• TheMadFool
    10.7k
    I don't know. You might be in a better position to answer that.Fooloso4

    :ok:
  • Jack Cummins
    3.3k

    I am not sure if I can think about putting the mind into sets. I am not even sure if mind can be contained, because even though it arises and is interconnected with the body, in some ways it is like a universe. But, while the idea of consciousness surviving physical death can be as problematic as it would involve us being dusembodied, like phantom beings hovering in a void, I do think mind can reflect on itself while alive. Of course, it is a part of the mind, as in the narrative voice of the 'I', which reflects, but this is the cohesive aspect of consciousness, as in personal identity. The rest of consciousness is probably more like a flow of incoming impressions, and the narrator has to sort out the jumble, or edit it. I think that this is the main element of mind involved in reflecting on itself.
  • bert1
    872
    It is nothing more than a way of soothing the fear and desire for immortality.Fooloso4

    Do you actually think that?
  • Fooloso4
    2.4k


    There may be some exceptions but yes.
  • Apollodorus
    2k
    In other words, is the mind capable of self-refelction? Can the mind contain itself?TheMadFool

    Is a human being capable of self-reflection? Does one need to contain oneself like a box in order to be aware of oneself? Consciousness can survey itself and its contents, hence it is aware of itself in an act of reflexive awareness.

    As explained by Plotinus, when consciousness (nous) is directed toward objects other than itself as such, e.g., thoughts, emotions, sense perceptions, it is discursive reason (dianoia). When it is directed toward itself, it is self-awareness (noesis). The mind as discursive reason is not aware of itself except in a rudimentary or latent way. The mind as mind is aware of itself, there being no other object of experience in pure reflexive consciousness.

    On the physical level, we are aware of ourselves as the physical body. On the psycho-mental level above the physical one, we are aware of ourselves as sense perceptions, emotions, and thoughts. On the spiritual level above the psycho-mental level, we are aware of ourselves as consciousness, i.e. as that which is aware of body, perceptions, emotions, and thoughts, as well as of itself.

    Body, mind, and spirit are just different degrees of consciousness. The more consciousness is aware of or dominated by "unconscious" objects, the less it is aware of itself. In everyday states of consciousness, consciousness is aware of material objects, etc. and only residually aware of itself due to identification with "unconscious" objects of experience. In higher states of consciousness, e.g. in meditation or contemplation, consciousness disengages itself from lower forms of awareness and self-identification and becomes aware of itself and identifies itself with itself. At that point, knowing becomes being.

    For example, when we sit down in the cinema and watch a movie, we disengage ourselves from everyday awareness, we become absorbed in the scenery and activities taking place on the screen, we emotionally identify with the hero or heroine and experience his or her pains and joys exactly as if we were that person, and completely forget our true identity.

    In realty, of course, we are not that person. We have our own identity. When the show is over, we slowly return to our normal sense of identity. Depending on how deep we became absorbed in the movie, it may take several hours to completely recover our normal identity and awareness. Now, imagine what would happen if we were to watch the same movie and go through the same identification process day after day, for many years. It would be extremely difficult to disengage ourselves from our movie self.

    This is the only reason why it is hard for our consciousness to experience itself as consciousness and not as body, perceptions, thoughts, etc. However, as explained by Plotinus, part of our consciousness is fortunately always aware of itself, only that it is normally buried under a mass of lower forms of consciousness. And this enables us, through practices such as meditation and contemplation, to recover our self-awareness or true identity of ourselves as self-aware consciousness.
  • Fooloso4
    2.4k
    In other words, is the mind capable of self-refelction?TheMadFool

    This is a problem taken up by Plato and Hegel. For them it is not a question of whether we are capable of self-reflection, but of the otherness of what is thought to be a self-same unity. In taking itself as its subject matter it is both what thinks and is thought about, subject and object. But where Plato saw this as an aporia Hegel thought he had solved the problem.

    Following Plato, Plotinus attempts to unify by dividing.
  • Fooloso4
    2.4k


    If you read through the Wiki link Stevenson serious doubts have been raised about his work.
  • TheMadFool
    10.7k
    I am not sure if I can think about putting the mind into setsJack Cummins

    Bad analogy? May be, not sure. Is it correct to say my legs contain walking or that my fingers contain typing? Is the function of a dog's fur contained in the fur?

    Yet, your eyes contain the images you see.

    Should the mind be treated as eye-like (containing) or leg-like (not containing)?

    mind involved in reflecting on itself.Jack Cummins

    Here's how I become self-aware: I think and I conclude there's a thinker and I = the thinker. Descartes' cogito argument if you couldn't make the connection.
  • Manuel
    1.2k
    I assume that what happens is what appeared to happen prior to birth, it disappears.

    Unless someone can give me good reasons to suspect that the state after existence will be different from the state of before existence.
  • TheMadFool
    10.7k
    Body, mind, and spirit are just different degrees of consciousness.Apollodorus

    :up:

    completely forget our true identity.Apollodorus

    I've been giving this issue some CPU time as it were on my brain but the results are far from satisfactory.

    I've been thinking analogically about it and if you're in the mood, I'd like some feedback.

    Imagine two laptops - same manufacturer, same model. You and your friend both bought them brand new. For you and your friend these laptops, call them X and Y, are identical, so identical that if the two of you decided to swap them, it wouldn't make a difference to either of you. Note though that numerically, they're distinct e.g. you can number X as 1 and Y as 2.

    You take your laptop and your friend takes his. You have different tastes and so while you install the programs Q and R, your friend installs S and T. Immediately, X (Q, R) acquires a unique identity, distinct from Y (S, T).

    However, the identity X and Y possess is determined by things that they're not. Q and R are not X and neither is it that S and T are Y. X's identity should be based on things of X but is instead based on things not of X, the same goes for Y. What I mean to say is, insofar as we identify ourselves as minds, your mind and mine are indistinguishable (generic mind hypothesis) and they acquire distinct identities only when different sets of ideas are "installed" on them. Something's off about this, right? How can a thing's identity be determined by that which that thing is not? :chin: Are we thinkers or are we thoughts? If we're thinkers then our identity is numerically defined but not qualitatively i.e. your friend wouldn't be able to tell my mind apart from your mind. If we're thoughts then the paradox of the identity of a thing being based on that which that thing is not rears its ugly head.
  • 180 Proof
    4.8k
    Here's how I become self-aware: I think and I conclude there's a thinker and I = the thinker.TheMadFool
    :sweat:

    Why assume "I" thinks?

    Why assume I "thinks"?

    Descartes confused himself (us): "the cogito" concludes nothing more substantive than thinking, therefore thinking happens which presupposes, not proves, existence.

    Why, Fool, assume it's "self" you are aware of?
  • TheMadFool
    10.7k
    Why assume "I" thinks?

    Why assume I "thinks"?

    Descartes confused himself (us): "the cogito" concludes to nothing more than thinking, therefore thinking happens which presupposes, not proves, existence.

    Why, Fool, assume it's "self" you are aware of?
    180 Proof

    Indeed, some wrinkles that need a hot iron. At best, all I can reasonably assert is, "Thinking is going on." Does that mean there's a thinker doing the thinking? Is the TV in your living room actively generating the News you're absorbed in or passively receiving them from the cables? Suppose there is a thinker. Can I assert with complete certainty, I am it? God knows! Your guess is as good as mine.
  • Apollodorus
    2k
    Are we thinkers or are we thoughts? If we're thinkers then our identity is numerically defined but not qualitatively i.e. your friend wouldn't be able to tell my mind apart from your mind. If we're thoughts then the paradox of the identity of a thing being based on that which that thing is not rears its ugly head.TheMadFool

    The answer is found in Plotinus.

    If spirit (nous), mind (psyche) and body (soma) are just different degrees of consciousness, then emanation, manifestation or creation is a process of diversification that may be illustrated by means of a triangle/pyramid or circle.

    The apex of the pyramid or center of the circle is the One (to En) which is consciousness in a state of absolute unity.

    Then, in descending order (in the case of the pyramid) or centrifugal order (in the case of the circle), there is increasing multiplicity according as the diversification process approaches the base of the former or the periphery of the latter.

    At the top we are one single Consciousness (En), at the base or periphery we are many (polla) individual minds and bodies.
  • Deletedmemberph
    15
    I died. I was born again. Then I changed my name. And I fell asleep. To wake up in your arms. Why?

    The Jews say 'why not'?

    I don't say anything.

    I just write

    Until I die
  • Jack Cummins
    3.3k

    I guess that I have always thought that it is the 'I' of consciousness which thinks, but it may be that it is not that straightforward really. The I is the identity by which we put it all together, and I wonder if even whether an actual ego consciousness exists, and whether this is equatable with the I or not. The 'mind' thinks but trying to work out the logistics is not that easy.
  • TheMadFool
    10.7k
    The answer is found in Plotinus.Apollodorus

    Gracias! I'm sure I'll get around to reading him one day. Let's hope I remember the pointers you gave me these past few days.

    spirit (nous), mind (psyche) and body (soma)Apollodorus

    :up:

    The 'mind' thinks but trying to work out the logistics is not that easy.Jack Cummins

    You hit the nail on the head Jack Cummins. I remember the time when I really, really liked this girl (seems I'm a heterosexual) but the logistics was a nightmare. It didn't end well for me at all. :sad:
  • Apollodorus
    2k
    I remember the time when I really, really liked this girl (seems I'm a heterosexual) but the logistics was a nightmare.TheMadFool

    Maybe that’s the job of really, really likable girls, to create nightmares for (seemingly heterosexual) guys.

    Consciousness seems to present a similar problem for the mind. As long as we run after it, it is not ours and not us. Only when we stop chasing and the mind becomes tranquil and simply observes (hence meditation techniques), that we begin to see a higher intelligence in us and us in it. That is when knowing ceases to be possessing something and becomes being it. So, yes, I think Plotinus may help.
  • The Opposite
    891
    the 'inevitable'Jack Cummins

    Why does this necessarily have to be nothingness? This is merely a prevailing view on this small corner of the internet, with the main proponents (/fusty old men who live rather sad lives constantly trying to prove other people wrong on here) being @180 Proof @Banno. However, ultimately, it's just another idea about what happens after death - no one alive knows.
  • 180 Proof
    4.8k
    Right. "No one alive knows", there's not a shread of evidence of "life after death" (otherwise religions and other mystifiers would be shouting "the proof" from every mountain or roof top). Thus, there are not any grounds to doubt what we do, in fact, observe: dying death decay oblivion. A quarter million years as modern h. sapiens and yet not one demonstrable exception. Idle (head-up-one's-own-arse) speculations aside, Oopsy, provide or indicate scientific evidence – grounds – to call 'death-is-cessation-of-life' into question. Enough with the woo-of-the-gaps wishful / magical thinking.
  • Jack Cummins
    3.3k

    I have a fluid approach to the topic. At times, I side with the materialists, because I see disembodied existence as problematic, but I keep an open mind but I do believe that it may not be as simple as many think. My own acid experiment made me wonder if there was a lot more to reality than people may commonly believe. I am not convinced that anyone really knows the answers, and, who knows, the ones who argue so firmly that death is the end could be in for a shock. But, if some kind of life after death exists, let's hope it is good.

    I would like the idea of reincarnation to be true,cbecause it is not a disembodied existence and it would allow for experimenting in having more bodies rather than just being restricted to having one. The theosophists think that the person goes into some kind of state after death, and, then, moves onto being born as a new life form, most probably another human being. I would like it to be true..
  • The Opposite
    891
    Enough with the woo-of-the-gaps wishful / magical thinking.180 Proof

    All thought is magic, you cretin.
  • 180 Proof
    4.8k
    All thought is magic, you cretin.The Opposite
    Only cretins think so.
  • Jack Cummins
    3.3k

    Hello, this thread keeps popping up. So, here I am wishing for reincarnation at 2.45 in the morning. But, at least I haven't created yet another thread.
  • The Opposite
    891
    it's a good idea to keep an open mind. Don't be influenced by these dogmatic weirdos who have been preaching that shit for years on these forums... they're just as bad as the God-botherers/the other side of the coin.
  • Jack Cummins
    3.3k

    I am a dreamer and a psychonaut, but with a strong interest in philosophical logic, so my head will probably explode,or implode, with it all. But, I try to keep a sense of humour about it all. But, I think that you and @180 Proof probably shouldn't get so cross with one another, because it is an issue which has been explored for centuries and philosophy can be fun. Anyway, my battery is about to run out, so I think I will retreat to bed.
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