Does Anything Matter?

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Robert Arvay
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Does Anything Matter?

Post by Robert Arvay »

It is one thing to merely say that things matter.
But, do they?
We can say that things matter temporarily, or to our way of thinking.
But, is it possible that, in the long-term, nothing really makes any difference,
because as the famed economist said, "In the long-term, we are all dead."
(He is.)

As the country/western song asks,
If love is not forever, then what's forever for?

If death is the final end, if there is nothing after that,
then does anything matter?

Inquiring minds wish to know.
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Soul_of_Shu
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Re: Does Anything Matter?

Post by Soul_of_Shu »

If one believes, as some do, that everything is reducible to non-conscious matter, and such is the ultimate fate of every conscious entity, then sure, from there it seems easy to be resigned to some meaningless nihilism. But if every conscious entity is participating in an ever-evolving relational process that is the One><Many fusion of an irreducible Consciousness imperatively exploring its immanent ideation, i.e. the Cosmos as idea construction, as these unique subjectified expressions of you and I and everyOne else, whereby discovering meaning is its raison d'ê·tre, and there's actually no way of opting out, then good luck with finding meaninglessness.
Here out of instinct or grace we seek
soulmates in these galleries of hieroglyph and glass,
where mutual longings and sufferings of love
are laid bare in transfigured exhibition of our hearts,
we who crave deep secrets and mysteries,
as elusive as the avatars of our dreams.
Shajan624
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Re: Does Anything Matter?

Post by Shajan624 »

I could never understand how “every conscious entity is participating in an ever-evolving relational process” is compatible with the view of life on earth as a product of Darwinian evolution.

Death is the inevitable end of my conscious life on earth. How does the idea that I am actually a ‘dissociated alter’ change anything? What is my relationship with the larger mind and why should I look forward to merging back into it?

Life is often compared to a dream to dispel the sense of meaninglessness. A dream is a dream only because we could think of a state of awareness to wake up to. There doesn’t seem to be such a possibility because M@L is not metaconscious, so we return to a deeper, eternal dream after death. How does it matter?

I think life becomes meaningful only if we could think of M@L as intentional in a way we don’t understand at present. It would be heretical to say so because then evolution, which produced conscious life, cannot be the seen as entirely determined by random genetic variations and natural selection.
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AshvinP
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Re: Does Anything Matter?

Post by AshvinP »

Shajan624 wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 3:37 am I could never understand how “every conscious entity is participating in an ever-evolving relational process” is compatible with the view of life on earth as a product of Darwinian evolution.

Death is the inevitable end of my conscious life on earth. How does the idea that I am actually a ‘dissociated alter’ change anything? What is my relationship with the larger mind and why should I look forward to merging back into it?

Life is often compared to a dream to dispel the sense of meaninglessness. A dream is a dream only because we could think of a state of awareness to wake up to. There doesn’t seem to be such a possibility because M@L is not metaconscious, so we return to a deeper, eternal dream after death. How does it matter?

I think life becomes meaningful only if we could think of M@L as intentional in a way we don’t understand at present. It would be heretical to say so because then evolution, which produced conscious life, cannot be the seen as entirely determined by random genetic variations and natural selection.
This becomes a problem if we start to think "M@L", "alter", "non meta-consciousness" or "meta-consciousness", etc. can be taken as some definitive conception of Reality, rather than low resolution terms that are only useful in the most basic of conversations about idealism. If we are going to start asking questions about details of what happens at death, after death, between death and rebirth, integration with higher realms of consciousness, etc., then there is no use speaking in those fuzzy terms. First, we should be clear whether or not we are assuming any ontology here, because if you are not assuming idealist ontology, then there is a completely different discussion which needs to be had first. If you are assuming idealism, as I suspect you are from what I remember in previous comments, then we have to recognize that physicalist interpretations of scientific theories are untenable for us.

When theoretical physics talks about space, time, particles, waves, fields, strings, etc., we know that idealism cannot adopt any of those as the fundamental reality, because mental activity can never be reduced to those "entities" or any other "entities" (even if they are each given their own separate consciousness, like in panpsychist ontology). There is no reason to treat Darwinian evolutionary theory any different from physics in that regard. What is meant by genetic variation, fitness, selection process, survival, extinction, etc. is completely different under idealism that what is meant under physicalism. We should try hard to avoid this all too common mindset where the question of whether "anything matters" can be answered offhand by simple ontic frameworks and terms. We are never going to get satisfying answers to any of these questions without much more cognitive effort.
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
Papanca
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Re: Does Anything Matter?

Post by Papanca »

Soul_of_Shu wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 4:21 pm If one believes, as some do, that everything is reducible to non-conscious matter, and such is the ultimate fate of every conscious entity, then sure, from there it seems easy to be resigned to some meaningless nihilism. But if every conscious entity is participating in an ever-evolving relational process that is the One><Many fusion of an irreducible Consciousness imperatively exploring its immanent ideation, i.e. the Cosmos as idea construction, as these unique subjectified expressions of you and I and everyOne else, whereby discovering meaning is its raison d'ê·tre, and there's actually no way of opting out, then good luck with finding meaninglessness.
I don't necessarily think the two are related, one can believe in idealism and in the illusory nature of death without believing in any evolving relationnal process, Schopenhauer after all was both an idealist and a pessimist. There are some philosophies of time that see time as cyclical and not linear. A lot of assumptions are often smuggled with idealism (i notice this with interpretations of NDE too, just because we reject a materialist ontology doesn't mean NDEs means whatever we wants them to mean and we have to abandon all rigor, or that our dreams are litteraly premonition for the future to use a caricatural example).
SanteriSatama
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Re: Does Anything Matter?

Post by SanteriSatama »

Papanca wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 8:52 am There are some philosophies of time that see time as cyclical and not linear.
Any time we assume time is this or that form, but not some other form, we make category error as all forms of time are thought in time.
Papanca
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Re: Does Anything Matter?

Post by Papanca »

SanteriSatama wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 10:26 am
Papanca wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 8:52 am There are some philosophies of time that see time as cyclical and not linear.
Any time we assume time is this or that form, but not some other form, we make category error as all forms of time are thought in time.
You can replace time with processes or thought objects, we can see them as evolving linearly or changing in a cyclical way, i don't see how idealism would necessarily favor one over the other.
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Soul_of_Shu
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Re: Does Anything Matter?

Post by Soul_of_Shu »

Papanca wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 8:52 amI don't necessarily think the two are related, one can believe in idealism and in the illusory nature of death without believing in any evolving relationnal process, Schopenhauer after all was both an idealist and a pessimist.
Regardless of whether or not Schopenhauer might be viewed as a pessimist—although a nuanced reading of his ideas, such as BK offers in DSM, might dispel this notion—that doesn't mean he thought that because a given subjectified 'personal' consciousness is transitory means that such a conscious entity is not meaningfully participating in a relational process of the evolution of transpersonal ideation, in which even some pessimism, say about the fate of mankind, plays a meaningful part, and indeed cannot be, nor would even happen, without meaning.
Here out of instinct or grace we seek
soulmates in these galleries of hieroglyph and glass,
where mutual longings and sufferings of love
are laid bare in transfigured exhibition of our hearts,
we who crave deep secrets and mysteries,
as elusive as the avatars of our dreams.
SanteriSatama
Posts: 1030
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2021 4:07 pm

Re: Does Anything Matter?

Post by SanteriSatama »

Papanca wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 11:40 am You can replace time with processes or thought objects,
Empirically and ontologically, you can't. Spatially replacing or relocating a form of a process happens also in time. In that sense time is irreducibly indefinite, time does not reduce to any thought object or spatial structure.
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AshvinP
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Re: Does Anything Matter?

Post by AshvinP »

Soul_of_Shu wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 12:09 pm
Papanca wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 8:52 amI don't necessarily think the two are related, one can believe in idealism and in the illusory nature of death without believing in any evolving relationnal process, Schopenhauer after all was both an idealist and a pessimist.
Regardless of whether or not Schopenhauer might be viewed as a pessimist—although a nuanced reading of his ideas, such as BK offers in DSM, might dispel this notion—that doesn't mean he thought that because a given subjectified 'personal' consciousness is transitory means that such a conscious entity is not meaningfully participating in a relational process of the evolution of transpersonal ideation, in which even some pessimism, say about the fate of mankind, plays a meaningful part, and indeed cannot be, nor would even happen, without meaning.
I agree with Papanca here, the overall tenor of Schopenhauer's philosophy is pessimistic. He views the Will as a force which is unavoidably oppressive in our lives of "mental images" and the only relief comes from deep meditation, music or perhaps death. None of our daily thoughtful activties can provide such relief. I applaud BK's effort but these sorts of ideas cannot be made optimistic or even neutral. Besides the obvious nihilism of Kantian divide, I think a big part of it is failure to see metamorphic progression. Ancient humanity, lets say 3000 years ago, also felt oppressed by developing will forces but found releif in basic life activities and interactions with nature. Turning back to remembrance of the undifferentiated past via ascetic practices was completely satisfactory. That numinous intensity of individual life is simply gone now, so we cannot expect the same practices to be satisfactory. What worked for the ancent Hindus will not work for us. Schopenhauer remained at level of abstract intellect and therefore did not perceive this living essence of Spirit progressively working through nature like, for ex., Goethe did and Hegel to a lesser extent. We need to come to terms with the fact that not all idealism is the same. The differences between these views for experience of meaning will soon be just as wide as between materialism and idealism.
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
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