Impermanence and meaning

Discussion of the nature of Ultimate Reality and the path to Enlightenment.
Pam Seeback
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Impermanence and meaning

Post by Pam Seeback » Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:33 am

The point of this thread is to question the effect of the dichotomy of what appears to be, for consciousness, an inherent desire or will for meaning permanence despite knowing that this inherent desire is ultimately a deluded one.

For me, the process goes something like this:

I, consciousness forget that meaning-making is not absolute or permanent and become attached to its subjectivity with the natural resultant stress eventually leading to my remembering the truth of subjective impermanence, upon which time, the stress of deluded attachment is (for a time) released/absorbed.

Naturally, because of the presence of stress of seeking that which cannot be found (absolute meaning), I question whether or not it is possible for consciousness to be freed of this stress. As of now, I see no way freedom from the delusion of absolute seeking is possible, my reasoning being that if a thing is not, in the moment of thinking of it, believed to have absolute meaning, why bother thinking of it at all? Another way of asking this is: would or should or can consciousness consciously manifest impermanence?

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Diebert van Rhijn
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Re: Impermanence and meaning

Post by Diebert van Rhijn » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:44 pm

Pam Seeback wrote:As of now, I see no way freedom from the delusion of absolute seeking is possible, my reasoning being that if a thing is not, in the moment of thinking of it, believed to have absolute meaning, why bother thinking of it at all?
If there's no possible freedom from seeking, one could allow for the possibility that seeking itself remains absolute: being fundamental to whatever determines a sense of being. Always leaving something (past) and heading towards possibilities (future). The nature of all seeking embedded in time, as form of existence.
Another way of asking this is: would or should or can consciousness consciously manifest impermanence?
Only as its highest functioning but that manifests initially as its most abstract and logical aspect. But it can be understood as the most fundamental aspect at the same time, that is: the most inescapable and general. But would it still be meaningful then? Clearly not unless containing and birthing all and every meaning would be in itself meaningful. It's a bit like calling the womb "absolute life" or instead focus on the ten thousands of crying babies being delivered and who all will need care.

Glostik91
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Re: Impermanence and meaning

Post by Glostik91 » Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:53 pm

Pam Seeback wrote:The point of this thread is to question the effect of the dichotomy of what appears to be, for consciousness, an inherent desire or will for meaning permanence despite knowing that this inherent desire is ultimately a deluded one.
Is it so deluded? In fact for consciousness, it can be said there is also an inherent desire for impermanence. There is a desire for growth, change, development, and synthesis. Focusing on just one's desire for permanence doesn't appear to be viewing the whole picture.
For me, the process goes something like this:

I, consciousness forget that meaning-making is not absolute or permanent and become attached to its subjectivity with the natural resultant stress eventually leading to my remembering the truth of subjective impermanence, upon which time, the stress of deluded attachment is (for a time) released/absorbed.

Naturally, because of the presence of stress of seeking that which cannot be found (absolute meaning), I question whether or not it is possible for consciousness to be freed of this stress. As of now, I see no way freedom from the delusion of absolute seeking is possible, my reasoning being that if a thing is not, in the moment of thinking of it, believed to have absolute meaning, why bother thinking of it at all? Another way of asking this is: would or should or can consciousness consciously manifest impermanence?
It is absolute concerning whatever conscious entity is capable of (and whoever happens to be) understanding me right now. The truth 5+7=12 is not going to change. I can say that with absolute certainty. What changes is me.

If the fear of falling into error sets up a mistrust of truth (the synthetic a priori), which meanwhile gets on with the work, itself, and actually cognizes something, it is hard to see why we should not turn around and mistrust this very mistrust. Should we not be concerned as to whether this fear of error is not just the error itself? Your fear of being deluded and resultant stress take something (a great deal in fact) for granted as truth, supporting its scruples and inferences on what is itself in need of prior scrutiny to see if it is true. To be specific, it takes for granted certain ideas about cognition, that a thing-in-itself is either permanent or impermanent, that in the moment of thinking, cognition of impermanence is false, and thereafter, in a new moment of thinking, a cognition of permanence is false. Above all, it presupposes that the Absolute stands on one side and cognition on the other, independent and separated from it, and yet is something real; or in other words, it presupposes that cognition which, since it is excluded from the Absolute, is surely outside of the truth as well is nevertheless true, an assumption whereby what calls itself fear of error reveals itself rather as fear of the truth.
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Pam Seeback
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Re: Impermanence and meaning

Post by Pam Seeback » Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:04 am

Diebert, Glostik91, what I understand from reasoning your responses is that the absolute is realized when reasoning is understood, be it singular or between conscious entities. And that stress is present until the absolute is realized. Which makes stress the driving force of absolute realization.

Is the goal then collective or total absolution? If it is and it is realized, then surely what would exist in its place would be an entirely different causality of awareness, or perhaps not one of awareness at all.

Glostik91
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Re: Impermanence and meaning

Post by Glostik91 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:40 pm

Pam Seeback wrote:the absolute is realized when reasoning is understood.
Just take a moment and look at this comment. You, the realizer, are realizing the absolute, that thing which is apart from you and must be realized.

Let me ask you something. How does one go about understanding reasoning? Does one use reason to understand reasoning? Why would someone need to go about understanding reasoning if one is already reasoning? If one is already reasoning, would that not already indicate that one understands reasoning?

Diebert, Glostik91, what I understand from reasoning your responses is that the absolute is realized when reasoning is understood, be it singular or between conscious entities. And that stress is present until the absolute is realized. Which makes stress the driving force of absolute realization.

Is the goal then collective or total absolution? If it is and it is realized, then surely what would exist in its place would be an entirely different causality of awareness, or perhaps not one of awareness at all.
My impression is that your stress is fueled by the fear of falling into error or delusion. That essentially, because you cannot find this thing out there called absolute truth in a history book, or a religious book, or a book of mathematics (which would provide you with meaning), you feel strained and uncomfortable to the point where you claim that this thing (absolute truth) doesn't exist. It cannot be found, therefore it doesn't exist.

You seem to be treating 'the absolute' as if it is some sort of thing which we must discover or realize or understand, as if to treat it like a noumenal object. Instead just abandon this effort. Cease trying to realize. Cease trying to understand. Understanding concerns the phenomenal, that which is perceived, not whatever it is which is a thing in itself.

Tell me to my face that 2+2=5, and I'll say that you must be living in an Orwellian nightmare. 2+2=4, and anyone can know that with pure absolute certainty. Show me a scenario where 2+2=5 and it will be unintelligible to me. What stress are you suffering? The fear that 2+2 might =5? What an absurd thing to be stressed about. Whatever sort of thing which understands 2+2=/=4 is entirely inaccessible to me, and it would be impossible for communication to be happening between us. The same stands for you as well, for if you are reading this and understand that when I say 'you' I am referring to you Pam, the synthetic a priori truths which knit you together are in alignment with me. You are over there, a conscious thing, trying to make a connection with something else, in which there is, within itself, the capacity for there to be enough calibration for truth to align. You are (hopefully) reading my words, one at a time, not necessarily accepting them, but nevertheless understanding them, that each word here, 'you' 'are' 'reading' 'my' 'words' each is known and easily comprehended by two conscious things who somehow agree on what these things (phenomenal objects we call words) mean (their meaning, their absolute meaning). You don't read the word 'cow' and think of a sofa. Why is that? Because we are synced. We are aligned. Something intelligible happened; something different from all the white noise going on out there.

What stress are you suffering? Just accept that 2+2=4 and move on with your life.
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Re: Impermanence and meaning

Post by Pam Seeback » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:35 am

Glostik91: Tell me to my face that 2+2=5, and I'll say that you must be living in an Orwellian nightmare. 2+2=4, and anyone can know that with pure absolute certainty. Show me a scenario where 2+2=5 and it will be unintelligible to me. What stress are you suffering? The fear that 2+2 might =5? What an absurd thing to be stressed about.
2 + 2 = 4 can be known with absolutely certainty and causes no stress, however, I am absolutely unable to reason my existence/causality with absolute certainty, ergo the presence of stress.
Glostik91: Whatever sort of thing which understands 2+2=/=4 is entirely inaccessible to me, and it would be impossible for communication to be happening between us. The same stands for you as well, for if you are reading this and understand that when I say 'you' I am referring to you Pam, the synthetic a priori truths which knit you together are in alignment with me.
While facts like 2 + 2 = 4 or all bachelors are unmarried could be said to be a priori truths (I'm not saying they are), where the theory of a priori truths falls flat is in the subjective reasoning of the uncertainty of the causality of existence. To reason further as to my meaning, let's pick an extreme example and say you and I are walking together and come upon a man raping someone. It is certain it is a rape because the person being raped is screaming for the person to stop. Is it your understanding that in this particular case that you and I will be knit together in alignment in our reactions to, or reasoning of, this rape? I highly doubt it. The moment the I arises, subjectivity is the outcome.
Glostik91: You are over there, a conscious thing, trying to make a connection with something else, in which there is, within itself, the capacity for there to be enough calibration for truth to align. You are (hopefully) reading my words, one at a time, not necessarily accepting them, but nevertheless understanding them, that each word here, 'you' 'are' 'reading' 'my' 'words' each is known and easily comprehended by two conscious things who somehow agree on what these things (phenomenal objects we call words) mean (their meaning, their absolute meaning). You don't read the word 'cow' and think of a sofa. Why is that? Because we are synced. We are aligned. Something intelligible happened; something different from all the white noise going on out there.
Recognizing that a word stands for something, is a symbol for something, i.e., a cow or sofa is not the same thing as knowing a cow or knowing a sofa. To know a thing would require absolute union with every part of its causality, obviously an impossible scenario. An example more relevant to this board: let's look at the word 'wisdom.' Yes, it is a name that stands for something, but do you know with absolute certainty what this something called wisdom is? I'm going to go out on a limb and say with absolute certainty that you don't know with absolute certainty what wisdom 'is.' You can reason with me what you think wisdom 'is' as can I with you, but reasoning doth not absolute truth reveal. That's the strange thing about absolute truths - when applied to the subjective realm of reasoning, they seem to be of the 'neti neti' variety.
What stress are you suffering? Just accept that 2+2=4 and move on with your life.

When I spoke of the absolute being realized when reasoning is understood, I am not referring to the naming or mathematics of objects, that is an obvious realization, I am referring to the moment (and it is only of the moment) when the stress of reasoning uncertainty is released or removed. In other words, in the case of subjective reasoning, the absolute causality is known existentially by way of awareness of the presence of stress or the release of stress or the absence of stress. And as we absolutely know, stress is not permanent just as the release of stress is not permanent just as absence of stress is not permanent. Real, but not permanent.

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Re: Impermanence and meaning

Post by Glostik91 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:43 pm

Pam Seeback wrote: 2 + 2 = 4 can be known with absolutely certainty and causes no stress, however, I am absolutely unable to reason my existence/causality with absolute certainty, ergo the presence of stress.
Concerning pure understanding, 2+2=4 is synthetic a priori, existence/nonexistence is synthetic a priori, causality is synthetic a priori. All three of these pertain to pure understanding. To be stressed about one but not about another indicates you think there is some sort of significant difference among them. If you are unable to reason your existence, then you are also unable to reason your capability of realizing two plus two is four. If you are able to reason your capability of realizing two plus two is four, then you are also able to reason your existence.

The statement 'I am unable to reason existence/causality' is one that needs qualification. By 'I' are you referring to yourself as a thing-in-itself, or are you referring to yourself as a thing phenomenally perceived? If you want to reason about your real, absolute, noumenal self, then you are flat out of luck because this cannot be known. It can't even be known if 'existence/nonexistence' pertains to you at all. The noumenon is the limitation of possible knowledge. It can't even be known that it isn't known. In fact you may know that you exist, but you can't know that you know. What I mean by this is that the scientific explanation for your existence (the one which you know) may be the correct one, but you can't know that it is the correct one.

How exactly this causes you stress is what I don't understand. You, as a thing phenomenally perceived, abide by causality - perfectly reasonable and absolutely certain. Either you exist or you don't exist - perfectly reasonable and absolutely certain. 2+2=4 - perfectly reasonable and absolutely certain. What about this are you unable to reason? What about this stresses you out?
While facts like 2 + 2 = 4 or all bachelors are unmarried could be said to be a priori truths (I'm not saying they are), where the theory of a priori truths falls flat is in the subjective reasoning of the uncertainty of the causality of existence. To reason further as to my meaning, let's pick an extreme example and say you and I are walking together and come upon a man raping someone. It is certain it is a rape because the person being raped is screaming for the person to stop. Is it your understanding that in this particular case that you and I will be knit together in alignment in our reactions to, or reasoning of, this rape? I highly doubt it. The moment the I arises, subjectivity is the outcome.
First of all, a priori truth essentially means knowledge which is gained before an experience necessarily occurs. For instance, I can know, a priori, that the planet Neptune either exists or doesn't exist. I can know that Neptune can be described by either term absolutely. I can know that Neptune abides by causality. I can absolutely know that if I add 2+2 while inside Neptune, the answer will be 4. All objects of possible cognition will necessarily abide by pure understanding.

Your example concerns a posteriori truth, which is knowledge that is gained after an experience. I don't know whether or not a person is being raped until an observation occurs and evidence is weighed. Similarly I know that Neptune either exists or doesn't exist, but I don't know which one until an observation occurs and evidence is weighed. A person screaming 'rape' is evidence for the hypothesis that a rape is occurring. This does not concern synthetic a priori truth, but rather this concerns synthetic a posteriori truth, truth whose knowledge is perpetually tuned by experience.
Recognizing that a word stands for something, is a symbol for something, i.e., a cow or sofa is not the same thing as knowing a cow or knowing a sofa.
This is accurate.
To know a thing would require absolute union with every part of its causality, obviously an impossible scenario.
This is inaccurate, but its inaccuracy depends on what you mean by 'thing' here. Are you referring to a thing-in-itself, or are you referring to a thing phenomenally perceived? If you are referring to the former, then even if one achieved absolute union with every part of a thing's causality, one still wouldn't know the thing (because it is unknown whether this thing-in-itself even abides by causality). If it's the latter, then your statement is inaccurate because I can actually have some absolute knowledge about the thing. For instance I can know that it abides by causality, that it either exists or doesn't exist, etc (synthetic a priori/categories of pure understanding).
An example more relevant to this board: let's look at the word 'wisdom.' Yes, it is a name that stands for something, but do you know with absolute certainty what this something called wisdom is? I'm going to go out on a limb and say with absolute certainty that you don't know with absolute certainty what wisdom 'is.' You can reason with me what you think wisdom 'is' as can I with you, but reasoning doth not absolute truth reveal. That's the strange thing about absolute truths - when applied to the subjective realm of reasoning, they seem to be of the 'neti neti' variety.
Wisdom is fundamentally the capacity to ascertain the truth, whether that be analytic or synthetic, whether that be a priori or a posteriori. I don't think I need to explain this further.
When I spoke of the absolute being realized when reasoning is understood, I am not referring to the naming or mathematics of objects, that is an obvious realization, I am referring to the moment (and it is only of the moment) when the stress of reasoning uncertainty is released or removed. In other words, in the case of subjective reasoning, the absolute causality is known existentially by way of awareness of the presence of stress or the release of stress or the absence of stress. And as we absolutely know, stress is not permanent just as the release of stress is not permanent just as absence of stress is not permanent. Real, but not permanent.
It isn't actually an obvious realization. In 'synthetic a priori' the word synthetic indicates that the subject and predicate are not obviously related. It might seem obvious to you that 2+2=4 because you've known it for practically your whole life, but what about other statements such as: 22*67=1474 or 2342323523*22342423=52333182953716229 Even though these statements are a priori, meaning the truth can be known prior to an experience, it is synthetic because it isn't obvious that the subject and predicate are related. It's possible that I just typed in random numbers. You have to follow a certain formula in order to figure out if the subject is related to the predicate (i.e. if the factors are related to the product). Upon properly following the formula (breaking them down into smaller parts in order to make it more manageable) and realizing that the subject and predicate are related, no experience can ever prove this to be false. Whereas with a posteriori reasoning, future experiences and evidence may prove the current truths false (even if you perfectly follow the rules of operation to find such truths).

Putting this comment aside for now, after reading your response, the cause of your stress appears to be a little more clear. Your stress does not concern your inability to reason your existence. Your stress concerns the inability to distinguish the difference between a synthetic a posteriori truth (impermanence), and a synthetic a priori truth (permanence) (and perhaps even the ability to distinguish possible knowledge from the noumenal). I think I have somewhat explained the differences here in this post, but let me know if there still is any confusion.
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JohnJAu
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Re: Impermanence and meaning

Post by JohnJAu » Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:56 pm

Glostik91.

I'm less certain that 2+2=4 than I am that you are displaying delusons. It's a little hard to articulate or explain which delusional tendencies you're displaying, perhaps impossible, but I'll try anyway. It seems you are far too entranced with, attached to, or caught up in, conceptual clinging/distinction making/boundary forming particularly in regard to your philosophical ideas. It seems there is too much of a complex attempt to understand truth via differentiation going on: labeling and even a cold scientific-like approach, rather than what in my view is much more important to wisdom growth, that is, becoming or being in tune with unflitered reality, or focusing on authentic articulation of your actual experience, so to speak.

It seems to me that this overly complex 'attachment' to distinction making goes against one of the truths at the centre of the forum and eastern wisdom.

In short it seems more like your writing belongs on an atheist forum where posters engage in that stereotypical behaviour of attempting to avoid, or point out, a static guideline of logical fallacies.

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Re: Impermanence and meaning

Post by Glostik91 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:55 pm

JohnJAu wrote: I'm less certain that 2+2=4 than I am that you are displaying delusons.
How can you be less certain of something which is absolutely certain? Oh, you were joking? My apologies. My modulator seems to be malfunctioning. A little oil should fix.. I mean a good night's sleep ought to make me right as rain.
It's a little hard to articulate or explain which delusional tendencies you're displaying, perhaps impossible, but I'll try anyway. It seems you are far too entranced with, attached to, or caught up in, conceptual clinging/distinction making/boundary forming particularly in regard to your philosophical ideas. It seems there is too much of a complex attempt to understand truth via differentiation going on: labeling and even a cold scientific-like approach, rather than what in my view is much more important to wisdom growth, that is, becoming or being in tune with unflitered reality, or focusing on authentic articulation of your actual experience, so to speak.

It seems to me that this overly complex 'attachment' to distinction making goes against one of the truths at the centre of the forum and eastern wisdom.

In short it seems more like your writing belongs on an atheist forum where posters engage in that stereotypical behaviour of attempting to avoid, or point out, a static guideline of logical fallacies.
Everything I've said here seems perfectly reasonable to me. I've been talking here, mostly, about understanding. How else would one go about understanding a thing other than breaking it down into parts?

I've never been into the woo woo mystical side of things. I'd rather just have a conversation where we explain what we mean in language that is easy to understand, and if there are things one of us doesn't understand, take the time to properly communicate it.
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Re: Impermanence and meaning

Post by JohnJAu » Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:05 pm

Glostik91 wrote: How can you be less certain of something which is absolutely certain?
Good question. I guess the only honest answer is that I fundamentally or radically disagree with even the most basic and common ideas people have about what is significant in terms of reasoned philosophy and what is egotistical/worldly babble derived from attachment to illusion.
How else would one go about understanding a thing other than breaking it down into parts?
Holistically.
Having a broad sense of things.
Insight meditation.
Contemplation of one's experience without necessarily having a direction or focus.
Etc.
Though breaking things down into parts is fine, no problem with it. However, consistently assigning labels (ideas) to distinguish every other idea, based on assumptions about their apparent mental origin(or constantly working to categorize sentences and statements), is a bit much for me.

I've never been into the woo woo mystical side of things.
Are you aware that this phrase is also stereotypical of the sort of writing/style of thinking I mentioned? Such as you'd find coming from famous atheists like Sam Harris or on such forums.
I'd rather just have a conversation where we explain what we mean in language that is easy to understand, and if there are things one of us doesn't understand, take the time to properly communicate it.
That's what I'm doing now. If what you're saying is understandable, it's not at all getting through to me. I admit that may be a result of the OP having engaged in the same convoluted methods of thinking I've been describing. So I'll reply to that and that may shed more light on why it seems to me that the conversation regressed in terms of clarity.
Pam Seeback wrote:to question....
I think you mistook the appearance from the get go. I don't think it has as much to do with seeking as the 'mental process' of endless uncontrolled thought, suffering, dissatisfaction,etc is naturally inevitable as long as one remains: attached to existence/egotistical/obligated to perform survival effort and duties/interacting with the illusion of the world as if it is real/ without discipline of one's own mind/without diligent pursuit of the habits of a pure mind.

It's really got nothing to do with seeking absolute meaning or some imagined possibility that you could just be 'ok' with existence. Existence is nearly entirely suffering, you use the word 'stress' but you mean suffering. I think the more worldly attachments a person has (family, for example) the more likely they are to deny this. The issue being that one lifetime might not be so bad, that's the real illusion, the dangerous 'temptation' of the flesh.

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Re: Impermanence and meaning

Post by Pam Seeback » Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:52 pm

Glostik91: Putting this comment aside for now, after reading your response, the cause of your stress appears to be a little more clear. Your stress does not concern your inability to reason your existence. Your stress concerns the inability to distinguish the difference between a synthetic a posteriori truth (impermanence), and a synthetic a priori truth (permanence) (and perhaps even the ability to distinguish possible knowledge from the noumenal). I think I have somewhat explained the differences here in this post, but let me know if there still is any confusion.
Glostik, whatever permanent truths you believe you have encountered, all of them are impermanent vis a vis one's ability to hold them permanently in consciousness, therefore, ultimately, all form is impermanent. It is the false notion of self at the centre of form that believes it can acquire wisdom permanently (conscious union with what you call the noumenon) and 'move on' with this wisdom as its base for reasoning, even into a 'future life.' If you examine the nature of form carefully, there is no 'thing in itself', all form appears interdependently because of reasoning one's existence.

To be clear, I do not reason stress (the will to appear, the will to reason) to be a negative appearance. Without the will to reason, to appear, unconsciousness would be the result. Where stress is experienced as negative is when one believes it exists because of something the self, a false notion, has done (the sense of sin). So ignorance = unresolved stress = mental illness/insanity whereas wisdom = resolved stress = mental health/sanity.

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Re: Impermanence and meaning

Post by Pam Seeback » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:47 pm

Pam Seeback wrote:
to question....
John: I think you mistook the appearance from the get go. I don't think it has as much to do with seeking as the 'mental process' of endless uncontrolled thought, suffering, dissatisfaction,etc is naturally inevitable as long as one remains: attached to existence/egotistical/obligated to perform survival effort and duties/interacting with the illusion of the world as if it is real/ without discipline of one's own mind/without diligent pursuit of the habits of a pure mind.
I rarely fall into the pattern of speaking to another except abstractly, but because you use the personal 'you' to me in almost every dialogue between us, I too, shall address 'you.'

John, you are not aware of it yet, but you have completed half the journey, that of the mystical insight of "form is impermanent," therefore, naturally drawing the (false) conclusion that impermanence = illusion. And having concluded that form is an illusion, you are setting for yourself the goal to break all attachments to the illusion. What you have not yet realized is that the appearance of existence and the reasoning of the appearance is conscious reality.
It's really got nothing to do with seeking absolute meaning or some imagined possibility that you could just be 'ok' with existence. Existence is nearly entirely suffering, you use the word 'stress' but you mean suffering. I think the more worldly attachments a person has (family, for example) the more likely they are to deny this. The issue being that one lifetime might not be so bad, that's the real illusion, the dangerous 'temptation' of the flesh.
There it is, the rejection of the body, the appearance, form, the natural outcome of going within to the silence wherein all thoughts temporarily cease so that realization of no-self at the centre of form can be made. What happens to most 'mystics' is that they mistake the silence of no-self to mean the silence of distinctions. And having made this understandable error, set it upon themselves to transcend or end distinction-making. Which of course, they cannot do, for to end distinctions would mean the end of consciousness.

Chances are, you will disagree (and perhaps strongly) with my assessment of your journey to wisdom, no problem, sock it to me! :-) I exit this post with these truthful thoughts: how can God EVER be an illusion to God? Is not God real and always real? Is the child screaming not the impermanent form of God? Is not the comfort or striking of the screaming child not the impermanent form of God? Is not the lack of reasoning of the screaming child not the impermanent form of God? Is not the ability to reason the ignorance of the screaming child not the impermanent form of God? I could go on ad infinitum...

"For God so loved the world, he gave his only begotten Son..." By your reckoning, God loves an illusion. Doesn't make God too bright, huh? :-)

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Re: Impermanence and meaning

Post by JohnJAu » Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:03 am

You can't seem to admit that by your reasoning there is no end to suffering. Yes indeed one speculation is that an end to consciousness/existence entirely may be possible or even the wise goal, or perhaps just a relatively high level of non-attachment to the worldly.

As I've said before it isn't just called illusion because of impermanence, nor just because of interdependent arising, but also because the very experience of form is dream like and empty just in authentic description.

And why should god necessarily be bright?

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Re: Impermanence and meaning

Post by Pam Seeback » Sat Aug 05, 2017 12:05 am

Form is emptiness, emptiness is form refers to the truth of no-self, a truth you may have understood on the intellectual level but not on the existential or causal level. How do I know this? By your use of the concept 'experience.' The idea of an experiencer is the delusion of self-at-centre and the cause of your belief that form is dreamlike.

When reasoning/analysis of form is realized to be caused of existence itself (the formless or causal realm) the dream of self ends. The suffering you speak of is caused by the ignorance of clinging to the idea of a dreamer and it is why you are (yet) caught in the doctrine of karma and rebirth.

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Re: Impermanence and meaning

Post by JohnJAu » Sat Aug 05, 2017 5:03 am

Experience /existence is referring to the same thing. I nearly always point out that I call it reality, not some being experiencing reality.

The suffering of existence is part and parcel of existence, it has nothing to do with ones beliefs or realizations, that is the fantasy/denial. It does not reflect in reality, just your imagination. In reality the suffering is more than just an idea, it's a quality of existence like impermanence.

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Re: Impermanence and meaning

Post by Diebert van Rhijn » Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:39 am

JohnJAu wrote:The suffering of existence is part and parcel of existence, it has nothing to do with ones beliefs or realizations, that is the fantasy/denial. It does not reflect in reality, just your imagination. In reality the suffering is more than just an idea, it's a quality of existence like impermanence.
Well said.

Some speak of "true peace" in this context and it could be said that understanding suffering this way can bring about a certain illumination of mind, a new found clearing of senses and a melting away of those, often shared anxieties based on all feverish attempts to deny or avoid the now obvious truth about existence. Especially the "self" construct inside all things.

The truth of any cessation of suffering would become the same as cessation of happiness, peace and existence: the truth of their utter impermanence, non-truth or even "deception". Any state of "non-suffering" can only be relevant inside a non-changing frame. It cannot remain simply "existence" in any meaningful sense because meanings always refer to the same impermanent, changing manifestations, no matter how "real" or "solid" they can appear to us, being some receptive, interpretative state.

Glostik91
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Re: Impermanence and meaning

Post by Glostik91 » Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:05 am

I don't have much time so I'll have to make this quick. I don't have time to be as comprehensive, but I hope the comments communicate well enough.
JohnJAu wrote: Good question. I guess the only honest answer is that I fundamentally or radically disagree with even the most basic and common ideas people have about what is significant in terms of reasoned philosophy and what is egotistical/worldly babble derived from attachment to illusion.
That's fair enough. I wouldn't say the ideas I'm sharing are common among people. Ask a random person what the word 'truth' even is and you'll probably get a weird variety of egotistical babble.
How else would one go about understanding a thing other than breaking it down into parts?
Holistically.
Having a broad sense of things.
Insight meditation.
Contemplation of one's experience without necessarily having a direction or focus.
Etc.
Though breaking things down into parts is fine, no problem with it. However, consistently assigning labels (ideas) to distinguish every other idea, based on assumptions about their apparent mental origin(or constantly working to categorize sentences and statements), is a bit much for me.
You have lined up your answers with the categories of understanding as laid out by Kant in the CPR (which I have been talking about), specifically the categories of quantity: singular, plural, totality. We must not then be in any disagreement here.
Are you aware that this phrase is also stereotypical of the sort of writing/style of thinking I mentioned? Such as you'd find coming from famous atheists like Sam Harris or on such forums.
I don't particularly enjoy being called an atheist, not because it is (strictly speaking) inaccurate terminology, but because of how it seems the word has evolved to mean logical positivist over the years.

I'm also rather disappointed in Sam Harris because I watched a few of his debates, and to be brutally honest, he didn't do well. One of his debates with William Lane Craig was very disappointing.
That's what I'm doing now. If what you're saying is understandable, it's not at all getting through to me. I admit that may be a result of the OP having engaged in the same convoluted methods of thinking I've been describing. So I'll reply to that and that may shed more light on why it seems to me that the conversation regressed in terms of clarity.
I understand if my language isn't particularly easy to understand, and I'm working on that.
a gutter rat looking at stars

Glostik91
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Re: Impermanence and meaning

Post by Glostik91 » Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:16 am

Pam Seeback wrote: Glostik, whatever permanent truths you believe you have encountered, all of them are impermanent vis a vis one's ability to hold them permanently in consciousness, therefore, ultimately, all form is impermanent. It is the false notion of self at the centre of form that believes it can acquire wisdom permanently (conscious union with what you call the noumenon) and 'move on' with this wisdom as its base for reasoning, even into a 'future life.' If you examine the nature of form carefully, there is no 'thing in itself', all form appears interdependently because of reasoning one's existence.

To be clear, I do not reason stress (the will to appear, the will to reason) to be a negative appearance. Without the will to reason, to appear, unconsciousness would be the result. Where stress is experienced as negative is when one believes it exists because of something the self, a false notion, has done (the sense of sin). So ignorance = unresolved stress = mental illness/insanity whereas wisdom = resolved stress = mental health/sanity.
"whatever permanent truths you believe you have encountered, all of them are impermanent vis a vis one's ability to hold them permanently in consciousness, therefore, ultimately, all form is impermanent."

"If you examine the nature of form carefully, there is no 'thing in itself'"

The issue concerns your comments here, that the noumenon can be understood in terms of permanence/impermanence, that the thing in itself can be understood in terms of existence/nonexistence (that there is or isn't a thing in itself). You speak as if you have knowledge of the thing in itself, which cannot be because the thing in itself is unknown.

Refer to my earliest post in this thread:

Your fear of being deluded and resultant stress take something (a great deal in fact) for granted as truth, supporting its scruples and inferences on what is itself in need of prior scrutiny to see if it is true.

To be specific, it takes for granted certain ideas about cognition,

that a thing-in-itself is either permanent or impermanent,

that in the moment of thinking, cognition of impermanence is false, and thereafter, in a new moment of thinking, a cognition of permanence is false.

Above all, it presupposes that the Absolute stands on one side and cognition on the other, independent and separated from it,

and yet is something real;

or in other words, it presupposes that cognition which, since it is excluded from the Absolute, is surely outside of the truth as well

is nevertheless true,

an assumption whereby what calls itself fear of error reveals itself rather as fear of the truth.
a gutter rat looking at stars

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Re: Impermanence and meaning

Post by Pam Seeback » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:27 pm

John: Experience /existence is referring to the same thing. I nearly always point out that I call it reality, not some being experiencing reality.
And yet you place forward the doctrine of karma and rebirth as in life after life. If there is no being experiencing reality, which is a truth, how can there be karma and rebirth? Do not these two beliefs depend on a transmigrating entity?
The suffering of existence is part and parcel of existence, it has nothing to do with ones beliefs or realizations, that is the fantasy/denial. It does not reflect in reality, just your imagination. In reality the suffering is more than just an idea, it's a quality of existence like impermanence.
Exactly which is why I speak of stress.

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Re: Impermanence and meaning

Post by Pam Seeback » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:39 pm

Diebert: The truth of any cessation of suffering would become the same as cessation of happiness, peace and existence: the truth of their utter impermanence, non-truth or even "deception". Any state of "non-suffering" can only be relevant inside a non-changing frame. It cannot remain simply "existence" in any meaningful sense because meanings always refer to the same impermanent, changing manifestations, no matter how "real" or "solid" they can appear to us, being some receptive, interpretative state.
This is the hard truth that the 'mystic' has to come to accept, that the only peace one can have is indeed via an unchanging reality, which of course, is an impossible reality. This is the return to body, substance and meaning, this total acceptance that to be conscious is to distinguish and to distinguish means stress is the effect. It is interesting that, for most, on the onset of the 'journey' to truth, one is trying to both understand and escape (transcend), which of course, is ultimately the reason for realization that stress is the means by which consciousness 'keeps' awake and aware. Remove the stress of consciousness of change and unconsciousness is the result.

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Re: Impermanence and meaning

Post by JohnJAu » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:00 pm

Pam Seeback wrote: which is a truth, how can there be karma and rebirth? Do not these two beliefs depend on a transmigrating entity?
No, there is nothing which transmigrates, because there is no self-substance enduring from moment to moment. "Life after life" are just reference words to the processes of change, the distinction between lives is not some inherent boundary, just a continuation in the same way your life continues Pam, yet there's no self or enduring identity, just a continuing existence. You cannot deny there is a momentum or habit energy or causal chain which continues, otherwise you could not form any good habits, you could not expand your awareness, you could not receive the fruits of past deeds, there could be no progress in wisdom, etc.

The belief in transmigration was indeed denied by the Buddha, because it implied there was a soul or selfhood which would be retained, including memories, personality, identity, everything that could form a self-substance. It's wrong because it implies that there are things which endure. There are none, all forms are fleeting, the only permanent aspects of reality are its qualities which are not really existing things, but, there are directions one can be on, habits which can be perpetuated, paths which can be fueled (away from or toward wisdom).

How else would you reason a way out of suffering if suffering is obviously part and parcel to existence?
I agree that some complete non-attachment to 'worldly existence' (no tension, no clinging, no ego) is a reasonable possibility to consider for the end of suffering. It's difficult to distinguish what is the 'final goal' if there is one, there may be numerous possibilities to consider, but I heavily reason and lean toward the former; that there can be no arising of form at all without the accompaniment of the arising of suffering.

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Re: Impermanence and meaning

Post by Pam Seeback » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:03 am

Glostik91: To be specific, it takes for granted certain ideas about cognition,

that a thing-in-itself is either permanent or impermanent,

that in the moment of thinking, cognition of impermanence is false, and thereafter, in a new moment of thinking, a cognition of permanence is false.

Above all, it presupposes that the Absolute stands on one side and cognition on the other, independent and separated from it,

and yet is something real;

or in other words, it presupposes that cognition which, since it is excluded from the Absolute, is surely outside of the truth as well

is nevertheless true,

an assumption whereby what calls itself fear of error reveals itself rather as fear of the truth.
Regardless of what I put forward about permanence, impermanence and delusion, at no time did I conclude, nor do I conclude at this moment that the Absolute and cognition are separate, nor am I conscious of any fear of truth in my consciousness.

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Re: Impermanence and meaning

Post by Pam Seeback » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:46 am

John: No, there is nothing which transmigrates, because there is no self-substance enduring from moment to moment. "Life after life" are just reference words to the processes of change, the distinction between lives is not some inherent boundary, just a continuation in the same way your life continues Pam, yet there's no self or enduring identity, just a continuing existence. You cannot deny there is a momentum or habit energy or causal chain which continues, otherwise you could not form any good habits, you could not expand your awareness, you could not receive the fruits of past deeds, there could be no progress in wisdom, etc.
This sounds like having cake and wanting to eat it too. Nothing sticks (endures from moment to moment) except...
The belief in transmigration was indeed denied by the Buddha, because it implied there was a soul or selfhood which would be retained, including memories, personality, identity, everything that could form a self-substance. It's wrong because it implies that there are things which endure. There are none, all forms are fleeting, the only permanent aspects of reality are its qualities which are not really existing things, but, there are directions one can be on, habits which can be perpetuated, paths which can be fueled (away from or toward wisdom).
You make the absolute statement that all forms are fleeting and then, back pedal to exclude from this absolute statement, habits and paths. Either eat the cake or leave it on the plate. :-)
How else would you reason a way out of suffering if suffering is obviously part and parcel to existence?
I no longer reason a way out of suffering, reasoning and suffering are inseparable.
I agree that some complete non-attachment to 'worldly existence' (no tension, no clinging, no ego) is a reasonable possibility to consider for the end of suffering.

First of all, I do not divide existence into worldly and non-worldly, for me, attachment (suffering) is to form, be it to a pink tu-tu or to an ideal/virtue. Having said this, I do not reason that complete non-attachment to form is a reasonable possibility. To be conscious is to be attached to form, therefore, to be conscious is to suffer. This is why during unconsciousness there is no awareness of attachment (suffering). You once asked me to define unconsciousness. Simply put, not to be aware of form is to be unconscious. A practical example would be when one is rendered unconscious during an operation.
It's difficult to distinguish what is the 'final goal' if there is one, there may be numerous possibilities to consider, but I heavily reason and lean toward the former; that there can be no arising of form at all without the accompaniment of the arising of suffering.
Obviously you still seek a final goal. I do not, which is probably why we continue to dialogue (contrast of views), salut!

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Re: Impermanence and meaning

Post by Pam Seeback » Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:18 pm

Having wisdom of attachment = consciousness (form making) translates into the having the way to live a wise, subjective existence, both from the perspective of realizing that in varying degrees, all humans suffer from the condition of form attachment (I-reasoning) and from the perspective of having the way to be aware of the effects of specific attachments, i.e., hate produces a different reality/causality than does compassion, as does truth-telling produce a different reality/causality than does lie-telling.

Stress is the measurement gauge of the intensity of an attachment. When stress is acknowledged to be intense, an intense attachment (suffering) is present (usually to the idea of self-at-centre), with the reverse also being true, if subtle stress is present, a subtle attachment is present. Does the presence of subtle stress cause suffering? Obviously that answer is a subjective one, but of my body-awareness, I say no, subtle stress does not cause suffering, instead that the presence of subtle stress is the means by which one remains conscious, alert and aware. Remove subtle stress/subtle attachments and the ability to reason is also removed with unconsciousness being the result. The desire to be unconscious rather than conscious is the desire to be released of all stress, intense or subtle, a very understandable desire.

Stress and mental health

When the intensity of self-attachment stress is not released by way of wisdom = awareness of subtle existential attachment, mental illness/insanity is the outcome and when wisdom comes, mental health/sanity is the outcome.

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Re: Impermanence and meaning

Post by Glostik91 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:58 pm

Pam Seeback wrote: Regardless of what I put forward about permanence, impermanence and delusion, at no time did I conclude, nor do I conclude at this moment that the Absolute and cognition are separate, nor am I conscious of any fear of truth in my consciousness.
This is what your statements are presupposing, that a cognition (of either permanence or impermanence) is essentially separated from absolute truth.

You desire something permanent (a truth) then you remember the truth of subjective impermanence (that somehow one cannot attach oneself to anything, even a truth, because nothing is permanent). You suppose that you must separate yourself (become unattached) to that which is permanent (a truth) in order to free yourself from delusion (untruth), all the while presupposing that this whole process is nevertheless true.

Fear doesn't necessarily mean a total horror show. Fear is just an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that something will likely cause pain or is a threat of some kind, in your case stress concerning delusion. You fear being delusional.

When I read your comments, this is what I'm understanding: Attachment (unseparation) to permanence (a truth) is delusional. Do you see what I mean?
a gutter rat looking at stars

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