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The five basic Yogas

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posted on Dec, 10 2009 @ 01:31 PM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


It was a good debate Skyfloating, although I must admit, I was secretly hoping to be defeated! I probably played my role too well. Some of the refutations of the materialist arguments are not obvious and require very deep rational thought which presupposes training in logic and philosophy and exposure to many philosophers and their arguments. This is why most people take materialism for granted and natural. It is on the surface a very formiddable philosophy and it still has not been entirely defeated, but it has definitely been weakened this century.

Some of the strongest arguments against materialism come from people like Nagel and Jackson such as "What is it like to be a bat" and "Mary in a black and white room with complete knowledge of physics, chemistry" Both of them show that there is another dimension to reality that is completely outside of physics, and that is the likeness of something. The very basic phenomenon of experience cannot be accounted for in a materialist or physiciality philosophy. Why should inert matter ever aggregate to form something noninert? Why should a set of processes aggregate to form the consciousness of something? Materialism simply cannot account for consciousness.

Some of the arguments I made against your position could have been answered like this. When I said that consciousness is just another special propety of an aggregate material process, like water is an aggregate of gasses like hydrogen and oxygen. It is clear consciousness is not a special property, because water, hydrogen and oxygen can still be reduced to physical matter. But consciousness cannot be. It is has absolutely the opposite logical properties of matter. It is therefore logically irreducible.
This means one must conclude that consciousness is its own substance and will continue to exist even if it was disembodied from matter. In the same way I can continue to exist when I am separated from my clothes.

The argument that I cannot be what I observe is totally valid. The counter-example I gave of the camera's "observations" was invalid, because a camera cannot actually "see" Similarly, if the self was an information processing system which could represent the world to itself, it still could not "know" what it represents to itself.

These are the most powerful arguments against materalism and materialism will never be able to answer them because it is at a logical dead-end.

In summary: If you take a rationalist view of reality, you are forced to conclude that consciousness comes before matter.

[edit on 10-12-2009 by Indigo_Child]




posted on Dec, 13 2009 @ 03:17 PM
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reply to post by Indigo_Child
 


I like an expert Debate, especially between these two positions, but Id have preferred it in proper Context of the Debate Forum rather than in this thread, because Intellectual-ism/Thinking can get in the way of Yoga/Meditation/Experiential-ism.

But since you seem to enjoy it as much as I do, we can always have a Challenge Match in the Debate-Forum on Materialism vs Spirituality. If that interests you, drop me a U2U

[edit on 13-12-2009 by Skyfloating]



posted on Dec, 13 2009 @ 03:37 PM
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reply to post by Indigo_Child
 


Materialism can beat you any time. How about jumping in front of truck that goes 80 km per hour?



Just joking. It is just that currently I am viewing the world from materialistic perspective. Only the materia is eternal; consciousness rise and fall in that materia like waves in the ocean.

My personal experience supports my standpoint. I have done everything that is do-able in order to enter the realms of spirituality, but even I do so, the materialism gains stronger ground.

To me, there is no supernatural nor paranormal. There are only things we don't know of, but it doesn't justify the faith in spirituality in my opinion. I've had experiences of clairaudience and precognitive dreams, but so far I have been capable of explaining them from materialistic viewpoint.

But all above doesn't stop me from reading through the posts of this interensting discussion. I haven't locked into any opinion, I am merely trusting in the language which my individual observations and experimentations speaks for.

-v



posted on Dec, 13 2009 @ 06:29 PM
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Skyfloating,

I enjoy informal debates, but not formal debates. I have not participated in a single debate in the debate forum yet. Like you I don't really enjoy formalizing spirituality or philosophy for that matter, I find the best way to discuss these things is conversationaly. Besides, there would be little point having a debate now we have already covered a lot of ground here.

This particular exercise was a Jnana-Yoga exercise. We just did Jnana Yoga and in the processes covered some very strong arguments. We could have gone deeper and looked at social and linguistic grounds for the self in postmodern philosophy which are stronger arguments than materialism.


Originally posted by v01i0
reply to post by Indigo_Child
 



Materialism can beat you any time. How about jumping in front of truck that goes 80 km per hour?


This would not beat me, but only the physical part of me. The physical can destroy the physical, but it does not follow that from the power of the physical to destroy the physica, that thethe real existence of physical reality is proven. In the same way a dream object destroying the dream body does not establish the real existence of dream reality.

As a dualist I can simply assert that because my "I" is non-physical, nothing physical could destroy it. Just like a dream or fantasy object cannot destroy a physical object.


Just joking. It is just that currently I am viewing the world from materialistic perspective. Only the materia is eternal; consciousness rise and fall in that materia like waves in the ocean.

My personal experience supports my standpoint. I have done everything that is do-able in order to enter the realms of spirituality, but even I do so, the materialism gains stronger ground.


Well that is because you are taking an empiricist standpoint, which as I argued earlier leads to the necessary conclusion that matter precedes consciousness. I, on the hand am taking a rationalist standpoint, which leads to the necessary conclusion that consciousness precedes matter. Matter is merely an extension of consiousness, in the same way the web is the extension of a spider. Just as the spider can exist without the web, consciousness can exist wiithout matter.

Does this mean our standpoints are equivalent? No, because logic is higher than the empirical. The empirical can only show you facts about the world but to understand the causes of those facts you need to look at logic, that is the logical antecedents of thoe facts. The immediate logical conclusion you can draw from the fact that any observation is possible at all, is that the observer and the observed world are interacting and therefore they are inseparable.

The empiricist assumes that they are separate from the physical universe that they observe, but this is a faullty assumpition, which Husserl the founder of Phenomenology calls the "Natural assumption" The empiricist begins their study of the world under the assumption that there is a real physical world out there that is separate from them and objective, while forgetting that this world cannot exist without consciousness in the first place which must logically precede the perception of the physical world.
Thus a rationalist standpoint forces you to include consciousness in physical reality and to declare its primacy over matter.

This leads to either dualism or idealism, although if you take logic as far it can go, it ends up in idealism. Dualism simply asserts that as consciousness and matter have opposite logical properties, they cannot be the same substances logically and must have their own dual existence. Idealism asserts that as there cannot be any matter without consciousness existing first, matter is an extension of consciousness, or as Easterns call it a category in an awareness field.(When Ramana Maharishi was asked whether we should study the categories, he replied why create more garbage for yourself!)

Regarding your perception of consciousness as rising and falling in an "eternal" material field. A rationalist would answer that perception is a unreliable source of knowledge, because all perception is conditioned and not presuppositionles. This means your perception will always be flawed by certain conditions which may distort the actual reality of things. If we rely on perception we are forced to conclude that the sun is orbiting the Earth. But we know this is not the case and thus the unreliability of perception is demonstrated.

Even very obvious perceptions like static objects such as buldings are now known in Quantum mechanics to be not static at all. Thus the notion of substance is not actually a feature of material reality it therefore must be a feature of consciousness i.e., consciousness must be the real substance which is static and on the grounds of which substancehood can take place.
But you argue that your perception shows that consciousness is changing as you can observe the rise and fall of conscious states and falls? This is explained easily by Yoga theory, consciousness is actually a singular and unchanging substance on the field of which thought-waves take place as contents of its field. Just like a silverscreen on which images take place. The silverscren is actually static and unchanging, only the contents of the screen are changing. The screen itself is contentless. Similarly, consciousness is contentless, but can host various changing content.

Meditators know this very well because in their act of meditation they witness many changes in the screen of consciousness, but at the same time are aware of the changes as being distinct from their witnessing consciousness.

A common argument in this post is that empiricism is an unreliable means of knowledge and it produces results that are counter to reason. Reason, on the other hand is a reliable form of knowledge. For example the first declaration of the sphericity of the Earth and its rotation around the sun was done on reason by the Indian mathematician and astronomer Aryabhatta and this was only later empirically verified. In later examples, many of the predicates of relativity were declared on reason by Einstein, again these were only later empirically verified. Thus rationalism has proven to be a reliable and valid means of knowing the world. Therefore I am to accept the logical conclusions of rational inquiry and this means accepting the existence of my soul.

[edit on 13-12-2009 by Indigo_Child]



posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 01:31 AM
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reply to post by Indigo_Child
 


I see that you firmly stand beside the rationalism and condemn empiricism as unreliable source for information. I instead say it is the only way of gaining reliable information. Rationalism can only succeed in producing reliable information when the premises and the process of thinking itself are correct.

No I don't assume I am separate from the universe I observe. Such is a generalization and hence again show the pitfalls of theorization and too much induction. As Skyfloating put it so nicely on 1st page of this thread:

Originally posted by Skyfloating
I however do not believe that a wave can "become" an ocean because it already is the ocean.


There is no way how a true empirist can seperate oneself from the universe. We all are products of the same matter (see the reference to the mother?) We are the ocean and it's waves.

I know that there are dozens and again dozens of theorists that are fooling themselves and others with thoughtplays. But we prefer them, because we are proud to think we are not this materia, but instead a soul taken form in materia. Plato had his ideas, which many have built upon - although Plato didn't invent the ideas, but borrowed them from egyptian philosophy and so on. It was the logical induction of spirit-driven mind.

I am not asking any evidence to support your view, for I know it all too well because I've been on that side of the fence as well, read authors from Blavatsky to Schopenhauer. During the time I thought that we are indeed spirits, I failed to produce any empirical evidence that would satisfy myself, except the illusions I had in my mind.

I won't provide any 'evidence' either, because there is no compelling evidence on the matters of philosophy. We can only keep referring to the 'old beards', which in my opinion is fruitless. Instead, I prefer thinking in our own terms, rejecting the works of others because they'll mislead us. I know I will not get general approval on my thoughts, as there are billions of believers in the world. Couple hundred years back, I would've been burned on the stake.

But I agree with the meditation part. Indeed meditate, but meditate constantly with your eyes open - meditate when you cook food or work on the poo in the WC, be there and not elsewhere. Meditate when you watch TV and type on the internet. Meditate when you listen music. By meditation I mean that one is constantly aware, yet not seperating oneself from the rest, but constantly contemplating the fact that we are (one, but still distinct in composition). By meditation I do not mean seperating oneself in space and thought, by going into some corner and willfully begin to think deep thoughts.

I am sorry I have no time to give more specific recitation of my conceptions; yet I have feeling that I don't need to. You seem to be sufficient in theories, knowing all kind of theories but of little practice. I am sure that the life prove to be the best of the teachers. Also I am not here to persuade anyone to think way I am, but quite contrary, for I say: "Think by yourself, use your own capacity and don't listen to the others."

So that said, I wish you a good day.

-v

[edit on 14-12-2009 by v01i0]



posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 10:58 AM
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I see that you firmly stand beside the rationalism and condemn empiricism as unreliable source for information. I instead say it is the only way of gaining reliable information. Rationalism can only succeed in producing reliable information when the premises and the process of thinking itself are correct.


A rational argument is only valid insofar as its premise. The premise is based on observable facts. If you argue correctly from facts you will have correct knowledge. If based on perception you declare that the sun is orbiting the Earth then you are correct insofar as your perception of the sun, but as soon as you consider other facts(how shadows are cast, the positioning of celestial bodies etc) then are to rationally conclude that the sun cannot be orbiting the earth but vis versa. Then you would be correct.
Thus rational arguments are reliable as long as they are based on real facts. If you take your reasoning to the end and form a complete logic, then it is impossible for you to be wrong. The logic of reality is a complete logic for its considers the relationship of the self vis-a-vis the world and the existence of the self is an invioable premise, because ones cannot deny their own existence without denying the denier. It is thus an axiom on which we can erect a complete logic of reality.


There is no way how a true empirist can seperate oneself from the universe. We all are products of the same matter (see the reference to the mother?) We are the ocean and it's waves.


No, "we" are not products of matter, rather our bodies, senses and minds are the products of matter. They can all be known by the "I" and negated by the "I" but the "I" itself cannot be negated. The I is not an object, but they are. The body changes, the senses impression we receive change, the thoughts, personalities and egos change but the "I" which is the ground upon which all these changing phenomenon take place does not change. For if that was changing as well there would be no reality. It would all be random flux and have no substance at all. But this is not the case. Therefore the "I" definitely must exist. On the other hand, the body, senses, mind and ego have only a contingent and temporal existence. What has happened to your body and personality you had 15 years ago? It is gone - but you still exist.

This is why I said a mediator knows all too well that all phenomena is being witnessed by them and they are not what they witness. The entire world is but fleeting images before the witnessing consciousness.


I am not asking any evidence to support your view, for I know it all too well because I've been on that side of the fence as well, read authors from Blavatsky to Schopenhauer. During the time I thought that we are indeed spirits, I failed to produce any empirical evidence that would satisfy myself, except the illusions I had in my mind.


It sounds like you are disappointed that the theory did not translate into real experience of your soul or your astral-body at least. I cannot really say why this did not happen, but I can speculate.

1) You did not regularly practice meditation enough to start to experience obvious facts to meditators that they are not the body and mind.
2) You did experience something, but you doubted them too much
3) You did not really experience Jnana(knowledge) born out of conviction from reason

In most people's case it is 1) They start a practice, but do not maintain it and then come away disappointed. This is because they have doubs in their mind that the practice actually works. If you are serious about practice then you need to commit at least a year of regular and sincere practice only then will your practice see results.

Sometimes past life kama can obstruct our results and the only remedy to this is to keep practicing as this gradually lessen the karma.

[edit on 14-12-2009 by Indigo_Child]



posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 11:26 AM
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My entire life i played organized sports, with the leading of that being hockey.
Now we always had stretch classes, but it was only recently i got into yoga. I love it, i have gotten so many of my friends into it because after they ridicule i convicne them to do half an hour with me, they never make it a half hour. The strength needed is amazing, its a great workout for any athlete and i feel great.
Im a huge yoga supporter and loved the thread lots i do not know.



posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 12:37 AM
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reply to post by Indigo_Child
 


Again I am answering your post with little time at hand, so it might not get the response it deserves, and I apologize for that.


Originally posted by Indigo_Child
What has happened to your body and personality you had 15 years ago? It is gone - but you still exist.


This can explained other ways as well: Because our cells keep renewing, the strain of our DNA (which by the way may be the only immortal part in us) is constantly renewed by ever cell split. Even our original structure may be gone within 7 years or so, the process of copying ensure the continuity.


Originally posted by Indigo_Child
It sounds like you are disappointed that the theory did not translate into real experience of your soul or your astral-body at least.


I am not disappointed at all. I think I know perfectly well what the so called astral, with it's phenomenas, is. It is not a dimension of it's own - as the universe is indivisible, but it is merely the handshake - if done consciously, not by dreaming - between one's subconsciousness and consciousness.

The archetypical images pour from unconsciousness - to some extent, they are collective to humankind, hence the error why the mystics and occultists has regarded them as a seperate reality. But if you are expert in this matter, you have become to notice that astral phenomenas are quite subjective and they are exposable to our will. With certain tricks you can create and disintegrate forms in astral.

But my time is about up, and need to run elsewhere. Again, sorry for an incomplete answer; maybe I'll give you a better answer in a day or two as this haste around me calms a bit


All the best,

-v



posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 02:02 AM
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This can explained other ways as well: Because our cells keep renewing, the strain of our DNA (which by the way may be the only immortal part in us) is constantly renewed by ever cell split. Even our original structure may be gone within 7 years or so, the process of copying ensure the continuity.


Well that is my point exactly the body has been renewed or regenerated but it is not the same body as before. In other words your body is a changing medium, but you still have an enduring self. You remember yourself to be the same person 15 years ago correct? Your body has changed, your personality has changed, your mind has changes, but you are still the same person.

So why should you cease to exist when the body dies its final death, when you have not ceased to exist after the innumerable deaths it has experienced till the moment you were born? Again, sorry to repeat myself, the mediataor knows all to well that he is not his body, mind, personality, egos because he witnesses then changing before him. I have seen it myself the body is literally transforming every moment before my consciousness, but my conscioisness is perfectly static and unperturbed.

Even science supports the fact that that matter is not static, it is constantly changing. I know this myself because I have directly perceived it. Nothing is static in the world, everything is in motion except the witnessing consciousness and it is because it is static that it is possible to witness change. If it was also in motion then no change could be witnessed because there is no background to measure change against.


I am not disappointed at all. I think I know perfectly well what the so called astral, with it's phenomenas, is. It is not a dimension of it's own - as the universe is indivisible, but it is merely the handshake - if done consciously, not by dreaming - between one's subconsciousness and consciousness.

The archetypical images pour from unconsciousness - to some extent, they are collective to humankind, hence the error why the mystics and occultists has regarded them as a seperate reality. But if you are expert in this matter, you have become to notice that astral phenomenas are quite subjective and they are exposable to our will. With certain tricks you can create and disintegrate forms in astral.


Yes, astral forms can also be controlled by our will, because even the astral is being witnessed by the witnessing consciousness. The witnessing consciousness does not just witness the physical, but also the astral and the mental. Hence why there are different states of consciousness: unconsciousness, subconsciousness, waking consciousness. The subconscious is the dream-world and when we sleep we become immesed in that. You can actually consciously induce it now if you want by creating a world in your minds eye and then allowing yourself to slip into it, you will consciously enter this imaginaging.

But you are the delusion that this is all being supported by your brain and that these are not actually real realms. But how can your brain which is a changing medium actually support consciousness? when there is no ground to support it? It would be like trying to hold something in a bottomless cup. And, as been argued earlier how can some chemicals actually produce conscious experience? You will not be able to answer this, because you have just accepted this on faith. I, on the other hand, have questioned this often repeated assumption that the brain creates consciousness. There is no logic via which this is possible. It is just a piece of dead and gooey flesh. To say that this dead and gooey flesh some how miraculously creates conscious subjects is as valid as Christians and Muslims insisting that a bunch of bones will fly out of the graves and be reconstructed into the person on judgement day. It is utter nonsense and childish to the extreme.

The simplest and logical explanation here is to simply accept that consciousness does exist separate from the body and therefore the astral is a real plane. If the astral was actually resting in the physical, why then can't I open up your brain and see your thoughts? Why are your thoughts private? Simple, because they exist in another dimension of reality.

You can actually get empirical evidence for this by practicing meditation regularly for a year or so, that if you really want empirical evidence for this. Many of us have by doing this. Many of us here on ATS have out of body experiences where we have actually been able to see our physical bodies with our astral bodies. We have been able to interact with astral bodies in the astral plane, thus declaring its objective existence.

There is actually no sense in dismissing a vast body of experience data which corroborate the same things. The mystics, the occultists and many religions all testify to these astral realms and our existence as a spiritual being, some of them give very elaborate descriptions of them. You should read a book called "Astral dynamics" by Robert Bruce, who has been able to map out the astral planes in great detail and corroborate the accounts of others. It is therefore not subjective when everybody is pretty much saying the same thing. Sure, you could argue that this is all collective human unconsciousness and you may even argue that it is some quantum phenonenon caused by our brains which allows us to interact in a virtual domain. But that is unfalsifiable and it is good as arguing the Earth rests on the back of an invisible turtle.

Why resist the simplest explanation that you are a spiritual being and there are other planes of reality? Isn't that very liberating to know and doesn't it make the universe a more interesting place?



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 05:48 AM
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reply to post by Indigo_Child
 


Uh, I fail to see how believing in soul or in separate consciousness from material makes existence more interesting in anyway. It is interesting enough in either case; would we have a consciousness that exceeds the materia, or in case that the materia in us is in so sophisticated form, that it constitutes the consciousness.

To point out one more thing about the cell renewal, it is suggested by the neurological sciences, that there are parts in our brains that do not renew. So is there a chance, that these parts constitutes the emotions that we are indeed the same creatures that we were 15 years ago?

I am not saying that this would be the case explicitly. But it seems to me (for now, as I have no better experience) that it is the memory of ourselves, and our experiences we have, which creates the continuity of self. It is evident in cases of memory loss; people do not anymore recognize themselves, because they don't have the memories of themselves, which constitutes their identity.

Also, if the consciousness would be seperate from material, how would you explain the states of unconsciousness, for example, ones caused by anaesthetics or narcotics? If the consciousness - or the soul - would indeed be distinct from material, it would be perfectly able to remember the events which took place when the matter was unconscious.

Another thing which disturbs in spirtual way of thinking, is the distinction made between the spirit and matter. Even if you may (or may not) believe that everything is one in the way that everything is connected - isn't this distinction bit artificial? The materialistic approach doesn't make such distinction for it states that matter and consciousness are the same thing - the result of sophisticated form of materia.

Anyway, I don't want to appear like I would fanatically support the theory of materialism for I am not. Actually, I avoid any theories, for they are the dead letter. I am here and now, experiencing the reality in my way, making the inquiry of life. I can disregard any theory for they are not my observations.

I'll be honest and tell you that I don't know how things are in the end. There may be a soul, or there may not. And I happily allow people to believe in either (or any else) option - but I know what my own experiences are, and they don't support the conception of spiritualism for now. That may change tho, who knows.

But I also tell you that I am beyond believing. I am the measure of my experiences and I cannot be anything else. I also avoid too great theorization, because - as we already discussed - the premises and the process itself must be really accurate to produce a valid theory. In my opinion, they rarely are. I like to keep it simple, in other words, keep it to my own observations and take the things as they appear to me.

Also, I must tell you that I constantly meditate, and have been meditating for a few years already. So this is empirical for me and I will merily reject anything that isn't my individual experience: It is quite easy to project astral images, being able to imagine the interaction between other people's astral forms.

But since your experiences are distinct of mine, I'll appreciate them. If they are reality for you, so be it.

However, I would like to make my last remark in this post, that many - if not almost all - mystics and occultists from HPB to AAB realize that astral plane is a plane of illusions and I think I know why they say so. Also, the decent source for Qabalah, Dion Fortune's Mystical Qabalah states, that Yesod (the 9th sephira) constitutes the astral plane together with Hod and Netszach, which is a plane of illusions. This is because - in my opinion - the astral plane is a plane of mind, the plane of psychology. For to succesfully make a thoughtform to exists, it must be created in astral plane - thus it must be desiged in psychological level - at the level of thoughts, to make it succesfully appear in physical existence.

In the end, I tend to think that there are lot of miscontemplations and unnecessary mystification in this whole matter - which I think is because of lack of explicit terminology.

Anyway, everything above is merely my take on the matter. Rest assured, my intention is not to attack against your or anyone else's opinions.

-v

[edit on 16-12-2009 by v01i0]



posted on Jan, 2 2010 @ 12:22 PM
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reply to post by Hack28
 


Ive also found that its better than physical workout - more wholesome, easier and with faster results.



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