The Futility of Reason

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

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Greta
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Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Greta » Fri Aug 19, 2016 12:43 am

Greta wrote:So the mystics jump in to claim that, since science doesn't have the answers, they do. They can't explain themselves because the answer is "unknowable", that you can only feel it. However, just because they give subjective experience its due importance (a problem with western science that's only recently being addressed) does not mean the mystics know what they're doing.
Dontaskme wrote:Seems everything is energy...and that matter is dead stuff which can do nothing without live energy input ...

It's the same for matter, it can't function without an electric current passing through it...we can call that electric current consciousness ...

When the body eventually dies, it just means the bodies battery has gone flat ...
Case in point.

Not Greta wrote:Whereas it is up to the metaphysicians and philosophers to interpret what those findings could possibly mean with respect to the grand mystery of "how and why" we are even here to ponder such things.
Dontaskme wrote:This was never a mystery...it was more like an open secret.
Tis only the ego that seeks for the ''hows'' and ''whys'' ....as if there was something in this for me....and that's the cosmic joke...the joke was always on the ego....as if such a thing ever existed..
That post wasn't mine.

Whatever, you keep making confident statements that are simply wrong. It's far from only ego that seeks answers. It's also:

1) survival instinct *

2) reasoned survival/thrival strategies *

3) curiosity

4) pleasure / entertainment

5) to gain a greater sense of connection through greater understanding.

If humans never embraced reason they would have been extinct long ago. We are slow, have small mouths, small blunt teeth, no claws, no armour or fur, just soft and vulnerable skin. You may not like where reason has taken us, but a lack of reason would have taken us nowhere at all.


* 1 & 2 are ego-based in the sense that the ego exists as a survival mechanism.

seeds
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Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by seeds » Fri Aug 19, 2016 8:35 pm

seeds wrote: In which case (and to reiterate what I have been asserting in my earlier statements), I believe that the ultimate purpose of the universe is to serve as God’s literal “womb” wherein he is able to "self-conceive" his very own progeny (us).
Nick_A wrote: Considering the enormous magnitude of our universe, the earth is less than a speck. If the earth and all life upon it including man were destroyed by an asteroid it wouldn’t make a bit of difference to the universe, the body of God, performing its complimentary functions. The cycles of involution and evolution would continue.
The earth may indeed be less than a speck compared to the size of the universe; however, it has been estimated that approximately 107 billion human minds have been awakened into existence on just this one planet alone.

And if you have the slightest understanding of what I implied in an earlier post when I suggested that...
seeds wrote: We are agents of consciousness who are imbued with the capability of creating holographic-like manifestations of “reality” within the closed and subjective arena of our own personal universe (our mind), just as God (our ultimate parent) has done with his mind.

And through the process of death we will be “delivered” (birthed) into a higher context of consciousness and existence (literally "outside" of this universe) in which God and our ultimate form (the exact same form as God) will be openly revealed to us.
...then you will realize that each human consciousness - within the context of its own eternal life - represents the encapsulated potential of being able to create a universe just like the one in which it was created.

So as crazy as it may sound, even if the earth is indeed destroyed tomorrow by an asteroid, it has already served an amazing purpose of awakening 107 billion universes into existence.
_______

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Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by seeds » Fri Aug 19, 2016 8:36 pm

Greta wrote: Personally, I reckon the whole universe is alive in ways that we are not twigging on to, but I can't prove nuttin' and, alas, neither can you.
You are absolutely correct, Greta. I cannot “prove” any of my assertions.

And here comes the irony of my stance:

I personally believe that for the sake of maintaining the integrity of the illusion of the universe, it is literally forbidden that any such “proving” be allowed.

In other words, there can never be an irrefutable verification of the fact that the universe is a “dream-like illusion” from which we will all awaken in the event of death.

Why?

Because if everyone knew (beyond a shadow of any doubt) that there existed a higher level of reality awaiting us a higher context of "wakefulness" that makes what we are experiencing now seem like a dark and limited "womb" in comparison, then what do you suppose would happen?

Now I realize that what I am suggesting is just fanciful speculation.

However (and just for philosophical funsies), if humans were in possession of the knowledge that all they had to do was to find a quick and painless way of exiting their bodies and they would instantly awaken into a wondrous new form and setting (with absolutely no threat of “judgement” or “retribution” being involved), then what do you honestly think they would do?

Give it some critical thought, Greta, and imagine the consequences of that revelation being given to the very first humans on earth.
Greta wrote: You seem to be arguing that consciousness is fundamental. Many have made the argument, but we don't yet know what is fundamental. I sympathise, but I cannot reason it out. If someone asked me to cogently explain my intuitions, I couldn't.
The existence of the sum total of the contents of the entire universe would be utterly meaningless without the presence of life.

Can you think of anything in terms of the material structure of the universe as having any reason whatsoever for existing other than for its relationship with life and consciousness?

Name just one thing, Greta.

So yes, I am indeed arguing that consciousness (life) is not only “fundamental,” but is the very reason for existence itself.

How could it not be?
Greta wrote: Philosophers need to be aware of new verified findings to avoid deal-breaking errors. Still, I'm a fan of meta-analyses. Let the boffins do the hard spade work and we can use their findings to construct what we hope are coherent mental models of reality...
That’s funny, Greta.

You have a wonderful wit about you in your choices and expressing of words (yes, let the “boffins” :) do the grunt-work that provides the grist for the mills of philosophical analysis).
_______

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Greta
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Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Greta » Sat Aug 20, 2016 2:27 am

seeds wrote:
Greta wrote:Personally, I reckon the whole universe is alive in ways that we are not twigging on to, but I can't prove nuttin' and, alas, neither can you.
You are absolutely correct, Greta. I cannot “prove” any of my assertions.

And here comes the irony of my stance:

I personally believe that for the sake of maintaining the integrity of the illusion of the universe, it is literally forbidden that any such “proving” be allowed.

... However (and just for philosophical funsies), if humans were in possession of the knowledge that all they had to do was to find a quick and painless way of exiting their bodies and they would instantly awaken into a wondrous new form and setting (with absolutely no threat of “judgement” or “retribution” being involved), then what do you honestly think they would do?

Give it some critical thought, Greta, and imagine the consequences of that revelation being given to the very first humans on earth.
I'm reminded of the Jack Nicholson character in A Few Good Men - we "can't handle the truth". On the plus side, I imagine we'd all be a lot happier, optimistic and carefree!

Then again, it's not the only "truth" we can't handle. We are evolved to only perceive a tiny, efficacious slice of reality. "The truth" seems to be a confusing, roiling mass of interconnected dynamic energies and forces, and we just perceive the parts that impact critters of our scale and function.

I'm not sure people can handle much of the likely truth of our existential situation either, that we appear to be a transitional form, a conduit leading towards the far more powerful and aware entities that we create, or that a few of us become. We like to think we are the main game. I expect the Neanderthals thought so too.
seeds wrote:The existence of the sum total of the contents of the entire universe would be utterly meaningless without the presence of life.

Can you think of anything in terms of the material structure of the universe as having any reason whatsoever for existing other than for its relationship with life and consciousness?

Name just one thing, Greta.
Does anything need a reason to exist or do they just turn up? I can't speak for you but I just turned up [some] decades ago and, like everyone else, I've been winging it ever since.

As per the above, I suspect that what we call "consciousness" is not going to be life's "main game". I will be surprised if life that evolves for much longer than us will have the same opacity between minds. I find the concept reminiscent of nerve nets in simple brainless animals - they sense in discrete chunks like a colony rather than in the integrated way of vertebrates. You could say that the next logical evolutionary step is "societal encephalisation".
seeds wrote:So yes, I am indeed arguing that consciousness (life) is not only “fundamental,” but is the very reason for existence itself.

How could it not be?
It's possible that consciousness is simply an emergent property of life, and only first appeared with the advent of simple organisms. It's also possible that what we call consciousness is only part of a broader phenomenon, that various stages of proto-consciousness exist, just as what could be thought of as hyper-consciousness looks like the next step - many perspectives (as opposed to our singular perspectives), cogitated as a cohesive whole in real time similar to how we naturally create seamless experiences from our various senses.

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Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Nick_A » Sat Aug 20, 2016 7:33 pm

Seeds wrote: seeds wrote:In which case (and to reiterate what I have been asserting in my earlier statements), I believe that the ultimate purpose of the universe is to serve as God’s literal “womb” wherein he is able to "self-conceive" his very own progeny (us).


Nick_A wrote:Considering the enormous magnitude of our universe, the earth is less than a speck. If the earth and all life upon it including man were destroyed by an asteroid it wouldn’t make a bit of difference to the universe, the body of God, performing its complimentary functions. The cycles of involution and evolution would continue.

The earth may indeed be less than a speck compared to the size of the universe; however, it has been estimated that approximately 107 billion human minds have been awakened into existence on just this one planet alone.

And if you have the slightest understanding of what I implied in an earlier post when I suggested that...


seeds wrote:We are agents of consciousness who are imbued with the capability of creating holographic-like manifestations of “reality” within the closed and subjective arena of our own personal universe (our mind), just as God (our ultimate parent) has done with his mind.

And through the process of death we will be “delivered” (birthed) into a higher context of consciousness and existence (literally "outside" of this universe) in which God and our ultimate form (the exact same form as God) will be openly revealed to us.

...then you will realize that each human consciousness - within the context of its own eternallife - represents the encapsulated potential of being able to create a universe just like the one in which it was created.

So as crazy as it may sound, even if the earth is indeed destroyed tomorrow by an asteroid, it has already served an amazing purpose of awakening 107 billion universes into existence.
_______
You may not realize it but to me your ideas are an expression of egoism on steroids. You’ve taken some good ideas on conscious evolution and man’s meaning and purpose and are equating them with man on earth living in imagination in Plato’s cave.

Evolution is an essential universal process but so is involution or the devolution of unity into diversity. The womb doesn’t do that.
You wrote: The earth may indeed be less than a speck compared to the size of the universe; however, it has been estimated that approximately 107 billion human minds have been awakened into existence on just this one planet alone.
There is no reason to assume this. Do you think that all the acorns dropped by an oak tree grow up to become oak trees? Of course not. The overwhelming majority become either food for the earth or creatures that live upon it. There simply is no quality of consciousness within the great majority of this 107 billion to evolve. Upon their death they just descend into samsara as described by the Eastern traditions. Everything in the universe is either serving the process of involution or evolution. Man on earth has primarily become part of the process of involution. Some don’t and others remain as good seed within higher consciousness until given another chance to develop. You are describing a conscious potential for humanity that doesn’t exist for fallen Man dominated by imagination in Plato’s cave. Nothing real can be built on fantasy including a new realistic human paradigm. Man’s nothingness with the potential to be something is a real paradigm. It is too repulsive for the conditioned ego to be taken seriously.

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Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by seeds » Sun Aug 21, 2016 1:16 am

Nick_A wrote: You may not realize it but to me your ideas are an expression of egoism on steroids.
So you think that it is “egoism” that causes me to suggest that every human mind that has ever awakened into life has been given a “gift” that is so wonderful that it must be kept hidden from us until death? Really? "Egoism"?

Granted, it may be “wishful thinking” on steroids, but I don’t think it has anything to do with the ego.
Nick_A wrote: You’ve taken some good ideas on conscious evolution and man’s meaning and purpose and are equating them with man on earth living in imagination in Plato’s cave.
As I stated earlier, you and I are diametrically opposed when it comes to the purpose of our imaginations.

You need to stop thinking that our ability to grasp the fabric of our minds and literally shape it into anything we wish is somehow a problem that needs to be overcome.

Clearly, you are conflating the “erroneous and nonsensical” ideations that imagination can create, with that of the “ability itself” to create such ideations.

From my idealistic/panentheistic perspective, the entire universe is the product of a Higher Being’s imagination. Therefore, it is completely ridiculous to “think” (imagine) that imagination is our enemy.
seed wrote: The earth may indeed be less than a speck compared to the size of the universe; however, it has been estimated that approximately 107 billion human minds have been awakened into existence on just this one planet alone.
Nick_A wrote: There is no reason to assume this. Do you think that all the acorns dropped by an oak tree grow up to become oak trees? Of course not. The overwhelming majority become either food for the earth or creatures that live upon it. There simply is no quality of consciousness within the great majority of this 107 billion to evolve. Upon their death they just descend into samsara as described by the Eastern traditions.
You seem to be espousing a form of nihilistic purposelessness when it comes to most of humanity (i.e., the old “water droplet back into the ocean” bit).

You are still stuck in the “chrysalis” of old paradigm thinking, Nick.
Nick_A wrote: Everything in the universe is either serving the process of involution or evolution. Man on earth has primarily become part of the process of involution. Some don’t and others remain as good seed within higher consciousness until given another chance to develop.
Develop into what?

Please describe with precision and clarity exactly what you think the “ultimate goal” to which a soul’s “development” is targeted?

Keep in mind that if the potential for eternal life is real, then whatever you attempt to describe must be able to withstand an endlessness that defies comprehension.

In other words, an eternally living entity must not only have an indestructible form, but also a logical “purpose” that makes absolute sense when projected trillions of years into the infinite.
Nick_A wrote: You are describing a conscious potential for humanity that doesn’t exist for fallen Man dominated by imagination in Plato’s cave.
For crying out loud, Nick, for the umpteenth time...

1. Man is not “fallen.”

2. “Imagination” is a vital aspect of our mind and is not our enemy. And...

3. The allegory of “Plato’s cave” is just a clever and intuitive evaluation of our “momentary situation” that will be instantly remedied at the moment of death (be it either through a grand awakening, or through utter oblivion).


(Btw, if you are going to include large portions of our conversation in one big quote box, then please make sure you label who said what properly. You have some of my comments falling under the label of what Nick_A wrote. So please fix it.)

_______
Last edited by seeds on Sun Aug 21, 2016 12:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Greta
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Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Greta » Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:05 am

Nick_A wrote:Evolution is an essential universal process but so is involution or the devolution of unity into diversity. The womb doesn’t do that.
I like the first observation but, thankfully, zygotes in the womb do diversify - from a relatively symmetrical blastocyst to a complex foetus.

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Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Nick_A » Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:42 am

Seeds wrote:
As I stated earlier, you and I are diametrically opposed when it comes to the purpose of our imaginations.

You need to stop thinking that our ability to grasp the fabric of our minds and literally shape it into anything we wish is somehow a problem that needs to be overcome.

Clearly, you are conflating the “erroneous and nonsensical” ideations that imagination can create, with that of the “ability itself” to create such ideations.

From my idealistic/panentheistic perspective, the entire universe is the product of a Higher Being’s imagination. Therefore, it is completely ridiculous to “think” (imagine) that imagination is our enemy.
We are diametrically opposed. Imagination as it is normally used is escapism. We can imagine anything and create anything in our imagination. It just isn’t real. However conscious contemplation can lead to what Einstein called intuition. It is contemplation with conscious attention. It can also be called imagination. Where conscious contemplation can lead to intuition and the remembrance of apriori knowledge, escapism just leads to a psychological escape from reality.
You seem to be espousing a form of nihilistic purposelessness when it comes to most of humanity (i.e., the old “water droplet back into the ocean” bit).
What is nihilistic about being realistic? I appreciate panentheism because it is a logical foundation upon which logical understanding can be built as it concerns human meaning and purpose.
Develop into what?

Please describe with precision and clarity exactly what you think the “ultimate goal” to which a soul’s “development” is targeted?

Keep in mind that if the potential for eternal life is real, then whatever you attempt to describe must be able withstand an endlessness that defies comprehension.

In other words, an eternally living entity must not only have an indestructible form, but also a logical “purpose” that makes absolute sense when projected trillions of years into the infinite.

The seed of the soul can mature and become a soul much like an acorn can become an oak.

Briefly, the purpose of a human soul is to mediate between levels of reality. It receives from above and gives to below. The New Man will have a soul and inner unity while the old man is an aggregate, a creature of reaction that is in opposition with itself.

1. Man is not “fallen.”

2. “Imagination” is a vital aspect of our mind and is not our enemy. And...

3. The allegory of “Plato’s cave” is just a clever and intuitive evaluation of our “momentary situation” that will be instantly remedied at the moment of death (be it either through a grand awakening, or through utter oblivion).
You can write it in bold but it doesn’t make it any more true. Man is dual natured. The animal part originated with the earth while his higher parts are from above. Man is considered fallen because the emotions which should realistically connect them have become corrupt. Where the higher should govern the lower, now the lower governs the higher.

Conscious directed pondering is a sacred gift. Escapist imagination just takes the place of a sacred gift.

Plato’s cave is an allegory describing our daily life. A person can ignore it or seek to verify it through efforts to “Know Thyself.”

Shakespeare concludes in All the World’s a Stage:
https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/you ... rlds-stage:
Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
Is this nihilistic or realistic for the human condition left as it is?

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Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Nick_A » Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:51 am

Greta wrote:
I like the first observation but, thankfully, zygotes in the womb do diversify - from a relatively symmetrical blastocyst to a complex foetus.
Yes but does the womb also have the function of devolving a foetus into a blastocyst? But this is what the universe does. The process of evolution serves to increase the level of being - diversty into the direction of unity. Involution serves the purpose of creation; of devolving unity into diversity. The creation of organic life on earth is the devolution of organic life as a whole involuting on earth into the myriad of diverse parts we call life on earth.

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Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by seeds » Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:59 am

Nick,

Would you please stop mixing your comments in with my comments with no clear distinction between who said what.

It completely muddles the conversation.

_______

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Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Greta » Sun Aug 21, 2016 5:05 am

Nick_A wrote:Seeds wrote:
As I stated earlier, you and I are diametrically opposed when it comes to the purpose of our imaginations.

You need to stop thinking that our ability to grasp the fabric of our minds and literally shape it into anything we wish is somehow a problem that needs to be overcome.

Clearly, you are conflating the “erroneous and nonsensical” ideations that imagination can create, with that of the “ability itself” to create such ideations.

From my idealistic/panentheistic perspective, the entire universe is the product of a Higher Being’s imagination. Therefore, it is completely ridiculous to “think” (imagine) that imagination is our enemy.
We are diametrically opposed. Imagination as it is normally used is escapism. We can imagine anything and create anything in our imagination. It just isn’t real. However conscious contemplation can lead to what Einstein called intuition. It is contemplation with conscious attention. It can also be called imagination. Where conscious contemplation can lead to intuition and the remembrance of apriori knowledge, escapism just leads to a psychological escape from reality.
Imagination is the tool of human creativity. We effectively have "future predictors" that are often wrong, but better than nothing. We can imagine futures and the imagining is an act of creation. Each of the acts of imagination fall within the pool of human communicable knowledge and in a process that echoes natural selection, some imaginings are embraced by others who work to realise those ideas while other ideas remain potentials of widely varying likelihood.

In another context, consider the well-known basketball practice experiment, where physically practising shooting penalties yielded similar results to just imagining shooting penalties. That is not a priori knowledge but conditoning, and conditioning is also an act of creation - the creation of a new "subroutine" in your repertoire of useful automatic actions.

Consider the placebo effect, again demonstrating the feedback loop between the mental dynamics and body function.

As for delusions, in a way they are real, but only to a limited number of people, often only one. I think life is gradually scrabbling its way to the truth, like a much harder version of Andy Dufresne trying to scratch his way through the wall of his Shawshank cell with a teaspoon.

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Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Greta » Sun Aug 21, 2016 5:09 am

Nick_A wrote:Greta wrote:
I like the first observation but, thankfully, zygotes in the womb do diversify - from a relatively symmetrical blastocyst to a complex foetus.
Yes but does the womb also have the function of devolving a foetus into a blastocyst? But this is what the universe does. The process of evolution serves to increase the level of being - diversty into the direction of unity. Involution serves the purpose of creation; of devolving unity into diversity. The creation of organic life on earth is the devolution of organic life as a whole involuting on earth into the myriad of diverse parts we call life on earth.
Not at all. Both the womb and its universe are in the growth business. I'm not seeing too much devolution. The universe started as a hot ball of plasma. The Earth started as a huge molten ball of rock. No devoution aside from temporal local fluctuations, but there's been much development.

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Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by seeds » Sun Aug 21, 2016 5:48 am

Greta wrote: Imagination is the tool of human creativity.
Precisely!

Just walk through the stores of a giant shopping mall, or picture in your mind the almost infinite array of inventions and material manifestations that form the basis of the world's societies, and then realize that practically all of those creations owe their existence to human “imagination.”

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Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Nick_A » Sun Aug 21, 2016 5:08 pm

Greta wrote:
Not at all. Both the womb and its universe are in the growth business. I'm not seeing too much devolution. The universe started as a hot ball of plasma. The Earth started as a huge molten ball of rock. No devoution aside from temporal local fluctuations, but there's been much development.
Existence proceeds in cycles. Some are easier to see than others. Consider a tulip plant for example. In the spring it becomes part of evolution and produces the tulip flower. After a while it begins the process of its involution where it breaks down into its component parts leaving only its essence. Then the cycle repeats. Mountains are created by external forces and then gradually wear away over time and involve back into their essential elements. It is the way creation functions. Cycles are cycles. they differ only in time. The cycle of a star's life is far longer than a flower on earth.

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Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Nick_A » Sun Aug 21, 2016 5:23 pm

Greta wrote:
Imagination is the tool of human creativity.
Seeds wrote: Precisely!

Just walk through the stores of a giant shopping mall, or picture in your mind the almost infinite array of inventions and material manifestations that form the basis of the world's societies, and then realize that practically all of those creations owe their existence to human “imagination.”
Imagination is always the fabric of social life and the dynamic of history. The influence of real needs and compulsions, of real interests and materials, is indirect because the crowd is never conscious of it. ~ Simone Weil -
It seems that Greta and Seeds are glorifying what has become a human norm built upon imagination

Is this a good thing? Is sacrificing real needs in favor of the results of self justifying imagination producing all the horrors evident in the world really worth celebrating?

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