When (or how) do "I" originate: An Ontological Puzzle...

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Scott Mayers
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When (or how) do "I" originate: An Ontological Puzzle...

Post by Scott Mayers » Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:55 am

Once upon a time, I awoke from some deep eternal sleep of nothing without making sense of how or why I exist. If I had some sense of knowing some prior state of existence, I have no memory of it now.

Did I always exist or did I pop into existence from non-existence? Is there a third option? What could a “third” option mean if possible? I mean, if I came into existence gradually, for instance, was there still not some prior time that I had absolutely no existence? If so, at what point can one define me as “beginning” to exist at some minimal? If there is no such point, then I am eternal. If there is, that point would be what I mean by a “beginning”.
Existance Possibilities.png
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Between some certain non-existence and some certain existence in time, whatever “I” am must have had some intermediate point or set of points in time of transition from not being to being or I'd require being eternal.

Thus, there is only one of two possibilities unless I still don't exist now or ever. So if there is a “third” possibility, it could only mean I and all of reality exists between points b and c, never actually existing as an “I” except as being in a state of existing and non-existing simultaneously.

Which is the case?

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Re: When (or how) do "I" originate: An Ontological Puzzle...

Post by Speakpigeon » Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:41 am

My sense is that the self is an illusion. Everything which is part of the make-up of my personal identity, i.e. perception from my own perspective of whatever is going on in the world, memories of my life, feelings, sensations, ideas, thoughts, etc. is real but it's just stuff happening and merely a part of whatever it is that reality is doing. My physical body is as real as anything physical but it doesn't exist independently of reality. It's in effect merely a part of reality, a wave in the ocean, a flutter in the fabric of reality.
If so, the illusion of myself comes about gradually as the physical process which is my body takes form. I have first disconnected, nonsensical, unmemorised thoughts. And then I will gradually come together as the illusion of a self, my self, myself, bit by bit, with mostly very little memorised because useless data. It is only later that I will come to form a notion of myself as a person and a notion of my environment in terms of a material reality and a social reality, giving rise to a dichotomy between the spiritual and the physical. And I will go the same route. Slowly loosing a sense of myself, bit by bit, without even noticing, save for the sense that the world is no longer making sense.
Still, this is just one logical possibility.
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Re: When (or how) do "I" originate: An Ontological Puzzle...

Post by Scott Mayers » Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:53 pm

Speakpigeon wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:41 am
My sense is that the self is an illusion. Everything which is part of the make-up of my personal identity, i.e. perception from my own perspective of whatever is going on in the world, memories of my life, feelings, sensations, ideas, thoughts, etc. is real but it's just stuff happening and merely a part of whatever it is that reality is doing. My physical body is as real as anything physical but it doesn't exist independently of reality. It's in effect merely a part of reality, a wave in the ocean, a flutter in the fabric of reality.
If so, the illusion of myself comes about gradually as the physical process which is my body takes form. I have first disconnected, nonsensical, unmemorised thoughts. And then I will gradually come together as the illusion of a self, my self, myself, bit by bit, with mostly very little memorised because useless data. It is only later that I will come to form a notion of myself as a person and a notion of my environment in terms of a material reality and a social reality, giving rise to a dichotomy between the spiritual and the physical. And I will go the same route. Slowly loosing a sense of myself, bit by bit, without even noticing, save for the sense that the world is no longer making sense.
Still, this is just one logical possibility.
EB
Then you might fit in with the option of the us and reality always existing, such as between points b and c? [blue shaded region] ...and where we are always in some mixed state of never being some "I" but approaching it eternally? [the continuous lower line in that region representing never not-existing nor existing]

I can't disagree in that we can't prove anything otherwise, possibly. But if we were to accept inferring by induction that there are times before we were 'born' [point a, for example] and times after we die [point d], then we at least 'gamble' it true that we were born. It seems like it is one of those quantum physics weirdness indeterminacy factors: we are only in a particular state of being when we 'observe' it but cannot determine in principle where we are for knowing that we exist or when we know where we are, we can't know THAT we exist. [comparing Heisenberg's Uncertainty principle replacing knowing position versus momentum with existence versus place in existence]

I'm just musing here on this but like to see how our capacity of knowledge relates to our reality. I prefer describing my existence in terms of some defining point, like AT point b, discretely, but cannot figure out how this could be proven any more correct without gambling on inducing our experience as just a part of reality. It seems that to take your preference may suggest a possible solipsistic interpretation.

Do you see what I mean? [Or solipsistically, do you see what you mean? :? ]

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an anecdote

Post by henry quirk » Mon Apr 01, 2019 2:59 pm

I had the profound privilege of being present when my kid became self-aware, became an 'I'.

He was around two...I held him as I sat in a rocker...up till then he'd been a very cute, very rambunctious, piece of meat...as I stared down at him, jibber-jabbering whatever it was I was jibber-jabbering, the light in his eyes literally turned on...I wasn't holding bioautomata, I was holding a person...it happened quick (which could mean I caught the tail end of of a gradual process) and it happened irrevocably...after that, his rambunctiousness was more directed, more purposeful (cuz he wasn't a fleshy Roomba anymore, but a 'self').

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Re: an anecdote

Post by Speakpigeon » Mon Apr 01, 2019 4:34 pm

henry quirk wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2019 2:59 pm
I had the profound privilege of being present when my kid became self-aware, became an 'I'.

He was around two...I held him as I sat in a rocker...up till then he'd been a very cute, very rambunctious, piece of meat...as I stared down at him, jibber-jabbering whatever it was I was jibber-jabbering, the light in his eyes literally turned on...I wasn't holding bioautomata, I was holding a person...it happened quick (which could mean I caught the tail end of of a gradual process) and it happened irrevocably...after that, his rambunctiousness was more directed, more purposeful (cuz he wasn't a fleshy Roomba anymore, but a 'self').
Maybe that's something of a black-and-white interpretation of the event, but possibly it's correct.
I don't want to ruin your reconstruction of the event, but I can remember quite a lot before I became aware of myself, so to speak. It happened much later than 2. Still, maybe I am not too bright.
EB

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Re: When (or how) do "I" originate: An Ontological Puzzle...

Post by Speakpigeon » Mon Apr 01, 2019 5:15 pm

Scott Mayers wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:53 pm
Then you might fit in with the option of the us and reality always existing, such as between points b and c? [blue shaded region] ...
As I understand it, if time exists at all as such, it is just a part of reality and as such not anything like a dimension along which reality would exist. Rather, time is merely an epiphenomenon of reality, an appearance. So, "reality always existing" doesn't really make sense to me. Instead, the closest thing we may have would be an infinite past, with or without a beginning.
I also don't see why what I say supports the idea that we always existed. Maybe we did, maybe not. Maybe we are a bit like time, a sort of property of the structure of reality, always here, and always ready to pickup brains' ideas. But maybe we're something else altogether. Maybe we are reality itself, literally.
Scott Mayers wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:53 pm
and where we are always in some mixed state of never being some "I" but approaching it eternally? [the continuous lower line in that region representing never not-existing nor existing]
We can think of various possibilities and maybe that's still a useful thing to try but I wouldn't count on us being able to understand this weird thing we are.
Scott Mayers wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:53 pm
I can't disagree in that we can't prove anything otherwise, possibly. But if we were to accept inferring by induction that there are times before we were 'born' [point a, for example] and times after we die [point d], then we at least 'gamble' it true that we were born. It seems like it is one of those quantum physics weirdness indeterminacy factors: we are only in a particular state of being when we 'observe' it but cannot determine in principle where we are for knowing that we exist or when we know where we are, we can't know THAT we exist. [comparing Heisenberg's Uncertainty principle replacing knowing position versus momentum with existence versus place in existence]
I would rather think of our predicament as a lack of anything we could compare ourselves with. I understand what a horse is because horses in general as well as any particular horse come as part of a continuum of things. A horse is not a house, not a car, nor the sky, nor the Moon, nor a cat, nor a donkey. This horse is not that other horse. We are meant to be content with that epistemological relation with a paraphernalia of things. Our trouble seems to start once we look into ourselves. Then, there's nothing that this ourselves could possibly be a part of. Rather, there is the subjective perspective where we are everything we know to exist, and there is the objective perspective within which nothing is at all like us. And never shall the twain meet.
Scott Mayers wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:53 pm
I'm just musing here on this but like to see how our capacity of knowledge relates to our reality. I prefer describing my existence in terms of some defining point, like AT point b, discretely, but cannot figure out how this could be proven any more correct without gambling on inducing our experience as just a part of reality. It seems that to take your preference may suggest a possible solipsistic interpretation.
Do you see what I mean? [Or solipsistically, do you see what you mean? :? ]
Not quite. My perspective isn't even solipsistic. It's an irreducible mix of ontology and epistemology. Again, it may be useful to try and analyse our experience to push the boundary of our understanding, but I suspect that our vocabulary can only fail us very quickly in this venture. It seems to me that we can only make sense of concepts inasmuch as they are combinations of our experiences of the world. Broadly, the ideas that are available to us are those that material brains can possibly come up with because they are mere reshuffling of the properties our brain has empirical experience of. It's already apparent that we struggle to make sense of the empirical results arrived at in Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity. Our brain is intrinsically limited. The idea of infinity and our own subjective experience seem to form a boundary beyond which rationality inevitably falters.
I think you're bound to describe some trivially psychological entity or quantity rather than true "us".
EB

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.

Post by henry quirk » Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:29 pm

"Maybe that's something of a black-and-white interpretation of the event, but possibly it's correct."

Oh, I make no claim as to being 'correct'. As I say: it's an anecdote.

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Re: When (or how) do "I" originate: An Ontological Puzzle...

Post by Scott Mayers » Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:34 pm

Speakpigeon wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2019 5:15 pm
Scott Mayers wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:53 pm
Then you might fit in with the option of the us and reality always existing, such as between points b and c? [blue shaded region] ...
As I understand it, if time exists at all as such, it is just a part of reality and as such not anything like a dimension along which reality would exist. Rather, time is merely an epiphenomenon of reality, an appearance. So, "reality always existing" doesn't really make sense to me. Instead, the closest thing we may have would be an infinite past, with or without a beginning.
I also don't see why what I say supports the idea that we always existed. Maybe we did, maybe not. Maybe we are a bit like time, a sort of property of the structure of reality, always here, and always ready to pickup brains' ideas. But maybe we're something else altogether. Maybe we are reality itself, literally.
My graph covers all possibilities. So my point is to ask whether my existence, "I", is something that comes into existence from relative non-existence or, alternatively whether "I" always existed absolutely (non-relatively).

If I am non-solipsistic, I don't interpret all that exists as something that I am a part of. Thus there must at least be SOME non-"I" in totality....some place where "I" lacks existence (like point a), AND some place where "I" exists (like point d). Whether we gradually BECOME "I" is possible, it is indifferent to the transition between points a and d in that shaded zone. It may be discrete (like the sudden appearance of "I") or continuous (like the gradual approach to becoming "I"), both possibilities that lie in that shaded zone.

This means that ONLY if you assume a definite distinction between 'times' where we exist versus non-existence, we cannot assume our own perception of existence is neither without assuming it all belongs IN that shaded area. And if this is true, then all we can infer is a type of "solipsistic" reality because we always 'exist' in some degree in that shaded area.

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Re: When (or how) do "I" originate: An Ontological Puzzle...

Post by AlexW » Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:44 pm

Scott Mayers wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:55 am
Did I always exist or did I pop into existence from non-existence?
It depends on what "I" stands for.

Option A:
I is the ego/self that you have learned to identify with, that is purely based on previous, objectified experience, on acquired conceptual structures, likes, dislikes, all sorts of definitions... if this is your self then you did pop into existence when the body was maybe 2 years old and you grew not only physically but especially conceptually since then to some crazy mega-structure of thought - the I/ego/self.

Option B:
You existed before the ego popped into existence (and will continue existing after it dies hand in hand with the body).
Do you still exist when there is no ego/self? Eg in deep sleep (or in the gap between thoughts)?
In deep sleep there is no thought, no conceptualising happening but you DO exist, don't you? Maybe this is your true I/self - and the ego-self only bothers you from time to time :-)
Last edited by AlexW on Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: When (or how) do "I" originate: An Ontological Puzzle...

Post by Impenitent » Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:15 pm

esse est percipi

-Imp

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Re: When (or how) do "I" originate: An Ontological Puzzle...

Post by Speakpigeon » Thu Apr 04, 2019 5:28 pm

Scott Mayers wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:34 pm
My graph covers all possibilities. So my point is to ask whether my existence, "I", is something that comes into existence from relative non-existence or, alternatively whether "I" always existed absolutely (non-relatively).
If I am non-solipsistic, I don't interpret all that exists as something that I am a part of. Thus there must at least be SOME non-"I" in totality....some place where "I" lacks existence (like point a), AND some place where "I" exists (like point d). Whether we gradually BECOME "I" is possible, it is indifferent to the transition between points a and d in that shaded zone. It may be discrete (like the sudden appearance of "I") or continuous (like the gradual approach to becoming "I"), both possibilities that lie in that shaded zone.
This means that ONLY if you assume a definite distinction between 'times' where we exist versus non-existence, we cannot assume our own perception of existence is neither without assuming it all belongs IN that shaded area. And if this is true, then all we can infer is a type of "solipsistic" reality because we always 'exist' in some degree in that shaded area.
No, your graph doesn't cover all possibilities. To see that, you need to look at your implicit assumptions.
Obviously, you could say what you say of the "I" about anything. For example, the universe: Did the universe came into being at some point in time or has it always existed? Well, it may be both if time was infinite and yet had a beginning and began with the universe itself, perhaps because it's a property of the universe rather than a dimension containing the universe. And that's just one "simple" logical possibility.
The other aspect I already suggested is that the "I" is an ambiguous entity and our default view of it may well be completely wrong.
For example, I favour the idea that the "I" is in effect two distinct but familiar things coming together. There is something we may call "consciousness", or "subjective experience". And then there is the mental data that make up the self: percepts, sensations, impressions, ideas, intuitions, memories etc. These data should be seen as what is usually called our qualia. Yet, qualia here are somehow experienced by something else which is what I called "subjective experience" or "consciousness".
So, now, in terms of existence, we have the choice. For example, I would say that it may be reasonable to think of the qualia experienced as somehow produced by a physical body. If so then the existence of qualia is dependent on that of the body and we can assume that qualia sort of emerges gradually as the brain develops and the body starts interacting with its environment. And then we still have the question of the existence of consciousness (or subjective experience). Given the apparent dualism between the physical and consciousness, it might well be the case that consciousness doesn't emerge from the body like our qualia perhaps do, but that it exists somewhat like we imagine spacetime does: it's everywhere and always there. And, crucially, it may be the same one universal consciousness for experiencing all of us. Maybe even a consciousness that also exists outside our universe, somewhat like God would.
And that's just one logical possibility but it's already well outside your graph with its only two possibilities.
Unless you prefer to limit yourself to Descartes' concept of the "I" as the thinking thing. If so, I would vote for a gradual coming into existence of the "I" as the brain develops and as the person starts to interact with its environment. Isn't that good enough?
EB

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Re: When (or how) do "I" originate: An Ontological Puzzle...

Post by osgart » Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:46 pm

What if the "i" was formed into an "I" and you cant ever escape it no matter how much you are fooled into an illusion of such being?

So perhaps in your mind you have created an illusion, but the darn thing exists anyway, and you are merely creating yourself to act as though you are an illusion when you are not.

Imagine that a real soul boundary actually existing, and you cant escape its fact of "I" ness.

You are an I before ever realizing it. So we come into existence this way. How do we test the boundaries of "I".

The i is comprised of one unified heart, mind and will no matter how we divide it up in our choices of self conception.

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Re: When (or how) do "I" originate: An Ontological Puzzle...

Post by Scott Mayers » Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:14 pm

Speakpigeon wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 5:28 pm
Scott Mayers wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:34 pm
My graph covers all possibilities. So my point is to ask whether my existence, "I", is something that comes into existence from relative non-existence or, alternatively whether "I" always existed absolutely (non-relatively).
If I am non-solipsistic, I don't interpret all that exists as something that I am a part of. Thus there must at least be SOME non-"I" in totality....some place where "I" lacks existence (like point a), AND some place where "I" exists (like point d). Whether we gradually BECOME "I" is possible, it is indifferent to the transition between points a and d in that shaded zone. It may be discrete (like the sudden appearance of "I") or continuous (like the gradual approach to becoming "I"), both possibilities that lie in that shaded zone.
This means that ONLY if you assume a definite distinction between 'times' where we exist versus non-existence, we cannot assume our own perception of existence is neither without assuming it all belongs IN that shaded area. And if this is true, then all we can infer is a type of "solipsistic" reality because we always 'exist' in some degree in that shaded area.
No, your graph doesn't cover all possibilities. To see that, you need to look at your implicit assumptions.
Obviously, you could say what you say of the "I" about anything. For example, the universe: Did the universe came into being at some point in time or has it always existed? Well, it may be both if time was infinite and yet had a beginning and began with the universe itself, perhaps because it's a property of the universe rather than a dimension containing the universe. And that's just one "simple" logical possibility.
This is covered in the graph. It is the shaded part ONLY. I place all options on one graph. If I were to express what you are thinking, I'd require separating the graphs but you can infer this by treating existence of reality apart from "I" [horizontal axis is the Universe with or without us using 'time' as the objective concept.].

I was also ignoring the direct concern about reality apart from what we observe because you need to argue from our own subjective experience to infer what is or is not true of the world apart from ourselves.
The other aspect I already suggested is that the "I" is an ambiguous entity and our default view of it may well be completely wrong.
For example, I favour the idea that the "I" is in effect two distinct but familiar things coming together. There is something we may call "consciousness", or "subjective experience". And then there is the mental data that make up the self: percepts, sensations, impressions, ideas, intuitions, memories etc. These data should be seen as what is usually called our qualia. Yet, qualia here are somehow experienced by something else which is what I called "subjective experience" or "consciousness".
So, now, in terms of existence, we have the choice. For example, I would say that it may be reasonable to think of the qualia experienced as somehow produced by a physical body. If so then the existence of qualia is dependent on that of the body and we can assume that qualia sort of emerges gradually as the brain develops and the body starts interacting with its environment. And then we still have the question of the existence of consciousness (or subjective experience). Given the apparent dualism between the physical and consciousness, it might well be the case that consciousness doesn't emerge from the body like our qualia perhaps do, but that it exists somewhat like we imagine spacetime does: it's everywhere and always there. And, crucially, it may be the same one universal consciousness for experiencing all of us. Maybe even a consciousness that also exists outside our universe, somewhat like God would.
And that's just one logical possibility but it's already well outside your graph with its only two possibilities.
Unless you prefer to limit yourself to Descartes' concept of the "I" as the thinking thing. If so, I would vote for a gradual coming into existence of the "I" as the brain develops and as the person starts to interact with its environment. Isn't that good enough?
EB
I'm trying to reduce all extraneous information. The graph only represents "I" with respect to "U" (I'll use "U" for the universe and may remind us of "you" as well). As such, the 'time line' suffices to represent U, for whatever possible reality where "I" may exist, "I" may not exist, both or neither. This exhausts all possible mapping of existence. ONLY what WE (the "I") experiences in U is what I'm asking a question about: Does "I" exist in some "U" for all times, sometimes, or no times? And then, if we bias ourselves to time as having 'order', where the positive horizontal axis exists moving to the right, does "I" always exist with "U" or not? (solipsistic interpretation or not because if we treat "U" as only extant upon our own experience alone, then the subjective experience of existence is all we might interpret "U" to be.)

If "I" am not always extant with "U", what evidence counts as telling me that there is any time U exists without me (other than the imperfect 'inductive' inferences)? You used the word, "consciousness", to which I must point out that with respect to 'observing', anything 'observes', not just conscious beings, in that they are things that react within their environment. So a rock 'observes' reality, for instance, when light or atoms 'hit' it and affect it in some way. The question would be whether the rock exists if "I" wasn't there to observe it. [similar to whether a tree falling in the woods without anyone being around makes a sound or not]

If all we can "deduce" is bound to our own existence, then for all practical purposes, "I" and "U" are one and the same. We only INDUCE that "I" is not "U" because the "I" lacks the capacity to know all it experiences by default. But if we still were the "U", our experience of being only a limited subset could also possibly represent some fact of our own creation: that some greater "I" we are CHOSE to limit our own awareness locally. So, this would be like thinking you could BE "God" and are just not presently aware of this because you were/are powerful enough to "lift a rock too heavy for you to lift" sort of thing. Certainly if "I" was "U", then this is one possibility.

However, because we ARE 'limited' from the perspective of being "I" now, what can we be certain of not knowing and thus, asking, is what can I use of my experience to infer whether I was born or not? We know that we have real technology that can knock our consciousness out, such as anesthetics. This seems to work merely by preventing our memory from recording anything. Given we use 'memory' as some intrinsic part of "I" necessary to exist in the moment, it is possible that the "I" may have existed prior to our inferred birth but that the memory of it is not accessible from the perspective of "I".

So the graph exhausts all the possibilities of "I" existing with "U". Either there is a time where "I" existed or not; If "U" is distinct from "I", then "I" is a subset of "U" only, and is thus at least 'finite' from one end, like being born on one end and dying on the other. I didn't ask here whether we persist eternally or not because I am only concerned if there is ANY division between "I" and "U". So if there is some rationale for being 'born', whatever we may deduce about this can be true about any other 'end', like dying.

The question I am asking is how do we determine if "I" has any finite boundary with respect to "U"? The option to add both a discrete and continuous option in the shaded area is to include the possibility of defining "I" as either the act of being initially conceived OR to some point later where we officially may define ourselves as the "I" we seem to define ourselves as now. All that matters is to determine if there is at least some time, x, where I did not exist, to know for certain that "I" was born. If we can't deduce this, are we stuck with inducing our existence as a mere subset of "U"?

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Re: When (or how) do "I" originate: An Ontological Puzzle...

Post by Scott Mayers » Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:23 pm

osgart wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:46 pm
What if the "i" was formed into an "I" and you cant ever escape it no matter how much you are fooled into an illusion of such being?

So perhaps in your mind you have created an illusion, but the darn thing exists anyway, and you are merely creating yourself to act as though you are an illusion when you are not.

Imagine that a real soul boundary actually existing, and you cant escape its fact of "I" ness.

You are an I before ever realizing it. So we come into existence this way. How do we test the boundaries of "I".

The i is comprised of one unified heart, mind and will no matter how we divide it up in our choices of self conception.
That is my question: can we be assured of a 'boundary' existing? If so, the universe apart of ourselves as an "I" exists conclusively. The problem is though, to know this with deductive certainty, wouldn't we require BEING extant in some way to observe a time in the universe ("U") where I exist versus when I don't? If not, then maybe we can't deduce this with certainty but then what is the qualifying rationale for why we induce our limitations?

"I" can also just mean any subset of "U", without conflict, by just confining "I" to the local experience we have itself. But then we need to ask if "I" includes the possibility of no interval of time, like asking if the "empty set" counts as a "set" or "subset" of "U".

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Re: When (or how) do "I" originate: An Ontological Puzzle...

Post by osgart » Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:54 am

Scott Mayers wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:23 pm
osgart wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:46 pm
What if the "i" was formed into an "I" and you cant ever escape it no matter how much you are fooled into an illusion of such being?

So perhaps in your mind you have created an illusion, but the darn thing exists anyway, and you are merely creating yourself to act as though you are an illusion when you are not.

Imagine that a real soul boundary actually existing, and you cant escape its fact of "I" ness.

You are an I before ever realizing it. So we come into existence this way. How do we test the boundaries of "I".

The i is comprised of one unified heart, mind and will no matter how we divide it up in our choices of self conception.
That is my question: can we be assured of a 'boundary' existing? If so, the universe apart of ourselves as an "I" exists conclusively. The problem is though, to know this with deductive certainty, wouldn't we require BEING extant in some way to observe a time in the universe ("U") where I exist versus when I don't? If not, then maybe we can't deduce this with certainty but then what is the qualifying rationale for why we induce our limitations?

"I" can also just mean any subset of "U", without conflict, by just confining "I" to the local experience we have itself. But then we need to ask if "I" includes the possibility of no interval of time, like asking if the "empty set" counts as a "set" or "subset" of "U".
From the standpoint of only logic, we may never be able to deduce there being an "I". It is the fact that i have emotions that i identify with because they are mine and no one else is having them. I can sense the reasons and understandings and experiences that cause the emotions i am having. I can become aware that i am interpreting events, and forming concepts. I also sense that i have will with these concepts that is none other then mine.

You will perhaps say that i have created the template of self, and instead my consciousness is more like passing everchanging events that somehow have no self will, self heart other then me conceiving it that way. And i say the will of self, and heart of self still spring up from within me, and i am aware enough to catch sense that there is a me.

From those awarenesses i deduce that there are "I" entities within the U.

I think there is a filter theory of consciousness in which consciousness becomes localized to the body formed by consciousness being fundamental and creating that body. Like water is to a whirlpool so is consciousness to the body. The whirlpool being consciousness, and water representing the body.

Or instead of the filter theory, the contrary opposite, the brain causes waves of consciousness whereas we are everchanging states of awareness. Only we can recall many awarenesses, and develope a heart, and will with these awarenesses based on understandings we form with the awarenesses. But there is no fundamental existence of consciousness. Yet what be the heart or will that arises to these awarenesses.

I can also picture a hypothetical person who has no heart and no will with anything but only to be aware in mind of thoughts and reasonings. The person witnesses everchanging events, and developes no will or no heart toward anything. And any emotions this person has is like the passing waves of the sea. Perhaps only remembering that which is sufficient to avoid suffering.

And perhaps the body of consciousness can conceive of itself however, and with whatever template it so chooses or is so inclined to make of its own awareness. Only choosing the template that is most conducive to survival and well being.

For me there is no escaping "I". And i find freedoms within that framework. But i can certainly understand the need for someone to detach and let go of things, and perhaps attain to a better sense by letting go.

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