[TUC Spoilers] Inchoroi in future books

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Duskweaver

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« Reply #45 on: August 09, 2017, 03:21:54 pm »
Can't enjoy it because you know it is fake?  There's a wire for that.  Now you are past that hangup!
By that point, though, the Progenitors would be in full-on 'in the Matrix' mode. At that point, there's no incentive to start mucking about with investigating the soul or what happens after you die. Whoever invented the Inverse Fire was clearly still capable of having motivation and curiosity. And of being profoundly shocked by the subsequent discovery.

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Once you figure out that people are just a bunch of competing causes, and that brain manipulation can change that, it is pretty much all over for any coherent notions of the self.  I imagine they'd have lazed away forever if they hadn't discovered Damnation.
And yet, a guy called Siddhārtha Gautama figured that out some two and a half millennia ago in our world. Five hundred million people follow his teachings in one form or another today. They are not notably more lazy, hedonistic or evil than anyone else. Recognising that the self is an illusion is not automatically the death of motivation or morality.

What happened to the Progenitors is one possible result of such a realisation going species-wide, but not the automatic, inevitable result.

Bakker is a smart guy. But he's still blinded to a degree by the frame of his own culture. In the West (especially in the Anglosphere), we tend to view all morality, all meaning, as flowing from our belief in the self and in free will. For the Western mind, discovering that those concepts are mere illusions can be shattering. But there's a whole chunk of humanity for whom meaning and morality don't depend on a belief in the self and in free will, for whom those things have already been accepted as illusory.
"Then I looked, and behold, a Whirlwind came out of the North..." - Ezekiel 1:4

"Two things that brand one a coward: using violence when it is not necessary; and shrinking from it when it is."

Baztek

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« Reply #46 on: August 09, 2017, 05:05:50 pm »
Duskweaver's right on the money. Shit, the Buddhist  concept of karmic seeds "watered" by our actions directly foreshadows neuroplasticity. Brain science is just confirming what mystics and ascetics have known for millennia, which is why all this moaning and chest beating over the void of the subject or whatever is just feels so hackneyed and naive, my man it's been known for thousands of years that we are arbitrary aggregates of stuff and your identity is really only the name for your taking an ultimately contingent arrangement of atoms as somehow being your "true" self.

The death of (what we take to be) the self opens up the space for true freedom and is the first step on the path to true spirituality and metaphysics. Bakker and co. are obsessed with poring over the details of the problem, sooner or later you gotta open a window.

SmilerLoki

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« Reply #47 on: August 09, 2017, 06:05:18 pm »
your identity is really only the name for your taking an ultimately contingent arrangement of atoms as somehow being your "true" self.
That arrangement of atoms gives you the basic ability to take something as something. I feel that very different views can be postulated on what's a cause and what's an effect here.

Even if your intentionality is completely arbitrary in the end, it still exists, even if only for you. Whether you want it or not, you have opinions, desires, and emotions.

Still, I'm afraid I don't really have any points to make here.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 06:09:52 pm by SmilerLoki »

Baztek

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« Reply #48 on: August 09, 2017, 06:15:35 pm »
You're exactly right, that's my point: the space evacuated by the self and its facticity is freedom itself. Your self-concept you've had all your life goes up in smoke, and what's left is that pure intentionality, pure willing, that self that knows there is no self. The void is freedom. Like okay let's not romanticize it, we're talking going through fucking hell and back here, the empirical ego fights like a cornered lion, but it's possible.

My larger point is I guess the rest of the West needs to catch up to this realization already. Muh void, muh death of values, muh chemicals, got it, let's move on.

SmilerLoki

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« Reply #49 on: August 09, 2017, 06:21:46 pm »
You're exactly right, that's my point: the space evacuated by the self and its facticity is freedom itself. Your self-concept you've had all your life goes up in smoke, and what's left is that pure intentionality, pure willing, that self that knows there is no self. The void is freedom. Like okay let's not romanticize it, we're talking going through fucking hell and back here, the empirical ego fights like a cornered lion, but it's possible.

My larger point is I guess the rest of the West needs to catch up to this realization already. Muh void, muh death of values, muh chemicals, got it, let's move on.
Thank you! This really clarifies your position for me.

TLEILAXU

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« Reply #50 on: August 09, 2017, 06:25:38 pm »
Not to be the that guy, but doesn't the very concept of karmic reincarnation by definition require free will?
Can't enjoy it because you know it is fake?  There's a wire for that.  Now you are past that hangup!
By that point, though, the Progenitors would be in full-on 'in the Matrix' mode. At that point, there's no incentive to start mucking about with investigating the soul or what happens after you die. Whoever invented the Inverse Fire was clearly still capable of having motivation and curiosity. And of being profoundly shocked by the subsequent discovery.

Quote
Once you figure out that people are just a bunch of competing causes, and that brain manipulation can change that, it is pretty much all over for any coherent notions of the self.  I imagine they'd have lazed away forever if they hadn't discovered Damnation.
And yet, a guy called Siddhārtha Gautama figured that out some two and a half millennia ago in our world. Five hundred million people follow his teachings in one form or another today. They are not notably more lazy, hedonistic or evil than anyone else. Recognising that the self is an illusion is not automatically the death of motivation or morality.

What happened to the Progenitors is one possible result of such a realisation going species-wide, but not the automatic, inevitable result.

Bakker is a smart guy. But he's still blinded to a degree by the frame of his own culture. In the West (especially in the Anglosphere), we tend to view all morality, all meaning, as flowing from our belief in the self and in free will. For the Western mind, discovering that those concepts are mere illusions can be shattering. But there's a whole chunk of humanity for whom meaning and morality don't depend on a belief in the self and in free will, for whom those things have already been accepted as illusory.
Also, Bakker indicated pretty clearly that the Progenitors were essentially a form of DŻnyain, focused on attaining the absolute. Extrapolating based on rat studies that advanced societies automatically become heroine addicts in vats is actually quite a leap of faith if you ask me  :P
Duskweaver's right on the money. Shit, the Buddhist  concept of karmic seeds "watered" by our actions directly foreshadows neuroplasticity. Brain science is just confirming what mystics and ascetics have known for millennia, which is why all this moaning and chest beating over the void of the subject or whatever is just feels so hackneyed and naive, my man it's been known for thousands of years that we are arbitrary aggregates of stuff and your identity is really only the name for your taking an ultimately contingent arrangement of atoms as somehow being your "true" self.

The death of (what we take to be) the self opens up the space for true freedom and is the first step on the path to true spirituality and metaphysics. Bakker and co. are obsessed with poring over the details of the problem, sooner or later you gotta open a window.
Hell, all of science has already been discovered by various religious figures. Even the qur'an supposedly has detailed descriptions of the big bang and embryology, or so I've been told by a pious muslim.

Unfortunately we have no way of becoming self-moving souls in this universe, although maybe if somebody pulled a reverse No-God...
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 06:30:06 pm by tleilaxu »

Walter

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« Reply #51 on: August 09, 2017, 07:19:21 pm »
Lotta optimists in this thread.

"Muh void, muh death of values, muh chemicals, got it, let's move on."

To what?  Who is moving?

Look, a wirehead culture can debug people, alright?  So it is going to.  The difference between this and religious leaders having the idea is the difference between cavemen dreaming of flight and planes taking people wherever they want to go.

Once people are just source code, there is no valid argument against optimizing them.  Who is gonna stand up and fight for depression and stupidity?  They are gone as soon as they can be.

Baztek

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« Reply #52 on: August 09, 2017, 07:43:22 pm »
I'm pretty sure believing a buddhic enlightenment pill is on the horizon, let alone feasible, qualifies as "optimistic". And self-realization is not and never has been a technological hurdle; cavemen dreaming of flight =/= understanding the true nature of the self through the spiritual ordeal. The former is just a dream, the latter has already been done, it's only science that's been playing catch-up/articulating its nuts-and-bolts.

Believing we're a button press away from solving the inherent antagonism in reality is as pie-in-the-sky as it gets. Praise be to the Church of Science, just take this pill and all your problems will go away! Heaven in a prescription bottle? I doubt it.

Walter

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« Reply #53 on: August 09, 2017, 09:21:50 pm »
"The inherent antagonism in reality" is a very fancy way to describe a thing that boils down to lighting in meat.  If you want to say that science will fail to understand it, that's absolutely fair, but science's batting average is positively fantastic.

What goes away isn't the 'problems' part of 'your problems', it is the other part.  Science won't understand the 'true nature of the self', it will debunk and debug it.

TLEILAXU

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« Reply #54 on: August 09, 2017, 09:30:46 pm »
I'm pretty sure believing a buddhic enlightenment pill is on the horizon, let alone feasible, qualifies as "optimistic". And self-realization is not and never has been a technological hurdle; cavemen dreaming of flight =/= understanding the true nature of the self through the spiritual ordeal. The former is just a dream, the latter has already been done, it's only science that's been playing catch-up/articulating its nuts-and-bolts.

Believing we're a button press away from solving the inherent antagonism in reality is as pie-in-the-sky as it gets. Praise be to the Church of Science, just take this pill and all your problems will go away! Heaven in a prescription bottle? I doubt it.
The thing is, vague terms like self-realization and "true nature of the self" can be fitted to pretty much anything. Where's the cycle of rebirth in your validation of old religious dogma as the Truth? If the aspiration of Buddhists is the abolishment of the self, why not just kill yourself? I'm guessing because killing yourself has karmic consequences, just like killing yourself in Christianity is a sin so you don't get to jump in line for the gates of Heaven. These systems spring from fundamental human behaviors and thought patterns that are blind to themselves. Science is the missing piece, the neglected information springing to light from mechanical inquiry.

SmilerLoki

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« Reply #55 on: August 09, 2017, 09:46:04 pm »
@ Walter, tleilaxu

Does it mean the nature of meaning is entirely scientific to you?

Duskweaver

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« Reply #56 on: August 09, 2017, 09:53:47 pm »
I should probably clarify the point I was attempting to make, because it is slightly different from the one Baztek seems to be making.

I'm saying that the realisation that the self is not real, and that the concept of free will makes no objective sense, is something that a big chunk of the human population of this world has already come to terms with. It is not something that innately threatens any kind of Apocalypse, except possibly in the West where we're obsessed with this stupid bullshit we call the Self. ;)

I'm saying that there are philosophies / worldviews that can cope with the death of the Self, and which in fact encourage it. And that not all systems of morality or ethics are contingent on a belief in free will.

That's all. I am not claiming that science is somehow just catching up to religion: I absolutely do not believe that as a general rule. To me, it's largely coincidental that the Buddha seems to have gotten it right on this one point. As far as I'm concerned, 99.9% of religious/mystical 'wisdom' is just claptrap. FWIW, I agree with Mao on the general value of religion to humanity.

I will plead guilty to being an optimist, though. :)

@Tleilaxu: Karmic reincarnation is a Hindu concept. The point of Buddhism is to escape from it, largely by realising that it is bullshit.
"Then I looked, and behold, a Whirlwind came out of the North..." - Ezekiel 1:4

"Two things that brand one a coward: using violence when it is not necessary; and shrinking from it when it is."

Baztek

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« Reply #57 on: August 09, 2017, 10:06:53 pm »
Walter: if you have to assert consciousness is reducible to its material ground, then it isn't really.  "Light in meat" is just another way of referring to the miracle that is meat spontaneously generating such a thing as awareness. It really comes down to perspective.

Science is locked within the horizon of its presumed objectivity; neurological activity =/= consciousness, any more than the harmonics of a Beethoven piece is the music proper.

At best science can only offer a formal definition of consciousness, as an emergent property of such-and-such systems in such-and-such organization (which I never disagreed with) but that isn't, fundamentally, what consciousness actually is: the a priori condition of even being able to have such a concept of objectivity, empiricism, reality, etc. in the first place. That is, the very observer doing the observing in the first place. Anything beyond that is just a structural description that in no way could supersede consciousness in its naked actuality.

Also I've been pretty clear that Buddhists, among others, have already debunked naive notions of the self thousands of years ago.

tleilaxu: you're mistaking the empirical ego with non-self/buddha-nature. The goal is not to kill the self but everything we erroneously assume to be the self. The desire for nothingness is an impediment on the path as much as the desire for some kind of celestial existence. The stock "why don't Buddhists just kill themselves?" argument comes from what can only be a superficial reading of Buddhist doctrine.

I urge you to study these traditions closely if you have any interest in them at all. There's really nothing new science is telling us that a intuition, arduous study, and introspection hasn't already revealed.

TLEILAXU

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« Reply #58 on: August 09, 2017, 10:09:47 pm »
@ Walter, tleilaxu

Does it mean the nature of meaning is entirely scientific to you?
The question "what is the nature of meaning" isn't a scientific question, it's a philosophical question, but at the same time meaning is something ascribed to things by neural circuits, and to understand these neural circuits you need science.

@Tleilaxu: Karmic reincarnation is a Hindu concept. The point of Buddhism is to escape from it, largely by realising that it is bullshit.
What do you mean with bullshit though? That it isn't real? Because as far as I know, buddhists (the religious sort) literally believe in Samsara, the way Christians believe in Heaven and Hell. Are we ignoring established dogma to interpret a concept we like through a modern lens so we can say that the Ancients were right all along? Not that important insights can't reside in here, this is mostly a response to the "science is just catching up" type of comments.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 10:11:40 pm by tleilaxu »

Duskweaver

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« Reply #59 on: August 09, 2017, 10:22:03 pm »
What do you mean with bullshit though? That it isn't real?
That it is a trap. That the concept itself is a trap. That it is not merely the wrong answer, but that it is the wrong answer to a question whose very asking betrays a fundamental misunderstanding (namely, a belief in the Self).

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Because as far as I know, buddhists (the religious sort) literally believe in Samsara, the way Christians believe in Heaven and Hell.
Some do. There are lots of interpretations. That goes for Christians too, of course.

But this is all straying off the point. I'm not here to defend Buddhism. :)

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Are we ignoring established dogma to interpret a concept we like through a modern lens so we can say that the Ancients were right all along? Not that important insights can't reside in here, this is mostly a response to the "science is just catching up" type of comments.
I'm not. Baztek might be. Unlike him, I'm a science supremacist. :)
"Then I looked, and behold, a Whirlwind came out of the North..." - Ezekiel 1:4

"Two things that brand one a coward: using violence when it is not necessary; and shrinking from it when it is."