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Why this and not that?

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posted on Jul, 23 2011 @ 02:08 AM

Who what when where why, you say? Please bear with me for a moment.

This is a tricky one for me to get just right in words, ATS. I usually feel like I'm trying to use a screwdriver for open-heart surgery when I talk about subtle philosophical matters, because I think words are untrustworthy for this purpose. But we must work with what we have.

"Wny this and not that?" It seems an urgent question, but for all its urgency, I can't even manage to formulate it properly. I usually think of it to myself as being exemplified by the question: "Why do I have five fingers instead of six?" I mean, I'm sure you can find all sorts of plausible "reasons" from an anatomical or scientific perspective, but really what I am asking is, "why this particular thing and not another?" Why am I here in this chair, as opposed to being over there by the window?" None of this captures the true subtlty I am trying to get across, I fear, but it may point in the right direction,

I guess this issue is a subset of "the only question there is," another pet name I have for that ancient stumper: "Why is there something instead of nothing?" (Some people nickname their cars, guns, or something else special to them...I give nicknames to ontological cunnundra. Go figure.). That issue needs to be examined seperately within its own special (in fact, unique) epsitomological framework. But tackling the "five fingers instead of six" question seems a slightly less daunting and more intuitive way of approaching this matter.

I can conceive (at least intellectually) of an undifferentiated whole, a cosmos that is totally unitary and seamless as one. In fact, this vision of the cosmos "feels" very right to me on an intuitive level, and I know it does to others. Which is funny, because every moment of our lives is spent in a universe of particulars and specifics. So why does unity feel so right?

When we observe this universe of specifics, two questions emerge:
1) Why are we living in a universe of specific, seperate things instead of some kind of nirvanic woumb-state of total unity?: This is close to the "something rather than nothing" problem.
2) Why this specific and not that?: That is, if we agree provisionally to put aside problem #1 above, we are still left with the question of "How are the specifics apportioned throughout the universe?"

They are not exactly the same question (although intertwined), and this thread is intended to focus on #2 rather than #1. Kick it up on the roof and see what comes down.

Another way to consider this matter:
Why is the feeling of "me" tied to my body and not another person's? I mean, I feel like "me," and its always associated with this body, and my brother Sam feels the same thing, specifically tied to his body. Leaving aside for a moment the bigger question of why we have seperated bodies and minds to begin with, can't we "move among" these separate particulars? What keeps "me" tied to this particular strange thing I call my "body" ? Why is "my" experience of this amazing universe of particulars so limited? Is it possible to have a universe of particulars that we can experience at will, shifting from the subjectivity of one being to that of another, or of a cloud, or a boulder?

I have some ideas on how to answer and deal with this myself, but I'll shut up for now and see if this thread takes off first, or if any of you even know what I'm babbling about,,,

posted on Jul, 23 2011 @ 02:19 AM
Are you referring to your upper level consciousness?

The way I see it, the upper level consciousness is very much like the the movie the matrix. It can exist without the physical body but the only way its aware of itself is via the physical body. It doesn't need food/water/shelter like our physical bodies do, primarily the brain. It makes perfect sense that your physical brain cannot comprehend this fact since the physical brain needs things to operate correctly. Catch 22.

The real truth that's being hidden from you is the truth that you really have control over your life. Your decisions matter.

Remember when you were a kid and people said "you can be whatever you want!". The older I get the more true that statement is.

posted on Jul, 23 2011 @ 02:23 AM
Star and flag just for the Chris Madden cartoon

posted on Jul, 23 2011 @ 02:30 AM
Sir, I dig the cut of your gib!

Whilst I cannot be certain I fully grasp what you are getting at, you have hit the nail on the head with the comment about 'words are untrustworthy' because I too have the issue, where sometimes I can formulate and idea or concept in my minds eye but when it comes to communicating it, I don't know how to translate it and it can end up complete gibberish. With that in mind, I would like to have a stab if I may:

Having read your post a couple of times, you appear to be questioning certain specifics when I think the real question you are asking is what all of your queires start with; 'why?'

Now we have often seen how children question things (I promise this is not a dig at you, my meaning will become clear, I promise) and their often answer to a specific answer to a question is 'why?'. As children grow to adulthood, they are taught things, they learn things and eventually they form their own opinions and feelings etc but somewhere along this journey they stop asking 'why?' or at least ask it a lot less. Which means, like everybody else in the world there are certain things that they just accept as being 'the way it is'. Now if we talk about the physical / factual things in life like those of science, engineering, biology and so forth, those people who do not accept 'the way it is' study in order to gain a greater understanding of that subject to satisfy their questions to get to 'it is what it is'. But where I believe you are looking is before this; ie why is it what it is?

Take an apple for example. We all know its an apple because we are taught its an apple. But why is it an apple? I am not talking about the name, I am talking about its existence, why does it exist? At the point right before the apple became the 'apple' it could have been an infinite number of things, so why an apple?

In conclusion, I am not sure 'why' is possible to attain. Everything has some degree of explanation to it but why comes first and will always come first. Some why's can be answered of course, but they are often preceeded by whys that can't. I suppose you could liken this to the 'answer to everything' but even if you were in possesion of all the worlds known knowledge, I still feel it would fall short; although you might be better equipped to make a hypothosis or a theory, it would still remain just that.

I apologise if I am completely off base with what you are getting at, but I did enjoy your post

posted on Jul, 23 2011 @ 02:43 AM
The something instead of nothing. An old favorite.
Twer nothing, no something is perceived and to doubt all perception regardless of it's peculiarities seems to be a woebegone pursuit of perfection
I stand on the rock of something until proven nothing.

Walking to the edge and peering over is harrowing, I know. And I'm sorry if I am unable to focus on your second question, but to leave the first unresolved or at least to have not addressed the first more fully leaves to much sand beneath my feet. I need SOMETHING steady.

That's why.
Now what was the second question again?

posted on Jul, 23 2011 @ 06:49 AM
It just so happend I made a video about what consciousness really is. Uhm, you have to struggle through the first bits of how we make decisions first thou. (or skip till the last part but I doubt you get it completely then).

posted on Jul, 23 2011 @ 09:10 AM
Ah yes! You have reached the question! Who AM I...Really? And the ever-popular....What Do I Really Want??

I'm a newb at embedding vids, but these are a couple good ones, and they say more than I can put into words. You did a good job putting your questions into words.

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