Att:Scrapper

So lets say there is this beautiful chick in front of you that you look on (when your wife isn´t looking of course ;)In reality this means that waves/particles of light that was reflected from this babe will travel to your eye which in turn will react and signals will be sent through your nerves to your Brain. Your visualcenter in the brain will receive these signals and somehow a "picture" (image) of this beautiful babe will appear inside your Mind. So far we probably agree..This whole process of course takes some time. But then on the other hand you ZenBuddhists always say that you should live in the present *NOW*. If my description above is accurate that must be absolutely impossible since you will be doomed to live in the past, always experiencing what has already happened, forever lost in the flow of time.How do you solve that.;-)

In reality this means that waves/particles of light that was reflected from this babe will travel to your eye which in turn will react and signals will be sent through your nerves to your Brain. Your visualcenter in the brain will receive these signals and somehow a "picture" of this beautiful babe will appear inside your Mind. So far we probably agree..Yep. Your senses ABSTRACT from an infinite number of stimuli to "create" what you see before you. This abstraction takes "time" (no matter how miniscule) so you, theoretically, see things a split second after they happen. I'll find a couple articles that talk about this specifically. If my description above is accurate that must be absolutely impossible since you will be doomed to live in the past, always experiencing what has already happened, forever lost in the flow of time.You are correct. This is why I say there is no free will. Choices/decisions are made AND THEN there is awareness of that choice. There is really nothing you can do but accept WHAT IS. Of course, even acceptance isn't something that is done by you either. ;)Why would you have a problem with that? ;)SCRAP

"You are correct."

Well thank you! :)

"There is really nothing you can do but accept WHAT IS"

You mean WHAT WAS?

Thanks for the booktip comedian!

Do you perhaps care to share that argument from Hegel?

You mean WHAT WAS?It doesn't matter. WHAT "WAS" would be experienced NOW and would therefore be WHAT "IS". SCRAP

"It doesn't matter."

Denying problems doesn´t make them diseapper.



"WHAT "WAS" would be experienced NOW and would therefore be WHAT "IS". "


So now the person that has the experience defines "WHAT IS", not the reality in itself?

If you accept (which you did) the desription that seeing things take time, you will per definition never be able to accept WHAT IS (the actual reality right now), you will only be able to accept what WAS.


You are living in the past.. ;-)

Denying problems doesn´t make them diseapper.Who's denying problems? So now the person that has the experience defines "WHAT IS", not the reality in itself?So you're telling me you can perceive Reality in it's unbroken whole? If you accept (which you did) the desription that seeing things take time, you will per definition never be able to accept WHAT IS (the actual reality right now), you will only be able to accept what WAS. You are living in the past.. ;-)No I'm not. What is experienced is always experienced NOW, therefore it is WHAT IS. Are you saying that your sense of perception arises with no delay between stimulus and response? That would be a very neat trick. SCRAP

"Who's denying problems? "

You

"So you're telling me you can perceive Reality in it's unbroken whole?"

Never said that. I only said that you are trying to transform "WHAT WAS" into "WHAT IS" (using your terminology). With other words, you are trying to change the past into present.

Me:"You are living in the past.."


Scrap: "No I'm not. "


Me again: Yes you are, everyone is (if you accept that time/space are real of course, and you did that in your first post).

"What is experienced is always experienced NOW,"


Even if your *experiencing* takes place now, you are still *experiencing the past*, you said it yourself in your first post. You will always be one step behind. Which logicaly leads to the conclusion that you can only experience and accept WHAT WAS, never WHAT IS. Because when that reality has made its way to your mind, it´s already part of the history.




I know from before that you deny that *you* exist(!), the only conclusion that can be drawn from your current stance is that you also deny that it exist an objective reality.

What problems am I denying? Never said that. I only said that you are trying to transform "WHAT WAS" into "WHAT IS" (using your terminology). With other words, you are trying to change the past into present.What you are experiencing is WHAT IS. Now, technically, you can argue that WHAT IS is "really" WHAT WAS but it doesn't change the fact that it is experienced NOW. Even if your *experiencing* takes place now, you are still *experiencing the past*, you said it yourself in your first post. You will always be one step behind. Which logicaly leads to the conclusion that you can only experience and accept WHAT WAS, never WHAT IS. Because when that reality has made its way to your mind, it´s already part of the history.Take a look at how you perceive things and tell me how you feel it's different from this. The difficulty is in thinking that you are "one step behind" as if you're trying to play "catch up" to the present moment. From what I've read regarding the brain, consciousness, and the nervous system, being "one step behind" would not be very beneficial from an evolutionary standpoint. This is why I posted articles showing studies that showed the brain has been shown to respond to stimuli before there is conscious awareness of the response. The studies showed that even when the test subject made a "conscious" decision (lets say to move his hand) the brain had already sent the signal for the hand to move almost a full second before there was awareness of the decision. Your brain/nervous system is already responding to the environment and has so since conception. Please explain how you feel it is different. I know from before that you deny that *you* exist(!), the only conclusion that can be drawn from your current stance is that you also deny that it exist an objective reality.Is objective reality something that can be proven to exist outside of Consciousness? The seperation between you and I (and all things) is a creation of the mind due to the inability to perceive reality as a Whole. The mind ABSTRACTS from stimuli to "create" WHAT IS. The concept of an individual self (seperate from you, seperate from God, seperate from the environment) is also an abstraction. When "I" say that "I don't exist" I am referring to that abstraction/concept that is believed to be "me". Is there really such a "thing"? With regards to how this fits into Free Will (I figure you'll bring this up eventually), I suggest you stop at the end of the day and analyze reflect on that day's occurances. Did you make a conscious decision to wake up? When you chose to eat something, did you do so because you decided to be hungry or did the feeling of hunger arise AND THEN food was found? If you are going to say that you made a choice, you'll end up in an endless regression of having to choose, to choose, to choose, to choose. At some point or another, you'll have to admit that what you perceive as "your choice" simply arose in Awareness and the body responded to the stimulus. My final challenge, if you continue to argue Free Will, would be that you simply choose to become Enlightened. Go ahead. Make the decision right now to "Awaken" as Martinus did. Just decide to make it happen and let me know how it goes. ;)SCRAP

I said:"Even if your *experiencing* takes place now, you are still *experiencing the past*, you said it yourself in your first post. You will always be one step behind. Which logicaly leads to the conclusion that you can only experience and accept WHAT WAS, never WHAT IS. Because when that reality has made its way to your mind, it´s already part of the history. "

Scrap replied:"Take a look at how you perceive things and tell me how you feel it's different from this."

I never said it was different. I´m only drawing logical conclusions from your own statements.



Scrap:"Is objective reality something that can be proven to exist outside of Consciousness?"

I don´t know to be honest, but it´s an intuition that most of us hold to be true. Even you it seems, since you in your first post said: "This abstraction takes "time" (no matter how miniscule) so you, theoretically, see things a split second after they happen.", then agreeing with me that we live and experience what has already happened in the past and not in the present.


So now I´m faced with two contradicting views coming from you. One is that it does exist a reality (were things take time) outside the mind (A), other statements from you suggest that it doesn´t really exist an objective reality outside our minds (B).

I just want to know what you believe to be true (A or B), because you can´t believe both to be true (or can you?;)


Scrap said"[...]I posted articles showing studies that showed the brain has been shown to respond to stimuli before there is conscious awareness of the response. The studies showed that even when the test subject made a "conscious" decision (lets say to move his hand) the brain had already sent the signal for the hand to move almost a full second before there was awareness of the decision."


This might very well be true, but is unfortunatly not relevant here.

Lets say you burn your hand on hot water.. those signals will travel from your hand, first to your spinal marrow where signals will be sent back to your arm for you to move away your hand from the hot water. At the same time signals will be sent to your brain, which will both result in the pain from burning your hand and the experince/sensation that you quickly moved away your hand.

Even if we aren´t talking about reflexes in the spinal marrow, the same logic applies. So that your brain responds to certain stimulus and that you get conscious (aware) about an action (like moving your hand) or an event (like burning you hand or looking at a hot babe) afterwards, doesn´t change the fact that you are getting *conscious* about something that has already happened, in the past.


So even your brain is responding to something that has already happened in the past, so the *becoming-aware*-part is not relevant here.


WHAT IS (the present) is an event that hasn´t reached your brain just yet. And when it will, its already part of the past.



"With regards to how this fits into Free Will (I figure you'll bring this up eventually"

This is another interesting topic, but right now I don´t want to discuss that (or wether a subjective *self* exists or not). Right now I´m only interested to discuss how you solve the problem that you will always experience the past, never the present and how that can be assimilated into your view that you should accept WHAT IS, when you obviously never can do that. You can only accept WHAT WAS.


Are you really thinking about what I´m saying Scrapper or am I being so very unclear? Is there anyone else who has bothered to read this discussion that can see this contradiction, or is it only me?

Damn, you pulled me into it.. LOL

"My final challenge, if you continue to argue Free Will, would be that you simply choose to become Enlightened. "

Well, I said there is of course natural limitations to Free Will. You can´t for example choose to stop breathing, or choose not to have certain reflexes etc.

My counterquestion is: If there is no Free will, why bother spending energy on trying to accept WHAT IS ( actually WHAT WAS ;), when the *trying* isn´t gonna change anything anyway?

/off-topic

Are you really thinking about what I´m saying Scrapper or am I being so very unclear? Is there anyone else who has bothered to read this discussion that can see this contradiction, or is it only me?I'm really thinking about what you're saying! Maybe I'm just jumping ahead with my own thoughts...I'll try to stay more on topic:Right now I´m only interested to discuss how you solve the problem that you will always experience the past, never the present and how that can be assimilated into your view that you should accept WHAT IS, when you obviously never can do that. You can only accept WHAT WAS.I think you're mistaking semantics for reality. What is experienced is ALWAYS IN THE PRESENT. Even if you are thinking about the past or future, it is still occuring NOW. It can never be any time other than NOW. Let's look at it from the perspective of WHAT WAS:If you were to look at it in this way, you would see that the event(s) has already happened and so has your response. What is there to change? All that can happen is acceptance at this point. ;)Well, I said there is of course natural limitations to Free Will. You can´t for example choose to stop breathing, or choose not to have certain reflexes etc.Trying to figure out where the limitations are in Free Will is a ridiculous task. Almost as ridiculous as trying to figure out when God's plan is in effect and when you have control of the reigns. Trying to weasel control in there "somewhere" is an exercise in futility and egoism (as if you share control with God or the Universe!) Ramana Maharshi taught that the question of "free will" arises from ignorance of who/what we really are. If you see that what you take yourself to be is merely an ABSTRACTION, you will see that that ABSTRACTION can never do anything. Ever. My counterquestion is: If there is no Free will, why bother spending energy on trying to accept WHAT IS ( actually WHAT WAS ;), when the trying isn´t gonna change anything anyway?Because the habit of "trying" must be seen as an error in thinking. Aren't you Enlightened yet? ;)SCRAP

By the time we see sunlight its 6-7minutes old, doesn't mean it ain't happening NOW and it doesn't mean that the sun didn't generate it 6-7mins ago.

Thanks for taking your time to read this discussion MS. Your example is also a very good one, I think it can perhaps also clarify the point I´m trying to make.Scrap, excuse me for taking a while to respond to you. It has been suggested that we are merely arguing semantics, so I had to take a break from the debate in order to get a better perspective on my own position in this matter. Thinking about it more, I still feel though that there is something that isn´t merely semantic. I´ll make another try to explain it.Scrap"What is experienced is ALWAYS IN THE PRESENT. Even if you are thinking about the past or future, it is still occuring NOW. It can never be any time other than NOW."I agree.I think we have to make difference between the reality (the events that exist objectively) that we are experiencing, and the actual act of experiencing.With this distinction in mind, we can try to understand what a ZenBuddhist is trying to say when he says that -We should always (try to) live in the present NOW.As I can see there is two options, either the ZenBuddhist can refer to the act of experiencing, in which case his statement is a meaningless Truism, since it doesn´t matter if we think about our past or worry about the future, that act of experiencing always takes place in the present NOW. There is simply no point in making such a statement, everyone understands that the act of experiencing happens NOW and nothing will change that. So I doubt this is really the point..However the other option is that the statement: We should always (try to) live in the present NOW, refers to the world and it´s events that exist objectively outside the mind. As MS points out, when we see the Sun, we don´t actually see the sun how it IS now, we see how the Sun WAS (looked like) about 8 minutes ago. This is true for all our perceptions to a certain degree. This means that we can never live in the present NOW. The world that you see is a different one then the one that you are going to act upon, you are always helplessly one step behind.This means that option 2. is absolutely impossible.Conclusion: Either the ZenBuddhist statement is a meaningless truism or simply impossible. In both cases it must be a totally superfluous request. Can you see my point?

Living in the "now" is a method used for those people that have incessant internal monologue.

Many people spend time in thought about that which has happened and that which may or may not be. By living "now", you will in essence have to drop or "let go".

With this "letting go" comes a certain freedom. With this freedom (free of klesas) comes a kind of awareness that lends itself to presence.

Your presence NOW, free from worries, concerns, thoughts, etc. is power to act.

It is a learning tool. Not something for hair splitters to build ghost issues upon to demonstrate either their boredom or egotistical agenda (possibly unaware).

All Zen is bullshit and Zennist wouldn't have it any other way.

I had an afterthought.

I should mention that amongst Zennists there is a lexicon and jargon that is used. It is understood (sometimes) within "spiritual" context. A learning environment. A Zenful atmosphere.

It is also in a contextual environment juxtaposed with sitting and pursuit of Satori.

If used outside of this context, then it is akin to using a Spanglish or Ebonics in a corporate meeting.

Ausgepicht is correct. I think we have to make difference between the reality (the events that exist objectively) that we are experiencing, and the actual act of experiencing.Is there a difference between the "event" and the "experiencing" of it? SCRAP

Why don´t you answer the questions I asked you first, before asking me questions?

"Not something for hair splitters to build ghost issues upon to demonstrate either their boredom or egotistical agenda (possibly unaware). "

Are you adressing me?

Scrap- Yes, for one reason only- PERCEPTION!

As an example, take someone who is tone-death, say he can't hear 4 tones. He will experience ALL sound differently from the way it actually is and unless told it is different, never realize (I know this goes back to Plato's cave) that he is not perceiving TRUE reality. Most of us are not tone-death but we have built in mental filters to only show us "relevant" info and protect us from harshness, therefore what we "see" is different from the reality because we perceive it differently. I am not denying that a true reality exists and that in our perfect moments when we destroy ourselves and we cleave to G-d through an open conduit (or reach no-mind)THEN AND ONLY THEN do we see reality with no blinders whatsoever of our own construct (physiological ones will still exist). I simply believe most people are happier with the blinders on, regardless of the true nature of the world. So, 99% of the time for 99% of people- the act and the experience of the act are different because they perception is involved.

Does this make sense?

MS