Interaction of Awareness, Self, and World

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
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Greta
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Re: Interaction of Awareness, Self, and World

Post by Greta » March 4th, 2018, 5:57 am

Basically, WGCT, you seem rather keen on the self awareness aspect of consciousness. Yes, theory of mind has proved most helpful for intelligent species, especially humans.

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Re: Interaction of Awareness, Self, and World

Post by Jan Sand » March 4th, 2018, 6:12 am

The digital has limitations as well. Organic compilations of interpretations on analogical bases can advance in many subtle ways and there are fascinating explorations currently to simulate electronically the the multiple synapse reactions that modify organic responses the vast interconnections of a nerve complex manages with far more power economy than the digital digital systems offer. An interesting article at http://inference-review.com/article/the ... :00:40:00Z describes how animals with the tiniest fraction of the human nervous system manage to do extremely sophisticated operations way beyond the way digital systems work. Digital systems seem extremely primitive in comparison.

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Re: Interaction of Awareness, Self, and World

Post by WiseGodCeeTruth » March 4th, 2018, 12:34 pm

Greta wrote:
March 4th, 2018, 5:45 am
Jan Sand wrote:
March 4th, 2018, 5:36 am
Beware of the noble savage. See https://www.eurozine.com/change-course-human-history/
Exactly. Move forward, not back.

I see Utopia to only be possible in the digital realm. Biology hurts; it's that simple. Now if we can be digitised - and that brings us back to the topic at hand - that will change everything. Billions of human minds consuming digital rather than physical resources. Sense of self as a digital entity would be an interesting thing.
I perceive this to be as evil as ignorance. I wouldn't find the notion interesting, much less appealing or ethical. Utopia is only possible in a community/civilization sustained in Self-Knowledge. Without an intrinsic understanding of One-self and the human condition (which itself is a major part in the Cosmic drama), a Utopian society would be impossible - lest it be artificially induced into human consciousness (Brave New World, 1984), yet that's no true Utopia.

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Re: Interaction of Awareness, Self, and World

Post by Greta » March 4th, 2018, 6:27 pm

WiseGodCeeTruth wrote:
March 4th, 2018, 12:34 pm
Greta wrote:
March 4th, 2018, 5:45 am


Exactly. Move forward, not back.

I see Utopia to only be possible in the digital realm. Biology hurts; it's that simple. Now if we can be digitised - and that brings us back to the topic at hand - that will change everything. Billions of human minds consuming digital rather than physical resources. Sense of self as a digital entity would be an interesting thing.
I perceive this to be as evil as ignorance. I wouldn't find the notion interesting, much less appealing or ethical. Utopia is only possible in a community/civilization sustained in Self-Knowledge. Without an intrinsic understanding of One-self and the human condition (which itself is a major part in the Cosmic drama), a Utopian society would be impossible - lest it be artificially induced into human consciousness (Brave New World, 1984), yet that's no true Utopia.
I do not understand your objections. "Evil" and "ignorant" are a heck of a way to describe someone in your first meeting. How do you do too.

Suffering is always present when one needs to kill to live. Only becoming autotrophic - and digitisation seems our most environmentally sustainable option for this - can inherent biological suffering be significantly alleviated, both for ourselves and for other species.

These communities full of "Self-Knowledge" you speak of - presumably religious - will simply degrade like every other attempt by humans to be less vicious. Do you think this hasn't been tried before? The establishment of every nation and state holds these kinds of intentions - an assumption that they and they alone have learned from humankind's mistakes and will transcend them. It fails every single time, usually spectacularly. Look at America at the moment and line it up with the dreams of the forefathers who drew up their Constitution.

Game theory makes clear that a cooperative population gives any non-cooperator an advantage, just as a street fighter has the advantage over a boxer locked into Marquess of Queensbury rules, as Trump has the advantage over politicians locked into conventional responses. Thus, a non-cooperative population will rise in that community and that brings us back to Square One.

I cannot speak for how it might feel to be digitised. I expect that the tech would be tweaked until it simply felt "normal" or better than normal.

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Re: Interaction of Awareness, Self, and World

Post by WiseGodCeeTruth » March 4th, 2018, 10:24 pm

I'm not describing you as ignorant or evil, brother. I'm simply saying that the notion of digitization is something that is intrinsically unethical, and therefore evil, due to its avenues for dehumaiszation.

I agree that suffering can arise from killing (to live), but we can simply choose to live off the land - we have the means and the intelligence to do so. "Can" because killing to live, when deemed absolutely necessary, does not tend to incite suffering; for suffering to occur, the individual (or collective) must have some form of self awareness in which they can denote what is right and what is wrong. Suffering in this case, would arise out of guilt, gluttony, and ignorance. Not to mention the fact that (although most of humanity consumes 'dead' food), the majority do not kill in order to eat.

You are saying that the alleviation (or likewise, elimination) of biological suffering would constitute a Utopian society, and although I agree, I have a different perspective as to how this suffering may be lessened. Suffering is a part of the human condition, of existence. To not suffer, would be to live in a state of consciousness in which one is in accordance with nature and the grander laws of existence. My perspective lies upon the practical (and theoretical) wisdom of those Godly-Men before us whom have transcended suffering by becoming aware of themselves. Is that not the overall goal of Metaphysics - to discover the truth of our existence?

I find great irony in your statement: "Only becoming autotrophic - and digitisation seems our most environmentally sustainable option for this - can inherent biological suffering be significantly alleviated, both for ourselves and for other species." An autotrophic plant requires photosynthesis (light) in order to produce its nutrients, and from light (the sun), it is able to sustain its existence.

The same is true of Men. An autotrophic human, I presume, would be an individual capable of sustaining his/her existence by creating (growing) food - but much like the plant, it is the light (the sun) which allows a man this opportunity by providing him the means to create the everlasting, enriching fruit (food), and that food would be the Truth of his existence, the light which reveals all. Although, in Golden ages past, Man (and other root races) have failed - they ultimately did succeed in creating Utopian societies, the only of which I can affirm, at the moment, was Atlantis.

Game theory may state that; the true question is: is life a game? If everyone is in accordance with a way of living, if everyone is a master of virtue, there shall be a Utopia, although, to label it eternal would be presumptuous and perhaps, ignorant; an opposing force (with an advantage, as you state) must reveal itself within time.. within time

By the way, your suggestion was synchronistic (to me). I'd like to refer you to a show you might signify as "The Twilight Zone" for our generations. It's called "Black Mirror", and in it, there is a similar concept (albeit, radically different in certain aspects) concerning the digitilization of existence. Haunting indeed, and I understand why. Even if such an option were viable, it would be a philosophical, ethical, and virtuous necessity to deny partaking in it.

That said, I'd like to add that Philosophy, Spirituality, and Religion are all necessary derivations of each other. Self-Knowledge is the greatest good, and it should be self evident as to why it is.

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Re: Interaction of Awareness, Self, and World

Post by Jan Sand » March 5th, 2018, 12:46 am

As an atheist from the age of about 2 I have found religion to be as useful as any other fairy tale and frequently as disgusting as any other fantasy when it causes horrible misbehavior. But we must each make our own way through our short lives so it is no concern to me whatever you favor as long as those beliefs are not imposed on me. I have been through some rough times and some that were quite delightful and the concept that I would be better off as electric interactions in a box or even as a pseudo animal does not tempt me in the least. No current technology indicates that copying my internal interactions into digital form may be more than amusing but nevertheless it will not suck my identity into electronic circuity any more than a second edition of a book will become the first edition. I will still remain me and it will still remain it and our primal differences will remain quite substantial. When a robot winks at a beautiful girl with the intention to get her into bed an insanity will be evoked far greater than the massive idiocy that now is the dynamic of the world.

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Re: Interaction of Awareness, Self, and World

Post by Greta » March 5th, 2018, 2:51 am

WG, the light does not not feed us, no matter how much you hope it will. If we remain biological, then we kill and inflict suffering to live. When we inflict suffering, it tends to find a way of coming back to us. This is why digitisation, if possible, would be far from evil, just unfamiliar and ultimately a force for good.

Mastery of virtue may well become ubiquitous in some populations in the distant future, and it would be a mastery that avoided killing other life forms for their sustenance and/or territory.

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Re: Interaction of Awareness, Self, and World

Post by chondriac » March 5th, 2018, 3:14 am

WiseGodCeeTruth wrote:
March 4th, 2018, 5:46 am

My answer to your question is: it has all the tools within itself already, it only needs to recognize itself as a thinker. Once it realizes that, it knows itself (Rene Descartes - "I think, therefore I am") as it is an omniscient force. When the mind 'wakes up', the mind recognizes itself instantly ("Samadhi"); it is still active in it's sleep, though passively-active, but in another dimension (say another Universe, another creation). Think, like a dream.
~The mind realizes itself in nothingness. That great dragon we call the mind.

The real question is: must the inquiry regarding self-awareness gain stead, or is the answer already there for any whom are willing to place faith, and practice, in absolute Truth?
If a human was born in an infinite void of nothing, what is there to sense? What capacity of being is open for this unfortunate individual in which it can use his tools of consciousness- analyzing, inferring and so on? There is no metaphysical surety whatsoever of what is before, I don't think that aspect is worth considering. It may as well be the case that only the world as being a method for knowing the world is the first source of comprehending, if there is nothing to comprehend then 'Being' cannot be. What the basis of being relies on is that there is something, and therefore being can be. The mind is shaken by the world, stirred by nigh-unstoppable necessity to do something. It can change the course in which it traverses it's life (such as deciding to move to a different country), but it cannot change the fact that it will act to it's life regardless, unless driven to the brink of horror and half-asleep in a stupor of malaise it buries itself, the horrible master.

In regard to Descartes: If I had absolute certainty that the chair I am sitting in exists, is real, is proven to be real beyond all doubt, would the chair become God? It would contain a godly element if it is the arbiter of all that could ever be. What would happen if it broke apart? Would it be the individual atoms composed of the chair that were proven, beyond all doubt, that exist in differentiation to everything else? What would be the significance in that on not just a narratological basis but structural as well? Would these billions of objects be simply the God matter of absolute nature? Or is it the case that only when the chair is completely assembled, in the form that it must always have been formed as requisite of the natural law of itself, from which it must have preceded all the rest of the matter in the universe does it becomes extraordinary? It becomes capable of exerting it’s certainty, through the means of our hypothetical evidence? All other principles of life must derive from this absolute certainty if they hope to be practical. But something cannot have a natural law of itself if it does not exist before it exists; the law must have been formatted by other means. It is paradoxical to attempt to argue both cases, unless the law is eternal, implying the chair is eternal, e.g. self is eternal. But the eternal self is subject to uncertainty and I don't see the capacity to think to be certainty.

Aside from this, a thinking thing is the point where he cannot go further with his certainty. Descartes believed that attempting to conceptualize the nature of his soul is left to the imagination, but because his imagination is tied to what he can perceive, this image of who or what he idealizes is cannot be trusted. As it is such, there is the problem of everyone essentially being the same being, if the only distinction between one soul and another is the fact that it is certain to exist. If by the object of your faith you refer to a universal Realism (or such that when two people say different things at least one of them is wrong) I think that is probably a better incentive to fight one's own construction of personal bias or ignorance.
Jan Sand wrote:
March 4th, 2018, 2:01 am
I've tried psychedelics and roller coasters and merry-go-rounds and kaleidoscopes but as momentarily as they are amusing the have very little to do with reality. Artificially subjecting myself to unnecessary dangers may be good exercise for my anal function but I have problems enough in just encouraging myself to stay alive. The whole world is headed for horrible disasters out of the enthusiasms of the total idiots now in general power who considers their bank accounts more important than keeping the planet in working condition so, even with the best of hopes I doubt this planet will sustain human life for more than a few decades and I am grateful, at the current age of 92, that I will not see the worst. Voltaire and Orwell and H.G.Wells were informed enough about the idiocy of humanity and its inherent cruelty to understand what the final outcome will be in one form or another and it has taken me a long life to come to the same conclusion.

As an atheist from the age of about 2 I have found religion to be as useful as any other fairy tale and frequently as disgusting as any other fantasy when it causes horrible misbehavior. But we must each make our own way through our short lives so it is no concern to me whatever you favor as long as those beliefs are not imposed on me. I have been through some rough times and some that were quite delightful and the concept that I would be better off as electric interactions in a box or even as a pseudo animal does not tempt me in the least. No current technology indicates that copying my internal interactions into digital form may be more than amusing but nevertheless it will not suck my identity into electronic circuity any more than a second edition of a book will become the first edition. I will still remain me and it will still remain it and our primal differences will remain quite substantial. When a robot winks at a beautiful girl with the intention to get her into bed an insanity will be evoked far greater than the massive idiocy that now is the dynamic of the world.

The unfortunate truth is that there is nothing that I can say about reality that is certain, including the precondition for progress that man indeed is not a failure. If I bring up scientific facts I can cite David Hume's problems with science, If I say I can think and therefore exist, well, who am I to say that "I" am indeed the one thinking, and how can I trust my knowledge as a result? How do I know that at any given moment the wall won't be ripped apart and my unfortunate self is sucked into a daemonic plane of suffering? Or that when I die I won't reincarnate into a life where my entrails aren't ripped out and I'm burned alive in the name of moral populace or God? Or that Nietzsche's eternal recurrence as a result will subject me to infinite sufferings of every kind, endlessly? Is it really ok to say that if I decide to be a good person before I die I won't be tortured to death in the next thousand years?

Atheism expresses a disdain for religion, but that does not exclude it from being religious. There are plenty of religious people who do not care for what is before and after death because it can't be known, nor do they hold faith in whatever metaphysical spirit may or may not await them (see Buddhism). Being religious can mean fantasizing about driving a Ferrari, as this is what is held to be sacred, and the lowest common denominator is money. Or a fantasy of not burning in hell, the denominator being God. The problem of this age with interpretation is the methods for interpreting, that being language.

If everyone spent the tedium to seek the deeper meaning in dense volumes of philosophy the world wouldn't be so **** up, but that won't ever happen. Greta talks about a digital Utopia, and I can only really see that being applied to a binary language in which all connotation and syntax is done away, self-knowledge becomes extremely accessible and humans evolve through some future tech to tap into this system. Dualism is historically how humanity has shaped it's reality, but I worry if this will grind humanities evolution if the parameters that are put into place cannot be surpassed by virtue of the extremely interlaced nature such a language would most likely have. I'd guess the analytics will figure out that one but it feels pretty depressing; I'm more a fan of Thoreau and being transcendental with the trees, but that's probably devolving.

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Re: Interaction of Awareness, Self, and World

Post by Jan Sand » March 5th, 2018, 3:15 am

The very long history of civilization which is a series of hierarchies of various kind in no way indicates that bad behavior is punished and good behavior is inevitably rewarded. In Christianity in particular a rather wry twist has honored the symbol of the cross which is nothing but a structure of torture and death. Christianity itself promises a final judgment of proper and improper behavior after death since it is obvious that the most frightful humans have reached the heights of authority and end far better rewarded than the average citizen who is starved in life and frequently murdered in idiotic wars with very little respect for them as living creatures. The religious empty promise of a pair of aeronautical ridiculous wings and an eternity in playing a harp is actually rather humorous since I have other preferences. Life is not and probably will never be fair by human standards since humanity is a rather fascinating but negligible presence in the universe. Living things get a minor very distorted peek at reality but that's better than nothing.

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Re: Interaction of Awareness, Self, and World

Post by Gertie » March 5th, 2018, 8:59 am

chondriac wrote:
December 13th, 2017, 10:02 pm
Hey I'm new here!

Anyway, consider the following in regard to self-awareness. The prevailing question here: what consequences follow if I was disconnected to my sensory organs, memory, experiences, emotions, beliefs so all I have is my ability to think. Would anything happen? There'd be no reason for anything to happen, no feelings of boredom to motivate action, no desires, etc.

The vapor of air that is considered the mind, if left undisturbed would not be able to make any coherence to itself or for itself, what tools would it have to do so? The tools that allow this unit of ambiguity to reflect to itself for the sake of knowing itself as anything is the correspondence of external and internal functions for the sake of awareness, or to "be". It cannot be “something”, because if unattached to its body or sensory organs it can't be anything known to itself, it cannot “be”, there is nothing identifiable to warrant a response to be apparent to itself.

It is a response to something that triggers awareness. The source for response is the world, and the tools utilized to tap into it the rational, perceptual, and emotional centers of force. The origin of this awareness can be represented via various systems of interpretation (science, religion) but these do not explain what it is relative to itself. I will say what the mind is aware of is not itself, but rather itself only when corresponding to the world. It is not self-aware, but more precisely "self-world aware", how is awareness of self alone possible if it could not logically be anything that isn’t represented as nothing in comparison?

By this logic the self is represented with nothing, and the world something. But just because there is nothing doesn't mean it's nature holds the same aspects of nothingness. So we have this connection of nothing to something, will the nothing become anything that isn’t nothing by joining with the something? If I add nothing to something, I end up with the same something. Therefore, because the world is the something to which I refer, does the world that I perceive become the self by this logic? Am I the world? Or my personal world? Or is it that that is the ultimate end for life, aligning my nature with the world which is, for the sake of my own "to be"?

However simple addition is uncertain in its capability to apply to this case without considering possibility unknown aspects of the connection left unrepresented, to add nothing to something, which leaves me with the something. At the least trying to connect references to what being is, to clear the ambiguity of how it relates to nature, is just to say I learn about it. That applies to anything.
You're talking about mind as if it's some vapour, independent of the physical brain systems which correlate with it. In reality it would mean separating the 'thinking brain sub-system' from the rest, and altho the brain has inter-connected sub-systems, I don't think it's that clear cut is it? Or by isolating that one part of the brain, perhaps you'd lose the necessary and sufficient conditions for any mental states to arise. Or just lose the inputs to stimulate those remaining neurons. So the biology is key.

That aside, imo our sense of self is constructed by all the interacting brain processes manifesting in one unified field of consciousness, apparently located in my body, moving through space and time, constructing coherent narratives and models of the world and myself. The brain being an organ evolved to be useful in that setting. If somehow the only part of my brain left was the internal thinky voice part, (which I think is key to giving our models internal coherence), but nothing to stimulate the correlating neurons, I'm guessing it would be like being in a dreamless sleep.

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Re: Interaction of Awareness, Self, and World

Post by Jan Sand » March 5th, 2018, 9:48 am

Well, I can just imagine what an interview with Allen Shapiro or Johnny Smith or even William Shakespeare who was transported into a metal box with a blue light on the front like that thing under my desk. "How is it with you these days?", I might ask, and he would buzz a bit and reply, "You probably couldn't imagine what I miss---. There would be a moment of sad silence and the box would reminisce, " I would like to chew a strip of spearmint gum or maybe sneak a fart in an empty elevator------ " The blue light would blink a bit. " Or even sneeze." then it would blow a fuse out of sadness and I would have to get a technician to get it operating again.

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Re: Interaction of Awareness, Self, and World

Post by chondriac » March 5th, 2018, 5:40 pm

Jan Sand wrote:
March 5th, 2018, 3:15 am
The very long history of civilization which is a series of hierarchies of various kind in no way indicates that bad behavior is punished and good behavior is inevitably rewarded.
Maybe on collective terms this has been the result but I'm more interested in the individual.
Jan Sand wrote:
March 5th, 2018, 3:15 am
In Christianity in particular a rather wry twist has honored the symbol of the cross which is nothing but a structure of torture and death. Christianity itself promises a final judgment of proper and improper behavior after death since it is obvious that the most frightful humans have reached the heights of authority and end far better rewarded than the average citizen who is starved in life and frequently murdered in idiotic wars with very little respect for them as living creatures.
Yes there's lots of ironic history of the social power Christianity has in 'cowing' the masses and allowing sociopaths to run the government. Reminds me of Dostoevsky's grand inquisitor.
Jan Sand wrote:
March 5th, 2018, 3:15 am
The religious empty promise of a pair of aeronautical ridiculous wings and an eternity in playing a harp is actually rather humorous since I have other preferences. Life is not and probably will never be fair by human standards since humanity is a rather fascinating but negligible presence in the universe. Living things get a minor very distorted peek at reality but that's better than nothing.
It's most likely a child-like curiosity that wishes to undo the distortion. Is there any point in knowing the end of the end of an undistorted reality? I don't think it's possible to know that unless the distortion is undone.
Jan Sand wrote:
March 5th, 2018, 3:15 am
Well, I can just imagine what an interview with Allen Shapiro or Johnny Smith or even William Shakespeare who was transported into a metal box with a blue light on the front like that thing under my desk. "How is it with you these days?", I might ask, and he would buzz a bit and reply, "You probably couldn't imagine what I miss---. There would be a moment of sad silence and the box would reminisce, " I would like to chew a strip of spearmint gum or maybe sneak a fart in an empty elevator------ " The blue light would blink a bit. " Or even sneeze." then it would blow a fuse out of sadness and I would have to get a technician to get it operating again.
I'm confused. Is this your take on my being religious? Ironically meeting famous people? This certainly isn't mundane, though I'd wonder why you'd want to do that, that doesn't sound very interesting to me. Is there a reducible element here? Personal significance, or existential empathy/consolation? Those two qualities are shared with the likes of other fundamental concepts like money, God, sex, love, ethical principles, nation, community and so on. We're a fan of these things most of the time on some level but it will usually make people feel better if unconsciously at least one of these things are above themselves, to be indebted or obligated for a purpose they have no desire to understand.

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