Questioning Consciousness

Moderators: DrVolin, 82_28, Elvis, Jeff

Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby dada » Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:37 pm

Moving this here from the Sirius thread, because I want to make connection at the end that I think works better in the context of this thread. But first I'll add my 'thots' about some other things.

Robert Anton Wilson said:

I agree passionately with Maurice Nicoll (a physician who mastered both Jungian and Gurdjieffian systems) who wrote that the major purpose of “work on consciousness” is to “decrease the amount of violence in the world.” The main difference between our world and Swift’s is that while we have stopped killing each other over religious differences (outside the Near East and Northern Ireland), we have developed an insane passion for killing each other over ideological differences. I regard Organized Ideology with the same horror that Voltaire had for Organized Religion.

Concretely, I am indeed a Male Feminist, as L.A. Rollins claimed (although seeing myself often on TV, I deny that I simper; I don’t even swish); like all libertarians, I oppose victimless crime laws, all drug control laws, and all forms of censorship (whether by outright reactionaries or Revolutionary Committees or Radical Feminists).

I passionately hate violence, but am not a Dogmatic Pacifist, since I don’t have Joan Baez’s Correct Answer Machine in my head. I know I would kill an armed aggressor, in a concrete crisis situation where that was the only defense of the specific lives of specific individuals I love, although I would never kill a person or employ even minor violence, or physical coercion, on behalf of capitalized Abstractions or Governments (who are all damned liars.) All these are matters of Existential Choice on my part, and not dogmas revealed to me by some god or some philosopher-priest of Natural Law.

I prefer the various Utopian systems I have mentioned to the Conservative position that humanity is incorrigible and I also think that if none of these Utopian scenarios are workable, some system will eventually arrive better than any we have ever known. I share the Jeffersonian (“Liberal”?) vision that the human mind can exceed all previous limits in a society where freedom of thought is the norm rather than a rare exception.

Does all of this make me a Leftist or a Rightist? I leave that for the Euclideans to decide.



American Dream » Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:37 am wrote:
I'm really okay with being heterodox as a general principle but the Devil's in the details. (Sorry, Devil for using you as an easy foil!) .

Leninist style leftists, especially when super dogmatic, self-righteous, manipulative etc., can be incredibly annoying. It's quite fine to reject their shit, as far as I'm concerned. What though is the alternative? Liberalism? There is a certain flavor of Libertarianism that veers in that direction. I'm all good with individual consciousness work, with "being the change" and what have you but what about social power?

We all know that the banner of "freedom of thought" can provide cover for every manner of ill, as well as what is best in us. I wish I had shared a bowl, or just a cup of coffee, with R.A.W. I would have enjoyed the conversation. That doesn't mean that I'm completely good with what he was putting down though, even though some of it is great stuff.


Society is made up of individuals, there's no way of getting around that as far as I can tell. Social power depends on the quality of the individuals that make up the society. Looked at this way, individual consciousness work becomes essential to social power. Because there is no effective social power without effective individuals.

But as I was saying, I think Bob was actually pointing out something about politics and ideology in general, with this 'statement of political ideology.' He's suggesting that the 'politics and ideology' framework is too narrow a view to do anything other than stoke the 'insane passion for killing each other.' Narrowing the debate, the refusal to set aside the outmoded trappings of political and ideological discourse does nothing to help decrease the violence in the world

Society is limited by the views of the individuals that make it up. Because what is the nature of society? Who defines what society is, what social power means? And what about what science has shown us in the last hundred or so years, about the nature of time, space, and matter; what about soul power? Is society just a group of fleshbots milling around meatspace? Whose society are we talking about anyway? My society may be different from yours. A society may transcend the limits of time and space, for those who transcend the limits themselves.

But I brought this over here from the Sirius thread because I wanted to compare what Bob said to something Chuang-tzu said. I think Chuang-tzu is using the same oblique method that Bob used in the quote above, to make a case for something other than what he appears to be talking about. So maybe chuang-tzu can shed some light on Bob's method. Here's what I had to say about the Bob quote:

dada » Sun Sep 02, 2018 3:08 pm wrote:
Bob said:

I prefer the various Utopian systems I have mentioned to the Conservative position that humanity is incorrigible and I also think that if none of these Utopian scenarios are workable, some system will eventually arrive better than any we have ever known. I share the Jeffersonian (“Liberal”?) vision that the human mind can exceed all previous limits in a society where freedom of thought is the norm rather than a rare exception.


I take this as Bob saying in an opaque (perhaps delphic is the better choice here) way that the outlook doesn't look promising in the direction this line of thinking takes us. Not that the situation is hopeless, but perhaps we're going about this in the wrong way. Ever the incorrigible optimist.

Of course, this is Bob doing the 'statement of my political ideology' routine in his characteristic Bob way. Does bring to mind Bob Shea. He does this routine with his smart, thoughtful anarchist perspective occasionally in the No Governor zine.


Here's Chung-tzu:

Perfect Happiness

"Is there such a thing as perfect happiness in the world or isn't there? Is there some way to keep yourself alive or isn't there? What to do, what to rely on, what to avoid, what to stick by, what to follow, what to leave alone, what to find happiness in, what to hate?

This is what the world honors: wealth, eminence, long life, a good name. This is what the world finds happiness in: a life of ease, rich food, fine clothes, beautiful sights, sweet sounds. This is what it looks down on: poverty, meanness, early death, a bad name. This is what it finds bitter: a life that knows no rest, a mouth that gets no rich food, no fine clothes for the body, no beautiful sights for the eye, no sweet sounds for the ear.

People who can't get these things fret a great deal and are afraid - this is a stupid way to treat the body. People who are rich wear themselves out rushing around on business, piling up more wealth than they could ever use - this is a superficial way to treat the body. People who are eminent spend night and day scheming and wondering if they are doing right - this is a shoddy way to treat the body. Man lives his life in company with worry, and if he lives a long while, till he's dull and doddering, then he has spent that much time worrying instead of dying, a bitter lot indeed! This is a callous way to treat the body.

Men of ardor are regarded by the world as good, but their goodness doesn't succeed in keeping them alive. So I don't know whether their goodness is really good or not. Perhaps I think it's good - but not good enough to save their lives. Perhaps I think it's no good - but still good enough to save the lives of others. So I say, if your loyal advice isn't heeded, give way and do not wrangle. Tzu-hsu wrangled and lost his body.2 But if he hadn't wrangled, he wouldn't have made a name. Is there really such a thing as goodness or isn't there?

What ordinary people do and what they find happiness in - I don't know whether such happiness is in the end really happiness or not. I look at what ordinary people find happiness in, what they all make a mad dash for, racing around as though they couldn't stop - they all say they're happy with it. I'm not happy with it and I'm not unhappy with it. In the end is there really happiness or isn't there?

I take inaction to be true happiness, but ordinary people think it is a bitter thing. I say: perfect happiness knows no happiness, perfect praise knows no praise. The world can't decide what is right and what is wrong. And yet inaction can decide this. Perfect happiness, keeping alive - only inaction gets you close to this!

Let me try putting it this way. The inaction of Heaven is its purity, the inaction of earth is its peace. So the two inactions combine and all things are transformed and brought to birth. Wonderfully, mysteriously, there is no place they come out of. Mysteriously, wonderfully, they have no sign. Each thing minds its business and all grow up out of inaction. So I say, Heaven and earth do nothing and there is nothing that is not done. Among men, who can get hold of this inaction?"
Both his words and manner of speech seemed at first totally unfamiliar to me, and yet somehow they stirred memories - as an actor might be stirred by the forgotten lines of some role he had played far away and long ago.
User avatar
dada
 
Posts: 1646
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 12:08 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby American Dream » Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:50 pm

Story of my life. Individual consciousness is the ground of being. So also is material life, most especially the social institutions that persist beyond our individual lifetimes.

Sure, let's spit on Hegel but this has nothing to do with the phantasm of "cultural marxists", neither with the alleged Fun Wey - Ascended Master.

I don't really care which came first, the chicken or the egg, as long as everyone gets what they need...



Image
American Dream
 
Posts: 19708
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: Planet Earth
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby dada » Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:04 pm

Hey, I was just about to spit on Hegel! How did you know? haha

Joking, I wasn't really about to. Not here, at least.

Here, I should probably re-clarify what I think consciousness work is and isn't. It's easy to misunderstand work on consciousness, probably a good idea to always provide clarification for a phrase like that. I took my clarification out of that last post, because the post had gotten long enough already. I edited for the sake of brevity.

But again, what has science shown us over the last hundred or so years about the nature of matter? Matter is not exempt from the revolution in worldview that science has presented us. The material world itself is limited by narrow views of the individuals that make up societies. Comes back to work on consciousness, again.

When people hear "work on consciousness" they usually think of it in the integrative sense. But that's only the preliminaries, elementary school. The only way that work decreases violence is by removing you from the violence equation, stops you from adding to it like the clumsy, unbalanced dope you are at the start of the work. When you graduate, work on consciousness is an ongoing development of skills and strategies. That's when you can be trusted to go out and do some real decreasing of violence.

Neither is work on consciousness like scrubbing down your consciousness until it's sparkly clean, and then going out into the world to 'spread peace.' Nor is it renouncing the world, quieting the mind and sending out pure light vibrations that make people magically non-violent.

I'll do one of my stupid video game analogies. There's an enemy in some dungeons of zelda, the goriya, a big rodent, that reverse-mirrors your moves. You move towards it, it moves towards you. Move away, it moves away. Move left it moves right, and vice-versa. Stand in its line of sight, it shoots at you. Get too close, it bites you.

The rodent represents the violence in the world. Moving far away from it doesn't make it go away, neither does going forward and giving it a hug. You have to move around, to position it, set it up right where you want it. When it is at just the right distance, you shoot it with an arrow, and then dodge the bullet it shot back at you just before the arrow took it out.


Speaking of social institutions that persist beyond our individual lifetimes, there are always new ones popping up. Look at nintendo. After everyone on this board is long gone, Mario and Zelda will still be around.
Both his words and manner of speech seemed at first totally unfamiliar to me, and yet somehow they stirred memories - as an actor might be stirred by the forgotten lines of some role he had played far away and long ago.
User avatar
dada
 
Posts: 1646
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 12:08 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby American Dream » Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:16 pm

I should have known that Mario and Zelda were part of it. Oh well.

But shooting the rodent that represents the violence in the world when the moment is just right sounds kinda like the notorious idea of fucking for virginity.
American Dream
 
Posts: 19708
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: Planet Earth
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby dada » Mon Sep 03, 2018 11:32 pm

Yes, it can be fun to look at video games conspiratorially, I understand that. Like looking at Robert Anton Wilson, Tim Leary, or the entire world that way.

But they're institutions that will be around long after we're gone, was my point, or course. Nintendo, Mario and Zelda, I mean. It doesn't matter whether you engage with the point seriously or not. It's there for others to engage, if they feel so inclined.

Same with the ideas I'm presenting about decreasing violence. You can mock them, jacket them as 'fucking for virginity,' even, if you like. But this says much about you, and nothing about the ideas.

I see you brought up quantum mechanics on the Sirius thread. There are a lot of strong adjectives in that Sarfatti interview, making a great effort to influence the readers' perspective, making emotional appeal to make the cases it is trying to make. Again, fun, but not very scientific. Einstein's views on quantum mechanics are much more complex than the quote of his at the top portrays, of course, as anyone who has an interest in the subject knows. Taking Einstein out of context to make whatever case the interview is trying to make is part of the sensational tone of the interview.

Not that I'm against the basic thrust of the argument, I'm no fan of 'mystical pop-science.' Although the basic thrust of the argument was buried so far inside of the rhetoric, it might be difficult for the casual reader to see it.

I'm a Bohm/Hiley man, myself.
Both his words and manner of speech seemed at first totally unfamiliar to me, and yet somehow they stirred memories - as an actor might be stirred by the forgotten lines of some role he had played far away and long ago.
User avatar
dada
 
Posts: 1646
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 12:08 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby dada » Tue Sep 04, 2018 1:13 am

And so, we come to the basic thrust of my argument.

My argument overall, in general, as a whole on RI, not any argument about any specific topics. My point, which is expressed not by content but by form, is that compartmentalized thinking, bureaucracy in the brain, is a drain on your resources. There's really not much more to it than that. Hopefully my words help or inspire some to lower the barriers between their inner bureaus, to let the free flow of information mix, coming up with some new and original combinations.

I give by example, and that's really all I can do. Seeing RI itself as compartmentalized, an expression of the 'failure of the commercial nature of the web design,' and discussion as bureaucratic, resulting from commercial thinking, as in the debate over what is on-topic/off topic, would be missing the point. That is part of the wonder of the RI warren. 600k posts in 38k topics, soon to be 39k, no doubt. Here, one can read about The Octopus in the lounge, in a discussion about books. Or one can read about The Octopus in general discussion, in a discussion about Judo gang/Ragusa drug murders. You can read about The Octopus in the research section, classic Casolaro Octopus. The Octopus as conspiracy, octopus as limited hangout, Octopus, Octopus old and now.

I wouldn't have it any other way. Look at RI, so many layers. The front page of general discussion where the battles are fought, the seemingly endless tunnels running underneath, like the mazes under Brooklyn where the Ninja Turtles chill, and the plumbers do their work. Pipe world, Level 7.

It's beautiful, I think. Dark and mysterious. At first. But spend some time here, and as your eyes adjust in the dimly lit caverns you begin to see, the contours come into focus. There's value in that. Builds confidence, makes you feel like you can wrap your head around... well, just about anything.

And yet, the RI warren is only one area of the big warren. My warren. But I'm no octopus. I'm Squid Royalty.

In the final analysis... well, really, what else is there to say. Let the threads proliferate. The posts must flow.
Both his words and manner of speech seemed at first totally unfamiliar to me, and yet somehow they stirred memories - as an actor might be stirred by the forgotten lines of some role he had played far away and long ago.
User avatar
dada
 
Posts: 1646
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 12:08 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby American Dream » Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:06 am

Mario and Zelda are not in my world in a big way and I get that they are institutions of a sort but it seems like comparing apples and orange tycoons to think of them in comparison to institutions like Capitalism or White Supremacy. What am I missing?

I'm really good with decreasing violence, by the way. If I pass someone on the street and there is a potential problem, I'm all for resolving it amicably. Same thing with the vibe at the bar at closing. No guns is good, everybody happy, I'm happy.

The reason why I make light of decreasing violence as an end goal is that voice inside me, that "change the world voice". That critique of treating smiling at strangers as if it is enough. The claims that meditating is enough to stop the War. Expensive workshops that are alleged to be a panacea. You get the idea.

It wasn't my intention to be dismissive or rude and I do apologize if that's how it was received. As I said before, "Story of my life".

As to Sarfatti, he's his own quirky dude. His Physics, I'm agnostic on- I'm most interested in his personally informed Conspirology, centered in the Physics/Consciousness Research Group at Esalen. This is where the Robert Anton Wilson connection comes in and hell hath no fury like a scientist scorned.

One thing I want you to understand dada, is the conditions of my posts. Sometimes I have all the time and energy in the world. Other times, I am seizing the moment whilst other things are happening, making a quick comment where I do or do not remember/understand all the context. I have my views but I'm not trying to be snotty. Definitely let me know if and when I'm being received poorly.

dada » Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:32 pm wrote:Yes, it can be fun to look at video games conspiratorially, I understand that. Like looking at Robert Anton Wilson, Tim Leary, or the entire world that way.

But they're institutions that will be around long after we're gone, was my point, or course. Nintendo, Mario and Zelda, I mean. It doesn't matter whether you engage with the point seriously or not. It's there for others to engage, if they feel so inclined.

Same with the ideas I'm presenting about decreasing violence. You can mock them, jacket them as 'fucking for virginity,' even, if you like. But this says much about you, and nothing about the ideas.

I see you brought up quantum mechanics on the Sirius thread. There are a lot of strong adjectives in that Sarfatti interview, making a great effort to influence the readers' perspective, making emotional appeal to make the cases it is trying to make. Again, fun, but not very scientific. Einstein's views on quantum mechanics are much more complex than the quote of his at the top portrays, of course, as anyone who has an interest in the subject knows. Taking Einstein out of context to make whatever case the interview is trying to make is part of the sensational tone of the interview.

Not that I'm against the basic thrust of the argument, I'm no fan of 'mystical pop-science.' Although the basic thrust of the argument was buried so far inside of the rhetoric, it might be difficult for the casual reader to see it.

I'm a Bohm/Hiley man, myself.
American Dream
 
Posts: 19708
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: Planet Earth
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby 82_28 » Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:43 am

That is a nice analogy, dada. Now that I have the keys to the place as it were, I recognize all of the time I have spent here and I am really happy nothing has gone "wrong" in the last few months. But the old threads with old members is what concerns me, so to speak. They just bailed. I wonder constantly what caused them to. But I was not in a capacity all these years to "shuffle" shit around, which I do not do now that I have that "power".

I guess my point is, is that I want all the consciousnesses of all time to chill here as it once was. I am left to wonder what led the "lost" to leave? Was it assholes? Was it disinterest? Was it vanity? I do not know.
There is no me. There is no you. There is all. There is no you. There is no me. And that is all. A profound acceptance of an enormous pageantry. A haunting certainty that the unifying principle of this universe is love. -- Propagandhi
User avatar
82_28
 
Posts: 11027
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2007 4:34 am
Location: North of Queen Anne
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby dada » Tue Sep 04, 2018 5:37 pm

One thing I want you to understand dada, is the conditions of my posts. Sometimes I have all the time and energy in the world. Other times, I am seizing the moment whilst other things are happening, making a quick comment where I do or do not remember/understand all the context. I have my views but I'm not trying to be snotty. Definitely let me know if and when I'm being received poorly.


Thanks, AD. I'll keep that in mind.

What are you missing? I don't know, what are you missing.

I think this isn't a case where I can answer that for you. I made an observation, what use anyone makes of it is really up to them. You brought it into your worldview, used the observation in a certain way, looked at it from a certain perspective, and it didn't score any points for you. I'm perfectly okay with that, I don't feel any need to go where you took it. Another reader might use the observation in an entirely different contextual framework, take the ball and run with it right into the end zone, score points with it. Still just an observation, but in this case served as the catalyst for an insight. If another reader did that, I say good for them. Go team.

I feel another sports metaphor coming on. Looking at it from a different angle. The perfect pitch.

Batter up in one game, coach gives the signal to 'take a strike.' Batter watches the perfect pitch go right by. Nothing wrong with that, that's what a good ballplayer does.

In another game, batter's team is up by ten points, a total blowout. Someone on the other team must have messed up their superstitious 'just get lucky' ritual before the game. Coach is letting everyone do whatever the hell they want. Perfect pitch comes, batter hits a home run. Great. But so what. Now the batter's team is up by eleven, big deal. Kind of a waste of a home run. Easier to hit a home run when the team is up by ten, too. In the clutch is where it counts.

Last game, batter's team is down by three, bases loaded, bottom of the ninth. This batter is under pressure, all the weight of the universe bearing down. There's the perfect pitch. He knocks it out of the park. This batter is a goddamn hero.

The same perfect pitch in each case, though.

---

Yeah, I wonder about that sometimes as well, 82. And I can think of many reasons. But my biggest suspicion is that overall, the more social media became the big trend, the less that people were posting here. That's the simplest explanation I can come up with, at least. They fell into it, and got comfortable there.

Probably more complicated than that. I don't know, either. But I wish all the consciousnesses of all time well, wish them all the best. Hope they all find what it is they're looking for.
Both his words and manner of speech seemed at first totally unfamiliar to me, and yet somehow they stirred memories - as an actor might be stirred by the forgotten lines of some role he had played far away and long ago.
User avatar
dada
 
Posts: 1646
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 12:08 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby conniption » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:19 am

excuse me...

scientific american

Could Multiple Personality Disorder Explain Life, the Universe and Everything?

A new paper argues the condition now known as “dissociative identity disorder” might help us understand the fundamental nature of reality

By Bernardo Kastrup, Adam Crabtree, Edward F. Kelly on June 18, 2018

Image
Credit: Brielle McConnell Getty Images

In 2015, doctors in Germany reported the extraordinary case of a woman who suffered from what has traditionally been called “multiple personality disorder” and today is known as “dissociative identity disorder” (DID). The woman exhibited a variety of dissociated personalities (“alters”), some of which claimed to be blind. Using EEGs, the doctors were able to ascertain that the brain activity normally associated with sight wasn’t present while a blind alter was in control of the woman’s body, even though her eyes were open. Remarkably, when a sighted alter assumed control, the usual brain activity returned.

This was a compelling demonstration of the literally blinding power of extreme forms of dissociation, a condition in which the psyche gives rise to multiple, operationally separate centers of consciousness, each with its own private inner life.

Modern neuroimaging techniques have demonstrated that DID is real: in a 2014 study, doctors performed functional brain scans on both DID patients and actors simulating DID. The scans of the actual patients displayed clear differences when compared to those of the actors, showing that dissociation has an identifiable neural activity fingerprint. In other words, there is something rather particular that dissociative processes look like in the brain.

There is also compelling clinical data showing that different alters can be concurrently conscious and see themselves as distinct identities. One of us has written an extensive treatment of evidence for this distinctness of identity and the complex forms of interactive memory that accompany it, particularly in those extreme cases of DID that are usually referred to as multiple personality disorder.

The history of this condition dates back to the early 19th century, with a flurry of cases in the 1880s through the 1920s, and again from the 1960s to the late 1990s. The massive literature on the subject confirms the consistent and uncompromising sense of separateness experienced by the alter personalities. It also displays compelling evidence that the human psyche is constantly active in producing personal units of perception and action that might be needed to deal with the challenges of life.

Although we may be at a loss to explain precisely how this creative process occurs (because it unfolds almost totally beyond the reach of self-reflective introspection) the clinical evidence nevertheless forces us to acknowledge something is happening that has important implications for our views about what is and is not possible in nature.

Now, a newly published paper by one of us posits that dissociation can offer a solution to a critical problem in our current understanding of the nature of reality. This requires some background, so bear with us.

According to the mainstream metaphysical view of physicalism, reality is fundamentally constituted by physical stuff outside and independent of mind. Mental states, in turn, should be explainable in terms of the parameters of physical processes in the brain.

A key problem of physicalism, however, is its inability to make sense of how our subjective experience of qualities—what it is like to feel the warmth of fire, the redness of an apple, the bitterness of disappointment and so on—could arise from mere arrangements of physical stuff.

Physical entities such as subatomic particles possess abstract relational properties, such as mass, spin, momentum and charge. But there is nothing about these properties, or in the way particles are arranged in a brain, in terms of which one could deduce what the warmth of fire, the redness of an apple or the bitterness of disappointment feel like. This is known as the hard problem of consciousness.

To circumvent this problem, some philosophers have proposed an alternative: that experience is inherent to every fundamental physical entity in nature. Under this view, called “constitutive panpsychism,” matter already has experience from the get-go, not just when it arranges itself in the form of brains. Even subatomic particles possess some very simple form of consciousness. Our own human consciousness is then (allegedly) constituted by a combination of the subjective inner lives of the countless physical particles that make up our nervous system.

However, constitutive panpsychism has a critical problem of its own: there is arguably no coherent, non-magical way in which lower-level subjective points of view—such as those of subatomic particles or neurons in the brain, if they have these points of view—could combine to form higher-level subjective points of view, such as yours and ours. This is called the combination problem and it appears just as insoluble as the hard problem of consciousness.

The obvious way around the combination problem is to posit that, although consciousness is indeed fundamental in nature, it isn’t fragmented like matter. The idea is to extend consciousness to the entire fabric of spacetime, as opposed to limiting it to the boundaries of individual subatomic particles. This view—called “cosmopsychism” in modern philosophy, although our preferred formulation of it boils down to what has classically been called “idealism”—is that there is only one, universal, consciousness. The physical universe as a whole is the extrinsic appearance of universal inner life, just as a living brain and body are the extrinsic appearance of a person’s inner life.

You don’t need to be a philosopher to realize the obvious problem with this idea: people have private, separate fields of experience. We can’t normally read your thoughts and, presumably, neither can you read ours. Moreover, we are not normally aware of what’s going on across the universe and, presumably, neither are you. So, for idealism to be tenable, one must explain—at least in principle—how one universal consciousness gives rise to multiple, private but concurrently conscious centers of cognition, each with a distinct personality and sense of identity.

And here is where dissociation comes in. We know empirically from DID that consciousness can give rise to many operationally distinct centers of concurrent experience, each with its own personality and sense of identity. Therefore, if something analogous to DID happens at a universal level, the one universal consciousness could, as a result, give rise to many alters with private inner lives like yours and ours. As such, we may all be alters—dissociated personalities—of universal consciousness.

Moreover, as we’ve seen earlier, there is something dissociative processes look like in the brain of a patient with DID. So, if some form of universal-level DID happens, the alters of universal consciousness must also have an extrinsic appearance. We posit that this appearance is life itself: metabolizing organisms are simply what universal-level dissociative processes look like.

Idealism is a tantalizing view of the nature of reality, in that it elegantly circumvents two arguably insoluble problems: the hard problem of consciousness and the combination problem. Insofar as dissociation offers a path to explaining how, under idealism, one universal consciousness can become many individual minds, we may now have at our disposal an unprecedentedly coherent and empirically grounded way of making sense of life, the universe and everything.

The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)

Bernardo Kastrup

Bernardo Kastrup has a Ph.D. in computer engineering from Eindhoven University of Technology and specializations in artificial intelligence and reconfigurable computing. He has worked as a scientist in some of the world's foremost research laboratories, including the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and the Philips Research Laboratories. Bernardo has authored many academic papers and books on philosophy and science. His most recent book is "The Idea of the World: A multi-disciplinary argument for the mental nature of reality," based on rigorous analytic argument and empirical evidence. For more information, freely downloadable papers, videos, etc., please visit http://www.bernardokastrup.com.
Recent Articles

Misreporting and Confirmation Bias in Psychedelic Research
Coming to Grips with the Implications of Quantum Mechanics
Should Quantum Anomalies Make Us Rethink Reality?

Adam Crabtree

Adam Crabtree is on the faculty of the Centre for Training in Psychotherapy, Toronto. He is a clinician who has treated many cases of severe forms of DID overs the past 30 years. He has written extensively about the history of psychodynamic psychotherapy from the time of Franz Anton Mesmer to the present, tracing the development of ideas about dissociation in the West, particularly in his book From Mesmer to Freud: Magnetic Sleep and the Roots of Psychological Healing (1993).

Edward F. Kelly

Edward F. Kelly is a professor in the Division of Perceptual Studies (DOPS), a research unit within the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia Medical School. He served as lead author of Irreducible Mind (2007) and Beyond Physicalism (2015), which systematically explore empirical and theoretical topics related to the primacy of mind in nature. His research interests currently focus on intensive neuroimaging studies of altered states of consciousness in exceptional subjects of various kinds.
Recent Articles

Misreporting and Confirmation Bias in Psychedelic Research


https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/ob ... verything/


...carry on.
conniption
 
Posts: 1861
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:01 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby dada » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:04 am

That theory was discussed on page 49 of this thread. Here's my question, and comment.

dada » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:43 pm wrote:So, who (or what) traumatized (or hypnotized) this all pervasive cosmic consciousness?

The theory sounds to me like some obscure heterodox hindu school of philosophy.
Both his words and manner of speech seemed at first totally unfamiliar to me, and yet somehow they stirred memories - as an actor might be stirred by the forgotten lines of some role he had played far away and long ago.
User avatar
dada
 
Posts: 1646
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 12:08 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby chump » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:56 pm

Glass is coming

Image
“Good cannot exist without evil and evil cannot exist without good." 
— M. Night Shyamalan


“It is true, that which I have revealed to you; there is no God, no universe, no human race, no earthly life, no heaven, no hell. It is all a dream--a grotesque and foolish dream. Nothing exists but you. And you are but a thought--a vagrant thought, a useless thought, a homeless thought, wandering forlorn among the empty eternities!”
― Mark Twain, Mysterious Stranger


User avatar
chump
 
Posts: 1915
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:28 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby dada » Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:38 pm

Ah, the high drama of the golden land/dark world of polarity. Who can resist its thrills, its chills, its charms? The sensual play of electrical signals, the rush of biochemistry. Who would want to? I mean, what else is there?

---

After breakfast, Charlie's voice is there again.

Manson: "Hey, I want to ask you a question. Are you there? Are you listening?"

Leary: "Yes, I'm listening."

Manson: "When you take acid. And the world and your body
dissolve into nothing but
vibrations. And space becomes time and there's nothing
but pure energy, nothing to
hang onto. You know what I'm talking about?"

Leary: "Yes."

Manson: "Well, that's the moment of truth, right? But what is
it? What do you call it?"

The ultimate Cosmological question posed. A silence
ensues in the cell block of the
maximum-security prison, broken only by the humming of
a generator, the clunk of
toilet valves, the sound of rushing water, a distant
rattling of metal keys.

Leary: "Charles?"

Manson: "Yeah?"

Leary: "What do you find at that moment?"

Manson:"Nothing. Like what death must be. Right? Isn't that
what you find?"

Leary: "Death is obsolete, or will be soon. They laid that
trip on you, Charles, and you
bought it. I'm really sorry because that moment is
just the suspension of biochemical
imprints in the nervous system. You can take off from
there and go anywhere you want.
You should have looked for the energy fusion that's
called love."

Excerpt is from Neuropolitics by Timothy Leary with Robert Anton Wilson and George A. Koopman, the chapter "The Neuropolitics of Courage: A Brief Encounter with Charles Manson"

pdf available here:

http://www.leary.ru/download/leary/Neuropolitics.pdf

Worth having a look, especially if you've read it before. The formatting is all fucked up, to great effect.
Both his words and manner of speech seemed at first totally unfamiliar to me, and yet somehow they stirred memories - as an actor might be stirred by the forgotten lines of some role he had played far away and long ago.
User avatar
dada
 
Posts: 1646
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 12:08 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby American Dream » Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:03 pm

I find that a compelling vignette but Charlie Manson is an easy foil to Tim Leary, to whom I am much more sympathetic. Reconciling all that to the R.I. universe is a real mind-fuck. After all, we know that Manson is commonly presumed to be "dirty". Leary the same, but more often in a "good guy subjected to mind control" kind of way. Koopman is less well-known but Sarfatti's writings on him have definitely tagged him as a DIA spook, if also an enthusiastic cokehead and psychic seeker. Robert Anton Wilson is the most polarizing figure of all, as he has been very, very influential in the kinds of conspiracy culture that R.I. is known for.

So what if any/all of them are spooky? Where does that leave me: as one of Frankenstein's children?


Image
American Dream
 
Posts: 19708
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: Planet Earth
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby dada » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:52 pm

Yes, I understand how you see this, AD. I'm not making a case against your views.

It's simply a different contextual framework which I've placed Tim in, here. The content of chump's post above mine reminded me of that conversation in the Neuropolitics book. Personally I think they worked well together, but I can't speak for anyone else here on RI.

I remember it as 'Neuropolitique,' and not 'Neuropolitics.' Whatever the title, I always thought it was one of Tim's best, and looking through it today I find that I still feel the same. Finding the pdf with the odd formatting was an added bonus. The shuffled up sections make for interesting juxtapositions. I think Tim would get a kick out of it, I remember in his High Priest book he played with formatting, text in the margins juxtaposing with the main text. Although in that one it was deliberate, not a 'happy accident' as a result of funny pdf formatting.

The content of the book is interesting, thoughtful, thought-provoking. But most of all I appreciate his style of writing in this one, he's more 'literary,' his writing has developed, matured. I enjoy the way he approaches first person/third person perspective, it's playful, novel and refreshing. Maybe just a technical, writerly thing that wouldn't be of much interest to others. But I like technical writerly things like that.

See, now I'm discussing Tim Leary's writing style on the Questioning Consciousness thread. Thematically, this is a narrative tack from which your contextual frame is divergent.
Both his words and manner of speech seemed at first totally unfamiliar to me, and yet somehow they stirred memories - as an actor might be stirred by the forgotten lines of some role he had played far away and long ago.
User avatar
dada
 
Posts: 1646
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 12:08 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

PreviousNext

Return to General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 4 guests