Home > anthropology, consciousness, cosmology, first cause, Perception, philosophy, physics, society > Consciousness, in Black and White

Consciousness, in Black and White

It occurs to me that it might be easier to explain my view of consciousness and its relation to physics if I begin at the beginning. In this case, I think that the beginning was in asking ‘What if the fundamental principle in the universe were a simple form of awareness rather than something else?’

Our choices in tracing the lineage of consciousness back seem to be limited. Either it ’emerged’ from complexity, at some arbitrary stage of biological evolution, or its complexity evolved without emergence, as elaboration of a simple foundational panpsychic property.

In considering which of these two is more likely, I suggest that we first consider the odd, unfamiliar option. The phenomenon of contrast as a good place to start to characterize the theme of awareness. Absolute contrasts are especially compelling. Full and empty, black and white, hot and cold, etc. Our language is replete with evidence of this binary hyperbole. Not only does it seem necessary for communication, but there seems also to be an artistic satisfaction in making opposites as robust as possible. Famously this tendency for exaggeration clouds our thinking with prejudice, but it also clarifies and makes distinction more understandable. In politics, mathematics, science, philosophy, and theology, concepts of a balance of opposites can be found as the embodiment of its essential concepts.

For this reason alone, I think that we can say with certainty that consciousness has to do with a discernment of contrasts. Beneath the linguistic and conceptual embodiments of absolute contrasts are the more zoological contrasting pairs – hungry and full, alive and dead, tired and alert, sick and healthy, etc. At this point we should ask, is consciousness complex or is it simple? Is the difference between pain and pleasure something that should require billions of cellular interactions over billions of years of evolution to arrive at accidentally, or does that seem like something which is so simple and primordial that nothing could ever ‘arrive’ at it?

Repetition is a special form of contrast, because whether it is an event which repeats cyclically through a sequence or a form which repeats spatially across a pattern, the underlying nature of what repeats is that it is in some sense identical or similar, and in another sense not precisely identical as it can be located in memory or position as a separate instance.

I use the phrase “repeats cyclically through a sequence” instead of “repeats sequentially through time” because if we take our beginning premise of simple qualities and capacities of awareness as preceding even physics, then the idea of time should be grounded in experience rather than an abstract metric. Instead of conceiving of time as a dimension in which events are contained, we must begin with the capacity of events to ‘know’ each other or in some way retain their continuity while allowing discontinuity. An event which repeats, such as a heartbeat or the circadian rhythms of sunlight, is fundamentally a rhythm or cycle. That is the actual sense experience. Regular, frequent, variation. Modulation of regularity.

Likewise, I use the phrase “repeats spatially across a pattern” instead of “repeats as a pattern across space” because again, we must flip the expectation of physics if we are to remain consistent to the premise of sense-first. What we see is not objects in space, it is shapes separated by contrasting negative shapes. What we can touch are solids, liquids, and gases separated from each other by contrasting sense of their densities. Here too, the sense of opposites dominates, separating the substantial from the insubstantial, heavy from light, hard from soft.

An important point to make here is that we are adapted, as human beings with bodies of a particular density and size, to feel the world that relates appropriately to our body. It is only through the hard lessons like plague and radiation that we have learned that indeed things which are too small for us to see or feel can destroy our bodies and kill us. The terror of this fact has inspired science to pursue knowledge with an aggressive urgency, and justifiably so. Scientists are heroes, informing medicine, transportation, public safety, etc as never before in the history of the world and inspiring a fantastic curiosity for knowledge about reality rather than ideas about God or songs about love. The trauma of that shattering of naive realism haunts our culture as whole, and has echoes in the lives of each generation, family, and individual. Innocence lost. The response to this trauma varies, but it is hard to remain neutral about. People either adapt to the cold hard world beyond themselves with fear or with anger. It’s an extension of self-consciousness which seems uniquely human and often associated with mortality. I think that it’s more than confronting their own death that freaks out the humans, it’s the chasm of unknowable impotence which frames our entire experience on all sides. We know that we don’t really know.

The human agenda becomes not merely survival and reproduction, but also to fill the existential chasm with answers, or failing answers, to at least feel fulfilled with dramatic feelings – with entertainments, achievements, and discoveries. We want something thrilling and significant to compensate for our now unforgettable discovery of our own insignificance. With modernism came a kind of Stockholm syndrome turn. We learned how to embrace the chasm, or at least to behave that way.

At the same time that Einstein began to call the entire foundation of our assumptions about physics into question, the philosophy of Neitzsche, along with the science of Darwin and Freud had begun to sink in politically. Revolutions from both the Left and Right rocked the world, followed in some nations by totalitarianism and total war. The arts were transformed by an unprecedented radicalism as well, from Duchamp, Picasso, and Malevich to Stravinsky and Le Corbusier. After all of the pageantry and tradition, all of the stifling politeness and patriarchy, suddenly Westerners stopped giving a shit about the past. All at once, the azimuth of the collective psyche pitched Westward all the way, toward annihilation in a glorious future. If humans could not live forever, then we will become part of whatever does live forever. The human agenda went transhuman, and everyone became their own philosophical free agent. God was indeed dead. For a while. But the body lives on.

The point of this detour was to underscore the importance of what we are in the world – the size and density of our body, to what we think that the world is. Not only do we only perceive a narrow range of frequencies of light and sound, but also of events. Events which are too slow or too fast for us to perceive as events are perceived as permanent conditions. What we experience exists as a perceptual relativity between these two absolutes. Like the speed of light, c, perception has aesthetic boundaries. Realism is personal, but it is more than personal also. We find agreement in other people and in other creatures which we can relate to. Anything which has a face earns a certain empathy and esteem. Anything that we can eat has a significance to us. Sometimes the two overlap, which gives us something to think about. Consciousness, at least the consciousness which is directed outwardly from our body, is all about these kinds of judgment calls or bets. We are betting that animals that we eat are not as significant as we are, so we enjoy eating them, or we are betting that such a thought is immoral so we abstain. Society reflects back these judgments and amplifies them through language, customs, belief systems, and laws. Since the modernist revolution, the media has blanketed the social landscape with mass production of cliches and dramatizations, which seems to have wound up leaking a mixture of vanity and schadenfreude, with endless reenactments, sequels, and series.

It is out of this bubble of reflected self-deflection that the current philosophies rooted in both reductionism and emergentism find their appeal. Beginning with the assumption of mechanism or functionalism as the universal principle, the task of understanding our own consciousness becomes a strictly empirical occupation. Though the daunting complexity of neuroscience cannot be overstated, the idea is that it is inevitable that we eventually uncover the methods and means by which data takes on its fancy experiential forms. The psyche can only be a kind of evolutionary bag of tricks which has developed to serve the agenda of biological repetition. Color, flavor, sound, as well as philosophy and science are all social peacock displays and data-compressing virtual appendages. The show of significance is an illusion, an Eloi veneer of aesthetics over the Morlock machinations of pure function.

To see oneself as a community of insignificance in which an illusion of significance is invested is a win-win for the postmodern ego. We get to claim arbitrary superiority over all previous incarnations, while at the same time claiming absolute humility. It’s a calculated position, and like a game theory simulation, it aims to minimize vulnerability. Facts are immutable and real, experiences are irrelevant. From this voyeuristic vantage point, the holder of mechanist views about free will is free to deny that he has it without noticing the contradiction. The emergent consciousness can speak glowingly out of both sides of its mouth of its great knowledge and understanding in which all knowledge and understanding is rendered void by statistical mechanics. Indeed the position offers no choice, having backed itself into a corner, but to saw off its own limbs with one hand and reattach them with another when it is not looking.

What is gained from this exercise in futility beyond the comfort that comes with conformity to academic consensus is the sense that whatever happens, it can be justified with randomness or determinism. The chasm has been tamed, not by filling it in or denying it, but by deciding that we are simply not present in the way that we think. DNA acts, neurons fire, therefore we are not thinking. Death is no different than life which has paused indefinitely. An interesting side effect is that as people are reduced to emergent machines, machines are elevated to sentient beings, and the circle is complete. We are not, but our products are. It seems to me the very embodiment of suburban neuroses. The vicarious society of invisible drones.

Just as 20th century physics exploded the atom, I would like to see 21st century physics explode the machine. Instead of releasing raw energy and fragmentation, I see that the blasting open of mathematical assumptions will yield an implosion into meaning. Pattern recognition, not information, is the true source of authenticity and significance. They are the same thing ultimately. The authenticity of significance and the significance of authenticity speak to origination and individuation over repetition. Not contrast and dialectic, not forces and fields, but the sense  in which all of these facets are yoked together. Sense is the meta-syzygy. It is the capacity to focus multiplicity into unity (as in perception or afference) and the capacity for unity to project into multiplicity (participation or efference).

These are only metaphorical descriptions of function however. What sense really is and what it does can only be experienced directly. You make sense because everything makes sense…in some sense. That doesn’t happen by accident. It doesn’t mean there has to be a human-like deity presiding over all of it, to the contrary, only half of what we can experience makes sense intentionally, the other half (or slightly less) makes sense unintentionally, as a consequence of larger and smaller sequences which have been set in motion intentionally. We are the evidence. Sense is evident to us and there is nothing which can be evident except through sense and sense making.

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  1. Joseph McCard (really)
    July 2, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    Craig: What if the fundamental principle in the universe were a simple form of awareness rather than something else?

    Joe:Consciousness is fundamental.

    Craig: The phenomenon of contrast as a good place to start to characterize the theme of awareness.

    Joe: awareness – action results in change ::identity seeks no change

    Craig: I think that we can say with certainty that consciousness has to do with a discernment of contrasts.

    Joe: I have suggested that the Absolute elephant can be conscious of itself and nothing else. hence the first contrast is between being and nothingness.

    Craig: Repetition is a special form of contrast, because whether it is an event which repeats cyclically through a sequence or a form which repeats spatially across a pattern

    Joe: Identity constantly attempts to maintain stability, and action has an inherent drive for change. This dilemma between these two contrasting elements results in a constantly repeating imbalance.

    Craig: ,…the underlying nature of what repeats is that it is in some sense identical or similar, and in another sense not precisely identical as it can be located in memory or position as a separate instance.

    Joe: The underlying nature of what repeats, action/identity, is that action/identity is identical (in one sense) or similar at each occasion of the imbalance. Action/identity is not precisely identical as you are not precisely identical (but are similar) at each iteration of yourself. You are and are not the same today as you were yesterday

    Craig: I use the phrase “repeats cyclically through a sequence” instead of “repeats sequentially through time” because if we take our beginning premise of simple qualities and capacities of awareness as preceding even physics, then the idea of time should be grounded in experience rather than an abstract metric.

    Likewise, I use the phrase “repeats spatially across a pattern” instead of “repeats as a pattern across space” because again, we must flip the expectation of physics if we are to remain consistent to the premise of sense-first. What we see is not objects in space, it is shapes separated by contrasting negative shapes.

    Joe: Right. Time and space are not fundamental.

    Craig: An important point to make here is that we are adapted, as human beings with bodies of a particular density and size, to feel the world that we relates appropriately to our body.

    Joe: Experience is the soul meaning and purpose of life.

    Craig: People either adapt to the cold hard world beyond themselves with fear or with anger.

    Joe: People cooperate with nature with love.

    Craig: It’s an extension of self-consciousness which seems uniquely human and often associated with mortality.

    Joe: That is the narrow perspective of human ego consciousness, (a kind of naive realism) forever attempting to divorce its bodily human self from action, an attempt on the part of the ego to perceive action as initiated by the ego as a result, rather than as a cause of ego’s own existence. This gives the appearance, seems to result in the death of the egotistical body. Just as the Absolute elephant, we are the elephant and we are the small elephants.

    Craig: The human agenda becomes not merely survival and reproduction, but also to fill the existential chasm with answers, or failing answers, to at least feel fulfilled with dramatic feelings
    I think that it’s more than confronting their own death that freaks out the humans, it’s the chasm of unknowable impotence which frames our entire experience on all sides. We know that we don’t really know.

    Joe: More ego consciousness.

    Craig: Not only do we only perceive a narrow range of frequencies of light and sound, but also of events. Events which are too slow or too fast for us to perceive as events are perceived as permanent conditions. What we experience exists as a perceptual relativity between these two absolutes. Like the speed of light, c, perception has aesthetic boundaries.

    Joe: This post seems to be ego consciousness speaking all the rest of the way down.

    Craig: What sense really is and what it does can only be experienced directly.

    Joe: Consciousness is more than just ego consciousness. You can understand that by studying and exploring your own awareness, by changing the focus of your attention and using your own consciousness in as many ways as possible. Its consciousness, not just ego-consciousness.

    When you look into yourself, the very effort involved extends the limitations of ego consciousness, expands it, allows the egotistical self to use abilities that you do yet not realize it possesses. So, for example, Jonathan Edwards recently documented such an experience.

    In doing so you can lead a wiser, more productive, happier physical life, instead of the bleak picture you have painted here.

    • July 2, 2013 at 8:09 pm

      “Joe: awareness – action results in change ::identity seeks no change”

      Action is the change that identity seeks. Action does not result in change, action is change. What change results in is a modified identity (identity = perceptual inertial frame, sense)

      “Joe: I have suggested that the Absolute elephant can be conscious of itself and nothing else. hence the first contrast is between being and nothingness.”

      There isn’t any nothingness though. I think that the first contrast has to be between the sense of continuity and discontinuity between sensed presence and sensed absence. This is difference than being and nothingness because nothingness is an abstraction. Nothingness is only an idea imagined by something of the absence of everything. Nothingness is impossible and being is inescapable, therefore it is the sense of the fluctuation between presence and absence which is irreducible.

      “Joe: Identity constantly attempts to maintain stability, and action has an inherent drive for change. This dilemma between these two contrasting elements results in a constantly repeating imbalance. ”

      You can look at it that way, but I don’t think that identity has to attempt to do anything except to augment and reveal itself through action. Your view assumes identity as fragile and insecure, but I see it as strong beyond strong, settled beyond settled – a firmament of absolute peace. The Absolute, or as I sometimes call it, the solitrope, is ‘home’, ‘solace’, ‘heaven (in the I Ching sense of hexagram Chi’ien). The contrast is not always a dilemma, it is Eros. Metaphysical sex. We like it rough and we like it tender. A constantly repeating imbalance sounds pathological, like a hopeless desperation. Why do you think that is the ground of being?

      “Joe: People cooperate with nature with love.”

      They do that too, although I was referring specifically to the loss of innocence, awareness of mortality, finite limits on our capabilities etc. I am suggesting that underneath all of our ego distractions, we are either terrified or enraged about this knowledge.

      “Joe: That is the narrow perspective of human ego consciousness, (a kind of naive realism) forever attempting to divorce its bodily human self from action”

      I’m not clear on what you mean when you talk about a drive to divorce something from action. What action are you seeking to divorce yourself from? How are your actions a cause of your ego rather than a result of your ego? It seems to me that actions are both a cause and result of the ego.

      “Joe: Just as the Absolute elephant, we are the elephant and we are the small elephants. ”

      Right. Well, we are one small elephant and the Absolute elephant. I’m not you. I’m not everyone. I’m me and I’m the universe, and the universe is everyone including you. My thumb is not my finger but they are both parts of my hand.

      “Joe: More ego consciousness. ”

      Are you sure it isn’t Joe’s ego consciousness kicking in?

      “Joe: This post seems to be ego consciousness speaking all the rest of the way down.”

      That seems to be an empty editorial from your ego directed at your projection of my ego (which is of course, obscured by your/our shadow).

      “Joe: Consciousness is more than just ego consciousness. […] In doing so you can lead a wiser, more productive, happier physical life, instead of the bleak picture you have painted here.”

      Does the promise of wisdom, productivity, and happiness appeal to the ego or does it appeal to pure understanding? I don’t find anything that I have said to be especially bleak – bleak is a judgment against what threatens the ego which is invested in the salvation of self-satisfaction. It all depends on your perspective. Ego is in the eye of the beholder. I wholeheartedly support consciousness expansion and exploration, human potential, etc. but I feel like there is already more than enough literature and commercialization of that to go around. MSR is not about promoting one aesthetic over another so much as it is about explaining the basic and fundamental basis of all that is in a scientific way. Not everyone wants to be a guru or a philosopher, but I think that everyone who wants to can understand what they actually are and what the universe is in terms of nested perceptual relativity.

  2. Joseph McCard (really)
    July 4, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    >>Otmar: action results in change ::identity seeks no change”

    >Craig: Action is the change that identity seeks.

    Otmar: That is logically impossible, since identity cannot exist without action.

    >Craig: Action does not result in change, action is change.

    Otmar: Again, logically impossible. Without identity, change is meaningless.

    >Craig: What change results in is a modified identity (identity = perceptual inertial frame, sense)

    Otmar: Again. Impossible. Action and identity cannot be separated. You cannot have change, if there is no identity to change in the first place.

    • Joseph McCard (really)
      July 4, 2013 at 3:24 pm

      please substitute all occurrences of “Otmar” with “Joe” : )

    • July 4, 2013 at 5:25 pm

      “Otmar: That is logically impossible, since identity cannot exist without action.”

      Identity generates all actions. Nothngness cannot act, and action cannot act on nothingness. Identity is a bad term though, as it truncates the capacity to identify – which is an aspect of sense. Action is a kind of sense, sense need not be active, it is generally felt passively. Awareness, being.

      >Craig: Action does not result in change, action is change.

      “Otmar: Again, logically impossible. Without identity, change is meaningless. ”

      There is no action other than sense (and identity) participating in its own change (action).

      “Otmar: Again. Impossible. Action and identity cannot be separated. You cannot have change, if there is no identity to change in the first place.”

      I agree that sense and motive cannot be separated, but motive supervenes on sense. Only sense can have a motive. Sense exists/insists (‘ists) without motive. This is the Absolute/totality. Instantaneous eternity. The undiffracted singularity, etc. Being. Presence. Solitude. Solidity. Solace, etc.

      • Joseph McCard (really)
        July 5, 2013 at 5:46 pm

        Craig: Identity generates all actions. Nothngness cannot act, and action cannot act on nothingness.

        Joe: Your right, nothingness cannot act, and action cannot act on nothingness. That leaves one logical possibility. Action worked within and upon itself to form identity. Yet though identity is formed from action, action and identity cannot be separated. Identity then is action’s effect upon itself.

        >>>Craig: Action does not result in change, action is change.

        >>Joe: Again, logically impossible. Without identity, change is meaningless. ”

        >Craig:There is no action other than sense (and identity) participating in its own change (action).

        Joe: That bit, “(and identity)”, is critical, and was missing in your earlier comment. Without identity change is meaningless. If you add that to the mix, it seems we are in agreement.

        >Craig: I agree that sense and motive cannot be separated, but motive supervenes on sense.

        Joe: I would take the motive to be desire, the trigger that initiates a series of dilemmas that results in the creation of consciousness. I do understand that you believe sense is fundamental, uncreated.

        >Craig: Only sense can have a motive.

        Joe: Yes. That would be consistent with the fundamental nature of your “sense”.

        >Craig: Sense exists/insists (‘ists) without motive. This is the Absolute/totality. Instantaneous eternity. The undiffracted singularity, etc. Being. Presence. Solitude. Solidity. Solace, etc.

        Joe: I understand.

  3. July 5, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    Joe: “nothingness cannot act, and action cannot act on nothingness. That leaves one logical possibility. Action worked within and upon itself to form identity.”

    There is no ‘itself’ without identity (persistence of sense) though. The possibility that is left is that identity is what creates action, not the other way around. This is consistent with our experience. I (the identity which I am) do (take action). “Do I” is a question, which is kind of interesting to ponder, how reversing the subject and predicate implies an expectation of an absence to be filled. “Am I?” “Are you?”. To get an action the I divides into I before division and I after division. An action can’t divide itself though, because motive has no sense. Motive is the intentional consequence of sense. A doing divided does not become an “I”.

    “Joe: Without identity change is meaningless.”

    I would agree that without an inertial frame of familiarity in some sense there can be no change, but I don’t think that identity is a good word for that inertia. Identity implies that there is a condition or structure which is independent of sense, but that isn’t real. The set of identities of things in the universe that belong to you are not definitive and objective identities. An “identity” is a character in the sensory experience of you as an individual, or as a human, animal, organism, or material object in the universe.

    ” I would take the motive to be desire, the trigger that initiates a series of dilemmas that results in the creation of consciousness.”

    If you are talking about personal consciousness, as in ‘incarnation’, then sure, there are all kinds of motives which initiate our human experience. Those motives though, are perturbations of pre-existing sense…at their root, desires are ripples in eternal experience (everythingness), not nothingness or desire itself (which would be what? What could desire want?).

  4. Joseph McCard (really)
    July 5, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    >Craig: There is no ‘itself’ without identity (persistence of sense) though.

    Joe: Identity is not the same as personality. Personality only represents those aspects of identity that are able to actualize within three-dimensional existence. Personality may be molded by circumstances, but identity USES the experiences and is not swept willy-nilly. What you have, in effect, with “itself”, is a one-dimensional psychology. Identity operates in many dimensions.

    >Craig: The possibility that is left is that identity is what creates action, not the other way around.

    Joe: If identity is all there is, it can’t create anything. It is a circular function, the identity function:

    F(x) = x

    Whereas my identity, which by itself is undefined, becomes recursively defined with the creation of identities:

    base case 0a = a
    inductive action (1 + n) + a = 1 + (n + a)

    From my perspective, the Absolute, or All That Is, or God, what you choose to call Identity, was all there was. But it could not know itself since there was nothing else. It was not defined. And so, in the absence of something else, that Identity, is not.

    It took action, to create identity, to make Identity ACT-ual, three-dimensional. In retrospect you can say that Identity created action, but there was no identity before action.

    Without identity, action would be meaningless, for there would be nothing upon which action could act. If there WAS nothing, identity would not be. So, in order for identity to BE, it had to divide itself. Hence, the Absolute acted within and upon itself, and divided itself.

    • July 6, 2013 at 12:26 am

      Joe:”Identity is not the same as personality…”

      Not even in the same universe as what I’m talking about. I am saying that you are not allowed to use the concept of “it” or “itself” without explaining how they can be derived from a more fundamental (senseless) “action” which has no identity whatsoever.

      We have agreed that there is no such thing as [nothingness] acts. Your proposition is that [action] acts is somehow the only logical possibility. I explained that [sense] acts is the logical possibility that you are overlooking, and that [action] acts fails ontologically. If you begin with some qualia, like blue, then you can say that blue deepens or lightens or oscillates or whatever. If you begin with either [nothing] or [an action] it cannot acquire any quality. A verb cannot become a noun, all verbs are the consequence of a noun. Planets orbit, orbiting orbitness do not become planets.

      Joe: “If identity is all there is, it can’t create anything. It is a circular function, ”

      You are assuming identity as a figure constructed on top of nothing, but it is the opposite. Sense is everythingness. It is eternity, so Identities are partitioned within it. There is nothing that is not sense. Motive or action is how and why one sensory quality transitions to another. Motive is one dimensional. It concerns the degree of capacity to cause change: power-effort-work-energy. What is changed can only be a sensory quality. There can be no change of changeness alone.

    • July 6, 2013 at 1:00 am

      Think of a Schwann cell, or a sperm cell, or any animal. The head is the essential locus of sense. The tail/body/tentacles are the motor extenders of the head. If you cut off the tail, the head end might grow a new one, but a tail won’t grow a new head. An atom, cell, nucleus, solar system…the core is a relatively fixed range of identity and the only action is the modulation of that identity. Action is the adjustment of sensory conditions. It has no disembodied presence.

  5. Joseph McCard (really)
    July 6, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    Craig: Sense is everythingness. It is eternity, so Identities are partitioned within it. There is nothing that is not sense.

    Joe: If sense is everythingness, then there is nothing else. There is no eternity. There is no within sense. There is no ability to partition because of the absence of anything else to do the partitioning.

    If sense is everything what is there to partition sense? What is there that is inside sense that is partition-able. ? Nothing!

    You can’t say that sense is all there is, because there is no you to say it. There is no you to make that judgement. And yet you do say it. That seems to invalidate your premise that sense is all there is.

    You can’t say there is sense within sense, because THERE IS ONLY SENSE.

    You could say that sense is complex, but then you can’t say sense is all there is. It is a clear contradiction.

    If you say sense is every thing ness, that is everything is sense, where did these THINGS come from. Because, you said, “There is nothing that is not sense.”

    For in order for there to be something else, sense must sense something other than sense. But there is nothing else to sense. Because, you said, “There is nothing that is not sense.” And you agreed that sense cannot act on nothing, didn’t you?

    Without identity, sense is meaningless.

    Craig: You are assuming identity as a figure constructed on top of nothing.

    Joe: Sense IS nothing, cannot come into existence, cannot BE, until that happens.

    Here are a couple of links to the problem of Being / NonBeing;

    http://www.nembutsu.info/hsrbeing.htm

    http://tao-in-you.com/nonbeing.html

    • July 6, 2013 at 11:24 pm

      “Joe: If sense is everythingness, then there is nothing else.”

      Why would there be something else besides everything?

      ” There is no eternity. There is no within sense. There is no ability to partition because of the absence of anything else to do the partitioning. ”

      Why not? Sense does the partitioning, since sense is the ability to modulate itself – its sense of its own sensitivities.

      “What is there that is inside sense that is partition-able. ? Nothing! ”

      Sure there is. Partitions are the pantomime of sense and motive. Anticipation, expectation, memory, nesting frequencies upon frequencies.

      “You can’t say that sense is all there is, because there is no you to say it.”

      Sure I can. I am a particular nesting of sense. What else would I be?

      “That seems to invalidate your premise that sense is all there is. ”

      I can see that you want that to be true, but you’ll really have to do better than blurting ‘gotchas’ off of the top of your head.

      “You can’t say there is sense within sense, because THERE IS ONLY SENSE.”

      Yes I can, because sense irreducibly includes the ability to nest within itself. Sense is self-nesting sensory-motive participation. I call it sense for short, but sense includes significance and entropy by definition.

      “You could say that sense is complex, but then you can’t say sense is all there is. It is a clear contradiction. ”

      Sense isn’t complex, it’s as simple as anything could be and still be the universal primitive.

      “If you say sense is every thing ness, that is everything is sense, where did these THINGS come from. ”

      Things come from the nested modulation of sense. The Earth is a sensory-motor experience on a geological scale, which is nested within a sensory-motor experience on an astrophysical scale. We are on a zoological scale so we perceive the Earth as an enormous thing, and other animals and things, but our own thoughts and feelings as non-things…they are directly sensed rather than impersonally reflected against the backdrop of eternity. We have a much more intimate eternity.

      “For in order for there to be something else, sense must sense something other than sense. ”

      There isn’t something else. Sense manipulates itself with reflection, refraction, imitation, oscillation, etc. Sense plays hide and seek with its own pantomime of hypothetical absence.

      “Without identity, sense is meaningless. ”

      What is identity other than a persistently discernible sense?

      “Joe: Sense IS nothing, cannot come into existence, cannot BE, until that happens.”

      Sense is already being. It has always been happening. There is no other happening other than being sensed.

      “Here are a couple of links to the problem of Being / NonBeing;”

      Thanks but I think that MSR makes the same points that Buddhist philosophy does, but ties them to physics in a way that has not been done before. I may be wrong, of course, but it won’t be because of the kinds of arguments that you are making, or the schools of thought that they are based on.

  6. Joseph McCard (really)
    July 7, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Craig: Why not? Sense does the partitioning, since sense is the ability to modulate itself – its sense of its own sensitivities.

    Joe: You said, “There is nothing that is not sense.” Now sense has the ability to modulate itself.

    Craig: Partitions are the pantomime of sense and motive. Anticipation, expectation, memory, nesting frequencies upon frequencies.

    Joe: Now there is a whole swarm of things other than sense.

    Craig: I can see that you want that to be true, but you’ll really have to do better than blurting ‘gotchas’ off of the top of your head.

    Joe: You are contradicting yourself.

    You could say that sense is complex, but then you can’t say sense is all there is. It is a clear contradiction. ”

    Craig: Sense isn’t complex, it’s as simple as anything could be and still be the universal primitive.

    Joe: I know it doesn’t matter to you, but you are losing your credibility.

    Craig: I call it sense for short, but sense includes significance and entropy by definition.

    Joe: I see. Its simple, (as simple as you think it can be anyhow) yet includes that dozen or so things you have already mentioned, abilities, anticipation, …significance, and entropy. Well, I am glad we finally got that out in the open.

    Craig: Sense plays hide and seek with its own pantomime of hypothetical absence.

    Joe: So, its not chess we’ve been playing.

    Craig: Thanks but I think that MSR makes the same points that Buddhist philosophy does, but ties them to physics in a way that has not been done before. I may be wrong, of course, but it won’t be because of the kinds of arguments that you are making, or the schools of thought that they are based on.

    Joe: That’s a rant, not an argument. I guess we’re still playing hide-and-seek.

    • July 7, 2013 at 3:25 pm

      “Joe: You said, “There is nothing that is not sense.” Now sense has the ability to modulate itself. ”

      If I meant that sense did not have the ability to modulate itself, then I would have said “There is nothing that is not sense, except the ability to modulate itself.” By everythingness I mean that sense is the ground of being. Every thing is reducible to a (nested) experience of sensory participation.

      “Joe: Now there is a whole swarm of things other than sense. ”

      No, they are all different words that we use to describe what sense is and what it does. You aren’t getting that sense it the Totality from which all possible experiences are diffracted. You keep thinking that there is nothingness, and then sense on top of that, and then other things besides sense. That is not what my hypothesis is. I am saying that there is no such thing as nothingness, and that existence itself is nothing other than nested sensory participation (sense).

      “Joe: You are contradicting yourself.”

      In what way? I’m just accusing you of lobbing specious arguments out of bellicosity and egotism rather than any kind of curiosity. Why would that make me contradict myself, even in theory?

      “You could say that sense is complex, but then you can’t say sense is all there is. It is a clear contradiction. ””

      When did I say that sense is complex? What could be simpler than sense? Before anything can be considered complex or simple, there must first be a sense of discernment between the two. We use a lot of words for sense, but that’s because our human experience is an elaborate example of sense. Sense itself, however, is simpler even than 1+1.

      “Joe: I know it doesn’t matter to you, but you are losing your credibility. ”

      Your misinterpretations are your own.

      “Joe: I see. Its simple, (as simple as you think it can be anyhow) yet includes that dozen or so things you have already mentioned, abilities, anticipation, …significance, and entropy. Well, I am glad we finally got that out in the open. ”

      Not a dozen or so things, it includes *everything*. Different words bring out different aspects of it, but those aspects only seem different to us because, again, human experience is highly diffracted and nested. The color white contains all colors of the spectrum, but it contains them implicitly. Filtering out some frequency of white yields other aspects explicitly. This is what I’m doing by naming the different aspects of sense – afference, efference, matter, energy, time, space, significance, entropy. They are all united as sense.

      “Joe: So, its not chess we’ve been playing. ”

      It’s every game we’ve been playing, but hide and seek is a good example of the simplest kind of game.

      “Joe: That’s a rant, not an argument. I guess we’re still playing hide-and-seek.”

      I’m not hiding, and you’re not seeking. You’re accusing me of hiding and pretending to seek.

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