What Am I - What Are You?

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Re: What Am I - What Are You?

Postby johahr » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:36 pm

arel wrote: There is however something that knows of it, and without it, "brain", or anything else is not possible. But without the concept of brain, "it" still exists. Check in your own experience.... By removing every sense of perception, what is left?


Yes, awareness exists, that it undeniable.

Awareness is left when I try to remove all I can.

That still does not indicate wether that awareness is shared by many, or generated by my brain/body.
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Re: What Am I - What Are You?

Postby arel » Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:35 pm

johahr wrote:Yes, awareness exists, that it undeniable.

Awareness is left when I try to remove all I can.

That still does not indicate wether that awareness is shared by many, or generated by my brain/body.


I'm not sure what you are saying.
Yes apparently awareness is shared by many. And yes I would say without the brain/body/mind(or whatever this is) the awareness would not be known and would not be talked about. It would just be.
What I say is only my viewpoint.
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Re: What Am I - What Are You?

Postby karmarider » Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:55 pm

johahr wrote:That still does not indicate wether that awareness is shared by many, or generated by my brain/body.


Johahr, I haven't followed this conversation all the way through.

I think it's very good that you are not reaching for concepts which are beyond your direct experience. In spirituality, there is a great tendency to do that and I don't think it's helpful.

Awareness, in my experience, is more easily explained as the sense of you. Just the sense of you, nothing mystical or spiritual. As I look at the sense of me, the fear of life dissolves. And the seeing that awareness is shared just happens to be be case. It's not mystical or beyond. It's just the knowing that we are individuals, and we are porous individuals. Empathy, love, connectedness just happen to be the case.
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Re: What Am I - What Are You?

Postby johahr » Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:18 am

arel wrote:
johahr wrote:Yes, awareness exists, that it undeniable.

Awareness is left when I try to remove all I can.

That still does not indicate wether that awareness is shared by many, or generated by my brain/body.


I'm not sure what you are saying.
Yes apparently awareness is shared by many. And yes I would say without the brain/body/mind(or whatever this is) the awareness would not be known and would not be talked about. It would just be.


I meant that there is no indication wether that awareness is one, one shared by many. Or multiple, each generated by a body/brain.

Perhaps this is not important? Or perhaps it is, since if my mind think that awareness is generated by body/brain, it is easier to start identifying with the mind?
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Re: What Am I - What Are You?

Postby Webwanderer » Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:39 pm

What would indicate that awareness is not a phenomena induced by the brain, thus individual?

One good indicator is the tens of thousands of NDE'rs who were clinically dead yet had a quality of awareness that surpassed that while the brain was still functioning.

The brain is somewhat like a radio. While it seems to be playing music or generating dialogs, it is merely a transceiver for a signal that exists beyond the mechanism. And while the signal itself may be far more inclusive and dynamic than what comes through the mechanism, it is because the mechanism is designed for a certain limited range of application. Destroying the radio does not affect the signal origin in the least.

When it comes to consciousness being at the death of the brain, It simply shifts focus back to its more original, non-physical, frame of reference.

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Re: What Am I - What Are You?

Postby johahr » Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:16 am

karmarider wrote:Awareness, in my experience, is more easily explained as the sense of you. Just the sense of you, nothing mystical or spiritual. As I look at the sense of me, the fear of life dissolves. And the seeing that awareness is shared just happens to be be case. It's not mystical or beyond. It's just the knowing that we are individuals, and we are porous individuals. Empathy, love, connectedness just happen to be the case.


I have experienced something similar, that some sort of peace comes to me as I recognize myself as pure awareness.

But sometimes my mind wants more i quess. :) As the mind does.
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Re: What Am I - What Are You?

Postby Sighclone » Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:25 am

But sometimes my mind wants more i quess. As the mind does.


The mind and the false self defined by identifying with it wants many things. Infinite things, always more. But if you perceive that, that "thing" called "the mind," then you cannot be the mind. The eyeball cannot see itself. As Ekhart said recently, "you do not have a life, you are life."

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There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
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Re: What Am I - What Are You?

Postby Robert » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:00 am

Hello, I'm new here and have been lurking in this thread for some time, because I find all this very interesting. I would like to comment on the question of whether consciousness could be somehow generated by our nervous system. Although I did read most of this thread, I don't exactly remember all of it so perhaps this has been mentioned before. I Guess most people on this forum seem to have come to the the insight or conclusion that consciousness itself is not “made up” of any forms of matter, be it physical or subtle (“chi”, or whatever else), and I agree on this. I also see it as the formless in which all these forms appear. If this is true, then it is not logically possible that consciousness is generated by our body. Forms can only generate forms, something that is not form has no causality with forms, rather, it has no causality at all. Or simply put, since our bodies are made up of matter, they are not able to generate something (consciousness) which is not matter at all. This then also explains why we all share the “same” consciousness, because for multiple separate consciousnesses to exist, it has to be limited by space and time. Obviously something which is formless has no such limitations, because per definition they only apply to that which is form.

Besides this I saw a few other good pointers in the thread about consciousness ultimately being independent on a working brain, like the occurrence of NDE ‘s, and the fact that consciousness is like an eye, seeing itself. This implies that it is both observer and observed, integrated as one whole, which somehow I don't think is a property that can be ascribed to forms/matter.

An other interesting issue which presents itself is, why consciousness seems to appear in conjuncture with the body (and how could that be if they are not causally related?). The experience of consciousness and the body going hand in hand (most of the time, anyway), probably gave rise to the idea that consciousness could be "created" by it in the first place. If I had to guess and use a few sentences to put this into words (which is quite hard), I would say that to me it appears that the nature of both forms and the formless is one, which means that in essence, everything is consciousness (or Tao/God or whatever we like to call it). Also, it takes form for consciousness to realize itself, hence both forms and the formless need to exist. In our human day-to-day case, it is our nervous system that allows consciousness to focus on itself. But the nervous system is a limited form (as are all forms), which means that we are limited in what we can be conscious of. This creates the illusion of separation, and may well also fuel the idea that there are multiple consciousnesses, appearing to be somehow connected to each individual's body. I may be a little vague here, and not really giving much of a true explanation, but this idea is kind of still developing for me (and perhaps others could comment on this).

On a side note, I have always found the original question of this thread to be a very fascinating one myself also (what am I?). Though I agree that in language we couldn't get much closer as to pointing out that we are consciousness (or whatever term one likes to use), I also get the feeling that when one does not pose this question at all, the “need” for an identity seems to fade to the background. Lately in my experience, at times the feeling has come that “life is”, without the need to conceptualize it, and this also feels sufficient... even much more than that. Though this doesn't in any way negate the fact that pondering on the nature of our existence can be very interesting. I'm quite sure the last word on this issue hasn't been written yet.
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Re: What Am I - What Are You?

Postby Webwanderer » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:50 pm

Robert wrote:I'm quite sure the last word on this issue hasn't been written yet.

Welcome to the forum Robert. I'm quite sure the last word on this issue isn't even writable. That will be known through experience.

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Re: What Am I - What Are You?

Postby Sighclone » Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:51 am

Welcome Robert! You might enjoy "Consciousness is All" by Peter Dziuban. Explores your question in great detail. He has a new book coming out also.

As a skeptic, it took understanding the Copenhagen Interpretation (the observer affects the outcome) to convince me that Consciousness was paramount, and infiltrated and impacted objects, or at least their footprints. All the mystical writings began to lose some of their "other-worldliness."

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A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
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Re: What Am I - What Are You?

Postby Robert » Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:57 pm

Hey thank you WW and Andy for the welcome!

For a time, I also considered myself as quite a skeptic. For me, it took trust in my self-empathy to understand consciousness (as far as i do understand it ...) From just "being", it became obvious to me that consciousness is not a "thing". Writing about this is a challenge, but of course it is a lot of fun to conceptualize and put into words, it is one of the reasons we are on this forum after all! Andy I checked out that guy, for some reason I don't seem to resonate with his way of using concepts, but thanks for mentioning him!
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Re: What Am I - What Are You?

Postby Sighclone » Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:19 am

You would not be the first to find Peter's phrasing to be a challenge. In person, thought, he is delightful, and easier to understand. Also noteworthy is Deepak Chopra and Rudy Tanzi's latest book "Super Brain" which catches up with the current (as of about March) brain research. The last four chapters are pretty "nondual" in their topics. This is better than some of DC's other stuff, like "Golf for Enlightenment," for example.

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Re: What Am I - What Are You?

Postby jimsanders007 » Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:27 pm

How do you guys respond to people that say "Who do you think you are?". Do you just ignore and forgive them? It's implied in there that the person saying that thinks they ARE things. They want me to doubt the power of love. Has anyone successfully went on to have a conversation with someone like that and had them see the light? It seems like every time I try to help someone get over their ego they want to turn it into a fight. I realize they fear the death of the ego. Perhaps it is best ego maniacs are left alone until they see the light through their own suffering or they ask for help. I remember reading that if you are a light worker then you shouldn't force your ideas on anyone, but I'm not sure if this counts.
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Re: What Am I - What Are You?

Postby Webwanderer » Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:35 pm

"Who do you think you are?" in this context is generally not a real question. It is more of an attack that has judged the one addressed as being out of line or wrong about something - maybe they're getting the impression of you feeling superior.

It seems like every time I try to help someone get over their ego they want to turn it into a fight.

What a surprise. An ego defending its own existence. It's really not your job to fix anyone. There are factors in their own lives that they must contend with on their own. At best you can be an example. Then, should they ask, they will more likely be open to the clarity you offer.

Consider, if you think their ego is too big or out of line, is this not judgment on your part?

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Re: What Am I - What Are You?

Postby downeyjr » Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:51 pm

Robert wrote:Hello, I'm new here and have been lurking in this thread for some time, because I find all this very interesting. I would like to comment on the question of whether consciousness could be somehow generated by our nervous system. Although I did read most of this thread, I don't exactly remember all of it so perhaps this has been mentioned before. I Guess most people on this forum seem to have come to the the insight or conclusion that consciousness itself is not “made up” of any forms of matter, be it physical or subtle (“chi”, or whatever else), and I agree on this. I also see it as the formless in which all these forms appear. If this is true, then it is not logically possible that consciousness is generated by our body. Forms can only generate forms, something that is not form has no causality with forms, rather, it has no causality at all. Or simply put, since our bodies are made up of matter, they are not able to generate something (consciousness) which is not matter at all. This then also explains why we all share the “same” consciousness, because for multiple separate consciousnesses to exist, it has to be limited by space and time. Obviously something which is formless has no such limitations, because per definition they only apply to that which is form.


Robert, for me consciousness is either physical or non-physical, matter or non-matter. I consider us and the world we live in physical. If you think that consciousness is non-physical, how can a non-physical interact with physical ? Because surely we the physical humans have some kind of connection with consciousness.
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