Harald Jezek

Owner, Nuada beauty+wellness

This conversation is closed.

What is reality ?

Did you ever think about what it is that makes reality real ?
How is our reality created ? Isn't it the perceptions our brain creates based on our sensory inputs ?
But what if we lack a sense ? How does reality change for somebody who cannot hear or see ?
Or take it even a step further, assume you are deprived of all your senses, What would reality mean in such a case ?
And last but not least, let's assume you are born without any senses. What would that mean to your reality ?
So what is reality and what are we as part of this reality ?

Closing Statement from Harald Jezek

Thanks everybody for participating in this conversation.
After 900+ comments did we solve the question of what reality actually is ? Probably not, however it was a good exercise in contemplating what it actually means when we say this or this is "real".
What most of us agreed upon is that there are different aspects to reality.

One is the reality we deal with on a daily basis and which we share to a large degree. For example we agree upon common things, such as when we see a car we all agree it's a car, a tree is a tree and a house if a house.
Although we know that this reality is created by our mind based on sensory inputs which is not only incomplete but often also faulty, it still is "real" because we share the same benchmarking (same sensory inputs, generally same mechanism how our brain interprets those sensory inputs.

Beside this shared reality we all have our own reality. This can be something simple like the perception of a taste, odor or a color.
Although we might agree that a given color is read or an odor is that of a pine, we never can know how another person actually perceives this sensory input.
Individual reality also becomes visible in our beliefs. For a religious person the existence of a God is a fact and hence part of reality while for an atheist reality is free of such a God.
Differences in this aspect of reality can also be observed in how different people get different perceptions of the same situation.

Last but not least there must be an underlying objective reality which includes the laws of nature (whether those are the ones we believe are valid today or perhaps something even deeper which we don't have discovered yet) and which exists regardless of us being here to contemplate it and regardless of our beliefs.

Next time we insist something is real, let's think whether it's real for me, for all(most) of us or real in an absolute sense.

To finish with Albert Einstein:
"“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”

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    Nov 24 2013: Reality is an illusion.

    It's one of those words which defy definition. Google defines reality as "the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them." But what does it mean to "exist"? Here is the definition from Google again: "Exist: have objective reality or being." There you go.

    Here are some more things to ponder for you: "free will", "consciousness", "self", "omnipotence", "omniscience". I gave up on trying to understand these things. What does it mean to "understand", by the way? And what does it mean to "make sense"?

    There is also a saying "reality causes a major stress in people who are in touch with it". It may be best to leave this question unasked. :-)
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      Nov 24 2013: I like the honesty in your comment. Thanks.
    • Nov 25 2013: I liked the saying you quoted "reality causes a major stress in people who are in touch with it". Fortunately some structures can withstand the stresses within and without. I am glad you gave up trying to understand those things ... and hope you decided to focus in understanding them.

      Definitely some possibilities are best to leave as just possibilities.

      Keep in mind that the goal of the questions-answers some interactions centers on learning
      ... a teacher used to say : "there are no dumb questions, only dumb answers" ...
      .... then he met one of those teachers disguised as a student who showed him the truth of the matter...
      ... and the teacher became the student and the student became the teacher as they shared a learning experience to truly understand the truth of the matter.

      Many can give you the answer to the questions you put forth for each and all to see... question is will someone understand and make sense of them contributions in a meaningful way.

      BTW words are like energy-matter and ideas... its what one does with them that determines whether they function right and cultivate well-being or function in a different fashion.
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        Nov 25 2013: This is one of my favorite TED talks:
        http://www.ted.com/talks/john_lloyd_an_animated_tour_of_the_invisible.html
        I love the quote "we can all see matter, but we cannot see what IS the matter".
        • Nov 25 2013: Thanks,

          I managed to get a couple of good points from that ... one being that : "you cant see light only what it hits"
          The other being something to the effect of "Cant see cant understand... some projecting that it doesn't exist"
          The real knocker ideas there where towards the end: the two fundamental questions and a subtle message...

          ... If you ask me, only one of the queries is actually relevant .... it has to do with what to do? which to me involves being better... help each other .... to better understand ... to better make sense of the what be... to better each point and actually see what is the matter and what to do 'with' it...

          Wonder a bit why the clip included so much negative framing... almost seems as if that Ignostic wanted to cultivate it ... Do notice that the narrator called himself that and declared to refuses to be drawn on the question of the existence of God unless someone properly define the term. I suppose it has something to do with a fixation with the dim stars rather than an appreciation of the mundane and the divine. To a point the more light there is the more we see certain things and the less we see other thing. It also works the other way, to a point the less light there is the more we see certain things and the less we see other thing. In the open we see certain behaviors while we tend to see other behaviors behind closed doors.
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        Nov 25 2013: The animation is based on John Lloyd's TED talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/john_lloyd_inventories_the_invisible.html. I like the animation better for the great visuals.

        Re: "it has to do with what to do? which to me involves being better... help each other .... to better understand ... to better make sense of the what be... to better each point and actually see what is the matter and what to do 'with' it..."

        He addresses this in his last quote: "We are here on earth to help others. What the others are here for, I've no idea." :-)

        I don't view this video as negative. I guess, the message of the talk is to "empty our cup" of our preconceived opinions so that we can learn something new and perceive things as they are instead of perceiving them "as we are".
        • Nov 25 2013: Arkady,

          Thanks for providing the second link I can 'perceive' the animations resemblance ... well as far as I can tell its the same audio for both of them :-) In my response I first included the quote you mentioned and then decided to use a bit of a different framing... which shifted the focus from "We are here on earth to help others" to - We are here to be better - yea that may involve helping others or helping each other to be better... just as it may involve not helping others and even taking actions to interfering into what others want to do... To me it was important to make that 'subtle differentiation'.

          For the record like you "I don't view this video as negative"... what I basically asked out loud was "why the clip included so much negative framing". Which sought to draw attention into wondering about the framings individuals choose to use. Take for example this paragraph. What are the ideas and the framings here? Let me use a different approach ... we agree on the notion "learn something new and perceive things as they are instead of perceiving them 'as we are'". It just you propose that we should "empty our cup" of our preconceived opinions so that we can do that, where as I propose that we should "fill our cup" with the appropriate conceptions and opinions so that we can do that. Note that it's actually impossible to empty a cup, a cup is always full! Note that its certainly possible to fill the cup with air then fill it with something else. If I instructed "not to think of an apple" what was it you thought and then tried not to think of it? Had I said think of an elephant, its highly unlikely that you would had thought of an apple.

          In principle we agree while in practice we each seem to follow a different path... (Well maybe its the same path and we are just going in different directions).
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      Nov 25 2013: Have you gone past the illusion or should I say layers of illusions?
      • Nov 25 2013: Larry,
        wonder who you are directing that question to... if its to me... then well lets just say that rather than focusing on determining if one be asleep or awake I just focus on what to do in the state I be in ... either way it focuses on always choosing the best possible option.

        Do note I said "always choosing the best possible option" which may or may not correspond to what I/you/others may think is the best possible option.
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          Nov 25 2013: Re "here" and "there" (your post below). You need to see this :-))
          http://youtu.be/RusdE_vJyLU.

          Re: "BTW how do you manage to chose a starting point different from the point you be at?" It's funny, but not only I always start from where I am, but I also always end up where I am. I don't think, I can be anywhere except where I am, so it appears to me, that this is where I am ought to be.

          "We are here and it is now. Further than that, all human knowledge is moonshine."
          -- Henry Louis Mencken

          This distinction between "ought" and "is" seems to be a major source of anxiety and dissatisfaction with life. We are happy when "ought" is the same as "is". We are unhappy/angry/frustrated when we think that what "is" is not what "ought". We can bring them together by "going where we want to be" or just "wanting to be where we are".

          Re: "ehm.... my beliefs are based on something rather than nothing :-)"

          Yeah, I know. And why do you believe that your beliefs are based on something? And what are they based on? My bet is, on some other belief. And if you say, they are based on facts, then you got to believe that you perceive and interpret these facts correctly. So, in the end, we either find "turtles all the way down" or base our beliefs on some tautology like "Reality is real" or "I think that I think, therefore I am." Or come to a contradiction like "I know that I know nothing." And that's where we should stop and hold our peace.
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        Nov 25 2013: Yes. I think, I've peeled this onion with layers of illusions to discover that there is nothing in the middle. This is why I made my post.

        This is a liberating understanding. As Esteban points out, we still need to live and do something to make our life "better". And since there is nothing "at the heart of the onion", we have to create a starting point, a belief. And, again, since there is nothing "at the heart of the onion", we have a great freedom in choosing the starting point. It does not have to be based on "evidence" because we do not know that evidence is real and how to prove the proof or find evidence that the evidence is "true". We don't even know what "truth" is. It has something to do with "reality" which nobody can define. It's a rabbit hole of infinite regress. Our core belief does not have to be based on reality since nobody can define what it is. So, we can freely choose our core beliefs: define our meaning of "better", to begin with.

        Since I realize that my core beliefs are not based on anything, I'm tolerant to other people's beliefs because I know that they are also not based on anything.
        • Nov 25 2013: ehm.... my beliefs are based on something rather than nothing :-) and my starting point is from the point I be at... that way I can start and take the first step right away without having to figure out how to move from where I happen to be to where I choose to start from... BTW how do you manage to chose a starting point different from the point you be at?

          Then again maybe the point that we ought to keep in mind and focus upon has to do where we be going ---- getting there might just be a bit easier if we seek to get there!

          where we are, where we ought to be, next step to get there is a simple heuristic to follow.

          Seems to me that you pick the nothing onion... and believe all onions are the same. A simple definition of truth involves positive congruence between claim and fact... when one chooses to think to be what happens to be one gets to know from what one thinks what happens to be... Reality is defined as what be. There I just defined it... I suppose that based on what you said that make me be a nobody... in somebody... how about that I am both material and immaterial in nature.... sounds about right... body-mind-spirit and a bit more...

          Yea you /each can choose their core beliefs: each can define their meaning of "better" and if they happen to define it according to what be better they got the better definition right... I concur "our core belief does not have to be based on reality" but when they are its much more better...

          Do notice that if 'my core beliefs are not based on anything' then implicitly that means core beliefs are based on something!
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          Nov 25 2013: Arkady, Yes, is think. A thought, one always followed by another. How can I find peace in this? I can not think my way to the core. Although thinking can bring me closer. The last step involves giving up everything. My mind, my thinking, my senses and plunging into the nothing. For me there was great fear involved. You have a core, a center, a heart, whatever you want to call it. Be determined and vigilant do not settle for nothing. I would like to leave a quote for you.

          OUR DEEPEST FEAR

          Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

          Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

          It is our light and not our darkness that most frightens us.

          Your playing small does not serve the world.

          There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

          We are all meant to shine as children do.

          It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone and as we let our own light shine we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

          As we are liberated from our own fear our presence automatically liberates others.
        • Nov 25 2013: Larry,

          First, thank you for that...

          Know that I can find peace in a thought followed by another ... maybe it has to do with the thought one chooses to think. I think I understand what you state and while in principle seem to agree with it I also think that one can think all the way to the core. Rather than giving up everything I consider its about embracing everything as one ought to embrace each thing. I can see how plunging into the nothing can be fearful, its like stepping into the unknown. I can also see how stepping into the unknown can be divine especially when plunging into something divine. As you sort of pointed out there exists a core, a center, a heart, whatever you want to call it. Be determined and vigilant do only settle for the actual truth of the matter and doing what ought to be done upon getting it.


          THE deepest fear of fear is not that FEAR is inadequate, THE deepest fear is that FEAR be irrelevant to the lovely beyond measure beings who step into the unknown without fear. Moving to that domain of peace, and joy, and happiness that knows fear only as a distant possibility that shall forever remain as such, a distant possibly.

          I find curious how it seems everyone wants other to be just like them... the superior want other to raise up to their level and the inferior want others to lower down to their level... the things isn't about levels its about what one be doing there.
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          Nov 26 2013: Arkady,
          That you have peeled the onion to find nothing inside and that such realization is liberating to you is because you have reached (or almost reached) a point where the destination starts to move with you. I think we all reach that point somehow.
          We live in multiple realities, none being a preferred one. In one level we crave the reality to be absolute, visceral, raw and fleshy as if our life depends on it. In other level, we see the center of the onion and feel in our guts that we are after all in a 'pretend play', albeit an adult version of it.
          I find this script with the doubtful beginning, confusing climax and uncertain end utterly interesting.
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        Nov 26 2013: Re: the quote.

        I've seen it. It belongs to Marianne Williamson. A good one. Of course, I don't settle for "nothing". I create my own "core". My reality is my beliefs. If I believe I have free will, it is as I say. If I believe I am happy, it is as I say. If I believe, I love my wife, it is as I say. If I believe, people are good in their heart, it is as I say. You see, these beliefs are not based on anything other than "self" (that's how I understand "I am who I am" mentioned in Exodus 3:14), there is no fear of losing them. But if I base them on "something" (an idol), they will disappear as soon as the idol corrupts and falls.
        • Nov 26 2013: I remember the first temptation in the bible involved seeking the place of God for oneself...

          BTW if you base them on God ... well they will remain even if you disappear
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          Nov 26 2013: The quote from Marianne is brought forth from the principles of ACIM. She is the extension of those principles. Does it belong to her or is a gift being passed to everyone? I do have free will and when I see the choice I recognize I have no choice. Is not self the ultimate false idol? The only thing I am capable of making of myself is an empty shell of human existence. When I look upon that I see nothing.
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          Nov 26 2013: Esteban, You've really done it now, you have used the God word.
        • Nov 26 2013: Larry,

          Yea I used the word, some will smile and some will snarl :-)

          Originally had no idea what you meant by ACIM and decided to look it up and saw that it likely refers to a course in miracles... Is it a gift that wraps the same old apple that eve and adam got offered?

          Each does have free will (well if we don't any dialogue about free will is mute as each just does what they have to do). I hold to believe we each see the choices ... some choose to recognize that they have no choice and choose no choice while some choose to recognize that they have a choice and recognize the choices for what they be and make the right choice.

          To answer your question about self... self is self what each self chooses to do with self determines is self becomes the ultimate false idol or becomes a self. I made a comment the other day related to escapism the ego needs to be educated rather than negated. Similarly with the self it needs to be guided to do what ought to be done as it ought to be done. When I look upon that I see that and a bit more.
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        Nov 26 2013: Re: "Is not self the ultimate false idol? The only thing I am capable of making of myself is an empty shell of human existence. When I look upon that I see nothing."

        The physical "self" - yes. But, as many people mention here, "self" seems to be more than the physical shell. Simply because when a person dies, we do not speak of his body as we spoke of the person. We describe it as his body.

        There is nothing *physical* at the core of the onion, but where does it grow from? There is some principle at the core. It grows from "self".
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          Nov 26 2013: As for me if I see an empty shell in the physical outer I know the source of the reflection. When someone dies, I will leave that to a higher authority. At the core may we find the sum of all principles. self or Self grows from what it's fed.
        • Nov 26 2013: Arkady,

          Thank you for your comment... :
          "self" seems to be more than the physical shell.
          There is nothing *physical* at the core of the onion

          at the core of the onion is something non-physical !

          Didn't see that one coming .... and appreciated it when exposed!
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        Nov 26 2013: I once saw this in a grocery store
        https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/97/Romanesco_broccoli_%283%29.jpg

        This pattern is fascinating because it is self-repeating. It is extremely common in nature. Shapes of flowers, pine cones, pine apples, tree leaves, sea shells, hurricanes, and galaxies are based on the same principle which, in this case, is described by Fibonacci series.

        Most physical processes are described by exponential functions. Exponential functions are also extremely common in nature. They describe most oscillations and waves. Reason? What's so special about them? Nothing other than they happen to be their own derivative and thus, a solution to most differential equations that describe natural processes.

        Most beautiful and most powerful things in the universe seem to be based on the same principle - they build on "self". I'd say, this "self", as a principle, transcedes the physical nature of the things where it is present. The substance and the physical nature of a broccoli flower is different from that of a galaxy, but they are still formed by the same principle. This "self" cannot be physically found. Numbers, patterns, and laws are ideas.

        Ideas are often juxtaposed with reality. But it seems impossible to have ideas without physical things they represent or perceive physical things without forming an idea of what that thing is.
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          Nov 27 2013: Fractals also fall in the same category, I guess. I agree with your idea of self as my observation is that in exponential growth that most natural systems follow, complexity followed by some typical phenomena like self replication, emergence and fractalization are common.
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      • Nov 26 2013: Jason,

        Why should we consider your definition of reality as the definitive definition of reality?
        In other words why should someone think that what you think to be corresponds to what be rather than think what be?
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          Nov 27 2013: Esteban, one would consider Jason's definition simply to deal with the ought/is dichotomy to find a rational common ground. I, by no means, am saying Jason is 'absolutely' right. Just that what he is saying appears to me a rational view with more and more commenters arguing in the same line.
      • Nov 27 2013: Pabitra,

        I agree we ought seek and to find a 'rational' common ground. The thing is that many use the notion "its my way or the highway" and when one responds to them: "Fine let the common ground be the highway" they insist that any common ground can only be their way.... It would be fine if their way corresponded with a truly rational form or had a direct correspondence with the highway... I can even deal with twisted logics of opposites... the thing is that there confusion reins! If you managed to understand that there understanding reins (because the opposite of confusion is understanding) you understand how simple it can be :-)

        Again if we focus on just appearances rather than the actual content we may get some surprises ! I like good surprises and the others I will pass them up...
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    Nov 28 2013: Hi everybody, this conversation will soon come to an end. As the author of this conversation I will be asked to make a final statement.
    However, I prefer that all of you who participated in this conversation just provide a final post summarizing your own views on the topic.
    This way we avoid that somebody gets left out or misinterpreted.

    Cheers
    • Nov 28 2013: Harald,

      In addition to what you proposed which I find ought to be done I wonder IF as a group of participants we can unite to produce a shared document.

      Personally I would like to read in the individuals final post a recount
      1- What ideas they found valuable
      2- What ideas made them wonder the most
      3- What notions changed thanks to this conversation (and which stayed the same)
      4- If they where to go at it again what would they do different

      You all know we are close to that time of the year where one makes their wish lists...
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        Nov 29 2013: Creating a shared document might be a bit a stretch, considering that this format here is not conductive for any collaborative work.
        Beside, nothing will be lost. This conversation will stand here also for people that might be interested to read it in the future.
        Just getting a general summary of everybody's point of view, perhaps integrating the 4 points you suggested would be good enough. Whoever wants more detail can read the individual posts.
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      Dec 1 2013: Thanks for the invitation to share our perception of the conversation Harald.

      The conversation seems to reinforce the perception of reality I had at the beginning of this discussion, in that there are a variety of meanings and applications for “reality”, some of which have been expressed here.

      There is objective reality, which may be more scientific, with tangible evidence, and there is subjective reality which may be influenced by many internal and external factors.

      What seems like evidenced, objective reality, can still be rejected by some people whose belief system, as created, does not accept the evidence. An example might be evolution, for which there is considerable evidence, and yet the evidence is rejected in favor of what appears in holy books as their personal “evidence”. We may, as groups, share perspectives, depending on our own personal belief system.

      Subjective reality, seems to include our personal thoughts, feelings, ideas, beliefs, perspectives, impressions, presumptions, assumptions, etc., all of which may be influenced by many sources, and include our own personal experiences and perceptions.

      I did not address your question about “senses” because I am not aware of anyone ever being born with no senses whatsoever, and with a quick search, I could not find any information about that, so my belief at this time, is that everyone has some senses, which may differ from what is considered “normal”, but none the less important and valuable.

      As I said in one of my first comments in this discussion…
      “Within the simple concept, there may be complex information on many different levels for different people. So, what an individual can or cannot sense or perceive is subjective.... how one's brain processes sensory input data and supply the compiled interpretation to one's ego/self is subjective, and there are probably other elements that are subjective as well.”

      You did a good job of facilitating Harald....thanks:>)
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    Nov 30 2013: As per Harald's request, I am trying to sum up the question, the answers, different insights and whatever I learnt from this discussion.
    Things (both physical and non-physical) exist within and beyond the boundary of known and knowable. Reality is that part of the existence that is included within our perception through senses, understanding, logic, introspection, inference, feeling and belief. Some of reality is rational, explainable and demonstrable - most of us agree with that. Some, however, are beyond reason and explanation and we have our individual say on it.
    There is a part of physical reality that scientists and philosophers work on and strive to find out a common, underlying understanding and agreement (a theory of everything). There is a standard model of it, but true to scientific tradition it is open to challenge and transmutable.
    I have found no proof, logic, evidence or hypothesis, this discussion included, to accept the notion that there is an objective, absolute, perception independent reality (an 'explain all' version of it) as more preferable to an observer/perception dependent, relative, transmutable and subjective reality ( a personal, 'aha' version of it) up till now. I am open but will prefer to follow Ockham's principle, which states that among competing hypotheses, the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions should be selected.
    This had been a great discussion. I will thank Harald and all those who contributed.
    @Arkady: Peeling onion may be more interesting than finding anything at its center. :)
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    Nov 26 2013: Esteban, I can't reply to your post below so I just start a new one referring to:
    "the 9/11 notion... the fact of the matter is that it is what it is... you believe it being real doesn't make it be real....."
    It doesn't matter what I believe. The earth is round, no matter whether or not I believe it. 9/11 was no conspiracy as some people believe. Again, that's the case independent of my belief.
    If for some reason our knowledge about something changes (e.g. the earth is a cube) we will adjust our "belief" accordingly.
    Again, we are running in circles.
    On one hand I "accused" you of not putting any value on evidence. You denied that, yet you keep insisting that evidence (e.g. evidence showing us that 9/11 was a terrorist attack) cannot be trusted.
    So what is it ? And if you don't trust evidence what do you trust ? Your intuition ? voices speaking to you in your head ?
    • Nov 26 2013: H call me E (if it's ok with you?)

      Yea I did the same thing responded up above to another post...

      We agree in that: it is what it is depending on what it is.

      In relationship to 9/11 the evidence would demonstrate if it was a controlled demolition or the result of the airplanes crashing ... we agree in that whatever the case happens to be that's the case independent of what you or me may belief to be the case. From the evidence we know that some will NOT adjust their 'beliefs' accordingly to the evidence.

      Yea I noticed that you keep "accusing " me of stuff like not putting any value on evidence that a single fact will lead you to change your stand on the matter yet when I presented such evidence (in one particular case) you basically just brushed it aside and continued to insists on more examples.

      Yes I keep insisting that "evidence" should be questioned and cannot be trusted... ironically its based on the evidence of the past where individuals where so certain of their claims and assertions that they missed being misguided by other who eloquently and authoritatively pushed their case. I am sure that if you seek you will find enough evidence to support what I just stated... though at this time I doubt that you will go that way...

      In another post I sort of explained what I trust... a unifying congruent story that incorporates every perspective coherently ... Intuition has its place, as does logic, as does heuristics, as does feelings as does many other factors... by the way voices speaking to you in your head sound like thought seeking your attention... beware that some opposing ideas like to silence their opposites because if you where to compare the opposers vs drivers next to each other you would always pick the drivers!
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        Nov 26 2013: "Yes I keep insisting that "evidence" should be questioned and cannot be trusted."
        So here we go again, if evidence is not trustworthy, what is it ? A question that I asked already several times to no avail.
        You seem to misunderstand evidence. Evidence in itself is no guarantee for something to be true. Evidence is not proof.
        However, the more and better the evidence for a theory the more likely that this theory is true.
        Example: We take it as a given that the earth is round (well, almost round) based on a vast amount of evidence.
        Can you question this evidence ? Sure you can, but you will have to provide an alternative and support this alternative with evidence on its own and if your evidence showing that the earth is a cube is of higher quality than the one showing it's round then people will start listening to you.
        But, just saying I don't trust evidence without providing alternatives is absolutely meaningless from a scientific point of view.

        ".... as does many other factors......." vague as usual ;-)
        What are the "many other factors" ? Be specific.
        If you write up a scientific theory you can't say, well, my theory is based on A, B and a "lot of other factors".
        • Nov 27 2013: Harald,

          You ask : if evidence is not trustworthy, what is it ?
          evidently it still is evidence.

          I would had hoped that by now you would had recognized that its not about how likely something may be it is about what actually happens to be.
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    Nov 25 2013: I’m going to attempt to answer this question however; I do believe I’m under qualified, especially among you elite intellectuals. I say this with the utmost admiration.

    I follow the Copenhagen interpretation, “there is no deep reality”. “Our senses are constituted to give us an impression of a material world, but that this reality is a reflection of something of a different nature.” Our physical senses each have a spectrum, these senses perceives the sea of energy from a certain limited standpoint and makes up an image from that. This image is just an interpretation. Our interpretations are solely based on the ‘internal map’ of reality which is a result of our collective experiences.

    Copenhagen interpretation states that we create reality by observation and that there is no reality without observation. Heisenberg divides the universe into real and semi-real and considers the elementary particles to be only potentialities or possibilities. They are made real only by the act of observation. In the not real world of potentia, all of the reactions are present. Only one of these possibilities manifests in the real world. This possibility is made solid (physically apparent) only by consciousness.

    Consciousness is an ability to be aware of external forces. Cellular life and plant cells fall in this category. Their awareness is considered very rudimentary, but cells do sense in a chemical way light, heat, foreign cells, pH condition in liquids and other states of matter that can be good or bad for their survival. Awareness (consciousness) can be reduced to very minimal states. Additionally, any action also involves a large number of conscious entities. The people, plants, animals and all things that are considered as part of the action, will have input into the degree of control of the action and reaction. This depends on each entities’ ability to phase quantum waves of possibility so that they add amplitudes enough to make them apparent in our physical world.
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      Nov 25 2013: Christine, There is non among us greater than you. I f you have a birth mark you've been approved if not get a tattoo are we will accept that. Intellect is a double edge sword, understand that.
    • Nov 25 2013: Christine

      I see that reality contains within it a space of infinite of possibilities (some of which remain as possibilities and some which manifest into reality). I too hold that "Only one of these possibilities manifests in the real world". To me, what possibility manifest in reality depends on a bunch of stuff that may or may not depend on the observers or individual consciousness. While we only experience reality through what we think, this map we use could accurately correspond to the reality itself... In other words if one thinks to be what actually be the map and the territory become singular identical copies corresponding to each other and picking one or the other is basically the same thing. That can't be said when what one thinks to be differs from what actually happens to be. The reality that I consider existing has material and immaterial stuff in fact the human being integrates body-mind-spirit and partakes in those three dimensions and a bit more ... Humans even have the capacity to create stuff or rearrange the existing stuff. We ought to be good caretaker of the places we happen upon.
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      Nov 25 2013: Christine,
      It's sort of lonely in the high tower of intellect. Thanks for joining. :)
      Honestly, you said it nicely.
      • Nov 25 2013: Some have the illusion that they are there all alone because they only perceive those who see similar to them. :-) they just need to widen their understanding ... of course one may also have to wonder why they be at the tower of intellect rather than the library of intellect :-)
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          Nov 25 2013: I took Pabitra's post as a joke. There is not an ounce of arrogance in him.
      • Nov 25 2013: I did too! and responded in kind with a post that was intended as a joke... and also included a bit of truth... I hope you take my post as a joke too...

        BTW the moment I thought of something you mentioned was when you mentioned it...
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      Nov 25 2013: Christine, I think there is no disagreement with your comment, however, the observer principle is something that applies to the quantum world but not the macro world.
      In other words, our universe will still be here regardless of us being around to observe it or not. Best proof for that is probably that the universe is much older than we are. So, obviously it was around long before we showed up to observe it.
      Actually when we go with Feynman's "sum of all histories" then our universe is just one of many, however, we can't observe them.
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    Nov 23 2013: Eventually, reality comes down to what one experiences -- either somebody has one or more senses, or has no senses. It's difficult to imagine what would be the reality for someone born without any senses. But the one certain thing is that whatever any reality he/she experience, that reality will be always related to his/her consciousness, exactly like anyone born with senses. So consciousness in whatever form is finally the sole conceiver of any reality one lives in.
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      Nov 23 2013: Let's assume a person is born without any senses (let's also assume that's possible). Do you think that consciousness would develop without any sensory input ?
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        Nov 24 2013: As I wrote in my comment, ”It's difficult to imagine what would be the reality for someone born without any senses”. But please see that your question is not that simple as it looks. Because it should be noticed that among the 5 senses we have, 4 are very sophisticated, and so perhaps we can imagine that somehow one might for some reasons could be born without them. But there’s the 5th sense which is not that sophisticated, but also I guess it’s the most direct and basic one, and that is the sense of Touch. Perhaps better to say it’s actually the 1st sense, as I guess it was the first to be developed in the most primitive life forms 3 billion years ago. So I just don’t know if it’s ever possible to completely lacking that sense on each and every centimeter of the human skin.

        However, even we assume it’s possible to completely missing all the senses, it should be remembered that reality is not composed only from outwardly impressions but also from inwardly /feelings//thoughts//imagination. So, suppose this utterly senseless person walks. Since he is missing even the sense of Touch, he does not feel whether the ground under his feet is cold or hot, thorny or smooth, hard or soft and so on. But still he has got the feeling that something is supporting his legs from underneath, because otherwise he could not walk. Assuming his brain is functioning well, this would be his rational conclusion. Henceforth, his imagination will get into action and start building his mental reality and so on.
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          Nov 25 2013: We tend to think in pictures. If somebody says "car" you get a mental picture of a car and know what this person is talking about. If you never saw a car before you still could ask questions as what this object is about and once explained to you, you most likely would have a good understanding of the term car.
          However, a person without any senses couldn't create mental images because they rely on memories and past experiences, nor could he ask questions to narrow down what the object in question might be.
          In other words, could this person even develop thoughts, imaginations and feelings ? Don't they always rely on past experiences and memories of one sort or another ?
          Hence, he wouldn't be able to conclude anything. Actually I assume he wouldn't even be able to formulate a thought.
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        Nov 24 2013: I think no, the person will have no consciousness at all. I am in a little disagreement with Yubal and let me explain why.
        Human beings have more than 5 senses. They have 5 specialized sensory organs. But those 5 and rest of all sensory processing are done by the brain directly or indirectly. So if we take it that a human being has strictly no sense, there is no communication of outward stimuli to the brain and the brain is only conducting business of the internal working of the body. That being the case, I think, the basic premises of a self recognizing consciousness is lost.
        There is a valid scientific theory of the evolution of a complex brain in animals that says that the it evolved from the basic necessity of locomotion. So merely walking would require neuro-sensory support (hence some form of consciousness).
        It may be possible that some form of consciousness is existent in organisms devoid of a highly developed specialized organ such as a brain. But still they must be able to exchange information with the environment surrounding them in order to live. That exchange will ensure some form of consciousness.
        This part of discussion is interesting as it points out to the dependence of reality on the sense/perception and consciousness.
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        Nov 26 2013: Harald, this is my reply to your last comment "We tend to think in pictures."

        You make a very good point. I agree with your analysis with car. But please see that in your reply also you are thinking in pictures. Because our conceptions are not limited to only what we see, hear, touch...etc. You are giving this example and come to such conclusion because we have these senses and they occupy our mind. We get indulged in these sensory impressions because they grab the domination on our minds, as they are so powerful. And as such, we build our reality under their domination. So you are perhaps correct in saying that such senseless person could not ever imagine what a car is and also other mental images. But who says that's the only possible way to create the overall mental images ??

        If we return to my previous example, where such a senseless person walks or even just lies permanently in his bed, assuming his brain is functioning OK....... Please try to imagine how he would be thinking. Can you say beyond any reasonable doubt that he can't create absolutely any image of some possible reality in his mind, using his imagination ?? It does not mean that the reality he creates in his mind is correct or factually true. But that IS the only image of reality existing in his mind.
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          Nov 26 2013: Hi Yubal, you are right, I can't say beyond a reasonable doubt that a person born without senses can't think anything at all. Perhaps a neuro scientist could answer this question with more certainty. Maybe the brain could resort to another mental "language". Who knows ?
          However, when we analyze our own thoughts, aren't they all made of our experiences and memories that our mind created based on whatever sensory input we got at some point in our lives ? Is there anything in your mind that wouldn't have required any sensory input ?
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        Nov 27 2013: Harald, this a reply to your reply, "Hi Yubal, you are right, I can't say beyond a reasonable doubt......."

        I assume that when you say "sensory input", you mean only to external sensory input. My reply and all my arguments from the beginning are based on this assumption.

        I am not sure that everything we think, imagine, feel is made only from external sensory input. In our routine way of life and thinking it's extremely difficult to analyze and try to differentiate between what is originated in our minds from external input and what from our in-built qualities. There had been all along the history major debates and controversies between these 2 outlooks.

        But we don't need to go that far. Suppose you eat a mango and experience it's taste. Now somebody who had never seen and eaten a mango asks you to scientifically and verbally analyze the taste of mango for him. With all the sophisticated scientific instruments we have invented, and with all the highest verbal skill anybody can have, will it be ever possible to describe the mango's taste for such a person ?? No. Because the very experience of mango's taste, like perhaps all other our experiences, are beyond any verbal or scientific analysis. What scientific or verbal analysis do, is just to map our experiences and to express them in technical or illustrative terms. But they are not able to replace the very experience itself. It's the same with our much deeper emotions like happiness, anger, love....etc. Indeed they can be provoked by external sensory input, but they are not exclusively dependent just on the external input.
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          Nov 27 2013: "I am not sure that everything we think, imagine, feel is made only from external sensory input"
          No. I'm not certain either, but on the other hand, when I try analyzing my thoughts I always have to conclude that at some point, the source for them was a sensory input.

          "With all the sophisticated scientific instruments we have invented, and with all the highest verbal skill anybody can have, will it be ever possible to describe the mango's taste for such a person ??"
          Well, we certainly can analyze all the components that make up the aroma of a mango and the fragrance industry uses this capability extensively in order to manufacture artificial flavors and fragrances.
          The real question is whether or not we are able to communicate a odor or taste, or any sensory experience in such a way that another person gets a 100 % accurate impression of our own experience, I agree with you, I don't think we can.
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        Nov 28 2013: Even if we prepare artificially the perfect flavor and odor, finally that person needs to taste that artificial product to know what is the taste of mango. There's no another way.
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      Nov 24 2013: Just a notice - no living creature can survive if it is having no sensations - sensations indicate the very basic process of life. Brains cannot function at all withoit any sensations (even in clinical experience of cases of intensive care artificial support). Absolutely Senseless "person" will not walk, unless it is a robot.
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      Nov 25 2013: If I understand your point correctly, Yubal, you, essentially, say, that whenever we have life, we have some sort of sensory input processing. I think, we have many more senses than 5. The 5 are just the most obvious - we are aware of them. There is also a sense of gravity and balance. It seems to be distinct from the 5 usually mentioned. We are also processing signals from our internal organs. E.g. feeling constipated or feeling fatigue in our muscles does not seem to fall into into any of the 5 senses. So, when you say that a person deprived of senses would still have some sort of self-awareness, you seem to limit the meaning of "senses" to the 5 classical ones. Which, essentially, means that there will be other senses to build consciousness upon.

      Pabitra's point seems to be that in the absense of ALL senses, consciousness is impossible. After all, we would have no information to be aware of ourselves. Without sensory input, there is nothing to be "aware" or "conscious" of and there is no way to be. I think, the common ground in what you say is "whenever we have life, we have some sort of sensory input processing" - simply because life means adapting to external conditions which implies a feedback system.

      But here is a related question: Is what's going on inside my body "internal" to "me"? What is "I"? Is it just my body or something transcedental? My brain melts down when I ponder these questions.
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        Nov 25 2013: Arkady & Pabitra, excellent distinctions you make about the various sorts of senses. You are also right that I had limited the senses to the 5 input senses from the external. I did that because for me that is the first meaning when talking hereby about senses. There are 2 reasons for that.

        1. SENSE by Oxford dictionary:
        The first meaning there: “faculty by which the body perceives an external stimulus; one of the faculties of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch.”

        2. The host of this discussion asks most of his questions at the title regarding these 5 senses. Just In his 2nd last question he asks about getting born without any senses, but still in that question there’s a hidden pre-assumption that our awareness is functioning.

        However, people too easily ignore our internal world which is emotions, imagination, thoughts – which all influence our consciousness. Suppose one doesn’t have even sense of gravity & balance as you say. But so what ?? He can lay down on bed and be fed by somebody. But this does not cancel his consciousness – even suppose just consciousness that he exists.

        Not only your brain melts down when pondering these questions. Many brains had melted in the past by these questions. Exactly because of this the ancient Indians came to the conclusion that to answer these questions, brain and its normal thinking activity are not enough. What’s required to answer these questions is to get rid of this brain activity, to completely pause the thinking activity and then just to watch yourself without interferring, to experience the pure consciousness. Not to think about it, not to talk about it, not to describe it. They said it’s absolutely impossible to really grasp what the consciousness is just by thinking because the thinking process is subordinate to the pure consciousness. To achieve all this they developed the Yoga and Meditation.
        • Nov 25 2013: Yubal,

          Note that what they say, what happens to be and the actual congruence between them.
          Just think that they may not want you to think about it because they can't think about it nor want to be subordinate to the pure consciousness. To really grasp what the consciousness is may be accomplished through the appropriate thoughts, ideas feelings emotions actions... which can only be understood by those who understand. Kind of esoteric from a certain viewpoint. What I want to share is that to answer these questions one needs the proper thinking activity and with the proper thinking activity it is more than enough for anyone can get it right when they know the right answer... those who know the right answer don't have to ask what is the right answer... those who don't know the right answer will not understand the answer even when given the right answer.

          You probably know the saying that when the student is ready the master-teacher shows up... and they walk as one sharing the adventure of learning. Before the student was ready there was just the students.
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          Nov 25 2013: Re: " But so what ?? He can lay down on bed and be fed by somebody. But this does not cancel his consciousness – even suppose just consciousness that he exists."

          That person would still have a sense of hunger, perhaps. So, there would still be sensory input to the brain from the person's stomach. And if not, people would call such person "unconscious". So, my point still stands: "wherever there is life, there is some sort of sensory signal processing." And, by the way, we may have sensory input, but be unaware of it like, for example, we do not "feel" a watch on our wrist unless we consciously direct our attention to our wrist. We also may have a lack of sensory input and be unaware of it being sure that we have sensory input where we don't (e.g. blind spot or being sure that the watch is on our wrist when it's not). So, what does consciousness have to do with reality? It perceives things that are not there and fails to perceive things that exist.

          So, signal processing seems to be necessary for life to exist. However, life is not necessary for signal processing to exist. Cell phones these days have visual sensors, audio sensors, touch sensors, RF sensors, gravity sensors, proximity sensors. I'm sure, taste and smell sensors are technically possible. There is a great deal of signal processing going on in cell phones. Cell phones are "aware" of many, many things. Can they be called "conscious"? Can consciousness exist outside a living body?
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          Nov 25 2013: There is much talk about AI these days. AI presumes that it is possible to create consciousness or awareness outside a human being. But then, why can't we think of the universe as conscious? E.g. Earth receives "sensory input" from the Sun and the Moon. It "reacts" to these signals in various ways. Why can't living creatures on Earth be compared to neurons establishing links with each other? White cells in the blood attack and destroy bacteria and viruses, much like police tackles criminals or predators kill the prey.

          We don't usually think of Earth as conscious. And, if we do, we mean it in metaphoric or allegorical sense. But then, when we talk about our own consciousness (a concept which is reduced to nonsense by the reductionist approach widely used in science), don't we also use allegories and metaphors?

          I'm not trying to argue with you or push any particular agenda or opinion of mine. I'm just shining light on some facets of this question that cannot be answered. These discussions can go on and on and on and, at the end, we will just confess our inability to answer them (if we are wise enough to do that like Socrates who, allegedly, said "I know that I know nothing").
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        Nov 25 2013: Dear Arkady,
        It is better to risk your brain to melt down rather than having the safety of getting it frozen! :)
        There are levels of consciousness I think.
        The most developed and complex one is one associated with mind, the self recognizing one that gives us the idea of 'self' as observing and making meaning of the external world through inbound stimuli. The 5 senses that we are so familiar with are important in this context. The sense of orientation controlled by middle ear also fall in this category. The sense of temperature too, I guess.
        When brain stops processing all those signals, we are in what we loosely call the 'unconscious' state. But there are other senses still functional; senses that are internal to the body, senses that control bowel movement, complex decision making of guts to digest food, senses that control heart rate etc. The brain is still functioning and one can say, there is some sort of consciousness that works for preservation of life.
        I think we can hardly take it as a consciousness that has anything to do with processing the reality.
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        Nov 26 2013: Arkady, this is my reply to your last replies ("Re: " But so what ??", " There is much talk about AI these days.").

        This discussion was initiated with the question, "What is reality?"

        When discussing reality as perceived in our minds, there's a pre-assumption that we are talking about conscious minds. Even when we dream in sleep and we experience the dream as reality while sleeping, there must be at least some level of alert consciousness to experience the dream so lively. So it's obvious that whenever we say reality hereby, even in the most senseless person's mind, we mean to a conscious mind who can experience things while being alertly aware of whatever reality it experiences//creates//imagines in his mind. It's not about just life signals or anything else in unconscious mind. It's not just about hunger, but it's about the awareness of being hungry, which I say the senseless person can experience lively in his mind, and so this like other things would be his//her mind’s subjective valid reality.

        You gave an example of a watch on our wrist we do not feel. So think what does this mean reality-wise. It means that as long as one does not feel the watch on his wrist, that watch is NOT a part of his reality. For that period of time the watch does not exist for him//her.

        Cellphones, cameras, computers, AI, are not conscious at all, and in my view they will never be. They do not have minds and so they are incapable of being conscious for experiencing, although they have all the electric currents and the sophisticated components. So we see that reality as we experience is not just about electric stimulus in our nerves. It’s not just about replicating mechanistically the brain processes.

        I had elaborated discussions about this in another TED debate:

        http://www.ted.com/conversations/16838/are_we_on_the_brink_of_creatin_1.html?c=627891
        http://www.ted.com/conversations/16838/are_we_on_the_brink_of_creatin_1.html?c=627274
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          Nov 26 2013: Yubal,

          I read your comments. Thanks. I don't disagree with you. But all the examples you have simply express a belief that consciousness is something that only live creatures can have. However, you do not explain why.

          I also had a couple comments in that thread. I don't know how to create direct links to them, but you may scroll down below your comment to find them. I also explored this question in my own conversation http://www.ted.com/conversations/14279/is_artificial_intelligence_pos.html but I did not get the answer.

          What is it exactly that allows us to say that we are "conscious" and "intelligent"?

          Watch this http://youtu.be/W1czBcnX1Ww
          When I first saw this video, my reaction was "WTF?" But I was very impressed when I watched the guy trying to kick this machine out of balance and I saw how it behaves on a slippery surface. It does seem to be "aware" of the environment and I doubt that the exact movements of the legs to keep balance on ice is programmed. I think, the time is near when these things will look like living creatures.

          Another example: http://www.ted.com/talks/raffaello_d_andrea_the_astounding_athletic_power_of_quadcopters.html

          Note what Raffaello says about the quads around 12 min of the video:
          "Take this quad, for example. It's trying to stay at a fixed point in space. If I try to move it out of the way, it fights me, and moves back to where it wants to be." I find it very interesting that, perhaps, he does not consider these machines conscious or intelligent, but, nevertheless, he uses language as if they are. The machine is "trying" to do something, "fights" and "wants".

          It seems to me that if AI is created, it will not be on purpose and it will look different from what we expect. It will be real. I asked this chatbot http://www.chatbots.org/chat_bot/captain_kirk/ "what is intelligence?" The chatbot replied "Intelligence is the ability to fake intelligence". There is no difference between "real" and "fake" intelligence.
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          Nov 27 2013: Just watched a fascinating film about "intelligence of plants".
          http://youtu.be/NeX6ST7rexs

          It turns out, plants react to stimuli - touch, light, electricity, gravity, sound; plants have memory; plants communicate with each other, and have cells resembling and functioning like neurons. Can it be called "intelligence"?
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        Nov 27 2013: Arkady, this is my reply to your last 2 comments: "I read your comments.", "Just watched a fascinating film......"

        I would not call it my belief. It's rather my reason's judgement summing up what we know and see today. Perhaps my judgement will be found to be wrong somewhere in the future. Or a new data will come tomorrow which might change my this judgement. But right now this is my best judgement about machines and their inability to acquire consciousness.

        My explanation is this: Life (consciousness) as we know today began to form about 3 billion years ago. Besides some very marginal exceptions, this life has something very common and that is it's Organic (Carbon) basis. I have no clue, and I doubt if any scientist has, why the life got formed and evolved only on such narrow basis of carbon, etc. Why life did not evolve on the basis of so many other elements ?? My reason tells me that if any consciousness or life could be formed by some alternative way, this alternative way would not wait for 3 billion years to get started. We would see at least some very basic forms of life in that alternative way, whatever it might be.

        Another explanation is that, we find out that life is not merely playing around with electro-chemical processes, or with electric currents, or with various mixtures of chemicals. If this was so, scientists would be able to create life in laboratories from the basic elements 100 years ago. But they are unable to create even a single cell in their laboratories.

        Plants do have consciousness. IMO, any consciousness means some sort of intelligence. Intelligence does not has to be only like humans. Intelligence in my view is anything which allows its carrier to feel its surrounding, make distinctions between the countless parameters constructing its surrounding and to selectively interact with its surrounding for its conscious, sub-conscious or unconscious purposes.
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          Nov 28 2013: I think, "why life is carbon-based?" seems to be a fairly easy question if you consider the properties of carbon. Here is an interesting discussion about it: http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=156166

          The answers seem to be: a) carbon is very abundant; b) carbon can give up as easily as attract up to 4 electrons. Hence it allows a huge amount of combinations to form molecules with other atoms. More difficult question is whether other life forms are, at all, possible. To answer it, we need to consider all possible life forms. The thread I referred to discusses life based on silicon and mentions that if metabolism is to be based on oxidation, SiO2 (sand) is more difficult to expel from organism than CO2 (a gas).

          So, you seem to claim that consciousness is impossible without a living organism. And, since we do not know life forms based on other elements, it's got to be a carbon-based life form.

          But really, is life characterized only by carbon? What if humans create an artificial something able to grow, reproduce, and adapt to the environment. Why can't it be called "life"?

          Consider the swarms of quadcopters in those videos. If there were millions of those things, flying around, wouldn't people just treat them the same way they treat flies, locusts, or birds? And if you encounter "something" which looks like a human, communicates like a human (creates and communicates ideas, understands humor and cultural references, relates to emotions), wouldn't you treat it like a human? Would it matter whether there is blood or electrical circuits under the skin?

          I have a feeling that if something like this ever emerges, it will be unintentional. Emotions are irrational. A programmed emotion is not an emotion. So, we will not be able to call it "artificial intelligence".

          Quite honestly, I myself am not a believer in AI. But I tend to argue with myself to see if I could be wrong.
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        Nov 28 2013: Arkady, you wrote: "So, you seem to claim that consciousness is impossible without a living organism. "

        I am not sure if the above follows from what I had written. I think, in my view, it's vice versa. I think life is impossible without consciousness. What we had seen until today, consciousness gets created only within certain pattern of atomic arrays, which we call Organic and we define it as life. There are theories, and even some deeply thinking philosophers and deeply experiencing mystics who claim that pure consciousness actually does not require any physical mean to exist. I don't want to go into this. I just try to find what CANNOT be rather than what can be. Definitely I can't void the possibility that some new and unexpected discovery or invention will occur and thus we will have totally new external entities or internal insights.

        About people treating something artificial as a human. That's not rare even today. We sometimes get emotionally attached to certain object. In the dreams we treat an absolutely virtual reality as the absolute truth. In Asimov's SF stories we had seen how people treat robots as humans, etc. I tend to agree that if some true intelligence emerge, it might be unintentionally created.

        That's one best thing -- to argue with yourself. That's perhaps the best way to make real mental//intellectual breakthroughs. I do it too. And after reaching some subjectively convincing conclusions, to share them with others and discuss in case of disagreements.
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          Nov 29 2013: I watched this video of Allan Watts http://youtu.be/P78hrdZutsI where he describes two ways of learn about the world. One way is labeled "western" - to divide things into parts and describe how the parts work together step by step. This is how machines and artificial things are put together. The other way is labeled "eastern" - to understand things as a whole and perceive how they "grow" from within, rather than being put together from the parts. I think, this reflects the fundamental difference betweeen living things and artificial machines: machines are put together from parts, step by step, while living things grow from within, all at once. See how he juxtaposes making an artificial flower to the growth of a live flower.

          He also mentions that words, by nature, cannot adequately describe growth of natural things because words are sequential, and in nature things are happening all at once. Inspite of our inability to describe these things in words, it can be said that we "understand" them because, for example, we can coordinate hundreds of muscles in our body without even knowing how many we have.

          This is a paradoxical statement, because in his lecture, Watts does exactly that - tries to divide concepts into parts ("western" - "eastern") and put them into words.

          Perhaps, this is the reason we have difficulty telling whether consciousness can exist without life or life without consciousness. Perhaps, they constitute a whole. Without thinking too deep, it seems fairly clear that consciousness is inseparable from life and we don't think of machines as conscious. But when I try to define things - what is consciousness? what is life? what is the difference between a living thing and a machine? That's when things get awfully confusing and complicated.

          Who doesn't understand what reality is? Yet, try to define it - and it just falls apart, turns into utter nonsense.
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    Nov 3 2013: Reality is commonly understood by "what exists" or the cosmos more specifically... (or you could check wikipedia for an elaborate introduction).
    Most evidence points that there is only one reality, and that each human (and many living beings) has an image of it -perceived through our senses-. A representation of our direct reality (let's say earth). We (humanity) have discovered much more about reality than we can directly perceive, and our best descriptions come from scientific inquiry.

    If you are not receiving sensory input, you start hallucinating (or dreaming during your sleep).

    If you wouldn't have any senses, you would not survive. Life needs external information to anticipate danger in order to avoid it (think this in evolutionary perspective, or in primitive forms in 'life games').

    Reality is not created, or at least, not as far as we know. There seems no need to assume a creator. We are unsure what happened around what we call 'the big bang'.
    For further understanding of reality on a particle level: check physics. For more about our planet: check all sciences (including sociology and psychology).

    I think you should not mix reality with what we humans believe reality is (our mental representation). Thinking that we only have a representation (of reality) implies reality is relative is wrong. Precisely because there is a reality, we can have an (inaccurate) perception of it.

    [edit: this talk is somewhat apt: http://www.ted.com/talks/devdutt_pattanaik.html]
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      Nov 3 2013: Morals, ...any emotion, creative ideas, freedom, liberty, justice, slavery...

      Anything people would die for is not reality?

      Chris, you and I live in two different realities. You create yours and I create mine as far as you and I know it..

      Agree to disagree. :)
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        Nov 3 2013: This is an interesting point, though I wouldn't agree absolutely with your 'Anything people would die for' commect. The first thing people would die for (or without) is food, water, air - all elements of physical reality.

        But certainly, there are many things that are important to us - emotion, thoughts, music, religion to name just a few - that are not part of physical reality. Yet it feels very uncomfortable to therefore state that they are not real.
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        Nov 3 2013: all you mention is clearly part of our reality... ( I wonder how you infer that I would claim the opposite)

        An active brain is capable of producing those... like electricity and a television can produce moving images (well, a set of images that seem to move). You label certain patterns as those emotions... and the experience of the living creature is really felt and value attached to it.

        Liberty, justice, slavery,... exists in a social context, where you label patterns of human behavior.

        Your perception of reality is clearly different than my perception of it. Although we are able to communicate on a shared medium which seems to exist for both of us. I assume this is a part of reality that is not different from you or me or an elephant in the Savannah.

        Your perception of planet earth is different from mine, but I am quite confident it is round and that we have oceans and continents and people living on it and dividing with borders they agree upon (more or less) and call it a country. I am quite confident that an aspirin works as I learned but for some it is more harmful than beneficial and the reasons for that are also the same for any observer.
        Assuming different realities would imply all those things could be different for any observer... I have not met people who are unaffected by earth's gravity at sea level, or can remain without oxygen for more than 1000 hours and turn themselves into frogs afterwards.

        The assumption that there are more realities is a mere play of words or semantics.
    • Nov 3 2013: Just like 'there seems no need to assume a creator', I consider no need to reject the existence of a creator. In my book whatever happens to be the case be what happens to be the case.

      The burden of proof... will talk about it latter have to go this instant

      Precisely because there is a reality, we can have an (accurate) perception of it. (or an erroneous one :-)
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        Nov 3 2013: True, you don't need to reject that assumption, though you would violate Occam's razor and prefer a theory that has more redundancy. I would only assume extra parameters in a model if it is needed.

        we can talk about the burden of proof, but only if you assign meaningful aspects of your assumption that are test-able. (If I would add unicorns to the equation that don't influence the remainder of reality, and keep that as my world-view, it's still consistent, though I added an unneeded assumption)
        • Nov 3 2013: Christophere

          Please keep in mind that this is intended as an objective intellectual interchange, putting personal feeling a bit aside and seeking a more enriching understandings on all parts an we jointly seek to explore the topic.

          Considering that you are introducing the assumption of what is test-able, and shifting to hypothesis and theory rather than sticking to knowing simple facts based on knowing the facts... it seems quite evident to me why you mention Occam's razor violations :-) . Yes 'the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions should be selected'. That being the case when one knows what be, it needn't require hypothesis nor be test-able nor need to be proven, for one knows what be. To use a rather simplistic example a murderer becomes a murderer when they perform the act not on the grounds of getting caught and some authority declaring them guilty or innocent or being mercifully forgiven.

          "a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, esp. one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained" becomes obsolete when an individual knows something directly and does not need the explanations of something.

          Note that 'we can talk about the burden of proof' if we choose to talk about such matters... adding the assumption that it must be test-able excludes that which be and which isn't test-able... non the less it be and remains being. To link it back into the context of this conversation it would be akin to seeking to talk only of the reality which can be sensed and exuding the reality which can't be sensed which be and which isn't sensible... non the less it be reality and remains being real.

          BTW some moles require the extra assumptions and extra parameters to model reality... and when done correctly add noting nor take away anything relevant to the reality modeled never the less to keep things simple its best to seek to keep models simple...
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        Nov 3 2013: Esteban,

        I understand we are on an intellectual interchange, so I don't take difference in opinion as an offence.

        Your example of a murderer is a definition... 'someone who murders' is 'a murderer'... So the to 'test' if someone is a murderer is to find proof that he/she did murder someone. I don't need to accept that the person is a murderer until I have the evidence. So assuming that one is a murderer is not even a redundant assumption, it might even be a false assumption.

        I can go with the idea that a person doesn't "need" an explanation, but if he wants to convince others of his/her beliefs he sure needs to have one (unless he wants to convince people who take a person's conviction as true, which is something a kid does naturally from a parent for example).

        There might exist things that are un-testable, but those things might as well not exist.
        Important note: I mean test-able in principle (as there are things that are hard to test, but are not un-testable in principle while it might take eons to do in practice): Something that cannot affect us (like an invisible/intangible gnome that doesn't even affect the molecules, radiation or neutrino's in our universe in any direct or indirect way) can as well be said to be non-existent for all practical matters. People are free to believe in it. There is no possible (test-able in principle) way to prove it. I, however will consider it among the fairy-tales and fantasy of our imagination.

        The expression "it does not matter" comes to mind. So on intellectual level, I cannot exclude such gnomes, but they don't (affect any form of) matter.

        I don't get your 'mole' argument... do you mean the blind moles that have a queen and are one of the strangest mammals on earth? I don't get how they would need extra assumptions when it comes to evolution theory.
        • Nov 3 2013: Glad to see that we agree on differences in opinions being differences in opinion and not insulting offenses :-)... its been an experience that some do find offensive when others points out the truth especially when it shows the veracity (or lack of it) in what they said... the righteous welcome the truth even when it exposes an error related to them for they see such occurrence as an invitation to correct what needs correcting.

          The subtle point I was seeking to make with the example of a murderer was: that the murderer be a murderer given the murderer be a murderer and finding the proof (or not being able to prove ) that the murderer be a murderer does not change the fact of them being what they are. Of course if one assumes someone is a murderer when in fact they aren't one belongs to a different topic. Evidently to me, 'you' does not need to accept that the murderer is a murderer even when 'you' has the evidence.

          The notion of one wanting to convince others of certain true beliefs/facts can presents quite a challenge especially when others 'refuse to be convinced' because of certain beliers/'facts' they hold to be true. Its also possible that this results in shifting the burden of proof from 'one' to 'the other' while also introducing additional assumptions. We could get into dialoguing why this may take place and instances of where this takes place if need be... In principle everything is test-able, in practice somethings are practically impossible to test especially for some of us and still what exists exists. Take for example the claim "There is no possible (test-able in principle) way to prove it )". Do we know for a fact that true? BTW stories are one of those things that is something that cannot affect us which does affect us.

          I had to go look for the 'mole' argument ... I realized it should had been the 'model' argument... no wonder that 'mole' made little sense to you... thanks for providing interesting notions related to the moles
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      Nov 3 2013: I would agree with Chrisophe on this one. It is important to separate external reality from our percention of it. There most definitely is an 'absolute' physical universe that is independent of human existence or our perception of it (or that of any other animal on planet Earth) since it existed long before life did. This reality just trundles along, doing its thing, oblivious to the fact that we may or may not be watching.

      Along come animals with sense organs designed to help them find their way in this physical reality by providing them with a selection of relevant information about their surroundings. On the basis of this information they construct an internal representation of external reality. Importanly, this is a representation, not the same thing. It's like a photo of a tree not being the same thing as the tree.

      Somewhere down the line, humans popped up with basically the same functions, but the additional capacity to ponder this situation and get confused by it. When you look at your hand, you are not seeing the physical reality of your hand. You are seeing the picture that your brain has constructed on the basis of the photons that have reflected off you hand into your eye and stimulated light-sensitive cells there to fire off impulses into your brain. The two are connected by of a completely different nature.

      The fact that it is difficult to perceive our perceptions in this way is entirely understandable. If we were to perceive it as no more than a subjective sketch, we would be less effective in matching our behaviour with events taking place around us. Little surprise, then, that evolution has built into our minds the impression that our representation IS reality.
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      Nov 4 2013: There is the kind of reality we use as a model to make sense of our surroundings. But at the same time we also know that this "reality" is a pretty faulty and incomplete representation of what really is.
      Nevertheless, for all practical purpose it works because it is a model we all share.
      However there is much more to reality than the working model we use on a daily basis.
      In physics the currently most accepted theory is M theory which has it its core the idea that there is no single history to the universe but that the universe has all possible histories and our observations right now influence its history. What does something like that mean to the concept of reality ?
      • Nov 5 2013: Yeap right now one each and can change the future, the present, the past... so what will each choose to cultivate?
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        Nov 5 2013: I don't think your claim about the M-theory is right... but I might be mistaken (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M-theory) Maybe you could provide me with some links to more information?
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          Nov 5 2013: Hi Christophe, it was taken from Stephen Hawking's book "The Grand Design"
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        Nov 6 2013: @ Harald. I read 'The Grand Design' and it's an interesting read. But what I got from it about M-theory is slightly different from what you got. In simple words, M-theory is like the story of five blind men and the elephant. When reality is as vast as anyone can think of and any given theory can explain only a part of it and starts to conflict with another theory that otherwise explains another part of it nicely, the most intelligent choice seems to be making a map of theories to try to have a complete understanding of reality. It is essential in this approach to disregard the fundamental incongruities between major theories. It's like two spouses deciding to make a compromise in order to run a family.
        It seems therefore that a general form of reality is disjointed at this moment. I know we love to believe it is complete but until we have a solid evidence to that, assuming a continuous all conforming reality is a mere wish.
        • Nov 6 2013: the fundamental incongruities between the stances require adequate resolution... which may involve distinguishing and separating functional properties from systemic properties and effects. to but it bluntly when someone who is wrong tells me I am wrong I thank them, when they tell me I am right, I wonder if its because they realize that I am right or because I happen to be wrong
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          Nov 6 2013: Pabrita, I don't think I got into any explanation about M-theory and yes, I agree with what you state here.
          M theory is string theory taken a step further. Stephen Hawking actually explained it quite nicely with his analogy to multiple, overlapping maps.
          If true, it would change our concept of reality completely. Who can easily wrap his mind around the existence of 11 dimensions or branes ?
          Personally I'm a bit skeptical whether M-theory will actually gather steam. The problem I see so far is that there is no way to measure or observe the constructs the theory is calling for and more importantly, it lacks predictions that, if coming through, would be evidence for the correctness of the theory.
          So far, everything is just a lot of mathematical constructs.
        • Nov 6 2013: My familiarity with M theory and string theory is quite limited... what I stated stems from a model I created to exemplify and make a point in a different dialogue... I used Cartesian an polar coordinate systems and a simple 'constant' function to demonstrate how a horizontal line and a circle represented the same thing... and how these where a particular case of a spiral and an inclined line... of course depending on the coordinate system a circle was a simple constant function or a quadratic equation... I also developed and extended the dualistic metaphor that uses a map and territory into a triad metaphor that links to other models I have created. In a way its like moving from a dualistic hot-cold subjective notion into an standard objective scalar notion involving temperature. Its easy to move from knowing the temperature to declare if its hot or cold but the other way is a bit more complicated and less accurate...
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    Nov 2 2013: From reading the comments so far, I agree with the general sentiment that there is an "absolute reality", and then there are our own very varied perceptions of that reality. The question "What is Reality" addresses both of these levels.

    Those with one or two sensory deprivations can compensate amazingly, but that just gives them a perception of reality "enhanced" (or skewed) in a particular way as it were by being deaf, blind, or whatever.
    People who've experienced "isolation tanks" where the opportunity for sensing is deliberately diminished, tend to report the ability to perceive reality through some other latent sensing mechanism which is usually not noticed because of the day-to-day dominance of the 5 physical senses (6th sense, 7th sense?). The same can be said for meditation, or drugs, which give the experience of perceiving reality from a different angle, or level.

    All of which points to the fact that there are many ways in which we try and grasp and build a picture in our minds of that "ultimate reality". Maybe it's beyond words, despite the best attempts of mystics and poets down through the ages.

    I would ask though, what might be the "qualities" of that ultimate reality?
    With some idea of "qualities" in mind, we have some kind of guidance whereby our individual perceptions of that ultimate reality can be 'corrected' towards a more unifying global perception. Hopefully this might contribute to less war, and more co-operation.
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      Nov 2 2013: Hi Joshua, yes people can compensate with other senses if the are missing one.
      Did you ever see this blind guy who makes kind of snapping sounds and orients himself by the reflection that comes back from the objects surrounding him ?
      What are the qualities of this ultimate reality ? I don't know, but that's what I like to know.
      I like to use an analogy. Think about whirls in a river. You can easily see them, so in some sense they are real, yet they are nothing else but the rest of the river of which they are a part. Could it be that the whirls are our subjective reality while the river is the underlying "absolute" reality ?
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        Nov 2 2013: Hi Harald,
        I think your metaphor of the still deep water as ultimate reality, and the surface activity on the water as our perception of it, is a good one. It also pictures a "continuum" from the surface, with the promise of the ability to reach reach deeper and deeper in a progressive manner. The "progressive" element to me is realistic - I'm not a believer in instant enlightenment.

        The qualities of this ultimate reality?
        The first quality that springs to mind is that it is eternal, or beyond time.
        A second quality might be that it is forever growing, developing, expanding, moving, changing - and perhaps this is reflected in the human desire to grow and reach for a higher potential.
        A third quality (sort of expected maybe) is Love, where I'm defining love as "an unconditional acceptance of what truly is now". Bit tricky to explain this one, but we can only grow and move on from a unconditional acceptance of where we are now; ie: growth is organic. But of course knowing and being aware of what truly IS in any one moment or situation is not always easy because of our limited perception of what "now is". This was brought home to me with a recent illness; I got the sense that only when I fully accepted the situation (instead of moaning about being incapacitated) only then could my body recover. Ultimate Reality is always unconditionally accepting itself and so that is why (it's a theory) it grows and develops optimally.
        A fourth quality might be benevolence, or beneficence. ie: ultimate reality has the quality of being essentially "good", rather than evil (it's not out to "get us"; but to help us grow). To me this implies also we are essentially innocent not guilty, essentially good not bad, and essentially co-operative, not combative.
        • Nov 3 2013: A conscious choice pro wellbeing is how I prefer to define love... it recognizes what truly is now and chooses to manifest the better possibilities.... sometimes in the past when seeking to define what's 'good' I gotten into 'conflicts' with others mostly because they see conflicts as good :-) what helped me sort out the situation consists of using a sustainable-desirable-congruen with life filter... it gives each a taste of their medicine while giving each the same thing... I liked most of what you said...
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          Nov 4 2013: Hi Joshua, I think you go to far into the spiritual realm here.
          As to eternal. Probably, at least that would be the most intuitive answer because otherwise we would have to ask when reality began and if we ask this question, something must already have existed that gave birth to reality unless we accept creation ex nihilo which is kind of difficult to imagine.
          Nevertheless, quantum physics clearly shows us that intuition in certain realms of reality just breaks down. So we have to be careful with jumping on something just because it's intuitive.
          As to points 2-4, here you lost me. That's too metaphysical from my point of view.
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        Nov 5 2013: Hi Harald, I guess that if the question of the nature of ultimate reality is to be addressed at all, then it's likely to be something beyond what we can currently grasp with our limited perceiving minds. And when we go beyond our perception, then we are into the realm of meta-physics (though of course one day it might be "just physics" - or perhaps we could optimistically call it "future physics").
        Did you have in mind yourself any qualities of ultimate reality?
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          Nov 5 2013: I agree with you Joshua, although I wouldn't call it meta physics. However, physics is getting in a realm where proof becomes increasingly difficult.
          If I had any understanding of the ultimate reality I probably would already have won a Nobel price...lol
          I know as little about the ultimate reality as a Goldfish knows about climbing a mountain.
          The only glimpses we get from quantum physics are that most likely it's very different from the reality we take as a given.
    • Nov 2 2013: Nicely put... maybe the underlying idea in what you stated involves what do we listen to ...now consider that the qualities of the ultimate reality are sustainable-desirable-congruent with the ways of life. Something interesting about 'words we use' is that they do not actually contain the meanings we use, the words absolute meaning is relative and set once and for all when used, the thing is the author uses it when composing, then each individual reader uses it; every reading, every conception and reconception and think of it. It can even be a bit more complicated with the author creating the play - directing the play actors to perform a certain scene - the audience experiencing the actors enactment of the play under the influence of what they know --- the critics stories they hold, expectations, dreams, prejudices etc.

      usesthough we often think that they do and for all
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        Nov 3 2013: Hello Esteban,
        Thanks for mentioning the word "sustainable"; I would definitely add this to my list of "qualities" of ultimate reality. The notions of "congruent" and "desirable" are also useful words, and which I think fit with the idea that ultimate reality has the quality of beneficence; congruent with life, and making life desirable.
        To me, life is the experience of life, and I have considerable control over how I experience things, even if they don't go as I wanted. In this manner, perhaps, we can attune ourselves bit by bit, more and more, to the qualities of ultimate reality.
        I'm currently reading "The Secret Life of Plants" (by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird) published way back in 1970, and it is amazing how much more is happening on our planet than we first perceive.
        • Nov 3 2013: Thanks for mentioning : I have considerable control over how I experience things.

          Indeed each one has considerable options over how to experience things, regardless of the hand dealt to experience... each has considerable control over how one (and even others) experience reality and even of the arrangements that exist and persist in reality. The stories and concepts we give life to can make a difference as to what happens with the play of life.

          As you stated--- "... perhaps, we can attune ourselves bit by bit, more and more, to the qualities of ultimate reality" while cultivating it as each does what each ought to do.

          Its indeed amazing the relationships, processes, symbioses taking place on multiple levels especially when we look at everything happening. Aromas to attract and to repeal, interchanges to help propagate. There is a wild hot pepper that requires to pass through the digestive system of a bird to germinate. Thats right for the plant to grow it needs a bird to eat its fruit and drop it's seeds elsewhere. I read how some seeds are poisonous to eat thus promoting animals to eat the fruit and drop the seeds. Corn requires human cultivators to flourish. Many plants feed the insects who help them to reproduce. On a grater scale we breathe in what plants breathe out and plants breathe in what we breathe out creating a sustainable system where more plants need more beings and more beings need more plants. I also read how plants attract/produce rain, and paved roads repeal it. Something to do with evaporation and emitted heat. Plants help to keep a cooler surface and produce greater evaporation. As you mentioned "it is amazing how much more is happening on our planet than we first perceive".
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    Nov 30 2013: Dear All, This is the first debate I've ever been in formally. I am not of the opinion that I can debate reality very well. Arguing something will not bring me the sense of reality I desire. Unity and trying to connect will. I entered the debate with a good sense of what is real and what is not in my view. I have found a plan that appears to work for me on all levels from the macro to the micro and is all encompassing. I sign off with that sense a bit fuller. I surrender my final summary below.

    ONLY THE LOVE IS REAL, THAT'S REALITY

    I bless all of you on your journey.
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      Dec 1 2013: Thanks for your kind thought, larry.

      What is reality? "One & Only: Love & Mercy ".
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      Dec 1 2013: Is pain real?

      "I hurt myself today,
      To see if I'd still feel.
      I focus on the pain,
      The only thing that's real."
      -- NIN

      Is there love and mercy without pain?
      • Dec 1 2013: To answer the last question yes!
      • Dec 1 2013: Arkady,

        Yes love is possible with love and joy and understanding and peace and truth...

        Those who seek sacrifices know love by the sacrifices made to love rather than by just knowing love.

        Those who know love don't seek sacrifices nor need to test it...
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          Dec 1 2013: Fair enough. Still, I think that if I am not willing to suffer, at least, an inconvenience, for the person I love, it's not love. Requiring to suffer inconveniences and make sacrifices in return is not love either. If love were all about joy and peace and butterflies in the stomach, I would be long divorced by now. Love with joy and understanding and peace is easy. Try love without those. I think, that's when you know if it's real or not.
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          Dec 1 2013: I agree with Esteban in that we do not have to seek sacrifices to test love. That does not mean there will be no sacrifices, inconveniences and challenges, which seems different than actually "seeking" the challenges.

          I agree with you as well Arkady, because you say..."...if I am not willing to suffer...an inconvenience, for the person I love, it's not love" AND "requiring to suffer...and make sacrifices in return is not love either"

          As multi-sensory, multi-dimensional, thinking, feeling humans, I suggest that we can experience joy, understanding and peace at the same time that we may face challenges. We do not need to give up the joy, understanding and peace in the face of challenge. In my perception, unconditional love also embraces acceptance, and good communication, which sometimes helps support us through challenges. Another idea is to love the challenge, because it provides an opportunity to learn and grow as individuals, and/or beyond:>)
      • Dec 1 2013: Arkady,

        Indeed when we love we will do all sort of stuff for the wellbeing of people we love, we may even give our lives for them (and we do give our lives to them in every day actions). What I sought to distinguish in my comment was how love has little to do with sacrifice. I think that many a times individuals use emotional blackmail to get their way. For some strange reason 'the suffering' want others to suffer for them and thats how they know others love them because of the suffering... that's all they know ! True love works a bit different, one wants others to love because one love them... it would be nice if they corresponded the gift of love. Note that conditional love, I love you because you love me ( I will love you if you do this for me) isn't true love its more like a business deal.

        As Colleen pointed out, Love 'The challenges' ... though keep in mind that if there are no challenges one can still love the person for all the divine things they happen to do/think/feel/be
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          Dec 1 2013: I guess, 1 Corinthians 13 says it all.
          Most of morality turns into hypocricy when we apply it to others instead of ourselves.
          "An egoist is a person who loves himself more than he loves me."
      • Dec 1 2013: Morality works best when one applies to oneself and others (and in that order)..

        Love truth wisdom all are united always
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    Nov 27 2013: Turn off the TV and Travel :)
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      Nov 27 2013: A step into the right direction ;-)
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      Nov 28 2013: No matter how far you believe you may travel, No one is able to travel outside his/her mind.

      Wish you to safely stay in it.
      • Nov 28 2013: Vera

        I wonder about the mindless are they still within their mind?
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          Nov 28 2013: Hello Esteban. One would not know madness if it woud not be developed within one's mind. We just judge other's mad conditions based on our ability to perceive. We often do not even understand these conditions and easily call others "mad" because we trust our conventions - these conventions can be more mad than "madness" we judge.

          We are all "mad" to some degree in someone else's eyes. Cheers.
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          Nov 28 2013: Hi Esteban,
          I don't know if helps but there was a study published in 2011 in Frontiers in Human Neurosciences, Tristan Bekinschtein which found that people in vegetative coma states (i.e. absence of awareness of self or environment, but where autonomic functions such as respiration are preserved) where patients showed signs of brain activity in response to linguistic stimuli. Patients still had consciousness, despite not having the means to express it :)
      • Nov 28 2013: Well if the 'mad' call me sane I would madly worry though if they call me mad well I realize that its just them projecting unto me their condition :-)

        WE are all 'mad' to some degree just as we are sane to some degree...
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    Nov 26 2013: Thank-you Larry and Pabitra for your kind comments below, I appreciate it.

    Estaban and Harold, I think you are right in regards to the existence of multiple realities. I made the faulty assumption that reality is the state of things that actually ‘physically’ exist. Reality is the totality of things and this includes both the physical and non-physical. Esteban I like your comment, “While we only experience reality through what we think, this map we use could accurately correspond to the reality itself.”

    Harald I am in agreement with you with your statement, “our universe will still be here regardless of us being around to observe it or not. Best proof for that is probably that the universe is much older than we are. So, obviously it was around long before we showed up to observe it.” It is arrogant for me or for humans to believe that one particular state of space time (i.e. the occurrence of consciousness during the big bang) was chosen purely so it could inhabit material bodies simply so we could exist. Such narcissistic mentality wouldn’t of formed the great theory of evolution or disprove that the earth is not the center of the universe.

    Harald I also do follow your statement about the existence of Absolute, Subjective and Inner realities. I also wanted to add that there may be the possible existence of more realities than the 3. Brian Greene’s system classification of the Landscape Multiverse describes that the laws of physics in these universes are fundamentally different than the universe we inhabit. Subjective and Objective reality is established by Newtonian and Quantum laws however, these laws may not apply in these universes therefore different and multiple realities maybe formed.

    Continuation...
    • Nov 26 2013: Christine,

      Your quote of Harald induced me to thing that maybe our selves will still be regardless of this universe existing ... and as I write this words I wonder if it is OUR universe... especially when considering that it was here before our arrival and will be here after our departure. As you sort of stated It is arrogant to think that its is ours. Now in regards to believe"... that one particular state of space time (i.e. the occurrence of consciousness during the big bang) was chosen purely so it could inhabit material bodies simply so we could exist) need not lead to an arrogant position it could also lead to a humbling one. Just imagine the care someone took to ensure that we could exists and can continue to exists. I think we ought to be grateful an actually appreciate it. Holding that we are a fluke that just happened by chance hardly seem justifiable... Holding that that coincidence just happened as a change event also seems unjustifiable. Still some like to believe that things just happen. That reminds me of something I used to say when a child I know would say stuff like It broke. It fell. I would ask them did it brake all by itself or did you have something to do with that happening. Well it was a bit more direct: Did it break or did you break it? The lesson there was the notion that there is usually a cause and effect please don't come telling me it just happened all by itself.
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        Nov 26 2013: Esteban, you are committing a logical fallacy because you assume that humans couldn't have been appeared by chance.
        The didn't as I mentioned in another post.
        What was a product of chance was that our planet had the proper composition and proper distance from the sun, that eventually allowed the formation (after much trail and error) of relatively simple self replicating molecules. Once those molecules existed, evolution by mutation and natural selection lead to all life on earth including us.
        • Nov 27 2013: Harald,

          The logical fallacy involves you apparently not considering that I consider 'both' cases as possible and choose one of them over the other ( and for some reason (or a lot or reasons) that evidently are quite unknown to you).

          Yea I know you believe we evolved thanks to some chance conditions existing. You insisting that being the case does not make it be the case. Whatever the case that's the case...
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        Nov 27 2013: "The logical fallacy involves you apparently not considering..."
        This is not a logical fallacy but based on evidence. There is no evidence that supports that humans came out of thin air into existence. You can consider anything, even that humans were created by Zeus spitting on the ground. Whether these considerations make any sense is a different question entirely.
        As to my belief, it is supported by vast evidence (e.g. fossil record, genetic material we share to varying degrees with all living beings). On the other hand, believing that humans came into existence out of nothing is not supported by anything. So why should I consider such an idea ?
        It always boils down to the same. You have a terribly hard time accepting the scientific method.
        It's like one of my old friends here, Peter, who is totally convinced that the earth is not older than 6000 years.
        So what can there be discussed ?
        • Nov 27 2013: Harald,

          you sated "Esteban, you are committing a logical fallacy because you assume that humans couldn't have been appeared by chance".

          I responded : "The logical fallacy involves you apparently not considering that I consider 'both' cases as possible"

          Bluntly put it is false that I assumed what you claimed I assumed.

          Your are projecting unto me what belongs to you "It always boils down to the same. You have a terribly hard time accepting the scientific method." has certain issues you seem to not want to recognize...
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      Nov 26 2013: Hello Christine,
      I read several of Brian Greene's books. Very interesting stuff, although tough to visualize for example the additional curled up dimensions or branes he is talking about.
      According to string theory (and now m-theory) our universe is just one of many (based on Richard Feynman's "sum of all histories") which has a particular set of rules (charges, masses of the universe's building blocks). However, other universes might have completely different sets of rules.
      What is interesting is the fact that our universe is not boring and even created life because tiny irregularities in its structure after the big bang that allowed stuff to gravitate towards each other which eventually led to galaxies and the universe we know. If the stuff after the big bang would have been completely homogenous, a universe as we know it would have never developed.
      So to refine the concept of absolute reality one would actually have to add that whatever it is, it's specific to our universe. Other universes (if they exist) probably have very different absolute realities.
      • Nov 27 2013: Absolute reality would actually have to include the other specific universes and a bit more... its actually a rather big 'house'.... would take a couple of forevers to see it all... and that is good...
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        Nov 27 2013: Thank-you Harald, for your very sound explanation and clarification of absolute realities, as well as, further illumination :)
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    Nov 26 2013: In this intriguing conversation I'd like to see more clarity - what Kind of reality one is talking about? Is this "Inner" or "Outer" existence?.. or presumably both?

    I wish I had been told, before I read these agreements, whether one believes in life as a non-intuitive, deprived of freedom of Will, like "automata", (invented in the Middle Ages), or trusts that each form of life is able to create/govern its INTERNAL REALITY through unique sensations/perceptions.
    It would be great if one clarifies: Is Objective reality possible to somehow be "reflected" in our minds (for instance based on visible to corporeal eye traces of quantum)? or it is absolutely impossible for our physical sense-perceptions? Why?

    In any case I personally think that we are missing crucial knowledge about our very process of perceiving (on both stages - intuitive and conscious) that tremendously effects our experience of all sorts. Hopefully, sooner or later we might face super changes in our vision of realities and our Selves, but only after the still-unborn psychology of subconscious/intuitive perceptions, would be established and developed based on very close collaboration with sciences, epistemology, and general philosophy.
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      Nov 26 2013: We are talking about at least 2 realities but you can make it even 3.
      1) the absolute reality which are the fundamental laws that govern the universe regardless whether or not we are here to observe them
      2) the subjective reality. This is our "agreement" as a species to see thing generally in the same way. When we see a car, we all agree it's a car, a tree is a tree etc.
      This one you could still split into a 3. reality which is what you call the inner reality. For example you smell a certain fragrance and your reality is that it is awesome why another person's reality might be that it is awful.

      As to free will, that's probably worth a completely separate conversation. My view is that it depends what you consider as free will.
      If free will is what you eat for lunch, how you dress, what movie you watch, then yes, there is free will because apparently we all make countless decisions between choices all the time.
      However, if you drill deeper then we have to conclude that we all are governed by the laws of nature whatever they might be.
      So, although you might want to levitate, gravity tells you no and pulls you down (unless you use a device compensating for gravity). If you say you want to freeze your age at 25, again, chemical processes in your body will prohibit you from doing so. SO, in these instances, there obviously is no free will regardless of how hard you try.
      Objective reality is what governs everything, whether we are aware of it or not.
      I don't think it's inherently impossible to experience objective reality but, let's assume that quantum mechanics is part of this objective reality, then everything going on in that realm is so counter to our daily life experience that we can't even put it in words.
      Our senses are what they are. We can enhance them to a certain degree with instruments which in return is limited by the technology available to us.
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        Nov 26 2013: Or we could fragment reality much more if we continue the process of division in which case I will have out smarted myself. I will see fragmented reality. We have that currently it's nothing but the same. How will that help? Is it possible to eliminate the will in this debate? It's driving us. No will no drive. Somebody help! Of the three or more realities who will I serve?
        • Nov 26 2013: Larry,

          Rather than eliminate the will focus it on attaining what ought to be attained.
          To put it simply: no its impossible to eliminate the will...

          Though I wonder if it is driving us or are we drive it... maybe its a tango... a dance between body-mind-spirit where each serves the other and is served by the others... to do what ought to be done and bring about the best possibility into being
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          Nov 26 2013: Larry, thing I see it, they are not different in the sense of independent from each other but contained in each other.
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      Nov 26 2013: Esteban, The will is what we think we want, simply put that's my willful nature. Call it desire if you like. The what ought be attained is what you want. Will everyone agree to that. Remember there are the agendas of others. That can start a war "THE WAR OF THE WANTS". What is your will, what do you want?
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    • Nov 25 2013: I think that this comment carefully mistakes reality with our perceptions and interpretations of such reality.
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        • Nov 26 2013: Jason

          The finger points at the moon ( or that big rock some refer to as the moon)
          There is physical moon - Objective reality - that rock in space
          there is the physical finger - objective reality -
          Some keep looking at the finger rather than what it points to.
          Similarly some look at the words rather than what they point to.
          Then there are the ideas/feeling/experiences that point to something...
          Or the artist's work that some can see reflects something of the artists...

          There are some maps that do reflect what the territory is like... well for someone who can read maps.
          To some it may just be rice-paper with yummy drawings on it...
        • Nov 26 2013: But if an object did not exist independently of how any of us perceived it, then there would be no possibility for confirmation. Since we can confirm, we know they reality is independent of our perceptions. Also, at the very basics, there's no other way in which things would make ensue except if reality is independent on our perceptions and interpretations. So, no, reality exists whether we perceive it or not. That it only becomes "real" to you when you perceive it, is an equivocation that does not help in understanding reality.

          Again, you mistake our interpretations with the reality these interpretations try and understand. Maybe we always get it wrong (do we? if so how can we survive? could it be that getting it wrong or right is a false dichotomy and this is rather a matter of depth?), but reality keeps being independent on perceptions of it. Otherwise there would be no corrections, no way of progressing, etc. Clearly there's a distinction between reality and interpretations. Clearly our senses must be informing us about some aspects of this reality even if a limited one. Clearly the added layer of interpretation must get something right, or else how could we survive?
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      Nov 25 2013: Hi Jason,
      I seem to have some things false or untrue stored in memory. My memory is corrupted with fantasy. What do I do now? Is my realty, real if its filter through memory? Like a math error and I continue on and on. Is everything in your memory true? How about perception, how about mind?
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          Nov 25 2013: I'm sorry I thought I was in reality therapy.
        • Nov 26 2013: Jason,

          Confusing a prevalent trait as being normal part of human nature can be a slippery slope... which may have built in defense mechanism for its survival ... still a normal human wouldn't incorporate such trait and would seek to change it...
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      • Nov 26 2013: Larry,

        Just move to a higher level of abstraction and incorporate multiple ways to validate you got the right answer... In other words work with variables, ensure via multiple ways that the result is actually valid... plug in the particular numbers of the case at hand... Oh and ask someone to take a look and make sure their errors don't become your errors while fixing the errors they saw...
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          Nov 26 2013: Esteban my friend, thank you for bringing clarity to the mind where it was not present. You're forever helpful and loved.
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      Nov 25 2013: Jason, what you say is just one aspect of reality. It's our subjective reality. Nevertheless, we could completely disappear form the face of earth and some reality, although not observed or contemplated upon, will still exist.
      This is what we referred to as the absolute reality throughout this conversation.
      Although we live in our subjective reality we also have to obey absolute reality with its laws of nature (e.g. gravity)
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          Nov 25 2013: Jason, that's what most of us agree. The reality we live and take for "real" is subjective.
          Nevertheless this subjective reality has to arise from something or is embedded in something which is absolute reality.
          But I disagree that you have to experience something to make it real. To be it real for YOU, you have to experience it, but again that's only the subjective reality.
          The underlying laws of nature (and the might be different form those we assume currently) do not depend on our experience. They are what they are regardless of our existence. The universe does not cease to exist the moment we are gone.
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          Nov 26 2013: Conflict, chaos and confusion rise as I see two worlds. The one that is and the one that isn't.
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          Nov 26 2013: gravity seems to be an inherent feature of our universe. There is no indication that it is something made up by our mind. In addition, gravity will continue to exist regardless of us being here.
          Therefore we can say gravity is real. I don't see where you put the difference between something being real and something exists. It seems to be the same.
          If something objectively exists then it obviously must be real;
          As to your Hawaii example: You haven't been there but you found lots of evidence supporting the claim that it is real. It could still be an elaborate hoax, but it's not very likely in the light of all the evidence.
          Even if you go to Hawaii, can you actually be sure that it is real or perhaps it's just an illusion ?
          As to natural laws. So far they are corroborated and coincide very well not only with our subjective reality but they are also required to make the universe exist at all.
          This doesn't mean that there can't be even deeper laws of nature that we don't know yet.
          What is real is real regardless of your experience.
          If there is some planet out there that is made of diamonds, you don't even know of doesn't change the fact that the planet is real. It's just not real for you, because you are not aware of its existence.
          No, other people agreeing with me is no proof of anything neither is people disagreeing with me.
        • Nov 26 2013: Jason,

          You are projection your notions and beliefs based on your notions and beliefs. Consider the tree falling in the forest making a sound if there is no one to hear it. In reality we would be unable to determine if it does make a sound or not. There isn't a way to test it because the moment you put a sensor there you have something to hear it... Again this may depend on what what constitutes making a sound... if it's the physical vibrations well then yes we would expect them to be there independent of a sensor or not. If sound is defined as what is produced upon the hearer well things change.

          BTW you can say that Hawaii is real ... independent of being there or not... and if it happens to be that Hawaii is real well you declared a truth. Conversely even if you experienced it yourself can you trust your perceptions? Especially if the real experience depends on what you believe?

          Yea I know about the issue of trusting scientists, religious, others, and even oneself... thing is how do you know none of these is deceiving you? How do you know that you are not deceiving yourself?
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          Nov 26 2013: Gravity would still be here even if we don't experience it on our own.
          What you call reality is our subjective reality made up bu the sensory inputs processed by the brain. No disagreement here.
          What I disagree with is your distinction of something existing and something being real.
          If something exists it is by definition real because it exists independent of us (as in the example of gravity). What you don't seem to differentiate is whether something is real in an absolute sense or real for you.
          No evidence doesn't make something real but the probability for something to be real (=true) increases with the amount and quality of evidence supporting it.
          Big foot and Loch Ness monster are as poor as examples as they can get, because neither is supported by evidence (unless you consider endless numbers of hoaxes evidence).
          So just because some crack head believes Elvis is still alive doesn't make it true. However if you provide current photos, perhaps a personal TV interview, his fingerprints taken in front of you and proven to be his, then the chance that it real is Elvis is overwhelming.
          So if somebody believes it to be true that 9/11 was all a conspiracy, then to this person it might be real, nevertheless, the fact of the matter is that it is not real regardless of the (false and strong) belief. Why ? Again, because there is nothing supporting such a claim.
          I think we fundamentally disagree on what is existence and what is real. You believe those are different things and I believe that if something truly exists in an absolute sense, then it is real regardless of possible observers.
          Unfortunately it seems we are unable to move beyond this difference.
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          Nov 26 2013: Jason,
          You are almost speaking for me :)
          Just one point to ponder. Your example of Hawaii. I will argue that it is still real for you even if you have not visited it. The pictures, stories, news that you have for it form a part of your perception (inference). However, it is subjective. A little bit more subjective than when you visit Hawaii and realize how and what is it.
          But suppose I am keeping a secret here with me. None other than me knows about it. Suppose it is non-physical. Also suppose I die next instant.
          Will my secret be real after my death?
        • Nov 26 2013: Harald,

          the 9/11 notion... the fact of the matter is that it is what it is... you believe it being real doesn't make it be real... just as not believing it real doesn't make it not be real... BTW In a way Jason stand and your stand is quite similar... you focus on having the evidence Jason on having the experience... of course there are also evident differences...

          It would be interesting to see where that interaction moves too...
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    Nov 23 2013: ON REALITY By Arthur Schopenhauer:

    …the greatest wisdom is to make the enjoyment of the present the supreme object of life; because that is the only reality, all else being merely the play of thought. On the other hand, such a course might just as well be called the greatest folly: for that which in the next moment exists no more, and vanishes utterly, like a dream, can never be worth a serious effort.
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      Nov 24 2013: good quote, I agree with Schopenhauer on that ;-)
    • Nov 24 2013: Vera,

      What we do now sets once and for all eternity that action... at this moment we can choose and do choose what thoughts/beliefs/feelings/actions to enliven ; the wise choose that which they can enjoy now and throughout time and even beyond it too. It is well known by many that what they choose now determines future events, some may realize that the present choices also affect the present events and then there are those who know how to even influence past events. A single thought can change it all. Choose wisely what to cultivate now and next...
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    Nov 23 2013: Hello Harald. I Like your writing starting " I say "physical" I use the meaning most people assign to the term.
    I'm very much aware that this term might be misleading when we look at the underlying facts (that's why we are discussing subjective reality vs. the absolute reality) Any material object, amazing as it might sound is actually made mostly of.........nothing. Still, it appears solid to our perception."

    I do appreciate your peaceful way of sharing thoughts - this helps us carefully listen to people.

    I believe that we, as the rest of all living creatures, have abilities to create endless realities for ourselves, within ourselves. I'm convinced that perceiving is crucial in creating realities, firstly it is the very process of life itself, secondary, this process allows every life form to remain unique, and not only survive in the unthinkable turmoil of world's change, but also evolve based on coexistence with changes, empowered by changes.

    I see our perceptions as sets of creative tools for life, granted to every living form by nature. As we experience what we create, we also can share our experience with others, to some point, as we interact. Similarity of our perceptions, however, may provoke us to mistakenly believe that we share the same reality. We live in different "worlds" and will never understand each other perfectly for many reasons. One of them is that everyone's internal reality is entirely unique, and therefore invisible to anyone else.

    In spite that, having abilities to generalize, we can imagine that our realities can be somehow put together. And it can be based on the fact that we DO interact. I suppose you have this great notion. We might somehow to come to the conclusion that we do create objective reality from our interactive personal unique realities. However, it would not be possible to perceive objectively as some phenomenon by itself on its own, only through our unique personal imagination.
    • Nov 23 2013: Vera,

      Why do you insist on cultivating recreating the notion that " We... will never understand each other perfectly for many reasons"? You know that the notion" We... may well understand each other perfectly for many reasons" is as valid if not more so...

      Indeed everyone's internal reality is entirely unique, and whether it be invisible to anyone else or visible to them shared and cultivated among beings may well depend on a single thought.

      BTW - remember the conversation of shared identical copies... I am waiting on your response there ...
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        Nov 24 2013: About Heraclitus - and your comment.
        Hi Esteban, No matter what we do or feel, we can stay alive only because we are able to constantly compare our sensations/feelings, images, events or ideas etc. Nothing can be perceived if we feel no difference in qualities of the "opposites". The differences maybe barely noticeable, or drastic and scary, but without sensing any of them we are dead. This is nothing "dualistic" about this basic process of sensations - it is about creating the very Unity of the organism, its sensations and functions.

        However, one interprets sensations and interactions of sensations in any way he wants. We all have abilities to turn anything into our personal haven or absolute disaster. The thoughts do not change the fundamental laws of our internal nature, but they change our existence.
        • Nov 24 2013: Vera,

          I am sitting here wondering into the notion "... we can stay alive only because we are able to ..." maybe we are alive because of others...

          Still fresh in my mind is the conversation with Harald of the mind resulting from our physical brain contrasted with our mind using a physical brain. There is also the notion of 'we'... it is actually a bit more fundamental: "when does a-self become a-self"? What constitutes a mind? What constitutes a singular being? What constitutes me being me? When does 'one' begin? When one's body disintegrates does one disintegrate? Is "one's body" actually OUR body, say contrasted to the body being a loaner, just a body one happens to be inhabiting, using, at this time and space? All of this and a couple of other notions leads me to wonder: Does one stay alive only because one is able? Is one alive thanks to just one's actions?

          If we consider that singular individuals come to be 'their singular individual selfs' at different stages of development we may realize different notions related to even the most fundamental ideas. For example take the notion "A singular human being begins at..." the day they turn 21, or 18 or register or are born or are conceived (and some may even argue that the physical conception is just the result of the original conceptions prior to the singularity event that prearranged and disposed of the matter)

          All of that to get to the point of considering being at physical conception... I wonder to what extent their senses are developed and they perceive the world around them? I realize I myself have been through that experience at least once. I also realize that some consider them cells just cells, heck I read that some consider and propose that its ok to terminate a life before a certain stage is reached (some proposing that line be set at...__________)

          I find curious how individuals seem and seek to be certain about the unknown ... rather than just deal with it in a certain way; excluding uncertainty
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      Nov 23 2013: Vera you said: "I believe that we, as the rest of all living creatures, have abilities to create endless realities for ourselves, within ourselves."
      I think that depends on how far you are willing to stretch the term reality.
      Sure, I can visualize (actually I'm pretty good at that) any scenario, with all it's details, of my choosing. However, this is something I wouldn't call reality as I wouldn't call a dream reality.

      "mistakenly believe that we share the same reality"
      Well, we share the same reality, but we have individual perceptions of this reality.
      Yes, probably this is true that we never will be able to 100 % each other in every facet. But in general I think most of the time we are doing a fairly good job.
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        Nov 24 2013: You maybe mean that our external conditions can be the "same", and we might have our choices to make up something different within ourselves from the "same' conditions.

        Then you probably mean, in this case, we can call outer reality our shared, or the "same" reality for all. Why it is impossible? I trust that the world is generating Endless Realities through unique events and unique living forms.

        If we are put in the same conditions of the world, have the same timing and the same "place" we would become absolutely the same, sharing the same reality and all changes, as one. In this case we'll merge into ONE creature, instantly - we will not be Many any longer. What makes us different individual life forms, in spite possible similarities? Everyone is unique in all its interactions.

        In order to "prevent" the world from shrinking into one single thing, everything creates its unique change that effect the rest of the existence. Everything, even the most "stupid" primitive "things" interact and energize entire world change. Therefore, unlike popular concepts (like ideals by Plato's) I trust that this world is forever unbalanced, asymmetrical, incomplete, and unrepeatable. There is no wholeness or ideal perfection - only new creative changes - for the sake of the world's continuity. If we'd be able to recognize the fundamental laws of nature (beyond physical laws or quantum theories), we may enter our truly new era of beliefs, new wisdom, better morals (based on everyone's uniqueness), we can develop new communications based on our truly transforming nature, and revise our recycling stiff concepts in philosophy, sciences, education and everyday mode of life.

        Crucial wisdom of timeless sages: The world continues itself through change - Heraclitus' "flux" is unavoidable under any sircumstances. Based on Flux Protagoras' thoughts regarding our unavoidable limitations in perceiving will lead us to endless discoveries.
        • Nov 24 2013: Vera,

          Just a quick note regarding Heraclitus... and the notion of 'All things come into being by conflict of opposites, and the sum of things' seems to be to engender conflicts and opposition. Personally I would rather cultivate better notions and just focus on wellbeing

          For a while I been weary of dualities and opposites. For example the notion of the map and the territory to me still lack a fundamental distinction that helps to integrate them stuff. The subjective modeled internal reality and the objective external reality to me still lack a fundamental distinction that helps to integrate them. down vs up integrate in the way. hot-cold use temperature. To me dualistic ideas still have to integrate and learn quite a bit. For example when one learns the notion of temperature one can still tell its hot or cold while at the same time transcending such dualistic opposites of hot vs cold.
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          Nov 25 2013: "You maybe mean that our external conditions can be the "same", and we might have our choices to make up something different within ourselves from the "same' conditions."
          correct, we may have different interpretations.

          "Then you probably mean, in this case, we can call outer reality our shared, or the "same" reality for all. Why it is impossible? I trust that the world is generating Endless Realities through unique events and unique living forms. "
          everybody and everything will be part of some segment of reality.
          You and me are exchanging ideas here on TED. This is a reality for us, but is no reality for my neighbor who doesn't even know what TED is.
          In this sense, yes, there are many different realities.

          " I trust that this world is forever unbalanced, asymmetrical, incomplete, and unrepeatable."
          Entropy is increasing, so we are in line with the 2. law of thermodynamics;
  • Nov 22 2013: Esteban,

    I adamantly reject it because, at least in my case, I know with 100% certainty, that it's false that "ultimately what one accepts as valid boils down to what one choose to believe." I don't choose what to believe. I accept things according to the evidence and reason. As I said, I don't choose to believe in the methods and procedures in science. I accept them according to a rationale, and to the point that the rationale is convincing. I keep aware of limitations and don't mind being surprised. But let's go simpler than science. I broke my big toe when I fell from a high bar doing some exercises. I did not choose to believe that I fell, I did not choose to believe that I broke my toe. It happened. I did not choose for evolution to be so darn convincing, so darn rational, so easily deduced from the many lines of evidence. I did not choose to discover how deceitful creationist arguments against evolution truly are. It was true despite my strongest desires for evolution to be false, and for creationist arguments to be solid and truthful. No choices anywhere Esteban. With time I learned to question claims and to follow evidence and reason. But no choices about what to believe. Choosing what to believe sounds irresponsible to me. Choosing to use evidence and reason is not a choice about what to believe, but about what methods to use before accepting claims. Even that does not involve "believing" in reason and evidence. It is just accepting the obvious. Again: no beliefs necessary.
    • Nov 22 2013: Entropy,

      Ok you choose to reject it based on the reasons you choose to hold which you claim you didn't choose. That hardly change the facts of the matter. Lets use the example of the toe you put forth, with the little caveat that the claim 'I broke my big toe' needs to actually be proven. How do we know that you actually broke it rather than just hurt it? How do we know it was from the fall itself rather than some other fluke condition that just happened at the same time? Shall we believe what the doctor says, or what the x-rays show?

      I hold that choosing to believe reason sounds quite responsible to you and thus that means that there is a case when choosing what to believe doesn't sounds irresponsible to you... it sound quite reasonable ... whether you actually choose to embrace the truth of this matter or reject it is another matter...

      I find it rather amusing how some insist on rejecting rather than accepting the obvious...
      • Nov 22 2013: What is obvious Esteban? Do you truly think that it is obvious that I chose what to believe? I didn't. No animal in this planet would survive if they had to choose what to believe. No plant in this planet would survive if they had to choose what to believe. No bacteria in this planet would survive if they had to choose what to believe. If plants don't choose what to believe, why should we be forced to it rather than just accept the self-evident? The obvious? The undeniable? Accepting is not "choosing what to believe." I can't make gods real. Therefore I cannot chose to believe in gods. Will you finally get it?

        I find it rather amusing that you admit that reality is objective and then you change gears and imply that it is not objective. Funny that in order to claim that reality is not objective you have to rely on it being objective at the same time. That's my starting point Esteban: the undeniability that reality cannot but be objective. Given that, reason follows. Given that, a few/many more steps, science follows.
        • Nov 22 2013: Entropy,

          To me it is obvious that you/me/others choose what to believe/think/do/(and sometimes even what to feel). I realize some choose to relinquish such freedom for one reason or another rather than accept the self-evident fact. Often choosing to embrace stuff dew to pear-pressures...

          Why should we be force to make a choice? well its just what happens, each be forced to make a choice while free to determine which alternative to pick... if one picks the right one one gets to be right :-) ... else...

          Just because someone can't make gods real does not mean they have to reject the existence of God . You said you accept things according to the evidence and reason and still I perceive how you refuse to accept certain self-evident evidences. For example, in reality you can choose to believe in certain stuff, you just choose not to believe in certain stuff... for whatever reason...

          I realize that your starting point is "undeniability that reality cannot but be objective"... which seems to be refuted by the subjective realities that individuals really do have in reality... So consider that there is an objective reality and a subjective one and sometimes the subject gets to perceive a glimpse of the objective reality through their subjective reality... in other words when what one think to be corresponds to what happens to be one gets a glimpse of what happens to be according to what actually happens to be even-though one only accesses what one thinks...

          I am glad you find amusing how I can stand in an objective reality that recognizes subjective realities I hope you can see me observing the existing correspondences (which include agreements, disagreements, complementaries, synergies and a bit more). Funny you think I made the claim that reality isn't objective, especially because I have no idea where you came up with that notion and its quite distant from what I actually believe.

          To me its quite telling what you choose to ignore/recognize in your response
      • Nov 22 2013: Again Esteban, if you can show me how a plant or a bacterium choses what to believe I might take your "we all have to chose what to believe" more seriously. In the meantime, I have told you and repeat, I don't choose what to believe. I can't choose to believe that there's invisible pink unicorns. I can't choose to believe in gods. My acceptance of scientific methods and procedures, again, is not an arbitrary choice. It's fundamentally based on the acceptance that there's an objective reality. Since reality is objective, I can't choose what to believe and what not to believe. I have to go by the facts and evidence.

        I did not say that there's no choices at all. What I said is that I do not choose what to believe in the way you were implying it (as if an act of "faith"). I said that you imply that reality is subjective while claiming to be convinced that there's an objective reality. Yet, you insist on talking as if reality could be subjective when you say that we all choose what to believe. I think you're mistaking subjective experiences and interpretations, with reality. There's no such thing as a subjective reality. Reality is what it is. If we interpret it wrong, that does not change reality one bit. Therefore, what might be subjective is not a reality, but an interpretation of it. This important and too often neglected distinction is essential if you want to understand why I say that I don't choose "beliefs." Let alone that I hold "beliefs" that could be fairly compared to the empty faith exhibited by the religious.
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          Nov 23 2013: Hi Entropy, I have the impression that when talking about what to believe you and Esteban are talking about different things.
          From how I get it, Esteban says that you have the choice to believe in whatever you want. You can choose to believe in a God or you choose not to. You can believe that it will rain tomorrow or you believe it will snow.
          On the other hand, what you say is that if given certain data only one answer can be correct, hence you have no choice. For example: a tree is a plant. We can't believe (at least not if we accept common scientific knowledge) that a tree is an animal.
        • Nov 23 2013: Harald,

          Sort of what you said ...just that in what I am saying it involves that when given certain data some will chose not to recognize/believe the data and claims it isn't data and some will choose to reject it (yea some will recognize the data as data). To use the example of a tree and an animal somebody could choose to claim that a tree is an animal or that its a rock without that making it be so. Yes there is one answer that happens to be correct (or happens to correspond with the reality that be) and if someone's claim does not recognize that correct answer well then that someone made a wrong claim. You could say that you have no choice but to pick the correct option given that you want to be correct... still you do have a choice... and if you want to be correct... well you choose to pick the correct choice and upon discovering what happens to correspond with the reality that be either verify you made the right choice or recognize you made the wrong choice and proceed to choose to correct the mistake... Of course some resists making this simple corrections because of the implications of making the simple corrections exposes something they refuse to accept...
      • Nov 23 2013: But what you're describing to Harald here Esteban, is very far from what I do. I do not choose to reject any data because it conflicts with what I want. I accept data as what it is whether I like what it indicates or not. Please bear in mind that you were comparing the acceptance of the methods and procedures of science to "beliefs" and "faith" to what some have for gods.

        What you said to Harald sounds all right to me, but it's far from meaning that those who deny data/evidence are on the same footing as those who accept the data. Choosing what to believe is not the same as accepting what data indicate. Not by a far shot.

        With that I think we agree, except when it comes to what you call beliefs, faith, and choice.

        See ya later alligator.
        • Nov 23 2013: Entropy,

          Consider that what I said to Harald above sounds all right to you because the implications there don't seem to produce nor transfer over to what you do. Now consider that rather than being far from and distant to its actually quite close and related. Do the experiments and see what happens. I seen how you choose to reject some data because if conflicts with what you hold! By all means observe the data yourself, and analyze it; don't believe 'me', ( do note that 'me' denotes 'me' and it also denotes 'you'! it sort of means HEY be extremely cautions with believing 'somebody' that you choose to believe).

          Yea I bear in mind that I was making a comparison where I said 'this' is like 'that' because of 'something' now lets observe the implications of doing such a comparison. Do keep in mind that the particular comparison I proposed sought to exposes something that I perceive and which will generate a cognitive dissonance to be refused or accepted... and either way it leads to the same point... Look at it from this perspective: 'A' was walking on a path as 'R' approaches. They started to dialogue and got into an interchange over wether reality was relative or absolute. R being R declared the Relativists stand.
          So A pointed out:
          "if you accept the absolute stand you will reject being a relativists
          AND
          if you reject the absolute stand you will reject being a relativists
          THUS EITHER way you will end reject being a relativists!
          Besides If I choose to pick the absolute truth as the relative truth I end up being both an absolutists and a relativists simultaneously while also holding the absolute truth and I can ALWAYS do that . (note how the relativists can only be both when by chance they just happen to pick the absolute as their truth)"

          As I sort of said : some resists making corrections because of the implications of making the corrections. Whether the relativists/subjective is right depends on what they choose to pick... same for the other.
      • Nov 25 2013: Esteban,

        There's a clear distinction between "objective" and "absolute." There's also distinctions between uses of the word "absolute," which, curiously but not surprisingly, has many unaware people talking about a "contradiction" between Einstein's relativity theory and its textual "absolutism" (when simplified into one sentence). Meaning people argue for a contradiction without noticing that they move between two meanings: the equivocation between the word "absolute" in the sense of "talking about everything," and the word "absolute" in the sense of "independent of any reference point."

        So where is my cognitive dissonance? Please state it clearly, because I see a deep cognitive dissonance between your stance that reality is objective, and your stand that we all choose what to believe. If we could choose, then reality would not be objective. Also, make sure that you do not mistake between choosing to use reason and evidence, and choosing what to believe. Remember that reason and evidence are based on the realization/acceptance that there's an objective reality, not in a groundless/arbitrary "choice."
        • Nov 25 2013: Entropy,

          Something I have observed is that many a relative insist on words having an absolute distinctive meaning when in fact the word's absolute meaning is relative to it's use. (as a relativists they should recognize that the meaning is actually relative to it's use- as an absolutists the notion of a word having a relative meaning dependent on the user presented a bit of a hurtle until realizing that one used that word gets assigned its meaning once and for all --- of course next time the word is used it can get assigned its meaning once and for all in accordance to some past/present/future ) As you sort of point out "...without noticing that they move between two meanings..." (sometimes its between infinite multiple meanings).

          I would have to wonder about the idea of "absolute" in the sense of 'independent of any reference point'". I have in the past sought to explore certain ideas from an absolute point of view that considers every point of view... its a nice way to settle disputes ...over what to do... and where everyone gets abundantly what they want, while each still getting the same thing. The concept can be a bit of a challenge for some to understand. The fact you mentioned you see a cognitive dissonance between objective reality that includes everyones individual choose of what to believe leads me to hold it will be quite a challenge for you. One way to put it is that eternal life gives life to everyone; those who want life get life and those who want death experience the death of death in a living death. Put another way everyone ends up in a place of good some appreciate it and love it then some can't appreciate it and hate it...

          Note that those who choosing to believe reasons and evidence suffices to understand reality will approximate understanding it, still, to understand it, one just needs to understand it.

          you cognitive dissonance -compare-
          the acceptance of the methods and procedures of science
          the acceptance of "beliefs" and "faith"
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      Nov 22 2013: Entropy 10 hours ago, I have anticipated your arrival at some point. Good to see you. Apparently your toe analogy was something Esteban could dance around. Well let's transform the non workable energy of the toe analogy to to workable energy of the head analogy. I have just notice the first four letters of analogy. I hope I'm not good at it. Esteban is slippery and cunning, let's box him in. So Esteban find a concrete block wall, we want you to bang your head against the wall with force and come back and tell us of your experience. I can't see where we will need a doctor or x-rays for that. The effect and understanding will be clear.
      • Nov 22 2013: Larry,

        So you want me to think inside the box banging my head against the concrete block wall with force and come back and tell you of my experience... well ... I rather use a better technique than brute force to open the door and think outside the box ... The scenery, air, light out is nicer than in the closed room... you probably know there is a saying "There's none so blind as those who will not see" ... maybe all one has to do to see where we will involves opening ones eyes, ones mind and the door and wondering about ...

        I found curious the definitions displayed for logy and ana in the dictionary.
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          Nov 23 2013: Esteban, The box was never real. It was made up with words. Did it appear real to you? How do you put a mind in a box? Let's go quantum, no pair of atoms can physically "touch" each other, or at least in the way we think two objects are touching one another. Will I experience a different cause and effect of wall to head banging with this in mind? Bottom line doubtful. The cause and effect seem independent of what I think and believe. Perhaps, that's the nature of physical reality. Oddly enough you did not call for the doctor or x-rays.
      • Nov 23 2013: Larry,

        Yea lets go quantum... and consider quantum entanglements ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_entanglement )...
        fun stuff :-) "is a physical phenomenon that occurs when pairs (or groups) of particles are generated or interact in ways such that the quantum state of each member must subsequently be described relative to the other".

        You ask "Will I experience a different cause and effect of wall to head banging with this in mind"?

        Different to what, or who?

        Yea I know that under what you consider ---The cause and effect seem independent of what you think and believe.
        Heck even under the case that the cause and effect where dependent to what one thinks and believes when one thinks and believes them to be independent one would experience that independence ... question being is it so dew to what you think and believe or dew to what be...

        So shall we believe the doctor says or what some x-ray displays...
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          Nov 23 2013: Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. Perhaps it or it's shadow copy has a problem, I'm not certain but I am no stranger to the concept. Let me avoid a battle on two fronts.

          Different to my current understanding of my state of existence. I am open minded, I do not look to resolve a problem in someone who has not resolved it in themselves. Show me a solution, and we'll go head banging at the wall.

          It,s not the wall that hurts the head the wall is neutral. The cause is mind instructing the movement of the the head to bang against the neutral wall, the effect is unpleasing to the minds sense of touch and both are stored in memory.

          Not on face value. As far as the medical professions the further I stay away from them the healthier I seem to be. Should I need medical care, I'll go. Got to go Entropy is monitoring my use of energy.
      • Nov 23 2013: Larry,

        Apparently the link incorporated the ')..' I edited the message above to fix that... seek to work now :-)

        Let me completely elude every battle on all fronts by engaging in a shared cooperative dialogue :-) which transforms 'fights' into ' graceful dance' ... BTW in the death battle with life... life wins ... and even death gets to live forever :-)

        Now to the two fronts you mentioned... first lets deal with that idea that one need to focus on evil to know good... personally I think its just a better to focus on knowing good by focusing on good... focusing on a bad idea to get a good idea just seems like a bad idea, seeking to be a good idea. The same could be said about errors, and problems. Besides when one knows what be right one can tell what be right and what isn't right. When one knows what be wrong one can just tell what be wrong. It's more efficient to know what be than going out to know every single case that isn't. When we fame it as lets look at the problem to find a solution, it may not seem like a bad idea but it is. Its been a while since I seek to focus on recognizing the situation, finding the opportunities to cultivate and focusing on doing what ought to be done.

        I liked the metaphor used in the second front... still wondering why you want and insists on going head banging at the wall... that reminds me of a friend in school who was a bit hardheaded; would go banging at the walls and anyone who took the challenge of head-banging ... that one even managed to break a couple of the bricks in the wall... of course it was simpler to just jump over it... or walk through the door...

        Yea entropy keeps increasing the disorder and life keeps adapting and ordering stuff up... doing more with less:-)
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    Nov 20 2013: Eric, Is there a possibility that we have no authority of reality only the association of having an affinity or repelling relationship that has absolutely no effect on reality whatsoever? I resent a nasty cloud of dust and gas calling me an ugly bag of carbon and water.
    • Nov 21 2013: Yes there is that possibility! Then there are other possibilities one can choose...
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    Nov 19 2013: The experience of consciousness is the stream of observation, where an organism perceives its environment with reference to itself.

    In evolution it must be essential for a self replicating, self preserving organism to have an internalized model of itself in reference to its environment.

    The primary experience of consciousness is in the stream of observation, where the organism perceives itself as separate from its environment by constantly referencing a model of itself as an existential entity in relation to external, and internal stimuli.

    "If you are not subconsciously referencing yourself as separate from everything else, do you really exist?"

    Just like information contained within DNA is expressed as the emergent property of self replication and life. Information managed by the neural networks in our brain is expressed as the mind, and consciousness. It is purely physical neural networks that add meaning to such information, and create the illusion of an observer dependent reality.

    Evolution has strengthened, and perfected this illusion of an authentic self, observer dependent reality, and stream of experiences as a reference for self preservation in complex organisms.

    It is clearly nothing external to our bodies, it is just a temporary perception that spans our lives, it's governed by the laws of physics, and chemistry, purely a biological phenomenon, it is information which is neither matter, nor energy, and its meaning is an outcome of evolution, and no man's creative genius.
    • Nov 19 2013: Anuraag,

      What if the ideas you are presenting and spreading correspond to 'malware' ' introduced into the human mind to keep it operating within a set of constraints?
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      Nov 20 2013: Hello Anuraag. "If you are not subconsciously referencing yourself as separate from everything else, do you really exist?" This is an outstanding point right into the root of our existence as unique individuals.

      I would be very grateful if you take a couple of minutes of your time to explain WHERE IS "the neural networks in our brain is expressed as the mind, and consciousness" and how we can prove its existence.

      As far as I know your concept is in harmony with Eric Richard Kandel, leading neuropsychiatrist. He suspects that our brains can produce something non-physical, something beyond brains….

      Then how would be explain the existence of living beings without any brains (sometimes extremely intelligent, towards their environment)?

      So far, I must say, no one can deny that no researcher, or surgeon, or butcher has found any image or a thought in actual brains.
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        Nov 20 2013: Its extremely difficult to find an abstraction such as a thought in a physical neural network, just like it is extremely difficult to find a calculation in a microprocessor. These are abstract tokens which emerge from such physical structures, and so it might be that no one has found it yet.

        In my theory it is possible that consciousness, or the illusion of being an observer exists wherever our brains tend to reference everything around us with ourselves. This referencing is happening subconsciously all the time, when we are awake in various places in our brains. In one of antonio damasio talk however he mentions, that it might happen in the posterior portion of the brain stem.
        • Nov 20 2013: Liked the metaphor you used of "extremely difficult to find a calculation in a microprocessor"... related to "extremely difficult to find an abstraction such as a thought in a physical neural network"

          Evidently its extremely difficult to understand the program running in the machine language of bits and bytes ... heck some cant even understand the program code itself!

          I wonder if 'the abstract tokens' emerge from such physical structures or if its the other way around... the abstract tokens merge with physical structures to direct and produce particular behaviors.... In other words is there a programer/user who created the program/instruction that created the calculation to be done? (and where did the computer that produced the calculation... come from)?
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          Nov 21 2013: SInce I remember myself I was bewildered by visible appearances that people called "Real Life". I did not trust it. When I was about 5 and saw my father with a small group of his musicians smoking and drinking in the room next to my bedroom, I was struck by how alien and unreal they seemed to me (my usual reaction on "human reality"). I wondered what all this made of? In my elementary school I told my math teacher: 1+1=2 shall be 1+1=1 because in math the unit 1 is forever the Same unit, we cannot have more than 1. Obeying this logic no matter how many times we take 1, 1+1+1+1…= 1, it stays the same unit. In spite math in our true experience No exact copies of anything are possible. However, I accepted the play of a wonder-world of math, where units and equations could gulp one another but get back to the same position and "values". I wanted to know why human logic breaks so easily in order to get wishable results. Russell tried but could not find any convincing explanations regarding math.

          The explanations are beyond microscopes and logic. We need to comprehend the nature's created Laws of our perceiving itself. In my art class I've noticed a few rules which perceptions follow regardless of what we do, paint, think, memorize, whether awake or asleep. I named them Classical Artist's Rules. They closely reveal the Laws of natural perceiving, leading me to the field that has no name.

          Perceptions behave as any classically trained artist who paints on blank canvas. He constantly Compares sensations, shapes, images, colors etc, at the same time Selects some of these to create a Composition of them Focusing on something important to him leaving the rest of impressions on a vague background, then Frames his Composition separating it from the rest of his reality. Our minds are governed by the same laws of Comparison, Selecting, Composing Focusing and Framing. We absolutely cannot produce images or thoughts, or memory without this mental routine. …..
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    Nov 19 2013: Vera, why would you ask a question you already know the answer to? No perceptions - no life, no reality. Although perception does not create reality it does allow the view to be possible. I create nothing, it's has all been done prior to my arrival or so it would seem.
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    Nov 14 2013: You can not ask this question. Your reality is different to mine and everybody else's reality. Reality is what we believe it can be.
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      Nov 15 2013: This is not reality, but your perception of reality based on your sensory input, which is something different.
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        Nov 15 2013: What's different about it? My perception of reality is what I believe is reality so its all I can describe about the matter. If my sensory input was to change due to an accident, I'm sure my reality would change also!
        • Nov 15 2013: Actually its all you think you can describe about the matter...
          There is more you can describe about the matter ...
          if only you choose to think more about the matter...
          when you choose to think more on the matter you will understand more
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    Nov 12 2013: How is our reality created?
    Perhaps creation is the cause of the real world. I have no authority to change what is true into what is false or what is false into what is true although I have tried and failed. I have the idea that I did not create myself. A single cell unzipping into billions through the appearance of time. If I did that I forgot how. If I am to recognize reality I must understand my authority problem. I am not the authority, problem solved. If I want the question answered (what is reality?) I will need to atone to the principle of Truth by virtue of willingness and accept it exactly as it is.
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    Nov 12 2013: If I close my eyes does all the light cease to exist., or is the under lying reality exist independent of what I sense and perceive.

    I just closed and then opened my eyes. Quite relieved the universe is still there. Or maybe it popped in and out of existence.


    hope people can differentiate between the underlying reality and our different perceptions of reality
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    Nov 7 2013: Based on my former comments, this is the reply to your last question: What are we as part of reality(I think is the true world)?

    I think because we are the part of the world and the universe, and what we did and do are absolutely true to the world, we should always learn from what we did in the past and focus on improving what we're doing now to promise a more harmonious future with the world and universe. That's our fundamental principle in conducting our activities. For example, we shouldn't over cut the woods to desert the forests and should develop some new technologies to protect our absolutely true world to change it for better for ourselves…….

    So be down-to-earth, learning from the past event,concentrating on current efforts to make things better and envisioning as well as exploring our possible future appropriately could be the good result of understanding what's absolutely true in our world from this thread.
  • Comment deleted

    • Nov 4 2013: - Note that the comment I responded to was removed -
      - another edit to add...

      some choose to follow claiming it's a non choice for them for they where led... to follow... evidently that's their personal preference, and they are entitled to it ... though that does not change that each ultimately choose to do what they choose to do ( of course if individuals do not have free will and each chooses to do according to the set program they get assigned the preceding claim is a mute one, the real tragedy would be to think one does not have a choice and thus choose not to choose when one does have a say in ones choices...).


      The original temptation in the bible involved eating the fruit to become God rather than just doing what God said, besides personally I prefer a constructed reality by God ... this for multiple reasons including the ultimate increase of fun within reality and outside of it too. Like I told someone: everyone can choose the better alternative or something else ... just like in a test each one can choose the right answer or something else... wether one gets it right depends on the correspondence of what one choose as right and what happens to be right. In other words one can choose the right answer without that meaning that what one chooses determines what be the right answer.
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    Nov 4 2013: Reality is what you can sense and perceive. It is relative depending on how one's brain processes sensory input data and supply the compiled interpretation to one's ego/self.
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      Nov 5 2013: I think that's too simple.
      There are many aspects of reality we can't sense or perceive.
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        Nov 5 2013: I hope it's not simpler than necessary :)
        Yes, there is always a part of reality outside of one's experience/knowledge but that's a capacity issue not really anything in basic disagreement of what I said. We include multitudes of facts as reality in the realm of our experiential capacity on a daily basis. But we need to sense it (input) and conceive it (interpretation). I think the idea will be clear if we compare surrealism with realism.
        Pray tell me what reality is beyond our sense and perception? If you answer my question it must be within it.
        • Nov 5 2013: I 'pray' in answer to your question that your understanding go beyond your senses and perception... when such prayer is answered you will understand what is beyond senses and perception which never the less is quite understandable.

          I imagine you meant to say 'please' rather than 'pray' though found the freudian slip quite revealing.

          BTW the meaning of the words are not contained in the words; likewise the ideas are not contained in the thoughts. 3D is a reality which is beyond our senses and perception which emerges from our senses and perception (sometimes :-)
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          Nov 5 2013: Esteban, you may find interesting the origins (medieval) of the common phrase "pray tell" in English as an alternative with a slightly different connotation to "please tell."

          I will leave this investigation to you if you are interested.

          "Prithee" and "pray tell" are essentially the same expression.
        • Nov 5 2013: Thanks for pointing that out... I did investigate the expression of "Prithee" and "pray tell" and discovered that what I thought was an error itself was an error... from what I found the stated words suggests connotes that the author consider that the person being addressed will not be willing to forgo and answer the request. Fortunately for me the essence of my response still remains.
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          Nov 5 2013: Pabitra, not sure what you mean with capacity issue. As a matter of fact, we only can detect with our senses a very narrow band of the electromagnetic spectrum. Basically, we are limited to visible light. This is not a question of capacity but because we have no detectors for the vast majority of electromagnetic radiation.
          This is just one simple example how our perception of reality is limited.
          If you go further and look at reality as described by quantum physics everything that we consider facts and common sense actually breaks down.
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          Nov 6 2013: Pabitra....just pondering....
          You write..." there is always a part of reality outside of one's experience/knowledge...."

          If something is "outside" one's experience/knowledge, then it is not a part of OUR reality, but rather, may be part of someone else's reality?

          Harold,
          You say..."If you...look at reality as described by quantum physics everything that we consider facts and common sense actually breaks down".

          You guys are expressing something similar? If what I'm perceiving from your comments is "reality", I agree! LOL!

          There is always something outside our experience/knowledge which can be broken down?
          So, "reality" for an individual, may have several different elements....including fact, speculation, imagination, etc.....depending on what information we, as individuals choose to accept?
        • Nov 6 2013: Colleen,

          If something is "outside" one's experience/knowledge, then it is still part of one's reality, it's just something that is "outside" one's experience/knowledge.

          "reality" for an individual stems from a combination of reality and what they think of it, what they do with and to it.
          Reality itself encompasses the individuals, what they think, feels, dream up and a bunch of other stuff.
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        Nov 5 2013: "3D is a reality which is beyond our senses and perception which emerges from our senses and perception (sometimes :-)"
        I am confused. Are you meaning the simulated version of it? Otherwise our sight sensation is 3D enabled, we can perceive depth of field through vision. Our two eyes are designed that way. Try putting a thread through the eye of a needle with one eye closed.
        3D is certainly within our senses and perception.
        • Nov 5 2013: I mean that we actually see in 2D and create the 3D model view from integrating the two separate eye images while thinking we actually see in 3D. Sight sensation is 2D, we can perceive depth of field thanks to a complex integration of the two separate images which sometimes isn't enabled, though each eye may see just fine. Threading a needle is a piece of cake compared to catching a ball or driving through some gateways. 3D is certainly within certain individuals senses and perception and a bit beyond certain individuals developed competences. Personally I can remember and tell you about my first 3D experience because it happened in an accounting class during my first year in college! In hindsight it certainly explained why I had such a hard time catching balls and learning to drive. For the latter I used all sort of heuristics that didn't depend on 'seeing depth', such as if I am on my lane the other cars will pass without hitting me (or white light - car is coming, red light - car is going unless it was the car that had the reverse light on while still going).

          Most people have the ability to integrate the two eye sensation into a single 3D view and then for some reason may have much more difficulty producing a congruent story resulting from integrating different viewpoints from separate individuals. In math individuals may be able to solve x and y algebraic problems but if the variables change say to a and b they get confused and don't know what to do until they change a and be into x and y. Unfortunately in some coordinate systems doing certain things is practically impossible if not much more complex. For example a circle and a line can be represented by a simple constant equation if one uses the appropriate coordinate system. Depending on the system in use one may do stuff easier .

          The point I was sharing was that in reality our eyes sense in 2D though some think to see in 3D.
          Some see only through one eye at a time and cant perceive the richer experience
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        Nov 6 2013: @ Harald Jezek.
        I think capacity issue is nicely explained through Esteban's comment above.
        Regarding rest of your reply where you referred x-ray, I need to explain.
        By senses and perception what I meant was not only our biological senses, namely the five most accepted sensory perceptions. Even biologically we are capable of sensing more than 5 inputs. But essentially what I meant was physical realism. In science nothing is accepted as a fact of reality without a proof or until it is testable through experiments. For example x-ray would never have been accepted as a part of reality unless we could render its effect verifiable within our range of electromagnetic opthalmoception. For the same reason something such as clairvoyance or ghosts will never be part of physical realism or reality. Something that is extrasensory is unreal, abstract or imaginary.
        I was certainly not talking about common sense reality.
        I hope you noted that I mentioned the constant increase of the boundary of reality through our experiences. Quantum reality is now within it. We may not directly experience it but we experience its effect on a daily basis each time we refer a GPS application.
        Something so obvious as two parallel lines never meeting is not within reality and I guess will never be. Infinity is another example. Singularity, yet another.
        I hope you get my drift.
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        Nov 6 2013: @Esteban:
        At the center of the substance of your last comment lies the verifiability of string theory which claims that there are as many as 11 physical dimensions that we cannot sense or perceive but everything that we accept as real spring from those dimensions. This is not mainstream scientific theory as yet just because we do not have capacity (experimental ) to verify its credibility. So there is no string reality as yet.
        • Nov 6 2013: With that logic there was no round world reality till being accepted...rather than having the erroneous world view in place... because of 'lack of evidence' to the contrary. Do note that the evidence was there it was rejected as evidence.

          I was also going to mention how the instrumentation to validate the existence of something such as clairvoyance or ghosts could someday be part of physical reality.

          The underlying point I am addressing is that the validity of some claim depends on the congruence between what is claimed and what happens to be... being able to prove it or not is 'a secondary' issue. Scientist believe that the evidence and their methods enables them to perceive reality rather than keep them from seeing it. Few will recognize that ultimately what one considers valid boils down to what each chooses to believe to be valid. This can get a bit 'problematic' when the reality one experiences actually depends on the stories one holds of the reality... It gets even more complicated when the reality itself changes dew to the stories one holds, especial when such reality provides real evidence to maintain the story going and expanding. For example confidence in performing adequately leading to actually performing adequately. The same in the reverse. Self-fulfilling-prophecies. I can think of other examples though consider everyone gets the point and can think of additional ones themselves.

          I am puzzled by what you meant in: 'At the center of the substance of your last comment lies the verifiability of string theory which claims that there are as many as 11 physical dimensions that we cannot sense or perceive but everything that we accept as real spring from those dimensions. ' If you could please elaborate a bit on it.
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          Nov 6 2013: Pabitra: I agree it's not mainstream science, but then I think most theories started out as being not mainstream. While the impossibility to verify the validity (at least for now) of string theory through measurements and observations it shouldn't be considered.
          What is important in a theory is that it provides predictions about events that then match the prediction.
          For example, the Higgs Bosom was a theoretical prediction. Back then, nobody had ever seen it, and there was no way to measure it. It needed the LHC to finally make it possible to identify it and so obtaining proof for the theory.
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          Nov 6 2013: Esteban, ghosts or other paranormal events are different because there is no scientific theory predicting them in any way.
          To make a theory feasible you don't necessary have to have air tight proof, however, there must be at least sufficient evidence supporting the theory and it must be in line with what we observe.
          For example, the statement "there is a god", is not a theory, it's not even a hypothesis because there are no evidence supporting such a statement.
          I agree however that even using the scientific method there is no guarantee that something believed to be true, actually is true. However, science at least never stops inquiring, so eventually, the truth will come out (at least most of the time).
        • Nov 6 2013: Harald,

          Just to clarify a bit the point... the appropriate scientific claim would be that to this day we know of no scientific theory to predict them... nor know of instruments or experiments to validate (or invalidate) their existence.

          By some standards there is sufficient evidence and observations to support the belief in ghosts and other paranormal events... By some standards there will never be sufficient evidence nor observations to support the case.

          The statement "There is a God" is a factual declaration which depending on the existence of God would be true or not. Providing the proof of the existence of God would not change the veracity of the claim it would just make it a statement which has been proven. I concur with you that the statement isn't a theory, nor even a hypothesis its a factual declarative statement (which some believe is self evidently true, which some claim is a dogmatic revelation to be believed in, which some hold to be true, which some reject as true, and the list could go on and on).

          The fact some claim that there are no evidence supporting such a statement seem to me like the idea that there was no evidence supporting the claim that the earth was round, the evidence was/is there for those who know how to look for it and how to interpret it.

          I also concur with the idea that we ought to keep inquiring into the truth of the matter, the truth will eventually come out (question is what will one do with it....will one embrace it or reject it when it comes out and exposes what be true based on what be true... will one choose to use it for good things ).
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        Nov 6 2013: @Esteban.
        As reality is a function of sensory perception and as sensory perception varies like finger prints between individuals, individual reality may be different for different people. That's why I said it's relative. Since I have no access to your personal reality and vice verse, we can only exchange anecdotes.
        However, science recognizes reality as standard. This means from a scientific stand point I cannot claim anything as real unless I can forward evidence perceivable by you and all and in ways repeatable as many times as one wants with the appeal to prove me wrong so that there is a chance to modify the general version of reality.
        Your mention of flat earth debate seems to point towards an absolute reality existing 'out there' irrespective of whether we can sense and perceive it. It reminds me the famous debate between Einstein and Tagore about the flower blooming in a valley where nobody sees or experiences it. Or say, if I am not looking at the moon, whether it exists for me. That's an existential reality debate. I am not sure whether this thread is intended for that.
        I'd prefer to accept reality as something sensed and perceived in the standard framework of science and relatable to all. From that stand point, round earth was not a reality some 1000 years ago.
        To help you out of em-puzzlement, one day something so anti-common sense notion that there may exist n number of dimensions for ultra minuscule strings in perpetual vibration giving rise to both gravity and electricity may become as real as anything. I shall accept it as real when such a theory can be relatable to all in a standard framework.
        Our senses and perception will continue to be the foundation of that framework, not any revelation.
        • Nov 6 2013: Pabitra

          I'd too prefer to accept reality as reality and not dependent on it being something sensed by someone or something; An objective absolute reality rather than a relative subjective one (the relative subject being the absolute reality). Do note that your framework foundation is based on a revelation, according to senses and perceptions and other devices.

          "individual reality may be different for different people" reminds me of the notion of identical copes existing in separate minds; 'evidently' each copy was different for different people ... or so I used to believe. At a latter time I corrected that belief. I do adhere to the notion of a standard reality existing. I realized that scientists do make claims about reality in the name of science without the evidence to back up those assertions. I also realized how some shift the burden of proof to the others rather than assume it themselves based on the premise that it is practically impossible for them to prove their claim. Using that logic they would have to accept whatever is practically impossible for me to prove to them by proving to me their assertion. At some point I just determined that each one has the burden of proof... if someone states the truth and others rejected it that be the others responsibility, for someone has done their part. BTW a single voice or righteous reason should suffice to silence oppositors and direct the progress of science. In the scientific way its not the general vision of reality that dictates what reality be, it be reality that determines what reality be and what ought to be the general vision of reality according to what be reality. In principle whomever is right, is right and whomever is wrong does the corrections necessary to ensure their view of reality corresponds to reality (which exists regardless of one looking at it or not, accepting it or rejecting it). Of course there is more to the story of reality when reality expands thanks to individual actions.
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        Nov 6 2013: Esteban,
        I disagree that it's a revelation that I am claiming reality is a function of only our senses and perception (an extended understanding of things based on these) and a standard description of it relatable to all. it's a philosophy based on science We both believe in standard form of reality, may be many do, so it cannot be a private revelation.
        The private point of disagreement between us is that you think there is an absolute existential reality whereas I believe the only absolute is the relative nature of it. The standard description of reality keeps on changing as our experiences and understanding grow.
        Nice talking to you.
        • Nov 6 2013: Pabitra

          My intention is to playfully nudge you into understanding reality based on reality hovering over semantical entanglements while objectively observing them embroilments... hoping to provide an enriching 'liberating' experience (that binds you to the truth while still enabling you to 'freely' choose what to cultivate). To me making a false statement and telling a lie both correspond to untruthful assertions, just because one ignores the facts intentionally or unintentionally does not change the fact one ignores the facts and made a false statement. I mention this because I observe 'similar' semantical differentiating distinctions being used in your response when you say a revelation isn't a revelation because...

          What constitutes a revelation? is it " a surprising and previously unknown fact, esp. one that is made known in a dramatic way"? is it something else? I hold that with ' (an extended understanding of things based on these)' one can better discern what be and what to cultivate, how, why and a couple of other stuff. I realize that the words use can have multiple purposes and reasons. For a while now I realized that when someone calls me persistent or calls me stubborn they are complementing my 'continuing enduring determination' into a course of action. Which could be a desirable trait, an undesirable defect, a conscious objective choice and additional connotations. I see that their choice of words may stem from the stories they hold and what they want to achieve, similarly to dehumanizing the enemy to facilitate doing certain stuff in war. With that preparation:

          In other words... in essence you hold that reality corresponds to what 'you' thinks, understands claims reality to be... instead of holding that reality be what reality be. 'you' being the mumbo-jumbo 'changing standard description' in vogue that science arbitrarily states.

          BTW the fact one disagree or agree with what be hardly determines wether it be.

          This been nice and entertaining.
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        Nov 6 2013: Harald,
        This is a response to your exchange with Pabitra....

        Pabitra:
        " Reality is what you can sense and perceive. It is relative depending on how one's brain processes sensory input data and supply the compiled interpretation to one's ego/self."

        Harald...
        "I think that's too simple.
        There are many aspects of reality we can't sense or perceive."

        Colleen:
        I do not agree that the concept is "too simple".....it is what it is:>)

        Within the simple concept, however, there may be complex information on many different levels for different people. So, what an individual can or cannot sense or perceive is subjective.... how one's brain processes sensory input data and supply the compiled interpretation to one's ego/self is subjective, and there are probably other elements that are subjective as well.
        • Nov 6 2013: Colleen,

          your response lead me to think that:
          they can sense and perceive it, they just refuse to do it

          That is the there is quite a difference between the reality we can't sense or perceive from the reality some refuse to sense or perceive... in other words it is what it is regardless if some refuse to recognize or acknowledge it or choose to accept what be... of course accepting what be does not mean that we need to keep it as it be for we can act to actually change what be.
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          Nov 6 2013: Colleen, Pabrita's view is too simple because there is more of reality that we cannot perceive or sense than we actually can.
          There is a lot our senses cannot detect. For example, we detect only a tiny fraction of electromagnetic waves (visible light), we have no sense to detect ultrasound (for example bats do), we have no means to perceive or sense all the activities going on in the subatomic realm. I could go on and on with this list.
          This is not something subjective depending who our brains process certain information.
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        Nov 6 2013: Sorry I had to come back for some clarification to be made regarding what Esteban is saying here. If I am not wrong and by his own admission:
        1. He thinks reality is what it is. I take it that he is saying that reality is absolute and independent of our sensory perception. I am not getting any other meaning from his posts.
        2. He admits that he also believes in a standard form of reality but does not clarify if that standard form of reality is based on scientific principles of evidence, testability and repeatability. he is claiming that the standard description of reality is mumbo-jumbo in vogue that science arbitrarily states.
        3. He raises point about semantics and different meaning and connotations of words. I am not clear if that means he is finding my stand dubious. I think I am sufficiently plain talking.
        4. He also admits that he is playfully nudging me to the understanding of reality based on reality hovering over semantical entanglements while objectively observing them embroilments... hoping to provide an enriching 'liberating' experience (that binds me to the truth while still enabling me to 'freely' choose what to cultivate).

        I am stumped! Either I should take that as condescending or hyperbole and I choose the later. I am happy that I could make some sense to the author of the question.
        • Nov 6 2013: Pabitra,

          Indeed I am saying that reality is absolute
          I also expressed how I believe in a standard form of reality which holds that reality corresponds to reality rather than corresponds to what some claim to be real (evidently when some claim to be real what be real, it does correspond to what some claim, though when some claim to be what is't well what be is that some claimed to be what isn't and what be be what be , some made a false claim ).
          What I sought to convey with the statement of mumbo-jumbo in vogue that science claims referred to the changing standard description of reality being an oxymoronic concept for a changing idea or thing used as the standard measure, norm, or model in comparative evaluations complicates the comparisons.
          Yes I did raised the point that thinking a revelation isn't a revelation does not alter the fact of the revelation being a revelation as a semantic entanglement. For the record I do not find you stand dubious its quite clear to me that you choose to hold such a stand. I do find it peculiar how on the one hand you claim to base your stand on evidence testability and repeatability while at the same time in practice rejecting the absolute reality.

          I am sorry that you are stumped and you choose to take my comments the way you did... I had intended and hoped that you would see my comments as I intended them... rather than as you choose to do... evidently to me what you choose to do has a lot to do with the beliefs and stories you choose to hold and what you choose to do is up to you. I wanted this to be a fun interchange where each learned and contributed towards the enrichment and understanding of themselves and others.

          From what I perceive in your response its evident to me that the playfully nudging towards fun discoveries was considered by you as something else, you could take what I said differently though you choose for whatever reason to consider it as you did... hopefully this will help to clarify some stuff..
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          Nov 6 2013: Pabrita, there are lots of things I disagree with Esteban, or perhaps I just don't get what he means because he talks so much in circles instead of getting to the point of his argument.
          However, 1 point stands out and I actually though we all agreed upon that.
          This is that there is our perceived reality as produced by our brains based on sensory input and absolute reality.
          Let's go back to string theory and assume it's true. So if vibrating strings are the basic raw material of everything then this would be an element of absolute reality because it would be a fact regardless of whether or not there is any observer or the observers senses, measurement methods, bias, etc.
        • Nov 6 2013: Harald,

          Just consider that the circle (2D object) is actually a point (1D object) with a radius of understanding ... of course it could be a sphere (3D object) ...

          a point with a radius produces a nice circle in 2D and a nice sphere in 3D... I think there are other objects equidistant from a point in the other dimension though I ignore their names...

          I have to pass on string theory dialogue for the time being because I am unfamiliar with it for the time being. It sounded a bit like does a tree falling in the forest create ripples...
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      Nov 6 2013: Hi Esteban:>)

      Some people cannot honestly perceive something (for example.....me.....with some scientific/technical facts), and, as you say, some refuse to even look at the information. That seems to be another variable when discussing reality......good point!

      I believe we can change our reality when/if we are willing to accept new information as reality. The example of our world being flat, which was brought up on this thread. It appears, that with the information available at that time, it seemed to be accepted that the world was flat. With new exploration, observation and discovery, we now accept different information as fact/reality. So, I agree with you that we can refuse to accept new information, and/or, we can have an open mind and heart and be willing to explore beyond what we think we know:>)
      • Nov 6 2013: Colleen,

        I will go on a limb here... hopefully without going to far of the branch...

        Some people cannot honestly perceive something intuitive perceive and refuse to look deeper into the truth of the matter/issue/idea/story. Some insist on maintaining the story they hold and believe they can't change such story while some recognize what be, acknowledge it and then focus on cultivating/building what will be 'now'.

        Note that with the information available at that time some accepted the fact/reality as fact/reality and some refused to accept it because of ... the implications and changes involved.

        I consider a heuristic related to knowledge and the wise... it is inversely proportional to emotive responses and knowing the truth. Those who know the truth are more open and serene to objective explore and consider propositions --- the exercises serves to validate what they know or discover something they didn't know (and expand what they do know). Then there are those who see the truth as a treat to their standing and what they hold to authoritatively know. In a way its related to the allegiance towards a fixed mindset where image and appearance is more valued than a growth mindset where learning and knowledge is mostly valued. The fixed are more interested in who is right and being right independent of what be right while the later are more interested in what be right and being right based on what be right.

        I liked what you said last... ' have an open mind and heart and be willing to explore beyond what we think we know'.

        A while back I had the revelation that what distinguishes the charlatans from the visionaries was NOT the fact each talked about what was't ... what sets them apart was their attitude towards the facts... only the visionary recognizes them for what they where and where willing to expose the truth of the matter... it didn't really change the validity viability of their vision/proposition. Something similar happens to the wise, the truth helps
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          Nov 6 2013: Esteban,
          Why do you think/feel you may be going out on a limb with your comment?
      • Nov 6 2013: Because the interactions here have been mostly a bit scientific biased rather than including the intuitive stand ...
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          Nov 8 2013: That is what I suspected Esteban, and I prefer to ask for clarification, rather than assume:>)

          I wholeheartedly support the idea to consider ALL available information when exploring any topic, and as I've said in comments on this thread, I believe our reality is based on information we are willing to explore, including science based fact, intuition, instinct....I like to consider ALL information, and this practice has been very helpful in my life experiences.

          For example:
          23 years ago, I sustained a near fatal head/brain injury, had emergency craniotomy, and at first, because of the severity of the damage, was not expected to live. After two weeks unconscious, kept alive with life support systems, the body started to stabilize, and regained consciousness. My family was told that I probably would never function "normally" again.

          In the back of my mind (such as it was), I knew I learned how to walk and talk before, and I was determined to do it again.....to what level, I had no idea.

          I was constantly bugging technicians.....wanting to view the x-rays, Scans, EEG charts, reviewing the cognitive testing, etc. etc. I wanted to learn what happened clinically, and I explored all scientific information. The prognosis I was given, was based on previous similar injuries....reality based on scientific fact, which I accepted....to a certain extent.

          With intuition/instinct, I also was aware that I had learned functions before, and I believed I could learn them again. This was reality, based on my previous experience, and according to science, didn't have much value. However, within a short time I was functioning again at a high level.

          Scientific reality at the time, was that if certain parts of the brain were damaged, a person would lose certain functions.

          Scientific reality NOW, is that the brain creates new neural pathways. Nice to know science finally caught up with my intuition/instinct! LOL:>)
      • Nov 8 2013: Collen,

        Thanks for your response and sharing life experience. Succinctly put be aware that when you declare to be open to consider ALL available information it can attract good and bad stuff. I prefer to be open to what I ought to be open and closed to what I ought to be closed.

        Indeed I too prefer to validate and clarify to ensure ones assumptions corresponds to what happens to be. In that light I assume that by " to consider ALL available information when exploring any topic" you intend to mean 'actual valid and relevant towards understanding' this not according to some authority's claim but according to what be true. A similar related idea is the notion of the tolerant tolerating all... Notice the challenge of remaining tolerant when faced with the intolerant. Giving each tolerance accordingly to their state resolves the issue... one gives the tolerant tolerance and one gives the intolerant 'intolerance' (which comes in the form of enforcing them into tolerance. For being forced into tolerance is what they find intolerant).

        Do we need to be accepting of all perspectives? Why would we need to accept erroneous perspectives as valid perspectives? Of course the challenge involves actually knowing which perspectives belong to which category and to determining what to do with each one accordingly to what ought to be done to each one. Your first line points the way... always seek clarification rather than assume it ... I consider that based on what I seen you post in essence we mostly agree...
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          Nov 8 2013: Esteban,
          My pleasure to share information:>)

          I agree....when we are open to information, we may get a variety of information. Information is simply information.....neither good or bad, in my perception. That is why, as thinking, feeling, intelligent, multi sensory, multi dimensional human beings, we have a filter system in our brain.

          How do you determine what you "ought to be open" to, and what you will be "closed" to? In my humble perception, that creates limitation, because you have already made a choice regarding what you will, or will not be open to.

          I am open to ALL information, and with my own filter, I decide what information I embrace as my own reality....or not.

          I did not say anything about "accepting all perspectives". I said I am open to information. I LISTEN and HEAR all available information to the best of my ability.

          You seem to like to speak in riddles and puzzles, and I suggest that the practice causes difficulty in understanding you or continuing a conversation.
      • Nov 8 2013: Why/how would determining what on ought to be open and what one will be closed to create limitation rather than opportunities? look at it this way having already made a choice regarding to love or to hate focused on love enables one to guide every opportunities to cultivate love, always.

        Having already made a choice regarding what one will, or will not be open/closed to enables us to focus on cultivating it. I realized a long time ago that my own filter can be easily mislead into thinking that what is wrong is right and what is right is wrong and to me believing one can actually distinguish and discern for oneself which is which opens the door into dangerous delusional deceptions difficult to escape. The worst kind of blindness involves refusing to see, the worst kind of slavery involves believing one is free while choosing to remain enslaved.

        The way I determine what I ought to be open to and what I will be closed to involves a simple heuristic: Be it a dream be it real, always choose the better way. That is be it for real be it pretend always choose what be right to choose. It also involve focusing on what be right independent of who that validates or invalidates. In a way it would be calling a coin-toss "heads I win, tails you lose" ... yea either way I win! The same happens in conversations if I learn I am right or I learn I am wrong :-) then I learn something about what be. That is in conversations I can always learn something about myself and what be, whatever happens I win :-) And others can win too if they choose to learn what they ought to learn.

        The reason I think you perceive me speak in riddles and puzzles stems from using a language applicable to all framings each one getting according to their belief language. For example the statement : "may you reap abundantly what you sow" can be a blessing and a curse. Can you see why? and how? that be so... I also value the notion of wonder. Like to cultivate it, ideally in the eureka/humorous: 'Oh I get it!
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          Nov 9 2013: Esteban,
          I agree with making a choice to love rather than hate. Personally, I am open to information about "hate" because it is an opportunity to learn. So, I am open to receiving information about that topic, and closed to the practice.

          In my humble perception, this is how we sometimes create change. If we totally close something or someone out, there is no opportunity to learn about that concept or person, and no opportunity to connect.

          I agree with you...."the worst kind of blindness involves refusing to see...", and that is why I prefer to be open to ALL information for the purpose of learning. It does not mean I accept or embrace ALL information as my own, it simply means I am open to learning, which seems to be your practice as well:>) As I am open and learning, it gives me a glimpse of the many different realities that different people embrace, and this practice encourages compassion.

          The reason I perceive your dialogue to be complicated, is that you seem to sometimes go round in circles. When it comes to dialogue in an on-line forum, more is not always better. I respect your reality, and it would be good to be able to understand it more effectively:>)
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    Nov 4 2013: I think reality is objective but our understanding of reality is subjective. The earth is spherical not because I think it is spherical and neither was earth flat when we thought it was flat. So is also true of social reality. Social reality is constructed and constantly evolving. There are forces and processes shaping our reality. But at any point social reality is objective but our understanding of why certain events happen might be subjective.

    There are perhaps some reality that are only creations of our mind (eg. hallucinations) but not all reality are so.
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    Nov 3 2013: What is reality?

    Whatever I say it is.
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      Nov 5 2013: No, that is YOUR reality.
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        Nov 7 2013: So? Our brains create reality. Period. If your brain and my brain create the same reality, we can get together and call it science.

        If my brain creates a different reality from yours, we can walk away understanding that the other has some type of mental illness and needs to be medicated...
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          Nov 8 2013: This is not absolute reality because it's subjective.
          If there is a red car, most of us will agree it's red, however, the color red is not a feature of reality but a construct of our brain.
          Absolute reality is independent from us observing it, or even more we don't even have to exist for absolute reality to exist.
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        Nov 8 2013: Harald,
        If there is a red car, and most of us agree it is red, what happens when a color blind person says it is green? I agree with you that color is a human construct. However.....some animals recognize color (a bull will go after red for example) so is it truly a human construct?

        You say...absolute reality is independent from us observing it, and yet you are seeking absolute reality? I agree that we may not have to exist for absolute reality to exist. However, we may not recognize various forms of absolute reality while in human form.
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          Nov 8 2013: Colleen, the color example shows clearly how subjective this part of reality is. That was exactly my point. Dogs can oly see 2 colors (I think it's green and red), colorblinds have also limitations, and the blind sees nothing at all.
          I say, absolute reality just exists, no matter if anybody is here to contemplate it. This doesn't mean that we can't create objective views of absolute reality, but it might be possible that, with our limitations not all aspects of reality are accessible. But that's just speculation.
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        Nov 8 2013: No. Your brain creates absolute reality too. There is no reality external to the self. There has to be some type of organism to interpret the physical world and label it reality. If there is no interpretation, there is just the physical and reality ceases to exist.
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          Nov 8 2013: Interesting Linda...let's start at the very beginning...our brain has created the label "absolute reality".....has it not?
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          Nov 8 2013: Linda,
          You write..."If there is no interpretation, there is just the physical and reality ceases to exist".

          You are suggesting that the physical is not reality?
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          Nov 8 2013: " there is just the physical and reality ceases to exist."
          Not sure I can follow you. You mean the "physical" is not real. ?
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      Nov 8 2013: Yes MAM Linda! LOL:>)

      Seriously....I agree with you....my reality is what I believe and say it is, as your reality is what you believe and say it is:>)
  • Nov 3 2013: Did you ever think about what it is that makes reality real ?
    Nope.

    How is our reality created?
    Our reality or reality? Our reality would be the little or the much we can grasp of actual reality. Reality is not "created." Our reality, is what we can grasp from the real one. It's "created" from the input we get from actual reality through our senses.

    Isn't it the perceptions our brain creates based on our sensory inputs ?
    Ah, so we were coming here. I suspected so. Our brain receives the input, and our cognitive capabilities interpret them. But I suspect we are mixing reality with our perception of it in these questions.

    But what if we lack a sense?
    Then we miss that art. Sorry, but that's that.

    How does reality change for somebody who cannot hear or see?
    Reality does not change. Only the person cannot approach such part except by reasoning, which makes some pretty interesting stuff possible. Like Hellen Keller to be able to imagine what hearing might be like.

    Or take it even a step further, assume you are deprived of all your senses, What would reality mean in such a case?
    I don't think such a thing is possible to survive at birth without a hell of a lot of help. If you knew senses before, then it must be hell.

    And last but not least, let's assume you are born without any senses. What would that mean to your reality?
    That I'm as good as dead.

    So what is reality and what are we as part of this reality?
    Reality is that which is. We are part of this reality, of course. Otherwise we could not even make these questions. What are we as part of this reality? What do you mean?
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      Nov 5 2013: It appears from the comments we all agree that there are 2 aspects to reality.
      One is the absolute reality that is the foundation for everything.
      The other is the subjective reality that we create as a model to manage our day to day life and to make sense of our environment.
      So, while this model is useful for us, it doesn't really tell us much about the absolute reality.
      Only recently, quantum physics is starting to give us a glimpse of what is really at the bottom of everything.
      Beside, quantum physics is totally counter intuitive putting our model of reality on the head. .
      That said, while the question about reality might seem trivial, it really isn't if you keep thinking about it.
      • Nov 6 2013: It s trivial. Completely and absolutely trivial. Reality is there. What we can gather form it is another problem. Quantum physics does not really change what we can perceive. I just think that it opens new parts of reality to us, but in the end, in a day-to-day basis, it's all ok. Who cares, for example, that solid objects are mostly empty space? It remains true that I can't pass through walls without breaking them. How that works despite that it's mostly empty space is interesting, but solid is still solid. Only not the kind of solid we thought that it was, etc.

        But trivial it remains regardless.
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          Nov 6 2013: You also could say that exploration of the universe beyond the point we actually can reach is trivial. I think what is trivial and what is not is a rather personal decision, don't you think so ?
          "Who cares, for example, that solid objects are mostly empty space?", well some people do because it tells you something about nature.
          It's not necessarily the fact that an object is made mostly of empty space that matters but the implications it brings with it (e.g. that there must be forces at work that hold the atoms together in such a way that if forms object x).
          Considering an understanding of nature trivial is saying "no " to any scientific inquiry and progress.
      • Nov 6 2013: Not the same. You said that the question about reality might seem trivial, but it was not. I disagree. I think that the "question" about reality that you kind of posted is trivial indeed. Agreed that what is trivial and not is somewhat up to the person, but disagree with the "philosophical" mumbo-jumbo about/against reality.

        So, I said "who cares that solid objects are mostly empty space" as a figure of speech. I do indeed care. But my point was that solid is still solid. I find that objects are mostly empty space very interesting, only not to the point of denying that solid objects are still solid objects, only our understanding of solid might change, but solidity stays the very same. Is this clearer?

        An understanding of nature is not trivial. It's interesting and beautiful. The "philosophical" mumbo-jumbo is making a storm in a glass of water.
        • Nov 6 2013: I wonder if there will come a time when technology will enable us to walk through the solid walls.
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          Nov 6 2013: Fine, we disagree about what is trivial and what is not. No problem.
          Maybe you are not aware of it but philosophy and science are actually very much related in the sense that philosophy is the foundation for scientific inquiry. Philosophy brings up ideas that science then puts to test.
          Therefore calling philosophy "mumbo jumbo" is a misunderstanding of philosophy.
          Ah, and nobody is discussion "for or against reality". We all know that reality exists, but it should also be clear that our day to day reality is no what absolute reality is, although it just serves us fine for practical purposes.

          Anyway, thanks for your input.
      • Nov 6 2013: Esteban,

        A better understanding of how solidity works might suggest some avenue for it. But I doubt it.
      • Nov 6 2013: Not a problem Harald. Just last clarification. I do not despise philosophy I despise the mumbo-jumbo made up about reality by certain philosophers and pseudo-philosophers.
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    Nov 3 2013: Without any external input you would be dead, Kaput. If you managed to survive you still would not progress any further than what you were born with in brain functionality.

    Reality is what hits you. If it hits you it's real. What hits you progresses you.
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    Nov 3 2013: If you had no senses at all, you wouldn't be a living organism. You'd be part of reality but you'd have no way of building any model of the world.
    However, with very limited senses you can start building theories about the input you get from the outside world. If you don't have a brain, then a convinient model of reality is figured out through genetic trial and error. I you have a brain, you can also compute your model through trial and error. The idea is to be able to make predictions, using a simplified and fictionnal interpretation of reality.
    So if you're a tree, your inborn knowledge allows you to synthetize wood using CO2, through photosynthesis.
    If you're a rat or a human being, your inborn knowledge allows you to see the world in 3D, which it is not of course, and to use this model for navigation.
    But specific to humans -( at least some and since very recently) is the ability to challenge the biological model we develop instinctively. The invention of science was the revolution that allowed creative guess-work to compete against itself, survival of the most explanatory. And today we know reality is objective and we know we can make progress at figuring out what is possible. Because this is what reality is ; the set of what is possible.
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      Nov 4 2013: Not sure that without senses you wouldn't be a living organism, however, I agree that you couldn't build a model of the world.
      Building a model is exactly the point. Model is not same as something being real. It just means that it is some kind of approximation we can work with on a day to day basis.
      I think the dilemma we are facing when discussing reality is the fact that we have no (apparent) means to look at reality as an outside observer. It's a bit like the fish in the pond which is confined to its body of water without having any clue and any means to ever discover what lies beyond the pond.
      Yes, I think there must be some objective reality that underlies everything else.
      However, what is real and what is not is not so obvious anymore since we know about quantum physics.
      In the quantum world, the laws of our macro world break down and reality gets a very different meaning.
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        Nov 5 2013: " However, what is real and what is not is not so obvious anymore since we know about quantum physics. "
        Please explain.
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          Nov 5 2013: Just one example that contradicts our real life experience and what we call reality.
          In quantum physics you can shoot a subatomic particle from point A to point B and on it's way it takes all possible ways to accomplish that feat and it does it simultaneously. Can you wrap your mind around that ? Does that align to what we consider common sense ?
          Yet, experiments seem to prove that this is exactly what happens.
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        Nov 5 2013: But that's not new.
        The world being a spinning sphere is a barking mad idea. Far worse than particles taking "all possible ways".
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          Nov 5 2013: No it's not new, but difficult to wrap the mind around it nevertheless.
          I have less problem imagining the earth spinning.
  • Dec 1 2013: What a night I just had likely from going to bed just after writing that last post.... in combination with a rather strong cold.

    I woke up thinking to come here and add the importance to differentiate a focus on
    What is reality
    what we think is reality
    what is real
    what we do with that we think in reality

    The way we experience reality stems from a combination of what we think of reality and what happens in reality. The same event may be perceived by individuals in completely different ways. Even 'the same event' may be perceived in completely different ways by the same individual depending on the stories/feeling/associations the individual chooses to consider (see note at end). Individuals choose their stories based mostly on the stories they hold, and depending on the stories they hold this may be good or not so good; who's to say ? Well evidently the actual reality that happens to be really good... Throughout this interactions I sought to put a bit of a twist into what people consider seeking to foster everyones understanding (including my own). For example the notion of the realist seeing the full glass. Full of what being the key question.

    In relation to what is reality it seems to me that EVERYONE thinks it is accordingly to what THEY think it to be; the disagreements/agreements result from what each think it to be. Some think that reality ought to correspond to what they think, some think that what they think ought to correspond to reality; some think like visionaries recognize what happens to be while endeavoring to cultivate something better.

    I had hopped that this interactions would had lead to discovering better way to dialogue and jointly reach conclusions ... important advancements where made and still there is much further to go.

    I remember a story where individuals changed their position quite a bit...

    good luck bad luck who's to say

    (http://www.boxingscene.com/motivation/59234.php )
  • Dec 1 2013: It seems evident to me at this time that as a group of participants we didn't find the means to unite to produce a shared document. Maybe there will come a time when we develop and implement this shared ability.

    I proposed that individuals include 4 notion in their closing remarks
    1- What ideas they found valuable
    2- What ideas made them wonder the most -
    3- What notions changed thanks to this conversation (and which stayed the same)
    4- If they where to go at it again what would they do different

    For me reality includes the material and the immaterial what is within and what be out there. I hold that what we think/feel/do impacts to some degree everything (yea including what we think/feel/do and the material stuff) To me humans are composed of a body-mind-spirit with intricate relationships.

    One idea that struck me as interesting to pursue was the notion that senses where not physical. Something that has had me wonder quite a bit has to do with how some individuals insist that their reality is what really matters and if they don't believe or consider it being so well it just isn't so. In a way the central idea here has to do with life after death... and life before life. Its fascinating to me to observe how some seem so certain of such uncertain matters. It is as if the mere consideration that something isn't as some consider will suffice to tumble their house of cards they been building for a long long time.

    Something I learned in these conversation was how I tend to go for and sublimate the fundamental beliefs ... as a way to shake the foundations or even expose the floating castle built on the belief of no belief. At least now I know to prepare others as to what they just may experience next.

    That is what I would do different if we where to go at it again... prepare individuals before pulling 'the magic' rug they stand upon.
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      Dec 1 2013: How might it feel Esteban, to simply go along with the flow of a conversation rather than trying to control?
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    Dec 1 2013: Hello Esteban. Years ago when I've decided to leave my science school (thermodynamics) for Art - I've had my REASON. Watching how my mind of a painting artist works driven by its intuitive "moves" lead me to discover the very mechanism of perceiving.
    An artist's, scientist's or anyone's mind cannot function without this nature's built-in mechanism.

    I've entered the filed that "has no name" as my professor put it. Nothing can be sensed, felt, or memorized, without this illusive but basic "process" of perceiving - no physical sense perceptions would be possible. As I have mentioned before Every Mind, with brains or no brains, sighted or blind, constantly COMPARES its interactions, outer and inner. These are still primary: no order, no images yet.

    Then a mind SELECTS sensations, through COMPARISON, still in subconsciousness.

    Then COMPOSES sensations of interactions into clusters of sensations, in any random order it prefers. We feel them as sounds, images, temperature.. Intuitive perceiving is PRIMARY. The following physical sense-perceptions are SECONDARY, "overprocessed".

    A mind FRAMES its compositions into its realities, leaving the rest of sensations on a background.

    Perceiving reveals the very process of life driven by our internal creative abilities.

    When one fails to memorize this means one fails to Compare. (I helped some people with memory losses based on simple exercises - hot water followed by cold water, sweet drink - very sour drink.)

    COMPARISON reveals why our memories cannot be stored or fixed. The world's Change/FLUX stimulates our perceptions, transforming our existence. We shall see our nature as instant transformations, including memories, pain, joy.. no way to come back.

    Sorry, I cannot refer you to read about this elsewhere. My work is too new - impossible to fairly categorize based on existing institutions. I have thousands of notes - unpublished yet.
    • Dec 1 2013: Just lost the response I was creating ...and do not feel like recreating it all again... maybe in another conversation we will get into the details. for now I just want to put out there that perception may involve a simple transformation you get something and do something to it. in other words the eyes perceive the light and just transform it into an electrical signal without doing any comparisons at all... we are given a present and choose what to do with it.
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        Dec 1 2013: Esteban - ABSOLUTELY NOTHING CAN penetrate our mind as is, not even what we see as light !
        otherwise we would be destroyed as living forms. Whatever you see is already some production of your sensations created within your mind.

        You say "we are given a present and choose what to do with it" But We are given nothing but our nature's tools of perceptions through which we interact within and without, however in some creative ways. Our internal power is to create our own realities based on these interactions. Looks like this conversation is about making rounds...


        I'm just explaining WHY we cannot sense "things" or events, or any powers out there as they are.

        These explanations, my own thoughts and you are welcome to argue with me.

        We cannot perceive anything as it is ---- is one of the oldest/ancient wisdom we often forget or cannot comprehend.

        We will talk again over a new conversation. Thank you.
        • Dec 1 2013: Vera,

          we agree that the reality we have access to corresponds to what we think to be rather than directly to what happens to be. In other words we only have access to the map within and not the territory out there. What I meant to share with you is that rather than compare stuff our organs simply transform it. An example would be night vision system or an infrared camera that takes certain light and transforms it into something we can easily see... our eyes sort of work the same they take in some light and transforms it into electrical signals. there is a ted talk of a guy who is color blind and now has a system that makes sounds based on the colors which he hears and interprets(http://www.ted.com/talks/neil_harbisson_i_listen_to_color.html?quote=1788 ) That device takes in a signal (light) and transforms it into a different signal (sound). Our organs take a signal and transforms it into a different signal.
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    Dec 1 2013: no comment
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    Nov 30 2013: and doesn't count as a comment
    • Dec 1 2013: Johnny,

      Consider it with a grain of salt... it actually it does count as a comment; though some hold that it doesn't and some hold that it does. Something similar happens when someone chooses 'not to choose'; it actually counts as a choice; though some hold that it doesn't and some hold that it does. What each chooses to do even if it is doing nothing is what each chooses to do. Hope that you perceive that I am being a bit humorous while also seeking to address an important notion.

      Thanks
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    Nov 30 2013: No comment, as the comment may trigger a war of words, and apart from being useless, words are not very useful.
    • Nov 30 2013: That comment of no comments is still a comment :-)

      Whether a comment is useful or useless depends on what individuals manages to do with said comment, its like with so many things how useful they are depends on individuals ability to find uses for them things... even a rock can perform some useful task like holding the door open :-)
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    Nov 30 2013: THE REAL (Lacan): The state of nature from which we have been forever severed by our entrance into language. Only as neo-natal children were we close to this state of nature, a state in which there is nothing but need. A baby needs and seeks to satisfy those needs with no sense for any separation between itself and the external world or the world of others. For this reason, Lacan sometimes represents this state of nature as a time of fullness or completeness that is subsequently lost through the entrance into language. The primordial animal need for copulation (for example, when animals are in heat) similarly corresponds to this state of nature. There is a need followed by a search for satisfaction. As far as humans are concerned, however, "the real is impossible," as Lacan was fond of saying. It is impossible in so far as we cannot express it in language because the very entrance into language marks our irrevocable separation from the real. Still, the real continues to exert its influence throughout our adult lives since it is the rock against which all our fantasies and linguistic structures ultimately fail. The real for example continues to erupt whenever we are made to acknowledge the materiality of our existence, an acknowledgement that is usually perceived as traumatic (since it threatens our very "reality"), although it also drives Lacan's sense of jouissance. The Real works in tension with the imaginary order and the symbolic order. See the Lacan module on the structure of the psyche.
    • Nov 30 2013: Johnny

      Some consider and equate the material natural ways to be a lower form of existence very much as we humans would consider and equate our virtual existence within computers to be a lower form of existence. But just imagine the spaces for exploration that open up with the different bodies.

      Humans form an interesting creature because of its body-mind-spirit natures coexisting and uniting the different domains. Personally I consider that our entrance into language enables new forms of collaboration and integration. The illusory separation between self and the external world seems to ignore that we are part of that external world. and to some extend form part of the world of others.

      Seems to me Lacan missed a crucial point: With the acquisition of language its possible to inherit and share ideas.
      Lacan seems to consider "a time of fullness or completeness that is subsequently lost through the entrance into language" instead of considering a time of fullness or completeness that is subsequently expanded and multiplied through the entrance into language. Curiously that it seems practically impossible to express it with words/actions nevertheless it's quite possible to express it with words/actions... heck its possible to express an idea without a word said nor an action taken! As one progresses the real and the imaginary continue to exert an influence into our lives and each others... visions are turned into realities and realities into visions... To some acknowledge the materiality of our existence may seem threatening, while to some the same may seem just a recognition of our physical nature, then there is the mental, and spiritual aspects

      The Real works in synergy with 'the imaginary order' and the symbolic order. To conform al sort of things and adventures and creatures! Some which can coexist in body.mind.spirit domains simultaneously and individually...
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      Nov 30 2013: Thank for inducing Lacan’s theory, Johnny.
      I am very interested in knowing what is biological reality?
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      Nov 30 2013: I'm not such a big fan of Lacan... he is a psycho-analyst that uses too much terms from other fields and gives it new meanings to make his constructions.
      His theories (like the mirror-stage) can only be seen as metaphorical or allegorical as many hard claims have already been falsified (in psychology, but also from biology and sociology).
      Lacking any predictive power or any therapeutic benefits above the general therapeutic effect made me discard most of his ideas (Like I did with Freud, Jung and others). And it lacks logical coherence (for example: he would seem to imply that a state of ignorance would make you feel closer to reality, which would imply that either reality cannot be understood or that by understanding it you cannot reach it. If he then so starts to formulate a theory he does try to grasp it and should, from his own assumptions fail to do so, making it an invalid theory in the first place)
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    Nov 30 2013: Hello Harald. Your greatly provocative question "What is Reality?" absolutely does not need discussions over equations or scientific terminology.

    When I was still in my very tough science school I felt that stuff I had to memorize, should lead to this "great 42 " conclusion. Remember that science-fiction universal computer?

    “The Answer to the Great Question... Of Life, the Universe and Everything... Is... Forty-two,' said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm.”
    ― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    Nothing better we can expect from contemporary sciences and math mentality unless that mentality learns wisdom and understands philosophy.

    Heisenberg was my inspirational light, I could not put away his books, I still have them on my night table. Before he became a physicist, he was a great original thinker, wonderful philosopher - it was his personal choice to be and think this way.

    He was thoughful concerning our mad society - and devastated that commonly, the lab experiments were (and are) available to industrialists, for brainless their mass productions that have no control.


    WIthout been a general but intuitive philosopher we cannot become good scientists, Heisenberg was insisting.

    (Gödel was an original philosopher as well, could not get along with human reality.)
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    Nov 30 2013: A D E - is pure EXPERIENCE but not a view of any sorts

    1. When one has the bodily death experience, even for some minutes, Self almost instantly begins to regain / restore its own energy. . These Restoring transformations somehow very familiar to your mind to some point!! You Know this experience.

    2. There are no clear terms in our manmade languages yet for describing this experience in words. When one is involved in this Experience he/she has no language, time, or space as we understand these while attached to our physical bodies.

    One Restores one's OWN GRAVITY within your Self, that has been crippled. While we are so lost in our artificial society as its "units", given artificial identities, we have almost no control over our social "recognition", brainwashed by conventional beliefs.

    The ADE gives you the most overwhelming sense of your own previously lost and suppressed sense of Self.. .

    Why? How? i was very young at that time, but still overwhelmed and thinking...

    One thing I must tell for sure - when separated from my physical body I returned !! to my authentic powerful Self instantly (needed no human-made name or "id" or any category….no neurons, or atoms, no numbers, philosophy or sciences in order to "identify" myself and My Reality)
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      Nov 30 2013: Vera, As I look deeper into some of the things you say (like the last paragraph) I can see where you have been. You become quite clear and understandable as far as the words can take me. You describe a place beyond words, symbols and labels that I understand. It is the stillness of no mind, no body, no senses, only spirit and above that doesn't matter. That is the tie that binds us to the core. Your core, my core and collectively our core.
  • Nov 28 2013: Colleen,

    I realize that the word 'concocted" can generate some strong feeling within, especially to certain individuals, who just can't tolerate someone should dare question the reality of their concocted reality, let alone dare not to accept it as 'their' reality. (yea i did use their and 'their' to denote different individuals). When we look at an individuals reality we can see that it is "concocted" ; whether this reality reflect the actual reality or not is a whole different matter, in fact in both cases its true "When we look at an individuals reality we can see that it is 'concocted'" some individuals will take offense at this fact and some will recognize this fact!

    When a person responds/acts based on their reality in reality they cross over a critical line. For example when somebody hits me for stating the truth... because in their reality they think that I made a grave unacceptable offense to them... somebody crossed over a crucial line. Its one thing to think I offended them its a whole different matter when they they act on that thought and actually hit me. One case involves an imagined offense while the other involves the matter of an actual case of a grave unacceptable offense. Even the the case of creating an imagined offense in their reality is rather grave. For multiple of reasons... from mental thought to physical action there is a small difference (in some cases mental thoughts are even considered physical actions).

    I am sure you are aware of many a conflict that stem from individual realities going out to impose their reality unto others and the importance that we develop effective means to cultivate the actual reality based on benevolent ways.

    Whether or not the benevolent ways aligns with someone's reality or not is their business... and so long as someone keeps their business from 'contaminating' the absolute reality they can do whatever they choose to do... The thing is in reality even a single thought/act can influence what happens!
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      Nov 29 2013: Yes Esteban, I am aware of "many a conflict that stem from individual realities going out to impose their reality onto others", and how one may develop to cultivate and impose their own reality. Thank you for demonstrating that in your comments:>)
      • Nov 29 2013: Colleen

        In your posts I observe a constant theme from you seeking to focus on " how one may develop to cultivate and impose their own reality" rather than focus on the importance that we develop effective means to cultivate the actual reality based on benevolent ways.
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          Nov 29 2013: Esteban,
          " how one may develop to cultivate and impose their own reality" are your words. They are not my words, nor my perception or "theme".

          My "theme", as I have expressed it several times on this comment thread, is that as thinking, feeling, intelligent, multi-sensory, multi-dimensional human beings, we have choices regarding how we live our lives. We can take in information on many levels, including many external and internal influences, and we have the ability to sift through information, for the purpose of making choices and decisions which support our life experience.

          It is the information we choose to embrace as our own, and the decisions/choices we make for ourselves that forms our perception and reality. I do not believe there is a right or a wrong path. I believe that we may all be on different paths, and I try my best to support people and the human experience with recognition that what I may think and feel is the right path for me, may not be right for others. The reality of how I live my life may be similar to others, or may be very different, and I have no desire, intent or need to impose anything on someone else.

          Your "theme" appears to be that you want to show or teach everyone the "right" reality, and I do not agree with that as a beneficial practice. The issue between you and me is not that I do not understand you, as you have suggested several times. It is that I do not agree with you. There is a difference between understanding and agreeing:>)
      • Nov 29 2013: Colleen

        " focus on the importance that we develop effective means to cultivate the actual reality based on benevolent ways" are also my words in the same post... Note I basically said I notice you focus on A rather than B and you responded A are your words. Why did you choose to focus on A rather than B. The thing is that in several of your responses you sought to shift the focus from B to A rather than focus on B.

        We agree that we have choices to make regarding how we live our lives, we can focus on collaborating on a shared reality based on what's out there (and within) or we can focus on OUR reality on what's within. I do "...my best to support people and the human experience with recognition that what..." each ought to do what they ought to do based on what they ought to do... you may notice that this last statement is rather 'neutral' and instead of focusing on what one may think/feel/want/believe focuses on each doing what they ought to do... implicit in this is that each freely chooses it... do notice the focus of my words ... It is also a bit telling how though you claim to recognize others paths in this particular case you insist on asserting what you think. I realize that you do not believe there is a right and a wrong path and I also realize that I believer there is a right path. To hurtle over what you and I each choose to believe I focus on choosing the better way. Who wouldn't want to choose the better way and want to choose some other way?

        Indeed there is a difference between understanding and agreeing... there is also a difference between recognizing that someones path may be their path and disagreeing (not agreeing) with such a path.... It seems evident you choose to do the later rather than the former though claim to do the former.

        I wonder why you are not agreeing with a" focus on the importance that we develop effective means to cultivate the actual reality based on benevolent ways"... seems self evident we ought to do it for many reasons.
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          Nov 29 2013: Dear Esteban,
          As I said, I have read most of your comments, and I am aware of the words you use.

          I have not, in any way "sought to shift the focus..." Esteban. I have expressed my thoughts and feelings regarding the topic question. It seems apparent that we disagree about some things, and that is ok with me. We both have the ability to express what we believe as individuals....our perceived reality.

          Yes, we seem to agree that we have choices to make regarding how we live our lives. If we agree, it feels more like a collaboration, and when people do not agree, it feels less like a collaboration, or shared perception, and that is ok too, because we each have our own perception and reality.

          Definition of "Ought"...
          "used to express obligation; expectation or logical consequence; duty".

          Esteban, you use the word "ought" quite a bit when referring to what you think people should do, so it suggests that you have expectations regarding what people ought to do, and it suggests that you feel there is an obligation or duty toward logical consequences.

          What appears to be "logical consequences" to one person, may not be the same for everyone, and you seem to have expectations that the consequences WILL be the same regarding one's personal reality.

          I do not think it is realistic to expect all people to "focus on collaborating on a shared reality", because as individuals, we often experience reality in different ways.

          I continue to express what I think and feel about you insisting on "collaborating on a shared reality", because it seems to involve accepting YOUR reality as the one and only.

          Please note that you have used words of mine as a quote.....inappropriately.

          I wholeheartedly support, encourage and agree with functioning in benevolent ways, and I have said that several times, in several different ways throughout our conversation.
      • Nov 29 2013: Colleen

        I wonder what to do with the following situation please do share your suggestions...

        It looks to me that you continue to express what you think and feel because it seems TO YOU to involve something... The curious thing is that I keep letting you know that it is not regarding SOMEONE's personal reality it is regarding THE shared reality! It seems to me you insists on making it about SOMEONE's personal reality while insisting it's about me wanting to impose my reality... Furthermore you insist on shifting the meaning of what I stated in a particular form ; from the reality into someones reality. Then you chastise me for doing something that you think I did . Take your statement " referring to what you think people should do"... now consider one more in line with what I stated " referring to what people should do". Notice the shift from 'what I/YOU/OTHERS think/feel/want to be' towards 'what be'

        I wonder if the reference to me quoting words of yours inappropriately involves my attempt to express an idea seeking to give credit for some of the words there which I basically copied and pasted to use and incorporate into what I wanted to express. Please note and know we actually agree on that idea, I too feel you have used words of mine as a quote.....inappropriately. -Though I see a little difference in the way we do it, I perceive that you do it misrepresenting what I said while I do it to incorporate something you said into what I state. For example look five and six posts up... to me you left out the fundamental part "the importance that we develop effective means to cultivate the actual reality based on benevolent ways".
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          Nov 29 2013: Esteban,
          I simply reply to your comments and clarify my perspective. The only thing it involves for me, is a conversation.

          It is not appropriate or accurate Esteban to "incorporate" my words into what you "wanted to express", simply because it appears that what you were trying to express is different from what I expressed.

          I am sorry if you believe that I misrepresented what you said. I copied your statements that I referred to, and my intent is not to misrepresent.

          I already agreed with you Esteban regarding "benevolent ways".

          We seem to agree on several things, and we disagree on some things, and that is ok with me.....I agree to disagree. I have no need or desire to continue going around in circles.

          Thank you for the conversation.
      • Nov 29 2013: Colleen ,

        In a way you, me (and others) in this conversation are participating in a shared experience while each be immersed within their own experiences. At the same time we are sort of the champions for certain ideas (or the pawns of certain ideas). Ideally through our interactions everything and everyone would benefit as each move and evolves.

        Sort of like you, I reply to your comments and seek to clarify perspectives while integrating a deeper understanding of what be going on. I believe you when you state that your intent is not to misrepresent... still when I observe it happening it can be an invitation to all sort of stuff... personally don't put to much attention on what happened just observe it for what it be and move on to what to do with it and what can be done to keep it from repeating... (well in some cases how to keep it repeating).

        Consider that my intent when incorporating something you stated into what I express seeks to say "thats true especially when one consider this..."

        I think that in essence we agree in most of the things. I too thank you for the conversations.

        One can agree... One can disagree ... One can agree to disagree... One can agree to agree...
        I choose to agree


        Till our paths cross again... enjoy your adventure...
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          Nov 29 2013: Esteban,
          With your attempt at "integrating a deeper understanding of what be going on" ( your words in the comment above), you are speculating and/or insisting on YOUR own perspectives...."what be going on" in YOUR perception. No matter what I say to clarify "what be going on" for me, you insist on "what be going on" for YOU. I am aware of your practice...."well in some cases how to keep it repeating", as you insightfully say.

          I do enjoy the adventure of life Esteban, and again..."I agree to disagree. I have no need or desire to continue going around in circles".

          Thank you for the conversation.
      • Nov 29 2013: Colleen,

        I am aware of your practice... and a bit of "what be going on"... Including what each is contributing to what happens..

        thank you for the conversations...
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      Nov 29 2013: Esteban, So now I'm concocting all this am I? One ought use kinder and gentler terms. How can you and Colleen be so selfish when Harold is in such grave danger? Colleen is right Harald is changing, I've noticed it to. He has Acquired Multiple Reality Disorder (AMRD). I've seen many cases but none so rampant and quick to spread. The manifestation of the disease occurs very subtle, first the mental attempt to alter and bend followed by acute and severe fragmentation and division, ending in separation and total denial of reality. There is no cure. May I suggest you two stop arguing and prepare a back up summary.

      "Conflict must be resolved. It cannot be evaded, set aside, denied, disguised, seen somewhere else, called by another name, or hidden by deceit of any kind, if it would be escaped. It must be seen exactly as it is, where it is thought to be, in the reality which has been given it, and with the purpose that the mind accorded it. For only then are its defenses lifted, and the truth can shine upon it as it disappears."
      • Nov 29 2013: Larry,

        I would not go as far as to say all of it :-) ... Lets also keep in perspective that the strong connotations WE associate to certain words be OUR doing.

        Yes I agree we ought to use kinder and gentler terms... while at the same time having some fun with the stuff we create... I have concocted some wonderful stuff... Here follows the vaccine to what you described : He ought to Acquire Multiple Reality Order (AMRO). The manifestation of the cure occurs very subtle, first the mental attempt to alter and bend is bent and altered just so it ends up straight. This is followed by acute and severe defragmentation and integration, resulting in a unified and total coherent recognition of reality which included what each one thinks of reality. There is also the benefit that once the process is initiated the cure is assure sooner or later. In addition to that one reaches a conscious state where one does what one ought to do and enjoys it while spreading the seeds to immunize anyone who comes in contact with them.

        Yes you may suggest what you suggested as evidenced by the fact you did it. I

        BTW I think some of us have been more than generous with each other. Yes some remain within harms and dangerous ways convinced of their own safety. Everyone been told what needed to be told and each chooses what to think ...
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          Nov 29 2013: Esteban, Brilliant you have found a way to use the disease against itself. Perhaps I should try the vaccine first and make sure it works. I mean to make sure there are no side effects. I saw your comment prior "some will smile and some will snarl' and busted out laughing.
      • Nov 30 2013: Larry,

        Be aware that there are side effects...
        ... what side effects? now thats the question.
        ... for some its a smile ...
        ... for other its something a bit more demanding (till they learn to relax and smile)
        ... I have a little dog named 'lucky', that I take for walks every day...
        ... On the corner street lives A big black dog named 'Apollo'...
        ... Funny thing is that Apollo snarls waving its tail ...
        ... I tried taking dog treats to 'educate' Apollo to relax and just be and let us be at peace...
        ... It was hilarious to me to see Apollo about to sit in a more relaxed position...
        ... as Lucky intervened with a playful snarl of his own ...
        ... Apollo reacted with his energetic snarls... and didn't get the treat...
        ... lucky is now crying next to me to go out for a walk

        ... Do note that "make sure it works" is a symptom ...
        ... which may introduce the 'doubts' that prevent it working... (or get's you to do something that just makes things sour) Its like with love if someone seeks to make sure it work it ain't love...

        question is will the sin toms make you smile or do something else...
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          Nov 30 2013: Esteban, I have subjected myself to your prescribed AMRO vaccine. Introduced was a very small dose, on an empty stomach for rapid absorption and an open mind to avoid placebo effect. Results were staggering although they did not follow the order you stated. First occurrence of experience is the layer of denial was pierced that hindered me from seeing the disease within myself and admitting I am infected. Mental capacity reestablished denial could then be used as reference for redirection and used as a tool to deny what is false within me. Pursuant to time release clean house and find and store the jewels among all the garbage, purge and defrag. The cleaned stream of consciousness now follows Good Orderly Direction. I did not see any effect on reality; it did not appear to be the source of the self orchestrated problem. Immunization is: lead by example. Side effect results will vary patient to patient. As you say “some will smile and some will snarl”. Should I take more of the vaccine until their snarl is gone?
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        Nov 30 2013: Larry, your comments match very well your profile photo.....or maybe it's your photo that matches your comments ?
        anyway.....
        • Nov 30 2013: Harald,

          Do you want us to judge on appearances or content?
          Are we to focus on the messenger or the message?
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          Nov 30 2013: Harald, thanks for recognizing my atonement to Oneself.
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          Nov 30 2013: Esteban, You grow brighter by your questions and so do I. A man sees and hears what he wills to and disregards the rest.
        • Nov 30 2013: Larry,

          Does a man sees and hears what he wills to and disregards the rest?

          Seems to me a man sees and hears what be and chooses what to keep and what to disregard.

          Some keep the diamonds though they may need polishing and discard the shiny glasses...
          some keep the shiny glasses and discard the diamonds as useless pebbles ...
          somme keep the truly valuable and discard the rest.
      • Nov 30 2013: Larry,

        Try it with a full stomach and in line with the placebo effect (to maximize the results..) also note that the vaccine needs to be used completely ... for example 'denial' needs to become 'awareness' 'hindered' could be replaced by 'facilitated'... keep in mind that Good Orderly Direction Works Always Yields in dew time...

        yea denial will hinder one from perceiving stuff (you see it while thinking you don't see it)
        awareness and recognition facilitates one perceive stuff as it is (see it while thinking one sees it does helps to distinguish the stuff and perform the validations required)

        Well it would be more productive if instead of taking more of the vaccine yourself to stop their snarls you helped them take the vaccine :-)
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      Nov 30 2013: Hi Esteban

      You have nothing to prove to anyone, especially people that disagree with your comments. The fact that they disagree can only means that they have a narrow view of the world and are affraid of enlarging it. they are the masters of Egocentricity, very clever but lacking essence, as their words create more disharmony than anything. They try and convince you that they are right and you are wrong, and attck what you say under the pretense that they try to help you.
      • Nov 30 2013: Johnny,

        It took me a while to realize that when someone who is wrong asserts to somebody who is right that somebody is wrong... it meant that someone is wrong ... rather than somebody! You are right have noting to prove, in fact the proof does not change the validity of a claim one iota... What is valid is valid and what isn't isn't. The fact that they disagree or agree with a broader view of the world and the fact some are afraid of enlarging THEIR consideration exposes what each chooses to hold and contribute to their reality and the reality of others. Some individuals are indeed the masters of egocentricity, going to the extent of claiming that if they don't recognize something to be then something isn't so. Thats like blocking the sun with one's finger. I am aware of those who try and convince others that they are right and others are wrong when in fact others are right and they are wrong... and even-though being right in principle gives one the right to tell others they are wrong, it would be wrong to do so... because that would focus on cultivating wrong! I prefer to cultivating what be right, by telling others what be right and thus cultivating what be right... in me and in others. As you say some are very cleaver and lacking essence.Sometimes they are ok it is just that the ideas they choose as companions have 'intoxicate them' into seeing right as wrong and wrong as right or that there isn't right nor wrong. Yea right, who actually believes that all path lead to the mountain top? Evidently to those who know the path some ways are dead-ends and some are merry go round and round... and though some like to think and comfort themselves with the idea that any path is fine so long it ends at the mountain top; evidently there are path where a mistake leaves the climber at the base and there are paths where mistakes have little repercussion,( one can stumble forward and be closer to the top). Personally I prefer the better path, its full of helpful companions.
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          Nov 30 2013: Esteban, Because I am judging. Judge, condemn, attack and then suffer. All I do, I do to myself. My process is absolute, complete and unconditional surrender. At times I still want to fight a losing battle. Surrender means I don't have to fight anymore. Surrender means I give up nothing and receive everything.
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        Nov 30 2013: Johnny, Can I be attacked by anything other than my own attack thoughts? If be have I not rendered myself powerless? Where is the source of my attack thoughts?
        • Nov 30 2013: Larry,

          Them attacking thoughts can be cleaver manipulators ... infiltrating and making you believe you have to have them thoughts... I am curious how is it that you know they are your very own thoughts and not some thoughts you happen to entertain?
      • Nov 30 2013: Larry,

        Yea you be judging... while free as to how to judge!
        If you really want them who suffer to really suffer then condemn them to joyfully be! (deprive them of their suffering once and for all)
        if you really want the death of death then 'condemn' it all to eternal life just make sure that it is as it ought to be accordingly to what ought to be...

        Who forces you to cultivate condemnation attacks and the suffering?
        You could cultivate acceptance, peace gratefulness joy

        FWIIW, Those who want you to get into a fight know that if you fight you lose and if you don't fight you lose... so just dance with them and show them how to move. BTW when one choose to do the will of God one's will becomes aligned with God's will and both do what they want to do its actually the same thing for each to truly and actually be happy and fulfilled ...
  • Nov 28 2013: The reality which we see is the perception of senses. Our brain cannot differentiate between the external reality and the internal reality.

    Just close you eyes and visualalize any object.While you will be visualizing the object , in the first few seconds or few minutes (depending upon your concentration level) the image of the object will remain in your right part of the brain , but as your concentration will increase , the object will start to appear in 3 dimension form in front of your eyes while the eyes are still closed.When this will happen you will experience vibrations in your body. The more the object appears more clearly to you the more your body starts to vibrate.And when the object along with its surrounding environment starts appearing like reality,then the vibration of you body stop and you no more feel your body. Your brain has now withdrawn the consciousness from your body and you have been cut of from the external reality and now you are in the internal reality.

    Now whatever you will see will be the reality as you generally see the external reality.

    Once I was doing this , in the internal virtual reality I found myself in the middle of the road.A car came and hit my right knee and I felt acute pain in the virtual reality.When came out of the virtual reality my knee was still paining and it still pains.
    • Nov 28 2013: Santokh,

      Thank you for that... EFT may help with that virtually real pains... A while back I used to have real vivid dreams fortunately for me I had in place bumpers shields that kept harms at bay... you are right our brains have a difficult time distinguishing the external reality and the internal reality ... in a way memory just relives the event...anew... we could take control of the flow of events we are reliving but must think they just have one option and have to endure it all over again... just acknowledge the situation, see all possibilities, and choose the better one... I believe it has been demonstrated that under hypnosis one can create burns and heal ...

      just remember to cultivate what you want... and keep in mind that the notion of not thinking of an apple keeps us focused on that apple and on not thinking... better to use the notion of thinking of a pear or an orange or a banana or a monkey or an elephant....
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    Nov 28 2013: I'd like to add to what you are saying - our choices must be always limited - I trust that we deal with different kinds of resistance from without, in order to be stimulated to find the best way to survive. Without this greatly effecting us resistance we will lose our integrity as individual creatures. (Love the concept of the Heraclitus' Oposites)
    ,,,….
    Math can describe only its own conventional/ imaginable "absolute" because it is suffering great many logical mistakes. It is a "flaming" subject for a new conversation. Best Regards!
    • Nov 28 2013: Which is the "flaming" subject for a new conversation?

      If by " our choices must be always limited" you meant that certain possibilities are best kept as possibilities ... then indeed our choices must be always limited to the better ways...
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        Nov 28 2013: I'm talking about Fundamental mistakes in mathematics and its logic. B. Russell tried but could not nail them - unfortunately. But very young children, uncorrupted by conventions, reveal them, for instance when they say that 1+1=1 (if the rules of math manipulate the "same" "identical" units than no matter how many times you take unit1 it will stay the same 1…….)

        The evidence is endless in every equation. I explain this by referring to the grand crudeness of our perceptions governed by the nature's laws of perceiving - we do not yet understand these - and ignore in all sciences. The whole wonder-world of math is based on that very deceiving perception of sight! If we try to acknowledge and comprehend these fundamental laws conditioning our own limitations, our sciences will change dramatically, along with our recycling mentality.
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          Nov 28 2013: Not sure I follow.
          Are you referring to Goedel's incompleteness Theorem ?
        • Nov 29 2013: Vera

          One intended meaning + One perceived meaning = one shared meaning
          Here one + one does equal one!
          One apple + one human = apple gone (especially if human is quite hungry and entitled to eat the apple).

          Of course the human may take the apple seeds and appropriately cultivate them into trees to have abundant apples to eat then one manipulated apple becomes infinite in number...of apples with apple sauce and cider and all sort of other goodies ...

          I agree that we need to "...acknowledge and comprehend these fundamental laws conditioning our own limitations, .... , along with our recycling mentality". The notion about our sciences will change dramatically... not so sure I think new sciences will be developed and simply replace old archaic useless ones abandoned...
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      Nov 28 2013: Hi Vera,
      "Math can describe only its own conventional/ imaginable "absolute" because it is suffering great many logical mistakes"
      Care to elaborate what exactly you mean ?
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        Nov 28 2013: Hello Harald. I'm talking about Fundamental mistakes in mathematics and its broken logic. B. Russell tried but could not nail them - unfortunately. But very young children, still uncorrupted by conventions, reveal them, for instance when they think that 1+1=1. If the rules of math manipulate only "same" "identical" units than no matter how many times you take unit 1 it will stay the same 1……. however in our math game we presume (but never admit it) that a unit 1 and another unit 1 are somehow Different, or our sight perception would not be able to differentiate them. Identical, Ideal, unchanged copies do not survive in any reality, but only in our beliefs. )

        The evidence is endless in every equation. I explain this by referring to the grand crudeness of our perceptions governed by the nature's laws of perceiving - we do not yet understand these - and ignore in all sciences. The whole wonder-world of math "lives" within its thick walls guarded by its artificial rules.

        It is unaware that Its system is "based" on that very deceiving perception of sight! If we try to acknowledge and comprehend these fundamental nature's laws conditioning our own limitations in everything we do, our sciences will change dramatically, along with our recycling mentality. For the better.

        Fascinating subject - Needs another conversations :)
        • Nov 29 2013: Vera,

          You seem to be talking about identical copies existing in math. Thanks I had never considered that analogy... Yea a variable is the same variable thought expressed in different parts of the equation... BTW Consider that sometimes individuals are under the influence of their beliefs ... they are unaware that Its system is "based" on biases that lead to deceiving perception of reality...

          Thank you I now see something anew...
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        Nov 29 2013: Hi Harald, you just mentioned the brightest logician who was dealing with math all his life.
        Aaah! Gödel :) beautiful very sensitive soul. Though such a sweet dreamer, his powerful nature's intuition helped him push such an established math-genius, as Hilbert , on the side of the road. (was he still 25?) Your example is a good example.

        I wish to generalize - if one wants to understand how our minds work, for instance in math, we have to make a step beyond that very restrictive math mentality. (I think that Heisenberg's Uncertainty might be a daring invitation to rethink our commonly stiff mentality, mundane and scientific. This works beautifully. The lack of certainty is an unavoidable condition of all our realities, of all sorts.)
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          Nov 29 2013: Vera, Gödel's theorems are highly complex mathematical logic.I'm afraid that goes a bit beyond my abilities or at least I would need to put some dedicated effort into this topic.
          As to Heisenber, don't forget that his uncertainty theory applies to the quantum world . What he basically said is that, if, for example, you have a moving particle you can either determine it's location or speed, but not both.
          In reality, there are uncertainties (for example whether we will be still alive by tomorrow) but also certainties (if you jump off the roof of a building you fall down and eventually hit the ground. There is no reason to even consider flying up instead).
        • Nov 30 2013: Harald,

          What if as one is falling down one gets a massive heart attack and dies on the way down? Will it still be true that someone will hit the ground? BTW the today's uncertainties may become tomorrows certainties unless we keep shifting and moving tomorrow to tomorrow :-)
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    Nov 28 2013: The same story when we call someone "genius" based on abilities to judge.

    (Always the case when critiques or public do not notice an extraordinary talent, because they are relying on their own ignorance and narrow-mindedness.)

    We like to appraise whatever comes to us, but these evaluations reflect our own abilities.
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    Nov 28 2013: Colleen, it is always delightful to read your thoughtful comments. Cheers
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      Nov 28 2013: Thank you Vera, and I enjoy your insightful comments as well my friend. I notice that you mentioned your near death experience on this thread, and that seems very connected to the topic for me. Based on my near death experience, and my experience caring for dying people in a terminal care facility, I realize that being close to death often changes or enhances our perception and reality regarding life. Perhaps this is one reason we enjoy and appreciate each others perspectives?
      • Nov 28 2013: Colleen,

        I wonder of those participating here and taking a given stand how many have had a personal near death experience. To succinctly put it how many have actually died and come back ... and from the two sets (have had it and have had it not) how many in each set hold one view and the other view. Let's keep in mind that some who have had the experience may just don't recognize it as such. From what others have described to me I can think of an experience which borders on that last line...
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          Nov 28 2013: Colleen, I'm thinking about starting this very Conversation - it deserves our very special attention.

          I'm awaiting for the Ted's approval for "HAVE YOU BEEN THROUGH AFTER-DEATH-EXPERIENCE? CAN YOU EXPLAIN THESE TRANSFORMATIONS, INVISIBLE TO CORPOREAL EYES?" (probably a clumsily-put question…)

          I also want to point that NDE is badly confused with After Death experience, the difference is quite crucial.

          Please join me then :)
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          Nov 29 2013: Esteban,

          I do not know how many have had a personal near death experience. I do know, however, that it is more common than most people think.

          In my years of guest lecturing at the university on the topic of near death experience, there was always at least one or two students in the class who had a NDE or knew someone who had one. It is not at all unusual:>)
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          Nov 29 2013: Hi Esteban, I believe that many people go through some illusive experience - the causes are variable, illness, injuries, drugs.... The only experience that is absolutely misinterpreted and missunderstood is when one's physical body is dead, not drugged or injured !! - it is very rare.

          This rarest experience tells us more than one can imagine. Reality can entirely change along with our perceptions. Talk you soon :)
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          Nov 30 2013: Hi Esteban. A D E - is pure EXPERIENCE but not a view of any sorts

          1. When one has the bodily death experience, even for some minutes, Self almost instantly begins to regain / restore its own energy. . These Restoring transformations somehow very familiar to your mind to some point!! You Know this experience.

          2. There are no clear terms in our manmade languages yet for describing this experience in words. When one is involved in this Experience he/she has no language, time, or space as we understand these while attached to our physical bodies.

          One Restores one's OWN GRAVITY within your Self, that has been crippled. While we are so lost in our artificial society as its "units", given artificial identities, we have almost no control over our social "recognition", brainwashed by conventional beliefs.

          The ADE gives you the most overwhelming sense of your own previously lost and suppressed sense of Self.. .

          Why? How? i was very young at that time, but still overwhelmed and thinking...

          One thing I must tell for sure - when separated from my physical body I returned !! to my authentic powerful Self instantly (needed no human-made name or "id" or any category….no neurons, or atoms, no numbers, philosophy or sciences in order to "identify" myself and My Reality)
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      Nov 29 2013: I'll be glad to join you Vera....let me know when the conversation begins. Are you aware that there are other conversations on TED (closed now I believe) about NDE/OBEs?
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        Nov 29 2013: I'm aware. Though, My point is that there is a crucial difference between them - just my opinion based on my own cases. Will be happy to let you know, Colleen, well, if they'll approve this blog.
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      Nov 29 2013: I agree Vera, that many people go through experiences which may change their perception of reality regarding the life adventure, and you mention "illness, injuries, drugs...."

      While I have observed many people making beneficial changes in their lives after serious illness and injury to themselves or loved ones, I have not observed the use of recreational drugs to be helpful to beneficial change.
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        Nov 30 2013: I do not remember when I've felt so happy by reading a Ted's post. Your post. Hope to talk to you very soon.
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          Nov 30 2013: I am glad I could contribute to your happiness Vera!

          When discussing the topic of "what is reality", drug use probably fits right in the conversation, because I've heard lots of people say that recreational drug use enhances their reality. That being said however, one can usually observe the state of their lives to be aware of something different.

          My perception is a bit colored by this, because my experience with drug users was with incarcerated men, most of whom (95%) are drug and/or alcohol dependent. They often talked about a higher level of awareness, a wonderful altered state of being, etc. The fact is however, that they were involved in crime, usually connected with the drug use, and they were incarcerated. So, while drug use may temporarily alter one's perception, it does not generally change the way one lives his/her life, and probably compromises the life adventure more than benefits.
        • Nov 30 2013: Colleen,

          I just heard a talk in ted that may be related...
          The experience will not be happier through they will think to be happier!

          Someone recommended I look into Daniel Kahneman... and I found - The riddle of experience vs. memory: Daniel Kahneman on TED.com
          (http://blog.ted.com/2010/03/01/the_riddle_of_e/ )

          Interesting talk what differentiates the experiencing self from the reflective self...
          It turns out that they did a study involving

          How much did they suffer
          How much did they think they suffered

          I now wonder what would be the encompassing domain that would integrates these two... with the twist of shifting to experience both wellbeing and happiness ...
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          Nov 30 2013: I watched that talk years ago Esteban, and here is my first comment on that comment thread:

          "Colleen Steen
          Mar 1 2010: Wonderful! What we focus on expands. What defines the story of our lives? The "experiencing self lives its life" in the moment, then that moment is gone. The "remembering self" holds onto a story, and with the story telling mind, chooses a focus. Great talk...great reminder:>)"

          http://www.ted.com/talks/daniel_kahneman_the_riddle_of_experience_vs_memory.html
        • Nov 30 2013: Colleen,

          What was interesting to me to notice how the 'remembering self' 'choose to focus' on a certain part of the experience rather than the experience as a whole... how the remembered pain could be lowered by prolonging and increasing the overall exposure to pain so long as at the end three was less pain...
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        Dec 1 2013: Steven Jobs claimed that taking LSD was one of the most important and influential things he ever did. When he died and lots of biographical material surfaced for people's interest, this was one piece.

        Here is one quote from Jobs: “Taking LSD was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life. LSD shows you that there’s another side to the coin, and you can’t remember it when it wears off, but you know it. It reinforced my sense of what was important—creating great things instead of making money, putting things back into the stream of history and of human consciousness as much as I could.”
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    Nov 28 2013: Where does your mind reside?

    Examples:

    1. Many feel it as some sort of an illusive, undetected by sense-perceptions and tech tools, balloon of feelings, thoughts and dreams. It is hanging over one's body, temporary connected to its brain.

    In scientific terms this still untouchable, invisible cloud-like formation, must be created based on our brain's activities. Therefore, in clinical mentality a brain/body development is responsible for the very existence of Mind or Soul, explaining that the formation of brain's neurons begins only in the earliest stages of human development. This means when one's body is born one's body has some brain but no mind or soul.
    No convincing clinical explanation in this direction have been found yet. (Maybe only in some trivial cases, when we commonly point towards our foreheads - meaning that we think :) As I said this before, no researcher, surgeon or a butcher found any image, thought or dreams in brains.

    2. Here is a very Different belief.
    The evidence of the sense of the power in our deep subconsciousness, expressing the very existence of Self, is undeniable. in our very early childhood when our minds are still self-conscious, uncorrupted by ready-to-go ideas, - this power is absolutely overwhelming, compared to sensations related to the following, new experience of the physical. This power of Self is prevailing over everything else within ourselves, beyond bodies, as long as Self keeps itself in one composition. Some well-known religions/philosophies (for instance, Buddhism) trust that soul/mind can live and develop independently from a physical body. A body is just a challenge.

    3. Some lucky individuals who went through this very obscure to teh rest after-death-experience know that this experience absolutely cannot be related even to the most impressive types of hallucinations, illusions or dreams.
    I was one of these lucky ones, when was pronounced clinically dead on that operation table.
    • Nov 28 2013: Vera,

      Just validating that last sentence... you had a clinically dead experience? In other words you died and came back? And even more astonishing that happen while others where present and aware that you passed over and then returned?
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        Nov 28 2013: Well, my physical body was pronounced clinically-dead, but not my Self.

        This subject deserves a brand new Conversation, though it is "organically" related to this one started by Harald.

        We do experience realities that effect our whole existence, in every instant, but most of these transformations are hidden from our corporeal eyes no matter how greatly we augment them.


        Thank you for you interest, Esteban!
        • Nov 28 2013: Thanks for validating / sharing...

          As you probably know in time everything will be revealed... some will love it and then some will...get loved while thinking they aren't loved nor lovable.... Brené Brown: Listening to shame ( http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_listening_to_shame.html ) provides an interesting talk that differentiates between making a mistake and being one. Even-though the focus of the talk centers a bit on negativity and I prefer a more positive focus once that is filtered out one may find lots of core ideas to be quite useful . Just recognize the situation, and choose what to do about it.

          BTW just to restate --- provides an interesting talk that differentiates between doing something and being a certain way. Evidently what one does repeatedly to some degree determines how a being is without that precluding freewill to choose how a being is
  • Nov 26 2013: Harald,

    I am responding up here for simplicity sake ...

    Maybe its about making the best possible choice under uncertainty!

    To you it may seem obvious that if something is uncertain you can't make any choice being certain about the outcome... then again to me it's a doemostable fact one can choose an be certain about the outcome while forever remaining uncertain about something in the choice... sometimes one just focuses on what be desired and how to achieve that. Tell you what seek a particular case to prove that in what what you think to be actually happens not to be the case ... Do note that many of the assertions I make and I think to be true just happens to be true

    BTW maybe some insist on it being based on the available information because thats the only way they have to make a choice...
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      Nov 26 2013: OK, let's take again an example.
      The statement "It will rain tomorrow" obviously contains a degree of uncertainty (unless you put your faith into the weather report).
      You can make a choice of whether or not you will go with an umbrella. You have no means to know if this decision was the right one or not until after the day is over and you can confirm it rained or didn't rain.
      Another example:
      you buy some shares of your favorite enterprise because it's said stocks will go sky high within the next week.
      Until you actually see the stock price one week from now, you have no means to know whether or not your choice was the right one.

      "Do note that many of the assertions I make and I think to be true just happens to be true "
      Unfortunately I do not note that because I'm still waiting for specific examples to your ideas which are not coming forth.

      You can make a choice without having any information. The question is how good the choice will be. Making choices without having information is called "guessing".

      Again, as I said several times.
      If you have a thought, be clear, specific, bring examples and support your idea in some way.
      • Nov 27 2013: Harald,

        What you said stems from your present way of thinking... good luck with that...

        Notice how you demand others to support their ideas while insisting not to support yours. I used to get draw into the "let me prove it to you" and gave it up because some believers in science will not change their beliefs in science even when confronted with the facts. I just remembered that notion of the blind leading the blind... and will add unwilling to open their eyes and see...
  • Comment deleted

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      Nov 26 2013: is this post in response to another one ?
      I'm missing context here.
  • Nov 26 2013: Exactly the opposite of what we're dreaming to be;
    at that same time, we're afraid of the thought of it going worse.

    It's like the unsatisfactory meal you just got offered.

    Nonetheless, you can't discard it.
    • Nov 26 2013: Elizabeth,

      some choose to focus on making the dream into a reality and are diligently working to make it better...

      You certainly can discard that meal you just got offered ... wether you choose to do it or not is a whole different matter. Hopefully you will choose to embrace and eat what's good for you even if you consider it unsatisfactory at first... question is will you choose to embrace what I offered here or reject it ...
      • Nov 26 2013: Thanks Esteban.
        I do appreciate your advice.
        Although I still think what we think of 'reality' is nothing but a thing we should learn to let it go anyway, I am truly moved by your reply...
        Maybe, so foolishly, that's what I wanted to(needed to) hear from someone--as to my response here.

        It just occurred to me.
        I remember the time when I wrote (in my high school essay) that life is not a race in reality, but dreams I have in the process of living ‘a life’


        Love,
        Liz
        • Nov 26 2013: Elizabeth,

          In spanish race can be translated as 'competencia' which has the dual meaning of a competition (winers-loosers) and a competence (those who have acquired a skill to perform) ... and the race also remind me of the turtle and the rabbit story among many other notions... even how that race shares a trait with a strategy competition that won the competition when it could not win. (if interested in this last one look up Tit-for-tat). The strategy that won had a simple heuristic : first collaborate then mirror the other .... implicitly in that process is the notion of both remembering and letting go of 'reality'. Yes we ought to learn to let go of what we think of 'reality' to think of reality accordingly to reality which incidentally includes the dreams we have of it, us and others.

          Sometimes the races are a way to unite a bunch of individuals to do some exercises, have fund, and raise funds for a particular cause and tell stories before during and after the event.

          I am glad you took the courage to participate and then follow it up... In a way I have this pet-peve sensitivity to certain frames of ideas that 'I just have to challenge'... well its more along the lines of "Hey did you notice that idea (fear) that tagged along with your thoughts (what we're dreaming to be;) and made it's way into the party" ... Shall we allow it (fear) to say, shall we nicely acknowledge its presence (and choose to focus on other guests at the party like happy, and peace and knowledge) shall we move on to focus on better stuff...
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        Nov 26 2013: Yes, and some choose to focus on making the nightmare into a reality and are diligently working to make it worse... Wisdom is knowing the difference.
        • Nov 26 2013: Note that the nightmare is just a kind of dream... so just work with the dream to ensure it focuses on the better ways... the way to make it better is by focusing on making it better ... BTW if you focus on the solution you implicitly create the problem ... if you focus on what to do with the current situation... well that just focuses on what to do with the current situation :-)
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      Nov 26 2013: Hi Liz,
      while we probably can't change the fundamental laws of the universe we still can change our subjective reality.
      Instead of being afraid, it's better to bend your reality towards what you want it to be. Not always easy, yet possible.
      In other words, you can reject the unsatisfactory meal, just be prepared to stay hungry until you get a better offering ;-)
      • Nov 26 2013: Of course one could also work on producing a better satisfactory meal :-) rather than just waiting to get a better offering :-)
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          Nov 26 2013: We agree on this one ;-)
        • Nov 27 2013: “Yes we ought to learn to let go of what we think of 'reality' to think of reality accordingly to reality which incidentally includes the dreams we have of it, us and others.”
          Yup~!
          You hit the nail on the head.


          I sometimes hope that ‘reality’ is just a cold ‘wake-up call’ for the young—in order to make us feel like we still need to grow up.
          We face ‘reality’ every day, but it somehow ends up being a buzzkill to our hopes.

          However, in reality, we ‘find’ a way to dream—even impossible—dreams…
          And it motivates us to choose what to do—for ourselves.
          (According to you replies) I think that is the most important lesson—choose—for us.
          Still…No entiendo….as to ‘life’ and his friend ‘reality’

          Gracias :)
      • Nov 27 2013: Hi Herald~~!

        And... starve to death...? (lol I'm kidding!!)
        "it's better to bend your reality towards what you want it to be. "
        That's an interesting view.
        And if you don't mind, may I ask you to elaborate, please?
        Any examples would do.

        Thanks
        Liz
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          Nov 27 2013: Hi Liz,
          let's assume you are unhappy with your job.
          There are different ways to react.
          Some people complain, whining how bad the boss is or how unfair they are treated or how difficult the coworkers are or how much work there is, etc., etc, etc
          Other people just say, ok this job is not for me for whatever reason it might be and find themselves a new one that suits their expectation better.

          Which option do you think is better ?
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    Nov 26 2013: Continuation from below comment....

    Esteban you talk about the three dimensions of mind, body and spirit. In truth, I am struggling to understand this in regards to how it corresponds to reality. However, I like Stuart Hammeroff’s description of these dimensions during outer body experiences occurring during near death experiences. He describes how when quantum coherence and quantum computations driven by metabolism ends (when the blood stops flowing), quantum information leaks out to the universe at large because it exists in the Planck scale (it exists in the most fundamental level). Coherence is lost and it leaks out to the universe at large. He states it doesn’t dissipates entirely because of entanglement and plus the universe is holographic. It remains in the phase relationship and can persist in the subconscious dreamlike level outside the body.

    Hammeroff also describes when an individual dies, quantum information/consciousness or protoconsciousness is not destroyed it, it may sort of dissipate or hang together due to quantum entanglement and can exist in some sort of afterlife hence, the possibility of reincarnation. Esteban you also mentioned “Humans even have the capacity to create stuff or rearrange the existing stuff. “ Joe Dispenza nicely describes this notion with the correlation of mirror neurons, neuroplasticity and quantum entanglement. Dispenza’s theories rebuts the deterministic view of the absence of free will. It’s an appealing notion however, I’m yet to fully understand it and believe it.

    Thanks guys for this very stimulating discussion and enlightening me. :)
    • Nov 26 2013: Christine,

      My stand stems from integrating a wide variety of notions within a cohesive structure. There is the religious side, the scientific side, there is the even pseudoscience and a bit more. One way of looking at it would be to create a unification storyline that cohesively integrates the different viewpoints enabling them of coexist while separating them. This unification storyline may even apply to just one of the sides where there are different viewpoints. Herald, mentioned that he saw a cognitive dissonance between my simultaneous objective and subjective conception of reality when to me its a bit like a simultaneous distinctive cohesive structure between the territory and map. The thing is that the duality of map-or-territoery for me is actually a triad involving the map, and the territory and the distinctions. Note that the map results from an integration of the territory and the distinctions. The map has a physical component, it also has a distinctions component (distinctions may be just of the map or shared with the territory). In a way this triad sort of maps to the notion of body, mind, spirit (territory, map, distinctions).

      Earlier I was thinking of how I integrated the notion of karma/reincarnation (k/r) within my catholic beliefs as an example of a unification storyline that enables both ways to coexist. Another example would be how I unified creation and evolution. In the case of k/r what I did was play with time... I noticed that an egotistical being will live with their egotism till they learn the lesson. The same for the envious. Till they learn the lesson they are put into life situations to face and learn the lesson. Hint if you learn it with your toys, you will not be competing to get what the joneses have got.

      In what I hold the deterministic view that everything is governed by laws of nature need not negate free will especially when a being exists outside time and space as we know it; exists even prior to the singularity event.
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        Nov 27 2013: Esteban I can see where you are getting at with your “duality of map-or-territory“ theory. From what I can gather from your statements, there may be be another dimension with which there’s “simultaneous distinctive cohesive structure between the territory and map”. I’m seeing there may be correlations to quantum entanglement.

        In regards to your statement “In what I hold the deterministic view that everything is governed by laws of nature need not negate free will especially when a being exists outside time and space as we know it; exists even prior to the singularity event.” My stance on free will is I that I don’t refute the existence and non-existence of free will. I do believe that in our subjective reality we have some degree to be able to bend our reality to what we want it to be. However, in the objective reality where laws of nature apply, there is no free will. With the addition of the “duality of map-or-territory” idea, I’m not sure if free-will may or may not exist in this dimension.

        I see what you mean about how we need note negate free will. As the beginning of real time, would have been a singularity, at which the laws of physics would have broken down. Hawking contends that time began with the big bang, assuming by time he means physical time, since you can’t have physical time before the existence of physical reality. However, Hawking does not preclude the existence of a metaphysical time prior to singularity. The nature of this metaphysical time I’m unsure of. In conclusion, I do not imply or deny freewill exists prior to the singularity event. To do so one would need to answer the age-old question, what was before the big bang? If anyone was able to answer that with evidence then they should be awarded the nobel prize.
        • Nov 27 2013: Christine,

          Indeed the other dimension involves- the domain of distinctions ... the map actually integrates and results from unifying the territory using a set of distinctions to generate the map.

          In regards to our free will it all depends on the stance one takes... for example for those who believe in reincarnation each reincarnation is something they freely choose to get into to hopefully learn a couple of things... (for those who believe in karma each chooses what to get into by the actions they take... and until they choose to take different actions they are locked in a cycle... turn the other cheek is one way... react so as to transform the intended slap into a caress is another way)... the notion of a metaphysical time prior to a singularity would be akin to to what was before we choose to be a certain way... and being a certain way endures till we choose to be another certain way... to some its easy to imagine multiple big bangs ... each creating a new now that last forever... and keeps on adding universes upon universes... maybe the question of what was before or what will come after distracts from the key question... what are we doing now ...
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          Nov 27 2013: Christine, Hawking contends that time began with the big bang. Is not our perception of time based on the foundation of movement?
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        Nov 28 2013: Hi Larry,
        Yes of course, I never refuted that. I just said that I do not imply or deny freewill existed prior to this event. I do not deny it because laws of physics would have broken down before this event. However, I do not imply it because of the possibility of the existence of a metaphysical time.
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    • Nov 26 2013: Crhis,

      There are those who experience sight through their ears!
      They hear a composition and see the music colors.

      BTW I perceive a contradiction :
      " the senses are how we physically experience the various levels of mind which comprise the soul"
      "the senses are not physical."

      From what you posted I consider that by 'vital body' you are referring to some non-physical constitutional 'body'. I wonder if you consider that body to be an individual or is it associated to an individual.
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        • Nov 26 2013: Chris,

          The reason I reported to you that "There are those who experience sight through their ears! " stemmed from knowing of individuals who can see and hear perfectly and experiencing seeing colors when they hear music. If you choose to deny and reject this so be it if you choose to investigate this further thats up to you (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthesia)...

          BTW shifting the conversation from the physical to the etheric basically just shifts its form... the content remains the same... some here will have a much harder time 'talking' at that plane among other issues that surface... like accepting astral travel and projections ... and other fun (and not so fun) stuff. From what you have stated I hold you would recognize that what one believes to be can influence the reality experience and the vital role some beliefs have for being to be able to experience certain things. From what I understand the issue being asked by Harald revolves around the issue of experiencing that which one has no sense to experience. Or to frame it a bit different understand what one cant' understand that is... for some the only reality they can experience is what they experience themselves and just seem unable to grasp the notion of an external absolute reality ... now getting them to perceive how the beliefs one holds influence (sometimes even determines) the absolute realty might just be a bit beyond the impossible (for now at least) ... some are stuck believing what they can't believe because of the beliefs they holds... I have said on multiple occasions 'we be bound to believe while free to choose what to believe' I think you perceive a much deeper level of significance to that statement...

          I want to thank you form helping me get this written... so thank you.
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          Nov 27 2013: I am aware I have a form of Synaesthesia. With my eyes closed while awake if a loud noise occurs I experience a disruptive visual energy behind closed eyes. I self diagnosed it as a signal jumping track or a frayed nerve in the neurological network. This does not occur with the eyes open. Best I can tell eyes open dominate eyes closed eyes want to dominate but can't.

          Sensory connections can even be crossed: One of the ways that it is easy for us to understand the unreliability of the senses is by considering the neurological disorder called synaesthesia. With this disorder, a person's brain connections are different from the typical. When, for example, light comes in the eyes (normally used for sight), the neurological connections might be to the smelling centers of the brain. Thus, one might experience smell when looking at certain objects, or may hear some particular color. How very different would be our descriptions of external reality if all human brains operated this way. (It is estimated that approximately 1 in 25,000 people naturally experience synaesthesia.)
        • Nov 28 2013: The normal is that everyone is actually singularly unique :-)

          Kind of funny (at least to me): that which unites us, is what sets us apart.

          I like to say everyone is smart to some degree... :-)
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      Nov 26 2013: Chris, there is, at least in principle no reason why you couldn't be born without senses. But if it is easier to visualize just assume that your senses are simply not functioning for whatever reason that might be.Think about it this way: the connection (nerves) leading from the point of sensory reception to the brain is severed, hence no signal ever reaches the brain. Does that make it easier to conceptualize the idea ?
      As to the soul: this is not any concept rooted in science. Mind and soul are not the same. Mind is a product of the brain while soul is just something that arises from a belief system.
      • Nov 26 2013: Harald,

        you stated:
        As to the soul: this is not any concept rooted in science. (snipped)
        ... soul is just something that arises from a belief system.

        If you are to focus on scientific rooted concepts then why do you choose to define something you already declared to not be rooted in science.

        I am pointing this out as a means to point to a much deeper notion related to how can one know what belongs within the unknowable to us? Does a blind person perceive colors in their brain and just doesn't recognize them as colors. something kind of like what happens with children say their tommy hurts rather than being hungry or needing to go to the rest room...
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          Nov 26 2013: I didn't define the "term" soul. I only gave you my view of where the soul concept is coming from (that is different from defining it). If you have a different view, feel free to share it.

          If a blind person is blind from birth he probably has no concept of color. You can probably describe an object to a blind person and he can get some representation of it through touch, but in the case of color it's virtually impossible to explain the experience of red for example.
          Furthermore, we can't even be sure that a red you observe is identical to how I see it.
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          Nov 26 2013: Okk Chris, let's take a step back and first define the term soul.
          These are the definitions according to Webster's:
          : the spiritual part of a person that is believed to give life to the body and in many religions is believed to live forever

          : a person's deeply felt moral and emotional nature

          : the ability of a person to feel kindness and sympathy for others, to appreciate beauty and art, etc.

          I understand the term soul according to the first definition, but maybe you use it in a different context. Please clarify.
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          Nov 26 2013: Chris, your are talking in riddles. Astral bodies do not belong into science.
          Mind is not a sense, Perhaps you are the one who should learn the proper meaning of words ? ;-)
          Definitions of mind: note the use of "mental","thinking" in the phrases. Where does thinking and mental activities reside if not in the brain ?


          1

          : the element or complex of elements in an individual that feels, perceives, thinks, wills, and especially reasons


          2

          : the conscious mental events and capabilities in an organism


          3

          : the organized conscious and unconscious adaptive mental activity of an organism
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          Nov 26 2013: did you ever see the mind disconnected from the brain ?
          The brain dies and the mind is gone, it's really that simple.
          If you disagree please provide evidence supporting your ideas.
        • Nov 27 2013: Chris,

          I like what you said there... have to investigate its correlation to reality though its fascinating as it is...
      • Nov 27 2013: Harald,

        Actually you did define it when you stated: "while soul is ...".
        In regards to If a blind person is blind...
        What I was stating was that it just may be that they experience what we experience without being able to describe it as color as you said " we can't even be sure that a red you observe is identical to how I see it"

        I am aware that my red may be what you experience as blue but call red . For a long time I saw in 2D calling it 3D and no one seem to notice... then I saw in 3D and realized a bunch of stuff... as I said I am aware that what one perceive may not be what others perceive just as I am aware that it just might...
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          Nov 27 2013: "Observe nature and understand that energy animates ALL life, and when the physical 'dies', the energy that once animated the life form is transformed. It's energy"
          This is correct

          "This energy evolves in accordance with the laws of nature. It grows in complexity until it reaches the pinnacle stage of life on Earth: the human being."
          This is your baseless speculation.
          What does it mean to "evolve energy". Energy doesn't evolve but only can be transformed from one into another.
          Look, I'm not very good with witchcraft, superstition and the supernatural. Show me peer reviewed scientific work and we can go from there.
          As to your link:
          This is the opinion of a guy misrepresenting scientific data.
          "(Gerlich et al, Nature Communications 2:263, 2011) showed that quantum weirdness also occurs in the human-scale world. They studied huge compounds composed of up to 430 atoms, and confirmed that this strange quantum behavior extends into the larger world we live in."
          Apparently you didn't make the effort of reading the Gerlich study. While the study is certainly interesting it has absolutely nothing to do with soul, nor has it any implications on the macro world (visible world).
          http://www.nature.com/ncomms/journal/v2/n4/full/ncomms1263.html
          Next step, based on this study would be to see peer reviews on it.
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          Nov 27 2013: Chris, are you trying to ruin the debate with the simple truth?
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    • Nov 26 2013: Note that ones view is also extended the closer one get to the valley... and with the proper instruments

      To some reality is subjective in accordance with their level of consciousness, when they learn to incorporate other subjective realities they get a step closer to perceive in depth the actual reality they live in.
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      Nov 26 2013: Chris, please define what you mean with "levels of consciousness"
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          Nov 27 2013: You are right. I'm interested in science but not in pseudo science or worse.
        • Nov 27 2013: Chris, Harald, et all

          Sometimes its a nice exercise :-)

          C stated: ( Protecting a paradigm by hiding behind the "show me the evidence" line...)

          Yea some 'paradigms' entrap beings into their domains filtering out and distroting anything that would threaten their continuity; even self-evident contradictions within the 'paradigm' be skillfully skewed and quickly obfuscated.

          You are the second individual that I know of that has told Harald how the evidence is never going to be to his satisfaction... and he continues to ignore the evident evidence using a label he likes...

          What I am saying here is that some (not all) pseudo science is actually on the spot... the same about science.... and religion... and some individual perceptions...
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          Nov 27 2013: Hey Chris, Esteban and I invented head to wall banging, we have a patent pending.
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        Nov 27 2013: Harald,
        As Multi-sensory, multi-dimensional, thinking, feeling, intelligent humans, we have several levels of consciousness/awareness...I think you know that:>)

        I agree with Esteban, in that whether one is climbing the mountain to a perceived higher level of consciousness, or in the valley, one can effectively incorporate information into his/her perceived reality, to expand his/her perception of reality.

        I suggest, Harald, that when one thinks/feels s/he is banging his/her head against a brick wall with explanations of his/her reality, or stating that you "ignore the evident evidence using a label" that you like, it might indicate that the person may be frustrated because you do not accept the ideas of his/her reality, and may be protecting his/her own paradigm by hiding behind a different "line", as suggested in a previous comment.

        For what it's worth Harald, I have observed a big change in you regarding your acceptance and consideration of information since we began commenting on TED years ago:>)
        • Nov 27 2013: Colleen,

          Sure it might indicate 'that'... as it might indicate ... an observation of something actually happening.

          Whether a person accepts/protects the ideas of their realities, of others realities and/or of reality itself its part of the reality we all share. Usually one projects out-there whats in-tthere. When what's in-there corresponds to what's out-threre one can actually perceive reality from what they think of reality.

          Ideally individuals would first validate that what they think to be, actually corresponds with what happens to be; that way what they state has a better correspondence with what happens to be. Some in theory say they do that, and in practice they do ... what they do (meaning some do in practice validate it and some do NOT in practice validate it). From the evidence of individual practices its clear (to those who embrace what be) what the individual does in practice.

          There are those who will consider possible cases and those who will only consider something that corresponds to what they think to be; 'demanding' that others prove to them the case based on what they think to be, before they will consider the case. (I do realize that 'they' may lead some to wonder: who does that refer to?) The point here is that some will consider alternate cases to expand what they understand and some will only consider the cases they already understand. Its a sort of conundrum that some face: they will not consider what they don't understand and will not understand what they don't consider.

          To understand something that one does not understand one needs to step into their unknown (because its impossible to understand what one doesn't understand from the position of their understanding... they have to step into the unknown to them - which may be well known to others) and one needs to think from the position of understanding. Do notice subtle differences in -'their unknown' -'the unknown'

          Some 'hide' behind their "lines" rather than dare to cross them.
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          Nov 27 2013: Colleen, Who has changed him or you?
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          Nov 27 2013: Hi Colleen, I don't think we have different levels of consciousness. I prefer to think that one's consciousness might be more or less developed. But then, we probably mean the same just express it differently.
          Not sure I changed, but you probably know the expression "as you shout into the forest so it comes back". ;-)
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        Nov 27 2013: Esteban,
        Yes....that is precisely why I used the word "might".....it could indicate other things as well, and we do not know exactly what is in the heart and mind of an individual unless s/he shares that information with us.

        I totally agree Estaban..."Usually one projects out-there whats in-tthere. When what's in-there corresponds to what's out-threre one can actually perceive reality from what they think of reality".

        So, we can certainly share our individual perceptions of reality with each other, but to get frustrated because another person does not accept it as his/her own reality, doesn't make much sense to me....that's just my reality:>)

        I have read most of your comments Esteben, and when you speak of "what happens to be", it appears that you are speaking of what YOUR reality happens to be for YOU, which is fine, if that is your choice of how to communicate.

        I wholeheartedly agree....some will consider different information, and some will not. Perhaps that is part of what makes us human.....we have choices regarding what information we accept and use in our life adventure. I agree....it is difficult to understand what one does not consider, and if it is not even considered, there is no way to understand. Again, as thinking, feeling, intelligent, multi-sensory, multi-dimensional human beings, we have choices. Sometimes, people may have explored thoughts, feelings ideas and beliefs that you are presenting. Sometimes, perhaps it gets tiring to hear some folks trying over and over again to convince others that s/he is "right".....do you understand? I agree.....to think and feel from the position of understanding, it may be beneficial to stop trying to convince others of the "rightness" of a particular belief.

        Yes...sometimes people hide behind their personal "lines" of belief, and sometimes, people may have already crossed over some lines and made choices regarding what information/beliefs s/he chooses to accept.
        • Nov 27 2013: Colleen,

          If it appears to YOU that way then evidently you missed MY intent
          I will assume that you came across the notion where I said something to the effect that it isn't about who's right... its about what is right!

          Now in a humorous sort of way: if what one thinks is right corresponds to what is right Then evidently focusing on what one thinks or what is right involves the same thing.

          Back to a more neutral sort of way: I hope you managed to read the above paragraph in a humorous tone and chuckled ... if so great else well it happens from time to time that a humorous point just doesn't seem be humorous to some.

          When I write the statement "what happens to be" it ought to be interpreted as that "what ever that happens to be the right case well that would be the right case" For example I sort of made this point when I responded to the notion about the 9/11 point... where some believe this and some believe that. Evidently some take one stand and claim this is the right stand and that is the wrong stand. Notice I basically intervened and sin essence stated : what happens to be the case IS what happens to be the case. Which in principle was the individuals claimed stand though the response to my intervention was akin to : NO, this is the right stand and that is the wrong stand, and you need to prove that the wrong stand is the right stand according to this criteria which remember is an argumentation from ignorance... In order for the right stand to be the right stand all that has to happen is for the stand to be right.

          If I sought to focus and address MY reality rather than the reality I would had stated my reality.

          I do hold to understand what you stated... In fact I have in essence stated that I could provide examples to seek and convince while choosing to do something else precisely because the futility of insisting on convincing those who have made up their mind a certain way and crossed over the line of no return... hope they head the right direction.
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        Nov 27 2013: Larry.....there is no reply option for your question....

        "larry bobenhausen
        45 minutes ago: Colleen, Who has changed him or you?"

        Perhaps both Larry. I personally believe that if one is mindfully aware, we are taking in information and changing by learning and growing in each and every moment.....that is simply my belief, which contributes to my reality:>)


        EDIT regarding comment below:
        Larry,
        I wholeheartedly agree...."If I am to be true to my core it must not be centered in what others think"
        Well said:>)
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          Nov 27 2013: Colleen, This site does not suffer from a lack of science book thumping or my game is better than your game, however subtle. If I am to be true to my core it must not be centered in what others think. I am as I have been created and so are you and everyone else. I have found understanding in the information below that benefits me in following the principle of Peace. It's what we're all searching for, some knowingly.

          Ego - The False Center http://deoxy.org/egofalse.htm
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        Nov 27 2013: Correct Esteban....it appears to me that way. I do not know for sure what your intent is Esteban, which is why I wrote...
        "Yes....that is precisely why I used the word "might".....it could indicate other things as well, and we do not know exactly what is in the heart and mind of an individual unless s/he shares that information with us."

        As I said Esteban, I've read most of your comments.

        When you say..."ought to be interpreted as", you are basically saying that everyone should interpret something in the same way you interpret it, and that is not reality. As you insightfully say..."some believe this and some believe that". "Ought to be interpreted as", and "some believe this and some believe that" seem contradictory.

        You write Esteban, that you "hope they head the right direction". I believe everyone heads in the direction of their choice at any given time, and I do not see a need to tell another person what is the "right direction". That is one factor which may make reality different for all of us as human beings. When someone tells others what they "ought" to do, it is simply an effort to control and dominate.
        • Nov 27 2013: Colleen,

          When I state "'that' ought to be interpreted as"... and 'that' corresponds to a statement I made I am providing you and others informations to interpret what I stated as I intended it... rather than as you or others perceive it... evidently to interpret something as the author interprets something one needs to ensure that how one interprets something correspond to how the author interprets something...

          Curiously I once read a book that the author never wrote and only realized half way through that the book was about a completely different subject matter... I continued on reading what the author had provided using the two alternate views ... I even recommended the book to others and told them how to read it and was disappointed that they didn't find it as enriching as I had... in fact telling me that the book didn't apply to their lives in any way... I knew that the book did apply to everyones lives when one holds a certain viewpoint...

          I noticed the slight shift you made from interpreting what I wrote as I intended it to interpreting something the way I interpret it... in a way I am saying everyone should interpret something as something rather than distorted ways some may think ... I am not sure why you see contradictory interpreting this to this and that to that its basically the same as something as something...

          Yes indeed I hope that they head in the right direction ... Yea each heads in the direction of their choice. So you may not see the need to tell each other what is the 'right direction' I may see the convenience of doing so... who knows someone heading in the wrong direction may decide to head in the right direction thanks in part to someone pointing which is the 'right direction' ... Of course there likely are those who head the wrong way and seek other to head in the wrong direction too... some may not even know that what they think is the right direction is the wrong direction. Notice I say to do what ought to be done.
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        Nov 27 2013: Harald,
        This is a reply to your comment...

        "Harald Jezek
        5 minutes ago: Hi Colleen, I don't think we have different levels of consciousness. I prefer to think that one's consciousness might be more or less developed. But then, we probably mean the same just express it differently".

        I believe that we have different levels of consciousness, all of which may be more or less developed, and all of which contribute to our reality. I respect your preference and belief for yourself:>)
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          Nov 27 2013: Then Colleen, I have to ask how you define these different levels of consciousness. If possible, examples would help.
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        Nov 27 2013: In my perception Harald, it is a matter of awareness, which I think the definition says as well.

        Example:
        A person can go through the motions of living life without being aware of a lot of things like the environment, nature, etc. This is true of every situation in our life.....we can be mindfully aware and notice many details around us in every moment of the life adventure......or not.

        We can go through the life experience with detailed awareness of everything and everyone we encounter, with open mind and heart, willing and able to receive information.

        We can go to deeper and deeper levels of awareness as the mind expands with new information, and the information we are willing to explore and accept forms our individual reality.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Level_of_consciousness_(Esotericism)

        http://www.sci-con.org/2004/12/levels-of-consciousness/
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          Nov 27 2013: I agree with the notion of different degrees of awareness.
          I guess my problem is with the concept of levels because that sounds too static for something like consciousness.
          It gives the impression of something like a language course where you go through level 1 - 10, each level with a pre defined set of teachings/learnings.
          Consciousness is more amorphous and I don't think it's structured in such a strict sense.
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        Nov 27 2013: Harald,
        Maybe consciousness IS a course.....a course in learning, growing and evolving as humans in the life adventure:>)

        Although it is presented on those links as sort of a "pre defined set of teachings/learnings", I do not personally perceive it in that way. My perception is that there are different paths to take within the basic idea, and I don't think/feel it is at all structured. However, it is difficult to define or explain a concept without structure of some kind......is it not?

        You asked me to "define these different levels of consciousness" in your previous comment. How can one adequately define something without using defining, structured ideas and words?
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          Nov 27 2013: "You asked me to "define these different levels of consciousness" in your previous comment. How can one adequately define something without using defining, structured ideas and words?"
          That's why I asked the question in the first place, because I disagreed with this pre defined structure.
          Seems we basically agree.
        • Nov 27 2013: Wanted to highlight this
          C:"How can one adequately define something without using defining, structured ideas and words?
          H: That's why I asked the question in the first place, because I disagreed with this pre defined structure.
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        Nov 27 2013: Seems like we share a little bit of the same reality Harald:>)
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        Nov 27 2013: Esteban,
        Regarding your statement...."Yes indeed I hope that they head in the right direction ... Yea each heads in the direction of their choice. So you may not see the need to tell each other what is the 'right direction' I may see the convenience of doing so... who knows someone heading in the wrong direction may decide to head in the right direction thanks in part to someone pointing which is the 'right direction' ... "

        You are correct about that Esteban....I have no need or desire to tell others what is the "right" or "wrong" direction. I certainly share information, and I serve as a guide/mentor when asked, however, I LOVE to see people make their/our own choices:>)
        • Nov 28 2013: Colleen

          Consider that telling them what is the right direction corresponds to sharing information with them and its up to them to determine what to do with the shared information... Of course that assumes one knows which is the right direction... and one may be wrong about what one thinks is the right direction... ultimately it is up to each to determine in which direction they head.

          Ideally we would share what each knows with each other and everyone come out enriched while having a wonderful time interchanging ideas/feelings/understandings/ ways...

          As Harald mentioned this isn't a competition with others I would add its a shared adventure with them...
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        Nov 28 2013: Esteban,
        I have considered how it feels to be told what is "right" and what is "wrong" in another person's perception many times. What is "right" for one person, may not be "right" for another person, and in my perception, the journey is as important as the end result. I LOVE the process of encouraging and supporting people in their own quest to discover what works well for them as individuals.

        Exactly! Ideally, we can share information and everyone comes out enriched while having a wonderful interchange. In my perception and experience, telling a person s/he is "right" or "wrong" tends to stop an interaction, rather than encourage continuing.
        • Nov 28 2013: Colleen,

          Some appreciate being told what be and some detest being told what be...
          I realize that individuals seek to project THEIR ways unto others... when THEIR ways correspond to the better ways it's wonderful... when THEIR ways correspond to the worst ways its terrible. As you said (What is "right" for one person, may not be "right" for another person) especially when one is wrong and the other seek what be 'right'; or the other case, when one is right and the other seek what be 'wrong'.

          Curiously when one states what be right: (note one just asserts the absolute reality)
          - those who seek what be right appreciate it (note right appreciate be positives)
          - those who seek what be wrong resent it (note wrong resent be negatives)

          Note that when one states what be one gives each what they want the good get positives and the bad get negatives! (everyone happily satisfied with the same thing!).

          FWIIW I sort of pushed aside how it feels to focus on whats appropriate and choosing to like that... so it feels good to do the right thing and feels wrong doing the wrong thing
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        Nov 29 2013: Yes Esteban, some people seek to project THEIR ways onto others. To decide what is the "better ways", as you say, and what is the "worst ways" is a judgment. Why do you need to judge? Why is judgment part of your reality?
        • Nov 29 2013: Indeed Colleen, some people seek to project THEIR ways onto others... the key difference residing on what those ways are. Yes to decide what is the "better ways" is a judgement and a choice. You ask "Why do you need to judge? Why is judgment part of your reality"? Well it just is part of everyones reality... we are bound to judge while free to choose how to judge... some people choose not to choose and may even believe that they didn't choose when in fact they did choose. Why do we need to 'choose'? why is 'choosing' part someones reality ...Well it just is part of everyones reality... we are bound to choose while free to choose how to choose.... the key difference residing on what choices each makes ... it should be self evident that deciding based on what actually be the better ways happens to be better way.

          If one wants to get the question right, one need to provide the right answer! One is free to choose which answer to provide while somewhat bound to the right answer if one wants to get it right.
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        Nov 29 2013: Yes Esteban, on that we agree...some people seek to project THEIR ways onto others. I do not agree that we are "bound to judge". And I believe that judging others to be right or wrong, is sometimes used as a way to try to project one's own preferences onto others.
        • Nov 29 2013: Indeed Colleen,

          'This'
          -"sometimes used as a way to try to project one's own preferences onto others".
          - sometimes used as a way to accurately share information
          - sometimes used to know if what one thinks to be corresponds to what happens to be
          - sometimes used to determine what we will do

          I am not sure why you do not agree that we are 'bound to judge"... seems evident to me that we constantly have to determine stuff and make choices... in other words we constantly have to judge and make choices... Sometimes we even have to choose without having all of the information ... As I said the key point here is how we choose to judge ... personally I like to hedge judgements to ensure that they are appropriate independent of something being true or false that way I get to maintain the judgement in both cases ... You may have noticed this approach in regards to 9/11 when I said whatever be the case that be the case. Harald insisted on a particular stand which may be true or false depending on a particular case being true or false. I insisted on a stand which is valid in multiple cases
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        Nov 29 2013: Esteban,
        We seem to agree on several things, and we disagree on some things, and that is ok with me.....I agree to disagree. I have no need or desire to continue going around in circles.

        Thank you for the conversation.
  • Nov 26 2013: Arkady Grudzinsky

    Indeed It's funny, how one always be where one be… even when one moves about…

    To some the distinction between "ought" and "is" seems to be a major source of all sort of stuff... some recognize what is and what ought to be to drive change and take action… of course some want to be where they are while at the same time moving to be elsewhere while appreciating every point of the way.

    You ask : why do you believe that your beliefs are based on something?
    Well because I observe what I believe and recognize what that belief is based on.

    You ask : And what are they based on?
    Well simply put on what I believe that I believe.

    In a way its true, some base their beliefs on some tautology; say a logical true proposition that just happens to be true.
    Personally I stir away from paradigmatic contradictions
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    Nov 26 2013: Agree that "Free Will" shall belong to another conversation.
    From the times of the mighty powerful gods' mythology by Great Greeks to the religiously restrictive Middle Ages, and to the recent ideas, Stephen Hawking in his last book said that obviously free will doesn’t exist --- this concept did not go anywhere. Needs some new thoughts - no matter what we face we are Free to make our own choice…whether it is stupid or brilliantly intuitive, as we demonstrate this we choose to believe Free Will or not..

    Quantum "reality" can be perceived by our bodily sense-perceptions only. No matter how much we augment these sense-perceptions by technollogy we are still within our minds (brains if you wish). No one is able to fly out one's mind, and see anything objectively out there. Perception is property of mind. (They call "Property dualism", it is the view that the world is constituted of just one kind of substance).

    Our eyes are not "open windows" to the world (as William Blake poetically described them).
    No research of any kinds can prove anything based on forever internal corporeal perceptions, especially if based on sight - the most famously deceiving perception of all we possess. Our sciences as these are getting developed for millennia, still almost entirely based on evidence of sight!

    Can you find some proof that our corporeal sense perceptions can reflect any portion of reality "out there" as it is? Is that reality out there --- scientific?

    I guess most of us are already stubbornly opinionated, including myself, but if this conversation can provoke some of us to rethink our sense of our own truth, it would be wonderful.
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      Nov 26 2013: Vera, I basically agree. However, as I mentioned in my other post, when it comes to free will, we might think we can make infinite choices, however, the fact remains that we are bound at least by the laws of nature. So we are not totally free.

      No, our senses most likely don't reflect any feature of true reality in a true manner. All our senses are limited. If nothing else they are at least limited in resolution and bandwidth. For example we only can directly perceive visible light which is a small fraction of the full range of electromagnetic wave lengths.
      That's why I mentioned in one of the earlier posts that probably mathematics will be the best method to describe absolute reality.
      We never will directly experience something like the quantum world because the rules there don't apply to us in the macro world.

      The only thing I really have a strong opinion about is that what we perceive as reality is not what it really is.
      As for anything else I'm open to new information as long as they have scientific relevance.
      I'm not willing to contemplate anything for which there is no reason to believe in (such as the winged blue ponies I mentioned in some posts to Esteban).
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    Nov 26 2013: Dear Harald,
    After my friend Jim Moonan's conversation on poetry, this is the best and most intellectually gratifying conversation for me in TED. My sincere thanks to all and I shall mention you, Esteban, Vera, Jason and Arkady specially.
    @ Esteban : I do not feel uncomfortable engaging with you anymore :)
    • Nov 26 2013: I too find this conversation gratifying and appreciate that you mentioned how you feel more at ease (well it was actually more like you don't feel uncomfortable anymore which I took to mean more at ease :-)...
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      Nov 26 2013: Pabrita, I'm glad you enjoy it. I think it's a very civil conversation, although not all of us agree on all points, but then, the topic in itself is not an easy one that can be characterized in black and white terms.
      Probably we are not going to solve the deeper secrets of reality here (although I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually turn out simpler than imagined), but I think, if nothing else this conversation is a stimulus to at least contemplate what reality might mean and more importantly recognize that not all we take for granted actually is the way it seems to be.

      Hmmm, sounds almost like my closing argument.....lol
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    Nov 26 2013: "I am able to do so. I have even done so and proven to be able to do so by doing so. "
    If you have done something it's self evident that you have proven that you are bale to do it (otherwise you wouldn't have done it), hence statement is redundant, not adding additional information, neither does it add additional viewpoints or interpretations. If it adds no additional information, question remains, what is the purpose ?

    But where is the example you said you are able to provide ?
    We can even stick with A=A. Apparently for you A=A is not self evident. What are your alternatives ?
    • Nov 26 2013: Evidently the purpose of restating the information resides in the fact that there is there something for you to perceive which I consider that you didn't see ... Apparently you concede that it is self evident that are there identical copies? Is that so?
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        Nov 26 2013: I consider it self evident that A=A. You call that identical copies ? ok, so be it.
        Still, you didn't provide an answer to my question as what the alternatives to A=A are ?
    • Nov 26 2013: Let me validate that I am actually understating what I think I reading from you.

      You in fact consented to notion that two separate beings can each have the same identical Idea/feeling/experience ?
    • Nov 26 2013: The example I was referring to when I wrote :

      "I am able to do so. I have even done so and proven to be able to do so by doing so. "

      involved the placebo effect. Remember how I said "The case of beliefs shaping reality to some degree" and you disagreed until I mentioned how you were rejecting the notion of the placebo effect and then you sort of recanted and moved the bar...
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        Nov 26 2013: I remember the placebo effect and I agree with that, however I asked you to give an example for how a belief can directly influence anything external of you.
        If you don't think that can be the case, then we actually have no disagreement on this topic.
        • Nov 26 2013: Thanks for reaffirming what I just said...

          The placebo effect was an evident case to prove to you the veracity of a claim I made... in principle that should suffice; However you moved the bar and asked to give an example to prove a claim you made up...As I have said in previous conversation the veracity of the claim stems from the claim and what happens to be... the burden of proof resides on each one... you happen to believe that beliefs can't directly influence anything external of you.... I happen to believe that believes can directly influence stuff (within me and external to me and even a bit beyond that).

          In a way you insist on projecting your beliefs unto me and I insist on projecting my beliefs unto you... the humorous punt involves what you choose to believe and what I choose to believe... for in believing and seeking to project that beliefs have no effect can you imagine the effect they will have?
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        Nov 26 2013: The placebo effect cannot be used as a rule because if it were a rule it must be applicable in more than just one instance.
        Pending any more examples we can consider the placebo effect as an exception to the rule which is that belief cannot control directly any events.
        I have no problem with your belief that your beliefs can influence what happens outside of you and beyond (wherever this beyond might be) as long as you can explain and support your idea.
        So far that's not the case.
        As to burden of proof, we already had that at the very beginning of this conversation.
        If you tell me the moon is made of cheese it's you who has to proof the veracity of this claim not me.
        Remember, this is called the "argument from ignorance".
        • Nov 27 2013: Harald,

          As I have pointed out: I can explain and support my idea.
          whether I choose to explain and support it is a whole different issue.

          Others and I have pointed out to you how some of the statements you make stem from your erroneous perceptions of what be. If you so desire to continue the "argument from ignorance" that's your business. You been told something, if you choose to accept it or reject it thats up to you.
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        Nov 27 2013: Argument from ignorance is still argument from ignorance even if it is used by more than 1 person.
        As to not wanting to explain and support your views, that's fine, although strange, but in any case it's difficult to maintain a conservation on this premise.
        • Nov 27 2013: It is also difficult to maintain a conversation when what one says 'A' others perceive 'B' and insists one said 'B' and that 'A' just cant be because they can't consider it being.

          It would be nice if other first validated that what they perceived corresponded to the original. In other words it would be nice if individuals validated that what they think to be corresponded to what happens to be... Then their actions related to what be would be more in line with what be... as you mention some argue from ignorance rather than converse to share understandings.

          I observed how you meat individuals who behave the way I described on the first paragraph . They distor what you have stated. I also observed how you have done it to what I have stated. (I observed how I have done that in certain occasions myself too)... the fact many use it does not mean its ok to use!
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        Nov 27 2013: Misunderstandings are always possible especially in this form of communication. This is why I usually ask for clarification if something doesn't seem to be clear. I also hope that if I misunderstand something the other person would point this out and make an effort to clarify the issue.
        I don't think anybody makes an effort to distort a statement on purpose especially because this conversation here is not a competition.
        • Nov 27 2013: We in essence agree on what you just stated:
          -Misunderstandings are always possible especially in this form of communication.
          - I also hope that if I misunderstand something the other person would point this out and make an effort to clarify the issue.
          - I also think that misunderstanding just happen one does not makes an effort to distort a statement on purpose especially because this conversation here is not a competition.

          You may have noticed that above I did not include the following notion you stated :
          -This is why I usually ask for clarification if something doesn't seem to be clear.

          Personally I seek clarification/validation ALWAYS. Thinking that it seems to be clear thus it is according to what the other stated opens the door to perpetuate misunderstandings. Asking and ensuring it actually be clear and according to what the other stated eliminates them misunderstandings.

          Consider that I have pointed out some misunderstandings that I have observed to you and your response has been along the lines of: "If you want me to consider that then you have the burden of proof to convince me of that fact being a fact which incidentally has to be published and peer-reviewed in an accredited authorized scientific magazine". You know that Make an effort to clarify the issue has its limits and the other has to make their corresponding effort to understand the points.

          From experiences I realize that something may seem to be clear and still it isn't what the other stated. It is best to always validate that what one thinks to be the case corresponds to what happens to be the case.
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        Nov 27 2013: As to this part: "Consider that I have pointed out some misunderstandings that I have observed to you....."
        As to this part, probably using examples are a good way to illustrate a particular view. It makes it easier to understand, what the other person is talking about. Sometimes we use language that can have different meanings to different people.
        That's why I always try to make my point with examples, although you don't always like them (ok, you liked the moon made of cheese....lol).
        • Nov 27 2013: For example:
          I pointed out the notion that 9/11 could be 'this' or 'that' depending on it being 'this' or 'that' based on what actually happened; you insisted on the notion it be according to 'this' and not 'that' until someone proves 'that' be what happened and thus 'holding this involves an error'. It seemed to me that you even wanted to get entangled into proving which case actually happened. My point was focused on presenting a more open statement which happens to be right independent of which case happens to be right. Personally I don't know what actually happen and based on what some have presented as evidence it seems likely that there is stuff we don't know and may never know. Some seem to prefer the illusion of knowing with certainty the uncertain terrain than accepting the uncertain reality of the terrain.

          BTW for the record its not that I didn't like them examples it's that they sought to distract from the issue at hand rather than focus on it. Just remember your opposition to the claim "Beliefs can impact to some degree what happens in realty" ... when I presented an example that should had lead you to accept the fact that indeed its true "Beliefs can impact to some degree what happens in realty" you chose a different path that sought an example for a bit different case... I even provided other examples to validate the original statement and again you choose another route while insisting on rejecting the claim. BTW I know of cases where beliefs have influenced to some degree what happens in reality external to the individual and I hold presenting them will just lead to more of the same. As I have said elsewhere what makes one think that one will actually choose differently than the way they choose presently? Or in a more blunt way one dies as one lives? Meaning that if one 'rejected' certain notion all their life they will likely 'reject' it at their death rather than accept it. (of course if one 'accepted' it one will likely 'accept' it) Accepted or
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        Nov 27 2013: Esteban, es I said numerous times, there are many things we can't know for certain, but if given choices you pick the one, that is the most likely one. how one decides what is the most likely choice depends on the individual.
        So, back to the 9/11 example. It could have happened in a zillion of different ways. So what do we do ?
        Option 1:
        First we look at what we know for certain. For example, we know that several planes hit. From there we go and do the forensic and investigative work, which will eventually lead us to some sort of conclusion. In this case the conclusion was that it was a terrorist attack. This conclusion was supported with lots of evidence.
        Option 2:
        some people say it was not an terrorist attack but something else, resulting not in one but a number of alternative theories. However, none of this theories was supported by evidence.
        Option 3:
        One could say, no it was not a terrorist attack or anything else claimed by conspiracy theories, but something entirely different.
        The first question such a statement would provoke is what is this "something different" ? Once one defines this "something different" we are back to square 1 were the one who makes the claim has the burden of proof.
        So, yes, it could have happened in many ways, but it actually happened in one particular way and, based on all evidence, this was a terrorist attack. Once this is established it doesn't matter anymore that it could have happened in many other ways.
        You want a more general statement that's right regardless of how 9/11 happened ? You can do that.
        Just say the WTC came crashing down killing several thousand people.

        As to knowing with certainty: There are many things for which we can't have 100 % certainty but that doesn't really matter as long as our approximation is good enough to confirm real life experience. Example: we don't know exactly what happens inside a black hole, however we know enough about it to avoid jumping into one.
        • Nov 27 2013: Harald,

          Yea you insists on the idea that we pick the most likely one and I insist that we just pick the one which will turn out to correspond to what happens. You insists that we can't do that a-priory because we just don't know which one will turn out to correspond to what happens, where as I simply say well evidently if we happen to pick the one that turns out to correspond to what happens. Its quite evident a posteriori that we could and did pick a-priory what turned out to happened a posteriori .... (disproving the notion that we can't do that given the fact that we did it).

          It seemed to me that you Insists we get entangled into proving which case actually happened...

          Ok lets go there a bit...
          So what do we do ?
          -we know that several planes hit
          - we know that the buildings collapse
          - we have videos and eyewitnesses accounts as well as the building remains
          - Evidently the forensic and investigative work, will eventually lead us to some sort of conclusion
          - Post analysis of the evidence and conclusions drawn by different investigators into the matter

          I find it curious and telling how you claim that some theories were not support by evidence when I seen their cases presented with lots of 'evidence' and who even addressed inconsistencies in the official interpretation.

          Of course this is taking us away from the rather simple assertion I was making... Hey whatever happened that's what happened... could be Option 1, option 2, option 3 lets not jump to conclusions and get into an argument about what happened ... whatever happened that's what happened... Your seem to take the sand that you actually know what happen because thats what you believe that actually happened based on your belief in the reposts of what happened ... I am in essence saying careful there you may be threading on thin ice and may someday discover that what you believe to be isn't as you believe it. Note that whatever happened that's what happened is true in whatever happened.
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        Nov 27 2013: ""Beliefs can impact to some degree what happens in realty"
        So you belief this statement is correct based on one occurrence (placebo effect) ?
        Let's see:
        a citizen of city X was discovered to be a murderer.
        Based on above logic your conclusion would be:
        "citizens of city X have some tendency to be murderers".
        Do you think this would be a correct statement based on one murder incidence ?

        Again, you are aware of other incidents outside of yourself but you are not willing to discuss them.
        You see ? It's like a scientist he believes that moon is made of cheese (sorry, I'm a big cheese fan) but at the same moment says he is not willing to further explain his claim.
        What would one think about the veracity of such claim ?
        • Nov 27 2013: Based on the fact that there is one valid case for the statement I made I would know that the statement I made is in fact valid.

          Yes I do point out that there are other valid cases for the statement I made that would serve to prove the validity of a slightly modified assertion stemming from the original claim which I choose not to get into.

          Now in relation to the example you presented... Based on above logic my conclusion would not be what you put forth. My conclusion would be something along the lines : city X has murderer(s) (Note that the plural would require to know at least two cases).
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        Nov 27 2013: " Your seem to take the sand that you actually know what happen because thats what you believe that actually happened based on your belief in the reposts of what happened"
        No, as I said many times, there is always a chance that we are wrong in our belief whatever it might be. However, certain beliefs have a higher probability to be true than others.
        My belief is that when i put my finger in a glass filled with water, my finger will end up wet. Can I be wrong ? perhaps. How high is the chance I'm wrong ? extremely tiny based on many repetitions of wetting my finger with water (evidence, proof). Does that mean we should consider a second option of "the finger remains dry" after sticking it into a glass of water ?
        I don't think so, but it seems you believe we should keep this option as a possibility.
        • Nov 27 2013: as I said its not about having a higher probably to be true its about what happens to be true
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        Nov 27 2013: Ok, let's put it in different words.
        There is a question with 3 possible answers, A, B and C.
        Each possible answer comes with a set of reasoning.
        Now you are asked to choose one of the 3 possible answers to the question. Only one answer is the right one.
        How do you proceed ?
        • Nov 28 2013: I would choose the door that corresponds to there right answer...
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        Nov 28 2013: You are not answering the question. The question is HOW do you proceed in your quest to find the right answer ?
        • Nov 28 2013: Harald,

          Let me ask you something about the example you presented... is there a way to determine with full certainty which is the right door?

          Consider this case:

          at the bifurcation there is an angel and a devil... one always tells the truth one always lies... no one knows which is which... there is a sign that states asks either one of us a yes or no question an be on your way... there are two ways to go... one leads to heaven one to hell... this has a logical solution that one may know with certainty the way to go even if forever uncertain who was the good angel and who was the bad angel...

          I mention this case because it illustrates my approach to many conundrums ...
          Be it a dream be it for real ALWAYS choose the better way...
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        Nov 28 2013: OK, never mind, apparently you are not able or willing to answer my simple question.

        As to choosing the better way: there is good, better, the best. They are relative to each other, which means that if you say "better" you have to compare it to an alternative. What is this alternative ?
        Another question that arises from this comment is why don't you choose the BEST way instead of the better ?
        • Nov 28 2013: Harald,

          I asked you a simple question of what you presented and evidently you chose not to answer it. Also do notice that I presented a case for your consideration that involved only two alternatives and what was required was to provide the question one ought ask. you chose not to answer it.

          As to choosing the better way do notice the implicit notion that it be THE better way out of all possible ways. I think that now it ought to be self evident why I choose the better way it correspond to the best way too...
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    Nov 25 2013: A human being in a state of senseless and mindless.
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      Nov 26 2013: Senseless and mindless humans are abound, just not in the sense I meant ;-)
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        Nov 26 2013: What meaning did you assign, please clarify?
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          Nov 26 2013: I thought that should be clear by now after 600+ posts. ;-)
          senseless = born without any senses
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        Nov 26 2013: Sorry Harald, There is always one in the crowd a couple of posts short of understanding. Moving on, I have found info that may give insight into understanding of what that may be like by the experience of that state along with other related reality concepts.

        www.swamij.com/indriyas.htm#beyond
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          Nov 26 2013: About the link:
          the example of the fingers: Sure you know that your fingers are there even with closed eyes because you already saw them before. Even a blind person would know the fingers are there because he would be able to sense them by touch.
          But, at some point your senses (sight or touch) provided you with the information about your fingers.
          If born without senses a person would still be able to identify his fingers, that would be something we can call self awareness.
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    Nov 25 2013: Alan Watts - What is reality

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=um6SX3ZgJRs
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    Nov 25 2013: Harald,
    Direct question, have you searched within for the senseless and mindless? It's a yes or no.
  • Nov 24 2013: Harald,

    Have little idea who is Jacques Derrida only a quick look at wikipedia just now... from the quick scan there, its possible that I have read derivatives of his work from others work based on his work or stuff included in others work... sometimes it can be complicated, especially for me, to distinguish where the ideas originated... as I have mentioned elsewhere my focus centers on what be right not so much as to who be right...

    So I suppose that by some chance I may have at times read that guys work without even being aware who the man was nor where the ideas originated...
  • Comment deleted

    • Nov 24 2013: Larry,

      I have to concur ... I too have come across many a "senseless mindless creatures in the form of a human being" which although mindless and senseless have a spark of energy that suggests a will that can be worked with and eventually communication can be established.

      Thanks for pointing this out...
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    Nov 23 2013: Esteban here is my answer for "We... will never understand each other perfectly for many reasons"


    We may feel in tune with each other emotionally - it can be very exciting and comforting. (exchange of energies that feel very emotional) However, we want to go farther onto theatrical stages built by our minds - falsely believing, hoping, that we read each other's mind. This often leads to great disillusion!

    Well, nevertheless, some lucky individuals never unveil their differences in understanding and sensing their internal realities, and they live happily in beautiful illusions.
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    Nov 23 2013: Do identical copies can exit?

    Our perceptions have their natural "mechanics" driven by our ability to COMPARE. It's impossible to compare the same identical copies, if they are really the same, they must possess absolutely the same qualities, the same time, conditions and reactions on them, within and without. This means that identical copies, if these be ever able to appear for an instant, they instantly emerge in one real thing. This is the law of of nature we are not able to comprehend - our perceiving is extremely Crude therefore we take similar images as the same "identical" images.

    Our sense, as well as sight/vision are all about comparison, or we see NOTHING. Comparison is a process of seeing and recognizing - is only possible if "things" out there are somehow different. When we see "identical" copies" this tells us that we see similar copies which are different "copies". Great philosophers have had no slightest doubt that there is no identical anything, but could not come up with convincing explanations - so I come up with my own. Heraclitus' concept based on "FLUX" explains this indirectly, everything changes - no time for any repetition.
    • Nov 23 2013: Vera,

      Would prefer to take the identical copies conversation over to (http://www.ted.com/conversations/21656/spinoff_reality_individual.html)

      Here I would like to assert: identical copies can exist.

      I realize that you believe/consider they can't. There was a time when I used to believe identical copies could not exist and that kept me away from certain understandings. If you want to jointly explore and consider the issue great; if instead you want to live happily in the beautiful illusion where identical copies don't exists that's up to you :-)

      Some do have the ability to Compare identical copies while keeping the singular instances identified. In other words It's possible to compare identical copies. I would say that the great philosophers who did not recognize the existence of identical copies missed something fundamental that kept them from getting certain understandings.

      If everything changes THEN does that conditional itself change? ELSE its self-evident that somethings remain without change in time and outside time.

      Yea I get it that 'no time for any repetition'... still in eternity time comes and goes as a blink of an eye and can be repeated
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    Nov 23 2013: "Does that mean that all and any beliefs make sense ? Obviously not, right ?
    So, how do you separate great thoughts and ideas from nonsense ?
    I'm fully aware that the quantum world is a kind of reality that is not counter intuitive to our thinking but also completely alien to us."


    Harald, like your thinking very much. I try to answer based on unique limitations in all our interactions, that cannot be the same. Knowledge does not "live" on its own somewhere but in each of our minds. Though we can imagine it as a collective filed where we may interact.

    We can imagine that one's mind lives in that quantum "world" (I know a few people who do) and someone else who has no clue about quantum. We have our internal freedom to judge anything and anyone according to what we personally feel and experience. It is a filed where we get lost between the moral and the forceful.
    We are trained from the day we are born to follow often stupid manmade rules and mentality. For many this mentality makes impossible see what is truly intelligent, or truly stupid. Human conventions create disasters.
    • Nov 23 2013: Vera,

      SOME human conventions create wonderful realities within and without ... one just got to choose what ought to be chosen!

      "Knowledge does not 'live' on its own somewhere but in each of our minds".
      "We have our internal freedom to judge anything and anyone according to what we personally feel and experience".

      I suggest to use love, joy, gratefulness, peace, wonder and other beneficial 'ideas'.

      Question is which ideas does each cultivate in their minds? Look at the words and concepts each uses to see what they think to cherish ... then wonder if those ideas be the ones you want to cherish, live with now and forevermore... bind what ought to be bound and think about what ought to be thought ... Remember to keep in mind that some ideas get individuals to think about them through 'deceptions' rather than realizations with full conscious understandings.

      From the little I have read you post I consider you know fully what I am stating and doing here and now.
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      Nov 24 2013: "Knowledge does not "live" on its own somewhere but in each of our minds.".....agreed
      "We can imagine that one's mind lives in that quantum "world"
      in some sense everything lives in the quantum world because we are all made of subatomic particles to which the rules of quantum mechanics apply. However, you like to treat the mind as "stuff", but the mind is nothing material but only the result of complex electrochemical processes in our brains (I guess I already said that in some other post).
      "For many this mentality makes impossible see what is truly intelligent, or truly stupid. Human conventions create disasters."
      Sometimes it's not so obvious what is intelligent or stupid, that's probably why many stupid things happen in the first place ;-)
      • Nov 24 2013: Harald,

        you like to treat the mind as the result of complex electrochemical processes in our brains
        some like to treat the mind as something independent of the brain that uses the brain

        I suppose that a good metaphor for this would be a computer program where some claim it's just a set of 0 and 1 resulting from a complex electromechanical processes in the computer where as others would claim it's the program created by company x to do y on system z incidentally its the developers pack alpha version 3.0.a

        As you point out "Sometimes it's not so obvious what is intelligent or stupid" nor whether a mind is a program under development in a machine or just a chance set of random 0 and 1 that happened to come to be arranged in such an order...dew to some set of natural selections that also just happened by chance... as some say putting all the parts of a car in a box throwing it to see if a car comes out by chance seems a bit far fetched ... add to that all the cars coming out and other chance synchronicities that just happen to happen ... the reasonable conclusion is that there is actually a programer or a couple of them somewhere...
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          Nov 25 2013: "some like to treat the mind as something independent of the brain that uses the brain"
          As far as we know if the brain is not more the mind is gone as well.
          I'm not aware of any mind instance without a brain. Are you ?

          As to randomness: Don't forget, a human for example was not created by randomness.
          What was created by randomness were the first replicating building blocks.
          Once the existed, evolution by mutation and natural selection started and that, eventually led to humans (or any other life form).
          As you see, that's quite different from putting the parts of a car in a box, hoping that the assemble as expected.
          And, another detail, even to created the right self reproducing building blocks, nature took a lot of time with lots of trial and error. In other words, time is an important factor as well.
      • Nov 26 2013: As you kind of said: as far as some know...

        until such a time as we actually know I rather consider some alternatives as valid....
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          Nov 26 2013: for example ?
          Esteban you are talking lots but you are very vague in everything you say.
          Give specific examples and we can discuss them.
          Considering alternatives is great, but you need to provide your reasoning for why you consider a particular alternative.
          Just saying that the mind might be outside of the brain is totally meaningless if you can't even explain your reasoning behind that claim.
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        Nov 26 2013: Harold, It's encoraging to have the sense of not being a total loner (once in awhile). Thank you for replying to my questions :)

        "You maybe mean that our external conditions can be the "same", and we might have our choices to make up something different within ourselves from the "same' conditions."
        correct, we may have different interpretations.

        "Then you probably mean, in this case, we can call outer reality our shared, or the "same" reality for all. Why it is impossible? I trust that the world is generating Endless Realities through unique events and unique living forms. "
        everybody and everything will be part of some segment of reality.
      • Nov 26 2013: Herald,

        Please notice the dynamic taking place ... This is how I see it...
        I make a statement (that is according to you is very vague) you find a way to disagree with it.

        Note that you want me to provide you my reasoning for why I consider a particular alternative. if it was to seek to understand my particular stand it would be great. Based on the responses I take it that its just a ruse to seek something to disagree upon ...

        Evidently, I have no need to provide my reasoning for why I consider a particular alternative.

        Saying that the mind might be outside of the brain to me is quite a meaningful statement. In fact I think many here would be able to read that and imagine such particular case; some may agree with it and some may disagree with it, still the particular case idea is quite clear.

        BTW given that I can explain my reasoning behind that claim it follows that that claim isn't totally meaningless... In another post I alluded to the fact that being able to do something and choosing to do it are distinctly different matters. The burden of convincing you nor anyone else isn't mine. I am merely pointing certain matters for consideration, it is up to each one to determine what to do and do it...
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          Nov 26 2013: If you want to be understood providing explanations for your thoughts would be a good idea.
          Obviously you can keep your reasoning for yourself but then a conversation will be kind of difficult.

          As to the mind outside your brain, you still didn't tell us where you imagine it to be. In a box ? hovering above your head or at knee level ?. enveloping you like a cape ?
          Any suggestion ?

          "BTW given that I can explain my reasoning behind that claim it follows that that claim isn't totally meaningless"
          Thing is you say you can but you don't provide it.
      • Nov 27 2013: Harald,

        The question isn't if I want to be understood the question is if someone want to understand.

        Indeed I say I can and I sometimes I choose to leave it at that... Do I have to prove it? do I have to provide it? Every time in every situation? Hardly. As you may recall just a single case suffices to validate certain points. It should be quite evident by now how some people seek to learn and understand and some seek to maintain what they think to be...
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          Nov 27 2013: fine with me Esteban, thanks for participating in this conversation.
      • Nov 27 2013: I take that response from you to mean. that you seek to maintain what you think to be and are not interested in wanting to understand...

        Its been fun participating in this conversation, I am glad you set it up and that everyone who participated participated... From my side I think what what needed to be said has pretty much been said. At 775+ comments I think is one of the most active conversations on ted... and the fact it ends in under 5 days it just might be the time to wind it down (at lest from my side) It would be nice if by the end of the allotted time we could have some shared conclusions...
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          Nov 27 2013: I'll be happy to understand better your views, but as you repeatedly mentioned that you are not willing to explain any further beyond what you already said or provide any reasoning for your thoughts I don't really know what else to add without regurgitating what was already said.
          Anyway, if you want to add more details to you views feel free to do so and I'll be glad to engage ;-)
          Yes, it is probably one of the most active conversation, partly thanks to your active participation, hahahaha.
          And yes, at the end I will write some closing comments.
      • Nov 27 2013: Harald,

        I too really wonder what else to do, what else other could 'try' other than to restate in different forms what has already been said...hoping one of them will get through and enable us to perceive reality; we need to ensure that our internal copy of relay corresponds to the actual original that happens to be real... based on experiences we ought not trusts our senses, nor the senses of others. So how do we ensure that what we think to be corresponds to what happens to be? How does the senseless sense reality that exists beyond their senselessness?

        If I understand your position correctly you would claim that using the scientific method. My position involves creating an unifying narrative that actually happens to correspond to what be going on. Hope that you see that at one level my proposition is almost identical to you proposition while at the same time recognizing that what I propose is also a bit different and includes a bit more.Yea I know that's vaguer than what you like ... and verges or even crosses the line of someone's scientifically acceptable norms. At present thats the most accurate way I have found to include every possibility; and it begs the question: what's in that bit more? Which ought lead into wondering about that and this and other stuff.

        As I said above it would be nice if 'we' could have some 'shared' conclusions.... of course that presents the conundrum of actually figuring out how 'we' unify our individual realities within a shared collective reality. Note that by 'we' I mean everyone who participates here (reading and writing) ( you others me and even those who 'we' know little about because they just read stuff here)... as I have sort of mentioned in other posts its about what be the reality rather what some may think it to be... let me know what you think I (and others) can do to help in that shared endeavor....
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          Nov 27 2013: Esteban,
          What information do you want to "get through", and who do you want it to get through to?


          EDIT regarding comment below:
          Fritzie,
          We all would like others to understand clearly what we are expressing, I am very aware that people use language differently, and I understand that some people have difficulty understanding. I did not say in any way, shape or form that anyone is not trying to understand. I ask a very simple question here. How about letting Esteban speak for himself because he seems to be capable of doing so. Thanks:>)
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          Nov 27 2013: Colleen, I believe Esteban only means that he would like anyone reading here to understand what he is trying to say. As best I understand, how people can come to understand clearly what another person is saying is one of his great interests. One challenge in the effort is that people use language differently, even when they are fluent in the same language. Further, some pairs of people trying hard to understand each other have more trouble than others, partly because of the differences in how they use language. It isn't necessarily that people are not trying on both ends, but it can sometimes seem to one person that the other isn't trying, for a variety of reasons, when in fact everyone is trying.

          A popular suspicion people have is that others do not understand them, not because the first person has not been entirely clear but rather because the second person consciously or subconsciously doesn't want to know the truth or to have his entrenched point of view challenged. And so forth.

          This is only my impression from reading posts.
      • Nov 27 2013: Colleen,

        I was just pointing out how an individuals reality may prevent pertinent information to getting through to them because it would inevitably lead to change their individuals reality to better correspond to the actual reality.

        have to go may add something latter on...
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          Nov 27 2013: Esteban,
          An individual's reality IS the actual reality to that person.
      • Nov 27 2013: The point I was making was that the actual reality to that person may be completely different from the actual reality; furthermore that person will respond based on their reality in reality likely leading to produce in reality their concocted reality. It's a bit like that child who thinks no one likes them nor wants to play with them and chooses to say away from others and does stuff based on what they think and ends up excluding themselves from playing with others feeding into their delusional reality.

        One can pay a complement to someone and they will see it as an insulting remark (or as a complement). Heck one can make a humorous punt and some will get it as such and some will take offense. Sometimes one can expose the truth of the matter and individuals will take offense... As Fritzie pointed out "consciously or subconsciously doesn't want to know the truth or to have his entrenched point of view challenged".

        BTW I appreciate Fritzie contributing to this conversation and for the record see how sometimes if someone else makes a point some individuals will see the point better... Besides It seems to me quite evident hat Fritzie shared what Fritzie believes to be... and I hold it provides an enriching additional viewpoint for all to consider.

        How about letting each contribute and speak what they consider relevant without implicitly accusing them of speaking for someone else? (Yes, I found your rhetorical question to Fritzie not conductive to foster dialogue and we could ask others if they found that question conductive to dialogue or not)
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          Nov 28 2013: Thanks, Esteban. Actually I was replying to the question of what you were trying to "get through." Particularly as you have stated yourself that a good way of figuring out whether you understand someone is to restate as a way of verifying, I thought I might try to restate what I thought you were trying to "get through" in different words. I thought maybe another version of the same thing, if you then agreed it was equivalent, might help others in the conversation understand what you were saying better than if you repeated the same thing you had been saying in your same words. More information in this respect could only help relative to either piece alone.

          I thought from your own ideas about communication that you would not mind at all my making an attempt to to help clarify by an attempt at restatement. I am glad I was right.

          In terms of my personal views, I think communication is a two-way operation. If one person doesn't understand another, it is typically some combination of the first person not being clear enough and the second missing something in the communication. Often the speaker thinks he was more clear than he was or at least cannot think of how to make the idea more clear. This is why one mark of an effective teacher is to be able to explain a given idea in a variety of quite different ways. It is also why in a classroom, "best practice" is for teachers to welcome others getting involved in trying to explain if there seems to be confusion..

          Thank you for understanding and indeed welcoming this strategy.
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          Nov 28 2013: I understood your point Esteban.....
          You write..."The point I was making was that the actual reality to that person may be completely different from the actual reality; furthermore that person will respond based on their reality in reality likely leading to produce in reality their concocted reality."

          And the point I made is:
          "An individual's reality IS the actual reality to that person."

          I see no reason to call it "their concocted reality" because that suggests that it is not real to them, when in fact it is. It may not align with YOUR reality, but it is THEIR reality. Whether or not it aligns with other reality based on evidence or more information involves more exploration with whomever is concerned.

          "For the record".....yes Esteban, I am aware that when several people share the same information, it may be better understood:>)
      • Nov 28 2013: edited to add -Colleen see response to above comment at top of conversation---

        Fritzie,

        Indeed agree with what you just stated... glad you ventured into restating it and yes you did get the gist of what I was saying... For me communication is double-loop (first one sends the other receives; second the other sendback and the first validates/clarifies). When one person doesn't understand (or misunderstands) well both need to figure out what to do - they can get into an argument blaming each other; they can fix the situation and move on. Sometimes one side has to compensate for the other. In certain early conversations, one side manages to understand the coarse utterances and attempts to express something. I like the expression "twist the twisted straight". That is, a highly skill communicator will encode the message in such a way that when its distorted during decoding the result is actually what was intended. Of course, that involves a rather specific destination. A simpler version is to provide a message with multiple interpretations. Here the intended audience knows one code while the unintended audience knows a different code. Employed to pass certain information under the disguise of being innocuous. The simples of all is just to say what one means and let each one be responsible for what they manage to get out of it. Finally the one I like: it involves the simplest form and gives each abundantly of what each desire. A joke will clarify:

        Aladdin2 found a lamp with a genie inside. After rubbing the lamp the genie said: “I will grant you three wishes, just know that whatever you ask I will grant it to you and to your enemies double it”. Aladdin though for a while, asked for abundant riches. Immediately got his wish and had a palace with a gold treasury to last 10 lifetimes and his enemies got twice that. Finaly came the last wish Aladin had: He said I want to donate a kidney! After that he had no enemies :-)
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          Nov 28 2013: I agree that the most reliable strategy is to say what one means in language one expects the audience to understand and then to be willing to clarify in different ways when it appears the listener or reader does not understand your meaning. I think most people in successful discussion follow this course. It also helps in discourse to assume good intentions all around unless one has compelling contrary evidence..
      • Nov 28 2013: Indeed, the thing is that sometimes well intentioned individuals are under the control of the ideas/beliefs/actions they think/maintain/choose and though claim to be willing in theory in practice they just can't overcome the ideas/beliefs/actions they hold (well at least for the time being). Individuals could take control of what they think/feel/do they just choose not to take control while under the influence of a delusion of thinking to be in control.

        Could provide specific examples, though think you can see them already...
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      Nov 23 2013: Vera, to what comment are you responding ? It would be very helpful if you could respond directly under the comment you a referring to instead of starting a new thread, because it's not always obvious where your posts fit in. Thanks !
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    Nov 22 2013: Esteban 14 hours ago, What's next, your next. I see you as a friend and Love you as such. Having risen from a cloud of nasty cosmic dust and gas into an ugly bag of carbon and water. I have diffused of the nasty and ugly and feel much better now. I've transformed. I no longer need a diamond or a hose job. If you meant nose job, doesn't matter they're the same. I am in agreement with your first two sentences. The all sorts of reasons appears to be driven by the will of what you think you want. I do not agree with you that we do have some authority over reality. So let's get me out of there with you and leave you there alone. To rephrase( i do have some authority over reality). Please, do tell?
    • Nov 22 2013: Larry, et all

      My friend... why resort to escapism? I suggest fixing up the place ... resolving once and for all to bind what ought to be bound (for good); and abundantly cultivating what ought to be abundantly cultivated.

      Besides wherever one goes there one be... I think its time to transcend the possessiveness possessions to control... I think its time for each to actually do what each ought to do... in line with what ought to be done...

      Do note I said 'what ought to be done' rather than "what one thinks ought to be done"... this sublet distinction becomes quite irrelevant when what one thinks ought to be done corresponds to what ought to be done... Of course if one thinks what ought to be done according to what ought to be done do either one
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        Nov 22 2013: If you are suggesting the inside work I'm all for it. I can not change the outer I am powerless. It simply reflects the inner. Change the inner and the entire world changes. In reality I never had control, I was never running the show regardless of what I thought. Someone once told me I would go far because I had far to go. They were in fact correct.
        • Nov 22 2013: How strange that you would say that... (well actually not really that strange at all...)!

          Work the inside, change the outer... mind, body, spirit are interconnected to some degree... I know that when one changes the entire universe changes :-) What one thinks to be is part of what happens to be... and what one does now establishes once and for all what happens to be.

          BTW maybe you never had control because the show wasn't about control to begin with... it was more of a shared play where each one does what each one ought to do...

          FWIIW no matter how fast one runs one be where one be :-) and one can't be elsewhere (well unless one achieves bilocation, collapse everywhere to where one be, or finds another way).
  • Nov 22 2013: I was thinking it would be convenient and useful to make a summary of the topic that includes the different perspectives. And maybe even seek to keep it updated from time to time.

    From what I recall Harald mentioned the other day something to the effect that there seemed to be a sort of consensus related to the notion of reality:
    Some consider reality to be subjectively related to what they think to be
    Some consider reality to be objectively and external to what they think to be
    Some consider reality to be a conjunction of both

    Within these realities there are different approaches 'to know' the stuff that be
    Some relay on their internal reasoning skills, what seems reasonable to them
    Some relay on a process, and data which approximates and refines the map according to the territory
    Some relay on a conjunction that explains and includes them both

    Then there is the issue of the stuff itself:
    Material immaterial and something else (the whirls)
    The relationships that this kinds of stuff have (individually and collectively) within each class and across them
    Including the casualty direction of matters, concepts and ideas covering such matters as possibilities, actualities and 'predicaments' (where does this come from, where is it going, what does that mean, what's how's and why's)
    Does the physical lead to the mental or the mental lead to the physical and what about the spiritual (does that actually really exist) and singularities.

    Well thats a first dab at this...
    Did I include all the positions and stances?
    Ought we include, and or changes something?
    Whats next?
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      Nov 23 2013: Usually on TED the originator of the conversation, in this case Harald, would summarize at the end. You might want to give him the lead on doing that.
      • Nov 23 2013: Fritzie,

        In a way,

        I wonder if this has to be an individualistic activity that someone does
        or can it be a shared collaborative effort... in which everyone participates and contributes...

        Underlying this notion I also see a secondary ideas that has to do with someones reality 'juxtaposed' within or around the absolute reality that involves all sort of relational interplays. Ought a person project what they think to be unto what be ? Ought a person change what they think to accept what be? As I have been sort of seeking to point out: in some cases one ought to focus on the meaning of what someone says, in some cases one ought to focus on the meaning of what someone hears, in some cases one ought to focus on the emergent resulting meaning product of shared interaction that neither one could had imagined on their own.
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          Nov 23 2013: The thread is indeed open to all to contribute and respond to each other. Each will draw his/her conclusions.

          I believe most people would agree that it is productive to consider what others in the conversation mean by their posts rather than focusing only on ones prior position..
      • Nov 23 2013: Indeed, each will draw his/her conclusions... and I hope that we also manage to draw some shared conclusions together.

        I also agree that it would be more productive to focus on considering what others mean rather than focusing only on ones prior position... or ones current understanding... or ones desired position... of course while ensuring that the focus remains mostly on the target and moving forward it while generating the benefits that ought to be produced and cultivated in abundance.

        So how does one promote this focus on considering what others actually mean rather than what one thought the other meant? (hint first ensure that what one thinks reality is corresponds to the reality then do the considering and finally choose what to respond)
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          Nov 23 2013: By the fact that you give "hints," I am guessing you already have an answer that satisfies you. As this is part of normal communication, people are typically constantly engaged in it, though some work harder at it than others.

          There are a number of very popular TED talks about listening, the importance of listening and how to improve ones listening. You may take interest in those. Here is the play list of eight talks on learning to listen: http://www.ted.com/playlists/92/listen_up.html
      • Nov 23 2013: Fritzie,

        I have noticed how prevalent it is in normal communication for individuals to focus on what they think to be; often disregarding completely what happens to be; and even what others think on the matter at hand... do notice notice how my question sought to focus on what someone, anyone, others, you, me can do to promote 'something happening' in themselves and in others which focuses on objective reality rather than just 'somebody's' subjective interpretations.

        Do notice the framing I chose, that is what can each do to get someone to listen to somebody when the individual observes that somebody made a point to someone that someone ought to incorporate but seems unable to even hear? Evidently each has been in a situation where they observe what is being presented to individuals and how some of the stuff be 'ignored by individuals' rather than considered by them.... I realize that to some the invitations by distractors seem more appealing than the focus on the matter. Evidently why 'someone' choses not to listen (or to chooses to listen), and why someone/something intervenes so as to redirect the focus of attention happen to be quite interesting stuff to dialogue about still lets keep in mind the original concern: how does one promote considering and understanding a particular topic without getting ensnared by previous considerations?

        With all dew respect: Why did you choose to make up that guess and follow that course of action rather than follow through into seeking to consider what I meant by it or even just answering the question?

        Did you notice the hint correlates well with the 5 treasure's Tools to improve conscious listening:
        1- recalibrate to be able to hear 2- how many channels can one hear 3- savoring attention to mundane 4- listening positions to appropriate stance 5- Receive Appreciate Summarize Ask

        connecting in understanding - funny the proposal to listen better was to teach rather than to learn ...
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          Nov 23 2013: I thought from your interests, and always noticing your framing, that you might benefit from listening to the playlist which seemed to provide some thoughts on your question.

          I figured there was nothing lost and possibly something gained in sharing that playlist which might advance your thinking.

          That was all.

          I will leave you now to your thoughts on these matters. Thanks.
      • Nov 23 2013: Fritzie,

        Thanks for thinking about what might benefit me and taking the time to provide info you find might help.
        I hope you noticed that I did follow the link you provided and did listen ... seeking useful stuff there.
        I also sought to continue the dialogue and interchanges here based on the ideas you put forth...'complemented' by what I perceive... seeking that we might each and all benefit.
        I perceive from your comment that you will leave the conversation where it be now (at least for now)

        Ok thanks for letting us know.
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      Nov 23 2013: Esteban, there are still a few days to go for this conversation so it's a bit premature for closing statements. Just hold on, maybe somebody will come up with a definite answer by then ;-)
      • Nov 23 2013: Harald and Fritzie,

        The intent of providing 'the summary' or 'to recap' the conversation viewpoints as it stands at this point was more towards providing a lead into focusing on clarifying where we be at so that anyone and everyone can voice their observations. At 500+ comments I doubt individuals will go through the whole conversation and I am quite interested for others to join in and contribute to enrich this conversation. Evidently its a bit premature for closing statement and ideally the conclusions will stem from a collaborative shared activity (though I realize that Herald may take the lead) I just thought it would be convenient to provide a quick overview for someone just arriving into the conversation as well as for me and others to recap this conversation.

        In that light what did you think of that first dab at this...
        Does it include all the positions and stances?
        Ought we include, and or changes something?
        Whats next?
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          Nov 23 2013: I will wait for Harald to articulate his "big picture" when he is ready, as he has been hosting this conversation very effectively, I think, for the last three weeks.
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          Nov 23 2013: Esteban, since you are one of the major contributors here, I'll try to boil down your views to their very essence. Feel free to correct me if I got it wrong.
          1) you believe there is the subjective reality we live in and the absolute reality that exists regardless of us
          2) You believe that the scientific method cannot be trusted because any evidence provided cannot be trusted either.
          3) you reject any absolutes in our subjective reality. Everything, even what we consider facts is open to questioning.
          4) you think that what one believes shapes reality (No t sure what you mean by that, an example would be useful)

          Hmm, did I miss something essential ?
      • Nov 24 2013: Herald,

        Evidently I find this topic fascinating, and do choose to participate and invite others to do the same.
        The boiling down points you put forth to correspond to my views are actually quite far from my views. Of the four points I only consider the first one to be a close match. The last one I would consider only partially corresponds to one of my views.

        I do believe there is the subjective reality we live in
        I do believe there is the absolute reality that exists regardless of us
        I also believe that we live in the absolute reality that exists
        I think what what one thinks/believes/does shapes reality to a certain degree

        There are many other essential stuff and viewpoints to consider and pointing out BUT I think doing so at this time will only exacerbate the evident misunderstandings. I wonder how to move towards better shared stands and concepts. to paraphrase Fritzie : seek productive means to jointly consider what each one in the conversation means by their posts rather than focusing only on ones prior position / understandings (misunderstandings) interpretations.
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          Nov 24 2013: What do you mean with "we live in the absolute reality" ?
          I think, our subjective reality necessarily must be embedded in absolute reality, so yes, we live in absolute reality. Is that what you mean ?
          In what sense do you think do beliefs shape reality ?
          As I see it, beliefs don't shape reality, but beliefs can lead to certain actions which in return shape reality.
          Example: Some radical Muslims believe that they are supposed to engage in holy war against infidels which leads to violence. So, in this case, belief, although indirectly, shapes reality. Again, is that what you mean ?
          As to point 2, based on lengthy exchanges not only with me but also with Entropy I got the impression that you don't believe in the scientific method. So apparently this impression was wrong and you DO believe in the scientific method as valid approach in our quest to gain knowledge ?
      • Nov 24 2013: Harald,

        You provided the answer to your first question... that is in line with what I meant. so yes to your second question that is basically what I meant.

        The case of beliefs shaping reality to some degree... you also provided in essence what I meant... while what I meant goes a bit further depending on what is meant by "beliefs can lead to certain actions which in return shape reality". The example I would use would be the belief in success vs the belief in failure leading to success or to failure ... yea I do know that sometime success or failure actually stem from other factors... The point was accepting the fact that beliefs shape reality to some degree... from there we can explore to what degree and in which circumstances this happens ...

        Yea I realized that the impression you had of reality didn't correspond with the reality and you where immersed in what you thought to be. Been there, done that and know how difficult, almost impossible, it can be to moved on out of there... still we each have to find the way to embrace the better ways and do what ought to be done... I have sought to share certain notions related to what I perceive is going on and at times it can get complicated ... as I said been there, done that and know how difficult, almost impossible, it can be to moved on ... in fact thats one of the things I am seeking to figure out... how to effectively recognize and deal with ideological belief structures in place that perpetuate an ensnare into particular way of being.
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          Nov 24 2013: "belief in failure leading to success or to failure"
          I think belief would have an indirect role in that in the sense, that it leads to self fulfilling prophecies. Basically if you believe in success, you act accordingly and THIS is what leads to success. The same is true for failure.

          As to understanding: Perhaps if you just remove the convoluted and redundant/circular part from your posts it would be easier to understand them ;-)
          Tackling one idea at a time also helps. Once one idea is discussed we can move on to the next.
      • Nov 24 2013: Harald,

        Lets do what you suggested there at the end of that paragraph.
        Specifically :
        1. take one idea at a time
        2. once that idea is discussed we can move on to the next

        Idea : "The case of beliefs shaping reality to some degree"

        Does that idea correspond and reflect what happens in reality?

        Note that getting into direct or indirect role, the specifics mechanics involved etc... would be moving on to the next idea rather than dealing with one idea at a time. Can you find a single specific evident case that would corroborate the idea? After you agree then if we so choose can move on to explore to what degree in which cases etc...

        I have a sense that you will have a hard time consenting to that idea... because of the cognitive dissonance it likely bring up to you.

        BTW the convoluted and redundant/circular part from my posts serves a purpose... will work at simplifying it as best as I can ...
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          Nov 25 2013: I'm fine with that, but I can't give you an example. Since it is your idea, you should be able to provide an example.
          What purpose might the convoluted and circular serve ? I'm curious ;-)
      • Nov 26 2013: Glad you are fine with that idea ... two posts up you didn't seem to be fine about such idea.
        Indeed I should be able to provide at least one example. I am able to do so. I have even done so and proven to be able to do so by doing so.

        the convoluted and circular form seeks to integrate within one statement multiple viewpoints and interpretations including diverse meanings as a way to stimulate dialogue.... what tends to happen is that individuals see just one viewpoint, don't bother to validate and work out their distortions nor inquire if what they think to be corresponds to what be and then proceed to comment on what they think... usually presenting all sort of disagreements... and projections ... Kind of funny in a way when when one state A is A and somebody tell you hey that a meaningless statement ... fact is they are projecting their capabilities at find meaning from the statement. As has been sort of dialogued here many confuse and can't distinguish between what they think to be real with what be real often projecting what they think to be ... rather than thinking according to what happens to be...
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    Nov 21 2013: Esteban 20 hours ago, Like what? I find it difficult to grasp much with just "other possibilities" to go with. Below is an interesting find.

    What I see reflects a process in my Mind, which starts with my idea of what I want. From there, the mind makes up an image of the thing the mind desires, judges valuable, and therefore seeks to find. These images are then projected outward, looked upon, esteemed as real and guarded as one’s own. From insane wishes comes an insane world.
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      Nov 21 2013: Hi Larry, where are you responding to ?
    • Nov 22 2013: Larry,

      You probably are aware that there are infinite upon infinite possibilities and out of all that there is just one that is the best. The thing is that most of the time individuals restrict the possibilities they actually consider for all sort of reasons. By my comment I wanted to draw attention that we do have some authority over reality. In my original response I was going to say that maybe the cloud of dust and gas just needed a diamond and a hose job to change its mood and formation into a nice one...

      do note that science in essence holds that belief has absolutely no effect on reality whatsoever... when the truth of the matter is that what one believes does effect and affect realty is some ways...
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    Nov 21 2013: Will do!
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    Nov 21 2013: I'm glad you find something familiar in my (very clumsy) explanations. Thank you! Though the "ground" for my thinking is that the "geography" of mind - is self-organized Living Composition. This composition goes through instant transformations, and may produce way more than 3 "spheres". It is capable of evolving itself based on its intelligence and great intuition towards the objective to it world. Some of living compositions, like ourselves, are suppressing intuition, become self destructive - lacking awareness toward environment.

    About a body - it is Not "located" inside a mind. A mind while interacting it only Perceives it as an image of a body. A body out there effects a mind when these are interacting. (hard to explain this complicated process in a few words. )
    • Nov 21 2013: The reason I visualized the material world (body) located within the immaterial meta-world rather than the other way around may stem from noticing that the immaterial can coexists within and outside the material where as the material can only exists within the material. It just may be that the immaterial can only exists within the immaterial and the notion of coexisting within and outside the material stems from an illusion... In a way the map results from integrating the territory and distinctions and shares being both part of the matter and part theory...
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      Nov 21 2013: Vera,
      I think I understand your comment and agree.....

      You are saying...the mind goes through transformations and may produce way more than 3 spheres.
      Can the word spheres be interchanged with dimensions as you use it?

      "It is capable of evolving itself based on intelligence and ...intuition..."
      Perhaps the more dimensions/spheres we recognize in our "self", the more intelligent and intuitive we become? Thereby becoming more aware?

      I believe that our reality is created based on the information we choose to embrace. Is that similar to what you are expressing?
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        Nov 24 2013: I just hesitate to use that technical term "dimension", The word "sphere" that I use in my description, is already too graphic for the idea. I feel that every mind must interact with its outer environment, or the world (no one can exist absolutely independently ignoring powers of instant changes of this world). Most of the living forms are much "closer" to their outer environment than us, they do not need to play "conscious" theater and do not trust its confusing artificial logic or rules. I imagine that our primary interactions with the objective world are getting over processed through corporeal sense-perceptions creating our burlesque reality, while our subconscious "sphere" is ignored, and in many cases - shrinking, Our authentic intuition thriving in subconscious "sphere" - it is closely interacting the rest of the world .


        Hate to do this graphic comparison but our minds like fancy "stomachs" must digest some of "row" interactions into its existence on every stage of consciousness or subconsciousness l. Is my answer ok with you? Did I understand your question correctly?

        (sorry I previously misplaced this answer - I'm putting it in the right place.)
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          Nov 27 2013: I agree Vera, that sometimes the words we use may feel limiting. I also agree that every person interacts with the environment, and I perceive many animals, as well as humans, being more or less aware of their/our environment, and more or less open to information. I believe our reality as individuals, is formed based on information that we are willing and able to consider. I think we understand each other Vera?
  • Nov 21 2013: Entropy

    It was getting crowded below...

    I am a bit curious why you adamantly choose to reject the fact of the matter that "ultimately what one accepts as valid boils down to what one choose to believe". So it seems you choose to believe the reasons behind those methods you employ while still refusing to accept the fact that you believe in such reasons. Even if I showed you the rationale you would likely find a way to reject it on this or that basis while holding on to the belief that you believe it to be rational step to take.

    As the video Dan Dennett: The illusion of consciousness (http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_dennett_on_our_consciousness.html) Pointed out: you may think you can tell whats going on when the truth of the matter is a bit different...

    How can you tell "if the methods and procedures are to be trusted"? Are you certain that you at least could figure out if they are trustable? How do you know?
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      Nov 21 2013: Esteban, yes, one chooses what to believe but ideally this choice is not arbitrary but based on data (I know, I know, not all choices are made based on data).
      So, to stick with my moon example:
      Person 1 tells you the moon is made of rock
      Person 2 tells you the moon is made of cheese.
      What do you normally do ? You evaluate each argument, based on the evidence presented.
      If you conclude that there is more evidence supporting the idea of the moon being made of rock than of cheese, then I suppose you would support the moon is rock based theory and not disregard the evidence assuming the moon is made of cheese lacking evidence for that claim.
      Then you can also say, no, I believe the moon is neither made of cheese nor rock, but it's a cube of sugar.
      Now, you are obviously free to believe that, but can you prove it ? And if you can't prove it does this hypothesis make any sense ?
      So, what we do all the time is compare different options and we choose the one that makes the most sense/is the best supported by evidence as the truth. This works MOST of the time.
      • Nov 21 2013: Harald,

        What I liked about the moon example centered on observing those who believe and those who disbelieve a particular happening ... and how individuals actually knows the facts of the matter.

        I realize that it just seems absurd to some individuals to consider this or that story. Do note how I am framing this in a way where I am not actually taking sides on the particular case one way or the other I am simply using their particular case to observe something happening and how individuals actually know what they think they know...

        I heard/read of so many 'scientists' who 'doctored' documents to make claims who later where proven to have forged a bunch of stuff. I seen so many historians who distorted what actually took place...

        Remember that one of the underlying notions I am positing here is that what is considered evidence boils down to what one chooses to believe... If one chooses to believe that the rocks are from the moon then ... (X). If one chooses to disbelieve that the rocks are from the moon then... (Y).

        Also note that someone may able to prove it to themselves and to some individuals while unable to prove it to somebody in particular. I venture to hold you can find the particular cases where this happens to be so; just as you can find the particular cases where this happens not to be so. Just remember that the claim there are black swans is proven by a single black swan; resorting to the claim but here there are all these white swan to prove that swans are white just won't do.

        An underlying notion that individuals comparing different options choosing the one that makes the most sense seems to ignore that making sense can be depend on the individual rather than the reality. The claim 'that makes no sense' would be false if someone finds the claim to make sense... notice the subtle projection from 'I can not makes sense from that' to 'that makes no sense'...
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          Nov 21 2013: Sure, as everywhere, there are also bad scientists and bad historians.
          The good thing in science however is that nobody works in a vacuum. There might be some bad information sold as truth (Wakefield and his "work" about vaccination related to autism come to mind) but since scientific knowledge is made available to the scrutiny of everybody, bad stuff eventually will be exposed as such.
          Anyway, as I said many times, the scientific method is not 100 % fool proof, but it's the best we have for now.
          "Also note that someone may able to prove it to themselves and to some individuals...."
          I disagree. If you are able to prove it to yourself and some individuals there is no reason you shouldn't prove it to everybody.
          If you can only convince yourself and maybe a few others then something must be inherently wrong with your reasoning.
          "An underlying notion that individuals comparing different options choosing the one that makes the most sense seems to ignore that making sense can be depend on the individual rather than the reality."
          This might be, but if you show a car to 1.000.000 people and ask them whether or not this is a car or a bike, I'm pretty sure that most if not all (unless they never saw a car before in their life) will say that this is a car.
          They are right, although they are also wrong at the same time. We also could define the car as 99.9999999999999 % empty space and would be correct as well.
          Nevertheless, humans for all practical purpose agree it's a car and this works just fine because we know very well that if we speed in our car and get caught we end up with a ticket. If 2 cars crash we have a very tangible accident and if you get hit by a car that travels at 50 miles/h you probably end up dead (although you are 99.9999999999999 % empty space).
          So, whatever the ultimate reality might be, the reality we have to deal with is the one we live in and of which we are a integral part.
      • Nov 21 2013: Harald,

        I think you are wishfully thinking that the "bad stuff eventually will be exposed as such"...and setting yourself up to keep the bad stuff going... while seeing to it to choose the cases that makes the most sense to your chosen beliefs... As I implied previously : you need to look for the evidence that proves there are black swans !

        Note that sciences isn't about agreeing or disagreeing with the evidence its about accepting the facts and correcting what needs correcting... For example I am sure that you will see how a mathematician may be able to prove a theorem to a mathematician while unable to prove it to a child ... there are actually many cases where there are evident reasons why one would not be able to prove something to certain individuals that has little to do with the inherent validity of one's reasoning and which has lots to do with their particular situation. Do notices how this one example is a particular case of you choosing the case that makes the most sense to your chosen beliefs rather than looking for the evidence that proves the veracity of the claim.

        Note that the ones who said its a car are right because its a car not because many others claimed it was a car...

        The reality we have to deal with stems from what individuals choose to do and what happens to actually happen... we could get into living under certain delusions that individuals insist on maintaining though it may be best to focus on something else...
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          Nov 21 2013: Well, whether you believe it or not, but science keeps on going and correcting and adjusting past mistakes. This will go own as long as there still is something to discover.
          Obviously a mathematician trying toprove 8 additional dimensions through a mathematical formula to a 10 year old kid might have some trouble getting his message across. Not because it is some obscure idea but because he is using a language (mathematics) the child is not able to understand. It's like talking to somebody in Japanese if this person only understands English. You never will get your message across. Again, not because of the content of the message or because the proof is faulty, but because you don't use the right tool to communicate.
          In the case of an obscure idea, whether this is god or anything else, it's not a question of communication tools but the idea itself.
          If you say you believe in little blue ponies with wings flying through the heavens and you are the only one seeing this "truth" then you might still be convinced that is the truth and believe you just can't prove it. Nevertheless, you probably are the only one believing in this "truth", which , to make things worse is not even a truth but a delusion.

          The one who said it was a car was right because it is a car and the truth was confirmed through the observation of 1 million other people that came to the same conclusion.

          Our reality, as subjective as it might be compared to absolute reality still has a profound impact on us. If you jump from the roof of a 10 story building and hit the ground below, the chance is you are dead. You don't get to chose an alternate reality such as floating just above the ground instead of hitting it.
      • Nov 21 2013: Harald,

        The belief language you use prevents the message I am stating from reaching you!

        "Again, not because of the content of the message or because the proof..." its because the belief language you choose to employ... BTW it it was so obvious why didn't you perceive and agreed with the claim the first time?

        As you said "it's not a question of communication tools but the idea itself" that is the ideas you choose to hold or that hold you keep you from perceiving what I am stating...

        Notice you presented the case " to make things worse is not even a truth but a delusion" rather than the case where what one believes to be happens to be.... " to make things better is be a truth that corresponds to the truth"..

        The fact others confirmed or not that the car is a car did not change the veracity of the fact it was a car.

        again I notice how you pick your examples according to what is agreeable to your position rather than an example that would get you to see the truth of the matter in a new light...
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          Nov 21 2013: "The fact others confirmed or not that the car is a car did not change the veracity of the fact it was a car. "
          The veracity of the fact is that a car is made of 99.9999999999999 % of empty space. And so are you and me and the chair I sit on.
          In other words, zooming in deep enough, there is no such thing as a car in absolute reality. On the most elementary level everything is exactly the same. I always use the example of whirls in the river. You see the whirls but you can't separate them from the river.
      • Nov 22 2013: Harald,

        If you want to get technical 'the physical car' is actually just an arrangement of stuff it the form some beings consider it to correspond to what a car be. A car is a conceptual notion that exists outside the physical domain within the immaterial domain. Its a bit like color in physical reality there is just a particular arrangement of stuff that some distinguish as corresponding to a color. The idea is one thing, the word is one form the idea takes and the physical arrangement another... Of course empty space isn't actually empty at all it just seems that way... BTW that reminds me about the notion that the pessimist and the optimists both are delusional about the claim they make of the glass... any true realist will recognize that the glass is always full ! half water half air...
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          Nov 23 2013: "of course empty space isn't actually empty at all it just seems that way"
          What do you mean with "it seems this way" ?
          Expressing a percentage of empty space is not a good way to do it because we are talking about the quantum world, but the idea is to illustrate that most what we believe to be a solid object is actually empty space.
          Comparing it with the glass half filled with water half with air doesn't fly, because in the case of an atom, the space between particles is really empty and not filled with air or anything else.
      • Nov 23 2013: Harald,

        I understand that ' the idea is to illustrate that most what we believe to be a solid object is actually ...' -a distinctive- space. Some like to call it 'empty' rather than call it ' '. What I wanted to point out was that using the label 'empty' can be quite misleading and lead to not look for what's there! Something similar happens whenever we use the construct 'is' (look into e-prime language).

        The comparison to the half empty half full glass 'flies' because in both cases the pessimists and the optimists fail to notice that the glass is ALWAYS full! Full of what ? Half water + half air = full glass. Yea I know that if we go to the atomic level the solid objects of water and air become atoms and/or particles and/or even energy fluxes... Doing so would miss the point I was seeking to convey and focus on a completely different issue... In a way I am wondering why we call it 'empty space' rather than 'inner space'? Notice how one label tends to open up and wonder about what's in that space where as the other tends to lead to close up and say it is just empty. Thats why I made the comment...
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          Nov 23 2013: It doesn't matter how you name something as long as you can convey what you mean.
          Instead of empty space you can call it the "magic space" or "wonderland", however, the fact of a matter that it is empty (void of anything) doesn't change with the label you give it.
      • Nov 24 2013: Harald,

        Are you certain that it is empty (void of anything)? The point I was making was that certain words/distinctions lead us to hold certain ideas which may or may not correspond to the truth of the matter.

        We agree that the actual veracity of the matter doesn't change with the labels one gives it... it is what it is those who recognize it get it and those who don't well they dont get it...
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          Nov 24 2013: So, if it is not void, what do you think occupies the (empty) space ?
      • Nov 24 2013: Harald,

        I have not though about what may occupy that presently unknown space... the point I was seeking to put forth involved the notion that the terms language ideas we use can bias us into certain stances that determine what we consider... and it may be complicated to consider certain alternatives especially when one thinks there are no alternatives...
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          Nov 24 2013: By any chance did you ever read works by Jacques Derrida ?
          Sometimes it sounds like him....lol
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    Nov 20 2013: Reality (I believe) is a personal AND shared experience with other human beings around the world. Reality is created in our minds as the result of our personal and collective experiences. Our senses give us what we need to experience reality in it's physical form.

    The biggest questions I can think of is ..."Why???" Why is there 'anything' at all? Why was the Universe born at all and why would it's evolutionary 'outcome' be 'ugly bags of carbon and water' that are now asking the question, :Why am I?" There's one for you. The other questions of 'everything' will be answered in time. As someone once put it." Maybe the Universe is just something that happens once in a while"
    • Nov 20 2013: Eric,

      I been wondering about the question you put forth ... and a couple of other conversations ... with a bit of a bias towards a changing the focus of the underlying question/answers ... I think that the key resides in choosing what to do with the reality at hand?

      What is it? why is it? seem a bit secondary to what are we going to do with it ?
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        Nov 20 2013: And why would you desire to do anything about it. Is it not to your liking?
        • Nov 20 2013: Larry,

          If I got your question right you are asking: why would one desire to do something about the situation at hand? I see multiple of reasons even if when one likes the present situation...
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      Nov 20 2013: Eric, the reality you mention is the subjective reality that we, to a large degree all share because we are basically built the same way receiving sensory input through our 5 senses that the brain then uses to create an image of our environment.
      What we discussed here in length is that there must be some absolute reality which is completely independent of us. This reality would exist regardless of whether or not we are around to contemplate reality.

      As to your other question. Why is there something rather than not. This is a question that many people already asked and I'm also wondering about this question.
      And since there is something where did this something come from ? Or was it creation ex nihilo ?
      Next question would be, since there is something, is there any purpose to it ?
      Lot's of questions and few answers :-)
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    Nov 20 2013: Continue - THIRD SPHERE
    The Third sphere /Physical Reality/ is where our superficial consciousness thrives and explores its "physical" reality. This reality is possible only after ephemeral instinctive sensations transform into production of what we believe that tangible or physical reality is.
    Limitations of our Perceiving appear to be the most powerful when we sense through our corporeal sense-perceptions in this Third sphere. That is how we may sense tangible objects, solidness, textures, colors, weight, gravity, movements, limited space and time - through the harsh condition of our own "physical" resistance to these specific connections.
    A mind is not able to actually see itself or anything else in whole using its corporeal eyes.

    It see's burlesque images, that are never complete, exact or "real".
    Someone visits an unknown person in the office, talks to this person, and then leaves with great confidence that now he knows this person. In this visitor's mind the image of a person in the office is a fluctuating combination of a nose of a man, some portion of his necktie, a broken contour of his face, a part of a desk with some papers, the window floating behind that person's shoulders, and broken sounds of the words he has been pronouncing. These are typical mental "impressions" of our physical reality which our minds produce routinely, while we are trying to memorize, measure, analyze, calculate, or philosophize, believing we see images in some real order.
    A painting by Picasso is less grotesque than this reality produced by our corporeal sight. No microscopes or telescopes may fix, augment or stabilize craziness of corporeal perception. The most daring art only demonstrates our craziness of corporeal.

    Our logic is like a little fish in that craziness - but we may capture it in an "aquarium", "pond" or "river" to make order. If it sleeps into the ocean - we loose it.

    Fragments from my writing
    • Nov 20 2013: Vera,

      For whatever reasons I imagine the three spheres you described inverted! That is your first sphere is at the outside and the third is in the inside... I had the idea that the fist sphere was at the center and the others outside of that... curiously enough in a previous conversation, about 10 years ago with someone else, i resorted to a sketch that involved three worlds...( I just went to fetch it to use as a reference now) ... It turns out that in the sketch I have there are several circles within circles from the out-side-in spirit, mind, body... there are other labels : at the center is the world, above that is the meta-world and above that the supra-world. How about that almost like you describe it with different labels and in the same order... I also have levels of abstraction that go from 0 to 1 to 2 (but these only exists within the levels of mind-body or the world and the meta-world) and then there are the worlds 1 through 4 ( world 1 being the 'physical' world 4 being the spiritual that contains it all and worlds 2&3 corresponding to separate individuals within world 1) I made a distinction of 'containing wold 3' vs 'grasping world 3'... The diagram I am working from originally considered that identical copies where impossible; now days I shifted and accept that identical copies can and do exist... The level 0 stuff corresponds to physical arrangements,level 1 stuff correspond to abstract integrated concepts and level 2 stuff involves abstract separated concepts. To use an example... lets look at 'a book'... the physical arrangement we call 'a book'. at level 0 it consists of a bunch of stuff arranged in a particular way ... the stuff itself isn't a book for a book is a concept that only exists in a meta-world... that is the level-1 notion of a book - and level-2 is a book separated from 'the form' so an e-book and a p-book are different instances of a book.
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    Nov 20 2013: continue previous Post
    The Second Sphere /Cosmic Reality/ lays inside the First sphere. Some portion of this sphere can be vaguely visible to our corporeal eyes as a colossal starry space, which we call the Universe, or Cosmos, that gradually dissapears into unreachable to physical eyes, subconsciousness (the First Sphere of a mind).
    This fascinating design of mind's that we call Cosmos, captivates our still poor conscious intelligence, makes it wonder about where all that indescribable existence might come from, and why we are so limited in "getting in there", even when building huge body-protective devices like spaceships. Our bodies are not at all designed to travel inside our minds, they are alien to our minds, can be potentially very destructive for a mind. However, our Selfs, have all the abilities to be anywhere within their own "space".
    The confusion between what belongs to one's mind space, and what is the world out there grows with every new cosmic endeavor. If we want to make some progress in that direction we need to learn, that a mind is designing these Cosmic sceneries on its own, and for its own use. We kill ourselves trying to get inside ourselves using physical bodies and devices that only greater separate us from the most fascinating realities of our own minds. Again, we create our space not from nothing. In the first place, Our own primordial truly artistic abilities are given to us not to create art but for to interact and adjust to our instantly changing environments, for our own survival sake. If one deeply believes in "ultimate Creator of everything" one has an opportunity to greatly admire one's creator for granting this fantastic creative ability to every living creature, just for surviving and evolving.
    The Second Sphere possesses nature's built-in Primordial "art", "sound recording" and "motion picture" studios allowing our Secondary/Physical Perceptions play their scenarios.

    I know ideas Too new to accept easily.
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      Nov 20 2013: Hi Vera, you are redefining the term "mind", which means we are ending up talking about different things.
      The mind is nothing material. It's not made of stuff but it is the product of complex electrochemical reactions going on in our brain.
      I think the best proof for that is that with the brain gone, the mind is gone as well. Sure, one can come up with countless other ideas but at the end, what counts is to what degree you can support your assertions with evidence.
      If you can't then it's not more than phantasies, which is probably something good from an artist's point of view, but of not much use to an scientist.
      • Nov 21 2013: Harald,

        at the end, what counts is to what degree assertions correspond to what happens to be!
        well actually at the end what counts may well be related to what each choose to do...
        The fact one can support a claim or provide evidence is secondary... and does not change the validity of the claim...
        as you mentioned "you are redefining the term..." according to what you chose to hold...

        BTW where did the mind go? Did it cease to exists or simply moved to a different place-time-dimension? From what I heard in near death experiences... the mind may well travels to different locations and visit relatives before proceeding to move on...
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        Nov 21 2013: Harald. May I ask you a couple of question?
        1. What is "physical" in your opinion (including brains) ?

        It is quite known (throughout history to this very day of quantum) we cannot help but live through instant sensations that are not physical or "solid", but we may turn - some of these instinctive sensations - into what we recognize as "physical" sense perceptions. Very old classical foundation of knowledge.

        2. How can we believe, for instance, in any solid matter, shapes, like a table, while a microbe is easily penetrating this "space" sensing no table's solidness? Are our human sense perceptions are true?

        I believe that every living form has its own sets of perceptions that are nature's tools for creating and protecting its internal reality - possible only in non-physical world.

        3.The very process of thinking and composing a thought itself - is my field. My life long research is about following this process of producing thoughts, conclusions and beliefs we make, in general and particular, but not exactly what we say or mean. Human sense of logic is our lead, but this tiny compass is extremely limited - In order to make it work we have to build for it an artificially separated from the rest of our life space, our thinking-chamber. Our logic then may create some order but within our artificial conditions. Well, if we have unlimited space for thinking - we loose logic -and order.

        What does convince you that your beliefs are true and universal?

        4. How would you explain intelligent existence and evolution of creatures without any brains?
        Thank You!
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          Nov 21 2013: Vera, when I say "physical" I use the meaning most people assign to the term.
          I'm very much aware that this term might be misleading when we look at the underlying facts (that's why we are discussing subjective reality vs. the absolute reality).
          Any material object, amazing as it might sound is actually made mostly of.........nothing. Still, it appears solid to our perception.
          While a microbe can't penetrate a solid object, many subatomic particles actually can easily.
          "I believe that every living form has its own sets of perceptions". Yes I certainly can agree with that. I'm certain that a bacterium views reality very different from us.
          "What does convince you that your beliefs are true and universal?" Nothing, I'm not convinced that my beliefs are true or universal. If given 3 options of "truth" I will chose the one that is the best supported by evidence. Can I still be wrong ? Sure I can, but the question comes always down to probabilities.
          Repeating my example from other posts: If you give me to options of "truth", one that the moon is made of rock and the other that the moon is made of cheese, I will, based on all available evidence, conclude that the moon is made of rock.
          I might be wrong, but whoever stipulates that the moon is made of cheese will have the burden of proof. Meanwhile I stick with the option that make the most sense, being open to any future, possible adjustments in my views.
          If we don't do that we get stuck in limbo, never making any decision at all, because we always will have a doubt about something.
          "How would you explain intelligent existence and evolution of creatures without any brains?" Not sure what you mean.
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        Nov 21 2013: Dear Harald you say "If you can't then it's not more than phantasies, which is probably something good from an artist's point of view, but of not much use to an scientist."
        Well, you judge too harshly my work, and therefore, underestimate postmodern sciences. I agree with you, that mentality of some of "traditional" scientists is still stuck in Rene Descartes' times.. however, I know well my friends, experimental nuclear physicists, and nuclear biochemists, who do not believe in reality of "physical" matter and dominating brains (they find my theory "fascinating" and "very encouraging").

        I also know that in postmodern field of philosophy we can find a growing army of "realists" - not "materialists", who are trying to explain conditions of life - Beyond physical.

        George Berkeley's fascinating work comes back for serious revaluation and admiration, not only among philosophers but among leading scientists and researchers.

        The recent OBE research is growing into a real movement in psychology, erupting a volcano of thoughts among researchers.
        We live in time of great change, hopefully for the better.
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          Nov 21 2013: Vera, I agree with you, but you probably misunderstood what I meant.
          The point is that one can virtually believe in anything. It doesn't matter how crazy or absurd a belief might be, there are no limits to what one can believe.
          Does that mean that all and any beliefs make sense ? Obviously not, right ?
          So, how do you separate great thoughts and ideas from nonsense ?
          I'm fully aware that the quantum world is a kind of reality that is not counter intuitive to our thinking but also completely alien to us.
          Even Richard Feynman pointed out that, although mathematicians and physicist can throw around endless formulas describing quantum events, nobody actually can claim to understand the quantum world.
        • Nov 21 2013: Harald,

          I initiated a talk earlier related to "So, how do you separate great thoughts and ideas from nonsense"? see link...

          http://www.ted.com/conversations/21359/how_to_determine_ideas_worth_s.html

          thus far what I been able to summon is that one puts the ideas through a process that ensures only great thoughts emerge at the point of spreading them ...
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    Nov 20 2013: Harold,

    i am trying to somehow describe my sketch "Geography of Mind" (it's a real sketch)
    THE GEOGRAPHY OF MIND
    (illustration #1)

    My description is clumsy - it is my first attempt to explain a mind by drawing a "picture". However it might amuse you.
    Description: I believe that our human mind develops at least three spheres within itself, immersed one inside the other. They are highly interactive in every possible way: with outer conditions, and among themselves.
    The First "Sphere" is embracing the whole living composition of mind, it "holds" its all internal production along with the Second and Third spheres.
    The First sphere is the "space" where Primary instinctive interactions with the objective world, get digested into the "materials" and formations of mind. We all have Primary Subconscious Perceptions for turning "raw", "blind" and "deaf" instinctive sensations, into landscapes and quite fantastic scenarios. In the First sphere our corporeal eyes or ears are not allowed. However, we all have a potential ability for using our super-vision Before we see and hear our physical stage of reality. The process of digesting Primary interactions into sensations takes time. Our crude and slow physical sense perceptions can not directly catch anything within the First sphere.

    The First Sphere of mind is a "space" where our memories are inhibited as an illusive river of constant illusive transformations of our previous experience, images, sensations, sounds, thoughts…

    This First sphere might develop magnificent landscapes impossible for corporeal eyes, nor for superficial consciousness.
    ----------- to read the rest PLEASE SEE my next post
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    Nov 20 2013: Harald, you just nailed it - we, (not only you and me) think very differently regarding Brain-mind, and, Mind-body/brain connections. What is producing what? Great timely question
    'll get back to this post very shortly tonight.
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    Nov 20 2013: Vera, I'm sorry it's not my fault it's those damned e's and i's. Weather he said it or not, seems to benefit me when I pet the cats or hug my wife. Is thier anything you can do to fix me.
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      Nov 20 2013: LARRY, LOVE YOUR POST. It is up to a single soul to choose what it wants -

      quite fanstic freedom everyone internally possesses.

      (Sorry about that misspelling in your post. We all do this! ) I very respect your own honest thoughts
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    Nov 19 2013: From LARRY, "Einstien said a soul without a body is void of meaning." If you mean Einstein please correct your spelling.
    If he really has said it - what a terrible conclusion for a genius. NO BODY CAN EXIST WITHOUT ITS MASTER-MIND. When a body is disconnected from its mind it begins to fall apart instantly. A body does not feel a thing on its own.

    ONE'S MIND IS THE CREATOR OF ITS ENVIRONMENT AND ITS THEATERS OF EVER-CHANGING REALITIES. It is a Mind that is facing new worlds, in its every instant. Every living mind, in its deep subconsciousness, has the oldest Art, Sound Recording and Animation studios. We have at least TWO sets of PERCEPTIONS, Primary or NON-PHYSICAl , and Secondary Physical sense-perceptions, when we are interacting with what we see as physical bodies, and their environment, however initially THROUGH SUBCONSCIOUS perceptions.

    Our Secondary, or what we understand as bodily sense-perceptions, are the result of an additional "digestive" process turning Primary sensations into what we call physical sensations. The theater of "conscious" reality is amazingly superficial. Physical sensations are not direct reactions on objective to us conditions of the world. That is why our corporeal sight is deceiving.

    The superficial over-processed canvas of physical reality, with all its picturesque appearances is rising from the deep field of Subconsciousness. It takes time and we are always behind the instant changes of the world, when trust "physical". The speed of light is Not the speed-limit for the world.

    Whatever we sense as physical reality through physical bodies with brains, whether creating the universes with stars or seeing genes under microscopes, none of these "things" would be possible at all, without our deeply Subconscious Process of Perceiving. Tangible realities of any sorts cannot exist without our deep subconsciousness and constantly working natural mechanics of Perceptions.
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      Nov 19 2013: Vera, you still didn't explain what you mean with "master mind".
      The mind is not an organ but a product of our brain. as I already mentioned in another post. Are you aware of any mind that exists without a brain/body ?
      You talk about the subconscious, but this is also a product of our brain.
      You are trying to introduce in a new variable "master mind" where non is needed. Most of what you say is correct, because that's what our brain does. It creates a representation of reality that helps us make sense of our surroundings.
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        Nov 20 2013: I just used up 3 little "windows"/post spaces. I hope that you will have some minutes to read them.
        I tried to condense a ton of my thoughts into these "windows" probably it's a mess! All of that is too new to accept without hot arguments. I'm still in a process of putting together my book, but fantastically lucky to be very encouraged by a few highly respected scholars. MANY THANKS for your interest, super treat :)
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    Nov 19 2013: Thank you for your post, Esteban, and for your feeling that we have a major problem - still conveniently authorising "the evidence"
    of truth, or knowledge, based on our shallow sight along.

    I was always wonderng how our sciences would be developed if we were not sighted creatures. Would they be developed at all?
    • Nov 19 2013: The perception of space and depth can actually stem from senses that lack visual queues ... in other words one does not have to have sight to 'see depth' for one could 'hear depth'. I also read about individuals who actually see musical sounds and individuals who can sense colors by touch... There was a guy who could ride his bicycle even-though he was blind! By using sounds and hearing them almost like a bat!

      Something that I find to be a tell-tell sign to observe in conversations involves an openness to explore alternative views... Paradoxically the one who need it the least are the ones who use it the most... and the ones who need it the most are the least interested... Thus someone who knows the truth will be more open to venture into validating what they claim than someone who desperately wishes that what they hold be the truth happens to be the truth... A while back I used to get dragged into the burden of proof over the validity of claims made, still think at times it be crucial to validate and ensure that "what one thinks to be" actually corresponds to "what happens to be", though these days I am less inclined to get dragged into the burden of proof road specially when the others insist I do it while refusing to do it themselves... In other words why should i do what they themselves refuse to do? I mention this to put on the table the issue as one of those things mayor 'issue' related to conveniently authorising "the evidence" of truth, or knowledge. The proof of the claim does not actually change the validity of the claim... for what is the validity of the claim remains being the validity of the claim with or without the proof...
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    Nov 19 2013: Harold,
    Why I do not believe that our brains are not the main power that creates or controls our vital existence can be explained by some of the evidence that anybody might discover with himself. What one sees as a formation of a corporeal body is already an image put together in mind - many living forms do not need any brains to sense and deal with their reality.

    As I understand, a body is our temporary "intimate" interactions with a composition/constellation of great numbers of living organisms and living forms, that we might somehow interpret as viruses, cells, genes, bacteria etc. that represent their own minds interacting with ours. It is the power of mind that holds it together. If a mind gets disconnected from its body, for whatever reason, it is capable to continue to exist on its own facing new experience/realities.

    However, the composition of a body, when left by its master-mind that kept it together, falls apart turning into something different. A body that we see and feel is not a solid "one" "thing" - it is a constellation of living beings interacting one an other, however, effected by the power of a dominating mind.

    Though, a composition of a body, when left by its master-mind which kept it together, always falls apart turning into something different. No feeding helps. A body is a constellation of living forms, interacting one an other, in any case these are effected by the power of a dominating mind.

    I do believe that every living form must have its mind, not necessarily brains. We are living minds. Since I remember myself I always felt my body as an alien burden, sometimes a horrifying experience.

    I wonder, before I was given my name I felt my own self much stronger. Everyone needs to feel and recognize Self, before others see one in peculiar ways. When one is loosing this sense of Self one falls apart. I admire an instinctive vital Will that was so despised by wonderful Schopenhauer. I have farther explanations
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      Nov 19 2013: Vera, on that I disagree. There is no reason to believe that something external controls our existence. Best proof is that if you remove the brain you are pretty much history and your existence comes to a grinding halt.
      Other living organisms may have perceptions to different degrees even without a brain, but at least there are some rudimentary nervous systems that can take over some simple brain functions.
      "A body that we see and feel is not a solid "one" "thing" - it is a constellation of living beings interacting one an other, however, effected by the power of a dominating mind. "
      The mind is a product of our brain. There is no mind without a brain. You seem to believe it's the other way around. Where do you think the mind comes from if not from the brain ?
      • Nov 19 2013: Harald,

        That presumes existence linked to the body ... how would you test existence continuing without a body?

        The notion that the mind is a product of the brain itself stems from what you choose to hold to believe... again how would you test the alternative, that the mind isn't a product of the brain...

        I am just pointing out some evident particularities related to what you state based on what I consider is your stance and some evident notions to deal with following such a stance seen from a slightly different position. Do note that I am sort of adopting your stance while at the same time remaining a bit outside of it... I tend to do that all the time... even if you look at my comments to Vera (and other) you may observe how I do that... its about exploring particular issues involved in what is being interchanged... seen from different viewpoints
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          Nov 19 2013: Esteban, science is evidence based and to my knowledge there is no evidence that mind exists without a brain. As I said some time ago, coming up with new ideas and theories is fine, but you will have the burden of proof.
          If we accept anything and everything without requiring proof or at least plausible evidence we'll soon end up in phantasy land.
      • Nov 19 2013: Harald,

        As I just sort of said that "... stems from what you choose to hold to believe... ".

        BTW my stand is to only accept valid stuff as valid stuff.... with or without the evidence to prove its valid... what is valid remains being valid. As I said in a different post, probably a different conversation, science approximates getting there ever increasing the accuracy of its models while never actually getting there for at the end, the last step, involves a leap of faith and some beliefs are required.

        Yea, if we accept anything and everything we'll soon end up in phantasy land... even with the evidence that seemed so real and valid to us and others like us. I wouldn't advice that...
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          Nov 19 2013: The scientific method might not be perfect and we know that certain scientific facts eventually turned out to be false, but it's the best method we have for now.
          This doesn't mean that there aren't any secrets out there that are not accessible by this scientific method......most likely there are lots of........but the question is where to put the limits when accepting something ? That's why we work with evidence.
          If somebody tells me there is intelligent live out there somewhere in the universe, I'd say, yes, probably there is. The universe is so vast that it seems almost impossible that we are alone. However, even if it seems likely, it's meaningless for all practical purpose if we can't show any evidence in favor of the claim.
        • Nov 20 2013: Oh come on!

          No, there's no faith required anywhere.

          http://chem.tufts.edu/answersinscience/relativityofwrong.htm
      • Nov 20 2013: Entropy,

        look at the last six words in the article you linked... to understand why I said "science approximates getting there ever increasing the accuracy of its models"... I evidently added a couple of other notions like... " while never actually getting there for at the end, the last step, involves a leap of faith and some beliefs are required".

        Harald,

        Indeed, what to accept and what to reject coupled with which method to use when performing this action constitutes a key fundamental issue being addressed here.I understand why some claim they actually work with evidence while actually rejecting the evidence others provide for this or that ground. Personally I hold that the best method we have right now involves a combination of tacit, exploit mixed up with a bit of other ingredients... that is a combination of thinking, feeling mixed up with a bit of experiences and other factors...

        Remember that this stemmed from getting into the fixed stand over the notion of the mind existing in the brain or elsewhere... personally I can hold both positions and explore the implication of either one rather than insist it is this or it is that... as you sort of point out the evidence is a bit inconclusive on the matter and it could turn out to be either one...
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          Nov 20 2013: "the best method we have right now ..."
          This method sounds kind of vague to me.
          Beside, where would feeling play a role when considering evidence.
          I think the only real weak point in the scientific method are the people practicing it. There is always a risk of bias towards on or another result. However, usually that gets eventually corrected, but it might take time and mislead us for some time.
          As to the location of the mind.
          If you contemplate the mind existing outside of the brain you should be able to explain your point in more detail. So far you didn't do that.
          So again, we are dealing with some very vague idea here.
        • Nov 20 2013: Exactly Esteban. What last step? I do not give any "last step." I only move beyond with the evidence. Again, no "leaps of faith," no "beliefs" anywhere to be seen.
      • Nov 20 2013: Harald,

        Seems you missed the method described as corresponding to the actual scientific method in practice. From what I know superconductivity was discovered because of 'a feeling' that the instrumentation error was an actual property. Many a discovery come from following a hunch and investigating it... evidently when considering evidence the role of feelings can play a role ... what kind of role and to what extent is a circumstantial though important matter ...

        Yes I contemplate that the mind can in fact exists outside of the brain just as I can contemplate the mind existing within the brain. In a way this also applies to the notion of reality... I can contemplate the position of it existing as an absolute thing out there or consider it existing as a relative thing in someones brain... the point as I see it has more to do with how certain individuals can choose which positions to consider and explore the ramifications and which individuals insists on something being this or that ... The reasons we have not delved into more details regarding the existence of the mind out there in part stems from an evident lack of our interest to do so... I am not interested in seeking to convince you nor does it seem to me that you are interested in exploring the idea.

        In some cases ideas are indeed a bit gauge notions... and can even have a bit of uncertainty to them...
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          Nov 20 2013: Ok, if that is what you mean with feeling then I'm ok with it. It's correct that in many cases first came an idea which was later corroborated by observations and measurements, etc.

          Ok, I also can contemplate that our universe is something like the Russian dolls (you know, the ones where several are stacked in each other). But just because I can contemplate something doesn't mean it makes any sense.
          So if I go and proclaim that our universe is contained in another which again is contained yet in another one and so on, people, rightly, would ask me for some kind of evidence supporting my claims.
          The same is tru8e with your mind outside the brain/body. Sure you can contemplate it. Question is does it make any sense ?
      • Nov 20 2013: Entropy,

        I meant that you need to believe that the evidence is in fact evidence that suffices to make the assertion made. That the procedures and method followed prove that... Now days what constitutes as irrefutable evidence may be a bit complicated given the capabilities available to change stuff... imagine the possibilities into the future ...
        • Nov 20 2013: Esteban,

          Nope. I don't need to "believe" that the evidence "is in fact evidence that suffices to make the assertion made." The assertions in science are not made in absolute terms. Take a look at some scientific literature. We know when something is tentative, we know that some stuff is better established than other stuff. All depending on the evidence and the explanatory power of our propositions.

          I don't stop imagining possibilities for the future. But nothing there requiring "faith" and "belief."
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          Nov 20 2013: Esteban. I agree with Entropy. Look, all the evidence we have so far suggests that the moon is made of rocks and not cheese.
          Anybody trying to convince me that the moon is made of cheese will have to provide more/better evidence for his theory than exists for the "theory" of the moon being made of rocks.
      • Nov 20 2013: Entropy,

        Thanks for pointing out that "The assertions in science are not made in absolute terms... All depending on the evidence and the explanatory power of our propositions". That I find to be actually quite helpful to keep in mind...

        Scrap the notion of 'need to' ... I wonder how that got there :-) considering that I tend to promote the notion that one often opts to do rather than needs to do (many confuses wants and choices with needs.. that is one may not need to do something, one chooses to do it...the point I was making was that you believe that the evidence is in fact evidence ... or in other words believe that the procedures and method followed provide the evidence or prove that...
        • Nov 21 2013: And again, hell no. I do not "believe" or have "faith" that the evidence is in fact evidence." I do not "believe" or have "faith" that "the procedures and method followed provide the evidence or prove that..." There's reasons behind those methods. I would not just believe and have faith in some method or procedure because some authority told me so. You have to show me a rationale. Depending on that I can tell if the methods and procedures are to be trusted, or at least how I could figure out if they are trustable. Sometimes we build castles of cards, but, we know so. We know that maybe this is very wrong, so continue working, often looking for a way to see the castle tumble down (actually that can be the most fun). Sometimes the castle tumbles down. Sometimes we start finding things that start giving the castle foundations that solidify and become like granite. A wall here, a wall there. etc. No faith involved anywhere.
      • Nov 20 2013: Harald,

        As I said "...the point I was making was that you believe that the evidence is in fact evidence ... "!

        Some know that the moon is just a clump of energy :-)

        Edited to add a response to the other post...
        Harald asked : Question is does it make any sense ?
        Well....
        .... .... to me it makes perfect sense
        .... .... to you it seems it doesn't
        ... .... so based on the evidence it seem that the answer depends on who one asks...

        Beings could rightly ask for some kind of evidence to support a given claim... question is do they have the right to demand such support ? and is someone chooses not to provide such evidence are individuals responsible for choosing to reject/accept the claim? For that matter if given the evidence are individuals responsible for choosing to accept/reject the evidence and the claim?

        BTW sometimes individuals ask for evidence to avoid their responsibility into the matter... by the time the evidence is presented its well past the point something could be done...
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          Nov 20 2013: if there is only 1 element of evidence then the support for a given theory might not be that strong (e.g. a rock found that "most likely" came from the moon)
          However, the more evidence and the better the quality of the evidence the better a theory is supported (e.g. astronauts landed on the moon, walked on it's surface, confirmed it was not made of cheese, brought back samples of moon rocks, etc).
          We can give a theory a ranking of probability to be true.
          Evolution by natural selection, although still considered a theory, has a very high probability of being correct because observations corroborate accurately the theory.
          Same is true for the theory of relativity.
          On the other hand we have string theory, which has a probability of being true much lower, mostly because we cannot corroborate the predictions of the theory.

          Matter = Energy, so sure the moon is a clump of energy ;-)
      • Nov 20 2013: Harald,

        Again ... the point I am making is that one believes that the evidence is in fact evidences!

        The example of the moon is a great one... without getting into the issue too deep, nor getting entangled in the particularities of this case, lets just observe how there are: those who believe astronauts landed on the moon and those who disbelieve astronauts landed on the moon (some for whatever reason believe it was an elaborate show). Depending on what really happened one groups has got it right and the other has got it wrong. Do note how I am treading over a razor sharp string without taking sides and how regardless of what happened what I stated remains being valid: "Depending on what really happened one groups has got it right and the other has got it wrong".

        Yea we can give a theory a ranking of probability to be true ... and that will not change one iota the actual validity... the same is true with the proof of something ... the proof will not change one iota the actual validity... the proof only serves to expose the actual validity... Do note how 'the validity notion' denotes with a single word the alternatives of 'right and wrong'. (100% valid = right 0%valid = wrong of course there could be other numerical scales and interpretations). Something I constantly seek to do involves moving away from dualistic stances and seeking a singularity where both coexist harmoniously. So I see a unity between science and religion and how they ultimately get to the same point via different approaches... rather than fight each other they should collaborate with each other...
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          Nov 20 2013: Esteban, it's not a question of belief. Evidence is what it is.
          As to moon landing deniers: crazy people always will exist, that doesn't mean one should take their uttering serious. But even if we listen to them, we would still look at the evidence from both groups and quickly be able to decide which is true and which one not.
          However, if you don't take evidence as support for something being true, then what is your measure ?
          If somebody tells you the earth is round and lists all the evidence supporting his claim, you'd say, yeah, but who knows if I can believe this evidence.
          This is a strange way to go through life because in the end your are doubting virtually everything.
          As we talked about in this discussion, most of us agree that what we perceive as daily reality isn't real in an absolute sense. However, we are prisoners of this reality and have to deal with it accordingly.
          I think questioning accepted wisdom is useful in order to progress, however, questioning everything never will lead anywhere. You only will run in circles forever.
          There is no unity between science and religion. Science doesn't get involved with religion because the essence of religion (belief in some supernatural entity) is not in the scope of science because it can't even be tackled with the scientific method.
          On the other hand, religion often refused and still refuses scientific facts.
      • Nov 20 2013: Harald,

        Indeed evidence is what it is... as you state and it will likely be : "crazy people always will exist, that doesn't mean one should take their uttering serious"... now I am certain you believe that you actually know who to listen to... the point I have been making is how do you know that what is presented as evidence is actual evidence rather than some trinkets passed as genuine stuff? The notion that one, anyone, would be able to decide what is true and which one is the counterfeit seems a bit like wishful thinking. Do notice the bias framing you used to demean one position while dignify the other.

        The scientific way in principle involves each one verifying the claims made by doing the experiment themselves... of course in some cases thats kind of hard to do and some just choose to believe their pears... are pears rather than apples... as Entropy pointed out "The assertions in science are not made in absolute terms... All depending on the evidence and the explanatory power of our propositions".

        I wonder which is the better position:
        -- Going through life wondering about everything what it seems to be
        -- Going through life believing one knows what it is from what it seems to be to them

        What each perceive as reality is real in an absolute sense as is the reality that exists regardless of someone perceiving it or not... Being a prisoner to the truth of things enables one to actually do many a thing in reality... ultimately there is unity between science and religion even-though some don't see it or refuse to accept it. I see many a scientists refuses and get involved with religious stuff...

        BTW we are bound to believe while free to choose what to believe...
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          Nov 21 2013: "how do you know that what is presented as evidence is actual evidence rather than some trinkets passed as genuine stuff?"
          This is true in general for any information. How do you know it's genuine ?
          Many people just look stuff up on wikipedia and take the information there as the absolute truth.
          However, one piece of information is not enough to make a point. you need sufficient data points to form an opinion about the veracity of a claim. The more data points there are, the easier becomes to make a decision.
          Still, there is no 100 % guarantee that one gets it right even with lots of data.
          Obviously, as you say, in many cases it's tough to verify a particular claim on your own. For example, how could you verify, whether or not the moon is made of cheese ?
          However, that's where the scientific process comes again into the game. If there is a theory which was properly peer reviewed and the scientific community comes to a conclusion (such the moon is made of rock and not of cheese) then we have a high probability (note, I'm not saying a guarantee) for the claim to be valid.
          Absent the possibility to verify everything on your own, you only have 2 options. To believe only what you can verify on your own (and then you still can be wrong) or to believe what meets certain criteria (subjective to every individual).
          Well, there is a 3. option, which is to doubt everything, but as I said, that doesn't seem to be a very feasible way to go through life.
          As to what is real or not, I think we already agreed upon. But as I said, even we know that reality as we perceive it is an illusion, it's the only one we have for all practical purpose.
      • Nov 21 2013: Harald,

        The notion of validation... evidently is an important part of understanding within what be going on out there... the stand I take is that whomever is right is right... A claims validity stems from the concordance of the claim and the reality. The map's validity stems from the concordance of the drawing and the terrain....its a bit irrelevant who happens to make the claim... be it a child or a tenured professor or someone else it makes little difference to the actual validity of the claim for as I said that depends on what is claimed corresponding to what happens to be... if there is evidence or no evidence, proof or no proof, the truth of the matter remains the same.

        When I read what you wrote I imagined you where talking about how some religious doctrines come to be... The truth is accepted or rejected not the result of some consensus!

        There was a time when I would only believe what others told me...
        Then came a time where I would believe IF I could convince others of the belief I was considering...
        Then came a time where I would believe and sought to convince others of the belief
        Then came a time where I would believe and share with others the belief
        then comes a time when one ceases to believe and begins to know
        and when one knows the truth with or without the facts or the proofs one knows the truth... yea its nice to have the facts and proofs though it isn't actually necessary ... it is a bit of a want that some confuse with a need...
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          Nov 21 2013: "then comes a time when one ceases to believe and begins to know "
          Thing is, you can't know whether or not something is the truth without having any means to verify it independently.
          People say they KNOW there is a god and never mind that there is nothing that even hints that this claim might be true
          The moment you can't verify it, it becomes just faith. There is virtually no difference between believing in a god, ETs or anything else produced by our phantasies.
      • Nov 21 2013: Harald,

        Thing is... what you claim is based on what you think to be and in reality there are other ways to think about what be... as evidenced by your ways and my ways and the ways of others...

        Note that one can know whether or not something is the truth by knowing the truth of the matter. Having the means to verify it independently is a secondary matter.

        Yes people do say that they KNOW there is a God. IF they know there is a God because God exists and they KNOW God THEN those people will be asserting a fact which just happens to correspond with what be real. Of course if God doesn't exists or they don't know God THEN those people will be asserting something which just happens to NOT correspond with what be real.

        The moment one can't verify it, it doesn't just become faith... it is what it is regardless of someone being able to prove it or not. Of course some shield themselves behind the notion of until proven otherwise you have to do... (X).

        When I see ETs referenced I tend to chuckle (they just happen to be my initials :-)

        Virtually there may be no difference between believing in this or that ... In actuality there is quite a difference in what one believes...
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          Nov 21 2013: Esteban,
          You write..." IF they know there is a God because God exists and they KNOW God THEN those people will be asserting a fact which just happens to correspond with what be real".

          What you are saying, is that in YOUR reality YOU believe in a god.

          I agree..."in actuality there is quite a difference in what one believes", because what one chooses to believe, is what our individual reality is based on.
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          Nov 21 2013: "Note that one can know whether or not something is the truth by knowing the truth of the matter."
          Come on Esteban, that's circular ;-)
          So let's say you believe in a god (which you apparently do) and consider that to be true (as obviously do most if not all faithful because otherwise they wouldn't be faithful). What happens to your "truth" if somebody proves you wrong ?
          A truth must be absolute. The statement there is a god can only be true or false but nothing in between. So, both sides, the one who believes and the other who does not are convinced that there view is the truth. Obviously only one can be right, so one side, although "knowing" the truth must be wrong.
      • Nov 21 2013: Colleen,

        What I am saying is actually a bit different: in essence what I am saying is:

        IF we consider 'this' particular case THEN 'this' is what happens.
        IF we consider 'that' particular case THEN 'that' is what happens.

        Note the correspondence of this to this and that to that.

        I am also point out that people who assert a fact which just happens to correspond with what be real, actually assert a fact; where-as people who assert something which just happens NOT to correspond with what be, real actually are just asserting something they think which just happens NOT to correspond with what be. Underlying this are other subtle issues; like when an individual asserts what happens to correspond with what be real the individual's claim happens to be valid with or without the individual proving such matter to others or even to themselves.

        BTW on a side note I do happen to believe in God for multiple of reasons. I also happen to believe in science too, for multiple of reasons.

        Something I learned last week was how following a desire to help others perceive and understand something I sort of resorted to 'helping them cross the street' to get them to the other side... You probably are familiar with the implied joke referred by that... In any event the thing was that questioning the underlying foundational beliefs that some choose to hold, regardless of the fact that it is in line with those particular beliefs they hold, can lead to spoofing and sublimating the solid ground and turn it into a vaporous cloud that exposes the bottomless underlying which can lead into all sort of trips. Now I can at least warn or ask people about what may be about to happen...

        Note that our individual reality are based on what we think/feel/do (TFD), what others (TFD) and a couple of other factors. What someone across the world chooses to do can and does affect me in some ways. The same goes the other way. Each can choose to enrich the shared realty and individual experiences.
      • Nov 21 2013: Harald,

        Yes let's say I believe in God ( as I do believe)
        Lets consider that to be true
        Then the logical conclusion that follows is that what I believe in is considered to be true...

        Now you ask "What happens to your "truth" if somebody proves you wrong"?
        I take it that you mean "What happens to the belief you hold to be 'truth' If somebody proves such belief to be wrong"?

        Well thats akin to asking what happens to your belief that God does not exists if somebody proves that God exists?

        Well the logical conclusion that follows is that what one believed to be true which was proven false means that one believed in what was not rather than what was.

        Indeed a truth happens to be absolute... it is what it is... Indeed the statement "There is a God" can only be true or false and nothing in between. If there happens to be a God then the statement is true else its false.

        Now considering those who believe and those who disbelieve each convinced that there view is the truth... Obviously only one can be right, so one side, although "convinced of knowing" the truth must be wrong while the other "convinced of knowing" the truth must be right. Note that whomever happens to be right happens to be right... "Come on, that's circular ;-)" yea... it is what it is... :-) even though some claim it isn't what it is... whomever happens to think what be according to what be gets it right...
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          Nov 21 2013: "Yes let's say I believe in God ( as I do believe)
          Lets consider that to be true
          Then the logical conclusion that follows is that what I believe in is considered to be true..."
          No, you can consider it to be true, because I don't. So the logical conclusion is that it is your "truth" but not mine which by another logical conclusion makes it not an absolute truth.
          And without any external and objective referee, nobody will ever know what the absolute truth is which brings us full circle back to where we started, That what most people consider as true is what gets the most evidence supporting it.
      • Nov 21 2013: Harald,

        Remember that you posed the consideration you said lets consider 'this' to be true...
        I said fine lets consider 'this' case you pose...

        The fact you believe that case isn't true leads to the conclusion that you believe that case isn't true...

        Yes I can consider it being true, I can consider it being false and depending on the absolute truth of God existing (or not) would make one consideration be according to what be real and one consideration will be according to what isn't real.

        Your truth is your truth and that hardly changes the absolute truth that be. How do you know that nobody will ever know what the absolute truth is? without any external and objective referee some individuals may still know what the absolute truth be... be it by internal and subjective references ... be it by spontaneous enlightenment.... be it by divine revelation. Fact is that if an individuals knows what the absolute truth be well an individuals knows what the absolute truth be.

        you claimed "That what most people consider as true is what gets the most evidence supporting it".
        I think "That what most people consider as true" is 'what most people consider as true' weather that corresponds to what is true (or not), depends on the correspondence of what people consider as true and what happens to be true.

        I realize that for whatever reason you choose not to believe something is (or choose to believe something isn't) and also choose to believe other beliefs that you hold... thats what you choose to believe for whatever reasons ... From what we been talking it seems to me that you do hold that there is an absolute reality and there is what one thinks of such reality... and the correspondence between what one thinks to be and what happens to be determines if one's thinking happens to correspond with what happens to be (or not). The crux of the matter resides in how does one validate that what one considers to be actually corresponds to what be...

        Refine model to match what be
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          Nov 21 2013: "Yes I can consider it being true, " I'm not arguing about that. You are free to consider whatever you want regardless of whether or not it is true.
          What I was referring to was the your use of the plural "let's consider...". That's why I said you can't because I don't consider it.
          "....be it by internal and subjective references...." That doesn't strike me as a valid proof that something is true. The simple use of the term "subjective" already makes clear that we are not talking about an absolute.
          "That what most people consider as true" is 'what most people consider as true'
          Why are you always using these circular phrases ? They only occupy space but don't make any sense. It's like saying "Esteban's name is Esteban because that's his name" Do you think that's a meaningful sentence ?
          Yes, I do think there is an absolute reality and I also think that our subjective reality is embedded in this absolute reality. Therefore they 2 are not isolated. Although our perceptions create our subjective reality, we are still governed by the laws of this absolute reality. Refer to my example of falling from the roof. It doesn't matter what you chose to believe. You fall from a 10 story tall building and you are history. No escape here ;-)
      • Nov 22 2013: Harald,

        How strange, I stated yes lets consider what you yourself proposed and you respond as you did...
        Tell you what lets just leave that to the side, unless you want to delve into the matter further.

        BTW whether something strikes you/me/others as valid or not can be besides the point of something being valid or not... And please do note that when the subjective considers the absolute objective then one can be both a relativist and an absolutists at the same time ... when the relativists happens to hold the absolutist position they two can be both at the same time... personally I prefer the position where one can be both all the time rather than the position when one can be both on that chance occurrence that one happened to choose what be right...

        I at times refer to circular phrases if A then A to point an evident relationship that many seem to not notice or consider... Sometimes what individuals claim follows a premise actually is unrelated to the premise itself...

        Again note that it is the individuals who make sense out of statement... please stop projecting unto the statement what belongs to the individual's choices. ... And yes I can find meanings in the statement "Esteban's name is Esteban because that's his name"....

        BTW I notice again how you choose an example that fits with what you want to believe rather than seeking what exposes the truth of the matter. In some cases what one choses to believe may not affect what happens and in some cases what one choose to believe does affect what happens...
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          Nov 23 2013: "How strange, I stated yes lets consider what you yourself proposed and you respond as you did..." what are you referring to ?
          As to circular phrases: they are meaningless and only space filler leading to a convoluted text without adding any value or information.
          As author of a given statement, you should have in mind what you would like to communicate. It's not up to the reader to try figure out the meaning of what the author wrote.
          What you propose might work in arts, but not in science.
          No, I don't choose examples to support my belief but examples that illustrate facts.
          "In some cases what one choses to believe may not affect what happens and in some cases what one choose to believe does affect what happens..."
          No, what you believe has no bearing on what happens. You can believe in a god and there still is no god, regardless of how much you believe. If you don't like the god example, please feel free to replace the term "god" with "little blue winged pony"
      • Nov 23 2013: Harald

        You stated "It's not up to the reader to try figure out the meaning of what the author wrote".
        I suppose you would claim that:
        - it's not up to the student to learn what the teacher thought
        - it's not up to a horse to drink the water the rancher provided

        Evidently it is up to the reader to figure out the meaning of what the author wrote... and if the reader actually wants to understand what the author had in mind the reader has to ensure that the meaning they think out actually corresponds to the meaning the author had in mind. In other words to get the right answer the reader has to pick the right answer!

        I see that you use cases that support your beliefs and claim they are examples that illustrates facts and choose to ignore the cases that contradict your beliefs...Please note that the belief "what you believe has no bearing on what happens" stems from the scientists belief system personally I believe that what one holds to believe does have a bearing on what happens... ironically the fact you choose to believe that beliefs has no bearing on what happens becomes part of your reality ...

        Yes I can believe in God and IF there is no God THEN my beliefs is a fantasy THOUGH If there is a God THEN my belief isn't a fantasy! EVIDENTLY to me you choose to consider the case that support your beliefs and choose to ignore the cases that contradict your beliefs... Please do note how I did consider both cases... and BTW I can replace the term with "little blue winged pony" as well as "science is a farce" or "science is right" or "science is wrong"... and consider each of the cases in multiple ways... From what you have said in previous posts you can only consider that which is in line with your beliefs...

        Look up about 8 or 9 posts up to see where you stated "So let's say you ...(snipped)... and consider that to be true"...

        a few post later you state "No, you can consider it to be true, because I don't". Notice YOU said to consider that to be
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          Nov 23 2013: "- it's not up to the student to learn what the teacher thought "
          This is a bit different from what I said. It should not be the student's job to guess what the teacher means. It's the teacher's job to be as articulated as possible to make him understood.
          Actually, the best teachers are the ones who have the ability to put themselves into the student's shoes and communicate his message accordingly.

          "and if the reader actually wants to understand what the author had in mind the reader has to ensure that the meaning they think out actually corresponds to the meaning the author had in mind. In other words to get the right answer the reader has to pick the right answer!
          This is an interpretation that I would consider extremely arrogant.

          No, belief has no bearing on what happens. I can believe with every fiber of my body that it will snow tomorrow where I live.
          The fact is , that it will not snow because we rarely get temperatures below 15C and at this temperature it does not snow. No belief to the contrary will ever change this reality.
          Another example: I could believe that I will win millions in tomorrow's lottery. I know for a certain, 100 %, that this isn't going to happen. You know why ? Because I didn't even play.

          Yes, YOU can believe in a god. Based on all evidence available (or lack of it in support of a god), chances are that your belief has no foundation in reality, neither subjective nor objective.
          This means that the likelihood of I'm being right with my belief that there is no god is higher than your belief that there is one.
          In any case, if one day it turns out I was wrong, I'll gladly apologize to you and many others ;-)
          ""No, you can consider it to be true, because....." I already told you that this comment referred to you using plural. So WE cannot consider it to be true because I don't consider it to be true, however, you can consider to be true whatever you like.
      • Nov 24 2013: Harald,

        You claim " So WE cannot consider it to be true because I don't consider it to be true"...
        Actually we can consider it 'this' or 'that'... you just choose to reject this fact... and claim that it is dew to the fact of what you choose to believe.

        Note that the student has to guess what the teacher means and then validate if their guess was right or wrong and make the necessary adjustments...

        Not sure why you consider that to get the right answer one has to choose the right answer denotes something extremely arrogant... maybe you are just projecting out something within... when you assert "No, belief has no bearing on what happens" you are basically denying the placebo effect where expectations and beliefs to have a bearing on what happens...
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          Nov 24 2013: Esteban, why should I consider something to be true if there is no evidence for it to be true ?
          As I said in another post, if do not require proof or at least convincing evidence for a claim, where do we put the limits ? You could then believe virtually anything, whether meaningful or not. That makes no sense to me.

          I disagree with your idea of the student having to guess what the teacher means. In addition, it would be a very inefficient way of teaching.
          However, I'm curious how you came up with that idea.

          Ok, I concede, in the case of the placebo effect you are right. However, that only works because the believe and what happens occur in yourself. You wouldn't be able to influence what happens with your belief if it is external.
      • Nov 24 2013: Harald,

        One reason to consider something to be true is to form a Hypothesis to design a test to investigate and discover the evidence for it. Something you claim to do while in practice have demonstrated you fail to do. Though you might disagree with that claim and choose to believe there is no evidence for it to be true It never the less be true and there is evidence of it. as you so eloquently put it " You could then believe virtually anything, whether meaningful or not".

        There was a time scientists believed that all swans where white and would ridicule anyone who dared speak of the existence of black swans. Demeaning and demanding that such insolent ignorant heretics who spoke of such nonsense bear the burden of proof by putting forth a single specimen so as to change the beliefs held by most. Some of the authorities even violently opposed them renegades until such nonsense became nonsense and it was self-evident that there are white and black swan and renegades who dared speak of what scientists believed would be ridiculed and violently opposed .

        I realize that you choose to disagree with certain ideas that create a cognitive dissonance in what you choose to believe... never the less agreement or disagreement evidence or no evidence hardly changes the actual veracity of the claim. FWIIW I also realize that its highly likely that the reason you choose to do what you do stems from following the ideas that you have as your companions and though you could consider certain cases you choose not to consider them because of the beliefs/ideas/feeling that surround you.

        Just look at your last paragraph--
        this is the structure I see you employ :
        . Ok, I concede.... However, that only works because...

        In principle a scientists would employ the structure:
        . Ok, I concede, that means the statement is valid and now I wonder where else its applicable.

        BTW idea 'students have to guess' stems from a bit of what you said + work I done (double loop communication)
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          Nov 25 2013: "One reason to consider something to be true is to form a Hypothesis........"
          Take the example of the Higg's Boson. Scientists had no evidence at all for its existence, however, mathematical models required it to exist.
          Apparently, the model was sound and since only the Hogg's Boson was missing, scientists set out to discover it and, as we know, they eventually found it.
          That's a case where no direct evidence was available, but at least there was a mathematical model predicting the Higg's Boson.
          No, if you just create any idea out of thin air, then this is something different because there is neither evidence so support the idea nor is there any model predicting it.
          The example of the black swan is purely an example of research poorly done for whatever reason that might have been. However, it's not an example that anything is valid as a hypothesis or theory.
          "I realize that you choose to disagree with certain ideas that create a cognitive dissonance in what you choose to believe..."
          No, as I said many time, I only refuse to believe in something for witch there is no reason to believe in.
          There is no reason to believe in a fire spitting flying dragon for example, nor is there any reason to believe that the earth has the form of a pyramid.
          Now, if you come up with for example a 1000 pound egg you found in the woods, claiming that's a dragon egg (evidence), I might become interested in further inquiry.ALso, if you present me with a convincing model that predicts that dragons must exist so humans can exist as well then again I might start listening and we probably could develop a dragon search expedition.
          I agree that neither belief nor disbelief change the fact but since you can' believe and disbelieve at the same time, you have to make a choice and this choice (ideally) is base on what is more probable (proof, evidence, predictions, etc)
          As to my last paragraph: give me an example where belief influences something directly outside of yourself and we go from there.
      • Nov 25 2013: "you have to make a choice and this choice (ideally) is base on what is more probable ..."

        I would rather choose the wining ticket ... in others words its not about the probability of an event happening its about the event that happens. It's not about what one thinks is real its about what happens to be real (and thinking in accordance to it)

        As to your last paragraph and the rest of that response: you keep moving the bar; even if I give you an example you will likely deny it and move the bar again...

        For example:
        I said : "I realize that you choose to disagree with certain ideas that create a cognitive dissonance in what you choose to believe..."
        You responded : "No, as I said many time, I only refuse ...."

        Seems a bit humorous to me that in your "No," you prove what I just stated...

        I am curious about your response to this post
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          Nov 25 2013: But you can't choose the winning ticket unless you know which one will win. Making decisions if you have all information is easy. It becomes more difficult if you have to weight pros and cons.
          Based on logic I wouldn't play the lottery at all.
          "Seems a bit humorous to me that in your "No," you prove what I just stated... !
          So, you do believe in fire spitting dragons ? Just curious ;-)
      • Nov 26 2013: Actually someone can choose the wining ticket and win... thats a fact!

        Indeed choosing when one has all the information is easy. It becomes more of a challenge when one chooses under uncertainty ... So how are you going to choose with certainty under uncertainty? Would you choose to play russian roulette if the the probability where 1,000,000 to 1 ? How about if it involved playing 100,000,000 times? Some games are just better not played because if one plays them eventually one will end up dead...
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          Nov 26 2013: No, you choose a ticket but not the winning ticket because at the moment you buy it it's not clear what ticket will win.

          As to Russian roulette:
          1) you didn't mention what the winning prize is
          2) whether one would choose to play in the end will depend on the incentive and the risk tolerance of the person that plays.
          Some people engage in high risk activities knowing that they can wind up dead and still do it.
      • Nov 26 2013: Harald,

        Apparently you are choosing to use a linear notion of time... Note that in absolute reality the winning ticket is the wining ticket... for someone in the future who traveled to the past its evident which be the wining ticket...

        So how are you going to choose with certainty under uncertainty?
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          Nov 26 2013: That would mean that everything is already predetermined. Something I see no evidence for hence no reason to believe such thing.
          It's not about certainty but about making the best possible choice based on the available information. It seems obvious that if something is uncertain you can't make any choice being certain about the outcome.
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    Nov 19 2013: Harold - "I think we eventually we be able to develop an understanding of the very basic ingredients of reality, even if that means explaining everything through mathematics."
    I'm positive that we are doing it to some point, since great attempts in ancient time.

    But I mean we may observe, research and even calculate only "things" and "events" which already have been processed by our illusive perceptions. Why do we often believe that our sight is the true evidence of something real, in spite that our corporeal sight appears to be the most deceiving perception of all we may possess? I have wondered, What is hidden beyond the curtains of a colorful and playful superficial theater that we call reality?

    My interest is in the field that only a few philosophers have barely approached - it is a research inside the deepest nature of our subconsciousness.

    As a young child I have been reading classical philosophy, better to say gulping it. I could not though find ideas to my satisfaction except some fascinating direction in thinking.

    I started building my own foundation based on the two ideas delivered by the greatest Ancient Greeks, Heraclitus and his observation on reality as constant "flux", and Protagoras thought on unavoidable Limitations of Perceptions.

    It was that time when I noticed, that in order to perceive anything our minds must obey nature's internal laws. We absolutely cannot sense anything if we do not COMPARE, SELECT, COMPOSE, AND FOCUS our instinctive attention at something attractive or disturbing.. This basic process of perceiving, I have discovered in my art class while painting, is still serving me as the main source of endless discoveries

    This Post space is so limited. Sorry! have too much to say.

    just want to mention, that I had a choice to become a scientist/mathematician but being an artist gives me great freedom to continue with my uncommon research. Thanks for your wonderful curiosity :)
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      Nov 19 2013: We know that our perceptions are just illusions but in general we are not constantly aware of that fact, because, although illusions, we obtain a workable representation of our surroundings. Beside, we all share basically the same illusions so they don't become apparent as such.
      Plato's allegory of the cave is a good example of how we can get tricked into believing something is real that is not.
      Our senses are extremely limited. Take electromagnetic waves for example. We only can perceive a tiny fraction of the spectrum, which is the visible light. With sounds we are not doing much better. Bats can hear ultrasound, but we can not.
      The subatomic world eludes us completely. True, we can measure certain effects and make them indirectly visible to us, but we can't directly observe them. How is reality different for a subatomic particle living in the quantum world ?
      Our problem with true reality is that we have difficulties to conceptualize it. For example, string theory calls for 11 dimensions. We can wrap our mind around 4 dimension, but beyond that we just cannot create any mental image of the other dimensions, so they are not accessible to us, although we can express them through mathematical equations.
    • Nov 19 2013: Vera,

      To throw a twist ball your way... how do you know that you are not sensing something being and dismissing it being sensed ? That is you are in fact sensing reality as being just dismissing it from your registries as irrelevant to focus upon... and claiming that you did not sense it?
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    Nov 19 2013: Hi Vera, The statement that Werner Heisenberg is the greastest thinker of our time, I question why? Do you agree with his thinking? What if you did not? Would he still be the greastest thinker of your time. I fail to see application in your communication. How can I apply your information to my real life experiance? I can see what everyone else thinks but what do you think?
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    Nov 18 2013: HARALD, that reality you are talking about is an obscure image of some presumable "objective reality that we might somehow share to some imaginative point. It is a common mistake, that is persistent in leading scientific thinking. Harald: I think you are confusing an obscure image of some imaginative world "out there" naming it "realiy" The only reality that is available for you (or to any other living form) is your own UNIQUE reality created by your own perceptions. Your internal-world is forever unique, different from other's theaters of realities, and for many great reasons. You would not be able to feel and identify yourself as yourself if you've had no UNIQUE abilities to digest your unique contacts with your forever unique environment. This is what we all need to understand before imaginning ourselves and the world "out there".

    THE ONLY REALISTIC IDEA ABOUT ULTIMATE OBJECTIVE REALITY IS A COMPOSITION OF INSTANT TRANSFORMATIONS OF THE WORD. There is nothing visible or touchable out there, no time for our observations, or any spaceships or for our ideas/images. The world is entirely new and different in its every instant, so are we, and everything in it. Reality as we may understand it is forever INTERNAL and personal.

    How do one creates pne's personal reality, from what? knowing that one cannot contact the world directly, because one will be destroyed in no time if one has no protective abilities within oneself? HOW DO YOU COMMUNICATE WITH OTHERS? Write down your question that we can read? The process of perceiving is the answer. The most fascinating field of all we may approach in this existence is the field of our own perceptions, the ultimate creative tools that are building our realities.
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      Nov 18 2013: Vera, I think you are committing a logical fallacy.
      If you say there is no objective reality then you basically say, the moment humans disappear, everything else will be gone as well.
      Hardly a likely scenario, don't you think ?
      "UNIQUE reality created by your own perceptions" With this statement you even contradict yourself. Yes, we all make up our personal reality based on our perceptions, however, those perceptions must be based on something. obviously. Whatever "ingredient" causes a perception must be part of some deeper reality that we (or better our brain) then interpret in a way that allows us to make sense of our daily experiences.
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        Nov 18 2013: Hello Harald,
        Sorry - i am a no good writer..and was not clear enough. As I said in my post above we are able to only imagine some objective reality, however, I've Never said that there is Nothing else besides our own selves. My point is Not at all about rejecting outer to us realities (as some great philosophers did back in history). There are Endless Realities, however, impossible for any living form to sense or understand as they are. WHY?

        Here is my thought. While interacting with ever changing environments "outside" ourselves, each of us, (as any other living form), is naturally "equipped" to protect our internally produced environment that is needed for rescuing and nursing unique composition of selves in it. There is no reality that can be absolutely the same - another reason, besides our Limitations in perceiving, that explains we cannot ever understand each other perfectly, even while using technology.

        Thank you for you question that shows that I was, probably, not articulate enough. Your question also helps me with my writing, that needs to be simple and clear for a reader - I must deliver a new and daring concept regarding understanding of nature of our minds and their uniqueness. It also includes explanations regarding the fundamental nature's laws governing our internal reality.
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          Nov 18 2013: Hi Vera,
          yes, here I agree. As human species we probably develop similar subjective realities. For example a car, will be a car for me and for you. However, we can't know for sure if the red of a flower as I perceive it is exactly the same red you perceive. The same is probably true for most, if not all of our sensory inputs.
          Now, take an ant for example and it will be easy to understand that an ant's subjective reality will be vastly different from ours.
          Our day to day reality is what our brains create for us in order to make us function in our environment. We rarely perceive this reality to be something unreal because all humans are tricked into basically the same illusions.
          As perceiving absolute reality with our senses, yes, we probably will never be able to perceive it directly, however, we might find ways to perceive it indirectly through it's effects or measurements. However, I think we eventually we be able to develop an understanding of the very basic ingredients of reality, even if that means explaining everything through mathematics.
    • Nov 19 2013: Vera,

      Within your reality--- the reality out there does not exist while the reality out there does exist.
      Again within your reality---- there is the notion that : "knowing that one cannot contact the world directly, because one will be destroyed in no time if one has no protective abilities within oneself"

      Within some realities out there : there are can be contact with the world directly, where in time and outside of it one remains being oneself ones protective abilities within oneself are meaningless and actually unnecessary!

      the ultimate creative tools involves building shared realities where each is both actor director contributor audience etc...
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    Nov 17 2013: For the ones who are arguing that there is an objective reality independent of perception, I have a question. How HERPES SIMPLEX AND SECOND DEGREE BURN INDUCED UNDER HYPNOSIS are explained then?
    Also, how come there is phantom limb effect? If there is any amputee within our audience, I'd request them to share their experience of it.

    @ Harald : I'd consider it a favor if you can sum up this debate with what you finally learnt about the question. TY.
    • Nov 18 2013: Hey TY,

      I could not find some credible source for the herpex simplex and second degree burnings induced under hypnosis. Suppose they do happen. Why would that mean that there's no objective reality?

      Phantom limb effects make you think that there's no objective reality? Why? because you still feel a limb that's no longer there? But, how would you know that there's phantom limb effects unless the lack of a limb was an objective reality? Aren't you mistaking, again, perception with the reality such perception may inform you about? Aren't you mistaking a problem with perception with a problem with reality?

      Best!
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        Nov 18 2013: I think it is an established fact that a person under hypnosis can have blisters on skin (2nd degree burn) by touching an object at room temperature. The suggestion/perception can be so strong as to produce physiological effects on the subject's body. Unless one has a very different reality, there is no rational proof available to this phenomenon.
        Phantom limb effect is more than just feeling the limb. It produces itch in the non-existent limb.
        All the argument here in favor of an objective reality independent of perception seems to be axiomatic to me. If I am not wrong, it is claiming reality to be separate from the perception of reality. The objectivist argues that unless there is a reality already present what is there to perceive at all.
        What beats me is how did you, or for that matter anybody, know of such a reality outside the realm of perception?
        Are you sure you are not mistaking physical materialness with reality? What do you think of emotions, concepts, ideas or principles - are these things real to you or not?
        • Nov 18 2013: You seem to miss the point: if we interpret an object wrongly, that does not mean that the object is subjective, but that our interpretation of what we perceive is subjective. Quite different things, and the examples you bring only prove that we can mistake reality, not that reality is not objective.

          I cannot stop using my perceptions to learn about reality. It is reason that leads to figure out that in order for the whole thing to work there has to be an objective reality.

          Why would I think that emotions, concepts, ideas or principles are not real?
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        Nov 19 2013: Of course I am missing the point ED. The point is claimed to be outside and independent of my perception, nobody has ever claimed to have found it (with evidence or inference) and yet believed to be the underlying and absolute basis of everything.
        I am just not smart enough to grasp it.
        • Nov 19 2013: Hum. I think there's no point in continuing. Again. Thanks for the chat.
        • Nov 19 2013: Na, you just refuse to accept it... and choose to embrace a different stand...and belief of the underlying and absolute basis of everything (which incidentally is as, if not more than, unreasonable). I prefer to embrace the more reasonable position which actually recognizes what be going on.
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        Nov 20 2013: @ Esteban :
        On the contrary I am trying to demystify the idea of any absolute, perception-independent, 'underlying-and-explain-all' reality in a way similar to how Dan Dennett is demystifying consciousness in this talk.
        http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_dennett_on_our_consciousness.html
        The physical materialness of reality is an illusion. It's basically a soup of matter-energy interaction. On a finer level, matter is also energy so the physical reality is pure interplay of energy. Can we take it that there is energy as a reality which is perception-independent and absolute basis of everything? I do not get a logical answer to that as energy is only manifest in action and action is perception dependent.
        Entropy Driven seems to accept that emotions, concepts, ideas or principles are parts of reality. These are non-physical reality. These do not seem any absolute, by any means to me.
        So, in my limited faculty, I am having no reasoned or logical basis of an absolute, perception-independent reality.
        I am not refusing to accept. I am looking for a reason to accept absolute, perception-independent, 'underlying-and-explain-all' reality and just not getting it here.
        • Nov 20 2013: Pabitra,

          Will have to dedicate a bit of time looking at the talk which from the first few minutes looks quite interesting... I will do so latter on today... and come back an further comment then...

          For now I will like to share with you and others something that may help with : (absolute, perception-independent, 'underlying-and-explain-all' reality)... As you probably perceived I hold the notion of an absolute reality existing... I hit a bump the other day with the absolute meaning of a word... because as it turns out a word may actually mean whatever the user chooses it to mean... so then which is the absolute meaning of a word? Well that is established once and for all at the moment the word is used... and do note that it is used when spoken, and when heard and every time instance it is thought of... at each case one chooses the meaning the word will have once and for all... Most of the time we choose it to mean what we chosen it to mean previously... for communication to take place one ought choose it to mean what the other chooses... else both will be using the same word while thinking different stuff... Note that a word meaning is non-physical reality while still being a part of reality... similarly emotions, concepts, ideas and principles are parts of reality... they just exists within the non-physical reality....

          Sure we can '... take it that there is energy as a reality which is perception-independent and absolute basis of everything..." we could even consider that there is a musician playing a melody using the energy to play a song... and the musician the song and melody while quite real transcend and exists independent of the energy ...
        • Nov 20 2013: Pabitra,

          Funny how Dan Dennett sort of concludes the talk with the idea... that using their outside third viewpoint some one can tell you something about yourself which you think to be but in reality isn't... in other words individuals are not the expert authorities they think they are... (well salve that what they think to be actually corresponds to what be)... This brings us back to adequateing ones thinking with what be ... rather than the other way around adequateing what be with what some think to be ... (of course seeking to change reality based on an idea is also doable ... the point is that until one effects the change in reality claiming it as real is a delusional visionary dream...)
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        Nov 21 2013: Thanks Esteban. I agree with about ontology being language dependent. Some argued in that line in this thread.
        http://philosophynow.org/issues/61/What_Is_The_Nature_Of_Reality
        • Nov 22 2013: Could not reed the linked article (one needs to be a subscriber and/or pay for it :_(...

          Something I found fascinating about the ontology of language involves how some words constitute each other... for example archer arch and arrow come to be at the same instant... so does past-preset-futuer- time
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      Nov 18 2013: Pabrita, what you are saying only underlines that our daily life is acted out in a subjective reality.
      Phantom limb ? Sensations are processed in the brain. Losing a limb doesn't mean you are losing the corresponding part of the brain as well. This part of the brain is still there and can cheat you into feeling a limb where none is.
      As to summarizing: I'll try to do it time permitting but after the thread is closed.
    • Nov 19 2013: Pabitra,

      The case you put forth 'proves' that the mind can influence the reality ... and make it real. Also in one of your responses I see you in essence put forth the idea of a tree falling in a forest making a sound if there is no one to hear it... well the truth of the matter is that its impossible to determine and know for sure... what happens happens and if and observer tries to test it (one way or another) the observer interferences with what happens changes the case being considered. The answer is what happens happens and one may not be able to determine it one way or the other...without affecting what happens.
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    Nov 17 2013: None among living creatures may have any reality, until its unique sensations and perceptions of sensations, begin to build its personal theater of reality, within its mind.

    No one is able to fly out of that mind's reality to see the world objectively, as it is. We may never know how we effect objective to us realities, but may create something perceivable within ourselves, only based on our internal reactions on how objective reality EFFECTS OUR MINDS.

    We are all very limited in our interactions and therefore understanding, because of our critically important defence mechanism of Limitations. Without limitations we would melt down into everything else, crashed by unimaginable powers of instant changes of the world, loosing our existence as individual creatures, in no time. Everyone's reality is uniquely limited, it is absolutely internal and invisible to anyone but its master mind. I try, for the very first time, to explain (in my life-long work on perceptions), WHY every living form must be Limited in perceiving and all its interactions, and WHY it can never see the world out there. as it is.

    SImilar to other individual living forms, we must create our own realities for the sake of our very exitence. It is up to our internal abilities how great or poor our realities may become. It is my main work - to find explanations
    to WHY every living form must possess a mind (invisible to any sort of corporeal sight) that is subconsciously producing its own internal environment that we loosely call Reality.

    I would be happy to share my thoughts on HOW our minds produce their subconscious "worlds" as well as their conscious realities. Lets avoid very common researchers mistakes who pay practically no attention at how their own minds PERCEIVE what they see, (including what they call brains), lets call the process of perceiving.
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      Nov 18 2013: "None among living creatures may have any reality, until its unique sensations and perceptions of sensations, begin to build its personal theater of reality, within its mind."
      Yes, this is most likely true for our subjective reality, however, the underlying absolute reality is independent of us and exists regardless whether or not we have any means to experience it.

      I think we might be able to experience objective reality, but probably not through our 5 senses. If we assume that the quantum world is part of this objective reality then we can probably best "experience" it through mathematics or indirectly through effects caused by events in the quantum world.

      "loosing our existence as individual creatures" What if this existence as individual creatures is nothing but an illusion ?

      From my POV, the mind is a product of our brain. No brain = no mind = no consciousness.
      You say that every living organism must have a mind. I think that can't be true, at least not based on what we commonly understand as mind.
      So, please share with us how you define "mind" and how do you think it must be possessed by every living being.
    • Nov 19 2013: Vera,

      One can see the world objectively as it is in the model if the mind's reality model is made to correspond with the original. Fractal 'equality' far and near... How one does that... Ah thats a whole different matter :-) Without limitations some may choose to maintain certain limitations ... in other words the individual fine creature exists as a limited being that can do anything and possesses infinite capabilities...

      I used to believe in the notion of identical copies where actually a figment of imagination thus separate minds experiencing the same thing to be impossible until I realized that was just part of a belief I choose to hold... If you want to further explore this let me know here and I will propose a new conversation to dialogue focused on it there...
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        Nov 20 2013: I think that you probably do need to start a new "conversation"

        I'll follow you. Sure thing.
        • Nov 20 2013: Vera,

          Ok will do it again ... and see what happens... first time the conversation was rejected see my post below... it it gets approved it will be at... http://www.ted.com/conversations/21656/spinoff_reality_individual.html you may even be able to go now and post there with the caveat that whatever is posted there may be deleted by the mods... on the other hand if you post there the mods may choose to let it stay... one of those things one never knows what will happen until it happens...
        • Nov 20 2013: Vera et all the conversation has been approved :-)
    • Nov 20 2013: Vera et all

      edited out this message... because a new spinoff conversation was approved see above or below for the link...
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    Nov 16 2013: The video below gives a basic understanding of our equipment used in sensory input and processing.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqnEGu8VF8Y
    • Nov 16 2013: Larry,

      Watched the 20 minute video and it took me quite a bit more to accomplish... wonder where to begin twisting the twisted notions to straighten them out... to me its evident the shifts the narrator goes through from what's out there to the senses and transformations that lead to the model within... just to point one little notion out... it is claimed that the signals coming in depend on the external signal when in reality we know that the signals are generated within the brain. and thus the brain could in principle keep producing the electrical signals it has indefinitely... The metaphor used of the picture in the tv and the signals transmitted to the tv hardly takes into account variations where the tv itself is the signal generator ... think of a computer that receives and processes the signals what is displayed on the tv may not correspond to what the signal being transmitted be... for example those instant play back machines ... or picture in picture features...

      To me its evident that the narrator confuses the map of the territory with the territory going to the point of claiming that the territory is just the map one has of the territory... keep in mind we can see whats out there resorting to to the simple formula of ensuring that the model we have is an identical copy that corresponds to what’s out there... thus even though we only see the map we have it be identical to whats out there so we sense and perceive actually whats out there...
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        Nov 19 2013: Hello Esteban, in the clip again we see fragments of the Truth. I like the idea of physical nature illusion or not. Life would have no luster without it. Einstien said a soul without a body is void of meaning. I have not found a greater idea to connect to. It is in that harmony I find Peace. I have learned of my perception; the mind is the projector, the thoughts are the film and the world is the screen. Therefore I come face to face with myself and I am free in my perception, no longer a slave. In reality there are no fragments but changing form from a single source. There is but One reality. If there be two, one of them can not be real. It takes the two to see the One. That is the contrast that brings vision to the mind. I have heard you call it duality. Vision appears to go much deeper than surface perception.
        • Nov 19 2013: Larry,

          I like the metaphor you used of ... "the mind is the projector, the thoughts are the film and the world is the screen"... clearly there is also the theater and others there... each watching 'something' ... Now days couples can watch the tv 'together' and each see and hear a different program ....

          I am glad you come face to face with your perceptions and consider that in them you be free... many seem bound within their perceptions unaware of being within them of their own choosing.

          Indeed the mind-body-soulld interrelationship give a luster to life that give life quite a meaning... and to think of so many philosophies/beliefs that seek to escape it rather than cultivate the better ways here... For a while now I think that it takes just one to see the one if one knows how. In other words to know the truth one can know the truth and only the truth. Of course with a single view getting to the deeper vision involves quite a bit more computations and understanding that would be required resorting to several views of the same thing. As you said vision can go much deeper than surface perceptions.

          I like to say that everyone is on the right road ... it just that some are heading the right direction and some are heading the wrong direction... everyone thinks they are heading in the right direction and telling those heading the other way... Hey turn around this is the better way to go... some do it to help some do it for other reasons... I am aware that some head in the wrong direction to get to a point of helping those there to head in the right direction (well if on the way they aren't deceived themselves and in need of someone to point them in the right direction)... I think eventually everyone realizes where they are and in which direction they been heading... question is will they turn around and head the other way or keep on going in the direction they have been...
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      Nov 17 2013: The greatest thinker of our time, Werner Heisenberg, pointed that an observer may never perceive what he/she observes as it is, for the reason, that an observer is already in constant interactions with a subject of observation, effecting and changing conditions of a subject. This should be the basic condition/concept for any sorts of serious reaserch.
      This outstanding Heisenberg's observation is completely ignored in postmodern research, philosophy, sciences and education. Contemporary thinkers, in their prevailing majority, are still in dark ages believing that they discover the objective world, when they see something new using their corporeal sight augmented by microscopes and telescopes. They are not interested in the fact that our sight is the most deceiving of all sense perceptions we may possess and no technology may help us "correct" our created by nature mechanism of our perceptions and their internal laws governing our realities.
      Understanding our own nature based on HOW we perceive is a field of knowledge that we barely approached. The closest adventurers traveling into human subconsciousness
      were great Greeks, Heraclitus (entire world change, "flux") and Protagoras (Unavoidable Limitations in perceiving), later David Hume, George Berkeley, I.Kant, H. Bergson, and finally, the most outstanding scientist and philosopher of our time, Werner Heisenberg. Since their time No one, known to us, has been able to penetrate farther on, into the very nature of mind, where no technology allowed. (visible physical brains are only indicating a mind's remote control connecting mind with the body, a visible body is an image indicating our temporary experience, this image cannot explain basic nature of its master - a mind which power keeps it together and alive for awhile.)

      The best research on corporeal sense perceptions is still most fundamental -Maurice Merleau Ponti
      • Nov 19 2013: Vera,

        In what you said, I see you are indirectly pointing at 'something', without explicitly refereeing how 'the belief'/ideas the observer has impacts the observations they experiences directly and indirectly. When the experienced reality depends on what one believes/thinks to be, reality can morph into-outof-with distinctive characteristics objectifications.

        Of course 'they' are not interested in the fact that 'ones notions' be the most deceiving of all perceptions we may possess ( or which posses us) and no technology may help us 'correct' our created by nature mechanism of our perceptions and their internal laws governing our realities especially when such notion is considered a threat to the existing notions. Its kind of like asking the corrupt king to embrace just ways and ceding over their arbitrary authority to do whatever they want over to the just ways that be right... and which everyone has to obey... why level the playing field when its tipped in one's favor, and one wins every time? (I realize I used this same example in a different context to tip the playing field in a way that it promotes adopting the better sand which guarantees one always wings. The key difference resides in a subtle difference between (a-) one wanting to be right by embracing what be right and being right and (b-) one wanting to be right regardless of what be right).

        The thing is that ultimately its not just up to them ... and now individuals realize the power of a single righteous individual to change the whole for the better. A while back I wanted to develop knowledge management (KM) field based on the premise that knowledge only resided in the mind. I had perceived that the best research on KM Field based on the premise that knowledge resides 'somewhere' without taking into account the complexities of getting it from there into the individuals, assuming individuals could simply get it... Need I say few of the experts where interested or accepted the proposition...
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    Nov 15 2013: This is for anyone who falsely believes that reality is perception. Although fragments of the truth can be found there. Look at how the word believe is spelled, below in the video, interesting. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5gK2MxGR0M
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      Nov 16 2013: Ah, yes, I already saw several of his performances. Awesome ! No idea how he does it but he sure knows how to "bend" reality.
    • Nov 16 2013: Larry,

      Thanks for pointing that out ... Be LIE ve and even though it's just might be manipulations
      Within beliefs, just as within lies, sometimes one can find fragments of reality and the truth of the matter. Personally I rather focus, deal with and cultivate the truth of the matter itself. Now considering the domain of what could be...

      I also noticed how the word can be fragmented into Beli eve... was a bit surprised at what I found during an internet search for beli see the wiki entry... again it just might be circumstantial-evidence and/or some amusing fortuitous haphazard event... what caught my eye was the notion :"--a-- could have --done it-- with just his bare hands if he so wished, but then added that he would indeed regret his decision during the upcoming time .... when ---a--- would have to fight the sons of Muspell."

      Indeed fragments of reality can be found in perceptions...
      For those who did not catch the subtle notion 'be' spelled with a 'B' is right and spelled with a 'V' is wrong...

      As I wrote the word 'spell-ed'--- I wonder over why it can mean this or that... and why such a close relationship between claims meanings happen to exit:
      - name the letters that form (a word) in correct sequence
      - a form of words used as a magical charm or incantation
      Also noted the last word from the quote I copied is 'Muspell'
      Maybe the people of Mu spell ...
      Did a quest on that and got to the hall of records...and other stuff...
      this speculation seems to be delving into 'stranger' and stranger territories ... where facts myths illusions and truths seem somewhat interchangeable ... who knows what actually happened 50,000 years ago and which evidence is 'buried' somewhere inaccessible to us in this universe or some other domain...
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      Nov 17 2013: CAN ANY LIVING CREATURE PERCEIVE OR "SEE" ANYTHING AT ALL WITHOUT THE MOST BACIS TOOLS THAT NATURE GIVES to EACH of US FOR LIFE, UNIQUE PERCEPTIONS?
      The fundamental answers for what we call "Reality" are not in what we see, but in HOW we compose our internal environment that we eventually may see. Perceiving IS the most fundamental process of LIFE. No perceptions - no life, no reality.
      Keep in mind that the world is composed of unthinkable powers that changing instantly it's "FLUX" - HOW do we create our living safety, our "nests", out of the unstoppable volcanoes of powers, how do we create our own environments, in order to prolong our unique personal existence?
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      Nov 18 2013: The term "perception" is commonly understood as "reflecting" some "objectivelly existing things" and events.

      It is a grand, but very common mistake that leads to loopholes in our understanding of ourselves.

      Sensations and perceiving of these sensation, shall be explained as a primary digestive process within a mind. PERCEIVING is the most vital process of life - any form of life.
      No perceptions - no reality, no life.
      • Nov 19 2013: Vera,

        I wonder about autistic individuals ... (those with a mental condition in which 'fantasy' dominates over 'reality'). It seems that they are unable to perceive reality while still alive...
  • Nov 14 2013: The reality as it exists within our field of perception is vastly different than what reality actually is. Our brains have evolved so our preception and sense receptivity is oriented in a way that is productive for our survival and so is limited and governed within the confines of certain bio/psycho/social parameters. There is an obvios subject/object relationship that cannot be ignored when u speak of reality and how whatever it is is processed and then interpreted. Basically we interact with the real reality but our minds do not penetrate let alone comprehend the vastness and complexity of what reality actually is. Our brains could not possibly account for reality even if it was in some way understood because there is no experiential basis on which such an understanding could be built on. Quantum physics is so nuts because we were never programmed by nature to be capable of conceiving matter on the atomic/subatomic level let alone being able to use our crude folk logic to make sense of how those atoms and electrons behave. I like the Buddhist notion of dependent origination and the attitude Buddha is said to have had regarding the relationship between reality as it is and how it is misinterpreted.
  • Nov 13 2013: Would this be an example of a truly impossible question?

    Even if we decide what reality is, it's only that thing in our reality.
    • Nov 13 2013: Nick,

      No, this isn't an example of a truly impossible question?
      A truly impossible question would be impossible to ask?

      If we decided what reality is according to what reality is...
      then it's not only that thing in our reality
      • Nov 14 2013: But Esteban, is a question we cannot ask still a question? And how can we decide what reality is based on what reality is when we don't know what reality is?
        (My head hurts, I'm off to build a table.)
        • Nov 14 2013: Nick,

          Evidently a question is a question ...
          .... whether someone can ask it or not is a whole different matter :-)
          .... as is a whole different matter whether someone knows the answer!
          ... and even if someone could ask, question is:
          --- would they choose to ask?
          --- how would they ask it? why ask?

          you ask: How can we decide what reality is based on what reality is...
          ... when we don't know what reality is?

          Well we would first have to get to know what reality is based on what reality is...
          ... then we would know.
          The thing is that we only only have 'direct' access to what we think to be...
          ... so we have to ensure that what we think to be corresponds what happens to be...

          ... yesterday I wrote : The depth of vision comes from appropriately integrating both views... when you only have one view its practically impossible to perceive depth... the depth of understanding comes from appropriately integrating ALL senses (corporeal incorporeal ++).

          Knowing reality 'as is' comes from appropriately integrating what is into what one thinks is.
          Altering reality comes from appropriately 'creating' into what is what one thinks (for example building a house from an idea). Keep in mind that 'what is' includes the possibilities that exists, and the other stuff like objects ideas, dreams, feelings, imaginations etc...

          I built a hexagonalical table the other day from an mdf 4'x8' sheet... and enjoyed the process and the result... may you also enjoy what you do and the results.
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      Nov 16 2013: A couple of laws that govern the universe designed just for you. Third Law of Motion. Forces always come in pairs - equal and opposite action-reaction force pairs.
      The law of cause and effect teaches that for every action there is an equal reaction. You are cause and effect and can not separate from them. Cause and effect happen at the same time and that would suggest for all questions there must be in contrast an answer. So understand cause and effect, that is a fragment of who you are. If you give Love you will see effect. If you give hate you will see effect.
      • Nov 16 2013: Larry,

        From what you said "Cause and effect happen at the same time and that would suggest for all questions there must be in contrast an answer"... Why would a question suggest that there must be an answer to it? I made many a question to which I have not received an answer thus its quite logical (from many perspectives) to consider that there are question that actually have no answers... I realize that 'no answer' itself is an answer and could get into a separate conversation dealing with that issue if need be. What most interests me at this time is to point out how 'Cause and effect' notion can be a bit fuzzy... for example if someone slaps me on the face... is that an effect or a cause... on the same line is my response determined by what happened or stem from what I choose to do ? Of course there is the whole issue of why I chose to allow such event happening to me, for example why didn't I graciously move to direct and guide 'the blow' into 'a caress'? There are actions that lead to no reaction and then there are reactions to no action ...

        The dualistic approach many like and choose to employ is actually a subset of the mulilistic approach I prefer to employ. I do realize that the effects I observe stem from a diversity of stuff taking place... what I do may have on effect on what happens just as what I do may be the tipping point that determines what happens...from what happens it can be complicated to determine if it was me you or the circumstances or something else that determined what happened... sometimes I give love and understanding and see effect... in those that choose to love I see love and in those who choose to hate I see hate... sometimes I get invitations to hate and invitations to love... regardless I choose to love... and the haters hate it and the lovers love it... I suppose I give each what they want while always choosing to love...

        "Forces always come in pairs - equal and opposite action-reaction force pairs" ... Really? how about love?
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          Nov 20 2013: Esteban, Perhaps something to bring to mind is the Law of Attaction. Look at energy the question attracted to the debate. You have answered the question What is Reality? I have seen it in your words and no one amongst us appears able to take it any further regardless of their complicated thinking and expressions. You simply can't think your way to reality but you will think yourself somewhere. What is Reality? reality + is - what? = Reality is. You see that is too simple for a complicated mind.

          Regarding the cause and effect of a face slap; I do what I do and I get what I get, both are mine.

          It appears I'm down to my last choice of reality, I have but ONE last choice to decide.
          The opposite of Love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite.
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        Nov 18 2013: I think that great Werner Heisenberg is still badly underestimated as an outstanding philosopher.

        He has pointed that no observer can be truly objective for the reason that while observing, he already interacts with what he observes, changing its conditions. The majority of people including researchers of all sorts ignore this fact, it is too inconvenient when one wishes to demonstrate his observation as the only ultimate truth.

        Thanks for your post, reminding about brilliant Werner :)
      • Nov 20 2013: Larry,

        I think that the notion that 'reality is' may be rejected by a mind for the simple reason that they rather choose some alternative than be 'forced' into accepting what is ... kind of ironically funny because when they choose the better way as their way the better way becomes their choice... I wonder how to clarify that point... it isn't someone will vs somebody's will .... someone's will and somebody's will being one and the same because each choose the better way...

        The way I look at the choices in reality... what makes one think that if they choose a certain way this time around they will choose a different way around the next time? Better to choose right this time around and every time after that...
  • Nov 11 2013: To answer the original post, reality is a construct. It wholly depends on our senses. Our brains act as a filter to organize the inputs into meaningful information. That is why optical illusions blow our mind. Or the one where you hear da, ma, pa when the same sound is played because you are looking at a mouth that is mouthing da, ma, pa. We don't like contradiction so our brain makes us hear what our eyes see. That is why the religious and dogmatic fall back on default positions even when the logic and evidence point in a different direction.

    Your question of not having senses at all is quite profound. although we have good data on being blind or deaf, and even blind and deaf, we don't have good data on being blind, deaf, with no taste, smell or touch. I guess your question would hinge on whether one was born that way or became that way. Can't really fathom it but i'm sure there would be some construct that would be formed in the brain. There are people who are blind that see things, it isn't information from the outside but rather created directly in the brain, there are deaf people who hear things, but again it is created directly in the brain. I would assume that it is the same for those who cannot smell/taste/feel, but that is speculation. I would also assume that the brain would create it's own construct and give itself inputs.
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      Nov 12 2013: I was searching on the internet for cases of people born without any senses. I didn't find anything. Some commentators articulated the opinion that one couldn't survive if born without senses. It makes intuitive sense but I'm not so sure that one couldn't survive.
      We know for example that people who lack one or more senses, are able to make up for the lost senses in other ways. For example a blind person might improve his hearing.
      If born without senses, perhaps our brain figures out some other way to get input from outside. Or the mind really would be like a dark screen, with absolutely nothing going on. I really don't know.
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      Nov 12 2013: But what are we sensing. isn't that the underlying reality we are perceiving.

      Isn't that underlying reality independent of how it is perceived.

      Suggest there is one underlying reality and many perceptions of that reality.
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    Nov 11 2013: By the answers of others I can tell I'm in the ring with heavyweights. So let me warm up and start with the truth as I have learned from fools and from sages.

    But what if we lack a sense ? How does reality change for somebody who cannot hear or see?
    What better study than Helen Keller or someone like her. Sightless and soundless at birth and lost in a world she couldn't find her way out of. Along came the kindness of a human being with a learned mind that understands the sensation of touch can be translated to understanding, The Rosetta Stone. I can only imagine the moment of that occurance and the dynamic change in the energy of her reality. Her mind was freed to express and she did just that, leaving a lasting impression. Giving up produces a different reality just as real.

    Or take it even a step further, assume you are deprived of all your senses, What would reality mean in such a case?
    I guess I would be limited to what I had prior to being deprived. It would mean reality is no longer dynamicly moving based on external stimuli but the mind has already been put in motion although separated, isolated and alone, is that the reality of hell?

    And last but not least, let's assume you are born without any senses. What would that mean to your reality?
    If that state continues I will remain like an animal. I will never know a sense of self although false that comes first in the external by others telling me who I am and what to do. At first the senses open outward. That is the reality of birth.

    I am avoiding the briar patch of tough questions for now but I'll be back.
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    Nov 11 2013: if you wanna assume that we can be human without senses i suggest to change the species you're talking about or a good luck with your swimming in the vacuum :)
  • Nov 10 2013: Reality is perception. In a sense (no pun intended), you are consciousness piloting a flesh and blood vehicle. That consciousness and its perception is limited to the windows on your vehicle; sight, touch, hearing, etc. With no windows, that consciousness is left to perceive based only upon intuition and the intangible.
    • Nov 10 2013: The windows on my vehicle seem to include additional consciousness and perceptions some of which seem to be piloting a flesh and blood vehicle different than the one I am piloting.
      • Nov 11 2013: Many do believe that functions of the "higher self" enable senses beyond the original 5. Perhaps we possess an additional eye.
        • Nov 11 2013: When we communicate and dialogue an additional window opens up, well its more like a screen that display a view... sometimes that view actually corresponds to the view others see in their windows! Sometimes its just what we think that view looks like...
      • Nov 12 2013: So are you theorizing a human collective consciousness?
        • Nov 12 2013: Na, just sort of mentioning/pointing to the conduit metaphor language issue and how we need to ensure that the map we see actually maps the territory we explore
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    Nov 10 2013: @ Entropy Driven
    "What I'm saying is that Mercury will still move the way it moves, and that our changing interpretations depend on Mercury's perihelion being independent of what we think about it. It is simply nonsense to think otherwise."

    Do not be so sure :)
    Bernard Crick, Paul Feyerabend, Thomas Kuhn, George Lakoff, Mark Johnson, Robert Nozick and Joseph Margolis would think in that nonsensical way. Whole of Indian religions is based on this non-sensical view and sophists will thumb me up! :)

    You don't need to agree with me but keep an open mind and if you have time, read this.
    http://www.expandyourworld.net/i+i-naturereality.php
    Btw, you may like to read next five pages too.
    Thank you for the debate.
    • Nov 10 2013: Note that the article focuses on the ideas about reality and individuals exploration of experience through modeling rather than focusing on the reality itself. To sort of use the metaphor they used; they are stuck within the cosmological belief structure room that they happen to be in unaware of the reality out there...

      What allows us to consider the influence belief-structures have on our experience and the consequences for our behaviors invokes embracing a particular cosmological belief structure that bind-while-freeing us. To use a slightly different notion, we are forced to believe while free to choose what to believe ... certain beliefs entrap us while allowing us to be free ... where as some beliefs entrap us by 'making us believe' to be free... the worst slavery involves the slave who believes to be free while choosing to remain enslaved... or course the beliefs do not actually make us believe, we choose what to believe... paradoxically binding oneself to the truth enables one the most freedom...

      The article concludes stating that their "...interest is in how ideas about reality help or hamper our operating effectively in our exploration of experience through modeling". Modeling of what? Reality? What others think of reality?

      I also looked at the article 'why change is impossible' and in the sense they define it, it certainly is impossible; though in the sense of it being impossible well some know how change is actually possible and arguing to the contrary may be a justification to keep from changing. Of course how likely is the change, is a whole different matter... how improbable is it that what happened happened becomes meaningless given that it did happen. How probable is it that what happened happens becomes meaningless when change happens. Oh yea just because Mercury has moved a certain way for some time it does not imply it will keep on moving that same way, especial if some force impacts it...

      Thank you for the interesting link...
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    Nov 10 2013: Consciousness is human brain activity; consciousness is our emotions, intentions, thoughts and movement.
    Five key aspects can contribute to understanding the human mind and consciousness associations much deeper.

    We are as part of this reality, example, two Moons can be seen at the same time. The full moon is in the sky and the full moon reflects on the surface of the river. In reality, we all know there is one moon in the world.
    In short, five key aspects must be addressed: being self-knowledge, attention, perception, neuroscience and history (Searle, 2002).

    Searle, J., R. (2002). Consciousness. Annual Review Neuroscience, 23, 557-578.
    • Nov 10 2013: I looked up consciousness, found the following definition: "the state of being awake and aware of one's surroundings" which seems to be an activity applicable to many creatures...

      I wonder how someone can validly claim that such a trait belongs to human's activity; emotions, intentions, thoughts and movement implicitly excluding it from other creatures. It seems to me that being self-knowledge, attention, perception, neuroscience and history can include other creatures who knows if a plant has self-knowledge, attention, perception, neuroscience and history, that for the time being escapes human understandings?
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        Nov 11 2013: I also think excluding consciousness from other creatures a bit problematic.
        Especially, because one would have to ask where are the boundaries ? When does a living organism becomes conscious and what "feature" is it exactly that make it conscious.
        We have 98 % of genetic material in common with a chimpanzee. Why should a chimpanzee not be as conscious as a human.
        ""the state of being awake and aware of one's surroundings" this definition probably, at least to some degree, applies even to plants.
        • Nov 11 2013: If we look at history, without seeking to offend anyone, at some point 'the natives' where considered animals, sub-human without rights! Of course this is similar to dehumanizing the enemy.
  • Nov 9 2013: Colleen Steen

    Yes, learning be par of my practices, hopefully I will be able to simplify being able to do this more effectively… Until then it is what it is :-)

    I understand about being open to information, because it is an opportunity to learn; rejecting learning can involve what one ought to learn and most needs to learn; and I wonder if this means one rejects what one ought to learn or what one ought to learn is what to reject … it just might be that the learning involves learning what to embrace and what not to embrace, especially when unable to discern what seems to be because it be and what seems to be because it seem identical to what be. (how one embraces each thing).

    These days I had two undelaying questions in my mind:
    1-what does each want to give their lives too? (what does one think reality is)
    2- what is each giving their life to? (what does reality be)

    Note that you claim “Personally, I am open to information about ‘hate’ because it is an opportunity to learn”. From your responses and what I consider it seems to me that your claims do not reflect that you have been open to the information I provided; I think its because of what you think and hold. I did notice you say something like: open to that topic, and closed to that practice. I liked that notion for one ought to be able to dialogue about issues without this becoming an issue. On a similar note I consider that certain issues takes us away form effectively interacting, learning and cultivating what ought to be cultivated. I like to say that some possibilities are intended to remain as such, possibilities!

    I get it that for the purpose of learning and communicating one first has to get it as the other gets it and then comment on it. Still certain experiences may seduce us into being under the influence, which complicates matters. Evidently understating and acceptance be quite different, though many consider that understating and acceptance go hand in hand.
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      Nov 10 2013: Dear Esteban,
      I am sorry you perceive me to not be open to the information you provide. I am trying my best to understand your comments, and as I have mentioned to you, it seems like you go round in circles, so it is difficult to figure out exactly what you are trying to express.
      • Nov 10 2013: Colleen,

        What each perceives is what each perceives, sharing it opens the door to the information. I realize you are doing your best to understand the comments, I am doing my best to be as clear and concise as best as I can. Consider that the reason I go round in circles centers on focusing on the point from all perspectives :-) trusting that one of the views will clarify the point. Figuring out exactly what someone seek to express, or what they perceive, and why they perceive it that way, can be challenging. Please consider that I would had not said what I said had I known in advance that it would lead you to feel (what you felt), I thought you would appreciate the comments and wonder and ponder as to why I kept insisting on the point. Especially because of what you said. FWIIW the observation I made was just to look at the evidence and consider/reconsider it given what I perceived. Right now I am ambivalent of expressing an idea because:
        - I am drawn to expressing it and doing so cultivates that which I would rather not cultivate
        - I feel I should be congruent between what I say and what I do
        - Other reasons
        Let's say I trust that you will understand without invoking and naming it out that I feel what you felt and would rather we all focus on cultivating better feelings. Everyone who reads this will give a bit of their life to each of the words contained here. As I have sort of said consider what each brings forth to be, seek to focus on that which brings, truly bring, joy happiness understanding and other divine feelings in accord to the divine ways.
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          Nov 10 2013: I wholeheartedly agree Esteban....what each perceives is what each perceives, and that is a good demonstration of the idea that we each have our own reality.

          I HAVE considered that the reason you go round and round is because you are trying to present something from all perspectives, which is why I said...more is not always better:>)

          When you address a point from ALL perspectives, how am I supposed to know which one is actually YOUR perspective? In my observation, this practice does not clarify, but rather confuses.

          I do indeed "wonder and ponder" your comments Esteban, and if that is what you are trying to achieve, you are doing a very good job! Wondering and pondering on my part does not clarify what YOU would like to express....make any sense?

          I have no hard feelings about you Esteban.....I simply have difficulty understanding your comments. I do not think/feel it is at all accurate to say that I am not open to the information you provide. I am considering all the information you provide.

          In one of your comments, I believe you said you think we agree. I don't really know if we agree or not because I do not understand most of your comments. You seem to have a pretty good grasp of the English language, except for a few words, so I do not think it is a language issue. I totally agree with your perspective that you are trying to address points from several different angles, and in my perception, it confuses, rather than clarifies.
      • Nov 10 2013: Colleen,

        Maybe the difficulties stems from what each is focused on doing... My observations seek to focus on the point, rather than someones perspective of the point. It can be a bit of a challenge, especially given that each must use individual perspectives on the point to observe it. When you mention you seek to know MY perspective on the point that introduces a shift from focusing on the point to focusing on MY perspective; and in a way it also triggers in me a different conversation (relating to 'possessions of perspectives'. Is it MY perspective, is it a perspective I happen to employ/have/use?) I wonder and ponder if to sidetrack into considering that conversation and the implications that such stories have upon interactions to latter return to focus on the point.

        In a funny humorous way : in my observation...you are right 'that practice' does not clarify but rather confuse and I must ask you to please stop doing it. :-) and focus on the point from all perspectives simultaneously while compensating for the distortions of each individual perspective accordingly to such individual distortions.

        For you to clarify and understand what I would like to express involves first validating and ensuring that what you think I would like to express actually corresponds to what I would like to express. Of course there is the 'little' issue of me not knowing what you think (unless you say what you think and what I perceive and think that you think corresponds to what you think). It also works the other way around, and you not knowing what I think (unless you say what you think and I validate it (based on what I perceived you said and what I said)). Then it involves your feedback to me.

        BTW I do find that it does make sense ... well its more like each makes some sense of it. Question is does the sense I make of it correspond to the sense you make of it? How does each sense relate to the others?

        Look at the information provided and generated ... its about what it be.
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          Nov 11 2013: As you write in a previous comment Esteban....
          "What each perceives is what each perceives".....I agree with that statement:>)
      • Nov 11 2013: Indeed, so two beings are sitting observing a 'unset'*
        a- perceives the animals
        b- perceives the clouds
        the 'unset' set ought to be set

        Latter on 'a' and 'b' share their perceptions with 'c'
        c- perceives both comments including the forms and how the things shift with time
        d- gets instructions from 'c' on how to build the set's props

        The audience sees a play with a set displaying a set of clouds in animal form shifting in form.

        I was originally going to put forth the idea of 'a' and 'b' observing a sunset. When writing it down I didn't include the 's', liked the word and looked it up and the definition I found seemed to fit and what I had original thought to state shifted in form to what I finally composed above.

        It was all leading to the conclusion that In order for 'a' and 'b' to know and understand what each one is perceiving they ought to dialogue. Of course when they see the play they each see the contributions that each individual made to the production. Then each must determine what to do with that information (senseless data) and make sense of it. (there is a new ted talk related to this http://www.ted.com/playlists/71/can_you_believe_your_eyes.html)...

        Note that we are back to reality being :
        - perceptions
        of an unset set
        with shared comments
        use to change the set
        and mount a play
        that the audience experiences
        (which leads back to new perceptions
        and possibilities
        to share
        and construct
        a new story
        to experience)
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          Nov 12 2013: As you write in a previous comment Esteban....
          "What each perceives is what each perceives".....I agree with that statement:>)
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      Nov 10 2013: Esteban, did you mean to write that "understanding" and "acceptance" are not the same? You wrote "understating," which means something different.

      If so, you are surely correct. A person can understand an argument, for example, but not accept it for himself. It is also quite common for people to accept things they do not understand.
      • Nov 10 2013: Indeed... you got what I intended to say even-though of what I actually said ... thanks for pointing it out to me and to others... I liked what you added...

        "A person can understand an argument, for example, but not accept it for himself.
        It is also quite common for people to accept things they do not understand".
  • Nov 9 2013: Pabitra,

    There are really additional alternatives too, to choose from :-) ... in a way what you said that you shall do is partially what I do...

    In essence what we where dialoguing about was how each has the burden of proof ( or not) and how shifting this burden to others based on the premise that it would be easier to prove their clim or that its their duty to convince us or they are in a better position or (many other alternatives) happens to be like a wild goose chase. I have experienced how some resort to this tactic to get rid of me and dealing with my assertion then and there. I used to endeavor on finding the goose, that golden goose that would convince them of the richness laid down to see, then I realized how futile it can be to seek and convince those who do not want to see nor understand and refuse to see and understand maintaining they already know. Presenting evidence to show something which others refuse to see may be a learning experience (mostly for the presenter) then again how to know if somebody will embrace or reject something a priori? The past may be an indicator of what will happen in the present, still in the present what will happen in the present may well depend on what happens now (consider that to include past-present-future co-existing simultaneously).

    Note that others actually tried to mention examples of reality that is beyond or independent of our perception some even did mention such examples. You maintain that every part of reality is perception dependent. That excused every part of reality is NOT perception dependent. Still you claim 'since I exclude nothing, I do not think I require to put forward any example to illustrate'. If you didn't think it how did you write it?

    The example of at the quantum level, photons stop showing diffraction patterns the moment some sensor is placed to record (or perceive) its position in a double slit experiment to me is evidence that validates how thoughts/expectations influence reality.
  • Nov 9 2013: Reality is'eating,sleeping,talking,playing,learning,watching...
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    Nov 9 2013: For Harald and all. I believe you may find this intersting.
    http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/what-is-reality/
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    Nov 8 2013: In Euclid’s list of common notions, he said: If two things are same to one thing then these two things are same between themselves. He declared this as self evident. This is a logical truth but is this absolute reality independent of our interpretation? What/who decides the sameness when the consciousness is absent? This is more intricate than an existentialist debate. Since there is no evidence available that the sameness of two things can be judged by anything other than conscious perception, some form of consciousness will be likely necessary for the sameness to be judged.If it is not human consciousness then may be it's some extra-terrstrial consciousness. When there is no evidence of such extra-terrestrial consciousness/life, then may be there is God. This is the entry point of ID and divine purpose. All because we find it difficult to live with indeterminacy or chance.
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      Nov 8 2013: Pabitra, you don't need any kind of consciousness in order for absolute reality to exist.
      Simple example. Let's assume an atom is part of absolute reality. Do you think atoms would just disappear if there is nobody observing them ?
      Without there being any consciousness there are no more contemplations about reality but that doesn't make it disappear.
      • Nov 9 2013: Harald, atoms are certainly not part of any absolute reality. They stand the chance of vanishing even when we are present observing. Dalton's atoms already did. If a new theory comes up with enough evidence to the contrary, atoms will be non-existent, just like aether did.
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          Nov 9 2013: I wrote "let's assume". I took atoms only as an example because everybody knows what an atom is.
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          Nov 9 2013: Harald, for some reason my son Diptarka used my laptop after I went to sleep. The reply above was mine, I just didn't check that he was signed in facebook when he left the computer. Sorry for the confusion.
          Or it may be a funny way to introduce Diptarka here in TED :)
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          Nov 9 2013: Welcome to TED Tintin:>)
    • Nov 8 2013: Of course that reality is completely independent of our interpretations. No matter how much I want to interpret anything, such a thing will remain being what it is whether I interpret it correctly or incorrectly. If there's nobody to make the call for sameness, then the objects remain identical regardless.

      Consciousness is dependent on reality. Not the other way around. We cannot change reality by interpreting however we want. Whether we can grasp the whole thing or just a bit, does not matter. Our interpretations might be way off, or spot on, does not matter, reality remains.

      No need for gods to keep any call "alive." (That argument for a god is simply a confusion between what we make out of reality and reality itself. One of the most nonsensical I hear. A signal that creationists are desperate.)
      • Nov 9 2013: We can change reality by how we interpret it... in fact our interpretation now can change what we do and that can change the present the future and even the past. The events may remain constant but our interpretation can dramatically change what we and others actually experience.

        BTW the truth does not need any argument to be the truth; accept it or reject it the truth remains being the truth, though when one accepts it one has more options than when one rejects it.
        • Nov 9 2013: We can change aspects of reality by working on it. We can't change it by just interpreting whichever way we desire without paying attention to what we can perceive about it. But action is required. Mere illusion won't do a thing unless it inspires us to work for it.

          "the truth does not need any argument to be the truth; accept it or reject it the truth remains being the truth"

          I never said otherwise. You just repeated my very statement.
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          Nov 9 2013: It's not about burden of proof really, Esteban. It's about fairness of proof. If I am claiming that all swans are white (I hope most will agree with that) and you are saying some swans are black as well, between you and me it will only be fair for you to prove me wrong rather me proving you wrong.
          Just one sighting of a black swan is enough for you validate your claim, where as I will require, technically, all the swans in the world down to the last to be exhibited as white.
      • Comment deleted

        • Nov 9 2013: Can you actually prove the veracity of your claim?
          How are you so sure that there is not a single evidence?
          I find the following stand more satisfying and rational:
          ---There is evidence that there is one, absolute, objective reality independent of interpretation or observation by consciousness perception

          Given your claim presided mine I will wait for your proof before providing mine ... That is if you do not have the burden of proof of what you claim why should I have such burden? Alluding to the 'To prove what I claim is practically impossible and to prove what you claim is extremely easy" will only shift your burden of proof of what it is you need to prove (and according the the allusion it is extremely easy). Do note that I am not saying that you have to prove what you said; I am saying if you want me to prove my claim then I want you to prove your claim because that would be the fair thing to do... Only make request of others that one would be glad to do if others made such a request.
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        Nov 9 2013: "Of course that reality is completely independent of our interpretations. No matter how much I want to interpret anything, such a thing will remain being what it is whether I interpret it correctly or incorrectly. If there's nobody to make the call for sameness, then the objects remain identical regardless."
        This is how you choose to define Reality, Entropy. I admit that this is an impressive definition but a definition, nonetheless. There is not a single evidence that there is one, absolute, objective reality independent of interpretation or observation by consciousness perception.
        History and experiences are replete with evidences that reality is created with conscious perception. It is just a common notion that things are always like what they are at present. We have been proven wrong way too many time.
        Reality is what it is as present and as along as it satisfactorily describes things. It can be traded for any improved, changed or revised version of reality if it explains more things that it can at present. I find this stand more satisfying and rational.
        • Nov 9 2013: Sorry Pabitra, but you continue mistaking reality with our interpretation of reality. We cannot change what reality is by mere thinking it so. What history if full of is errors in our interpretations, not with realities being changed magically by our consciousness. It does not matter if you think that I am defining reality, or not. Reality does not need definitions, reality is it's own evidence, and we have no option but to accept that it is there, or deny it in plain contradiction, since denying reality is denying the very thing that allows us to be able to deny anything.

          Sure, we can work towards changing things. You are mistaking what I said. I did not say that we can't change the state of affairs. But to do so we have to work. Imagining that reality is made of cheese does not make reality into cheese. Please.

          You are also contradicting yourself, precisely because you don't seem very aware of the distinction between reality and what we perceive and interpret from it:

          You said: "Reality is what it is as present and as along as it satisfactorily describes things."

          I say: Nope. reality is what it is. Our interpretation is what survives only as long as it satisfactorily describes things. How else would we know that our interpretation satisfactorily describes things if those things (reality), were not independent of such interpretations?

          You insisted: "It can be traded for any improved, changed or revised version of reality if it explains more things that it can at present."

          I insist: Yes, precisely. Our version of reality can be traded for better versions. But reality itself remains unaffected. Again, how else could we know that our version describes "more things" if those "more things" (reality) were not independent of our desires and interpretations?

          Did I explain this distinction with sufficient clarity now?
        • Nov 9 2013: Entropy,

          Actually from what I read in quantum experiments, what one thinks (and expects) can change the results one observes.

          I liked what you said "we have no option but to accept that it is there, or deny it in plain contradiction, since denying reality is denying the very thing that allows us to be able to deny anything" this is how I read it: ---we have the option to accept the facts, or deny them in plain contradiction, since denying the facts is denying the very thing that allows us correctly judge according to the facts--- Succinctly put: accept the truth, or deny it in plain contradiction. Accepting it enables to us know the truth.

          "reality is what it is. Our interpretation is what survives only as long as it satisfactorily describes things. How else would we know that our interpretation satisfactorily describes things if those things (reality), were not independent of such interpretations"?

          That question poses what I consider an interesting issue... Please note that reality does in part depend on individuals interpretations. What one believes and does influences what happens.
        • Nov 9 2013: Hello Esteban,

          Nope. the claim is that observing quantum phenomena can change the result. Not what we think, but the act of observing. In any event, I think there's a big problem of interpretation of what happens, since the math has solved problems leaving our capacity to understand what happens, why the problem is solved and what the math really means, behind.

          In your last paragraph, I disagree. Sure, what we think changes the actions we take. But merely interpreting reality does not change it. What this means is that I cannot just interpret that reality is made of cheese and therefore reality will be made of cheese, not that we can't take actions and change circumstances. In order to be able to be agents of change, we have to accept the "terms", that is, we have to accept that reality is what reality is. It would be fruitless for me to try and act as if reality was made of cheese if I want to, for example, help people get an education. For the latter I have to accept that the reality includes problems to get an education, and act upon it. Clearer now?
        • Nov 9 2013: Entropy,

          Consider that observing involves 1-notice or perceive (something) and 2-register it as being significant while also recognizing that that also involves certain considerations and distinctions. Can you now see how thinking influences what happens in reality? We can also take the route that the thoughts we have and consider changes the real chemical composition and reinforces such thoughts. I realize that the chemical composition one has can influence, produce and reinforce the thoughts one has in a bit of the egg or the chicken dictum.

          I too think there are issues with the interpretation of what happens to be. I used to believe that math was a purely objective domain until I discovered that the Order of Operations - PEMDAS was actually arbitrary set and it is what it is (regardless of the indeterminacies it may have or produce). When I dialogued with someone a bit more knowledgable in that domain they basically said yea thats an issue that we avoid getting into by ... (doing 'xyz').

          I want to question: Does reality includes problems? Has math solved problems leaving our capacity to understand what happens, why the problem is solved and what the math really means, behind? Math has shown certain relationships that exists for us to understand wonder ponder and learn what happens, why
          it happens, how it happens.(when our capacity manages to get it right).

          I posit that 'merely interpreting reality' does change reality on multiple levels. To what extend this is done is a secondary issue. You can interpret that reality is 'made of cheese' and therefore reality will be 'made of cheese', note that we can take actions and change circumstances. Of course using the reference to cheese can distract our observations. You can interpret that reality is 'problematic' and therefore reality will be 'problematic', note that we can take actions and change circumstances. Now substitute 'an opportunity' 'lovely' 'terrible' into the equation. To be an agent of change change.
        • Nov 10 2013: Esteban,

          Do you even notice how contradictory your position becomes because you want to force that idea that our perception changes reality? See that you said "You can interpret that reality is 'made of cheese' and therefore reality will be 'made of cheese'," only to later admit that such thing cannot be so: "Of course using the reference to cheese can distract our observations."

          Exactly. If we pretend that our perception changes reality into whatever we pretend it to be, then such attempt will "distract" our observations. How could that happen unless reality was independent of what we pretend it to be?

          Actually, you agree with me. I don't understand why on one place you argue for my position in another against it. Didn't you write "the truth does not need any argument to be the truth; accept it or reject it the truth remains being the truth"?
        • Nov 10 2013: Entropy,

          You can interpret that reality is 'fun' and therefore reality will be 'fun' regardless of the challenges encountered because one will experience those challenges encountered as being fun challenges to work out. On the note that our perceptions change reality; be them real or pretend perceptions... you probably know of the observation that the thoughts one has produce chemical changes within the brain... it also works the other way around the chemical changes within the brain produce more of certain thoughts.

          Please note that what you find contradictory corresponds to the position you think I have; which based on what I perceive from your response and what I know I can tell you its quite different from the position I have... if you want to actually understand my position please validate that the position you think I have corresponds to the position I have...

          Its evident that our perceptions changes reality... ever heard of double blind studies --- to guard against both experimenter bias and placebo effects...

          The reason that I agree with and absolute reality independent of us and at the same time I agree with the fact that what we think/feel/act/believe interacts with the reality is that I hold both happen to correspond with what happens to be. Maybe an example will clarify this point. I did write "the truth does not need any argument to be the truth; accept it or reject it the truth remains being the truth". If I recognize having written it or deny having written it does not change the fact of what actually happened. The fact that I chose to write it did really change the fact of what actually happened and now its set for all eternity a beginning that endures... This response itself changes reality and now its set for all eternity a beginning that endures...