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On Solipsists

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posted on Aug, 25 2014 @ 12:16 AM
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On Solipsists

1.

There are still people who believe the universe revolves around a single fixed point. I am not here speaking of the geocentric universe, but of the Self-centric universe, the “Atman and Brahman are one”, a universe that has been promulgated by popular eastern religion and western theological scholasticism into what we now call solipsism, the idea that one’s mind, one’s perception, one’s consciousness is the universe itself.

I can only be critical of this outlook, and I will give my reasons, but it should be known that what I say against these doctrines does not matter. Word-play begets word-play. They will be believed in and people will be convinced or not. In regards to reality, what you or I believe is a choice, and never a realization; and further I can only guess as to what the reasons of this choice is. But, when asked upon this very point and what their reason is, reason we rarely find, an opinion is never shared, and the solipsist resorts to metaphor and feigns to authority. This tendency is concurrent in all religions of naivety, and a hint to the sort of sophistry it takes to shoe-horn an ancient doctrine into modern times.

In my opinion, the doctrine of oneness and solipsism is sophistry, word-play, and extreme skepticism, without any real empirical basis, and it amounts to no more than the bedside comforts of those who rarely go outside. However, it often plays the fish-lure to uninformed minds, who enjoy any doctrine that puts them at the center of a universe, and thus, the center of their own attention.

2.

In the strange words of any self-professed guru who preaches these doctrines, we are all one sort of mental substance, ie. “consciousness” or “perception or “mind” or “appearance” or “awareness” (there is no shortage of terms used), and perhaps we are simply observers of this substance. In even stranger words, this “observer” is not the viewpoint offered by our physical bodies, for the body too is simply another part of this substance, but we as observers are some other unchangeable, unaltered, and basically unaffected point of reference—a nothing. Even more strangely, this nothing still uses the bathroom.

This point of reference is often asserted to be God experiencing itself. On what grounds this is asserted is purely metaphorical.

3.

The goal of this doctrine is sense of “oneness”, the "no-thingness", but this is performed purely mentally and results as the repudiation of one set (their body) in favor of another (anything but their body). Oneness is more a form of idea-worship, or rather, set-worship, container-worship, category-worship, as reasoned in the following analogy:

Water in a bucket is water in a bucket. Both are separate from each other by fact that they are not at all the same. For the solipsist, however, the bucket and the water can now be united into a grand concept: a “bucket of water”, a new set or category conceived off-hand so that the two separate beings, two objects, both occupying different spaces, with two equally separate boundaries in which they contain themselves and only themselves, can now be seen as one instead of many. “Oneness”, or the contradiction “we are one”, on philosophical grounds are simply conceptions with no regard to observable reality.

What is occurring, what is happening, the natural order, the tao (that which we cannot name but we name it anyways), is all there is. Since what is occurring is all there is, everything that occurs is therefor one. This is perhaps a little to simplistic, and worse, explains nothing. “What is happening”, “what is going on”, “what is occurring”, “all there is”, “everything”, “the now”, are logically empty sets, and not even sets at all, as they have no boundary. If there is no definitive boundary, there is no logical way to call it one, for a set without a boundary can not contain anything. Reality can only ever be many.

4.

In what sense are we one? No sense at all, because sense tells us the opposite. At this hurdle, the solipsist can only debase and slander the senses as distributers of illusion, but nonetheless keeps using them.

5.

To the solipsist life is a dream, and experience is like a play on a screen, with flashing lights and fleeting images dancing about as play-things. These play-things, the objects of his experience, are objects of his experience and nothing independent of it. When he closes his eyes, we as objects vanish from existence. The objects of his experience arise and fall and are transient, doomed to appear and disappear. We really are nothing to him, or worse, a part of him.

However, we need not worry, for when we arise and fall in his perception, it is rather his perception that arises and falls. It is not that we vanish from existence, it is that he closes his eyes. It is not that we are play things of his experience, but that he is experiencing us playing, while he watches longingly from the side.

It is not that we are transient and impermanent, it is simply their gaze that is so. It is their gaze that is impermanent and fleeting, their eyes all glossed over. It is not we who are empty, or nothings, or figments, it is the way they view the world that is so, as is evidenced by how they express it.

6.

The dissolution of the self into everything does not actually occur. What occurs is the imagining of dissolution as a meditative method, as a well-trodden line of thought. It is the imagining that one is a part of a cohesive whole, without any inclination or knowledge towards any boundary in which a whole can be contained, nor exist at all. But oddly enough, they themselves are a whole, being that they have a boundary in which themselves are contained, yet seek to dissolve the real whole in favor of an imagined one. In other words, “oneness” is something the solipsist never actually seeks, but consistently avoids.

7.

The idea that we are nothings or “one” is a choice, not a realization. Choose wisely.
edit on 25-8-2014 by Aphorism because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 25 2014 @ 12:58 AM
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Thank you. A post worth working through. It is one of those fundamental ideas in philosophy which should be made apparent to everyone who has an education.

But I am surprised by your claim that Solipsism is still with us. If it were true, I (being the true center of all existence) would note that I do not believe in Solipsism, and "Poof!" it would not exist.

All right, nowhere near a formal refutation. More of a comic book argument. Still, I don't understand it's appeal.

Help me out a bit with that?



posted on Aug, 25 2014 @ 01:32 AM
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a reply to: Aphorism

Thank you - for such a thought provoking piece Aphorism.

I find solipsism to be a very natural mode of contemplating a greater collective and combined meaning to the existence of us. The exercise of viewing the world outside of ourselves, as an extension of oneself - is natural. Experience gives rise to perception, we are all quite unique and different. Each one of us - a snowflake, a finger print, a very unique thing in all the world. and likely the if the microcosm is a reflection of the macrocosm - then in the whole of the universe also. So in that we know certainly, that we are something more than nothing and definitely multitudes of more than one.

However, the exercise of consciously trying to connect and become one - is what brings rise to civility, society. It's a call to harmony and balance and peace. Not that we lose our individuality, or the ability to act independently and freely from the whole - only that we not lose sight of that fact that we should honor and respect and move as one humanity - towards a higher purpose and goal.

CdT



posted on Aug, 25 2014 @ 02:32 AM
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a reply to: Aphorism
I once met someone who claimed to be a solipsist.
He said to someone else "I hope [or "think"] you're one as well".
I thought the question conflicted with his philosophy, because the opinion of a non-existent person should have held no interest for him.



edit on 25-8-2014 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 25 2014 @ 02:34 AM
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I see what you are saying.

But just to point out that we are the universe. Tho not the universe in it's entirety because the universe as a whole exists externally from our point of view.

But we are no less detached from the Universe. We are made of the same elements that the universe is made of, We live in the universe and we are made of the universe.

Trying to attain the universe as some mental cappacity to evolve into some self generated universe seperate from this one is what you are referring to basically. Well im not a product of a sleeping mans imagination if that's what these buddhists believe.
I only hold my fragments of the universe. I do not generate universes in my brain lol.
edit on 25-8-2014 by AnuTyr because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 25 2014 @ 05:33 AM
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a reply to: Aphorism

The inner knowledge (gnosis) of the I AM emotion makes it impossible to accept other Ones that Oneself. It is hard to concieve solipsism from the viewpoint of intellectual knowledge (eidein) or faith only. Introspection is the path to gnosis, not books.

-MM
edit on 25-8-2014 by MerkabaMeditation because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 25 2014 @ 05:35 AM
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a reply to: Aphorism

Ok.
To play devil's advocate.
Prove to me that this existence is not an illusion.
That I am not the only thing I can even be partially sure exists.
Without using even widely accepted assumptions I should add.

Also, our sense do provide us a window into an illusion.
Science has proven this.
Think atoms.
edit on 25-8-2014 by HarbingerOfShadows because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 25 2014 @ 06:32 AM
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My favorite thought on solipsism is my children. (like always ) After the labor I went through to get them here, they damn well better be here!! I know they're here. They're constantly nagging me for something. (I just fed them yesterday! )

Seriously though. When I first read about solipsism the book said there were no modern philosophers that adhire to it. However, if they did they probably won't waste their time explaining it to you.

That always makes me laugh.



posted on Aug, 25 2014 @ 09:36 AM
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a reply to: HarbingerOfShadows


Prove to me that this existence is not an illusion.
That I am not the only thing I can even be partially sure exists.
Without using even widely accepted assumptions I should add.


Why would I if you have not proven it is an illusion?

Go kick a large stone really hard while imagining the stone doesn't exist.


Also, our sense do provide us a window into an illusion.
Science has proven this.
Think atoms.


"Science has proven this" is very vague. I think its time for another go-to phrase.

What illusion are you speaking of?



posted on Aug, 25 2014 @ 09:41 AM
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a reply to: MerkabaMeditation




The inner knowledge (gnosis) of the I AM emotion makes it impossible to accept other Ones that Oneself. It is hard to concieve solipsism from the viewpoint of intellectual knowledge (eidein) or faith only. Introspection is the path to gnosis, not books.


Knowledge is never realized, it is created. There is no path or avenue towards anything called knowledge.



posted on Aug, 25 2014 @ 09:45 AM
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a reply to: AnuTyr




But we are no less detached from the Universe. We are made of the same elements that the universe is made of, We live in the universe and we are made of the universe.


"We are made of the universe."

This is over simplifying things a tad bit.



posted on Aug, 25 2014 @ 09:48 AM
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a reply to: CirqueDeTruth

Thank you for reading Cirque.



However, the exercise of consciously trying to connect and become one - is what brings rise to civility, society. It's a call to harmony and balance and peace. Not that we lose our individuality, or the ability to act independently and freely from the whole - only that we not lose sight of that fact that we should honor and respect and move as one humanity - towards a higher purpose and goal.


I think you speak of humanism rather than solipsism.

Sadly, solipsism is very natural. It is the default setting. We only need to see its results.



posted on Aug, 25 2014 @ 10:33 AM
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a reply to: Aphorism

The realization of the I AM is the most beautiful happening in the creation - and the most terrible. The I AM is awakened within the self, and the Mind realizes it though knowledge (gnosis). As long as there is time there is always the potential for creation. Nothing is created beyond time, that is true, but I am talking about the material universe. Beyond time everything is in a content state of IS.

My peace and respect.

-MM
edit on 25-8-2014 by MerkabaMeditation because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 25 2014 @ 10:37 AM
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a reply to: Aphorism

I get all the 'isms' mixed up.



But why is it sad, and such a tragedy, if it was the default mode? Not that I think that it is, rather, I think our modes of consciousness are as varied as the stars. I can't keep track of the 'isms' for there are so many to contemplate! However, lets pretend for a moment, that the majority of humanity does feel they are 'God' in their self-centric bubble universes. How does this internal rationalizing of the external - detract from the value of their life or another?

CdT



posted on Aug, 25 2014 @ 12:29 PM
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a reply to: CirqueDeTruth


I get all the 'isms' mixed up.


I cannot blame you. They are too great in number.


But why is it sad, and such a tragedy, if it was the default mode? Not that I think that it is, rather, I think our modes of consciousness are as varied as the stars. I can't keep track of the 'isms' for there are so many to contemplate! However, lets pretend for a moment, that the majority of humanity does feel they are 'God' in their self-centric bubble universes. How does this internal rationalizing of the external - detract from the value of their life or another?


Solipsism doesn’t detract from any intrinsic value found in things, but it detracts from the evaluation process itself. By this I mean the ability to differentiate between objects, and to evaluate objects based on their own individual merit, rather than by what class or category we put them in, is stifled under the weight of assumptions and biases. We cannot learn anything from an object, nor evaluate it, when we’ve already assumed a value before we’ve even had a chance to behold it.

Take for instance a homeless man begging on the street. In our individual self-centric bubble universe (I like that phrase), he is simply a homeless man, as that is how he appears in our universe, and thus, how the solipsist evaluates him. Perhaps we are annoyed he is in our way. However, his name is John, he has two children he misses dearly, and he suffers from a variety of mental conditions. Every day he wages a noble battle just to endure, and not once has he given up. Unless we realize the “otherness” of other people (for lack of a better term), we could never consider John’s individual merit.

By default setting, I mean that there is no experience that we are not the exact center of. The way out of this, and to appreciate the “otherness” of others, is to understand we are not the center of anything, since there is no radius between us and some outer circumference or boundary. There is no bubble.



posted on Aug, 25 2014 @ 12:29 PM
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a reply to: MerkabaMeditation


The realization of the I AM is the most beautiful happening in the creation - and the most terrible. The I AM is awakened within the self, and the Mind realizes it though knowledge (gnosis). As long as there is time there is always the potential for creation. Nothing is created beyond time, that is true, but I am talking about the material universe. Beyond time everything is in a content state of IS.


Except it isn’t a realization. It is a choice and a matter of tastes. One can believe it or not with no consequence. The “I AM” is simply a phrase, made uppercase perhaps for emphasis or to make it appear more important than it is. Capitalization is a common method of emphasis in religious rhetoric, and it is a tool of deception, but it changes nothing about the meaning of a phrase, nor does it make it more beautiful.

Empirically, rationally, and intuitively, nothing at all is awakened in the self. If we are to continue speaking about what is there against what isn’t, and about what happens versus what doesn’t, nothing is awoken in the self. Speaking in nothing but metaphor is an indicator one is straying from reality into imagination.

Unfortunately, “IS” is a verb, an action, not a state, quality or attribute of material things.

Regards.



posted on Aug, 25 2014 @ 07:11 PM
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originally posted by: Aphorism
a reply to: AnuTyr




But we are no less detached from the Universe. We are made of the same elements that the universe is made of, We live in the universe and we are made of the universe.


"We are made of the universe."

This is over simplifying things a tad bit.



How is it over simplifying it. All mass has the ability to be part of life.
Our entire body is not made of something excluding the universe.
Or mind is also not outside the universe since it exists within the body.
Same as consiousness. The soul is tethered to the body, The soul is still made of mass. Tho part physical part non-physical.

Both realms of Death and life are held within the universe because without the delicate balence of opposing forces neutralizing life could not exist.

It's not really simple if you think about it. It means mass and energy is something more than just a driving force for reaction but also is a driving force for determined action.



posted on Aug, 25 2014 @ 08:12 PM
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a reply to: Aphorism

Why would I if you have not proven it is an illusion?

Go kick a large stone really hard while imagining the stone doesn't exist.


You first claimed it wasn't.
This isn't MtG with the rule last in first out.


"Science has proven this" is very vague. I think its time for another go-to phrase.

What illusion are you speaking of?



Think atoms.



posted on Aug, 26 2014 @ 01:06 AM
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originally posted by: Aphorism
Except it isn’t a realization. It is a choice and a matter of tastes. One can believe it or not with no consequence. The “I AM” is simply a phrase, made uppercase perhaps for emphasis or to make it appear more important than it is.


This is what you need to understand; you cannot rationalize the "I AM" experience using just your intellect, you have to realize this through Gnosis (inner knowledge) and not though you intellect. Until you gain this gnosis through introspection we cannot discuss this issue on the same foundation of understanding.

It may help you to unlearn what you have been taught, become like a child within your mind - open you mind. The I AM emotion of self is where your journey begins.

-MM
edit on 26-8-2014 by MerkabaMeditation because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 26 2014 @ 01:36 AM
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a reply to: HarbingerOfShadows




You first claimed it wasn't.
This isn't MtG with the rule last in first out.


No I didn't.


Think atoms.


If you have a point, don't be afraid to make it. No one is going to do it for you.





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