7 Responses to Refuting the external world

  1. Mark says:

    Hi Goran. For your consideration:

    You just went through great lengths to assert that it’s nonsensical to claim the existence of anything inconceivable. But then how can you claim the existence of consciousness as the unperceived apparatus of perception, the unseen underlying substratum? Does such a claim not demonstrate that you are somehow conceiving of consciousness as an independent reality, which conception must therefore be fallacious? Is it really any different from the same claim about space?

    How is saying: “no, there is no external world, only consciousness”, any different from saying: “yes, there is an external world, and it is consciousness”? Isn’t it either way just a last-ditch effort at getting a handle on existence?

    Why must experience have any underlying substratum? Why must there be a consciousness to manifest anything, what makes you think manifestation doesn’t simply manifest itself? Why must it even be called experience, or consciousness, or anything, if there is nothing to contrast it with?

    What would actually be the difference between so-called experience, the consciousness to which it ostensibly occurs or from which it ostensibly arises or that is ostensibly witnessing it, and the undeniable fact of being? Does being depend on an independent apparatus or underlying substrate? Is there a you which is that? You refuted the apparent separation between seeing and seen, but you skipped over the apparent separation between seeing and seer. You refuted continuity, but you still claim something independently ever-present, to which we owe “frames of experience”.

    It sounds like you are trying to argue towards an a-priori established conclusion. Something you may have heard somewhere, which you are now trying to validate. And by the way, where does metaphysics reside if not in your conceptions?

    Incidentally, you don’t need to refute the “physicality” label in order to refute the individuality label. You don’t even need to refute space and time and causality, in fact they can be very useful allies if you care to make an argument. Whether you call it consciousness or matter, doesn’t matter.

    Apparent individuals aren’t really all that apparent. You don’t need to conceive of some invisible, independent, undifferentiated substrate to make them one. There is nothing to make one. Emptiness is not about an independent void, it’s about dependent appearances.

    Best regards,

    • Göran Backlund says:

      Thank you for your comment. Please read the blog post “consciousness is non-dual”, as I think it deals with the issues you’ve raised here.

    • runstill says:

      This comment is a reply to the excellent post by Mark, he said quote ( you skipped
      over the apparent separation between seeing and seer.) Seer, seeing and seen is
      not separate , the illision is that they are separate.
      Your eyes actully see this reality but the ‘I’ makes the illusion of sepration.

    • Göran Backlund says:

      Yes, all of that is covered in the post “Consciousness is non-dual” (to which I can’t seem link from within this reply for some reason)

  2. DKH says:

    This is what the Buddha was trying to communicate to Rohitassa.

    “I tell you, friend, that it is not possible by traveling to know or see or reach a far end of the cosmos where one does not take birth, age, die, pass away, or reappear. But at the same time, I tell you that there is no making an end of suffering & stress without reaching the end of the cosmos. Yet it is just within this fathom-long body, with its perception & intellect, that I declare that there is the cosmos, the origination of the cosmos, the cessation of the cosmos, and the path of practice leading to the cessation of the cosmos.”



  3. chris says:

    Thanks for these.

  4. Pingback: Ask a Question 2 | The Prime Directive

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