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The Explanation of Life

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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Rr6
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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by Rr6 » July 27th, 2016, 1:15 pm

Gravity, like EMRadiation, has no distance limits ergo gravity/mass-attraction is the force that coheres our finite, occupied space Universe.

Photons only interact with electrons for most part, whereas gravity acts on all fermions of Universe, if not also all bosons.

In a finite, occupied space Universe scenario, no one knows why mass-attracts-- INward contractions ---we only know, that, if it did not Universe would not exist as coherent whole integrity. imho

r6
Rr6 wrote:Pulling INward { contractive / attractive} is the path of least resistance.
The brain sends only one signal to the muscles, and that signal is to contract. When the signal stops, the muscle relaxes ergo expands.
We never see a strong man pushing a train, only pulling a train or boxcar.
A baby is pushed out of the womb via contraction of the muscles.
Japanese hand saws cut on the pull motion, unlike western saws that cut on the push stroke.
No one knows why mass-attracts, suffice it to say, that if it didn't Universe ego biological life would not exist.

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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by Mysterio448 » July 28th, 2016, 7:49 pm

Greta wrote:


Deeper explanations - "what brought this phenomenon to fruition" - are beyond me, aside from considering that the whole universe appears to be one dynamic connected entity. The entity seems to have a tendency to become ever more connected in local areas and ever more disconnected as a whole. It's as if the universe was "sacrificing" its order for its emergent components, somewhat like a noble parent.

You say that deeper explanations are beyond you, but my thesis has proposed to provide those very same explanations. I think that part of the reason that the "deeper explanations" surpass you is that you are looking at the world only from a scientific perspective. I believe that there are truths that cannot be detected or understood through conventional science and which demand a different method of inquiry. The problem with science is that it only answers "how" questions; it only provides causes and explanations. On the other hand, my thesis attempts to provide answers to "why" questions and to provide reasons where otherwise there would be only explanations. I think that ultimately when people ask about why we exist, they are not really looking for explanations but reasons.

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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by Greta » July 29th, 2016, 9:52 am

Mysterio448 wrote:
Greta wrote:Deeper explanations - "what brought this phenomenon to fruition" - are beyond me, aside from considering that the whole universe appears to be one dynamic connected entity. The entity seems to have a tendency to become ever more connected in local areas and ever more disconnected as a whole. It's as if the universe was "sacrificing" its order for its emergent components, somewhat like a noble parent.
You say that deeper explanations are beyond you, but my thesis has proposed to provide those very same explanations. I think that part of the reason that the "deeper explanations" surpass you is that you are looking at the world only from a scientific perspective. I believe that there are truths that cannot be detected or understood through conventional science and which demand a different method of inquiry. The problem with science is that it only answers "how" questions; it only provides causes and explanations. On the other hand, my thesis attempts to provide answers to "why" questions and to provide reasons where otherwise there would be only explanations. I think that ultimately when people ask about why we exist, they are not really looking for explanations but reasons.
Rest assured, my ideas are not scientific enough for me to dare post them on science forums. So, in lieu of explanations from the boffins (who are presumably tied up with "shutting up and calculating") what does your model posit as an overview of reality?

I don't have one. I always run into the usual regression issue of why there is always this relentless drive towards growth. The regression situation reminds me of folk wisdom of my youth - the meaning of life was to have children. Even to my young mind the "answer" begged the question as to the point of all this breeding.

Mindless growth for growth's sake is the mindset of caterpillars and capitalists. Surface stuff. Perpetual growth and integration hint towards deeper explanations but they are not explanations in themselves. Is there an end to all this damn growing? Is there a threshold where perhaps an even more profound emergence than that of humanity will appear? History and prehistory suggest so, although for that to happen at least some of humanity and its information will need to come away somewhat intact as population and resource issues threaten.

Let's say something emerges from humanity - a seamless integration of the internet, telecommunications, AI and humans enhanced by biotech, overcoming the problem of other minds and enjoying multiple simultaneous, comprehending perceptions. What could such a consciousness "hydra" want? What any of us want - survival and thrival.

There seems to never be a time when life can simply sit back and relax. There always has been, and perhaps always will be, some disharmony or restlessness to keep life pushing forward to grow and develop, even highly advanced life. There will certainly be a need in the long term to move to safety from catastrophic events. Is the future one of interstellar nomads, furiously working to stay one step ahead of coming cosmic maelstroms? Or perhaps humanity's successors' aim will be to to transcend physical bodies altogether, to be immune to violent cosmic events?

Which again begs the question, what then??
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated—Gandhi.

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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by Rr6 » July 29th, 2016, 10:55 am

Syntropy over entropy is temporary except in the case of gravity.

Gravity, if not also dark ernergy is stated to be a property of space-time.

Does this space-time also have and encoding in for biological life, stars, planets all known elements?

There exist finite set of possibilities because we know there finite possibilties of Universe.

Ex we know that, there can only exist five regular/symmetrical polyhera Universe ergo what kind be derived from them is also a finite.

Conceptually we can say a circle has infinite set of degrees, however, in reality there exist liimits quantum scale limits of subdivision, or so we presumed based on we know.

Gravity is alleddged to operate at the smaller scale of 10^-35 or there abouts.

Fuller leaves open the idea, that the our finite Universe is eternally multiplying, via subdivision of itself. Now we may get into scales of relativity in this scenario that are difficult for me to clearly express in words.

r6
Rr6 wrote:Gravity, like EMRadiation, has no distance limits ergo gravity/mass-attraction is the force that coheres our finite, occupied space Universe.
Photons only interact with electrons for most part, whereas gravity acts on all fermions of Universe, if not also all bosons.
In a finite, occupied space Universe scenario, no one knows why mass-attracts-- INward contractions ---we only know, that, if it did not Universe would not exist as coherent whole integrity. imho
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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by Mysterio448 » July 30th, 2016, 6:12 pm

Greta wrote:
Mysterio448 wrote: (Nested quote removed.)


You say that deeper explanations are beyond you, but my thesis has proposed to provide those very same explanations. I think that part of the reason that the "deeper explanations" surpass you is that you are looking at the world only from a scientific perspective. I believe that there are truths that cannot be detected or understood through conventional science and which demand a different method of inquiry. The problem with science is that it only answers "how" questions; it only provides causes and explanations. On the other hand, my thesis attempts to provide answers to "why" questions and to provide reasons where otherwise there would be only explanations. I think that ultimately when people ask about why we exist, they are not really looking for explanations but reasons.


Rest assured, my ideas are not scientific enough for me to dare post them on science forums. So, in lieu of explanations from the boffins (who are presumably tied up with "shutting up and calculating") what does your model posit as an overview of reality?

I don't have one. I always run into the usual regression issue of why there is always this relentless drive towards growth. The regression situation reminds me of folk wisdom of my youth - the meaning of life was to have children. Even to my young mind the "answer" begged the question as to the point of all this breeding.

Mindless growth for growth's sake is the mindset of caterpillars and capitalists. Surface stuff. Perpetual growth and integration hint towards deeper explanations but they are not explanations in themselves. Is there an end to all this damn growing? Is there a threshold where perhaps an even more profound emergence than that of humanity will appear? History and prehistory suggest so, although for that to happen at least some of humanity and its information will need to come away somewhat intact as population and resource issues threaten.

Let's say something emerges from humanity - a seamless integration of the internet, telecommunications, AI and humans enhanced by biotech, overcoming the problem of other minds and enjoying multiple simultaneous, comprehending perceptions. What could such a consciousness "hydra" want? What any of us want - survival and thrival.

There seems to never be a time when life can simply sit back and relax. There always has been, and perhaps always will be, some disharmony or restlessness to keep life pushing forward to grow and develop, even highly advanced life. There will certainly be a need in the long term to move to safety from catastrophic events. Is the future one of interstellar nomads, furiously working to stay one step ahead of coming cosmic maelstroms? Or perhaps humanity's successors' aim will be to to transcend physical bodies altogether, to be immune to violent cosmic events?

Which again begs the question, what then??

I would say that you have it half right; life is about growth, development, reproduction, evolution and so forth. But life is also just as much about disease, death, destruction, and extinction. Scientists say that 99% of all life that has ever lived on this planet has since gone extinct. Human beings die of disease, accidents, murders, suicides, wars, and natural disasters almost as often as they reproduce and bring new life into the world. Nature is just as good at destroying life as it is at creating it. With this in mind, your assessment that life is all about survival and growth seems very one-sided. My thesis says that life is a vessel for the cosmic phenomenon of entasy. Entasy is the tension between structure and randomness, stability and flux, creation and destruction, sense and nonsense, etc. These tensions also are embodied in life. The process of evolution which brought us into existence is itself driven by pointless genetic errors. On a species scale, the creation of life goes hand in hand with the destruction of life; death helps to keep the population of the living in healthy balance. The cells of our bodies are constantly being destroyed and replenished. We kill, butcher, and disintegrate the bodies of other living beings, and from this destruction we thrive. The explanation of life manifests itself in our individual strengths as well as our imperfections, in health and in infirmity.

In your latest post, you suggest a number of aims that humanity could have, such as cybernetic augmentation and incorporeality. These aims that you suggest seem dignified and grandiose. But I don't believe that such things are the impetus that drove us into existence. Life is in many ways absurd; but, as I say in my book, that absurdity is not just a passive, immanent property of life, but rather is a dynamic, transcendent force. I believe that it was not some grandiose purpose, but rather it was the cosmic force of absurdity that brought us into being, and our lives are inextricably entangled with that absurdity. You admit to contemplating along the lines of "What is the point of this? What is the point of that?" If your questions were to be answered definitively, there would still be aspects of the answer that would leave you scratching your head. The desire to resolve the absurdity of life is like the desire of the dog to finally snag his own tail. But in the end, the dog and the tail are one. So it is with the sense and nonsense of life.

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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by Felix » July 30th, 2016, 7:45 pm

Mysterio448: "do you think my thesis explains existence?"

I fail to see how proposing that events can be either chaotic or orderly explains existence? Physical interactions are predictable or unpredictable, if the former we call them orderly, and if the latter, we call then chaotic. But Order and Chaos are not forces, they are simply descriptive terms.
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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by Mysterio448 » July 30th, 2016, 9:46 pm

Felix wrote:Mysterio448: "do you think my thesis explains existence?"

I fail to see how proposing that events can be either chaotic or orderly explains existence? Physical interactions are predictable or unpredictable, if the former we call them orderly, and if the latter, we call then chaotic. But Order and Chaos are not forces, they are simply descriptive terms.

In my thesis, order and chaos are properties of phenomena as well as the forces that cause them. I realize this is an unconventional way of thinking, but if you look at the evidence there does seem to be a general pattern in the cosmos of an interplay and tension between order and chaos. If we run into this pattern frequently enough, one must begin to suspect that there may be more to order and chaos than just being properties. If a person notices that every object that he throws up in the air eventually falls back down, should he assume that falling-down is merely a property of the objects he throws, or should he suspect that there may be an underlying force driving this falling-down behavior?

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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by Rr6 » July 31st, 2016, 12:39 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eC4A2P ... r_embedded

tension and compression = tensegrity

syntropy and entropy = biological life

in and out = frequency ^v^v

around = trajectory

finite = integral

infinite = non-integral

absolute truth = metaphysical-1, mind/intellect/concept as an eternally existent law/principle

relative truth = changing set of relationships, that exist within, a finite set of parameters

60 degrees = stable structure \/\/\/\/\/

90 degrees = systemic structure +++++++++

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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by Felix » July 31st, 2016, 2:32 pm

there may be more to order and chaos than just being properties.
They are not properties or forces, merely terms used to describe the interaction of particles. A description is not an explanation, the map is not the territory.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by Greta » July 31st, 2016, 6:12 pm

Mysterio448 wrote:... life is about growth, development, reproduction, evolution and so forth. But life is also just as much about disease, death, destruction, and extinction.
Nothing can grow without destruction; the child must die to make room for the adult. The young Earth must be supplanted by a matured version. The hot young, chaotic and energetic universe made way for our cooler, calmer and more complex reality. Entropy is necessary for growth but I see it as part of a larger process of ordered change rather than an important quality in itself.
Mysterio448 wrote:In your latest post, you suggest a number of aims that humanity could have, such as cybernetic augmentation and incorporeality. These aims that you suggest seem dignified and grandiose.
I see the aims I stated earlier as simply necessary rather than grandiose. The Sun is heating up and we have a time limit to work out how to escape simply being fried with the rest of life on Earth. Even if we travel to another planet, or form large "space arks", there will be ever more challenges to the continued survival of our history. In five billion years' time the Milky Way's impeding collision with Andromeda and the gravitational disruption ensures that extraordinary challenges will face any surviving descendants.
Mysterio448 wrote:Life is in many ways absurd; but, as I say in my book, that absurdity is not just a passive, immanent property of life, but rather is a dynamic, transcendent force.
Absurdity would seem more a by-product of entropic challenges coupled with mental resilience. Where the mentally naive and fragile may respond with issues with fear, the more experienced may see absurdity.
Mysterio448 wrote:I believe that it was not some grandiose purpose, but rather it was the cosmic force of absurdity that brought us into being, and our lives are inextricably entangled with that absurdity.
Just because human are absurd now does not mean we will maintain our currently stratospheric standards in that area. Cosmologist and futurist, Martine Reeve, noted that descendants a billion years more advanced than us would be as different to humans as humans are from bacteria. Obviously he bases the idea on the simple state of life on Earth a billion years ago and the current progress of Moore's Law. Such beings (or perhaps, a single composite being) would seem capable of very long term survival.
Mysterio448 wrote:You admit to contemplating along the lines of "What is the point of this? What is the point of that?" If your questions were to be answered definitively, there would still be aspects of the answer that would leave you scratching your head. The desire to resolve the absurdity of life is like the desire of the dog to finally snag his own tail. But in the end, the dog and the tail are one. So it is with the sense and nonsense of life.
Yes, the shaggy dog story appears endless, but modern humanity is so nascent and formative that the only likelihoods I can see are either progress to cognitive states that are now unknown or a failure to survive. Humanity will not be as clumsy and foolish as it is today in the long term. The one option that is genuinely impossible - and seemingly one that most people assume to be true - is that humanity will stay roughly the same as it is now in the long term.

That is actually not a bad example of absurdity. The one truly consistent feature of life and society has been relentless change, yet "the most intelligent animal" routinely assumes that time and evolution stops with them. Homo habilis probably assumed the same.
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated—Gandhi.

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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by Mysterio448 » August 2nd, 2016, 10:01 pm

Felix wrote:
there may be more to order and chaos than just being properties.
They are not properties or forces, merely terms used to describe the interaction of particles. A description is not an explanation, the map is not the territory.
You seem to be arguing semantics. How can a property not be a descriptive term? Isn't "wet" both a property and a descriptive term for water? And you did not address the analogy I gave in my previous post. Is "falling-down-ness" merely a property/description of individual objects or is there an underlying force which causes that behavior?

Greta wrote: Nothing can grow without destruction; the child must die to make room for the adult. The young Earth must be supplanted by a matured version. The hot young, chaotic and energetic universe made way for our cooler, calmer and more complex reality. Entropy is necessary for growth but I see it as part of a larger process of ordered change rather than an important quality in itself.
I see it differently. I think the chaos in the universe is too prevalent to be dismissed as peripheral to the order. You are approaching this issue from a human point of view. You see order as the real issue because, as a human, you like order, beauty, meaningfulness, progress, etc. As a human, these things are understandably appealing to you. But the universe is not a human. We did not create ourselves but were created by the cosmos, so to ask the reason why we exist is to ask a cosmic question. The answer to a cosmic question cannot be understood through a human mindset. To understand the cosmos we must think like the cosmos.

I see the aims I stated earlier as simply necessary rather than grandiose. The Sun is heating up and we have a time limit to work out how to escape simply being fried with the rest of life on Earth. Even if we travel to another planet, or form large "space arks", there will be ever more challenges to the continued survival of our history. In five billion years' time the Milky Way's impeding collision with Andromeda and the gravitational disruption ensures that extraordinary challenges will face any surviving descendants.
But the question here was "why do we exist?" So it seems your response would be that we exist in order to survive – we exist to keep existing. This goal seems circular.
Absurdity would seem more a by-product of entropic challenges coupled with mental resilience. Where the mentally naive and fragile may respond with issues with fear, the more experienced may see absurdity.
I think you may have misunderstood my point. What I was trying to say was that the absurdity or pointlessness that we may perceive in life is not just a passive quality of life but is a dynamic component that contributes in defining what life is. Life itself is like everything else – an intermingled soup of order and chaos, sense and nonsense.
Just because human are absurd now does not mean we will maintain our currently stratospheric standards in that area. Cosmologist and futurist, Martine Reeve, noted that descendants a billion years more advanced than us would be as different to humans as humans are from bacteria. Obviously he bases the idea on the simple state of life on Earth a billion years ago and the current progress of Moore's Law. Such beings (or perhaps, a single composite being) would seem capable of very long term survival.
It is important to keep in mind that biological evolution is not about progress. It is not about becoming "better." Evolution is about adaptation, adapting to one's changing environment and circumstances in the interest of survival. As such, it is not a meaningful process in itself.
Yes, the shaggy dog story appears endless, but modern humanity is so nascent and formative that the only likelihoods I can see are either progress to cognitive states that are now unknown or a failure to survive. Humanity will not be as clumsy and foolish as it is today in the long term. The one option that is genuinely impossible - and seemingly one that most people assume to be true - is that humanity will stay roughly the same as it is now in the long term.

That is actually not a bad example of absurdity. The one truly consistent feature of life and society has been relentless change, yet "the most intelligent animal" routinely assumes that time and evolution stops with them. Homo habilis probably assumed the same.



You put a lot of emphasis on the evolution of mankind. Yet, as I've said before, evolution is not a goal in itself. We do not live to evolve, we evolve because we live. Evolution cannot be our purpose in life or the reason why we exist.

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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by Rainman » August 2nd, 2016, 10:18 pm

We live in an observable universe. It could not be observable if it was random and chaotic. It holds together and is predictable. There would be no "Universe' as we know it if it was otherwise. I think you must start from that point. In fact, it is hard to even imagine a chaotic universe 'existing' in any form....one second my head is on my shoulders and the next it is in the Crab Nebula? Nope...this universe we live in is predictable and observable. Give that, then all chaos is just predictable events that are beyond our current abilities to predict them.

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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by Greta » August 3rd, 2016, 12:40 am

Mysterio448 wrote:
Greta wrote:Nothing can grow without destruction; the child must die to make room for the adult. The young Earth must be supplanted by a matured version. The hot young, chaotic and energetic universe made way for our cooler, calmer and more complex reality. Entropy is necessary for growth but I see it as part of a larger process of ordered change rather than an important quality in itself.
I see it differently. I think the chaos in the universe is too prevalent to be dismissed as peripheral to the order. You are approaching this issue from a human point of view. You see order as the real issue because, as a human, you like order, beauty, meaningfulness, progress, etc. As a human, these things are understandably appealing to you. But the universe is not a human. We did not create ourselves but were created by the cosmos, so to ask the reason why we exist is to ask a cosmic question. The answer to a cosmic question cannot be understood through a human mindset. To understand the cosmos we must think like the cosmos.
It's not my thinking, just an observation. Once the universe was a mess of hot plasma and now there is order. My human thinking didn't produce that.
Mysterio448 wrote:But the question here was "why do we exist?" So it seems your response would be that we exist in order to survive – we exist to keep existing. This goal seems circular.
Agreed, but only from our simple perspective. Clearer and broader meanings may become apparent to beings much more intelligent and aware than us, be they our descendants or life on other worlds. My optimism is based on what I've observed and learned so far about the changes in the cosmos, Earth and life.
Absurdity would seem more a by-product of entropic challenges coupled with mental resilience. Where the mentally naive and fragile may respond with issues with fear, the more experienced may see absurdity.
Mysterio448 wrote:I think you may have misunderstood my point. What I was trying to say was that the absurdity or pointlessness that we may perceive in life is not just a passive quality of life but is a dynamic component that contributes in defining what life is. Life itself is like everything else – an intermingled soup of order and chaos, sense and nonsense.
I'd agree that chaos and apparent pointlessness seem to have always featured in reality, but the universe is young with a long way to go. The sheer scale of time ahead and the extraordinary changes so far in only 13.8b years make it difficult to know what's really going on. Maybe there's a point to it all (or part of it) that we don't know? Maybe absurdity and pointlessness will reduce?
Mysterio448 wrote:It is important to keep in mind that biological evolution is not about progress. It is not about becoming "better." Evolution is about adaptation, adapting to one's changing environment and circumstances in the interest of survival. As such, it is not a meaningful process in itself.
Evolution actually is about progress. Gould was demonstrably wrong in that regard. Much is made of examples of evolutionary regression by advocates of "evolution is a bush, not a ladder", where species lose more complex features due to changes in environment.

However, the journey of life itself makes clear that, failing utter catastrophe, there is a buildup of information and complexity generally in the biosphere over time. After each extinction event life has emerged more complex and intelligent than before. Importantly, an increasing number of life forms have come to conduct their affairs in such a way that they often live to old age without being ambushed be a predator as they go about their daily business. I think of it as "the gentrification of life" :)

Note that the emergence of novel, complex forms usually comes in addition to most of the existing species rather than replacing them. So we modern humans live with modern microbes, plants, bugs and other organisms, usually more complex than their ancestors (aside from the less frequent cases of simplification), following their own line towards ever greater complexity and flexibility unless conditions go awry.
... modern humanity is so nascent and formative that the only likelihoods I can see are either progress to cognitive states that are now unknown or a failure to survive. Humanity will not be as clumsy and foolish as it is today i...
Mysterio448 wrote:You put a lot of emphasis on the evolution of mankind. Yet, as I've said before, evolution is not a goal in itself. We do not live to evolve, we evolve because we live. Evolution cannot be our purpose in life or the reason why we exist.
I emphasise humans because we appear to be the future. Aside from the migratory AI/cyborgs humans may become, only underground microbes have any hope of surviving the Sun's expansion. Still, if our descendants manage to successfully resettle on another world, they will surely take the Earth's genetic information with them. The journey could start again.

You would then rightly ask, "but what's the point"? Is a world with a small amount of reactive material on its surface (aka life) preferable to worlds without surface slime? I think so but, as you rightly pointed out, I'm biased :)

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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by Ormond » August 3rd, 2016, 10:18 am

Greta wrote:It's not my thinking, just an observation. Once the universe was a mess of hot plasma and now there is order. My human thinking didn't produce that.
Hmm... Are you sure?

In the beginning the universe was energy, and now billions of years later it is still energy. The human mind sees order in the relationship between apparently separate things. But there are no separate things, thus there is nothing to be ordered. Here's an example...

Throw a rock in to a pond. You will see an ordered pattern of ripples move across the surface of the pond. You see ripples, they seem very real, but they don't actually exist. That is, the ripples themselves have no form, substance, weight, mass etc that is separate from the water of the pond. The rock, the force of the falling rock, the water the rock hits, and the ripples, all of reality, all just energy, a single thing.

Another example, your body. We conceptually break it up in to parts, but functionally our body is a single thing. But our body is not really "a thing" either, because our body is part of the environment just as our liver is part of our body.

You see apparently separate things everywhere you look because your human mind is running software called "thought" which is inherently divisive in nature, that is, it operates by a process of conceptual division. Your mind plays a trick on you by conceptually dismissing the connections between apparently separate things which bring them together as a single unified one big thing.

It gets worse. The word "connections" is false too in that it assumes a separation which is merely conceptual, not real. Even what is being dismissed doesn't actually exist.

There is only one thing. Some people call it God, others call it nature or reality. It's our human minds which break this one thing up in to apparently separate things which are then perceived to be ordered in relationship with other apparently separate things.
If the things we want to hear could take us where we want to go, we'd already be there.

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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by Rainman » August 3rd, 2016, 10:57 am

What a boring Universe you live in if you conceive it as all one similar thing. Just because the Universe is made up of matter/energy etc. doesn't mean it is boringly similar. I process the universe through my consciousness...through my mind/brain. I have senses that separate energy and matter into different types. I have the ability to use physical means to further separate my sense input into different types. I do not "apparently" see the universe as separate things...I "actually" see the universe as separate things because of my senses. I can assume the Universe is boringly similar if I wish but that is not how I observe it.
Using you example of the pebble making the waves. As an outside observer, you might see the waves as being similar to the rest of the water, but if you are part of one of the waves, bouncing up and down, you see it/observe it differently. We are 'part of the universe' and not an outside observer. We should be observing the Universe as a participant...noticing the variables....not as an outside, bored, observer.

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