Andrew Holecek, Lucid Dreaming and Yoga |459|

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lonevoice

#21
I guess I see it differently. Andrew ticked me off from the beginning when to copped an attitude about charlie morley... as if there's some phony-baloney hierarchy among lucid dream teachers that I have to honor. he then ticked me off again with this condescending wokeness vibe, "gee you're so stupid... if you could just articulate intelligent questions for me to answer." ok, so I asked him some real direct questions like why the hell he fell for the Susan Blackmore phony Buddhist bullshit:
Near-Death Experience Skeptic Dr. Susan Blackmore ...
Dr. Caroline Watt Defends, There is Nothing ... - Skeptiko

...and no, I didn't wait much for his answer because there isn't one... and I didn't want to go down that path and waste that time because anyone like him who isn't able to see through that nonsense and is stuck in wokeness mode where their highest value is to "not judge" which means we don't employ enough discernment to understand when people are intentionally deceiving us in order to promote their own misguided agenda needs to check themselves.

I didn't go gunning for Andrew... I didn't know this interview would turn out this way, but I stand behind it. I do wish I could have shown a smidgen more more compassion and kindness and at the same time have to honor the opportunity to expose a subtle truth-seeking opp.
Your post-interview comments are helping me vicariously with my own anger, Alex. Many people quote the Buddha as saying--I never saw it myself but it's a valid point--that folks are playing in a house while ignoring that it is burning down. I would add that some are talking of dream yoga and nonduality and the like while ignoring the surrounding flames. And as I said in my first post here, they condescend to those who don't see things as they do, who don't join them in their blatant escapism. At one point Andrew actually said he'd like "your audience" to understand that...yada yada. Give me a frickin break.

SOS, Alex and others: I have no idea where the argument and evidence appeared that the NT is a Roman document. Probably in an interview before I started listening. Can someone please explicate this prima facie curious assertion for me? TY in advance.
 
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#22
I think the whole idea that consciousness is an illusion was a desperate ploy by materialists, to avoid explaining consciousness by pretending it doesn't exist!
I don't think that's quite it. It misses the subtlety of the argument.

The "illusion" that atheist philosophers are referring to is the notion that there is a separate entity/process/phenomena occurring outside of the multitude of measurable brain processes that are ongoing during conscious awareness. Is there a monkey riding the tiger? Is there a Cartesian Theater?

It can certainly feel like there is something more than those processes, and those feelings may be enough to say "consciousness exists as a thing all of itself"... or it may point to the strength of the illusion; the illusion that we are in control of those processes.
 
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#23
I don't think that's quite it. It misses the subtlety of the argument.

The "illusion" that atheist philosophers are referring to is the notion that there is a separate entity/process/phenomena occurring outside of the multitude of measurable brain processes that are ongoing during conscious awareness. Is there a monkey riding the tiger? Is there a Cartesian Theater?
The concept of an illusion is necessary for this simple reason.

None of the components that are supposed to comprise our brain can individually explain why we have experiences. Even if we forget about proof and just indulge in blue sky thinking, there is no way to conceive of making anything that is aware of anything.

Both tigers and monkeys almost certainly pose the same problem to science, but science tries to ignore that too - it is just that they can't brush away that obvious discrepancy in the case of human beings - in the case of themselves!

A simpler, more direct response from atheist scientists might be:
It is really hard to explain the mechanism that enables humans and presumably other animals can have actual experiences and we still don't know the answer.

Yes, that fact does challenge my being an atheist, but I am reasonably confident we will understand it in the end
Incidentally, "atheism" used to mean someone who doesn't believe that God exists. The meaning has gradually slipped, so that now it seems to mean someone who believes materialism ultimately has all the answers.

My own feeling is that the question of whether God exists isn't top priority. What seems more important is to understand what our mentality (call it our soul if you like that term) really is, and what does it do after we die.

David
 
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#24
The concept of an illusion is necessary for this simple reason.

None of the components that are supposed to comprise our brain can individually explain why we have experiences.
This is irrelevant. The nature of the thing is in a different category to the explanation of the thing. The fact that any explanation is unsatisfactory (to you) says nothing about what may be occurring.


Even if we forget about proof and just indulge in blue sky thinking, there is no way to conceive of making anything that is aware of anything.
Similarly, what you or I can conceive, makes no difference to what is going on. This is a logical point.

I suspect that we are further hamstrung in our conceptions by being ‘in the game’ so to speak. Fooled by the illusion.
 
#26
further to this point, I have heard physicists discuss how atomic nuclei appear to be aware of their electrons.
Yes but they use such terms as a kind of metaphor - rather as one might say that your mobile phone 'knows' where it is (because it has a GPS chip in it).

This is irrelevant. The nature of the thing is in a different category to the explanation of the thing.
The problem with that argument is that physical theories do simply consist of explanations. If you assume QM and assume that protons and electrons are oppositely electrically charged, then you can explain the properties of a hydrogen atom.

You explain compound things - like atoms - in terms of simpler concepts, but ultimately you have to stop. Why for example do the electron have an opposite charge to a proton, or why does electromagnetism work the way it does. Wherever you stop, you end up with abstractions that are unexplained ....... and yet it won't seem satisfactory if everything can be taken into even smaller parts with yet more laws ad-infinitum.

Thus some scientists have managed to embrace panpsychism (including your favourite Christof Koch) because it has the potential to inject consciousness into physical matter. Maybe you should read up about why he felt the need to do that - rather than trying to pretend that there really is no need to take that step. He isn't the only scientist to realise that.

David
 
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#27
Thus some scientists have managed to embrace panpsychism (including your favourite Christof Koch) because it has the potential to inject consciousness into physical matter. Maybe you should read up about why he felt the need to do that - rather than trying to pretend that there really is no need to take that step. He isn't the only scientist to realise that.

David
I'm one of them- a scientist who has managed to embrace panpsychism that is. Although "managed" is a stretch. It's always seemed a fairly reasonable position to me.
I wonder if reading Heinlein in my youth encouraged me to feel that way?
:)
 
#28
malf misses one of the approaches... that there is no separation.

That within consciousness arises conscious agents (no separation), that within consciousness arises all manifestation of form which includes anything material (no separation) and that a conscious agent manifests a form of experience via available vehicles such as the human form which has been manifest into being via a collective of conscious agents all within consciousness. Never is there actual separation, instead the experience of a conscious agent which finds itself experiencing a collectively formed reality (consensus reality) due to the intensity of this sub reality and due to the intensity of the experience through the body vehicle "concludes" (though it is just a belief) that it is separate.

The opportunity of life, life experienced through this particular consensus reality where we are tied in via the body vehicle, is what as known as "awakening" (and many other terms) to the reality there is no separation.

Enjoy!
 
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#29
I'm one of them- a scientist who has managed to embrace panpsychism that is. Although "managed" is a stretch. It's always seemed a fairly reasonable position to me.
I wonder if reading Heinlein in my youth encouraged me to feel that way?
:)
I should be clear, however, I don't think panpsychism is the answer.

1) QM requires that all electrons are exactly alike alike (the same for other particle types) so that a wave function is either left unchanged or changes sign if you notionally swap the coordinates of two electrons. So if they are identical they would all have to have exactly the same thought - which then seems a bit silly!

2) As the odd scientist has embraced panpsychism, they never go any further and illustrate how it might work. They seem so freaked out by having to acknowledge panpsychism that their minds stop at that point - i.e. it is just another way to avoid discussing the Hard Problem.

3) Everything is made of matter, but most things don't seem obviously conscious. That doesn't mean they aren't conscious, but at least you have to explain why the panpsychism doesn't always clump together!

Personally, I think the ultimate, true theory is Idealism. However, I don't think Idealism is a useful theory to adopt at this point. I have discussed this at length before:
Science can only develop a bit at a time. As I have argued before, General Relativity would have been useless at the time when Newton came up with his theory of gravity, and I think Idealism is useless now. If science is ever to take a step forward out of what we both think is the dead end of materialism, it simply has to be a small step. Restoring the idea of Dualism (possibly using a different name) seems to me to be that minimal step because it directly addresses the puzzle of consciousness, and it may well open up thinking about evolution as well.
Before you jump in, believing in Dualism is no worse than believing in QM and GR simultaneously, because QM and GR are well known to be incompatible! Later, when science has got over its materialistic hang-ups, Idealism will presumably flourish.

What sort of science do you do, and have you ever used such ideas in your own work?

David
 
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L

lonevoice

#30
SOS, Alex and others: I have no idea where the argument and evidence appeared that the NT is a Roman document. Probably in an interview before I started listening. Can someone please explicate this prima facie curious assertion for me? TY in advance. (I am not a Christian but I have studied it and have never seen this claim made by its critics or scholars.)
 
#31
I should be clear, however, I don't think panpsychism is the answer.

1) QM requires that all electrons are exactly alike alike (the same for other particle types) so that a wave function is either left unchanged or changes sign if you notionally swap the coordinates of two electrons. So if they are identical they would all have to have exactly the same thought - which then seems a bit silly!

2) As the odd scientist has embraced panpsychism, they never go any further and illustrate how it might work. They seem so freaked out by having to acknowledge panpsychism that their minds stop at that point - i.e. it is just another way to avoid discussing the Hard Problem.

3) Everything is made of matter, but most things don't seem obviously conscious. That doesn't mean they aren't conscious, but at least you have to explain why the panpsychism doesn't always clump together!

Personally, I think the ultimate, true theory is Idealism. However, I don't think Idealism is a useful theory to adopt at this point. I have discussed this at length before:


Before you jump in Dualism is just as good as believing in QM and GR simultaneously, because those two theories are well known to be incompatible!

What sort of science do you do, and have you ever used such ideas in your own work?

David
I trained as a physicist, but my life's work wound up being in programming.
So no, I can't say I've used my understanding of panpsychism in my work - except insomuch as my work is better the clearer my mind is, and as I see everything "within" the universe as a manifestation of One Thing, that means that the more clearly I am aware of that, the better the quality of my work.
On your point 3), I do think, with Heinlein, that "..to me the whole world is alive. Some parts are sleeping and some are dozing and some are awake but yawning...and some are bright-eyed andbushy-tailed and always ready to go.."
 
#32
I trained as a physicist, but my life's work wound up being in programming.
Join the club - I did a chemistry degree/PhD (including some quantum chemistry) and then moved into software development. I think it was the quantum mechanics that gave me a taste for computers!
So no, I can't say I've used my understanding of panpsychism in my work - except insomuch as my work is better the clearer my mind is, and as I see everything "within" the universe as a manifestation of One Thing, that means that the more clearly I am aware of that, the better the quality of my work.
On your point 3), I do think, with Heinlein, that "..to me the whole world is alive. Some parts are sleeping and some are dozing and some are awake but yawning...and some are bright-eyed andbushy-tailed and always ready to go.."
I think my first point is my main objection to panpsychism.

Regarding point 3, Idealism could handle an 'inert' part of reality, and also the idea that it might come awake. That is the problem with Idealism - it seems to explain just about anything. That is why I would rather think of Idealism as san ultimate likely explanation but use Dualism as an effective intermediate theory.

David
 
#33
Yes but they use such terms as a kind of metaphor - rather as one might say that your mobile phone 'knows' where it is (because it has a GPS chip in it).
Yes. It's all about language. Perhaps we can get comfortable with "conscious awareness" being a metaphor for the known chemical/electrical interactions and processes associated with it.



The problem with that argument is that physical theories do simply consist of explanations.
There is no law that states reality has to consist of satisfactory explanations.


If you assume QM and assume that protons and electrons are oppositely electrically charged, then you can explain the properties of a hydrogen atom.

You explain compound things - like atoms - in terms of simpler concepts, but ultimately you have to stop. Why for example do the electron have an opposite charge to a proton, or why does electromagnetism work the way it does. Wherever you stop, you end up with abstractions that are unexplained ....... and yet it won't seem satisfactory if everything can be taken into even smaller parts with yet more laws ad-infinitum. Thus some scientists have managed to embrace panpsychism (including your favourite Christof Koch) because it has the potential to inject consciousness into physical matter. Maybe you should read up about why he felt the need to do that - rather than trying to pretend that there really is no need to take that step. He isn't the only scientist to realise that.
Obviously, I'm aware of other potential reality models and their limitations. Some of these problems have already been touched on in subsequent posts. My mission (if I have one) is to advocate that a physicalist model is no less problematic than its rivals and has some advantages in terms of a pragmatic track record of getting engineering shit done.

https://www.theverge.com/2018/7/25/17611812/brain-controlled-robot-arm-supernumerary-bmi
 
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#34
To diverge for a minute, while I'm here:

The first and most lasting impression I got of Andrew Holecek was an unfortunate one.
His habitual use of "my friend" in his responses just, I'm ashamed to say, set my teeth on edge.
It immediately gave me that "snake oil salesman" vibe.
Now, I know on reflection that he could genuinely be aware that every person is his brother/friend/self and so the phrase could really be a reflection of this outlook.
But it soured me, and I have had to do a little work to get over it.
 
#36
Yes. It's all about language. Perhaps we can get comfortable with "conscious awareness" being a metaphor for the known chemical/electrical interactions and processes associated with it.
Well OK - go on, why not expand on how that would work.

It is tricky. A lot of people who want to approach consciousness from that direction, are willing to drop chemistry from that approach because the chemicals in the brain seem to just pass a simple message around - Adrenaline (for example) passes on a message that there is a lot of adrenaline about - so why not replace the concentration of adrenaline with a floating point number?

Are you happy with that simplification - consciousness embodied in a computer?

David
 
#37
I experienced Andrew Holecek's use of the term, "my friend" to be rising from his experience of Alex being Alex which, for those who may not know him very well... might be interpreted as rude or offensive. He said it as a defense mechanism as well as an attempt to stand his ground. It's like saying... "at this point, we're still friends. If you go further (especially by constantly cutting me off and not allowing me to answer the question(s) I think you are asking... answers that can go deep (though maybe not in a depth you wish or are open to hearing), we might no longer be friends."

The Alex I think I know is a huge hearted guy whose passionate about getting to a goal he has yet to fully know what that might be though he has his suspicions.
 

Alex

Administrator
#38
SOS, Alex and others: I have no idea where the argument and evidence appeared that the NT is a Roman document. Probably in an interview before I started listening. Can someone please explicate this prima facie curious assertion for me? TY in advance.
it's pretty widely accepted among biblical scholars new testament dependent upon josephus. in fact, a few hundred years ago what was it common to publish the works of josephus as a companion piece to the bible... kind of as validation of jesus's prophecies. of course, nowadays we see it more as confirmation that the work of this roman historian influenced the bible.
 
#40
I think Alex missed a BIG CHANCE in this interview. Andrew dangled before Alex that which Andrew advertised as "fundamental to consciousness."

How could Alex have not jumped on that??!! At least ask him what that might be! At least ask him to explain it! Maybe its BS, but gosh... how can we know now?
 
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