## Back to Infinity

So what's really going on?

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Atla
Posts: 1309
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:27 am

### Re: Back to Infinity

Atla wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:21 am
AlexW wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:04 am
Atla,
Atla wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:41 am
Using nondual logic to verify/discard nondual views is also inherently circular.
Not sure I understand - can you please provide an example.
For example when we start from the human self.

A duality example would be that I'm a mind carrying around a body. And then I may map the rest of the world like that too, dividing it into two natures, two categories. And what doesn't correspond to that, is illogical.

A triality example would be that I'm a universal spirit, expressed through a mind, carrying around a body. And then I may may divide the rest of the world into three categories too. And what doesn't correspond to that, is illogical.

And when it comes to the nondual self, no fundamental divisions are made. So I may map the rest of the world like that too. And what is said to contain a fundamental division, is illogical.
Though it's a circularity on a simpler level. We don't assume divisions in the first place / we assume a lack of divisions. The dualistic thinker assumes something that the nondual thinker doesn't, so the latter is the simpler picture.

AlexW
Posts: 214
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:53 am

### Re: Back to Infinity

Atla wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:15 am
Though it's a circularity on a simpler level. We don't assume divisions in the first place / we assume a lack of divisions.
I am not sure if I would call that a circularity - hmmm - yes the map we use is based on non-dual understanding, but if one only assumes a lack of division without experiencing/knowing this directly then I am tempted to agree. Direct, non-dual knowing, on the other hand, cannot be circular.

Atla
Posts: 1309
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:27 am

### Re: Back to Infinity

AlexW wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:11 am
Direct, non-dual knowing, on the other hand, cannot be circular.
Well unless reality really is, for example, dual. It always remains a theorethical possibility. In that case direct, nondual knowing would be a circular misunderstanding in a sense.

But I have never found any sign whatsoever that reality is dual, to me everything seems to match the nondual view. I was just writing these things because many people seem to reject nondualism on the basis of percieved circularity.

Belinda
Posts: 2152
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

### Re: Back to Infinity

AlexW wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:20 am
Belinda,
Belinda wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:40 am
I think that the concept of thought is real
...
I have faith that there be absolute and total reality but that we cannot access it.
It depends how you define reality. You say that "if it happens it's real" - but how do you know something happens? Again via thought, right?
The reality you are referring to is purely thought based (=objective reality - similar to what Serendipper is referring to), whereas I am talking about base- reality, the source of all apparent things.
I see no reality in conceptual thought - only story and stories are not real. They might have a conceptual meaning and as such hold a certain value in objective reality, but in base-reality they are absolutely meaningless.
You actually can access absolute reality - you are it - but by covering up the fact with objective reality and all its stories you simply don't see it.
Maybe have a look at the text I just posted to Serendipper - it explains what I am referring to in some more detail.

Here's an extract from it , I thought it was the most telling part:
I state that base-reality and objective reality are mutually exclusive - that we have actually managed to turn reality upside down and create an overlay that is not just a little bit off but infinitely far away from the underlying truth.
This can be proven: Simply look, hear, feel, smell, taste... (I guess you agree your five senses are your only means of investigating really anything, besides conceptual thought of course) - and while doing so, strip away layers and layers of objective reality until you end up at the border - the last layer that, when stripped away, leaves nothing else to say - all concepts gone... only direct experience left.
I used to prefer idealism(immaterialism) until I read Spinoza who claims there is a higher level of reality than either mind or body-brain.(I.e. a higher reality than either a) my concept of the cup , and b) the cup itself according to all possible conceptualisations of the cup). This higher reality is what Spinoza called Nature. Obviously he didn't mean the 'nature' we tend to associate with TV programmes about trees, oceans and animals. He included in nature us too our ideas and our physiology and also the more banal things and events, and also the very small and the very large things and events.

To go back to your cup illustration in your reply to Serendipper: I perceive the cup and you perceive the cup and because you and I are the same species and share the same culture of practical things we conceive of the cup in much the same way. We may even share the same scientific knowledge about the cup its chemical constituents or its atomic structure or its history if it's a family heirloom or an antique. There are many possible issues from a simple cup . We may talk about the cup as it affects you, even to the extent that it repels or intrigues you. I could be listening to you talking on the topic. We mutually assume that we refer to the same object or else we couldn't talk at all. We identify the object by its unique qualities such as it has a hairline crack or the peculiar design on it or that it occupies its unique space-time location in my hand.

The specific cup can't be separated from its space-time location therefor space-time is both material and conceptual, like the specific cup is both material and conceptual. The human individual is both material and conceptual and cannot be otherwise because as Spinoza pointed out "The mind is the idea of the body". I need not at this juncture elaborate on the human organs of special sense and their physiological connections to the brain-mind.

Universals such as cups in general, or minds in general, probably don't exist in any sense except as useful thought experiments or heuristics with no material correlation except the state of the brain-minds that are thinking them. This universe with its contents , and this mind, are particulars not universals and they are real considered from the point of view of space-time or from the point of view of mind concepts. Thus reality overarches both mind and matter.

The universals e.g. cups, or whiteness, or the atomic structure of porcelain, or mathematics, are ideas---- mind stuff which have their correlations in brain-mind activity. Reality ("God or Nature) overarches both mind and matter.

Serendipper
Posts: 201
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:05 am

### Re: Back to Infinity

AlexW wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:07 am
Serendipper wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:04 pm
I'm ok with nonconceptual knowledge, but you're not chipping away at stone to reveal anything, but rather you're starting with the finished product and insisting it exists and insisting there is no way to arrive at the finished product other than to simply believe it exists.
...
I'll start my investigation by investigating your claim that objective reality can exist. How's that?
I am not asking you to believe but to investigate - so yes, why don't we investigate if objective reality exists, and if so, in which way?

I propose the following mode of investigation:
To figure out if objective reality exists (or rather in which way it exists) we have to go back to ground zero. We have to go back to a state before objective reality was known to you - we have to figure out what you knew at the time and then explore how objective reality happened to you.
I guess you agree that when you were born you knew nothing about objective reality - you had no idea about objects, all you knew was direct experience - seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, tasting and thought - you actually didn't even know that these are separate senses - there was simply a continues unnamed flow - I call this undivided no-thing base-reality (or simply reality - or also direct experience).
Over the years you have learned about objects and soon also about yourself, the subject. This objective knowledge has been put into you - you haven't been born with it, you learned about it. Agree so far?
I appreciate your patience with me, but no, I don't agree The knowledge that I've learned since birth has been subjective (and much of it was wrong, I might add).
This acquired knowledge generates something you call objective reality - a reality made up of things that only came into existence via learning/conditioning. I am not questioning this "objective reality" - what I am questioning though is how truthfully base-reality has been mapped into objective reality.
Objective reality is an object with no subject (or virtual/fake/pretend subject that doesn't actually exist). For instance when we imagine the universe being shrunken down to a singularity before the big bang, we picture it from a virtual point outside the universe where size is undefined. Even decorated physicists routinely make this error of assuming there can be a point of view outside of spacetime.

Objective reality cannot have an observer, or maybe I should say "discerner", or it becomes instantly subjective reality.

We should explore a thought experiment to get a handle on objectivity:

Is money subjectively or objectively valued? One interlocutor argued that money was objectively valued because the value is determined by a large group of people, but I countered with the notion that such valuing is collective-subjectivity while objective valuing would be value set by the government because government dictation is independent of any and all observers (valuers, discerners). Objective value is determined by authority and not valuing by individuals or collections of individuals. Objective value is not dependent upon any valuation or discernment, but authoritarian dictation that would exist even if all subjects were dead. If objective valuation were dependent upon a collection of valuers, then such value could not exist if all people were dead. Objectivity is what remains when every subject is dead and therefore there is absolutely no way to make such an observation.

We can extrapolate into the past and say this is what the universe would have objectively looked like if we had been there, but we weren't there and it remains speculation based on assumption from a virtual point of observation.

We could approach this from the idea of laws: If a car can only travel so fast due to mechanical constraints, then it's not obeying a law by having a limit on its speed, but in contrast, a legal speed limit exists regardless if there are cars on the road. A legal speed limit is independent of the existence of cars and its authority has nothing to do with the cars themselves. Laws are therefore inherently objective (independent of subjects).

If there existed "laws" of the universe, then it wouldn't matter if light existed or not because the law that would dictate its speed would exist by authority, but if light "just happens" to travel at the particular speed it does, then its not obeying a law, but is just doing "whatever" as a consequence of "whatever". In the latter case, it is light itself that determines its reality whereas in the former case, it was dictation that determined its reality. Just like in the case of the car, it was the car itself that determined its max speed (determined its reality) rather than a law that dictated its max speed.

The important takeaway is realizing that objective reality is what would exist if there were no observers whatsoever and there is simply no way to determine that other than to say the idea makes no sense because reality is an interaction between subject and object; if there is no subject whatsoever, then there is no reality whatsoever.

We could say: if there were no cars, then a speed limit is inconsequential; it makes no difference to anything and therefore isn't real. If the value of money were dictated by authority, but there were no subjects, then it makes no difference to anything and so it's not real. Objective reality only has meaning if there is something to affect; an interaction. Things that have no potential to affect cannot be said to exist, and in order to affect, there must be something to affect (ie a subject). So, objects without subjects cannot be said to exist if there is nothing for the object to affect (which is what a subject is).
I state that base-reality and objective reality are mutually exclusive
I'm not sure what you mean by base-reality. Since reality is an interaction between one thing and another thing, then if we find an end to the string of things affecting each other, then we've found the end of reality and all this apparently arises from nothing. Otherwise, it is infinitely linear in that we will never find an end or it is circular and self-causal. That's the 3 possibilities for base-reality, where the latter 2 do not have bases.
- that we have actually managed to turn reality upside down and create an overlay that is not just a little bit off but infinitely far away from the underlying truth.
Again, truth is relative, so there is nothing to be infinitely far away from. I haven't yet conceded that there is any objective existence and so I can't operate from the assumption that objective truth exists, even though I suspect there must be something objectively true that's fundamental. For instance is it objectively true that 4-sided triangles cannot exist? Is duality objectively true? It sure seems there must be some sort of objective truth, but I also haven't figured everything out yet.
This can be proven: Simply look, hear, feel, smell, taste... (I guess you agree your five senses are your only means of investigating really anything, besides conceptual thought of course)

Yes I would add "thought" to that list.
- and while doing so, strip away layers and layers of objective reality until you end up at the border - the last layer that, when stripped away, leaves nothing else to say - all concepts gone... only direct experience left. Now you are looking at truth/reality while still being able to compare your ideas of reality with its actuality. I am curious what you find...
As long as I am a subject, then anything I perceive will be subjective.
Thats also why I once asked you to look at an object - e.g. a cup on your desk - and see what it is made of... The whole investigation is maybe a bit long to be posted right here, but please have a look at an article I recently put on my blog, it explains the process in some detail:
https://alexwinzer.wordpress.com/2018/0 ... true-self/
After you have had a look - what do you think about the existence of objective reality now - in what form does it exist? Is it true?
Pretty cool you have a blog site! I should do that next winter

Ok Alex, here's some Alan on the topic of a cup

Transcription:

Some people will use a symbolism of the relationship of God to the universe wherein God is, say, a brilliant light... only somehow veiled... hiding underneath all these forms that you see as you look around you. So far so good, but the truth is funnier than that. It is that you are looking right at the brilliant light now... that the experience you are having which you call "ordinary everyday consciousness", pretending you're not it... that experience is exactly the same thing as IT! There's no difference at all! And when you find that out you laugh yourself silly! That's the great discovery.

In other words when you really start to see things, and you look at an old paper cup, and you go into the nature of what it is to see, what vision is, or what smell is, or what touche is, you realize that the vision of the paper cup IS the brilliant light of the cosmos. Nothing could be brighter. Ten thousand suns couldn't be brighter, only they are hidden in the sense that all the points of the infinite light are so tiny, when you see them in the cup, they don't blow your eyes out, but it is actually... See, the source of all light is in the eye. If there were no eyes in this world, the Sun would not be light. YOU evoke light out of the universe in the same way YOU, by virtue of having a soft skin, evoke hardness out of wood. Wood is only hard in relation to a soft skin. It's your eardrum that evokes noise out of the air. YOU, by being this organism, call into being the whole universe of light and color and hardness and heaviness and everything. You see?

But in in the mythology that we've sold ourselves on during the end of the 19th century when people discovered how big the universe was, and that we live on a little planet in a solar system on the edge of the galaxy, which is a minor galaxy, everybody thought "uh we're really unimportant after all, God isn't there and doesn't love us and nature doesn't give a damn!" and we put ourselves down, see, but actually it's this little funny microbe, tiny-thing, crawling on this little planet who has the ingenuity by the nature of this magnificent organic structure to evoke the whole universe out of what would otherwise be mere quanta. It's jazz going on, but you see this little ingenious organism is not merely some stranger in this. This little organism on this little planet is what the whole show is growing there, and so realizing its own presence.

Well now here's the problem: if this is the state of affairs which is so, and if the consciousness state you're in at this moment is the same thing as what we might call "the divine state", if you do anything to make it different, it shows you don't understand that it's so. So the moment you start practicing yoga or praying or meditating or indulging in some sort of spiritual cultivation, you are getting in your own way.

We call reality into existence. The cup is only there because we call it into existence by having the senses that we do.

Here's the Sopranos' interpretation of Schrodinger https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QY_D_9WKSQ4

There is no objective reality because we call reality into existence by being subject to an object.

AlexW
Posts: 214
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:53 am

### Re: Back to Infinity

Belinda,
I do get where you are coming from, but all you are saying is based on learning you have acquired over years of reading, studying and thinking. Whereas I was trying to make you have a look at your basic, direct experience. Maybe you trust your thoughts more than what you see, hear, taste and touch... Wouldn't you agree that thought about seeing or tasting is something very different to basic vision or taste? I was trying to point out a way to go back to the foundation - to the empty slate we have built all this conceptual knowledge on - and then evaluate if (or what parts) of this knowledge that you have amassed are actually in tune with reality.

Just because Spinoza pointed out that "The mind is the idea of the body" this doesn't have to be true. When you look at this statement from the level of direct experience it is obviously false. But I don't know what he really meant when he said it - things can be expressed in a multitude of ways and understood in even more different ways. I would actually state this exactly the other way round: "The body is the idea of the mind".
If you really look at direct experience you will find neither mind or body, but what you will find are thoughts and one could agree with stating that mind stands for the collective of thought (even there is no such thing). Body will never be found in direct experience - all you will ever find is sensations of touch, smell, visual perception that when combined (via thought) receive the label my body, arm, finger, heart...

A truthful inquiry into any kind of reality (objective/subjective) can not be done from inside the same reality - simply because there is no unbiased point of view - every position that you take as an observer will always be part of the reality you try to observe. You have to step out of a system if you want to be able to say anything meaningful about it. Otherwise it is a catch 22 - we can discuss things forever without ever getting anywhere.
Direct experience is your only way out of the conceptual reality you occupy and only from there will you be able to say anything meaningful about the system you observe (in this case the system we observe is objective/subjective reality = our conceptual overlay to reality).

AlexW
Posts: 214
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:53 am

### Re: Back to Infinity

AlexW wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:49 pm
We call reality into existence. The cup is only there because we call it into existence by having the senses that we do.
Well... I would be more precise: Seeing doesn't call the cup into existence. Only thought can do that.
In seeing there are no things - in seeing is only seeing.
AlexW wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:49 pm
YOU, by being this organism, call into being the whole universe of light and color and hardness and heaviness and everything.
No, YOU by thinking that you are this organism do that. The real YOU doesn't do anything like that.
AlexW wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:49 pm
if the consciousness state you're in at this moment is the same thing as what we might call "the divine state", if you do anything to make it different, it shows you don't understand that it's so. So the moment you start practicing yoga or praying or meditating or indulging in some sort of spiritual cultivation, you are getting in your own way.
Agree - kind of.
YOU can never get in your own way as there is only YOU. You (the small you, the ego, the idea of being a separate self) get in your own way. YOU don't even notice that this is happening - only you notice and only you care. But as long as you believe in this separate self (including all the relativistic ideas that emanate from it), no matter what you do, you will get in your own way.
AlexW wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:49 pm
As long as I am a subject, then anything I perceive will be subjective.
But you are no subject. You think you are, but this is only a belief.
I agree that the knowledge that you have learned since birth seems to be subjective - but it is only as long as you believe that there is a subject to have this knowledge - I challenge you to find this subject. Where is it?
AlexW wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:49 pm
Objective reality cannot have an observer, or maybe I should say "discerner", or it becomes instantly subjective reality.
Well.. depends how you look at it. If there would be subjects, yes, this would be so. On the other hand, if there are no subjects and there are only objects then there would be only objective knowledge, but what if both, the subjects and the objects are not real, if they are only imaginary?
What remains? What is knowledge if there is no owner - or rather only a virtual/conceptual owner? Knowledge is like its owner - in this case it is an idea of knowledge - which is not more than a belief, but never truth.
AlexW wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:49 pm
In other words when you really start to see things, and you look at an old paper cup, and you go into the nature of what it is to see, what vision is, or what smell is, or what touche is, you realize that the vision of the paper cup IS the brilliant light of the cosmos. Nothing could be brighter. Ten thousand suns couldn't be brighter, only they are hidden in the sense that all the points of the infinite light are so tiny, when you see them in the cup, they don't blow your eyes out, but it is actually...
I don't mind quotes and excerpts from other peoples' opinions (Alan Watts etc), but I think it would be more helpful if you look yourself - relying on what other people say and then wrapping your concepts around it so they fit to a degree with what has been stated is not going to make a difference. You have to look at this cup yourself, not only accept and interpret what other cup-lookers have found. Only reality itself can shift your vision - stories, no matter how close to reality they might be, are still only story and your mind will twist and turn them so they fit into your store of subjective knowledge...
AlexW wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:49 pm
Pretty cool you have a blog site! I should do that next winter
Well.. yes, i wrote a lot of stuff over the years and my wife somehow convinced me to start a blog. So I joined the online-universe - its fun in a way...

Serendipper
Posts: 201
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:05 am

### Re: Back to Infinity

AlexW wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:01 am
AlexW wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:49 pm
We call reality into existence. The cup is only there because we call it into existence by having the senses that we do.
Well... I would be more precise: Seeing doesn't call the cup into existence. Only thought can do that.
In seeing there are no things - in seeing is only seeing.
I don't think seeing requires thought.

A reflex, or reflex action, is an involuntary and nearly instantaneous movement in response to a stimulus.[1][2] A reflex is made possible by neural pathways called reflex arcs which can act on an impulse before that impulse reaches the brain. The reflex is then an automatic response to a stimulus that does not receive or need conscious thought.[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reflex
AlexW wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:49 pm
YOU, by being this organism, call into being the whole universe of light and color and hardness and heaviness and everything.
No, YOU by thinking that you are this organism do that. The real YOU doesn't do anything like that.
Fish define their worlds, birds create theirs, plants create yet something different. Surely they are not "thinking" their worlds into existence.
AlexW wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:49 pm
As long as I am a subject, then anything I perceive will be subjective.
But you are no subject. You think you are, but this is only a belief.
I agree that the knowledge that you have learned since birth seems to be subjective - but it is only as long as you believe that there is a subject to have this knowledge - I challenge you to find this subject. Where is it?
I can't find it because I can't see myself and that's the point I've been trying to convey. The origin of conscious attention cannot be the focal point of that attention.
AlexW wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:49 pm
Objective reality cannot have an observer, or maybe I should say "discerner", or it becomes instantly subjective reality.
Well.. depends how you look at it. If there would be subjects, yes, this would be so. On the other hand, if there are no subjects and there are only objects then there would be only objective knowledge,
If there are no subjects and only objects then the objects would be subjects to each other. There can only be one object in objectivity: there is one truth and none other; there is one law and none other; there is one God and none other; etc. There is only one "best way"; one absolute.

I think: absolute, truth, law, authority, good/evil, right/wrong, and even nonduality, all come under the category-heading of "objectivity". It would seem to behoove one to first prove objective things can exist and then, secondly, show how anyone can determine objectivity while utilizing subjectivity to do so in order to be justified in positing that some absolute truth, law, or whatever exists. I'm not saying that can't be done, just that is what would have to be done.
but what if both, the subjects and the objects are not real, if they are only imaginary?
Then it's imagined by an object and observed by a subject. Hmmm... we may be onto something there. I'll have to think about this one.
What remains? What is knowledge if there is no owner -
Then it's not knowledge but merely a lifeless process that somehow self-organizes into a library.
or rather only a virtual/conceptual owner? Knowledge is like its owner - in this case it is an idea of knowledge - which is not more than a belief, but never truth.
That reminds me of my interpretation of the garden of eden story: it's not that we suddenly came into possession of knowledge of good and evil by eating the fruit, but we gained the arrogance to think we could tell the difference.
AlexW wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:49 pm
In other words when you really start to see things, and you look at an old paper cup, and you go into the nature of what it is to see, what vision is, or what smell is, or what touche is, you realize that the vision of the paper cup IS the brilliant light of the cosmos. Nothing could be brighter. Ten thousand suns couldn't be brighter, only they are hidden in the sense that all the points of the infinite light are so tiny, when you see them in the cup, they don't blow your eyes out, but it is actually...
I don't mind quotes and excerpts from other peoples' opinions (Alan Watts etc), but I think it would be more helpful if you look yourself - relying on what other people say and then wrapping your concepts around it so they fit to a degree with what has been stated is not going to make a difference. You have to look at this cup yourself, not only accept and interpret what other cup-lookers have found. Only reality itself can shift your vision - stories, no matter how close to reality they might be, are still only story and your mind will twist and turn them so they fit into your store of subjective knowledge...
Is it reasonable to think I've looked at the cup before since I devoted time and effort into transcribing the video? I figured you'd agree that the cup doesn't exist, but we call it into existence with our senses. So you think the cup objectively exists (independent of observers)?

If you (you as in the universe's current point of conscious attention expressed through "you") did not have electromagnetic charge, you would have no awareness of the cup and it would not exist in your world unless you could somehow detect the minuscule gravity from the cup, which makes the cup nothing more than an artifact of charge.
AlexW wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:49 pm
Pretty cool you have a blog site! I should do that next winter
Well.. yes, i wrote a lot of stuff over the years and my wife somehow convinced me to start a blog. So I joined the online-universe - its fun in a way...
Writing blogs is essentially what I've been doing on forums all these years. I'd like to have everything in one spot instead of scattered all over the net.

Belinda
Posts: 2152
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

### Re: Back to Infinity

AlexW wrote:
---all you are saying is based on learning you have acquired over years of reading, studying and thinking. Whereas I was trying to make you have a look at your basic, direct experience.
That is true. I began learning as soon as I was born or anyway, soon after. Any young mammal begins to learn as soon as the organs of special sense and the central nervous system are sufficiently mature. Yes Alex, all this too is what I have been taught, have studied, and have learned. I trust that you are not going to claim that you have gone through life from babyhood unattached to any culture of belief whatsoever.

I have of course heard about "basic, direct experience". I even credited the idea so much that I did TM as taught by an an accredited teacher of TM for eighteen months, but this led to no feeling of basic direct experience of contentless thought as promised by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Therefore I hold to what I have been taught which is the scientific and naturalistic explanation of science insofar as I understand science. According to the latter explanation my immediate perceptions meld so fast with my thinking cortex that in effect my percepts cannot be practically abstracted from my concepts. If you can practically abstract your percepts from your concepts I don't know how you do it and I wonder if you are deceiving yourself.

I understand that you objected that my liking for Spinoza's "the mind is the idea of the body" is to be considered as something else that I have learned and not directly experienced. I accept your objection. I did learn it, and I learned the frame of mind that prepared me to accept Spinoza's dictum. Until and unless I learn some better explanation of the connection between mind and body I will choose to be guided by reason and science. I am however still listening to you.

Serendipper wrote:
Fish define their worlds, birds create theirs, plants create yet something different. Surely they are not "thinking" their worlds into existence.
Good point. Each individual animal is embedded in its environment such that it is to a large extent indistinguishable from its environment and that is when infinity kicks in. It is thinking that causes men to differentiate an animal or oneself from environment.(Apologies to crows and dolphins if I am misrepresenting them).

The fish, the bird, and the plant, are closer to their several environments than are humans. This is because fish, birds, and plants react to environments by way of their reactive and genetically inherited instincts. Unlike us men who react to environments much less in accord with inherited reactions and much more in accord with learned cultures of belief.

Serendipper
Posts: 201
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:05 am

### Re: Back to Infinity

Belinda wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:36 am
I began learning as soon as I was born or anyway, soon after.

The fish, the bird, and the plant, are closer to their several environments than are humans. This is because fish, birds, and plants react to environments by way of their reactive and genetically inherited instincts. Unlike us men who react to environments much less in accord with inherited reactions and much more in accord with learned cultures of belief.
I'd like to inspect the apparent differentiation between instinct and learned:

Wouldn't you agree that dna is memory? Isn't memory evidence of past learning? When did you learn to beat your heart? Obviously you do it (because if not you, then who?) and doing so is expression of knowledge that must have been acquired at some time. And once this puzzled is solved, it will be placed on the back-burner not to be entertained again just like any concept you may have once had about how you beat your heart.

As Bruce Lee said, "We learn to forget." Not that we learn how to forget, but that we train so much that the knowledge becomes a part of us; second nature; instinctual. Because, in a fight, if you have to stop to think, you've lost.

- Reactive processes (instinct) are nonconceptual knowledge (aka faith, agnosia, nirvikalpa samadhi, apophatic).
- Conscious processes are conceptual knowledge yet not imprinted in the "permanent" record of nonconceptual knowledge.

So we have another polar duality which is yet another continuum with fuzzy fences like organism/environment. Is my blood stream part of my organism or my environment? I have more conscious control over the condition of the air in my house than anything to do with the blood in my body. I can raise/lower the temp, adjust the humidity, filter particulates, yet my blood is at the mercy of unconscious forces like the weather.

I think the puzzle is upside down: it's not that consciousness is a product of reactive processes, but instinct is a product of previous conscious attention.

Books are transactional in that we both read and write them, but books didn't precede humanity and therefore all the information was indeed first written before being read. Sure, we "read" from the genetic code, but the genetic code was first learned by "someone" previously.

Alex's question is profound: What is knowledge if there is no owner? Well if there is no owner, then it's not knowledge, but if it is knowledge, then there must be an owner. If everything that is ordered is knowledge discovered in the past, then who possesses that knowledge?

Serendipper
Posts: 201
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:05 am

### Re: Back to Infinity

Atla wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:25 am
But I have never found any sign whatsoever that reality is dual,
Reality is dual by definition since reality is the interaction between subject and object.

If there is only an object (nondual), then there is no reality because there is no affectance: nothing to affect nor anything to be affected by.

I insist there is an 800lb gorilla sitting in front of you right now, but you can't see it, touch it, smell it, hear it, or sense it in any way; it doesn't even have gravity. The gorilla affects this world in no way whatsoever, so how can I say it is real?

Nondual is a duality that's been split in half and is complete nonsense like having a front with no back.

Existence itself is relationship. There is no such thing abstract existence (nondual).

AlexW
Posts: 214
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:53 am

### Re: Back to Infinity

Serendipper wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:25 am
I don't think seeing requires thought.
Agree - but the interpretation of seeing does.
Serendipper wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:25 am
A reflex, or reflex action, is an involuntary and nearly instantaneous movement in response to a stimulus
Yes, but instinctive responses are not the issue - its the reactivity based on concepts/beliefs we have acquired.
Serendipper wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:25 am
Fish define their worlds, birds create theirs, plants create yet something different. Surely they are not "thinking" their worlds into existence.
There are two "worlds" - the one fish, plants etc inhabit - this is a world of simple, direct experience without a conceptual overlay to experience. They inhabit reality. Then there is the world you create on top of reality by shaping your direct experience based on acquired knowledge and belief. These worlds are very different. One is real, the other, while generally accepted and as such practical, fundamentally flawed (at least as long as we believe in the wrong set of basic rules - eg separation - and thus see/interpret the world wrongly).
Serendipper wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:25 am
I can't find it because I can't see myself and that's the point I've been trying to convey. The origin of conscious attention cannot be the focal point of that attention.
You can see yourself - actually all you ever see is yourself. Your mind says this is not so because there is the idea of a separate subject looking at different objects, but in reality there is only consciousness looking at itself. Actually this is also not really correct - as there really is no looking happening at all. There is only the seen.
Serendipper wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:25 am
Then it's not knowledge but merely a lifeless process that somehow self-organizes into a library.
Life doesn't have to be limited to subjects. It actually never is. Life is pure knowing - being as knowing is what life is.
Serendipper wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:25 am
That reminds me of my interpretation of the garden of eden story: it's not that we suddenly came into possession of knowledge of good and evil by eating the fruit, but we gained the arrogance to think we could tell the difference.
I like this interpretation.
I have thought about this as well and think it might point to the loss of non-dual knowledge and the veiling of truth with dualistic concepts. Good and evil don't exist in reality - the concepts are mind-made and only work once we see ourselves as separate subjects. The garden (or heaven) is not lost, we carry it inside of us, we only have to remove all wrong beliefs and there it is!
Belinda wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:36 am
Is it reasonable to think I've looked at the cup before since I devoted time and effort into transcribing the video?
Surely is
What did you find when looking at the cup?
I would be really interested to know the result of your observation (not what Alan has to say about it).
Serendipper wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:25 am
I figured you'd agree that the cup doesn't exist, but we call it into existence with our senses. So you think the cup objectively exists (independent of observers)?
We call it into existence with our mind, not our senses.
The cup only exists as an interpretation of perception, as an idea.
Ideas are made of thought - just like the thinker of thoughts is made of thought. There is as such no independent observer (there is no act of observing either - there is only the observed, which is not, an can never be, an independent object).

AlexW
Posts: 214
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:53 am

### Re: Back to Infinity

Belinda,
Belinda wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:36 am
Yes Alex, all this too is what I have been taught, have studied, and have learned. I trust that you are not going to claim that you have gone through life from babyhood unattached to any culture of belief whatsoever.
Sure, I agree - nobody can avoid being affected by the conceptual structures and ideas that we are brought up with - what can be done is to question these beliefs and find out if they are true. If not then we can still use them (if society requires it etc) but we don't have to identify with them.
Belinda wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:36 am
I have of course heard about "basic, direct experience". I even credited the idea so much that...
Would you really call "direct experience" an idea?
Belinda wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:36 am
this led to no feeling of basic direct experience of contentless thought
Maybe this is so because you expected something special/specific to happen. Reality is not special. It is this moment, every moment, here and now - no matter what thought might say about it. You don't need an "experience of contentless thought" - there is actually no such thing. A thought always has content - it actually IS content. You can try to achieve a state of no thought, but while this is possible it is utterly useless. Truth is in every experience and it is only expectation and the resulting judgement of now that pushes realisation away from this moment into the future. As we normally perceive every moment as lacking (or in another way imperfect) now never arrives and realisation never happens. Realisation is not a specific event - it is seeing things as they are - this can be achieved by removing whatever blocks your view - and its only belief that can blur reality.
Belinda wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:36 am
According to the latter explanation my immediate perceptions meld so fast with my thinking cortex that in effect my percepts cannot be practically abstracted from my concepts. If you can practically abstract your percepts from your concepts I don't know how you do it and I wonder if you are deceiving yourself.
No... its not necessary to do that at all. You cannot change perception by attempting to break the link between percept and abstraction (this is so simply because there is no percept/object that is not an abstraction - they are one and the same and what is one cannot be broken in two) - its good enough to know (via direct experience - not just because thought says so) that every perceived object is an abstraction/interpretation of (a part of) reality that works for practical reasons but that doesn't reflect truth - this knowledge will, over time, automatically adjust your perception of the world and its people. Of course you still see objects, just like before, only that they now have lost their specialness - they are all on one level with truth/life/reality.
Belinda wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:36 am
I did learn it, and I learned the frame of mind that prepared me to accept Spinoza's dictum. Until and unless I learn some better explanation of the connection between mind and body I will choose to be guided by reason and science. I am however still listening to you.
Thank you - it is very nice talking to you and I fully get where you are coming from. I am not trying to convince you of anything - I don't want you to believe what I am saying. The only thing I would like to achieve is to make you look yourself - look without expectation, not without thought, but with ignoring what thought has to say about experience (if only for a brief moment) and then make an honest deduction if what you have seen in fact corresponds with how things really are.
You know this world only via your senses - seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting & touch - and then there is thought ABOUT experience. The task is very simple: Check if what you see or hear or feel is actually in tune with the stories thought tells you. If they are not then its about time to correct the error and start fresh.
If you would like to know more about how to investigate let me know...

Atla
Posts: 1309
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:27 am

### Re: Back to Infinity

Serendipper wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:08 pm
Reality is dual by definition since reality is the interaction between subject and object.
That's one definition, I use reality in the broadest sense, "all there is". Imo reality can't have a subject-object interaction definition in nondualism.
If there is only an object (nondual), then there is no reality because there is no affectance: nothing to affect nor anything to be affected by.

I insist there is an 800lb gorilla sitting in front of you right now, but you can't see it, touch it, smell it, hear it, or sense it in any way; it doesn't even have gravity. The gorilla affects this world in no way whatsoever, so how can I say it is real?

Nondual is a duality that's been split in half and is complete nonsense like having a front with no back.

Existence itself is relationship. There is no such thing abstract existence (nondual).
That's a dualistic misunderstanding of nondualism. The subject-object duality isn't split in half, instead it's transcended and it collapses. So the object isn't singled out and the object doesn't remain.

If you ask me you should also stop quoting Alan Watts, because he is saying what AlexW and I are saying. You seem to have misunderstood his talks. He too says that the subject-object duality is an overlay / a way of thinking / an everyday convention, but when you try to find the separate subject, or its separation from the object, or a separate object, you can't find them. In fact Watts is perhaps THE go-to person to learn Eastern nonmonistic nondualism from.

Belinda
Posts: 2152
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

### Re: Back to Infinity

AlexW wrote:
I am not trying to convince you of anything - I don't want you to believe what I am saying. The only thing I would like to achieve is to make you look yourself - look without expectation, not without thought, but with ignoring what thought has to say about experience (if only for a brief moment) and then make an honest deduction if what you have seen in fact corresponds with how things really are.
You know this world only via your senses - seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting & touch - and then there is thought ABOUT experience. The task is very simple: Check if what you see or hear or feel is actually in tune with the stories thought tells you. If they are not then its about time to correct the error and start fresh.
If you would like to know more about how to investigate let me know...