r0ckyreed

The External World Does Exist: Reality is more than Consciousness

213 posts in this topic

Here has been my struggle with the solipsistic or idealistic idea that the external world is imaginary.  The Actuality vs. Concept exercise seems to assume that reality is nothing but our senses and everything else is imaginary.  I have been really thinking about this, and since we are all trapped in our own separate perceptual bubbles, we cannot truly know that external world without first encountering it through our perceptual field.  However, this does not mean that there is no reality beyond the senses.  When I look up at the stars or examine the wonders of nature, I believe there is more to reality than what I am experiencing.  You could say this is imagination, and I do get the point that I have only experienced my own perceptual bubble and nothing else, but to say that my perceptual bubble is the only thing that exists seems to fall into the epistemic trap that what I am or what you are experiencing is all there is.  

Here are some examples of why the external world exists:

- COVID-19 exists and has been affecting many people throughout the world.  (Sure, you could argue that COVID-19 and the people who are in hospitals right now are imaginary from my perspective, but there is still an external world outside of my perspective that they are occurring in.)

- If you do not agree that an external world exists, then why shouldn't I leave my drink at a bar instead of watching it and taking it with me?  If there is no external world, then how is it that things are happening behind the scenes?  (Ok, you could say that the "things behind the scenes" are imaginary from my limited-egoic POV, but things are still happening whether I am imagining them or not right?  If not, then I should not ever get rohypnol in my drink since everything outside of my bubble is imaginary.)  

But see, what is the difference really between imagining that an external world exists vs. an external world actually existing, but I do not have access to it since I am experiencing a perspective of it (Ex. The Sponge Analogy from Perception Video).  In the Sponge Analogy, Leo shows that sponge represents all of reality and each bubble is a perception of it, which seems to suggest to me that other bubbles exist independently of my own, and reality exists independently of my own bubble and mind.

I hope my point is clear here in that if you go really deep into Actuality, it seems that one is isolating themselves from reality (in a way) because they take their POV for reality.  A Trump supporter or anyone practically can easily justify their worldview or conspiracy theory that "COVID is imaginary, rape is imaginary, Blacks being killed by cops are imaginary, the holocaust is imaginary, Sandyhooks and Parkland shootings are imaginary, and only I exist, etc. etc. etc."

I could be wrong, but I think a better way of doing spirituality is to admit that reality is not solipsistic in the way that my perceptual bubble of reality is the only thing that exists and other bubbles are imaginary.  Instead, I believe we should acknowledge that Consciousness or God includes everything inside our perceptual bubble and events and other minds outside or beyond our own perceptual bubble.  If we say that everything outside of our bubble or consciousness is imaginary, then I do not understand how a person with this belief could really value the experiences of others (notice that it is also a belief to believe that reality is no more than Actuality or what occurs in consciousness).

Thank you for your time, I would love to know where my epistemology may be mistaken because this has been troubling me to engage in Spiritual work.

Edited by r0ckyreed

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There is no external world outside of conciousness.

If you get what I mean.

Conciousness = world 

Ive had a few realization where it is obvious that actually there is not two things here.

It is only YOU, not the ego ofc but you as GOD is alone. 

But that is not really solipsism, it is oneness. 

But it is Hard to say that it is really a world out there if you are not looking, if we had this discussion 5 years ago i would say that ofcourse the universe and world is there and has been there always outside of conciousness,  but now I am certain that conciousness is all that there is, the substratum of universe. 

It especially changed on my LSD trip when my girlfriend acted so different then usual only to realize that she has always been " my" imagination..

And she acted exactly as I predicted and when I moved she moved and then she became me, I could not tell the difference, it was like she was so real up to that point and then her way of acting changed as GOD woke up.to it self and she said she had been waiting for me to wake up, she is not even into spirituality! This is the most radical mindfuck EVER.

After that I do doubt the validity of others, there is only 1 thing here, not two


They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions 

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What you are reality pointing to is entirely different paradigms for knowing the world. Each has its problems, some of which you've pointed out.

It seems like materialism is the default view for most of us. The number one problem it has, is that there is no space in it for the raw experience of consciousness. In other words, it has a lot of trouble explaining non-material experiences.

The other paradigm which is Subjective Idealism (SI - the default view on the forum), has it's own issues. The main one being if consciousness and subjectivity is all encompassing, then what is the purpose of form (material objects)? And what happens to stuff outside of consciousness? If there is nothing outside of consciousness, then where does stuff disappear to and reappear from?

Also once you go into SI deep enough, there is this notion that really the experience of it is no different from a dreaming state. Unfortunately, this has two unsavoury connotations: anything is possible and without rules, and everything is an illusion or false in some sense. You can see how mismatched to your everyday (common) sense these two ideas are.

You could look for a middle way in the hope that two shonky paradigms make a good one. Start by looking for commonalities. The main one that jumps out at me is persistence.

Persistence of form (objects) seems to underpin materialism. You know, conservation of mass and momentum. In materialism stuff doesn't just disappear, at least it takes time for objects to change, normally under the abstract force of increasing entropy.  Persistence is also present in SI. Yes, stuff is discontinuous in actuality - you stop directly experiencing the beer left at the bar - but it can come back again.

So materialism has a kind of smooth persistence, and SI a staccatto persistence.

The other commonality is time. Or in the very least the notion of change. Under materialism stuff is subject to change, sometimes spontaneous (radioactive decay), but mostly due to one thing impinging on another (Newton's laws of motion, Navier-Stokes fluid flow) - this is just good old cause and effect.

But SI also has a notion of change. It's very clear that the conscious experience is under constant flux, some of it smooth and some of it discontinuous. In fact this seems to be one of its primary facets, nothing is ever really static.

TLDR: I don't have an answer, but I suspect there is a way out of the conundrum.

Edited by LastThursday

Consiousness is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is.

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We can create all sorts of constructs of "Real" and "Imaginary". We can say real and imaginary is the same thing. Or we can create all sorts of ideas of what "real" and "imaginary" is.

It's easy to get caught up conceptualizing real and imaginary. These concepts can have practical value, yet they ultimately break down to Nothing / Everything. One thing I find helpful is to go 'prior' to labels of "real" and "imaginary". Before those labels are added, there is no "real" or "imaginary". There is simply actuality, pure experience. 

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@r0ckyreed quantum mechanics debunked materialism a long time ago - it's just that it is so radical most scientists today either aren't aware or turn a blind eye to the ramifications.  What does your intuition tell you?  Follow that and it should guide you to doing the consciousness work and discovering the Truth for yourself.


 

Wisdom.  Truth.  Love.

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35 minutes ago, Adamq8 said:

if we had this discussion 5 years ago i would say that ofcourse the universe and world is there and has been there always outside of conciousness,  but now I am certain that conciousness is all that there is, the substratum of universe. 

Could there be a reality beyond consciousness, like beyond all that you experienced? It seems to me that things happen behind the scenes whether I imagine them or not. The only thing I have ever known has been my ego.

 

14 minutes ago, Inliytened1 said:

@r0ckyreed quantum mechanics debunked materialism a long time ago - it's just that it is so radical most scientists today either aren't aware or turn a blind eye to the ramifications.  What does your intuition tell you?

I do agree to some extent that there are many problems with materialism and quantum mechanics seems to debunk it. I have seen many rational, scientific people make epistemic errors and believe in objectivity.

I guess, I am trying to understand how things seems to happen behind the scenes if the external world is imaginary. What is really the difference between an external world being independently of me, and me imagining an external world? 
 

I understand that first person experience is all that we have, but it seems like there is more to life than my own POV if that makes sense. It feels like there is more than “the dream” that I am in. From reading about substances and impacts on the brain and behavior, it is so convincing that an external world exists beyond my imagination and experience. But I do get that I am imagining “the external world.” But it just seems like there is more to this world than my perceptual bubble if that makes sense.

Like for instance, right now, I believe that there are many homeless people and drug addicts, and being suffering from Covid despite me ever experiencing these things. I get that I am imagining Covid, drug addicts, and homeless people, but I still believe they exist and have their own experiences. I largely think this belief of mine comes from my culture and from the fact that I am becoming a mental health counselor. I feel like I wouldn’t be a good therapist if I did not believe that my clients are “real.” 

Edited by r0ckyreed

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3 minutes ago, r0ckyreed said:

Could there be a reality beyond consciousness, like beyond all that you experienced?

The concept of "beyond" is consciousness, so anything beyond the beyond is still consciousness. 

5 minutes ago, r0ckyreed said:

What is really the difference between an external world being independently of me, and me imagining an external world? 

You are not imagining reality as a human, rather you are reality itself imagining yourself to be human. When you hear "YOU" imagine reality, we're talking about the infinite mind, the external and internal. The whole universe or existence is one infinite mind. That is the real you, you are it all. 

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28 minutes ago, fridjonk said:

The concept of "beyond" is consciousness, so anything beyond the beyond is still consciousness.

How is the concept of beyond equal to the actual beyond? Where's the connection?


If you have no confidence in yourself, you are twice defeated in the race of life. But with confidence you have won, even before you start.” -- Marcus Garvey

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I read this in The book of nothing, that are the teachings of Sosan (totally awake being) explained to the general public by Osho. It is said that for whom The Self it is realized It is normal to say the world is illusory as it is felt like that. However, if so that knowledge is kept as dogma for one that is asleep it is of no value. As it is shown in it's way of living by throwing a stone to it's head. The same way believing the world is an ilusion without having awoke is trying to convince yourself with the feeling of being full without ever eating. So it is true that after eating you feel full, but by conveincing yourself that you are full that doesn't mean you have eaten. So for the awake and who has discovered the atman or The Self his statement is the world is an ilusion, so it is felt by him, so it is spoken. To whom is asleep he carries this as a believing not as a feeling, as the believing of being full without eating. So the best way for awakening (Sosan) is everything has to be regareded as true, real and the same substance, nothing can be left out so in the complition of all your being you can eat, you can realize The Self, then it will naturally come to you, i'm full, the world is an ilusion; not the other way arround.

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19 minutes ago, Gesundheit said:

How is the concept of beyond equal to the actual beyond? Where's the connection?

Doesn't matter. There's nothing beyond consciousness, simple as that. If there were, it would have to take place in some location, yet location and space is held within consciousness so no matter where something is it will always be consciousness itself. 

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Just now, fridjonk said:

Doesn't matter. There's nothing beyond consciousness, simple as that. If there were, it would have to take place in some location, yet location and space is held within consciousness so no matter where something is it will always be consciousness itself. 

Sounds like dogma tbh.


If you have no confidence in yourself, you are twice defeated in the race of life. But with confidence you have won, even before you start.” -- Marcus Garvey

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1 minute ago, Gesundheit said:

Sounds like dogma tbh.

Anything can sound like dogma if you want it to. 

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7 minutes ago, fridjonk said:

Doesn't matter. There's nothing beyond consciousness, simple as that. If there were, it would have to take place in some location, yet location and space is held within consciousness so no matter where something is it will always be consciousness itself. 

Yeah. Unfortunately we can´t escape ourselves 


A thought can´t ever tell you how you feel.

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4 minutes ago, Javfly33 said:

Yeah. Unfortunately we can´t escape ourselves 

Acceptance is better anyways ;) 

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19 minutes ago, fridjonk said:

Acceptance is better anyways ;) 

of course. When you don´t have any other choice but to accept, then what you´gonna do i guess B|

Which makes perfect sense why we are infinite and total love... total acceptance of ourselves = total and infinite love 


A thought can´t ever tell you how you feel.

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@r0ckyreed No, you are wrong. This is not a matter of debate, opinion, or guesswork. You can become directly conscious that consciousness is Infinite, which means there is nothing outside it.

Do the work. Don't theorize or speculate. You are getting lost in philosophical concepts.

Covid is a dream, just like everything else.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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25 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

@r0ckyreed No, you are wrong. This is not a matter of debate, opinion, or guesswork. You can become directly conscious that consciousness is Infinite, which means there is nothing outside it.

Do the work. Don't theorize or speculate. You are getting lost in philosophical concepts.

Covid is a dream, just like everything else.

Covid is not just a dream. Nothing, in Reality is 100% real or 100% illusion/dream. Covid is real to some extent

Edited by krockerman

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19 minutes ago, krockerman said:

Covid is not just a dream. Nothing, in Reality is 100% real or 100% illusion/dream. Covid is real to some extent

After the realization of infinite imagination there is nothing but dream worlds but it feels real cause you have nothing to compare it with,  but then ordinarie waking state returns and you become immersed in the dream again calling it REAL and that it is not a dream.

It is so radical to see that what you thought was totally real is just imagination,  since reality is = imagination then imagination becomes reality and feels real for you.

It is a radical insight bro.

Covid is happening inside the "dream" and is real to the dream, so when you think that your life and society is real, you will see that it has all been YOU dreaming this shit up.

There is only ONE Mind..


They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions 

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The Bhagavad Gita teaches that God is the abode of the cosmos.

What does that mean?

The cosmos is not just a dream to be discarded. It is the manifestation of God. The Atman is not just an illusion to be dispelled. It is the incarnation of God. Try getting away from God. You can't, because You are also, mysteriously, God.

The cosmos abides within God, yet God is greater than the cosmos. All of it, ultimate reality and relative reality, is God.

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