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Investigating "Worlding" Sensations

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Investigating "Worlding" Sensations David Charles Greeson 11/1/08 4:25 PM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations Hokai Sobol 11/1/08 11:05 PM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations Chris Marti 11/2/08 4:32 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations David Charles Greeson 11/2/08 2:19 PM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations Chris Marti 11/3/08 1:38 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations David Charles Greeson 11/3/08 4:06 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations David Charles Greeson 11/3/08 4:30 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations Hokai Sobol 11/3/08 10:55 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations Chris Marti 11/3/08 11:36 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations David Charles Greeson 11/3/08 2:34 PM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations Chris Marti 11/3/08 11:45 PM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations David Charles Greeson 11/4/08 1:59 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations Wet Paint 11/4/08 3:35 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations Wet Paint 11/4/08 4:01 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations Hokai Sobol 11/4/08 7:46 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations David Charles Greeson 11/4/08 2:06 PM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations David Charles Greeson 11/4/08 2:30 PM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations David Charles Greeson 11/4/08 3:25 PM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations Hokai Sobol 11/5/08 1:46 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations David Charles Greeson 11/5/08 2:55 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations Hokai Sobol 11/5/08 5:01 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations David Charles Greeson 11/6/08 2:21 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations David Charles Greeson 11/6/08 2:23 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations Chris Marti 11/10/08 7:37 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations Hokai Sobol 11/10/08 9:47 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations Wet Paint 11/11/08 3:12 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations Wet Paint 11/11/08 3:13 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations David Charles Greeson 11/11/08 5:26 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations Hokai Sobol 11/11/08 9:35 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations David Charles Greeson 11/11/08 12:43 PM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations Wet Paint 11/12/08 1:27 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations David Charles Greeson 11/12/08 6:45 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations Wet Paint 11/13/08 10:43 PM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations Wet Paint 11/13/08 10:44 PM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations David Charles Greeson 11/14/08 3:16 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations Wet Paint 11/14/08 3:22 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations David Charles Greeson 11/14/08 3:40 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations Wet Paint 11/14/08 3:58 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations Wet Paint 11/14/08 3:58 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations David Charles Greeson 11/14/08 10:14 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations David Charles Greeson 11/14/08 11:23 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations beta wave 11/14/08 11:35 PM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations David Charles Greeson 11/15/08 1:37 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations David Charles Greeson 11/15/08 1:44 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations beta wave 11/15/08 5:24 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations Hokai Sobol 11/15/08 11:58 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations Wet Paint 11/17/08 12:30 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations David Charles Greeson 11/17/08 5:02 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations Hokai Sobol 11/17/08 9:11 AM
RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations David Charles Greeson 11/18/08 7:21 AM
Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
Answer
11/1/08 4:25 PM
Forum: Dharma Overground Discussion Forum

Along the lines of the thread of "How to Investigate No-self" I had an interesting insight the other evening that doesn't seem much talked about. I had been practicing Vipassana for about 2 hours and had been noticing a lot of things that seemed like "old hat" - certain feeling tones that I used to identify with, sensations of "me" doing this, meditating, etc.

Then I noticed at one point a shift when I considered the perceptual field in it's entirety, from considering my experience as strictly personal to a set of sensations that I identified with the "objective world" or universe "outside" of me. I realized that while those sensations were not strictly speaking a "selfing" activity, they were in some way an "othering" activity.

Have other people noticed such sensations, and are there good ways to investigate the "othering" activities?
D

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
Answer
11/1/08 11:05 PM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Time, Space, Knowledge (TSK) system developed by Tarthang Tulku and his students is a great way of doing both, quite consonant with what you're expressing here. You may want to have a look at their exercises.

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
Answer
11/2/08 4:32 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
"Have other people noticed such sensations..."

Absolutely, haquan. I can recall one particular time early in my practice when, just after a long evening sit, every sensation was suddenly "other" and contained no element of the I/me/mine that had defined much of my perception. To a large extent my practice has been a steady march to a realization that the self components of perception are just as much other as everything else.

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
Answer
11/2/08 2:19 PM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Yep, that's a good one cmarti, I had that early in my practice too. This is a bit more subtle than the usual tricks though, and while I tend to see through any selfing sensations that come up for me now, this had to do with some sense of the world being separate from my (personal) experience of it. Has to do with mental maps - science, for instance - the idea that somehow my personal experience of the universe (without identifying with any particular element of it) was not necessarily congruent with the "Real Reality." This perception/idea collapsed and I realized the maps and this idea were part of my present experience of the universe rather the same way my past and future are experienced as aspects of this present moment.

I had an experience of complete non-duality at one point, and while permanently changed from it, I pulled back, believing that I might be delusional given that it feels a bit like solipsism in a way - though it's not "you" either, it's all the same. It can certainly be a bit weird dealing with other people in that mind frame if you're not used to it. Anyway, I think some of that may be from "pulling back" - retaining the basic experience and intuition it confers but believing it to be part of how this individual experiences reality.

Thanks Hokai! - Tarthang Tulku looks extremely interesting, and I ordered a bunch of his books. The practice of Kum Nye looks really interesting too, given my interest in Qi Gong! I'll definitely be checking this out! D

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
Answer
11/3/08 1:38 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
"This is a bit more subtle than the usual tricks though, and while I tend to see through any selfing sensations that come up for me now, this had to do with some sense of the world being separate from my (personal) experience of it."

Maybe I'm just too focused on the "usual tricks," but can you elaborate on the sense of the world being separate from your experience of it? See, what you are describing does not match my practice experience, so I'm curious. Also, how did you experience on non-duality change things for you? Why did you believe you were delusional thereby?

Thanks.

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
Answer
11/3/08 4:06 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
This is going to take two posts to answer all those questions even with me trying to be brief. Part of the reason I'm here is to try to determine what stage of the process I'm currently at, and Daniel and I are not completely sure yet. So it may be useful in some way to discuss this for me. I don't want to spend too much time here with it though, as the descriptions would get voluminous, and most certainly sidetrack the discussion. Briefly what the experiences (about 20 years ago) did was put me in contact with a number of subtle intuitions that did not surface in my consciousness or were discounted by my intellect as projections before and do so in a way that was known that they were congruent with reality directly - I have very accurate empathy in real time. There is a direct sense of participating in and creating my experience such that the sense of self is submerged in it or most of the time simply does come up, and when it does, it's recognized for what it is - sort of a habitual response rather than identifying directly with it. There are some similarities to the psychedelic state, but with much greater control - my attentional field is more flexible, open, and shifting. My identity, if any, lies in the interrelationship between the different phenomenon that occur in the perceptual field (the Gestalt as Hokai put it) rather than any specific element or elements of it.

I thought I might be delusional, because when everything is God, "you" wonder why "you" can't walk on water, and how it is that "other people" don't see that we are the same Being. That's sort of it. So theres' this idea that you are experiencing this completely amazing thing, but it might be "subjective" or not real - aren't there other people "outside of you" how do they perceive you, etc. I tend to be pretty skeptical about any sort of mystical experience anyway.

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
Answer
11/3/08 4:30 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
So I can try to elaborate on it by using some similar examples: When you sit in a chair - perhaps the one you are sitting in now, you don't experience it as something separate from you, until I draw your attention to it - it's an item of "gear" as Heidegger would say. When I draw your attention to it, you (actually imagine) it as a separate entity and can see it in 3D in your minds eye - from every different angle - but the chair is never experience directly in sensory experience in that way - you can only see if from one perspective or another which are relatively disjointed. Before I ever point it out to someone they usually don't differentiate their experience of the chair from their idea of it. When you first start to notice phenomenon like this though, you differentiate your thoughts about chairs, (what they are, how they exist in the world, their social meaning and physical structure) from the sensate experience of them and our experience of actually using them in which we "merge" with them. Then as you examine it more closely you realize your ideas about chairs are also composed of a series of sensations, and these aren't *really* separate from the sensate experience of the chair - they arise and pass and shift, emerge and return to the non-experienced, and they bear a Gestalt relationship to the chair itself - there is a re-integration of the experience. It is similar to this with the World. Before this particular insight, I could consider my perceptual field in it's entirety, but also imagined that there was a world separate from my individual experience of all the phenomenon in my perceptual field - that other people have a different experience than I do, that things have an atomic structure, obey physical laws - but even these ideas are comprised of sensations in my perceptual field - which doesn't mean that they are "untrue" - they are part of how things "present." World-selfing

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
Answer
11/3/08 10:55 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
David, it will seem that I'm only proposing and referencing, but are you familiar with the work of Francisco Varela and his enactive approach? I believe it resonates with your considerations. See what our friend Bruce Alderman has on this and related subjects:
http://brucealderman.gaia.com/blog/2008/8/enactivism_integral_theory_and_21st_century_spirituality

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
Answer
11/3/08 11:36 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
"When I draw your attention to it, you (actually imagine) it as a separate entity and can see it in 3D in your minds eye - from every different angle - but the chair is never experience directly in sensory experience in that way - you can only see if from one perspective or another which are relatively disjointed."

Mind: the sensory input and the object. One thing seemingly two. No "where."

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
Answer
11/3/08 2:34 PM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Thank you very much for that blog reference, Hokai! That was truly beautiful. It also solves some academic problems I'm discussing elsewhere. I'll probably read it more than a few times. I have encountered Varela before, mostly secondhand, and my emphasis in study was quite a bit different - but yes, autopoeisis, embodiment, and emergence are all fascinating subjects for me. I've mostly looked at Maturana, and Damasio in terms of Neurophenomenology. If you like this stuff, you'd also like "A General Theory of Love" by three Stanford psychiatrists Leweski, Lewis, and Lannon that goes into the biological basis for empathy as the shared ground of conciousness. No, it doesn't seem as though you are merely referencing - sometimes it's easier to simply say "you need to read this!"

cmarti - if you did it like this:
Mind: the sensory
input and the object: One
thing seemingly two ----- and you take out "No "where"" you'd have a Haiku. I'm not entirely sure you understand, but that was interesting, if cryptic.

To clarify one point I made earlier, I said "Then as you examine it more closely you realize your ideas about chairs are also composed of a series of sensations, and these aren't *really* separate from the sensate experience of the chair - they arise and pass and shift, emerge and return to the non-experienced, and they bear a Gestalt relationship to the chair itself." Actually there is no "chair itself" - the Gestalt between the different elements that comprise the relatively unified body of sensations (the "De") of the chair would be the "chair itself" - the emptiness inside the vessel of those sensations to reference the chapter 11 verse of the Dao De Jing again. It makes me think that in a similar way, there is no "World Itself" - direct insight into this idea is still pending.

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
Answer
11/3/08 11:45 PM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
"I'm not entirely sure you understand, but that was interesting."

Understand what, David? I was posting an immediate reaction to your words, which describe a very familiar realization. I guess I like fewer words, not more (and that's not meant to demean your descriptions of things. There are many ways to communicate.)

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
Answer
11/4/08 1:59 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
No - I just meant that I wasn't sure that my description conveyed what I intended it to, to you, based on your feedback. I wasn't quite sure what it meant - nothing personal. I agree, "brevity is the essence of eloquence." Now that I look at it, the Haiku comment seems flippant - sorry - I actually thought that you might be intending to write poetry in response!
David

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
Answer
11/4/08 3:35 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Author: AlanChapman

Hello Haquan!

You wrote: 'I had an experience of complete non-duality at one point...'

I think it is always prudent to be very sepcific with terminology, especially as it helps with communication between peers. So by 'non-dual' do you mean the apprehension of all sensations as not either 'self' or 'other', but still with percpetion of those sensations, or do you mean some kind of metaphysical experience? Erm, by metaphysical I mean that level of experience that includes mystical or profound events (A&P, Formless Realms, Fruitions, etc).

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
Answer
11/4/08 4:01 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Author: AlanChapman

As an aside, I have trouble with the enactive approach; more specifically, the myth of the given (I don’t mind the myth of the framework), in that it is essentially a prejudice (a belief that can neither be proven or disproven) – just like the belief in the given itself! I think Wilber's attempts at accommodating the poststructuralist viewpoint – that the Kosmos demonstrates ‘habits’ – makes him look a little silly. After all, aren’t his Kosmic habits now a given?

I think perhaps what we need is the realisation that the idea of the given – whether we recognise it as a myth or not - is simply not applicable. Which brings us nicely back to practical considerations, because that realisation sounds just like fruition. It also leaves us with a world that ultimately remains infinitetly mysterious and transrational in the truest sense of the word.

Apologies for my off-topic rant Haquan!

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
Answer
11/4/08 7:46 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Recognizing there are inherent - not emergent - properties that make up suchness isn't necessarily accepting a new version of the myth of the given. Namely, to make things clearer for those who may not be familiar with this important subject, myth of the given refers specifically to the belief that reality AS IT APPEARS to my awareness is somehow fundamentally real, or somewhat differently "that we can know things about our perceptual experiences independently of and in some important sense prior to the conceptual apparatus which we use to perceive objects". This is important for all forms of phenomenology, including meditation. Now, the cure is to recognize that what we actually witness is constructed to some degree at least (the construction itself being invisible to phenomenological inquiry of course, hence we use other approaches). On the other hand, recognizing properties that are fundamental or inherent to manifest reality - if undertaken carefully a la Ockham's razor - is not to resurrect the myth of the given or any other redundancy, quite the opposite. In traditional conceptual framework, even the most extreme Madhyamika would not go so far to jettison dependent co-arising altogether. Properties, causes, and conditions, don't make this universe any less mysterious if we look carefully into their nature and function. And inherent properties that can be observed, such as traditional e.g. the Four Seals, or such as modern e.g. development and enactment, are not the myth of the given.

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
Answer
11/4/08 2:06 PM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Erm... All of the above, really. The part that was confusing was not fruition though - Nothing to be confused about there (Hehe), but rather the part right after. For a more complete account of the difficulties in my spiritual taxonomy and my current understanding of where I might be (though I still want to run this past Daniel) see Alan's website here: http://www.thebaptistshead.co.uk/forum/topic.php?id=16 for the semi-final word on it see page 2 where I employ a process I call "Conceptual personification" aka evocation, in this case of the HGA - (there is some contemporary rationale in using this process in the idea that our brains are probably designed better to deal with complex social relationships than abstract ideas, and personification helps with the integration of neocortical and limbic information by activating mirror neurons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror_neuron - note that this kind of information is still subject to unconscious deletions and distortions and should be taken with a grain of salt - but has several factors that increase the degree of confidence in this case). This will also go into greater detail about why I may have found the state confusing, and I may post more on the entheogenic thread about this new info. That post will also explain that I was concerned with reality manipulation even at that point, and because I couldn't "do" anything with the state of pure Emptiness, I started looking very intensely at liminal states between full emptiness and conscious awareness. I suppose one could only call Emptiness "complete" non-duality, and the state that came after rapidly deteriorated as I applied analysis to it, but at that point both metaphysical and sensory data was being apprehended, and in fact there could be said to be no difference between the two. It was as though reality had been turned inside out and the inside was now my physical environment/perceptual field, the outside Void.

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
Answer
11/4/08 2:30 PM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Just to finish, my perceptual field seemed like a facade for Void/Mind - All was One/God/"me" and there were NO ego boundaries - I really can't say there was a perceptual center either "It" was everywhere and it was all "me" I could look down and see the sink faucet and it was just as much a part of me as my hand - when I moved from place to place it was like walking around inside 'myself" and when I dealt with other living beings "I WAS THEM" - literally - I could look into their eyes and see the same Void that was inside me, feel their/my emotions (and there were other subtle body perceptions completely integrated into the experience) - it was like completely invoking everything and everybody including myself all at once. I didn't identify with my own body anymore than the TV set across the room - it was all "me", and I was obviously "God." But "David" didn't figure into it much - I can't say not at all, because David is part of the All - but a pretty damn minor role. I had become something "completely different" in Monty Python lingo. But I noticed some discrepancies (and the moment I did was when I began to emerge out of this) - I was God, but I had some limitations - I couldn't work miracles, and I didn't have access to human's memories or "thoughts" other than David's, and I wasn't omniscient. "Hold on!" I said - let's look at this a bit... There were other permanent effects though - one is I became much more "right brained" and this translated into major leaps in my mathematical ability, and skill at chess. It had the effect of increasing my magickal aptitude exponentially, and most importantly - it completely and permanently resolved the existential dilemma. Now what I called "meaninglessness" is experienced as boundless freedom, and I have been in "Flow" since.

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
Answer
11/4/08 3:25 PM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Just to interject here and steer back towards the mainstream discussion, I think there are certain special cases where the construction can be demonstrated or inferred in phenomenological experience - my favorite example is the Kanisza triangle: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanizsa_triangle

Hokai, can you give an example of an inherent observed quality? Obviously, color won't work...
Also - could you help me understand how enactivism differs from connectionism with a hard emergence approach?

Alan, other than your specific objection to the idea that we can't know that representationalism is false (though the triangle says otherwise - and you are ready to allow that constructivism [presumably radical constructivism specifically] is a myth though that can't be proven false either) - given that the two viewpoints seem to be extreme viewpoints in relation to each other - what's the problem with enactivism as a middle ground interactive approach? How are you with the idea of groundlessness?

I guess in relation to the question of my non-dual experience, embodiment and "Worlding" - it was as if the world as experienced was my body- but then I backed off, and said "What?!! are you f---ing crazy? You're not God! - this is a "subjective" experience - it's not "real." Now I'm wondering if that experience isn't more real than what I usually experience - but then I know that things are sometimes not as they seem - and I have known a number of psychotic people whose experience of the World was clearly maladaptive from a social point of view - and did not match the view that I held or was "consensual" - many thought they were God... How do you tell?

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
Answer
11/5/08 1:46 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Rather obvious examples would be fundamental awareness, oneness and multiplicity, subject/object dichotomy, interiority vs. exteriority, time and development through time etc. The properties are t/here, their comprehension necessarily involves some sort of co-construction, i.e. enactment.

Sorry, I'm unfamiliar with connectionism.

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
Answer
11/5/08 2:55 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Ah that's helpful - so an inherent observed quality would refer to an irreducible property of experience itself?

"Connectionism is an approach in the fields of artificial intelligence, cognitive psychology/cognitive science, neuroscience and philosophy of mind, that models mental or behavioral phenomena as the emergent processes of interconnected networks of simple units. There are many forms of connectionism, but the most common forms use neural network models." from Wikipedia. So connectionism is an successful alternative to representationalism in cognition and is a great model for '"intuition" (and a model for machine intuition in AI). So one example of a connectionist theory is that memories in the human brain are not contained within a single neuron but are properties of the network of connections between them and "are" patterns of neural activity. However, connectionism as a principle need not apply only to neural networks but also to any network of simple units - like societies or communities. Hard emergence is simply the position that the emergent properties of the network are not passive but also have top down effects on the network itself and codetermine it's properties and connections. At one point I thought that Mr.
Alder mentioned in his article that Enactivism differed from connectionism, but did not say how - now I can't find it... Anyway, I was just curious. Perhaps it's that there is a slight emphasis to materialism (bottom up) with the connectionist perspective, while enactivism gives equal weight to both perspectives - top down and bottom up. The thing connectionism does I think is help with an evolutionary perspective.

Anyway - back to Worlding - we can accept all the things that present themselves as phenomenon in our experience but how do we deal with the problem of illusion - how do we reality test while accepting our experience?

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
Answer
11/5/08 5:01 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Well, only in part, since some of these are not necessarily properties of experience itself, i.e. some need to be reconstructed, such as development and everything related to it, some need to be discovered through special modes of inquiry and tend to remain quite invisible to 1st person observation a la Buddha, whether by logic or yogic apprehension or insight. Incidentally, this connects to your "Eyes" thread.:-)

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
Answer
11/6/08 2:21 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
What I like about your comments, Hokai, is that they lead to eminently practical consideration regarding investigating experience.
I was reading some of the Adavaita literature last night, and while I don't particularly care for their insisting that "you are already there," I found the following idea: duality is created through two convergent processes - not only a process of selective identification with certain sensations or aspects of our experience, but also an active 'disidentification' with others - a dissassociation from certain parts of experience - that is Not Me. Obviously there are two route to go in collapsing this duality - progressive identification with every element of experience, or disassociation from every element until the duality collapses (this latter is sort of the usual Buddhist path, I think). What I'm referring to in the idea of Worlding Sensations is a sort of negative selfing - a relative exclusion of phenomenon. This is difficult to spot if you are focused on what you deconstructing what you identify with. We may get pretty far down the path of non-identification with sensations in our perceptual field, but have subtle projections of duality onto our ideas of reality itself - such as "subjective" or "objective reality," which are difficult to deconstruct by only examining our processes of identification. It occurred to me last night that perhaps "Nonduality" transcended the notion of "Oneness." It seems like some approaches make everything all "Subjective" (idealism - and it's all "you") or all "Objective" (Transcendentalism - none of it's you) - enactivism is a synthesis of those perspectives such that "you" and the World codetermine each other.

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
Answer
11/6/08 2:23 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
What I like about Hokai's references is that they suggest the following 1. Somatic involvement (physical Yoga or Qi Gong) in practice 2. Use of content to anchor process (in the references to imagination). 3. A combination of phenomenonlogical and other routes of inquiry.
D

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
Answer
11/10/08 7:37 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Hokai: "Sorry, I'm unfamiliar with connectionism."

I'm have a very good friend in the A.I. research field at Stanford University so I've had conversations with him about this term. Here's a good introductory web page about what it means in computer science:

http://www.mind.ilstu.edu/curriculum/connectionism_intro/connectionism_overhead.php?modGUI=76&compGUI=1930&itemGUI=3347

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
Answer
11/10/08 9:47 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
It's a good survey. What I meant, however, is that I don't know it well enough to comment. Basically, it's similar in logic to the Theravadin abhidhamma, though of course lacking straightforward phenomenological confirmation. Thanks for that.

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
Answer
11/11/08 3:12 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Author: AlanChapman

Hokai: ‘On the other hand, recognizing properties that are fundamental or inherent to manifest reality - if undertaken carefully a la Ockham's razor - is not to resurrect the myth of the given or any other redundancy, quite the opposite. In traditional conceptual framework, even the most extreme Madhyamika would not go so far to jettison dependent co-arising altogether. Properties, causes, and conditions, don't make this universe any less mysterious if we look carefully into their nature and function. And inherent properties that can be observed, such as traditional e.g. the Four Seals, or such as modern e.g. development and enactment, are not the myth of the given.’

I think I may not have expressed myself clearly – the idea that the given IS a myth is a prejudice. So is the idea that there is a given. As both are not applicable to our experience, any theory based upon either prejudice is, well, based on a prejudice. It cannot be otherwise.

If we take the definition of Occam’s razor – that entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity – it follows that enactivism does not adhere to Occam’s Razor (as it postulates an unnecessary prejudice).

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
Answer
11/11/08 3:13 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Author: AlanChapman

Haquan: ‘Alan, other than your specific objection to the idea that we can't know that representationalism is false (though the triangle says otherwise - and you are ready to allow that constructivism [presumably radical constructivism specifically] is a myth though that can't be proven false either) - given that the two viewpoints seem to be extreme viewpoints in relation to each other - what's the problem with enactivism as a middle ground interactive approach? How are you with the idea of groundlessness?’

But I do believe we can know that representationalism is false (when have I said otherwise? I think you just do not understand my position). Further, I don’t believe we are dealing with two opposite extremes at all. Radical constructivism CAN be proven false. It isn’t a prejudice like the myth of the given and its denial. So enactivism doesn’t meet anything half way in some supposed ‘middle ground’ – it rightly points out the absurdity of the myth of the framework, but still entertains the prejudice of the given.

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
Answer
11/11/08 5:26 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Perhaps I don't understand your position. I am curious how radical constructivism can be proven false - my problem with it is has always been that it is a metaphysics - unable to be disproved or corroborated. Perhaps you have seen something that I did not.

Perhaps I don't understand enactivism either, but I fail to see how it postulates "the myth of the given" other than as a viewpoint it offers an alternative to. How does Enactivism depend on representationalism to provide it's logical foundation? I think the approach could still be entertained if there were no such thing.

You never mentioned how you were with the idea of groundlessness.
D

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
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11/11/08 9:35 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Alan, it could be that I don't understand a word of what you wrote, because I find it either meaningless or unintelligible. Like when you say, "the idea that the given IS a myth is a prejudice", and then "So is the idea that there is a given" (which is exactly what the myth of the given highlights!). I must ask you to explain what the "myth of the given" means in your understanding. You see, claiming that "our experience" can tell us anything can be a thick myth of the given.

In addition, the myth of the given is NOT a belief, but instead a valid critique of an unsuspected naivety in most traditional and modernist truth-claims. Equally important, reliance on "experience" may be a mere belief in itself, while hiding an unquestioned interpretative agenda. I suspect we're talking at cross-purposes, though not sure we're the problem is.

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
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11/11/08 12:43 PM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Well, Alan, when you said, " I have trouble with the enactive approach; more specifically, the myth of the given (I don’t mind the myth of the framework), in that it is essentially a prejudice (a belief that can neither be proven or disproven) – just like the belief in the given itself!" a few posts ago is when you said that it couldn't be proven or disproven, just FYI.

On other fronts I got Time, Space, and Knowledge in a few days ago by Tarthang Tulku, and it looks like it will rock! It's interesting that the first exercise (walking around inside a giant body) is pretty close to what I used to do when I studied anatomy as a first year med student. So far it seems extremely well written and has already proven very thought provoking. I also found some relevant material in the Diamond Sutra.

Regarding the non-dual experiences I mentioned above (they were multiple by the way, and while there didn't seem to be a perceptual center other than the whole perceptible field, there was clearly an idea of a Void "super-space') - the thing that seemed kind of screwy about that other than the fact that it seemed weird that this "David" guy would be privileged in some way, was that it seemed like I wasn't affording things the respect of their own individuality or self-determination - their De (as in Dao De Jing) or "insistent particularity that lends potency. David Hall and Roger Ames in their excellent translation of this classic talk quite a bit about Dao having an active sense of "way-making" and referring to an perceptual field, while De refers to it's focus - which is holographic in a certain sense. I've also been taking the tact of looking at the political passages of this as referring to self-governance, and this has been helpful. There is stuff about the ruler taking care of his person to thereby take care of the World - this holograpic idea fits in here too.

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
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11/12/08 1:27 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Author: AlanChapman

@Hokai: Your understanding of the given that you gave a few posts back is fine by me. You say what I wrote is meaningless, but that's my point. As I've been trying to say, I don't think the concept of the given is applicable at all - and that includes its denial.

@Haquan: I do not understand why you think the given is the same thing as representationalism. I don't equate the two.

Anyway, I have far from fully developed my thought on this - at the moment it's just a problem for me - and again I apoligise for hijacking the thread with something arguably not appropriate for this forum.

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
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11/12/08 6:45 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Hmnn... Do you mean that the concept of the Myth of the Given isn't applicable? Because prior to the concept of "myth of the given" the "given" is not known as such - it is simply assumed. I don't want to assume, but based on other discussions in other settings, I might be led to believe that that you would endorse a naive realism - that perception is not constructed to some extent but reflects a real world that requires no interpretation or construction? Does that accurately reflect your position?

Representationalism is associated with "The Myth of the Given" in the same breath that Radical Constructivism is associated with "The Myth of the Framework." in the blog post that Hokai referred to early in the discussion. You can see, no doubt , how a representationalist view of cognition presumes a "myth of the given?" At the time I "equated" the two, I was believing that somehow you believed that Enactivism relied on a notion of "givenness" to provide it's logical foundation, - now I'm not sure if it's that, or if you are endorsing a naive realism. You mention applicability as well, but I'm not sure to what.

So I'm left confused right now. As I mentioned in a previous post, the enactivist approach has practical consequences for practice, so I' d like to understand what your criticism of enactivism actually entails. I don't consider this to be a purely philosophical digression.
David

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
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11/13/08 10:43 PM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Author: AlanChapman

Hello Hokai/Haquan,

Ok, let me try a different approach, and one that should make it obvious whether or not I’m misunderstanding something.

So Wilfrid Sellars came up with the myth of the given in the 50s as a critique of sense-datum theory. Exactly what Sellar’s meant by the given is tricky to pin down, but he does at least state that the given includes the idea ‘that empirical knowledge rests on a 'foundation' of non-inferential knowledge of matter of fact.’ In other words, direct awareness is not non-conceptual. We live in a conceptual world.

Problem for me: it doesn’t follow to say an insect or animal or baby perceives conceptually.

The poststructuralists decided that this conceptual world is intersubjectively created - a kind of ‘radical’ constructivism. Constructivism is the idea that humans create knowledge and meaning from their experience.

Problem for me: it doesn’t make sense to say all experience is conceptual and at the same time claim knowledge and meaning – products of conceptualisation – are created from an experience somehow ‘outside’ of conceptualisation. Sounds just like the myth of the given to me.

(cont.)

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
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11/13/08 10:44 PM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Author: AlanChapman

Now enactivism has come along to challenge the radical constructivists by saying the world is not simply subjective, and no such intersubjective ‘framework’ of reality exists. However, they still ascribe to the myth of the given, and propose that reality is co-embodied and co-emergent. In other words, everything is related to everything else and it all arises at the same time. I like this, but…

Problem for me: the enactivists have not applied the same thinking to the myth of the given. Does not the rejection of the given rest on the inescapable nature of a conceptualised - and so subjective - world?

The enactivists agree that not everything is subjective. How can they do this but claim an objective reality co-emerges and co-embodies our reality too? How do they know that objective reality? It cannot be outside of their conceptualisation, can it? Is the objective something then that is implied to co-emerge, something inferred as outside of their subjectivity? If that is the case, is that not the given?

So you see I have sympathies with the enactivist approach, I just think their thought is muddled solely due to their acceptance of the myth of the given.

Does that make sense? Have I misunderstood something?

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
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11/14/08 3:16 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Ok, I think I'm beginning to see what the problem is, and I'll do my best with this, though I think that Hokai might have a better understanding than I do (hopefully, he'll come back and correct my mistakes).

First of all, regarding the quote above, surely you can admit that insects, animals, or babies while free of linguistic concepts have non-linguistic cognitions? Babies have been shown to recognize their mother's faces within three days of being born - and they are more interested in visual patterns that resemble human faces - surely this is attributing some kind of meaning to experience? This is where an understanding of connectionism, limbic resonance, neural networks, and attractors as they related to neural networks would come in quite handy. A General Theory of Love is again recommended. The general thinking is that perception seems to implicitly highlight those features of experience that are relevant to survival a priori. In the case of mammals, we are so biologically wired for social interaction and our survival so enmeshed with that consideration that effectively we have an semi-open loop information sharing system that contains emotional and non-linguistic sorts of information that behaves almost mimetically. Some of this is involved with how neural networks encode information (memory, plasticity, and Hebbian learning). I know you have said that the brain doesn't interpret anything, but connectionism is nothing so simple minded as the idea of a little man sitting in the brain somewhere - more related to the idea of biological holons, if you will.

continued...

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
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11/14/08 3:22 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Author: AlanChapman

Right Haquan, on to your individual points:

‘I am curious how radical constructivism can be proven false’

I was referring to the cognitive science that forms the basis for enactivism, but on reflection I must concede ‘proven false’ to be a little strong in this case. Perhaps suggestive might be better. My bad.

’Perhaps I don't understand enactivism either, but I fail to see how it postulates "the myth of the given" other than as a viewpoint it offers an alternative to. How does Enactivism depend on representationalism to provide it's logical foundation? I think the approach could still be entertained if there were no such thing.’

This is a good question, but I hope my earlier posts above have helped explain what I think is wrong with accepting the myth of the given. Also, I think it might be a little misleading for the enactivists to claim the myth of the given is concerned with refuting representationalism per se – it’s arguable Sellars wasn’t necessarily concerned with this.

’You never mentioned how you were with the idea of groundlessness.’

Do you mean as Varela uses the word, as a very literal description of perspectives? Well, I sort of like the idea that it sounds very similar to emptiness, but that’s certainly not what Varela means by it, or Balder (who seems to use it with very many different meanings), and I think we might be overstating the case to say this is what is meant by it. As such, I do have a problem with it on a purely philosophical basis, and I find it improper to say the enactive perspective is groundless – and I mean that in the sense he means it. It’s also a bit arrogant to claim all other perspectives are groundless too as a result, but that’s postmodernism for you.

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
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11/14/08 3:40 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
So yes - there is a kind of "interpretation" (though this might not be the word that you would prefer) that is placed on experience even for non-languaging creatures - for bees that look at a field the flowers are "highlighted" for them - now is there a field outside of what the bee's see? Does a tree which falls in the woods with no one there to hear it make a sound? It gets pretty complicated if you ascribe to a theory of pan-psychism (and I do).

So here's the basic deal - Enactivism is a non-dual theory - it says yes, "objective reality" and "subjective reality" are co-emerging, and co-determining, and really there's no such thing as either of them - what's going on transcends both of those concepts. Can you see how this might be the case if atoms are composed of simple units connected in a certain way that have emergent properties (and these emergent properties are the very primal beginnings of conciousness) and they in turn comprise simple units connected together into wholes that have emergent properties (molecules) and these comprise simple units connected together - cells, then tissues, organs, organisms, then ecosystems (which seem to exhibit intelligent behaviors on a higher order than the organisms that comprise it) and who knows what on a planetary and Cosmic level - and not only that but the Emergence is a "hard" emergence that has top-down effects on the simple units and connections that comprise it and co-determines their relationships? What I'm talking about is pretty close to enactivism except that enactivism would probably say that I've privileged the material pole (atomic) of the equation and would claim the Ultimate Emergence (the trancendent holism of the Universe at large) was just as primary.

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
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11/14/08 3:58 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Author: AlanChapman

Oh, and:

Haquan: ‘I might be led to believe that that you would endorse a naive realism - that perception is not constructed to some extent but reflects a real world that requires no interpretation or construction? Does that accurately reflect your position?’

I hope I’ve mad eit clear I don’t ascribe to a naïve realism, nor do I dismiss constructivism or enactivism outright.

My position? I don’t know what it’s called. Maybe you can help:

I believe the truth is not found in ideas or perspectives (such as enactivism) but in experience itself (this does not mean I see experience as a given – to say so would be to misunderstand what is exactly meant by given in this conversation) . As such, perspectives can be true – and only are true - when experienced (magick and belief shifting anyone?). This does not mean I deny the existence of falsehood and illusion – after all, they are experienced, are they not? In fact, I would argue that the primary function of magick and meditation is the facilitation of the experience of falsehood (how else are we to know that falsehood as true?). So as experience is the truth, and experience is rich, malleable and relative, it follows that we have subjective and relative truth that is also malleable and constructed; but this understanding of truth also implies something at a deeper level, something beyond the subjective and relative – because, remember, I am saying experience itself is the truth - and we can call it absolute and inherent in that relative and subjective experience. This understanding of experience as the truth – and its apparent duality of relative and absolute - is something fully realised by the enlightened person. I suppose I’m describing non-duality to some extent.

(cont.)

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
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11/14/08 3:58 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Author: AlanChapman


My definition of magick as the art, science and culture of experiencing truth provides both a technical understanding of magick and an injunction to uncover the absolute truth through personal experience, without limiting the truth to any idea or perspective.

So: any guesses?

P.S. Again, sorry - this is completely off topic.

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
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11/14/08 10:14 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
I should start by saying that posting a novel definition of magick on a forum knowing another magician is participating, begs for a mutually ranting digression which we should refrain from indulging in. I am curious, however, how that definition provides a technical understanding of the Art (without endorsing or rejecting the definition).

I'm tempted to venture "Phenomenalism" as a tentative label, but am not sure I'm completely clear on your view of things yet. What I like about your definition of truth is that it directs the attention towards direct experience and "suchness." It also seems to indicate that what is in question is not the content of experience, but rather "experience itself" which suggests that reality lies in the implicit structures and processes of lived experience. Clearly this suggests that experience itself is something apart from, or outside of, what is experienced. But can experience and the experienced be neatly separated?

What I am a bit unclear on, is that aside from directing my attention in a certain way, I'm unclear about what you are precisely saying about the nature of truth and falsehood, or even experience with the statement, "The truth is found in experience itself," particularly in terms of the nature of relative truth. You say, "...perspectives can be true – and only are true - when experienced..." but to the extent you are aware of a possible perspective, you experience it, eh? Like a pair of tinted glasses you might be able to notice them (a metaphorical perspective) lying on the table, approach them, examine the frames and lenses, and finally put them on, only to take them off again... all are different modes of experiencing this item - are the glasses less real when not being worn? Anything you are aware of, you are experiencing.

Cont...

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
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11/14/08 11:23 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
So to continue, ideas, concepts, and nonlinguistic cognitions are an aspect of experience, and not more or less privileged than sensory experience (as elements of experience per se) - and generally appear enmeshed with it until "unpacked." This is sort of the point of the Worlding thread actually. It's a bit unclear to me that you are considering things that way given statements like ""the truth is not found in ideas or perspectives..." If you are (considering things that way), I'm left wondering "What isn't true in a relative sense?" especially in the wake of apparent absurdities like "how else are we to know that falsehood as true?" Now certainly it is true that falsehood is false, if that's what you are trying to say, and when we experience it as such we have a "true experience of falsehood." Given that it is experience that is "true" and we can know "falsehood" to be true, as it were (experience the suchness of it's falsity, I suppose) - then this raises the question, "What makes one particular experienced phenomenon more or less true than any other experienced phenomenon?" In other words, what is not true when no-thing lies outside of experience? What is falsehood? The described position begins to suggest a bizarre antithesis to Hassan il-Sabbah's famous statement (Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted) - namely "Everything is True" (and the horrifying corollary "Nothing is Permitted.") The point: if you are going to invoke the notion of absolute Truth, and provide a definition of it as a foundational statement, it should have at least a metaphorical relationship to relative truth, and as such should be able to say not only what (relative) truth is, but also what it is not. This seems to be missing. I do like the absolute-relative perspective shift you hint at though - that's clever.

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
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11/14/08 11:35 PM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
I'm curious if I'm following correctly... but feel free to ignore if it throws off the conversation.

It seems like having a "given" is mostly needed to explain how perception/understanding can grow and evolve to show greater functionality.

(I can see how this would relate to magick as well, in alan's definition.)

It sounds like enactivism solves the need of having a stand-alone and completely unknowable given (that which perception grows more congruent with), by saying that the given is co-created with the perception. So if Freud discovered/identified the subconscious in year X, then the given subconscious didn't exist prior year X?

The limitation of this is then perception becomes tautological (which it mostly is, I suspect), and if so, there would need to be part of the model that explains how perceptions can develop over time (perceptual evolution) and between people (communication). Although, I can see how this could also be explained with tautological models with their own essential givens...

So it does seem that enactivism needs it's own given to explain the "bringing forward" of perspectives to create the subject and object perception of the moment, at least as near as I can tell.

Just another observation: any attempt at truth-checking a model will require the assumption of some given outside of that system with which to judge.

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
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11/15/08 1:37 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Well, I'll try to field this one too, though I think Hokai probably has a better understanding than I do. My understanding is that "The Myth of the Given" is a criticism of naive realism - it's saying that things are not necessarily what they appear to be, or the way we are taught to think about them - that we shouldn't accept anything as "given" without questioning, and suggests that our experience of reality is partly constructed (the million dollar question is of course, which part?). The "given," however, is not synonymous with the idea that there is an (aspect of) reality that is external to an individual's or thing's relatively subjective perspective (to put it in dualistic terms for the sake of comprehensibility). Enactivism wants to say that we can't take the nature of that experienced external reality as "given," or as completely independent. Perceptions develop because reality is an evolving process. I'm not sure about truth checking but I suspect it's notion of truth is rather like Heidegger's - a "revealing." Hokai?

Incidentally, in regards to Alan's definition of magick - it's about as good as most I've heard, but it falls prey to the criticism I give earlier as well. Like Crowley's definition ("Magick is the Art and Science of causing change in conformity with the Will") it fails to say what Magick is NOT - just about any intentional behavior meets this criteria. Unpacked, given Alan's concept of truth, the definition reads "Magick is the art, science, and culture of experiencing experience itself." That's good - but it raises the question: "What isn't?"

I suppose some philosophy is a bit inevitable when you start trying to deconstruct the separation between yourself and the World - I have to say though, I'm finding the TSK stuff pretty helpful.

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
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11/15/08 1:44 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Sorry - forgot to cover these two important points:

1. Any experienced "external" aspect of reality (which enactivism neither confirms or denies the existence of) can't be known in any final sense, nor can anything else - nothing is final.

2. Perception is not necessarily tautological because enactivism does not confine itself to a rational perspective.

Hokai - did I get this right?

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
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11/15/08 5:24 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Okay, I'm way off. Myth of Given as a critique of naive realism -- got it. SImple.

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
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11/15/08 11:58 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
So far so good. Meanwhile, to your previous note that enactive approach is "nondual" (even with different meanings to it) I wouldn't go so far. Saying that is sees the subjective and objective co-emerging is enough. There is a similarly sounding, and yet thoroughly nondual approach in the mahamudra tradition, where at various stages of training experience is seen in "mind perspective" and in "event perspective" as mutually inclusive simultaneously arising. In this tradition, quite fabulously, even wisdom and ignorance are seen as co-emergent. But resemblance to enactivism is mostly at the level of linguistic markers.

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
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11/17/08 12:30 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Author: AlanChapman

Haquan: ‘surely you can admit that insects, animals, or babies while free of linguistic concepts have non-linguistic cognitions?’
Certainly, but is cognition interchangeable with conceptualisation? I would argue it isn’t, and from the list you give of physiological structures related to perception itself, I would say that you agree.
If encativism posits co-emergence, might it be that conceptualisation only co-emerges with perception later down the line? Why can’t a pre-conceptual awareness exist beforehand? This to me again highlights the problem with accepting the myth of the given, as opposed to simply finding it non-applicable. To admit that not all experience is conceptual does not render enactivism invalid – I see no reason for the myth of the given here.
Haquan: ‘So here's the basic deal - Enactivism is a non-dual theory’
I agree with Hokai in that this is going too far - as I said in an earlier post when discussing ‘groundlessness’:
Alan: ‘Well, I sort of like the idea that it sounds very similar to emptiness, but that’s certainly not what Varela means by it, or Balder (who seems to use it with very many different meanings), and I think we might be overstating the case to say this is what is meant by it.’
In terms of enactivism then, I’ve not come across anything (here or in my research) that leads me to conclude I’m misunderstanding something, and so for me the problem still stands. I do hope this second (and less lazy) attempt has made it clear what I believe the problems are.
@Haquan: as for my clumsy exposition of my thought, you obviously do understand what I’m saying – and I appreciate your comments – and all of your questions are very good. I have a lot more to say on the subject that I think may provide the answers, but I feel this isn’t the right place to go into it…

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
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11/17/08 5:02 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Well, I thought I might be pushing things with saying enactivism is non-dual, but it's not particularly dual either - more synthetic in the Hegelian sense (thesis vs. antithesis --> synthesis), or "triadic" in the sense Gudjieff spoke of, but at any rate, the point that subjective and objective modes of knowing reality are artificial stands.

Alan, it keeps seeming like the meaning you intend when referring to the "myth of the given" is different from my understanding of it. What do you mean it isn't applicable? If you accept that there are certain things as given, then you are under the spell of the myth of the given, as it were, without being aware of it. If you accept that nothing can be accepted naively, without questioning ("nothing is given"), then you have an awareness of the "myth of the given" and are no longer under it's sway.

I guess, to me, conceptualization implies symbolic ideas, but is a subset of cognitions. I do think that pre-conceptual awareness awareness exists, but not pre-cognitive. Emotions and moods are pre-conceptual cognitions in a sense - they affect what environmental cues we attend to, and direct our behavior. Certainly conceptualization emerges downstream, but I'd argue, as my examples show, some attempt to impose meaning on perceptions is present at the most fundamental level. So no, I don't think there is a level we can accept the World "as it is" or as it appears to be, if that is what you are asking - there is always some interpretive function below our levels of awareness. Stare at the snow on your TV and it will begin to display patterns and forms - are they there?

On another note, the mahamudra tradition looks absolutely fascinating. There are many different lineages - are the one's you are referring to Shingon, Hokai?

RE: Investigating "Worlding" Sensations
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11/17/08 9:11 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
I believe we should qualify the first claim by specifying "subjectivism" and "objectivism"; meanwhile subjective and objective MODES remain valid components and complements of a synthetic, comprehensive approach.

Well, mahamudra mostly belongs to Kagyu in Tibetan tradition, while Shingon is an independent Japanese esotericism, having its own variant of such teachings under different names. I'm not motivated to speak here in Shingon terms, because it's completely unknown, hence often unintelligible for most if not all. But, in short, as to co-emergence and nonduality, Shingon orthodoxy would say that wakefulness is always there, either as principle (i.e. inherent nature), as resonance (i.e. path), or as realization (i.e. awakening itself), PLUS it would insist it is beginingless and it never stops.

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11/18/08 7:21 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Thank you, that seems quite a bit more accurate.

Really? I had read somewhere that mahamudra had both Tibetan and Shingon lineages - but it sounds like strictly speaking, that's not true?