Please, I need help from patient and committed idealists

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Soul_of_Shu
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Re: Please, I need help from patient and committed idealists

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AshvinP wrote: Mon Aug 09, 2021 4:44 pmYes, I think careful consideration of our 1st person experience naturally leads us to the conclusion that other 1st-person perspectives exist, and are always interacting with our own perspective, giving rise to willing-feeling-thinking within our perspective. They can still all be 1st person perspectives of the One essential Mind, though. Is that still "solipsism" or something else?
Solipsism, as BK defines it, is the notion that all of reality is a projection of one's personal mind, not taking into account any transpersonal Mind. However, I suppose it could be conceived to be that M@L is the sole Solipsist. :?
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Re: Please, I need help from patient and committed idealists

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AshvinP wrote: Mon Aug 09, 2021 4:44 pm Yes, I think careful consideration of our 1st person experience naturally leads us to the conclusion that other 1st-person perspectives exist, and are always interacting with our own perspective, giving rise to willing-feeling-thinking within our perspective. They can still all be 1st person perspectives of the One essential Mind, though. Is that still "solipsism" or something else?
This is in the "gray area" of the philosophy of consciousness. I'm not aware of any philosophers considering the possibility of personal subjective experiences being simultaneously 1-st person experiences of the One Mind. As I said before such view would run into the subject combination problem which is still being debated among the philosophers of consciousness.
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Re: Please, I need help from patient and committed idealists

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Soul_of_Shu wrote: Mon Aug 09, 2021 5:23 pm
AshvinP wrote: Mon Aug 09, 2021 4:44 pmYes, I think careful consideration of our 1st person experience naturally leads us to the conclusion that other 1st-person perspectives exist, and are always interacting with our own perspective, giving rise to willing-feeling-thinking within our perspective. They can still all be 1st person perspectives of the One essential Mind, though. Is that still "solipsism" or something else?
Solipsism, as BK defines it, is the notion that all of reality is a projection of one's personal mind, not taking into account any transpersonal Mind. However, I suppose it could be conceived to be that M@L is the sole Solipsist. :?

Right. For me, I am gradually coming to think this particular issue is not even one suitable for analytical philosophy or science. It is a purely spiritual issue. All issues are spiritual, but some spiritual issues have overlap with intellectual philosophy-science, like "is there really material stuff existing apart from my mental essence?", and some do not. The latter are strictly matters of higher cognitive perception. If we develop our cognition so far as to intuitive knowledge, for ex., we take on the entirely different perspective of another being's soul. It is very difficult to even talk about with these words. But I imagine it's the sort of experience which relates, "my 'I' is the same, as it is shared by all, but the contents of perception have completely shifted to another perspective of the 'I'". In the midst of such an experience, it makes no difference whether the contents are exactly the same as the 'other soul' experiences them, i.e. whether we are still actually experiencing an expanded sphere of our own perspective or the truly existing perspective of another soul, because it is so completely different than our own normal perspective that it transcends all such questions of the intellect. Whatever the case may be, our consciousness has expanded to encompass novel perspectives, which means the potential was always there for such expansion from within our own perspective - if that is called "solipsism", so be it.

Eugene wrote:This is in the "gray area" of the philosophy of consciousness. I'm not aware of any philosophers considering the possibility of personal subjective experiences being simultaneously 1-st person experiences of the One Mind. As I said before such view would run into the subject combination problem which is still being debated among the philosophers of consciousness.

I think my response to Dana addresses the above as well. For me, the "subject combination problem" seems to exclusively belong to domain of the abstract intellect which cannot grasp higher modes of cognition. Put another way, it simply disappears as a debatable topic when confronted with the immense reality of shared, interwoven soul-perspectives. Perhaps similar to the experience of all questions about how consciousness evolved from matter, or how "something came from nothing", or anything similar to that, dissolving when entering the mystical state.
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Re: Please, I need help from patient and committed idealists

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Remember the epistemology of the solipsist, only my direct experience can be granted as real, nothing can be inferred from the behaviours of others, they might be simulations, androids, or whatever. All that counts is my own mind, everything else is abstraction. Do others have free will? Meaningless abstraction because there are no others. Do others experience pain? Meaningless abstraction, they might behave like they do, like I do when I feel pain, but that doesn't mean they actually experience it, because there is only one experiencer, me.

Solipsism is absolute skepticism, they can never take minimal investment towards "maybe we are all shared in M@L", that's no longer a skeptic position. They can never take the minimal investment that others might be feel pain or have their own subjective inner reality - that's no longer an absolute skeptic position. The solipsist is always agnostic about whether others have experience and this prevents, theoretically, ever coming into contact with love, compassion or any interpersonal shared being. Solipsism as a position itself requires the absolute distance of agnosticism towards everything not directly experience by your own mind, once you lean towards abstract arguments, you are no longer a practicing solipsist but a normal philosopher.


If you believe in Solipsism you will have zero empathy. Empathy requires imagining something incomprehensible to you but fathomable and appreciable by an other, and yet showing respect and sincere understanding recognition of the difference. The solipsist doesn't believe in an other who has free agency so they also lose all capacity for ethics and morality which are premised on intentional decision-making. The solipsist is free but others are determined, replaceable figments, like holograms or hallucinations, literally NPCs in a video game, their pain counts for nothing because it isn't experienced by the solipsist and therefor isn't real.
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Re: Please, I need help from patient and committed idealists

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Lysander wrote: Fri Aug 13, 2021 9:36 am Remember the epistemology of the solipsist, only my direct experience can be granted as real, nothing can be inferred from the behaviours of others, they might be simulations, androids, or whatever. All that counts is my own mind, everything else is abstraction. Do others have free will? Meaningless abstraction because there are no others. Do others experience pain? Meaningless abstraction, they might behave like they do, like I do when I feel pain, but that doesn't mean they actually experience it, because there is only one experiencer, me.

Solipsism is absolute skepticism, they can never take minimal investment towards "maybe we are all shared in M@L", that's no longer a skeptic position. They can never take the minimal investment that others might be feel pain or have their own subjective inner reality - that's no longer an absolute skeptic position. The solipsist is always agnostic about whether others have experience and this prevents, theoretically, ever coming into contact with love, compassion or any interpersonal shared being. Solipsism as a position itself requires the absolute distance of agnosticism towards everything not directly experience by your own mind, once you lean towards abstract arguments, you are no longer a practicing solipsist but a normal philosopher.


If you believe in Solipsism you will have zero empathy. Empathy requires imagining something incomprehensible to you but fathomable and appreciable by an other, and yet showing respect and sincere understanding recognition of the difference. The solipsist doesn't believe in an other who has free agency so they also lose all capacity for ethics and morality which are premised on intentional decision-making. The solipsist is free but others are determined, replaceable figments, like holograms or hallucinations, literally NPCs in a video game, their pain counts for nothing because it isn't experienced by the solipsist and therefor isn't real.

The bolded assertion is true, but what follows is not "epistemology" but conclusions. Such as, "all that counts is my own mind" or "there are no others". The truth indeed is that we cannot know anything outside of our own experience, but the fatal mistake of materialists, idealists, and unhealthy solipsists alike is to assume our own experience-knowledge is fundamentally limited to our bodily senses and what happens inside "our own skull". That is where all of them go wrong and end up in one nihilistic framework or another. It is not the initial epistemology of solipsism which is mistaken, but the assumptions unconsciously brought in with it, which then leads to a flawed epistemic conclusion.
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Re: Please, I need help from patient and committed idealists

Post by Lysander »

AshvinP wrote: Fri Aug 13, 2021 4:21 pm
Lysander wrote: Fri Aug 13, 2021 9:36 am Remember the epistemology of the solipsist, only my direct experience can be granted as real, nothing can be inferred from the behaviours of others, they might be simulations, androids, or whatever. All that counts is my own mind, everything else is abstraction. Do others have free will? Meaningless abstraction because there are no others. Do others experience pain? Meaningless abstraction, they might behave like they do, like I do when I feel pain, but that doesn't mean they actually experience it, because there is only one experiencer, me.

Solipsism is absolute skepticism, they can never take minimal investment towards "maybe we are all shared in M@L", that's no longer a skeptic position. They can never take the minimal investment that others might be feel pain or have their own subjective inner reality - that's no longer an absolute skeptic position. The solipsist is always agnostic about whether others have experience and this prevents, theoretically, ever coming into contact with love, compassion or any interpersonal shared being. Solipsism as a position itself requires the absolute distance of agnosticism towards everything not directly experience by your own mind, once you lean towards abstract arguments, you are no longer a practicing solipsist but a normal philosopher.


If you believe in Solipsism you will have zero empathy. Empathy requires imagining something incomprehensible to you but fathomable and appreciable by an other, and yet showing respect and sincere understanding recognition of the difference. The solipsist doesn't believe in an other who has free agency so they also lose all capacity for ethics and morality which are premised on intentional decision-making. The solipsist is free but others are determined, replaceable figments, like holograms or hallucinations, literally NPCs in a video game, their pain counts for nothing because it isn't experienced by the solipsist and therefor isn't real.

The bolded assertion is true, but what follows is not "epistemology" but conclusions. Such as, "all that counts is my own mind" or "there are no others". The truth indeed is that we cannot know anything outside of our own experience, but the fatal mistake of materialists, idealists, and unhealthy solipsists alike is to assume our own experience-knowledge is fundamentally limited to our bodily senses and what happens inside "our own skull". That is where all of them go wrong and end up in one nihilistic framework or another. It is not the initial epistemology of solipsism which is mistaken, but the assumptions unconsciously brought in with it, which then leads to a flawed epistemic conclusion.
To be clear, I am still arguing for the practical implausability of being able to adhere or practice solipsism which then renders it a purely theoretical position and for people like us loses importance, because we care about spiritual practice. Because the solipsist must take an absolute agnosticism towards all matters outside his own knowledge of being, he is unable to empathize at all, he cannot rise to the minimal level of concern for another because he cannot rise to the minimal level of contemplating an other might exist. To think of others at all is to stop being a solipsist. To consider their 'true reality' is to stop being a solipsist. The solipsist must maintain an absolute distance from such investigation while concluding only he is real. Other life-forms exist in a limbo of unknowable unreality which frankly, he sees no literal reason to care about because to truly care means to stop practicing solipsism and to practice philosophy.

I apologize if you already got my point previously. Is this not the case? Solipsism is deeply anti-philosophical/spiritual/intellectual position by neuturing all possibilities of knowing, and thus all interest in it. It claims very nihilistically that very little is knowable. Thus to practice it is to intentionally evade everything that's significant in life, which is deeply counter-intuitive, and likely impossible to maintain for any length of time.
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Re: Please, I need help from patient and committed idealists

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Lysander wrote: Sat Aug 14, 2021 4:18 am
AshvinP wrote: Fri Aug 13, 2021 4:21 pm
Lysander wrote: Fri Aug 13, 2021 9:36 am Remember the epistemology of the solipsist, only my direct experience can be granted as real, nothing can be inferred from the behaviours of others, they might be simulations, androids, or whatever. All that counts is my own mind, everything else is abstraction. Do others have free will? Meaningless abstraction because there are no others. Do others experience pain? Meaningless abstraction, they might behave like they do, like I do when I feel pain, but that doesn't mean they actually experience it, because there is only one experiencer, me.

Solipsism is absolute skepticism, they can never take minimal investment towards "maybe we are all shared in M@L", that's no longer a skeptic position. They can never take the minimal investment that others might be feel pain or have their own subjective inner reality - that's no longer an absolute skeptic position. The solipsist is always agnostic about whether others have experience and this prevents, theoretically, ever coming into contact with love, compassion or any interpersonal shared being. Solipsism as a position itself requires the absolute distance of agnosticism towards everything not directly experience by your own mind, once you lean towards abstract arguments, you are no longer a practicing solipsist but a normal philosopher.


If you believe in Solipsism you will have zero empathy. Empathy requires imagining something incomprehensible to you but fathomable and appreciable by an other, and yet showing respect and sincere understanding recognition of the difference. The solipsist doesn't believe in an other who has free agency so they also lose all capacity for ethics and morality which are premised on intentional decision-making. The solipsist is free but others are determined, replaceable figments, like holograms or hallucinations, literally NPCs in a video game, their pain counts for nothing because it isn't experienced by the solipsist and therefor isn't real.

The bolded assertion is true, but what follows is not "epistemology" but conclusions. Such as, "all that counts is my own mind" or "there are no others". The truth indeed is that we cannot know anything outside of our own experience, but the fatal mistake of materialists, idealists, and unhealthy solipsists alike is to assume our own experience-knowledge is fundamentally limited to our bodily senses and what happens inside "our own skull". That is where all of them go wrong and end up in one nihilistic framework or another. It is not the initial epistemology of solipsism which is mistaken, but the assumptions unconsciously brought in with it, which then leads to a flawed epistemic conclusion.
To be clear, I am still arguing for the practical implausability of being able to adhere or practice solipsism which then renders it a purely theoretical position and for people like us loses importance, because we care about spiritual practice. Because the solipsist must take an absolute agnosticism towards all matters outside his own knowledge of being, he is unable to empathize at all, he cannot rise to the minimal level of concern for another because he cannot rise to the minimal level of contemplating an other might exist. To think of others at all is to stop being a solipsist. To consider their 'true reality' is to stop being a solipsist. The solipsist must maintain an absolute distance from such investigation while concluding only he is real. Other life-forms exist in a limbo of unknowable unreality which frankly, he sees no literal reason to care about because to truly care means to stop practicing solipsism and to practice philosophy.

I apologize if you already got my point previously. Is this not the case? Solipsism is deeply anti-philosophical/spiritual/intellectual position by neuturing all possibilities of knowing, and thus all interest in it. It claims very nihilistically that very little is knowable. Thus to practice it is to intentionally evade everything that's significant in life, which is deeply counter-intuitive, and likely impossible to maintain for any length of time.

I don't understand why epistemic solipsism excludes empathizing or any other feelings which arise within us when interacting with others. We are only saying that we do not know whether any of that arises from something other than our own experience-cognition. I call that "healthy solipsism" or "methodological" solipsism". I would say that is the default state for most people when routinely interacting without much reflection - we react most immediately to what experiences those interactions prompt within us, how another's behavior relates to our own experience. We have not yet concluded anything objective about that other person's interiority.

Then if someone asks us about that interiority and we are forced to reflect on those interactions, our intellect will adopt 3rd person perspective which does not exist and say "yes the other person had interiority just like mine". I claim that is not epistemically warranted, no more than I can look at a cow and say what the cow is experiencing. Furthermore, I say true knowledge will never come independently of how anything or anyone relates to our own experience. So, in short, I don't think Russell's objection holds - a healthy solipsist can live just like anyone else and still derive all knowledge from within their own experience.

Now that's where the unhealthy solilsist stops. Because they assume what they cannot experience with mere intellect is forever beyond reach, like most other people. They assume another beings interiority in relation to their own cannot be experienced-cognized directly or in detail. In that sense, everyone holding to modern prejudice of that sort is an unhealthy solipsist. The person who doesn't go by label "solipsist" thinks they can simply posit other beings' soul life and that gives them richer meaning of their own. I do not think that holds true in our current stage of spiritual evolution.
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Re: Please, I need help from patient and committed idealists

Post by Lysander »

Ashvin, I agree with your dichotomy of Healthy vs Unhealthy Solipsism and find it useful. But I think I am missing some of what you're saying. I am still stuck one point. Specifically your first sentence.

Do you feel empathy if you see a cartboard cut-out of a man get torn into pieces? How about a log getting split by a saw? How about a cadaver getting cut open?

Next, how about a Japanese robotic mannequin thing getting shot by a bullet? How about an ant stepped on under your foot or a dandelion you pick off the earth?

Theoretically, a trained Jain spiritualist should feel empathy for the ant and the dandelion. This tells me that our sense of empathy is a kind of cultural conditioning. We modernists will have empathy due to the property damage to the owner and unexpected sound of violence from the gun that impacted the robot. It doesn't seem like a fair fight, like a hammer slamming into a watermelon.

I am trying to say: Why do we (automatically, culturally conditionally) empathize with sentient beings? We are conditioned, in line with neural intuition like mirror neurons, to detect the pain of others. A solipsist doesn't agree that their pain is real. Their pain exists in an unknowable limbo, as does their being or "to be like them", their consciousness or experiencing.

So to practice solipsism means to condition your mirror neurons to be prejudiced away from quick empathic judgements. Solipsism would condition one towards agnostic indifference because empathy is an investment in the possibility of others consciousness or non-consciousness. Likewise, Kastrup's Idealism doesn't posit that we should empathize with robots anymore than the dirt beneath our feet because it doesn't have any consciousness or inner experience. Solipsism will hold agnosticism towards the existence of other people's inner experience which means empathy must be suspended.

Is the question about what level of certainty in the existence of other beings' minds leads to what level of empathy?
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Re: Please, I need help from patient and committed idealists

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Lysander wrote: Sun Aug 15, 2021 6:05 am Ashvin, I agree with your dichotomy of Healthy vs Unhealthy Solipsism and find it useful. But I think I am missing some of what you're saying. I am still stuck one point. Specifically your first sentence.

Do you feel empathy if you see a cartboard cut-out of a man get torn into pieces? How about a log getting split by a saw? How about a cadaver getting cut open?

Next, how about a Japanese robotic mannequin thing getting shot by a bullet? How about an ant stepped on under your foot or a dandelion you pick off the earth?

Theoretically, a trained Jain spiritualist should feel empathy for the ant and the dandelion. This tells me that our sense of empathy is a kind of cultural conditioning. We modernists will have empathy due to the property damage to the owner and unexpected sound of violence from the gun that impacted the robot. It doesn't seem like a fair fight, like a hammer slamming into a watermelon.

I am trying to say: Why do we (automatically, culturally conditionally) empathize with sentient beings? We are conditioned, in line with neural intuition like mirror neurons, to detect the pain of others. A solipsist doesn't agree that their pain is real. Their pain exists in an unknowable limbo, as does their being or "to be like them", their consciousness or experiencing.

So to practice solipsism means to condition your mirror neurons to be prejudiced away from quick empathic judgements. Solipsism would condition one towards agnostic indifference because empathy is an investment in the possibility of others consciousness or non-consciousness. Likewise, Kastrup's Idealism doesn't posit that we should empathize with robots anymore than the dirt beneath our feet because it doesn't have any consciousness or inner experience. Solipsism will hold agnosticism towards the existence of other people's inner experience which means empathy must be suspended.

Is the question about what level of certainty in the existence of other beings' minds leads to what level of empathy?

Lysznder,

These are good questions. Clearly we have some foundation of implicit structuring knowledge when perceiving the world, otherwise it would appear as complete chaos of peceptual content. But if that knoweldge is held unconsciously, I do not consider it "true knowledge". So we definitely have intuitions which allow us to experience empathy for others suffering, but if we never understand why or how those intuitions arrive within us, I consider that a sort of knowledge which can easily be obfuscated in times of real strife between people.

Secondly, that a solipsist "does not agree that their pain is real" is a potential conclusion of lazy solipsism which assumes my current fragmentated experience-knowledge is the peak of my potential experience-knowledge. That conclusion can just as easily result from non-solipsist thinking, but perhaps more implicitly. People today can practically act as if no ones pain matters except their own without holding to any philosophical position.

Finally, I think we tend to overstate our feelings of "empathy" when seeing the violence done to others who we presume have interior life. That empathy definitely occurs as mentioned before, but there is also an element of imagining such things happening to us and therefore feeling revolted by it. I can just as easily simulate those same feelings by picturing hypothetical violence done to myself. These two things are related for sure, but if we remain mostly unconscious about what's taking place in our experience, there is really no reliable means of differentiating the two, saying one is empathy and the other is personal flight of fancy.
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