The observer cannot be observed

Is the mind the same as the body? What is consciousness? Can machines have it?

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Dimebag
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Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by Dimebag »

As DAM mentioned, in Indian spiritual traditions, there is still the belief in a “higher self”, the true self, or pure awareness. And this can still be conceived as an I. It is an experiencing I, but not a thought based I. It is impersonal, meaning it is not the source of likes, dislikes, or problems, or needs. These are all aspects of the person or the ego.

But in more Asian based traditions, this awareness is conceived as being no self, for the fact that it is essentially descriptionless, characterless, it has a “feeling” of emptiness, space, or nothingness. If a self is one that has a story, this one does not. It has no autobiography, so it is impersonal. Selves have a story. “Today I did this and that”. Selves have wishes, like some and dislikes, this one does not.

But, the existing self structure is supposedly still present even when this no self is realised, it plays upon the surface of this no self, but if this no self is “realised” or known to exist, then it does not confuse itself with its contents. This awareness in normal functioning is “merged” with the ego, or fully integrated, therefore awareness only sees “through” the ego structure, and thus can’t know itself. This is normal human functioning.

But if this awareness for some reason, usually spontaneously, manages to get some distance between it and that which plays in it, it can see it as an “object” or a thing, rather than being merged with it and seeing “as” it. This is detachment. But the functioning of thinking and communicating still functions for this awareness, because those aspects are actually grounded “in” awareness. Therefore one doesn’t become a zombie when this detachment and observing of the ego occurs, but rather one retains relief from the problems of the ego. This is why it’s characterised as liberation. It’s like having a huge weight lifted from your shoulders, to not have to be caught up in reactive tendencies of the ego. Due to this lifting of weight, the natural character of detached awareness is relief, peace, spaciousness, etc. Ego is also known as “monkey mind” so to have a monkey lifted off your back is obviously a good thing.

But as I mentioned, the monkey is still there, can be seen, and can still act through the body. But not without passing through awareness, if one has stabilised in this awareness. So to be detached from ego, means “you” are not the ego. You are awareness, the ego is a structure within the brain, which in normal functioning controls your actions, and dictates your mood.

You can say there is still a you, a perspective, but it’s not the same as a normal person. It’s like a wandering eye within a brain. The most basic of selves there could be. It is the self stripped of everything else. This is why it’s said the awareness wears the person like an outfit, but it can be removed. The outfit still remains, but it is seen for its emptiness, or lack of substance. It is like a shell with no real centre. Awareness is the centre.
AlexW
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Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by AlexW »

Immanuel Can wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 2:15 pm As Descartes said, "I think (or doubt), therefore I am (i.e. I, the "self" exists)."

You can doubt my existence. You can doubt the world's existence. You can doubt, as Descartes said, even that you have a body or occupy physical space. But the one thing you cannot doubt is that some "doubter," some indescribable entity that describes, exists; for as often as there IS a doubt, just so certain is it that there IS a doubter.

I see no way past that. If you have one, I'd be interested: what would it be?
As I see it, the only thing one cannot doubt is that there is "something" rather than "nothing" - doubt can only arise once one attempts to describe and interpret what this "something" actually is.
Before an attempt is made to conceptualise this "something" there is no doubt. The "doubter", the "doubting", all entities and all doing are part of this constructed world of concepts - it is populated by a million entities ... all of them can be doubted, but not the "something" that they seem to be based on (by the way: to me, concepts are all things one can think of, there is no real difference between apparently more real concepts and very abstract ones)
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Immanuel Can
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Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by Immanuel Can »

AlexW wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 12:27 am As I see it, the only thing one cannot doubt is that there is "something" rather than "nothing" - doubt can only arise once one attempts to describe and interpret what this "something" actually is.
Well, for certain, you know it has to be a thinking "something." It has to be a conscious entity. If it's not, there is no "doubt." Nobody and nothing is doing any "doubting."

If you don't mind me recommending, you should read Descartes on this.
AlexW
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Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by AlexW »

Immanuel Can wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:50 am Well, for certain, you know it has to be a thinking "something." It has to be a conscious entity.
A "thinking something" is already a description of this "something" and it can as such be doubted. The existence of a "conscious entity" can also be doubted.
Why? Because once we award "something" an attribute it turns into a thing, it would have to be separate from other things which again have different attributes. Yet, all these attributes are only interpretations - they are non existent before we wrap "something" in conceptual clothes and as such award it a specific form or appearance.
Immanuel Can wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:50 am If it's not, there is no "doubt." Nobody and nothing is doing any "doubting."
Yes, yet, something is definitely going on...
Dimebag
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Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by Dimebag »

Immanuel Can wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:50 am
AlexW wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 12:27 am As I see it, the only thing one cannot doubt is that there is "something" rather than "nothing" - doubt can only arise once one attempts to describe and interpret what this "something" actually is.
Well, for certain, you know it has to be a thinking "something." It has to be a conscious entity. If it's not, there is no "doubt." Nobody and nothing is doing any "doubting."

If you don't mind me recommending, you should read Descartes on this.
Is it a thinking thing, or, do thoughts happen in it? After all, thought is not constant, it comes and goes. What is the one thing which can’t come and go, or, only goes in deep sleep?

There is a saying,
what you are looking for is where you are looking from
Where you look from IS what you are, awareness, everything else plays on its surface.
Skepdick
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Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by Skepdick »

Dimebag wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 5:42 am Where you look from IS what you are, awareness, everything else plays on its surface.
There are many things which are awareness that are not me, therefore I am not awareness.

I don't know what I am. I only know that I am.
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Dontaskme
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Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by Dontaskme »

Skepdick wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:01 am
Dimebag wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 5:42 am Where you look from IS what you are, awareness, everything else plays on its surface.
There are many things which are awareness that are not me, therefore I am not awareness.

I don't know what I am. I only know that I am.
Not knowing and knowing I Am ....are two sides of the same coin.
Knowing is within the conceptual dream of separation, Aka embodied Awareness - empty fullness.

.
Skepdick
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Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by Skepdick »

Dontaskme wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:16 am Not knowing and knowing I Am ....are two sides of the same coin.
They aren't. Who doesn't know? I don't know.

"I" who?

I.
Dontaskme wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:16 am Knowing is within the conceptual dream of separation, Aka embodied Awareness - empty fullness.
The phrases "embodied Awareness" and "empty fulness" don't say anything new or interesting about me.

They don't say anything that the word "I" doesn't already contain.
Last edited by Skepdick on Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Dontaskme
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Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by Dontaskme »

Belinda wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 6:22 pm
Dontaskme wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 6:06 pm Without a moment's thought we give up our body, our mind and our world as we fall asleep, and are left only as the peaceful self – pure awareness – that we essentially are.

That empty pure awareness is what is known as the SELF ... it’s the son of a barren woman metaphorically speaking. The immaculate conception. It’s what and who you are, it’s neither born nor is it dead.

Only the mind is born. Not You.
I expect you mean deep dreamless sleep. Some dreams contain self awareness, some don't.
There is no self in a dream.

The self arises as a conceptual idea, which is emptiness appearing full.

.
Skepdick
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Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by Skepdick »

Dontaskme wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:20 am The self arises as a conceptual idea
Arises where?
Dontaskme wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:20 am which is emptiness appearing full.
Appearing where?

The "self" has a locus. You just haven't found you yet.
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Dontaskme
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Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by Dontaskme »

Skepdick wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:20 am
Dontaskme wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:16 am Not knowing and knowing I Am ....are two sides of the same coin.
They aren't. Who doesn't know? I don't know.

"I" who?
There is no “who” ...the question arises when there is a desire to know...which can only happen within the dream story of I ...dream stories arise in and to no one.

.
Skepdick
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Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by Skepdick »

Dontaskme wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:31 am There is no “who” ...the question arises when there is a desire to know...
Where does desire arise?

In your quest for self-denial, where does denial arise?
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Dontaskme
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Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by Dontaskme »

Skepdick wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:33 am
Dontaskme wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:31 am There is no “who” ...the question arises when there is a desire to know...
Where does desire arise?

In your quest for self-denial, where does denial arise?
Knowledge.
Skepdick
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Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by Skepdick »

Dontaskme wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:36 am Knowledge.
Where does knowledge arise?
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Dontaskme
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Re: The observer cannot be observed

Post by Dontaskme »

Skepdick wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:36 am
Dontaskme wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:36 am Knowledge.
Where does knowledge arise?
In the “dream story” which has no location except as an imagined place, aka a conceptual place.
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