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Flawed Reasoning
Answer
4/19/15 5:52 AM
At various places in his book Rob Burbea uses reasoning to prove such thing as the emptiness of time, phenomena, and the self.  And whilst I cannot personally lay out arguments either for or against this view, my guess is that this this insight can be derived through meditation alone and not reasoning.    

For example, under the heading "The Unfindability of Beginnings and Endings (page 305)" he uses the example of walking and asks the question, when does walking begin?   He reasons that:

Walking cannot begin when the person is stationary because to be stationary is unmoving.  This is clearly true.

Walking cannot begin when the person is moving because moving occurs in time after the begining of moving.  This too is correct.

The inference is that, if the begining of movement can neither be found when the person is stationary, nor when the person is moving, then it can't be found at all.  It has no inherent existence.

Under the heading "This Moment is Neither One Nor Many (page 346)" he uses a similar arguments in an attempt to prove that time has no inherent existence.  He asks does a moment in time comprise one moment or many?  He reasons that:

If it is one moment then it must have a begining, a middle, and an end.  If it has a begining, a middle, and an end then that one moment is in fact three moments.  In turn each of these three moments further comprise beginnings, middles and ends.  And so it follows that each moment is actually many and can be further divisible until each moment is infinitely small.  So small in fact that differentiation into a beginning, a middle and an end is no longer possible.  At this point, without a beginning a middle and an end, the moments can no longer be arranged in order of time (i.e linearly).

The conventional view of time is that it is linear.  Anything linear can be mathematicaly represented with a time line.  Considering the first example setout above, the begining of walking occurs at the zero point on the time line.  Zero is the point where there is neither movement nor no movement.  Has Rob failed to acknoledge the zero point in his reasoning?  If the time spent stationary occupies the negative integers  -3,-2,-1 and the time spent moving occupies the positive integers +1,+2,+3 then the begining of movement emerges from the zero point (neither movement nor non movement).

As for the second example, any phenomena can emerge from the zero point, or rather pass through the zero point.  For the purpose of measuring rates of change we can can say that any phenomena emerges from the zero point and continues, always evolving, through time until it passes away. I have inferred that his argument assumes that that things happen in static or discreet sections in time.  If this was the case then the phenomena too must be static or discreet.  If phenomena doesn't ever stand still (annica) then how can there be one moment or many into which phenomena is experienced?

The way I see it, (and I'm hoping that someone can show me the flaws in my own view), phenomena are like the waves on the surface of the ocean.  Phenomena, like waves are fluid.  Fluid things can be neither static nor discreet.  Phenomena arise and pass away in time in a fluid and dynamic way.  Anything that is fluid requires time to manifest.  Without time phenomena must be static.  With time phenomena must be fluid.  Phenomena requires time to be experienced.    Therefore time exists.  It is real.  It is capable of being experienced, and it has inherent existence.  

My own conclusion defies the notion of Sunyata and must be wrong but I just can't understand why.

 

 
 

RE: Flawed Reasoning
Answer
4/19/15 7:23 AM as a reply to Darin.
Darin:

Phenomena requires time to be experienced.    Therefore time exists.  It is real.  It is capable of being experienced, and it has inherent existence.  
 
 
Why does phenomena requires time to be experienced? Isn't it the other way around that time requires phenomena to be experienced? Ticking of a clock is just movement of hands. Day and night is just movement of earth on its axis.

What would happen to time if there was no phenomena?

Rob has picked up these ideas from Nagarjuna's Mulamadhyamakarika. You may want to check it out.

RE: Flawed Reasoning
Answer
4/19/15 8:13 AM as a reply to Darin.
Phenomena arise and pass away in time in a fluid and dynamic way.  Anything that is fluid requires time to manifest.  Without time phenomena must be static.  With time phenomena must be fluid.  Phenomena requires time to be experienced.    Therefore time exists.  It is real.  It is capable of being experienced, and it has inherent existence.

What if no thing had inherent existence but rather relied on "exisiting" in a matrix that was co-dependent? Your sentences are in words, which tend to presuppose separate, inherent existence so it's difficult to tell if you really mean to give time a separate, inherent existence. I would say from my experience that it does not exist by itself, just like everything else. It provides a way for our senses and mind to comprehend things in a relative manner, as does space. Both time and space are constructs of mind.


RE: Flawed Reasoning
Answer
4/19/15 8:28 AM as a reply to Darin.
Hi Darin,

Time is a concept, it is a word, so in that regard it is not reality. Language is limited, rationality is limited. Those limitations do not lead to conclusions regarding what cannot be explained in those terms.

Rather than considering time as independent it might be easier to consider time as a way of explaining cause and effect. Relativity theory tells us time is a relative quantity not an absolute and quantum theory presents an even more confusing concept of time. At the human scale time is a practical way of measuring changes that are going on around us i.e. impermanence. So as long as there is impermanence/change we are well served by the concept of time.

Physics seems to be heading toward a discrete model rather than a continuous model. But whether that is right or wrong we can consider the human scale as most relevant to our experience. If you buy into the idea that phenomena are related to brain activity then we can assume that there is a practical limit to what the brain can register as an event i.e. the argument of being able to break time into beginning-middle-end is philosophical and not practical. From a practical point of view phenomena are discrete e.g. you will never be able to perceive changes occuring within nanoseconds, there is a level of detail in phenomena at which you simply will not be able to dissect them further.

It seems Rob falls into a category of people who need a "truth". Rather than looking for an answer it might be wiser to get comfortable with don't know. It is almost comical that the theory Rob likes concludes it is all emptiness as if the concept/word emptiness is itself a reality. The Buddha did not come to conclusions like that and the idea of emptiness being fundamental came later  - I would guess as a way of trying to shoehorn the Buddha's insights into a rational system.

A process centric view could be of use for your questions. Events are then seen as concepts we map onto a process rather than processes as being comprised of events. Cause and effect is useful to a point but it is not capable of explaining a lot of things. For example gravity can't be explained through cause and effect - we simply don't know how gravity comes about. 

Rob takes a leap from showing cause and effect is not a viable explanation to assuming that in itself is an explanation of nothingness. He is demonstrating a limitation of causal analysis which has been well accepted in science for hundreds of years (since Newton's theory of gravity).

Time would be meaningless in a state of permanence. We can see that impermanence is the way of the world so philosophizing on what might happen in the case of permanence seems a diversion. 

You might consider that phenomena give rise to time as far as your experience goes - for example when you are anethetised during an operation your perception of time effectively stops. If nobody was perceiving time then nobody would be there to label it. For example if a tree falls and nobody hears it fall then there is no phenomena of sound associated with that tree falling - only pressure waves in air that dissipate. But this is all academic - as far as we are concerned it does not change our experience.

I think you could substitute "don't know" for Rob's "emptiness" and you'd have a more credible conclusion, fewer assumptions and a more open mind.

Concepts like emptiness, all pervading consciousness etc seem very much like attempts to satisfy a human desire to explain everything. It seems exactly the same as using gods - I don't see any practical difference between the mystical presentation of god and the Rob's presentation of emptiness. It seems extremely arrogant of any human to sell an explanation of everything and extremely gullible of other humans to buy it.

RE: Flawed Reasoning
Answer
4/19/15 12:27 PM as a reply to Darin.
If you break a stick in half, do you have two sticks, or two halves of a stick?  How does the rest of the tree fit in?

Are the bacteria in your stomach a part of your body, or separate from your body?  What about the blood cells, or the midochondria inside of them? Is the water in your blood alive, or just the cells?  Is the fat making up the cell membrane alive?  Are the molecules of DNA alive?  Is the oxygen you breath alive once it goes into your body?  Is your food alive once you eat it, once it's broken down' or once it's integrated into the cells?

At what point while falling asleep do you cease to be conscious?  Are you still conscious when you're lost in thought?  When you're happy and you remember being sad, at what point did you switch emotions?

The 0 point is relative - it's always decided by you, it's not a property of nature.  You could assign the 0 point of walking to the last moment of stillness before starting to walk, or the first moment of movement after being still.  But even this is too simple.  Where does one moment stop and the next moment start?  Do you experience reality as moments, or does it just happen smoothly?  If it happens smoothly, can you say where "now" starts and where it ends?  The best way to understand emptiness is to realize the Buddhists are describing what experience is already like for you.  It isn't a special way of seeing the world - it's a description of how observing the world happens.  If you look at your experience, time is not something that you observe - you are only ever observing right now.  Even when you recall things, you're still here right now thinking about it.

Emptiness isn't difficult to understand logically.  The main problem Buddhism points to is that, even though it's logical to say that we are not separate from everything else, this is still the assumption we make in waking experience.  If you just consider your experience as it is for a moment, it seems like you are a specific, solid, permanent, thing that is observing the world, right?  Why does it seem this way when logic says you are a conglomeration of atoms and molecules with the same properties as rocks?  If you break down your own experience, where do you start, and where does the world end?  When you see emptiness, you just lose that boundary.  If you try to look for the boundary, you won't find it - this is seeing emptiness.  It's just an assumption, more than anything.  The way you are seeing everyting now is already empty.  It isn't a special perception that you turn on or off.

So emptiness doesn't mean nothing exists, it means existance doesn't have boundaries.  If you see a cup sitting on the table, there is "cup space" and "table space," and each is an individual.  But why does the boundary around the cup exist that way?  We see, maybe, a yellow color and a sharp transition to a brown color, and that transition indicates a line.  But if you were able to look closely enough, the cup molecules would blend neatly into the table molecules, and you would have a hard time distinguishing between cup and table.  If you drag the cup across the table, the friction that you feel is caused by the same forces that hold the cup molecules together and the table molecules together respectively.  By setting the cup on the table, the cup is actually sticking to the table with the same atomic forces it's using to hold together.  In essence, the cup and the table have merged.  The boundary between the two is jagged enough where only the molecular mountain tops are merging, so it separates smoothly.  But then, what happens when you put a wet glass on the table?  The glass sticks like a suction cup.  The molecules are all butted together, and the cup has become part of the table.

So, now, what about the water in the cup?  where does that start and where does the cup end?  When you pour it out, a lot of it stays stuck to the cup.  Maybe you shake it and bits of it come out, but then if you keep shaking it hard enough, bits of the cup itself will start to come off.  The cup isn't separate from the water.

And what about the air around the cup?  The air connects your own body to the cup.  If this seems like a stretch, what about when you jump into a lake?  Where does your body start and where does the lake end?  Lines are just sharp transitions between the same thing.  Everything is merged, it just isn't merged evenly.

So, now, where does ownership begin?  Can you say the cup is part of you?  Is the air part of you?  Is the dirt on your skin part of you?  The Buddha just keeps going all the way in.  Is your skin a part of you?  Can you control how it feels and what it looks like?  What about the rest of your body?  Is it under your control?  If you move your hand in front of your face, how did you move it?  How are you seeing?  What are you "doing" in order to see?  What about your feelings?  Can you make them one way or another, or do they just happen based on what else is happening?  What about your thoughts?  Are you generating them, or are they simply happening one after another?  When you walk down the street, how does that work?  What are you doing to make it happen?  When you breathe, is it you that is pulling the air in, or is it just happening?

Where does seeing exist, and where does hearing exist?  When you touch something, you see your hand on it, and you feel a pressure, but how does seeing the hand relate to the feeling?  When you think, where do your thoughts happen?  Do they happen "in your head," or is that just an assumption?  Do any of your sensations present to a "viewer" or are they just happening where they are?

Is there really anything you can point to and say, "this is mine"?  The Buddha's logic at this point is to say that, if nothing is really yours, isn't it stressful trying to control it?  If you try to control someone else and they rebel, isn't it stressful trying to keep them in line?

This all boils down to one simple concept, which they call "emptiness."  Everything just IS.  Even you just ARE.  There is just existance.  There isn't a singularity outside of existance experiencing the world - there is just experience happening.  Stress comes from cognitive dissonance.  The mind rejects experience and then finds it can't change it.  This stress might create a series of cause and effect reactions that lead to the mind getting what it wants, but it always seems to happen that the mind no longer wants what it wanted before.  So pracrice, then, is to align the mind with this understanding that it is not the "controller" it assumes itself to be.  By watching the mind, you can see when you are trying to change your experience and stop trying to change it.  A good word for this is "choiceless awareness."  The mechanism that rejects or holds on to what is happening in experience stops firing.  This is the end of stress.

Choiceless awareness isn't a practice, though, it's the end point.  In order to move the mind into that, it's good to adopt an attitude of patience.  You don't need to accept or reject experience, and you don't need to try to cultivate any specific experience over another one.  I really like the word "patience" to describe this mindset.  When we are patient, there's nothing wrong with having goals or doing things.  Maybe we want to feel better, but when we're patient, we can just wait for it rather than trying to grasp at it.  Maybe something good is fading away, we can allow it to go.  With patience you can live in the world and be a part of it without the stress of trying to hold it in a certain shape.  This can cut all the way to the bones.  There comes a point where you realize you aren't waiting for anything in specific anymore, you're just waiting patiently for nothing at all.  This is choiceless awareness.

RE: Flawed Reasoning
Answer
4/19/15 12:38 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Nice.

RE: Flawed Reasoning
Answer
4/19/15 3:27 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
cool bananas emoticon

RE: Flawed Reasoning
Answer
4/20/15 2:00 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
Hi Not Tao,

If you examine your experience you will find there is a perception of time. For example you can have experiences where "time goes by really fast" because that perception is not matching up to other observations. I'm not saying that time is a physical thing or that we can hold it up, it is clearly a concept - all words are words not reality and all concepts are concepts not reality. But when we use words to describe a concept we are "pointing at a map" - the map is not reality but it is not meaningless.

Regarding "Do you experience reality as moments, or does it just happen smoothly?" We can experience the discrete nature of phenomena in meditation, there is a point at which our perception is not able to go to a finer resolution. After that it becomes theory and philosophy as to what would happen if you could detect much finer reoslution. You can guess and give it names but it is guessing.

You wrote "If you just consider your experience as it is for a moment, it seems like you are a specific, solid, permanent, thing that is observing the world, right?" I don't think anyone having reflected on it experiences themselves as a solid thing, nor as a permanent thing. Claiming that is making a straw man. I do think people have an experience of a self but that is obviously continuously changing - nobody claims to be the same as when they were born. I don't see anyone claiming to perceive self as a physical substance.

"Why does it seem this way when logic says you are a conglomeration of atoms and molecules with the same properties as rocks?" that is a very reductive view of what a human is. Logic does not lead to that conclusion, it leads to a conclusion that there are emergent properties and those properties are different depending on the conglomeration.

"If you try to look for the boundary, you won't find it - this is seeing emptiness." Firstly a boundary is not defined as a thing so of course you can't find "it". You seem to be assuming that there is a "reality" and if concepts do not map to reality then they are "empty" i.e. not real but for any of that to be meaningful you would need to define what reality is. Can you define what reality is ?

I get the impression you would consider boundaries to be real if there were a special "boundary" type of atom that appeared between different materials. This might imply you think reality is the atoms but then what is forming the phenomena in your mental states ? Do you think the colors etc you perceive are physical properties of what you are looking at ?

You seem to be confusing interdependence with sameness. The cup and the water are different. That is not to say that there is no relationship between the cup and the water but to say they are the same thing is imaginging something. Your experience demonstrates that they are different and you are then playing word games to convince yourself they are the same. Thankfully the world is not homogenous and that is true from a dual or non-dual perspective.

The idea that there is no independent self is not the same as the idea that emptiness is a valid description of a reality. I don't think we have a good description of reality and I don't think it is even possible to describe reality. It is much easier to be the skeptic on this one!

"You don't need to accept or reject experience, and you don't need to try to cultivate any specific experience over another one." is in contradiction with what the Buddha suggested - cultivate the positive etc. 

I've focused on the points I disagree with but in regards to patiently learning to be more mindful I think you are on the money emoticon

Kind regards.







RE: Flawed Reasoning
Answer
4/20/15 6:12 AM as a reply to Darin.
time is natures way of making sure that all the shit doesn't happen at once...

in pyhsics, the concept of time has developed with the deepening understanding of the complexity of reality.  with newton, time was an imperfect but measurable given standard..an accepted truth of the world. with einstein, the limits of time were questioned by tying it into frames of reference, the concept of instantaneity or simultaneity and the mathematically inconsistent behaviour as it approached the "natural" limit of the speed of light.  it was then a relative "standard".  he also tied it to matter with E=MC**2, time being a component of "C" (the speed of light). with quantum particle physics, the nature of matter, time, energy, waves vs. particle models and obeservation were dissembled to reveal even more disconcerting eveidence that our concepts and models were woefully inadequate to describe a reality that isn't apparent to our simple concepts and daily experience. things can be measured as either particles or waves but not both simultaneously. as soon as anything is observed it is fixed as a particle measurement, until then all possibilities are open.  this is the collapse of the wave function.

so what are we doing all day long as we move about in our world or even sitting in meditation...i think we are collapsing the wave funtion into experience.

what it seems Rob B. is doing is using the logical 'argument of the beard'. when does a whisker turn into a beard?  its all hairsplitting ;-)  what he is doing is comparing concepts.

in the abbidharma there is a concept of mind moments.  that sounds like discreet packets of time to me.  but is that really what "time" is?  what happens during a cessation?  does the time of the multiverse stop and restart or is that strictly a personal experience?  i certainly don't hear about all of the atomic clocks having to be reset after someone here reports a cessation.

could it be that a cessation is that 'tipping point' where the particle and the wave model junction is perfectly seen through?

RE: Flawed Reasoning
Answer
4/20/15 6:49 AM as a reply to Darin.
re: Darin (4/19/15 5:52 AM)
"If it is one moment then it must have a beginning, a middle, and an end.  If it has a beginning, a middle, and an end then that one moment is in fact three moments."

and Chris Marti (4/19/15 8:13 AM as a reply to Darin.)
"… your sentences are in words, which tend to presuppose separate, inherent existence so it's difficult to tell if you really mean to give time a separate, inherent existence."

If Rob Burbea did put it that way (Darin's quotation above), my take is along lines of what Chris Marti wrote. In the dhamma, a mind-moment has beginning, middle and end – arising, persisting, passing. (The "persisting" part was filled-in for completeness by the Adhidhamma). Those are three perceptual aspects, not separate "moments". He's playing with using "moment" (originally in this context a translation of a Pali term) in different senses (one as moment, movement, motion as a discreet unit of mental process; another as concept for perceptual breakdown of aspects of moment-experience), and pretending they're the same because he uses the same word for both.  Burbea's rhetoric, not uncommon in Anglo-Saxon philosophy, borders on linguistic sophistry. (My play with words is insight; what others do is sophistry. emoticon ).

I bought Burbea's book as ebook, but could read only the intro and 1st chapter, then the ebook reader-app broke, couldn't access it at all; so I returned it and got a refund. I did, however, listen to a series of (rather long-winded) recorded talks of his, recommended by someone in the thread about the book ("Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees – book" http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/5631960). Less than impressive. Came across like an flashy undergraduate lecturer, or a parson sermonizing – stringing along with clever turns of thought, and quotations from everywhere, spinning a quasi mystical mood; found myself asking: Where's the beef? (among all the mushrooms).

RE: Flawed Reasoning
Answer
4/20/15 7:00 AM as a reply to Mark.
re: Not Tao (4/19/15 12:27 PM as a reply to Darin.)

"… but it always seems to happen that the mind no longer wants what it wanted before."
That's good. As Than-Geof quotes his teacher Ajahn Fuang, anicca is a characteristic (lakkhana – also 'sign') not of "things out there", but of the mind's perception thereof.

"There comes a point where you realize you aren't waiting for anything in specific anymore, you're just waiting patiently for nothing at all."
Steven Levine: If you're "patiently" waiting for something, you're really not being patient.

On the other hand, the word 'patient', related to words: passive, passion, compassion, impassive, compatible… rooted in a Latin word 'pati' – to suffer in the sense of to endure. 'Suffer' here as a twist on how we often use it (translating dukkha) – from sufferre =sub+ferre: to bear (-ferre) under (sub-), hence to to support. Compare the renaissance English biblical saying: "Suffer the little children come unto me." – that is, allow it, "let it be".

There's also the medical sense of 'patient' by extension, meaning not suffering from disease, but rather undergoing, allowing the medical care.

RE: Flawed Reasoning
Answer
4/20/15 6:52 AM as a reply to tom moylan.
Hi Tom,

I like what you wrote and there is a point that fascinates me. You seem to know a lot about physics and I guess the idea of different theories being applicable at different scales is something you are familiar with. Relativity theory applies to the very "large" while Newtonian physics works pretty well at the scale of "medium" (I'd put human experience here) and Quantum theory seems applicable only to the extremely "small". 

It seems that when science comes up with a new theory e.g. magnetism or quantum mechanics then people want to explain things that are not described by that theory in terms of the new theory. So we have Magnet Theory being used to heal people and quantum mechanics being used to explain consciousness.

My guess is that there is a deep human desire to have an explanation for everything and when a new theory comes along there is a tendancy to stretch it to cover as many doubts as possible.

Quantum theory is not even able to explain Newtonian physics as far as I understand it so I would assume we are a very long way from having anything that might relate quantum physics to consciousness (that being another term that science can't define). 

I notice you are not saying you have the truth, you wrote "I think" which I assume means it is just a hypothesis. On one level I say why not emoticon But I wonder why "don't know" is not a more comfortable position ?

I've heard a few people make these leaps to explaining consciousness with quantum theory and it seems to clash with the concept of emergence. It seems there are hierarchies in nature and at different levels of the hiearchies there are emergent properties. So for example quantum theory is the right way to discuss sub-atomic particles, chemistry is needed to deal with emergent properties when molecules interact, biology is needed when those interactions start reproducing etc. At some point consciousness emerges and that requires a brain. So consciousness should be studied within a framework that captures the emergent properties e.g. signaling within the brain is not going to explain things (although there may be correlations). The hiearchy keeps going and concepts like morality emerge when we get groups of conscious brains interacting etc. So consciousness is by no means at the "top" of that hiearchy. For what seems like anthropocentric reasons people want to take consciousness as a special case that "plugs into" into the most fundamental building blocks of the hiearchy e.g. quantum physics. 

The history of science seems to be largely about taking anthropocentric assumptions and dismantling them e.g. the earth is not the center of the universe, humans have evolved and are not the pinnacle of creation etc. Doesn't this point toward consciousness not being so central in the makeup of the universe ?

Rather than cessations being some sort of fundamental insight into the makeup of the universe could this not be a behavior of a conscious system that makes sense in the context of that concious system ? Maybe something like a part of the system being disconnected and maybe reconnected in a different way - I imagine in the far future we'll be able to associate cessations with physical changes (of course that does not explain them, sort of like understanding a hydrogen and oxygen atom does not predict or explain the properties of water).

I hope this is not too unclear - I'm not used to expressing these ideas!
 

RE: Flawed Reasoning
Answer
4/20/15 7:10 AM as a reply to Darin.
After all this logic, a metaphorical diversion on mind:

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird (Wallace Stevens)

I
Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the black bird.

II
I was of three minds,
Like a tree
In which there are three blackbirds.

III
The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
It was a small part of the pantomime.

IV
A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and a blackbird
Are one.

V
I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.

VI
Icicles filled the long window
With barbaric glass.
The shadow of the blackbird
Crossed it, to and fro.
The mood
Traced in the shadow
An indecipherable cause.

VII
O thin men of Haddam,
Why do you imagine golden birds?
Do you not see how the blackbird
Walks around the feet
Of the women about you?

VIII
I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That the blackbird is involved
In what I know.

IX
When the blackbird flew out of sight,
It marked the edge
Of one of many circles.

X
At the sight of blackbirds
Flying in a green light,
Even the bawds of euphony
Would cry out sharply.

XI
He rode over Connecticut
In a glass coach.
Once, a fear pierced him,
In that he mistook
The shadow of his equipage
For blackbirds.

XII
The river is moving.
The blackbird must be flying.

XIII
It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird sat
In the cedar-limbs.

RE: Flawed Reasoning
Answer
4/20/15 7:12 AM as a reply to Mark.
But I wonder why "don't know" is not a more comfortable position ?


+1

RE: Flawed Reasoning
Answer
4/20/15 7:55 AM as a reply to Mark.
Mark:
At some point consciousness emerges and that requires a brain.
 
I take the non-materialist view that the subtle is the basis for the gross.  that places conciou

sness, in my view, at the bottom of the "emergence" pyramid. conciousness understood as 'innate awareness'  when seen from this standpoint the requirement for matter (brain/body) based heirarchy falls away as a necessity.  of course this is all supposition but presents a fundamentally more coherent and inclusive model of the heirarchy of stuff.  it also helps resolve some of the more mind-bending quantum evidence of spooky action at a distance and quantum entaglement.  there are really a lot of experiments proving that simple observation (in any way we understand it) affects the outcome of certain experiments.  in a matter based heirarchy this is impossible to imagine but in a conciousness based one it becomes obvious.  but maybe i'm just 'dismantling assumptions'  ;-)

i don't draw the same conclusion that you do about breaking old paradigms overturning the conciousness first principle.  i think that is just like the difference between the first telephones and the latest samsung.  technological, imaginative and mathematical jumps and discoveries which reveal the flaws and limitations in long held misconceptions.

my point about cessations was intentionally absurd.  i too agree that i imagine there is probably a biophysical data point that might be possible to measure but its only available to the illuminati if it exists.  by the way i like physics because its always reviseable but i'm not academically current in the stuff.  i found your post really clear btw.

cheers

RE: Flawed Reasoning
Answer
4/20/15 8:46 AM as a reply to tom moylan.
Hi Tom,

I don't mean to take a materialist perspective when saying that consciousness emerges. What emerges is not a material as far as I understand e.g. qualia are not made of stuff. Each "level" with emergent properties is a demonstration of non-material things i.e. the "lower" level does not predict the emergent properties. Reductionism seems inherently limited in explanative power.

What you write reminds me of concepts like the Great Chain of Being. I only recently got comfortable letting go of that. It does have a nice symmetry to it but I realized it is a huge leap of faith and does not seem to offer more than "don't know" while holding out a lot of risks of mistaking "a truth" for "the truth".

For me consciousness is an experience - without phenomena there is no consciousness. We can take wild guesses at what consciousness without experience is but I'd favor it as a meaningless question. It seems obvious to me that a dog has a lot of consciousness and a mosquito has a lot less (maybe none) and I'm not willing to give consciousness to rocks emoticon It seems reasonable not to ascribe anything like what we experience to inanimate matter (this is where the Great Chain of Being lost me).

You wrote "...heirarchy falls away as a necessity....presents a fundamentally more coherent and inclusive model of the heirarchy" I don't see that relationship. It seems the opposite  - you seem to be implying subtle has no need for the gross. This would seem to raise serious doubts as to why we correlate mental states with physical behavior of the brain. If the subtle does not need the gross then why the correlations ?

"helps resolve some of the more mind-bending quantum evidence" I don't think anyone who studies quantum mechanics would claim those issues are resolved -  I'm guessing you mean that view offers more hypothesis. 

I'm not claiming a matter based hiearchy - lots of things are not explained by cause and effect or matter. We don't even have a clear scientific definition of what consciousness is. I don't see how you leap to resolving fundamental questions of the universe with "it becomes obvious" based on "of course this is all supposition" Maybe an overstimation of the explanitive power of an assumption  emoticon

I could not quite follow the paragraph about "old paradigms" but I guess you agree a consciousness first model would be the natural conclusion of an anthropocentric view because it can seem we are unique in having that experience (science is putting big dnets in that) so we would like it if that was also the "most important" thing (meditation seems to put big dents into that). A bit like how we would have liked it if the earth turned out to be the center of the universe.

I'm not arguing for a materialist explanation - I'm not offering an explanation. I'm interested in the motives that push to taking something that seems so clearly not understood or understandable and trying to match that up with an "obvious" simple explanation. 

Thanks for continuing the discussion - I feel like you've got the difficult side of the debate and I can assure you I would not do any better!



 

RE: Flawed Reasoning
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4/20/15 9:24 AM as a reply to Mark.
howdy,
yeah its all pretty fluffy stuff.  i dont think 'need' is a very good word when talking about these models.  i think that things exist in relationship to other things and I use conciousness in the most simple, subtle, non-personal way i can imagine.  it seems much less destructible than any bit of matter, or at least holds the possibility of that.  one of the things that makes a theory a better theory than others ones is that it is applicable in a more generalized way or in more cases than a competeing theory. 

when i wrote 'resolved', i didn't mean to imply that 'its time to close the book on that one', but just that it fits some of the experimental data better than the materialist therories.

again, i like to think, that the "conciousness based heirarchy", if you will, has nothing to do with anthropromorphsm.  i think that conciousness would be better understood as more like a "physical" component of the multiverse.  maybe we need to create a differenciating word for it but the word 'conciousness' means different things in different contexts, one of which is the way you are using it:  our incorporated knowledge or awareness of experience..or something like that.

look at the five aggregates of clinging..i think the word conciousness in that context is equivalent to "our experienced knowledge" or something to that effect.

RE: Flawed Reasoning
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4/20/15 9:48 AM as a reply to tom moylan.
Hi Tom,

The consciousness you are describing is not experienced, can't be measured or defined. That is fairly shakey ground emoticon But the other theories are not standing up to much either. I think the Buddha got a number of these questions sorted by sticking with "don't know" or maybe it was "won't say". He seems to stand out in regards to latter schools of Buddhism and other religions as not proposing answers to all questions.

I like the idea that there are qualia and consciousness is the qualia of what it feels like to have qualia. It simplifies things to a mystery about qualia without adding the complexity consciousness stuff that permeates everything. I see it as in line with your approach of looking for the simplest explanation that does not loose explanative power.

One idea that pops up - if consciousness did permeate everything then we would not see the bizarre quantum behavior of human consciousness "collapsing the wave" - the physical material making up the experiment should collapse the wave with it's own consciousness !

RE: Flawed Reasoning
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4/20/15 10:57 AM as a reply to Mark.
Mark:

One idea that pops up - if consciousness did permeate everything then we would not see the bizarre quantum behavior of human consciousness "collapsing the wave" - the physical material making up the experiment should collapse the wave with it's own consciousness !



but wouldn't different measuring devices (molecules, human brain-body) collapse the wave differently? sorry to butt in, haha!

RE: Flawed Reasoning
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4/20/15 11:20 AM as a reply to Darin.
So, in response to the OP, and some of the discussion that follows about 'don't know vs emptiness' for ex, I think Rob's book makes more sense when approached from a pragmatic meditation perspective than from a doctrinal one. I don't get the sense that Rob is putting forth a theory of 'how things are', or using 'emptiness' as a stand-in for 'reality' or 'ground of being'. I think he is simply pointing out that we can learn, through applying a variety of methods and observing how fluidly our fundamental perceptual experience of things can be altered thereby, that there actually isn't an obvious ground or reality in the sense that we ordinarily assume (assume on a perceptual level). I don't interpret his take as going beyond this pretty straightforward set of practice instructions and pointers and I can't conclude from his book what his ultimate beliefs or experiences are of things like buddha nature etc. In fact for me personally consolidating insight into emptiness as developed through the methods in his book has been very helpful for my buddha-nature oriented vajrayana practices (unsurprisingly as this is what is pretty universally recommended in vajrayana lineages as far as i can tell).

Our ordinary embodied presuppositions about what constitutes 'thingness' is actually a fabrication subject to change through applying methods that hack our basic perceptual faculties. Anyone can learn this by applying these methods within their own experience.  From seeing this again and again we can learn to hold perceptions and all experiences more openly and less literally (consolidating insight into emptiness).

I'm not sure I read Rob as absolutizing 'emptiness' in a metaphysical way as he also points out that by not varying our perception-modes we tend not to see 'emptiness' of fabrications (because we don't see fabrications) and yet by investigating varied perception modes and thus seeing fabrication in action we can gain insight into emptiness... so insight into emptiness and no-insight into emptiness are also dependantly arisen experiences, not inherantly existing ones, ergo, emptiness is also empty and so not a 'ground of being' or metaphysical statement of truth (much less The Truth).

In regards to the 'reasonings' mentioned I think it's helpful to remember that those were worked out many thousands of years ago and again were not aimed at proving The Truth so much as at exposing and deconstructing the perceptual and conceptual assumptions we carry into experience unconsciously. While I found the reasonings about time to be personallyuseful (and had considered them before every hearing about them from Rob or anywhere else AFAIK) i don't really get the reasonings in the sevenfold reasoning about selfhood. All those reasonings are very much YMMV and it's important to understand that in the context of Rob's book they are presented as contemplative reasonings to be engaged in specific meditation contexts, they are emphatically not meant to be intellectually engaged in order to change opinion from opinion X to opinion Y, which seems to be the way lots of critics of this book are interpreting them (which makes me wonder if they have actually read it?). In the book it is made clear these reasonings are to be applied in a meditative context to explore phenomena and how they manifest-- it's an 'investigation', a way of examining experience meditatively in order to see how dependant experience is on our way(s) of looking.

RE: Flawed Reasoning
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4/20/15 11:52 AM as a reply to . Jake ..
That makes good sense Jake and I have not read the book. I listened to some of Rob's talks and came away with an opinion similar to Chris J "borders on linguistic sophistry". He came across as very attached to the concept of emptiness whether it was particularly relevant to the subject of the talk or not. None of that needs to distract from the usefulness of the methods and there is plenty of indications the book is very good on that level. My own practise is based on Shinzen Young's approach at the moment with plenty to explore there for now. There is a temptation for teachers to present rational arguments and students no doubt want that. If the underlying subject is not rational something needs to give! Cheers.










RE: Flawed Reasoning
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4/20/15 12:39 PM as a reply to Mark.
Hi Mark,

I don't think we actually disagree much, here, so maybe my explanation was just not complete enough for your taste. I'll try to answer your comments though. (All quotes will just be in quotes, as it's hard to do the formatting on my tablet.)

Mark: "Regarding "Do you experience reality as moments, or does it just happen smoothly?" We can experience the discrete nature of phenomena in meditation, there is a point at which our perception is not able to go to a finer resolution. After that it becomes theory and philosophy as to what would happen if you could detect much finer reoslution. You can guess and give it names but it is guessing."

This hasn't been my experience with meditation, so I can't really comment on the discrete nature of phenomena. This may be our main point of disagreement, actually. My insight into phenomena has been that there is no start or end to them. Starting and ending is only inferred by remembering what just happened. When all rememebring has stopped, there seems to be no time at all, just movement through space. My assumption about time, then, is that it isn't a part of reality (like spacial dimentions). Rather, things move, and time is inferred by a mind that can remember where things were before the immediate now. Perhaps this isn't such a disagreement though. If this mental concept of time has a resolution, then maybe you're just looking at the event horizon, and I'm just looking at the center?

Mark: "You wrote "If you just consider your experience as it is for a moment, it seems like you are a specific, solid, permanent, thing that is observing the world, right?" I don't think anyone having reflected on it experiences themselves as a solid thing, nor as a permanent thing. Claiming that is making a straw man. I do think people have an experience of a self but that is obviously continuously changing - nobody claims to be the same as when they were born. I don't see anyone claiming to perceive self as a physical substance."

What I'm referring to here as a specific, solid, permanent thing is the perception of existing in this moment in time. It's what inspired "I think, therefore I am." Descartes wasn't saying he was the thinking, we was saying he was a thing that was aware of thoughts. This perception of existing is assumed to be solid and permanent by the mind. So while I know intellectually that I'm not the same person I was when I was eight, or even ten minutes ago, it still FEELS like I am. It doesn't seem to matter how much logic I throw at this assumption. My mind just says, "well, sure, all that makes sense, but I'm still here, so no dice." Emptiness points directly at this perception and says it's an assumption - though very hard to see. So I'm not talking about the logic of it, I'm talking about the experience itself.

Mark: ""Why does it seem this way when logic says you are a conglomeration of atoms and molecules with the same properties as rocks?" that is a very reductive view of what a human is. Logic does not lead to that conclusion, it leads to a conclusion that there are emergent properties and those properties are different depending on the conglomeration."

I think this makes more sense in the context of the post. I think science is actually a good way to explore the concept of Emptiness because its based on observation. It seems that, no matter how far down you go, things are always dividing and boundaries are always breaking apart. A thing that seems alive, like a human, breaks into smaller and smaller pieces that eventually don't have any kind of aliveness, like rocks. In the sentences after thus one you quoted, I tried to demonstrate how perceptions can actually be broken apart. In some Tibetian practices they will say to examine the shape or color of thoughts, or try to place perceptions in relation to eachother. This breaks down the solid sense of existing into smaller and simpler processes. Eventually, it can be seen that these processes are happening without the solid sense of existing attached to them.

Mark: ""If you try to look for the boundary, you won't find it - this is seeing emptiness." Firstly a boundary is not defined as a thing so of course you can't find "it". You seem to be assuming that there is a "reality" and if concepts do not map to reality then they are "empty" i.e. not real but for any of that to be meaningful you would need to define what reality is. Can you define what reality is ?"

This isn't my understanding of Emptiness. Emptiness means that, while the mind is capable of drawing lines and grouping phenomena into specific objects (like a field of similar colors merging into the shape of a cup) this is not reality. The colors of the cup could be grouped into ridges, which are then separate, or they could be grouped into a dining set, and thus be only a part of a larger whole. Emptiness says there is no individuality, everything is a part of everything else, and boundaries are just conventional - something to be used by the mind.

Mark: "I get the impression you would consider boundaries to be real if there were a special "boundary" type of atom that appeared between different materials. This might imply you think reality is the atoms but then what is forming the phenomena in your mental states ? Do you think the colors etc you perceive are physical properties of what you are looking at ?"

None of this matches my understanding. Atoms themselves don't have definite boundaries and neither do particles. At that point, everything is measured as waves, actually, which seems to line up with the idea of Emptiness as a description of reality. Waves don't have a start or an end, even though we are capable of differentiating one wave from the next.

Mark: "You seem to be confusing interdependence with sameness. The cup and the water are different. That is not to say that there is no relationship between the cup and the water but to say they are the same thing is imaginging something. Your experience demonstrates that they are different and you are then playing word games to convince yourself they are the same. Thankfully the world is not homogenous and that is true from a dual or non-dual perspective."

The cup and the water are neither the same, nor different. That seems to be the ultimate message, actually.

Mark: "The idea that there is no independent self is not the same as the idea that emptiness is a valid description of a reality. I don't think we have a good description of reality and I don't think it is even possible to describe reality. It is much easier to be the skeptic on this one!"

I guess it depends on what you mean by reality. I don't assume my perceptions are descibing anything other than what my own mind is experiencing. I have no idea if there is anything else that exists besides myself and my field of experience. What Emptiness points to is that this field of experience and the concept of self are essentially the same thing.

EDIT: This can also be a mahayana vs. theravada type thing.  I think using emptiness to explore the phenomenal world is a good way to grasp what it means - it doesn't really prove anything about physics of consciousness.  More important, I think, is that, when seeing it in the phenomenal world, you can't escape the fact that it must also apply to you.

Mark: "You don't need to accept or reject experience, and you don't need to try to cultivate any specific experience over another one." is in contradiction with what the Buddha suggested - cultivate the positive etc."

This is a hard point to explain. In my experience, cultivating a positive state involves dropping the effort to manufacture a positive state. To cultivate a garden, you plant the seeds, then you let them grow. Whenever I have tried to feel better through a control mechanism, I end up creating a negative state. When I let go of this control mechanism, positive states are created. So perhaps it would be better to say, "you don't need to expend effort to create any specific state."


EDIT: If you're interested in seeing how the different theories line up now, you should look into the discovery of the Higgs Boson. New theories never replace old theories, they just add to them. Relativity explained Newton in a simpler way. The same is ASSUMED to be true of quantum mechanics. Magnetism and electricity used to be goverened by separate theories until the mathematics were discovered to unite them and simplify both theories. The same was true of nuclear theory until the various nuclear forces were linked with electromagnetic mathematics. At this point they are actually close to uniting relativity and quantum mechanics. It's exciting!

RE: Flawed Reasoning
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4/20/15 12:52 PM as a reply to Mark.
@ Mark: Right!
Personally i found his talks *extremely borrrring* lol. And i am not a fan of his writing style as I think it is probably a big turnoff for a lot of people with it's convoluted long sentences (something I personally never do in my writing lol... yeah right! haha).
I read the book by skipping a lot and digging into the practices and viewing the practices in the ways he suggests and found it a solid meditation manual. But that's about it! I think it's interesting that it has generated a lot of controversy given that it is basicaly a practice manual with lots of methods and not a theoretical treatise though...

Shnizen's talks, now, that's another story. The Science of Enlightenment is some of the best stuff I've ever listened to dharma-wise. Love it!

RE: Flawed Reasoning
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4/20/15 12:55 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Hi Not Tao,

"My insight into phenomena has been that there is no start or end to them" that would be the definition of a discrete event i.e. you are not perceiving a start, middle end as you would if the event was composed of smaller events.

"it still FEELS like I am" I think that is more based on dogma than experience (but I only have my experience to go by). In other threads you describe how you are changing and that should be associated with a different feeling of what it is like to be Not Tao. For example people will often say things like  "I still feel like I'm 27" when they are much older indicating that the self does not feel like it did when they were 13. These are common reports that conflict with the dogma.

"I tried to demonstrate how perceptions can actually be broken apart." my point is that reductionism (both with science or meditation) is one way of looking into things and it is not able to capture emergent properties. So when you deconstruct an experience it typically becomes much easier to deal with the experience and that is partly because it is not the same experience when it is deconstructed i.e. something gets lost. Materialist reductionism is perhaps the worse culprit here - trying to explain a system in terms of the parts.

"everything is a part of everything else" is not emptiness as that is grouping everything into one big thing emoticon That things are not independent does not mean everything is the same. I hear that you can't define reality - I can't either. So without that defined emptiness does not have much meaning either!

I think emergent properties tell us something about reality - there is something magical that happens when things interact. Holarchy is a concept that might help explain what I mean.

What would a "definite boundary" be ? I think you are not understanding the concept boundary. Now it may not point at what a lot of people assume but that does not make it meaningless. Boundary is a concept not a thing. Behind boundary is the notion of differences - if your perceive anything it is because of differences i.e. experience is relative.

"The cup and the water are neither the same, nor different." If you are thirsty then they are very different emoticon

"you don't need to expend effort to create any specific state." seems related to the concept of Right Effort i.e. there is effort.

I would tend to favor experience - if you are not experiencing "this field of experience and the concept of self are essentially the same thing" then don't know would be a reasonable conclusion. I'm really starting to like not knowing things!



RE: Flawed Reasoning
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4/29/15 11:29 AM as a reply to Mark.
Hi Mark,

Not sure, if I am adding much to the topic in discussion. However, thought of clearing up some confusion over physics concepts.
Quantum theory seems applicable only to the extremely "small".

Not really. There are a lot of macroscopic quantum effects.  
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macroscopic_quantum_phenomena

Quantum theory is not even able to explain Newtonian physics as far as I understand

I don't think so. Would love to get any specific problems/cases where it doesn't. Bohr's correspondence principle provides the limit where both these theories agree. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correspondence_principle


Metta,
V

RE: Flawed Reasoning
Answer
4/29/15 11:47 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:


The 0 point is relative - it's always decided by you, it's not a property of nature.  You could assign the 0 point of walking to the last moment of stillness before starting to walk, or the first moment of movement after being still. 
I think a lot of these examples are a case of language definitions and weaknesses.  If one tries to flog words into explaining a level of complexity they are not designed for, then you can run into problems.  However, in my mind, just because language and definitions have gaps, that does not translate into my mind as there being no time, to me it just means that the words we have in our language can't easily be stretched that far.  However, if this kind of thinking helps people to loosen up their fixed ways of thinking, then fine with me. 

But even this is too simple.  Where does one moment stop and the next moment start?  Do you experience reality as moments, or does it just happen smoothly?  If it happens smoothly, can you say where "now" starts and where it ends?  The best way to understand emptiness is to realize the Buddhists are describing what experience is already like for you.  It isn't a special way of seeing the world - it's a description of how observing the world happens.  If you look at your experience, time is not something that you observe - you are only ever observing right now.  Even when you recall things, you're still here right now thinking about it.
Personally, I prefer this kind of more direct observation of the phenomenon in question, not so much looking at limitations of language but directly at consciousness itself.  IMO, a lot of this is about habits of perception and cognition and observing their limitations and influences.
-Eva  


RE: Flawed Reasoning
Answer
4/29/15 2:09 PM as a reply to Vijay V.
Vijay V:
Hi Mark,

Not sure, if I am adding much to the topic in discussion. However, thought of clearing up some confusion over physics concepts.
Quantum theory seems applicable only to the extremely "small".

Not really. There are a lot of macroscopic quantum effects.  
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macroscopic_quantum_phenomena

Quantum theory is not even able to explain Newtonian physics as far as I understand

I don't think so. Would love to get any specific problems/cases where it doesn't. Bohr's correspondence principle provides the limit where both these theories agree. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correspondence_principle


Metta,
V
Hi V,

I agree with you that there are some large objects that show some quantum effects e.g. superconductors. But those are pretty exotic materials. You're probably confusing what the theory is describing and how we can engineer materials based on that theory. From wikipedia :

Quantum mechanics (QM; also known as quantum physics, or quantum theory) is a fundamental branch of physics which deals with physical phenomena at nanoscopic scales, where the action is on the order of the Planck constant.

We could say that quantum effects are happening in all material but for describing something as fundamental as gravity quantum theory is not up to the task.

You've probably heard about the search for a unifying theory between relativity and quantum theoeries i.e. it has not been found. One of the big challenges is gravity - there is no good solution to explaining gravity using quantum theory (I'm just a layperson in this field so happy to be proven wrong!)

Relativity theory does hold the correspondence principle with newtonian physics.

You mention Bohr so you'll love this from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correspondence_principle

Bohr has argued that classical physics does not emerge from quantum physics in the same way that classical mechanics emerges as an approximation of special relativity at small velocities. He argued that classical physics exists independently of quantum theory and cannot be derived from it. His position is that it is inappropriate to understand the experiences of observers using purely quantum mechanical notions such as wavefunctions because the different states of experience of an observer are defined classically, and do not have a quantum mechanical analog.

Thanks for taking an interest.

RE: Flawed Reasoning
Answer
4/29/15 3:49 PM as a reply to Mark.


We could say that quantum effects are happening in all material but for describing something as fundamental as gravity quantum theory is not up to the task.
No theory is currently up to the task.  What we have is some math that PREDICTS the strength of gravity in the regions nearer to us.  However, when looking at the larger universe, we find observations that often conflict with the current popular theory of how gravity works.  Scientists try to come up with explanations and theorize other factors but so far, there is much that has not been sorted out.  Sure Einstein came up with a menetal heuristic that gives one conceptualization of how gravity might work, but the math has not been fully sorted out and it might not be that way at all, it's just he current best we have is all. 

You've probably heard about the search for a unifying theory between relativity and quantum theoeries i.e. it has not been found. One of the big challenges is gravity - there is no good solution to explaining gravity using quantum theory (I'm just a layperson in this field so happy to be proven wrong!)
-Observations at the quantum level are so strange and unexpected and hard to fathom that they seem to have little obvious connection with the macro universe.  Scientists are still flailing to make mathematical sense of them and figure out how they work and the math has not been sorted out by a long shot.  Accuracy of predictions is not great either.  We see strange things at the quantum level but understanding what is happening is another story.  Current 'quantum theory' is really a whole bunch of different theories by different people all trying to compete for attention and accuracy of predictions.  We have a long way to go.  Like many things, like electricity, gravity, photons, plasma, etc, we can make observations and to some extent we have observed how they behave in certain sets of circumstances, but we don't undertand them.  However, there is much evidence that electricity, photons, and even how neurons work and how the nose senses smells, may well operate at the quantum level.  Our macro universe is held together at the quantum level, seems to me rather a HUGE assumption that quantum physics is not related to what happens at the quantum level.  But humans have  a strong tendency to have difficulty believing in what contradicts what their eyes appear to see around them, like the existence of germs and that the world is round instead of flat.  Humans generally perceive a world that seems to be a certain kind of steady solidity, but at the smallest level objects are made mostly of space with just a few interspersed molecules.  Scientists still don't understand why solid objects are actually solid. 
-Eva

RE: Flawed Reasoning
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4/29/15 4:04 PM as a reply to Eva Nie.
Much less known than not known. You made that much clearer. Reductionism seems inherently limited too.

I think you add weight to the wisdom of don't know and the problems of trying to link consciousness to quantum theory. Two concepts where science can't agree on a definition!

RE: Flawed Reasoning
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4/30/15 12:54 PM as a reply to Mark.
Isn't the problem of trying to link consciousness to quantum mechanics an age old problem, with just new terms? The mind-body problem, the Machine and the Ghost.

Remember listening to a talk by Chomsky on that topic. Here is the text of the talk. Science, Mind and Limits of Understanding.

Metta,
V