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The mystery of consciousness: Sam Harris - Dhamma Wheel

The mystery of consciousness: Sam Harris

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.
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Ben
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The mystery of consciousness: Sam Harris

Postby Ben » Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:31 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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alan
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Re: The mystery of consciousness: Sam Harris

Postby alan » Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:14 am

Thank you Ben for this thought-provoking post.
The mystery does not have to be seen as a "miracle". Another way to say it is:
"From an inconceivable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident."
(though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating and wandering on).

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Ben
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Re: The mystery of consciousness: Sam Harris

Postby Ben » Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:20 am

Hi alan,
Great to see you back here.
Yes, I thought it was an excellent essay.
I'm not sure whether you have read the essay in its entirety so I am not sure whether you are responding as though Harris is saying that 'consciousness is a miracle' or not. In the essay his contention is a rebuttal to that particular idea.
kind regards,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

alan
Posts: 2812
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: The mystery of consciousness: Sam Harris

Postby alan » Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:06 am

Hi Ben
Had to take a few weeks off to cool down. When I saw you post it seemed like a good opportunity to start a discussion.
Over 60 views and no comments? There must be some opinions out there.

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m0rl0ck
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Re: The mystery of consciousness: Sam Harris

Postby m0rl0ck » Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:42 pm

What harris is missing is that consciousness didnt emerge from anything. Consciousness is a fundemental property of the universe, like space, matter, energy etc. The difference between the merely physical and the subjective is just that some organisms have enough complexity to focus this fundemental property in the same way that large masses possess more gravity.

Its interesting that westerners start from the objective and their question is "How did consciousness arise from the physical?" Other cultures attribute primary place to subjectivity. Personally i like the analogy in the sheaves of reeds sutta. Subjectivity and objectivity being interdependent.
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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Ben
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Re: The mystery of consciousness: Sam Harris

Postby Ben » Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:55 pm

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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daverupa
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Re: The mystery of consciousness: Sam Harris

Postby daverupa » Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:00 pm


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m0rl0ck
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Re: The mystery of consciousness: Sam Harris

Postby m0rl0ck » Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:01 pm

“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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m0rl0ck
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Re: The mystery of consciousness: Sam Harris

Postby m0rl0ck » Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:20 pm

Last edited by m0rl0ck on Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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daverupa
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Re: The mystery of consciousness: Sam Harris

Postby daverupa » Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:38 pm


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m0rl0ck
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Re: The mystery of consciousness: Sam Harris

Postby m0rl0ck » Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:44 pm

“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

chownah
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Re: The mystery of consciousness: Sam Harris

Postby chownah » Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:50 pm


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m0rl0ck
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Re: The mystery of consciousness: Sam Harris

Postby m0rl0ck » Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:54 pm

“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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gavesako
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Re: The mystery of consciousness: Sam Harris

Postby gavesako » Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:48 pm

The article is a good challenge to materialistic reductionism. The neuroscientists often claim to "understand how the brain works" but as some recent findings show, their claims are far from certain. Compare this one:

Unexplained communication between brain hemispheres without corpus callosum

Ah, yes, the brain is an amazing and wonderful thing - just when we think we get one piece figured out, we find something we never expected. In this case, researchers have found that folks without a corpus callosum (the bundle of nerve fibers that connects the two hemispheres of the brain) still are able to exhibit communication between the two hemispheres.
Could the brain be using electromagnetic fields to communicate between hemispheres — the electromagnetic field theory of consciousness proposed by Johnjoe McFadden (School of Biomedical and Life Sciences, University of Surrey)?

http://integral-options.blogspot.com/20 ... brain.html

:jawdrop:
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Moggalana
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Re: The mystery of consciousness: Sam Harris

Postby Moggalana » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:56 pm

Let it come. Let it be. Let it go.

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m0rl0ck
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Re: The mystery of consciousness: Sam Harris

Postby m0rl0ck » Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:07 pm

“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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Ben
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Re: The mystery of consciousness: Sam Harris

Postby Ben » Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:39 pm

Please return to topic. Off-topic posts will be removed.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Alex123
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Re: The mystery of consciousness: Sam Harris

Postby Alex123 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:52 pm

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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m0rl0ck
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Re: The mystery of consciousness: Sam Harris

Postby m0rl0ck » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:49 pm

“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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BubbaBuddhist
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Re: The mystery of consciousness: Sam Harris

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:51 pm

I'll take a crack at it. :tongue: Only the expression of consciousness is affected by damage to the machine, ie; the brain. Consciousness itself--the quality of awareness--remains. Until it doesn't and then the person is declared dead.

M4
Author of Redneck Buddhism: or Will You Reincarnate as Your Own Cousin?


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