The Power Of Now(ish)

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The Power Of Now(ish)

Postby prospero » Fri Dec 30, 2005 8:02 pm

I found out today that it takes almost half a second for information from the outside world to be full processed by the brain.

In this sense, could we say that we are never truly in the 'now' of our physical environment owing to this lag?

Of course the now/reality that we must strive to be present with can only be an simulated shadow. but does this matter?- the illusion is still 'our' reality as it is...

just some thoughts
the unexamined life is not worth living
the unlived life is not worth examining
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Postby kiki » Fri Dec 30, 2005 8:20 pm

"I found out today that it takes almost half a second for information from the outside world to be full processed by the brain.

In this sense, could we say that we are never truly in the 'now' of our physical environment owing to this lag?"


At a physiological level, I suppose so. But what ET calls "Now" is not time based. "Now" is what time appears in, what "brains" appear in, what phenomena appear in. "Now" is the conscious spaciousness in which everything else appears, unfolds. It is the container of all else; it is the unchanging reality beneath the changing phenomena, and how that phenomena reacts to other phenomena is part of how the unmanifest consciousness expresses itself.

There is no "we" to strive at anything - there is presence only; the "we" is only appearance within consciousness, within awareness. It is not real.
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Postby kiki » Sat Dec 31, 2005 2:25 am

prospero, I hope I didn't give you the impression I was jumping on your post - I was only attempting to clarify what "Now" means. I was also attempting to point out something that generally gets overlooked because its existence has seldom been examined - the existence of separate entities, the "we" you mentioned. There is a strong tendency to assume that "I" exist - if this assumption is examined early on many pitfalls to awakening can be avoided.

Welcome to the board. I look forward to hearing more from you.

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Postby prospero » Sat Dec 31, 2005 5:52 pm

prospero, I hope I didn't give you the impression I was jumping on your post - I was only attempting to clarify what "Now" means.



No not at all Kiki, thanks for you reply.

While I agree that 'time' appears in transcendent awareness, I think we have to be carefull about discarding any notion of self.

It is interesting to me that fundamental materialists and pure transcendentalists arrive at exactly the same conclusion from different approaches.

A fundamental materialists like Daniel Dennett or Stephen Pinker et al, would say that what we term 'consciousness' is merely an effect of competing neurological activity in the brain. For them, there is no self, no free will because everything is merely matter playing itself out according to predefined laws. Because there is no discriminating consciousness (just an illusion) everything is just 'one'.

For pure transcendentalists (forms of advaita, zen etc) self and sense of self are just apparently real events appearing in consciousness. For them, there is no self, no free will because everything is merely awareness playing itself out according to its own laws. Because there is no discriminating consciousness (just an illusion) everything is just 'one'.


spot the difference? It seems that when you push to the limits of religion and science you meet in the middle. Both denying a sense of self.

The other school of thought comes from post modern/structuralist theory. This states that any attempt to state a universal truth is inherently negated by the subjectivity of language and the partial perspective of the commentor.

Between all of these approaches the vast majority of humans are either too economically beleagured to have an opinion, or revert to the default setting of a rudderless society without absolute values or transcendent meaning - senseless consumerism and its attendent companion, fundamentalism and terrorism.

I would like to propose an alternative. While you are right in saying that we do not hear enough about the ultimate illusion of separate self, this is not the whole story. Ultimately, I believe there is a place for small self. It requires stepping beyond science and postmodernity to accept the higher aspect af witness consciosness and soul. It requires stepping beyond the self absorbed narcisstic urge of consumerism and fundamentalism. It requires stepping beyond the nihilism of pure transcendence.

It requires an embrace of the reality of ultimate paradox - that awareness transcends AND includes the quasi-existent but vital role of self.

It is precisely the inability of the human mind to grasp paradox that we live in an age of such suffering.

regards,
prospero
the unexamined life is not worth living
the unlived life is not worth examining
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Postby phil » Sat Dec 31, 2005 7:55 pm

prospero wrote:It seems that when you push to the limits of religion and science you meet in the middle. Both denying a sense of self.


I love this kind of approach, and would enjoy learning more.

So much energy is expended creating limiting conceptual boxes such as "religion", "science", "politics", "business" etc, with each big box having a great number of sub boxes.

Everybody, in all fields, jumps in to their favorite little box, and begins seeing their box as the only one that matters.

Thus, a truly wholistic enquiry seems to always be off topic, where ever you try to have it.

This seems to be a structural problem in our approach that is created by the same brain that divides the world in to the boxes of "me" and "everything else."
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Postby heidi » Sat Dec 31, 2005 8:09 pm

...it takes almost half a second for...


That space is the place I love. When I read that, it put me there - in that space between. To me that's the space of knowing! :D

P.S. Hi Prospero - love the name - you're castaway in The Tempest, eh?
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Postby prospero » Sat Dec 31, 2005 8:36 pm

Hi Heidi,

yeah, hes my favourite Shakespeare character:
a bit lonely but on to something good perhaps :D

btw, love your artwork![/quote]
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Postby kiki » Sat Dec 31, 2005 8:51 pm

prospero said, "that awareness transcends AND includes the quasi-existent but vital role of self."

I would agree. To transcend it must include everything, including the "false" self. To awaken is to see both, but to no longer remain trapped in the "self" which interacts with other "selves" while playing out in manifested form. This is how things are "seen" by me.

"This states that any attempt to state a universal truth is inherently negated by the subjectivity of language and the partial perspective of the commentor."

Right - "universal truth" cannot be stated, but it can be lived because it's what you really are. The "partial perspective of the commentator" gets in the way, and cannot state anything which is transcendental to it. Beneath this "partial perspective" is the wholeness of what you really are, but this wholeness is beyond words, beyond descriptions. Yet, there is effort to point to it using words.

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Postby prospero » Sat Dec 31, 2005 9:24 pm

"This states that any attempt to state a universal truth is inherently negated by the subjectivity of language and the partial perspective of the commentor."


Right - "universal truth" cannot be stated, but it can be lived because it's what you really are. The "partial perspective of the commentator" gets in the way, and cannot state anything which is transcendental to it. Beneath this "partial perspective" is the wholeness of what you really are, but this wholeness is beyond words, beyond descriptions. Yet, there is effort to point to it using words.


I agree. However, the problem with postmodern thought (a very dominant contingent in government, media etc) is that they would not accept that "it can be lived because it's what you really are" because that stance cannot be so intellectualised and rationalised. So we live in a world where the vital influence of someone like Eckhart Tolle is marginalised. I think he said in one of his books that it would be great if 'being' were taught in schools - amen! :D
the unexamined life is not worth living
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Postby chris » Sat Dec 31, 2005 9:48 pm

being cant be taught because it is all there is.
if it could be taught then everyone would allready be oneness in awareness of itself.
yes, it should be pointed at, but as we know, most people dont even want to go there, happy in there illusion.
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Postby kiki » Sat Dec 31, 2005 9:54 pm

Unfortunately, we are "stuck" with awakening making its appearance in the way that it does. Unfortunate, that is, from the perspective of what is viewed as the modern world. Perhaps the best way to "teach being" is to embody it consciously in oneself. Perhaps this will change as more awaken.
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Postby chris » Sat Dec 31, 2005 9:57 pm

that makes more sense than anything else.
teach by example.
Last edited by chris on Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby phil » Sun Jan 01, 2006 1:06 am

prospero wrote:However, the problem with postmodern thought (a very dominant contingent in government, media etc) is that they would not accept that "it can be lived because it's what you really are" because that stance cannot be so intellectualised and rationalised. So we live in a world where the vital influence of someone like Eckhart Tolle is marginalised.


As observed from here, both groups marginalize themselves by maintaining positions of superiority within their respective "boxes". It seems a group project to me.

Each party has a limited world view, which is limited on purpose to define the specialness of that particular group. Business, politics, science, religion, etc and subsets thereof, are each motivated to see themselves at the center of everything, just as we do as individuals.

Those of us who are philosophically inclined may be more than average susceptible to this malady because it is the nature of our enquiry to look at things from the big picture perspective.

kiki wrote:Perhaps the best way to "teach being" is to embody it consciously in oneself. Perhaps this will change as more awaken.


Well said Kiki, I'd agree with all of that, and applaud you for your ability in this regard. The manner in which you compose your posts says as much as the actual content.

I do think the manner in which these understandings are shared will change, because it has to. The kind of teaching and dialogue we are sharing here is time honored and wonderful, but can not be scaled up to meet the challenge that is being presented.

I don't have the answer of course, but I suspect it will come in the form of politicians, scientists, business people, religions etc all climbing out of their respective boxes. To survive, each group will have to make peace with their own limitations, and honor the unique abilities of the others.

In other words, work together.

Sorry to rant, this issue of wholisticness has it's fervent grasp upon my own limited perspective.
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Re: The Power Of Now(ish)

Postby summer » Sun Jan 01, 2006 7:07 am

prospero wrote:I found out today that it takes almost half a second for information from the outside world to be full processed by the brain.

In this sense, could we say that we are never truly in the 'now' of our physical environment owing to this lag?

Of course the now/reality that we must strive to be present with can only be an simulated shadow. but does this matter?- the illusion is still 'our' reality as it is...

just some thoughts


Hi Prospero,
A few weeks ago I was driving on the freeway and needed to get into the right lane. Turned on my signal, looked in the rear view mirror to make sure there were no cars behind me in that lane, turned my head to see it was clear, and went into the right lane.

Whoosh, my arms turned my steering wheel to the left , and back into my lane so fast that it surprised me. Sure enough, a car sped by in the right lane that I had no way of seeing it was there.

Who turned my steering wheel? Who did know that the other car was there?

My only answer was that who we truly are is very, very instant. And thought is very, very slow.
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Postby spatialbean » Sun Jan 01, 2006 7:48 am

Wow Summer what a powerful example!
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