Why Materialism Is Baloney

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Re: Why Materialism Is Baloney

Unread postby moses » Thu Jul 24, 2014 7:46 pm

As I have written before that dualism is a fact due to experiencing being non-physical. The issue is whether action can be produced by the non-physical through the link between brain nerve impulses and experiencing.

Fundamentally, the ear received vibrations and produces nerve impulses which travel to somewhere in the brain where sound (experiencing) is produced. Now sound is real, non-physical and definitely not nerve impulses, even though different nerve impulses produce different sounds.

Now the movement of muscles is caused by nerve impulses. Why cannot the non-physical produce these nerve impulses. After all we know that nerve impulses produce non-physical experiencing, so why would not experiencing, or the non-physical, produce electrical nerve impulses.

Now we can forget about materialism and philosophy. We can now wonder whether we want more of this non-physical produced action, and if so, how do we get it. We can look at religion and yoga and meditation, etc, but the simple fact is that if there is less physically caused nerved impulses then that would allow for more of the non-physically produced nerve impulses (action). So much of this usually involves control, but isn't control physically produced.

And we need to compare the qualities and abilities of physically produced action, with those of non-physically produced action. This is not an exercise in idealism. It requires careful observation.

Cheers,
Mo
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Re: Why Materialism Is Baloney

Unread postby tayga » Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:39 am

moses wrote:As I have written before that dualism is a fact due to experiencing being non-physical. The issue is whether action can be produced by the non-physical through the link between brain nerve impulses and experiencing.


Mo, your answer illustrates exactly why Bernardo Kastrup is justified in writing a book criticising materialism.

You say that experiencing is non-physical. Leaving aside what ‘physical’ means for a moment, experience is the only thing that any human being can be absolutely certain is real. Experience exists in consciousness.

Now, what do you mean by ‘physical’? I assume you mean real.

For any given ‘physical’ thing all that you perceive of it or know about it is in consciousness. In fact, it is impossible to prove that anything exists outside consciousness independent of it. This is a total leap of faith made by realists, materialists and dualists. There is no way to know whether anything exists outside consciousness and it would also be impossible to test the claim that it does. In essence, every one of these philosophies posits that there are things outside consciousness which somehow interact with consciousness to produce a corresponding impression of which we can be aware. We are raised with this assumption and never question it until we start to study and apply philosophy.

Idealism proposes that consciousness is all there is and everything that exists does so in consciousness. It’s as simple as that.

… It requires careful observation.


Indeed, careful observation also of the implicit assumption in your dualism. I’d suggest the other, essential thing is rational thought and the use of Occam’s razor.
tayga


It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong.

- Richard P. Feynman

Normal science does not aim at novelties of fact or theory and, when successful, finds none.
- Thomas Kuhn
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Re: Why Materialism Is Baloney

Unread postby moses » Fri Jul 25, 2014 6:40 pm

Experiencing is clear. It is sound, red, smells, etc. Experiencing occurs when nerve electrical impulses enter a particular part of the brain. But nerve electrical impulses are not sound, etc.

On the other hand experience and consciousness are much harder to pin down. We know that a bell produces vibrations that hit the ear and nerve electrical impulses are formed which travel into the brain where experiencing (sound) occurs. So the bell, the ear, the nerve impulses and the experiencing are all certainties. If some philosophy says they are not, then throw that philosophy in the bin.

Where is experiencing. It might be anywhere, it might even be at the bell. Being nowhere it cannot be a part of physical space and it is non-physical. Mulling over the technicalities of this get one nowhere. Observing the actuality of the qualities and abilities of experiencing and the physically produced action, is real learning. This leads to the realisation that there is a power higher than logic. This is the qualities and abilities of experiencing. This is significant, philosophising about theoretical possibilities is insignificant.

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Mo
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Re: Why Materialism Is Baloney

Unread postby Solar » Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:37 pm

tayga wrote:Mo, your answer illustrates exactly why Bernardo Kastrup is justified in writing a book criticising materialism.


It also illustrates why no lips utter the actual Hermetic Philosophy for whomsoever seeks control without the Wisdom to use it does so to their on undoing.
"Our laws of force tend to be applied in the Newtonian sense in that for every action there is an equal reaction, and yet, in the real world, where many-body gravitational effects or electrodynamic actions prevail, we do not have every action paired with an equal reaction." — Harold Aspden
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Re: Why Materialism Is Baloney

Unread postby tayga » Sat Jul 26, 2014 1:51 pm

moses wrote:...So the bell, the ear, the nerve impulses and the experiencing are all certainties. If some philosophy says they are not, then throw that philosophy in the bin.


No-one is saying that they are uncertain. The question is where they exist. Idealism says they exist in consciousness. Materialism says they exist outside consciousness and then some interaction occurs which produces consciousness. You are left either denying that consciousness is anything but material or that there is a dualism. Why create a problem?

Where is experiencing. It might be anywhere, it might even be at the bell. Being nowhere it cannot be a part of physical space and it is non-physical.


We agree on this. However, whereas you claim that consciousness is nowhere in physical space, I suggest that physical space is in consciousness.
tayga


It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong.

- Richard P. Feynman

Normal science does not aim at novelties of fact or theory and, when successful, finds none.
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Re: Why Materialism Is Baloney

Unread postby moses » Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:29 pm

It also illustrates why no lips utter the actual Hermetic Philosophy for whomsoever seeks control without the Wisdom to use it does so to their on undoing. Solar
Seeing that tayga never commented on this let me ask what prompted this. Who seeks control.

Why create a problem? tayga
Duality says that the bell exists somewhere, and the experiencing of sound exists maybe nowhere in physical space. I do not see a problem with this.

We agree on this. However, whereas you claim that consciousness is nowhere in physical space, I suggest that physical space is in consciousness. tayga
It is clear that physical space exists, whether it is inside or outside of consciousness (experiencing) is insignificant. I implore you to consider the significant issues of this subject. I think Solar is.

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Re: Why Materialism Is Baloney

Unread postby Solar » Sat Jul 26, 2014 8:45 pm

moses wrote:It also illustrates why no lips utter the actual Hermetic Philosophy for whomsoever seeks control without the Wisdom to use it does so to their on undoing. Solar
Seeing that tayga never commented on this let me ask what prompted this. Who seeks control.
Mo


You used the word "control" here in your initial post for this thread:

moses wrote:Now we can forget about materialism and philosophy. We can now wonder whether we want more of this non-physical produced action, and if so, how do we get it. We can look at religion and yoga and meditation, etc, but the simple fact is that if there is less physically caused nerved impulses then that would allow for more of the non-physically produced nerve impulses (action). So much of this usually involves control, but isn't control physically produced.
Cheers,
Mo


The paragraph above is confusing and yes, I've been re-reading your post reflecting on what it is you are trying to say or what it is that I am misunderstanding. Would you care to clarify what you mean above?
"Our laws of force tend to be applied in the Newtonian sense in that for every action there is an equal reaction, and yet, in the real world, where many-body gravitational effects or electrodynamic actions prevail, we do not have every action paired with an equal reaction." — Harold Aspden
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Re: Why Materialism Is Baloney

Unread postby tayga » Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:18 pm

moses wrote:It is clear that physical space exists, whether it is inside or outside of consciousness (experiencing) is insignificant. I implore you to consider the significant issues of this subject.


If you think this is insignificant, I'd say that are apparently overlooking the fact that there is an assumption underlying your whole notion of your own existence. You also create a problem for which there is no satisfactory answer: how consciousness interacts with material.
tayga


It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong.

- Richard P. Feynman

Normal science does not aim at novelties of fact or theory and, when successful, finds none.
- Thomas Kuhn
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Re: Why Materialism Is Baloney

Unread postby Solar » Sun Jul 27, 2014 6:37 pm

Some thoughts:

tayga wrote:...you claim that consciousness is nowhere in physical space, I suggest that physical space is in consciousness.


Agreed. "Physical space" is in Consciousness as the experienced expression of The Continuum extending beyond the limits of the "boundary condition" set by a particular localization of Consciousness. Therefore, even with the Near Death Experience the experience of "space" seems to have been present even when Consciousness is Non-localized relative to the physical world from whence it had just departed. “Space” is non-physical; but it is definitely not ‘nothing’.

Consider the following:

During the passage towards sleep an event may occur which Integrates the ‘inner’ and the ‘outer’ (dualism). As the consciousness of the ‘waking-state’ fades a glimpse of the level of awareness of the Non-local Consciousness may be had. Many have had the experience of an external sound being incorporated into a dream. This speaks to an integration, a synthesis, a synchronicity, and simultaneity that can only be had by a level of Awareness fully cognizant of a multiplicity of phases - the ‘inner’ dream on the one hand, and the ‘exterior’ environment on the other.

At such times the body-consciousness is nearly asleep. This experience impresses as interesting regarding the Nature of That Consciousness which is Non-local. That Consciousness is not only The One inducing the archetypes of the dream; It is also The Integrator of the external sound into the dream.

What then of “physical space” and it’s supposed reality when Experience demonstrates that Consciousness has the capacity to integrate in this manner while the body-consciousness is nearly laid aside in sleep? It is only “clear that physical space exists” when one is reasoning from a position strictly relative to the experiences of the boundary conditions of localization.

The experience suggest that, in so far as Non-local Consciousness is concerned, “physical space” holds no reality but that - what physical-consciousness perceives to be “physical space” is to Non-local Consciousness a Continuum. A Continuum for which Non-local Consciousness seems to have influential knowledge and understanding of such that It can foster a simultaneity of integration between multiplicity of phases (‘inner and ‘outer’) which only appear to physical-consciousness to be being ‘separate’.

The characterization of “space” as ‘nothing’ becomes an illusion due the “boundary conditions” of the limits of Localization. Non-local Consciousness does not appear to have this limitation and participates with That supposed ‘nothingness’ as a ‘Something-ness’ by way of which It can Integrate both ‘interior’ and ‘exterior’ experience into a split second unity of function that, by this Experience, presents a refutation of dualism. Dualism can only exist as localized multiplicity denoting the perceived differentiation of a Continuum. In other words: Were it not for the existence of an Integrating Continuum no such thing as ‘two phases’ (or more) of any condition would be recognizable. We experience multiplicity by inherent reference to a Continuum. We refer to That Continuum as “space”.

I think it true that "space" is in Consciousness - as the experience of what is imperceptible to the limits of Consciousness once localized. Interestingly, with the Near Death Experience where the child conveyed the location of a blue gym shoe on the window ledge of a different floor of the hospital, in conjunction with the experience integrating 'exterior' sound into an 'interior' dream it appears that when Consciousness localizes itself "space" is present as the expression of the limits of said localization; not as 'nothingness' - but as The Continuum beyond a particular manifest localization.

Not until the Fullness of Integration expressed as Samādhi does one find all such 'conditioning' of Consciousness becoming transcended such that there then exist no "space", no Philosophy, no materialism, no symbol, nor ideogram that can fully and accurately describe That Experience. All of that fades away as Consciousness becomes fully Non-localized. The Tao te Ching is written resolving dualism as it alludes towards That Ineffable Experiential Quality:

The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named is not the eternal name
The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth
The named is the mother of myriad things


(...)

These two emerge together but differ in name
The unity is said to be the mystery
Mystery of mysteries, the door to all wonders


A Mystery to all limits of expression; but capable of being experienced, Samādhi is the quest of all Mystics, and the Metaphysics inspiring all Sacred Writ. It seems that member Moses has contributed by reasoning from this vantage as contrast. Only in light of That might it then be said “This leads to the realization that there is a power higher than logic.” (Philosophy). This equates with earlier discussions wherein:

The Greek word metaphor, itself a metaphor, suggests carrying a concept from one place to another, the imagined to the experienced, as a means to achieve understanding whereupon the metaphor is discarded and the understanding is applied to the idea.


Or that, “We can now wonder whether we want more of this non-physical produced action, and if so, how do we get it.” Which speaks to the preparation of the physical and mental in the Willful quest consciously seeking constancy of “abiding” as might be expressed here:

In Buddhism, it can also refer to an abiding in which mind becomes very still but does not merge with the object of attention, and is thus able to observe and gain insight into the changing flow of experience.[4] – Samadhi


Obviously the word "object" above needs to be reconsidered. That is the dualism of materialist for which the primary assertion is that there is no Consciousness to the Universe; it is “object”. Yet, like-likes-like is also a fundamental axiom. The Near Death Experience not only refutes that the Universe is without Consciousness but it also reveals the Presence of That Individualized Non-local Aspect of Consciousness (non-local relative to physical existence) that may be Unified with The Continuum such that all metaphor alluding to That dissolve into a Unity of actual Experience that transcends any limted expression:

In terms of Consciousness, it has been described as a non-dualistic state of Consciousness in which the consciousness of the experiencing subject becomes one with the experienced [Consciousness] ... Samādhi


[Amended]
"Our laws of force tend to be applied in the Newtonian sense in that for every action there is an equal reaction, and yet, in the real world, where many-body gravitational effects or electrodynamic actions prevail, we do not have every action paired with an equal reaction." — Harold Aspden
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Re: Why Materialism Is Baloney

Unread postby moses » Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:12 pm

Let me answer the question 'Why is materialism baloney.' Except that it should be why materialism is evil. Let us define materialism and duality. Materialism means that no action can come from the non-physical, whereas dualism allows action to be produced by the non-physical.

A dualist can consider that action arising from the non-physical is desirable, but should soon realise that such action can best occur when there is little or no action arising from physical sources, like the physical mental ruminations that produce thought. Thus a dualist can see that the self produces much thought and other action, and so the self must go.

A materialist can only see that action could arise from the self so the self becomes all important. One can condition the self to promote moral action, but one man's morals are often very different to another's, and conflict ensues.

If divine action is possible through the non-physical then the materialist can never partake of such, because of the mind set described above. And the materialist can become grossly selfish. That is why materialism is evil. True evil, though, requires psychological problems from the past.

Cheers,
Mo
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Re: Why Materialism Is Baloney

Unread postby Solar » Fri Aug 01, 2014 3:24 am

moses wrote:Let me answer the question 'Why is materialism baloney.' Except that it should be why materialism is evil. Let us define materialism and duality. Materialism means that no action can come from the non-physical, whereas dualism allows action to be produced by the non-physical.

A dualist can consider that action arising from the non-physical is desirable, but should soon realise that such action can best occur when there is little or no action arising from physical sources, like the physical mental ruminations that produce thought. Thus a dualist can see that the self produces much thought and other action, and so the self must go.

A materialist can only see that action could arise from the self so the self becomes all important. One can condition the self to promote moral action, but one man's morals are often very different to another's, and conflict ensues.

If divine action is possible through the non-physical then the materialist can never partake of such, because of the mind set described above. And the materialist can become grossly selfish. That is why materialism is evil. True evil, though, requires psychological problems from the past.

Cheers,
Mo


Isn’t “evil” just a choice of terms? The negative connotation behind “baloney”, a sub-standard in this context, is the same as that behind “evil”. They both refer to a quality of thought and/or deed that is neither insightful nor helpful in understanding the relationship of how the non-physical interacts with the physical inducing the very actions (aka “energy”) over which materialism marvels or how one’s physical actions may be subdued to such extent that the desired non-physical action may become accentuated. Hence it is possible to not only attune one’s self towards That Consciousness which survives the Near Death Experience but also to attune one’s self to The Universal. Individuals may attune themselves to any number of vibrations or frequencies known as "good" or "bad", "positive" or "negative". The sense of "polarity".

"Everything is Dual; everything has poles; everything has its
pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are
identical in nature, but different in degree; extremes meet;
all truths are but half-truths; all paradoxes may be
reconciled."
--The Kybalion.


Therefore, there is that which is physical and that which is not and in that relationship, as with other relationships, there is recognition of polarity. With regard to Consciousness the ability to transcend the multiplicity of ‘actions stemming from physical sources’ necessitates “little or no action arising from physical sources”. This then ‘heightens’ the awareness of desirable non-physical action and this forms goals and pursuits toward tempering the wandering influences of body and mind with the purposeful quietude of meditation. As the Kybalion says the various forms of polarity may be reconciled.

moses wrote:If divine action is possible through the non-physical then the materialist can never partake of such, because of the mind set described above. And the materialist can become grossly selfish.


The materialist actually partakes of non-physical action through unConscious means and are unaware as to how this occurs. Since the tendency of materialism is to dismiss with the concept of Divine Action this does not mean that those holding the materialist position are cut off from Those Actions. In contrast to the Mystic, it means that a materialist does not Consciously seek those experiences that may be had just as surely it is also fully possible that those holding the materialist position may still likewise experience the Near Death Experience. That which survives 'physical death' also dwells with the materialist. What such an individual does about same is obviously up to them just as it is for each individual. Here is one of many mounting papers on this experience from what is called a “Postmaterialist Psychology”:

Implications of Near-Death Experiences for a Postmaterialist Psychology

Whether idealist, dualist, materialist etc the –isms that constitute a train of thought and science itself are coming face-to-face with an aspect of Mankind that the materialist approach has convinced many as being nonexistent. Is the title of the above paper correct, are we in a “postmaterialist psychology” and what does one call the emerging psychology? Materialism has caused several individuals to dismiss with the language, metaphor, symbolism, ideograms, rites and rituals which foster Knowledge and Understanding of the Principles of Consciousness inherent in each individual. It is up to the individual to reclaim That Knowledge and Understanding which can only ever be temporarily “lost” in terms of a lack of awareness of Its existence, if they so choose.

In contrast to That Aspect which survives during the Near Death Experience the ‘little self’, the ‘persona’, the ‘personality’ that formerly went about living, working, playing, interacting with one another may indeed become very selfish and yes that is the meaning of the term “evil”, “bad”, “negative” etc. However, these terms refer to qualities that are nonconstructive to the furtherance of realizing and actualizing the Greater Understanding and Potential evidenced by the NDE that we are not here to simply live, play, work, then die to be buried without Purpose. The Purpose is further development of That very Aspect of Consciousness that survives the Near Death Experience. It is That Consciousness of which many have been unaware that is doing the actual evolving whether one is Consciously pursuing and assisting in Its development through Willful attunement, or not.

Materialism on the other hand sees neither Purpose nor the Continuance of non-physical, or nonlocal Consciousness as realities. Yes, that is to become self-focused, the ‘little self’ becomes heavily self-focused towards its own ends having no Conscience of how it acquires whatsoever it desires. That is what is known as "evil" or "negative".
"Our laws of force tend to be applied in the Newtonian sense in that for every action there is an equal reaction, and yet, in the real world, where many-body gravitational effects or electrodynamic actions prevail, we do not have every action paired with an equal reaction." — Harold Aspden
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Re: Why Materialism Is Baloney

Unread postby moses » Fri Aug 01, 2014 5:12 am

This then ‘heightens’ the awareness of desirable non-physical action and this forms goals and pursuits toward tempering the wandering influences of body and mind with the purposeful quietude of meditation. Solar

Well I am thrilled by what you write but I will quibble on this. Forming goals is physical activity and tempering influences is also physical activity. And so too is the control in many types of meditation. So the traditional ways of tackling this may be flawed. For instance determining to do peaceful action is very different to having all violent tendencies drop away and so having peaceful action effortlessly arising from the non-physical through experiencing.

And, of course, I know many materialists who are not particularly evil. They have a moral code and live accordingly. However they do not see the non-physical source of life in animals and plants. This makes for bad decisions. Economics will trump ecology easily for these people. But it is near impossible to be very evil if you are a true dualist.

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Re: Why Materialism Is Baloney

Unread postby Solar » Wed Aug 06, 2014 9:05 pm

moses wrote:
Forming goals is physical activity and tempering influences is also physical activity. And so too is the control in many types of meditation. So the traditional ways of tackling this may be flawed. For instance determining to do peaceful action is very different to having all violent tendencies drop away and so having peaceful action effortlessly arising from the non-physical through experiencing.
Cheers,
Mo


What “traditional ways” are you referring to that may be “flawed”?

This doesn’t impress as reasonable when considering the implications of Near Death Experience. The Consciousness that survives this experience has left the physical-body and can describe events occurring at the time of “death” in great detail from vantage points physically impossible to attain (viewing one’s body and surrounding events from the very upper corner of a room for example). NDE’s present evidence for the existence of another mode of Conscious Awareness that doesn’t require a physical body. During these moments the physical body lay lifeless while that which is The Actual Determiner of actions i.e. Consciousness, witnesses the events surrounding the passing of the physical-body in ways other than “physical”. In these moments, and for all intents and purposes, the physical-body lay dead ‘determining’ nothing nor in “control” of nothing. Ashes to ashes; dust to dust eventually as we all know. The physical body then becomes dis-organized or dis-associated into the elements and said elements are returned to Nature.

Many are aware of the caution advised with regard to acting rashly, irrationally or, acting without thought (MIND) as the precursor to taking action. Forethought, planning, in Consciousness beforehand has always trumped spur of the moment impetuous behavior.

The statue of “The Thinker” is well known. It sits representing an active MIND in Ideation as a function of Non-local Consciousness in process of determining the merits of a potential action while the body-consciousness sits still. This is same as the actual condition wherein Individuals are prone to needing some degree of ‘stillness’ in order to reflect. Reflection is an activity of a Conscious Mind. Self-Reflection, an activity of Consciousness does not require a “physical” body nor the activities of one in order to have experiential activity.

Playing, or watching, a game of Chess should reveal that Mind – in Consciousness - is the actual Determiner beforehand of what course of action the physical may take in conjunction with the preformed goal of winning the game. That is not physical a desire and neither did the physical set the goals. One decides, or determines, beforehand a course of action that is beneficent to one's circumstances by engaging in active planning in Consciousness. The physical is the result.
"Our laws of force tend to be applied in the Newtonian sense in that for every action there is an equal reaction, and yet, in the real world, where many-body gravitational effects or electrodynamic actions prevail, we do not have every action paired with an equal reaction." — Harold Aspden
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Re: Why Materialism Is Baloney

Unread postby moses » Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:39 am

NDE’s present evidence for the existence of another mode of Conscious Awareness that doesn’t require a physical body. Solar
Well not a physical body that we usually think of. I have recently been considering this on a Krishnamurti forum where I write. Experiencing is separate from but attached to brain neurons. Experiencing is non-physical but what about the connector between experiencing and the neuron. It stands to reason that in the properties of this connector lies the properties of the body that survives death.

Memory could be due to a connection between past experiencing and some brain neuron. Thus the memories would be beyond the brain and so available to the dead. But we also need the communication between neurons to have a corresponding communication in the connectors. This will enable the dead to think, etc. But we come to a difficulty when it comes to the dead being able to see, and sense generally.

How does the dead see it's old body below. It is the blocking of unwanted or random light that allows us to see. It also makes us very visible, something that the dead do not appear to be. So for the dead to see the connector material they must have a way of sensing some wavelengths of light. But then why would we not be able to see in total darkness with this sensing. Well there is actually evidence that we can, but it is not immediate or automatic.

So there is the outline of there being some body that is in synch with our crude physical bodies, which can think and sense and use our memories. So all that changes when we die is our sensing apparatus changes, but our memories remain, along with the repression of the bad memories, we hope. And that appears to be the problem. Repression will break down in the dead eventually.

Self-Reflection, an activity of Consciousness does not require a “physical” body nor the activities of one in order to have experiential activity. Solar
Self-reflection as thinking does require some form of physicality. Experiencing does not require any form of physicality. So the self in any form is physical, whereas experiencing is not. Experiencing is the real life, whereas words are just physical symbols.

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Re: Why Materialism Is Baloney

Unread postby StefanR » Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:45 pm

1763 is a while ago, but prejudiced as I find myself to be, I still find it interesting
to see some of the arguments Boscovich uses in his Theory of Natural Philosophy.
The following is from the appendix from that book and is the first half of that
text, it might seem to be a bit long, but that goes with the territory.
Have fun! ;) :

525. What relates to the distinction between the mind & matter, & the manner in
which the mind acts on the body, I have already investigated in the First part, from Art.
153 on, after rejecting the pre-established harmony of the followers of Leibniz. Here I will
first of all consider more fully this distinction ; & I will add something with regard to the
mind itself, the force of its actions, & its nature ; these are closely connected with the very
theme of this work. After that, I will proceed to consider that which always ought to be
the most profitable of all philosophical meditations, namely, the power & wisdom of the
Author of Nature.

526. Here, in the first place, it is clear how great a distinction there is between the body
& the mind, & between those things that we term corporeal matter & those which
we feel in our spiritual substance. In Art. 153, we did everything by the sole means of local
distances & motions, & by forces that are nothing else but propensities to local motions,or
propensities to change, or preserve, local distances in accordance with a certain necessary law
; & these do not depend on any free determination of the matter itself. But I do not
recognize any representative forces in matter itself I do not know whether those, who
use the term, are really sure of what they mean by it nor do I attribute to it any other
type of forces or actions besides that one which has to do with local motions & mutual
approach & recession.

527. But in this substance of ours, by which we live, we feel & recognize, by an inner
sense & thought, another twofold class of operations ; one of which we call sensation, &
the other thought or will. Without any doubt, the idea which we have within us, which pose is
altogether the result of experience, of the former, is far different to that which we have
of local distance & motion. Indeed I am quite of the opinion, as I remarked in the First
Part, that there is in our minds a certain force, by means of which we obtain full cognition
of our very ideas & those non-local, but mental, motions that we observe in our own selves ;
& we can distinguish between like & unlike, as we assuredly do, when after the idea
of a horse that has been seen there presents itself the idea of a fish, & we say that this is
not a horse ; or when, in elementary principles, we join together affirmatively like ideas,
& separate unlike ideas with a negation. Indeed, we also see immediately the nature &
origin of these non-local motions & ideas. Hence, it is self-evident to us that some of them
arise through a substance external to the mind, & altogether different from it, but yet in
connection with it, which we call the body ; & that others take rise from direct encounter
with the mind itself, & spring from a far different force. We see that to the first class
belong sensations & direct ideas, & to the second all kinds of reflections, decisions, trains
of reasoning, & the numerous different acts of the will. By this internal evidence, & their own
consciousness, even those, who would like to doubt the existence of bodies, & other objects
external to themselves, & affect idealism & egoism, are forced to refuse, though unwillingly,
their inward assent to such very absurd doubts. As often as directly, or even reflectively
& seriously, they think, speak, or act, they are forced so to act, speak, or think, that they
recognize other entities situated external to themselves, which are like to themselves, both
spiritual & material. For, they would not write & publish books, or try to corroborate their
theory with arguments ; unless they were fully persuaded that, external to themselves,
there exist those who will read what they have written & published in printed form, &
those who will hear the reasons they have spoken, & at length acknowledge themselves
convinced.

528. Now, certain local motions in our body are engendered by impulse from external
bodies, or even self-produced by the manner in which they come from without, & these
are carried to the brain. For in the brain, somewhere, it seems that the seat of the mind
must be situated ; & that is why so many nerve-fibres extend to it, so that the impulses can
be carried to it, propagated either by a volatile juice or by rigid fibres in all directions,
& from it control can be exercised over the whole body. From these local motions there
arise certain non-local motions in the mind, that are not indeed free motions, such as the
ideas of colour, taste, smell, sound, & even grief, all of which indeed arise from such local
motions. But, on the evidence of our inner consciousness, by means of which we observe
their nature & origin, they are something far different to these local motions ; that is to
say, they are vital actions, although not voluntary. Besides these we also perceive in our
own selves that other kind of operations, those of thinking & willing. This kind some
people also attribute to brutes as well ; & all philosophers, except a few of the Cartesians,
already believe that the first kind of operations is common to the brutes & ourselves. The
followers of Leibniz attribute a mind even to the brutes, although one that does not act
directly on the body. But of those who attribute to the brutes the power of thinking &
willing, all those that have any understanding admit that in the brutes it is far inferior to
our own ; & so dependent on matter, that without it they cannot live or act ; while they
believe that our minds, even if separated from the body, are capable of exercising the same
acts of thought & will just as well.

529. Again, of those who attribute to brutes the power of thought & will, some apply
to either class the term "spirit," but distinguish between two different kinds of spirits ;
others attribute the name of spiritual substance to those only that can think & will without
any connection with the body, & without any organic disposition of matter, & the motion
that is necessary to the brutes in order that they may live. This may quite easily be reduced
to a quarrel over a mere term, & the idea that is assigned to the word spirit, or spiritual,
of which the original Latin signification is merely " a tenuous breath." There will not be
any great difficulty over the use of the terms, so long as matter (which is devoid of all power
of feeling, thinking & willing) & living things possessed of feeling are carefully distinguished
from one another ; & also amongst living things, the immortal mind, &, on account of it,
in addition also every organic body capable of thinking & willing, from the far more imperfect
brutes ; either, because they have the power of feeling only, & are unable to think or will ;
or because, if they do think & will, they have these powers far more imperfectly, &, if the
connection with the body is destroyed by some corruption of the organic body, they perish
altogether.

530. Besides, there is certainly a very great difference between thinness of the plate,
which determines one coloured ray of light rather than another to be reflected, so that it
comes to the eyes, in which sense ordinary people & craftsmen use the term colour; &
the disposition of the points forming a particle of light, to which corresponds a definite
degree of refrangibility, & in certain circumstances a definite interval between the fits of colour.
easier reflection & easier transmission, whence there arises the fact that it makes a definite
impression upon the nerves of the eyes, in which sense the term colour is used by investigators
in Optics ; & the impression itself that is made upon the eyes, & propagated to the brain,
in which sense anatomists may employ the term ; & something far different, & of a diverse
nature to all the foregoing, being not even analogous to them, or only with a kind of analogy,
& total similitude that is sufficiently close, is the idea itself, which is excited in our minds,
& which, determined at length by the former local motions, we perceive within ourselves ;
& our inner consciousness, & the force of the mind, concerning the existence of which within
us there cannot be the slightest doubt, warn us with no uncertain voice about the matter,
& make us acquainted with it.

531. Now, the intercourse between the mind & the body, which we term union, has
three kinds of laws different from one another ; & of these, two are also quite different
also from that which obtains between points of matter ; while the third in some sort agrees
with it, but is so far different from it m very many other ways that it is altogether remote
from any material mechanism. The two former are especially applicable to local motions,
of our organic bodies, or rather of part of them, whether that part consists of a very tenuous
fluid, or of solid fibres ; & to motions that are not local motions, but to mental motions
of our minds, such as the excitation of ideas, & acts of the will. According to each of these
laws, certain acts of the mind are transmitted to certain motions of the body, & vice versa ;
& each kind demands, amongst other things, a certain relative situation of parts of the body,
& a certain situation of the mind with regard to these parts. For, when this mutual
situation between the parts is sufficiently disturbed by a sufficiently great lesion of the
organic body, observance of these laws ceases ; nor indeed does it hold, if the mind is far
away from the body situated outside it.

532. Moreover, of such laws there are two kinds ; the one kind is that in which the
connection is necessary, while in the other the connection is free. For, we have both
necessary & free motions ; & it often happens that one who is stricken with apoplexy loses
all power of free motions, at least with respect to some of his limbs ; while he retains the
necessary motions, not only those which relate to nutrition, & depend solely upon a mechanism,
but also those by which sensations are excited. From which it is also clear that the
instruments which we employ to produce the two different kinds of motions must be
different. Also, although in the second kind of these laws it may happen that there is,
even in it, some sort of necessary connection, yet it is not a mutual connection. Thus,
the whole of our power of free action consists of the excitation of acts of the will, & by
means of these of ideas of the mind also ; once these have been excited by a free & intrinsic
motion of the mind, owing to a law of this second kind there must immediately arise certain
local motions in that part of the body which is the prime instrument of free motions ;
but there may be no motions of any part of the body, no motions of the mind, which
determine the mind to this rather than to that free act of the will. It may happen, possibly,
that by a certain law there is an inclination to one thing & that the motions produce some
acts more easily than others ; & yet, because there always remains in the mind & that
faculty of it which we call the will a perfectly free power of choosing even that thing against
which it is naturally inclined, there will even be a power of bringing it about that, due
merely to its own determination, the thing, which independently of this determination
would have the less force, will preponderate. However, in this same kind of law, there
will be also certain connections of the necessary type between the local motions of the body
& the ideas of the mind, together with some involuntary affections of the mind ; & how
many of these laws there may be, & how different they may be, & whether all the several
kinds can be reduced to a single law of fair generality, is indeed, at least up till now, quite
impossible to determine.

533. The third kind of law agrees with the mutual law of points in the fact that it
pertains to local motion of the mind itself, to a definite position which it has with regard
to the body, & to the definite arrangement of the organs. Thus, while the arrangement
persists, upon which life depends, the mind must of necessity change its position, as the
body changes its position, & that on account of some connection of the necessary type,
& not a free connection. For, if the body rushes headlong through its own gravity, or
is vigorously impelled by another, or if it is borne on a ship, or if it progresses through the
will of the mind itself, in every case the mind also must necessarily move along with the
body, & keep to its seat with respect to the body, & accompany the body everywhere. But
if this connection of the organic instruments is dissolved, straightway it goes off & leaves
the body which is now useless for its purposes. But this law of forces governing the
local motion of the mind differs greatly from the law of forces between points of matter
in this, that it does not extend to infinity, but only to a fairly small distance, & that it does
not contain that great alternation of propensity for approach & recession, going with
as many limit-points ; or at least we have no indication of these things. Perhaps too, even
at very small distances from any point of matter, it has no propensity for recession, since
it seems rather to have a power of compenetration with matter. For, I do not think that
it can with certainty be decided from phenomena, whether there is compenetration with
any point of matter or not. Secondly, it has no lasting & unvarying forces of this kind ;
for they are destroyed as soon as the organization of the body is destroyed ; nor are there
forces with things like itself, that is to say other minds, & so there can be no impenetrability
existing between them ; nor can there be those connections of cohesion from which the
sensibility of matter arises. From the number of these differences & special characteristics,
it is fairly evident how far even this law pertaining to the union of the mind with the body
differs from a material mechanism, & that it is something of quite a different nature.

534. We are quite unable to ascertain with any certainty from phenomena alone the
position of the seat of the mind. That is to say, we cannot ascertain whether it is present
in any definite number of points, & has such a virtual extension through the whole of the
intermediate space, as, in Art. 84, we rejected in the case of the primary elements of
matter. It cannot be ascertained whether it has compenetration with some one point of
matter, &, united with this, bears along with itself those necessary & free motions, so that
either this point acts on certain other points with even other laws, or so that, certain definite
motions being produced in this point, others take place on account of the law of forces
that is common to the whole of matter. It cannot be ascertained whether it exists in a
single point of space, which is unoccupied by any point of matter, & on that account has
a connection with certain definite points, with respect to which it has all those laws of
local & mental motions, of which we have spoken. We can never become acquainted
with any of these points from the phenomena of Nature alone certainly, & indeed, as I think,
neither can we by reflection or any consideration whatever, that may be made with regard
to these phenomena.

535. For, in order to determine it from any consideration of phenomena in any way.
it would be necessary to know whether these phenomena could happen in any of these
ways, or rather some particular one of them is required, determined as a conjunction, also
local, of the mind with a great part of the body, or even with the whole of the body. But
to know this, it would be necessary to have a clear knowledge of their laws, which conjunction
of the mind with the body necessitates , & also a knowledge of the entire disposition of
all the points constituting the body, & the laws for the mutual forces between points of
matter. In addition, there would be the necessity for as great geometrical powers, as
would be enough to determine all the motions, which might be produced merely on account
of the mechanical distribution of these points. All of these would be needed for
perceiving whether, from the motions, which the mind could induce, by the power of its
own will or the necessity of its nature, on a single point, or on certain given points, by
means of the single law of forces common to points of matter, there could follow all the other
motions of the spirits & nerves, such as take place in our voluntary motions ; as well as
all those different motions of particles of the body upon which depend secretions, nutrition,
respiration, & other motions of ours that are not voluntary. But all these are unknown
to us ; nor may we aspire to such a sublime kind of geometry, for as yet we cannot altogether
determine all the motions of even three little masses, which act upon one another with
forces that are known.

536. There have been some who would confine the mind to some very small portion of
the body ; for instance, Descartes suggested the pineal gland. But, later, it was discovered
that it could not be contained in that part alone ; for, if that part were removed, life still
went on. It has been already discovered that life endured for some time without the
pineal gland, just as some animals produced life even without a brain. Others argued
against the diffusion of the mind throughout the whole of the body, from the fact that
sometimes men, after the hand had been cut off, said that they could still feel the pain in
the fingers, as if they still had fingers ; & since this pain is felt, although in this case there is
not the fact that the mind is present in the fingers, they thought that it could be inferred
that, as often as we feel a pain in the fingers, we feel it without the presence of the
mind in the fingers. But such argument proves nothing at all ; for it might happen that,
in order that there should be in the first place that feeling, which we experience of pain
in the fingers, there were required the presence of the mind in the fingers, without which
it would be impossible that an idea of the pain could be excited in the first place ; but,
once this idea had been formed, it might be possible that it could once more be excited,
without the presence of the mind in the fingers, by the motions of the nerves, which had
been conjoined with a motion of the fibres of the finger when the pain was first felt. Be- .
sides, it still remains to be decided whether any impulse of a present mind is required
for nutrition, or whether this can be obtained wholly without any operation of the mind,
by means of a mere mechanism alone.

537. All these things show fully that nothing certain can be stated with regard to the
seat of the mind from a due consideration of phenomena ; nor that its diffusion throughout
any great part of the body, or even throughout the whole body, is excluded. But if
it should extend throughout a great part, or even the whole, of the body, that also would
fit in excellently with my Theory. For, by means of such virtual extension as we discussed
in Art. 83, the mind might exist in the whole of the space containing all the points which
form that part of the body, or that form the whole body. With this idea, in my Theory,
the mind will differ still more from matter ; for the simple elements of matter cannot exist
except in single points of space at single instants of time, each to each, while the mind can
also be one-fold, & yet exist at one & the same time in an infinite number of points of space,
conjoining with a single instant of time a continuous series of points of space ; & to the
whole of this series it will at one & the same time be present owing to the virtual extension
it possesses ; just as God also, by means of His own infinite Immensity, is present in an
infinite number of points of space (& He indeed in His entirety in every single one),
whether they are occupied by matter, or whether they are empty.

538. These things indeed relate to the seat of the mind; but I think there should
be added here in the last place, concerning all the laws governing its conjunction with the
body, that which is in conformity with the observations that I made in Art. 74 & Art.
387 ; namely, that motion can never be produced by the mind in a point of matter, without
producing an equal motion in some other point in the opposite direction. Whence it comes
about that neither the necessary nor the free motions of matter produced by our minds can
disturb the equality of action & reaction, the conservation of the same state of the centre
of gravity, & the conservation of the same quantity of motion in the Universe, reckoned
in the same direction.
The illusion from which we are seeking to extricate ourselves is not that constituted by the realm of space and time, but that which comes from failing to know that realm from the standpoint of a higher vision. -L.H.
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