Examining The Wisdom of the Infinite

Discussion of the nature of Ultimate Reality and the path to Enlightenment.
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Eric Schiedler
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Re: Examining The Wisdom of the Infinite

Post by Eric Schiedler » Sun Apr 02, 2017 1:11 am

Pam Seeback wrote:I (the causality) caused the mountain, the mountain did not cause me.
The separation between the mountain and the true self is ultimately formless. Yet consciousness is still an "eye" because it is, by definition, the total sum of everything that appears in consciousness, and that includes the appearance of the mountain.

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Re: Examining The Wisdom of the Infinite

Post by Pam Seeback » Sun Apr 02, 2017 1:21 am

Diebert van Rhijn wrote:
Pam Seeback wrote:Assigning dual powers (a primary, implying a secondary) to the infinite is illogical. The Buddha concluded this under the Bodhi tree and sent Mara packing, as did Jesus in the wilderness with Satan.

Returning to add that even if it were true that the human mind contained causal-effective powers they could not be separated so as to reason cause. Which is why reasoning is assumptive, not objective. The Trump thread is a good example of the mess that occurs when reasoning assumes cause (objectivity).
So it is true now again then that the human mind invents/causes things? Or at least causing a mess when assuming so!

Do you really think it's impossible to separate to some degree causal-effective powers of the mind? For example I could reason out that my mind highly likely cannot cause unicorns to appear to others just by thinking of them. And I can reason out that I could reflect on a decision or action and do generally better than I'd do without giving it any thought. Common sense is not assumptive, it's just harder to put in defined rules or write a textbook on it compared to a bunch of descriptive truths.

The wise can and will reason out things to a higher, purer degree than the ones who remain ignorant of their own nature and that of the world they experience. And yet, every action is necessarily limited by circumstance: here the presence and quality of ones knowledge, the capacity of ones imagination and conceptual powers, the presence of emotional blinders or particular personality limits: that's all understood. But those limits appearing in a discussion do not create doubt but on the contrary, to those "with ears" it will all provide just deeper insights into nearly everything. It's unstoppable.
No wonder you believe that the suffering of life is unstoppable. Reasoning causes that cannot ultimately be found is a valid way to live (the circular wheel of life), but for those such as myself, the assumptive life, regardless of how profound it is concluded to be by the ego, is a false life. It keeps one occupied to be sure as there is never any end to assumptions.

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Re: Examining The Wisdom of the Infinite

Post by Pam Seeback » Sun Apr 02, 2017 1:38 am

Eric Schiedler wrote:
Pam Seeback wrote:I (the causality) caused the mountain, the mountain did not cause me.
The separation between the mountain and the true self is ultimately formless. Yet consciousness is still an "eye" because it is, by definition, the total sum of everything that appears in consciousness, and that includes the appearance of the mountain.
The appearance, therefore consciousness, is caused by the (unknown) causality, the unknown power. What one does with this knowledge is up to them.

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Diebert van Rhijn
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Re: Examining The Wisdom of the Infinite

Post by Diebert van Rhijn » Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:22 am

Pam Seeback wrote:No wonder you believe that the suffering of life is unstoppable.
Life as the perpetuation of the unsatisfiable and incomplete: as feature as well as bug. The unsettled samsara with its births, aging, sickness, death, unpleasantness, frustrations, can be logically seen as causally related to having the bruising interplay of forces like matter, sensations, perceptions, mental formations and awareness.

Belief has nothing to do with this. Just unstoppable, unavoidable reasoning will bring one to this, to causality, to understanding suffering, which is found to only arise with ignorance.
for those such as myself, the assumptive life, regardless of how profound it is concluded to be by the ego, is a false life. It keeps one occupied to be sure as there is never any end to assumptions.
What never ends must be eternal then! And yes, even my instant death will not stop the whole of nature, the whole of existence to remain exactly as it was before. Only when that's realized, eternal life starts meaning something.

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Dan Rowden
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Re: Examining The Wisdom of the Infinite

Post by Dan Rowden » Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:05 am

Consciousness is not a causal agent. It has no power to cause anything. The subject/object duality is not real. Consciousness has no more power to 'cause' a thing than it has to cause itself. Consciousness is what we conventionally describe as its 'objects'.

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David Quinn
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Re: Examining The Wisdom of the Infinite

Post by David Quinn » Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:27 am

Dan Rowden wrote:Consciousness is not a causal agent. It has no power to cause anything. The subject/object duality is not real. Consciousness has no more power to 'cause' a thing than it has to cause itself. Consciousness is what we conventionally describe as its 'objects'.
This is not restricted to consciousness, of course. Nothing can ever be a causal agent, not on its own.

A dark cloud might form in the sky, which leads to rain, but we cannot state, as an absolute truth, that the cloud is the cause of the rain, anymore than we can state that the properties of hydrogen and oxygen are the cause of the rain, or gravity, or the size of the earth, or air resistance, or atmospheric pressure. It is only when all of these things come together in the right manner does rain come into being.

At the same time, it is perfectly valid to say, for practical purposes, that the rain comes from the cloud, or that the cloud is the cause of the rain.

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Re: Examining The Wisdom of the Infinite

Post by encode_decode » Sun Apr 02, 2017 1:46 pm

The Logical Proof of Cause and Effect
David Quinn wrote:There are two ways of proving that things cannot arise without cause. The first involves recognizing that a thing cannot exist without its constituent parts, while the second involves recognizing that a thing cannot exist in the absence of an external reality. Although these two proofs may seem isolated on the surface, in reality they are both expressions of the one core proof - namely, that a thing cannot arise in the absence of other things.
The first paragraph says it pretty well for me. It seems our current conversation is fitting for the purpose(we could debate purpose) of the matter at hand.

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Re: Examining The Wisdom of the Infinite

Post by Pam Seeback » Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:18 pm

Pam Seeback wrote:
No wonder you believe that the suffering of life is unstoppable.
Diebert: Life as the perpetuation of the unsatisfiable and incomplete: as feature as well as bug. The unsettled samsara with its births, aging, sickness, death, unpleasantness, frustrations, can be logically seen as causally related to having the bruising interplay of forces like matter, sensations, perceptions, mental formations and awareness.

Belief has nothing to do with this. Just unstoppable, unavoidable reasoning will bring one to this, to causality, to understanding suffering, which is found to only arise with ignorance.
You speak of samsara, but not nirvana? You are divorcing belief from reasoning? Reasoning is entirely a belief based activity. Digging for causes that at best, are determined to be 'almost true.' As you say, it's all opinion.
Quote:
Pam: for those such as myself, the assumptive life, regardless of how profound it is concluded to be by the ego, is a false life. It keeps one occupied to be sure as there is never any end to assumptions.
Diebert: What never ends must be eternal then! And yes, even my instant death will not stop the whole of nature, the whole of existence to remain exactly as it was before. Only when that's realized, eternal life starts meaning something.
Sure, the causality of reasoning is eternal, but so is the causality of lust and hatred and the wise one can stop causing them to appear. This is what being conscious means. While it is true, one cannot find the definitive cause for any feeling that appears in consciousness, it can be named and consciously released so as to never come again. I used to smoke and only because I was determined not to smoke again did I successfully quit. By successfully, I mean that I experience absolutely no cravings for a cigarette. None. I am not reasoning this statement, it is truth. Just as the determination I experienced was not a product of reasoning, but of dedication to truth (to make it happen). Now, the causality of tobacco and all that is caused of tobacco is eternal in that it can, at any time, be caused to appear, but if it is not desired, why would it appear?

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Re: Examining The Wisdom of the Infinite

Post by Pam Seeback » Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:05 am

Dan Rowden wrote:Consciousness is not a causal agent. It has no power to cause anything. The subject/object duality is not real. Consciousness has no more power to 'cause' a thing than it has to cause itself. Consciousness is what we conventionally describe as its 'objects'.
True. And as objects are caused to appear, they are caused not to appear, not by consciousness, for as you say, it has no power to cause anything, but by the unknown power or will of the causality. This is why it is important to emphasize will or spirit (to be conscious of) when speaking of the causality.

encode_decode
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Re: Examining The Wisdom of the Infinite

Post by encode_decode » Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:57 pm

I am going to quote the whole second paragraph even though I have quoted the first.
David Quinn wrote:It is easy to see that an object cannot exist without its constituent parts. A car, for example, cannot exist without the engine, wheels, doors and windows which comprise it. Eliminate these things and the car automatically disappears. Moreover, the existence of the car is dependent not only on these parts existing, but on their being fitted together in the correct manner. Or to state this in more general terms, a car only comes into existence when the causal circumstances are ripe.
I really like the simplicity in the paragraph - how one does not have to provide examples that are next to impossible to work out.

The first sentence in the next paragraph sums it up:
David Quinn wrote:The same reasoning can be applied to anything else in existence.
The first sentence in the next paragraph reinforces the issue:
David Quinn wrote:It should be pointed out that the parts which constitute an object are not the object itself.
The last sentence in the same paragraph:
David Quinn wrote:Thus, the truth that a thing cannot exist without its parts is really an expression of the more general truth that a thing is necessarily dependent upon other things for its existence.
This includes everything in my mind.

This proof is solid.

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Re: Examining The Wisdom of the Infinite

Post by encode_decode » Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:10 pm

My favorite sentence in the whole section called "The Logical Proof of Cause and Effect" is:
David Quinn wrote:We are like the fist that vanishes as soon as the hand is opened.
Fist being dependent on the hand being configured(arranged) in a certain way.

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Diebert van Rhijn
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Re: Examining The Wisdom of the Infinite

Post by Diebert van Rhijn » Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:32 pm

Pam Seeback wrote: Reasoning is entirely a belief based activity. Digging for causes that at best, are determined to be 'almost true.' As you say, it's all opinion.
Opining is different from reasoning, like lies are quite different from truths, after all it's "all just words", "all relative", any pathological liar would have to say, as he has no interest in any meaningful difference here. In the same vein, there's a difference between reason and what Spinoza called intuition, as highest, truest form of reason, the intuitively affirming of the truth inherent within all of reality. It's reason itself brought under the scope of the infinite.
Now, the causality of tobacco and all that is caused of tobacco is eternal in that it can, at any time, be caused to appear, but if it is not desired, why would it appear?
Babies are not born with cigarettes hanging out of their mouths but they do possess cravings for security, regularity, food, warmth, a motherly presence and the gift of manipulation to secure all of this or its many alternatives. If it's all still desired, that can only be really tested after taking it all away, like with the biblical story of Job.
Pam to Dan wrote:And as objects are caused to appear, they are caused not to appear, not by consciousness, for as you say, it has no power to cause anything, but by the unknown power or will of the causality. This is why it is important to emphasize will or spirit (to be conscious of) when speaking of the causality.
Why not emphasize causality instead of speaking of a personal will or mystic spirit?

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David Quinn
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Re: Examining The Wisdom of the Infinite

Post by David Quinn » Mon Apr 03, 2017 4:22 pm

encode_decode wrote:
David Quinn wrote:Thus, the truth that a thing cannot exist without its parts is really an expression of the more general truth that a thing is necessarily dependent upon other things for its existence.
This includes everything in my mind.

This proof is solid.
What about space? Or a mathematical point?

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Re: Examining The Wisdom of the Infinite

Post by David Quinn » Mon Apr 03, 2017 4:32 pm

Pam Seeback wrote: Reasoning is entirely a belief based activity.
Is that what you believe?

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Re: Examining The Wisdom of the Infinite

Post by encode_decode » Mon Apr 03, 2017 4:50 pm

David Quinn wrote:What about space? Or a mathematical point?
Would you be by any chance, referring to:
David Quinn wrote:Objects are not only dependent on internal factors, but they rely on external ones as well, which now leads us to the second proof.
or have I missed something entirely?

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Re: Examining The Wisdom of the Infinite

Post by David Quinn » Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:12 pm

encode_decode wrote:
David Quinn wrote:What about space? Or a mathematical point?
Would you be by any chance, referring to:
David Quinn wrote:Objects are not only dependent on internal factors, but they rely on external ones as well, which now leads us to the second proof.
or have I missed something entirely?
Not necessarily. I just wanted to push you a bit and see how you'd respond. No biggie. :)

Like the car, space and the mathematical point can also be (mentally) divided into parts.

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Re: Examining The Wisdom of the Infinite

Post by Pam Seeback » Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:36 am

David Quinn wrote:
Pam Seeback wrote: Reasoning is entirely a belief based activity.
Is that what you believe?
Since ultimately the reason or cause of anything cannot be known (ultimately being the operative concept, after all, this board is about the ultimate), reasoning is limited to what is reasonable or makes sense, which is useful, but what makes sense is not truth. Your recent Trump thread provided ample evidence of the limitations of reasoning. You cannot know the truth of Trump's political (or personal) motivations, you can only place forth your reasonable assumptions, your beliefs. Which, you truthfully acknowledged, may be wrong. For you to know his motivations, you would need to know every cause and every condition that brought him (and you) to this moment, and as I know you know, this is a task the individual intellect absolutely cannot perform.

I am not saying people don't act based on reasonable assumptions (and acting on is the key word), they do every moment of every day, I am saying that reasonable assumptions are not truth. Logical truths are different than reasoning. Where logical truths are fact based (such as all bachelors are unmarried) reasoning kicks in when the mind seeks to determine the reason or cause for bachelorhood. If one seeks to become a logical machine, that is, be a fact giver and only a fact giver, then yes, they will be truth tellers. Is anyone capable of such an existence? I don't know. I also don't know why anyone would desire such an existence.

When it comes to engagement of the "I" or will, I am limited to beliefs just as you are limited to beliefs. I believe reasoning is the "crack in everything" (to quote Leonard Cohen). I also believe the crack can be closed and I work toward that closure. Do I know this? No. But unlike Kirkegaard, I do not place forward that my personal beliefs are "truth." That pesky old "I" (or glorious old "I" depending on your belief) adds its individual flavour to everything. It just can't help itself. :-)

Now "my philosophy" -- that's a different story. :-) The question then becomes, are we, the "I", 'just' swapping philosophies? And if we accept that indeed, that is 'all' we are doing, will that effect our motivation to continue with philosophy swapping?

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Re: Examining The Wisdom of the Infinite

Post by Pam Seeback » Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:44 am

Pam to Dan wrote:
And as objects are caused to appear, they are caused not to appear, not by consciousness, for as you say, it has no power to cause anything, but by the unknown power or will of the causality. This is why it is important to emphasize will or spirit (to be conscious of) when speaking of the causality.
Diebert: Why not emphasize causality instead of speaking of a personal will or mystic spirit?
Because causality without personal will or mystic spirit is dead stuff, i.e., logical truths. I haven't met anyone who is 100% logical -- meaning that the desiring, willing, wishing, planning, valuing "I" is gone -- have you?

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Diebert van Rhijn
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Re: Examining The Wisdom of the Infinite

Post by Diebert van Rhijn » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:18 am

Pam Seeback wrote:
Diebert: Why not emphasize causality instead of speaking of a personal will or mystic spirit?
Because causality without personal will or mystic spirit is dead stuff, i.e., logical truths. I haven't met anyone who is 100% logical -- meaning that the desiring, willing, wishing, planning, valuing "I" is gone -- have you?
Just the fact that you only can see life in causality after bolting on some mysticism and personality, should illuminate the matter.

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Re: Examining The Wisdom of the Infinite

Post by encode_decode » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:02 am

I turned 42 today - I will be back - I have to go help a friend dig a trench to run some cables through. Please excuse my absence - I have still been reading all the posts.

@ David - yes I am certain I can provide a couple of examples with space and mathematics.

I should not be any longer than 12 hours give or take 2.

:)

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Re: Examining The Wisdom of the Infinite

Post by David Quinn » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:13 am

Pam Seeback wrote:
Diebert wrote:
Pam Seeback wrote:Pam to Dan wrote:
And as objects are caused to appear, they are caused not to appear, not by consciousness, for as you say, it has no power to cause anything, but by the unknown power or will of the causality. This is why it is important to emphasize will or spirit (to be conscious of) when speaking of the causality.
Diebert: Why not emphasize causality instead of speaking of a personal will or mystic spirit?
Because causality without personal will or mystic spirit is dead stuff, i.e., logical truths. I haven't met anyone who is 100% logical -- meaning that the desiring, willing, wishing, planning, valuing "I" is gone -- have you?
Your conception of causation is still far too mechanical in nature. Things like personal will and mystic spirit are also composed of cause and effect. They are subcategories of causation. So if causation is nothing more than dead stuff, then it means that personal will and mystic spirit are also nothing more than dead stuff.
  • Let us be on our guard against saying that there are laws in nature. There are only necessities: there is no one who commands, no one who obeys, no one who transgresses. When you know that there is no design, you know also that there is no chance: for it is only where there is a world of design that the word “chance” has a meaning. Let us be on our guard against saying that death is contrary to life. The living being is only a species of dead being, and a very rare species.
- Nietzsche

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David Quinn
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Re: Examining The Wisdom of the Infinite

Post by David Quinn » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:23 am

encode_decode wrote:I turned 42 today - I will be back - I have to go help a friend dig a trench to run some cables through. Please excuse my absence - I have still been reading all the posts.

@ David - yes I am certain I can provide a couple of examples with space and mathematics.

I should not be any longer than 12 hours give or take 2.

:)
Don't rush on my account. Enjoy the day.
  • The Buddhas do not shun samsara, as it is Nirvana. On manifesting themselves in the world, they seize dung-shovels to rid themselves of all such rubbish as books containing metaphysics and sophistry.
- Huang Po

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Re: Examining The Wisdom of the Infinite

Post by Pam Seeback » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:45 pm

David: The Buddhas do not shun samsara, as it is Nirvana. On manifesting themselves in the world, they seize dung-shovels to rid themselves of all such rubbish as books containing metaphysics and sophistry.

- Huang Po
1. If samsara is nirvana, there can be no relating the two. That's akin to asserting a dog is a cat or a boat is a fish or encode_decode is David.

2. If samsara is nirvana, why would there be shunning of either?

Samsara represents the experience of thirst, craving, attachment. Nirvana represents the end of thirst, craving, attachment. Therefore, they are not the same.

One cannot help but be manifested in the world, one has no choice in the matter, attached or not.

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Re: Examining The Wisdom of the Infinite

Post by Pam Seeback » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:17 pm

Diebert van Rhijn wrote:
Pam Seeback wrote:
Diebert: Why not emphasize causality instead of speaking of a personal will or mystic spirit?
Because causality without personal will or mystic spirit is dead stuff, i.e., logical truths. I haven't met anyone who is 100% logical -- meaning that the desiring, willing, wishing, planning, valuing "I" is gone -- have you?
Just the fact that you only can see life in causality after bolting on some mysticism and personality, should illuminate the matter.
I was using your concept of mystic spirit and in doing so, was not denying the causality of 'mystic spirit' (if that was your reasoning). The "I" or will is caused just as is bird, tree and reasoning.

Getting to the seed of our mutual views regarding reasoning, the way I see it is either one desires to continue reasoning, thus experiencing the effects of its open-ended circling causality or one desires not to continue experiencing these effects. Both 'movements' of the "I", the will, are caused. Either way, the causality is, as David said, not diminished or added to in any way. My point is and always has been that to limit the "I", the will, to the causality of reasoning is to attempt to limit the causality itself.

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Re: Examining The Wisdom of the Infinite

Post by encode_decode » Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:38 am

Speaking of mathematical examples - I have used this example before elsewhere in life, when chatting with people on and off the internet - it is not necessarily causal the way I have written it but it could possibly be picked apart to make it causal in nature.

I imagine the number one - lots of ones actually. 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 . Each 1 is individual but by what virtue. They all share the same fundamentality. They inherit the same fundamentality. They are the inheritors. They are individual.

The ones have reflexive, symmetric and a transitive relations but what can we say of the fundamentality - is the fundamentality just an equivalence relation? And for the fundamentality - what has it inherited? if from nothing else then a definition from the ones maybe - this then would be Self-referential - an ouroboros. Cyclical in its nature - the one is the fundamentality - the fundamentality is the one. This would be indicative of projection in that the one projects itself back to it's source - This would also be indicative of the source projecting itself onto all of the ones. The source being the fundamentality.

I often confuse myself with my own analogies - so if this is misplaced it would not surprise me. I think here I might be explaining some kind of eternal cycle and I am missing the conditions for "ripeness". In reality I do not think the cycle itself is real but then again I might just be getting confused here. The ones would have to be manifest upon ripeness and then disintegrate upon rottenness(metaphorically speaking).

Anyway, pick it apart as you see fit - it will at least help me to provide a better more enlightened example. I will now consider how other things might manifest in this universe of ones.

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