What is Reality?

If you think you understand what 'reality' is, then you don't. But BBC's Horizon team gave it a shot anyhow: "What is Reality?"

There is a strange and mysterious world that surrounds us, a world largely hidden from our senses. The quest to explain the true nature of reality is one of the great scientific detective stories.

Clues have been pieced together from deep within the atom, from the event horizon of black holes, and from the far reaches of the cosmos. It may be that that we are part of a cosmic hologram, projected from the edge of the universe. Or that we exist in an infinity of parallel worlds. Your reality may never look quite the same again.

Lots of brain-bending goodness in there, tuck in.

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Live's picture
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28 November 2004
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Overdramatized regurgitation.

I've often wondered what it would be like be in one of the 10,000 other shows exactly like this one-

Drive 2 hours to one of the millionaire producers lodges or a locale- check
Talk about physics for 10 minutes while using an absurd model or diagram- check
Spend the next 4 hours posing for cameras- check
Laugh about the absurdity of life and my ironic career choice- check
Profit- $$$

I disqualify any scientist the moment "the most ever" or "the biggest ever" or "the strangest ever" or "the smallest ever" comes out of their mouth. Specifically more so when they laugh at how admittedly little they truly know. WTF is that all about?

Sometimes we get what we need instead of what we want.

nycjeff's picture
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I've only watched the first three minutes, but it seems like its going to be a toned down version of What the Bleep, except with British narration.

The Cancer Man's picture
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Smug asshole who lurks on forums belittling quality posts out of jealousy - check.

Seriously dude, this is a show produced by the BBC as educational entertainment for regular jack offs who know nothing about this subject, such as myself. I'm sure you know way more than the Nobel prize winner and brilliant scientists in this show, so break out your amazing unified theory because I can't wait to hear it.

In the mean time, I was very entertained by this "regurgitation."

"I get a kick out of being an outsider constantly. It allows me to be creative." - Bill Hicks

Live's picture
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Even smug assholes are entitled to an opinion.

Have you ever heard that one joke about that one guy with that one type of cancer?

Sometimes we get what we need instead of what we want.

red pill junkie's picture
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Please keep the tone of the discussion civil, guys.

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

Live's picture
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It ain't no thang, RPJ! I know how to handle TROLLS. Just gotta beat them to the punch. And his comment is locked in now too.

Edit: I'm a real Lurker alright XD

Sometimes we get what we need instead of what we want.

Greg H.'s picture
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If my brain implodes trying to grasp reality, is it recorded on the 2D holographic source on the far side of the universe?

How do scientists know the quarks are the primary elements since they disappear so quickly they will be unable to isolate and collide them to prove nothing smaller exists...

Parallel universes - maybe, but a new one created every second?...

Nothing about living in a Matrix/Computer program...

Greg H.

The Cancer Man's picture
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yeah sorry, something about that comment really irritated me. must have been in a really bad mood. I put forth an apology.

"I get a kick out of being an outsider constantly. It allows me to be creative." - Bill Hicks

Live's picture
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Indeed, something in your comment irritated me as well XD Apology accepted.

Sometimes we get what we need instead of what we want.

The Cancer Man's picture
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must have been the "smug asshole" part. lol! when i reread my post this morning I actually couldn't believe how out of line I was, and how out of character that was for me, almost like it was written from another me... from another reality perhaps? yes, lets say that. Thanks for accepting the apology.

"I get a kick out of being an outsider constantly. It allows me to be creative." - Bill Hicks

red pill junkie's picture
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And thank you two for sorting it out like gentlemen.

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

earthling's picture
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And I thought it was going to be pistols at dawn, another gentlemanly way to settle things :)

Well good, I don't like to get up that early.

----
We are the cat.

red pill junkie's picture
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Thanks for sorting it out like jolly peasants. Happy? :-P

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

Redoubt's picture
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Reality is that we are all individuals and as such, will not always agree... on anything, lol!

Now, the most common thing to do on the web is to bow just ever so slightly, draw a sword and slice the other guy from gender to giblet.

But the gentlemanly thing to do is to break out a bottle of some very rare Scotch or American bourbon, share a drink, toast the host here at TDG and then, crack the seal on those old dueling pieces.

Gentlemen, you will each walk 10 paces, turn and stand facing the other. There will be a coin flip. The winner will choose which goal to defend...

Oh, wait a minute... that's another sport. My bad.

Never mind all of that now. My friends are over and have a case of beer chilling in the ice box. What ever you decide to do, just be sure it lasts about 3 hours and there is someone carried from the field in a paddy wagon.

Next up: The national anthem sung by Edgar Allen Poe...

Like that.

"The power of accurate observation is frequently called cynicism by those who don't have it."

RealityTest's picture
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"Parallel universes - maybe, but a new one created every second?..."

An articulate non-physical teacher, neither Seth nor his translator/assisting human was a physicist (she was a writer and poet). His last published words were dictated through her in 1984.

Still, one of his exercises (embedded in explanatory text) deals with parallel universes (he used the term "probable realities").

If Seth's text was explanatory, his exercises were not, as they give rise to immediate subjective experience; in other words, they aren't analytical in nature -- they're something you must do, not just think about.

Per the explanatory text, probable realities are created -- branch off, you could say -- whenever anyone makes a choice. So they could be created at any frequency, every second, every minute, etc. (Seth provided a simplified explanation in his earliest treatment of the subject but then elaborated upon this, later.)

The exercise in question focuses on major lifetime decisions, which no one makes every second.

It can be very powerful, emotionally, in a consciousness altering way, or both.

I was shocked the first time I tried it -- before doing it, I'd skipped over Seth's exercises; doing this exercise made me realize that the Seth material was more than entertaining sci-fi like stuff, something I'd initially dismissed as it had seemed to me to be "New Age" junk. The exercise does take a little persistence and this will vary from person to person, but it didn't me long to get completely unexpected and very powerful results way back in 1982.

The exercise is the "Preliminary Probable Self Exercise." It's the second exercise found at http://www.realitytest.com/doors.htm.

For those who are sufficiently intrepid to try it -- enjoy!

Bill I.

earthling's picture
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Actually I think the parallel universes are created a lot faster than when persons make decisions.

You get a new version of the universe when quantum-scale events happen or don't happen. These versions can converge again, when the effects of a sequence events cancel each other out.

This of course gives a really large number of universes, which is counter-intuitive. But then so is relativistic physics and quantum physics.

The alternative is that the observer has an effect backwards in time. Taken to its logical consequence, the universe didn't exist until someone within the universe started observing it. That is too circular to be true.

----
We are the cat.

RealityTest's picture
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Dear Earthling:

I can't disagree as I don't really know, in any total sense. What little I do know in a direct way is that which I've experienced, regardless of whether it agrees with the latest QM slant or not.

Needless to say, the immediate subjective experiential approach to understanding the nature of reality is at basic variance with the analytical approach, with all of its hidden assumptions.

Is one correct, the other not, or have we simply yet to find any effective way to merge the two?

Back to the subject at hand -- you'll have a much better understanding of my perspective if you actually try the exercise in question.

When I've done it (and also as reported by those I know who've tried it) I've managed to revisit a moment when I was faced with a major choice and successfully followed the self who made the choice opposite from the one "I" made, from that moment right up to the present. The first time I tried this the moment in question was one I'd completely forgotten; I'd no idea of the major consequences of taking one path as opposed to the other.

The subjective quality of this was absolutely amazing -- the clarity was extremely high, the reality of the "probable self" who made the alternate choice very real, the resulting alternative or probable life a bit like watching a speeded up movie.

Bill

daydreamer's picture
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Hi Earthling,

Parallel universes (as opposed to multiple universes, which are easier to understand) are indeed a strange beast.

As best as I understand the idea, which admittedly is as hazy as anyone, the idea of consciousness in the event is a little overblown. It is the way the experiment is set up and the way it interacts that is important. We have the same power as nature to interact with quantum events because we are made of the same atoms etc. I.e when we play around with quantum systems we move atoms (etc) around so that they interact in certain ways, such as firing photons (I know, they're not atoms) or electrons to determine wavefunctions. We see probabilistic indeterminacy (superposition of realities?) because we are making atoms interact in certain ways, but it is the atoms - not our consciousness - that create the affect. Though obviously our consciousness has determined how we setup the atoms etc.

Because of this the superpositions are indeed everywhere. They are not based on our choices, but on the behavior of the atoms/photons/electrons etc. I.e they are a part of nature. We move atoms in the normal way when we move our arm up and down - we do not worry about this not being normal to nature. The same goes for quantum superposition. As ever, we are really good at moving things around ;)

It also worth noting that Everett did not subscribe to the page turning notion of splitting universes. He more thought that every page that could possibly be written was written write from the start. So new pages are not being written (new universes not created) at every movement of every atom, but instead every universe already existed and every mathematical possibility corresponding with the possibilities existing within the physics of the superpositions has existed right from the beginning, and probably many many times. (just don't ask anyone where)

I don't think there is any evidence for that though, rather than it just being one way of looking at the maths.

earthling's picture
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I'm not all that firm on the exact math of all this. My branch is more discrete mathematics, which is entirely different. Well, at the macroscopic level anyway.

From what I do understand though, there is uncertainty formally described for the observed events or particles, but not for the observer. My point is that we as observers are uncertain as well - there are lots of quantum level events within us,, so we are defined with as much uncertainty as what we observe. So in that sense, there is not one me (or you) in one certain place.

In other words, the math should be symmetric. You should not be able to distinguish the uncertainty of the observed from the uncertainty in the of the observer.

----
We are the cat.

daydreamer's picture
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All good points. From what I understand the only thing that makes much difference between you and me and the types of quantum systems physicists see these weird effects in is scale.

From what I remember (and bare in mind that I was not good at QM even when I should have been listening harder) the constant that matters most here is the Planck constant.

Just like c (the speed of light) is what determines how we percieve time dilation due to relativity the Planck constant determines how we interact with these quantum oddities.

If the speed of light was much lower then we would walk down to the shops, and the act of moving would mean 'our' 'time' slowed down relative to our stationary relatives, so we would get back from the shops to find they had aged 5 years while we had nipped out. A good job the speed of light is so large!

The Planck constant is what hides QM from us. Such a small constant means the effects are confined to around an atoms radius (from memory) or at least to around that (I know they have used Bose-Einstein condensates to create macro-scale - well, bigger than an atom anyway - QM affects).

We do not see the affects because of the statistical nature of being composed of trillions of atoms and them all doing 1 thing or another, rather than pulling the same way.

Still, there is not 1 me or 1 you in a certain place. There is an indeterminacy to me sitting here typing this, but if i understand it correctly the indeterminacy is limited around the Planck length. My atoms are statistically sitting here typing this, but some are statistically smudged out a little by the Plank length...

And some are quantum tunneling by more than that - maybe to the kitchen, or maybe behind your ears - hay, its a funny world.

(I am at one with the idea of being this statistically relevant pattern by the way, even if it is colourful language to describe any living being that way; I wonder whether we ignore the fact because it is convenient and whether we miss a greater truth when we do)

RealityTest's picture
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daydreamer: "Because of this the superpositions are indeed everywhere. They are not based on our choices, but on the behavior of the atoms/photons/electrons etc. I.e they are a part of nature. We move atoms in the normal way when we move our arm up and down - we do not worry about this not being normal to nature. The same goes for quantum superposition. As ever, we are really good at moving things around ;)"

Dear daydreamer:

Is it possible that this is based strictly on your own personal understanding of theories and experimentation that follow a particular direction, i.e. physics as it has developed from the days of Newton, early understanding later eclipsed and modified as the scientific method took hold and incorporated the various results of later theorists and experimenters such as Planck, Schrödinger, Bohr, Heisenberg, et al?

In other words, do you strictly know whether or not conscious choice does or does not have anything to do with a branching of probable realities?

As I've mentioned, the above probable scientific direction is not the only approach to attempting to achieve an understanding of the nature of physical reality. I'm not suggesting the results it yields are necessarily incorrect, rather that other approaches -- some of which are dismissed by those who have never tried them -- and some of which are very accessible to anyone, including those who never studied at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for physics -- exist and yield very different results.

A major challenge -- not likely to be surmounted in the present time -- is reconciling these different results.

Another way to express this deals with the story I've told here before involving my encounter with the CEO of a high-tech startup who was educated in Shanghai, in both modern physics and Tai-Chi.

Although he successfully deployed his physics education in building his firm (which applies semiconductor technology to machine-to-machine issues) he has never been able to reconcile what he learned from his Tai-Chi instructor with that education, including being knocked to the floor from a distance by that instructor when he was ready to leave Shangai and said instructor wished to demonstrate to him that his Tai-Chi training was incomplete.

There's what could be called a psychological dimension to physical reality that is mostly (not entirely) ignored in physics owing to the nature of the historical development of science and physics as well as the prevailing egoic mindset of the west.

This is next-to-impossible to fathom from within that mindset, but then there are very simple techniques for temporarily freeing one's self from that mindset.

This will make no sense to anyone who has never personally experimented with such techniques, including mind quieting techniques.

Bill I.

daydreamer's picture
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Who knows hay!

I guess thats the tricky deal. One possible truth though is that if an idea is going to gain wider recognition it will have to do it on a firm footing.

daydreamer's picture
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I can't help feeling that we end up drawing a line between reductionist and anti-reductionist stances with questions like this.

But big deal! What do we do when we do either?

Is the universe a holographic projection, or a multifaceted reality? Are we atoms or do they even matter? Are we the pattern in the matter and energy, or are we some super energy on-top of it all?

The thing is we're like junkies when it comes to underpinning something with a 'Super-Duper-InfinitelyFinal TM' answer. "If we're not at the absolute finality of an answer then we don't know nothing guvnor" and all that. I call 'So what!'? So what if we never know, or if there is no answer. So what if we do know 1% of things and might know 20% with some discovery tomorrow?

These things do not decide how we feel about the possibility of having an answer. What seems to decide that is our biology, upbringing, etc etc. If those are as big a part of our decision of what reality is (our interaction with anything we might know) then psychology overlays the physics in terms of the philosophy of the answer - whether the answer ticks the box's of our satisfaction and whether we get our fill from what we might learn.

(I mean throw the same question out - what is iron ore - or anything and we can play the same mind games, pulling apart its formation, its atoms, its energy, its history in this planet and back to billion of years ago. We can see a million different answers to a simple question, but if it does not fondle our minds then we get no satisfaction from explaining anything, not matter how simple or grand)

RealityTest's picture
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So just how does anyone get past "mind games?"

Have you never had a very provocative experience that transcended the usual speculation & rampant associating that many of us who tend to be cerebral engage in nearly unceasingly, from the moment we awaken until we return to unconsciousness in sleep?

I firmly believe that the usual waking consciousness is really akin to a kind of sleep, wherein we do nearly everything like hypnotized zombies. Learned authorities like the historian Robin Lane Fox have derided George Gurdjieff as a charlatan, a "rascal master", but on this he was correct.

You'd never agree, however, if you have never experienced a moment of being much more "awake" than usual.

Such experiences can be spontaneous in nature, induced by some hallucinogenic agent or other, or by engaging in any number of techniques or methods.

Without a spontaneous experience of this nature, someone who would never think of ingesting an hallucinogen (unlike Aldous Huxley with his mescaline and "reducing valve" metaphor) might not seek out any techniques or methods unless they believed that they might actually lead somewhere. Why would they if entire civilizations, complete with all educational structures, existed in a zombie-like "sleep" condition such that this was considered "normal," all else psychopathic?

If they read some literature pertaining to certain Eastern thought and practices, they'd dismiss it as superstition. Reading of chakras, for example, they'd think: "No such thing."

If they came across something pointing in the direction of the possibility of attaining a much more expansive form of consciousness but this had some "New Age" nuances -- they'd dismiss this, too; it must necessarily be silly, insufficiently serious, and unscientific.

If in fact almost everyone walks around as a hypnotized zombie, including all of our teachers, business people, scientists, etc., would those who even briefly transcended this condition, for whatever reason, be as supermen or superwomen, gathering great riches, creating incredible inventions, leading completely fulfilling lives, and so on?

Not necessarily.

They might briefly poke their head out of the drek of the usual surface consciousness then return to it, impelled by habit, the need to earn a living, the need to be able to relate to family, friends, and associates, or any of a thousand other reasons.

It would take a concerted effort by quite a few to create any real "bridgehead" and expand this but such efforts might very likely fail, turn into some kind of ostracized cult, die out, etc.

Quite likely various religions actually began this way, before turning into structures that perpetuated a kind of unconsciousness that masquerades as enlightenment or religious redemption.

Still, collective beliefs do change over time and it's possible that change will come in this area, too.

Meanwhile, there are exercises, methods, techniques, and endless narratives for anyone who seeks them, although those who do are likely to be able to communicate anything of this nature only to others who, like themselves, had some spontaneous experience suggesting the nature of reality is not as it has been taught to us and, as a result, began themselves to seek.

Bill I.

Redoubt's picture
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"I firmly believe that the usual waking consciousness is really akin to a kind of sleep, wherein we do nearly everything like hypnotized zombies. Learned authorities like the historian Robin Lane Fox have derided George Gurdjieff as a charlatan, a "rascal master", but on this he was correct.
.
You'd never agree, however, if you have never experienced a moment of being much more "awake" than usual.
.
Such experiences can be spontaneous in nature, induced by some hallucinogenic agent or other, or by engaging in any number of techniques or methods."

This is going to be a real booger to try and articulate...

There is this stage that comes between being asleep and awake. In this place, my mind sometimes reviews daily issues and other things of life. On some of those subjects, it's like my soul or some part of me that has no voice during 'full daytime consciousness', screams and panics when it comes to a certain point.

Let me try and detail this a bit better.

I have an elderly mother who lives here with us. She will be 88 in June and while still pretty spry for that sum of years, she is slipping away. It is often unhappy to consider and even more so to watch day in and day out. But... we all will die someday and she has lived a wonderfully full life.

We deal with these things on a number of levels so that when the inevitable finally happens... we are indeed horribly sad but were nonetheless as prepared as one can be.

But inside, in this place between sleep and awake, this part of me will consider this and a host of other serious subjects and it's like there is an emotional scream... and it kind of jolts me, with elevated heart rate and the feeling of such indescribable terror.

It's only for a split second, mind you, and then I am generally awake and thinking about it all on what I will call my 'conscious' level where such reaction does not occur.

There are numerous other things that this little inside creature reviews and with the same instantaneous spark of sheer horror... before I am tossed out of that place back into the here and now.

Like I said, it is very difficult to describe because I don't think there are words that match it well enough to share it in any real depth.

Has anyone else ever run into this? Like a second reality? An emotional consciousness within that is... well, just so tender as to be raw?

"The power of accurate observation is frequently called cynicism by those who don't have it."

daydreamer's picture
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Again, who knows unless research is done on it.

My point though was that unless something ticks box's in the brain (or whichever part of it we are using to experience today) then we will not recognise it that way anyway.

I suppose that is based on the idea that the brain is important though (although some ideas and evidences suggest it is).

Even if the information is ticking box's in our energy beings in dimension 'Squarg A' though, it is happening, and if it does not happen then maybe that is as much about when we are happy saying something is reality, and when we are not.

That would be about our interaction with reality, rather than what reality 'is', which may well be a philosophical concept without meaning. Like imagining reality is like a brick, when it is as much about what we think of the brick.

So many people add their different takes on 'reality' that is seems to me that no single explanation will please everyone, even if it is accurate, so we will end up with a multitude of 'realities' with each fondling different people's minds.

Maybe this will only happen until there is an explanation for everything, but my point is that psychologically that may not be enough.

RealityTest's picture
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daydreamer: "Again, who knows unless research is done on it."

I'm sure you mean, by the term "research", scientific research -- laboratories, folks in white lab coats, test tubes, wires, dials, etc., etc.

The scientists are separate from whatever they are studying and deliberately so. They have to be "objective."

In these questions, however, you could combine subject and scientist (the word wouldn't really apply any more) in your self, converting your own consciousness into the laboratory as well, your mind a kind of microscope.

It's clear to me that when I post a link to an exercise as a way to make a point that 99% of those replying to my post did not do the exercise, for whatever reason. They prefer to present their own thought, their own analysis, not any reflection upon whatever they might have experienced had they actually done the exercise.

In the rare exceptions (in places where the very idea of doing such an exercise must seem strange) they attribute whatever they experienced to imagination, believing they must have "made it up", possibly because whatever they experienced didn't agree with what someone once taught them or what they believe.

This strikes me as either a kind of arrogance or pig headedness or, possibly, a symptom of fear.

(I once had an astounding experience connected with a ouija board, which I believe is simply a tool that enables communication between different regions of the mind. Years after this, someone I know, having once viewed The Exorcist, was convinced that using a ouija board would inevitably bring demonic beings into their presence, possibly even leading to, gasp, possession. Jokingly, I moved towards a ouija board when they were visiting one day, saying, "Let's use the ouija board -- maybe it can assist us in this matter" referring to a question we were discussing. This person grew pale and backed away, muttering something about "the blood of Christ.")

Bill

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Quote:

I'm sure you mean, by the term "research", scientific research

I do like that, but only in its format. Actually though I wasn't thinking that at the time. Subjectiveness in science isn't too hard to find though. The Vatican just opened a new astronomy research institute, there is plenty of Islamic science out there, Creation research also has its big proponents. Subjectiveness in science is out there. I am not sure if the wealth of disparate claims (and the diversity of methods used to claim them) is helpful to our respect of their approach to the subject, but anyway.

Subjectivity is necessarily a difficult part of the philosophy of knowledge. After all the word refers to:

–adjective
1.
existing in the mind; belonging to the thinking subject rather than to the object of thought ( opposed to objective).
2.
pertaining to or characteristic of an individual; personal; individual: a subjective evaluation.

So unless people are using the word without knowing what it means they are referring to the thinker and not the object being considered. So thinking about something like a planet, star, atom etc while really thinking about yourself is a philosophically difficult way to gain understanding of it.

This is perfectly valid to psychologists, who do it every day and with every patient, but for scientists it presents a problem. Much of the history of philosophy, leading through to natural philosophy and eventually science can be looked at as an argument for reduced subjectiveness, which has run rampant through the history of thought. It definitely cannot be said that subjectiveness has not had a shot at defining understanding.

I read your link and thought it sounded interesting. Attempting the exercise would be a matter of finding time. I was pondering on it's topic earlier today while making breakfast and wondering about various choices and the 'mean attractors' (if you get the physics reference) of my life. I think my life had maybe 3 principle mean attractors, 3 main directions it could have taken short of major calamities such as the death of the people down those paths before I met them. The path I am on now, with my wife and children seems, in retrospect, to be the main attractor for my choices in life. I had a reasonably high chance of landing on this path since it happened so naturally with quite a few different routes too it. The various different routes away from it (such as living in different places and having different relationships) ultimately bounced me back towards it too (in retrospect). It was fated, if you like those words, but to me is a natural consequence of the things I find make me happy, what I find attractive, and the deeper attractiveness's you find after you get to know people.

I can mentally walk myself down those other few paths, and perhaps if close to a dream state involve my visual cortex and 'see' my thoughts instead of just thinking them. I think though that this is probably my life's main path. I.e if there are lots of me's in other parallel worlds the bulk of them will be on the same path I am.

RealityTest's picture
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(How annoying -- I just spent a fair amount of energy writing a long reply only to accidentally lose it while checking the spelling for a word and then closing the wrong browser tab.)

I'll try to briefly summarize my lost comment.

1. When I used "research" in quotes, contrasting a certain kind of activity to what is meant by scientific research, I wasn't referring to the sorts of activities you mentioned, wherein groups try to prove their religious beliefs by activities that superficially resemble genuine scientific research. The activity I referred to was akin to that of a lone meditator, aware of his her thoughts, feelings, and sensations.

Of course there's nothing to prevent a group of meditators from comparing notes and meditating together; this can get truly interesting when one of them also simultaneously engages in trance communication, commenting on the group activities.

2. You must be aware of formal philosophy that focuses on the distinction between "subjective" and "objective." You could easily spend an entire lifetime reviewing and studying this material, which is still being created. I find all of it analytical, not experiential, and so somewhat useless. You might start with Kant then progress to Husserl, before dealing with contemporary philosophers, if you're unfamiliar with this area.

3. I hope you find the time to actually do that exercise, instead of imagining doing it. It seems to activate a part of brain/mind that we aren't usually aware of, distinct from but related to that of the dreaming self.

Note a key distinction between Seth's probable selves (those denizens of probable realities) and the ideas associated with many world QM interpretations and the more contemporary multiverse: You and all of these selves are inwardly connected (and there is also a kind of meta-self). This means you can access the experience of a probable self and vice versa. This has _major_ implications, including practical applications.

Say a probable version of you chose to learn to play the clarinet and became quite competent at doing so; you never did this, however. You could pick up a clarinet today and tune in to this probable self, greatly accelerating your learning how to play it.

If you consider all of the possible probable selves based on choices you've made since you attained conscious awareness, then additional resulting probable choices -- this is endless -- then you will realize that this can be applied to just about any activity.

Bill

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Redoubt: "Has anyone else ever run into this? Like a second reality? An emotional consciousness within that is... well, just so tender as to be raw?"

I don't know what you've experienced, Redoubt. The closest experience I can recall is dreaming that I'm a young child.

You could probe this region of self, possibly temporarily pretending it is separate from your usual self and playfully engaging in conversation with it, asking who they are, why they are afraid, etc.

If you knew someone who could provide translation services for your "oversoul" you could, through them, ask that larger region of your self just what this is about.

This is very different from the sort of experience I was referring to, however, when it suddenly becomes plain that we are generally using but a tiny fraction of our potential awareness, as though we are dreaming that we are awake while in fact being no more than sleepwalkers.

Bill

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You could maybe throw that into an idea of some sort of super consciousness.

Its a little awkward to put the last few billions of years worth of neural evolution into a sentence, but our brains sit on top of a very long history of evolution tailoring us to our specific planet and environment + the various trade offs made in our precise evolutionary history. I guess there is no reason that our minds cannot be affected by other events in the universe than those that affect our eyes, ears, mouth and skin.

I'd still call for some rigor in anything other than the hypothesis stage though.

Also, just a quick question. Why do people feel the need to specialise a subset of dreams without having a basis to do so? Why cannot all dreams be giving a special insight into reality? People just seem to imply 'these ones do and those one's don't'. You say you need to read this and do that, but I dream every night. Like most people some of my dreams speak great truths about my own life and many have insights. Some even predict the future, or show that I am capable of having the occasional good guess while i'm sleeping. They are not all nonsense. Some are emotional enough that I wake up crying, or some I wake up in a bad mood. Some are so real that I awake confused about who I am, me , or the dream me. I don't see why people seem so eager to dismiss my normal dreams when talking about subjective reality? Is it because many are also very weird, very disturbing, or if real would make for a crazy world? Yet what rules do we use to dismiss one and say another provides great insight into reality? Surely that is the great impracticality of subjectiveness?