It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Help ATS via PayPal:
learn more

The Rationality of Uncertainty

page: 1

log in


posted on Dec, 5 2014 @ 10:56 PM
Life after death. That’s what we all long for. It’s natural and human to want consciousness to be something more than the physical. Yet we get scared at the thought of it; of letting ourselves creep deeper into that ugly and terrifying question: is the physical all there really is? And then you respond, reacting, but how can one even make the distinction between consciousness and matter? The two feedback into one another. The mind is inwards; different; subjective. And yes, matter is visible, outward, objectively real.

Consciousness seems to have an infiniteness to it; no experience is the same as each experience educes change, which interacts with the pre-existing pattern of the system of your evolving consciousness. And then you think, again, the body. The body is so physical; so limited. I can see and I accept that the brain creates conscious experience. But is it sufficient? Is there really nothing special about our inner existence? Our dreamscapes, our lands of personal meaning, imaginatively recreated by our stalwart psyche, dramatically representing itself to an inward consciousness, one part, active, participant; another part presenter. Is this normal. Isn’t this, fundamentally, existentially, strange?
And we wake up. We can also put ourselves into other states by disrupting our neurochemistry. '___' blocks serotonin by fitting itself into its receptor regions. Serotonin is blocked and unable to perform it’s usual function of regulating glutamate, leading to a ‘full on’ experience of external reality. The neurochemical modulates electrical conductivity in the brain. Flow changes. Information is processed differently. Wouldn’t it be, I don’t know, a bit unnecessarily reductive to label this experience in a change of energy flow “delusional”. How is one to know what is delusional if one can’t even explain or know for certain what consciousness is; what matter is. Or if the whole whole question in itself is nonsense, just another pattern of the human proclivity to demarcate and name and limit into linear terms what is fundamentally non-linear, paradoxical, and too complicated for us to truly comprehend.

The non-linear paradigm is shattering our arrogant 19th and 20th century convictions about logic and reality. Genes don’t make bodies. And genes are not the master controllers that Richard Dawkins and others would like it to be. Fact is, genes lead to proteins, but then the proteins play an essential role is signaling other genes into activity. In this situation, a produces b, but a is not sufficient to create c; its ab at that point which gives c’s existence. To just hammer this point in; the same gene will produce differently in different organisms. For example, a hox gene in a fly will give rise to a fly eye; whereas a hox gene in a mouse will give rise to the mouse eye. The gene is simply one element amongst other elements, the other elements being external events impinging upon the system; via its impingements it engenders epigenetic processes that influence genetic activity by attaching methyl and other molecules to the chromatin.

Reality also presents itself as fundamentally synchronistic at times. How can we reduce this strangeness? How can we, for example, ever talk about a single object when every object seems to be a coordinate in a larger synchronized system? Furthermore, Not one of us can claim objectivity since each of us has been shaped by early life relational events that gave us a particular ‘focus’, by affecting how we feel and interact with the world. How do we make sense of that? How can I make sense of a Richard Dawkins, a Neil Degrasse Tyson, and a Francisco Varela? Why does the former cling to materialistic explanations; the middle guy to be somewhere in between; and the latter guy subscribing to a nondual dualism, where inner and outer are arbitrary terms erected by a mind constructing reality by it’s own neural conditions.
For me, this is early life development. Almost everything is set at this point. The brain ‘crystallizes’ itself according to the relational conditions of in-utero development and early life (specifically the first 2 years) where brainstem and limbic regions are ‘set’ for a particular relational quality; the brain grows into itss environment. And as the brain grows, it begins to expect, anticipate. The views of Richard Dawkins, Tyson, and Varela, are elaborations of this early phase.

Personally, I don’t know. But I do accept the non-linear nature of reality, so I would lean more to Varelas non-dual dualism where distinctions exist yet they are nevertheless recursively creating one another; the human mind can, as many yogis, meditators and mindfulness practioners know, the ability to influence the brain; it can direct its own dynamical flows; it can pay attention to how it’s mind works; how certain emotions act as ‘basins of attraction’ drawing the mind into past relational patterns, leading to enactments. But a quieting of the mind, like the space between planets which pulls them into orbit, can allow you to tinker with the flow. To suggest to yourself different perspectives, and to ‘flow into them’. You can also influence the situation by making critical decisions that have a superordinate influence: such as the environments we operate within. An ability to select our environment is very much a powerful act of free will. One that can alter one’s own life trajectory.

So causation can work ‘both ways’. Brain chemistry leads to enactments; while a quiet, mindful self awareness – whatever the hell that is which allows us to see, review and decide, and in effect change our own negative enactments – allows us to essentially be what we want to be; to define for ourselves how we want to live our lives.

The world is full of wonder, and also terror. The thought of this world being it; of their being nothing more following this life, absolutely terrifies us. But is that terror proof of our naivety? Or is it just a fact – a necessary result of a mind that insists on it’s selfhood, on it’s differentness, on it’s individuality?

If that what is being thought, death will probably horrify you, and you will probably respond narcissistically with an insistence on your selfhood, and paradoxically, it can work both ways; one can think this way as a way to ‘conquer death’ by denying that you feel anything towards the fact that the physical is all there is. Or, it can be the typical laymen fear of facing the unknown; denying it and taking as a truism whatever religious dogma you subscribe to.

We can’t know, so, fundamentally, I think there is something deeply narcissistic about speaking with a certainty, an absolute “I’m right, you’re wrong!” view about consciousness and matter. In fact, from a psychoanalytic perspective, the person who reaches in this is in fact defending against his own dissociated terror. Belief is comforting. It helps control our anxiety. It stables inner patterns. But the implicit effect of certainty is disconfirmation of the other. In this way, you project what you’re secretly denying onto the other, transforming fear into hatred, a classic externalization behavior.


posted on Dec, 5 2014 @ 10:56 PM
Such is how our minds work. Just as nonlinearity rules the outside world, it rules the psychodynamics of our mind. Emotions are energetic events occurring within physical matter; its patterns stay alive as proteins, lipids etc. This is why, in fact, psychoanalysis is making a comeback as ‘neuropscyhoanalysis’ – looking at the brain regions that are being affected during a course of therapy; global activations are correlated with the processes of change. Subcortical, brainstem and cortical regions cycling between each, and horizontally between hemispheres. A world of mind with the same macro-dynamical rules as physical matter presents reality to our minds by dissociating what’s challenging and attending to what’s adaptive.

Being the case, were each participants and observers in our attempts to draw ‘truth’ from the world were observing. But observer becomes affected by what he observes. These unconscious affective rules of the mind – which draw thoughts into their orbit and thereby sets unconscious parameters to how we think – creates a feedback loop between observer and his observation; observation leads to expectations which cause the observer to conform to his observations. Reality when viewed in this way is circular. The mind is trained to become entrained to things.

It is precisely this situation which makes me think that the most rational position is one of uncertainty. Not a careless or nihilistic uncertainty; not an uncertainty that denies what can be agreed upon by consensus – such as the evil of suffering and inflicting suffering on others – but an uncertainty borne of honest reflection and humility. That none of us can truly know what happens or what is happening; and that perhaps the most rational position is to accept the paradoxical nature of existence; the conflation of inner and outer; the feedback between material and mental; cause and effect; person and society. A unity appears to pervade existence in a way that defies a linear, deterministic explanation. I think, as chaos and complexity theory has shown, the best we can do is get us a sense of the cosmic ‘shapes’ of the system; but we cannot know everything in any absolute way.

edit on 5-12-2014 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 6 2014 @ 01:06 AM
I will star an Flag an wish I could more
Will need to read a few times to try and get perpective an depth on your thoughts ideas an premise..

What Is matter ? Reality?
Double Slit proves that Matter an Reality can be flexible that what we think off as our surrounding enviroment knows when we are watching Knows if we try to quontify it measure it predict its behaviour and changes or modifys its reality depending on circumstances.

Matter is energy and vice verca we think of matter as solid an energy as radiation heat light .
But matter consists of as much empty space as our envirment wich we move through.

99,9 PECENT OF AN ATOM Is empty an the nuclesa The alleged solid part of an atom Is not it also is made up of empty space.
An so it goes on ad infinitum all of thease ever smaller partices .strings all vibrateing away .
What we perceive as matter is all empty space vibrateing with ever decreaceaing bands of energy that gives of the illusion .
When we look at it of being solid/
Just as a single bladed fan can look like one object to our eyes when spinning fast enough .And that single bladed fan would apear as one solid object if we tried to touch it.

It moves so fast there no way we would be able to touch the empty ness betwwen the blade ..EVEN ALTHOUGH THE MAJORITY IS EMPTY SPACE WE WOULD ALWAYS LOSE A FINGER WHEN TRYING TO TOUCH OR REACH THE EMPTYNESS THAT IS ALL AROUND IT.


posted on Dec, 6 2014 @ 02:04 AM
a reply to: Astrocyte
So Jainist Astro. I love the way so many of your threads mingle so smoothly through the wisps of understanding achieved from what can seem so wildly varying experiences. I continue to wonder on what small, or large musings you will share with us next.

On my verisimilitude scale I find this one somewhere, oh,, in the mid 90s. Or there abouts. Thanks

posted on Dec, 6 2014 @ 03:28 AM
I love your thread friend!

If you want answers you have to 'sleigh a dragon' as it were. Mindfulness meditation is a monumental task but if it's answers you want it's the only way to go. You will eventually have to abandon your quest and everything else including yourself to realize the truth. We are limited with our hardware therefore our only conclusion is by fully experiencing every moment as if it was new every single time and forgetting the previous moment. After all the universe is in a state of constant change

posted on Dec, 6 2014 @ 11:46 AM
i thought id seen this somewhere before, then remembered:

for those interested in looking at uncertainty from another angle.

posted on Dec, 6 2014 @ 10:52 PM
a reply to: Astrocyte

I was just reading the wikipedia page on (quantum) entanglement, they reframed it, framing it as a sort of illusion: The collapse of one wave really doesn't effect the distant one, rather the probability density functions model our ignorance of their states, and once we know one, we know the other. So our ignorance spookily collapses as a distance, its not a physical thing. I think this description is pretty correct, but reading it you could miss what the quantum revolution is actually all about: The awakening to the fact that our information on reality, our experience of it, IS our reality.

The universe is made of information. When you really embrace this view in a brick and mortar way, your whole view of reality is blown up, fundamentally transformed.

The first thing is that information is not local. When I speak and you hear me, then what's happening is information is manifesting, via a vibration in my vocal cords. Your ear drums are participating in that same vibration. The information is in the vibration, and its in many places at once. We both experience it as my voice, and its in many places at once. Your brain states correlate with mine as I speak, and in that correlation, the non local phenomenon of shared ideas takes place. The transformation in thinking comes when you realize that the information - the ideas, the voices, etc. - aren't secondary to the atoms, they are fundamental. Its information all the way down. Consistent information = reality.

The next thing is you watch old ideas about causality explode. The statistical definition of causation rules, which is to say that if you observe B happening every time A happens, means A causes B. Yet there can be many, many things that satisfy A, and they are ALL causes of B. If A and B always go together, than you can look at them as each causing each other. Minds can be synchronized at a distance, so that psychic things happen, all though the psychic stuff is just one narrative, just one cause, for what happened, because there can be many.

I don't feel too overly attached to life after death, so I like to think I'm not thinking wishfully ... But you really have to ask, how can information die? How can you, for instance, assassinate the number 42 so it no longer exists?

edit: There's one more thought I want to add to this, its very intuitive... But its that all information has to exist, because its interconnected. Its like with 42, I remember hearing that its some checksum (CRC code) for "Life the universe and everything" except CRC codes are like one byte, so each applies to an infinite set of other inputs. If you remove any number, all of math collapses, big or small. So while information exists in a place through being correlated with physical systems (like a song with your eardrums) it must have a self standing existence as a potential, that can never be destroyed. A song can exist even if its never heard, or after its heard because its all connected.
edit on 6-12-2014 by tridentblue because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 6 2014 @ 11:43 PM
a reply to: Astrocyte
An absolutely brilliant post my friend. You've been reading Rupert Shelldrake's material, he's a very brilliant man. If you're familiar with Tony Robbins 6 human needs psychology, you'll know that human beings need to feel certain, what i'm suggesting is a little trust, a little faith. A little trust that the truth isn't dialectical materialism. A little faith that Nihilism isn't true and that if it is, it shouldn't be acknowledged. I'm a practicing Hindu. If i'm extrapolating into an existential void, so be it. It's easy to feel as if you're just a mere unknowable observer floating through the Platonic "world of forms." It's a very disconcerting feeling indeed; a sort of Terrence Mckenna state of mind. Everyone needs a bedrock, an orientation, and I know you'll find yours.

edit on 7-12-2014 by satsanga because: (no reason given)

new topics


log in