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Philosophy, Science, & The Unexplained - Main Thread



S

smcder

Guest
I pointed to and linked to several sources you can read to get a quick grounding in MP's ideas concerning consciousness. Just before doing that I presented a post in response to one of TO's (concerning his view that consciousness can only be aware of itself, is locked in somehow from the world and meaningful dialogue with other humans about the world and the mind), in which I summarized MP's response to ideas of that sort. I hoped that that post would provide a convenient way to begin a foundational exchange concerning what phenomenology brings to the understanding of what consciousness is. It was two or three pages back. If anyone's interested in pursuing a conversation about MP and/or phenomenology, we could go back to that. If no one wants to pursue that approach, so be it. No problem.

I am interested.
 
S

smcder

Guest
FWIW, many years ago in my troubled transition from adolescence into adulthood, I contemplated whether or not my continued existence from the perspective of my impact as yet another garbage producing organism straining the planet's resources was justified. Would the world would be better off without another polluting human ( me )? I came to the conclusion that the world would be better off without me, but before doing anything to remove myself from the picture, I had a sort of revelation that despite all the downside, we are all still more valuable alive. So that ended the downward spiral for me. I realize it's not a terribly inspirational story, but perhaps it might help someone else along the way.

I appreciate you sharing that - in working in the mental health field, suicidal thoughts and ideation were chalked up to the massive hormonal and neurological changes in the brain - but more recently, middle-aged males have become the second at-risk group for suicide, so it's just a very complex phenomena. I think it touches our discussion at many points.
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Like I said, it's hard to convey, but yes, you cannot experience anything that isn't you. Data from the outside is gathered and brought inside where it modulates (lack of a better term) your own substance to represent that which was outside thus affording you an experience of the outside.

Please submit your problems to Problem Central. They will forward them to the Solutions Center after some indefinable period where they will most likely be processed in 8 to 10 working days after receipt, god willing and we find the damn pencil.

OK, but experiencing and comprehending are two different concepts. We can experience something and still not comprehend it. Or we can comprehend something without experiencing it then and there as the result of an external stimulus response. Like if you're talking to aunt Edna in Alaska who tells you it's snowing outside her house. You don't have to go to Alaska to comprehend what she means.

This can be carried further to allow for objective appraisals you were saying we are too inadequately equipped to make. Again, setting aside the issue that our experience of anything ( including comprehension ) is dependent on us first being in a state of awareness to begin with, objective measurements ( like the amount of precipitation ) are made all the time and relayed to us.

Given the above I think we can do away with point three as well. The subsequent paradox mentioned also cancels out and we are left with point:

1. Nothing outside of consciousness can be experienced, therefore anything outside of it can only be known about indirectly.

This leaves us with the question of how point 1. ( above ) relates to the conclusion that it is more beneficial to pursue the uses of our consciousness rather its origins? What exactly does that mean? How do we define "beneficial"? How do we know that using consciousness to pursue its origins won't be beneficial? These are very meaningful questions in the context of our pursuit of AI. Before we create a new consciousness on this planet we ought to be thinking this through a whole lot more or the results could be disastrous ( from our personal subjective points of view ).
 
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Randall

J. Randall Murphy
I confess to not understanding your last sentence as a whole (perhaps you can clarify what you mean). But the phrase 'cause and effect' provides me with a hook on which hang a suggestion: while we are not at a point yet in our scientific knowledge where we can provide an explanation for the 'cause' of consciousness, we can surely discuss the effects of our being conscious and perhaps make some progress that way on the subject of the thread.

Consciousness in the context of cause and effect is that the evidence strongly suggests that the effect ( consciousness ) is caused by our physical existence, whereas the nature of being I was referring to is concerned with the state of existence itself.
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
Given the above I think we can do away with point three as well. The subsequent paradox mentioned also cancels out and so far we are left with point:

1. Nothing outside of consciousness can be experienced, therefore anything outside of it can only be known about indirectly.
This leaves us with the question of how point 1. ( above ) relates to the conclusion that it is more beneficial to pursue the uses of our consciousness rather its origins? What exactly does that mean? How do we define "beneficial"? How do we know that using consciousness to pursue its origins won't be beneficial? These are very meaningful questions in the context of our pursuit of AI. Before we create a new consciousness on this planet we ought to be thinking this through a whole lot more or the results could be disastrous ( from our personal subjective points of view ).

I need to go back and see what three points you're referring to (and eliminating), but first, in the extract above, are you referring to my last post:

I confess to not understanding your last sentence as a whole (perhaps you can clarify what you mean). But the phrase 'cause and effect' provides me with a hook on which hang a suggestion: while we are not at a point yet in our scientific knowledge where we can provide an explanation for the 'cause' of consciousness, we can surely discuss the effects of our being conscious and perhaps make some progress that way on the subject of the thread.

If so, I wasn't suggesting that science should give up the search for an origin of consciousness, rather that here, within this thread, we might be able to make progress in understanding consciousness by discussing what we each see as the effects of consciousness.


ps: I ask again if you would clarify the following:

ufology wrote: This has been especially frustrating in our recent tour of the so-called "hard problem" of consciousness, which I maintain survives by its grammatical formulation alone and is relevant to the question of what consciousness is and where it comes from to the same extent that we might ask why a magnet produces a magnetic field, or for that matter why anything exists at all. This gets into the rules of logic and grammatical transitivity, and the nuances of interpreting words as they relate to the nature of being as opposed to the rules of cause and effect. . . .
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
Consciousness in the context of cause and effect is that the evidence strongly suggests that the effect ( consciousness ) is caused by our physical existence, whereas the nature of being I was referring to is concerned with the state of existence itself.

I'm not seeing a response there to the statement and suggestion I offered:

. . .while we are not at a point yet in our scientific knowledge where we can provide an explanation for the 'cause' of consciousness, we can surely discuss the effects of our being conscious and perhaps make some progress that way on the subject of the thread.
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
See here. I think you just missed me posting the response.

I don't think you have responded to my question or to my suggestion that we could discuss what we see as the effects of our being conscious (to be more explicit, effects in ourselves and also effects in the world). Of course, you don't have to if you prefer not to.
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
I don't think you have responded to my question or to my suggestion that we could discuss what we see as the effects of our being conscious (to be more explicit, effects in ourselves and also effects in the world). Of course, you don't have to if you prefer not to.

Oh sure, I see what you mean now. Thanks for clearing that up. Perhaps you have something that holds special meaning for you that you would like to start off with?
 

boomerang

Paranormal Adept
There's that expression again "account for". A physical model for consciousness doesn't have to "account for" the nature of consciousness as we experience it. It simply has to describe the situation in enough detail to duplicate it, and if that can be done, then that's sufficient to explain it as well as we can explain anything else, including the material that makes up our brain and the world around us

If this issue can be put in a nutshell, I think that is it. An explanatory model for anything is always incomplete.
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Some Paracast members would greatly benefit from a properly conducted Ayahuasca or Salvia Divinorum session. I believe natural psychedelics such as these can aid us in our 'spiritual' evolution and will make even the most hardened of materialists think twice about all this locality of consciousness mumbo jumbo. :)

Ya right, just give us a hit of the good stuff. That's all it should take :confused:. Unfortunately that's not a valid method of verification. If these drugs can cause actual non-locality of consciousness, then setup a foolproof test where the drugged person correctly relays detailed random information in real time from a remote location under strict scientific protocols. Until then it's just brain chemistry relaying realistic dream state perceptions to the conscious mind.
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
Ya right, just give us a hit of the good stuff. That's all it should take :confused:. Unfortunately that's not a valid method of verification.

Says who?

If these drugs can cause actual non-locality of consciousness, then setup a foolproof test where the drugged person correctly relays detailed random information in real time from a remote location under strict scientific protocols.

Even 'strict scientific protocols' produce variable results subject to interpretation. Your faith in 'strict scientific protocols' is noted and your loyalty to the paradigm you've constructed in your mind is laudable. We should all be so loyal to ideas. :rolleyes:

This is your god, ufology. This is your religion that you proselytize to great effect - you have many followers in this religion of yours, but that's all it is.

I have been trained to use my mind with great rigor, but having had that training I also recognize the mind's limitations. A well-trained mind is simply the threshold - the jumping-off point into other realms of cognizance. Where much is not as we know it 'here'.

Until then it's just brain chemistry relaying realistic dream state perceptions to the conscious mind.

One of your tenets of belief - because that is what that sentence is. It is as unfounded on 'strict scientific protocols' as you claim a magic-mushroom-ride would be.
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Says who?
Says anyone who understands that valid verification requires objective verifiable third party monitoring and not just personally getting launched into la la land on drugs.
Even 'strict scientific protocols' produce variable results subject to interpretation. Your faith in 'strict scientific protocols' is noted and your loyalty to the paradigm you've constructed in your mind is laudable. We should all be so loyal to ideas. :rolleyes:
There's a margin of error in every practical experiment. I'm the first to admit that. However it's also true that properly constructed experiments can reduce the margin of error to the point where it can no longer be reasonably denied that a hypothesis is correct. This is what's needed. Not some vague RV type interpretive result, but clear unambiguous data. If non-locality of consciousness happens as claimed, then such data can be collected. Otherwise, there's insufficient evidence to demonstrate that the hypothesis is correct.
This is your god, ufology. This is your religion that you proselytize to great effect - you have many followers in this religion of yours, but that's all it is.
I have deified nothing and therefore I have no God.
I have been trained to use my mind with great rigor, but having had that training I also recognize the mind's limitations. A well-trained mind is simply the threshold - the jumping-off point into other realms of cognizance. Where much is not as we know it 'here'.
Keep training ( preferably without drugs as part of the process ).

One of your tenets of belief - because that is what that sentence is. It is as unfounded on 'strict scientific protocols' as you claim a magic-mushroom-ride would be.
That makes no sense.
 
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Nathaniel

Paranormal Maven
Ufology, instead of setting up any fool proof tests to try and prove anything to anyone why not do the work yourself, for yourself? There are many ways to explore your own consciousness if psychedelics are not your thing.

If you put enough work in I think you'll be surprised at what you find.
 
S

smcder

Guest
Ufology, instead of setting up any fool proof tests to try and prove anything to anyone why not do the work yourself, for yourself? There are many ways to explore your own consciousness if psychedelics are not your thing.

If you put enough work in I think you'll be surprised at what you find.

That would be an interesting thing to do - make a "challenge" for folks to meditate or try some other specific consciousness exploration for a period of time and report in along the way to compare experiences?
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
I have deified nothing and therefore have no God.
You have deified your own belief. You are your own god - which is not far off the mark, as it happens. Ha!

Keep training (preferably with less drugs as part of the process ).

There you go - with more assumptions. For someone so very keen on critical thinking you wander off the reservation with alarming frequency.


That makes no sense.

You said: "Until then it's just brain chemistry relaying realistic dream state perceptions to the conscious mind."

I said: "One of your tenets of belief - because that is what that sentence is. It is as unfounded on 'strict scientific protocols' as you claim a magic-mushroom-ride would be."

Your belief is that drug-induced experiences are "brain chemistry relaying realistic dream state perceptions to the conscious mind" - and they are not proof of 'non-locality of consciousness': what about that statement 'makes no sense'? This is what you are saying and this is what I see as your belief.

You are claiming a drug-induced experience cannot be verified as a 'non-locality of consciousness' on 'strict scientific protocols' - and I am saying that your beliefs about what you are calling 'non-locality of consciousness' is an assumption - a built-in bias - that precludes you from understanding what is taking place in a magic-mushroom-ride - and please don't show your ignorance by assuming anything about what I may or may not be 'indulging'. :rolleyes:

There are layers of reality - as there are layers to our being - the 'physical' being but one, as well as the densest, 'sheath'. If you become aware using your life-body sheath (also called the etheric in some streams) you will 'see' differently than if you are 'awake' in your astral (emotional sentient body) and are 'seeing' in the astral realm. Information relayed in either instances will be different - and vary from the physical reportage - so right there are three different 'seeings' - and there are more.

As well, to make things even more interesting - if one is 'seeing' with one's astral body into the astral realm, what one 'sees' will be determined by how refined one's astral body is. We really do 'see' our own creations in that realm. [Why it is essential to have done the 'purification' before any capacities to see the astral are awakened.] How to accurately 'read' that realm takes considerable experience and wisdom. (It's why drug trips that found the 'tripper' in the astral realm often resulted in 'bad trips' - and sometimes permanent derangement. Sad stories. It is why the 'slow and careful wins the race' - preparation is key).

Perhaps you have seen too many films - read too many popularized versions of paranormal occurances. It is not a matter of 'flying around' as a 'spirit' and 'seeing' the physical world as though one has physical eyes. This is where such 'strict scientific protocols' do not apply and are 'nonsense' - non-sense - without sense because 'imagining' using physical senses (and instruments that extend physical senses). To measure with physical instrumentation what is without physical sensibility is bound to produce non-sense. (Had a bit of fun there with the words).

I agree with Nathaniel. I know you have said you have had experiences, so I would say you have a proclivity in this direction. Without adequate (self) training and serious attention to all the cautions, such explorations can - and do - lead to momentary (serious) confusions if not actual derangement. It is not without cause that one is always warned before taking a step onto this path - but also, too, the path in search of phenomenon-for-phenomenon's-sake is overall discouraged. It is a realm of smoke and mirrors more often than not (certainly before purification) - as well as self-delusion (as is too often evident). But that can happen even without the subtler senses in play.

A thorough grasp of human psychology - human nature, through one's own observation of oneself and others - is essential - and above all, common sense and the mastery of fear. [Be aware that the legends of White and Black Magicians are rooted in a reality - the spiritual world is multi-layered and great discernment is needed on the part of the aspirant. 'A word to the wise is sufficient'.]

In point of fact - all religions - shorn of their cultural accretions and human error - teach the primary steps along the path of initiation. A solid religious/spiritual practice leads one to the first initiation one is obliged to take on one's own, a point where we transcend all religions and our journey becomes/is the universal journey of the human soul through the 'heavens'.
 
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Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Ufology, instead of setting up any fool proof tests to try and prove anything to anyone why not do the work yourself, for yourself? There are many ways to explore your own consciousness if psychedelics are not your thing.

If you put enough work in I think you'll be surprised at what you find.

I'll leave the lab work for accredited scientists with legal permission to test people on psychedelic drugs, and in the meantime, my brain works well enough on a cup of coffee. I have no need or desire to go bye-bye into wonderland.
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
You have deified your own belief. You are your own god - which is not far off the mark, as it happens. Ha!
If your participation is going to come down to projecting your assumptions onto other people to justify your arguments, you'll need to find another target.
 
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Tyger

Paranormal Adept
If your participation is going to come down to projecting your own assumptions onto other people to justify your arguments, you'll need to find another target.

Ufology, you're a card. Sense of humor lacking is not a good sign. I was not mocking you (as you tend to do to others whose ideas prove uncomfortable to your thesis). I am simply trying to point out that you have innumerable beliefs - not facts - that sustain your world view - and the one I quoted is one such belief imo.
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
I'll leave the lab work for accredited scientists with legal permission to test people on psychedelic drugs, and in the meantime, my brain works well enough on a cup of coffee. I have no need or desire to go bye-bye into wonderland.

I don't think drugs per se were being suggested.

That's not where the 'research' in this area is to be found. It is to be found in a rigorous self training - that is where the knowledge lies, not in a laboratory, where free-will has been 'given over'. There lies the fascist state - there lies the loss of autonomy. There lies a future we do not want to go.
 
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