How do metaphysical idealists avoid solipsism?

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Re: How do metaphysical idealists avoid solipsism?

#41  Postby SpeedOfSound » Mar 04, 2013 6:38 pm

Little Idiot wrote:Some coconuts need to have balls thrown at them

SpeedOfSound wrote:

Reduction is a tool for finding and using rules. Nothing reduces in the ontological way that n-materialism or idealism has it. You can't reduce reality with your mind. These are ideas and ideas are not the thing in itself.


We can only reduce our ideas with our mind. We can not reduce the thing in itself - so you show me a thing in itself and you will hear me conceed that I can not reduce it with my mind. But until you show me a thing in itself, you have only shown me either my idea or another persons idea - and these ideas are easily reduced to the (knowing mind) and (its known content) which are both of course (mind). Its all mental. At least, all you can tell me, show me, get me to sense or experience is all mental.


Now idealism requires naive materialism to formulate itself. The false dichotomy. Without it you have nothing.


Only a naive realist could posibly think that is even a near miss to a factual statement.
There is no false dichotomy becasue there is only relation between (knowing mind) and (its known content) which is not a dichotomy at all, rather its the way a knowing mind points at (its own content) which is all it knows from (its supposed knowing power) which it infers but does not and can not know as (its own content).


Think james.

Or someone? Someone somewhere must get this by now?


Yes. Someone gets this. But you dont.


My intellect dwarfs you. It's over.
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Re: How do metaphysical idealists avoid solipsism?

#42  Postby jamest » Mar 04, 2013 7:03 pm

SpeedOfSound wrote:
My intellect dwarfs you. It's over.

That should be: my intellect dwarfs yours.
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Re: How do metaphysical idealists avoid solipsism?

#43  Postby SpeedOfSound » Mar 04, 2013 8:20 pm

jamest wrote:
SpeedOfSound wrote:
My intellect dwarfs you. It's over.

That should be: my intellect dwarfs yours.


No. Mine is so great that it pretty much annihilates the others mind/body/soul.
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Re: How do metaphysical idealists avoid solipsism?

#44  Postby jamest » Mar 04, 2013 11:12 pm

SpeedOfSound wrote:
jamest wrote:
SpeedOfSound wrote:
My intellect dwarfs you. It's over.

That should be: my intellect dwarfs yours.


No. Mine is so great that it pretty much annihilates the others mind/body/soul.

An intellect which annihilates another's being is not necessarily an intellect which dwarfs another's intellect.

Anyway, LI is alive and well. I know this because he came here earlier and compared you to a coconut. This must be true, because I certainly have the urge to throw balls at you. :tongue:
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Re: How do metaphysical idealists avoid solipsism?

#45  Postby nunnington » Mar 05, 2013 1:23 am

Just noticed this thread - and james has cracked it with his distinction between james the perceiver, and that which is, via james. As he says, traditionally, the first dies, the second goes on. This is the kernel of many mystical/spiritual systems, and certainly people doing hard-core meditation, experience it.

This doesn't mean it is 'true' of course, since their experience could be false. But a lot of the people I have met fresh from this experience simply talk of going into the One, from where the Many originate.

I see it as involving a deidentification from ego stuff, just through the sheer awful grind of training, which nearly kills you, and then does kill you, but It remains.

Pretty straightforward, but alien to the Western mind, I suppose.
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Re: How do metaphysical idealists avoid solipsism?

#46  Postby jamest » Mar 05, 2013 2:42 am

nunnington wrote:Just noticed this thread - and james has cracked it with his distinction between james the perceiver, and that which is, via james. As he says, traditionally, the first dies, the second goes on. This is the kernel of many mystical/spiritual systems, and certainly people doing hard-core meditation, experience it.

This doesn't mean it is 'true' of course, since their experience could be false. But a lot of the people I have met fresh from this experience simply talk of going into the One, from where the Many originate.

What I say is not a result of meditation, but of reason. Which is not to devalue the worth of meditation, though I personally cannot vouch for it.

I see it as involving a deidentification from ego stuff, just through the sheer awful grind of training, which nearly kills you, and then does kill you, but It remains.

It sounds as though you have been through the mill, so to speak?

Pretty straightforward, but alien to the Western mind, I suppose.

Which Eastern perspective, specifically, are you advocating?
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Re: How do metaphysical idealists avoid solipsism?

#47  Postby Little Idiot » Mar 05, 2013 2:46 am

nunnington wrote:Just noticed this thread - and james has cracked it with his distinction between james the perceiver, and that which is, via james. As he says, traditionally, the first dies, the second goes on. This is the kernel of many mystical/spiritual systems, and certainly people doing hard-core meditation, experience it.
yup.

This doesn't mean it is 'true' of course, since their experience could be false. But a lot of the people I have met fresh from this experience simply talk of going into the One, from where the Many originate.
yup.

I see it as involving a deidentification from ego stuff, just through the sheer awful grind of training, which nearly kills you, and then does kill you, but It remains.

Pretty straightforward, but alien to the Western mind, I suppose.

yup.
Doesnt make it wrong tho'

I had an experience the other day which brought to me a very vivid indication of how a seeming normal 'real' or 'physical' experience was in fact a mind made trick, an 'imagination'.
I will try remember to post about it later.
(Actually thats the main reason I dropped in here, as well as to chuck a coconut).
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Re: How do metaphysical idealists avoid solipsism?

#48  Postby Little Idiot » Mar 05, 2013 2:50 am

SpeedOfSound wrote:
Little Idiot wrote:Some coconuts need to have balls thrown at them

SpeedOfSound wrote:

Reduction is a tool for finding and using rules. Nothing reduces in the ontological way that n-materialism or idealism has it. You can't reduce reality with your mind. These are ideas and ideas are not the thing in itself.


We can only reduce our ideas with our mind. We can not reduce the thing in itself - so you show me a thing in itself and you will hear me conceed that I can not reduce it with my mind. But until you show me a thing in itself, you have only shown me either my idea or another persons idea - and these ideas are easily reduced to the (knowing mind) and (its known content) which are both of course (mind). Its all mental. At least, all you can tell me, show me, get me to sense or experience is all mental.


Now idealism requires naive materialism to formulate itself. The false dichotomy. Without it you have nothing.


Only a naive realist could posibly think that is even a near miss to a factual statement.
There is no false dichotomy becasue there is only relation between (knowing mind) and (its known content) which is not a dichotomy at all, rather its the way a knowing mind points at (its own content) which is all it knows from (its supposed knowing power) which it infers but does not and can not know as (its own content).


Think james.

Or someone? Someone somewhere must get this by now?


Yes. Someone gets this. But you dont.


My intellect dwarfs you. It's over.


Right after you show me this 'thing in itself' which your case for 'Nothing reduces in the ontological way that n-materialism or idealism has it' was based on. Otherwise your case that 'nothing reduces as idealism has it is' demonstrably wrong. Everything I experience can be reduced to subject and object or (experiencer) and (experienced)
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Re: How do metaphysical idealists avoid solipsism?

#49  Postby Little Idiot » Mar 05, 2013 2:53 am

My urge to throw balls at coconuts was a passing reference to the following post

jamest wrote:
Reeve wrote:jamest, why are you wasting time with the stuff SpeedOfSound posts?

It's never a waste of time to remind people that everything we observe is reducible to the reality of ourselves.

What about all those other points against your position that other users in this thread have made? :coffee:

Patience, grasshopper. The wise man knows when to rest from throwing his balls at coconuts. :dopey:
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Re: How do metaphysical idealists avoid solipsism?

#50  Postby nunnington » Mar 05, 2013 9:05 am

jamest wrote:
nunnington wrote:Just noticed this thread - and james has cracked it with his distinction between james the perceiver, and that which is, via james. As he says, traditionally, the first dies, the second goes on. This is the kernel of many mystical/spiritual systems, and certainly people doing hard-core meditation, experience it.

This doesn't mean it is 'true' of course, since their experience could be false. But a lot of the people I have met fresh from this experience simply talk of going into the One, from where the Many originate.

What I say is not a result of meditation, but of reason. Which is not to devalue the worth of meditation, though I personally cannot vouch for it.

I see it as involving a deidentification from ego stuff, just through the sheer awful grind of training, which nearly kills you, and then does kill you, but It remains.

It sounds as though you have been through the mill, so to speak?

Pretty straightforward, but alien to the Western mind, I suppose.

Which Eastern perspective, specifically, are you advocating?


James, I'm amazed how far you've got just through reasoning. I've done Zen meditation for 40 years, which nearly killed me, but I'm also a Christian, another Eastern religion! As Ram Dass says, I'm still here. Congratulations.
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Re: How do metaphysical idealists avoid solipsism?

#51  Postby nunnington » Mar 05, 2013 9:12 am

Little Idiot wrote:
nunnington wrote:Just noticed this thread - and james has cracked it with his distinction between james the perceiver, and that which is, via james. As he says, traditionally, the first dies, the second goes on. This is the kernel of many mystical/spiritual systems, and certainly people doing hard-core meditation, experience it.
yup.

This doesn't mean it is 'true' of course, since their experience could be false. But a lot of the people I have met fresh from this experience simply talk of going into the One, from where the Many originate.
yup.

I see it as involving a deidentification from ego stuff, just through the sheer awful grind of training, which nearly kills you, and then does kill you, but It remains.

Pretty straightforward, but alien to the Western mind, I suppose.

yup.
Doesnt make it wrong tho'

I had an experience the other day which brought to me a very vivid indication of how a seeming normal 'real' or 'physical' experience was in fact a mind made trick, an 'imagination'.
I will try remember to post about it later.
(Actually thats the main reason I dropped in here, as well as to chuck a coconut).


We used to call it mind-fucking, which is a rather melodramatic phrase. In Zen, it's known sometimes as makyo, all the garbage which the mind throws up in order to distract you, some of it very beautiful and serene and profound - people can have staggering insights. But press on, through the clouds of ecstasy, or the barren wastes of emptiness, or the insights.
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Re: How do metaphysical idealists avoid solipsism?

#52  Postby Little Idiot » Mar 05, 2013 12:29 pm

nunnington wrote:
Little Idiot wrote:
nunnington wrote:Just noticed this thread - and james has cracked it with his distinction between james the perceiver, and that which is, via james. As he says, traditionally, the first dies, the second goes on. This is the kernel of many mystical/spiritual systems, and certainly people doing hard-core meditation, experience it.
yup.

This doesn't mean it is 'true' of course, since their experience could be false. But a lot of the people I have met fresh from this experience simply talk of going into the One, from where the Many originate.
yup.

I see it as involving a deidentification from ego stuff, just through the sheer awful grind of training, which nearly kills you, and then does kill you, but It remains.

Pretty straightforward, but alien to the Western mind, I suppose.

yup.
Doesnt make it wrong tho'

I had an experience the other day which brought to me a very vivid indication of how a seeming normal 'real' or 'physical' experience was in fact a mind made trick, an 'imagination'.
I will try remember to post about it later.
(Actually thats the main reason I dropped in here, as well as to chuck a coconut).


We used to call it mind-fucking, which is a rather melodramatic phrase. In Zen, it's known sometimes as makyo, all the garbage which the mind throws up in order to distract you, some of it very beautiful and serene and profound - people can have staggering insights. But press on, through the clouds of ecstasy, or the barren wastes of emptiness, or the insights.


Yes indeed, the stuff thrown up to distract 'you' from the real task at hand.
How easily distracted we are! Oft times, this very bed of vice that is Rat Skep has served the purpose of distraction. You may say 'deliver us from evil' in a popular prayer, but 'deliver us from distraction' is just as important at some stages :)

If you dont mind, a couple of questions about your views, to compare to my own. So in your thinking or narative
Who or what is the protagonist of this distraction? I call this the lower-self, the ego-self.
Who or what is being distracted? I call that the attention, the point of awareness which 'I am' as in incarnate entity.
Why does one distract the other? In my narative, to keep the ego as the center of attention, as a master which it is not, rather than as subservient, which it should be.
What is the one being distracted from? Thats the big one, right? In my narative, to hide the fact of the proper relation between the lower self (normally regarded as 'me') and that to which it should be subservient. To use popular language to keep the ego as the king and ignore the soul which animates it. To use more accurate language to obscure the correct harmony of individual and trans-personal in which and from which the individual 'is'.
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Re: How do metaphysical idealists avoid solipsism?

#53  Postby Little Idiot » Mar 05, 2013 12:41 pm

As I probably wont be around for long, this is not worthy of its own thread, but posting it is my main reason for dropping in.

Nuff said, enjoy:

A specific instance of a recent subjective experience.

I was asleep.

I woke up, I was laid on my back, legs fairly straight, a light cover over my body and feeling no pain in my right leg.
Then, after a few seconds, quickly pain started and mounted in the right calf – the muscles was tense like a rock. I sat and tried to massage away the pain surprised by the sudden spontaneous cramp.
After a while it subsided. I decided to get it checked out at the medical centre and went back to sleep.

That’s how I remember it. But that’s not what happened. It cant be. I lied to myself.
Why would I wake up focussing attention on my right calf (which I was) for a few seconds before the pain started. Its illogical. Logic suggests I woke up when my leg stared to hurt.

On reflection, those few seemingly real seconds (italic above) were not experienced as waking consciousness, they were imagined – my mind cast back and retro-generated the period. In a similar way to how your mind casts back when in a group of speaking people and a sentence by a person you weren’t listening to ends with your name a moment of distracted attention, scattered from who you were listening to and you now know what was said. It is pulled from the subconscious where it would have been dumped out of actual attention had it not ended with your name.

When I focus on recalling those few seconds, all I actually recall is that my leg didn’t hurt, it was laid straight under a light sheet – but why was my entire awareness of a leg which was about to begin to hurt?
It seemed so real at the time and on remembering it during the period of sharply focussed awareness at the time I was experiencing the pain in the calf, there was no identifiable transition from the imagined time into the currant wakeful moment. It was only some time later under reflection did I come to realize that it simply was and must have been imaginary.

The experience happened again, a few nights later, after my reflection on the first time. This time I was able to catch the ‘few seconds’ as it happened. And I noticed that there was no ‘as it happened’ – it was absent then it was present as a fully formed memory at the moment when the cramp hit.

The point; The period of time which I took to be real and normal experience was a complete fabrication of my mind it didn’t happen, but was embedded in my memory as-if it was an actual experience. I almost missed it as being different.
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Re: How do metaphysical idealists avoid solipsism?

#54  Postby nunnington » Mar 05, 2013 2:14 pm

Little Idiot wrote:
nunnington wrote:
Little Idiot wrote:
nunnington wrote:Just noticed this thread - and james has cracked it with his distinction between james the perceiver, and that which is, via james. As he says, traditionally, the first dies, the second goes on. This is the kernel of many mystical/spiritual systems, and certainly people doing hard-core meditation, experience it.
yup.

This doesn't mean it is 'true' of course, since their experience could be false. But a lot of the people I have met fresh from this experience simply talk of going into the One, from where the Many originate.
yup.

I see it as involving a deidentification from ego stuff, just through the sheer awful grind of training, which nearly kills you, and then does kill you, but It remains.

Pretty straightforward, but alien to the Western mind, I suppose.

yup.
Doesnt make it wrong tho'

I had an experience the other day which brought to me a very vivid indication of how a seeming normal 'real' or 'physical' experience was in fact a mind made trick, an 'imagination'.
I will try remember to post about it later.
(Actually thats the main reason I dropped in here, as well as to chuck a coconut).


We used to call it mind-fucking, which is a rather melodramatic phrase. In Zen, it's known sometimes as makyo, all the garbage which the mind throws up in order to distract you, some of it very beautiful and serene and profound - people can have staggering insights. But press on, through the clouds of ecstasy, or the barren wastes of emptiness, or the insights.


Yes indeed, the stuff thrown up to distract 'you' from the real task at hand.
How easily distracted we are! Oft times, this very bed of vice that is Rat Skep has served the purpose of distraction. You may say 'deliver us from evil' in a popular prayer, but 'deliver us from distraction' is just as important at some stages :)

If you dont mind, a couple of questions about your views, to compare to my own. So in your thinking or narative
Who or what is the protagonist of this distraction? I call this the lower-self, the ego-self.
Who or what is being distracted? I call that the attention, the point of awareness which 'I am' as in incarnate entity.
Why does one distract the other? In my narative, to keep the ego as the center of attention, as a master which it is not, rather than as subservient, which it should be.
What is the one being distracted from? Thats the big one, right? In my narative, to hide the fact of the proper relation between the lower self (normally regarded as 'me') and that to which it should be subservient. To use popular language to keep the ego as the king and ignore the soul which animates it. To use more accurate language to obscure the correct harmony of individual and trans-personal in which and from which the individual 'is'.


I like that a lot, and agree with most of it. In my meditation group, we've tended to call the distractions the product of the mind, which wants to stop the process, but that is really the ego-mind. And I agree that the ego resents its hegemony being threatened, and tries every trick in the book to hold onto it.

The big one - yes, the name doesn't really matter, does it? But I go with 'the I am', the Self, God, the soul, trans-personal I.

Your point about attention is very good - yes, meditation is simply that. Or just noticing.

There is a nice Zen story called the Ox and the Herdsman, where the herdsman gradually tames the ox, then realizes that both ox and herdsman are empty, and that they are the same. It has a set of pictures with it. That seems to map all the stages - first separation between self and world; then the gradual connecting of them; then the realization of total emptiness - neither I nor the world exist; finally, complete harmony in the One.

But of course, the ego rears its head again! Although a friend of mine, who nearly died, seemed to go into permanent satori, so it does happen very rarely. But for most of us, the ego is the grit in the oyster, producing the pearl.
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Re: How do metaphysical idealists avoid solipsism?

#55  Postby Little Idiot » Mar 05, 2013 5:37 pm

nunnington wrote:
Little Idiot wrote:
nunnington wrote:
Little Idiot wrote:yup.yup.
yup.
Doesnt make it wrong tho'

I had an experience the other day which brought to me a very vivid indication of how a seeming normal 'real' or 'physical' experience was in fact a mind made trick, an 'imagination'.
I will try remember to post about it later.
(Actually thats the main reason I dropped in here, as well as to chuck a coconut).


We used to call it mind-fucking, which is a rather melodramatic phrase. In Zen, it's known sometimes as makyo, all the garbage which the mind throws up in order to distract you, some of it very beautiful and serene and profound - people can have staggering insights. But press on, through the clouds of ecstasy, or the barren wastes of emptiness, or the insights.


Yes indeed, the stuff thrown up to distract 'you' from the real task at hand.
How easily distracted we are! Oft times, this very bed of vice that is Rat Skep has served the purpose of distraction. You may say 'deliver us from evil' in a popular prayer, but 'deliver us from distraction' is just as important at some stages :)

If you dont mind, a couple of questions about your views, to compare to my own. So in your thinking or narative
Who or what is the protagonist of this distraction? I call this the lower-self, the ego-self.
Who or what is being distracted? I call that the attention, the point of awareness which 'I am' as in incarnate entity.
Why does one distract the other? In my narative, to keep the ego as the center of attention, as a master which it is not, rather than as subservient, which it should be.
What is the one being distracted from? Thats the big one, right? In my narative, to hide the fact of the proper relation between the lower self (normally regarded as 'me') and that to which it should be subservient. To use popular language to keep the ego as the king and ignore the soul which animates it. To use more accurate language to obscure the correct harmony of individual and trans-personal in which and from which the individual 'is'.


I like that a lot, and agree with most of it. In my meditation group, we've tended to call the distractions the product of the mind, which wants to stop the process, but that is really the ego-mind. And I agree that the ego resents its hegemony being threatened, and tries every trick in the book to hold onto it.

The big one - yes, the name doesn't really matter, does it? But I go with 'the I am', the Self, God, the soul, trans-personal I.
]
Your point about attention is very good - yes, meditation is simply that. Or just noticing.

There is a nice Zen story called the Ox and the Herdsman, where the herdsman gradually tames the ox, then realizes that both ox and herdsman are empty, and that they are the same. It has a set of pictures with it. That seems to map all the stages - first separation between self and world; then the gradual connecting of them; then the realization of total emptiness - neither I nor the world exist; finally, complete harmony in the One.


Here is the answer to the question posed as the title of this thread.
Idealism avoids solipsism because the I and the world dont exist, or only exist as 'ideas' in and of the One Mind.
There is, as suggested by solipsism only one mind - however this is not 'my individual mind' as normally understood to be the meaning of solipsism.


But of course, the ego rears its head again! Although a friend of mine, who nearly died, seemed to go into permanent satori, so it does happen very rarely. But for most of us, the ego is the grit in the oyster, producing the pearl.


Despite the claims of the wishful mystic, the ego is not slain, only subjugated. Egoism can and will (re)appear at any moment. He who attains must be ever vigilant!
Nice analogy, if the ego were not required, it would not be present - it is not the enemy, rather the raw material.
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Re: How do metaphysical idealists avoid solipsism?

#56  Postby nunnington » Mar 05, 2013 5:46 pm

There is the nice Zen saying - samsara is nirvana. Normally these are opposed - the daily wheel of life and then transcendence, but here it is said that one is found within the other. There is also the saying that enlightenment is found in the passions, whereas normally it is said to root them out. But Zen delights in these paradoxes - for example, that there is no distinction between enlightenment and ordinary life. But I think T. S. Eliot expressed similar ideas in a Christian vein (4 Quartets):

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement.

How have you discovered all this?
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Re: How do metaphysical idealists avoid solipsism?

#57  Postby nunnington » Mar 05, 2013 5:58 pm

Little Idiot

The other thing which strikes me more and more as I get older is that the people who dismiss this stuff as rubbish - they are the ones who actually believe in fairy-stories. I mean, they believe in their 'self' and 'world' and 'nature' and so on, yet these are all just conceptual architecture. So they seem to live in a totally abstract world, full of half-forgotten dreams. Or as Blake described it, 'mind-forg'd manacles'. That is the wonder of our age, and I suppose, the new religion.
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Re: How do metaphysical idealists avoid solipsism?

#58  Postby Little Idiot » Mar 05, 2013 6:29 pm

nunnington wrote:There is the nice Zen saying - samsara is nirvana. Normally these are opposed - the daily wheel of life and then transcendence, but here it is said that one is found within the other. There is also the saying that enlightenment is found in the passions, whereas normally it is said to root them out. But Zen delights in these paradoxes - for example, that there is no distinction between enlightenment and ordinary life. But I think T. S. Eliot expressed similar ideas in a Christian vein (4 Quartets):

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement.

How have you discovered all this?


I am a student of the Perennial Philosophy. My metaphysics is mentalism - its all mental. My practice is to apply the unique viewpoint 'that its all mental' to the waking world of daily experience.
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Re: How do metaphysical idealists avoid solipsism?

#59  Postby Little Idiot » Mar 05, 2013 6:34 pm

nunnington wrote:Little Idiot

The other thing which strikes me more and more as I get older is that the people who dismiss this stuff as rubbish - they are the ones who actually believe in fairy-stories. I mean, they believe in their 'self' and 'world' and 'nature' and so on, yet these are all just conceptual architecture. So they seem to live in a totally abstract world, full of half-forgotten dreams. Or as Blake described it, 'mind-forg'd manacles'. That is the wonder of our age, and I suppose, the new religion.


Yup. How ironic, did they but see their situation!

The physicalist who says 'the self is a construct of the physical brain' is getting some progress, but still missing the full story; the physical brain and physical world are both constructs of the mind!
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Re: How do metaphysical idealists avoid solipsism?

#60  Postby nunnington » Mar 05, 2013 6:41 pm

Little Idiot wrote:
nunnington wrote:There is the nice Zen saying - samsara is nirvana. Normally these are opposed - the daily wheel of life and then transcendence, but here it is said that one is found within the other. There is also the saying that enlightenment is found in the passions, whereas normally it is said to root them out. But Zen delights in these paradoxes - for example, that there is no distinction between enlightenment and ordinary life. But I think T. S. Eliot expressed similar ideas in a Christian vein (4 Quartets):

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement.

How have you discovered all this?


I am a student of the Perennial Philosophy. My metaphysics is mentalism - its all mental. My practice is to apply the unique viewpoint 'that its all mental' to the waking world of daily experience.


Well, again, as with james, I am amazed you can get to this stuff via philosophy, although I think there are branches of Buddhism which do something similar. With me, it seemed to be more a question of taking an axe to all my previous modes of thinking, and then being left with some raw existential facts. But I could only do that via Zen.
je suis Marxiste, tendance Groucho.
nunnington
 
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