The Major Fallacy

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This post is the third of a four-part series. Please read The veil of perception and Concepts first.

How can we know what is behind the veil of perception? To know the accuracy of a copy we need to compare it to the original, but in this case we have no access to the original, for when it is observed it becomes a copy. There’s no way to access reality other than through the lens of representation – we can only access the copy alone. And it is from this copy that we get the idea of the original in the first place. No one has seen the world directly, yet we are convinced that it is there. This assumption of an external world (a world beyond our perceptions) permeates our language, thinking and way of living at the deepest level. We think of ourselves as part of this external world and thus is the belief of its existence the belief that our own human body of flesh and bones is real – that it exist out there in the world among the rest. But it is also the belief of a forever changing world, and in such a world, nothing lasts. Someday my body must die and that will be the day that marks the end of my existence. That is the bad news – although, it is hardly news to anyone. The good news is that the external world is only an assumption. It is a baseless belief and it can be refuted as follows.

Independent reality

When we think about how things are in themselves, unobserved, we imagine them in subjective terms. We think about an unperceived apple out there using terms like red, round and juicy. These are not objective qualities, they are concepts derived from experience. In other words, we imagine things in themselves in terms of how we would experience them if they were observed. And thus, we erroneously use the terms that describe the copy when we are referring to the original.

If we want to accurately describe how something is independent of experience, we can’t use terms of experience – that would be in total opposition to what we want to accomplish. In order to describe or imagine an independent reality we would have to use terms whose content is independent of experience. But as we have seen, the substance of all concepts and imagery is perception, and thus we lack any such terms. We cannot think about how independent reality is and be right, because we can only think in terms of experience. Anytime we try to describe independent reality in concepts we are immediately failing, because we are trying to describe what is not phenomena in terms of phenomena. And we are not failing by slightly missing the mark – we are actually shooting in the opposite direction. By trying to describe an independent reality in concepts, we are effectively stating exactly what independent reality is not, namely something phenomenal. To describe an independent reality is to attempt to describe reality as it is when it is not experienced and therefore we already know by context that reality as it is in itself is necessarily non-phenomenal. This means that we can’t say, know or imagine anything at all about things in themselves or the features of independent reality and be right about it.

While we cannot know what independent reality is, we can know what it is not. Our experience is conditioned by our apparatus for experiencing. In our consciousness, the representation of the world is rendered in terms of the senses. Colors, sounds, touch, taste and smell are the faculties that are combined into the sensory imagery that constitute our experience – they are the paint with which we paint the picture of the world. But the paint is in our consciousness. Independent of that, the paint has no existence. Therefore, we can know that reality as it is in itself, is exactly not as it appears to us.

Questioner: I agree that the way we perceive the world, the world of colors, sounds and forms, is not how reality is in itself. That is a product of our consciousness. Reality in itself is rather something of time and space in which subatomic particles exists, and these particles are interacting with our body, giving rise to the processes in our brain that makes experience possible. And the nature of these particles is determined by the laws of quantum mechanics.

The atom, its constituent parts and quantum mechanics are just theoretical models. The experiments and the empirical data from which these models were derived all rest on a foundation of observable phenomena. In other words, we came up with these ideas by observing the world. It is a theory that fits. The world appears in such a way that theoretical physics seems like a plausible explanation for it. But all the theories of physics relies on the premise that there is an external independent physical reality of time and space in which these laws of physics can govern, and in which subatomic particles can exist.

Space

From where did we get the idea there is a physical space out there? A space extended infinitely in all directions, whose existence is self-sustained, and is there whether we look or not? From our experience, of course. We have the idea of an external independent physical space because that is the way it appears to us in our experience. We see space every day. It is there in almost every moment of our lives. Most people never reflect about the existence of this physical space because they are convinced that they are looking at it all the time. But then again, most people don’t realize that what they are really looking at is the content of their own consciousness. What is beyond that, what is out there independent of experience, is unreachable. And thus is the idea of a physical space out there only an assumption. Before we refute it thought, we will determine what the space in our experience really is.

What space is

In order to have experience, we must have it presented to us in some way, and space is the medium in which objects are presented. Space itself isn’t empirically perceived – there isn’t a physical space that starts out there and somehow makes its way in here – rather it is that in which objects of experience are structured and rendered in our consciousness. The space of our experience is already in place in us. It is the blank canvas onto which we paint the picture of the world.

Questioner: So the space I see every day is in my head?

Our everyday experience of space is the exposure to the way our consciousness structure and render objects. Space is the underlying form of how they appear to us.

Consider the following: how could we experience anything unless we did not already have the ability to present experience to us in some manner? We need some kind of internal screen onto which objects can appear – and space is that in which objects appear to us. Space is not part of our representation of the world. It is that in which the representation is shown.

Questioner: Isn’t space just that which is in between objects?

Neither can space simply be the emptiness that is in between objects. Space is not the spatial relations between objects of our experience, because the objects themselves need something to appear in before we can see any relations between them. There would not be any objects at all if our intuition of space weren’t in place to begin with.

If you somehow doubt all of this, just look around. What you are experiencing is the content of your consciousness. Can you deny that space is that in which objects are structured and ordered? Or that space is that which without there would not be any objects at all?

Now put your finger six inches in front of your nose, right in between your eyes. Look beyond the finger. The finger split into two. What are these two fingers appearing in? Did a actual new finger materialize in a independent physical space out there? No, the two fingers are in the same space as everything else – the space of your consciousness.

Space is a faculty of our consciousness, prior to perception and a necessary condition for the possibility of experience. It is part of the perceptual framework in which the experience of the world is presented. It is this mode of presentation – and the ability to re-present it in thought – that we know as “space”. It is the form of experience.

What space is not

Questioner: Besides the space in our experience, the space of consciousness, could there also be a physical space that exists independent of us?

Since the space of our experience is all that we ever encounter, the idea of a physical space out there is just a theory. This idea is the basis for our entire world view – the view of a reality explained by physics. However, it is flawed.

Our idea of physical space is the idea of an objective space – a space that exists independent of our experience. But to describe something that is independent of experience in terms of how it would be to experience it is fallacious, simply because we are describing something that isn’t an experience in terms of how it appears to us – and how it appears is determined by our apparatus for experiencing,  making our descriptions entirely subject-dependent. The way we conceive of an independent physical space is therefore fallacious, since we conceive of it, not as it really is, but in ways of how we would experience it.

To illustrate the error of thought, here is an example. It is impossible to envision an apple as it is in itself. We can only think in terms of how it appears to us. Now, trying to think how the apple is in itself in terms of how it is for us, and then try to think away ourselves from the picture, is basically the way in which we arrived at our conception of a physical space. All you end up with is the red, juicy apple – how it appears to us. We may envision it from many different perspectives, fooling ourselves that we are accurately modeling how the apple really is – but the very fact that the apple is envisioned from perspectives at all gives us a clue to the fallacy. A true objective view surely must be from no perspective at all.

We cannot fit reality as it is in itself into our mind – and that is why the contents of a thought can never be what reality is – it can only be what reality is like. The physical space we envision is thus not objective at all. It is mere imagery of how such a thing would appear to us in experience. It is a model not in terms of how a physical space is, but in terms of how such a space is like – it can only describe how a physical space is when we are there. But the purpose of having an objective model is to describe state of affairs when we are not there, and thus the model we have is the opposite of that intended. A model of reality as it is in itself cannot be expressed in subject-dependent terms, yet every way we can think of space entails this subjectivity. Our idea of an independent physical space is indeed in such terms and thus contradictory. It is an error of thought. Without that error, the idea of it is inconceivable.

Questioner: Just because I can’t imagine it doesn’t mean that it can’t be out there.

Yes it does.

What exactly are you claiming to be out there? If we cannot imagine a physical space, then the term doesn’t refer to anything. With no conception of such a thing, the words “physical space” doesn’t have a meaning. If we do not even know what we mean, what are we then claiming to possibly be out there?

A term without meaning refers to nothing at all. To claim that the “nothing at all” to which the term refer to, can exist out there is contradictory because nothing is the very opposite of existence. Suggesting that a physical space could be out there is therefore effectively saying that “non-existence could exists out there” – a contradiction and thus an impossibility.

To further illustrate the point: Let’s make up a word that doesn’t mean anything – “Chapokrafiliate” will do. This word has no meaning. To now claim that a “chapokrafiliate” could be out there is contradictory in the sense just mentioned. The claim that a physical space could be out there has therefore the same nonsensical meaning as saying that “chapokrafiliates” could. If we can’t conceive of an idea, then it is illogical to assert its possibility.

Questioner: Maybe we cannot conceive of it, but something out there could still be like space.

First let’s determine what we mean by “space”. What is it that we suggest could be out there? When we realize that we cannot conceive of a independent physical space – that the very thought of it is fallacious – we are left with that which is in our experience. The form of our experience, or the spaciousness of our experience, is now the only intelligible meaning “space” can have for us.

Now the question is, could this spaciousness of my experience also exist independent of my experience? Do you remember the two fingers in the example I gave? Could the space in which these fingers appear also be out there? Could the form of my experience exist independently of my consciousness? Could my spatial thinking somehow be how reality is?

No, something independent of experience cannot be like experience. Allow me to digress.

The illusion of separation

Our language implies that there is a separation between the object perceived and the act of perceiving it. We say “see a color” or “hear a sound”, and this gives the impression that the object of perception is what is, and the act of perceiving is the subjective observing of that. This is a major reason for believing that objects of experience can exist independently of the act of perceiving. However, this is a misconception.

I will give an example using colors, because such an example is easier to comprehend, but the exact same principles apply to space and everything else in our experience.

We derived the notion of color from our experience. We saw redness and made a word for it. And thus what we mean by “red” is the redness in our experience. Now, the reason why one would believe colors could possibly exist outside of experience is because we believe the perceived object is separate from the act of perception. We believe that colors are different from seeing, that sounds are different from hearing and so on. However, while the redness in our experience is what we mean by “red”, the redness in our experience is also what we mean by “seeing”. You can of course see different colors at different times and in that sense “seeing” is different from a particular color – but seeing is always seeing of color, and in each and every instance the ‘seeing of the color’ and the ‘color seen’ refers to the same thing: the presence of that color in our experience. For example, we see green. The ‘seeing of green’ and ‘green’ are the same. Now we see blue. The ‘seeing of blue’ and ‘blue’ are the same. We now say, “I saw green, then blue” and this gives the impression that the act of seeing is separate from what is seen. But ‘seeing red’ and ‘red’ both refer to the redness in our experience. A color and the seeing of it are the exact same thing.

To claim that an idea is possible, we must be able to conceive of it. And thus if we are to claim that red could exist separate from the act of perception we must be able to conceive of it as being unperceived. If we cannot imagine it, we are merely claiming a contradiction: Since ‘red’ and ‘seeing of red’ means the same thing, ‘unperceived red’ therefore means the unseen ‘seeing of red’, which is contradictory and nonsensical.

To form a conception of an unperceived color we must somehow abstract the color from the seeing of it. But if we try to think away the seeing from the color, we think away the very same thing that the color is, namely the redness in our experience.

We cannot conceive of an unseen color because the color and the seeing of it are the same thing.

The perceived object and the act of perception are the same. In fact, the object is the act of perception. Its existence in our consciousness is what perceiving is. It is only language and thinking that fools us into believing otherwise.

What does all of this intend to show? It demonstrates that the experience of space and space are the same thing. Both terms refer to the presence of space in our consciousness. Both refer to the experiencing of space. And we can never abstract space from the experiencing of it, because they are the exact same thing.

Back to space

Space is the experiencing of this spaciousness around us. Whatever is out there, independent of experience, cannot possibly be space, because what we mean by space is the experiencing of it. This is the only logically possible definition of the word – any other meaning we can ascribe involves a contradiction. Anyone claiming that space could be out there is therefore effectively claiming that the experiencing of space is out there, which is contradictory, nonsensical and not what one means when they assert the possibility of a independent physical space. Once this is realized, the claim collapses.

Questioner: I don’t get it. Why can’t a physical space be out there and be just like I think it is?

What reality is and what we imagine it to be are categorically different. One is reality and the other is a thought – and reality can never be what is in the contents of a thought.   And this is of course true the other way around – the contents of a thought can never be what reality is.

Thinking can only be in terms of what reality is to us.

We usually believe that our thinking can depict reality, but from the discrepancy between thought and reality follows that whatever we imagine reality to be, reality is exactly not that. For how could reality be like a thought? A thought is a momentary flash of experience – reality is the totality of the whole. Equating them would be a category mistake.

But we must not make the mistake of thinking that just because we cannot know independent reality, there is no limit to what possible things can exist out there. We already know that precisely because it is independent reality, it cannot have properties that are experiences. For example, can joy exist independent of experience? No – if it is not experienced then it is simply not joy. The exact same point can be made in regards to space. Since space is the form of experience – in fact, the very nature of experiencing – we can be sure that whatever is out there is exactly not space.

And this principle applies to everything we can think of. Since all concepts, language and knowledge – all possible content of thought – is derived from experience, what follows is that whatever we can imagine it to be like, independent reality is exactly not that.

Questioner: Something inconceivable could be out there that is the cause for our experience of space – and that is what I mean by space.

If it is out there then it is not space because what we mean by space is the experiencing of it. If we assign the word “space” to something that is inconceivable then we are prohibited from claiming that it could be out there, because such thinking leads to a contradiction. We can of course circumvent logic and base our entire world view on a premise that is inconceivable – but that sounds more like something religion would do.

Questioner: How can you say that we can’t know anything about independent reality and then claim that space cannot exist independent of experience?

I am merely refuting the claim that it can. But in our terms of thinking that is equivalent to saying “space cannot be out there”. We started out with the assumption of the existence of a independent physical space but that assumption has now been shown to be incoherent. The status of independent reality is untouched, I’ve merely pointed out an error in our thinking about it.

Anyone claiming that space could be out there is under the obligation to at least be able to conceive of such an idea. But I have now demonstrated that to be impossible – not due to the limitations of thinking, but because of what space is. It is the underlying form of experience.

Now, before we move on to explaining the implications of all of this, we will touch briefly on the subject of time.

Time

We can only experience the present moment. And in our experience, is the memory of the past. And somehow, we intuitively feel that the past happened before the now. This intuition, this sense of a temporal relationship between experiences, is what time is. Time is a relationship between the memory of the past, and the perceptions of the present moment. Thus, time cannot exist independent of experience.

Even if time was objectively real we would still only be aware of the present moment. So even in this case, our conception of time would still be as the relationship between the present moment and our memory of the past. Thus, regardless of state of affairs, the only thing time could ever mean for us, is a relationship between experiences. And since experiences are subject-dependent then so must time.

We can envision time as objectively real only because we can envision an objective reality. But this image we represent to ourselves is not an actual objective reality, but an experiential representation, and only to that can we apply the concept of time. Reality as it is in itself is inconceivable – and since time is a relationship between conceivable representations, it cannot apply. And thus, experience doesn’t happen in time, but time happens in experience.

Questioner: But we can describe space and time in mathematics. Mathematics must be real right?

Mathematics is based on concepts that depend on space and time and can therefore not have any independent existence. For example, geometry and arithmetics presuppose space and time, and while natural numbers do not in themselves exists in time and space, their meaning is derived from the concept of succession, which involves spatial or temporal concepts.

Reduction

The subjective nature of time and space means that independent reality must be timeless and spaceless. Time and space are experiences and since independent reality means independent of experience, they simply do not apply. And for anything to be different from anything else, space and/or time has to be presupposed, which means that independent reality is undifferentiated. With no space or time, there can’t be two different things. You could call independent reality “One”, but that isn’t entirely true when you consider that “One” is only significant in relation to “Two” or “Many”, which are concepts precluded by the space- and timeless nature of reality.

Thus, Independent reality is an immaterial, undifferentiated, spaceless, timeless something that through our consciousness appear as ourselves and the world around us. But having no extension in time or space, independent reality is indistinguishable from nothing at all. How this nothing-like reality gives rise to something like the world we cannot know, because knowledge is limited to the realm of experience. But neither can we say that independent reality is causing our experience, because the notion of causality relies on premise that time and space are objectively real.

Though there is one thing that we can know about reality. We know that somehow, our consciousness exists. It is a self-evident truth. It cannot be doubted, for the very act of doubting is proof of consciousness’ existence.

Consciousness itself is not an experience. Experience is unreal in the sense that it does not exist objectively but merely subjectively. Consciousness on the other hand, is the apparatus of perception, the underlying substratum and thus the reality of experience, and its existence is objectively real. Unlike perceptions and experiences, in an objective independent reality, consciousness exists.

But since independent reality is undifferentiated, there cannot be more than one consciousness – for in a undifferentiated reality, plurality does not exist. And neither can one say that consciousness is a “part” of reality, for “part” presupposes spatial concepts which do not apply to an objective reality. Consciousness is rather a function of reality and it is this function that gives rise to the experience of the world and ourselves.

But if all we know about objective reality is that consciousness is a function of it, on what ground can we say it exists at all other than as consciousness itself? Even if we choose to believe in its existence, it is indistinguishable from nothing at all, which is to say that we believe in something that is like nothing. And to say that objective reality exists separately from consciousness isn’t logically sound either, when you think about what “separately” means – it involves spatial concepts which, again, have no purchase in objective reality. If both consciousness and an objective reality exists, they exist together as “One”. In fact, the question is whether or not the concept of existence can even by applied to an objective reality. After all, the concept of existence is derived from the realm of experience and thus, it must be inapplicable. And yet paradoxically, we are here – and the existence of consciousness is undeniable.

The inevitable conclusion is that consciousness must be all there is to objective existence as such, and thus is consciousness not just the substratum of experience, but the ultimate reality of all.

This is the third article of a four part series. Please read the last part here.
 
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18 Responses to The Major Fallacy

  1. David says:

    You can only know this, reality or illusion it makes no difference there cannot be any reportable experience of the absolute, human experience is lock into the limitation of this realtivity. As far as you are concerned this is it.

  2. Jonathan says:

    So many words I had to take notes as I read.

    Let me start off by saying that this was a very thought-provoking series so thank you for writing it. Now I’m going to attack your ideas. Forgive the redundancy and frequency of parentheses in the next paragraph – I just feel that it’s more effective.

    You’re hammering one point over and over, that “the finite” (the experiencer or an individual consciousness) cannot perceive the infinite or, at least, that which may be greater than “the finite” (all of objective reality) (hereafter referred to as “the infinite”). However, the conclusion that you seem to draw is that, because of this imperceptibility, the infinite does not exist, only the finite (consciousness) and using this (in my opinion, false) conclusion, you then redefine the finite (consciousness) as the infinite (all of reality). You then accuse a potential reader of being religious for suggesting the possibility of an infinite (you call it the inconceivable) without proof but you don’t really provide proof that it’s not possible. In a discussion where we are throwing out every conventional notion, is it not a little religious to preclude the possibility of the inconceivable? I am not precluding the possibility that consciousness is all of reality but you never prove that – you just appeal to people’s distaste of religious-like thinking.

    On the subject of time, you say that the illusion of time results from comparing different experiences to one another. My first thought is that this presupposes time because if experiences can be different, something has to get between them to allow for the differences, i.e., time. However, the counterargument (I think I am using your argument as it is without putting my words in your mouth) is that my argument actually presupposes time and that the conception of previous time is just an illusion of what is currently being experienced. The problem that I see with this is that, just like the conclusion about external reality above, this claims that time does not exist simply because it cannot be experienced with total certainty.

    Your critiques of time and the possibility of a reality external to consciousness both assume that experiences are invalid. Again, I have no way to prove that experiences are valid, but you are claiming certainty. If everything else that you’ve said is true, we are left with no answer about the source of experience and consciousness. At the very least, this is extremely incomplete.

    Could you not say that objective reality is the sum of or at least approximated by the sum of all current or potential subjective realities, including those that give rise to the “illusion” of time? In an immaterial, undifferentiated, spaceless, and timeless reality, why are all experiences not the same?

    If your logic is correct, it only proves that logic is worthless in this realm because we are left with something existing from nothing any way you slice it.

    If you somehow prove to me that your logic is correct, I will immediately destroy you by ceasing to perceive you. However, I acknowledge that this is risky since you are me.

    • Göran Backlund says:

      You say: “You’re hammering one point over and over, that “the finite” (the experiencer or an individual consciousness) cannot perceive the infinite or, at least, that which may be greater than “the finite” (all of objective reality) (hereafter referred to as “the infinite”). However, the conclusion that you seem to draw is that, because of this imperceptibility, the infinite does not exist, only the finite (consciousness) and using this (in my opinion, false) conclusion, you then redefine the finite (consciousness) as the infinite (all of reality).”

      No, that isn’t my argument at all. My argument is this:
      The idea of the existence (or the possibility of the existence) of an independent physical space is fallacious in the same way that it’s fallacious to think that color can exist independently of experience. Color is nothing but ‘seeing’ and space is nothing but the experiencing of space (we need a new word for this as ‘experiencing of space’ implies a duality that is simply not present in our experience. Perhaps ‘space-experiencing’ captures what i’m trying to convey). Seeing cannot exist independent of experience, since that would be contradictory (that’s like saying that “seeing can exist independent of seeing”, which is nonsensical). By the same logic, we can say that space cannot exist independent of experience, since space is ‘space-experiencing’.

      Please read the text again in the light of this clarification!

    • Jonathan says:

      Here are the assumptions that I am claiming to be not necessarily true:

      1. The experience of a potential external reality and the reality as it is in itself are not related.
      2. Because a potential external reality cannot be perceived with perfect accuracy, it does not exist.

      Although you say that the end of the article that the means of the creation of experience are unknowable, you rule out an external reality as being, along with consciousness and our faculties of perception, a co-creator of the experience. Unsurprisingly, this leads to the conclusion that there is no external reality.

      I can understand how a person of high spiritual development might treat an external reality as virtually meaningless. It sounds like you have run the spiritual gamut in terms of questioning your ability to perceive reality, but I don’t think it’s any more proper to conclude that an external reality doesn’t exist than believing in a starkly dualistic concept of the world.

  3. Gachchy says:

    I fully agree with you what you have mentioned in the “Back to Space” regarding Reality and Thoughts “Whatever we imagine reality to be, reality is exactly not that. For how could reality be like a thought?”

    Reality and Thoughts are always incompatible. Like for Example If Rope is assumed to be Reality and Snake is assumed to be Thought., if you see Rope, Snake will vanish. If you see Snake Rope will vanish. Rope and Snake are incompatible. The above is merely an example, as both Rope and Snake are thoughts that arise in our Mind. Just for understanding purpose, this analogy is given. Hopefully, I am correct.

  4. LiverTom says:

    Dear Goran,

    Maybe my english is bad, but I could not understand what you mean of “as it is in itself”. For the example of apple:envision an apple as it is in itself. I could not catch that meaning. Do you mean: imagine a apple in a apple? Sorry but I could not understand your point.

    LT

    • Andre says:

      “As it is in itself” means the reality of something independent of our experience of it. In this example, an apple “as it is in itself” would be how an apple truly is, even when not being experienced by anyone. If it is not being experienced, is it still, “in itself”, round, red and juicy?

  5. Markus says:

    Goran,

    Thought provoking material. I suspect you to value good ol’ Schopenhauer.

    You state that ”Unlike perceptions and experiences, in an objective independent reality, consciousness exists”. I don’t quite see how you got to that conclusion – that in an objective reality, consciousness exists. How can you state such a thing?

    Markus

    • Göran Backlund says:

      Hi Markus,

      According to our every day notion of objectivity, consciousness is a subset of objective reality. If we define consciousness as something alone the lines of “the mechanism wherby experiencing happens”, then this mechanism exist- somehow – in an objective reality. If it didn’t, we wouldn’t have experiences.

      Now, of course, objectivity as such is solely conceptual, a mere fantasy – there is no objective reality at all – which is what I hope these articles convey.

      I think Kant and later Schopenhauer made a huge and unmatched contribution to philosophy, although mostly misunderstood/unappreciated.

      Best regards,
      Göran

  6. Markus says:

    Hello Göran

    Thanks for your reply. If I understand correctly, what you are saying (starting with Kant’s phenomenal-noumenal split) is that consciousness is not part of the phenomenal because it is not experience (and that it is that in which experience [phenomena] happens). As a consequence – consciousness is noumenal. And seeing how the noumenal must be undifferentiated, spaceless, timeless , non-material and beyond causality – all must be consciousness.

    Am I correct? And have you ever noticed how perfectly this relates to what in the East is known as Atmanic / Brahmanic consciousness?

    Cheers,

    Markus.

    • Göran Backlund says:

      Hi,

      Yes, correct. However, in realizing that objectivity is not, there can be no factual noumenal realm – the noumenon exists only conceptually – and so the distinction between the noumenal and the phenomenal collapse, leaving only pure subjectivity.

      And yes, I’m familiar with the teachings of the East. Those guys sure knew their stuff 🙂

  7. Jonny says:

    I saw a chapokrafiliate the other day 😉

  8. bertrand90 says:

    Hi Goran,

    This was a nice read. I do, however, run against a problem. You state that ‘consciousness itself is not an experience’. But to me it seems that consciousness IS experience, since consciousness is always conscious of something. There seems to be no distinction between consciousness and the content(s) of consciousness. I even believe that you state this yourself by saying that consciousness is non-dual.

    If consciousness is not seperate from experience (the contents of consciousness), you also can’t state that consciousness is an objective thing, and that ‘in an objective independent reality, consciousness exist’.

    Perhaps you could help me out here.

    Bertrand

    • Göran Backlund says:

      Yes, you are absolutely right. Check out Consciousness is non-dual. And you are also right about regarding consciousness objectively – objectivity as such is conceptual, not factual. This was written some time ago when this understanding wasnt entirely clear to me, and i’ll have it fixed soon – i’m working on a book about this stuff that will explain all of this in much more detail.

  9. Chitiz says:

    What about experience of other people? When I close my eyes, they say, they still see red. So obviously the “red” existed without me seeing it?

  10. Lightcomber says:

    I’m with Jonathan. These are the assumptions that haven’t yet been proven:

    1. The experience of a potential external reality and the reality as it is in itself are not related.
    2. Because a potential external reality cannot be perceived with perfect accuracy, it does not exist.

    I was with you in your book REFUTING THE EXTERNAL WORLD until you jumped to “proof” of each of these assumptions in the fourth chapter. And I WANT you to prove to me that the external world is an illusion! That’s why I paid for the book. I actually believe that I’ll refute the external world eventually. I was just hoping for an easy, logical way to do it and was disappointed. Now I’m back to hoping for grace (for lack of a better word) to help me out.

    • Göran Backlund says:

      Hi Lightcomber,

      Nowhere are such things assumed. This whole thing involves recognizing that the notion of an external world involves a logical contradiction, which therefore invalidates it. I suggest you join the discussions in the facebook group, where similar questions has been answered and a lot of people have received help with understanding the argument.
      http://www.uncoveringlife.com/facebook

  11. Chan Dhillon says:

    I’m still reading much of what you have written, and am taking my time over it. I recall watching a programme in which it was mentioned that some/few people experience the world/everything/all objects in respect to each other in 2D/flat….everything to them is flat….and there is no sense of space (I expect). Have you come across this phenomenon….? And how does this potentially add or take away from you have mentioned about space being inside of us….?

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/facts-and-arguments/why-everyone-and-everything-i-see-looks-flat/article14551974/

    Many thanks
    Chan

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