Blood Transfusions and alter formation

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JustinG
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Re: Blood Transfusions and alter formation

Post by JustinG »

AshvinP wrote: Fri Aug 06, 2021 4:02 pm
JustinG wrote: Fri Aug 06, 2021 10:58 am
Shajan624 wrote: Fri Aug 06, 2021 10:18 am Metabolizing organisms as alters follows from the ontological position of mind as the only fundamental reality.

Idealist has to explain the apparent reality of living and non-living things. Non-living things are explained as the ‘dashboard’ of perception (material stuff are actually subjective processes in M@L, seen across a dissociative boundary). Living things has to be different because they have subjectivity. They must be ‘little minds’ enclosed in a material shell called body.

Alters, if I understand correctly, is a way to explain the presence of autonomous metabolizing agents in a mind-only universe, but I think it leads to some difficulties.
I don't have a problem inferring that metabolizing organisms are alters in an idealistic model, though maybe not plants. But I also think that it makes more sense to infer that all cells within an organism (whether animal, plant or funghi) are also alters. Possibly organelles within cells, and even lower levels than that, as well .

What is the reason for assuming there are non-living 'things'? Idealism requires no such assumption. We are adding that assumption on to the givens of our experience, which is only the experience of living activity. To get to "non-living", we must naively assume our bare perceptions are revealing the full essence of the mineral kingdom. I see no warrant for that assumption under idealism (or even materialism). In terms of "subjectivity", we can posit a relative state of unconsciousness for the mineral and plant kingdoms, such as we experience in deep dreamless sleep, but we also know that we still experience at least duration during that state, and our subjectivity returns upon awakening. And/or we can posit the living beings responsible for those appearances are supersensible, i.e. we cannot currently sense them with normal cognition.
I think BK regards inanimate objects as the extrinsic appearance of the thoughts of M@L with no subjectivity of their own (even a relative state of unconsciousness), because their boundaries are arbitrary. Eg if a rock is crushed up into 1000 bits, does that mean a single state of relative unconsciousness is split up into 1000 such states? He argues in this paper (https://philpapers.org/rec/KASTUI) that the "'relative arbitrariness in the way we delineate their boundaries renders inanimate objects problematic candidates for the revealed appearance of alters of cosmic consciousness."

Incidentally, in the same paper BK gives more reasoning for his view that 'metabolizing organisms' are the level at which alter formation occurs:

"But can we assume that all living creatures have phenomenal inner
life? I believe we can: in so far as it resembles our own, the extrinsic
behaviour of all metabolizing organisms is suggestive of their having
dissociated phenomenal fields analogous to ours in some sense. This
is obvious enough for cats and dogs, but what about plants and single celled
organisms such as amoebae? Well, consider this: ‘many types
of amoeba construct glassy shells by picking up sand grains from the
mud in which they live. The typical Difflugia shell, for example, is
shaped like a vase, and has a remarkable symmetry’ (Ford, 2010, p.
26). As for plants, many recent studies have reported on their
surprisingly sophisticated behaviour, leading even to a proposal for a
new field of scientific enquiry boldly called ‘plant neurobiology’
(Brenner et al., 2006). Clearly, thus, even plants and single-celled
organisms exhibit extrinsic behaviour somewhat analogous to our
own, further suggesting that they, too, have dissociated phenomenal
fields. Of course, the same cannot be said of any inanimate object or
phenomenon (those that have been engineered by humans to merely
simulate the behaviour of living beings, such as robots, natural
language interfaces, etc., naturally don’t count)."
The concept of the "beyond”, the “true world” invented in order to devaluate the only world there is - in order to retain no goal, no reason, no task for our earthly reality!

- Nietzsche
JustinG
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Re: Blood Transfusions and alter formation

Post by JustinG »

ScottRoberts wrote: Fri Aug 06, 2021 9:00 pm
Shajan624 wrote: Fri Aug 06, 2021 1:03 pm
JustinG wrote: Fri Aug 06, 2021 10:58 amBut I also think that it makes more sense to infer that all cells within an organism (whether animal, plant or funghi) are also alters. Possibly organelles within cells, and even lower levels than that, as well .
I suspect that would lead to the combination problem - how individual cell subjectivities combine to form the unified subjectivity of the whole organism?
There is a combination problem only if one assumes that one's subjectivity is a combination of that of the cells. There is no reason to make that assumption, and reason to reject it, namely the evidence from NDE's and OOBE's that one continues to exist without a physical body.
Yes, and "I" can perceive my cells or the effects of my cells just as I can perceive things outside my body. This is different from the consciousness of cells combining to form a new consciousness.

Here I think that BK's model could potentially be fruitfully connected with some aspects of the the 'psychological physiology' of Whitehead (discussed here: https://www.religion-online.org/article ... chologist/).
The concept of the "beyond”, the “true world” invented in order to devaluate the only world there is - in order to retain no goal, no reason, no task for our earthly reality!

- Nietzsche
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AshvinP
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Re: Blood Transfusions and alter formation

Post by AshvinP »

JustinG wrote: Sat Aug 07, 2021 3:45 am
AshvinP wrote: Fri Aug 06, 2021 4:02 pm
JustinG wrote: Fri Aug 06, 2021 10:58 am

I don't have a problem inferring that metabolizing organisms are alters in an idealistic model, though maybe not plants. But I also think that it makes more sense to infer that all cells within an organism (whether animal, plant or funghi) are also alters. Possibly organelles within cells, and even lower levels than that, as well .

What is the reason for assuming there are non-living 'things'? Idealism requires no such assumption. We are adding that assumption on to the givens of our experience, which is only the experience of living activity. To get to "non-living", we must naively assume our bare perceptions are revealing the full essence of the mineral kingdom. I see no warrant for that assumption under idealism (or even materialism). In terms of "subjectivity", we can posit a relative state of unconsciousness for the mineral and plant kingdoms, such as we experience in deep dreamless sleep, but we also know that we still experience at least duration during that state, and our subjectivity returns upon awakening. And/or we can posit the living beings responsible for those appearances are supersensible, i.e. we cannot currently sense them with normal cognition.
I think BK regards inanimate objects as the extrinsic appearance of the thoughts of M@L with no subjectivity of their own (even a relative state of unconsciousness), because their boundaries are arbitrary. Eg if a rock is crushed up into 1000 bits, does that mean a single state of relative unconsciousness is split up into 1000 such states? He argues in this paper (https://philpapers.org/rec/KASTUI) that the "'relative arbitrariness in the way we delineate their boundaries renders inanimate objects problematic candidates for the revealed appearance of alters of cosmic consciousness."

Incidentally, in the same paper BK gives more reasoning for his view that 'metabolizing organisms' are the level at which alter formation occurs:

"But can we assume that all living creatures have phenomenal inner
life? I believe we can: in so far as it resembles our own, the extrinsic
behaviour of all metabolizing organisms is suggestive of their having
dissociated phenomenal fields analogous to ours in some sense. This
is obvious enough for cats and dogs, but what about plants and single celled
organisms such as amoebae? Well, consider this: ‘many types
of amoeba construct glassy shells by picking up sand grains from the
mud in which they live. The typical Difflugia shell, for example, is
shaped like a vase, and has a remarkable symmetry’ (Ford, 2010, p.
26). As for plants, many recent studies have reported on their
surprisingly sophisticated behaviour, leading even to a proposal for a
new field of scientific enquiry boldly called ‘plant neurobiology’
(Brenner et al., 2006). Clearly, thus, even plants and single-celled
organisms exhibit extrinsic behaviour somewhat analogous to our
own, further suggesting that they, too, have dissociated phenomenal
fields. Of course, the same cannot be said of any inanimate object or
phenomenon (those that have been engineered by humans to merely
simulate the behaviour of living beings, such as robots, natural
language interfaces, etc., naturally don’t count)."

Right, I understand that BK makes these assumptions, and that is my critique of his approach. He is adopting naïve realism of physical appearances when it comes to "living" vs. "non-living", even though he rejects that same naïve realism in the rest of his ontology i.e. as it pertains to claims of materialism. There is no good philosophical reason to say MAL is alive, alters within MAL are alive, but, what stands 'between' the alters and MAL is not alive. The only reason that seems "right" to us is because we look at the mineral world - rocks, water, etc. - and they do not look like living beings to us. That is naïve realism - deriving ontology based on the exterior appearances alone. Meanwhile, idealist philosophy and modern science, even under the sway of physicalism, has concluded those appearances do not resemble their underlying essence in the slightest. There are no static 'things', only ever-evolving processes, and there are no physical boundaries, only contiguous processes.

The "arbitrariness in the way we delineate [inanimate objects'] boundaries" is precisely what points us toward their living essence, especially if we also remember that they are not, in fact, "inanimate" or "objects" in any static physicalist sense. Much of this confusion stems from the simple error of reifying the "alter" picture into an ontic reality, where whirlpools, bubbles, fields, etc. of "subjectivity" are existing side by side within the circle of MAL. Then, after making that error, we start asking questions about which bubbles have subjectivity and which do not, or which 'things' should be considered bubbles and which should not. If we take the Deep MAL approach, however, and realize all experiential perspectives are interwoven within a shared sphere of Consciousness - that "my subjective experiences" are always interpenetrating "yours" and everyone else's in various ways - these self-created problems disappear. There are no bubbles! Even that language I just used cannot be reified into ontic reality, but it at least orients us in the right direction.
“I began to understand that the goal of psychic development is the Self. There is no linear evolution; there is only a circumambulation of the Self."
- Jung
Ben Iscatus
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Re: Blood Transfusions and alter formation

Post by Ben Iscatus »

What you say about the possibility of life in minerals, etc is certainly an interesting hypothesis, Ashvin. If we look at Jungian-style astrological theory, the planets are "alive" in the sense that they embody and represent archetypal patterns of behaviour. But it is usual to see these archetypes as expressions of the One Mind (MAL) rather than as dissociated alters - that's how I see them, because they do not appear to exhibit other than predictable behaviour, like instinctive lower animal behaviour or even akin to algorithmic expression. If you can point to something like a "change of mind" or a novel behaviour in aspects of the apparently inanimate universe, this would support your hypothesis. This may perhaps be possible over an extended period of time, but would be hard to ascertain because human alters haven't been around to see most of the history of the universe.

Another factor which is problematic for your hypothesis is the level of intelligence or will or spiritual development you would assign to aspects of the inanimate universe. So if a landslide or volcanic activity causes mass deaths of animals and humans, are the falling rocks or pyroclasts, or an asteroid heading for Earth in any sense "evil" or "uncaring" in a universe based on Love? It would appear to me that they behave in exactly the same way as the Universe as a whole - indifferent to animate life - i.e. sometimes helpful, often not.
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AshvinP
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Re: Blood Transfusions and alter formation

Post by AshvinP »

Ben Iscatus wrote: Sun Aug 08, 2021 11:26 am What you say about the possibility of life in minerals, etc is certainly an interesting hypothesis, Ashvin. If we look at Jungian-style astrological theory, the planets are "alive" in the sense that they embody and represent archetypal patterns of behaviour. But it is usual to see these archetypes as expressions of the One Mind (MAL) rather than as dissociated alters - that's how I see them, because they do not appear to exhibit other than predictable behaviour, like instinctive lower animal behaviour or even akin to algorithmic expression. If you can point to something like a "change of mind" or a novel behaviour in aspects of the apparently inanimate universe, this would support your hypothesis. This may perhaps be possible over an extended period of time, but would be hard to ascertain because human alters haven't been around to see most of the history of the universe.

Another factor which is problematic for your hypothesis is the level of intelligence or will or spiritual development you would assign to aspects of the inanimate universe. So if a landslide or volcanic activity causes mass deaths of animals and humans, are the falling rocks or pyroclasts, or an asteroid heading for Earth in any sense "evil" or "uncaring" in a universe based on Love? It would appear to me that they behave in exactly the same way as the Universe as a whole - indifferent to animate life - i.e. sometimes helpful, often not.

Ben, thanks for the comment. I address this some in latest essay on integral mythology - the ancient notion of Maya is an expression of a relative perspective on the sense-world and its connection to the underlying spiritual. It is we who are failing to perceive the living activity within the sense-world due to our current state within Maya.

Ashvin wrote:Krishna reveals a final paradoxical truth borne by the Guardian Angel's mighty wings of Time. The threefold doors of the sense-world which open into Hell will, in the course of Time, be reborn - transfigured - into the threefold faith which conforms itself to the true spiritual essence of man's soul. Mere intellect will never grasp this spiritual truth, for "strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life", so it will only be grasped by power of the Spirit's threefold cognition (imagination, inspiration, and intuition). What the Eastern spiritual traditions have referred to as "Maya" - that which Schopenhauer also elevated in his world-conception of blind Will - was not an absolute state of the physical world, but rather it was a reflection of our own spiritual infancy. It is we who have so far failed to raise our spiritual thinking activity to the heights needed to discern the spiritual essence of Maya from its physical images. We must always refrain from blaming the world or other souls in it for what we ourselves are failing to perceive. When our tamas nature wishes to recruit our soul to any vengeful cause, we must tell it firmly: "let he who is without sin cast the first stone".

Metaphysical idealists should especially be in a good position to grasp what is said above, because we already hold that what we naively perceive with the senses cannot possibly be anything close to the full extent of the underlying essence. We know that the dynamics of mind, which are inherently fluid and evolving i.e. "alive", are that essence. We should be consistent and apply that fundamentally idealist perspective to this "living" vs. "non-living" issue too. I also discuss what you mention about astrology in Part 2 of essay on musical aesthetics.

Ashvin wrote:The sense-realms of each individual are a microcosm of the Zodiacal macrocosm. Picture man standing upright and divided into twelve sense regions with three bodily regions containing four senses each - four in the lower region including limbs (willing), four in the middle region (feeling), and four in the upper region (thinking). The constellations have remained relatively fixed through much of human history. The person who looked up to the clear night sky 2,000 years ago could discern the same stars in the same constellations as the person looking up today.
...
The fixed nature of the constellations is an artifice of our now isolated and distant perspective, since the stars are, in reality, always moving in relation to one another. And the fixed nature of our senses is a microcosmic artifice in the same way. What we know truly changes what we see - whether we are looking right in front of us or out into the depths of space. Our senses are yearning to be set free from their chains by way of our inner illumination - to die and to be reborn - and aesthetics provides the fuel to keep our inner lamps burning in the darkness. This rebirth of the senses will then reveal their true essence as faculties of knowing. That is how we come to raise the senses from lifelessness back into life. Saint Paul spoke of our redemptive duty when he wrote, "we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until the present time."

There is nothing about living archetypal psychic processes which make them inherently "unpredictable" - they are certainly not random. Their inner lawfulness does give rise to true novelties of experience, but there is still a predictability to their unfolding, especially as our own consciousness of that inner lawfulness is raised more. If we find that difficult to imagine, then again, that is an expression of our own current limitations rather than any limitations inherent to the structure of the Cosmos itself. Living beings can also exhibit quite "uncaring" and "unhelpful" behavior, don't you agree? In fact that is generally the rule in our behavior over the last few millennia of fragmented existence, when we have been unable to discern our integral connections to each other which truly make us One. That, however, does not make us or the "uncaring" Cosmos we perceive any less alive in essence.
“I began to understand that the goal of psychic development is the Self. There is no linear evolution; there is only a circumambulation of the Self."
- Jung
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