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Bill Danosky
01-23-2005, 11:22 AM
Here's a new spin on "To be, or not to be?"-

Are we really here, or not?

There are many theories about local vs. non-local mind and subjective vs. inherent truth. Quantum theorists are now speculating that the building blocks of matter are actually non material, so it seems that science may be on the verge of proving that our subjective existence is all a farce.

I read somewhere that a person with a post hypnotic suggestion will come up with an unending list of reasons for carrying out whatever actions they're compelled to do. I've often wondered if that's the case with all our science and exploration.

How would we know if we were all playing bit parts in some crazy dream? Would the script unravel if we figured it all out, or would we produce yet another elaborate rationale about the way things 'are'?

garry cantrell
01-23-2005, 01:31 PM
naw, i'd be much richer and better looking if this reality were just something i made up.

Kevin Leavitt
01-23-2005, 01:49 PM
Questions such as this are good to ponder since they make you think about your existence and what it means and how it impacts the world. While you probably won't reach a definitive answer, the thoughts and ideas such questions generate produce some good results.

This is the essence of Zen.

A good book to read is The Quantum and the Lotus. Author escapes me, but you should be able to query it. Discusses buddhism and quantum physics in a interesting way shows the intertwining of physics and spirituality.

Tadhg Bird
01-23-2005, 05:28 PM
naw, i'd be much richer and better looking if this reality were just something i made up.

Naw, you'd be just as you are, so you could make this joke on aikiweb.

malsmith
01-23-2005, 06:12 PM
i think that everything that we can feel is real.... because if everything is energy on a molecular level then i think it has a "chemical reaction" with another energy to make the larger things that we can feel and touch

eyrie
01-23-2005, 08:19 PM
:-) Reminds me of a story of a group of monks debating whether the rock exists in the mind or outside of it.

All I can say is, if your perception of reality is just an illusion, then it's pretty hard to think straight with rocks in your head! ;-)

Bill Danosky
01-23-2005, 09:58 PM
True, assuming your mind is in your head. It could be the other way around! ;)

eyrie
01-23-2005, 11:03 PM
What!? Are you out of your mind?! :D

Sue Hammerich
01-23-2005, 11:18 PM
[QUOTE=Bill Danosky]I read somewhere that a person with a post hypnotic suggestion will come up with an unending list of reasons for carrying out whatever actions they're compelled to do. QUOTE]

I know people who do that when they HAVEN'T been hypnotized - rationalization being what it is. I've got a bit too much vodka on board today to offer any helpful information, but I am fascinated by the correlations between physics and Eastern thought. Books I can also recommend are "The Tao of Physics" and "The Dancing Wu Li Masters." For the moment, the only addition I can make to this is to consider the different ways one can perform Aikido and have it still be Aikido with the possibilities of many different dimensions proposed in string theory. In other words, there are many truths; one is as valid as another.
In any case, this is a great, thought provoking post, and I hope to return to it later.
THANKS for such a great subject!!!

Taliesin
01-26-2005, 10:23 AM
Basic rule of thumb whether the Univerise is real or not you must act as if it is real and get on with your life (and your training)

Neil Mick
01-26-2005, 03:37 PM
Here's a new spin on "To be, or not to be?"-

Are we really here, or not?

The answer is no: "we" are not really "here."

If "we" were, "we" as a society would understand our relationship to each other, the environment, and the rest of the planet, more fully. Our current paradigm is composed of isolated, semi-connected units operating at various levels of competition, or cooperation, with each other. This paradigm is fractured, incomplete, and ultimately self-destructive.

As such, since "we" lack even the basic understanding that "we" and "here" are the same (i.e., a creature is a part of its environment, not the other way around); we therefore lack understanding of whom "we" are, as we lack understanding of how we affect "here;" and so "we" are not "here," at all.

Adam Alexander
01-26-2005, 09:17 PM
naw, i'd be much richer and better looking if this reality were just something i made up.

Wrong!! Don't you remember, this subject was answered in The Matrix--we couldn't handle everything being too good. They had to make it bad for us in order for us to stay in those gooey sacks.


As far as reality goes: I like Descartes' assertion "I think, therefor I am." What makes this "real" is that we're aware of it. Even if none of this really exists and we're all figments of another's imagination, because that other's imagination gave us the awareness of this reality, that makes us real.

However, I must tell you, that I am that other. None of you really exist. Your posts I've been reading are actually figments of my imagination. There is no physical world. I am the only thing in existence and all this is just pictures in my consciousness.

Bill Danosky
01-26-2005, 10:50 PM
This looks like it's turning into a discussion about what intrinsic reality "is". (If it is.)

Little fuel for the fire: A bumblebee perceives reality in an entirely different way than we do. It's the exact same reality, but subjectively very different. So what is True Reality?

If you look at things from the atomic level, you notice two interesting things-
One, the seemingly endless field of atoms looks very much like the vast universe from our point of view. Two, it's very difficult to tell where your body/skin, etc. ends and the air around you begins. Three, the difference between an atom in you and an atom in the air near you is not in it's physical traits, it's in the way it's energy is informed.

Three! There are three interesting things about the atomic field. (Sorry, I couldn't resist the Spanish Inquisition reference.)

Bronson
01-26-2005, 11:31 PM
Three! There are three interesting things about the atomic field. (Sorry, I couldn't resist the Spanish Inquisition reference.)

No one expected that ;)

Bronson

SeiserL
01-27-2005, 09:55 AM
Here's a new spin on "To be, or not to be?"- Are we really here, or not?

Reality, what a concept. I mean that, what a concept. Reality according to who, in what context, at what time? To each their own.

Please place "we" and "here" on the table. IMHO, both are subjectively defined internal cognitive concepts based on our personal perceptions of what we have experienced. "We" and "here" tend to be more about the map than the territory. So "we" are "here" when "I" identify with the "we" and the "here". Without that identity, "you" may think "we" are "here" because "you" are, but "I" maybe someplace entirely different.

Don't get me wrong, IMHO, "reality" and "identity" are very useful concepts, but ones not to be taken too seriously or too personally.

BTW, this is not just some Zen concept. This persepctive is very common in both eastern and western philosophy and psychology. "Reality" and "identity" can be conceptualized as naturally occuring post hyponotic suggestion "we" received as mememics from our families and societies while in an open trance state call childhood.

Bill Danosky
01-27-2005, 01:10 PM
How interesting. Is your feeling that reality is basically an agreement between all the "observers"?

I'm thinking about how Aikido fits into this scheme. The thing I love the most about it is that's it's amazing- Many times when I've seen a technique for the first time, I think, "That just couldn't work." Then I take the ukemi and it sort of rewrites the agreement.

I remember reading something Kanai Sensei wrote about how you must approach a confrontation with omnipotence and omniscience. This infers that much of the power comes from the mental outlook. It seems to take on a deeper meaning when you apply it to this discussion.

SeiserL
01-27-2005, 11:27 PM
Is your feeling that reality is basically an agreement between all the "observers"?

No, my "reality" needs only my agreement. Your "reality" needs only your agreement. Whether we agree with each other or not doesn't change our individual belief in our individual "reality". While there may be some external independent "reality", I don't know how "I" would know it outside of my own cognitive representation of what "it" is "I" think "I" just experienced. It can neither be known or expressed. It simply is.

Yes, our belief directs our ki. When connected with another, our belief can have a major influence on another such as the waza you described. Never underestimate the power and influence of trained confidence.

danae oaks
01-28-2005, 10:43 PM
[QUOTE]my names danae
im not very good with the hole thing of this being real or not but this is what i have thought for quiet a time.but i,ve allways thought of dimensions as the bigest thing.as some one had mentioned before that differint perspectives like what a bee sees and what we see are very different.now think of a black hole how if you were to look at one swallowing a star it seems to be forever but if placed on the star it would seem a matter of seconds.so in fact we need to ask is not wether we igsist or even real the questions when.if youve ever read about zenoses parodox you might have an idea of what im saying.that are time line is very different from enything well ever know.now i might be wondering from the subject but once i read of a theory that in fact we are the anchents and that we have lived this very sec. thousands of times from the big bang to the end of the world in a never ending cycle to repeat the same thing over and over.

SeiserL
01-29-2005, 01:21 PM
[QUOTE]if youve ever read about zenoses parodox you might have an idea of what im saying.
Appreciate the reference. I will read more before I comment. Thank you.

Bill Danosky
01-30-2005, 09:19 AM
No, my "reality" needs only my agreement. Your "reality" needs only your agreement. Whether we agree with each other or not doesn't change our individual belief in our individual "reality". While there may be some external independent "reality"...

This is getting close to the nature of what I'm thinking about- If we and the theoretical bee perceive the same scene in very different ways, there must be an "actual" set of physical features- or not!

In Eastern Indian belief, the Manas is the faculty of your mind that produces data from the "external world" for "you". So is there any value in developing one's perception of what's REALLY real? I think this is what O-Sensei and people like him have over the rest of us.

Lao Tzu said "That is real which never changes." Whatever or wherever that is, it sounds like a pretty good place to have your beliefs anchored (if you can just find it).

Bill Danosky
01-30-2005, 09:30 AM
BTW, I think Zeno's paradox is flawed. It's proved on city streets every day- all other things being equal, a car with 100 hp can't outrun a car with 200 hp just because it thinks it can.

Kevin Leavitt
01-30-2005, 01:08 PM
no a 100 hp car may not be able to out run a 200 HP car, but the driver may still have the perception that he won in his own mind regardless of the actual outcome of events.

Bill Danosky
01-30-2005, 03:31 PM
And a person falling from a building may have the perception that they're flying.

SeiserL
01-30-2005, 05:01 PM
If we and the theoretical bee perceive the same scene in very different ways, there must be an "actual" set of physical features- or not!

IMHO, if what your perceive as reality matches what I perceive as reality, it does not mean that the external objective reality matches. It only mean that our subjective personal perception, interpretation, and representation matches. Its not right/wrong, good.bad, real/unreal. It just matches or not based on our individual abilities and capabilities.

Bill Danosky
01-30-2005, 06:29 PM
Speaking of individual abilities and capabilities, what characteristics would people like, Jesus Christ, Mohammed and Buddha share? Even if you didn't want to go that far, you could say people like O-Sensei or St. Francis, maybe even Don Juan. It seems like they have/had a higher level of perception, of seeing things the way they "really are", as opposed to how we perceive them to be.

This, for me, is the meaning of wisdom, enlightenment. An example of why this might be important: Before we understood the nature of bacterial infections, we couldn't cure or prevent them. Grasping the nature of how microbial life "really is" benefits us tremendously.

Grasping the nature of electricity, magnetic force and gravity allow us to use them, instead of merely being victims of their occurrence in nature.

If we understood the nature of spiritual energy, Ki, Chi, :ki: or whatever you want to call it, what kind of "miracles" would we perform?

How would it benefit us if we understood or could even perceive the energy of our own soul(s)? How many other forms of energy infuse us and our world at every moment and we just don't have a gauge that measures them?

Bill Danosky
01-30-2005, 09:50 PM
PS: Am I having one of those KWATZ moments? :)

danae oaks
01-30-2005, 10:05 PM
the thing that allways comes back to us is religion and in are individual beliefs.i mean almost every religion has the messenger and the higher being.out of no disruspect What does it really matter if were in reality or not,why is not a leep of faith?Some time its like a dream and share those aspects that even in some of are dreams we cant change because it seems so real.But the big thing is now that the next day you can make a differince in the world and everything still share the same detail as before not altered by your imagination or others.Now i may confuse you but this is a world i believe is real because are dreams are thuoghts to make are reality.look at albert einstien he dreamed up and found out so much that he had discovered that are heared to day.i mean we could go forever on this subject that maybe we live in one mans dream and when we die is when we start living.i think its a cool subject and hope we find the truth but in the end maybe were not suposed to find out but i would like to here enyone elses thoughts.

malsmith
03-01-2005, 06:05 PM
i may be dumb for not knowing this but im gonna ask anyway.... what is KWATZ??

Charlie
03-01-2005, 07:03 PM
i may be dumb for not knowing this but im gonna ask anyway.... what is KWATZ??

Only if you practice Renzai Zen Buddhism and don't know! A KWATZ is methods used by a sensei to shock the student into realization (enlightenment).

malsmith
03-01-2005, 08:04 PM
yeah i dont practice renzai zen buddhism.... but that does sound interesting!

Huker
03-02-2005, 10:22 PM
Don't take this the wrong way, anyone. I'm not bothered by the question or anything, I'm just saying...

Why do questions like this matter? Are we going to change our existence by figuring this out? This is our existence and there is nothing we can do about it. Why not ignore the philosophical questions or our existence and enjoy the ride? Instead of defining existence, just exist. Things will be a lot easier this way. Life seems like one of those things that we need to finish (maybe more than once) before we really know everything about it. Even if we're all parts of a dream, or if everyone else is a part of your dream, then that is what is. A universe is a universe whether it is in your mind or someone else's, or no one's.

A final point: my head has encountered many rocks...and I assure you that they are on the outside.

Bill Danosky
03-06-2005, 08:16 AM
I have a problem with leaps of faith- It seems that no matter how hard I try, I have to have an intellectual justification. This makes me feel like I must be able to perceive the proverbial stream in order to make sure I'm rowing my boat down it, as opposed to across it or up it.

In other words: Through meditation, I'm seeking the true nature of reality, for the purpose of making sure my efforts are aligned with it, which, IMHO, would make my life easier and more of a contribution to everyone else's.

Sounds pretty far fetched, but you have to do something with your time.

Karen King
03-15-2005, 02:51 PM
I enjoy thinking about reality...even if I do find that chasing that rabbit down the hole occasionally results in an hour or two being inexplicably lost. My mind wants to encompass reality, map it, grasp it...as if it were a thing you could somehow tuck in your pocket and pull out for easy reference.
Somehow I find myself wanting to say that reality is purely subjective a la Berkeley or some such philosophers. On the other hand, there is the knowledge that both bees and I perceive walls and move around them rather than being able to fly through them...even though the bee undergoes no perception training at birth that I know of. The simplest of creatures seem to respond to stimuli and so the stimuli would speak of some external reality and so on, and so on, and on. And another hour of me staring at a wall in the rabbit hole.
So the only nugget I have managed to pull out of the hole is that the only constant is change. If reality exists, if anything truly exists, which for most of us is a necessary part of our belief system or we might go mad, then it is everchanging. What doesn't change? I suppose you could say that change doesn't change...but thats just another way of saying that the only constant is change. The bee and I both move around the wall instead of through it, but the wall itself changes with time. The stars, the scope of the universe itself changes (so they say). We change. Even if you sealed yourself in a room and blocked all sensory input, your heart would still beat, neurons would still fire. Borges wrote a story about a character who had a memory so perfect that any object, any space would become a completely different thing from one moment to the next because the character could remember every minute detail. Like a flower that is not the same flower from one moment to the next because of the slightest change in light or a shift in the wind.
So is my nugget gold or is it pyrite? Did O'Sensei, St. Francis, Jesus and Buddha sense things as they are or things as they are becoming? Or were they just not blinded by senses (as it were)? Maybe they knew which rabbit hole to go into. Or maybe they knew to avoid rabbit holes altogether. Maybe the point of meditation is to align yourself not with things as they are but with things as they are becoming, which is never the same. Maybe I like spreading my metaphors too thinly on toast with butter. Who knows? I certainly don't, but then I do enjoy a good rabbit hole.

Kevin Leavitt
03-16-2005, 01:36 PM
I think it matters a great deal. Once we come to realize that we are "products of our environment" and that our thoughts and actions are influenced by the things around us, then we can discover that there are other perceptions that are as vaild or even more valid then our own.

My hope is that if people can learn this about themselves that they may achieve some understanding that not only are our action influenced by outside factors and perceptions, but that your actions have third order effects on others realities.

I believe that peace in the world can only really be acheived once we have achieved this state..that is compassion.

So i think it matters a great deal.