Hello, everyone! Thanks Bruce for inviting me.


I'm Dawid, from Sweden, with a passion for abstruse truth, pensive art, well-rounded morality, daring transhumanism, and integral cognition.


It would be awesome to get to know a few of you people here. (James, e, Bruce and Irmeli I am fortunate enough to know a little already, even back from the ol' Zaads days.) So I thought that perhaps the easiest way of making that happen would be to start with a premeditatedly terse - perhaps annoyingly so? - question! I'd really appreciate any answers, be they elaborate or concise, 0-tier or 4th-tier. So here goes:


Does God exist?






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Philosophically speaking, how would you answer this famous question often posed to people who say that there is no truth, called the argument of self-contradiction:


"If you say that there is no absolute truth, how can you be sure of that?


If 1) you say there is an absolute truth to validate the statement that "there is no absolute truth" -- i.e. "the absolute truth is that there is no absolute truth" -- that is of course contradictory. How do you account for this?


Or, if 2) you say that there is no absolute truth to validate the statement that "there is no absolute truth", why should anyone listen to you when you make that claim? Why should anyone believe you? In other words, from where exactly do you get your authority to make such a statement?"



Let's take a step back to stem any confusion.

Sans idealistic beliefs, what in experience is permanent to postulate an absolute?



e: "Sans idealistic beliefs, what in experience is permanent to postulate an absolute?"


Would you be all right with rephrasing this question like this?


"Sans idealistic beliefs, what in experience is not a conceptual imputation?"


To me, whatever is empty is also by extension a conceptual imputation. For example a car is empty and doesn't independently exist in any way apart from being an arbitrary concept which we entertain for purposes of convenience, intercommunication, fun, etc. So if something is a conceptual imputation, it is not real (samvritisatya). And if something is not a conceptual imputation, it is real (paramarthasatya).


(I will assume that you're okay with this rephrasing, and continue writing. But if you aren't we can start over.) 


In my search to see if I can find anything which doesn't exist in this way, I claim I have only found two phenomena which can not be emptified in this manner, and that is what in Buddhist terms is called suchness, and what I call... umh, I don't really know what to call it, but let's call it "principle". 


So "suchness" is the observation that our concept of "total annihilation", i.e. a dark black void of infinite nothingness, or whatever, is not an accurate description of reality. David at the Integral Archipelago believes that if every-thing is empty (which it is), it would amount to a reality which exists as a total annihilation, but this is not my direct experience. In this experience, mind you, I still don't see any dualistically reified subjects or objects anywhere, yet, it's also not accurately describable as a total annihilation or some kind of nihilistic darkness. Far from it.


"Principle" is the observation that in the illusory realm of conceptual imputations, nontheless some of these conceptual imputations appear the follow some kind of principle or structuring which is non-chaotic and non-alterable. It didn't have to be this way. In a computer simulation we can render objects which properties we can then alter as we please, but in some realms of conceptual imputation, we can't alter the imputations as we please, but must adhere or conform to a principle which is beyond our control or ability to freely alter.


Keep in mind this is all within the (dualistic) realm of conceptual imputation, so it is possible to be free from this restriction by leaving the realm through realizing the emptiness of all phenomena within the realm. Then what I call "principle" stops presenting an appearance (because it can only operate in a relative environment), but it doesn't mean that when the conceptual realm is enacted again that it won't appear, therefore making it not solely a conceptual imputation.


One last thing:


I can defend these two metaphysical assertions from the perspective of Green as well, and that is because these two can't be used in the dualistic realm to gain power or fame or wealth. A person can't benefit dualistically from suchness or principle in any way. This is because suchness and principle are not information; they are not digital.

Are we thru talking about absolutes? Do you agree that experience (sans religious belief) shows it is rather absurd to posit a non-existent as the basis of a philosophy?

Can you elaborate?

If there is nothing in our experience that is permanent, does it make any sense to posit absolutes? We can but if the absolutes have no factual basis in our lived reality then it is not a pragmatic philosophy but religious belief we are talking about.

"If there is nothing in our experience that is permanent, does it make any sense to posit absolutes?"


The assertion that there is something that isn't solely a conceptual imputation isn't something cognized in my direction experience, but springs out of the nexus of logic in the "people-realm". It is something which comes like a by-product of dualistic speech. 


For example, here in the people-realm you do positively assert that there is nothing in our experience that is permanent. So I ask again, how do you know that? From where do you get your authority to say that? Why should anyone listen to you when you say that? I am genuinely curious about your answer.



(Rephrasing your question). E can you produce something permanent for me to see, think, feel, yada yada? The answer is no.


So, I ask you again. Dawid can you show me something…anything…that is permanent? If you can't and you still maintain there is something, then that is a religious belief…nothing more. You can justify your belief by creating a logical system of tautologies with the "Unknown Absolute" hidden behind a long list of capitalized words i.e. God, Absolute, Dharmakaya, Buddha Nature, Awareness, Consciousness, Big Mind, The One, On and On. But that is just a shell game with no actual pea. Actually that is a bit harsh. There is a pea, someone has an exalted state experience and they pin the absolutist tail on that donkey.


PS I am not selling anything and no one has to listen to me. Besides this truth is hidden in plain site. Outside of fables, fairy tales, mythology and religious belief, what lasts forever and ever?


e: "Besides this truth is hidden in plain site."


What truth?

At least e and I find agreement on this topic.

Hi Guys

Mind if I join in?


e: "Dawid can you show me something…anything…that is permanent? If you can't and you still maintain there is something, then that is a religious belief…nothing more."

I can't show you anything permanent e, but I still believe there is something. And I also accept the possibility that my belief in non-permanent things is just an evolutionary required habit - as a frail, sensory-input driven, biological entity on planet earth - of making sense of my environment, and that is not an accurate ontology. On the other hand it might be accurate, my senses may be spot on! :-)


But my main question is:

Why is permanence the deciding factor for you in whether there are things? 


James: "Why is permanence the deciding factor for you in whether there are things?"


It is logical consequence that something that is impermanent can't exist (by way of its own self-being). One way to understand why this is, is to look at the thing from the point of view of dependence:


Let's say you have a tree, and you think it exists by way of its own essence, or own-being - inherently. In logic, it is a fact that something that exists inherently can't change, because it has within it everything that is necessary for it to be a tree. It is self-contained, independent, and doesn't require any outside support, so to speak. But obviously, a tree can't exist in this self-contained, independent way, because it changes: it wasn't always a tree, a few decades ago it was a seed.


The seed and the tree are different things, yet, without a seed - no tree! So, the tree depends on the seed - another thing - for its own existence. Therefore, it can't possibly exist independently, by way of its own self-being, but derives in tree-ness from another thing, without which it couldn't exist. So you can say impermanence is a sign, a sign that a thing can't exist by way of its own self-being. (Which is, because of conditioning, the way we always think about the existence of things.) If the tree was permanent and changeless, it couldn't rely on the seed, and we would therefore be forced to conclude that the tree is immortal, which it clearly isn't. (As you know!)


Then you can do the same analysis with the seed, until you realize that all dualistic things are not independent and permanent things out there at all, but rather imputed concepts which we use for sake of convenience, communication, fun, etc.

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What paths lie ahead for religion and spirituality in the 21st Century? How might the insights of modernity and post-modernity impact and inform humanity's ancient wisdom traditions? How are we to enact, together, new spiritual visions – independently, or within our respective traditions – that can respond adequately to the challenges of our times?

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