for the debate.
Last edited by Atla on Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Belinda
Posts: 1566
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Belinda » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:38 pm

Atla wrote:
Besides I already solved all philosophical questions, and I don't really care about philosophy.
Atla is perhaps the new resident joker.

thought addict
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:47 am

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by thought addict » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:23 pm

Atla wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:11 pm
thought addict wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:32 pm
Atla wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:57 pm
There is only one first person view, shared by all brains/minds and also shared by everything else in reality, because all that IS reality. It's not literally a view as in vision, it just means that we are reality itself.
There is only one hotel, shared by all guests in the world and also shared by all other people in the world, because that IS the world. It's not literally a hotel as in people needing to pay to stay there; it just means that hotels are the world itself.
Atla wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:57 pm
What else would we be. I don't see a reason to assume that we are outside reality, looking in. Descartes did for some reason.
What else would a hotel be? I don't see a reason to assume that hotels are outside the rest of the world, enclosing their guests. The hotel industry did for some reason.
Atla wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:57 pm
There is only one reality and we are it. There are no separations. But I don't think I can be a solipsist, when I don't believe in mental-minds, I however fully believe that you are also real, and that goes for your brain/mind too.
There is only one hotel and every guest is in it. There are no separations between different hotels.

My point is that there's nothing bad or crazy about defining strong separations between objects. It's a way of thinking that can improve understanding rather than complicate it. Sometimes the unified view is the more puzzling one. In some contexts it can even be inconsistent and wrong.
I think you missed what I was trying to say. I was talking about the ever-present first person view, which is at the heart of the consciousness problem, and appears to be a very real ontological (is that the right word?) phenomenon, that we somehow can never pinpoint. I don't see how your example is a parallel to that, it seems to be epistemological (I hope this is the right word).
To my mind, when you say "we are reality itself" and when I also think you say "one first person view [...] IS reality", you are redefining the terms "reality" and "first person view" to remove all major separations and differences between their meanings. This is what I understand to be your non-dualist view. Is that correct? I suppose you are implying that what dualists see as separations are some kind of illusions, yes?

My hotel analogy was admittedly an absurd example but I was trying to show how classifying what we experience into distinct, separate entities can be useful and does not have to be something to be avoided. Avoiding separation is OK too, but I don't think it's fair to claim it solves a Hard Problem unless you also explain why those separations are inappropriate.
Atla wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:57 pm
Thanks everyone for the debate.
You're welcome. :)

Londoner
Posts: 762
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:47 am

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Londoner » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:08 pm

Atla wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:38 pm

And since the observer-independent reality, everything falls under measurable
.

That is not English.
Besides dividing reality into mental and physical is as much metaphysics as it gets.
I do not know what you mean by 'reality'. I do not think you know what I mean by 'metaphysics'
Me: You keep repeating that last sentence, yet you do not believe it yourself, since you agree that the nature of empirical experiences and dreams/imagination are 'very different'.

No, I said the opposite, that they have the same nature, that there is only one kind of experience.
No, you said both. They have the 'same nature' - but also they are 'very different'. That is why it is hard to understand what you mean.
We are always doing metaphysics, it's not even possible not to.
But you definitely seem to think that your concepts, imaginations have a world of their own
You do not really believe I have said any such thing. You are just repeating this to avoid engaging with what I have said.
By consciousness I primarily mean the capacity for experience (to put it dualistically) or simply that experience is happening, that there is experience (to put it more nondualistically).
It would be helpful if you could just write it one way, and that clearly. How are we to understand that you 'put it dualistically', when we gather you don't accept dualism?

So to move to the second part of the sentence, I gather 'consciousness' for you means 'there is experience'. So what you mean by 'consciousness' is what you mean by 'experience'. OK; then what do you mean by 'experience'?
The Western delusion is that minds have experience. The truth is that experience is universal.
East or west, if 'experience is 'universal', and if 'universal' means that everything is 'experience', then the word 'experience' would be meaningless.

That is why I originally posed the question about how we would resolve a dispute over whether a rock was 'conscious' or not. In the light of what you have written, we will rephrase that and imagine the dispute is about whether 'experience is happening' in the rock. One person says it is, the other says it isn't. If 'experience is happening' means something, we ought to be able to say how their disagreement could be resolved.

thought addict
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:47 am

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by thought addict » Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:59 pm

Atla wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:35 pm
Anyway I described everything as well as I can right now. If some of you get into nondualism, you will gradually realize how I meant what I meant. One can learn nondual thinking from Alan Watts, if you can ignore his life-is-play-and-rainbows crap.
Thanks for the reference. I've just read some online articles on non-dualism. Most of them reference ancient eastern philosophy and eastern religion. Advaita Vedanta is repeatedly mentioned. The core ideas seem to precede science and to me appear primarily religious. The key principle from the articles I read seems to be of reality having a single underlying substrate, in some cases to the extent that some non-dualists do consider self and physics to be illusions. Ego death and the Buddhist Nirvana are also involved for some non-dualists.

I also read about Alan Watts who I gather attempted to ground it in a more modern context and reconcile it with science.
In several of his later publications, especially Beyond Theology and The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are, Watts put forward a worldview, drawing on Hinduism, Chinese philosophy, pantheism or panentheism, and modern science, in which he maintains that the whole universe consists of a cosmic Self playing hide-and-seek (Lila); hiding from itself (Maya) by becoming all the living and non-living things in the universe and forgetting what it really is – the upshot being that we are all IT in disguise. In this worldview, Watts asserts that our conception of ourselves as an "ego in a bag of skin," or "skin-encapsulated ego" is a myth; the entities we call the separate "things" are merely aspects or features of the whole.
Aside from the fact that I don't find purely religious ideas particularly valuable in my own exploration of philosophy, I still do not find this view particularly satisfying. It doesn't matter to me whether entities exist on some underlying level as a unified whole so long as I can still draw distinctions between them. If they exist as aspects of a whole, then I still have many questions to answer over the nature of those aspects. It's the variation and the complexity in reality that is what makes it intellectually interesting to me.

On the other hand, to say something in its favor, this idea of a single consciousness "playing hide-and-seek" jumping between each and every living thing may have some merit and is awfully similar to the idea I mentioned in this thread by Your Construct: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=14600&p=336353#p336353. Although there's no evidence for it (unless you count Occam's Razor), it's certainly possible that there is only one conscious experiencer that iterates over all minds one instant at a time, carrying no memories from one to another. That idea on its own is still perfectly compatible with dualism though, which is nice.

Atla
Posts: 124
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:27 am

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Atla » Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:52 pm

thought addict wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:59 pm
Atla wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:35 pm
Anyway I described everything as well as I can right now. If some of you get into nondualism, you will gradually realize how I meant what I meant. One can learn nondual thinking from Alan Watts, if you can ignore his life-is-play-and-rainbows crap.
Thanks for the reference. I've just read some online articles on non-dualism. Most of them reference ancient eastern philosophy and eastern religion. Advaita Vedanta is repeatedly mentioned. The core ideas seem to precede science and to me appear primarily religious. The key principle from the articles I read seems to be of reality having a single underlying substrate, in some cases to the extent that some non-dualists do consider self and physics to be illusions. Ego death and the Buddhist Nirvana are also involved for some non-dualists.

I also read about Alan Watts who I gather attempted to ground it in a more modern context and reconcile it with science.
In several of his later publications, especially Beyond Theology and The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are, Watts put forward a worldview, drawing on Hinduism, Chinese philosophy, pantheism or panentheism, and modern science, in which he maintains that the whole universe consists of a cosmic Self playing hide-and-seek (Lila); hiding from itself (Maya) by becoming all the living and non-living things in the universe and forgetting what it really is – the upshot being that we are all IT in disguise. In this worldview, Watts asserts that our conception of ourselves as an "ego in a bag of skin," or "skin-encapsulated ego" is a myth; the entities we call the separate "things" are merely aspects or features of the whole.
Aside from the fact that I don't find purely religious ideas particularly valuable in my own exploration of philosophy, I still do not find this view particularly satisfying. It doesn't matter to me whether entities exist on some underlying level as a unified whole so long as I can still draw distinctions between them. If they exist as aspects of a whole, then I still have many questions to answer over the nature of those aspects. It's the variation and the complexity in reality that is what makes it intellectually interesting to me.

On the other hand, to say something in its favor, this idea of a single consciousness "playing hide-and-seek" jumping between each and every living thing may have some merit and is awfully similar to the idea I mentioned in this thread by Your Construct: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=14600&p=336353#p336353. Although there's no evidence for it (unless you count Occam's Razor), it's certainly possible that there is only one conscious experiencer that iterates over all minds one instant at a time, carrying no memories from one to another. That idea on its own is still perfectly compatible with dualism though, which is nice.
I'd ignore any religious stuff. Language, and perhaps most thinking, is inherently dual, by nondualism I simply mean trying to grasp the world without such distinctions anyway. It's a very odd thing to do.

When reality has an underlying substrate, that's definitely no longer nondualism.

Self illusion / ego death is in one sense absolutely true in nondualism, but then Buddhists seem to misunderstand it and throw such things out completely. Also their Nirvana makes no sense whatsoever to me.

I think Alan Watts was a genius, he could explain nondual and other Eastern stuff to Westerners incredibly well. The Hindu view of hide-and-seek and Maya are actually pretty good descriptions of reality, except of course don't take such religios crap literally. Yes we are the "Brahman" but the Brahman isn't like anything. It's just another word for the universe. It doesn't play, it doesn't hide from itself or whatever, it's not a being or anything. I don't think Watts ever seriously said otherwise either. So when he says that life is play or a game of hide and seek, he was (as far as I can tell) never quite serious about it, he even stated that this part is just his personal opinion.
I have another problem with him, he clearly doesn't seem to understand the extent of misery on this planet, life for many people simply isn't good at all. Eastern religions seem to have this blissful bullshit that seems to have infected him as well.

There is also no consciousness jumping from being to being, that too is definitely no longer nondualism.

thought addict
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:47 am

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by thought addict » Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:48 pm

Atla wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:52 pm
thought addict wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:59 pm
I also read about Alan Watts who I gather attempted to ground it in a more modern context and reconcile it with science.
In several of his later publications, especially Beyond Theology and The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are, Watts put forward a worldview, drawing on Hinduism, Chinese philosophy, pantheism or panentheism, and modern science, in which he maintains that the whole universe consists of a cosmic Self playing hide-and-seek (Lila); hiding from itself (Maya) by becoming all the living and non-living things in the universe and forgetting what it really is – the upshot being that we are all IT in disguise. In this worldview, Watts asserts that our conception of ourselves as an "ego in a bag of skin," or "skin-encapsulated ego" is a myth; the entities we call the separate "things" are merely aspects or features of the whole.
I'd ignore any religious stuff. Language, and perhaps most thinking, is inherently dual, by nondualism I simply mean trying to grasp the world without such distinctions anyway. It's a very odd thing to do.

When reality has an underlying substrate, that's definitely no longer nondualism.
To rephrase based on the above quote about Watts, the underlying substrate would be the "cosmic Self". It would be underlying in the sense that it is not in plain view because "we are all IT in disguise".
Atla wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:52 pm
Self illusion / ego death is in one sense absolutely true in nondualism, but then Buddhists seem to misunderstand it and throw such things out completely. Also their Nirvana makes no sense whatsoever to me.
Well, self illusion is an incoherent, religious concept to me that I am not interested in examining further at this time.
Atla wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:52 pm
I think Alan Watts was a genius, he could explain nondual and other Eastern stuff to Westerners incredibly well. The Hindu view of hide-and-seek and Maya are actually pretty good descriptions of reality, except of course don't take such religios crap literally. Yes we are the "Brahman" but the Brahman isn't like anything. It's just another word for the universe. It doesn't play, it doesn't hide from itself or whatever, it's not a being or anything. I don't think Watts ever seriously said otherwise either. So when he says that life is play or a game of hide and seek, he was (as far as I can tell) never quite serious about it, he even stated that this part is just his personal opinion.
Yes the "hide and seek" is quite obviously a metaphor. It seems to me that the important idea is that the full nature of reality is hidden from our consciousness. If one consciousness connected all minds then the bit about it "forgetting what it really is" is very important. We don't have access to the memories of other beings.
Atla wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:52 pm
There is also no consciousness jumping from being to being, that too is definitely no longer nondualism.
It doesn't necessarily have to be literally jumping from one being to the next. Again, to rephrase, the idea would be very similar to "a cosmic Self [...] becoming all the living and non-living things in the universe and forgetting what it really is".

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