I would like to post a conversation I just had on Google+. I understand how my statements may sound offensive but I see things as I see it. My opinion is not unheard of but I am not saying it is fact. However, my issue really isnt about what I said it is about the response it received from a guy who didn't like what I said but posted his opinions. I don't understand them and I was wondering if someone could explain what he means by his definition of consciousness and "objective reality"
Me-Many people are superstitious and will have their religions. They will believe things and blindly "drink the koolaid" if they are offered anything that is better than everlasting death of themselves and their loved ones. This is just my opinion. Just think about it. You, the very essence of you has a finale. And some people don't want to believe that. Some people will appear to claim to have telepathy and can speak to this invisible person (hallucination) they believe watches over them and what they do (paranoia) which by the way is the same theme as Santa Claus. Key in "You better watch out. You better not cry" . And some make bargains (prayer/telepathy) to obey and be good so it wont send them to the scary place. Oh and get no gifts like a mansion in the clouds. Looks cool but i don't know how that works. My point is it keeps me in awe how weird our culture is and how far behind we are from other cultures (overseas) who understand evolution and will accept it as a more factual explanation of we became and how we die."
Him-Personality and memory will (almost certainly) end. Those things are not "the very essence of you." Nor are they consciousness.
What I was talking about before, which was different from that, was the fact that we cannot model consciousness and so have no business thinking we know much about it. There's an unbridgeable qualia gap. We have no reason, looking at objective reality and all its processes including those occurring in the brain, to conclude that subjective consciousness should be occurring at all. As I said, in objective reality there is no I and there is no You -- there is only he, she, and it. We can describe all kinds of things about how the brain functions, but no one has ever posited any hypothesis about how any of this gives rise to someone inside -- an "I" -- experiencing anything subjectively. And I would suggest that no one ever will, that it is impossible.
As consciousness cannot emerge from brain activity by any conceivable mechanism, it must pre-exist brain activity, at least as a potential, and be a fundamental characteristic of existence comparable to space or time.
Do I believe that consciousness (although not memory or personality) endures beyond death? Yes. I as an individual will not, but I as an individual am an illusion anyway, a kind of distorted mirror thrown up by my brain. I -- the real I -- am the cosmos, and the cosmos was here before this body was born and will still be here, experiencing reality through all vehicles available (of which at the moment this body is one), after this body dies.
What is he talking about? Thanks.
The oxymoron is all yours! :)
"There is a lot of interesting information in there, which is very much science based in terms of quantum reality, brain function, and understanding consciousness."
Science terms is the key term here. Depak is notorious for making things sound really sciencey, but not having anything of substance in what he's saying. This happens so often that someone created this: the Depak Chopra Random Quote Generator. Honestly, I can't tell the difference between the things this says and his live twitter feed.
"The universe is a digital virtual reality workshop in
"Memories transcend the molecules on which they ride"
"Without unpredictability there is no creativity. The universe is creative but appears random to the limited mind"
"Since everything that can be thought of or perceived is an object of consciousness, the idea of a world without consciousness is absurd"
"Love is the infinite organizing power of the universe"
And that's just since March 2nd.
I don't disagree with you. But the same things can be said of many of our world's greatest minds - and were said of them by their contemporaries. I learn to take everything one says with a grain of salt, yet still choose to listen to them because there is always the possibility of learning something unique. Providing Depak here as a source of information for Shana was not to promote Depak other than to provide her with a platform in which she might understand where the gentleman (with whom she was having a conversation with) is coming from - nothing more.
I don't agree with everything Depak says - you and I both are capable of saying say very kook things as well, but his perspective is interesting. There is a strong possibility that what he has to say is wrong, but people often thought the same thing about some of our earliest philosophers and yet we now hold them high as our civilization's greatest thinkers. Will that happen for Depak, more than likely no. But I am unwilling to close my mind - that is the essence of a free thinker and not be a slave to any doctrine - religious or scientific, at least this is my view.
He talks a load of fanny. He's sloppy. However, this is logical:
"the idea of a world without consciousness is absurd" because without consciousness, you can't have ideas. But - so what?
I cannot disagree with you. But there is a point to the "so what," as far as I understand human nature and behavior.
Yeah, it's his life, and he doesn't do any harm. What do you think is the point to the "so what?"? It seems too trivial for Deep to make any fuss about.
Maybe I misunderstood your "so what." I was coming from the angle of consciousness being important in the subjective- because the subjective is a critical player in helping us making sense of ourselves and our world. It is the very first way we have as a child to understand ourselves, and even as we grow and become aware of the objective world, the subjective is still playing a role - especially in the subconscious mind. If that makes any sense - I just got a little cross eyed squeezing that out. xD
Barry - I'm starting to see how Deepak Chokra can have value. He presents the reader with a piece of scientific-sounding gobbledigook, and an intelligent person can make something sensible out of it. I'm not disparaging this approach. I'm into merciless, razor-sharp rigour. That's not necessarily any more helpful, it can be less helpful, at least in short-term human ways.
@ The Hawk:
Tupac Chopra says:
Hahaha, I can't tell the difference either Hawk.
Here are a few actual statements Deepak Chopra has made, for the sake of comparison with the list of randomly generated woo-woo above:
"Birth and death are spacetime events in the continuum of life."
"There are traditions that say the in-body experience is a socially induced collective hallucination."
"What you call a person actually is a pattern of behavior of a universal consciousness."
“If you have happy thoughts, then you make happy molecules.”
"There is no such thing as Jeff, because what we call Jeff is a constantly transforming consciousness that appears as a certain personality, a certain mind, a certain ego, a certain body."
“Spirituality is the experience of that domain of awareness where we experience our universality.”
"To be healed is to have the return of the memory of who we really are."
People actually pay to gobble up entire books full of this crap and they love it. No wonder Chopra left his mundane career as an endocrinologist and went into the quack business selling Vedic "alternative medicine". Vedic is described on Wikipedia as having a basis in "a unified field of pure, nonmaterial intelligence and consciousness whose modes of vibration manifest as the material universe." (Sound familiar?)
Woo-woo may not be tax-free like religion, but it still rakes in some big money.
I think we're just beating a dead horse at this point.