What is Real?

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richrf
 
Reply Sat 25 Jul, 2009 01:56 am
@kennethamy,
I think, so that we don't forget, I will list some of the things I do in my life that utilizes my creative being without any sense of logic, science, math, or whatever:

1) Play the piano
2) Play tennis, basketball, golf, table tennis
3) Cook
4) Play games
5) Conversation
7) Yoga, Qigong, and Taijiquan
8) Paint and draw
9) Write poetry
10) Sing
11) Dance
12) Take care of my health and overall well-being
13) Stock market investing

and everything else that I do that is creative and comes from within my spirit. The logic/intellect stuff is just a very small part of my life. I use to to fill out my tax forms, negotiate business deals, etc. I enjoy using all aspects of my being, and I do not feel that one part of me is any more necessary or better than any other part of me. They are all real to me - including my dreams. Smile

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 25 Jul, 2009 06:38 am
@richrf,
richrf;79430 wrote:
I think, so that we don't forget, I will list some of the things I do in my life that utilizes my creative being without any sense of logic, science, math, or whatever:

1) Play the piano
2) Play tennis, basketball, golf, table tennis
3) Cook
4) Play games
5) Conversation
7) Yoga, Qigong, and Taijiquan
8) Paint and draw
9) Write poetry
10) Sing
11) Dance
12) Take care of my health and overall well-being
13) Stock market investing

and everything else that I do that is creative and comes from within my spirit. The logic/intellect stuff is just a very small part of my life. I use to to fill out my tax forms, negotiate business deals, etc. I enjoy using all aspects of my being, and I do not feel that one part of me is any more necessary or better than any other part of me. They are all real to me - including my dreams. Smile

Rich


The logic/intellect stuff is just a very small part of my life. Amen! Never a truer word....

"Real to me" and "real" are very different. Really.
 
richrf
 
Reply Sat 25 Jul, 2009 08:02 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;79447 wrote:
The logic/intellect stuff is just a very small part of my life. Amen! Never a truer word....

"Real to me" and "real" are very different. Really.


So something can be real to you and not real at the same time? Well, as long as you can make it through the day, I guess it is OK.

Rich
 
xtropx
 
Reply Sat 25 Jul, 2009 09:07 am
@richrf,
Quote:
Yes, and this is the quandary that I see. It seems real when we are a asleep, but when we are awake it feels different. Why?
I believe that the 'I' that exists as an entity, consciousness, an observer, came to manifest within a complex enough biological structure capable of sustaining 'itself' in this 'version' of 'reality."

Consciousness, what we 'are' could perhaps be something infinitely more flexible then anyone has ever wanted to think about. The problem is that I can not prove to anyone what I know because most of my perspective about my being is directly based on experiences that have lead me to see things as such, and without anyone having the same or similar experiences my perspective may seem a little ludicrous to some.

So perhaps when we are asleep our mind-self is asleep and our consciousness, or 'being'...what we ultimately are, is free to roam past the normal restrictions of our 'physical reality'...but it is strange to us. We are not used to it and skilled in it. So it feels different then our waking reality.

Quote:
In dreams we are not the masters, we dont direct the dream it directs us,we merely observe,in the conscious mind we have control.
Then how do you explain lucid dreaming where one has complete control of their dream?

Quote:
"Real to me" and "real" are very different. Really.
Actually, 'real to me' is all there is because I undoubtedly see the world, my 'reality' in a different way then you or anyone else does. 'Reality' or any 'word' is based on a human concept, and human ability to understand that concept.
You do not see dreams as 'real' whereas I do, so that would suggest that the reality of dreams depends on a person's perspective, seeing as though there is no method to determine the 'realness' of dreams.

The 'real' question here is what philosophers have argued for quite a time. What is subjective and objective about 'reality.'

Objective Reality is the perspective that you're the character in the dream world, and the dream world is solid, real, and objective. An OR person wouldn't normally think of the physical world as a dream at all - they accept the (socially conditioned) notion that the dream world is reality itself. The objective world itself is seen as the basis for knowledge. Note that there can be no proof whatsoever that this is how reality actually works; it's one giant unprovable assumption. It's also not falsifiable.

Solipsism is the perspective that you're the character in the dream, and the dream world is either a projection of you, some other kind of illusion, or simply unknowable. Other people are not real in the same way you are. Your own mind is the basis for knowledge. Even though it's impossible to prove it wrong because solipsism is not objectively falsifiable, many philosophers dislike solipsism because they see it as a philosophical dead end. I tend to agree.

Subjective Reality, as I describe it, is the perspective that your true identity is the dreamer having the dream, so you are the conscious container in which the entire dream world takes place. Your body-mind is your avatar in the dream world, the character that gives you a first-person perspective as you interact with the contents of your own consciousness. But that avatar is no more you than any other character in the dream world. This perspective is also not objectively falsifiable, so it cannot be proven wrong. However, I find it a very rich and empowering way to interact with the dream world of reality on multiple levels.

So until someone can provide me with a method of determining what 'portions' of this universal 'reality' that is totally independent of 'us' or to the converse, I am going to remain ambiguous about the situation and lean towards what my experiences have shown me.
 
richrf
 
Reply Sat 25 Jul, 2009 01:40 pm
@xtropx,
xtropx;79462 wrote:
I believe that the 'I' that exists as an entity, consciousness, an observer, came to manifest within a complex enough biological structure capable of sustaining 'itself' in this 'version' of 'reality."


Yes, I agree. What I believe is going on is that the mind (consciousness) is evolving and is building a more elaborate nervous system in order to receive and transmit information (the brain, spine, nervous system complex), and a physical body that is able to move around and observe what is going on. So, for me, it begins with the mind/consciousness.

Quote:
Consciousness, what we 'are' could perhaps be something infinitely more flexible then anyone has ever wanted to think about.
Yes, within the constraints it has to work with because it would like to communicate with other minds. So, a single mind cannot move too fast (evolve). Gotta wait for everyone to catch up. Smile

Quote:
The problem is that I can not prove to anyone what I know because most of my perspective about my being is directly based on experiences that have lead me to see things as such, and without anyone having the same or similar experiences my perspective may seem a little ludicrous to some.
I don't believe there is proof of anything. Everything is always changing. The mind is always evolving. If you observe scientific studies as I do, you will notice that they constantly conflict with each, change over time, re-interpreted, rejected, etc. Everything is changing, so proof is like a slippery eel.

Quote:
So perhaps when we are asleep our mind-self is asleep and our consciousness, or 'being'...what we ultimately are, is free to roam past the normal restrictions of our 'physical reality'...but it is strange to us. We are not used to it and skilled in it. So it feels different then our waking reality.
I kind of feel the same way.

Quote:
Then how do you explain lucid dreaming where one has complete control of their dream?


I have never experienced this, so it is tough to say. But my guess is there is that fine gray line where both can occur and the mind is aware of both worlds.

Quote:
So until someone can provide me with a method of determining what 'portions' of this universal 'reality' that is totally independent of 'us' or to the converse, I am going to remain ambiguous about the situation and lean towards what my experiences have shown me.
This is what I pretty much do.

Rich
 
xtropx
 
Reply Sat 25 Jul, 2009 02:49 pm
@richrf,
richrf;79486 wrote:
Yes, I agree. What I believe is going on is that the mind (consciousness) is evolving and is building a more elaborate nervous system in order to receive and transmit information (the brain, spine, nervous system complex), and a physical body that is able to move around and observe what is going on. So, for me, it begins with the mind/consciousness.


I think you misunderstand. I see consciousness, 'me,' 'I,' my 'being' as separate from the mind & body. The mind/brain/body is the biological structure required for consciousness in this 'reality.' Sorta like the container. (Some people may call this the 'soul' although I typically refrain due to the common concept of that word)

Quote:
I don't believe there is proof of anything. Everything is always changing.
Nothing is certain except uncertainty and the only constant is change. :Not-Impressed:
 
richrf
 
Reply Sat 25 Jul, 2009 04:47 pm
@xtropx,
xtropx;79497 wrote:
I think you misunderstand. I see consciousness, 'me,' 'I,' my 'being' as separate from the mind & body. The mind/brain/body is the biological structure required for consciousness in this 'reality.' Sorta like the container. (Some people may call this the 'soul' although I typically refrain due to the common concept of that word)


Yes, I understand this. My view is a bit different. I see it as a continuum. Mind/Consiousness --> Energy --> Matter. It is possible to see some inkling of these connections in every day life (thinking uses up energy, energy is created from oxygen and food), and from scientific theories such as Quantum Physics and Special Relativity. So for me, everything is made of the same thing, it is just manifesting differently like vapor, water, ice.

Quote:
Nothing is certain except uncertainty and the only constant is change.


I agree. Everything seems to be changing all the time.

Rich
 
prothero
 
Reply Sat 25 Jul, 2009 05:20 pm
@richrf,
Process, change, flux is the most fundamental reality.
Perpetual perishing and rebirth.
One moment of experience perishes and a new moment of experience is born, incorporating elements of the past and drawing from from the possiblities of the future. Fixed reality is an illusion.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 25 Jul, 2009 06:32 pm
@richrf,
richrf;79509 wrote:
Yes, I understand this. My view is a bit different. I see it as a continuum. Mind/Consiousness --> Energy --> Matter. It is possible to see some inkling of these connections in every day life (thinking uses up energy, energy is created from oxygen and food), and from scientific theories such as Quantum Physics and Special Relativity. So for me, everything is made of the same thing, it is just manifesting differently like vapor, water, ice.



I agree. Everything seems to be changing all the time.

Rich


Funny, people seem to say the same stupid things all the time, and never seem to learn anything. As the French saying goes, "The more things change, the more they remain the same".
 
richrf
 
Reply Sat 25 Jul, 2009 08:41 pm
@prothero,
prothero;79512 wrote:
Process, change, flux is the most fundamental reality.
Perpetual perishing and rebirth.
One moment of experience perishes and a new moment of experience is born, incorporating elements of the past and drawing from from the possiblities of the future. Fixed reality is an illusion.


Hi There,

Yes, it does seem like everything continuously goes through the birth/death cycle. Even the cells in a living body are continually renewing.

There does seem to be some desire for, or sense of, continuity so I would say this is just as much part of our experience. It could be like a pendulum. Where for an instant everything stops before it starts flowing again.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 25 Jul, 2009 09:52 pm
@richrf,
richrf;79545 wrote:
Hi There,

Yes, it does seem like everything continuously goes through the birth/death cycle. Even the cells in a living body are continually renewing.

There does seem to be some desire for, or sense of, continuity so I would say this is just as much part of our experience. It could be like a pendulum. Where for an instant everything stops before it starts flowing again.

Rich


And as Goethe said, "Even when it sets, it is the very same Sun". Maybe the truth is that some things change, although remaining the same, and other things remain the same, even while changing. So that everything both changes, and yet remains the same. In fact, that is, what we observe happening.
 
prothero
 
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2009 12:57 am
@richrf,
Mostly I am mounting an attack on materialism as a worldview.
The notion of static material "being" is fundamentally flawed.
"Becoming" process, a dynamic is more fundamental than Being a static..
True elements of the past are incorporated in the present and carried into the future but which is more primary?
In the end matter is energy and energy is always flux. Materialism is an illusion.
Process as a metaphysic is very helpful in cosmology, evolution, life and mind. Process also turns out to be useful in theology.
 
richrf
 
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2009 08:33 am
@prothero,
prothero;79580 wrote:
Mostly I am mounting an attack on materialism as a worldview.
The notion of static material "being" is fundamentally flawed.
"Becoming" process, a dynamic is more fundamental than Being a static..
True elements of the past are incorporated in the present and carried into the future but which is more primary?
In the end matter is energy and energy is always flux. Materialism is an illusion.
Process as a metaphysic is very helpful in cosmology, evolution, life and mind. Process also turns out to be useful in theology.


I agree. It is kind of strange that in a world of constant change that philosophers somehow convince themselves that it is static. Parmenides, and others, have no recourse other than to declare everything one sees as an illusion, in order to somehow get themselves to believe there is a static world out there - somewhere.

Anyway, my philosophy is that everything is as it is. Whether it be a universe in flux, each person seeing things differently, dreams coming and going, people seem to inherit knowledge from past lives, etc., and a good metaphysical philosophy must take this all into account and not simply dismiss these things as illusions or not part of philosophy, or whatever.

Rich
 
ACB
 
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2009 08:41 am
@richrf,
richrf;79602 wrote:
people seem to inherit knowledge from past lives


What makes you believe this?
 
richrf
 
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2009 08:55 am
@ACB,
ACB;79606 wrote:
What makes you believe this?


I asked myself one day, if there were multiple lives, how would it manifest itself? What kind of evidence might there be?

So I observed a single life (a thought experiment), and noticed two things:

1) People are developing different skills and seem to be on their own journey.

2) Some people seem to have more developed skills or natural talent from childhood: music, mathematics, sports, dancing, artistry, business - my talent, science, etc..

So, I thought to myself, that if there were multiple lives, then it would show up as has being more adept in subsequent lives. And those who are not skilled in this life, may be here just to develop greater skills for their next life.

These notions very nicely address Camus' question concerning the absurdity of life (we are here to explore and learn), as well as addressing all of the notions of inherited characteristics, innate capabilities, instincts, and where do they come from? It all seems very nice and symmetrical to me.

The key question is why do we retain memory of skills but not of prior physical existences? Some people claim that they do remember prior lives. My take, is that when one dies, it is a way of wiping the slate clean so that one can begin afresh again. Sort of like starting a new game of soccer, and the score goes back to zero. I think sports is a great metaphor for life.

Hope this answers your question.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2009 09:53 am
@richrf,
richrf;79609 wrote:
I asked myself one day, if there were multiple lives, how would it manifest itself? What kind of evidence might there be?

So I observed a single life (a thought experiment), and noticed two things:

1) People are developing different skills and seem to be on their own journey.

2) Some people seem to have more developed skills or natural talent from childhood: music, mathematics, sports, dancing, artistry, business - my talent, science, etc..

So, I thought to myself, that if there were multiple lives, then it would show up as has being more adept in subsequent lives. And those who are not skilled in this life, may be here just to develop greater skills for their next life.

These notions very nicely address Camus' question concerning the absurdity of life (we are here to explore and learn), as well as addressing all of the notions of inherited characteristics, innate capabilities, instincts, and where do they come from? It all seems very nice and symmetrical to me.

The key question is why do we retain memory of skills but not of prior physical existences? Some people claim that they do remember prior lives. My take, is that when one dies, it is a way of wiping the slate clean so that one can begin afresh again. Sort of like starting a new game of soccer, and the score goes back to zero. I think sports is a great metaphor for life.

Hope this answers your question.

Rich


Yes, it does. How else could any of this be explained except by reincarnation? It is obviously, by far, the most probable explanation. And I love that "key question" of yours, and your answer. In fact it was the only difficulty I have with your theory, and you dealt with it perfectly. I wonder why I never thought of it. What about you, ACB? Aren't you convinced? (Consider that authority, Camus. What a stroke of genius!)
 
ACB
 
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2009 12:04 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;79612 wrote:
Yes, it does. How else could any of this be explained except by reincarnation? It is obviously, by far, the most probable explanation. And I love that "key question" of yours, and your answer. In fact it was the only difficulty I have with your theory, and you dealt with it perfectly. I wonder why I never thought of it. What about you, ACB? Aren't you convinced? (Consider that authority, Camus. What a stroke of genius!)


Well, I am always open to new ideas, but I find the evidence in this case rather thin. Here are a few comments and suggestions for discussion:

1. By what mechanism are memories of skills transferred from one life to the next?

2. What type of continuing entity connects a person's present life with their past and future ones? What makes a particular past life their past life rather than someone else's? It cannot simply be memory, because identity and memory are two separate things.

3. It is difficult to see how newly-born infants would have the neurological capacity to retain 'inherited' memories.

4. Inherited memories of skills would lead to increasing inequality of abilities. Those who inherit great skills would be able to build on them from one life to the next, while those without them would have to strive harder and harder to catch up, which many would fail to do. A bit like inherited wealth, really.

5. The idea that "we are here to explore and learn" implies an intelligent designer behind it all. Would that be God, or something else?


Interesting speculation, but I'm afraid I'm not convinced. I prefer to apply Ockham's Razor and look for more down-to-earth explanations.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2009 12:42 pm
@ACB,
ACB;79636 wrote:
Well, I am always open to new ideas, but I find the evidence in this case rather thin. Here are a few comments and suggestions for discussion:

1. By what mechanism are memories of skills transferred from one life to the next?

2. What type of continuing entity connects a person's present life with their past and future ones? What makes a particular past life their past life rather than someone else's? It cannot simply be memory, because identity and memory are two separate things.

3. It is difficult to see how newly-born infants would have the neurological capacity to retain 'inherited' memories.

4. Inherited memories of skills would lead to increasing inequality of abilities. Those who inherit great skills would be able to build on them from one life to the next, while those without them would have to strive harder and harder to catch up, which many would fail to do. A bit like inherited wealth, really.

5. The idea that "we are here to explore and learn" implies an intelligent designer behind it all. Would that be God, or something else?


Interesting speculation, but I'm afraid I'm not convinced. I prefer to apply Ockham's Razor and look for more down-to-earth explanations.


Besides, by what criterion do we determine that person X is one and the same person as person Y in another life? Open-mindedness is one thing, But empty-headedness is another thing.
 
richrf
 
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2009 01:01 pm
@ACB,
ACB;79636 wrote:
Well, I am always open to new ideas, but I find the evidence in this case rather thin. Here are a few comments and suggestions for discussion:


I'll start with simplified ideas, but sometimes those are the best.

Quote:
1. By what mechanism are memories of skills transferred from one life to the next?
Jung suggests that memories are maintained in what he would call the collective unconscious. Throughout his life he documented evidence of the collective unconscious. I would call this the Universal Consciousness or what Chinese metaphysics refers to as the Spirit.

Everyone has access to this basic evolving resource via their brain/spine/central nervous system, since everyone is connected to it like waves in the ocean. One might call it the quantum field which stretches for infinity. The Universal Consciousness is the TV broadcasting studio and the human brain is the TV set receiving signals. Depending upon the capabilities of the brain/nervous system, the Individual Consciousness (mind) will receive and transmit different signals and learn different things. We are all evolving individually and together.

Quote:
2. What type of continuing entity connects a person's present life with their past and future ones?
It is the individual consciousness or what some have called the soul. In Chinese metaphysics it is the Hun. Basically, it can be thought of the individual wave in the ocean that keeps moving along.

Quote:
What makes a particular past life their past life rather than someone else's? It cannot simply be memory, because identity and memory are two separate things.
There are individual waves/souls that manifest out of the universal wave (consciousness). It is like a giant spiral (the beginning) that keeps spiraling, and spiraling creating other spirals. This is how a pendulum might spiral. So we have polarity of the pendulum (back and forth) and the spirals that it carves out. It manifests as what is called the quantum wave.

http://bulbphotography.com/_images/usuff/pendulum-image1.jpg

Quote:
3. It is difficult to see how newly-born infants would have the neurological capacity to retain 'inherited' memories.
Newborns have skills when they are born and gradually build on them.

Quote:
4. Inherited memories of skills would lead to increasing inequality of abilities. Those who inherit great skills would be able to build on them from one life to the next, while those without them would have to strive harder and harder to catch up, which many would fail to do. A bit like inherited wealth, really.
Everything is evolving together, since everything is connected to the Universal Consciousness, Collective Unconscious, or Source. But each one of us is tuned into different aspects and is evolving slightly differently. So it is a human normal curve with everyone fitting somewhere on that curve with different standard deviations.

Quote:
5. The idea that "we are here to explore and learn" implies an intelligent designer behind it all. Would that be God, or something else?
I would simply call it the Universal Consciousness though some might call it the Dao or Spinoza's God which manifests in the universe as we see it. It is conscious, as we are all, and it is exploring its creations - like a child with play dough.

I like exploring the ethereal world by observing how it manifests in the physical world.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2009 01:17 pm
@richrf,
richrf;79640 wrote:
I'll start with simplified ideas, but sometimes those are the best.



Jung suggests that memories are maintained in what he would call the collective unconscious. Throughout his life he documented evidence of the collective unconscious. I would call this the Universal Consciousness or what Chinese metaphysics refers to as the Spirit.

Everyone has access to this basic evolving resource via their brain/spine/central nervous system, since everyone is connected to it like waves in the ocean. One might call it the quantum field which stretches for infinity. The Universal Consciousness is the TV broadcasting studio and the human brain is the TV set receiving signals. Depending upon the capabilities of the brain/nervous system, the Individual Consciousness (mind) will receive and transmit different signals and learn different things. We are all evolving individually and together.



It is the individual consciousness or what some have called the soul. In Chinese metaphysics it is the Hun. Basically, it can be thought of the individual wave in the ocean that keeps moving along.



There are individual waves/souls that manifest out of the universal wave (consciousness). It is like a giant spiral (the beginning) that keeps spiraling, and spiraling creating other spirals. This is how a pendulum might spiral. So we have polarity of the pendulum (back and forth) and the spirals that it carves out. It manifests as what is called the quantum wave.

http://bulbphotography.com/_images/usuff/pendulum-image1.jpg



Newborns have skills when they are born and gradually build on them.



Everything is evolving together, since everything is connected to the Universal Consciousness, Collective Unconscious, or Source. But each one of us is tuned into different aspects and is evolving slightly differently. So it is a human normal curve with everyone fitting somewhere on that curve with different standard deviations.



I would simply call it the Universal Consciousness though some might call it the Dao or Spinoza's god. It is conscious, as we are all, and it is exploring its creations - like a child with play dough.

It think this is all very simple. One only has to look out in the physical world to understand how the more ethereal world is manifesting itself. It is all connected.

Rich


Now, ACB. See where being open-minded gets you? I especially like the reply to how we know A is the reincarnated version of B. All those waves. It lulls me to sleep.
 
 

 
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