Philosophy Project

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SCOPE:

To investigate the interface between physics and metaphysics

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REFERENCES:

  1. The Creation Hymn of Rig Veda
  2. Neti neti

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OBSERVATIONS:

[OK, I am starting all over again using Buddha’s principle of seeing things as they are. I decided to define the scope of Physics and Metaphysics at the outset. I see Metaphysics much broader in scope and Physics to be part of that scope. Physics deals with manifestations. Metaphysics must deal with perception because there is nothing else there. I have been reading Aristotle. Metaphysics did not start out as the subject of perception, but it should have. That would have greatly simplified the subject of philosophy.]

ONE: There is looking and perceiving.

TWO: There is something to be looked at and perceived.

THREE: Thus there is manifestation and perception.

FOUR: Physics is a study of manifestation.

FIVE: Metaphysics is a study of perception.

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PERCEPTION:

[It is PERCEPTION that gives rise to the ideas of SELF, SPACE and all the MANIFESTATIONS around us. Our perception is the starting point of it all. Later we would be investigating what perception is. But first I want to establish the starting point of this investigation.]

SIX: MANIFESTATION is thought to be there. It is what is perceived.

SEVEN: Perception is thought to involve a “perception point”. Thus there is the consideration of SELF.

EIGHT: Self is thought to be separate from manifestation. Thus there is the consideration of SPACE.

NINE: Perception, primarily, is thought to involve the considerations of MANIFESTATION, SELF, and SPACE.

TEN: Perception appears to be THOUGHT considering itself. 

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EXISTENCE:

[Philosophy still hasn’t sorted out fully what EXISTENCE is. There are many different views about it. In other words, different philosophers mentally perceive existence differently. It all boils down to perception. The problem of existence sorts out nicely when we define it in terms of perception.]

ELEVEN: Manifestations, self, and space are thought to be present. Thus, there is the consideration of EXISTENCE.

TWELVE: Manifestation is what is perceived. Self is what perceives. Space makes perception possible.

THIRTEEN: That this is so is a consideration.

FOURTEEN: Existence is the sum total of considerations perceived.

FIFTEEN: Existence is relative and not absolute.

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CRITERION OF INVESTIGATION:

[It is important to establish the first principle from the outset. It then acts as the criterion for rest of the investigation. Here we are using PERCEPTION as the first principle and the criterion. One may figure-figure whatever one wants, but unless it is there to be perceived, it would not meet the criterion of this investigation.]

SIXTEENAristotle called the subjects of metaphysics “first philosophy”. He called the study of nature, or physics, “second philosophy”. This is consistent with the fact that study of manifestation (second philosophy) is intrinsic to the study of perception (first philosophy).

SEVENTEEN: The implication from Aristotle is that the primary task of philosophy is to search for first principles. Aristotle seems to describe the first principle as “the first basis from which a thing is known.”

EIGHTEEN: By definition, a first principle would be a basic, foundational proposition or assumption that cannot be deduced from any other proposition or assumption.

NINETEEN: In this investigation we start with the first principle of PERCEPTION OF MANIFESTATION. It is something that is universally there. It spurs thinking and further looking.

TWENTY: Hence the criterion used in this investigation would be the determination of those thoughts and observations that are consistent with ‘PERCEPTION OF MANIFESTATION’. These things can be found when actually looked for.

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FIRST CAUSE:

[“First Cause” is a misnomer. It has nothing to do with the notion of “cause and effect”. “Cause and effect” denote a certain association between two events where the second event is looked upon as the outcome of the first event. “First Cause,” on the other hand, is the property, which makes a manifestation simply appear without association with anything else. It is interesting to observe that the property of “first cause” may be applied to all manifestations before applying the association of “cause and effect.”]

TWENTY-ONE: We cut a tree; it falls. We strike a match; it lights up. Thus, we have a phenomenon that is a direct consequence of another phenomenon. This makes us believe that all phenomena are caused. We, thus, assume that a manifestation must be a consequence of another manifestation. This belief leads to an infinite causal series.

TWENTY-TWO: To resolve this inconsistency, we assume a First Cause that is not itself caused. But this makes the First Cause different from the way all other causes are understood. It allows the possibility that a manifestation may simply appear.

TWENTY-THREE: All manifestations simply appear as we perceive them. They disappear as we stop perceiving them. Thus, we may consider “First Cause” to be the property of all manifestations.

TWENTY-FOUR: The notions of CAUSE and EFFECT seem to indicate an association between two manifestations, which otherwise simply appear and disappear as we perceive or not perceive them.

TWENTY-FIVE: Hence, consistency with perception tells us that “First Cause” is a property that applies to all manifestations. On the other hand, “cause and effect” is a special sequence observed between two manifestations.

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GOD:

[God cannot be a manifestation itself that can be perceived, and at the same time be the source of all other manifestations. That is highly inconsistent because it makes it possible for any manifestation to be considered God. Thus, if there is a God, then it can’t be manifested. It would be beyond perception. It would be part of speculation only.]

TWENTY-SIX: When God is viewed as a Being with the properties of holiness, justice, sovereignty, omnipotence, omniscience, benevolence, omnipresence, and immortality it qualifies as a manifestation. The property of “First Cause” applies to God just as it applies to any other manifestation.

TWENTY-SEVEN: The implication of Gödel’s incompleteness theorems is that no system can be described completely by using an aspect of that system for reference.

TWENTY-EIGHT: Therefore, God, viewed as a manifestation, cannot completely describe the presence of all other manifestations

TWENTY-NINE: Thus, God must be something that is beyond manifestation. It may be looked upon as the background against which manifestation, and even perception, appears.

THIRTY: Thus, God is THAT, which cannot be conceived or perceived. It is beyond desire, expectation and speculation.

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CONSIDERATIONS AND KNOWLEDGE:

[The considerations form themselves into space. Disturbances in space travel as energy. Energy condenses as matter. The primary knowledge is perception of considerations, from which come experience, information, hypotheses, theories, principles, axioms, etc.]

THIRTY-ONE: Space separates manifestation from perception-point. Separation generates desire to know. Desire to know generates expectation. Expectation generates speculation. Speculation generates considerations.

THIRTY-TWO: Considerations (thoughts, ideas, assumptions, expectations, suppositions, conjectures, speculations, etc.) form the fabric of the mental space. Disturbance traveling through this fabric is what forms energy. This energy condenses and becomes fixed as matter.

THIRTY-THREE: The perception of these considerations forms the basis of knowledge. Knowledge gradually becomes more structured as it condenses into experience, information, hypotheses, theories, principles and axioms.

THIRTY-FOUR: All considerations are relative and so is knowledge.

THIRTY-FIVE: There is no absolute consideration. There is no absolute knowledge.

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NAME AND FORM:

[Name and form (nama-rupa in Sanskrit) is the crystallization of thoughts, at which point persistence enters into the picture. Name and form become the points of reference because they are persisting, even if for a fleeting moment. They can now interact and combine into more complex forms with new names.]

THIRTY-SIX: Considerations interact with each other.  For such interaction to take place, there must be persistence.

THIRTY-SEVEN: For considerations to persist they must acquire some form. A unique consideration will have a unique form or ‘name’.

THIRTY- EIGHT: The considerations, thus, interact and combine into more complex forms with new names.

THIRTY-NINE: When there are names and forms there is also considerations.

FORTY: “God,” “Prime Mover Unmoved” “Uncaused Cause,” “Supreme Being,” “Unconditioned Being,” etc. are all considerations.

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[Further development of this project is in progress…]

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SELF:

[As considerations acquire name and form they become fixed. From this come transformations, such as, symbols, pictures, feelings, emotions, impulses, etc. The perception point appears to be the center of these considerations analogous to the “center of mass” in Physics. This is SELF. Considerations give rise to judgments that seem to be coming from self.]

FORTY-ONE: As considerations acquire name and form they develop a structure and become relatively rigid or fixed. 

FORTY-TWOFrom this structure of considerations come transformations, such as, symbols, pictures, feelings, emotions, impulses, etc. Thus come about means for communication, such as, language.

FORTY-THREEAs these considerations become relatively rigid or fixed, the perception point appears to be the center of these considerations analogous to the “center of mass” in Physics. This is SELF.

FORTY-FOUR: The perception gets filtered through the structure of considerations that make up the SELF, before it reaches the perception point.

FORTY-FIVEThe filtered perception gives rise to judgments that seem to be coming from SELF. This determines the view of existence, the Universe and also the view of self.

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Comments

  • Nia Simone  On March 8, 2013 at 1:55 AM

    Hello Vinaire,

    It has been way too long. I can’t believe it was February 25 when I last posted. Tumbling paradigms have kept me busy with new opportunities.

    Vinaire: Whether this ‘seed’ is a consideration or not, is not known. But once it is there and perceived, further considerations appear about it along the path of how it unfolds. This is where all the above definitions come in.

    There seems to be harmonics of those definitions coming into play as the unfolding takes place. This unfolding shoots out like a ray. Maybe that forms the light. I don’t know. This all is a conjecture.

    Nia: I think it’s interesting that you have light and harmonics (usually associated with sound) here. I see, feel and hear a glowing, flowing ripple that when mindful, we sense and when thoughtful we help create (series) and define.

    Vinaire: Imagination seems to involve the process of separation by which manifestation, perception-point and space comes about. This is the fountain of life. This is the infinite potential manifesting itself. This is the BRAHMA of Hinduism.

    Nia: Well, then, we must add Imagination to the definition list!

    Imagination = the process of separation by which manifestation, perception-point and space comes about. The fountain of life.

    This is a very interesting thought:

    Vinaire: A creation that is consistent throughout has a power of its own. It may be soft like velvet and then hard like iron in the next moment, but there is a beautiful consistency to it. It is consistency that leads us to our true selves. That self is effortless. It is simply being.

    Nia: I’ve never thought of that.

    I’m not sure I agree completely, but I can see it in your work. There is a constant return to simplicity and consistency.

    Ah, here it is. Yes, a creation can only become consistent.

    Maybe the self is effortless. I can agree with that.

    And maybe a consistent thought leads back to the self. Okay.

    But on the way, the thought is not effortless. It is moving, desiring to build the creation outward, then, with a discipline of consistency, thoughts results can be added to the knowledge. Once knowledge, simplified and consistent, it is added to the self.

    This is how I see you work. You get a new “disturbance”. Then you think, explore it. There are new definitions, new thoughts tried on and there’s some chaos. Re-examine existing knowledge with new knowledge. Rewrite all that is necessary, reducing the existing to the simplest form, and expanding the knowledge base. Then the self is simply being again.

    It’s weird how the exploration that I thought was pushing the envelope out is turning the telescope back around to us. We are doing the very thing we are describing doing.

    Warm regards,

    Nia

  • Nia Simone  On March 8, 2013 at 1:58 AM

    Oh darn, I didn’t close an “em” tag. Sorry. They were supposed to be around the word “become” right up there where you see the italics start. That was an experiment. I’ve been getting pretty good with the hyper links but this was the first time I tried out a formatting code.

    • vinaire  On March 8, 2013 at 8:16 AM

      I am currently in India attending the 50th year reunion at my engineering alma mater. I shall be back in States on 18th. So, I have not been attending to my blog regularly.

      You seem to be doing great, experimenting with the formatting code, Nia. I have fixed what you pointed out. Your long post deserves a carefully considered answer. So, I shall answer it a bit later.

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  • Nia Simone  On March 8, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    Hello Vinaire,

    I hope you have a wonderful time in India. Enjoy.

    I will use the time to get caught up on the many threads of thought.

    Fondly,

    Nia

  • vinaire  On April 17, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    The eastern concept of Atman is incorrectly translated in English as soul. The two concepts are as different as a “doughnut hole” is different from “doughnut.”

    Let’s imagine a “doughnut” that is made up of considerations (thoughts, ideas, assumptions, expectations, suppositions, conjectures, speculations, etc.). Basically, we are looking at a “doughnut” made up of thought material. This is the concept of SOUL in western religions.

    Now let’s look at the “doughnut hole.” This hole is defined by the doughnut. If the doughnut is gone, the hole is gone too. But that hole has no substance. There is nothing there. This is the true concept of ATMAN in eastern religions.

    When there are no thoughts or considerations, there is no soul, and there is no atman either.

    Atman, being nothingness, is considered to merge into parmatman, the surrounding nothingness, when all thoughts and considerations are dissolved.. Parmatman cannot be described because there is nothing there to describe.

    On the other hand, soul of western religions cannot merge into God because God is considered to be something or someone, The concept of soul dissolving into nothing is not there in western religions. Soul is considered to be something that is held in some state after death.

    Atman is considered in Hinduism to be indestructible and indivisible. Bhagavad Gita says:

    O Bharata (Arjuna), all beings were unmanifest before they were born and will become unmanifest again when they are dead; they are manifest only in the intermediate stage. What is the point then for lamentation? (II-28)

    All this can be said about atman because it is not made up of any substance… not even thought.
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    • Chris Thompson  On April 17, 2013 at 9:15 PM

      Vin: Parmatman cannot be described because there is nothing there to describe.

      Chris: I take your statements about your culture and religious experiences at face value since I have no education in these disciplines at all. Parmatman seems similar to the Islamic Allah. Possibly Mohammed had Eastern training as it is rumored that Jesus of Nazareth did as well. Muslims are particularly touchy about anyone creating graven images of their God. They seem to stop at calling it blaspheme although my guess is that the earlier reason for a rule like this is to enforce anyone away from describing unknowable — an art physically impossible to render. Thus they allow art to have geometric shapes which become quite organic and fractal.

      • vinaire  On April 18, 2013 at 4:25 AM

        There are plenty of idols and images in Hinduism. Their is no dearth of it,

        HINDU IDOLS

        Yet the concept of Parmatman or Brahma is there. All lesser gods represent considerations.

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