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    Thread: Revolutionary human viewpoint

    1. #1
      Xei
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      Revolutionary human viewpoint

      I was thinking about metaphysics whilst drifting off to sleep the other night when I suddenly had a thought that, at the time, seemed like a bit of a revelation.

      In hindsight I was on the boundary of sleep so I was probably thinking rather too abstractly. The best way to look at the following is in a metaphorical sense and then consider how you would act based upon it, rather than a metaphysical truth, so to speak; I wouldn't want those of you who know me to think I've gone all soft and New Agey. I haven't.

      I think I'll do this in a stream of consciousness style:


      We can think of the universe as a grand totality of things that exist, everywhere, everytime.

      I'm part of the universe.

      I'm observing the universe.

      I'm essentially the universe observing itself.

      Then what of other sentient beings? They're also just the universe observing the universe.

      So what is the distinction between me and them?

      Is it not just an assumption that I am a distinct being? Maybe we're all really just the same thing. The same consciousness.

      Then why are we all so different? Could it be that our differences are all just sculpted by our genetics and our chaotic environments?

      So what of interactions between us?

      It would be the ultimate irony: every time we have hurt another, we were, quite literally, just hurting ourselves, in a different life. Every war, every dispute; we all want the same thing. We're just caught up in the chaos of the world, in random place and time we find ourself in, conditioned by our surroundings to think and to act in various ways.

      So how to act? Just consider, with this axiom, how you would act when you next meet somebody. How you would act throughout your life. Would would your life be like? What would the world be like?
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    2. #2
      The Anti-Member spockman's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      I was thinking about metaphysics whilst drifting off to sleep the other night when I suddenly had a thought that, at the time, seemed like a bit of a revelation.

      In hindsight I was on the boundary of sleep so I was probably thinking rather too abstractly. The best way to look at the following is in a metaphorical sense and then consider how you would act based upon it, rather than a metaphysical truth, so to speak; I wouldn't want those of you who know me to think I've gone all soft and New Agey. I haven't.

      I think I'll do this in a stream of consciousness style:


      We can think of the universe as a grand totality of things that exist, everywhere, everytime.

      I'm part of the universe.

      I'm observing the universe.

      I'm essentially the universe observing itself.

      Then what of other sentient beings? They're also just the universe observing the universe.

      So what is the distinction between me and them?

      Is it not just an assumption that I am a distinct being? Maybe we're all really just the same thing. The same consciousness.

      Then why are we all so different? Could it be that our differences are all just sculpted by our genetics and our chaotic environments?

      So what of interactions between us?

      It would be the ultimate irony: every time we have hurt another, we were, quite literally, just hurting ourselves, in a different life. Every war, every dispute; we all want the same thing. We're just caught up in the chaos of the world, in random place and time we find ourself in, conditioned by our surroundings to think and to act in various ways.

      So how to act? Just consider, with this axiom, how you would act when you next meet somebody. How you would act throughout your life. Would would your life be like? What would the world be like?
      I probably wouldn't act all that different if I discovered this to be true.

      In a sense, it is true now, anyway. I mean, I, spockman, am just the totality of billions of other, independent life-forms. A skin cell is alive. A blood cell is alive. My body may sometimes attack itself, as in an auto-immune disease, but then the anti-bodies are destroying the very body it is part of. In essence, each anti-body is hurting itself. (As you pointed out that humans are hurting themselves when they hurt others.) The biggest difference between my example and yours, Xei, is scale. All of the things in the universe effect all of the other things, even if it seems totally insigificant. You could argue that the universe is a type of organism, just as

      This isn't new age as much as it is just the whole microcosm/macrocosm thing. Unless you take it totally literally, of course. I mean, obviously you and I are different beings, Xei. But we are part of the same system. Just as my heart is seperate from my brain but still part of me, (yes, I know that the heart and the brain are not independant life-forms,) you and I are seperate but belonging to the same system.
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    3. #3
      Antagonist Invader's Avatar
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      If the universe is the grand totally of all things, and you acknowledge that you are but a part of that whole, then you cannot be the whole observing itself. Something about "consciousness is the universe observing itself" has always seemed very paradoxical to me, but I'm digressing from the point of the thread...

      I'm not sure I'd much change my behavior either. I already try to treat with kindness those who are kind to me, and indiference those who behave negatively. My behavior according to the axiom is like the ultimate self karma -> I reward myself for being positive, and I ignore/scorn the part of me that behaves negatively. It is not unlike rewarding oneself for eating well or getting a lot of work done, or depriving oneself of a favorite snack if one gets too lazy or ill in thinking... Something like this. The first contact with another human being must always be positive though.
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      Reminds me of I Am the Walrus. "I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together." Which was written on LSD, no less.
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    5. #5
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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      The best way to look at the following is in a metaphorical sense and then consider how you would act based upon it, rather than a metaphysical truth, so to speak...
      Xei this seems like a bit of a contradiction. In what way does describing and/or asking about how something would be experienced and how would the world would be, have nothing to do with a metaphysical truth? I have a response for the thread but I wouldn't want it to be inappropriate for what you are asking.
      Last edited by really; 06-22-2010 at 04:31 PM.

    6. #6
      Xei
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      Because I'm just talking about human behaviour if we assumed it were true. It's a thought experiment.
      If the universe is the grand totally of all things, and you acknowledge that you are but a part of that whole, then you cannot be the whole observing itself. Something about "consciousness is the universe observing itself" has always seemed very paradoxical to me, but I'm digressing from the point of the thread...
      Well, your eyes and visual cortex are responsible for observing images, but it is your whole brain that's doing the observing. That's kind of what I mean.
      I'm not sure I'd much change my behavior either. I already try to treat with kindness those who are kind to me, and indiference those who behave negatively. My behavior according to the axiom is like the ultimate self karma -> I reward myself for being positive, and I ignore/scorn the part of me that behaves negatively. It is not unlike rewarding oneself for eating well or getting a lot of work done, or depriving oneself of a favorite snack if one gets too lazy or ill in thinking... Something like this. The first contact with another human being must always be positive though.
      Then good on you for already behaving in such a manner, though I was more thinking along the lines of how everybody else on the planet would act.

    7. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      Because I'm just talking about human behaviour if we assumed it were true. It's a thought experiment.
      Hmm.. I still don't get it and it doesn't seem that way, looking at how you've phrased your questions. So you're not talking about what it would be like in an individual's experience, but what a human being would actually do? I'd still argue that is much dependent on their inner experience, I.e. their way of being. You can't really say much about what they do, otherwise.

    8. #8
      The Anti-Member spockman's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by really View Post
      Hmm.. I still don't get it and it doesn't seem that way, looking at how you've phrased your questions. So you're not talking about what it would be like in an individual's experience, but what a human being would actually do? I'd still argue that is much dependent on their inner experience, I.e. their way of being. You can't really say much about what they do, otherwise.
      Yeah. Things would still have a way of being. And probably, not a whole lot would change. I think so, anyway, because I already consider it mostly true.
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    9. #9
      Shameless Zenarchist Speesh's Avatar
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      Nice, very interesting way of putting it. I've heard of human consciousness explained as "the universe observing itself" before, but never really understood where it came from. Your definition of the actual term 'universe' really puts that in perspective. I guess I just got accustomed to the word without ever really forming a proper conceptual definition of it.

      Your ideas themselves are very similar to those of some Eastern philosophies. Mainly the idea that the perceived separation between us and the universe at large is illusory, a product of the human conceptual mind. The terms 'enlightenment' or 'awakening' describe the moment in which someone overcomes this perceived separation and perceives the world directly as is, from beyond the filter of the conceptual mind. That is why this state is said to be timeless or eternal, because time is a conceptual human creation. The universe itself knows no concept, it just is. Just out of curiosity, do you believe that the universe is deterministic? Many of these Eastern philosophies also imply a deterministic universe.

      The Beatles lyrics certainly sums it up very well. I think LSD and other psychedelics cause a sudden attack on the conceptual mind, which would be responsible for the similar state, not to mention all the crazy that comes with suddenly losing one's sense of self. At any rate I'm hoping that the growing field of Neuroscience will research the biology that goes along with this state. Hopefully the re-emergence of LSD in the labs will steer some research in this direction.

    10. #10
      Antagonist Invader's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      though I was more thinking along the lines of how everybody else on the planet would act.
      If everyone had the realization.. There are a number of possibilities. I'd think that the more widespread positive state of mind would mean living in a world where some people weren't going out of their way to succeed at the expense of others. Perhaps no wars. It's still likely thought that there may be others who'd rationalize their desires anyways by seeing self inflicted harm as a potentially good thing. No pain, no gain. If anything there should at least be some observable reduction in hostile actions all over the globe, as in fewer homocides, fewer cases of domestic abuse, and so on.

      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      Well, your eyes and visual cortex are responsible for observing images, but it is your whole brain that's doing the observing. That's kind of what I mean.
      Right, but I meant that an eye itself can't (or shouldn't?) identify as being "the brain" observing itself. It's a part of. I understand where you're coming from, I think I just take issue with the way the statement seems to infer that human beings are on the level of the universe in terms of "greatness" or complexity > because the statement makes a big claim about humans and was written by humans. Like an egotistical comment. The statement isn't really wrong... That's just the way I interpret it. Hope that made sense.
      Last edited by Invader; 06-24-2010 at 07:28 AM.

    11. #11
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      "A physicist is an atom's way of knowing about atoms." -- George Wald.

    12. #12
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      This reminds me very much of my personal viewpoints in some respects. If you treat the Universe as one idea, then all action you do upon another would either benefit or burden the Universe (a part of you). The Golden Rule in a different light, so to speak. Positive action toward preserving the Universe would be the ideal action, wouldn't it?

      This would be my personal Pantheistic views, but that is best left to R&S!

    13. #13
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      Your disclaimer doesn't change the fact that this is really what it is all about. In a way you stumbled upon a metaphysical truth, but it was hardly a stumble since I'm sure you've heard it before; it may just not have 'clicked' for you personally until that moment.

      The ancient religions have been saying essentially the same thing for thousands of years. For a more modern take on the subject, see (physicist) Thomas Campbell's My Big Toe. There is a lecture available on youtube, and his trilogy of books by that name is very good. I'm about half way through.

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    14. #14
      Hungry Dannon Oneironaut's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Phion View Post
      Reminds me of I Am the Walrus. "I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together." Which was written on LSD, no less.
      Very good!

      it also reminds me of Echoes by Pink Floyd:

      "Strangers passing in the street
      By chance two separate glances meet
      And I am you and what I see is me
      And do I take you by the hand
      And lead you through the land
      And help me understand the best I can"

      Which was also probably written on LSD.


      Yes, this seems to be the core mystical (or metaphysical) experience. It is when trying to organize and conceptualize the experience that religions get created. It seems like the goal of the mystics is to transcend the conceptual mind and to sustain this experience indefinitely.

      I think that the way one would act after having this experience would be like the golden rule. And compassion onto others. Turn the other cheek, etc. This is a very good insight to have during conflict resolution. Seeing how powerful the illusion of separateness is it is easy to see how people can become so attached to their own viewpoint and opinions and beliefs that reinforce this illusion of separateness. Part of seeing the common element in such various and contradictory life experiences is realizing that there has got to be some element of truth in even the paranoid schizo's experience. The human experience is a broad spectrum of consciousness, probably more broad than any other species known.

      To reach mutual understanding with another person neither can be feeling offensive or defensive. That is because when feeling either offensive or defensive one is feeling separate from the whole and the other. Telling someone that they are wrong or that what they believe to be true is not true will not resolve conflicts. That is why religion is such an insidious destructive force. Not because of the beliefs themselves, but because of the dogma and the narrow-mindedness.

      One of my clients has a sleep disorder of severe night terrors and I have to monitor him to make sure he doesn't harm himself. I am trained to restrain him if necessary. In the beginning I had to restrain him a couple of times and it was very stressful for me but even more for him. Now I find that even though his terror is irrational and based on nothing, telling him that doesn't help, it only makes him more paranoid. What helps is to ask him what he is afraid of. It is usually something irrational like "the ceiling" or "the pencils". This seems to make him more scared initially. But I keep asking him questions about it trying to get more information and to gain his trust. Then he snaps out of it and "wakes up" in the middle of our conversation and will say "what are you talking about?" He will have no memory of the previous twenty minutes.

      I kind of lost my train of thought.

      So, if we all are the Universe observing itself, we are all accumulating beliefs about what we are observing. Each of these beliefs is the Universe's beliefs and one part of the Universe telling the other part of the Universe that it is wrong is kind of funny, even if it is wrong. The experience itself without the beliefs is the important part. So for someone experiencing the night terror the experience is more important and telling them that there is no reason to feel terror is trying to give them a belief that goes against their experience, so they resist it.

      What kept me up at night as a child was this: "Why am I me and not him? How is it that I am not in her head wondering why I am not in this head but the other way around? How is it that we do not have one consciousness?" Very similar idea or thought experiment.
      Last edited by Dannon Oneironaut; 07-03-2010 at 05:50 AM.
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      This is, loosely, a philosophy that I already subscribe to (as hinted by my custom user title). I'm not sure of how much truth there is to the metaphysical part of it, but - at least in practice - I tend to stay within the guidelines of the overall idea, when it comes to my interactions with other people.
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      This is more or less what I believe, and it's the only real justification for morality that I can think of. Essentially it implies something like the golden rule, that you should treat others as you would like to be treated, because, at some level, you will/have been/are being treated that way.
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      There are more ways of putting the liars paradox than one can shake a stick at, and some so apparently beautiful as to make a drunken man cry, however, it is still errant thinking.

      An environmental acquisition system of a living organism is that system of an organism which must acquire something from the environment, process that which it has acquired, for a product that maintains and promotes the life of that organism's body.

      The eyes do not see for someone else.
      The stomach does not digest food for someone else.
      The lungs do not breathe air for someone else.
      etc.,

      What one does is not done to satisfy any light headed maxim, but to perform one's own function "to have life and to have it more abundantly."

      In order to add individual human will for the greater good, one must first have a will to add. For that purpose of life is the common direction of all life.

      We do not do or not do because of pleasure or pain, but for life.

      All too often men think that because a lump of flesh is animated, that it is alive. Nothing is considered functional or alive that can not or does not perform its own function.

      A wise man once said that he came so that we could have life and have it more abundantly--and he also said, let the dead bury the dead. There is no contradiction in those words, but the words of a sleepy mind would have one committing suicide--because no one, no mind, can think for another, nor does any body act for another. A = A, relation to self is altogether inadmissible.
      Last edited by Philosopher8659; 07-10-2010 at 03:32 AM.

    18. #18
      Beyond the Poles Cyclic13's Avatar
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      Thoughts entertaining thoughts.

      Don't just entertain them.

      Experience them.

      Think and hold the initial thought and become it.

      Thereafter, one realizes all other thoughts are one superfluous reaction and echo of the initial one.

      Almost there.

      Don't mind.

      Don't mind.

      Step into initial thought.

      The one substance interacting with itself.

      The foamy transient film of the malaise and joy we experience.


      Direct Translation: Dream Delusion Shadow Bubble
      Meaning: All is transitory.

      Last edited by Cyclic13; 07-11-2010 at 05:35 PM.


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    19. #19
      DuB
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      Oh thanks, that's very helpful.

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