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Thanks for the words and your view, reading through it I have to say apart from your personal touch and manners it sounds a lot like authentic Buddhism. Which was without ritual and to dissect was the path of reaching the truth about life. None the less, do I detect an undercurrent of disillusion with others? Those small minded others you mention, filled with bubbles of fantasy, imagination and new age jargon? Is that what you mean? If so I know what you mean, but if not maybe I need a more precise description of where or what you are pointing your pen at. Spill the beans, you know what I mean!
originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
As an aside, it is usually at around this point in any discussion on these matters that anyone who speaks as I do about these fictions is charged with reductionism or materialism, usually in the pejorative rather than technical senses (for it is rare that they know and understand the technical sense), because anyone who speaks in such and such a way risks offending those who believe in such and such a way, and is therefor, by some stretch of the imagination, evil. But to be sure, what frustrates them is not your ability to attack their ideas, but their inability to defend them. Remember, never did a heretic or a witch put a priest to the pyre.
By a process of deduction, the soul, the mind, the self, and any and all inner worlds, are smaller than the body, given that they are said to exist “within” it.
And since these things, substances and places cannot be measured by current technology, it follows that their components, their substances and their particulates are smaller than anything that has been discovered so far.
Illuminated in this way, it is safe to say that not only are souls and minds significantly smaller then that which contains it, but are vastly smaller, and I would argue, infinitely smaller. Therefor, anyone who imagines themselves to be this mind, soul or consciousness, has reduced the self further beyond than what any reductionist ever could, to something that is closer to or equal to nothing.
In other words, souls, minds, and consciousness can hardly be imagined, let alone described.
Examining once again what we can examine, namely, what is said about souls and minds, and never souls and minds as they actually are, we can conclude that these minds are so small, even infinitely small, that their causal powers are equally as weak. Since they are without mass, they are also without energy, unable to affect anything.
How one can still stir in mind with matter knowing this shows that one is not speaking of any state of affairs when postulating minds and consciousnesses, but is taking an ancient conception, one that was conceived during times when biology was all but condemned, and exaggerating it to conform to their preferable narrative, and thereby living only as if what they were saying was true.
LesMisanthrope: In metaphysics, this technique of postulating an immaterial substance or entity within the human being is ancient, but its success rate as a hypothesis, combined with its advocacy by the vast majority of people, has led us further from an understanding of ourselves instead of closer to it. One might conclude based on this evidence that "know thyself" is less important than "preserve thyself", or at least less important than the imperative "invent something that could be preserved if it were to exist".
If we were to peel away their body like an onion so as to reveal this self, I wonder what would be left? According to our analysis, not a whole lot, if anything at all. Nonetheless, postulating that there is something of a soul or mind governing every human body, even driving it as if it was a vehicle of sorts (these little selves love the vehicle analogy), or even wearing it as if it was a meaty suit, is the going rate. Of course, upon examining the vehicle there is no little driver, and upon opening the costume, there is no wearer of it. Such metaphorical conceptions are not only fiction, but exceedingly bad fiction, bearing in mind they offer no visceral or sensual imagery to work with. In other words, souls, minds, and consciousness can hardly be imagined, let alone described.
The corporeal nature of the soul has two crucial consequences for Epicureanism. First, it is the basis of Epicurus' demonstration that the soul does not survive the death of the body (other arguments to this effect are presented in Lucretius 3.417–614). The soul's texture is too delicate to exist independently of the body that contains it, and in any case the connection with the body is necessary for sensation to occur. From this it follows that there can be no punishment after death, nor any regrets for the life that has been lost.
And yet still I wonder how a neurosurgeon can experience an NDE with a non-functioning neocortex
It must be because he needed to write a book because his job didn't pay enough, or something. Right?
There's *something in the air*, you'll never hear me claim it's invisible or undetectable, but that we're not sure what it is yet? Yep, I'll go that far. At the risk of being scoffed as a druggie (which shows how open-minded one really is), I will say that psychedelics are an eyeopener, not to make oneself believe "this is the work of god!", but to make oneself understand "this is how nature does it!"
Mushrooms talk, not in human language obviously, but they communicate. Nature communicates with spores, why is it so impossibly hard to entertain that maybe, psylocibin is a communication device used by nature, that mankind can use to tap into this stream of communications?
Maybe because that would insinuate that we're not confined to these physical bodies?
Also, if I ever were to defend the theory of a soul, I would never place it INSIDE the human body, and to be honest, I don't know who you've talked to, but I don't know many people that would? As far as I'm aware, most people who think they have a soul, believe it is bigger than themselves. If I have to conceptualize my soul, it is overlapping with the rest of the world, not confined within me. That thing confined within me is called my ego and it is exactly that which makes people believe they are confined to their own bodies, that they are completely independent, which they're not.
Not everything can be held in ones hand. The ability for someone to perform math cannot be held in hand, the ability to think about the past or ponder the future cannot be held in hand, the ability to imagine anything one desires cannot be held in hand, etc.
The very thing that are your thoughts is what you fail to grasp mentally. Intellect is not physical, yet you seem to be very intelligent despite the fact you deny the immaterial.
Not everything can be seen. The air between you and your computer screen cannot be seen, yet it is there nonetheless, the wind cannot be seen yet it blows and animates the world around it nonetheless. Your soul cannot be seen yet it animates your body nonetheless.
There's more to this existence than can be held in the hand or seen with the eyes. When you think of your mother, is she literally inside your brain? If not then where is that image of your mother located?
So what is it then? I don't mean the physical process, I mean the end result. When you picture something in your head, where is that picture? Can anyone else see it but yourself? If not then where is it?