There is a disturbance in the force.

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There is a disturbance in the force.

Postby Indrajala » Wed Oct 06, 2010 1:20 pm

So there is this ongoing experiment with the following hypothesis:

Periods of collective attention or emotion in widely distributed populations will correlate with deviations from expectation in a global network of physical random number generators.


http://noosphere.princeton.edu/

and...

We hypothesize that our instrument (the network of "eggs") will show anomalous deviations associated with Global Events when there is widespread participation or reaction to the event.


Their gizmo which produces randomness is like this...

All use a quantum level process, either thermal noise or electron tunneling for the fundamental source of random fluctuation. Each device is subjected to a rigorous calibration process based on at least one million 200-bit trials before being placed in service. They have shielding, and we also use a logical operation to eliminate bias from environmental influences such as electromagnetic fields, temperature changes, and component aging.




Now, according to them there is plenty of evidence to support their hypothesis:

Over the 12 years since the inception of the project, over 325 replications of the basic hypothesis test have been accumulated.


...which is neatly represented on their graph here:

Image

The results page defines the major global events and how their random number generators produce anomalies during said events. Take a look at the individual events and their Z-score (indicates how many standard deviations an observation or datum is above or below the mean):

http://noosphere.princeton.edu/results.html



There was also a predicted deviation that occurred when the building of a Buddhist stupa was completed:

http://noosphere.princeton.edu/stupa.html

The reasoning was thus:

Peter Bancel made a prediction in June 2001 concerning an important Buddhist ceremony dedicating a new Stupa (meditation focus) that would be installed in Colorado in August. He suggested that the Stupa consecration at the Rocky Mountain Shambhala Center would bring a substantial number of Buddhist meditators to a common focus for much of a 9-day period.



Their analysis of Sept 11 is also interesting:

Image


Anyway, I find the results of their project quite intriguing. It all indicates proof of "global consciousness" that actually effects things at the quantum level.

I think also it indicates just how significant emotional and mental states are. So much more when they are cumulative among many individuals. It makes meditation, positive affirmation (may all sentient beings be free from suffering!) and prayer all that more significant and powerful.

Basically just thinking positive things has a subtle but real effect in the mind-nexus which is our world. That isn't anything new to Buddhists really, but it substantiates the idea nevertheless. As Buddha said, "This world is led by the mind."
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Re: There is a disturbance in the force.

Postby Lazy_eye » Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:21 pm

Fascinating stuff, Huseng! I just skimmed the website this morning and look forward to exploring it further. Thanks for posting this.

For anyone thrown off by the terminology, here's a plain-language statement of what they are doing:

The project builds on excellent experiments conducted over the past 35 years at a number of laboratories, demonstrating that human consciousness interacts with random event generators (REGs), apparently "causing" them to produce non-random patterns.


And here's what Wikipedia has to say about it...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Con ... #Criticism
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Re: There is a disturbance in the force.

Postby neverdowell » Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:14 pm

Thanks. I'd heard of this project before. The first time I saw it I thought it was bollocks, but I wasn't a Buddhist then. Now it comes as no surprise since I've been doing regular practice. It's true, your mind affects others' minds and the environment, and vice versa. Everything is interconnected. But good luck getting that to hit mainstream news in "enlightened secular societies", in a way which gives it the importance it deserves. I think information like that is suppressed to be honest.

To develop bodhichitta, which is the actual practice, you need to develop such compassion that you simply cannot bear others being tormented by suffering. But in order to develop this compassion, you must know exactly how you yourself are plagued by suffering. And you must understand that the whole of samsara is by nature suffering. But first you must fear the lower realms, for without this you will have no repudiation of celestial and human happiness. You must therefore train your mind in the small- and medium- scope parts of the path. -- Pabongka Rinpoche
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Re: There is a disturbance in the force.

Postby Will » Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:44 pm

While interesting and believable (to me), a better proof is the historic fact that pre-internet, pre-worldwide communication, inventors & thinkers would come up with identical or very similar inventions or ideas around the same time.
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Re: There is a disturbance in the force.

Postby Indrajala » Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:52 pm

neverdowell wrote:Thanks. I'd heard of this project before. The first time I saw it I thought it was bollocks, but I wasn't a Buddhist then. Now it comes as no surprise since I've been doing regular practice. It's true, your mind affects others' minds and the environment, and vice versa. Everything is interconnected. But good luck getting that to hit mainstream news in "enlightened secular societies", in a way which gives it the importance it deserves. I think information like that is suppressed to be honest.


They might not have "proof" as of yet, but the case is quite solid for what they propose.

For me this research, and any number of other things, indicates that sentient consciousness is much more than just some bi-product or epiphenomena of the brain as some thinkers like to suggest.

This research also highlights that mere thoughts and feelings can and indeed do affect the world in subtle and unseen ways. What you think initiates the karma-vipaka process just as any willed physical or verbal action does. The difference, however, is the effects of the latter are readily observed. The effects of thought on the other hand remain largely in the background.
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Re: There is a disturbance in the force.

Postby ronnewmexico » Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:10 pm

Or is the inverse the situation....mere thoughts and feelings are reflective of the pattern of things.

We as human seem to always greatly overstate our importance in the scheem of things. Our thoughts experiments whatever are not ours, really, but reflective of some other.... which would mean what we are seeing is not our thoughts or ideas shaping things but our thoughts and ideas reflective of how things are being shaped.

The counter would be to state sepecific observable behavior in a experimental sense on the tinest of particles would infer direct observational input into results by the observor.
The counter to that would be.....if perhaps the scheem of things is that the observor when directly observing and focusing upon one object of experiment that observor and resultant focus is but a microcosm of the totality.....the reflection that minds and thought just reflect a greater construct. The observor effect surly...but it is the observor itself who so effected but plays out the larger.

Or it is not mind nor thought directing these things but observable is that other factor affects mind and thought.
So any experiments on this issue reflect of course that mind and thought influence but mind and thought are themselves the object of influence, or process of influence.

So no solely objective basis can be established to determine this thing. But humankind being self oriented will firmly reject any assertation that conflicts with other determinations. Hence the logical bent is always towards the reinforcing of humankind and their influence on things....it affirms self which is what inspires this whole thing.

So we cannot entertain other. Our reality self created is based upon this very precept....self. So any conflcition is observable only on a very grand scale or a very minute scale..beyond normal perceptive ability in that way. Our perceptions are all observations of self not other. As such to get beyond self perceptable influence(even in a experimental realm this is true)....is very very difficult.And the observation which may conflict with the science that produces thought which may conflict with the basic precepts involved(validity of perceptions)...is explained away or otherwise never even for a minute considered.

so it is that ideas and thought are influencing, not that ideas and thought are being influenced as are events being inluenced by similiar mechanism. Both a product of the external but the external nonperceptable as it conflicts with sense of self....which is the mechanism of our blindness. So all is dark. Our thoughts and ideas do these grand things.

Sure they do...I can, and others..... think a thing into being. But the I that does such things is but the product of things as well. So things they become thinking other things into being, no middle man.
Whch reaffirms some intepretations of buddhism. Any way studied self is the affirmation, and nonself is the experimental affirmation or conclusion that can be reached but only by removing the concept of such from the equation. It seemingly is true (if such is considered true as I do) we must remember we are always examining self when we examine other no matter how strange nor abrupt this other appears to be. The stranger and more abrupt things are found to be speaks only to our strangeness and abruptness not any other thing.

The smallest of the small and the largest of the large but express this....there is no large nor small, or other thing be. Alive.....if we can be considered to be alive...certainly we can know that there is nothing seperate from us. As we grown seemingly not alive things like nail and hair which are part of us, so also is this universe but alive as we are so seemingly part alive and part not. Can we reflect with differeing character than the whole...such is impossible.We are considered alive...so is all around us.

Our notion of alive is seemingly what needs to be modified not our conception of these things. Energy of any form is alive. As solid is but equation of energy found in certain form. ARe we other....heck no.
That is my contention. This the entireity of this thing is created by awareness in relation to aspect of awareness and is thusly being so related as nail to finger can be considered for all intents and purposes...parts of the same.

So I counter with that.NOt denying that but expanding the scope. Or maybe we agree.
Last edited by ronnewmexico on Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: There is a disturbance in the force.

Postby Luke » Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:29 pm

Huseng wrote:This research also highlights that mere thoughts and feelings can and indeed do affect the world in subtle and unseen ways. What you think initiates the karma-vipaka process just as any willed physical or verbal action does. The difference, however, is the effects of the latter are readily observed. The effects of thought on the other hand remain largely in the background.

Yes, this is interesting, but I think it's also necessary to clarify what you mean from a Buddhist point of view. This study shows how our individual mindstreams influence each other and can create tangible effects over large distances. However, it doesn't show that we are all part of the same "universal mind." If you're hungry and I eat something, you're still hungry afterwards.

Here's another interesting study, which is not quite so abstract, but still interesting about how people can influence each other indirectly:
Christakis and Fowler’s strangest finding is the idea that a behavior can skip links — spreading to a friend of a friend without affecting the person who connects them. If the people in the middle of a chain are somehow passing along a social contagion, it doesn’t make sense, on the face of it, that they wouldn’t be affected, too. The two researchers say they don’t know for sure how the link-jumping works. But they theorize that people may be able to pass along a social signal without themselves acting on it. If your friends at work become obese, even if you don’t gain weight yourself, you might become more accepting of obesity as a normal state — and unconsciously transmit that signal to your family members, who would then feel a sort of permission to gain weight themselves, knowing they wouldn’t face any sort of censure from you.

...Yet there is also, the two scientists argue, something empowering about the idea that we are so entwined. “Even as we are being influenced by others, we can influence others,” Christakis told me when we first met. “And therefore the importance of taking actions that are beneficial to others is heightened. So this network thing can cut both ways, subverting our ability to have free will, but increasing, if you will, the importance of us having free will.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/magaz ... f=magazine
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Re: There is a disturbance in the force.

Postby ronnewmexico » Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:46 pm

I also disagree with the universal mind concept,but in a different way. We always think of us as being part of the universal mind. Imagine the universal mind is but our minds.

Part subject object, all constucts. Imagine we create the perception of other eating and we not being satiated. It is not the conflict with our reality but the conflict with our preceptions which presents.
If we had a self created situation of other eating and we being satiated it would grossly conflict with self other concept...so our reality; reflective of how we really think of things, reflects that.

It is not this is how things have to be or truly are.... but that we can never entertain that they are not that way. Self cannot entertain any reality that conflicts with self. Suchly I assume why we rebirth with no memory of other self.....it would conflict with present self which is what drives the whole thing.

Suchly everything here all our perceptions based upon firstly this construct of self other like dislike and all the rest creats a perceptable reality in which all appears as we have determined we shall find it...

self and other. I may not eat and you be filled. In my reality....I can eat and you be filled, solid object is but energy (which we by our singular observations is a fluid) and thoughts and intentions influence outcome.

Ghia universal mind construct in that fashion I agree none exists.
The notion part....would reduce it to subject object and all the rest. NO part can exist to my way of thinking in this context. It is not that no part exists but that all is parted, and all is awareness aspect seemingly in relationship of. So notion of seperate part is always only valid within the context of everything being parted in all each and every aspect. So in this cosdieration we can equate the two our mind and universal mind. Both of exactly equal nature.
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Re: There is a disturbance in the force.

Postby Lazy_eye » Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:25 am

Alaya + sunyata = "global consciousness"? (or maybe "cosmic consciousness" would be better?)
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Re: There is a disturbance in the force.

Postby Indrajala » Thu Oct 07, 2010 2:21 am

Luke wrote:
Huseng wrote:This research also highlights that mere thoughts and feelings can and indeed do affect the world in subtle and unseen ways. What you think initiates the karma-vipaka process just as any willed physical or verbal action does. The difference, however, is the effects of the latter are readily observed. The effects of thought on the other hand remain largely in the background.

Yes, this is interesting, but I think it's also necessary to clarify what you mean from a Buddhist point of view. This study shows how our individual mindstreams influence each other and can create tangible effects over large distances. However, it doesn't show that we are all part of the same "universal mind." If you're hungry and I eat something, you're still hungry afterwards.


I never proposed that we are all part of the same "universal mind". However, it is irrefutable that we are all interconnected to each other and collectively form reality.

The Treatise on Buddha Nature (佛性論) specifically states that sentient beings ARE the tathāgatagarbha:

《佛性論》卷2〈3 如來藏品〉:「佛說約住自性如如。一切眾生是如來藏。」(CBETA, T31, no. 1610, p. 795, c24-25)

"Buddha spoke of abiding in one's own nature -- tathātā. Sentient beings are the tathāgatagarbha."


I personally understand this to be none other than reality. We collectively form in totality reality and there is nothing that objectively exists apart from the field of minds which are the fabric of that reality.

So in that sense, there it totality, but at the same time relative individuality.
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Re: There is a disturbance in the force.

Postby ronnewmexico » Thu Oct 07, 2010 4:35 am

If my personal take on this thing is correct, reality or other force unknown being the shaper of thoughts and such, not the inverse....our notions of individuality are greatly exaggerated.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: There is a disturbance in the force.

Postby Indrajala » Thu Oct 07, 2010 8:58 am

ronnewmexico wrote:If my personal take on this thing is correct, reality or other force unknown being the shaper of thoughts and such, not the inverse....our notions of individuality are greatly exaggerated.


From a karmic perspective there is individuality. The seeds of my past karma do not ripen in anyone else's mental continuum.

As to free will and individuality, there has to be some degree of it lest you fall into pure determinism whereby all your actions are determined by external forces. In such a case enlightenment and liberation is entirely random.
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Re: There is a disturbance in the force.

Postby Luke » Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:16 am

Huseng wrote:I never proposed that we are all part of the same "universal mind".

Yes, I realize that. I didn't mean that your understanding was incorrect, but I just wanted to add clarification because I think a lot of people who read these studies are eager to interpret them in incorrect ways--as proof of a "conscious" Earth ("Gaia"), proof of "Brahman," etc.--you know the usual New Age, oversimplified, warm and fuzzy "all is one" bandwagon.
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Re: There is a disturbance in the force.

Postby ronnewmexico » Thu Oct 07, 2010 4:19 pm

"From a karmic perspective there is individuality. The seeds of my past karma do not ripen in anyone else's mental continuum.

As to free will and individuality, there has to be some degree of it lest you fall into pure determinism whereby all your actions are determined by external forces. In such a case enlightenment and liberation is entirely random."


Karma is as they say....false. It is a product of ignorance, a incorrect apprehension of things. It exists certainly...but its existance is based upon false things.

What one will fall into I claim is undetermined. I consider my thought my very breath and heart beat all karmic result. One of my favorite pass times is to walk in the forest seeing such as such. Or just sit and see all as such.
I have no spiritual quality of enlightenment or any education to this thing, but find I do not find enlightenment or liberation random at all. Uncaused perhaps you see, caused firmly I state it be. Result when caused... uncaused it firmly becomes. Seen as such, as the seeing cause it not be. And seeing only it be....awareness what other name know you by. Yes the seeing is firmly caused....and sight as well, but the capacity to see as all things composite be when such cause presents the result will always present. Understanding it is and once a thing fully understood it cannot be not understood.
IN that sense only is enlightenment uncaused and never regressed.

That my awareness is seperate and presents in singular form does not imply for me that seeing it akin to any other awareness, nor that more total awareness by quantity and influence, necessitates that I consider it not singular. Nothing is singular that I find. Presents as singularity only.All is composite in origin and nature, awareness itself I state.

All caused I firmly attest to include thought and all the rest. Enlightenment/liberation to me equates simply to understanding. Any understanding thusly found true can never extinguish any other understanding found true....it simply cannot happen in that fashion.

So I firmly reject that assertation....prove it true. If you can that is.

All I find is in my world firmly caused..... perception of singularity all the rest. I do however find not that such as my action performed not by me, may in any fashion be determined by external forces. External infers a internal in opposition. Such can never be. If I conceive a external then only can a external be.
Alll is considered internal or all is considered external....the result is the same. The perspective differs.
What known to be perspective impels action....... No. That one know things to be perspective never implies constriction to action, it implies understanding only.

On many basis is that assertation rejected.

Random or not random.....how many angel can fit on the head of that pin I wonder.
If such spiritual direction random considered would that to a whit effect the result?
If such spiritual direction nonrandom considered would that to a whit effect the result?
Would I then on such rational basis give a fig on what was random or not?
Will all, each and every one of us, eventually cause enlightenment to happen in random considered fashion or not. The amount of lives and the continual rebirthing I could make that case. We will all very eventually fall into the circumstance of enlightenment I could state. Can I then state this is random cause and this is nonrandom cause and qualify all as such....
I could but to what point. What is before us is before us not behind or accross from us.

So that contention on randomness is rejected on that basis as being inconsequential to essential point.

As all may be perceived as internal or external and neither is critical to the understanding of perspective, similiarily, perception of random or nonrandom, is not the issue of perspective as well.

In summary I would state what appears disturbance in force is a misnomer. Disturbance is in our perception of force. Simply stated. Our perceptions may or may not reflect reality as it is. Generally no.
In a overall context as when we perceive speaks of our perceptive ability and from perceptive ability and that knowledge can we than make assumption....that is seemingly how it is. WE have a ruler we are measuring all with. WE take the inches centimeters whatever to be what is. We can never due to constraints of rulers ever say we are really seeing what is by our measurements. WE can study the ruler and find out by its properties what all else is...ruler appears solid, it may be moved and on and on, how it reacts in water does it float yada yada yada.

The measurements of ruler....interesting only if we want to measure something. It tells us nothing of our reality except the measurements of our reality. To my opinion is our constricted fashion of perception. Our perspective is through the ruler of self and self only. To understand all we see as measurements of ruler never infers ruler does not exist nor attach other quality to things we may measure.
That is a misconception.

Hence I can fall into nothing. SElf only can fall. No self, reality only known as self constructed ruler of perception....can never be effected in any manner. It is understanding. It cannot be unknown.
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Re: There is a disturbance in the force.

Postby termite » Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:15 am

Luke wrote:Yes, this is interesting, but I think it's also necessary to clarify what you mean from a Buddhist point of view. This study shows how our individual mindstreams influence each other and can create tangible effects over large distances. However, it doesn't show that we are all part of the same "universal mind." If you're hungry and I eat something, you're still hungry afterwards.


Just because you eat, it doesn't mean that I don't. In which case, I might not be so hungry after all. I seem to remember eating. Are you sure about this? :)

Seriously, you are limited by what you experience as "you," so you only determine the commonality with "me" (or lack thereof) by inference. I do the same thing, assuming that my lunch was not your lunch. It "appears" that we are separate, but all we have is appearance to go by.

"Mindstream," on the other hand, is something outside of my experience. I can't actually ascertain that this conscious state is a stream at all, and certain meditative observations indicate that it is quite intermittent.

The nearest I can get to understanding the phenomenon of consciousness is that it co-arises with its object, whatever that happens to be (in the broadest sense: the world, which includes "you" and "me.")
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Re: There is a disturbance in the force.

Postby Luke » Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:07 am

termite wrote:Just because you eat, it doesn't mean that I don't. In which case, I might not be so hungry after all. I seem to remember eating. Are you sure about this? :)

Hehe. Good point. What I mean to say was, "If you're hungry and I eat something, but you don't, then you're still hungry afterwards."

termite wrote:Seriously, you are limited by what you experience as "you," so you only determine the commonality with "me" (or lack thereof) by inference. I do the same thing, assuming that my lunch was not your lunch. It "appears" that we are separate, but all we have is appearance to go by.

Well, the fact is that I can't willfully detach my mind from my body, force your mind out of your body, and attach my mind to your body's winds and channels so I could take control of it and experience sensations and perceptions through it. (Perhaps a great yogi or a some type of spirit might be able to do this, but it's usually not possible.) As far as us distinguishing our bodies as seperate, this is the heart of it.

Also the fact that I can't read your thoughts shows me that our minds are separate.

termite wrote:The nearest I can get to understanding the phenomenon of consciousness is that it co-arises with its object, whatever that happens to be (in the broadest sense: the world, which includes "you" and "me.")

Hmm...does this mean that we will be the same person if we are focusing on the same object? What if we are both eating the same giant pancake by biting it from opposite sides? Your theory would imply that we would be the same person because we're eating the same pancake, but experience shows that this is not true.
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Re: There is a disturbance in the force.

Postby catmoon » Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:19 am

Some people seem to believe that because there is conventional reality and there is ultimate reality, the former should be discarded, invalidated and ignored.
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Re: There is a disturbance in the force.

Postby termite » Sat Oct 09, 2010 5:05 pm

Luke wrote:Your theory would imply that we would be the same person because we're eating the same pancake, but experience shows that this is not true.


Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying, that experience shows it is not true. There's nothing else to go by.

It's not a theory. It's an observation.

My experience is that you are "other." Your experience is that I am "other." "Other" always appears to experience as "not me." But experience is itself the "me phenomenon"; "self" is nothing other than these five aggregates! Where is "other," if not in these same aggregates?

Your experience seems to contain "other" -- all those things which are "not you," but appear before you in the world of your senses -- but really what it does is split off "you" (the experiencer) from "that which is not experienced."

We are the same person (and not!) and it's always the same pancake (and not.) Mind is what makes it so (and not so.)
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Re: There is a disturbance in the force.

Postby Luke » Sat Oct 09, 2010 5:39 pm

termite wrote:Where is "other," if not in these same aggregates?

I think the concept of "other" is created because our mindstreams are independent. Both our mindstreams won't be reborn in the same cow. And if you attain enlightenment, it won't necessarily mean that I will attain enlightenment. Basically, not all the causes produced in your mindstream will produce results in mine.

You could dream all day about stealing my pancakes, but I won't be able to know this, so it won't change my moods or thoughts at all in the present, until you physically or verbally signal that you want to steal my pancakes.
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Re: There is a disturbance in the force.

Postby termite » Sat Oct 09, 2010 6:23 pm

Luke wrote:
termite wrote:Where is "other," if not in these same aggregates?

I think the concept of "other" is created because our mindstreams are independent. Both our mindstreams won't be reborn in the same cow. And if you attain enlightenment, it won't necessarily mean that I will attain enlightenment. Basically, not all the causes produced in your mindstream will produce results in mine.

You could dream all day about stealing my pancakes, but I won't be able to know this, so it won't change my moods or thoughts at all in the present, until you physically or verbally signal that you want to steal my pancakes.


Why would I want to steal your pancakes? :smile:

"Mindstream" is a myth, I'd say. It's a self-created idea of self-continuation. Consciousness doesn't work that way. It's not a "stream" at all. It's discontinuous.
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