I am who I am

Is there a God? If so, what is She like?

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RCSaunders
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Re: I am who I am

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AlexW wrote: Tue Jun 22, 2021 12:52 am
RCSaunders wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 1:16 pm Here you lost the thread. Nothing is just, "relative." What's relative to what? You have used the right words up to now, but I really don't think you know what a concept is
Sorry if I am not always using the "right words", but I try to make myself understood as best as I can (and pardon my "non-philosophical jargon").
Your language is fine and you don't need to use any special terms. Plane English is better than most so-called philosophical terminology anyway. Philosophy should not be esoteric or mysterious.
AlexW wrote: Tue Jun 22, 2021 12:52 am What's relative to what?
Every thing is relative to or even stands in opposition to every other thing - its the same with expressions and statements.
I'm sorry but that is still confusing to me, especially the, "stands in opposition to," phrase.
AlexW wrote: Tue Jun 22, 2021 12:52 am Whatever can be expressed using language is in some way related to each other, every concept identified relates to all other concepts.
Whether, "expressed using language or not," it is true that everything that exists has some relationship to everything else that exists. It is not language, however, that is responsible for those relationships. Language can only recognize and identify relationships.
AlexW wrote: Tue Jun 22, 2021 12:52 am Some concepts seem to have a closer relation than others (they oppose each other - for example left opposes right, up opposes down - they not only oppose each other but they also create and support each other - there is no right without a left etc...) - there can be no "you" without "me" etc etc...

Yet, if one investigates direct experience (whatever is experienced before conceptual interpretations arise) one will find no such relations, no oppositions or any other kind of "relativity" at all - direct experience is "absolute", it is undivided, not made of separate things and as such not conceptual at all.
I'm not sure how you are making this confusion. Direct perception is only consciousness of what is by means of those attributes of those entities that can be directly perceived, that is, seen, heard, felt, smelled, or tasted. I have no idea what you mean by it is, "absolute," or, "undivided." Our concepts are not of perception, itself, they are of the entities that are perceived, and perception is as much "divided" as the entities that are perceived. Perceiving red is not perceiving blue and one can be perceiving both simultaneously, and seeing is not hearing and one has both those perceptual experiences simultaneously, as well as hearing different sounds, feeling different textures and temperatures, smelling different odors, and tasting different flavors all as one complex perceptual field.

Furthermore, everything that is perceived is perceived in some relationship to everything else that is perceived. If an apple is perceived to the right of a pear, the pear is to the left of the apple. That is not an, "opposition," it's just a relationship, necessitated by the fact they cannot both be in the same place.
AlexW wrote: Tue Jun 22, 2021 12:52 am I am sure that didn't follow the epistemological guidelines on how to "explain the nature of knowledge and identify the principles by which knowledge must be gained, held, and used if it is to be true knowledge", but maybe you still get the drift of what I am attempting to explain?
Don't worry about any supposed, "epistemological guidelines," mine or anyone else's. You only need to be sure your own understanding is as precise as you can make it and there are no contradictions. I'm pretty sure I know what you are getting at, but I think you are letting one idea, which happens to be true [that everything has a relationship to everything else, and that everything that exists must be different from everything else that exists] become the whole of your view of knowledge, when it is really only an aspect of it.
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Re: I am who I am

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RCSaunders wrote: Tue Jun 22, 2021 1:13 am There is a reason I would not call a concept, all by itself, "knowledge," on epistemological grounds, but essentially, if you know what the definition of a concept is, it is knowledge. When you learn what a concept means you have knowledge.
I don't think there can be any concepts without the knowledge of what the concepts means, points or connects to.

This initial knowledge might not be as sophisticated as it might be a year later (after connecting and relating it to more and more other concepts), but it is still knowledge.
For example: one acquires the knowledge that a certain pattern of color is called apple and another pattern orange (two concepts arise).
This initial knowledge grows over time - I can eat them, I have to peel the orange before eating, the apple is ok without peeling... etc etc...
but there is no limit to this knowledge and drawing a line between
1) the initial knowledge of the pattern and
2) the knowledge of how to use this knowledge
is not fixed but always fluid (and is acquired buy attaching more and more concepts to the initial concept).
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Re: I am who I am

Post by AlexW »

RCSaunders wrote: Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:01 am Whether, "expressed using language or not," it is true that everything that exists has some relationship to everything else that exists. It is not language, however, that is responsible for those relationships. Language can only recognize and identify relationships.
I think the relationship only arises once direct experience has been interpreted using concepts/language - there are no relationships between things before a thing has been identified, or rather: created, which happens when conceptualising direct experience (see explanation as to why below)
RCSaunders wrote: Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:01 am Direct perception is only consciousness of what is by means of those attributes of those entities that can be directly perceived, that is, seen, heard, felt, smelled, or tasted. I have no idea what you mean by it is, "absolute," or, "undivided." Our concepts are not of perception, itself, they are of the entities that are perceived, and perception is as much "divided" as the entities that are perceived. Perceiving red is not perceiving blue and one can be perceiving both simultaneously, and seeing is not hearing and one has both those perceptual experiences simultaneously, as well as hearing different sounds, feeling different textures and temperatures, smelling different odors, and tasting different flavors all as one complex perceptual field.

Furthermore, everything that is perceived is perceived in some relationship to everything else that is perceived. If an apple is perceived to the right of a pear, the pear is to the left of the apple. That is not an, "opposition," it's just a relationship, necessitated by the fact they cannot both be in the same place.
Well... I do know and understand that this is the conventional perspective of how direct experience/perception seems to work - we think we see and experience "things" and as such it "has to be true".

The problem is, that one actually does not directly experience things or any other kind of separation - one only thinks this is the case (that's at least what I have found out investigating direct experience) - it rather is, as you have stated above "one complex perceptual field".

Now, without attempting to prove this suggestion to you (which I can attempt, if you are so inclined), just imagine if it were actually really the case that seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and the sense of touch would not be of things, if they would not provide any information about separation, but if they would be delivering an experience of an undivided whole (the absolute) - what if this reality that we are experiencing is not made of things, but is simply undivided - what if all of these things are just thought up, if there are really no separate things, but just conceptual interpretations that we believe to be true...?

This might be (to some, or rather: most) a completely new perspective - even crazy - but it might be one that is actually more in line with what modern science seems to suggest (quantum entanglement etc etc...)
RCSaunders wrote: Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:01 am Furthermore, everything that is perceived is perceived in some relationship to everything else that is perceived. If an apple is perceived to the right of a pear, the pear is to the left of the apple. That is not an, "opposition," it's just a relationship, necessitated by the fact they cannot both be in the same place.
Thats not entirely true.
Visual perception itself - the direct experience of seeing - does not contain any information about an "apple to the right of a pear" - the direct experience ever only contains color(s), it doesn't contain any information about things and as such also no information about any relationship between them.
That there is an apparent "apple to the right of a pear" is simply an "afterthought" (or rather: a conceptual interpretation of the the seen, but not the seen itself)
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Re: I am who I am

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AlexW wrote: Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:18 am
RCSaunders wrote: Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:01 am Furthermore, everything that is perceived is perceived in some relationship to everything else that is perceived. If an apple is perceived to the right of a pear, the pear is to the left of the apple. That is not an, "opposition," it's just a relationship, necessitated by the fact they cannot both be in the same place.
Thats not entirely true.
Visual perception itself - the direct experience of seeing - does not contain any information about an "apple to the right of a pear" - the direct experience ever only contains color(s), it doesn't contain any information about things and as such also no information about any relationship between them.
That there is an apparent "apple to the right of a pear" is simply an "afterthought" (or rather: a conceptual interpretation of the the seen, but not the seen itself)
I'm only going to address this, because it contains an assumption that I think everything you are saying is based on. That assumption is that perception. "is," or, "includes," or is, "the result of," some kind of, "information."

That idea, I believe, comes from an attempt to explain perception using the analogy of digital electronics, as some kind of, "information processing." Otherwise, I have no idea what "visual perception itself - the direct experience of seeing - does not contain any information about ..." is intended to mean. Perception is only conscious awareness of what is, not information about what is.

The relationships are not, "information," about entities, they are what entities are, whether anyone perceives them or not. I know we're avoiding philosophical terms, but I'm going to use the word ontology here, because it only means the study of what exists, as it exists, independently of anyone's knowledge or awareness (perception of) what exists.

Ontologically, reality is everything that exists the way it exists. Existence is all the entities that exist and every entity is whatever all its attributes are. It doesn't matter what those attributes are or if anyone knows what they are. If something exists, it must be something that has some attributes (qualities, characterics, or properties). I call that the first law of ontology--everything that exsists must have some attributes and those attributes are what that existent is.

Furthermore, every entity must be different in some way from every other entity, else they would not be two entities, but the same entity. Since every entity is whatever its attributes are, for every entity to be different from every other entity it must have one more attributes that are different from all other entities. I call that the second law of ontology--everything that exists must have some attribute or attributes that are different from all other existents.

Finally, since reality is everything that exists, every real entity must have some relationship to every other entity that exists and those relationships are determined by both those attributes which are the same and those which are different. I call that the third law of ontology--every thing that exists must have some relationship to all other existents.

It is entities, as they actually are that are perceived. That means every entity must be perceived as it actually is with all its attributes and relationships to all other entities. Perception has no power to make any of these things so. It can only be aware of what is so.

Now, if you mean, perception does not, "identify," those attributes or relationships, that is true. That identification is done by reason about what is perceived as it is perceived. The apple is perceived to the right of the pear (because it actually is to the right of the pear as it exists), but the identification of the positional relationship is done by means of concepts for relationship just as the identification of the apple and pear themselves are done by means of concepts.

Most of the confusion about these things is, because, since Aristotle, with the exception of Peter Abelard, all of philosophy has been very sloppy about its understanding of perception and epistemology, both of which were destroyed by Hume and Kant.
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Re: I am who I am

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AlexW wrote: Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:04 am
RCSaunders wrote: Tue Jun 22, 2021 1:13 am There is a reason I would not call a concept, all by itself, "knowledge," on epistemological grounds, but essentially, if you know what the definition of a concept is, it is knowledge. When you learn what a concept means you have knowledge.
I don't think there can be any concepts without the knowledge of what the concepts means, points or connects to.

This initial knowledge might not be as sophisticated as it might be a year later (after connecting and relating it to more and more other concepts), but it is still knowledge.
For example: one acquires the knowledge that a certain pattern of color is called apple and another pattern orange (two concepts arise).
This initial knowledge grows over time - I can eat them, I have to peel the orange before eating, the apple is ok without peeling... etc etc...
but there is no limit to this knowledge and drawing a line between
1) the initial knowledge of the pattern and
2) the knowledge of how to use this knowledge
is not fixed but always fluid (and is acquired buy attaching more and more concepts to the initial concept).
Ah, I see. You are thinking that, "concepts," are knowledge about things. This is why I emphasize that, technically, a concept is not knowledge. A concept is only a means of identifying existents and nothing more. Whether by definition (a description or explanation) or ostensively (by pointing at a thing) all a concept does is indicate what actual real thing, as it actually exists, one is referring to in either thought, writing, or speech.

For example, when a little girl, who only knows what apples look and taste like, and a botanist, specializing in apples and has extensive knowledge about them, use the word, "apple," what they both mean is exactly the same thing, an actual apple, as it actually is with all that can ever be known about it, whether anyone knows it or not.

True knowledge consists only of propositions--statements that make assertions about things. Propositions are only knowledge when what they assert is true.

Concepts are not knowledge because they do not assert anything, they only identify existents. They do not explain or describe them or say anything about them. That is why any concept can be used in both true and false statements. "The phoenix is a wild bird of Arizona," is not true, but, "the phoenix is a mythical bird of Ancient Egypt," is true. The concept, "phoenix," all by itself, only identifies something, and is neither true or false until something is said about it.

All knowledge is about the existents our concepts identify, but the concepts which identify them are not knowledge, except, if one's knowledge of that concept is by definition, if the definition is correct, it is knowledge (because it is a proposition).

This is one of the two most common confusions about the nature of concepts. The other is the one that conflates, "words" with, "concepts," which you, so far, do not seem to make.
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Re: I am who I am

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RCSaunders wrote: Tue Jun 22, 2021 3:51 pm I'm only going to address this, because it contains an assumption that I think everything you are saying is based on. That assumption is that perception. "is," or, "includes," or is, "the result of," some kind of, "information."
I am actually not assuming that perception is the result of some kind of received information - I only use this analogy from time to time as it seems to help clarify that whatever is visually perceived is actually not a perception of separate things but only color (which is the only "information" present)
The "setup" could, in a way, be compared to a computer system equipped with a camera sensor - the camera only "sees" color - it doesn't see entities, things, attributes or whatever else - it simply perceives color, thats all.
RCSaunders wrote: Tue Jun 22, 2021 3:51 pm That idea, I believe, comes from an attempt to explain perception using the analogy of digital electronics, as some kind of, "information processing." Otherwise, I have no idea what "visual perception itself - the direct experience of seeing - does not contain any information about ..." is intended to mean. Perception is only conscious awareness of what is, not information about what is.
That's exactly the point (well said): Perception is only conscious awareness of what is, not information about what is
RCSaunders wrote: Tue Jun 22, 2021 3:51 pm The relationships are not, "information," about entities, they are what entities are, whether anyone perceives them or not.
OK, now that's were we have different opinions.

As I see it, and this understanding is only based on direct experience/perception, one never perceives "entities".
An entity is a concept - nothing more and nothing less.
Thats also why - as you said so nicely - "Perception is only conscious awareness of what is, not information about what is"
"Entities" belong to the "information about what is" realm, not to the "awareness of what is" realm.
Awareness of "what is" - in the visual sense - is simply color, not apple or pear.
Apple and pear only "arise" once the concept "apple" is attached to a recognised pattern of the direct visual experience of "what is".
Now... if these entities - apple and pear - actually exist without being perceived is another question - it is actually a question that can never be answered for certain as all that we actually know for certain is whatever we are consciously aware of right now.
Of course we can (and also do) act as if such entities exist in their own right, but all that we can know for certain is this very direct experience itself and if an apple simply materialises when we look at it, or if it is actually there also when not being observed is anyones guess...
Quantum mech actually seems to point into the direction of the object only existing when observed - it would also fit with how we believe night time dreams seem work (objects, people, rooms, buildings etc only arise when observed - its the same with video games, whatever is looked at is rendered in realtime... the idea that our actual reality works the exact opposite way might as such be incorrect...)
RCSaunders wrote: Tue Jun 22, 2021 3:51 pm Ontologically, reality is everything that exists the way it exists. Existence is all the entities that exist and every entity is whatever all its attributes are
Yes... sure, but as stated above: Judging from direct experience only, there are no such independently existing entities at all.
RCSaunders wrote: Tue Jun 22, 2021 3:51 pm Finally, since reality is everything that exists
As I see it, reality is whatever can be directly experienced.
RCSaunders wrote: Tue Jun 22, 2021 4:26 pm Ah, I see. You are thinking that, "concepts," are knowledge about things.
Not exactly.

I think that concepts are things - and knowledge about things is an interlinked web of concepts.
There is no knowledge without concepts - but knowledge is created out of nothing but interlinked concepts (just like there is no university as such, besides all the buildings, students, teachers...)
RCSaunders wrote: Tue Jun 22, 2021 4:26 pm True knowledge consists only of propositions--statements that make assertions about things. Propositions are only knowledge when what they assert is true.

Concepts are not knowledge because they do not assert anything, they only identify existents. They do not explain or describe them or say anything about them.
Yes and no.

Concepts do not "identify existents" - they identify patterns (but these patterns are not separate or independently existing from the "rest" of the perceptual field).

Agree with "knowledge consists only of propositions--statements that make assertions about things", but not about any of these statements being absolute truth (I know you haven't used the word "absolute", but I think it is important to distinguish between absolutely and relatively true).
They are true only once the initial proposition - the one that there are such actual separate things to have knowledge about - is true.
Once - only once - this primary proposition has been accepted, we build a whole structure of other propositions on top of it (all of which are only relatively true as they depend on the primary proposition to be true - which it might not be...).

As a result, and as the very foundation is already "more than just shaky", if not simply wrong, everything that is built on top of this foundation inherits, and carries within, the same original mistake (by they way - and not even too far off topic, as this thread is really about "I am who I am": the realisation of this primary mistake being made, might have actually given birth to the biblical phrase: "original sin").
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Re: I am who I am

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AlexW wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 2:02 am
RCSaunders wrote: Tue Jun 22, 2021 3:51 pm I'm only going to address this, because it contains an assumption that I think everything you are saying is based on. That assumption is that perception. "is," or, "includes," or is, "the result of," some kind of, "information."
I am actually not assuming that perception is the result of some kind of received information - I only use this analogy from time to time as it seems to help clarify that whatever is visually perceived is actually not a perception of separate things but only color (which is the only "information" present)
The "setup" could, in a way, be compared to a computer system equipped with a camera sensor - the camera only "sees" color - it doesn't see entities, things, attributes or whatever else - it simply perceives color, thats all.
The analogy of a camera is good. I've used it myself. Consider a television camera. All it is able to, "capture," is every point of light being reflected, transmitted, or produced by whatever is being photographed. At the television all that is reproduced is every point of light in the exact order it was in when captured. A camera does not capture individual entities, or any information about them such as their size, position, motion, or relation to any other entity.

But entities have all those properties and relationships and in the perceptual field all those properties appear exactly as they do in the actual scene being photographed. If there is an apple sitting on a table, every point on the apple and every point on the table reflect whatever light is illuminating them depending on those entities' light reflection and absorption properties. When those points of light are reproduced on a television screen they, "look," exactly like the actual entities that were photographed, including the shape and size of the apple (because that is the shape and size of the image on the screen), the apple's position on the table (because that is where it is on the screen), and the shape of the table, (because it has the shape, including it's perspective, on the screen).

By analogy, that is what conscious perception is, except the it is the eyes (not a camera) that captures the image and it is one's conscious visual field that is the image, not a television screen.

Staying with the analogy, all that is in the visual field is what is on a television screen. You can think of vision as a kind of internal tv screen that consciousness, "watches." At first, what one sees is like what an animal or infant sees when watching a television screen, lots of changing patterns of points of light. Though they are seeing the same thing as an human adult, they will not, "recognize," what any of those patterns of light are or even that they are anything. That has to be learned.

Unlike television, human consciousness is not just the field of vision, but the entire perceptual field, including what is heard, felt, smelled, and tasted continuously and simultaneously with what is being seen. [Which is one reason conscious perception cannot be a physical phenomenon, but that is an irrelevant digression here.]

If we reach out and touch the apple we see on a table, we will also feel it, it's shape, texture, and temperature, and simultaneously see our hand touching the apple. In the same way that we only see colors we can only feel pressure and temperature, and by means of those perceive all the other attributes of the apple that can be felt. Just as the shape of the apple is seen (because that is the shape of the colored, "percept," in the perceptual field) we feel the roundness of the apple (because that is the configuration of pressure "sensations," in the perceptual field).

Whether we identify all those perceptual experiences or not, we have them, but it is only after we consciously identify those perceptual experiences as an entity that we can call what we see, "seeing an entity," and what we feel, "feeling and entity," but we have the experience first, and what we are experiencing is an entity, our identifying it as an entity does not make it an entity, it only recognizes it. If there was an entity with the attributes that make it reflect light as it does, and there was not an entity with the properties that feel hard, round, and smooth when touched, none of those experiences would have occurred.
AlexW wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 2:02 am OK, now that's were we have different opinions.

As I see it, and this understanding is only based on direct experience/perception, one never perceives "entities".
We agree to that!
An entity is a concept - nothing more and nothing less.
A concept of what? A bundle of attributes, like color, shape, size, texture, weight, ...? Where do these percepts of these attributes come from? Do the eyes just produce the points of color on there own? Don't those points of color have an origin?
AlexW wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 2:02 am Thats also why - as you said so nicely - "Perception is only conscious awareness of what is, not information about what is"
"Entities" belong to the "information about what is" realm, not to the "awareness of what is" realm.
That's why I emphasized that concepts are not knowledge, or information, or data about entities, they are only identifications of entities. All a concept does is isolate a perceived configuration of perceived attributes (color, for example) and recognize it (differentiate it from all other possible configurations of perceived attributes) as an entity. An entity identified by a concept is only what has certain attributes that are perceive. An apple (seen) is the configuation of colored points of light that is red, (or yellow, perhaps), round, of a general size, etc. and since it can be touched by hands which we can also see it has those attributes that can be felt. That is all the concept of apple does. It only means, "whatever has those attributes," and nothing more.
AlexW wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 2:02 am Awareness of "what is" - in the visual sense - is simply color, not apple or pear.
Apple and pear only "arise" once the concept "apple" is attached to a recognised pattern of the direct visual experience of "what is".
That's right!
I think the difference is almost a semantic one. When you said, ""Entities" belong to the "information about what is" realm, not to the "awareness of what is" realm, it implies that entities are not what one is aware of.

If there are no entities there are no attributes for consciousness to be aware of. Attributes do not exist independently of the entities they are the attributes of. There are no wild, "attributes," running around in existence, there are only attributes of entities, There is no "color," "size," "sound," "shape," only the color, size, sound, or shape of something that exists. If colors are perceived it is the colors of some entity or entities.
AlexW wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 2:02 am Now... if these entities - apple and pear - actually exist without being perceived is another question - it is actually a question that can never be answered for certain as all that we actually know for certain is whatever we are consciously aware of right now.
It is probably true of most animals that they are only actually aware of what they are immedately conscious of, but human consciousness, unlike the animals, includes the human mind, the volitional, intellectual, rational aspect of consciousness that makes knowledge both necessary and possible. Of course direct perception for all animals, including human being is immediate awareness of what is available to be perceived, but most of human consciousness dominated by knowledge, by which human beings are conscious not only of present perception but of the past and future.

I have no idea what you mean by knowledge. If it meant what you just described you could never know anything, think anything, or say anything that meant anything.

The rest of what you said amounts to, "nothing really exists and if it did you could not know it." You could have stated that up front instead of pretending you thought reason (which is not possible without knowledge) and evidence (which has no meaning if it must always be present) mattered.

If you choose to be skeptical about everything, I'd begin with my own skepticism. It is not possible for a human being to live without knowledge, and, "it seems to work," is not good enough. Every great tragedy is the result of going along with what seems to work, until it doesn't. Anyone can find fault with what is wrong. Why not seek to discover what is true and how to know it. Of course that can never happen so long as you take as a premise, there is no certain knowledge.
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Re: I am who I am

Post by AlexW »

RCSaunders wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:34 pm The analogy of a camera is good. I've used it myself. Consider a television camera. All it is able to, "capture," is every point of light being reflected, transmitted, or produced by whatever is being photographed. At the television all that is reproduced is every point of light in the exact order it was in when captured. A camera does not capture individual entities, or any information about them such as their size, position, motion, or relation to any other entity.

But entities have all those properties and relationships and in the perceptual field all those properties appear exactly as they do in the actual scene being photographed. If there is an apple sitting on a table, every point on the apple and every point on the table reflect whatever light is illuminating them depending on those entities' light reflection and absorption properties. When those points of light are reproduced on a television screen they, "look," exactly like the actual entities that were photographed, including the shape and size of the apple (because that is the shape and size of the image on the screen), the apple's position on the table (because that is where it is on the screen), and the shape of the table, (because it has the shape, including it's perspective, on the screen).

By analogy, that is what conscious perception is, except the it is the eyes (not a camera) that captures the image and it is one's conscious visual field that is the image, not a television screen.

Staying with the analogy, all that is in the visual field is what is on a television screen. You can think of vision as a kind of internal tv screen that consciousness, "watches." At first, what one sees is like what an animal or infant sees when watching a television screen, lots of changing patterns of points of light. Though they are seeing the same thing as an human adult, they will not, "recognize," what any of those patterns of light are or even that they are anything. That has to be learned.

Unlike television, human consciousness is not just the field of vision, but the entire perceptual field, including what is heard, felt, smelled, and tasted continuously and simultaneously with what is being seen. [Which is one reason conscious perception cannot be a physical phenomenon, but that is an irrelevant digression here.]

If we reach out and touch the apple we see on a table, we will also feel it, it's shape, texture, and temperature, and simultaneously see our hand touching the apple. In the same way that we only see colors we can only feel pressure and temperature, and by means of those perceive all the other attributes of the apple that can be felt. Just as the shape of the apple is seen (because that is the shape of the colored, "percept," in the perceptual field) we feel the roundness of the apple (because that is the configuration of pressure "sensations," in the perceptual field).

Whether we identify all those perceptual experiences or not, we have them, but it is only after we consciously identify those perceptual experiences as an entity that we can call what we see, "seeing an entity," and what we feel, "feeling and entity," but we have the experience first, and what we are experiencing is an entity, our identifying it as an entity does not make it an entity, it only recognizes it. If there was an entity with the attributes that make it reflect light as it does, and there was not an entity with the properties that feel hard, round, and smooth when touched, none of those experiences would have occurred.
Seems we have similar perspectives on most of the above, but there are 2 differences.

You said that: You can think of vision as a kind of internal tv screen that consciousness, "watches."
If this is again only an analogy - as you have put the word "watches" in quotation marks - then fine, but direct experience contains no separate watcher/observer, but rather reveals that the watcher, which is meant to be separate from the watched/seen, only exists as a concept.
And, as the observer is purely conceptual, also the watched is only conceptual - in reality / direct experience there is no actual separation between the seer and the seen - meaning: the seen (the stuff one seems to be conscious of) actually is consciousness itself.

And a bit further down: what we are experiencing is an entity, our identifying it as an entity does not make it an entity, it only recognizes it
This is what we conventionally believe to be true - yet, it is again only a conceptual interpretation of direct experience. There is no guarantee that this interpretation is true and correct. When analysing direct experience one can only conclude that there are no such separate entities as they simply do not exist on this level of "reality" - which, as I see it, is the only one and true "reality", whereas every conceptual interpretation of this fundamental reality is always up for discussion and all sorts of interpretations (all evaluations of right or wrong only happen in this conceptual reality, but never in base reality).
RCSaunders wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:34 pm A concept of what? A bundle of attributes, like color, shape, size, texture, weight, ...? Where do these percepts of these attributes come from? Do the eyes just produce the points of color on there own? Don't those points of color have an origin?
The question of "origin" is one for the interpretations - for example: light reflects from object X, reaches eye, triggers a biochemical process, is converted to electric pulses, reaches brain and then... through some magic a picture appears in front of the minds eye... - direct experience reveals no origins or any other attributes. But yes, concepts are of patterns learned and recognised - mummy telling the toddler: "This is a square, this a triangle... this is yellow, this is red" - the concept "comes from" learning to speak using a language that is based on patterns (objects) having attributes, patterns that seem to be in specific relations to each other etc etc...
RCSaunders wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:34 pm That's why I emphasized that concepts are not knowledge, or information, or data about entities, they are only identifications of entities. All a concept does is isolate a perceived configuration of perceived attributes (color, for example) and recognize it (differentiate it from all other possible configurations of perceived attributes) as an entity.
...
It only means, "whatever has those attributes," and nothing more.
Agree
RCSaunders wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:34 pm If there are no entities there are no attributes for consciousness to be aware of.
Agree.
That's also why consciousness is not "aware of attributes".
RCSaunders wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:34 pm Attributes do not exist independently of the entities they are the attributes of.
Agree, but entities also do not exist independently of the concepts that define/create them.
RCSaunders wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:34 pm There is no "color," "size," "sound," "shape," only the color, size, sound, or shape of something that exists. If colors are perceived it is the colors of some entity or entities.
Not according to direct experience - but you right based on our conventional way of interpreting direct experience.
RCSaunders wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:34 pm It is probably true of most animals that they are only actually aware of what they are immedately conscious of, but human consciousness, unlike the animals, includes the human mind, the volitional, intellectual, rational aspect of consciousness that makes knowledge both necessary and possible.
I think it is important to actually define what we mean with "consciousness".
As I see it, consciousness is whatever is actually "real", whatever can be directly experienced and not only imagined/thought of.
Everything that exists in "fundamental reality" is what consciousness actually is, everything that exists in "conceptual reality", in the world of knowledge and ideas, whatever can not be directly experienced, is also not "part of" consciousness (and insofar actually "not fundamentally real").

You seem to add a good part of "conceptual reality" to consciousness - such as volition, intellect, rationality, past, future etc - which, I believe, makes it difficult the distinguish between conscious experience and "imagined" experience. It is, in a way, important to get that right, as otherwise there is no clear line between reality and "illusion".
RCSaunders wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:34 pm The rest of what you said amounts to, "nothing really exists and if it did you could not know it.
No, that's not what I am saying.
I am only saying that - according to one's own direct experience - separate entities/things do not exist. I am saying that one is never conscious of such separate entities and that the existence of such is a conclusion based on nothing but the way we have learned to interpret direct experience.
If you think this amounts to "nothing really exists", then I seem to have done a bad job making myself understood...
RCSaunders wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:34 pm If you choose to be skeptical about everything, I'd begin with my own skepticism.
I am not skeptical about whatever is directly experienced - as such I am not sceptical about reality itself. I am only sceptical about whatever we might think about it. Don't you think this is a valid type of scepticism? Or do you prefer to believe whatever you have been told (and currently believe to be true) about reality is the ultimate truth?
No "scientific progress" would have been made if people wouldn't question if the current, conventional way of interpreting reality is actually true - they challenge current views and beliefs and come up with new ideas which might lead to new ways of looking at the world, the universe and ourselves.
RCSaunders wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:34 pm It is not possible for a human being to live without knowledge
I am not saying humanity should - but I believe it might be beneficial to understand what this type of knowledge can do and what it can't (thats why I asked previously: would you change a lightbulb with a hammer? of course not! yet we believe that knowledge is a tool that can do it all... I just would like to point out its limitations... but maybe to a society that worships knowledge like a God that counts as heresy?)
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Re: I am who I am

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AlexW wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 2:47 am
RCSaunders wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:34 pm ...
Seems we have similar perspectives on most of the above, but there are 2 differences.

You said that: You can think of vision as a kind of internal tv screen that consciousness, "watches."
If this is again only an analogy - as you have put the word "watches" in quotation marks - then fine, but direct experience contains no separate watcher/observer, but rather reveals that the watcher, which is meant to be separate from the watched/seen, only exists as a concept.
It is only an analogy. The conscious experience is the watching. I only use that analogy to avoid the view that the physical event/processes neurologists describe are not in themselves the conscious experience. Most physicalists simply deny the consciousness (viewing) of perception.
AlexW wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 2:47 am And, as the observer is purely conceptual, also the watched is only conceptual - in reality / direct experience there is no actual separation between the seer and the seen - meaning: the seen (the stuff one seems to be conscious of) actually is consciousness itself.
Probably true of all animals except human beings. You keep using the word, "conceptual," while ignoring the fact that concepts are held consciously, and are part of human consciousness. Perception is the total of an animal's consciousness--it is only conscious of whatever it is currently perceiving. Human consciousness includes all that is directly perceived, as well as all that is recalled from memory in the form of imagination, concepts, thinking, and choosing, including dreams and hallucinations. All are phenomena of human consciousness, and only exist as phenomena of consciousness.
AlexW wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 2:47 am And a bit further down: what we are experiencing is an entity, our identifying it as an entity does not make it an entity, it only recognizes it
This is what we conventionally believe to be true - yet, it is again only a conceptual interpretation of direct experience.
The words you just wrote say the right thing, but I don't think it is what you intend. It's not at matter of convention or belief. The conscious experience we call seeing an entity is the experience we have, consciously identifying it (calling it an entity) is simply a way of recognizing that perception. You want to hold on to experience being direct experience, but deny it is direct experience of anything.
AlexW wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 2:47 am There is no guarantee that this interpretation is true and correct.
It's not an interpretation. A concept only says, "this experience is an akum," so I can refer to that experience whenever I have it as an, "akum," or even when I'm not experiencing it but want to think about it. You admit the actual direct experience is what it is. All a concept does is form a symbol that can be used to refer to that actual direct experience, even when one is not actually having that experience. The concept does not interpret anything or say anything about what it identifies, it simply indicates what it identifies.
AlexW wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 2:47 am When analysing direct experience one can only conclude that there are no such separate entities as they simply do not exist on this level of "reality"
Unless there are no different perceptual experiences, every experience is different and since concepts only identify those experiences (call them what you like), there either are, "separate," perceptual experiences (which are usually referred to as entities) or there aren't. If you say there aren't, then nothing exists and there is nothing to perceive and one ends as a solipsist.
AlexW wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 2:47 am
RCSaunders wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:34 pm A concept of what? A bundle of attributes, like color, shape, size, texture, weight, ...? Where do these percepts of these attributes come from? Do the eyes just produce the points of color on there own? Don't those points of color have an origin?
The question of "origin" is one for the interpretations - for example: light reflects from object X, reaches eye, triggers a biochemical process, is converted to electric pulses, reaches brain and then... through some magic a picture appears in front of the minds eye... - direct experience reveals no origins or any other attributes. But yes, concepts are of patterns learned and recognised - mummy telling the toddler: "This is a square, this a triangle... this is yellow, this is red" - the concept "comes from" learning to speak using a language that is based on patterns (objects) having attributes, patterns that seem to be in specific relations to each other etc etc...
You have that backwards. Every concept has to be formed by someone. Most of the concepts we learn were formed by others long before we were even thought of, but for every one, someone had to have a perceptual experience which they chose to used a symbol (word) as the means to refer to that perceptual experience. All the other things you talked about were discovered by means of reason about all those things identified by such concepts, by which all new concepts identifying those discoveries were identified.

Early learning begins with much more basic concepts than shapes and sizes. Most early concept are simple identifications of perceived things, like, "that's Bobby's cup," Bobby's ball," "Tina's doll," or "ear, nose, eye, mouth," etc.
AlexW wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 2:47 am
RCSaunders wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:34 pm If there are no entities there are no attributes for consciousness to be aware of.
Agree.
That's also why consciousness is not "aware of attributes".
I have no idea what you are saying here. When I, and as far as I know, anyone else says they are conscious of something, they mean aware of it, that is, to directly perceive a color for example means to be directly consciously aware of the color. Furthermore, what I, and as far as I know, anyone else who uses the term means by a color would be an attribute.

What you just said can only have meaning if you have your own unique definitions of consciousness, awareness, and attribute. Now, there is no reason you cannot do that, and I do not believe anything true is determined by how many people agree with or believe something, but if you are going to use terms generally understood with a certain meaning with a different meaning of your own, it would help to explain those differences.
AlexW wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 2:47 am Agree, but entities also do not exist independently of the concepts that define/create them.
This is why it is so important to understand that concepts do not do anything except identify what exists as it exists. Using a concept is exactly like pointing at something and saying, "that!" The concept does not create anything, describe anything, or define anything. In order for someone to know what existent a concept identifies, a definition is used only to describe or explain what existent a concept refers to (identifies), but the concept is not the definition and does not mean the definition, it means (refers to, identifies) an existent, and nothing more.
AlexW wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 2:47 am I think it is important to actually define what we mean with "consciousness".
As I see it, consciousness is whatever is actually "real", whatever can be directly experienced and not only imagined/thought of.
Everything that exists in "fundamental reality" is what consciousness actually is, everything that exists in "conceptual reality", in the world of knowledge and ideas, whatever can not be directly experienced, is also not "part of" consciousness (and insofar actually "not fundamentally real").
I've already addressed this above:
Probably true of all animals except human beings. You keep using the word, "conceptual," while ignoring the fact that concepts are held consciously, and part of human consciousness. Perception is the total of an animal's consciousness--it is only conscious of whatever it is currently perceiving. Human consciousness includes all that is directly perceived, as well as all that is recalled from memory in the forms of imagination, concepts, thinking, and choosing, including dreams and hallucinations. All are phenomena of human consciousness, and only exist as phenomena of consciousness.
I think you are also making a metaphysical mistake. If what you mean by, "fundamentally real," is whatever exists and has the nature it has independent of human consciousness or awareness of it, that is, whether or not any human is conscious of it, that is what is referred to philosophically as ontological existence. A physicalist believes that is all that exists and may refer to it as physical, material, or natural existence, and also believes everything can ultimately be explained or understood in terms of the physical properties of physical existence, including life, consciousness, and human minds.

Most non-physicalists, called dualists, believe there is some fundmental difference between the physical, and either some or all of life, consciousness, and human rational consciousness, and attribute the latter to something that is above or different from the physical, material, or natural existence, which is sometimes referred to as transcendent or super-natural.

I do not agree with either of these views, but do believe there is a difference between ontological existence (material existence that exists independently of human consciousness) and all that exists only in and by human consciousness (all knowledge, language, reason, science, history, purpose, meaning, etc.) and that it is a great mistake to say what exists only because of human consciousness is not real.
AlexW wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 2:47 am You seem to add a good part of "conceptual reality" to consciousness - such as volition, intellect, rationality, past, future etc - which, I believe, makes it difficult the distinguish between conscious experience and "imagined" experience. It is, in a way, important to get that right, as otherwise there is no clear line between reality and "illusion".
I don't, "add," anything. Those things all exist and have specific identifiable natures just as all physical things do. All conscious experience is, "real," that is, individuals actually have those experiences, including dreams and illusions. Denying they are real is not the way to understand them. Dreams and illusions differ from direct perceptual consciousness and from rational consciousness and only by identifying how they are different can they be identified as dreams and illusions.
AlexW wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 2:47 am
RCSaunders wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:34 pm It is not possible for a human being to live without knowledge
I am not saying humanity should - but I believe it might be beneficial to understand what this type of knowledge can do and what it can't (thats why I asked previously: would you change a lightbulb with a hammer? of course not! yet we believe that knowledge is a tool that can do it all... I just would like to point out its limitations... but maybe to a society that worships knowledge like a God that counts as heresy?)
If you think any society, past or present, ever worshiped knowledge, you live in a different world from mine. Today, almost every academic, pseudo-intellectual, media personality, "educator," and, so-called authority repudiates the possibility of any certain knowledge or the efficacy of reason to discover it. From cultural Marxism and post modernism to every ideology, reason is replace with intuition, revelation, inspiration, superstition and irrationalism, like consensus or statistics, completely taking the place of the pursuit or rational knowledge. Nobody wants to know the truth.

What you do not seem to want to know is that there is a material existence that is and has the nature it has independently of any organism's consciousness of it or any human being's awareness or knowledge of it. It is that material existence all consciousness is directly conscious of (perceives) and that perceived existence that all knowledge is of and about.
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Re: I am who I am

Post by AlexW »

RCSaunders wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 4:57 pm You keep using the word, "conceptual," while ignoring the fact that concepts are held consciously, and are part of human consciousness. Perception is the total of an animal's consciousness--it is only conscious of whatever it is currently perceiving. Human consciousness includes all that is directly perceived, as well as all that is recalled from memory in the form of imagination, concepts, thinking, and choosing, including dreams and hallucinations. All are phenomena of human consciousness, and only exist as phenomena of consciousness.
I am not ignoring the fact that thought (and as such concepts) "are held consciously" - meaning: are "part of" consciousness and as such obviously real.
Thought is an "essential" aspect of consciousness, but this does not mean that the "world/universe" these thoughts seem to create is equally real.

Let me provide two examples:

1) A thought arises: an image of your mothers face when you were still a child.
The thought, the image, as it appears in front of your "minds eye" is real.

2) You look at your desk and a thought arises: cup of tea
The concepts "cup" and "tea" are real as thoughts - thought is consciousness itself, but these concepts are (as we have established previously) only pointers to what you call "independently existing entities", they are not the entity itself.
While this seems to work out just fine, there is still a problem: these concepts point to direct experience which is never of such separate entities (even you think it actually is).
The pointers - the concepts - actually lead "nowhere". Or rather: they point to a recognised pattern, a part of direct experience while, in reality, direct experience has no separate parts at all.

As I understand it, you believe direct experience is an experience of separate entities appearing on the one screen of consciousness, but as one can ever only experience this one screen of consciousness (and not whatever might be beyond/before it), I actually think that imagining that there really is something outside this screen of consciousness is not more than wishful thinking (and of course an interpretation believed to be true by the majority of people).
Its of course all "backed up by science and logic". But what we seem to overlook is that this very logic itself is built on the primary idea that there actually are such independently existing entities... is it surprising that science is able to come up with all sorts of proofs for the existence of such entities if its very foundation is already designed to make this possible? If the playing field is tilted, is it surprising if the ball always rolls in one direction?
RCSaunders wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 4:57 pm I do not agree with either of these views, but do believe there is a difference between ontological existence (material existence that exists independently of human consciousness) and all that exists only in and by human consciousness (all knowledge, language, reason, science, history, purpose, meaning, etc.) and that it is a great mistake to say what exists only because of human consciousness is not real.
I am not really saying any of the above - all I am (attempting to) saying is:
Whatever can only be thought of* is not fundamentally real (while the thoughts themselves are real)

*thought of meaning: pointed at by employing a concept to identify a part of reality as an individually existing, separate entity, as well as: all the knowledge that can be derived by linking these pointers/concepts into descriptions, interpretations, beliefs and facts.
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Re: I am who I am

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AlexW wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 5:04 am I am not ignoring the fact that thought (and as such concepts) "are held consciously" - meaning: are "part of" consciousness and as such obviously real.
Thought is an "essential" aspect of consciousness, but this does not mean that the "world/universe" these thoughts seem to, "create," is equally real.
I do not know what, "'world/universe' these thoughts seem to create," means. How does a thought create anything material?
AlexW wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 5:04 am Let me provide two examples:

1) A thought arises: an image of your mothers face when you were still a child.
The thought, the image, as it appears in front of your "minds eye" is real.
First, A thought is not an image. I think you are using the word, "thought," for just any phenomemon of consiousness. An, "image," whether of direct "seeing," or created by imagination from memory is perception, not thinking. There are no thoughts until one has formed concepts and all thinking it by means of concepts.

Second, thoughts do not just, "arise," spontaneously. Thoughts are not something that happens to you, thoughts (your thinking) is something you do by choice.

Third, I doubt very much that an image of a mother's face appears to a child's consciousness (like a snapshot), but it is impossible to know in any case. It is not possible to know what anyone else's conscious experience is.
AlexW wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 5:04 am 2) You look at your desk and a thought arises: cup of tea
The concepts "cup" and "tea" are real as thoughts - thought is consciousness itself, but these concepts are (as we have established previously) only pointers to what you call "independently existing entities", they are not the entity itself.
While this seems to work out just fine, there is still a problem: these concepts point to direct experience which is never of such separate entities (even you think it actually is).

The pointers - the concepts - actually lead "nowhere". Or rather: they point to a recognised pattern, a part of direct experience while, in reality, direct experience has no separate parts at all.
Why would consciousness invent these things that are perceived and make you, "think they are separate entities?" If they are not separate entities, exactly what is it consciousness is conscious of. It certainly seems like you are saying there are only the conscious images (and sounds, feelings, smells, and tastes), that are, "just there," without any reason for existing, ineffable and inexplicable.
AlexW wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 5:04 am As I understand it, you believe direct experience is an experience of separate entities appearing on the one screen of consciousness ...
No, the entities do not appear on the screen of consciousness, only such attributes of entities that can be directly perceived.
AlexW wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 5:04 am ... but as one can ever only experience this one screen of consciousness (and not whatever might be beyond/before it), I actually think that imagining that there really is something outside this screen of consciousness is no more than wishful thinking (and of course an interpretation believed to be true by the majority of people).
No, it is the certainty that the perceived attributes are not attributes without cause or reason, just, "there," without explanation. Whatever the reason for those those percepts is, it obviously has those attributes, and whatever it is that has those attributes is called existence.

[By the way, most people do not believe the world they directly perceive is reality as it actually exists. Most people believe that perceived reality is contingent on some creator or cause that is the really real thing behind reality, or that the world described by atomic or subatomic or quantum physics is the really real world or that the really real world cannot be perceived by defective human perception. All those views are wrong, but you are wrong if you think most people believe the perceived world is the really real world, even though it is.]
AlexW wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 5:04 am Its of course all "backed up by science and logic". But what we seem to overlook is that this very logic itself is built on the primary idea that there actually are such independently existing entities... is it surprising that science is able to come up with all sorts of proofs for the existence of such entities if its very foundation is already designed to make this possible? If the playing field is tilted, is it surprising if the ball always rolls in one direction?
Err, if, "logic," (by which I assume you mean reason) is built on what you consider an overlooked mistake, what exactly are you using to reach your conclusions? It looks to me as though you are using the very same, "logic," to deny the validity of science and logic.
AlexW wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 5:04 am
RCSaunders wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 4:57 pm I do not agree with either of these views, but do believe there is a difference between ontological existence (material existence that exists independently of human consciousness) and all that exists only in and by human consciousness (all knowledge, language, reason, science, history, purpose, meaning, etc.) and that it is a great mistake to say what exists only because of human consciousness is not real.
I am not really saying any of the above - all I am (attempting to) saying is:
Whatever can only be thought of* is not fundamentally real (while the thoughts themselves are real)

*thought of meaning: pointed at by employing a concept to identify a part of reality as an individually existing, separate entity, as well as: all the knowledge that can be derived by linking these pointers/concepts into descriptions, interpretations, beliefs and facts.
Well I know we've tried to avoid philosophical jargon, but your view is remarkably like idealism, particularly that of Bishop Berkley. I'm not accusing you of that ideology, only observing the similarity to the view you have explained.

Your meaning of, "real," is different from mine. By real I mean whatever actually exists however it exists, materially (ontologically), or psychologically (epistemologically). The entire material universe really exists independently of any consciousness or knowledge of it. Language, knowledge, science, mathematics, logic, history, literature, geography, even religion also really exist, but not materially and only psychologically as the product of human minds. They are simply different modes of real existense. To deny the reality of either is to deny evidence available to anyone and a certain path to error.

This is not an argument, by the way. It is only what I know. No one else needs to agree with it.
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Re: I am who I am

Post by AlexW »

RCSaunders wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 3:38 pm I do not know what, "'world/universe' these thoughts seem to create," means. How does a thought create anything material?
It doesn't create anything material - that there is anything "material" is itself just an idea.
RCSaunders wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 3:38 pm First, A thought is not an image. I think you are using the word, "thought," for just any phenomemon of consiousness. An, "image," whether of direct "seeing," or created by imagination from memory is perception, not thinking. There are no thoughts until one has formed concepts and all thinking it by means of concepts.

Second, thoughts do not just, "arise," spontaneously. Thoughts are not something that happens to you, thoughts (your thinking) is something you do by choice.
As I see it thought is perceived just like visual impressions, sounds, tastes, smells and physical sensations (by the way, this is not a unique position, Buddhism regards the "mind" as the 6th sense, with thoughts being "sensed" by the mind).
There are many "hints" within direct experience itself that thought is not produced and controlled by a separate entity - me, the thinker and controller of thought - firstly, as "one" can observe/witness thoughts arise and vanish without doing anything at all and, secondly, as there is no way to actually control thought.

Contrary to what you believe, there is no "thinking by choice".
If there were, then why would people have dark, disturbing, fearful, unhappy and ever suicidal thoughts? I don't think anyone would choose to think these thoughts if they could just as well decide to only think happy thoughts...
I think it is quite naive to believe that one is in control of thought while there is abundant proof "out there" (or rather: inside one's own head) of this not being the case at all...

By the way (and coming back to the topic of the post):
There is "something" (which is not a thing) within direct experience (which includes all 6 senses, and as such includes thought) that is permanent, unmoving, similar to the eye of a storm. This "eye" has been called the silent witness, the observer or pure consciousness. It is referred to in the Bible (and a few other teachings - see Nisargadatta Maharaj) as God or the "I am".
This is also why God, when speaking to Moses states: "I am that I am" - meaning: God is pure consciousness itself.
As a result, creation is always only "created" by consciousness itself (this includes everything, even thought) and not by an imagined entity called "I/me/self", which is itself nothing but another thought.
Also see Solomon 2:23: The righteous, because they are made in the image of God, can rest in the full hope of eternal life... -- but its not only the "righteous" which are made in the image of God, but all and everything else as well...
RCSaunders wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 3:38 pm Your meaning of, "real," is different from mine. By real I mean whatever actually exists however it exists, materially (ontologically), or psychologically (epistemologically). The entire material universe really exists independently of any consciousness or knowledge of it. Language, knowledge, science, mathematics, logic, history, literature, geography, even religion also really exist, but not materially and only psychologically as the product of human minds. They are simply different modes of real existense. To deny the reality of either is to deny evidence available to anyone and a certain path to error.

This is not an argument, by the way. It is only what I know. No one else needs to agree with it.
Agree, no argument - simply explaining our different points of view.
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