Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience

Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience osokin * 4/13/22 3:51 PM
RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience Ben V. 4/13/22 4:22 PM
RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience osokin * 4/13/22 5:07 PM
RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience finding-oneself * 4/13/22 5:52 PM
RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience Noah D 4/15/22 9:52 PM
RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience Papa Che Dusko 4/16/22 1:38 AM
RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience finding-oneself * 4/16/22 9:43 AM
RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience Chris M 4/16/22 10:29 AM
RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience terry 4/18/22 2:43 PM
RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience Edward 4/17/22 6:31 AM
RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience osokin * 4/17/22 11:12 AM
RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience Edward 4/17/22 11:41 AM
RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience Edward 4/17/22 11:44 AM
RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience Chris M 4/18/22 8:33 AM
RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience osokin * 4/18/22 10:49 AM
RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience Chris M 4/18/22 11:41 AM
RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience osokin * 4/18/22 1:45 PM
RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience terry 4/18/22 2:53 PM
RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience Stephen 4/18/22 1:29 PM
RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience Chris M 4/18/22 2:09 PM
RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience Chris M 4/19/22 7:06 AM
RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience Chris M 4/18/22 2:37 PM
RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience osokin * 4/18/22 3:11 PM
RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience terry 4/18/22 3:22 PM
RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience Stephen 4/18/22 3:24 PM
RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience terry 4/18/22 4:32 PM
RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience Stephen 4/18/22 6:03 PM
RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience terry 4/18/22 11:15 PM
RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience terry 4/18/22 11:46 PM
RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience terry 4/19/22 2:45 AM
RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience Chris M 4/18/22 3:32 PM
RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience terry 4/18/22 4:33 PM
RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience terry 4/18/22 4:35 PM
osokin *, modified 7 Months ago at 4/13/22 3:51 PM
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Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience

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https://youtu.be/6TiFP_ghABo

In this excerpt of a talk from his Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris discusses how the purely subjective aspect of consciousness has a continuity that elides any gaps in experience, including — quite possibly — the gap of death.  To illustrate this, he quotes extensively from philosopher Tom Clark's essay "Death, Nothingness, and Subjectivity," and provides a few easy thought experiments to make the insight more accessible.  

What's particularly interesting and potentially most valuable about this thesis is that it's both completely naturalistic and compatible with an orientation of either materialism or idealism. 

Taken from "The Paradox of Death" from samharris.org, where all his full-length talks and interviews are available via subscription.
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Ben V, modified 7 Months ago at 4/13/22 4:22 PM
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RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience

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Haven't listen to it yet, but this would be a major shift for him. I remember listening to a talk where he vehemently opposed the notion of consciousness surviving death.
osokin *, modified 7 Months ago at 4/13/22 5:07 PM
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RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience

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That's the thing, though: he's not talking about anything "surviving" death (the continuity here isn't narrative or even temporal). More like rendering death irrelevant.  You'll get it when you listen to the clip.
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finding-oneself *, modified 7 Months ago at 4/13/22 5:52 PM
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RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience

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I listened to it. 

Its a really werid experiment: watching visual consciousness as you move your eyes. Because you only see the image after the movement (when the eyes are at rest). Not during. So what am I seeing during the movement? I'm not sure.

He has me closing one eye and pushing the other eye to see what paning the eye is like. So werid.

He also mentioned cessation. Which I enjoyed.

And his explanation makes a lot of sense. I do think materialism is a blunder and incorrect. But that's not relevant in the video. The information applies to consciousness as we know and experience without regard to what happens after death. And works if materialism is correct or if consciousness continues.

Really good talk. Thank you for sharing.
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Noah D, modified 7 Months ago at 4/15/22 9:52 PM
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RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience

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Fwiw , traditional Buddhism, in its most refined philosophical exposition, has a naturalistic view on the rebirth process , rather than an idealistic one.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 7 Months ago at 4/16/22 1:38 AM
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RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience

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Noah can you please explain what these two views are? I do lnt know much about Buddhism but am interested. 
What would be a naturalistic and what would be an idealustic view? Thank you. 
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finding-oneself *, modified 7 Months ago at 4/16/22 9:43 AM
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RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience

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Thanks... I also don't know what naturalistic is and I vaguely think I know what idealistic is. I'm intestsed in the explanation as well.

And I guess I don't believe in a rebirth process. Just that somehow consciousness isn't extinguished in the materialistic sense.

More from Buddhism and MCTB I'm more interested in just the contemplative side of things.

I've just had a sense that consciousness continues. And after I subjectively experienced infinite time, that gave me something to logically think about.

But I'm pretty sure Sam Harris' argument could be used to argue against it. And possibly for materialism or at least the most logical conclusion is an agnostic take that we don't know what happens after death.
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Chris M, modified 7 Months ago at 4/16/22 10:29 AM
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RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience

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I just listened to the Harris podcast. He's describing consciousness as an uninterrupted experience from its own POV. From my personal POV consciousness is a series of moment-to-moment experiences that arise one by one, not one uninterrupted stream. He keeps using the word "continuum." It seems to me he's presenting a philosophical argument, not an experiential one, that comes from the mind that narrates our experience, the mind that is discursive. Maybe It's a western proclivity. Yes, consciousness, from its own narrative POV, "sees" no interruption, no birth, no death - because consciousness does not experience those. So the view of consciousness presented in Harris' podcast assumes an uninterrupted stream of experience that is, in Buddhist terms, ignorance. But we can see how our experience is constructed, second by second. It's not a smooth,  uninterrupted flow, but rather a rapid, staccato series of creations that are interpreted by the conscious mind as a flow. So every tiny moment is new and brings a new consciousness to bear. Harris seems to reject this experiential, moment-to-moment version of consciousness, or maybe he and I have a different definition of the word. 

Maybe Harris is using the word "consciousness" in the way others would use the word "awareness." An impersonal container within which all experience arises. This, too, doesn't stand up to meditative experience.

I'm not yet sure how this affects the "eternal" scenario Harris is presenting. More on that later - need to think about it more.

​​​​​​​Fun stuff to ponder.
Edward, modified 7 Months ago at 4/17/22 6:31 AM
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RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience

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My take was similar to yours Chris. I see the arguments in that paper by Tom Clark as actually demonstrating that 'consciousness' can't be a thing in itself, or else you end up with the paradox he describes. Just like Parfit forces us to give up identity. 
osokin *, modified 7 Months ago at 4/17/22 11:12 AM
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RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience

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"He's describing consciousness as an uninterrupted experience from its own POV. From my personal POV consciousness is a series of moment-to-moment experiences that arise one by one, not one uninterrupted stream."

"But we can see how our experience is constructed, second by second. It's not a smooth,  uninterrupted flow, but rather a rapid, staccato series of creations that are interpreted by the conscious mind as a flow. So every tiny moment is new and brings a new consciousness to bear."


I don't think what he's getting at is about the flow-like or stream-like nature of narrative experience itself, but rather that which always finds itself (so to speak) in any context at all.  Even if one's perception is refined enough to recognize the granularity and ever-newness of phenomena, it's still true that there's a something-it's-like-to-be aspect to it, without which there'd be nothing at all.  This, as I see it, is the generic subjectivity Harris and Clark are pointing to, which always finds itself right here, having some experience — whether that experience is self-contracted and weighted with the pall of ignorance or completely liberated and nondual. 

Also, I don't think this element of something-it's-like-to-be necessarily implies a container.  It could be just an aspect of any phenomenal arising that it's known by its own light, as it were.  (I'm aware that this "by its own light" premise has tricky implications as well.  There doesn't seem to be a way to talk about this without reifying it to some degree.)
Edward, modified 7 Months ago at 4/17/22 11:41 AM
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RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience

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'For the subject, life is a single block of experience, marked by the rhythm of days, weeks, months, and years, and highlighted by personal and social watersheds. Although it may seem obvious and even tautological, for the purposes of what follows I want to emphasize that during our lives we never find ourselves absent from the scene. We may occasionally have the impressionof having experienced or "undergone" a period of unconsciousness, but of course this is impossible. For the subject, awareness is constant throughout life; the "nothingness" of unconsciousness cannot be an experienced actuality.'
Edward, modified 7 Months ago at 4/17/22 11:44 AM
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RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience

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Above is a quote from the original blog post. If we're simply remarking that there's something in common between all experiences then of course that holds across space and time but I don't think it implies the paradoxes that piece concludes with. 
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Chris M, modified 7 Months ago at 4/18/22 8:33 AM
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RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience

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Even if one's perception is refined enough to recognize the granularity and ever-newness of phenomena, it's still true that there's a something-it's-like-to-be aspect to it, without which there'd be nothing at all.  This, as I see it, is the generic subjectivity Harris and Clark are pointing to, which always finds itself right here, having some experience — whether that experience is self-contracted and weighted with the pall of ignorance or completely liberated and nondual. 

The generic subjectivity is a constructed narrative. There is an assumed observer that can be revealed through dedicated investigation in meditation. This is also true of awareness and consciousness. Again, I'm not sure where this leaves us in terms of the seemingly "eternal" nature of our constructed consciousness, but at least we have an experiential basis on which to make our judgments.
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osokin *, modified 7 Months ago at 4/18/22 10:49 AM
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RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience

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Chris, I think you might be interpreting subjectivity as personhood or selfhood, in which case I agree with your assessment of its constructed nature.  And to be fair, I'm probably stretching the definition of the word to include something more subtle than it's meant to connote.  And even my intendedly neutral "something-it's-like-to-be" probably still carries reifying and dualistic implications that confuse rather than clarify.

For simplicity, let's drop the words subjectivity, consciousness, awareness, etc., and just stick with the relatively uncontentious idea that there's something appearing to arise — regardless of whether this arising is (seemingly) getting prismatically refracted into a subject-object dynamic, or instead is radically free of any such constructed split or boundary; and regardless of whether this arising is taken as solid and self-existent, or instead is seen as completely empty.  This basic appearing-to-arise is "something" rather than not.  I see this "something"-ness as the underlying basis for what Harris and Clark are somewhat less deeply referring to as generic subjectivity.

Regarding how this might apply eternally, I would be interested in hearing your perspective once you've given it the reflection you mentioned wanting to give it.  My own view at the moment is that there is neither beginning nor end in any ultimate sense, but there is an eternally recurring story of beginnings and endings.  I'm using the word eternal in the sense of nontemporal rather than neverending time, which might make my use of the term "eternally recurring" somewhat paradoxical. 
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Chris M, modified 7 Months ago at 4/18/22 11:41 AM
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RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience

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I can report from my personal experience that time and space (location) appear relative when I investigate and observe them deeply. This leaves me with the realization that the mind is using those parameters as a way to "place" experience (before/after, maps of the relative position of objects). I said this in my first comment: things arise and things pass in rapid succession but without requiring any everlasting continuum (here I'm using Harris' word for it).

Now, in regard to this comment:

For simplicity, let's drop the words subjectivity, consciousness, awareness, etc., and just stick with the relatively uncontentious idea that there's something appearing to arise — regardless of whether this arising is (seemingly) getting prismatically refracted into a subject-object dynamic, or instead is radically free of any such constructed split or boundary; and regardless of whether this arising is taken as solid and self-existent, or instead is seen as completely empty.  This basic appearing-to-arise is "something" rather than not.  I see this "something"-ness as the underlying basis for what Harris and Clark are somewhat less deeply referring to as generic subjectivity.

I'm not conflating the concept of self or personhood for any of this. I believe I understand this notion of generic subjectivity, of something happening as opposed to nothing happening. From my perspective, we humans are constantly wanting to assign "thingness" to these deeply held, habitual ways the mind helps us navigate the world. I place awareness and consciousness in this conceptual bucket. I think my friends in Zen have a really nice (to me) way of expressing the nature of the mind. It's not a thing but rather that which produces "thingness." We can't find it, point to it, or observe it no matter what we do (thus phrases that it's like "eating one's own face"). I suspect generic subjectivity might be of that nature. Eternity, too. Eternity requires time conceived as a continuum, though I suppose infinitely. What if there is, quite simply, no time? Likewise, what if there is no "generic subjectivity," it being just an artifact of the mind creating reality?

I'll read the Clark essay, which may help bring the Harris podcast further into focus.
osokin *, modified 7 Months ago at 4/18/22 1:45 PM
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RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience

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          "I'm not conflating the concept of self or personhood for any of this."

          "I place awareness and consciousness in this conceptual bucket."

          "From my perspective, we humans are constantly wanting to assign 'thingness' to these
          deeply held, habitual ways the mind helps us navigate the world."



I think we're just at a semantic impasse here.  What I'm trying to point to is so exceedingly simple and basic that it implicitly underpins not only the "thingness" and "conceptual buckets" you refer to, but also your Zen-friendly "can't find it, point to it, or observe it no matter what we do" — because however nonconceptual and unfindable and eating-of-one's-own-face "it" may be, there's still some "it"-ness appearing, there's still something getting discussed here.  I don't know how else to put it.

          "Eternity requires time conceived as a continuum..."

Only in its more popular, conventional interpretation of everlasting time.  There's another way of conceiving of it as outside of time.


          "What if there is, quite simply, no time?"

That's the esoteric interpretation of the word eternity as meaning timeless or outside of time, which is the definition I was using.


          "Likewise, what if there is no 'generic subjectivity,' it being just an artifact of the mind creating reality?'

It wouldn't matter because there is still something appearing to arise as your "artifact of the mind creating reality."  Just as what's appearing to arise right now includes reading and/or writing something on a screen.  It doesn't matter whether this something is not a thing at all, or, conversely, is taking itself to be the thingiest thing ever to believe itself to be a subjectivity-thingy.  There is simply "something" (however empty) appearing in the first place.  Can't get any simpler than that!

On that note, while I appreciate the discussion, nevertheless since we keep speaking at cross-purposes on this, and since I can't explain it any better or more simply than I have, I'm not sure I'll have anything more to say about it.
Stephen, modified 7 Months ago at 4/18/22 1:29 PM
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RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience

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What I believe Chris is describing is the view called Empty Individualism and the view that Edward is describing is the view of Open Individualism. This issue is very much an open question and I think the Sam Harris video gets at that and leans towards the OI view, being very heavily influenced by buddhism (esp. dzogchen), as well the conversation here. The two views briefly defined below:

Empty Individualism 
This is the view that you only exist as a time-slice in space-time. For an Empty Individualist, the passage of time is an illusion. At every point in time you are born, you live and you die, all simultaneously. This is not to be confused with eternalism [as opposed to presentism] (also called The Block View of the universe). An Empty Individualist can be a presentist, and in that case he or she believes that one only exists for a unit of time (or an infinitesimally thin space-time cross-section, if time is continuous). This view is very intimately related to Mereological Nihilism. People like David Hume, Derek Parfit and David Pearce believe in this view, as well as many physicalist philosophers. Among the world’s classic religions, a notorious example of an EI religion is Buddhism (though this depends on the specific branch).

Open Individualism
This is the view that there is only one (universal) subject of experience. Alan Watts’ would describe it as the realization that we are all “God playing a cosmic game of hide and seek.” Every conscious entity may have a distinct form, a distinct personality, and a distinct causal role in the entire universe. But the essence beneath it all is one and the same. Hindu cosmology is often Open Individualist (we are all made of, and resting on, the same ground of being – Brahman). Famous Open Individualists include Einstein and Schopenhauer.

Credit to Andres from Qualia Research for the definitions and check them out for interesting further reading.
https://qualiacomputing.com/2015/12/17/ontological-qualia-the-future-of-personal-identity/
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https://qualiacomputing.com/2020/06/06/mini-series-on-open-individualism/#:~:text=Closed%20Individualism%20(%E2%80%9Cyou%20are%20a,we%20are%20all%20one%20consciousness%E2%80%9D)
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Chris M, modified 7 Months ago at 4/18/22 2:09 PM
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RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience

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I've now read the Clark essay. (Retirement has its advantages.) One comment, especially in light of the most recent post here by Stephen - I have not read any of this or related material before today. All I can bring to this conversation are meditative investigations, observations, and experiences. So... my take:

Subjectivity is an illusion. There is an assumed "me" (subject) that is constructed by the mind in contrast to the "other stuff" that presents in experience when awake (objects). Subjectivity is a product of a process, which in Buddhism is typically called dependent origination. This is the process of the mind. This subject, the illusory "me," is constructed just like everything ese. This process is the result of sense perception, and we can probably argue for decades if anything, or nothing, is the basis for those sensory inputs. Fun stuff. I happen to believe, but cannot prove, that there is stuff "out there" that causes perception, but that's my belief.

If subjectivity is an illusion then what is Clark doing in his essay? After reading the essay I think Clark is doing what the historical Buddha is said to have refused to do - he's engaged in conjecture. He's presenting an argument for something that can't be resolved. It also comes across as a wish - a way to in some way, however convoluted (forgive me but it seems convoluted), calm the jagged nerves of a materialist who might fear death; the end of one's subjective reality. If subjective reality is seen through, penetrated in meditation terms, then death is no longer an existential threat. Death ends what doesn't truly exist. It kills a chimera.

BTW - I've simplified some of my observations so that I can present them here. For example, humans have the capability to view both relative (subjective) and non-relative (emptiness?) perceptions. We live most of our lives in the relative perception realm. It usually takes additional effort and practice (no pun intended) to view the emptiness of phenomena, so I'm not asserting either/or, but a nuanced both.

This fear-of-death topic will probably forever remain an open question, so we all get to decide for ourselves. My initial thoughts that were based on listening to the Harris podcast seem cogent still - the Harris/Clark notion of this stuff is more philosophical than experiential.

TTFN
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Chris M, modified 7 Months ago at 4/19/22 7:06 AM
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RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience

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Stephen -

​​​​​​​Open Individualism
This is the view that there is only one (universal) subject of experience. Alan Watts’ would describe it as the realization that we are all “God playing a cosmic game of hide and seek.” Every conscious entity may have a distinct form, a distinct personality, and a distinct causal role in the entire universe. But the essence beneath it all is one and the same. Hindu cosmology is often Open Individualist (we are all made of, and resting on, the same ground of being – Brahman). Famous Open Individualists include Einstein and Schopenhauer.

I can't find any ground of being, just like I can't find "generic subjectivity." They both seem to be hypotheses emoticon

If someone put a gun to my head and tried to make me commit, once and for all, to any version of what happens after death they'd have to shoot me unless "I have absolutely no idea at all" is an acceptable answer to that person.
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Chris M, modified 7 Months ago at 4/18/22 2:37 PM
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RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience

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osokin* -

​​​​​​​It wouldn't matter because there is still something appearing to arise as your "artifact of the mind creating reality."  Just as what's appearing to arise right now includes reading and/or writing something on a screen.  It doesn't matter whether this something is not a thing at all, or, conversely, is taking itself to be the thingiest thing ever to believe itself to be a subjectivity-thingy.  There is simply "something" (however empty) appearing in the first place.  Can't get any simpler than that!

On that note, while I appreciate the discussion, nevertheless since we keep speaking at cross-purposes on this, and since I can't explain it any better or more simply than I have, I'm not sure I'll have anything more to say about it.

I certainly agree that there is something arising (and passing). I'm just not ready to make the leap from that to Clark's conjecture. He's suggesting taking comfort from the continuation, post death, in some form of generic subjectivity. He's more than welcome to this, though, as are you if you so choose!

​​​​​​​If you're frustrated by the conversation I'm truly sorry. I really don't think any of us will convince any of the others either way. These are, after all, beliefs that we're discussing.
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terry, modified 7 Months ago at 4/18/22 2:43 PM
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RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience

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traditional view of consciousness is the whirling torch..we have the impression of a continuous wheel of fire but there is no wheel, just a torch moving in a circle...

if you throw a ball behind a pillar, even a preliterate baby will follow the projected path of the ball with its eyes in the expectation it will emerge on the other side of the obstacle...

the illusion  of a continuous self is one of those permanent illusions kant speaks of, like we know the sun does not rise and set it is the earth moving but we persist in the illusion...obviously, we sleep thus consciousness is discontinuous...

a new day dawns every day

naturally, we die...

ideally, we do not die...

nondually, death-and-life are not two


there aren't really any individuals so death is really nothing more than peridically hauling out the garbage and recycling...


t



​​​​​​​ttc, feng...


Five

Heaven and Earth are impartial;
They see the ten thousand things as straw dogs.
The wise are impartial;
They see the people as straw dogs.

The space between heaven and Earth is like a bellows.
The shape changes but not the form;
The more it moves, the more it yields.
More words count less.
Hold fast to the center.
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terry, modified 7 Months ago at 4/18/22 2:53 PM
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RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience

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the elephant in the room one can't point to and assiduously ignores is still being reified as "an elephant"....

ah, the fragrance of zen

​​​​​​​like a fart in an elevator 
osokin *, modified 7 Months ago at 4/18/22 3:11 PM
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RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience

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          [Earlier post]
          "It also comes across as a wish - a way to in some way, however convoluted, [...] calm the jagged nerves of a
           materialist who might fear death; the end of one's subjective reality." 
 
          "I certainly agree that there is something arising (and passing). I'm just not ready to make the leap from that
           to Clark's conjecture. He's suggesting taking comfort from the continuation in some form of generic subjectivity. He's more than
           welcome to this, though, as are you if you so choose!"


I completely agree with you that this kind of thing is most often promulgated as a salve for (IMO unfounded) fears of oblivion.  The irony of this whole discussion is that my orientation was always the opposite. That is, when I was a seeker I always wanted for there to be some kind of absolute end, whether via the putative annihilation of the physicalists, the liberation of Buddhism, or any other branded or unbranded soteriological or eschatological schema.  So, for me, any prospect of there being no real end was not only not a comfort to me, it was a source of distress. 

Nowadays I'm not so angsty about the metaphysical questions, so my interest in posting videos like my Sam Harris excerpt series is more about my appreciation of how people like that talk about this stuff.


          "If you're frustrated by the conversation I'm truly sorry. I really don't think any of us will convince any of the
           others either way. These are, after all, beliefs that we're discussing."


It's actually quite alright, no biggie and nothing to be sorry about.  Most of the time I'm just lurking and observing such discussions, and am always fascinated by how people who are clearly highly perspicacious can talk past one another.  There's no one at fault usually, but just a matter of different folk having different associations to the words being used.  I appreciate your perspective and how you've shared it here.
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terry, modified 7 Months ago at 4/18/22 3:22 PM
Created 7 Months ago at 4/18/22 3:22 PM

RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience

Posts: 2196 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
to understand death one may look at birth...

the moment the fetus is extruded from the birth canal is arbitrarily chosen from a process that is continuous, the division of germ plasm and its consequences...

a leaf is formed, grows, lives its season and falls off to mulch the tree...


there was a tsunami in bangla desh that killed 106,000 people...in two weeks 106,000 new bangladeshis had been born...


we won't be missed and there's plenty more like us...


t



from the rubaiyat of omar khayyam

​​​​​​​

XLII.

 And if the Wine you drink, the Lip you press,
 End in what All begins and ends in—Yes;
   Think then you are TO-DAY what YESTERDAY
 You were—TO-MORROW you shall not be less.


XLIII.

 So when that Angel of the darker Drink
 At last shall find you by the river-brink,
   And, offering his Cup, invite your Soul
 Forth to your Lips to quaff—you shall not shrink.


XLIV.

 Why, if the Soul can fling the Dust aside,
 And naked on the Air of Heaven ride,
   Were't not a Shame—were't not a Shame for him
 In this clay carcass crippled to abide?


XLV.

 'Tis but a Tent where takes his one day's rest
 A Sultan to the realm of Death addrest;
   The Sultan rises, and the dark Ferrash
 Strikes, and prepares it for another Guest.


XLVI.

 And fear not lest Existence closing your
 Account, and mine, should know the like no more;
   The Eternal Saki from that Bowl has pour'd
 Millions of Bubbles like us, and will pour.


XLVII.

 When You and I behind the Veil are past,
 Oh, but the long, long while the World shall last,
   Which of our Coming and Departure heeds
 As the Sea's self should heed a pebble-cast.


XLVIII.

 A Moment's Halt—a momentary taste
 Of BEING from the Well amid the Waste—
   And Lo!—the phantom Caravan has reach'd
 The NOTHING it set out from—Oh, make haste!
Stephen, modified 7 Months ago at 4/18/22 3:24 PM
Created 7 Months ago at 4/18/22 3:24 PM

RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience

Posts: 26 Join Date: 1/5/17 Recent Posts
Count me as not frustrated. This stuff is great and part of the perennial debate within buddhism and without. Does consciousness continue after death? It does continue. It doesn't continue. It both continues and doesn't continue. It neither continues nor does not continue. Let's settle somewhere in the middle...way.
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Chris M, modified 7 Months ago at 4/18/22 3:32 PM
Created 7 Months ago at 4/18/22 3:32 PM

RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience

Posts: 4595 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Maybe one day we will all live forever according to the Peter Diamandis/Ray Kurzweil version - uploading the contents of our brains onto silicon chips.

​​​​​​​emoticon
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terry, modified 7 Months ago at 4/18/22 4:32 PM
Created 7 Months ago at 4/18/22 4:32 PM

RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience

Posts: 2196 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
ignorance perennially arises...

illusions exist...


there is no middle way between seeing a rope and seeing a snake, it's one or the other...

there is a continuous self, or there isn't...


(spoiler alert)

everything arises and passes away...
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terry, modified 7 Months ago at 4/18/22 4:33 PM
Created 7 Months ago at 4/18/22 4:33 PM

RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience

Posts: 2196 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
dust to dust...
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terry, modified 7 Months ago at 4/18/22 4:35 PM
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RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience

Posts: 2196 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
from the center within, kubose


NIRVANA DAY

February 15 is Nirvana Day. On this day Gautama Buddha,
lying between two sala trees and surrounded by many followers
and friends, passed on. His final words to those gathered
around him were, "After I am gone, the teachings will be your
guide. Be true to yourself. Those who practice rny teachings
and live the teachings are always by me, close to me. But even
though one is beside me, if he does not practice the teaching,
he is not near me. All things and all lives are constantly changing,
passing from one state to another. All are subject to this
universal law of change. I am no exception; my final day is here.
Since all things change it does not make any difference
if my physical body passes away. This body is not the Buddha;
enlightenment is the Buddha. Do not concern yourselves with
my passing away but concern yourselves with your own
enlightenment. We are all one in enlightenment. Make yourselves
your own light." Those were the last words he spoke.

On February 15 all Buddhists throughout the world have a memorial
service. We rededicate ourselves to follow his footsteps and attain enlightenment.

The phrase "to transcend birth and death" often appears
in Buddhist scriptures. This means that life and death are
different phases of the same process. A continuous birth of life
takes place and at the same time a continuous dying. Living
and dying are the same thing. It is the same life, just different
phases of the same existence. Just as a flower blooms and
scatters seeds in the same process of life. Budding is not the
beginning and flowering the end. The end is the beginning.
The beginning is the end. However, we are so attached to the
sadness of separation that we feel birth is fine and death is bad.
In the last analysis, we should not be surprised or afraid of death.

The Buddha said, "Sickness and death are unavoidable in
life because we are one with nature." The continuous changing
of things is natural. Why do we think that death is only a sad
event? Death is not something to fear. As we are courageous
in living and creating, so we should be about death. Transcending
life and death is not to become disinterested in or
detached from life. Everything has meaning and fulfillment.

We should always be ready to die, able to say "thank you for
everything" and quietly, naturally, and peacefully say "goodbye."
​​​​​​​Even at the last moment of life this undisturbed mind
is a beautiful thing. I think this was the Buddha's last teaching.
We should learn and have this understanding and attitude in
all things in our everyday lives.
Stephen, modified 7 Months ago at 4/18/22 6:03 PM
Created 7 Months ago at 4/18/22 6:02 PM

RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience

Posts: 26 Join Date: 1/5/17 Recent Posts
One thing about which we agree, there is no continuous self....and yet there is the unborn. If it were straightforward this would've been settled a long time ago.
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terry, modified 7 Months ago at 4/18/22 11:15 PM
Created 7 Months ago at 4/18/22 11:15 PM

RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience

Posts: 2196 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
no doubt...
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terry, modified 7 Months ago at 4/18/22 11:46 PM
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RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience

Posts: 2196 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
from

THE UNBORN
  The Life and Teachings of Zen Master Banket 1622-1693
​​​​​​​

The unborn Buddha-mind deals freely and spontaneously with anything that presents itself to it. But if something should happen to make you change the Buddha-mind into thought, then you run into trouble and lose that freedom. Let me give you an example. Suppose a woman is engaged in sewing something. A friend enters the room and begins speaking to her. As long as she listens to her friend and sews in the Unborn, she has no trouble doing both. But if she gives her attention to her friend's words and a thought arises in her mind as she thinks about what to reply, her hands stop sewing; if she turns her attention to her sewing and thinks about that, she fails to catch everything her friend is saying, and the conversation does not proceed smoothly. In either case, her Buddha-mind has slipped from the place of the Unborn. She has transformed it into thought. As her thoughts fix upon one thing, they're blank to all others, depriving her mind of its freedom.
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terry, modified 7 Months ago at 4/19/22 2:45 AM
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RE: Sam Harris on how death might not be the end of experience

Posts: 2196 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
bankei, op cit:

​​​​​​​Each person receives the Buddha-mind from his parents when he's born. His illusion is something he produces all alone, by being partial to himself. It's foolish to think that it's inherent. When you don't produce your temper, where is it? All illusions are the same; as long as you don't produce them, they cease to exist. That's what everyone fails to realize. There they are, creating from their own selfish desires and deluded mental habits something that isn't inherent but thinking it is.

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