The notion of illusion is inappropriate here. Why? The temporal experiencing has real content - it is not just that experiencing is. Experiencing is of what is experienced. That nature of what is experienced happens (contingent being) to be in a way that duality is an essential fact. So there is no illusion. It is the way it is - albeit it is "only" the way it is.
But who is the one who knows all this? ..that one> who is that one? ...who's writing and telling that story?
The 'you' doesn't have an experience, the 'you' is the experience. The 'self is not an experience, it is that in which experiences arise and fall. There is no 'self' having an experience..the 'self' is the experience. An experience is an appearance.
The ''self'' is a by-product of seeing. The presence of seeing appears to divide reality into two parts ..the subject and the object, but seemingly independent parts are an illusion. In reality, there is only the presence of seeing.Without the presence of seeing, neither of the two apparent parts could appear. That seen by no one collapses the duality into oneness.
REPLY: I understand what you mean when you say there is only the presence of seeing. And I have experienced the collapse of the subject object distinction and experienced the ontological state you refer to. "There is only the presence of seeing" is a statement. I think I know what you mean by it.
But that seeing is not arbitrary in what seeing is seeing. It is possible for seeing to be seeing seeing seeing in an ontological state. But it is also possible to turn your attention from that fact and describe what seeing is seeing. When you do you begin to explore nature and are no longer investigating ontology or metaphysics.
Now if you do explore nature you find a duality between what is seen and the seeer. Basically if you put your chin on your chest and look down you will see your body. If you look in a mirror you will see your eyes. You ask "But who is the one who knows all that?" and while I think I know what you mean by the question I want you to stop thinking of that and think instead of what I mean when I say, "Look in the mirror. See yourself there? It is he that is doing the seeing". You are there in an essential - not just existential sense. You have a body, you drive a car you eat. All of that is part of the nature or your experiencing even if all experiencing is experiencing experiencing in an ontological sense.
You can respond what is all of that its just seeing and not be wrong but that would also miss my point which can only be made when you stop thinking about what you are thinking about when you write and instead consider the content of experiencing. Seeing sees content and that content is such that seeing is occurring in a kind of monkey like creature that is you.
And this is real. Come back to the mirror and while you could in some sense that Popper would recognize see a bear staring back you will not in a scientific sense because you are a primate and primates don't turn into bears and that is not an illusion.
You have eyes and ears and there is a fundamental duality that exists between that which is you and that which is not. Now you can see this in the intentionality inherent in the brain independent of consciousness. In other words forget that consciousness even exists for a second and just look at the photons striking something and entering the eye and then to the brain. Complement that with your other sensory data and allow the process to proceed with memory between moments. You will find that there is representation in the brain of what is not in the brain that has entered the brain through sensory pathways. Those pathways terminate in a brain and here the science is not clear yet, but whatever happens there, we believe that what seeing sees is correlated with this sense data. So absent the science we hypothesize that it is and then we know that a kind of representation of what is "out there" beyond the brain exists in the brain. Through further experiences we know that these representations are not always accurate, they can be fooled and all kinds of illusions and hallucination can be demonstrated. So this duality exists independent of consciousness in the sense that it is itself not the seeing but is an aspect of what is seen by seeing.
However, and this is the point, it is a real aspect. Hear that if nothing else. It is not an illusion in the sense that the brain has been spoofed into coming up with the wrong answer out there. It is the correct answer. It is not an illusion.
The description you are given is based on a non sequitor: You assume that because there is no duality (or tri-ality) between the experiencer, the experiencing, and the experienced that there is no duality (or tri-ality) within the experienced. There is. And it is not an illusion. It is necessary to understand that you are not just conscious but that you are conscious of nature. Do you eat? Why? What impact would not eating have? Don't they eat in monasteries? Why?
It is possible to make true or false statements about the experienced even while realizing that the experienced is experiencing. Sartre tried a method that worked somewhat but I don't like it. He use parenthesis and typed not-thetic consciousness of something as consciousness (of) something and thetic consciousness of something in the normal way without the parenthesis.
Look, just take experiencing and tell whether you can distinguish sight from sound. Forget the metaphysics for a moment and concentrate on the physics in the original sense of the Greek physis translated into natura or nature in Latin. Ignore for a moment the fact of experiencing and just become aware of the content of experiencing and the distinctions and most important the symmetries that are in FACT present there. Your house, where you live for example. Do you not return at night to it?
Now why is that not an illusion? Because there is not some other content that is put over against it as being the illusion. If I had the resources to take down and re-arrange your neighborhood in some clever way that you would think that your have entered your house but you actually entered and were in another then there would be an illusion. The reason is that there are two essential experiences - the experience of being in your house actually and the experience of being in your neighbors house but thinking you are in your house. That is an illusion. But when you enter it tonight that won't be happening. There is a difference there. Calling everything an illusion will just blur that distinction and people who do not know by their own experience the Oneness of Being will just think you are a lunatic because clearly there is a distinction between being fooled that you are in your house and not. They will then confuse descriptions of mystical experiencing as nothing by lunacy or worse the intent to be some kind of charlatan - and frankly - and its another thread - there are a lot of them around.
The universe is not an illusion. It is the real content of what we experience AND it is even outside of consciousness! Consider the back side of the moon? Now surely there are times when no sentient creatures think about it. Does it cease to exist? No. It is really there. That, I can say that is based on the real content of experiencing which is as if things hung around when we stopped looking at them. That needn't be the case. It is easy to imagine experiencing where the idea of positing any object existing beyond consciousness of it will just not work. It is a REAL ESSENTIAL PROPERTY of our existing that objective descriptions of a limited type work. It is then just simpler in the sense of Occam to accept this external reality based on the evidence. Ice flowing down a river beyond your view does not come into existence as it passes before you and go out as it leaves your sight. That is just a poor understanding and you can take some spray paint and color a piece then jump in the car and drive down river and wait and as long as it didn't melt you WILL SEE IT! And that is not some illusion. That will really occur. Do you see that there are all these descriptions that I could give like that. And they are not illusory. They are the actual content.
Now true all actual content is of a form of experiencing that admits the metaphysical understanding you speak of but that does not make the non-metaphysical description I am pointing to incorrect. In fact it is correct and you use it to find your socks in the morning.
But now look at the case you are talking about. Take a case were there is no illusion in the sense I described. You are in front of your computer. Experiencing experiencing experiencing - true, but also different that sitting down to dinner. It (dinner) is also experiencing experiencing experiencing but it is not true that there is no difference between sitting down for dinner and sitting in front of your computer. Also these statements I am making are referring to certain stabilities in the content of experiencing. You know what I mean by saying sitting down to dinner is not the same as sitting in front of your computer but without the REALITY of the content of experiencing being similar at different times the word computer would become useless. So too, did you know what I meant by imagining yourself sitting down to dinner and you are in fact reading something now that you know came across on the internet and it isn't an illusion that it did unless you think there is some trick and someone came into your house and typed the words there locally. There is a difference between and illusion and reality within what is experienced. And the reality of what is experienced forms the basis for the validity of the statements we make about it.
Just because you realize that all of that is experiencing experiencing experiencing doesn't make the facts about what was experienced any less real or any less susceptible to being an illusion or not. But you are calling all of the facts illusions! And they are not. For example if I used mirrors or something and faked CNN on your computer and said there was a second moon that had arrived around the earth then took you outside and by using mirrors got you to believe that there was a second moon then that would be an illusion. But the other experience of the fact that there is one moon would be the reality. But in your way of speaking both would be illusions because in reality there is ONLY experiencing experiencing experiencing and that ONLY is true only in one sense. There is another very important sense in which a person fooled into believing that there are two moons is under the illusion that there are two moons and the person thinking that there is one is not and that distinction is brought on not arbitrarily but by the nature of what is experienced. And if those faked CNN reports were true? Then that would be different situation essentially - not existentially but essentially - from the one where it was faked.
By conflating metaphysics of being with an ontic description of nature and science you confuse the whole issue. It is not an illusion that there are houses and dinners and bodies and brains and moons. The are not illusory. They are real features of the NATURE of experiencing and so are even illusions, for you can be doubly tricked! You can think you are under an illusion and find out no, you were right, there really is one moon!
So what I am saying is that by calling the results of science illusory you are falling into a trap. The trap works like this. There are illusory experiences of nature where you think you know something but are wrong or are tricked and there are those not like that where you are not tricked and know the actual situation. Your sentence can be interpreted to mean that you think they are equivalent or that there is no real basis for sorting out a scientific fact from a fiction. It makes it seem that you can't tell the truth from fiction. Especially by someone who has never had the radical transformation of their metaphysics or ontology - not nature now but ontology - required to know what you mean when you say its all One.
Justintruth wrote: Philosophy must be an intellectual discussion. One needs to be clear in this matter.
But life is not an intellectual thing. The sense of self (mind) that wants to intellectualise life as happening to it is an illusory story arising in it. Life is nothing without a continuous running narrative about it. That's what life factors in, but it is not what it is essentially. It's just appearances in it. Essentially life is nothing at all. There appears to be an attachment to the story of ''I'' appearing here.. apparently creating more and more
conceptual parts.. continually on and on adding people and myriad of other things all living individual stories of life with real substance, autonomy and continuity.
But this 'You' have mistakenly believed that you have a 'self' only because of the continual succession of memories and experiences that you've chosen to identify yourself with. You believe that 'you' are the owner of these memories, and that all such experiences happened directly to 'you' and that's fine, it's how the world appears in the first place, it's the narrative and the belief in such that appears to be running the whole show. But in all actuality no thing is running the show except the narrative and the belief.
My posts are not about the intellectual narrative, they are about the end of belief in a separate self who apparently suffers in life. I'm talking about the end of suffering. The end of separation and lack, and the re-union with all that is which is love expressing itself in every form conceivable including the axe murder.
You are not talking about the end of suffering. That description has been around for a long time in Buddhism but it has not ended suffering. It can end one and only one kind of suffering. The kind of suffering that comes from not experiencing existing. Even then the reality of suffering will be there. You have to remember the third movement: At first I saw a tree and it was a tree. Then I saw a tree and it was the Tao. And then I saw a tree and it was a tree.
Did you know that the real problem in monasteries is often getting monks to stop spacing out and focus on their work?
There was a Zen monk preaching on the Tao who found his student sitting meditating as the pet dog attacked the pet cat. "What are you doing you idiot!" the master shouted while separating the dog from the cat. Can't you see he was about to rip the cat apart?" "But master, you said in the Tao all are one" "Yes but you are part of the scene"
Now go look in a mirror and instead of considering the Tao take a good look. That is you! You are in the scene! That fact is a real aspect of the seen.
To say something is "just" or "only" consciousness is to impoverish the description to a point where it is nearly - not completely as most people think - but nearly useless.