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The Death Throes of Authoritarianism? Or True Enlightenment Preparation?

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posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 03:13 PM
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reply to post by NorEaster
 


You don't need to fully internalize it. You just need to study the scholarship and learn how to use the tools. Think of it as building your own telescope metaphorically speaking. So you can see for yourself. It's the only way. Otherwise you talk and talk and get nowhere.

The claim that you can achieve 'unity' with 'God' is an empircal 'contemplative' claim.


But the problem with a contemplative claim of this sort is that you can’t borrow someone else’s contemplative tools to test it. The problem is that to test such a claim—indeed, to even appreciate how distracted we tend to be in the first place, we have to build our own contemplative tools. Imagine where astronomy would be if everyone had to build his own telescope before he could even begin to see if astronomy was a legitimate enterprise. It wouldn’t make the sky any less worthy of investigation, but it would make it immensely more difficult for us to establish astronomy as a science.

To judge the empirical claims of contemplatives, you have to build your own telescope.

Judging their metaphysical claims is another matter: many of these can be dismissed as bad science or bad philosophy by merely thinking about them. But to judge whether certain experiences are possible—and if possible, desirable—we have to be able to use our attention in the requisite ways. We have to be able to break our identification with discursive thought, if only for a few moments. This can take a tremendous amount of work.

And it is not work that our culture knows much about.

One problem with atheism as a category of thought, is that it seems more or less synonymous with not being interested in what someone like the Buddha or Jesus may have actually experienced. In fact, many atheists reject such experiences out of hand, as either impossible, or if possible, not worth wanting. Another common mistake is to imagine that such experiences are necessarily equivalent to states of mind with which many of us are already familiar—the feeling of scientific awe, or ordinary states of aesthetic appreciation, artistic inspiration, etc.

-Sam Harris



edit on 25-8-2012 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 03:41 PM
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Originally posted by ErgoTheConclusion

NorEaster has occasionally expressed an interpretation that "those who have seen it" and try to speak of it like the "namaste crowd" are "hiding" something or trying to somewhat trick people, and we're left with nothing to do but shrug because we remember when *we* thought others were being vague or trying to... what was the term he used... "create a velvet rope".


There is a very competitive energy that weaves within those threads that attract and feature the many "Namaste" folks on this board, and there is this very palpable dismissal of those of us who "don't get it". While I may be one of some who points it out, I'm not the only one who notices it. I just don't see it as indicative of a failure on my own part as (I suspect) some who read and/or post do. So, I either joke about it or challenge it. And yes, I did use that analogy of a "velvet rope", since in that specific thread, there were some who seemed intimidated or possibly envious of those who had become enlightened in the manner that was being discussed.

Some of the threads concerning enlightenment devolve into comic book silliness as each enlightened poster one-ups the next, until the whole thing becomes a food fight between who is more enlightened than the rest. We've all enjoyed these threads, and I've even passed the links around to my friends and associates for their own enjoyment.


I can still vividly remember the process of transitioning from that side of the "rope" to the other and looking back and realizing there was no rope, nothing hidden, and the people weren't being vague or paradoxical after all. Only my way of looking/thinking. And nobody could make me see it but myself... only offer a variety of interpretations. But it couldn't start until I stopped assuming they were illogical and gave it a real chance. That of course only happened once I started to really see the limitations of the view I had been trumpetting for a couple of decades.

Like I said... bunch of copping-out.

edit on 25-8-2012 by ErgoTheConclusion because: (no reason given)


When I started looking into the big time New Age celebrities, I checked out Eckhart Tolle, since he was at the top of the heap - as far as how many books he had on the shelves at Barnes and Noble. When I learned that his "transformation" was achieved by simply waking up from what as a severe psychological crisis, as if waking up from a bad dream, it reminded me of my youngest brother, and how he proclaimed himself to be suddenly enlightened after crashing in much the same manner.

Of course, my brother never became enlightened, and last year he finally crashed for good in a crappy hotel room in GA. But, to hear him tell it, he'd transcended the mundane nature of material existence and regularly astralled around the world at will, and spent long hours discussing deep subjects with Jesus himself. All, while continuing to be as destructive and predatory as he'd always been to the dwindling supply of emotional associations available to him. In short, his transcendence was just as deeply felt as anyone's, so how's any sort of experience of enlightenment instructive concerning the factual nature of enlightenment. Or "oneness" or anything that is based on personal experience?

I was an Evangelical Christian Fundamentalist from October 1977 until January of 1981. The Late Great Planet Earth drove me into the arms of Jesus and the murder of John Lennon (and my Christian friends' mocking of it) drove me back out again. I know what it feels like to "just know" something, and yet, I've since discovered how inaccurate that deep and abiding certainty really can be. I was you - in a sense - "looking back and realizing there was no rope, nothing hidden" before I became aware of the rope that I'd been stringing during that period of my own life. So, we're effectively at a standstill, which is okay. As long as both sides are effectively presented for the concerned mind to examine and evaluate.

Thanks for the counterpoint.



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 03:43 PM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
I totally agree. I was only showing that the proposition, which many like to express, is contradictory. We are one _______ is a better more complete sentence once the blank is filled in.

But I disagree that being a part of a group equates to being a part of a one. This arrises the difficulty in the Problem of Universals which philosophers have been debating since Aristotle. I am under the opinion that universals don't exist. This is of course an opinion based on my own studies.

I wish to take your challenge while retaining the "we are one" intent "individual" people try to communicate.

"We" are one "being".

Where "being" is used for the verb and noun "effect" at the same time.
edit on 25-8-2012 by ErgoTheConclusion because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 03:49 PM
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reply to post by NorEaster
 

Effort of communication and seeking clarity appreciated equally in return. Simply consider me the boulder in your river in the same way you are the boulder in my river, haha.


Also thank you for providing more info on your background, the context is genuinely helpful in understanding where you've been and now are. Amusingly my girlfriend who I would say is in a similar vantage as you asked me about Tolle and I explained that while I understand what he's saying, and agree with the overall point, I don't really like the way he goes about it based on my listenings of him. So I'm not all gung ho on all "new age" talkers either even if I'm pointing to a very similar understanding and feel he's the right guy for some people and thus have no desire to get between them.

If you ever did want to know the sort that clicks most deeply with me, it's Alan Watts in his hour+ long discussions. I wouldn't call him a New Ager even though he fundamentally talks about the same principles.

EDIT: And finally yes I also get a chuckle at the "I'm more enlightened than you" game here and elsewhere... and have participated in my own version of trying to pop those bubbles as well as certainly unwittingly created a few of my own.

In a way it's all I'm really doing here because in your own way you're expressing your own variation of "I've got this figured out more correctly than those other guys" stance and your own "I've got to help save you by telling you this very important thing before it's too late" efforts.

edit on 25-8-2012 by ErgoTheConclusion because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 03:58 PM
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Originally posted by BlueMule
reply to post by NorEaster
 


You don't need to fully internalize it. You just need to study the scholarship and learn how to use the tools. Think of it as building your own telescope metaphorically speaking. So you can see for yourself. It's the only way. Otherwise you talk and talk and get nowhere.

The claim that you can achieve 'unity' with 'God' is an empircal 'contemplative' claim.


But the problem with a contemplative claim of this sort is that you can’t borrow someone else’s contemplative tools to test it. The problem is that to test such a claim—indeed, to even appreciate how distracted we tend to be in the first place, we have to build our own contemplative tools. Imagine where astronomy would be if everyone had to build his own telescope before he could even begin to see if astronomy was a legitimate enterprise. It wouldn’t make the sky any less worthy of investigation, but it would make it immensely more difficult for us to establish astronomy as a science.

To judge the empirical claims of contemplatives, you have to build your own telescope.

Judging their metaphysical claims is another matter: many of these can be dismissed as bad science or bad philosophy by merely thinking about them. But to judge whether certain experiences are possible—and if possible, desirable—we have to be able to use our attention in the requisite ways. We have to be able to break our identification with discursive thought, if only for a few moments. This can take a tremendous amount of work.

And it is not work that our culture knows much about.

One problem with atheism as a category of thought, is that it seems more or less synonymous with not being interested in what someone like the Buddha or Jesus may have actually experienced. In fact, many atheists reject such experiences out of hand, as either impossible, or if possible, not worth wanting. Another common mistake is to imagine that such experiences are necessarily equivalent to states of mind with which many of us are already familiar—the feeling of scientific awe, or ordinary states of aesthetic appreciation, artistic inspiration, etc.

-Sam Harris



edit on 25-8-2012 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)


I explore the "spiritual" nature of the human mind, and the connectivity between "living" and passed-over human beings, so I'm not atheistic in the same sense of some who deny the eternal human being's existence. My issue is with encouraging the human mind's refusal to engage and fully immerse itself within the material/corporeal realm via the brain and all other temporary tools of sensation and sentience. The mind will have an eternity to explore its own version of connection with whatever it is that does exist as available for connection within the eternal realm, but it will only have a very brief opportunity to fully explore the dynamic aspects of material existence. For the human being, this phase of development is crucial, and establishes its reality anchors - how to recognize them and how to leverage them - before they become impossible to determine.

Of course, being an ATS member, I'm aware of how larger forces work to gain critical advantage in ways that often seem benign and even benevolent, so it's not much of a stretch for me to see how "powers that be" within the eternal realm might recognize an advantage in limiting human cognitive development during a critical gestational stage. In fact, it seems more like a no-brainer, when you consider that the eternal human being is as finite or as infinite as it perceives itself to be. Limit that perception - by religion, ideology, ignorance, abuse, distraction, extreme carnality, extreme "spiritualism", etc - and you've effectively limited yet another potentially troublesome human being. For other human beings in positions of power (as they exist in positions of power here as well) docile humans focused on vague interpretations of "oneness" are as desirable as humans who worship the PTB as God and Jesus and a Heavenly Host.

In essence, whatever it'll take to focus the active mind and get it to stay in line. Namaste or Jesus or 72 virgins. Whatever works for a given individual.



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 04:14 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 

This can be addressed to NorEaster as well.



I totally agree. I was only showing that the proposition, which many like to express, is contradictory. We are one _______ is a better more complete sentence once the blank is filled in. But I disagree that being a part of a group equates to being a part of a one. This arrises the difficulty in the Problem of Universals which philosophers have been debating since Aristotle. I am under the opinion that universals don't exist. This is of course an opinion based on my own studies.


Of course universals don't exist intrinsically. They are constructs of our attempts to communicate our understanding of reality with each other. But you, as an "individual", is just as much a universal as the concept of the "Universe" is. You are made up of trillions of parts, and each part is made of parts, and so on. Same with the Universe. An "individual part" is just as much a universal as a "whole" is.

That is why it is not contradictory to say "we are one", it is just flat out incorrect,
. But so is saying "I am an individual". Both are equally incorrect, making both equally correct. Both are universals, when in reality there are no such things. Yet both, wholes and parts, are used by us all the time to describe reality.
edit on 25-8-2012 by openlocks because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 04:17 PM
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Originally posted by NorEaster

My issue is with encouraging the human mind's refusal to engage and fully immerse itself within the material/corporeal realm via the brain and all other temporary tools of sensation and sentience.


You think only ascetics can achieve unity with God? Having your own transpersonal 'peak experiences' opens up a whole new dimension of immersion in life. No need for asceticism.

Anyone can do it. There are many ways to do it, and the scholarship is out there. There's no excuse.

So I say man up and face it head on, like a gnat facing the wind.


edit on 25-8-2012 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 04:21 PM
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Nice post!

I think my personal issue of "oneness" arises when the caveats are simply discarded. Meaning, that I feel we are inevitably part of the same thing, but that does not really indicate that me, and you, are the same thing. I guess some may say it is a subtle difference, but to me, they are worlds apart (pun intended). It minimizes the true enormity of what is actually occurring here by essentially saying one individual part contains the entire whole. The imagination is a wondrous thing. We are at different points in time and space, though that is usually negated by saying these things are illusory. *shrug*

Its like saying Pluto and Earth are the same thing, as they are both a part of the same solar system. And yet, Earth supports life as we know it, and Pluto does not.

It seems to me that such a viewpoint is controlled by the very item that it has claimed to transcend.



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 04:25 PM
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Originally posted by ErgoTheConclusion

Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
Sums up what may I ask?

Please don't escape, your insight is valuable.

Every interpretation I give will come off as a cop-out. I know for I used to hold your views as deeply and rationally and eloquently as you.
And they are quite rational and solid! From one type of viewing angle.

It really is like a joke, in that you either see it or you don't... and it can't really be explained. Or perhaps more like an Auto-stereogram, that might be a better analogy. Nobody can show it to you... nobody can make the 2D image go 3D but you.

Holding a world view that there is anything to "take on" inherently affects the outcome of the observation. It dictates the nature of the interaction between "here" and "there"... or "me" and "you" and by necessity creates an observation of other explanations seeming paradoxical and impossible with seemingly no resolution.

NorEaster has occasionally expressed an interpretation that "those who have seen it" and try to speak of it like the "namaste crowd" are "hiding" something or trying to somewhat trick people, and we're left with nothing to do but shrug because we remember when *we* thought others were being vague or trying to... what was the term he used... "create a velvet rope".

I can still vividly remember the process of transitioning from that side of the "rope" to the other and looking back and realizing there was no rope, nothing hidden, and the people weren't being vague or paradoxical after all. Only my way of looking/thinking. And nobody could make me see it but myself... only offer a variety of interpretations. But it couldn't start until I stopped assuming they were illogical and gave it a real chance. That of course only happened once I started to really see the limitations of the view I had been trumpetting for almost two decades.

Like I said... bunch of copping-out.

edit on 25-8-2012 by ErgoTheConclusion because: (no reason given)


We are looking at and experiencing the same phenomenon, reality, oneness or whatever one chooses to call it. Your interpretation is just as valid as mine. But when it breaches the realm of logic and rationality, I think we should begin to reassess and reevaluate it until it is at least understandable. Surely, I am being overly critical of the language used to express this "oneness," but only because I fear that those who may be thought-poor on the subject will take it the wrong way. I think it best that we try to explain in logically and rationally as possible.

I've experienced the same oneness with my surroundings, the same feelings that I belonged and was existing along with everything else. But I in no way have ever felt one with every human alive—which the statement 'we are one' implies and may be taken literal by those who tend to believe easily. It's not there. I feel more one with the desk and chair I am sitting at than with all of mankind. I am more one with your words and ideas than I am with the actual you. To suppose otherwise, to me, is strange. If we were having this conversation over coffee, it would be different, and we could both become "one" by sharing the same experience, having our universes collide.

It's hard to deny Parmenides when he says that everything is one, because he gives a logical and rational argument. He doesn't say we are one, he says all is one, which although a tautology, is still a logical proposition. He argues that when something moves, it is pushing something around, and something is taking its place behind it. That I can agree with. The universe is one, an individual, like each one of us. It would seem we are what Noreaster calls a holon, which one might also call, in my opinion, a universe.

"We," if we're talking about the entire species of human, are not one, just like the species Bear isn't one. It's just difficult for me to grasp. Also, people have been hoping for an ascension of some kind or another for millennia. I would consider that a wish for mass extinction. I find it disturbing that people promote the mass suicide of an entire species (or at least the ones who believe), simply, at least in my opinion, because the world has become too boring, or too painful to bear. This to me is annihilism, if I'm permitted to coin such a phrase. From a keen psychological eye, I see man creating these lofty ideas because we fear our own nature, and in turn wish for it to somehow end. I came to this conclusion by seeing it in myself, much like you did. It's not because I'm evil, but because I'm human. Mankind as a whole is vicious, one needs only to look outside to verify this. The beauty is in the individual. The holon, these are the wholes, where true art is created.

I just wish to understand what people are getting at when they say 'we are one,' because it doesn't seem to be the case. Or maybe I'm easily confused.



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 04:35 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 

"We"... "are one" in the same way "You"... "are one" despite you not being able to point to any part of you that has always been "you" or will continue to be "you".

That really is all it means. It includes bears, rocks, black holes, everything.

It also means NOBODY is "one". There is no "one"... both "one" and "none" are just language constructs like openlocks communicated above. It starts sounding like semantics but it's not and I can't tell you how to feel like "one" with every human, bear, and rock. I don't even sense it right this moment but I have sensed it enough to recognize it as real as any other sensation you currently take for granted. I don't sense anger or my chair at every moment, but they continue to be "real"... or as real as I'm willing to grant anything, haha.

We could start going down the road that your mind isn't as self contained and "yours" as you feel it is, but that's definitely not something I could ever show you. That understanding or not is entirely up to you.

Rationality is wonderful, but the most rational argument ever is potentially immediately irrational once new information is added to the mix. I can't give you that information, nobody could give it to me, etc.
edit on 25-8-2012 by ErgoTheConclusion because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 04:36 PM
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Originally posted by ErgoTheConclusion

Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
I totally agree. I was only showing that the proposition, which many like to express, is contradictory. We are one _______ is a better more complete sentence once the blank is filled in.

But I disagree that being a part of a group equates to being a part of a one. This arrises the difficulty in the Problem of Universals which philosophers have been debating since Aristotle. I am under the opinion that universals don't exist. This is of course an opinion based on my own studies.

I wish to take your challenge while retaining the "we are one" intent "individual" people try to communicate.

"We" are one "being".

Where "being" is used for the verb and noun "effect" at the same time.
edit on 25-8-2012 by ErgoTheConclusion because: (no reason given)


That doesn't seem to be the case. The verb "are" is already there implying being (2nd person singular present and 1st, 2nd, 3rd person plural present of be to be exact). The word being could only be logically used as a noun.

A being would have to be physically attached to itself to be one..



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 04:38 PM
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Originally posted by ErgoTheConclusion
We could start going down the road that your mind isn't as self contained and "yours" as you feel it is, but that's definitely not something I could ever show you. That understanding or not is entirely up to you.


I agree, it's up to me to take the leap of faith and believe. But I still refuse.



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 04:38 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 

As I said... I can't show you the auto-stereogram and the boat in it. I can only keep saying that yes... there is a 3D boat to be seen in the 2D picture of illogical looking squiggles and describe to the best of my ability my experience of having the image finally pop out.

edit on 25-8-2012 by ErgoTheConclusion because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 04:39 PM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope

Originally posted by ErgoTheConclusion
We could start going down the road that your mind isn't as self contained and "yours" as you feel it is, but that's definitely not something I could ever show you. That understanding or not is entirely up to you.


I agree, it's up to me to take the leap of faith and believe. But I still refuse.

Now that I totally respect and admire!



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 04:41 PM
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Noreaster--------17
Lemis. --------18
Ergo. --------13
Blue mule -------special mention

Half time.



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 04:46 PM
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Originally posted by TerryMcGuire
Noreaster--------17
Lemis. --------18
Ergo. --------13
Blue mule -------special mention

Half time.


Hey, but what about me?


No JK, I was just kind of playing the moderator. Both sides are correct and both are incorrect, equally.



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 04:49 PM
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Originally posted by openlocks
That is why it is not contradictory to say "we are one", it is just flat out incorrect,
. But so is saying "I am an individual". Both are equally incorrect, making both equally correct. Both are universals, when in reality there are no such things. Yet both, wholes and parts, are used by us all the time to describe reality.
edit on 25-8-2012 by openlocks because: (no reason given)


We are actually particulars, made up of particulars, much like the universe itself, which is a particular. Universals, not the universe, don't exist. 'Horse' is a universal, 'the horse I rode once' is a particular. Humanity is a universal, Morgan freeman is a particular.

ETA: I apologize for the digression. I understand that cold logic is boring. I can't help but love it.
edit on 25-8-2012 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 04:53 PM
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Originally posted by BlueMule

Originally posted by NorEaster

My issue is with encouraging the human mind's refusal to engage and fully immerse itself within the material/corporeal realm via the brain and all other temporary tools of sensation and sentience.


You think only ascetics can achieve unity with God? Having your own transpersonal 'peak experiences' opens up a whole new dimension of immersion in life. No need for asceticism.

Anyone can do it. There are many ways to do it, and the scholarship is out there. There's no excuse.

So I say man up and face it head on, like a gnat facing the wind.


edit on 25-8-2012 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)


There's no God to achieve unity with, or better stated, no God that you can achieve unity with. If such a God did exist, it would exist in an absolute being state, and you, unlike the kind of infinite being that God would have to be to be God, exist in a relative being state. These are incompatible being states, and the being state is the primordial commonality or delineation that can possibly affect that which exists relative to whatever else it is that exists.

You'll have to reinvent God if you want to achieve unity with it.



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 04:56 PM
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Originally posted by TerryMcGuire
Noreaster--------17
Lemis. --------18
Ergo. --------13
Blue mule -------special mention

Half time.


In my own defense, I'm also watching the Amityville Horror on the ScyFy Channel. Totally distracted. :~/



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 05:01 PM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope

Originally posted by openlocks
That is why it is not contradictory to say "we are one", it is just flat out incorrect,
. But so is saying "I am an individual". Both are equally incorrect, making both equally correct. Both are universals, when in reality there are no such things. Yet both, wholes and parts, are used by us all the time to describe reality.
edit on 25-8-2012 by openlocks because: (no reason given)


We are actually particulars, made up of particulars, much like the universe itself, which is a particular. Universals, not the universe, don't exist. 'Horse' is a universal, 'the horse I rode once' is a particular. Humanity is a universal, Morgan freeman is a particular.

ETA: I apologize for the digression. I understand that cold logic is boring. I can't help but love it.

Thinking more on the approach you take, I would highly suggest reading some Jean Baudrillard and in particular Simulacra and Simulation.

What you've done above is what is often called confusing the map (language) for the terrain (unnamable existence). Everything you just "worked" with in your cold logic are labels... in truth there is no existing "real" boundary between "Morgan Freeman" and "the horse you once rode".

Just like you can't actually say there is a true immutable "boundary" that divides you into your "right half" and your "left half". They are just arbitrary language labels used to create a map, but are not the reality. There is no "right half" or "left half" of you, you are simply "one" body... but the understanding this brings doesn't end there... this cold logic extends all the way up to infinity (or The Universe if you wish).

Definitely a highly recommended read and trust me... hard nosed in brutal cold logic. Many find him excruciating to get through but I loved it. The book is small but not a quick read.
edit on 25-8-2012 by ErgoTheConclusion because: (no reason given)



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