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Old 05-09-2008   #1
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Do We Even Exist?

http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com...r&f=59&t=63575

If all truly is illusion, what then is suggested about the possiblity of ever transcending it(See also Godel's Theorem)? While it makes for diverting thought experimentation, one wonders(and as ever, ultimately despairs) of ever knowing if indeed the very idea of transcendence is but another torment-induced fancy.

I've become increasingly of the opinion that Consciousness itself may be the principal culprit in these matters. The late Arthur C. Clarke rather astutely observered that it had yet to be proven that intelligence was essential to survival. While mentation has been something of a boon to our species, its success could hardly be lauded as wholly unqualified.

To put it another way; I very much doubt that any given sacred cow in Sri Lanka is ruminating(pun intended) over this kind of thing. Pain appears to be a fairly basic function of biology. It alerts organisms to the dangers of physical damage. Suffering however seems to be a perception of the conscious mind. Arguably, suffering is the pain that can alert us to damage of the non-physical variety. Note: this is not to suggest that other organisms do not undergo suffering.

If all is maya, then our torments are no less real and thus no more unreal than any other illusion reminding us that we don't really exist.

I would warmly welcome rebuttal. You have no idea how thrilled I'd be to have someone explain why I'm wrong about this.
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Old 05-09-2008   #2
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Re: Do We Even Exist?

"Pain is normal throughout all living, and perhaps non-living, particles: it is the status quo without threat of subversion. All is in harmony with it, everything plays the tune. Flowers shrieking on a summer's day, wolves wailing in their lairs of ice, worms mute with underground panic--all the keys and stops function perfectly, melodies of agonies are backed by chords of excruciation. While children whine in hospitals of gingerbread, the other voices in the worldly menagerie sing their parts... in field and sky, in swamp and jungle, under seas and on mountain-tops. The mysterious music flows."
Thomas Ligotti - "The Stricken Philosopher"

"What does it mean to be alive except to court disaster and suffering at every moment?"

Tibet: Carnivals?
Ligotti: Ceremonies for initiating children into the cult of the sinister.
Tibet: Gas stations?
Ligotti: Nothing to say about gas stations as such, although I've always responded to the smell of gasoline as if it were a kind of perfume.
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Old 05-09-2008   #3
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Re: Do We Even Exist?

I happen currently to be reading: TOWARDS NON-BEING the logic and metaphysics of intentionality (2005) by Graham Priest.

I'll get back to you when I've finished it ... if I'm still here.

Yours, nemonymous

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Old 05-27-2008   #4
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Re: Do We Even Exist?

To stick my neck out, I think that we do exist. Whatever objections may be made to the Cartesian method, we have direct knowledge of our conciousness. It is probably the only thing we may be certain to exist.

Not that I'm actively trying promote solipsism.

I think that the version of Husserl's phenomenology re-stated in Spinetti's The Interpreted World is fairly sound.

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Old 05-27-2008   #5
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Re: Do We Even Exist?

Quote Originally Posted by Odalisque View Post
we have direct knowledge of our conciousness.
Well, I know I do, but I've only got your word for it that you do, and you only have my word for it that I do. :-)

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Old 05-27-2008   #6
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Re: Do We Even Exist?

What is meant by "existence" in this context?

All we have are stimuli in the form of sensory data. If existence means we experience stimuli, then we exist. But all else (notions of time, space, self and other) are abstractions - "densely coiled layers of illusion". Evolution builds our minds and they determine the structure of our thoughts. We see what is useful to replicate the patterns of information that we are. This feedback loop could be seen as HPL's "blind idiot god" or TL's "mindless mirrors" - the root pattern of the informational fractal structure in which the illusion of consciousness is embedded.

"The failed magician waves his wand, and in an instant the laughter is gone." - Martin Gore

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Old 05-27-2008   #7
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Re: Do We Even Exist?

Sorry, posted in the wrong thread and had to delete. It still exists, but elsewhere.

"Reality is the shadow of the word." -- Bruno Schulz
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Old 05-28-2008   #8
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Re: Do We Even Exist?

Quote Originally Posted by Bleak&Icy View Post
It still exists, but elsewhere.
That's how it feels this morning after sleep broken by an enormous thunderstorm.
des

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Old 05-28-2008   #9
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Re: Do We Even Exist?

If we don't exist then we are doing a great impersonation of something that does.

For me, "to exist" means to be eternal. A blip of consciousness bordered on all sides by infinite nothingness is not existing. In a sense.

If by "existing" we are more than flesh, then we have no reliable reason to assume we exist.

If we are an illusion and the only thing that exists is an illusion then we are the yard stick by which the notion of "existence" is measured. Unless God wishes to post here and debunk me on that.

No?

Okay then.

Illusion is still an existence. Even an illusion coming to being in the unrealm of nothingness (you try and frame the notion of nothingness without it still seeming like a something) is a miracle. By which I mean an impossible thing that occurs.

If you understand that something coming from true nothing is by definition impossible.

Some of you may be about to mention virtual particles and quantum mechanics, and that scientists are now saying that on a tiny level the world is performing acts of miracle all the time. Particles popping into reality from nowhere and for no reason.

Some would say that makes the notion of miracle an everyday thing.

Some would argue that science is therefore the study of an illusion of constancy in an underlying world of madness and that we should run around in rags pulling our hair out and voting for the Yogic flyers.

Ligotti would have a hard time deciding which option was the most miserable and probably come up with a third option that was even more miserable.

And involve mannequins in some way.

If science is right, then the notion of "illusion" being seperate from "existing" no longer makes sense.

They are the same.

That doesn't mean that lump of poo you saw in your garden is cannabis though.

Don't make the same mistake as me.
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Old 05-28-2008   #10
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Re: Do We Even Exist?

Suffering is the key to understanding our existence.
Life as we know it is with an end, for our souls to exist in this time/space continuum it is most important to suffer.

Take a piece of an infinite God and put it inside this cage of rotting flesh and dying blood.
Death and pain are essential in order to create life, for each of our cells that dies - there are two new ones.

But, not to wonder around so much, let me say that we surely exist.
In one way or another...
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