The observer cannot be observed

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

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Skepdick
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Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by Skepdick »

Dontaskme wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:43 am In the “dream story” which has no location except as an imagined place, aka a conceptual place.
Where do concepts happen?
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Dontaskme
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Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by Dontaskme »

Skepdick wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:22 am
Appearing where?

The "self" has a locus. You just haven't found you yet.
The known “you” can only appear within the dream story..aka as a known concept. And that which is “known” cannot know anything, similar to dream characters in that they have no awareness they exist because they are empty images of the imageless...which is just another concept for pure empty Awareness.
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Dontaskme
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Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by Dontaskme »

Skepdick wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:51 am
Dontaskme wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:43 am In the “dream story” which has no location except as an imagined place, aka a conceptual place.
Where do concepts happen?
Same place as the questioner happens...within the dream story appearing now here, nowhere.
Belinda
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Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by Belinda »

Dontaskme wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:20 am
Belinda wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 6:22 pm
Dontaskme wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 6:06 pm Without a moment's thought we give up our body, our mind and our world as we fall asleep, and are left only as the peaceful self – pure awareness – that we essentially are.

That empty pure awareness is what is known as the SELF ... it’s the son of a barren woman metaphorically speaking. The immaculate conception. It’s what and who you are, it’s neither born nor is it dead.

Only the mind is born. Not You.
I expect you mean deep dreamless sleep. Some dreams contain self awareness, some don't.
There is no self in a dream.

The self arises as a conceptual idea, which is emptiness appearing full.

.
I understand Dimebag's description of the self without ego self. Once, briefly, I lost my ego self and found that sort of liberation as Dimebag describes. I know my ego self well as it is usually synonymous with what I think and feel. When I wrote "some dreams contain self awareness I meant "some dreams contain awareness of ego self, some don't".
Dimebag
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Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by Dimebag »

Skepdick wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:01 am
Dimebag wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 5:42 am Where you look from IS what you are, awareness, everything else plays on its surface.
There are many things which are awareness that are not me, therefore I am not awareness.

I don't know what I am. I only know that I am.
Maybe, but do they appear IN awareness?
Dimebag
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Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by Dimebag »

Belinda wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:28 am
Dontaskme wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:20 am
Belinda wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 6:22 pm
I expect you mean deep dreamless sleep. Some dreams contain self awareness, some don't.
There is no self in a dream.

The self arises as a conceptual idea, which is emptiness appearing full.

.
I understand Dimebag's description of the self without ego self. Once, briefly, I lost my ego self and found that sort of liberation as Dimebag describes. I know my ego self well as it is usually synonymous with what I think and feel. When I wrote "some dreams contain self awareness I meant "some dreams contain awareness of ego self, some don't".
Interesting, you refer to the spacious or detached awareness? Did you feel synonymous WITH it, or did you observe it as a feeling?

For me, it felt like a presence of knowing, and I was aware OF it, but as it remained stable I slowly merged with it, so that I was looking AS this spacious awareness.

The play of identity is an amazing and mysterious aspect of existence, and one which we very rarely recognise. Obviously we notice sudden changes rather easily, if you have tasted that sweetness of spacious awareness, falling back into ego feels like sliding down into the pits of hell (so to speak), or being possessed.

But after this recognition of awareness, I could sense its presence in the background, or as the canvas upon which everything appeared, but completely without form.

It’s like when those images which can be interpreted in two ways, one an old lady, the other a duck. At first, you might only see the duck, but then, after you see the old lady, you can’t unsee it, and you realise it was there all along. But the mind creates the reality.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by Immanuel Can »

AlexW wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 4:31 am
Immanuel Can wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:50 am Well, for certain, you know it has to be a thinking "something." It has to be a conscious entity.
A "thinking something" is already a description of this "something" and it can as such be doubted. The existence of a "conscious entity" can also be doubted.
I'm afraid you're missing the key point there, Alex: if there IS a doubt, then there's a doubter doing the doubting. And doubting is a conscious, thinking process. Nothing that's not a thinking thing can possibly produce a doubt. So again, as Descartes said, there's just no possibility of rationally doubting the existence of the doubter. The first entails the second, every time.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by Immanuel Can »

Dimebag wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 5:42 am Is it a thinking thing, or, do thoughts happen in it?
"In" what? :shock:

What is this "it" of which you speak? "It" must be a thing, because "it" is grammatically just a pronoun, and every pronoun holds the place of a particular proper noun. What's the proper noun you mean when you say "it"?

You see, even you question presupposes the existence of a thing in which doubt is being produced. Even if you say it's a ghostly thing that blinks in and out of existence (thought that doesn't really make sense, obviously), you are still positing that there are times when it DOES exist, are you not? Which means it's an existent thing.
Dimebag
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Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by Dimebag »

Immanuel Can wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:43 pm
Dimebag wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 5:42 am Is it a thinking thing, or, do thoughts happen in it?
"In" what? :shock:

What is this "it" of which you speak? "It" must be a thing, because "it" is grammatically just a pronoun, and every pronoun holds the place of a particular proper noun. What's the proper noun you mean when you say "it"?

You see, even you question presupposes the existence of a thing in which doubt is being produced. Even if you say it's a ghostly thing that blinks in and out of existence (thought that doesn't really make sense, obviously), you are still positing that there are times when it DOES exist, are you not? Which means it's an existent thing.
Awareness, consciousness. It’s an it, not a who. But not an object. The reason we use it, is because it’s not a personal thing. The person appears in it. And to say it’s a process is not very descriptive either, so is digestion, but it’s not exactly like digestion. It’s like a field (in physics) but again that’s just analogy.

Without it, “you” are not. But the personal “you” comes and goes in it. There are times when your ego comes and goes, but “you” don’t come and go. You remain. If when your ego came and went, so did you, then you would obviously be the ego.

I can see language is very important to you, but you seem to think that the logic of language defines the reality of the brain and human existence. I think this is wrong. Though language is used to create logical statements, the structure of language itself isn’t necessarily logic, it is an expression of logic. Logic is an abstract conceptual relationship between things. Many languages vary in logical structure, some contain rules which have no real usage in other languages. It’s context dependent.

So to use the word it to describe awareness is to say that “it” is not an object that cannot be picked up, or pointed to. But nor is it a subject. It is that which subjects rely on for existence. So “it” must be used to refer to it. Unless you have a better idea. It makes no difference to it.
AlexW
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Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by AlexW »

Immanuel Can wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:28 pm if there IS a doubt, then there's a doubter doing the doubting. And doubting is a conscious, thinking process. Nothing that's not a thinking thing can possibly produce a doubt. So again, as Descartes said, there's just no possibility of rationally doubting the existence of the doubter. The first entails the second, every time.
I do get the point, as to when there seems to be a "doubt" arising (or whatever other pattern) there should be some one making this process happening - a "doubter".

The problem is, that all one will ever find (in direct experience) is a thought stating "I doubt that." - but never, ever will you find this separate entity, the "doubter" (besides there being another thought stating "I am the doubter"). But a thought is not a "doubter", is it?
Thus, while the existence of the "doubter" might be a logical thing when operating in the world of concepts/language, it is not at all logical before applying these concepts. Before operating with (and getting lost in) explanatory conceptual structures, all that actually "exists" is what is here/now, reality.

In this case, what is here/now is (what we call) a thought, stating "I doubt that!"
But this thought doesn't have an owner, it also doesn't come from some place nor does it go somewhere when it vanishes. It is not even separate from the rest of "what is" here/now - from reality - its actually not separate from what we call seeing, hearing, feeling or tasting - its one undivided, but diverse whole.
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henry quirk
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Re: The observer cannot be observed

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The problem is, that all one will ever find (in direct experience) is a thought stating "I doubt that." - but never, ever will you find this separate entity, the "doubter" (besides there being another thought stating "I am the doubter"). But a thought is not a "doubter", is it?

when I doubt, I never say to myself (in my head) I doubt that, I just doubt...if I speak with someone about my doubt, or if I write about my doubt, I'll, of course, say I doubt that, or somesuch, but the initial doubting is a feeling or even an action (the doubter doubts, he doesn't think about doubt)

the problem with conversations like this -- on the fly & piecemeal -- is our (over)simplifying of sumthin' complex and a little mysterious

describe your thinking on X usually nets a response that utterly fails to capture what thinkin' really is like...there's a thread somewhere in-forum, do you think in words?...I can't recall the responses but some echo of a recollection tells me everyone failed to convey the flavor, the complexity, the multi-dimensions of thinking

even now, as I write these words, contemplatin' how I would describe what's in my head, I'm daunted: words, images, emotions, and -- in a way -- multiple, on-going lines of thinkin'...

my self, my position, the cool air on my skin, the cigarette I hold, the coffee I just had, the sound of the 14 year old jabbering with his playstation buddies just inside the house, the nightsounds swellin' up around me, the porch swing under my kester, and a thousand other sensations, noticings, awarenesses, thoughts, etc.

...that rise and subside without any real effort, without bein' called on

it seems to me, sittin' on top of this shftin' mountain of (and I'm just gonna call it) experiencing, both internal & external, is me, an on-going consistency that, if not in control of the experiencing itself, certainly seems in control of what it pays attention to, both internally & externally (my referrin' to myself in the 3rd ought not to be taken literally...I'm just usin' a convention of the language)...I'm certain this consistency, that I, exist...I'm the doubter, the thinker, the exclaimer, the reasoner, the emoter, and on and on

I'm not an illusion or a figment or a trick of neurons & synapses....I'm not some psychological phantom...call me mind or soul or spirit or just self-organizing information: I'm embodied, I'm real, I'm here, I'm a person

I can't be meditated or medicated or mediated away
Belinda
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Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by Belinda »

Dimebag wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 10:48 am
Belinda wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:28 am
Dontaskme wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:20 am
There is no self in a dream.

The self arises as a conceptual idea, which is emptiness appearing full.

.
I understand Dimebag's description of the self without ego self. Once, briefly, I lost my ego self and found that sort of liberation as Dimebag describes. I know my ego self well as it is usually synonymous with what I think and feel. When I wrote "some dreams contain self awareness I meant "some dreams contain awareness of ego self, some don't".
Interesting, you refer to the spacious or detached awareness? Did you feel synonymous WITH it, or did you observe it as a feeling?

For me, it felt like a presence of knowing, and I was aware OF it, but as it remained stable I slowly merged with it, so that I was looking AS this spacious awareness.

The play of identity is an amazing and mysterious aspect of existence, and one which we very rarely recognise. Obviously we notice sudden changes rather easily, if you have tasted that sweetness of spacious awareness, falling back into ego feels like sliding down into the pits of hell (so to speak), or being possessed.

But after this recognition of awareness, I could sense its presence in the background, or as the canvas upon which everything appeared, but completely without form.

It’s like when those images which can be interpreted in two ways, one an old lady, the other a duck. At first, you might only see the duck, but then, after you see the old lady, you can’t unsee it, and you realise it was there all along. But the mind creates the reality.
I was not the same as my relaxed, tolerant feeling as the ordinary reality was the same as usual.
AlexW
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Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by AlexW »

henry quirk wrote: Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:42 am when I doubt, I never say to myself (in my head) I doubt that, I just doubt...if I speak with someone about my doubt, or if I write about my doubt, I'll, of course, say I doubt that, or somesuch, but the initial doubting is a feeling
Yes, sure, agree.
Its the same with many thought processes - they are often preluded by some physical sensation.
A hollow, numb feeling in the stomach might be a precursor for thoughts of fear, a certain tightening of the facial muscles might happen before thoughts of doubt arise (of course this is not always the case).
That this physical sensation is a "feeling of doubt" is a mental deduction - nothing more. Of course, there are many such acquired habits at work, where physical sensations are taken to have a certain meaning - thought and sensation seem to mutually enhance each other (if one stands on top of a 10m cliff and feels a certain sensation in the body one might identify this as fear - but a same/similar sensation happens many other times, even when one is not afraid).
henry quirk wrote: Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:42 am the problem with conversations like this -- on the fly & piecemeal -- is our (over)simplifying of sumthin' complex and a little mysterious
Well.. yes and no. If we analyse, in a time based manner, which combinations of sensations and thoughts lead to which feelings etc etc... then this becomes complicated very fast. If one only looks at one experience at a time - what happens now? And again: what happens now? - without linking these happenings into a chain of events (which is of course a thought based exercise) then its pretty simple... This simplicity is where reality lives, not in chains of linked up impressions (that later on are boxed into conceptual structures).
henry quirk wrote: Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:42 am my self, my position, the cool air on my skin, the cigarette I hold, the coffee I just had, the sound of the 14 year old jabbering with his playstation buddies just inside the house, the nightsounds swellin' up around me, the porch swing under my kester, and a thousand other sensations, noticings, awarenesses, thoughts, etc.
Yes, that's what I mean... And in all this, which is happening all the time, in this experience, how much of it is "you"? And why is one "part" of experience "I" and some other part "not I"? As I see it, the line is drawn purely on the idea of "me" - and thus on conceptual thought - the experience itself is perfectly free from such limitations.
henry quirk wrote: Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:42 am it seems to me, sittin' on top of this shftin' mountain of (and I'm just gonna call it) experiencing, both internal & external, is me, an on-going consistency that, if not in control of the experiencing itself, certainly seems in control of what it pays attention to, both internally & externally (my referrin' to myself in the 3rd ought not to be taken literally...I'm just usin' a convention of the language)...I'm certain this consistency, that I, exist...I'm the doubter, the thinker, the exclaimer, the reasoner, the emoter, and on and on
As I see it, attention, is nothing but focussed awareness. One pays attention to sounds, thoughts, tactile sensations... but where is the controller of this attention. I agree, it seems like one is in control, but if you actually really investigate how attention moves then you will find that it simply moves wherever "it wants". There is no way you can control attention not moving to certain "parts" of experience - eg you will notice a loud knock on the door, no matter how much you try to control your attention on, lets say the taste of coffee.
And, yes, there is consistency in all of that. There is no moment where attention/awareness is not "present". But it is not present as a separate "I", it is present AS this very experience itself.
The belief that "I'm the doubter, the thinker, the exclaimer, the reasoner" is nothing but attention/awareness placed on thought which, when linked into long chains create the idea (some call it: illusion) of a certain entity existing on top of this "shftin' mountain" - while in reality... there is simply this mountain.
henry quirk wrote: Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:42 am I'm not an illusion or a figment or a trick of neurons & synapses....I'm not some psychological phantom...call me mind or soul or spirit or just self-organizing information: I'm embodied, I'm real, I'm here, I'm a person
Sure, you (as awareness) are real - awareness is just another name for reality or experience.
The person, on the other hand, is only conceptually real.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by Immanuel Can »

Dimebag wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:01 pm I can see language is very important to you,
Well, only here, because it's the only way you and I can share ideas at the moment. It's really all we have.
...but you seem to think that the logic of language defines the reality of the brain and human existence.
No, I don't think that.

But I do think people need to say precisely what they mean; and if the words they use do not make sense, then chances are that either they've misspoken and need to reword, or they are trying to express an idea that just doesn't make sense.

So being careful with language avoids misunderstanding each other. And since my goal is to understand what you want to say, either I must ask you to clarify your words when they are less than precise, or when they contain what seems a contradiction, or I have no hope of fairly understanding you at all.

And I assume that's a goal you and I share in this conversation...mutual understanding...no?
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Immanuel Can
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Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by Immanuel Can »

AlexW wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:34 pm I do get the point, as to when there seems to be a "doubt" arising (or whatever other pattern) there should be some one making this process happening - a "doubter".
Right, that's it.
The problem is, that all one will ever find (in direct experience) is a thought stating "I doubt that." - but never, ever will you find this separate entity, the "doubter" (besides there being another thought stating "I am the doubter"). But a thought is not a "doubter", is it?
"There is a thought," you say. But who is doing the knowing of this fact? What kind of entity is detecting that "there is a thought"? Thoughts don't think themselves; something has to think them.

I think perhaps your sense that you can't "find" this entity is that you're slipping into the thought that the doer of the action has to be somebody or something "out there," detectable in the empirical world. But as Descartes noted, we can doubt the existence of the whole empirical world, if we are determined to do so. But the doubter cannot ever rationally doubt his own existence, because the mere existence of the doubt proves beyond all possible refutation that the doubter is there...and we can tell by the work he does, which is "doubting."
Thus, while the existence of the "doubter" might be a logical thing when operating in the world of concepts/language...
It's unavoidable, actually. It doesn't at all depend on language. You could call a "doubt" a "mzyzscht," and the same necessity would still be in place...there would have to be a "mzyzschter."
But this thought doesn't have an owner...
Not an "owner." Thoughts aren't "owned," like a piece of land, a sports car or a hat rack. :wink:

The thought has a thinker. The action recognized as doubting has a doer. If it doesn't, then neither was there any action...there was no doubt either.
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