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The issue of the omniscient God

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posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 01:01 PM
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reply to post by InfaRedMan
 


Then learn Greek and Hebrew and read the originals.




posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 02:42 PM
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Outside of space and time means there is no space or time. Everything is eternally all at once and this is what God is. In higher dimensions, both space and time are meaningless as you become all of space and all of time, and truly this is how things are now.

It's not that the omniscient source knows about things before they happen. The omniscient source knows about things as they happen. However, time is irrelevant.

All is one.
edit on 2-6-2011 by smithjustinb because: asdfawetgqerhqwegw



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 06:05 PM
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Free will is the foundation of society, so questioning it, is looking for big trouble.

So much so, that when Calvin questioned it (so-to-speak), with his new doctrine of predestination, he was identified as an "enemy", not merely by the Church, but by the secular authority as well.

Before Calvin, there were others, that met their fate, at the end of a sword, as society fought back, trying to extirpate anyone who dared to threaten the foundation.

Of course, it's the foundation because without it, there is no "law", and soon, no order. If the "criminal" was never culpable, how would you justify punishment? Things could devolve quickly, and history shows that it has done exactly that at times. The Albigensians are probably a good example.

Fast forward to our times, and as "common sense" as the historic treatment was concerning this subject, from a practical standpoint anyway, today we freely explore the idea once again.

Without commenting on what this might be doing to society, we do see some interesting "convergence" amongst modern thinkers, including theologians, who are attempting to face-up to the challenge, more or less posed by the OP.

A couple of examples. Within the sphere of "criminal justice", there is now wide acceptance of the fact that most "criminals" are primarily products of their environment. The baby born into the broken home, or in the projects, in poverty, is far more likely to grow up and find himself in prison, than another, who doesn't have these forces arrayed against them. If this is the thinking, then imprisonment is no longer primarily "punishment", but rather just damage control. Society can be protected, without even having to issue "judgement" in the old-fashioned sense. No one is "bad" anymore. Every crime committed makes sense, based on a host of factors.

Theologians who accept this line of thinking must now wrestle with the dilema of having something like "eternal punishment" sitting squarely in their religious traditions. What to do? Well, modern Protestant and Catholic liberal scholars have gone to the extreme of allowing for a "hell", but saying that it is "empty"!

So much absurdity, in every direction we look, when this issue comes up. And yet, the modern attempts to reconcile the old ideas might not be mere self-deception.

If we want to have a "good" god, that enjoys so much power, knowledge, etc., then it isn't unreasonable to wonder how beings could be made by such a god, that could ultimately end up in prison, or hell. In short, it would all seem very avoidable.

The "solution" is to imagine that it is all in fact avoided, at least in the ultimate and most important sense.

Sometimes called "universalists" (because they believe in universal salvation, no one goes to a hell), all the above reasoning comes into play, and theists get to have their cake and eat it too (they hope). The thinking goes like this: Of course God knows everything, and so, every person He creates, is made to have "true" free will, with the actual "risk" of decisions made, against Him. In fact, ALL people will make such decisions, but ultimately, they will make the most important, "final" decision, for God.

Because God exists outside of time, all is the eternal present, and He sees the Alpha, and the Omega, as "one". He "chooses" to create ONLY those individuals who He sees as making the "right" ultimate choice. No other people are made, even though He may have "seen" zillions of others, who would have gone to Hell. He chose not to create them.

Trying to imagine how this could all be woven together, is mind-boggling of course, but if you posit a God with the various characteristics mentioned, then His "goodness" is preserved, as well as actual "free will", through the above scenario.

Is such theology consonant with traditional scriptural interpretations? No, not really! But I just call 'em like I see 'em, since I'm not a religionist. If it means religionists just go away more confused, then try not to blame the messenger.

JR



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 08:52 PM
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Originally posted by JR MacBeth
Free will is the foundation of society, so questioning it, is looking for big trouble.

So much so, that when Calvin questioned it (so-to-speak), with his new doctrine of predestination, he was identified as an "enemy", not merely by the Church, but by the secular authority as well.

Before Calvin, there were others, that met their fate, at the end of a sword, as society fought back, trying to extirpate anyone who dared to threaten the foundation.

Of course, it's the foundation because without it, there is no "law", and soon, no order. If the "criminal" was never culpable, how would you justify punishment? Things could devolve quickly, and history shows that it has done exactly that at times. The Albigensians are probably a good example.

Fast forward to our times, and as "common sense" as the historic treatment was concerning this subject, from a practical standpoint anyway, today we freely explore the idea once again.

Without commenting on what this might be doing to society, we do see some interesting "convergence" amongst modern thinkers, including theologians, who are attempting to face-up to the challenge, more or less posed by the OP.

A couple of examples. Within the sphere of "criminal justice", there is now wide acceptance of the fact that most "criminals" are primarily products of their environment. The baby born into the broken home, or in the projects, in poverty, is far more likely to grow up and find himself in prison, than another, who doesn't have these forces arrayed against them. If this is the thinking, then imprisonment is no longer primarily "punishment", but rather just damage control. Society can be protected, without even having to issue "judgement" in the old-fashioned sense. No one is "bad" anymore. Every crime committed makes sense, based on a host of factors.

Theologians who accept this line of thinking must now wrestle with the dilema of having something like "eternal punishment" sitting squarely in their religious traditions. What to do? Well, modern Protestant and Catholic liberal scholars have gone to the extreme of allowing for a "hell", but saying that it is "empty"!

So much absurdity, in every direction we look, when this issue comes up. And yet, the modern attempts to reconcile the old ideas might not be mere self-deception.

If we want to have a "good" god, that enjoys so much power, knowledge, etc., then it isn't unreasonable to wonder how beings could be made by such a god, that could ultimately end up in prison, or hell. In short, it would all seem very avoidable.

The "solution" is to imagine that it is all in fact avoided, at least in the ultimate and most important sense.

Sometimes called "universalists" (because they believe in universal salvation, no one goes to a hell), all the above reasoning comes into play, and theists get to have their cake and eat it too (they hope). The thinking goes like this: Of course God knows everything, and so, every person He creates, is made to have "true" free will, with the actual "risk" of decisions made, against Him. In fact, ALL people will make such decisions, but ultimately, they will make the most important, "final" decision, for God.

Because God exists outside of time, all is the eternal present, and He sees the Alpha, and the Omega, as "one". He "chooses" to create ONLY those individuals who He sees as making the "right" ultimate choice. No other people are made, even though He may have "seen" zillions of others, who would have gone to Hell. He chose not to create them.

Trying to imagine how this could all be woven together, is mind-boggling of course, but if you posit a God with the various characteristics mentioned, then His "goodness" is preserved, as well as actual "free will", through the above scenario.

Is such theology consonant with traditional scriptural interpretations? No, not really! But I just call 'em like I see 'em, since I'm not a religionist. If it means religionists just go away more confused, then try not to blame the messenger.

JR





You can't avoid hell anymore then heaven. Both are a delusion, a by-product of time. There is no consequence in Reality. But plenty in non-reality. We use the very thing that separates us from Truth to try and become it. It is impossible. Reality ends time like it started it. It is eternity. In the case of Truth, we have no free will. What is free will if not to choose to be deluded. We are talking about free-will in total delusion. Either we choose delusion/illusion or we didn't.



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 09:29 PM
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reply to post by rwfresh
 




You can't avoid hell anymore then heaven. Both are a delusion, a by-product of time. There is no consequence in Reality. But plenty in non-reality. We use the very thing that separates us from Truth to try and become it. It is impossible. Reality ends time like it started it. It is eternity. In the case of Truth, we have no free will. What is free will if not to choose to be deluded. We are talking about free-will in total delusion. Either we choose delusion/illusion or we didn't.


Thanks for reading my sort of lengthy post. I can't argue with the fact that a whole lot of religion seems to be delusion rwfresh!

The thing is, the religionists are in a box, they can't seem to get out of. In some ways, it's just a different perspective, or a different way of putting things of course.

You mention that in the case of Truth, we have no free will, well of course. The traditional religionist says the same thing, saying that once we "see" God, the supreme Good that we were made for, free will becomes irrelevant. But this is precisely why we must be "tested" first, before the beatific vision, that would make free will mean nothing. This is where they're coming from, and maybe since I'm not a religionist, I can sort of make the connection, and see it's not so different than other ways of seeing it.

As far as being a "choice" to be deluded, maybe not. Of course, I realize the New Age, Hinduistic traditions, rely a lot on this line of reasoning, but ultimately, most of us retain some notion of the "reality" (forgive me) of free will, and strongly assert, in the most "real" fiber of our beings, that it exists, at least in some sense.

To some extent, it may be comforting to imagine that we choose delusion/illusion, as you put it, but our actual experience seems to contradict this comforting notion.

If, for example, we lose a loved one, worse, we lose that loved one to some "avoidable" violence, etc., we might come to believe that the whole thing is just all part of some bizarre play, with so many deluded souls, but even so, we may (justifiably?) look at the person who CHOSE to do the terrible thing, to our loved one, as "guilty" nonetheless. Of what? Oh, perhaps we could debate. They no doubt had a terrible upbringing, etc. But ultimately, when confronted with something this "real" (dare I say), we might come to entirely different conclusions than those we would, when wrapped up in ideal hypotheticals.

I would not go so far as to say that we are entirely "free", and that free will is what it is usually thought to be, but I think that our collective experience at least hints at some reality contained within.

Of course, perhaps I misunderstood you, but I continue to think that we do ourselves at disservice by minimizing this visceral "reality" called free will.

Perhaps it's no coincidence it is the cornerstone of "morality" as we know it...

JR



posted on Jun, 3 2011 @ 10:50 AM
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reply to post by JR MacBeth
 


I'm not talking from a religious context. Heaven and Hell are as real as anything in this delusional world of non-Reality. If you think you are real then so is heaven and hell.

Let me say, i am deluded. If i wasn't i wouldn't be here, wherever this is or isn't.

If i have free-will, TRUE free-will that is not governed by any laws that are a by-product of Reality... Physical, mental, spiritual laws.. Which are all delusion... (That's what TRUE freedom is right?) Then i choose to be God/Truth/Reality/Eternity. I choose to wake up from this delusion, from time, from separatism, from ego, from right and wrong.

But i remain deluded. So either i have free will and choose delusion.. Or i don't have free will.

Or we are not talking about real free will.



posted on Jun, 3 2011 @ 11:35 AM
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Originally posted by rwfresh
reply to post by JR MacBeth
 


I'm not talking from a religious context. Heaven and Hell are as real as anything in this delusional world of non-Reality. If you think you are real then so is heaven and hell.

Let me say, i am deluded. If i wasn't i wouldn't be here, wherever this is or isn't.

If i have free-will, TRUE free-will that is not governed by any laws that are a by-product of Reality... Physical, mental, spiritual laws.. Which are all delusion... (That's what TRUE freedom is right?) Then i choose to be God/Truth/Reality/Eternity. I choose to wake up from this delusion, from time, from separatism, from ego, from right and wrong.

But i remain deluded. So either i have free will and choose delusion.. Or i don't have free will.

Or we are not talking about real free will.


Thanks rwfresh, I can see that you think about this stuff a lot.

I'm not fond of a "religious context", as you put it, but it is more or less our collective context, if you see what I'm saying. For centuries, philosophers, theologians, and more recently scientists too, have sought to explain the world around them, always reaching beyond what is easily seen, attempting to grasp the "reality" beyond the apparent reality that confronts us all.

I see New Age folks doing the same thing, with the set of core beliefs they have, but have observed that too much might be semantics. Not that the particular idea that we may not be "real" is laughable or anything. No, certainly since the Matrix movie came out, people are likely to question what is real, and what is not.

But when I say "semantics", I mean that we run into logic/language issues that are sometimes swept under the rug too easily. To say something like "if you think you are real" might sound insightful, but there's an inherent logical absurdity of course.

Of course we think we are "real", at least in some sense, and further, we also understand that there is an intrinsic limitation in our perception, which is already implied every time we use the word "I". We literally could not communicate if we were not already coming out of an at least basic logical reference point, usually called the "self".

Sure, this is deep philosophy I suppose, just as is the contemplation of free-will, and what it might be. But in every case it seems, the mere fact that we can conceptualize an issue, give it a name, describe it, tells us that there is at least a kind of "reality" to it.

Let me go a bit further. You mention that you either have free will, and "choose delusion", or you don't have (real) free will. Is this statement really useful? I don't mean that in a condescending way at all, it's just that there are already so many assumptions behind it.

I think you are right to want to explore a notion like "true freedom", because it could provide answers, or at least point in certain directions, but it seems to me that a lot of groundwork would need to be done before anyone should leap to the idea that we are so deluded that we are actually somehow "God/Truth", but "choose" to remain deluded.

To me, there is a glaring contradiction. If we are truly "God", or Truth, then why are we "here" to begin with? Somehow, we "choose" not to wake up? Logically, it might be more reasonable to consider the possibility that the reason why we are "here", is because we are not "God" to begin with. And this of course should not lead to a conclusion that we therefore do not have free will. We could have it, to some extent, AS LONG AS, we're not really somehow "God" (deluded).

Which might bring us back to theistic notions of course. I realize that New Age thinking doesn't usually like to go back too far into our common philosophical heritage, but there might be something of value from the past.

Long ago, the central enigma to "reality" was put into a question: "Why is there something, rather than nothing?"

Since that time, entire religions and philosophies have sprung up with their versions of the "answer". In the West, "God" was allowed to remain separate from the universe, but in the East, "God" was part of the universe.

In essence, nothing has changed, from what I understand. These remain the two primary "choices" when looking out on to the world we experience. Choosing one over the other leads down a path of further assumptions that will define further questions and assumptions.

JR



posted on Jun, 3 2011 @ 10:34 PM
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reply to post by TheOneElectric
 


Have you ever heard of ultimate destiny? Our fate was planned out, form the thoughts we have now, to me writing this reply to your thoughts of doubting this. Thats what ultimate destiny is. Tough to contemplate.



posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 07:13 AM
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reply to post by JR MacBeth
 


Hi MacBeth, thanks for your replies.


"Why is there something, rather than nothing?"


It's the question, one that i would say is only answerable by the answer itself. Religions, ideas, philosophies are not the Truth (or God, or Reality or whatever you want to call it). I would suggest that no person, religion, philosophy has ever and will never have the answer and the reason is time and ultimately what i am calling delusion. In my understanding a person has to be Truth to know what it is. And this experience in separatism is obviously not about being Truth. Eternity cannot exist in time. Or, Eternity doesn't exist in time for us. We can fantasize otherwise, we can fantasize we can practice and experience eternal moments in time.. but it is all illusion.

I don't find it depressing or defeatist to understand that in Reality (in god, in eternity) I (my ego, my self construction) has no free will. I also have no problem admitting i am in total delusion compared to the clarity and wholeness of Reality. I may be part of God that is deluded into experiencing itself as separate on many levels. If i had transcended time into eternity then maybe i would be singing a different tune. I don't think God is separate from our experience, this world, our reality.. i think we are deluded into experiencing God as separate and God as part of this existence. We cannot experience the Truth of God. I know most seekers will find that depressing or offensive.

I am talking about what i experience as real and true while understanding that my truth and reality are deluded in the context and fullness of Reality/God/Truth. Anyone claiming clarity and answers is deluded on another level. One where they believe they have experienced or know the Truth without being it. When/if the fullness of God/Truth is revealed in Time, time ends... just like it began. What remains is Truth.

To me free will is the will of God. It is free from any limitation, boundaries, consequence. And if i as a separate ego have free will i choose not to be separate in this very instant... but my will is not done because it is not real. I am contradiction and limited, so inherently bound to the drama of this illusion as to believe in all the limitations, consequence that i express them fully.

I am not God or Truth. I find that relieving. Because God and Truth is not this delusion. God and Truth is not temporal like i am. And i have no responsibility in making myself believe otherwise. No effort required in realizing i am not Truth.



posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 11:56 AM
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reply to post by rwfresh
 




I don't think God is separate from our experience, this world, our reality.. i think we are deluded into experiencing God as separate and God as part of this existence.


Rwfresh, I can see this is a very important issue to you. You have invested a lot of thought.

Maybe I'm missing something, but is there a "contradiction" in asserting that we can never know the answer, while at the same time, we have already "chosen" a path?

In my post retracing some of historical thinking on the matter, we get all the way back to that initial fork in the road. You chose to go East, from what I can tell.

Of course, the minute that becomes your primary assumption, everything else will be built upon it.

So, when you begin by assuming God is part of our experience, naturally you would have to believe that any "appearance" of separateness would constitute "delusion". And yet, upon closer examination, it is a tautology. Of course if God is "part", he could not be "separate", but the real question, IMO, is why was that other path rejected to begin with?

I'm not in any way arguing for the Western route, I'm not a religionist, but that other route would have led to different conclusions. Just for the sake of others joining us late, the Western view, or "answer" to the big original question of why there is something, rather than nothing, still kept God "apart" from his creation, often described traditionally as somewhat the way an artist has painted a work of art. The creation is the painting, and the artist remains "separate" in that very real sense. Of course, we could say he put a lot of himself into his work, that sort of thing, but that would not change the essential fact, that God was not "in" the painting in the Eastern sense.

Modern thought tries to knit the two together, but seems to fail. Alfred North White. is an excellent example of a noble attempt at a merger, from a mathematician, but not everyone thinks he succeeded.

A more ancient attempt is found in Kabbalah. The "Tzim Tzum". I won't go on, just something for people to look into if they're curious.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It's gratifying to me to see people out there who make serious attempts at these deep matters. So many are quite happy never giving anything too serious much thought at all. In my opinion, that's certainly no way to go through life!

JR



posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 10:37 PM
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Originally posted by JR MacBeth
reply to post by rwfresh
 




Rwfresh, I can see this is a very important issue to you. You have invested a lot of thought.

Maybe I'm missing something, but is there a "contradiction" in asserting that we can never know the answer, while at the same time, we have already "chosen" a path?


Hi JR, Honestly, i haven't invested anything of value as far as i can tell. I don't expect to gain anything from it. I would be deluded to think that the "I" i am identifying with right now has anything to gain from, or add to Truth. And thank goodness for that. When i think of God, i think of eternity, infinite, completeness, oneness. Anything beyond that is drama. I am drama. I am in time, having a separate experience. My experience doesn't mean God is separate or fragmented or delusional. I am though. I am sure of that. If i wasn't delusional i would not be having this experience. With all the drama the delusion is tolerable and even enjoyable and can be totally ecstatic at times.



In my post retracing some of historical thinking on the matter, we get all the way back to that initial fork in the road. You chose to go East, from what I can tell.


Well maybe i go east. I don't feel like that. I am a westerner.. Canada, my family was essentially Christian. Jesus to me, is the clearest example of Truth being expressed in Time/non-reality. "He" is the parable i am part of. Based on the Gnostic gospels, Nag Hammadi and even much of the new testament, Jesus (as metaphor or however we understand it) pretty much has it all. I think he summed it up. But should we believe he was Truth? What about Buddha? Why all the drama? Has anything novel come into this reality since the beginning of time? It's fun to speculate i guess.. it's what we do. Engage in the drama. Truth could end the drama, Truth would end the delusion.. But here we are.. So in time it clearly hasn't. And how could the whole selectively end time for some individual separate pieces? It's not possible.

My point being, God is Truth. I am not. I love God and Truth. I long for Truth and Reality. But only God knows the time. And that is good to know.



Of course, the minute that becomes your primary assumption, everything else will be built upon it.


Don't stress it. EVERYTHING we know is based on assumptions. #1 assumption is that we are NOT deluded and have the ability (although apparently difficult) to experience Eternity and Truth while remaining separate, ego, human. I would like to freely assume i don't actually know anything about Reality/Truth/God. I am not God.



So, when you begin by assuming God is part of our experience, naturally you would have to believe that any "appearance" of separateness would constitute "delusion". And yet, upon closer examination, it is a tautology. Of course if God is "part", he could not be "separate", but the real question, IMO, is why was that other path rejected to begin with?


I would say that both the experience of separateness AND the experience of oneness are both delusion. They are dramatic assumptions (at best) of True separateness or oneness.



I'm not in any way arguing for the Western route, I'm not a religionist, but that other route would have led to different conclusions. Just for the sake of others joining us late, the Western view, or "answer" to the big original question of why there is something, rather than nothing, still kept God "apart" from his creation, often described traditionally as somewhat the way an artist has painted a work of art. The creation is the painting, and the artist remains "separate" in that very real sense. Of course, we could say he put a lot of himself into his work, that sort of thing, but that would not change the essential fact, that God was not "in" the painting in the Eastern sense.

Modern thought tries to knit the two together, but seems to fail. Alfred North White. is an excellent example of a noble attempt at a merger, from a mathematician, but not everyone thinks he succeeded.

A more ancient attempt is found in Kabbalah. The "Tzim Tzum". I won't go on, just something for people to look into if they're curious.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It's gratifying to me to see people out there who make serious attempts at these deep matters. So many are quite happy never giving anything too serious much thought at all. In my opinion, that's certainly no way to go through life!


Got to run again, but thanks for sharing your ideas. I don't mean to sound contradictory or anything negative. Thanks for sharing! Only the father knows the time!



JR



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 01:26 AM
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If I take any individual, I remove thier mind, thier thoughts, thier emotions, thier body, thier memories, what is left?



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 10:35 AM
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reply to post by SystemResistor
 


Probably not much left after all that!

Maybe you're trying to boil it down to "essence", what exactly constitutes our essence? If it's not our memories, or even our mind, certainly not our bodies, then what do "we" boil down to?

Traditionally, two essential, and non-separable components were recognized as being requisite, mind, and "will". Bodies, at least the physical things looking back from the mirror, they were never considered essential by the majority of ancient thinkers. This is probably why it wasn't hard to conceive of non-corporeal entities, such as angels, who had no physical bodies as part of their natural endowment, and yet, had to have mind, and will, otherwise we would hardly be able to speak of them coherently.

So, first off, taking away "mind" might not work, at least from a traditional perspective. "Will" wasn't mentioned, but these days gets short-shrift anyway.

Certainly, from a more Eastern perspective, where "god" is literally the universe, with us only deluded partial manifestations, even the more Western individualistic notions might be dispensed with. Some Eastern tradition places the loss of the individual identity as a high ideal, or goal. Perhaps some view Nirvana as the drop of water, finally dissolving into the ocean, as it's reunited with the Whole.

Lots of ways of looking at it I suppose. Well SystemResistor, I'm sure you wil expand on your post shortly.

JR



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 10:34 PM
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reply to post by JR MacBeth
 


Would I need "will" if I simply "was"?
Would I need a mind if I simply acted?
Would I need to have a "consciousness" if I could simply "see"?
edit on 5-6-2011 by SystemResistor because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 6 2011 @ 09:16 AM
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Originally posted by SystemResistor
reply to post by JR MacBeth
 


Would I need "will" if I simply "was"?
Would I need a mind if I simply acted?
Would I need to have a "consciousness" if I could simply "see"?
edit on 5-6-2011 by SystemResistor because: (no reason given)


You know SystemResistor, others might stumble upon this thread, see your post, and wonder if you haven't set up a few trick questions.

Actually, I think you should elaborate, but I'll take a couple quick stabs anyway.

First, the concept of "need" could use some expansion. I might prefer something like "minimum requirement (s)".

Second, the use of the critical word "I" already implies something like a "person", or at least some nexus of "consciousness", a reference point.

As far as anything "seeing", and not being "conscious", well, OK...

Anyway, from the traditional perspective, both Mind and Will are sort of "minimum requirements" when speaking of any (semi) "sentient" entity, whether it be dolphins and apes, or even something most call "God".

In the Bible, when Adam was made in God's "image", only Mormons think that meant actual arms and legs. Usually, this is interpreted to mean what constituted sentient essence, which was Mind and Will.

But OK, lots of ways of seeing things, putting things, like I said, time to elaborate!

JR



posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 12:24 AM
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reply to post by JR MacBeth
 


The cornerstones of questioning involve the pre-existence of a mind and will, without a will one would assume themselves to be without action, however, there is a true self that acts without the existence of "choice", that simply "is" and behaves as it is, does not "think" to "itself" as it has no "mind" and its awareness is the product of its direct sense of its surrounding environment.

In other words, the mind questions "who am I" and without a mind, the question would not exist, however, it does not mean that you would not exist.
edit on 7-6-2011 by SystemResistor because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 11:33 AM
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reply to post by SystemResistor
 




...there is a true self that acts without the existence of "choice", that simply "is" and behaves as it is, does not "think" to "itself" as it has no "mind" and its awareness is the product of its direct sense of its surrounding environment.


A "true self". Hmmm.

This true self, has no mind, and yet "acts" without choice.

It is somehow "aware". It's awareness is a "product" of it's "direct sense" of it's surrounding environment?

What you call a true self, I would prefer to call a "nexus of consciousness", because it's useful to employ a minimalist approach when considering anything that has complexity.

To even begin to use the notion of "self", goes right back to the "I" we all fall into, by default, as mentioned in my earlier posts.

I'm not really sure we can have our cake, and eat it too. That's sort of what I see sometimes with some of the New Age thinkers. A ton of popular material out there, and some of it sounds so inspiring, but upon close inspection, falls apart as so much poetry.

And poetry is fine of course, it has it's place.

But, back to your points. I would have to say that positing anything like "awareness" as being a product of it's "direct sense" (of it's environment), is going to be fraught with complications.

What "environment" do we speak of? Is "awareness" dependent upon "sense" (the term "product" logically implies dependency)? Without our various senses, for example, if we had none of the usual five senses, from whence would come awareness (assuming what you said)? Or, would awareness fail to manifest in that case? Or, could what we normally call "awareness", be something that can come about without external inputs? If so, then why? If not, then why not?

JR



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 02:38 AM
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reply to post by JR MacBeth
 


In terms of the distinction between the environment and the self, the environment is the self, what we see and experience is what we are - the "observer" is an illusion and only appears when one looks inside the interior of their mind - they might find darkness, they might be aware of "nothing", however, their "self" is whatever they happen to be experiencing at a given moment, and it disappears as soon as they start to question it.

I believe, that, what we are really trying to understand, is, "who am I" - if you want to understand what I mean, stand between two mirrors, and then, ask yourself, can you turn your eye around to look at yourself? Can you rotate your eyeball 180 degrees to find the "observer" - or, will you still be behind yourself, only looking at a mirror in your mind?
edit on 8-6-2011 by SystemResistor because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 09:59 AM
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reply to post by SystemResistor
 




the "observer" is an illusion and only appears when one looks inside the interior of their mind - they might find darkness, they might be aware of "nothing", however, their "self" is whatever they happen to be experiencing at a given moment, and it disappears as soon as they start to question it.


Not sure you want to use the word "mind". Recall a post or two above, you said there wasn't one.

Of course, being "able" to "question" already presupposes something like that, so not sure what you could do to replace.

You mention that we're trying to figure out "who am I", and that's largely true I suppose, with these lines of thinking, but we're back to that troublesome "I" again, with the added twist that we have now also assumed a "who".

Not that "I" have a problem with a "who", it's just that maybe we need to figure out the "what" first.

The whole "observer" thing has a long tradition of course, and it's good to mention mirrors. The only problem was that once people went down that road, they seemingly got more than they bargained for.

In traditional theology, this eventually led to notions like the Trinity, or at least God., that was more complicated than the mere "individual". Within the more mystical paths, seemingly difficult infinite regressions began to suggest themselves (something like mirror images reflecting into yet another mirror, ad infinitum). The spectre of the demiurge reared it's ., and we had to admit that such "being (s)" could at least be the foundation of (our) "reality", as shaky as that foundation seemed to be.

In short, thinking only went so far, and ran into walls. We could imagine this, and that, and more, but once we got to a certain point, we could go no further.

JR



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 10:04 AM
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reply to post by JR MacBeth
 


Assuming the illusion of the mind exists, when one looks within it. The mind is an entity, however, it is not the self.



Essentially, when we look between the mirrors, the mirrors themselves, are the barrier, when the mirrors are removed, what is left, but pure vision that is indistinguishable from awareness.
edit on 8-6-2011 by SystemResistor because: (no reason given)



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