A statement to test

Discussion in 'Eastern Philosophy' started by greenberg, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    Notice how your analogy requires positive information ("red sock")?

    See post to Green berg for more details

    Perhaps you would like to reword it now to something like "all the socks are blue except the one that isn't", which simply regresses the issue that one doesn't know the actual color of the sock one is looking for.

    In otherwords the knowledge is not perfectional.
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  3. sowhatifit'sdark Valued Senior Member

    You are raising a different kind of issue. My point was that there is no self-contradiction in saying all members of set are A except one which is not - or which is B. You actually do not have to have positive information. You simply need to know what one member of the set is not or is not doing. All the children in the school were accounted for during the fire drill except one.

    And again, this is not self-contradictory. I am not saying Greenberg's assertion which he is asking for comments on is true. I am however saying it is not self-contradictory. I think this is pretty clear.
    Very little knowledge is perfectional. But this is another issue. I was focusing on the statements lack of self-contradiction.
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  5. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    so if the question was raised which one is missing, and it couldn't be ascertianed (despite ardent investigation) would that strike you as perfect knowledge?
    Actually you would probably think that the figure they arrived at to determine the total number of children was false.

    I am asserting that it is contradictory

    It is asserting that everything is nothing except the notion of knowing everything is nothing.

    This is like saying there is one child missing at the fire drill and being thoroughly perplexed what the child looked like, what was their name, age gender, where they lived, who their parents were, what classroom they are from, where they were last seen etc etc

    Saying it is not perfectional is just a kind way of saying it is of the lowest variety and a hair breadth away from complete ignorance
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  7. sowhatifit'sdark Valued Senior Member

    You have come up with the criterion 'perfect knowledge.' I did not.

    No you would not. Especially in the case of a real fire. I could shift it to a hotel where sometime all that's there in the computer is an ambiguous single name. The fire department is told that everyone is out of the building except one person. They are not in the room, but may be in the hotel. A search will take place. This is all rather clear.

    All members of set A are _____________ except item 2543
    is perfectly straightforward and non-contradictory.

    If you walk into a room with 10 men in it and the first one comes over to you and says 'Everything you hear in this room will be a lie except this sentence.' It is perfectly possible that this is true and consistant. In fact I can set up a room in which this will happen. In fact I think you are capable of setting up such a room.

    Further you could make a game where one asks questions and in every subsequent case one is answered by a lie. Since you know that all subsequent assertions and answers will be lies you may be able to figure out whatever you are supposed to figure out to win the game. Perhaps someone in the room knows the location of something. Or they know what your goal is.

    In any case, the game is fairly easy to set up. And that first sentence is not self-contradictory.

    I am not defending the truth value of Greenberg's OP. In fact, I rather suspect you misunderstand the intent of his thread here.

    Yeah, this could never happen. Check my hotel example above.

    Actually saying it is not perfectional is vastly milder than
    But it is not my issue.

    I am done with this. If you cannot see the obviousness of this, I can't help you. But do criticize the OP's assertion no other grounds.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2008
  8. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    there's your positive information
    the problem is when you use the word "nothing" in relation to knowledge you have a contradiction.
    Knowledge at all levels requires positive information.

    Once again, positive information required, otherwise no knowledge

    guess I must have been feeling kind - lol

    It is an issue of the relationship between the words "nothing" and "knowledge"
  9. sowhatifit'sdark Valued Senior Member

    quote from my earlier edited post.

  10. lightgigantic Banned Banned


    looks like I jumped mid-edit

    there's your positive information
    the problem is when you apply this to the entire totality of all experiences - to say that "everything is false except knowing it is false"
    If there was no experience of the name form or quality of anything providing truth there would be no means to make sense of that statement
    Once again, such scenarios only make sense if one has experience of truth, and we see that all our experiences of truth are inextricably connected to issues of name, form and quality.
    To say that everything that has name, form or quality is false under-rides the very premise that enables truth to be ascertained

    actually this is sunyavada philosophy and it has thoroughly corrupted western academia - its kind of like a default position of ignorance
    the reason it could never happen is because all instances of knowledge require the existence of name, form and quality
    The OP is asking whether a claim is true or false.
    I am simply stating it is false and contradictory.

    To accept it as true under-rides the very principle enabling one to arrive at truth - name, form and quality

    The only way you can accept the principle as true is if you downplay the context from which the word "false" is applied,...... perhaps a revision of the word "everything".
  11. greenberg until the end of the world Registered Senior Member

    If the doctrine that the person reads about Maya is true,
    the above-quoted statement is true.

    As long as a person is subject to Maya,
    they cannot discern whether a doctrine that declares to be about Maya
    is indeed about Maya.

    For the person who is still subject to Maya,
    the above-quoted statement is undecidable.

    If a person thinks they are subject to Maya,
    they are subject to Maya.

    If a person thinks they are not subject to Maya,
    they are either ignorant, lying, or not subject to Maya.

    A person subject to Maya
    cannot recognize the person who is not subject to Maya.

    Can a person who is subject to Maya
    recognize the person who is subject to Maya?
  12. sowhatifit'sdark Valued Senior Member

    The statement implies that somewhere in you you are not fooled by Maya and reccognize the truth of the statement via that. Not unlike in Matrix where Neo is asked about nagging feelings that something is wrong. So perhaps the statement should be amended with

    AND except for that nagging feeling you have that this is all illusory.
  13. everneo Re-searcher Registered Senior Member

    The nagging helped neo to trust morpheus. Neo needed morpheus to bail him out of the matrix. Else neo would be living with the nagging.

    Buddha showed the way to get out of maya but he stressed that the liberation can only be achieved by self-effort.

    The doctrine, the awareness of maya & way to liberation, alone is not sufficient to overcome maya. The process of liberation starts with efforts to attain liberation. Till liberation you are under the influence of MAYA & the doctrine remains as reminder warning you that you are still under MAYA zone.

    Doctrine is a way, liberation is the goal, till you reach the goal you are not free.
  14. greenberg until the end of the world Registered Senior Member

    It's the power of the double bind to bring the mind to a halt.

    Some of so-called "Eastern religions" use double binds a lot (think of esp. Zen). But they strike me as rather kind in all that -although the double bind situation itself can be really nasty, too-, somehow giving you hope that yes, you can rely on yourself. They offer plenty of teachings on how to rely on yourself, how to be good to yourself, how to take care of yourself. And then the teachings on karma - you are provided with a safety net, so to speak, so that when the double bind brings your mind to a halt, you still know what to do, in what direction to go.

    As opposed to Abrahamic theisms where double binds strike me as mostly damning, pushing the person on their knees and into passivity or anger.
  15. sowhatifit'sdark Valued Senior Member

    Intent is important. In Zen it seems to be an attempt to overload the logic and verbal centers of the mind with the goal of getting the person more flexible. Rather than, say, more easy to be controlled. The whole cult mess with the mind, use the confusion, implant NEW THOUGHTS.
  16. sowhatifit'sdark Valued Senior Member

    Can they speak about the final stages of liberation?
    Can they define terms like Maya, liberation, freedom?
    Can they instruct?
    Can they judge the usefulness of an assertion? (hinting at the problem with taking sentences out of context and assuming one can measure their truth value, usefulness or even meaning)

    As always, I think of Wittgenstein's

    Whereof one cannot speak one must be silent.

    Once said, I resist it as a rule, but there is a humility that often seems lacking in discussion of Maya, enlightenment....

    Are their really so many Buddhas out there?
  17. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    there is however the issue of "how it could be true", since to say that everything is illusion except the understanding that everything is illusion has grave ontological consequences
    or alternatively, there could be other doctrines that place Maya in a more suitable context
    unless of course they have access to the constitutional position of maya and can properly contextualize the statement
    and if a person thinks that Maya is the final last word of ontological categories, they are also in Maya
    that is a true statement

    If a person is subject to Maya they have a homogeneous view of everyone and think there is only one catagory, so the qualitative knowledge of being outside of it never arises in them. (perhaps they discriminate in terms of name, fame, piety, adoration, distinction, knowledge, austerity, strength, riches, mystic power, etc etc -- however all such things are in the jurisdiction of maya and do not constitute a special significance)
  18. sowhatifit'sdark Valued Senior Member

    Since you seem to be aware that there is more than one category, I can draw the conclusion that you do not consider yourself subject to Maya.
  19. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    Maya is kind of like one extreme and purified consciousness is the other. Everyone is situated somewhere in between, although since this is the world of Maya, the far far far greater proportion is situated there.

    To recognize that there is more than simply maya comes with knowledge of the practice of getting free from it and also adopting that process. In other words one who is actively working to get free from Maya can recognize the distinction. Merely knowledge of the distinction is not satisfactory. Its just the beginning.

    One aspect of such knowledge is the development of caution. Kind of like if you were in a cholera ward and were displaying promising symptoms of health you would be extremely cautious (even if you came to the point of full health). This caution exists until one is completely healthy and is no longer in an environment of cholera.
    In the same way, a person who is perfectly free from maya in this world (a claim I am not making), still tends to display caution.

    As regards the OP, it is talking of ideal categories. People work towards their sense of ideals, so it is important to seriously examine them before embarking on the journey.
  20. greenberg until the end of the world Registered Senior Member

    Tell me more about this.

    You mean the Western academic deconstructivism and relativism that seem to be pursued just for the sake of it, but that otherwise did not specify a goal for their pursuits?
    The let's-deconstruct-because-we-can (and-see-where-this-will-get-us) sort of attitude?
    The Gödelian being insanely stuck in self-referential systems?

    Or, on the other hand, like Prasangika Madhyamaka who will shoot down any position, including their own, and this supposedly leads to enlightenment (as far as I understood that)?
  21. greenberg until the end of the world Registered Senior Member

    I remember the way Schopenhauer spoke of Maya. Whew.

    I agree with you about the lack of humility, but I also think there is another source for this lack: courage, sometimes sheer boldness. Thinking something like "Okay, I am subject to Maya, or so it seems. What if I would now be so bold as to push the limits as much as I can, think and claim this or that, see what happens. If Maya really exists, and if there is a way out of it, why don't I try to find it? If I say too much, Maya will slap me in the face, this way I'll know it's there."
  22. sowhatifit'sdark Valued Senior Member

    That sounds different from what I am reacting to. I appreciate that kind of boldness, in fact I think we canät avoid it. Even denial is a kind of boldness. It's more when one speaks as if one is there - perhaps not noticing that this is what one is doing - rather than acting as if one had insight as a step.

    This part sound related at least in spirit to what I was saying in another thread about allowing myself to make more permanent absolute statements. It is part of a repetoire of tools or moves.

    I am certainly not advocating sitting with one's head in one's hands and saying over and over: I know nothing, I am completely fooled.

    Of course, it might be, on occasion, not such a bad idea to notice and express this also if it's true.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2008
  23. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    That sounds about accurate - philosophy without a sense of the absolute is even more pointless than religion without a sense of philosophy

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