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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Religions & Faiths > Taoism

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  #11  
Old 29-12-2017, 02:06 AM
Gem Gem is offline
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"Wretched mind, from us you are taking the evidence by which you would overthrow us? Your victory is your own fall."
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Nice one, ketzer.

The stranger thing is the subjectivity of certainty, and as Bohr also explained, physics doesn't regard the way nature is; it only regards what we can say about nature. (And by 'nature' he means nature as we experience it).
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  #12  
Old 29-12-2017, 03:09 PM
ketzer ketzer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FallingLeaves
First though let me say that I at some point lost interest in knowing how the universe was going to relate to me (it seemed a losing proposition because of the uncertainty of everything, I feel like a bull in a china shop sometimes) and started wondering how I relate to the universe?
When I first became aware of the Uncertainty Principal lying at the base of quantum mechanics it bothered me. It seemed wrong to me that there would be fundamental limits on what the scientist would be allowed to know about the workings of the universe. Like most individuals who are familiar with the tenants of classical physics, I assumed the universe was just a complex clock and predicting its future was just a matter of understanding its workings sufficiently. But I kept my mind open and I am glad that I did, as I came to realize that there is an aspect of the classical deterministic model of the universe that if thought about, can be rather disturbing. If I am part of a deterministic universe, and if it can be predicted with absolute certainty, then so can I. And if I can be predicted with absolute certainty, then where is my free will? And if I have no free will, then where am I? Do I not just become a clog in the vast machine, are not even my thoughts preordained by the workings of the laws of physics, can I be said to even exist?

The uncertainty principal tells me that the present cannot be known with certainty, robing me of a launching pad from which to predict the future. The non-localized nature of matter prior to observation, and the fact that prior to being observed, its properties can only be predicted in terms of probabilities (as they are not determined) brings chance back into predicting the future. In these bizarre and obscure principals of quantum physics, I find at least the hint of a reprieve from the death sentence that certainty and a deterministic universe would have cast on any concept of an I. Of course, this does not fully restore my free will as it leaves me as the boat floating helplessly on an ocean, being pushed about by the winds of probabilities.

However, with the observer effect, we start to see a blending of the natural world out there and the internal world of the conscious observer. The separation between the subject and object blurs and we see that the universe is not just something independent of us, out there, waiting for us to observe it. On the contrary, the physical universe responds to the very act of observation. Even if that observation will not take place until the far distant future it still responds to cheat us of certainty. So we see that neither the present nor the future (or even the past for that matter) can be known with certainty. We see that at the foundations of the physical world, chance and probability play a fundamental role in how the future will unfold. And we see that our own consciousness affects the behavior of the universe.

There have been many experiments done that have tried to see if and how human intentions can influence the outcome of that probability and chance at the foundation of physical reality. While there have been some rather interesting results reported, as far as I am aware, from a scientific standard, the jury remains out, so I am free to believe what I like. I like to believe that at some level I have some say in how my future will play out. I may never come to understand how, or be able to control it to any large extent, but I like to think that what I think, and how I act, is more than just the workings of a complex clock, and that my future is not completely the results of random chance and probabilities.

In the idea that I have choice, I find life.
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  #13  
Old 29-12-2017, 04:23 PM
ketzer ketzer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gem
"Wretched mind, from us you are taking the evidence by which you would overthrow us? Your victory is your own fall."
DEMOCRITUS


Nice one, ketzer.

The stranger thing is the subjectivity of certainty, and as Bohr also explained, physics doesn't regard the way nature is; it only regards what we can say about nature. (And by 'nature' he means nature as we experience it).

I think what makes that idea so interesting is that nature and how we experience it may be much more intertwined then we once thought. On the one hand we might think we can never actually experience nature as we are forever limited to experiencing the model of nature we create in our minds. Yet inherent in that mind model is the thought that there is a free, objective, and independent physical reality that actually exists out there for us sense and then model in our minds. That assumption is now at least open to question. Perhaps there is no physical reality other than the one we make in our minds. The information we use to construct our physical realities may exist prior to us reading it, but if so, there is nothing to say we would all have to read exactly the same set of information to find ourselves in a common experience. We just need enough scientific information to overlap to feel ourselves to be in a common reality, yet your reality may include such things as elves and gnomes, while mine may lack them and have unicorns instead. Comfortable in my certainty of the existence of unicorns, I may yet scoff at your goofy unproven idea of elves and gnomes.
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  #14  
Old 30-12-2017, 05:29 AM
Gem Gem is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ketzer
I think what makes that idea so interesting is that nature and how we experience it may be much more intertwined then we once thought. On the one hand we might think we can never actually experience nature as we are forever limited to experiencing the model of nature we create in our minds. Yet inherent in that mind model is the thought that there is a free, objective, and independent physical reality that actually exists out there for us sense and then model in our minds. That assumption is now at least open to question. Perhaps there is no physical reality other than the one we make in our minds. The information we use to construct our physical realities may exist prior to us reading it, but if so, there is nothing to say we would all have to read exactly the same set of information to find ourselves in a common experience. We just need enough scientific information to overlap to feel ourselves to be in a common reality, yet your reality may include such things as elves and gnomes, while mine may lack them and have unicorns instead. Comfortable in my certainty of the existence of unicorns, I may yet scoff at your goofy unproven idea of elves and gnomes.

I remember that Bohr's philosophy said that subjectivity was an intrinsic quality of nature. He didn't hold that there is an 'objective universe' which we 'subjectively experience', but subjectivity is an inherent property of nature. Strangely, according to Bohr's view, subjectivity is an objective, or at least an actual, quality of nature. Planck had quite interesting views about 'mind' being the fundamental fabric of nature; and this is quite bizarre speak considering their work was in empirical rigour.

In Buddhist cosmology we experience the mind's projections, but because there is anata (no-self), the issue of an agent being the subject of experience is quite a tenuous one. Of course, all arisings of experience are inherently empty, according to this cosmology, in that there is a function, yet no 'thing' which is functioning.

I would guess that the projection of our experience, in this immediate noticing of 'what its like', is quite different to any volitionally produced imaginary thing, though the fundamental quality of substanceless would apply to any experience, real or imagined. I would say, however, one can imagine unicorns till the cows come home, and never actually 'see' a unicorn in the way we do cows.
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  #15  
Old 30-12-2017, 01:28 PM
ketzer ketzer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gem
Planck had quite interesting views about 'mind' being the fundamental fabric of nature; and this is quite bizarre speak considering their work was in empirical rigour.
Bizarre speak yes, yet their work led Bohr, Planck, Wheeler, and many other modern theoretical physicists toward that conclusion. Given the revelations of relativity and quantum mechanics, I am not sure there is any way to speak of the fundamentals of nature that does not sound bizarre, at least at first. It is perhaps a process of unlearning what one has learned before one can fully contemplate the alternatives. Only then can the mind open sufficiently to work the new revelations into a new (if more nebulous) model. This if anything was Einstein’s greatest strength when contemplating relativity, yet paradoxically, it was also his greatest barrier to accepting the implications of quantum mechanics. Even the great out of the box thinker had his biases which clouded his vision at times.
When you think about it, mind is the fundamental fabric to which any scientist must apply their rigor. They may believe they are conducting experiments on an independent physical world, but any empirical evidence they collect must enter through the senses and be interpreted and modeled by their own mind before they can contemplate it at all. What they probe and study is the holographic world projected against the fundamental fabric of their own minds. From where the senses collect that empirical evidence to construct that world cannot really be known for sure. Is there a “real” physical world out there that we are “in”, or is the only world there is the holographic ones projected against the fabric of our own minds? Is there a “real” world out there which we are sensing, or are the senses themselves just a part of a larger virtual reality illusion?
I don’t have the answer, just more questions that make me wonder. Why should the speed of light be a constant? Why should the passage of time be dependent on the velocity of the subject? How is it that matter can, through gravity, slow the passage of time? Why should matter behave as a wave when we are not looking but a particle when we are? How is it that one particle of an entangled pair can respond instantly to a measurement on the other regardless of distance? How can space and time be one thing, interchangeable with each other? And there are many more bizarre facts of nature that raise more questions.
These are facts of science not readily accessible to the holographic worlds we create in our minds, and once known, they do not fit in easily. We struggle to find a place for them among the contradictory facts that we have already constructed with the data our senses have been giving us all along. Yet mathematics predicted and confirms their truth and we have already begun to utilize them to manipulate our world(s?) though our technology. There are many practical types, even among the physicists themselves, who say don’t worry about the philosophical implications, just “shut up and calculate”, and I suppose this is as valid a stance as any. But I am more curious, I find the whole thing fascinating and I can’t help it if I have not yet lost my sense of wonder about the bigger picture. The more wondering I do about it, the more I wonder whether there is any physical world beyond that of the holographic physical one I am projecting against the fabric of my own mind.

Last edited by ketzer : 30-12-2017 at 04:03 PM.
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