Deepest Mystery

#22
There seems to me to be a parallel between the science of the East, which I consider to be the systematic study of consciousness having started roughly 2500 years ago with the Vedas, and Western science, which is a a study of the apparent physical world.

Those schooled in Eastern thought accept these mysteries as unknowable from this physical existence and even adopt a devotional stance toward it.
An interesting thread, but some possible errors.

Vedas are considered timeless and part of perenial religion. Buddha around 500 BC was Nastika or heretical to the long tradition of the Vedas.

The west wants wants to achieve "objective" knowledge, but this is a dualistic error presupposing subject and object as fundamental (although materialism can't really deal with a subject). In Bhamanism and Buddhism individual existences are result of illusion. Both of these schools have complex views of how the unity becomes clothed in physical individuality and remedies.

Wisdom schools posit that deeper understanding and realization or awakening is possible, not that truth is unknowable.

Sufism although often tied to Islam also claims access to perenial wisdom without claiming to be Eastern.
 
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chuck.drake

#23
An interesting thread, but some possible errors.

Vedas are considered timeless and part of perennial religion. Buddha around 500 BC was Nastika or heretical to the long tradition of the Vedas.

The west wants wants to achieve "objective" knowledge, but this is a dualistic error presupposing subject and object as fundamental (although materialism can't really deal with a subject). In Bhamanism and Buddhism individual existences are result of illusion. Both of these schools have complex views of how the unity becomes clothed in physical individuality and remedies.

Wisdom schools posit that deeper understanding and realization or awakening is possible, not that truth is unknowable.

Sufism although often tied to Islam also claims access to perennial wisdom without claiming to be Eastern.
Thanks. I was painting with a broad brush to stimulate conversation. And I'm not a scholar in any particular subject.

I'm sure you are right that Buddhism and others have very complex ideas of how the unity manifests as the relative. But I'm guessing as one drills down into those explanations they become mired in obscurity and rely more on abstract conceptualizations than on the kind of experiential writing that can be found regarding states of consciousness during meditation for example.
 
#24
Isn't it crazy how time incrementally speeds up as you age? I'm still young, but already I've noticed this to a significant degree. I guess this has to do with the rate of new information being processed through the senses, which is why time slows down during episodes of significant trauma as well as DMT trips and stuff? Don't childhoods last an eternity?

I guess a good way to slow down time would be to partake in new, different and exciting activities on a frequent basis. I'm too lazy for that myself, but I've always wondered what the effects would be on my perception of the passing of time, if any.
 
#27
So in B-theory time change is an illusion? But then, at the least, the illusion itself is changing right?
B-theory of time doesn't say change doesn't exist. It just says all the changes already exist in a tenseless way. You can always talk of change as in the state of the Universe at t1 with respect to the state of the Universe at t2. Anyway, I don't think one can get much ontology about time by observing consciousness. There are illusions that involve the sensation that time is going backwards, but it can hardly qualifies as evidence that time travel is possible.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#28
B-theory of time doesn't say change doesn't exist. It just says all the changes already exist in a tenseless way. You can always talk of change as in the state of the Universe at t1 with respect to the state of the Universe at t2. Anyway, I don't think one can get much ontology about time by observing consciousness. There are illusions that involve the sensation that time is going backwards, but it can hardly qualifies as evidence that time travel is possible.
But if the perception of change is occurring in what I guess we'd call A-theory fashion, then it still seems like a problem for B-theory. The mental impressions are still moving from present to past, which seems like it'd be a problem for B-theory.

Feel free to point me to a good link, I'm just looking at Wikipedia at the moment:

The B-theory of time is also burdened with heavy philosophical problems. On the B-theory, temporal becoming is an entirely subjective phenomenon, and hence not an objective feature of reality. In the absence of minds, every temporal moment and event simply exists tenselessly; there are no tensed facts; no past, present, or future; nothing comes into existence or happens except in the tenseless sense of existing at certain appointed stations as opposed to others. If the mental phenomenon of temporal becoming is an objective feature of reality, this amounts to a denial of the B-theory of time.[6] If the B-theorist bites the bullet, stating that there is no temporal becoming of mental states, then this flies in the face of experience. Sir Arthur Eddington states "We have direct insight into 'becoming' which sweeps aside all symbolic knowledge as on an inferior plane. If I grasp the notion of existence because I myself exist, I grasp the notion of becoming because I myself become. It is the innermost Ego of all that is and becomes."[7]

Temporal philosopher William Lane Craig explains that the B-Theory suffers the same incoherence as all theories that time is illusory, namely, that an illusion or appearance of becoming involves becoming, so that becoming cannot be mere illusion or appearance. The Buddhist can consistently deny the reality of the physical world, since the illusion of physicality does not entail physicality, but this is not the case with temporal becoming.[8] John Laird writes: "Take the supposed illusion of change. This must mean that something, X, appears to change when in fact it does not change at all. That may be true about X; but how could the illusion occur unless there were change somewhere? If there is no change in X, there must be a change in the deluded mind that contemplates X. The illusion of change is actually a changing illusion. Thus the illusion of change implies the reality of some change. Change, therefore, is invincible in its stubbornness; for no one can deny the appearance of change."[9]
 
#29
But if the perception of change is occurring in what I guess we'd call A-theory fashion, then it still seems like a problem for B-theory. The mental impressions are still moving from present to past, which seems like it'd be a problem for B-theory.

Feel free to point me to a good link, I'm just looking at Wikipedia at the moment:
Isn't the second paragraph begging the question (of time) by stating that time is necessary for change to occur or 'becoming' as Craig says?
 
#33
But if the perception of change is occurring in what I guess we'd call A-theory fashion, then it still seems like a problem for B-theory. The mental impressions are still moving from present to past, which seems like it'd be a problem for B-theory.
¿Why would it be? As I said, I don't see why sensations would necessarily tell us anything meaningfull about ontology at all. We feel many things, but that doesn't mean they relate at all with the nature of existence. It's still puzzling though, and I think a satisfactory solution might come from a sort of proto-panphysicalism where particles have extensions both in space and in time ( meaning a particle is ontologically the extension of it through time ) and by having qualia they can feel change, without actually there being any movement.

Feel free to point me to a good link, I'm just looking at Wikipedia at the moment:
I think the problem with those critiques is that they try to take the illusion and somehow extrapolate it to the ontology. Like saying that because you had the sensation time is going backwards, that means time indeed, trully goes backwards. While I agree that time and consciousness are puzzling and currently their relation is unknown, I think it begs the question to ask that the illusion must be taken as ontologicaly significant without any sort of justification other than "it just feels like it". After all, there are more incoherences if one takes the illusion at face value; I'll explain myself. We experience things, as humans, at a certain "speed", with this I mean you can't for example experience things at atto-seconds, or at lower intervals; the flow of time have a certain speed ( an can be modified, though not into intervals as low as atto-seconds or less!). In A-theory of time, only the present exist, and the present would be the most little time interval possible, which would certainly be lower than an atto-second. So the question arise, ¿how can we perceive time if what we perceive as a single phenomenological moment is actually the conjuction of several ontological moments? Under A-theory it would be impossible, because what we call a single phenomenological moment are in fact several ontological moments, and under A-theory of time only one of this ontological moments exist, and hence, the phenomenological moment wouldn't be possible.

The solution as I see it would be to claim (A) that our perception of time is misleading, and (B), that phenomenological moments can exist because several "ontological moments" have equal ontological existence ( and hence, B theory of time!). This relates to the possible solution I spoke up, where the time-extension of several brain particles migh "join" to produce the qualia of a moment. If you can have the sensation of a single "moment" based on actual several moments, perhaps you can have it the other way around: the perception of several moments based on fixed moments.
 
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#34
As I said, I don't see why sensations would necessarily tell us anything meaningfull about ontology at all. We feel many things, but that doesn't mean they relate at all with the nature of existence.

I think there is no direct connection between phenomenology and ontology, but there must be some connection, because the mere fact we feel anything, implies that something exists, ie, our feelling, and the ontology is about what exists, so if we feel the change, there is at least a change exists ontologically, which is fatal to a theory that posits that the change does not exist ontologically.
 
#35
I think there is no direct connection between phenomenology and ontology, but there must be some connection, because the mere fact we feel anything, implies that something exists, ie, our feelling, and the ontology is about what exists, so if we feel the change, there is at least a change exists ontologically, which is fatal to a theory that posits that the change does not exist ontologically.
The thought experiment is meant to think about how we make decisions, not meant to be an actual experiment we could actually perform. Or am I missing something?
 
#36
The thought experiment is meant to think about how we make decisions, not meant to be an actual experiment we could actually perform. Or am I missing something?
You're right, but I did not mean if the experiment can be performed in practice, but the experiment does not make sense because it is metaphysically impossible.
 
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chuck.drake

#38
This gets much closer to what I am thinking:

The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named is not the eternal name
The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth
The named is the mother of myriad things
Thus, constantly without desire, one observes its essence
Constantly with desire, one observes its manifestations
These two emerge together but differ in name
The unity is said to be the mystery
Mystery of mysteries, the door to all wonders
 
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chuck.drake

#39
The above passage is from Lao Tzu from the 6th century BC. Yesterday I was listening to Eckhart Tolle who was not only expressing the same sentiment, but who apparently has an abiding awareness of "the eternal Tao." There are many people in the past decades awakening into an abiding awareness of the one. What is the exact nature of "awakening" or enlightenment? There is apparently some objective nature to the state.

Is science aware of "the eternal Tao?" What is it?
 
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chuck.drake

#40
OK. This is a little closer. I will use the term "spiritual disciplines" to generally refer to the Eastern influenced disciplines for the purpose of this post.

The spiritual disciplines that I speak of are unequivocal in the idea that there are two facets of reality. There is the reality of forms, of objects of things. And this includes physical objects, thoughts, conceptions, beliefs, feelings, people, matter, energy, gravity, laws of nature and on and on and on. Everything we can conceive of lies on this side of the coin.

And here is where language becomes useless. But conversely there exists the Tao. The empty spaciousness from which the reality of forms emerges eternally in the now.

And if this were some "idea" that was part of a dogma that was promised following death, then one could ignore it as simply blind faith, as superstition. But abiding with an awareness of the Tao is a thing that happens. It is an actual state of being. There is something very real about it.

So I guess I'm wondering if science even recognizes this concept at all? I don't think it does. But if science hankers to explain the true nature of reality, then without exploring this idea it seems to me that ultimately science will come up short. Science will be able to explain many things, and it may approach the absolute limit of understanding of the realm of forms. But without acknowledging the other side of the same coin, the Tao, science will forever remain limited.

And I'm not talking here about heaven or ghosts or anything of that nature. If any of that exists, it exists as part of the realm of forms. I think that is a point that is lost on many people.
 
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