The Nature of the sensory world or do we really *know* the ultimate ground of reality?

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Stranger
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Re: The Nature of the sensory world or do we really *know* the ultimate ground of reality?

Post by Stranger »

Cleric K wrote: Sun Mar 05, 2023 1:55 am OK, but then, if you follow your philosophy to its ultimate conclusions, it makes no sense for you to make any plans for your post-incarnational nondual future. These plans exist only for the illusionary Eugene perspective. When you shed all the layers after death and reach the base layer, together with this the question "from whose worldline you have arrived there" ceases to have any meaning. Since the base layer is completely One, it makes no sense for the One Self to exist there and still feel that it has arrived from Eugene's worldline. This would mean that the base layer is not absolutely base after all because it is imbued with some relative knowledge about how it was reached. For example, if John Smith dies into nonduality and reaches the base layer, that would have to be a slightly modified base layer which encodes the intuition that it has been reached from JS's worldline and not Eugene's.

There are two solutions. Either we exist within a relative modification of the base layer, which contains concrete intuition about the worldline that has led us to this point or there would have to be complete indeterminacy about the worldline through which the base layer has been reached. The former would mean that even the base layer has relative beingness because there are as many versions of the base layer as there are different worldlines from which it has been reached. The latter would mean that all of Eugene's plans for some high quality nondual time are meaningless because the base layer state you have reached could have been equally reached by any other enlightened being, who, by the way, may have had a plan to go on a Bodhisattva mission right away. There's no 'you' who would be able to appreciate the fact that you have reached the nondual state through all the hard work that you currently invest. That Self that lives in the base layer can't tell apart if it's there because of Eugene's work or John Smith's.
In this "base layer" there is a continuity of the streams of phenomenal experiences that "conglomerate" into distinct streams (souls), the continuity of this streams is maintained through the karmic patterns, memories, senses and intuitions, so each next phenomenon is a continuation of the karmic history of the previous phenomena within the stream (in Buddhism called "dependent origination of phenomena"), but also influenced by the whole Cosmic structure of all other phenomena and streams. It is like a multitude of streams in the ocean where the streams are still continuous and can be identified, but actually no solid borders can be found between them and they all constitute one ocean. So, in a sense, there is a phenomenal stream called "Eugene" just like there is a stream named "Gulfstream" in the ocean, and this stream does not end after the death of the body, it just changes its form. So, the ocean of Consciousness is always structured into streams and other structures that maintain interconnectedness of the streams, and the streams do not "dissipate" into any diffused state after dissolutions of the physical-level bodies. So, the "base layer" is not any kind of a diffused or indeterminant state where no continuity of streams exists anymore, but just a layer of perception of how consciousness actually functions as streams of phenomenal experiences if we remove all those incoherent models of "One, Many, self, perspectives" and so on that we overlay on such "base layer" of perception. And note that all these "incoherent" ideas are also part the karmic structure of each stream, so basically the difference between the stream formed in dualstic and in nondual states is that in the nondual streams all those patterns-senses-ideas of "separate me", "separate objects", "One and Many" etc are dissolved and not present anymore, but otherwise the streams of the continuity of "individuated" phenomenal spiritual activities continue.

So now maybe you can understand that in such dualistically-formed streams there is usually an identification with a sense-idea of "my body", be it a material body, etheric or astral or else, so it is very natural for such streams to reincarnate, take shapes of bodies and keep firmly associating/identifying with the bodies. However, for the nondually-shaped streams such association is not present, it is clearly seen that the bodies are simply conglomerates of phenomena in the stream not pertained to any "self", so they can still deliberately take shapes of bodies to present themselves to other streams and communicate with them, but there is no sense of association/identification with these bodies. This is why these bodies are called "emanations" rather than "incarnations".
Last edited by Stranger on Sun Mar 05, 2023 3:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Cleric K
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Re: The Nature of the sensory world or do we really *know* the ultimate ground of reality?

Post by Cleric K »

Stranger wrote: Sun Mar 05, 2023 2:28 am In this "base layer" there is a continuity of the streams of phenomenal experiences that "conglomerate" into distinct streams (souls), the continuity of this streams is maintained through the karmic patterns and memories, so each next phenomenon is a continuation of the karmic history of the previous phenomena within the stream (in Buddhism called "dependent origination of phenomena"), but also influenced by the whole Cosmic structure of all other phenomena and streams. It is like a multitude of streams in the ocean where the streams are still continuous and can be identified, but actually no solid borders can be found between them and they all constitute one ocean. So, in a sense, there is a phenomenal stream called "Eugene" just like there is a stream named "Gulfstream" in the ocean, and this stream does not end after the death of the body, it just changes its shape. So, the ocean is always structured into streams and other structures that maintain interconnectedness of the streams, and the streams do not "dissipate" into any diffused state. So, the "base layer" is not any kind of a "diffused" state where no continuity of streams exists anymore, but just a layer of perception of how consciousness actually functions as streams of phenomenal experiences if we remove all those incoherent models of "One, Many, self, perspectives" and so on that we overlay on such "base layer" of perception.
OK, I like the stream metaphor. Then would you say that whatever the Self experiences, is effectively always within the context (curvature) of one of the streams? Please think twice before answering 'no' :) Please consider what would that mean. What you have presented above in the bold is the approaching of the experience of the One Consciousness which perceives all streams - of Eugene, of John Smith and so on. For this One Consciousness no stream is more special than another. Thus the Self in that state can't say "I came here through Eugene's stream". This simply doesn't make sense.

So if we reason this through, it's clear that the pure state of One Consciousness, which perceives all streams with perfect equanimity, is not really consciously experienceable in its perfect purity by an individual being. You can meditate on it and asymptotically approach that state almost perfectly but it can never be the actual pure state. You may succeed to contemplate the pure state with all the streams but there should remain, even if it is only the tiniest thread that relates that state with the stream of Eugene. If that tiny thread is severed, then you would truly merge with the actual pure state of the One Consciousness that contemplates all the streams but together with this you'll attain also to the perfect equanimity and it immediately becomes impossible to tell from which stream you have reached that state.

Do you agree with that? That no matter how close you are to the pure state, there must be at least a tiny fiber through which your almost pure state remains biased towards Eugene's stream?
Stranger
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Re: The Nature of the sensory world or do we really *know* the ultimate ground of reality?

Post by Stranger »

Cleric K wrote: Sun Mar 05, 2023 3:19 am Do you agree with that? That no matter how close you are to the pure state, there must be at least a tiny fiber through which your almost pure state remains biased towards Eugene's stream?
That is correct, the wholeness of the experience of Cosmic Consciousness has no bias and no way to tell from which particular stream it arrived. But that does not change the fact that all such biased streams are still inseparable part of One Ocean. Even though in the Eugene's stream there is no access to the fullness of the Cosmic experience, I as "Eugene stream" know that it is essentially the ocean of conscious phenomena exactly the way it is a stream of "Eugene's" phenomena. Itis the same "beingness" and the same "conscious experiencing". In other words, the "Eugene stream" is a motion of the same "substance" of which the whole ocean is made, the water-substance of "conscious beingness-experiencing-action".

This is by the way similar to how St. Paul experienced and described it as an organism of different organs of the same body of Christ made of the same "substance" and interconnected with the whole organism:
There is one body and one Spirit. For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. ... Speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Ephesians 4).
"You are not a drop in the ocean, you are the ocean in a drop" Rumi
Federica
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Re: The Nature of the sensory world or do we really *know* the ultimate ground of reality?

Post by Federica »

Stranger wrote: Sat Mar 04, 2023 10:08 pm
Federica wrote: Sat Mar 04, 2023 10:00 pm How can creativity be realized, achieved, or understood without a sense of me? "Being” is creative of what? In which sense?
The problem is that we here are discussing really advanced spiritual practices on an open public forum. Cleric pointed to a paradox that naturally arises if we try to apply the sense of "me" to the Cosmic Being, and I had to answer that it resolves on the more advanced stages of practice, but this may confuse people, so I'm sorry about that. If it does not make sense to you then just disregard it, otherwise it may really confuse you and do more harm than good.

But if you still want to know the answer, as an analogy, humans for a long time had a sense-idea that there is a "center" in the Cosmos. They first thought that the Earth is such a center, then Bruno claimed that the center is rather the Sun, but then people realized that there is actually no center in the Universe at all and the Universe can perfectly exist without any center. Likewise, we humans in our mundane state believe that we have a "center" as some "self" that experiences the world and performs the actions, but in reality such center does not actually exist, it is just a redundant sense-idea that we humans developed in our early childhood by being conditioned by our parents and the collective human karma. It turns out that Consciousness has no "center" that experiences and acts, but it still acts and experiences everything equally everywhere - right at the every point where the phenomena are created and experienced. You can actually see it in your phenomenological experience in meditation if you suspend your sense of self and then you can find that this is how actually experiencing and acting happens. That is the only practical way to "deny yourself" according to the Christ's advice. Otherwise, we enter into an irresolvable situation: how can you "deny" yourself while still being a "self"? It makes no sense and never works in practice. You can put yourself into chains like some Christian ascetics did in order to "deny yourself", and it still would be your "self" trying to fight with your own "self" as if splitting into two parts. It makes no sense.


This doesn't seem to address my question. If "being" is an existence-presence that is creative, what is it creating?
Creation is necessarily a dynamic process in which otherness (what was not there before) is brought into existence within Oneness. So in your view, what is this otherness that comes into existence?

Consciousness has no "center" that experiences and acts, but it still acts and experiences everything equally everywhere - right at the every point where the phenomena are created and experienced
What exactly are these “phenomena” that are created and experienced at every point of Consciousness? Do you mean they are for instance sensory perceptions? So that perceptions emerge at every point of Consciousness without any particular individuality experiencing them? And if so, why can you not experience any sort of existing perceptions, say, on the other side of the physical globe, but only some perceptions that are submitted to some very specific lawfulness that is connected with your individual perspective? In other words the question is: when you gain that sense of not being an experiencer-doer, can you also get rid of all lawfulness of reality at the same time? Because if you can't, then we have a problem. Then it's not merely the conditioning enforced by your parents we are talking about. Then it could very well be, that the first sense is a desire-first abstraction, while the lawfulness of reality that you are still fully submitted to - in your senses, feelings, and thoughts - is the given that can't be 'wished away' no matter how deep one meditates.

Conversely, if you don't mean that the phenomena you speak of are for example perceptions, then please explain howelse, in what sense, these unlocalized "phenomena" are created.

Please be specific in your reply, so that one will not be authorized to conclude that your statement about the impersonal creativity of Oneness is an abstract one, a desired one, rather than an experiential one.
The reason why it is impossible to observe thinking in the actual moment of its occurrence is the very same which makes it possible for us to know it more immediately and more intimately thany any other process in the world.
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Cleric K
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Re: The Nature of the sensory world or do we really *know* the ultimate ground of reality?

Post by Cleric K »

Stranger wrote: Sun Mar 05, 2023 3:57 am That is correct, the wholeness of the experience of Cosmic Consciousness has no bias and no way to tell from which particular stream it arrived. But that does not change the fact that all such biased streams are still inseparable part of One Ocean. Even though in the Eugene's stream there is no access to the fullness of the Cosmic experience, I as "Eugene stream" know that it is essentially the ocean of conscious phenomena exactly the way it is a stream of "Eugene's" phenomena. Itis the same "beingness" and the same "conscious experiencing". In other words, the "Eugene stream" is a motion of the same "substance" of which the whole ocean is made, the water-substance of "conscious beingness-experiencing-action".

This is by the way similar to how St. Paul experienced and described it as an organism of different organs of the same body of Christ made of the same "substance" and interconnected with the whole organism:
There is one body and one Spirit. For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. ... Speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Ephesians 4).
Great! Then hopefully we have reached a point where we can finally agree on precise concepts.

First, let's start with the fact that no one has ever disputed the undivided foundations of all reality.

Second, no one has disputed that the belief in fully separate bubbles of consciousness is detrimental to proper development.

All talks have always been about the reconciliation of these two poles. How could it be that reality is One, yet we experience individual streams of integration? What we have tried to point out is that the general striking out of all concepts that pertain to selves, perspectives, beings and so on (which you have claimed are incoherent with reality) only causes more confusion because then we have to speak in paradoxical ways such as "Yes, our sense of individual stream of becoming is absolutely real but at the same time it is an illusion, it is a cognitive error."

Now with our last few posts I hope we can see that there's a fully meaningful and coherent way to speak of the individual streams of integration, without this having to evoke any duality, any feeling of fundamental separateness. Instead, let's from now one consider that whenever we speak of individual beings, of perspectives of the One and so on, we mean precisely this intuitive variation of the One Consciousness which makes it experience itself as evolving along the curvature of a particular stream instead of another (the bias). Yes, all streams are part of the One fundamental spiritual reality, yet there's something unique in our experience, which makes it feel as integrating along a specific stream.

So let's bookmark this and use it for future reference. What we call individual beings or perspectives of the One, has nothing to do with duality but only with the fact that the One Consciousness experiences itself in an unique way that makes intuitive sense as the integration of a particular stream of becoming. We simply breed confusion if we insist that the only reality is the Oneness, while the experience of evolving along an individual stream is only a cognitive mistake that is incoherent with reality. We simply have to accept that the biased relation of the One to a particular stream of becoming is a given fact. Without this fact we would experience reality with perfect equanimity and no stream would seem more intimate than another.

I would also add that these streams are not eternal and atomic. I tried to convey this in the post about Pralaya and the future Jupiter aeon. Even in this moment, there are higher order streams within which ours are embedded. From 'above' these streams take shape as archetypal patterns, from 'below' we collectively meet the archetypes and work on the finer details. After the Pralaya, the future man will have his stream of becoming within these higher order streams. When he looks back he'll see how his then present state results from the collective work of groups of souls in the previous aeon but the future man will feel equanimity about these souls. It can't say "My present stream identity is continuation of Eugene's stream" but rather "The stream of Eugene and other souls, together helped shape the riverbed through which I now have my stream of becoming." So as you say, there's fuzziness. The streams are not discretely cut out once and for all but work together to create the future streams within which the One would awaken in a higher degree of consciousness and integration. This future higher self has something of the mentioned equanimity, because of which it can't point out to some particular soul stream from the past and say "I'm direct continuation of that soul." Yet nevertheless he is fully conscious that his stream evolved from that past work. Thus there's continuity, it's only that there's no one-to-one mapping between our present soul streams and the streams of the higher future men.
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Re: Meditation exercise on "separate me"

Post by Anthony66 »

Cleric K wrote: Tue Feb 28, 2023 8:25 pm
Stranger wrote: Tue Feb 28, 2023 5:45 pm Well, if we are still in idealism, then all these processes are only conscious experiences, whether they happen within the stream of phenomena of our individual conscious activities, or those of higher-order beings, or at the level of the Divine subjectivity. The particularities of this process is the subject of SS as far as I understand it.

As I said before, when I exercise my own willing, intuitive and imaginative abilities, I can follow phenomenologically how the willing gestures and imaginations-intuitions precipitate into more concrete forms, ideas and percepts. But I have no direct access to the process of how the idea of an "apple" in the imagination-intuition of higher-order beings (which I can intuitively access as a shared idea) precipitate into percepts within my own field of conscious phenomena. If you have any knowledge of this mechanism, I would be very interested to know about it.
We can, of course, enter into the details right away but as usual it's better to cover the groundwork first. This is what those conversations always revolve around anyway.

The first step would be not to arbitrarily expand the form of consciousness as we know it today, to everything. Let me explain.

If we look closely, we can discover that our human imagination develops together with the development of memory. On one hand we have the immediate perceptions which are present in the now - present sense perceptions, feelings, thoughts. Memory manifests as the possibility to experience memory images of past states, as if superimposed with our present immediate state. For most people these images are of much more fleeting nature, hardly having the intensity of immediate perceptions. Imagination (in the ordinary sense) develops as our ability to move, recombine and metamorphose memory images through our spiritual activity. In this way, our imagination grows from our past experiential states and our ability to summon their memory images.

This is the first thing - to have clear phenomenological distinction between immediate perceptions and memory/imaginative images. As a side note, memory images are of similar nature as the images of our imagination, except that in the former case we seek certain lawfulness of the images (because we want to remember correctly), while in the latter we can completely loosen that lawfulness, as it is in the case of fantasy (there we don't really care if the images are lawfully connected). Thus when we remember we try to imagine something but we seek certain objective support, we seek something that goes beyond our free fantasizing activity. We can turn this into a very interesting exercise. We can try for example to remember what we had for breakfast. We imagine vividly the whole scene. Then replace in our imagination the food with something that we did not have. So in the first case we're remembering, in the second we're fantasizing. It's very interesting to observe what we're really doing in one case and another. What makes it different when we try to imagine the actual food that we had and what when we fantasize the food. It's not that important to have a clear cut intellectual explanation but to really feel the difference, how in the case of remembering we seek something additional to the image, some quality which is not of our own making but which helps us distinguish a memory image from fantasy (this doesn't imply that this quality is absolutely reliable).

If we don't make the distinction between immediate perceptions and images we can easily fall for the first trap where we superficially call everything 'consciousness' and 'conscious contents'. Yes, in the most general sense both immediate sense perceptions and memories/fantasies of sense perceptions are conscious contents but if we don't recognize also the difference, we'll be making our further progress practically impossible.

Why is that? Because we too hastily put everything in the same general bucket which leads us to believe that our human consciousness and imagination, in the way we know them today, are already representative of the Divine Mind. In other words, we imagine something like this. We can imagine an apple (which is really lifting a memory image of an apple that we have seen through the senses). We can surely feel how through our imaginative activity we're creatively responsible for the image. We can make the apple smaller, larger, green, red, rotten, etc. (it doesn't matter if we can imagine it only very dimly). Then we extrapolate this experience and say "So reality is of the nature of images in consciousness. For some strange reason my imagination is not powerful enough to create a sensory apple and eat it but for a more powerful imagination this is how reality must be coming into form. The Divine mind is surely powerful enough to imagine an apple and eat it, so to speak."

As said, we can't go too far if we don't analyze very well what we're doing in a case like the above. We indeed extrapolate our human imagination and expect that this is how the Divine operates, except that it is more powerful. But we don't have right to extrapolate in this way. Otherwise we unknowingly already declare how reality should operate. Not because we have investigated how it really works but only because we have decided that we're already share our conscious 'geometry' with the highest Divine and thus the difference lies only in the power of our imagination.

When we do that, we act like a painter. What does a painter do when she wants to draw a cat, for example? She starts with a rough sketch, then paints the main areas, then elaborates the fine details and shades. This however has nothing to do with the way the living cat comes into form. We can paint a cat even without knowing that it has internal organs, that it has grown from a single cell and so on. We can commit the same mistake when we try to understand reality as extension of our human imagination. We inevitably reach a point where we imagine that some higher being 'painted' the cat within the Divine subjectivity and we see it and become confused by thinking that there's a real cat out there, while it is only an imagined picture of a cat floating in Divine subjectivity.

There are so many things to be said here but at this time I just wanted to point this important distinction between immediate perceptions and memory/imagined images (this is somewhat related with Federica's question from some time ago about our conception of will and the experiential will). So before we can go any further, what in your view is the relation between images in memory/imagination and immediate sensory perception? What's the difference between looking at an apple with your eyes and summoning the image of an apple later in your meditations?
Let me say how much I have enjoyed the ongoing interactions here of late. I note that all sides have got frustrated at times but I really think the conversation has identified some core points of demarcation between aspects of non-dual thought and living thinking.

With that said, I'm a little disappointed that this thread seems to have gone undeveloped. The question of how the imagination-intuition of higher-order beings precipitate into percepts within our field of conscious phenomena is something I'd love to gain a greater insight of. You started to address this here with the distinction between immediate perceptions, memory images, and imaginative images. The diverse character of these makes sense.

Where I struggle is bridging the divide between the various metaphors that have been employed here - carrier waves, Moiré patterns, fractals etc. - and the standard models of say visual perception as per ChatGPT:
Light travels as electromagnetic radiation and enters the eye through the cornea, a transparent outer covering. The cornea bends the light and focuses it onto the lens, which further refracts the light and adjusts its focus. The lens then projects the light onto the retina, a thin layer of light-sensitive cells located at the back of the eye. The retina contains two types of photoreceptor cells: rods and cones. Rods are more sensitive to low levels of light and are responsible for our vision in dim light conditions. Cones are responsible for color vision and work best in brighter light conditions. When light hits the photoreceptor cells, it triggers a series of chemical and electrical events that generate nerve impulses. These impulses travel along the optic nerve to the brain, which processes the information and creates a visual image.
On the one hand we have the causal chain of light, corneas, retinas, photoreceptor cells, and nerve impulses etc. The attachment of conceptual content to these perceptual elements and the identification of the interactions being a construction of our thinking I'm happy with. But how do these percepts "get in" to my field of conscious awareness? High order beings precipitate those precepts to which we add our thinking. Is it something akin to Berkeley's idea where perceptions arise directly out of the omnipotence of God? I can't quite join the dots.
Stranger
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Re: The Nature of the sensory world or do we really *know* the ultimate ground of reality?

Post by Stranger »

Federica wrote: Sun Mar 05, 2023 9:46 am This doesn't seem to address my question. If "being" is an existence-presence that is creative, what is it creating?
Creation is necessarily a dynamic process in which otherness (what was not there before) is brought into existence within Oneness. So in your view, what is this otherness that comes into existence?
I would not call it "otherness". These are all kinds of phenomena - percepts, thoughts-ideas on all levels of cognition, imaginations , feelings, willing gestures. They are just forms appearing in One Consciousness and they are no other than Consciousness, they constitute the "content" of Consciousness. Consciousness cannot create anything "other" than itself, anything beyond or outside itself. Everything it creates are the phenomena appearing and experienced within Consciousness simply as forms of the same Consciousness. They are inseparable from Consciousness.
What exactly are these “phenomena” that are created and experienced at every point of Consciousness? Do you mean they are for instance sensory perceptions? So that perceptions emerge at every point of Consciousness without any particular individuality experiencing them? And if so, why can you not experience any sort of existing perceptions, say, on the other side of the physical globe, but only some perceptions that are submitted to some very specific lawfulness that is connected with your individual perspective? In other words the question is: when you gain that sense of not being an experiencer-doer, can you also get rid of all lawfulness of reality at the same time? Because if you can't, then we have a problem. Then it's not merely the conditioning enforced by your parents we are talking about. Then it could very well be, that the first sense is a desire-first abstraction, while the lawfulness of reality that you are still fully submitted to - in your senses, feelings, and thoughts - is the given that can't be 'wished away' no matter how deep one meditates.

Conversely, if you don't mean that the phenomena you speak of are for example perceptions, then please explain howelse, in what sense, these unlocalized "phenomena" are created.

Please be specific in your reply, so that one will not be authorized to conclude that your statement about the impersonal creativity of Oneness is an abstract one, a desired one, rather than an experiential one.
All phenomena (percepts, thoughts-ideas on all levels of cognition, imaginations , feelings, willing gestures) emerge and experienced at every point of the "space" of Consciousness by the same "subjectivity" (awareness) of the same Consciousness. The patterns of phenomena are indeed shaped by lawful structures, karmic forces and memories, so the next appearing phenomena lawfully depend on the whole existing structure of these laws and karma. These phenomena tend to "conglomerate" into specific streams ("souls") and within the vicinity of these streams they are experienced as if happening "together" in one individuated mind. But this is only because they are within one stream in the vicinity with each other. The phenomena conglomerated in "another" stream could also be experienced in "this" stream, but because of their "distance" they are usually below the threshold of sensitivity. Clairvoyant people have higher sensitivity and can in fact experience phenomena occurring in other streams.

We can take any concrete example, for example, let's say there is a though appearing within "my" stream of phenomena. It appears due to the creative force of Consciousness, but its concrete form depends on all the lawful structures and history of collective and local karmic patterns present within "my" stream. It is experienced by the subjectivity-awareness of Consciousness at the point of its appearance but it is sensed mostly within "my" stream. Within "your" stream it could also be sensed, but only if you have sufficiently high sensitivity for the phenomena occurring further from your stream in other streams.
"You are not a drop in the ocean, you are the ocean in a drop" Rumi
Stranger
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Re: The Nature of the sensory world or do we really *know* the ultimate ground of reality?

Post by Stranger »

Cleric K wrote: Sun Mar 05, 2023 11:03 am Great! Then hopefully we have reached a point where we can finally agree on precise concepts.

First, let's start with the fact that no one has ever disputed the undivided foundations of all reality.

Second, no one has disputed that the belief in fully separate bubbles of consciousness is detrimental to proper development.

All talks have always been about the reconciliation of these two poles. How could it be that reality is One, yet we experience individual streams of integration? What we have tried to point out is that the general striking out of all concepts that pertain to selves, perspectives, beings and so on (which you have claimed are incoherent with reality) only causes more confusion because then we have to speak in paradoxical ways such as "Yes, our sense of individual stream of becoming is absolutely real but at the same time it is an illusion, it is a cognitive error."

Now with our last few posts I hope we can see that there's a fully meaningful and coherent way to speak of the individual streams of integration, without this having to evoke any duality, any feeling of fundamental separateness. Instead, let's from now one consider that whenever we speak of individual beings, of perspectives of the One and so on, we mean precisely this intuitive variation of the One Consciousness which makes it experience itself as evolving along the curvature of a particular stream instead of another (the bias). Yes, all streams are part of the One fundamental spiritual reality, yet there's something unique in our experience, which makes it feel as integrating along a specific stream.

So let's bookmark this and use it for future reference. What we call individual beings or perspectives of the One, has nothing to do with duality but only with the fact that the One Consciousness experiences itself in an unique way that makes intuitive sense as the integration of a particular stream of becoming. We simply breed confusion if we insist that the only reality is the Oneness, while the experience of evolving along an individual stream is only a cognitive mistake that is incoherent with reality. We simply have to accept that the biased relation of the One to a particular stream of becoming is a given fact. Without this fact we would experience reality with perfect equanimity and no stream would seem more intimate than another.
!00% agreed. However, notice that this view is quite far from how we humans actually perceive the reality and ourselves in our mundane state of consciousness. We actually perceive ourselves as not streams within the same consciousness, but as separate consciousnesses (selves) existing together with other separate consciousnesses in the "external world of separate objects", and that incoherent view is what is called "dualistic perception" and that needs to be discarded and transcended in order to arrive to the worldview that you just described. When we perceive the reality in this dualistic way, the ego naturally develops with all its egoic patterns, because when we perceive ourselves as separate consciousnesses living in the outer world alien to us, we exist in the mode of the ego struggling for survival in the alien outside world of other egos, and that is a recipe for all our psychological sufferings, alienation, fears, egoic desires, fragmentations, conflicts, wars etc. So, all I was talking about was practical means of how to transcend this mundane dualistic perception and arrive to the experiential perception of reality according to your description.
I would also add that these streams are not eternal and atomic. I tried to convey this in the post about Pralaya and the future Jupiter aeon. Even in this moment, there are higher order streams within which ours are embedded. From 'above' these streams take shape as archetypal patterns, from 'below' we collectively meet the archetypes and work on the finer details. After the Pralaya, the future man will have his stream of becoming within these higher order streams. When he looks back he'll see how his then present state results from the collective work of groups of souls in the previous aeon but the future man will feel equanimity about these souls. It can't say "My present stream identity is continuation of Eugene's stream" but rather "The stream of Eugene and other souls, together helped shape the riverbed through which I now have my stream of becoming." So as you say, there's fuzziness. The streams are not discretely cut out once and for all but work together to create the future streams within which the One would awaken in a higher degree of consciousness and integration. This future higher self has something of the mentioned equanimity, because of which it can't point out to some particular soul stream from the past and say "I'm direct continuation of that soul." Yet nevertheless he is fully conscious that his stream evolved from that past work. Thus there's continuity, it's only that there's no one-to-one mapping between our present soul streams and the streams of the higher future men.
Yes, agreed.
Last edited by Stranger on Sun Mar 05, 2023 1:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Stranger
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Re: Meditation exercise on "separate me"

Post by Stranger »

Anthony66 wrote: Sun Mar 05, 2023 11:56 am Let me say how much I have enjoyed the ongoing interactions here of late. I note that all sides have got frustrated at times but I really think the conversation has identified some core points of demarcation between aspects of non-dual thought and living thinking.
My point is that I do not see any contradiction between the non-dual thought and living thinking. IMO they can and should be integrated into one wholistic approach.
With that said, I'm a little disappointed that this thread seems to have gone undeveloped. The question of how the imagination-intuition of higher-order beings precipitate into percepts within our field of conscious phenomena is something I'd love to gain a greater insight of.
Yes, I fully support your request and patiently waiting for insights from Cleric about " how the imagination-intuition of higher-order beings precipitate into percepts within our field of conscious phenomena" :)
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AshvinP
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Re: Meditation exercise on "separate me"

Post by AshvinP »

Anthony66 wrote: Sun Mar 05, 2023 11:56 am With that said, I'm a little disappointed that this thread seems to have gone undeveloped. The question of how the imagination-intuition of higher-order beings precipitate into percepts within our field of conscious phenomena is something I'd love to gain a greater insight of. You started to address this here with the distinction between immediate perceptions, memory images, and imaginative images. The diverse character of these makes sense.

Where I struggle is bridging the divide between the various metaphors that have been employed here - carrier waves, Moiré patterns, fractals etc. - and the standard models of say visual perception as per ChatGPT:
Light travels as electromagnetic radiation and enters the eye through the cornea, a transparent outer covering. The cornea bends the light and focuses it onto the lens, which further refracts the light and adjusts its focus. The lens then projects the light onto the retina, a thin layer of light-sensitive cells located at the back of the eye. The retina contains two types of photoreceptor cells: rods and cones. Rods are more sensitive to low levels of light and are responsible for our vision in dim light conditions. Cones are responsible for color vision and work best in brighter light conditions. When light hits the photoreceptor cells, it triggers a series of chemical and electrical events that generate nerve impulses. These impulses travel along the optic nerve to the brain, which processes the information and creates a visual image.
On the one hand we have the causal chain of light, corneas, retinas, photoreceptor cells, and nerve impulses etc. The attachment of conceptual content to these perceptual elements and the identification of the interactions being a construction of our thinking I'm happy with. But how do these percepts "get in" to my field of conscious awareness? High order beings precipitate those precepts to which we add our thinking. Is it something akin to Berkeley's idea where perceptions arise directly out of the omnipotence of God? I can't quite join the dots.

Anthony,

I am glad you revisited that post from Cleric, as I am also interested in following that phenomenology further. On that note, in regards to your question, I think we need to clearly distinguish between metaphysics and phenomenology to begin with.

When we ask about higher order beings precipitating percepts into our field of consciousness and so forth, we are asking for a metaphysical model. We want to view the whole process from the side, like there are Divine beings who are radiating perceptual structures into our conscious field, which we then perceive and think about. This secretly embeds the assumption that our current concepts and conceptual templates are adequate to understand what actually happens in the first-person process of cognition-perception. Notice all metaphysical models presuppose we can borrow things from our current understanding, which is generally an understanding of how inanimate objects behave, and apply them across the board to the phenomena of life, soul, and thinking (which is what the quote you shared does). A phenomenology, in contrast, naturally leads us to entirely unfamiliar ways of observing and thinking through these intimate life, soul, and thinking processes which unfold in our stream of becoming. That is, if we remain open to the fact that our current opinions, assumptions, theories, etc. should be put aside, should be sacrificed for the time being, if we want the givens of experience to shine forth and guide our reasoning.

Does that make sense?

With the question of how perception arises in relation to our will-thinking, we are implicating the lawful spaces of soul and spirit. These are living spaces with unique lawfulness, not reducible to the merely physical forces we are familiar with in secular science, which by themselves only lead to decay and death. I am sure you remember the detailed post Cleric gave on Levin's models in response to a question you asked. We need to try and keep all of that in mind. Maybe it will help to revisit it again. I will leave it here for now, because I don't have a clear sense of how to articulate my thoughts further and maybe Cleric is already writing something in response. Both he and Steiner clearly show there are viable ways of articulating these unfamiliar dynamics and building a gradient of understanding between our familiar habits of thinking and the yet unfamiliar modes which alone can elucidate the phenomena of life, soul, and spirit. We need to trust that our living and energetic thinking can reach out beyond our current state and illuminate the corridors we otherwise navigate in the most dim and clumsy way with our abstract concepts, as long as we are willing to sacrifice the personal preferences, opinions, etc. which constantly tempt us to resist a deeper understanding of these archetypal processes.
"A secret law contrives,
To give time symmetry:
There is, within our lives,
An exact mystery."
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