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Ghost without machine

From another thread:

... the hard question of consciousness still has not been answered satisfactorily.

Do you understand, experience, hope etc that consciousness exists independent of means? So for example a Buddha statue or Hindu statue can have consciousness but when removed or broken it still can?

Maybe I'll ask my imaginary friend ... Buddha what do you imagine?

Comments

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    I think it must be frustrating trying to mock something one clearly doesn't comprehend.

    Let me know how it works out!

    adamcrossley
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran

    The hard question really isn't explained. The materialist position is that it is solely a product of brain, but if you look that is an assumption. Of course there also isn't any hard evidence for something other than brain either. Its more of a philosophical problem at this point and currently is empirically unknowable, maybe forever so.

    An analogy that points to a possible relationship between brain and consciousness that is to some extent dualist but allows for the brain to be the source of cognition is that of a mirror. A mirror perfectly reflects everything in it but isn't the source of any of the action. But the reflection doesn't exist without a mirror.

    Does cognitive function 100% come from the brain but the reflection, conscious awareness, first person perspective, the inner movie of our mind, qualia require an additional something.

    Ren_in_blackadamcrossley
  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    edited June 7

    Consciousness?

    Every time I ask about it, I get the busy signal. I've asked tons of folks about it to no avail but lobster suggested that maybe the Buddha would know.

    Well wouldn't you know it, he's the only one who says he can help me get the answer I need.

    All I have to do if find someone who has already got a clear line through to their consciousness with no busy signal and he’ll answer my question.

    As if I'm falling for that old mustard seed medicine joke a second time.

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    All I have to do if find someone who has already got a clear line through to their consciousness with no busy signal and he’ll answer my question.

    Tee hee.
    Only lines available are our own. Rest silent.

    I don't trust ignorance, mine included.

    The Buddha from Chinese whispers and then written orthodoxy did not favour questions of after death existence.

    Neither do I.

    As for where consciousness comes from and where it goes ... I prefer the case for a development of growing and changing mind through foetal and child development and disintegration after the causes decline. Wandering incorporeal data drives not so much.

    It makes me inclined towards more efforts to the here and now ...

    adamcrossley
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    If you look at Thich Nhat Hanh, he seems to come down on the side of being in this world, and not being overly concerned with a consciousness or a spiritual plane. I think that’s kind of beautiful, because it keeps the focus on the here and now, not on the contents of the mind.

    Alexadamcrossley
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited June 8

    Do you see words on your computer screen? Yes
    Are the words dependent on having a keyboard, screen, electricity, light etc? Of course.
    And yet it isn't any of those things either.

    Words aren't the machine and yet there are no words without the machine.
    Put in another way, words are not pixels but without pixels, there are no words.

    When this is, that is.
    From the arising of this comes the arising of that.
    When this isn't, that isn't.
    From the cessation of this comes the cessation of that.

    "When a disciple of the noble ones has seen well with right discernment this dependent co-arising & these dependently co-arisen phenomena as they have come to be, it is not possible that he would run after the past, thinking, 'Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what was I in the past?' or that he would run after the future, thinking, 'Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I be in the future?' or that he would be inwardly perplexed about the immediate present, thinking, 'Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?' Such a thing is not possible. Why is that? Because the disciple of the noble ones has seen well with right discernment this dependent co-arising & these dependently co-arisen phenomena as they have come to be."

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.020.than.html

    federicalobsterShoshinperson
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    There I was sitting with either an imaginary Quail/independently originating qualia when I realised there is no-self (tsk-tsk)

    Yep we meditate on distraction until Nothing is left ...

    and then ... quality time ...

    “Since everything is but an apparition, having nothing to do with good or bad, acceptance or rejection, one may well burst out in laughter.”
    ― Longchenpa

    GuiKeromeadamcrossley
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Perhaps dependent origin is not clear? Perhaps the not-self for those who have the arahat t-shirt has no qualia quality ... ah ha ... ;)

    Do arahats dream of qualia sheep? Personally I trust the experience of no-self as independent and crystal clear of dependent noise ...

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran

    Let me go back to the mirror analogy in the context of dependent origination. There is no reflection without something to be reflected. From my point of view I also wonder how it is that there is a reflection without something to reflect off of? How does material stuff produce a phenomena that is so unlike itself? I reject the notion that our minds exist out in the ether and our brains act as consciousness receivers.

    I don't mind if you don't agree and I actually really appreciate counter arguments. I don't really feel like my particular ideas about the topic are really being understood. As has been described elsewhere, I seek honest disagreement.

    adamcrossley
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran

    @person said:
    Let me go back to the mirror analogy in the context of dependent origination. There is no reflection without something to be reflected. From my point of view I also wonder how it is that there is a reflection without something to reflect off of? How does material stuff produce a phenomena that is so unlike itself? I reject the notion that our minds exist out in the ether and our brains act as consciousness receivers.

    I don't mind if you don't agree and I actually really appreciate counter arguments. I don't really feel like my particular ideas about the topic are really being understood. As has been described elsewhere, I seek honest disagreement.

    With reflection one assumes that "something" is being reflected. What if that "thing" "exists" only when one looks into the mirror. "You" see only because you looked.
    The seer exists when there is seeing.
    The thinker exists only when there are thoughts.
    There is no separation in dependent origination.
    Descarte was maybe right. "I think, therefore I am." Thoughts created the thinker.

    All conscious beings possess the ability to reflect or retrospect. This reflection can be done rightly or wrongly. To illustrate these two ways of reflection, we gave a simile – a simple one intelligible to anybody. The simile of a dog on a plank crossing a stream. We have mentioned this quite often. While crossing the stream on a plank over it, a dog looks down in to the water. Seeing a dog there, it either wags its tail in a friendly way or growls angrily. Or else out of curiosity it keeps on looking down again and again. Due to wrong attention it doesn’t understand what really happens. The dog thinks that it is looking because it sees. But the truth of the matter is that it sees because it looks.

    Consciousness has such a delusive magical quality about it. This is because consciousness has the property of reflecting something.

    http://www.dhammikaweb.com/?p=21266

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran

    For my part I'm not talking about cognition of any sort, that is all 100% brain. I'm not talking about meta cognition, reflection or introspection, that is also all brain function. What I'm questioning is why those brain functions are accompanied by an inner awareness of them, why isn't it all just unconscious processes all the way down, or up in this case?

    @pegembara said:

    With reflection one assumes that "something" is being reflected. What if that "thing" "exists" only when one looks into the mirror. "You" see only because you looked.
    The seer exists when there is seeing.
    The thinker exists only when there are thoughts.
    There is no separation in dependent origination.
    Descarte was maybe right. "I think, therefore I am." Thoughts created the thinker.

    I'm also not talking about a self. And yes, without something being reflected there is no reflection. Conversely though how is there a reflection without something to reflect off of?

    I'm not really disagreeing, I just don't think I'm being understood and my viewpoint being correctly represented, perhaps by me even.

    adamcrossley
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited June 10

    @person said:
    For my part I'm not talking about cognition of any sort, that is all 100% brain. I'm not talking about meta cognition, reflection or introspection, that is also all brain function. What I'm questioning is why those brain functions are accompanied by an inner awareness of them, why isn't it all just unconscious processes all the way down, or up in this case?

    Maybe it's all just processes. How can we be sure that a highly advanced artificial intelligence isn't "conscious/aware" as you put it? At what point does that occur?

    Answering this question doesn't solve the problem of ageing, sickness, death, social/racial/gender inequality (Hint: Greed, hatred and delusion). The general unsatisfactoriness of life.

    When the arrow is stuck in you, you don't need to know what it's made of or at what speed did it strike you. You just want it out.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran

    @pegembara said:

    @person said:
    For my part I'm not talking about cognition of any sort, that is all 100% brain. I'm not talking about meta cognition, reflection or introspection, that is also all brain function. What I'm questioning is why those brain functions are accompanied by an inner awareness of them, why isn't it all just unconscious processes all the way down, or up in this case?

    Maybe it's all just processes. How can we be sure that a highly advanced artificial intelligence isn't "conscious/aware" as you put it? At what point does that occur?

    I ask that question all the time. I think it will become a real issue once AI becomes sufficiently advanced enough to mimic human behavior. Is it murder to turn off such a robot or is it just like turning off your computer? I think that will become an important moral question. Our inability to answer that question is at the heart of what I'm asking. For example maybe consciousness requires the biological wet ware of the brain and its okay to turn AI off, maybe panpsychism and Integrated Information Theory is correct and a sufficiently complex machine does have the lights on and it is a form of murder or oppression.

    Answering this question doesn't solve the problem of ageing, sickness, death, social/racial/gender inequality (Hint: Greed, hatred and delusion). The general unsatisfactoriness of life.

    Thankfully I can multi task.

    When the arrow is stuck in you, you don't need to know what it's made of or at what speed did it strike you. You just want it out.

    I didn't start the thread, I just think it is an important question.

  • DakiniDakini Veteran

    @lobster said:

    >

    As for where consciousness comes from and where it goes ... I prefer the case for a development of growing and changing mind through foetal and child development and disintegration after the causes decline. Wandering incorporeal data drives not so much.

    It makes me inclined towards more efforts to the here and now ...

    But if consciousness is a form of energy, then it doesn't cease to exist. It merely changes form. It is neither created nor destroyed.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    As far as I am aware AI and even HI (human intelligence) does not yet exist. See Potus Potato Head for details. It is a delusion.

    However qualia is a powerful experience/delusion. It dissolves in meditation and mindfulness. So in the words of Bodhi Descartes:

    I think, therefore I am deluded ... Wait is that right? O.o

    Keromepegembaraadamcrossley
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran

    @Dakini said:
    But if consciousness is a form of energy, then it doesn't cease to exist. It merely changes form. It is neither created nor destroyed.

    That doesn't mean it doesn't dissipate out into the universe. It may not be destroyed but it also may not maintain a coherent structure.

    @lobster said:
    However qualia is a powerful experience/delusion.

    I disagree that it is a delusion. In fact I would say that it is the one thing that we can say for certain we are not deluded about. We could be brains in vats, a mad scientist or evil demon could be totally constructing our reality and thought patterns but the raw fact that we are having an experience is undeniable.

    It dissolves in meditation and mindfulness.

    Does it? I guess I've never been in really deep states but from what is explained sense experiences, thoughts and emotions drop away but some form of awareness and experience remains. From what I understand deep meditation isn't like the nothingness of full anesthesia.

    lobsterRen_in_black
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited June 10

    It is a dependent experience @person. As the sense gates of being shut down we still remain.

    Heart Sutra
    Shariputra, therefore, in emptiness there is no form, no feeling, no discrimination, no compositional factors, no consciousness; no eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind; no visual form, no sound, no odor, no taste, no object of touch, and no phenomenon. There is no eye element and so on up to and including no mind element and no mental consciousness element. There is no ignorance, no extinction of ignorance, and so on up to and including no aging and death and no extinction of aging and death. Similarly, there is no suffering, origination, cessation, and path; there is no exalted wisdom, no attainment, and also no non-attainment.

    Now what is left? Nothing, that's all?

    Time to dance ... No legs, no rhythm, no sense of time, no-way ... 😎
    https://cundi.weebly.com/death.html

    Keromehow
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited June 11

    @lobster said:
    As far as I am aware AI and even HI (human intelligence) does not yet exist. See Potus Potato Head for details. It is a delusion.

    However qualia is a powerful experience/delusion. It dissolves in meditation and mindfulness. So in the words of Bodhi Descartes:

    I think, therefore I am deluded ... Wait is that right? O.o

    If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around, does it make a sound? No.
    If there are no sounds, is there a listener?

    Now, if there are no thoughts, is there a thinker?
    Can you separate the thinker from thoughts?
    Are you your thoughts?

    If you’re your thoughts, where did you go when they’re no thoughts.
    And if you’re not your thoughts, you are also not the thinker of those thoughts.
    So what are you? Deluded thoughts?

    "I think, therefore I think that I am"

    Thoughts and thinker are not separate. They are dependently co-arisen.

    lobster
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    The Six Vajra Verses by Garab Dorje:

    The nature of phenomena is nondual,
    but each one, in its own state,
    is beyond the limits of the mind.
    There is no concept that can define
    the condition of “what is”
    but vision nevertheless manifests:
    all is good.
    Everything has already been accomplished,
    and so, having overcome the sickness of effort,
    one finds oneself in the self-perfected state:
    this is contemplation.

    lobsterhow
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