19
   

Where is the self? How can dualism stand if it's just a fiction?

 
 
Razzleg
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2013 01:07 am
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:

JLNobody wrote:

I agree: the sense of self IS intuitive and cannot be reasoned away. It falls away with careful and persistent inspection (meditation). This falling away is the result of refined intuition, not logic. That's why it is SO difficult, indeed impossible, to argue the case for Buddhism.


And there is no chance whatsoever, JL, that people who do this meditating are just themselves with this "there is no self" stuff. In other words, the people who are arguing the other side of the issue HAVE TO BE WRONG?


Frank, you're being purposefully dogmatic and obtuse, and making a point of looking at this in a way that will never understand a meditative interlocuter.

What i intuit about JLN's statements is that a "sense of self" is a matter of practice. Our instinctive behavior is not only a way of demonstrating our "self", it is also a way of practicing predictive "selfing" (a term i've just invented, and rather like). When one practices meditation, or asceticism or "self-denial", one can (sorta, kinda) overcome the need to identify oneself as a "self". It is not meditation's purpose to pretend that the "self" doesn't exist -- the passive practice just accepts, and in a non-aggressive way implements, the "self's" lack of central, cosmic significance. The individual self cannot be denied, but it can be overwhelmed by the weight of the universe. And a perception of the latter might determine one's actions in a greater degree than than the former could.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2013 01:11 am
@Razzleg,
You need to examine how the word "experience" is used. Used as a noun it appears to be "an object" which can be examined and to which we can ascribe boundaries. But experience of "self" is spasmodic unless we are in an occupational acting or teaching role in which we are constantly monitoring our performance. The "normal self" we might later report about as having "had an experience" is evoked by the aims of the reporting context itself and the report is a tailored story of what may or may not have happened "in consciousness". It is a third party report akin to a witness statement about somebody else !
Heidegger pointed out to his students that they had all appeared in the lecture room as a result of turning the door handle to that room, but that none of them actually had "the conscious experience" of turning the handle. Dreyfus calls this "transparent coping" with "self" absent, the usual mode of consciousness. Yet considerations of "social responsibility", condition us to assume that an"experiencing self" is present all the time we are awake when in essence most of our interaction is automatic.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2013 05:46 am
The coherence of self is the coherence of a dominant pattern of perception a modus operandi through spacetime and not necessarily what is existing moment by moment, not awareness...as far as we know any kind of awareness including self awareness comes with a delay in relation to the physical brain processing. Again the mistake in here is to confound present awareness with self while I rather refer to the specificity of the overall geometry, the body, the brain itself from which such awareness emerges with a lag... so the argument of time is mute to destroy what the self is. If anything the sense of flow, the being there is an illusion. The frozen structure of the overall pattern along spacetime as it evolves coherently in perfect local context is a more appropriate and truer form of referring to an object which we might call "self"...if anything self is the spacetime unfolding of a given geometric pattern, a shape ! (Please note this needs not even be connoted with a materialistic view, once I don't define what the physical brain is other then a pattern, geometry)
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2013 06:22 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
"It's no go the Yogi Man,
It's no go Blavatsky.
All we want is a bank balance
And a bit of skirt in a taxi."

Louis MacNeice - Bagpipe Music.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2013 06:24 am
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

You need to examine how the word "experience" is used. Used as a noun it appears to be "an object" which can be examined and to which we can ascribe boundaries. But experience of "self" is spasmodic unless we are in an occupational acting or teaching role in which we are constantly monitoring our performance. The "normal self" we might later report about as having "had an experience" is evoked by the aims of the reporting context itself and the report is a tailored story of what may or may not have happened "in consciousness". It is a third party report akin to a witness statement about somebody else !
Heidegger pointed out to his students that they had all appeared in the lecture room as a result of turning the door handle to that room, but that none of them actually had "the conscious experience" of turning the handle. Dreyfus calls this "transparent coping" with "self" absent, the usual mode of consciousness. Yet considerations of "social responsibility", condition us to assume that an"experiencing self" is present all the time we are awake when in essence most of our interaction is automatic.



This is why the argument for self cannot be focus on awareness per se without simultaneously destroying it. Rather awareness is the bi product of this local exchange of information which can be traced back to a geometrical shape that stores information in a given filtered way, the brain. The specificity of this shape constrains the form in which the information is transformed or processed for later revaluation, there is coherence in the unfolding of the process along spacetime even if it evolves for newer forms. The coherence of this evolution is itself a shape along the spacetime, an overarching pattern. How is this not an object ?
The true meaning of present is not the present as classically we came to think of it as the only true moment, in a succession of paradoxes in which every past moment is destroyed by the next...present in Being is the overall arch of the pattern throughout spacetime as a form of forms...it has coherence along the spacetime itself, it is one thing.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2013 07:36 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil Albuquerque wrote:

I wouldn't say it any better Frank... Wink
...but you know what is odd in the end of the day...I like them any way !


Absolutely, Fil. I do also.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2013 07:42 am
@Razzleg,
Razzleg wrote:

Frank Apisa wrote:

JLNobody wrote:

I agree: the sense of self IS intuitive and cannot be reasoned away. It falls away with careful and persistent inspection (meditation). This falling away is the result of refined intuition, not logic. That's why it is SO difficult, indeed impossible, to argue the case for Buddhism.


And there is no chance whatsoever, JL, that people who do this meditating are just themselves with this "there is no self" stuff. In other words, the people who are arguing the other side of the issue HAVE TO BE WRONG?


Frank, you're being purposefully dogmatic and obtuse, and making a point of looking at this in a way that will never understand a meditative interlocuter.

What i intuit about JLN's statements is that a "sense of self" is a matter of practice. Our instinctive behavior is not only a way of demonstrating our "self", it is also a way of practicing predictive "selfing" (a term i've just invented, and rather like). When one practices meditation, or asceticism or "self-denial", one can (sorta, kinda) overcome the need to identify oneself as a "self". It is not meditation's purpose to pretend that the "self" doesn't exist -- the passive practice just accepts, and in a non-aggressive way implements, the "self's" lack of central, cosmic significance. The individual self cannot be denied, but it can be overwhelmed by the weight of the universe. And a perception of the latter might determine one's actions in a greater degree than than the former could.


Razzleg...if any of these notions expressed by JL and the others were presented with "It is possible that..." I would have no problem with them at all.

The state their guesses about REALITY...as though they are revealing truth. But nothing they are saying about it indicates that they actually have attained any truth...and all they suggest is that if I (or the others) immerse myself (themselves) in Buddhism and meditation, we will see what they see.

But if you immerse yourself in Christianity...you can get "GOD" to reveal ITSELF to you.

My question to them has always been: How do you know you are not deluding yourself?

I've never gotten a satisfactory answer except "Immerse yourself in meditation and you will see." But then how would I know that I am not deluding myself?

fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2013 08:01 am
@Frank Apisa,
Quote:
But then how would I know that I am not deluding myself

On the contrary, how do you know that you have a consistently present "self" when a bit of honest reflection suggests to most people that we do not ?
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2013 08:10 am
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

Quote:
But then how would I know that I am not deluding myself

On the contrary, how do you know that you have a consistently present "self" when a bit of honest reflection suggests to most people that we do not ?


I don't, Fresco.

I do not know either way. I think I've mentioned before that I do not know the true nature of the REALITY of existence.

It could be that the naive realists are correct...and that what we see is what we get. It could be something more like the "there is no self" igm and you are trying to peddle.

I DO NOT KNOW.

You guys seem to be saying you do.

By the way:

Quote:
On the contrary, how do you know that you have a consistently present "self" when a bit of honest reflection suggests to most people that we do not ?


A bit over-stated, don't you think?

My guess is that you could set up a station in New York or London and question people at random about whether or not there is a self...and come away with a hugely lop-sided "yes" response.
0 Replies
 
igm
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2013 08:37 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil Albuquerque wrote:

You know Frank...my point is quite simple be it here in this thread about the self be it in another thread like nothingness...nihilism is always a bad argument for any sort of claim ! These guys have the merit of consistency...they always commit to the same mistake.

You commit the mistake of being mistaken about the mistakes you believe 'These guys' have... which they don't. The previous sentence was deliberately opaque.
0 Replies
 
igm
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2013 08:41 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil Albuquerque wrote:

Totally besides the point...how is that not a self ??? And what the "frack" would be the "world" without things ? An empty set ?

Doesn't everything depend on, the primordial empty set? This is a question so don't attack the messenger.
0 Replies
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2013 10:28 am
@spendius,
"The poet is a faker Who's so good at his act He even fakes the pain Of pain he feels in fact."


0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2013 10:53 am
@Frank Apisa,
Quote:
"It is possible that..." I would have no problem with them at all.


But if Mr Bush had said that " 'it is possible' that the bank bailouts are the best way of proceeding", would there have been bailouts?

There are plenty who say that the bailouts were the worst way of proceeding and are identical with protected game reserves to keep elephants (overgrown rats) extant. Mr Bush didn't want to have a meltdown on his watch and with the bailouts he pushed the meltdown onto somebody else following in his footsteps.

He has to say "they are" the best way of proceeding to avoid being accused of being a ditherer. Otherwise, no bailouts. And "must do better" scrawled across the report card. Which is something Americans seem to dread more than being fed into a mincing machine and not in the least an exaggeration in a meltdown.

Apisa must be a physical manifestation of empty space.

spendius
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2013 10:57 am
@spendius,
Or a psychic manifestation of a stone gatepost.
0 Replies
 
Razzleg
 
  2  
Reply Sat 21 Dec, 2013 12:46 am
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:

Razzleg...if any of these notions expressed by JL and the others were presented with "It is possible that..." I would have no problem with them at all.

The state their guesses about REALITY...as though they are revealing truth. But nothing they are saying about it indicates that they actually have attained any truth...and all they suggest is that if I (or the others) immerse myself (themselves) in Buddhism and meditation, we will see what they see.

But if you immerse yourself in Christianity...you can get "GOD" to reveal ITSELF to you.

My question to them has always been: How do you know you are not deluding yourself?

I've never gotten a satisfactory answer except "Immerse yourself in meditation and you will see." But then how would I know that I am not deluding myself?


In a way, i agree with you, all philosophical pronouncements should be prefaced with a "this is a thought experiment" warning or a "speculation is a thing"-sort of conditional statement.

However, you generally present yourself as if you are offended by another person's confidence in any idea or observation. I appreciate your skepticism, but i don't remember your having provided a standard by which to provide "proof". It seems as though "proof" is always just the thing your debating opponent doesn't have.

You write about truth, and yet always insist that you don't "know" anything. And then you pretend that your lack of certainty prevents you from speculating about understanding the basis of others' beliefs or even your own suspicions. You're smart man, Frank. But please, stop playing the rhetorical dullard to win disagreements through pretend ignorance, and employ your educated uncertainty and skepticism for the benefit both sides of the argument.

Frank Apisa wrote:

My question to them has always been: How do you know you are not deluding yourself?


i know that i'm just speculating, but i'm not sure that a person can willingly delude themselves. And i'm not sure that meditation is a pathway to "truth"...meditation is just a way of sitting still -- what you take away from it is up to you. However, i will say, sitting still seems like a really inefficient way of deluding oneself. Take that for what it's worth.
Razzleg
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Dec, 2013 01:28 am
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

You need to examine how the word "experience" is used. Used as a noun it appears to be "an object" which can be examined and to which we can ascribe boundaries. But experience of "self" is spasmodic unless we are in an occupational acting or teaching role in which we are constantly monitoring our performance. The "normal self" we might later report about as having "had an experience" is evoked by the aims of the reporting context itself and the report is a tailored story of what may or may not have happened "in consciousness". It is a third party report akin to a witness statement about somebody else !
Heidegger pointed out to his students that they had all appeared in the lecture room as a result of turning the door handle to that room, but that none of them actually had "the conscious experience" of turning the handle. Dreyfus calls this "transparent coping" with "self" absent, the usual mode of consciousness. Yet considerations of "social responsibility", condition us to assume that an"experiencing self" is present all the time we are awake when in essence most of our interaction is automatic.


You might be misunderstanding me. i'm comfortable admitting that the activisation of both the "unique self" and a "sense of self" are intermittent phenomena. Consciousness is a tricky business: the relationship between narrative, self-hood, and agency is complicated. i'm still trying to figure it out, and i probably never will.

My point about the limits of experience was not about some sort of external obstacle, a "boundary"; it was about a brake, an internal regulator...Experience isn't an object, it describes a process, and "the self" provides just such regulation. In terms of ancient sailing, the self isn't the path, nor is it the ship, its an anchor.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Dec, 2013 02:32 am
@Razzleg,
I suggest that it can only be considered "an anchor" relative to something "fixed". But what would that something be ? What we call "the world" may appear fixed relative to our short existence , but we are really talking about a limited personalized set of interactions specific to current purposes.

Perhaps rather than anchorage, we should consider "experience" to be a selective description of an unfolding journey of ourselves as biological entities along a road delimited by our physiology and cognitive conditioning. During the journey we might focus on salient features, or examine the vehicle (aka self) when the journey is interrupted or takes an unexpected turn.

Note that much of the journey goes unreported/experienced. Note too that the philosopher-biologist Maturana rejects usage of the words "experience" and "observation" when talking of species without language. For him, to talk of "a cat observing a mouse" is an anthropomorphism. What we should report is two biological systems engaged in "structural coupling" and interactive adaptation. By extrapolation, he deflates what we call "conscious awareness" to an epiphenomenon of what he calls languaging.

Hopefully, this angle is in line with your "working out what experience is". It may simply end up as a word we find useful in certain contexts. Smile
Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Reply Sat 21 Dec, 2013 07:27 am
@Razzleg,
Razzleg wrote:

Frank Apisa wrote:

Razzleg...if any of these notions expressed by JL and the others were presented with "It is possible that..." I would have no problem with them at all.

The state their guesses about REALITY...as though they are revealing truth. But nothing they are saying about it indicates that they actually have attained any truth...and all they suggest is that if I (or the others) immerse myself (themselves) in Buddhism and meditation, we will see what they see.

But if you immerse yourself in Christianity...you can get "GOD" to reveal ITSELF to you.

My question to them has always been: How do you know you are not deluding yourself?

I've never gotten a satisfactory answer except "Immerse yourself in meditation and you will see." But then how would I know that I am not deluding myself?


In a way, i agree with you, all philosophical pronouncements should be prefaced with a "this is a thought experiment" warning or a "speculation is a thing"-sort of conditional statement.


Good, because for the most part, it should. I don't think you must use it in every sentence or every paragraph...but when you are saying things over and over and it is obvious you are presenting a particular notion as an absolute truth...it makes sense for anyone in conversation with you to question why you no longer consider it speculation.

Quote:
However, you generally present yourself as if you are offended by another person's confidence in any idea or observation. I appreciate your skepticism, but i don't remember your having provided a standard by which to provide "proof". It seems as though "proof" is always just the thing your debating opponent doesn't have.


Razz...I almost never ask for "proof"...because proof is one of the most elusive things on this planet. I often ask for the evidence upon which the assertion is made...and even specify that I am not asking for "proof", but just the evidence...so I can evaluate it.

Quote:
You write about truth, and yet always insist that you don't "know" anything.


I HAVE NEVER IN MY LIFE SAID THAT I DO NOT KNOW ANYTHING. I know lots of things.

There are, however, things I do not know...and when those things are being discussed, I think it ethical to mention that I do not know them. If the matter being discussed, for instance, is the true nature of the REALITY of existence...I am going to mention that I do not know the true nature.


Quote:
And then you pretend that your lack of certainty prevents you from speculating about understanding the basis of others' beliefs or even your own suspicions.


That is utter nonsense, Razz. I almost always have a keen appreciation for the "beliefs", guesses, and speculations. I question them to find out if the person offering them understand they are speculation or guesses. If I question...there is no "pretense" involved unless I am being sarcastic, which I usually make quite obvious.

Quote:
You're smart man, Frank. But please, stop playing the rhetorical dullard to win disagreements through pretend ignorance, and employ your educated uncertainty and skepticism for the benefit both sides of the argument.


I do not do that, but if you think I do...please avoid my comments. I am trying to be ethical and reasonable with everyone with whom I interact. Sorry you see me in such a negative light.

Quote:
Frank Apisa wrote:

My question to them has always been: How do you know you are not deluding yourself?


i know that i'm just speculating, but i'm not sure that a person can willingly delude themselves.


The expression "deluding yourself"...in conversation means "being deluded"...but I guess it can be misinterpreted. Now that you have called that possible deficiency in my wording to my attention I will try to use the "being deluded" rather than "deluding yourself." Thank you for that.

Quote:
And i'm not sure that meditation is a pathway to "truth"...meditation is just a way of sitting still -- what you take away from it is up to you. However, i will say, sitting still seems like a really inefficient way of deluding oneself. Take that for what it's worth.


I have never suggested that there is anything wrong with meditation...nor do I derogate it. But when people claim they come away with knowledge and understanding of REALITY from it...I question whether that supposed knowledge and understanding is not just delusion.

People who smoke marijuana or who drop acid often come away from the experience absolutely positive that the secrets of the world have been open to them. A friend of mine once had an amazing revelation during one of those sessions which he shared with me almost with tears in his eyes.

THE REVELATION: Although kittens like to play...they also like to nap!

Did I make my point?!
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2013 07:48 am
@fresco,
Quote:
Historic Proclamation of the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness in Human non-Human Animals at the Francis Crick Memorial Conference, Churchill College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK, July 7, 2012

The text of the Declaration is available at http://fcmconference.org/img/Cambridg...

The Declaration represents the conclusion of a scientific meeting, the Francis Crick Memorial Conference on Consciousness, with all the talks available at http://fcmconference.org/watch/

These talks contain peer-reviewed work by mostly experimental neuroscientists who are putting to rest preconceived notions of human exceptionalism, for the public and with hard data. Abstracts and bios are available at http://fcmconference.org/img/FCMCProg...


spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2013 08:09 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Acharya Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, CSI, CIE, FRS. did it for plants, Fil, in the 1930s.
 

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