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Messages - Ka

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"Eternalism and nihilism exist only out of fear of each other."

An ad hominem argument. If, instead, one employs reason...

If one assumes there are events that happen outside any experience then one is faced with either the hard problem of consciousness (for the materialist) or the interaction problem (for the dualist). These problems are intractable, in that no one, after centuries pondering them, has a hint of a clue how they can be solved. On the other hand, denying that assumption, and saying instead that only experience is real, removes those problems without adding anything intractable. If that makes one an "eternalist", so be it. At least it is coherent.

The Kitchen Sink / Re: What I Believe
« on: May 08, 2017, 02:03:26 PM »
I wonder why he thinks that saying the physical universe "just is" is somehow different from saying God "just is"?

He also totally ignores the hard problem of consciousness.

And I wonder how he figures that, if free will is an illusion, that somehow thinking can change anything.

In other words, a typically poorly-thought-out materialism.

Cyber Security / Re: Running your own mailserver
« on: April 11, 2017, 01:16:33 PM »
Wouldn't you need your own dedicated IP address to run any kind of server reachable from outside your own network? Most ISP's assign you an address, which can change at any time. Also, the contract usually says you can't run servers.

Cyber Security / Re: Ghosts in the Forum
« on: April 09, 2017, 01:10:43 PM »
(Just posted this in the Conspiracy thread, repeating it here):

This happened to me some time back, that is, a post suddenly appeared from "Ka" on a long dead thread. I finally figured out that it was a draft I had written but not posted. All these recent posts also look like drafts (which is why they are partial, and repetitive). So I'm pretty sure it is a bug in the forum software that, instead of deleting these old drafts, posts them.

(Some additional details):
As I recall, I never tried to post that draft. Instead, I wrote something else, posted it, and then tried to delete the draft, but was unable to. So it was just hanging around in the database until it just showed up as a post many months later.

This happened to me some time back, that is, a post suddenly appeared from "Ka" on a long dead thread. I finally figured out that it was a draft I had written but not posted. All these recent posts also look like drafts (which is why they are partial, and repetitive). So I'm pretty sure it is a bug in the forum software that, instead of deleting these old drafts, posts them.

Doom Psychology & Philosophy / Re: The Dysfunction of Civilization
« on: March 25, 2017, 02:24:57 PM »

To me immortality is as much a wish fantasy, as that of Santa bringing presents to us from the North pole.

To me, denial of post-mortem existence is a wish fantasy -- just think, when I die then I have no more responsibility for anything, most particularly for any of my misdeeds and bad characteristics I may have.

No one has any evidence of this foolish hope. They have faith. So it is like believing that ghosts are real. There are still unicorns. Faith is a waste of time, and for those who think that their religion is the truth, then the supposed good they think they are doing, is being filtered through fantasy land. They would be the same way, benevolent, without having to bring up arguments for their religion. Their actions would just cut through all the lies surrounding them with much clearer perception.

There is a lot of evidence for post-mortem existence, from Swedenborg to the present day. For a good example of the latter, check out Robert A. Monroe's books, Journeys Out of the Body, Far Journeys, and Ultimate Journey. There is the remote possibility that he made it all up or is deluded, but to verify that you would need to prove a conspiracy theory by tracking down all the people mentioned that support his claims, and that have to some extent duplicated them at the Monroe Institute, and elsewhere. So it seems to me that to say "there is no evidence" can only be maintained by a mind unwilling, for some dogmatic reason, to consider this evidence.

By the way, I am not saying that you should read his books, or in general the mass of similar evidence. But I do recommend being open-minded about the possibility of post-mortem existence, rather than declare it a fantasy with no evidence.

SUN ☼ / Re: Diner-SUN☼ Possibilists
« on: February 25, 2017, 12:54:38 PM »

As I see it, warning of massive die-off is the way to educate. What RE is saying is that IF nations don't IMMEDIATELY stop their wasteful nature AND IMMEDIATELY retool infrastructure to let people live at hugely lower material standard of living THEN there will be massive die-off. RE does not think the conditions will be met and hence the consequence will happen. (I also don't think the conditions will be met, though I do give a low but non-negligible chance of the conditions being met through a military takeover following a thorough financial/economic meltdown.)

But of course this message is not generally heard. You frequently say that what we need to do is educate, but I have to ask what your plan is to do so? Buy out the MSM? Take over teachers' colleges? How, otherwise, can you make people listen to what you want them to hear?

Environment / Re: Fifty States Research Project (FSRP)
« on: February 18, 2017, 03:30:40 PM »
The Diner motto seems always to be "Yes, we can't".

But look where "Yes, we can" got us. Actually, I've always liked the slogan (from Paris, May '68) "Be realistic, demand the impossible".

Anyway, here's another negative wave:

There is a group on Kaua'i, called Malama Kaua'i, which is doing pretty much what you describe. However, Kaua'i has a population density of 94/sq mile, while Oahu's pop. density is 1636/sq mile. Whatever works sustainably on Kaua'i is unlikely to work when it is overwhelmed by refugees from Oahu.


The problem here is that your senses are all you really have to work with in terms of determining Truth with a Capital T.  If we can't perceive it with our senses, we can't analyze it.  If our senses are giving us wrong data, our analysis will be incorrect no matter what.  Garbage in, Garbage out.

So you have to put some trust in your senses to make any kind of analysis, at least of the physical world.  Your checks & balances on this are what OTHER people perceive as Truth, and then making comparisons between your perceptions.  This is by far from perfect itself, because each person has their own synapses and experience which all gets filtered through, so by the time you make it up the ladder to discussing existential questions, everyone has some different spin on the Truth.

All you usually can agree on is stuff like if you let go of a Rock, it always falls Down, not Up.

As long as you're ok with only knowing about the representation (the physical), then all you need is your senses and reason. But there are sources for learning about the non-physical. One is revelation, which can also be filtered through reason. ("Revelation is not rational when it is revealed, but is revealed so that it may become rational" -- G. Lessing.) Clearly many reported revelations are bullshit, but not all (I rate highly those of the Buddha, Jesus, and more recently Sri Aurobindo and Franklin Merrell-Wolff, though in the case of Jesus it is more difficult to slough off some accreted bullshit). At this time there is not much consensus over which is the most rational, but it is not out of the question that a consensus could develop. So for now, the job of each of us is to come to our own tentative conclusions, and debate with others over theirs.

Another source for non-physical information is esoteric practice. Here also there is a wide variety, for example Druidry and Anthroposophy, with each having its practitioners. Which is better? I don't know. I am partial to those in which the initial endeavor is about disciplining the intellect, that is, developing one's concentration. Presumably over time, the better paths will produce better results, and again a consensus could emerge.


While I accept that our brains construct representations of "the thing itself", I'm not ready to say that the process is completely arbitrary. If it were we might not agree nearly as much about what constitutes reality...but we do agree among humans, generally speaking. the sky appears blue to all of us (even though perhaps it appeared as another color to people in ancient times).

Why would we agree? Because we all have the same equipment? Maybe. But maybe too, because our equipment works, after a fashion.

If our brains created reality, I see no real reason we should all live in a shared reality, which we seem to, most of the time. And...if I could change my reality, I'd be sorely tempted to pick one with fewer planet-threatening crises in progress, maybe one that didn't include nuclear fission and Donald Trump together in the same Time-Space continuum.

The full post addresses this issue.

JMG has served up a good basis for talking about the mind-body problem here:

A snippet:
For the moment, I want to focus a little more closely on the epistemological crisis itself, because there are certain very common ways to misunderstand it. One of them I remember with a certain amount of discomfort, because I made it myself in my first published book, Paths of Wisdom. This is the sort of argument that sees the sensory organs and the nervous system as the reason for the gap between the reality out there—the “thing in itself” (Ding an Sich), as Kant called it—and the representation as we experience it. It’s superficially very convincing: the eye receives light in certain patterns and turns those into a cascade of electrochemical bursts running up the optic nerve, and the visual centers in the brain then fold, spindle, and mutilate the results into the image we see.

The difficulty? When we look at light, an eye, an optic nerve, a brain, we’re not seeing things in themselves, we’re seeing another set of representations, constructed just as arbitrarily in our minds as any other representation. Nietzsche had fun with this one: “What? and others even go so far as to say that the external world is the work of our organs? But then our body, as a piece of this external world, would be the work of our organs! But then our organs themselves would be—the work of our organs!” That is to say, the body is also a representation—or, more precisely, the body as we perceive it is a representation. It has another aspect, but we’ll get to that in a future post.

My main unanswered question is whether there are many souls, or just one, playing many parts.

 Middle-Way Buddhism answers this with the tetralemma:
- One cannot say "there is only one Soul
- One cannot say "there are many souls"
- One cannot say "there is one Soul and there are many souls"
- One cannot say "there is neither one Soul nor many souls"

So what can one say? Some take this to mean one should just stop thinking about it. Well, perhaps, but there is a way to think about questions like this, though it seems to need a Surgeon General's warning. Anyway it is here:,2402.msg88643.html#msg88643

What is clear to me is that assuming there is something outside experience is unwarranted, unnecessary, and unscientific. If one assumes there is stuff that is outside any or all experience one is faced with the intractable problem of how minds and that stuff interact.

I thought you were in the camp that believes in paranormal experience, mystics and so forth?

I am.

That's all "unscientific" stuff.  Then we already agreed that philosophy is around to try to resolve questions that science cannot resolve.


Assuming stuff exists outside of experience is a metaphysical addition to science, hence unscientific. Many materialists and dualists seem to think science is based on that addition, so all I am saying is that it is not. Science -- good science -- is metaphysically neutral.

Paranormal/mystical experience, on the other hand, I call unscientific because it is anecdotal, hence not controllable in repeated experiments. While it can convince the person experiencing it, we just have to take their word for it. Which leaves philosophy for the rest of us. Actually, there are people who are scientifically examining paranormal activities, in the sense of gathering data and running statistics on them. The problem, though, is like all scientific results of that sort, in sociology, psychology, etc., one gets into major debates on how conclusive it is, questioning methodology, etc. So I tend to ignore it.

But in the long run it will be oneironauts and folks sitting on zafus that provide the proof.

Now those were two new words for me.  :icon_sunny:

I'm not convinced either of these classes of Homo Saps will ever provide any proof, just more argument and philosophy.

Besides that, how long is the "Long Run", and how much time do they have to come up with this Proof? ???  :icon_scratch:  Clock is counting down on a MAX of 300M years left to resolve these questions!  Given the progress to date, I think the Oneironauts will run out of time before they come up with the Final Proof.


Well, what I meant is that these practices become more common, to the extent that society as a whole engages in them because they have been shown to be effective. And I think, based on the pace of the evolution of consciousness that it may not take more than a hundred or so years. A thousand at most.

If we're ranking plausibility by degrees, I'll side against both materialism and idealism, and with holism.  However, this sort of holism is not much like holism as it would be described by reductionist materialists or reductionist idealists.

The word I use rather than 'holism' is 'nondualism', which has a longer history and doesn't sound as woo-wooey. Idealism can be nondualist or it can hide a subtle dualism. I'm for the former, but that argument takes a hell of a lot more carefully chosen vocabulary than I can attempt here (actually, I have tried -- that's the Coleridge stuff).

  I think we're babes in the conceptual woods here -- all of us humans.

Hence one studies philosophy, which is precisely the discipline for working on our conceptual limitations.

We tend to think that one or the other, matter or mind (or consciousness...) is more fundamental or real.  I doubt that either is more real, or that reductionism applies.

Then what is fundamental? Something (or some non-thing) has to be. Keep in mind that when saying "mentality is fundamental" one is not referring to human minds, which are derivative.

The idea that matter is, at base, "dead" and lacking in awareness altogether has never been demonstrated -- and perhaps never could be.  Surely we don't know now to demonstrate that hypothesis now!  We simply presume this because it was a basic assumption of early Modern science, and for no other reason whatsoever (other than there has been little reason to presume otherwise). 

Worse than that. At the start (in the 17th century) scientists did not deny what they called "occult properties" in nature, but decided to concentrate on the non-occult, that is, measurable properties. Nothing wrong with that. It was only later that the bad guys claimed that the measurable was all that exists. The reason I harp on the evolution of consciousness (the Barfield stuff) is that the evidence indicates that in former times those "occult properties" were not hidden. They became occult, which is what allowed natural science to develop.

Some kin of panpsychism may be true -- but there must be a thousand versions of panpsychism.

The trouble with panpsychism is that it usually is expressed as the formula "everything has consciousness". That implies that everything also has a nonconscious aspect, which makes it dualist. If, instead, one say everything is consciousness, one is idealist.

Matter CLEARLY has its own being and properties and isn't the mere plaything of mind/s.

What is clear to me is that assuming there is something outside experience is unwarranted, unnecessary, and unscientific. If one assumes there is stuff that is outside any or all experience one is faced with the intractable problem of how minds and that stuff interact.

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