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  1. #11
    Senior Member zago's Avatar
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    It's all completely random. There is 0 context to life if you really think about it. Things we take for granted are actually incredibly bizarre. Like a lamp, for instance. If we lived in a dark universe or if we simply didn't depend on light to live, we would have absolutely no context for what a lamp is. The idea of a lamp would be mind boggling. Then again it would also be a similar experience for someone who had no idea what electricity is. One time I drank a bottle of cough syrup and turned out the lights and closed my eyes. I saw a bunch of things like this - things that I had no context for, so I really can't describe them. But they were clearly things. Maybe they were from the future, or another galaxy across the universe. I just wonder, where did my mind come up with them? Very mysterious.

    Try to explain the color red to a blind person.
    Try to describe sound to a deaf person using sign language.
    Think about the senses we could have, but don't.
    Think about what would remain if we didn't have sight, smell, taste, touch, or hearing.
    And where do these things occur? What is the medium on which my senses manifest themselves? When I see, there is an image. What is it on?

    And earlier today I thought, isn't life as we know it kind of an insanely ridiculous way for nature to achieve a profoundly simple goal? To basically help dissipate energy, as has been done since the beginning of time? That's all it is. 2nd law of thermodynamics told me so. Every process that arises is simply one that will help lower the energy state of the universe. And "I" "need" "to" "get of my" "ass" and "pay" "my rent" "on" "time." Ya know? It's all pretty random.

  2. #12
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zago View Post
    It's all completely random.
    It's a common mistake to think Natural Selection is random. It's not.

  3. #13
    Senior Member zago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    It's a common mistake to think Natural Selection is random. It's not.
    You missed the point, and I don't think natural selection is random. The color red, for instance, is random. Why is it red? Why isn't it something else, some color we have never seen or conceived of? Why is it color at all?

    Or what if you asked me what matter is, and I said, attempting to get to the most fundamental answer possible, "matter is quarks." But what are quarks? Why quarks? Why not something else? Quarks ultimately come no closer to a fundamental answer than nucleons and electrons, or atoms, or molecules, etc. However enormous our universe seems, it's nothing compared to the infinite. For our one universe, there could be trillions upon trillions of others each filled with different things, even having wildly different physical laws. I would perhaps call it "the unmanifest."

    Flexing your mind a bit, you can get a vague sense of this quite liberating feeling. For instance, I look back into the past and times that were, and think about how insanely different cultures were back then. Those times were so diverse, so unique, so detailed, so rich... and yet they are the TINIEST slivers in history, there for the blink of an eye and then gone forever. My past experience with drugs like salvia, dxm, and mushrooms also reminds me of things and ways of perceiving that could be, but aren't. On salvia I'd find myself in these fully immersive, rich, ecosystems that were most importantly, almost completely foreign to life as I know it. On DXM, I could remove myself from the context of my life (we get so wrapped up in the little things that happen to us) and see the cosmic picture. From there, I understood how infinitesimal my existence is.

    And that's what RANDOM is. There were infinite possibilities, and we happened to wind up with... THIS. What we see is the backwater of the backwater in time and space. They have no relevance to the whole, none whatsoever. They couldn't. There is no center. We are a grain of sand on the ocean, but we have taken that grain of sand and turned it into something it is not. We have pretended that the features, the very notion, of this tiny grain of sand are somehow important, that they somehow have a place in the grand scheme of things. We don't see things for what they are - complete and utter nonsense. A joke.

    A joke.. yes, that's what best describes this. The punchline is kind of like god is saying, LOL, look how strange this is. Look how useless, how pointless. What is the point of life? There clearly isn't one. We are going to die. We are going to be erased. Even Alexander the Great, for all he conquered, amounts to absolutely nothing in the end. Everything we will ever be or not be would pretty much have happened anyway.

    Perhaps that is liberation. Perhaps that enables us to enjoy the divine spectacle that is life. Just give up, stop fighting and accept it, and maybe you can see.

  4. #14
    FRACTALICIOUS phobik's Avatar
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    If you're feeling adventurous, try conceiving what Existence was it like before the Big Bang.
    To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
    ~ Elbert Hubbard

    Music provides one of the clearest examples of a much deeper relation between mathematics and human experience.

  5. #15
    Infinite Bubble
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    Yes, it's called qualia which is subjective, conscious experience.

    However we perceive by making distinctions.

    So until we make a distinction we see nothing, and the more distinctions we make, the more we see.

    Of course we have the illusion of seeing something directly but the reality is that we only perceive by making distinctions.
    Ah, thanks for that, just what I was thinking of.

    Distinctions yes... but why are these distinctions experienced as so? Is your blue the same as my blue?

    Quote Originally Posted by zago View Post
    You missed the point, and I don't think natural selection is random. The color red, for instance, is random. Why is it red? Why isn't it something else, some color we have never seen or conceived of? Why is it color at all?

    Or what if you asked me what matter is, and I said, attempting to get to the most fundamental answer possible, "matter is quarks." But what are quarks? Why quarks? Why not something else? Quarks ultimately come no closer to a fundamental answer than nucleons and electrons, or atoms, or molecules, etc. However enormous our universe seems, it's nothing compared to the infinite. For our one universe, there could be trillions upon trillions of others each filled with different things, even having wildly different physical laws. I would perhaps call it "the unmanifest."

    Flexing your mind a bit, you can get a vague sense of this quite liberating feeling. For instance, I look back into the past and times that were, and think about how insanely different cultures were back then. Those times were so diverse, so unique, so detailed, so rich... and yet they are the TINIEST slivers in history, there for the blink of an eye and then gone forever. My past experience with drugs like salvia, dxm, and mushrooms also reminds me of things and ways of perceiving that could be, but aren't. On salvia I'd find myself in these fully immersive, rich, ecosystems that were most importantly, almost completely foreign to life as I know it. On DXM, I could remove myself from the context of my life (we get so wrapped up in the little things that happen to us) and see the cosmic picture. From there, I understood how infinitesimal my existence is.

    And that's what RANDOM is. There were infinite possibilities, and we happened to wind up with... THIS. What we see is the backwater of the backwater in time and space. They have no relevance to the whole, none whatsoever. They couldn't. There is no center. We are a grain of sand on the ocean, but we have taken that grain of sand and turned it into something it is not. We have pretended that the features, the very notion, of this tiny grain of sand are somehow important, that they somehow have a place in the grand scheme of things. We don't see things for what they are - complete and utter nonsense. A joke.

    A joke.. yes, that's what best describes this. The punchline is kind of like god is saying, LOL, look how strange this is. Look how useless, how pointless. What is the point of life? There clearly isn't one. We are going to die. We are going to be erased. Even Alexander the Great, for all he conquered, amounts to absolutely nothing in the end. Everything we will ever be or not be would pretty much have happened anyway.

    Perhaps that is liberation. Perhaps that enables us to enjoy the divine spectacle that is life. Just give up, stop fighting and accept it, and maybe you can see.
    Thanks for your insight. I don't have much to add, but I like that; a joke. I think a large problem is that we use the biased frameworks that we are naturally orientated towards to navigate our 'ordinary' lives, but then apply it (and that's all we have to apply) to larger questions that aren't applicable to the wider context. So we ask why and how things are the way they are and ask what the meaning of things are but it doesn't work because we know nothing that goes a little bit further than our paradigm. We'll ask "what's the point?", which works down here on earth, but it doesn't work with anything else. We want there to be a meaning and expect one, because if we know our environment, we'll be able to survive against our rivals. There'll be concepts that make up existence that are simply beyond us and that we can't ever fathom. But we can try, of course...

    And no matter what form our universe would be in, if we existed within it, we'd question why it is like that. We can imagine all the other combinations and ask why it isn't one of those. But the thing is, imagination is just the reordering of things we've experienced in the past, e.i. what's in our universe. We can't imagine past our universe, no matter how wild we think our imagination is.

    Quote Originally Posted by phobik View Post
    If you're feeling adventurous, try conceiving what Existence was it like before the Big Bang.
    The depends on whether or not the BB was the 'beginning' of existence itself, or merely the beginning of the state we know of today. If it's the former, then the question's inapplicable, but if it's the latter, who knows? It could have been a universe contracting into a big crunch, which then rebounds and expands again and so on indefinitely. Or it could have a completely different form, with different physics, or maybe the whole notion of physics is limited to our universe.

  6. #16
    FRACTALICIOUS phobik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Infinite Bubble View Post
    The depends on whether or not the BB was the 'beginning' of existence itself, or merely the beginning of the state we know of today. If it's the former, then the question's inapplicable, but if it's the latter, who knows? It could have been a universe contracting into a big crunch, which then rebounds and expands again and so on indefinitely. Or it could have a completely different form, with different physics, or maybe the whole notion of physics is limited to our universe.
    Go with the former just to humor me, and try wrapping your head around it.
    To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
    ~ Elbert Hubbard

    Music provides one of the clearest examples of a much deeper relation between mathematics and human experience.

  7. #17
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zago View Post
    Perhaps that is liberation. Perhaps that enables us to enjoy the divine spectacle that is life. Just give up, stop fighting and accept it, and maybe you can see.
    I think your drug history has cut you off from reality.

    Your fevered imaginings on drugs are based on no empirical evidence.

    What you want is for us to validate your religion of drugs.

    Fat chance.

  8. #18
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    Society agrees and accepts that reality is somehow this absolute thing. That it can be observed, recorded and investigated from some imaginary idea called objectivity. I tend to think reality or existence is more complex than that. Its not just a lump we can prod and all agree on. Why is it that five people can all witness the same events yet all come up with different ideas on what happened? Reality either reflects our perceptions or internal world or it is a fluid thing with facets we can either see or not. Maybe people agree on an objective reality existing just because its too frightening to think that we actually influence what we see and there could simultaneously be a whole host of things undetected by us going on in our space that we are not a party to. Maybe the things we perceive as coincidence is just one little blip in a chain of events in which we are unknowlingly participating in but all we can see is that one person who pops up on our radar, says or done something random, which we then ascribe meaning to because it connects with a previous blip. The actual meaning escapes us because we can only sense 0.0000001% of what actually happened.

    We all theorise in the existence of other universes, but what if we were actually in those other universes while being in this one. Yet the other universe is wholly undetected by us because it falls outside of our defined ability to sense or perceive. What if the sky, which instead of being empty is actually a crowded alien city which we are simply failing to perceive because the frequency of our senses fall beyond that range. Maybe cats, dogs or other animals can see that other universe and that is why dogs bark at seemingly nothing and cats hiss down empty hallways.

  9. #19
    Senior Member zago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    I think your drug history has cut you off from reality.

    Your fevered imaginings on drugs are based on no empirical evidence.

    What you want is for us to validate your religion of drugs.

    Fat chance.
    I want you to validate my religion of drugs? Lol that really makes no sense given what I posted; you must have some preconceived notion or something. All I said was that taking drugs back in the day allowed me to see different, even completely foreign perspectives. What I said doesn't need empirical evidence, any more than is already out there anyway. How we perceive reality is clearly a mere matter of what molecules interact with our brains. Change them slightly, and you experience a different version of reality altogether. Which is to say, I see that as a pointer to how many different ways of perceiving there are, and how narrow our experience truly is. Regarding drugs, I don't even take them anymore, haven't touched 'em in at least 3 years but probably more cause I've lost count. So I'm not sure why I would be cut off from reality or want you to validate my "religion of drugs."

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by zago View Post
    I want you to validate my religion of drugs? Lol that really makes no sense given what I posted; you must have some preconceived notion or something. All I said was that taking drugs back in the day allowed me to see different, even completely foreign perspectives. What I said doesn't need empirical evidence, any more than is already out there anyway. How we perceive reality is clearly a mere matter of what molecules interact with our brains. Change them slightly, and you experience a different version of reality altogether. Which is to say, I see that as a pointer to how many different ways of perceiving there are, and how narrow our experience truly is. Regarding drugs, I don't even take them anymore, haven't touched 'em in at least 3 years but probably more cause I've lost count. So I'm not sure why I would be cut off from reality or want you to validate my "religion of drugs."
    Alas homo sapiens has only one way of perceiving, and that is, we perceive by making distinctions.

    And frankly I don't believe you could see differently, I think you saw in the same way but saw different things, and interpreted that mistakenly as a difference in perception.

    If you would like to pursue the mathematics of distinctions, you might like, The Laws of Form by G. Spencer-Brown, click on http://homepages.math.uic.edu/~kauffman/Laws.pdf

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