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Post 281

chaiwallah

Atma Vicchara ( Self-Enquiry ) is one of the Vedanta's routes to "self-realisation." Usually expressed in the form,"Who am I?"

To my mind, "Who" is already too heavily loaded with implications of self-ness. The following forms of the question are more productive, especially if treated as keys to experience, internally, rather than as intellectual/conceptual word-games.

What is "I", apart from my personal history?
What is "I", other than the knot between memory and peception?
Without perception and memory can there be an "I"?
Where is "I" located?
When "I" examine "I"-ness, where am "I"?


Both Buddhism and Vedanta ( the older stream from which Buddha branched off ) agree that there is no such entity as a "self," outside of the context of interdependent arising, and that the "awakening" of self-realisation is the awakening into this awareness of "non-self." It is not a philosophical conclusion, in the western sense, as it is translogical, but nonetheless experientially valid, though admittedly belonging, because we cannot logically speak of it, in the category of things of which Wittgenstein suggested we should pass over in silence.


Thus Spake Zarathustra

Post 282

ska

Vengeance will we use, and insult, against all who are not like us... thus
do the tarantula-hearts pledge themselves.


Thus Spake Zarathustra

Post 283

Recumbentman

Nice one, World Citizen!
Nice one, Ska!

Chai -- non-self insight "belonging, because we cannot logically speak of it, in the category of things of which Wittgenstein suggested we should pass over in silence" --

oh he tried to pass them over
till his face went black and blue
but he couldn't pass them over
any more than me or you
smiley - puffsmiley - steamsmiley - wahsmiley - tongueoutsmiley - biggrin


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Post 284

Researcher 185550

smiley - ok Gotcha, Rosemary.

As for the fish without the bicycle, mebbe God is the stabilisers on the bike. Kinda fits into the parable that we are occasionally told, you know, the one with the man being shown the footprints along the beach, and where there is only one set of footprints it's because God is carrying him? That's incomplete, but perhaps you've heard of it. Anyway, it's slightly modified.

On the subject of God, has anyone seen Bruce Almighty?


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Post 285

Researcher 185550

smiley - doh I'm a little behind the times, aren't I?


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Post 286

World Citizen

I have a question. I'm not sure how to ask, but it's worth a try.

What does it mean to be human?


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Post 287

Researcher 185550

That's an interesting one. There are, I suppose several answers, I'll give two of the below:

1) You have a soul (that is human, and corresponds to humankind).
2) you are the same in shape to other humans, though this begs the question of how we define other humans. You cannot breed with other species than humans. You have 22 pairs of chromosomes, plus one pair of sex chromosomes.

Humanity is difficult.


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Post 288

World Citizen

What does it mean to have a soul? What are characteristics of a soul, etc.

Just asking for clarification.


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Post 289

Inverted Solipsist

What's a "philosophical"?


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Post 290

Researcher 185550

smiley - smiley Nicely done, questioning at all levels. I may only be a newbie to the guild, but I like that. I think I had a go at broadly defining a soul in another thread, let me have a looksee...smiley - run

Okay, based on about 2 minutes thought, I had:

A soul is non- physical.
A soul is immortal.
A soul is the thing that really "thinks"- it send the commands on to your brain.
A soul has religious connotations.
A soul is what makes you you, in effect, it is where your personality as well as your essence is stored.

I invite you to pick it apart all you want. I added the religious connotations bit in there because I was feeling a bit Wittgensteinian.


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Post 291

chaiwallah


Hi Roadkill,

If you were really feeling Wittgensteinian, you would "pass over ( this topic ) in silence." Recumbentman is away in Prague for a week, or he would sort me out on this.

Meanwhile, feeling somewhat Buddhist, with a tinge of Advaita Vedanta,
I respond thus:

What is a "soul"? Is it an entity, a fixed item of some kind? How can anything fixed be immortal, ie, exist outside of time/space?

That which calls itself "I" is a process, not a thing. A knot between memory and perception. The soul is not the personality. A "persona" is a mask ( originally a Greek theatrical mask.) Diseases such as Alzheimers destroy the personality, does that mean they destroy the soul?

Personality=essence??? Surely not. The soul is a storage unit for these???

Essence is being, in itself immaterial. What really thinks? What then is "mind."? Does mind think? Or just perceive the arising of thoughts in awareness? Thoughts are a product of the brain being neurologically active. Deep sleep = no thoughts. But, and this is a crucial but, in certain states of consciousness, deep sleep does not mean oblivion, there can be "awareness of sleep." Just as in meditation there can be awareness without any thought, or object of perception.

All of which is leading up to the position that "soul" is nothing other than the individual wave within the infinite ocean of awareness, which is immortal, eternal, unbounded, but impersonal. Soul is not a thing but part of a continuum. There is no personal self, other than the process of this nervous system's history of perception and memory arising within the unbounded stream of consciousness.


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Post 292

Researcher 185550

smiley - biggrin I had forgotten that one.

Certainly there are many problems. We were asked, however, what a soul was. I gave an answer- that doesn't make that answer correct.


The Third Man

Post 293

the third man(temporary armistice)n strike)

"The trouble with intellectuals is you have to explain everything to them before they can enjoy it." - John Lennon


The Third Man

Post 294

Recumbentman

Hey, extra nice one, Third Man.

Here's a quote from George Berkeley:

"The grand mistake is that we think we have Ideas of the Operations of our Minds"

and here's one from George Meredith (from memory, someone please corrct if you know it):

"Our immortality may lie in what we do, not what we are"


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Post 295

Redz

Redz
'Not all closed doors are locked, but some should be'


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Post 296

World Citizen

from the Dream of the Red Chamber by Tsao Hsueh Chin...

"For if you are free, you'll forget, and if you forget, you'll be free."


h2g2 Philosopher's Guild

Post 297

Researcher 185550

Workers of the world....


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Post 298

World Citizen

Gotta question.

I've been reading the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci. He makes the most intelligent answers from his observations. My question is, where does he get his ideas? (or where do ideas like that come from) It's almost as if something comes out of nothing. But can something come from nothingness?

I guess I have two questions.


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Post 299

Researcher 185550

If you read Descartes and believe in the Causal Adequacy principle, no. I'll go into that if you wish, but I suspect it to be heavily flawed.

Also if you believe that the Big Bang happened, the answer would seem to be yes: the word given to what was there before the Universe was "A negative quantum vacuum, which spontaneously turned into the Universe"- a pretty good way of saying that there was too much nothing for there not to be something.

I think Scott Adams wrote something about ideas, I'll see if I can hunt it out for you.


Thus Spake Zarathustra

Post 300

toxxin - ¬°umop apisdn w,I 'aw dlaH

RM. Where is your quote from? Not Wittgenstein clearly, because it refers to him. What LW actually said, as I recall, is: "Whereof we cannot speak, thereof we must remain silent".

As for the soul. Well, he said of 'a sensation': "it is not a nothing, and not a something". Maybe the soul might be similarly described.


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