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Thread: An argument for everything being of the nature of consciousness

  1. #1
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    An argument for everything being of the nature of consciousness

    One recent addition to my bookshelf is "The Physics of Karma" by Dwaraknath Reddy. The arguments presented in the book are interesting and quite dense at times. It has taken me multiple readings to grasp certain intricacies but I think the author makes an excellent case for everything in the objective empirical world of being of the nature of consciousness. I would like to present my understanding of it thus far and would like to hear from others regarding it.

    (1)If there is no subject, then there is no object. Our objective empirical world only exists because there are subjects that cognize its existence. This may be hard to grasp but I believe it is true.

    (2)Everything that our mind cognizes is "knowledge". Not knowing cannot be experienced. Even if we are ignorant of, say, what is the capital of The Republic of Djibouti, it is wrong to say we dont know. It is correct to say that we know that we do not know.

    (3)Consider our seeing a tree in the distance. We are able to see it because light is reflect off the tree and the same light hits our cornea. The common factor here is light.

    (4)From (2) it follows that what we refer to as vision is "knowledge" of vision. So, whether it is vision or hearing or touching and feeling or smelling, it is ultimately the "knowledge" of them that matters.

    (5)Now consider what happens between the light falling on our cornea and its "knowledge" manifesting in our minds. Just like how light was a common element in (3), there ought to be something common between the falling of light on the cornea and its "knowledge" manifesting in our minds. That is consciousness.

    So, we have light being the common factor in (3) and consciousness being the common factor in (5).

    Now, from (1) we know that if a subject doesnt exist, neither does an object. From (2), we see that a subject is characterized by knowledge. From (5) we know that it is consciousness that causes knowledge. So, it follows that everything in the objective world is but of the nature of consciousness appropriately modified.

    PS: For those wondering, the capital of The Republic of Djibouti is Djibouti city.
    Last edited by wundermonk; 30 July 2011 at 08:24 AM.

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    Re: An argument for everything being of the nature of consciousness

    hari o
    ~~~~~~

    namast


    Quote Originally Posted by wundermonk View Post

    ((3)Consider our seeing a tree in the distance. We are able to see it because light is reflect off the tree and the same light hits our cornea. The common factor here is light.

    (5)Now consider what happens between the light falling on our cornea and its "knowledge" manifesting in our minds. Just like how light was a common element in
    I go to sleep and no light falls on my eyes, yet I ~see~ trees, birds, houses, people.

    I go into deep sleep and all falls away - I am not even aware of my body. What then of this karma , of the consciousness ?


    praṇām
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  3. #3

    Re: An argument for everything being of the nature of consciousness

    Namaskar,

    IMHO, it the same consciousness that remembers the dream and the deep sleep .What connects the two states i.e when you wake up you remeber the dream and that you slept well. Who remembers these states . The supreme "I" which is the consciousness . If there was no connectivity , how would you remeber everything about you on waking up .


    OM Namah Shinayah!!

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    Re: An argument for everything being of the nature of consciousness

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namast

    the continuity is ~held~ by turīya ( the 4th)... wake, dream, sleep, (avasthā - state , condition , situation) are rooted in the 4th.
    Yet the wise inform us of turīyātīta, beyond the 4th.

    praṇām

    words

    • turya तुर्य - the forth or forming the 4th part; yet there are no 'parts' other then turya being 4th in line of wake , dream and sleep or turīya तुरीय a 4th or 4th part
    • turīyātīta is turīya + atīta - the 4th + beyond, past. Hence turīyātīta is beyond the 4th. atīta अतीत - gone beyond, past
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  5. #5
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    Re: An argument for everything being of the nature of consciousness

    The senses are also called the lights in the presence of which the sourrounding is known.

    Knowledge is also known as enlightenment. A lecture can be enlightening.

    Knowledge is a knowledge as the data from brain is coherently deciphered by mind.

    The mind knows all these because of consciousness.

    Again it is consciousness through the mind till the very end point (senses) that enables all to work - the lower level working for the higher levels (component to system).

    No consciousness - no senses, no minds, no thoughts, no creation.

    How is the feeling ?

    Love and best wishes
    Last edited by kallol; 04 August 2011 at 11:48 AM.

  6. #6

    Re: An argument for everything being of the nature of consciousness

    Quote Originally Posted by wundermonk View Post
    (1)If there is no subject, then there is no object. Our objective empirical world only exists because there are subjects that cognize its existence. This may be hard to grasp but I believe it is true.
    If I'm not mistaken this is the view of what is usually called "monistic idealism" and is, in contemporary issues, often interpreted as an explanation for some of the effects of quantum mechanics (the wave-function collapse, to name one I know). I recently watched a very impressive program which featured seasoned physicist Amit Goswami where this view was upheld. So, I think you're in good company as far as science goes.

    Quote Originally Posted by wundermonk View Post
    (2)Everything that our mind cognizes is "knowledge". Not knowing cannot be experienced. Even if we are ignorant of, say, what is the capital of The Republic of Djibouti, it is wrong to say we dont know. It is correct to say that we know that we do not know.
    This I would have to definitely think about. It would also depend a lot on how we define knowledge. Right now I'm tending more to the view that knowledge is a coherent unity of fact, and entails more than just a given perception.

    Quote Originally Posted by wundermonk View Post
    (3)Consider our seeing a tree in the distance. We are able to see it because light is reflect off the tree and the same light hits our cornea. The common factor here is light.
    Is it light? Or is it perception?

    Quote Originally Posted by wundermonk View Post
    (4)From (2) it follows that what we refer to as vision is "knowledge" of vision. So, whether it is vision or hearing or touching and feeling or smelling, it is ultimately the "knowledge" of them that matters.
    I agree it is a knowledge of sorts. What most philosophers would call "phenomenal knowledge." Still, I think there is more to knowledge than just sense perception. There is also the recognition of this sense-perception, and this recognition itself does not happen in isolation, but in relation to other propositions. For instance, if I recognize my mother, my sense-perception of "mother" only makes sense as knowledge if it is linked to other facts of who this person is, what relationship I bear to her, and so on.

    Quote Originally Posted by wundermonk View Post
    (5)Now consider what happens between the light falling on our cornea and its "knowledge" manifesting in our minds. Just like how light was a common element in (3), there ought to be something common between the falling of light on the cornea and its "knowledge" manifesting in our minds. That is consciousness.

    So, we have light being the common factor in (3) and consciousness being the common factor in (5).
    You may have a point. Some neuroscientists would disagree, though, and say that nothing really happens "out there" but it's only "in here" so to speak - as our brain encounters it and interprets things.

    Also, it is a pretty widespread assertion that things don't cease being things when not looked at. Quantum physics does challenge this, but you have to grant that there exists at least some kind of information beforehand which allows these possibilities to fall into place.

    Quote Originally Posted by wundermonk View Post
    Now, from (1) we know that if a subject doesnt exist, neither does an object. From (2), we see that a subject is characterized by knowledge. From (5) we know that it is consciousness that causes knowledge. So, it follows that everything in the objective world is but of the nature of consciousness appropriately modified.
    I'm inclined to believe that your argument would be correct if we could construe easily that what we see "out there" is really out there, and not just as our brain presents it to us. There is a term philosophers use called "naive realism." It's in a nutshell the belief that what our senses say about the world is how it really is and not merely how it appears to us: to our consciousness.

    There have been poets and mystics who have made a rather large point about how things like physical features of the earth bear a parallel resemblance to our own emotional and psych-dynamic make-up. For instance, mountains representing peace or sublimity, or fire being correlated with human emotions like anger or passion. But, if naive realism is false (and most neuroscientists and philosophers of mind today think it is) than what we see is really only our own biology, and to make a strict knowledge claim about the universe this way is difficult to say the least.

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