Author Topic: "We vs. I"  (Read 103 times)

Xepera maSet

"We vs. I"
« on: November 02, 2017, 03:24:06 pm »
As normal I went to go discuss LHP and Setian ideology with my friends religion and philosophy classes. We were debating mind body Dualism for his class and it came up that people like materialists and some Buddhists believe that there is no "I," just a "we", a collection of different processes.

I wasn't sure how to get out of that, it was kind of a stale mate. How can we be certain that something metaphysical is needed to explain how we are? In this case a mind/soul specifically, and within the context of the mind body problem?
AKA: Three Scarabs, 1137

"You look up into the night sky - whether as a child or an adult - and if you open yourself honestly, then it is a gateway to mystery, to the unknown."

pi_ramesses

Re: "We vs. I"
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2017, 03:32:11 pm »
The problem with such ideas is that at times it seems imponderable, if not insoluble.

I don't see an out unless I can assume their position and refute it by indirect proof.

That reductio ad absurdum could work the other way against Setian thought with a strong argument I guess.
I wonder what that would look like from either perspective.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2017, 03:41:59 pm by pi_ramesses »
Pro omnis dominos viae sinistra, sic itur ad astra
Nylfmedli14

Xepera maSet

Re: "We vs. I"
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2017, 03:41:47 pm »
Well the Buddhist would argue that "I" is an illusion created by "we", which is more or less material reductionism.
AKA: Three Scarabs, 1137

"You look up into the night sky - whether as a child or an adult - and if you open yourself honestly, then it is a gateway to mystery, to the unknown."

pi_ramesses

Re: "We vs. I"
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2017, 03:45:56 pm »
True. But the Buddhist can't be certain either. Everything that they would point to as evidence within nature and themselves would not be a priori (rather synthetic judgments). If you look at the philosophy of Shaivism, which is dear to @Kapalika , then the 'we' could be the illusion rather than the 'I'. Perhaps non-dualism or hard solipsism is the way to go? I would prefer the former than the latter.

The compromise between the two might posit the collection of 'we' as a singularity emanated in myriad ways. This still supports the Siva sutras, I think. The illusion isn't bad per se (perhaps necessary) but part of it has to do with our limitations. I've just started looking into this starting from where I left off with Advaita Vedanta. So, anyone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2017, 04:07:30 pm by pi_ramesses »
Pro omnis dominos viae sinistra, sic itur ad astra
Nylfmedli14

pi_ramesses

Re: "We vs. I"
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2017, 07:00:43 pm »
@Xepera maSet Have you ever read Just the Arguments Edited by Michael Bruce and Steven Barbone? All sorts of philosophies are distilled down to premises and conclusions as well as the logical operations to go from one step to another. There is a section under metaphysics titled "A Reductionist Account of Personal Identity". I'll type it up when I get a chance so you can see it.
Pro omnis dominos viae sinistra, sic itur ad astra
Nylfmedli14

Xepera maSet

Re: "We vs. I"
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2017, 07:42:58 pm »
@Xepera maSet Have you ever read Just the Arguments Edited by Michael Bruce and Steven Barbone? All sorts of philosophies are distilled down to premises and conclusions as well as the logical operations to go from one step to another. There is a section under metaphysics titled "A Reductionist Account of Personal Identity". I'll type it up when I get a chance so you can see it.

I'll have to get this.
AKA: Three Scarabs, 1137

"You look up into the night sky - whether as a child or an adult - and if you open yourself honestly, then it is a gateway to mystery, to the unknown."

pi_ramesses

Re: "We vs. I"
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2017, 11:03:08 pm »
Check your email.  :)
Pro omnis dominos viae sinistra, sic itur ad astra
Nylfmedli14

Mindmaster

Re: "We vs. I"
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2017, 01:13:30 pm »
As normal I went to go discuss LHP and Setian ideology with my friends religion and philosophy classes. We were debating mind body Dualism for his class and it came up that people like materialists and some Buddhists believe that there is no "I," just a "we", a collection of different processes.

I wasn't sure how to get out of that, it was kind of a stale mate. How can we be certain that something metaphysical is needed to explain how we are? In this case a mind/soul specifically, and within the context of the mind body problem?

Sounds like some of the things I've read in Ouspensky's works. His assertion being that we say, "I", it is more like a choir of thought processes we identify as ourselves, but it's really like a choir of mini-me's that inhabit the same body. :D

Anyway, to describe my view it is more like there is a "we" with many "I"''s as in individualities divided in such a way as to give depth to the experience. I dislike the language of meta-physical, and often the semantics, especially in this regard, are part of the problem. The reality of course is that we are unable to separate our subjective reality from the objective one, so one can logically conclude that these things are impossible to divide.  Both realities are real and intertwined, so to speak, and the absurdity is often in trying to make a example of the division of this or that at the expense of one or the other. Often our subjective impressions and spiritual inklings are the very impetus that leads us to the real understandings of the objective and vice versa.

As far as debates and certainty, ultimately such conversations should be had because without them we will never know the reality but they are just conversations or MODELS of that reality, not the real thing. The very nature of the debate you had is subjective in itself, and there is no side to win as it presumes you agree to one of the base assumptions posited as a position. While the position may seem unresolvable it not possible to prove either assertion without buying into one or the other wholly.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 01:16:47 pm by Mindmaster »

Kapalika

Re: "We vs. I"
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2017, 04:13:33 am »
As normal I went to go discuss LHP and Setian ideology with my friends religion and philosophy classes. We were debating mind body Dualism for his class and it came up that people like materialists and some Buddhists believe that there is no "I," just a "we", a collection of different processes.

I wasn't sure how to get out of that, it was kind of a stale mate. How can we be certain that something metaphysical is needed to explain how we are? In this case a mind/soul specifically, and within the context of the mind body problem?

I'm not sure exactly what you're asking, but I'm also not too keen on Buddhism so I don't know what the we part is about. There is the "not self" but that's about as far as I understand it.

I'd say though, we don't need any metaphysical explanation of how we are. To me, life just naturally evolved from processes set in motion by things we can't understand. I wouldn't try to reduce Satan to some kind of "first cause" or anything like that, but I would involve my metaphysical beliefs as a "supplement" to such a scientific understanding. It isn't necessary, and will be forced to adapt when science outright contradicts it.

Also, I've always felt confused by the "mind body problem". I don't see a problem, considering that the mind is in the brain and the brain is very much part of our bodies. I think this is supported by science too particularly in advances in neuroscience and genetics (the latter where it concerns mental illness). Actually, I'd say that the mind is more of our conscious construct of the thought process rather than something distinct from the brain. To put int other words, the "mind" is how we think about our thoughts, where as the thoughts themselves are directly the processes in the brain itself. Basically self-awareness, which has been described as a looped thoughts about thoughts in scientific literature before.

This is related, but also why I don't see a mind body dualism is that it doesn't jive well with my metaphysics. It's actually neat timing as a while ago I was working on a blog post to introduce to my "theory of aspects" which touches on this but basically there's a point of growing complexity where we can't say it's wholly physical anymore, but at the same time, I wouldn't say that it isn't totally independent, since it ultimately depends on the physical for survival.

This idea of linear dependence is actually a big part of how I see many spirits and abstract 'constructs'. Some might call these servitors, godforms, or what have you; I'm saying most spirits in some form or another, ultimately originated as those and/or are in some way dependent on physical minds to manifest to/in. If there is any such things with origins predating that, I've seen no theological or personal proof for it. Ultimately I think most manifestations of the spiritual variety are what are called ashuddha or "impure" in the tattva system, which is right where the mind is as well. Matter itself of which the brain is, would exist in the shuddhashudda (pure-impure) tattvas.

My theory of aspects has a hypothetical way by which the mind could exist without the body by creating a new "nonphysical" body but ultimately one's spirit/mind still needed to be anchored to something. So I don't think that there really is a duality between the mind and the body, even if (though I'm not saying it's so) there is a duality (of sorts) between the physical and the nonphysical.

True. But the Buddhist can't be certain either. Everything that they would point to as evidence within nature and themselves would not be a priori (rather synthetic judgments). If you look at the philosophy of Shaivism, which is dear to @Kapalika , then the 'we' could be the illusion rather than the 'I'. Perhaps non-dualism or hard solipsism is the way to go? I would prefer the former than the latter.

The compromise between the two might posit the collection of 'we' as a singularity emanated in myriad ways. This still supports the Siva sutras, I think. The illusion isn't bad per se (perhaps necessary) but part of it has to do with our limitations. I've just started looking into this starting from where I left off with Advaita Vedanta. So, anyone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

The only thing I'd correct is that nondual Shaivism as I believe it, isn't representative of the religion as a whole. The sects related to the Shiva Sutras of Vasugupta developed over centuries then just went underground for nearly a 1,000 more years before resurfacing with an unbroken lineage less than 100 years ago. Most Shaivites will be Puranic, Lingam,, Yogis, ect. It's a totally different lineage and I'm in a minority. By numbers, this is true even of Shaivia Tantra where the dualistic Shaivia Siddhanta outnumber us and historically were more spread out geographically.

That aside, I would agree, more or less, that the "we" is our singularness expressed and emanating in many different ways. You would be correct in saying this agrees with the Sutras, as it is at the core of it. I was actually explaining this to someone else a couple of weeks ago, but Rudra is still Rudra even though he is also Shiva. It's kind of like that, as a parallel. Maybe not a perfect one since Shiva can change forms... even if I attain the highest point of Shivagama I can't ever turn into you, as far as I'm aware (although, it's possible to share degrees of that nonduality with you, which might be close enough anyway).

I think it's best to understand this as not monism in the same way it's not dualism. To me, monism is just another dualism, so a reconciliation to me is actually a true nondualism more so than monism.

« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 04:24:40 am by Kapalika »
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"God and the individual are one, to realize this is the essence of Shaivism.” - Lakshman Joo

Xepera maSet

Re: "We vs. I"
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2017, 03:08:20 pm »
That was a fascinating blog post.
AKA: Three Scarabs, 1137

"You look up into the night sky - whether as a child or an adult - and if you open yourself honestly, then it is a gateway to mystery, to the unknown."