Attention to Transformation

Like everything else EnlightenLinks The Blog has changed.
The EnlightenLinks philosophy outlet is merging with the one of sister site Reality, Backstage.
So, from this point in time and onward articles and investigations will be posted at
Older entries have been moved and are to be found there also.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Reflections on The Stream of Least Resistance

Friction, heat and fire. That's what runs (our) civilization. It becomes absolutely evident when observing pictures of the night side of Terra from afar, that we are a kind of beings that burn and glow. But it's not us that glow it our environment we make glow. We make it hot, burning, glowing, smoking. What causes this is friction. Rub your hands together you'll see. Friction is what drives the engines of civilization. The industrial revolution. 'Great times'. Funny that in almost every field of industry or manufacture we seek to reduce friction. Reduce the friction of trains, cars and planes. Ball-bearings, electromagnets and aerodynamics - to mention a few - are there to reduce the friction of the very same engines that create it in the first place.

As investigated in other writings [see HumanEgoCollective] the workings of humanity as a whole is but a reflection of the individual. Most singular beings of humanity are self-contradictory. Contradiction is opposition. Opposition is resistance. Resistance is friction. And there you have it. We rub up against everything we come across. Friction is abrasion. Abrasion erodes. Something eroding will not last. Something which is in contradiction with itself will eventually disintegrate. In this way, not only is it our machines that will not last. It is our minds as well. Our egos. That’s humanity. We will not last. The systems on which we have come to rely are flawed. They are flawed because they are the product of separated and fragmented minds. Because they are static systems and mechanisms operating for and from an illusory status quo. Because they have been created with a particular idea in mind for a particular idea in mind. Problem being that none of these ideas exist anywhere else than there, in mind. The contradiction cannot be dissolved with tools created by that same contradiction. Animals change with their environment. If they don’t they parish. If they do they get stronger. That’s what we like to call evolution. Ever noticed that we humans don’t change with our environment? We make our environment change instead. Do we then really evolve? Or do we devolve?

Something is in a state of equilibrium or it isn't. Equilibrium is balance, stability, harmony. It isn’t conflict, struggle or opposition. Opposition is resistance. Resistance is friction. Friction is abrasion. Abrasion is erosion. Something eroding will not last.

It is what it is, whatever it is. That’s undeniable. To say that it isn’t what it is would self-contradictory. And it is what it is whether we like it or not, whether we accept it or not. If we don’t accept it, we deny it. Denying something undeniable is self-contradictory. Human civilization is what it is too. We are what we are. Though we want to be a lot of things we aren’t. We want to be what we are just ten times better, bigger and/or faster. ‘Be all you can be!’ Well, what can I be? A lot of things. But what I can be is not what I am right now. See how time (which is thought) creates separation? Wanting to be something you aren’t is a denial of what you are now. Denial is opposition. Opposition is resistance. Resistance is friction. Friction is erosion. You can want to be something you aren’t until you die (from it). Stop wanting to be something you aren’t and be what you are. Think you are better than that? You’re not. Think you’re an insignificant speck in the vast emptiness of space? You’re not. Think you’re a god? Close, but you’re not. We are the thought objects that constitute our points of view in this sea of change we cannot possibly comprehend. It seems that the only real constant is change. Much like in a stream of water. In a stream one can move in every direction, though not every direction is without resistance. Moving down stream there's not much resistance, try moving up stream and one will encounter a whole lot of resistance. Trying to stay in the same place in relation to the shore – we might call it status quo – is also a lot of work. Not moving at all will cause very little resistance, it’s almost frictionless. But since the stream is changing by itself one is moved by the stream wherever it may go, and that includes places one might not want to be. In a stream one can also feel different areas of turbulence and currents. Within the main stream there are a multitude of currents of alternating speed, strength, length, depth and direction. These can be utilized to change direction without opposing the streams natural change. Being ready to move with these currents when they appear, changing direction in conformity with the changing currents, moving with the coherence of the stream itself, we might call following the path of least resistance. The path of equilibrium. The path of intelligence. Every point of view has a path, and every path is different. Flow with them currents, ride the waves and enjoy. They will carry you wherever you need to go.

Monday, March 22, 2010


The world is a reflection of one self. This is expressed in many cultures around the world and can be seen to be true in just as many ways. But what can one make of such statement? What practical purpose can this possibly have?

First in the more literal sense because the way the world appears to me is conditioned by my upbringing and education, the way I see it is shaped by how I am shaped. Really everything I've learned in my life shapes my perception of the world. [This ties in nicely with the "On Information" post.] My perspective is what changes when I real-ize something I didn't know before. This realization - whatever the subject matter - comes through an understanding of information. This understanding is of the meaning of the description the new information carries combined with the pre-established framework of information that is my world view. I might receive this new information from the world via description or I might find out myself by observing 'my own' description of the world. In either case what is realized is a certain perspective, the world in a certain light, the world through a certain description. The description is what defines the perspective.

Above "my own" is in quotes. That is to emphasize that what I call my description is not mine any more than the design my clothes is cut by. The words that constitute my description are sounds that others have already uttered repeated in a certain way. The combination of words might be novel or I might even have invented a new word for a never before seen thing. But the meaning of this new word - even if it is shared by others - is conditioned by the whole structure of other preconceived words. In this way whatever we come across will be interpreted in the light of the information we contain.

As investigated in other writings, what sustains the description is the perpetual movement of thought, the internal dialog. [See "The Observer and The Observed"] If I hear something that makes me mad, it's not really the sound I heard that made me mad, but what I thought of the sound when I heard it. Since what I thought of the sound is this conditioned structure residing 'inside' myself (thought), I see that if I get mad, it's not at the world that sounds like this or that, but at that same thing that defines who I am (thought). And as such I would be mad at that which I in any other situation would call 'myself'.

Another way to put it would be the obvious. That perception I have of the world is something which exists 'in me'. Not only the thoughts, but that which is seen 'out there' is really something my brain constructs from sense data. So it's not really the sense data themselves that I'm mad at, but the representation in my mind of them. Again, I would be mad at something in myself.

If the world is 'just' a reflection of one self, then that which is reflected must be something true. Yes. But don't mistake the reflection for the thing itself. The reflection is the 'just that', a reflection, though of something that is in and by itself. In other (analogous) words, you wouldn't try to shave the beard in the mirror would you? To change the mirror you know that you'd have to shave your face. When that changes the reflection does.

Besides the Gandhi quotes about changing yourself to change the world, it also brings to mind associations to the matrix analogy (or brain-in-a-vat thought experiment). Just want to touch upon that. The world might just be an illusion or illusory in nature, but it doesn't remove from the fact that the train will be merciless when it hits you. It will alter your situation to who knows what extent, and a reasonable assumption is that you will feel that alteration.

There is another more practical sense in which the world is a reflection of one self. Any cognitive content is what we call thought objects. Thought objects are finite in nature. These objects and their relations constitute together with movement, a working mechanism in constant motion; the internal dialog or thought. Mechanisms are structural in nature. Behavior reflects thought. Therefore behavior shares thought's structural nature. Actions are thus also structural in nature.

The collective actions and behavior of the human species as a whole would also share this structural trait. The same - or at least similar - structural trait as that which operates on the individual level, that is. Because this structure in the collective is the same/similar to structure of the individual ego, the collective mass of human behavior can be described as “ego-collective”. [This is not something new, C.G. Jung talks of the "collective unconscious" in his work from 1959 'Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious'.]

Consequently, if this is so, we can have an indication of the workings of mankind in force of introspection. If you know your own inner workings you'll know what mechanisms drive not only your own tendencies, habits, likes and dislikes, but also what mechanisms drive mankind.

Once again, the answer to what makes the world go around is to be found in yourself. This would be true only if the world is a reflection of yourself or if the world is yourself.

Friday, March 12, 2010

On Information

Because the information at your disposal defines your world view... I am writing this particular post because of the confusion I've noticed there is when it comes to the handling of new information. Especially controversial information. The internet is nothing but information. Some of it can be applied to one's life and reality and some can't. The following is a method for coping with information. Not just any method, it's really a philosophy which simply provides a way of viewing things, an approach that enables one to look at information with an unbiased, honest and open mind.

When confronted with information that is - let's just say - out of the ordinary, one is compelled to either believing it or not believing it. But it doesn't have to be this way. First of all, keep in mind that what’s 'ordinary' is defined by the information one already contains. And this information is everything one has received throughout life. So, if something’s 'out of the ordinary' it’s just something one hasn't heard of before. Of course usually one says that a piece of information is 'out of the ordinary' if it doesn't fit into ones current picture of the world. But that it doesn't fit into the picture doesn't mean it can't be true or that the probability of it being true is small. It simply means that one doesn't contain the information that makes it fit.

Here's an example. Suppose it's the 15th century - the Earth is flat. Someone comes up to you and says "Dude, the world is spherical!". You'd probably respond "Shut up mate! You mean like a ball? If that were true, people on the other side would fall of the bottom!". Then suppose he introduces another concept; gravity... He says "No no, because the world has this force called gravity - it's what keeps everybody on the ground! Including the people on the bottom!". Whether or not you'd buy this or go into a state of denial doesn't matter, because today a great chunk of the information that ties your world view together is composed of these basic notions, the Earth is spherical and there is something called gravity etc.. The point is that the first piece of information doesn't make sense before you receive the second piece of info that makes everything fit coherently into the big picture. But keep in mind, now that it fits it doesn't mean that you know some truth! As the example shows, a new piece of information might just come around that turns everything on its head.

According to Websters Online Dictionary a belief is "Any cognitive content held as true.". When I am informed of something I can choose to believe it or not to believe it - but I can certainly also choose neither. It's called "entertaining a thought". This would be the proper approach in the above example.

Personally I have found what Socrates found, that I really cannot know anything. That of course doesn't mean that I can't have reasons for supposing something or reasons for acting on information [in theory everything can be doubted, but it's not everything that needs to be doubted], I'm not going to engage in a great philosophical inquiry concerning the TV-Guide. But besides that which I cannot doubt (and that is what it is like to perceive) I can't know anything with certainty [I'll get back to this]. Therefore I find no reason to hold any thought about the world as true - since I don't know if it’s actually so. And then again I find no reason to hold any thought about the world as not true – because it might just be! I can't know... The best thing I can do, is to build a coherent framework of suppositions and reasons, while keeping in mind that it's all theory, really just an educated guess, and being ready to change it in the next moment. What then determines the probability of the theory being accurate is the coherence of the system, the internal consistency, and of course all the usual scientific parameters like capability of prediction and so on. [This is of course just one of many epistemological theories - if you're not convinced, do your research - it's all out there.]

This is all bound up on / grounded in perception. Perceiving is knowing - directly. I have no doubt in my mind if I burn myself on a cup of hot chocolate. Well, it might be coffee, but that's besides the point since I have no doubt when it comes to what's it like of that perception. One perceives both thoughts (else one wouldn't know what one was thinking) and that which we call the world, therefore both are indubitable in themselves. [Read "The Observer and The Observed" for more on this subject.] But what one also sees clearly is that thought and the world are two different things - that should be obvious. If thought and world are two different things they are not identical. And thus, nothing "out there" is what one thinks it is. In other words: that which we call a cup is not itself a cup. "A cup" is a description which indicates something that is not itself a description but something else. Something which we describe with symbols, words and thoughts but that is different from the given description.

But don't take my word for it. Look at what's in front of you. Ask yourself: Is that which I see here in front of me not different from what I would call it? Is is not something which is not the same as the sound I make with my mouth to signify it to others? Are these thoughts in my head as I read this text not an internal dialog just talking about the world?

Next time you receive information, how will you treat it?

If you feel that you are ready to handle some information-out-of-the-ordinary visit one of the following sites. You'll most certainly find info there that is pretty hard cope with - unless you suspend your judgement!

Test your thought entertaining abilities by following one or more of the links listed below:

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Observer and The Observed

WARNING: Before you read this you should know, that when one begins to look inward and observe one's thoughts and consciousness, it can become quite a ride. There is a reason to the often sited comparison with Alice in wonderland going down the rabbit hole. Introspection will lead one to something true, but in the process one might go through some "mental instability". Some don't and that's great, but others do and that can be something of an adventure. When that is said, if I was asked if I’d do it again, I’d say “no doubt!”. So, if you decide to read any further, I strongly recommend that you read the whole thing, don't stop half way. The reason is that this text is a process, an introspective process. And so, if you during this process see what I have seen right away, it might place you, let’s just say beside yourself. Therefore I want to indicate an antidote to confusion and fear; observation. Whatever you think is happening to you, don’t worry, don’t argue, simply observe. Observe where you are and how you are, don’t think about it, just look at what’s in front of you and realize that you’re absolutely fine.

The indubitable nature of perception.

So it begins. The philosopher Descartes once said "I think, therefore I am.” But as he himself explains, this is not meant as a strictly rational argument. The fact that I am thinking is something evident. It is evident that I am thinking in force of the mere observation. I perceive my thoughts, I observe them, and since perception itself is indubitable I know (without a doubt) that I am thinking. To make this point absolutely clear before I continue to the really mind shaking stuff, I will exemplify with the so called “brain-in-a-vat” thought experiment. It goes something like this; I can doubt everything I know including my own reality. I might be a brain in a jar stored away somewhere and my reality just an electrochemically induced illusion. If you’ve seen the movie “The Matrix” you know exactly what this is about. Now, while it is true that this brain-in-a-vat idea is absolutely possible, there’s still something I cannot doubt; my subjective experience. Yes, it might be that while I think I am writing on a computer now, what is really happening is that a brain in a jar I being subjected to electrical stimuli. But the experience of this from my point of view is real. I feel, taste, smell, hear and see – I perceive – something; that something might not be the “real thing”, but the perception itself is indubitable. If you’re not yet convinced, try closing your eyes and then lift your hands up in front of your face and ask yourself the following question; how do I know that I have hands?

Do I then perceive my thoughts? Yes, if I didn't perceive my thoughts I wouldn't know what I was thinking. So I do, I am able to observe my thoughts. Now, as I am writing this I observe my thoughts being manifested into the world as symbols on a screen. So I observe that there is thought and I observe that there is something which I call the world. The world and thought is thus the observed.

Who am I?

When Descartes pondered the question of “Who I am?” he concluded that “I am a thinking thing.” But I will not take his word for it, I will introspect.

What is thought? I observe that thought consists of mental images. Images that can be bent, stretched, enlarged, combined, overlapped and manipulated in every thinkable way. This is evident when I close my eyes and imagine a two foot pink elephant standing on its trunk on a chair in my apartment. Also sounds, smells, tastes and other feelings can be imagined. I can imagine myself eating a steak while watching the elephant, everything included, the taste of the steak, the smell of the sauce and the funny noise the elephant makes when breathing through the half squished trunk. The philosopher David Hume called these "thought objects" or "the objects of thought". These objects are like copies of previous sense perceptions. Therefore thoughts can take any form not only images, but also sounds, smells, tastes and tactile feelings. When dreaming these images become like a world complete with everything and me in it. But when opening my eyes and returning attention to the "real" world, there are no images. Right now, when looking at my computer monitor, the thoughts appear only as (auditory) words in my head and then as symbols constituting what I read as words on this screen. Furthermore when I read them, I can almost hear the words in my head. I do seem to discuss things with myself in my head, there's both reasoning and a lot of mumbo jumbo. Actually I observe that I constantly talk to myself in my head. Whenever I am not talking to others, I am talking to myself internally, I observe that there is a continuous internal dialogue.

So, who am I? When I think that I am, and that I am thinking, who is the one thinking? Normally if someone asks me who I am, I will answer with my name, my age, where I’m from, basically what my passport states. When thinking these things, I realize that the words in my head are describing what I call “my person”. This description is then identified with what I call “me, myself, my person, I”. Really, whatever I find I am, when thinking, it would be a thought. For now I will agree with Descartes and go with “I am a thinking thing.” But I need to emphasize something here. “I am a thinking thing” can be understood in two different ways. As in “I am the one that thinks, a thing that thinks” or “I am a thinking thing, the one thinking is thought itself”. I must admit that if “I” is a word in thought as any other, then it is thought. Again, if whatever I think I am will be a thought, then not only am I a thing that thinks, I am thought itself. The one thinking is thought itself!

The distinction between the description and what it is.

If I am thought, then I am the internal dialog. What then is this dialogue? It is words, and what are words? They are descriptors, they describe. And what do they describe? Aah! Something else! The words describe something which is not itself a description. First I perceive something, and then I describe it with words. If I point to for instance a table and say “this is a table” it is in essence false. Because when pointing I am indicating something, then I proceed to say that it is “a table”. But “a table” is merely a description, and when I say that it is “a table” I am identifying that which I am indicating with my finger with the words that come out of my mouth; “a table”. And those two things are evidently not the same. The words – in this case uttered, but they could be thoughts as well – and the wooden structure I call a table are obviously not identical. So, let me emphasize this point. There is an important distinction between the description and that which the description indicates. And I seem to be unable to say or think of anything in that which I call "the world" without describing it. I could close my eyes again and imagine the world, but that would still not be the "real" world but that which I call thought objects. In other words, the world I can imagine with my eyes closed, is not what I would call the world, but rather a world. So, eyes open, what is it I see? I cannot name it without describing it! The only thing I can say or think of it without contradiction, is that it is ... there, there is something there. I would be cheating myself if I said that "what I see is the world", because as I just found "the world" is just words and thus a description, and not that which I know I am seeing! What is it? It is ... what it is. That I can also say without contradiction, but it does not bring me any closer to what it is.

Taking a step back, I observe that thought is an internal dialogue. Since "I am" are also words in this dialogue I find what Descartes found, that I am a thinking thing. The thing that thinks is me. I am internal dialogue. I observe that the dialogue consists of words that are a description of something which is not itself a description but something else. To make things a little easier, I will call that something else "perception" - keeping in mind, that "perception" is also a word describing something which is not itself a description. For now, I am left with a distinction between the description and that which I wish to describe, "perception".

Who is the observer?

A question comes to mind; how is it, that I am thought when I am aware that I am observing thought? There cannot be any doubt that thought is the observed, and I have just found that I am thought, therefore it would seem that I am thought observing itself. But there’s something wrong with this picture, I will introspect.

At first glance this would mean that I am both the observer and the observed, since I am thought observing itself. I am tempted to say that I perceive that which I call the world. And as such when it comes to my relationship to the world, I am the observer observing the observed. So in the first case in relation to thought, I am both the observer and the observed, and in the second case, in relation to the world I am not both observer and the observed. I smell contradiction… If I am the internal dialogue and then proceed to say; when I speak of the world I am describing my perception, I am describing what I perceive, I am implying that thoughts can perceive! Aha! If I am the internal dialogue, I am a continuous stream of words, but the words in the dialogue are describing, they cannot perceive! I want to say "it is me perceiving"! And yet, "me" is another word in that same dialogue. Thus, when I say "I am perceiving" it is false, because every word in that sentence are mere thoughts and the thoughts themselves do not perceive, they are perceived. But what I can say is that "there is that which I call perception", just not that it is me perceiving. It is very weird, but indubitable that it is not myself as in me the internal dialogue that is perceiving anything. There is perception though, and this perception includes both that which I call the world and that which I call thought. Obviously, there is a perception of thought, because as I found earlier, I wouldn't know what I am thinking if there wasn't a perception of it. Again, I feel tempted to say that of course I perceive the world and my thoughts. Refraining from saying that it is directly false, since it is so intuitively true that I am perceiving the world and my thoughts, it would though be more precise to say that there is a perception of the world and thoughts.

Why does it feel so intuitively true that it is me perceiving and that I am the observer? It seems that it has to do with the structure and movement of thought. Thought initially takes ownership of the whole of “my being”. It’s my body, my thoughts and my perception. Now, I can surely say that the common denominator for the above mentioned facets of my being is perception, not thought. Without perception there would be no thought. Perception can be said to be primary. Still, I the thinking thing takes ownership of perception too when I say that it is “my perception”, as if it were me the thinking thing that is perceiving. But at this stage it is evident that thought does not perceive, rather it is being perceived. If I am thought, a thinking thing, then I am a describing thing, not a perceiving thing, and thus I cannot be the observer! It becomes clear now that I - the internal dialogue - am not the observer. There is no I that thinks, there’s only the perception of the continuous movement of thought that describes itself as “I” and thereby creates the illusion of an “I” that thinks. So now I see that I do not see. I am left with a question that begs answering; if I am not the observer, then who or what is? Who or what is perceiving if it’s not me?

I cannot name the observer. Everything I could say or think the observer is, will not be the observer since whatever I’d say or think would be a description and the description is not that which it indicates, and I would thus be mistaken. That which perceives is everything but that which I think it is. The observer cannot be found by thought. The description though always indicates something that is in that which I call perception. Perception is the fundamental. Everything is perceived and perception is everything. Maybe this is the best answer I can conjure up. Since everything is in perception, the observer must be so too. And if the observer can be found, then that which finds it has to have perception and be able to observe. Thus, only an observer can find the observer.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Something, nothing or infinity

Is the universe finite or infinite? The short answer; it is infinite. It cannot be anything else. If this is not clear to you, you will want to read the following trail of thought. Just to clarify, in this investigation the only parameter I will be looking for is coherence within the description which will be carved by the only tool I have at my disposal, reason. If you are already convinced about infinity for other reasons, don't bother. If you have other thoughts on the subject, please write them in the comments section and I will respond.

That which we call the universe refers to everything. The universe is everything. Now, if the universe was to have an edge in space or a beginning in time, it would be confined by these. They would mark the borders to something else, and for it not to be simply something more and thus more universe, then it has to be the border to nothing. The universe would then be a thing in the nothing. Here we must pause, and observe carefully what we are saying. If there is a thing in the nothing, then the nothing would contain something and thus be a thing itself. In other words. If the universe, being something, is defined by its edges separating it from the nothing, then the nothing is defined be these same edges and would thus be a something. Can we get around this?

Suppose that the universe, being something, was contained by the nothing. It should be noted that this would be a contradiction in terms. We could suppose that this nothing was infinite - an infinite nothing with plenty of room for containing a something. Already this sounds incoherent. That's because it is, it would be a fallacy. When we say "infinite" it means without ends, without edges, without beginnings, without definition really. And this nothing wouldn't be infinite if there somewhere in it was something else. We seem to get stuck here. Can we not imagine a finite universe? Well, yes. We could imagine our universe as an enormous sphere seen from an enormous distance floating in ... Space? Vacuum? Nothing? Is there a problem with this idea? As long as we don't see it as a problem being able to imagine something which is suppose to be nothing, then no, not really. There is no problem. We will accept this version of nothing for the sake of argument. But we would have to polish some facets.

The sphere floating in the nothing, would be very big since it would contain all of this we have come to know as galaxies - there are a few. Now the nothing would have to be infinite - although having something floating in it, which isn't nothing, but something. Why does the nothing have be infinite? Because if it wasn't we would have to account for what there would be around it - and then we surely are of track - another nothing? Although I personally think we would delude ourselves if we were to go down that path, since this is an investigation and not an argument for an opinion, we should consider this also. But first, lets continue our current trail of thought and see where it leads.

So, stretching out from the sphere is the infinite nothing. This leaves our sphere in a weird situation. Because of the infinity surrounding it, its size would be infinitely small. We being inside the sphere would also be infinitely small. At first glance, this is no problem. But as we know our universe is quite big seen from our perspective. Seen from an ants perspective, its even bigger. And when we return to the perspective of infinitely its infinitely small. What if we were to imagine our point of view being just on the other side of the border to nothing - on the nothings side that is. The sphere would look very big. Now, if we then imagine that we are as small as ants, it would be even bigger. Now, since we supposed that this nothing was infinite, there is no problem in imagining ourselves being infinitely small. From this point of view the sphere would be infinitely large. This seems to get us nowhere - maybe it actually gets us to nowhere.

Bringing back into view, the idea of another nothing outside the nothing, I thinks it's safe to say, that it wouldn't bring us any closer to somewhere. In theory we could go on for ever adding layer upon layer of nothings onto our little sphere - by then I think we would regret our choice of method. There seems arise problems when trying to apply the idea of nothing in reasonable thinking. Also, there still remains an issue regarding the sphere. Is it the only sphere? If so, we would be the center of the infinite nothing. And if this were to be our conclusion, I would like to point out the fact that every time we humans have agreed on being the center of something, we've later found it not to be so. The only solution from here, would have to be that there are a number spheres in the infinite nothing and - an infinite number or a definite number regardless - to insist on calling it nothing, would just be silly. I think this idea has been exhausted by now.

The universe cannot be finite without having to apply a nothing or nothingness. But when accepting the possibility of a nothing we have to separate it from the something, and in doing so we make it a something. The thought is - in every case, as in this case of nothing - finite. It is made of distinctions between it and that which it is not. Nothing is defined by begin none of that which we call something. And since in thought everything is something, nothing becomes a thing, which is a violation of its nature - no-thing - as it is ... not. It cannot even be written without perverting its nature. Nothing is impossible inside, outside or without of something, and since there is such a thing as that which we call something, nothing is impossible. Now, we ask, if nothing is impossible, then nothing is possible, is it not? You may think I am kidding, but no, I will actually consider this in a moment.

Because now, we may be closing in on where the problem arises. Maybe its not so much the nature of the thought nothing, but the nature of thought itself. Maybe the problem lies in the idea of separation between. Not the terms of the separation. Is separation itself even possible? Lets look into this. Have we in the natural sciences found a separation? I think not. If there were a separation, what would it consist of? Although it is clear from the above that a nothing is impossible within something, I will ask, can it be a tiny slice of nothing? If there were tiny slices of nothing between things, there would be a separation between the slice of nothing itself and the something. But it is the very existence of separation which we want to account for, we cannot do this by means of the separation itself. So, it cannot be a slice of nothing. Again the impossibility of nothing is confirmed.

The only possible answer would be that the separation is infinitely small. Can we have an infinitely small separation? As we have seen, infinite things tend to have no size - they are infinitely big and infinitely small. What is it then? Is it even there? Can it be there and not be there at the same time? Are we stuck again? Or is the answer simply that there cannot be separation? I think it is so. If we accept an infinite version of the universe, there is no problem, because separation becomes impossible - infinity cannot be separated.

We are left with an abysmal paradox. If our universe in fact is infinite, then we must accept that it is infinitely small and infinitely large - it is without definition and thus also completely incomprehensible. A thing is only something in force of its conceptually defined edges, that separates it from something else, which again is defined in the same way. But since there is no separation and the thing which we call the universe is infinite, is it then really a thing? Or is it nothing? No-thing. Suddenly it makes sense to state that if nothing is impossible, nothing is possible. It is no-thing because it is one inseparable infinity of non-definition, non-description.

All of this is of course mere reason. And reason is a tool within our minds. The comprehensible parts are the words, the description - which is finite. The incomprehensible is that which we try to describe, it is our perception, the way the world feels to our senses. That feeling cannot be conveyed to anyone else in the form of words. If reason can recognize its own limits, but fails to find limits to our perception of the world, is it not then impossible to speak the truth? No, the description does simply not reach that which it seeks to describe, and thus it is not true to us. But it is true to its own word, it is a description - and that is another thing from that which is describes. We will be mistaken then, if we postulate what things are. We should not do this, but rather indicate what they are not. And that means the best way to describe this mysterious and wonderful place is by indicating when one will stop talking...

“True knowledge is to know the extent of ones ignorance.”
~ K'ung-Fu-Tzu [Confucius]

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The concept of time; applied

Time. An illusion, concept, idea, application. Whatever you want to call it, time is simply that, an application.

Time is based on the changes we see in the sky - movements of celestial objects, that happen to be rhythmical. Like grains of sand, no two solar systems are alike, therefore our rhythm is unique in the infinity of the cosmos. If we had existed somewhere else on another solar system our concept of time would be different. Of course, this is the 21st century and we really don't rely on celestial movements anymore, we probably use quantum clocks or something like that, this doesn't make it any less arbitrary. Now this only means that our version of time is not alike any other version of time there may be in our universe, not that past, present and future are not existing facets of our universe.

The concept of time is of course very practical and our world would not be the same without it, but it really does not exist in the same sense as perception exists. Why do I say perception? Well, do you really perceive time? Where is it exactly you see or feel time? And no, not even on your watch does the time exist. What we see is change. Everything that exists, exists now, and in this now everything is ever changing. What we perceive is change, and then we apply time - to measure the changes.

We have a feeling of past experiences, only because we have learned the concept of time and that experiences which are not being perceived right now but only exist in our minds, are in the past or in the future. The mind draws a line between the past and the present, and this line points to that which we call future. Also only existing in thought.

We see the sun rising and setting every day. Not one day has past where this hasn't happened. What we see is still change, but it has some rhythm to it maybe, like our breath or hart beat. I would argue that rhythm is certainly an existing aspect of our universe. At some point this rhythm becomes an expectation. We expect to see the sun rise again. Now expectations is something animals have too. When the cat hears the crackling of the bag with cat-food, it knows that food will soon appear in the bowl and it comes running to get some. Then we have to put these expectations somewhere in our idea of time, and that is of course in the future.

So in regard to the future, it is obvious that if there was a past which was followed by the present, then this present will become past and be followed by another present, the future.

Of course time is a very coherent dimension. It is so coherent, that we are fooled into believing that it actually exists. Why this incredible coherence?
The fact that we contain these experiences in our minds as memory, is part of the leaning process, the evolution. Our memory is a mechanism that works to prevent us from committing the same mistake twice, or at least we try not to. Without it evolution would be impossible. The problem when considering memory is it has an implicit aspect of time, the past. Now this is the true illusion. The memory is not of past experiences, but simply of experiences contained within the being. The future is a reflection of this. Both are in the mind as thoughts - now.

When you are thinking of anything where the thoughts in use are not indicating something in your present perception of the world, time will be implicit in this thinking.

There is only the ever changing, eternal now.

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