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The five basic Yogas

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posted on Dec, 4 2009 @ 01:29 AM
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reply to post by EMPIRE
 


Again, it will be plain as day. This is the experience that the Sufis, Vedantists, Yogis, Kabbalists, Gnostics have talked about as being indescribable, beyond words, absolute bliss/love. It is indescribable because there is no subject-object duality. There is no longer any "otherness" It is as if you have become all of existence. The Upanishads describe this state very well, "When you hear nothing but the self, see nothing but the self, feel nothing but the self" then you have reached the final goal of spirituality.

This absolute state is called Satchitananda, which basically means it is an absolute state of existence, consciousness and bliss. This cannot be desribed to anybody, because it can only be experienced. Sure, this may seem contradictory as I am describing it to you now, but all I am doing is indicating it. The map is not the territory of course.

To me enlightenment literally means to be full of light, and recall that when the mind-field is empty of thought waves it illuminates the pure consciousness, in the same way clouds dispersing in the sky reveal the sun. This is why it is called enlightenment. As long there is still a trace of a thought wave, one still has not reached enlightenment.

Although the sages state that one can reach enlightenment in a single life time, the reality is that it takes the soul several lifetimes before it reaches enlightenment. If this was not true, we would see Buddha beings all the time. The fact that we don't shows how rare these souls are.

Skyfloat, I understand the word religion in terms of its ordinary usage. Something which prescribes beliefs and rituals. This is distinct from science, as science is based on knowledge derived from method. Yoga is thus closer to science, as it is based on direct knowledge derived from method. Hence why the effects of Yoga methods can be scientifically studied. In a contrast a belief cannot be scientifically studied. How do you study, for example, that Jesus is the saviour? This is where the distinction between religion and science becomes apparent.

[edit on 4-12-2009 by Indigo_Child]




posted on Dec, 4 2009 @ 01:41 AM
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Indigo-Childs first post gives you a good definition/description of Raja-Yoga as layed out in the "Yoga Sutras" by Patanjali.

Good stuff


(Comment on Religion later)

[edit on 4-12-2009 by Skyfloating]



posted on Dec, 4 2009 @ 01:44 AM
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Originally posted by EMPIRE
Question, how does one know when they've reached what you all deem or label as "enlightment"?


Many years before Moksha hits you have previews in the form of vivid states where the asker of that question and the question dissappear in infinite hilarity.



posted on Dec, 4 2009 @ 01:56 AM
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Originally posted by Indigo_Child
How do you study, for example, that Jesus is the saviour? This is where the distinction between religion and science becomes apparent.


I understand. I just dont think that Yoga is strictly scientific in a linear sense, and I dont think it should be.

Worshipping Jesus is similar to worshipping Krishna or Brahma or Ishvara. There is a very distinct quality to that kind of Devotion that is beyond logic, beyond any study, beyond any reasonability.

As quoted earlier it is a kind of madness rather than a kind of science.

Its similar to when you're in love with someone - isnt that kind of unmeasurably inexact?



posted on Dec, 4 2009 @ 02:47 AM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


In that case I will qualify my definition of science as distinct from empirical science. In fact even empirical science is discovering today that things are not linear, this is certainly true in Quantum mechanics.

In my definition science is basically a logical system of knowledge. A logical system is known as a scientific theory which then can be used to make predictions about the real world and applied to create practical techniques or technology. A scientific theory is useless if it cannot make reliable predictions about the world. Yoga thus can definitely be called a science because it is based on a scientific theory, it can be used to make predictions about the mind and behaviour and applied to create practical techniques(Meditation, Breath-control, Pranayama) Yoga is thus more accurately in the class of psychological science. However, an even more accurate term would be phenomenological science.

Bhakti Yoga may seem less scientific and certainly its approach does not require any kind of knowledge of the scientific theory of Yoga or a scientific mindset, nonetheless it is consistent with Yogic scientific explanations that single-minded concentration on an object will lead to the lessening of the thought-waves in the mind field, and Yoga can explain why Bhakti will lead to mystical states and why it is therefore just as valid as Raja Yoga.

Patanjali does not simply describe a particular form of Yoga, but rather the theory of Yoga as a science. It is applicable to every kind of Yoga. The 8 stages he describes are rather the logical stages of meditiation practice. It begins first with moral principles to prepare for meditation and to commit oneself to practice. Then we proceed by getting into a comfortable position and then we control our breath to relax our body and mind. This automatically leads to the next stage: sensory withdrawal. It is only in this state we can assume the object we are going to meditate on, because otherwise the senses render it impossble to focus on the object. After we achieive a certain level of uninterrupted concentration this is when altered states of consciousness commence.

Most meditators begin object-meditation even before reaching sensory withdrawl state and continue this practice for years not experiencing anything more than mild relaxation. This is because they are not really meditating and are not going through the proper prepartory stages, the most important of which is breathing. This is why I always begin my meditation with breathing until I have experienced sensory withdrawl, or at least an approximation of it.

Now you may say that this is not at all what a Bhakti Yogi does. You are right, because it is done automatically by the mind and body. They will assume a certain kind of position(maybe even a moving position) which will mimic the effect of Asanas by removing tensions from the body. As they relax into their devotional ritual(perhaps singing a hymn) their breath will automatically begin to harmonize. As they become immersed in their ritual they will begin to lose awareness of everything else. If this immersion reaches a certain level of uninterrupted concentration/devotion/madness this is when altered states of consciousness commence.

Thus the general theory outlined in the Yogasutras applies not just to Raja Yoga alone, but all forms of Yoga.

[edit on 4-12-2009 by Indigo_Child]



posted on Dec, 4 2009 @ 05:46 AM
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Hi guys, great thread.

I'm interested in learning more about Jnana Yoga, can anyone refer to me a guide, book, or website.

Thanks.



posted on Dec, 4 2009 @ 07:06 AM
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Originally posted by vjr1113
I'm interested in learning more about Jnana Yoga, can anyone refer to me a guide, book, or website.


Begin with "Jnana Yoga" by Swami Vivekananda and then read anything by Ramana Maharshi. Or alternatively, just go with what Google offers.



posted on Dec, 4 2009 @ 11:30 AM
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Yoga itself encompasses all of the things listen and was originally meant to be used as one practice which is similar to the 8-fold path in Buddhism:

1)Moral Restraints
2)Spiritual observances
3)Postures
4)Disciplined breathing
5)Withdrawing from the senses
6)Concentration
7)Meditation
8)Samadhi

These don't necessarily have to be followed in any particular order. The final goal is to reach a state of Samadhi, or an experience free from subject/object dualism and union with Atman or Brahman.



posted on Dec, 4 2009 @ 12:47 PM
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reply to post by DisappearCompletely
 


As discussed above the order of the stages follows a logical sequence. I guess you could argue that you can forgo the moral and spiritual observances and the postures and breathing, and start directly with meditation. The problem with this approach is your mind and body will not be trained enough to sustain meditation or even enter meditation. An untrained body for example will start to fidget soon in the practice and this will prevent one from reaching concentration. Irregular breathing will also prevent one from reaching proper concentration. These are specified as obstacles in the Yoga Sutras.

The last few stages sensory withdrawal, concentration, meditation and absorption definitely cannot be practiced in another order, as they are a logical sequence of the practice. Sensory withdrawl is completely necessary for meditation.I cannot stress that enough. This should be the first aim of a serious meditator. As long as all your senses are active, sense impressions will impinge on your mindfield and produce more activity. This is why the Yogi withdraws the Prana from the senses into his mind, because meditation proper cannot commence until that point is achieived. It is then that you can assume your object to focus on(Dharana) As your focus intensifies it becomes meditation(Dhyana) and as meditation intensifies it becomes absorption(Samadhi)

I can recommend you helpful techniques which can intensify your meditations. The first is to practice regularly a form of Pranayama, alternative nostril breathing is considered one of the best, because it can balance your right and left channels. Many Yogins tend to practice Pranayama just before meditation. The second invaluable technique is Tratika, concentration exercises(candle gazing is particularly good) which should also be practiced regularly. These will train your mind to achieive higher levels of concentration in meditation. If you practice these techniques regularly you are viritually guaranteed major success in meditation.


On Jnana Yoga. Skyfloating has already pointed you to very expert teachers on Jnana Yoga, Swami Vivekananda and Sri Ramana Maharishi. I wil also recommend reading the philosophy of Sri Adi Sankarcharya, who is possibly the greatest Jnana Yogi of all time and considered the next greatest mind after Buddha in the Indian tradition. His writings shed a lot of light on what Jnana Yoga is all about. Jnana Yoga is also considered to be the hardest Yoga to practice, because it requires very acute reasoning powers and it very much like doing Philosophy. However, it is a practical philosophy. The basic question you begin with is "Who am I" You will ask yourself this question everyday(In the Yogasutras this is Swadhayana) In the process of asking this question you will you will consider the various explanations for who you are. Such as, are you your body? Are you your brain? Are you your mind? Are you a social-construct? Are your a soul?

It is simply for a Jnana Yogi to begin by by declaring "I am not the body" but more often than not, they will lack the reasoning power to prove that assertion. So if you put them in front of a materialist logician they will struggle. The aim of Jnana Yoga is to develop your reasoning power so that you can fully give a logical answer as to why you are not your body, or your mind, or a social-construct, or an "I"

I hope this helps.



posted on Dec, 4 2009 @ 03:05 PM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


So are you saying before enlightment or liberation that the person will ponder the thought of enlightment, see various states of their growth/being, laugh and then realize they are enlightened?



posted on Dec, 4 2009 @ 03:16 PM
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Originally posted by EMPIRE
So are you saying before enlightment or liberation that the person will ponder the thought of enlightment, see various states of their growth/being, laugh and then realize they are enlightened?


To be honest, I personally dont really believe in "the" enlightenment, I believe in incredibly wide and awesome states of which there are thousands of different kinds .

If there is a probability that someone will experience states of infinite-bliss and awesome expansion throughout his life, he usually already has some pre-views of those states earlier (except in cases where it comes on suddenly).



posted on Dec, 4 2009 @ 03:31 PM
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Originally posted by Indigo_ChildIt is simply for a Jnana Yogi to begin by by declaring "I am not the body" but more often than not, they will lack the reasoning power to prove that assertion. So if you put them in front of a materialist logician they will struggle. The aim of Jnana Yoga is to develop your reasoning power so that you can fully give a logical answer as to why you are not your body, or your mind, or a social-construct, or an "I"


Its amazing how people struggle with this one. I can observe a cup and that means there is a cup and an observer, two seperate things. I can observe the cup so I am not the cup.

Likewise, I can observe the body so I am not the body. I can observe the mind, so I am not the mind. I am aware of someone observing stuff, so I am not that person either.

Its hilariously simple and yet an entire civilization seems not to see it.



posted on Dec, 4 2009 @ 03:39 PM
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Originally posted by Skyfloating
Its amazing how people struggle with this one. I can observe a cup and that means there is a cup and an observer, two seperate things. I can observe the cup so I am not the cup.

Likewise, I can observe the body so I am not the body. I can observe the mind, so I am not the mind. I am aware of someone observing stuff, so I am not that person either.

Its hilariously simple and yet an entire civilization seems not to see it.


You're right that it is a simple concept, but can also be an extremely difficult task to transcend subject/object dualism and realize Brahman. The ego self is extremely adept at keeping us ignorant to the true underlying reality.



posted on Dec, 4 2009 @ 03:45 PM
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reply to post by DisappearCompletely
 


The solution is actually already included in your screenname, isnt it?



posted on Dec, 4 2009 @ 11:08 PM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


Yes, definitely I agree with this philosophy. I cannot be what I observe, whatever I observe must necessarily occur within my field of awareness. Therefore logically I have no reason to believe I am the body, the mind etc and therefore the negation of the body or the mind, cannot be my own negation.

This is the basics of Samkhya philosophy and it is my opinion the most powerful philosophy I have ever come across. A rationalist would have to accept it. However, a materialist does not necessarily have to accept it.

The materialist will argue the following:

1) We know for a fact that consciousness states can be correlated to brain states and brain chemistry.

2. Consciousness and matter cannot be completely different, otherwise it would be impossible for them to interact. We have more reason to believe that consciousness emerged from a special arrangement of matter than not, as evolution shows that at one stage there were no conscious humans in the world, but just inert matter.

3. The so called self is nothing more than a self-referenence or self-representation system and has no individual existence, but it is a part of an evolving and self-adaptive organzing system. This is the prevaling modern view in neruobiology and cyberntics.

4. The only special quality about consciousness is that it gives us self-reference of something, other than it serves no other role and everything can be explained as brain states and physical states.

5. There is no empirical evidence for positing that another reality exists where consciousness can exist as disembodied.

6. If the existence of consiousness as separate from matter is derived from logic, then as all logical systems are based on premises which themselves are in need of proof, no certain conclusions can be derived from logic. All we can be certain of is empirical evidence.

7. Subjective experience cannot be generalised to the real world, because subjective experiences of the world contradict one another. The feeling of being "conscious" is just that, a subjective feeling.

8. The so called self is nothing more than a fiction, for one when one inquires into the self, all they ever finding is changing perceptions, memories and sensations.

I am definitely not a materialist by the way, but I here playing the devils advocate to show that materialism does have some very strong philosophical challenges and this is why it is such a dominant and powerful philosophy in the world. As long as these challenges remain, the true Jnana Yogi cannot honestly go beyond materialism, as it is evident that the Jnana Yogi has not developed the reasoning power to do so. Thus a Jnana Yogi must readily welcome all challenges by the materialist.

Even harder challenges come from the linguistic, cultural and social philosophers. The postmodenist philosophy which is quite dominant in the modern consumer society.

In Jnana Yoga detachment(Vairagya) is born out of the convinction from the power of reason(viveka) As soon as the Jnana Yogi has been able to prove beyond any doubt why they are not x, only then can they discard x.
Sankara is considered a great Jnana Yogi, because his powers of reason were so acute he was able to defeat all the rival philosophers of his time and as a result his philosophy came to power.

[edit on 4-12-2009 by Indigo_Child]



posted on Dec, 5 2009 @ 04:22 AM
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Originally posted by Indigo_Child
The materialist will argue the following:


I`ll play along and assume the other side of the table.



1) We know for a fact that consciousness states can be correlated to brain states and brain chemistry.


I am not denying that a tuning fork (brain) picks up vibrations (consciousness).




2. Consciousness and matter cannot be completely different,


I am not saying they are. Steam, Water and Ice arethe very same thing, manifesting in different forms.



otherwise it would be impossible for them to interact. We have more reason to believe that consciousness emerged from a special arrangement of matter than not, as evolution shows that at one stage there were no conscious humans in the world, but just inert matter.


Evolution does not show that there was no consciousness. Thats an invalid leap. Evolution shows the development of various lifeforms, not their "Cause".

Linear Evolution is valid in a limited sense, like an extremely simplistic way of seeing things. If I accidently step on a Bug, does that mean I caused the bugs death? But what caused the Bug to be there? And who made my shoes? And what caused me to be there at that time? And didnt the gust of wind cause the bug to be there and therefore cause its death? But what caused the gust of wind? And did not my employee cause the bugs death because he held me up prior to me taking a walk?



5. There is no empirical evidence for positing that another reality exists where consciousness can exist as disembodied.


Yes there is. I place my awareness onto the tree on the other side of the street. My awareness is therefore not limited to the confines of a body. Currently it rests outside of the body, over at the tree. The simplicity of reality can make those who over-intellectualize, blind to it.

But I am not saying that modern views on Consciousness are "invalid", they are. But only within certain parameters.



6. If the existence of consiousness as separate from matter is derived from logic, then as all logical systems are based on premises which themselves are in need of proof, no certain conclusions can be derived from logic. All we can be certain of is empirical evidence.


See answer above. Direct experience/observation prior to Mentalization and Intellectualization reveal Awareness as non-local. Like air, awareness is everywhere at the same time. This need not be proven or confirmed by measurement because it is self-evident when looking.



7. Subjective experience cannot be generalised to the real world, because subjective experiences of the world contradict one another. The feeling of being "conscious" is just that, a subjective feeling.


There is no other world than subjective experience, at least not one that you can prove to exist.




8. The so called self is nothing more than a fiction, for one when one inquires into the self, all they ever finding is changing perceptions, memories and sensations.


If memory is not applied there is indeed no self to be found. "Self" is then just another thought/memory with no independent existence of its own. This does not mean that an underlying context/energy-field/field-of-awareness/field-of-consciousness does not exist or that only touchable, perceivable matter exists. Saying so would again be a leap from reality to assumption.



posted on Dec, 5 2009 @ 09:50 PM
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I`ll play along and assume the other side of the table.


In that case I will continue playing the devils advocate for the materialist. Although I am quite surprised that a real materialist has not actually defended their position from your arguments yet. In any case, I could do probably do a better job defending materialism, despite not being a materialist myself



I am not denying that a tuning fork (brain) picks up vibrations (consciousness).


The mind as a receiver analogy is just that an analogy, just like the mind is like a windmill or a computer. We have no evidence that it really is that. Moreover, the analogy is false, because a radio is a passive thing that simply receives signals, but the mind is not a passive thing as it itself can impose its own laws onto the world and represent the world to itself.

Another reason why the analogy does not work is because we know that there is an interactive relationship between mind and body. That is that the physical input can alter mental states, and mental states can alter physical states. But there is no such interactive relationship between a radio and a transmitter, the radio plays an entirely passive role. Therefore the analogy is flawed.

Empirical evidence will show that consciousness can never exist in something that does not have a functioning brain. This is consistent with the analogy that the body is the hardware and consciousness the software, and therefore just as there can be no software running without a hardware to support it, likewise there can be no consciousness without a body to support it.



I am not saying they are. Steam, Water and Ice arethe very same thing, manifesting in different forms.


Well, the materialist position IS that consciousness is none other than a special form of matter, just as steam, water and ice are special forms. It is a material thing.


Evolution does not show that there was no consciousness. Thats an invalid leap. Evolution shows the development of various lifeforms, not their "Cause".


Evolutions shows that at one point there was no life on this planet, that life emerged only when special conditions allowed water to form on this planet and from this various chemicals which eventually evolved into more complex forms and became the humans of today. Therefore there is definitely evidence to show the priority of matter over consciousness. It is thus only logical to conclude that consciousness follows matter, and not the other way around.


Yes there is. I place my awareness onto the tree on the other side of the street. My awareness is therefore not limited to the confines of a body. Currently it rests outside of the body, over at the tree. The simplicity of reality can make those who over-intellectualize, blind to it.


This is not empirical evidence, but subjective evidence. It may appear that you awareness can extend to the tree, but this is easily explained by the fact that the light rays entering your eyes allows you see the tree. You cannot see objects if the light rays do not reflect of them. If your consciousness really extended across the physical universe, you would be able to see distant galaxies and atoms. But this is not the case, therefore your consciousness is confined to your body and its sensory apparatus.


See answer above. Direct experience/observation prior to Mentalization and Intellectualization reveal Awareness as non-local. Like air, awareness is everywhere at the same time. This need not be proven or confirmed by measurement because it is self-evident when looking.


Again this is patently false, because if consciousness was like space and everywhere at the same time, it would mean I would be aware of things outside of my vision, such as the contents of a sealed and non-transparent box. This is not the case, therefore consciousness is not everywhere.


There is no other world than subjective experience, at least not one that you can prove to exist.


There is evidence for an objective world, because we know for a fact there is a world that exists outside of us with its own history, laws and things. If the contents of my experience were completely subjective, then how could we all agree that we are seing the same things. And if you argue that there is no other, just you, then there is nothing more than solipisim.



If memory is not applied there is indeed no self to be found. "Self" is then just another thought/memory with no independent existence of its own. This does not mean that an underlying context/energy-field/field-of-awareness/field-of-consciousness does not exist or that only touchable, perceivable matter exists. Saying so would again be a leap from reality to assumption.



If the self is just another thought and memory, then this simply lends itself to the materialist position. As all memories are previous sense impressions or physical impressions, which come from the physical world. Therefore the so-called self simply being a contingent and temporal things that changes in relation to its memories, cannot be a real thing. Thus we are not actually subjects of our experience and this is a fiction. Thus there is no need to multiply quantities any further and posit the existence of awareness-fields. There is fundamentally just a material field, and only that is real, while subjective-fields are as we have already established, fictitious.

Note: Just to remind I do not in fact believe in materialism. I am only playing devils advocate here, and will stop arguing as soon as I am satisfied you have defeated all the materialist arguments I can make against your position.

[edit on 5-12-2009 by Indigo_Child]



posted on Dec, 6 2009 @ 02:37 PM
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Originally posted by Indigo_Child
In any case, I could do probably do a better job defending materialism, despite not being a materialist myself



You`re playing your role very well




the mind is not a passive thing as it itself can impose its own laws onto the world and represent the world to itself.


No objection. I understand that "brain as receiver/translator of vibration" is an analogy. I was using it because you said that the Brain creates Consciousness. I am saying the brain does not create Consciousness, that Consciousness exists independent of a piece of meat.

I only say so to clarify your position and my position, for the benefit of the reader.

You have evidence that certain parts of the brain react to certain thoughts. You therefore stipulate that the brain must be the "cause" of these thoughts. But it could just as well be the other way around, the thoughts being the cause of the reaction in the brain.

So, in regards to this issue we are tied, 1:1, as there is only evidence of a brain-reaction but not of which came first, the thought or matter/brain.



Another reason why the analogy does not work is because we know that there is an interactive relationship between mind and body. That is that the physical input can alter mental states, and mental states can alter physical states. But there is no such interactive relationship between a radio and a transmitter, the radio plays an entirely passive role. Therefore the analogy is flawed.


Yes alright, its clarified. Also, you see the two angles - mind influences body and body influences mind.

It is my view that it is consciousness/thought that is primary and matter/body that is secondary.

First you think of sex, and then your body reacts.



Empirical evidence will show that consciousness can never exist in something that does not have a functioning brain.


The materialist hopes that that is so. NDE Research and OBE research (as well as my personal experience) have shown me awareness and thought without a brain. Research has shown plants with Consciousness.

Here you are saying that Consciousness is created by the Brain. However, mere meat/matter cannot be proven to have created anything. I´ll give you a pile of dust or a chunk of brain-meat: Now show me how it creates something.

I´ll give you a soccer-ball. Show me what that Ball can create.



This is consistent with the analogy that the body is the hardware and consciousness the software, and therefore just as there can be no software running without a hardware to support it, likewise there can be no consciousness without a body to support it.


Just because you cannot see disembodied consciousness with your eyes and your laboratory tools, does not mean it doesnt exist. But alas, I cannot prove you are not the body in this way. I can prove it differently though:

Simply acknowledge that, as far as your perception is concerned, you cannot BE that which you observe.



Well, the materialist position IS that consciousness is none other than a special form of matter, just as steam, water and ice are special forms. It is a material thing.


With the slight difference that consciousness is seen as secondary to matter rather than matter only existing within the context of Consciousness.



It may appear that you awareness can extend to the tree,


Now you are taking the obvious and turning it into an "it only appears that way".



but this is easily explained by the fact that the light rays entering your eyes allows you see the tree.


Actually I can sense someone staring at me from behind even at a distance - thats because awareness is not limited to the eyes and neither to the body or brain.




You cannot see objects if the light rays do not reflect of them. If your consciousness really extended across the physical universe, you would be able to see distant galaxies and atoms. But this is not the case, therefore your consciousness is confined to your body and its sensory apparatus.


You may not be able to do that because of your thoughts of limitation, but I am very well able to project my awareness beyond the tree.

At the moment my awareness is looking at my body and mind. Therefore I am not body and mind, I am the one who is aware of both.

Now my awareness is at the tree.

Now I am projecting it to the other side of the world, to some other city. And now out into the galaxy.

You probably consider projecting awareness anywhere else than the eyes can see "Imagination" and "Memory". And it is true that what I am perceiving is partially imagined and partially perceived. One can train oneself to put away Imagination and perceive - which, in modern language is called Remote Viewing.




But this is not the case, therefore your consciousness is confined to your body and its sensory apparatus.


My consciousness is currently at the computer screen, which is why I do not feel the body.



Again this is patently false, because if consciousness was like space and everywhere at the same time, it would mean I would be aware of things outside of my vision, such as the contents of a sealed and non-transparent box. This is not the case, therefore consciousness is not everywhere.


Put your attention to that sealed box and perceive the first thing that comes to mind. This is an ability that some train themselves to have. Unfortunately a lifetime of conditioning by materialist schools makes it difficult for most.




There is fundamentally just a material field, and only that is real, while subjective-fields are as we have already established, fictitious


Ive ommited parts of our discussion in order to focus on the main talking points.

So lets for a moment pretend that there is only one material-field. In your view of things, what is the source and origin of this material-field? Does it have a purpose in your opinion?

[edit on 6-12-2009 by Skyfloating]



posted on Dec, 7 2009 @ 07:47 PM
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You`re playing your role very well


Thanks.


No objection. I understand that "brain as receiver/translator of vibration" is an analogy. I was using it because you said that the Brain creates Consciousness. I am saying the brain does not create Consciousness, that Consciousness exists independent of a piece of meat.

I only say so to clarify your position and my position, for the benefit of the reader.

You have evidence that certain parts of the brain react to certain thoughts. You therefore stipulate that the brain must be the "cause" of these thoughts. But it could just as well be the other way around, the thoughts being the cause of the reaction in the brain.

So, in regards to this issue we are tied, 1:1, as there is only evidence of a brain-reaction but not of which came first, the thought or matter/brain.


Unfortunately this is not as simple as the chicken and egg paradox, as we know for a FACT from evolution that at one point there was no life on this planet, and it evolved gradually from matter-stuff into organic life, and now studies in biology confirms that matter-stuff does become organic stuff. We do not understand exactly how and why this happens, but the fact that we have empirical evidence which shows that matter came first and not consciousness, means that empirically we cannot accept it is 1:1.
Surely you can accept that if we go by empirical means of knowing, it is quite clear that matter comes first and not consciousness.


Yes alright, its clarified. Also, you see the two angles - mind influences body and body influences mind.

It is my view that it is consciousness/thought that is primary and matter/body that is secondary.

First you think of sex, and then your body reacts.


And we can take the logic further and show that thought has material antecedents. My body requires fuel, and then the thought takes place, "I am hungry" Similarly, I can consume certain substances which will alter brain chemistry and then certain thoughts and experiences will take place. Here, it was only after consuming the substance that the thought took place. Therefore it is established that thought processes have material antecedents. Once again corroborating the priority of matter over consciousness.


The materialist hopes that that is so. NDE Research and OBE research (as well as my personal experience) have shown me awareness and thought without a brain. Research has shown plants with Consciousness.

Here you are saying that Consciousness is created by the Brain. However, mere meat/matter cannot be proven to have created anything. I´ll give you a pile of dust or a chunk of brain-meat: Now show me how it creates something.

I´ll give you a soccer-ball. Show me what that Ball can create.


Your personal experiences are unfalsifiable to a materialst, because the materialist cannot test the validity of your claim. To accept your claim as valid without testing it, would be unscientific. NDE research is a dubious area of research to a materialist, which may be convincing for the believer but not to the non-believer. Nonetheless, empirical studies have shown that affecting brain chemistry can lead to NDE-like phenonenon, which once again corroborates the materialist thesis that it is matter causing consciousness and not vis-versa.

Your challenge of creating consciousness out of a soccer ball is simplistic and ignorant of material evolution. For we know that a soccer ball cannot create consciousness, it is only organic matter after undergoing millions of years of mutations that emerges consciousness. It is not known exactly why consciousness emerges, but it is not entirely surprising as we know that matter aggregates display new properties which were not present in the constituents. For example, two gasses hydrogen and oxygen produce water, which is a liquid. Research in particle physics shows how certain matter aggregates give rise to very exotic properties. Therefore, consciousness too can be understood as a special property arising from a special matter aggregation process.


Just because you cannot see disembodied consciousness with your eyes and your laboratory tools, does not mean it doesnt exist. But alas, I cannot prove you are not the body in this way. I can prove it differently though:

Simply acknowledge that, as far as your perception is concerned, you cannot BE that which you observe.


No, it doesn't mean that just because disemboldied consciousness cannot be observed empirically that it does not exist, but nor does it mean it does. It is therefore an unfalsifiable claim, as unfalsifiable as the existence of an invisible unicorn.

I will acknowledge that as far as perception is concerned that I cannot be what I observe, however this does not prove that the things that I observe and myself - the observer - are not made out of the same substance. A camera is not what it observes, but it is made up of the same mater-stuff as its observations. Therefore, the materialist argument is that the human entity is just like the camera, it has self-reference like the camera, but it is made up of the same stuff. Again there is empirical evidence to support this, for the eye is structured just like a camera. The only difference between them is the camera is an artificial man-made construction, and the eye is a natural evolutionary construction, but they serve the same function and therefore are equivalent. Likewise, the brain, is similar in functional structure to a computer. Therefore one must conclude that the brain is a naturally constructed computer.

Modern research in the fields of AI are convinced that that the human brain is a natural computer and that this computer can be replicated artifically to create human like intelligence. In this case we will be able to create the functional equivalent of a human being, and if it functionally equivalent, it is therefore identical.



Well, the materialist position IS that consciousness is none other than a special form of matter, just as steam, water and ice are special forms. It is a material thing.



Actually I can sense someone staring at me from behind even at a distance - thats because awareness is not limited to the eyes and neither to the body or brain.


This can easily be explained as unconscious sensory input, perhaps you heard them behind you, but did not consciously hear it. If you could sense a person miles away outside of your sensory radius, only then can we accept that consciousness extends beyond the senses. There is a problem here though, which I will bring to light with your next argument:


Now I am projecting it to the other side of the world, to some other city. And now out into the galaxy.

You probably consider projecting awareness anywhere else than the eyes can see "Imagination" and "Memory". And it is true that what I am perceiving is partially imagined and partially perceived. One can train oneself to put away Imagination and perceive - which, in modern language is called Remote Viewing.


The problem is the same problem with accepting NDE research as legitimate. That is how can we test your experiences? You say you can project your consciousnes to another city or to a dinstant galaxy, but how do we know you are really perceiving them and not just imagining them?
Remote viewing, like NDE research is dubious research to materialists, and is only convincing to the believer and not the non-believer. The reason it is dubious is because there are thousands upon thousands of debunked accounts of people who claim to remote view, some which have taken place on national television by so-called experts. In the empirical scientific method if a result cannot be replicated and peer-reviewed, it is discarded. Therefore a materialist MUST discard all remote viewing and NDE research as pseudoscientific.



Put your attention to that sealed box and perceive the first thing that comes to mind. This is an ability that some train themselves to have. Unfortunately a lifetime of conditioning by materialist schools makes it difficult for most.


As a materialist I must doubt that even you are capable of this feat. In the past I have set up tests for people to remote view things inside a hidden box or to describe my bedroom, and all have failed. There have been several such tests set up by independent organizations, and the results are inconclusive so far. If such means of knowledge were so common, we would hear conclusive accounts of people seeing things beyond their senses all the time. But this is not the case. Therefore as a materialist I must reject the possibility of such feats being possible, until there is enough empirical evidence to prove it.


So lets for a moment pretend that there is only one material-field. In your view of things, what is the source and origin of this material-field? Does it have a purpose in your opinion?


To ascribe a purpose to the material field would presuppose it has an intelligence and therefore one must also infer there is a consciousness within it. However, empirical studies in evolution shows that matter shows no signs of intelligent activity, but random activity both at the microscopic level and macroscopic level. The electrons whizz around randomly, the cells move about randomly and mutations take place randomly. This random process leads to a series of chance convergences, most of which are unstable and die out, but the rare few survive and aggregate further to more complex forms. Again research in evolution proves this beyond a reason of doubt.

In summary: If you take an empirical perspective on reality you are forced to conclude that matter comes before consciousness.



posted on Dec, 10 2009 @ 03:15 AM
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Originally posted by Indigo_Child
In summary: If you take an empirical perspective on reality you are forced to conclude that matter comes before consciousness.


If I discount personal experience in which something remote (not in the vicinity of my senses) was perceived (and many times), then I would have to conclude that mind is limited by body and that its "matter over mind". If I ignore my subjective experience.

________________________________________

In real-life-situations it is customary for me to tell the materialist "You are right" after a certain amount of Discussion. This has two positive effects:

1 - The materialist is happy over having won a Debate.

2 - I have my peace and quiet for Meditation (too much intellectualization is not beneficial to meditative observation)

So here we go: Within a certain context of understanding, you are right. I concede this Debate to you.

[edit on 10-12-2009 by Skyfloating]



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