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Started by John Sharman

Non-duality = solipsism?

Solipsism is broadly defined in Wikipedia as “the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist”. But what is “one’s own mind” when we look beyond the illusion of the separate self, and what is really “sure to exist”?

When, from the non-dual perspective, I say that I Am, I’m referring not to this appearance of a skin-encapsulated ego, but to that unknowable Source or Void from which all apparent egos and other manifestations spring. Thus, mind appears, but I can’t claim ownership of it, since I cannot know minds, plural, as apparently separate attributes belonging to separate entities, but only mind, singular, as arising from That Which I Am.

So, from the non-dual perspective I can find no argument against this slightly altered definition of solipsism: “only mind is sure to exist”. Mind includes the idea of otherness, but otherness can never be proven. The existence of “real” things can never be proven. There are only perceptions, sensory impressions that appear to point to real things existing in their own right, but the existence of the “thing-in-itself”, independent of the perception of it, can never be demonstrated. The existence of a separate you and I can never be demonstrated. Any apparent difference between us is only conceptual, not actual. Sure, we’re compelled to live as if it’s all real, as if there’s a separate you and me as real things, but that doesn’t alter the fact that this is only a concept, it can’t be shown to be more than that.

Thus against solipsism, at least against metaphysical solipsism, can there be any valid argument?

John Sharman:Sure, non-duality does look be

guido:Mind exists? Really? Perceptio

derrida unknown:I'm still building the convict

derrida unknown:> Based on Assumption of on

datefruit:"... can never be proven" "..

John Sharman:Yes, I guess raw awareness is

Jay Jacobus:I think of perception as raw a

Mit Jones:I certainly couldn't argue, it

8 comments
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Started by mcoke

True compassion and the awareness of the possibility of the absence of free will

My recent inquiries have led me to the point where I have become comfortable with the idea of finally reliquinshing the idea of the necessity of free will. During the process of letting go I found myself reading several articles and continually rediscovering two prevalent arguments that appear to serve as stumbling blocks to the process of letting go.

I would like to start a commentary on these arguments, questioning their validity and hopefully providing insight to a better way.

The first argument is that if free will does not exist then we have built our society on a rocky foundation and our institutions must change. However, this does not hold up to scruity, because if there is an absence of free will and instead classical determinsm is at work (with possible random fluctuations) and only ever one possible future, then our society has evolved exactly the way it was meant to be. The entire concept of “need” becomes irrelevant at this point and only “was”, “is,” and “shall be” become meaningful terms within the lexicon.

The second argument is that if free will does not exist, humans will use this as a reason to justify evil action, eschewing any personal responsibility. This may be true in the short run, and some studies seem to indicate such, presumably due to a concomitant decline in the corrective power of remorse. However, one might argue, education could serve to correct for this decline. Evil action is shortsighted, and surely if we could make individuals fully aware of the consequences of their evil actions on their lives and future generations (i.e. their progeny), we could “correct” their behavior. Of course, this well-intentioned argument falls apart in the light of determinism, because again, with determinism at work we can’t control any more than we were inteneded to. However, studies have shown that individuals who do not believe in free will are less likely to pursue retributive punishment, a course of action which other studies have shown to be a net negative for society. Rehabilitation is generally far more useful than punishment.

Whether these arguments can be retired potentially rests on a predetermined timeline. But there exists a possibility. If we are indeed able to put aside the notion of free will and view each other as fleshy automatons, programmed by our DNA and current environmental state to choose the things we do, we may in fact find true compassion for each other. For although I know many of you may become angry at your computers and the other more “traditionally classified” machines in your life, eventually we all realize that they are just machines, created to behave the way they do. Eventually we realize that violence towards them will not change their behavior and the only decision we can ever make is to change our own behavior towards them or to walk away from them completely. Of course, the outcome of that decision may or may not be within the exercise of our will to change.

Questions of logical reasoning aside, the absence of free will is a difficult perspective to fully embrace becuse the illusion, if it is an illusion, of free will is so convincing and because to fully integrate such a concept requires one to look upon their fellow man and realize the absence of any real conscious power to change anything, including themselves. The danger, I think, is that the true embrace of “fate” as the only controlling factor in our lives may drive some to temporary nihilism. But If we are living within a deterministic system, then I was meant to write this article, whoever reads it was meant to read it, and it will only change as much as it was ever intended to. If there is no free will, then even your personal acceptance of the argument (and perhaps it’s subsequent development) is going to be dictated in a deterministic way. But to see each other as automatons, and to see the futility of anger in this way, may be the only path to peace.

John Sharman:I like the quotes, Bill. Happi

Bill Cole:Dan and John, After reading y

John Sharman:Most certainly, Dan, "there ma

Dan Kilpatrick:Thanks John, particularly for

John Sharman:I appreciate this response, Da

Dan Kilpatrick:Thanks for the reply John. Sor

John Sharman:Good points, Dan. The observat

Dan Kilpatrick:Hi John, What you shared here

John Sharman:The question of whether we hav

9 comments
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Started by Dr. Cindy Atha-Weldon

Sutras of Science

We are looking forward to attending the Sutras of Science next week. Just wondering if anyone else from Texas will be there…

Dr. Cindy Atha-Weldon

Dr. Bill Weldon

0 comments
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Started by RoyDopson

Quantum mechanics is the finger pointing to Self

Science requires measurement. Measurement requires two.

Classical physics is measuring things against things. The measurer is not included in the measurement.

General relativity is measuring things against non-physical things (space/time). If the non-things of space/time can be classified as concepts, G.R. is measuring things against (a limited aspect of) mind. This is one step closer to a unified theory, but the measurer is still outside of the system.

Quantum mechanics has brought the measurer into the system. Q.M. is measuring, from one perspective, things against (a comprehensive representation of) mind, and from another perspective, mind against the measurer. Mind is non-local and therefore measurement equating things with mind will produce mind-like results. The measurer is completely beyond description, as It is that which things and mind interact upon/through. Therefore, Q.M. is as close to a unified theory as possible (hello Uncertainty Principle). The next step for science to take is Spirituality, which is simultaneously it’s pinnacle, and death.

The wave function is a mathematical representation of consciousness. Human consciousness can choose the perspective of physically distinct phenomena or choose to evolve into the non-local realm of mind. Quantum mechanics is the bridge between the measurement of things to mind and mind to Self (the measurer), therefore, a quantum leap directly into/as Self/source is also possible.

Spirituality is Being. Without measure.

Narasimha Boga:"The next step for science to

Mit Jones:Once you discover it is ALL an

josham:Yes. The famous double slit ex

3 comments
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Started by Buddha Science

Nonduality IS science

We tend to consider non-duality as some mystical quality which has to do with philosophy or spirit, rather than something grounded in the logical world (whatever that is). But non-duality is based on the empirical observation that concepts are meaningless without their corresponding negation. There is no light without dark, high without low, and so on through the idea that these is no self without not-self. When you combine this with the Quantum physics discovery that we cannot confirm that a particular state of matter exists until it is observed, science and logic clearly tell us that the “ten thousand things” we think we observe is based on conceptual structures rather than physical realities.

Mit Jones:We see through the same eyes.

One Iam:Not "One" in the numeric sense

One Iam:The correspondents and contras

Dan Kilpatrick:Hi Roy, I believe I understan

Dan Kilpatrick:Hi Steve, What might be intere

Steve Daut:Dan, I think what you are desc

Steve Daut:I agree with your reckoning. A

RoyDopson:Dan, what I mean by "thinking"

Dan Kilpatrick:Thanks Roy. As I look at the m

RoyDopson:In my experience, when awarene

26 comments
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Started by Dan Kilpatrick

Non-Dual Duality and Actuality

Non-duality is a common theme these days at many levels. It often seems that in science, one encounters the apparent paradoxical co-occurrence of apparent opposites, such as local/non-local, particle/wave etc. For me, these all take the form of “non-dual duality”, in that there is both distinction and sameness/wholeness happening together, as one.

It seems that this apparent paradox may not necessarily be intrinsic to what is observed, but may reflect the perspective that is observing. This perspective may assume that things necessarily must be one way or another at any given place or time, for example.

I am not a physicist (nor do I play one on TV…), but a neuroscientist. But in my own looking at both myself and the world around me, a question has arisen at times. Science and thinking tend to group things based on having common properties, and to separate them according to this as well. While different sub-atomic particles or wave-forms of a particular type are described, they are generally treated as having the same basic group properties. They can have different states (energy levels, spin states, colors etc), but these are all well-defined properties that can be described. The same thing could be said for different forms of life, from bacteria to humans. Each is typically seen as belonging to a separate group based on shared features, with the individual differences simply being a secondary aspect. This categorization seems to reflect a shared perspective, based on our thinking process, and, based on language (separate nouns etc). It may have certain assumptions underlying it, which are always most of interest to me since they might reveal something hidden going on that is totally unexpected and new.

What I am getting at is whether science might be missing something here. While there are particles/waves/bacteria of particular sorts or types, which are linked together by certain shared features, each individual one also has uniqueness. This uniqueness arises not only from their distinct histories and interactions, but also in their very existence. That is, even as individual sub-atomic particles wink into and out of existence, each is happening uniquely. Even if two particles were exactly identical, each would still have this uniqueness, even if delocalized etc. It is all part of “happening”, so “happening”, which is existence, includes this uniqueness. Perhaps one could use the term “actualness”.

So here we are left with uniqueness being, actually, a shared property of everything. Again, for me a reflection of non-dual duality, you can’t have one without the other, they are irrevocably intertwined. In essence, there cannot be an appreciation of wholeness without there also being distinction/differentiation. Otherwise, there is just “nothing”.

But to take this a step further, I still wonder something. This actualness, it seems a mystery. It is simply a reflection and property of what is. However, there are moments when it seems to me that one cannot deny that there is something deeply intrinsic and apparent in what exists, that cannot be defined nor grasped by the mind, yet it is undeniably making itself obvious when one looks. There can be an undefined awareness of it as a fact.

So from a non-physicist’s standpoint, I wonder this: might there be energy in this “uniqueness”, in this “actualness”? Might it be some fundamental aspect of existence, and as such, be energetic and have action in and on the physical world? Might its action be hidden from our direct view, a mystery, and yet undeniably a fact just the same?

It seems that physics tends to go right up to the moment of the Big Bang, but then stop there, with the singularity it represents being undefined. I wonder, is that singularity not already here, embedded in everything that is actual, including the space in which all is occurring? Did it ever go anywhere? Is it perhaps not different from what is looking and giving rise to the thinking etc that is happening right now?

If such a mystery does in fact exist, it would not be directly measurable (an assumption on my part). However, it might reveal its nature through its action on the physical world, indirectly, if one were able to look in the right way.

Dan Kilpatrick:Thanks for the response Roy, i

RoyDopson:Indeed this, all of this, is t

2 comments
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