Existence: stuck in the middle

pragmathen said:
If we think in linear terms (as is the custom of our species), then we find ourselves asking the question: When was the moment that things came to <i>BE</i>? And, if that question is at all plausible, then we might as well ask the question: What was it before it came to be?

To answer your question, in linear terms, and after much consideration, I would conclude that nothing always precedes something (creation), but at the same time it is the potential future. Nothing must be both past and future then.
 
Cottontop3000 said:
"Clowns to the left of me; Joker's to the right. Here I am...stuck in the middle with you." -off the "Pulp Fiction" soundtrack. (don't know the artist, sorry)
"Stuck in the Middle with You," title track on the 1978 album by Stealer's Wheel. I remember it being popular for quite a while at the time, but apparently its popularity has not endured because I'm not sure I've ever heard it on the "classic rock" stations. It was also on the sound track to "Reservoir Dogs."

It's easy to find stuff like this on Google, including the lyrics.
 
Spectrum:

"Pragmathen, simply because one is without consciousness does not mean that there is nothing, it simply means one lacks the comprehension to sense what there is. Besides, if there 'is', then there cannot be what isn't."

I would agree with you here utterly, but I do believe that Pragmathean was trying to quantify existence as the total absence of being, much like the absence of thoughts in something that has no consciousness. I would have tackled this subject myself if I had thought otherwise.

"Ex-istence itself implies a state of what used to be, so I would say you are questionning things in the correct manner. "

In what way do you claim this is so?

Bowser:

"So, when Pragmathen dreams a dream in his sleep that world is and this world is not simply because his mind has slipped from one reference to another? If he can comprehend his dream, does that make it real? Maybe his comprehension has changed then?"

Dreams are real in a certain way. They are real as mental fantasies, much the way that movies are real in that their are fantasies filmed.

"Reading these words to myself, I recognize the existence of thought. Though I cannot see it or touch it or validate its existence, I can still experience thought. It has no shape or form or material foundation. It exist as nothing, yet it still exists. "

You cannot validate its existence? If you can interact with it, if indeed you are thought - for surely we are the mind if we are anything at all - then how can you not validate it? You cannot present it to anything else, yues, the Cartesian Theatre is open to but to the owner, but to go as far as to say it has no form or material foundation is a bit much. The mind is very much related to the physical and I would claim it is but the relation of the organs of thought and of sense that produce the inner senses.


c7ityi_:

"what is substance?infinity"

Most substance isn't infinite, actually. Only substance itself - what I prefer to characterize as space, although the word I suppose is only half-accurate, but such is the case in many words - of the three fundamentals that compose existence. Time and relation (causality for the most part, as well as other things) complete the rest of the trinity.

"if you think too logical you can't understand. "nothing" includes everything."

Nothing cannot include a thing, or it ceases to be nothing. In order to be nothing, the very notion of inclusion cannot be a part of it. To include is to have something.

Bowser:

"Easy... It is everything that has yet to be. It must be potential... infinite possibilities. "

Possibility cannot be nothing, for in order to have possibility, one must relate to something. For instance, the possibility to "be on fire" is contained within the match, but there can be no possibility within nothing, as it in order to have possibility, one must exist in some form or another in the present. Nothingness cannot exist and still retain nothingness.

"To answer your question, in linear terms, and after much consideration, I would conclude that nothing always precedes something (creation), but at the same time it is the potential future. Nothing must be both past and future then."

If nothing precedes something, then how can it truly be nothing? Of course, we can say "nothing is beyond infinity" and be somewhat correct, there would be a lack-of-something beyond nothing, in that something extends ad infinitum, but to truly speak of nothingness proceding something as in "there once was nothing, then something, and then one day after something, nothing" is to commit a fallacy of allowing nothingness to prevail. If nothingness were to prevail, something could never arise from it, as nothing would not have any means to produce something.
 
Prince_James said:
Bowser:

So, when Pragmathen dreams a dream in his sleep that world is and this world is not simply because his mind has slipped from one reference to another? If he can comprehend his dream, does that make it real? Maybe his comprehension has changed then?"

Dreams are real in a certain way. They are real as mental fantasies, much the way that movies are real in that their are fantasies filmed.

Relative to the observer within the dream, they are very much real. In any case, the mind is always the window of observation.

Prince_James said:
Bowser:

"Reading these words to myself, I recognize the existence of thought. Though I cannot see it or touch it or validate its existence, I can still experience thought. It has no shape or form or material foundation. It exist as nothing, yet it still exists. "

You cannot validate its existence? If you can interact with it, if indeed you are thought - for surely we are the mind if we are anything at all - then how can you not validate it? You cannot present it to anything else, yues, the Cartesian Theatre is open to but to the owner, but to go as far as to say it has no form or material foundation is a bit much. The mind is very much related to the physical and I would claim it is but the relation of the organs of thought and of sense that produce the inner senses.

<i>"Surely we are the mind if we are anything at all."</i> Some would say that our true nature is awareness and mind the stage of life. A point should be made that if mind can create phantoms of such a personal nature, then all other perceptions might also be suspect.


Prince_James said:
Bowser:

"Easy... It is everything that has yet to be. It must be potential... infinite possibilities. "

Possibility cannot be nothing, for in order to have possibility, one must relate to something. For instance, the possibility to "be on fire" is contained within the match, but there can be no possibility within nothing, as it in order to have possibility, one must exist in some form or another in the present. Nothingness cannot exist and still retain nothingness.

Hmm, the future does not exist, yet that is where things resolve. The past does not exist, but that is where all things dissolve. It would seem that future and past are simply the product of mind.

To answer your response, I was viewing nothingness as a canvass for the creation of somethingness.

Prince_James said:
Bowser:

"To answer your question, in linear terms, and after much consideration, I would conclude that nothing always precedes something (creation), but at the same time it is the potential future. Nothing must be both past and future then."

If nothing precedes something, then how can it truly be nothing? Of course, we can say "nothing is beyond infinity" and be somewhat correct, there would be a lack-of-something beyond nothing, in that something extends ad infinitum, but to truly speak of nothingness proceding something as in "there once was nothing, then something, and then one day after something, nothing" is to commit a fallacy of allowing nothingness to prevail. If nothingness were to prevail, something could never arise from it, as nothing would not have any means to produce something.

If we are moving along a linear timeline towards the future which has yet to be seen (created), then the future is nothingness. It has no existence prior to our minds' observation of the following moment. With that in mind, and the future being an open, empty canvass, it is there that all possibilities rest. We can also conclude that the past is also empty since it does not exist beyond the present.

In conclussion, it seems that we live only in the present--past, future and time are the products of mind and science.

Correct me if I am wrong...
 
Prince_James said:
Most substance isn't infinite, actually.

how do you know? you mean a tomato isn't infinite? it's infinite because it's made of infinite things, infinity.

Nothing cannot include a thing, or it ceases to be nothing.

nothing must be able to include everything... there must be infinite possibilities in nothing. no limits. no laws. anything/everything.

the trinity is negative, positive and neutral.
 
c7ityi_ said:
how do you know? you mean a tomato isn't infinite? it's infinite because it's made of infinite things, infinity.



nothing must be able to include everything... there must be infinite possibilities in nothing. no limits. no laws. anything/everything.

the trinity is negative, positive and neutral.
This kind of talk makes me hot. Oooo, I like it!
 
Bowser:

"Relative to the observer within the dream, they are very much real. In any case, the mind is always the window of observation."

The mind is always indeed the window of observation, but the mind is not always the originators of the observation. In sleep, the Cartesian Theatre comes alive with a show performed by our subconscious. When awake the mind is more like an open window onto a world. Let's say there is no performance in the day time in the Cartesian Theatre - no matinee`.

""Surely we are the mind if we are anything at all." Some would say that our true nature is awareness and mind the stage of life. A point should be made that if mind can create phantoms of such a personal nature, then all other perceptions might also be suspect."

Awareness being what? The internal eye? Or the capacity to be aware to stimuli, external or internal?

Indeed, perceptions of other sorts may be suspect, but such things as repeatability, verifiability, correspondence with others, cohesion of experience, et cetera, are several ways which we can conclude that the world around us is not a dream.

A long while ago, I wrote an essay of sorts on the topic. "A Refutation of Non-Transcendental Idealism" or something of the sort.

"Hmm, the future does not exist, yet that is where things resolve. The past does not exist, but that is where all things dissolve. It would seem that future and past are simply the product of mind."

The future, however, is present in the possibility of the present and the existence of time. Moreover, the past was once existent - and was never necessary - and still influences the present through causal interaction. You will note, however, that any possibility and necessity present is always present in the moment it is, and that is in something, rather than in nothing.

"To answer your response, I was viewing nothingness as a canvass for the creation of somethingness. "

If it is a canvas, though, it still has properties whereby something can be found in it. It is not an absolute nothingness, which we must speak of when we speak of "nothingness", or we are not truly grasping the matter of an ontological nothingness. If you speak merely of the past, or of possibility in the future, see above for why we can speak of an prior and future existences which are nevertheless not nothing.

But to briefly go back to this comment specifically:

"It would seem that future and past are simply the product of mind."

If potentiality/possibility exists, does not it demand time outside of the mind? For that which is potential does not have manifestation at present, but will in the future, yes? That is, does not any such movement from current to future conditions necessitate just that, a future?

"If we are moving along a linear timeline towards the future which has yet to be seen (created), then the future is nothingness. It has no existence prior to our minds' observation of the following moment. With that in mind, and the future being an open, empty canvass, it is there that all possibilities rest. We can also conclude that the past is also empty since it does not exist beyond the present."

I will agree with you that at present, there is no moment that exists but the present one, and that the future is not yet manifest. That being said, all possibility does not lie within the future, I would affirm, but rather in the present. For instance, in the above mentioned match situation, it is not in a future match that fire's potentiality is contained, but rather right now in the present that capacity to be "on fire" is found. It is only the manifestation of that potentiality that necessitates a future, and that future shall only become the present when we move towards it and the match bursts into flames.

As to the past, we can speak of it slightly differently than the future, for whereas it does not exist as a state of prevailing things at this time, past influences govern all things. A ball, struck by a bat, depends on the bat striking it when it finds itself a hundred feet in the air. The past no longer has an existence, but it is not nothingness, in that it has existed, whereas nothingness has never existed, nor ever will.

But allow me to ask you this: If nothingness may have potential, where does it arise from? In the case of the match, we can discern that it is because of the properties of said match that it may one day be able to burst into flames, whereas if nothingness is nothingness, it has no capacity to hold within it properties that could manifest, for properties necessitate a substance, relation, an interaction with time, et cetera, none of which nothingness can have.

"In conclussion, it seems that we live only in the present--past, future and time are the products of mind and science. "

We never live in either the past or future, no. We always exist in the present moment. That being said, the present moment is new every moment and necessitates a past and demands a future. For without the past the present is impossible, whereas without a future necessities of relation and space which produce time (and which in turn are produced by time in many ways) would function in a way that is absurd and impossible.

As to whether we can say that time is a product of the mind, I again say not. For in order for potentiality to exist within things, we must have time, and thus aside from minds alone, things have a relation to time.

c7ityi_:

"how do you know? you mean a tomato isn't infinite? it's infinite because it's made of infinite things, infinity."

No, it is composed of finite things, actually. Things such as fibers and cells and proteins and atoms. It also does not measure infinity in its dimensions. It measures likely a few inches in diametre...

"nothing must be able to include everything... there must be infinite possibilities in nothing. no limits. no laws. anything/everything."

If it has a possibility, then it is not nothing. It is something. Nothingness cannot even be put into a system of possibility. Where it is true that nothingness has no limits, it also not limitless, for it has no space at all. It does not enter into the equation.

What is 1 + 0? 1. Nothingness is zero. It neither adds nor it substracts.

If nothingness has anything, it is not nothingness; it is somethingness. Somethingness can have; nothingness cannot. If nothingness has relations, has space, has time, then it is somethingness, and therefore not nothingness at all. In order for nothingness and somethingness to be different, nothingness would have to not be itself. A does not = A. Yet if it does not retain its identity, how can we speak of it as nothingness?

"the trinity is negative, positive and neutral."

Negative cannot exist and t cannot be part of any trinity. Positive does exist and it is somethingness. And neutrality can only be considered potentiality, which itself is positive, so it is best labelled as a positivity as potential.
 
Prince_James said:
No, it is composed of finite things, actually. Things such as fibers and cells and proteins and atoms. It also does not measure infinity in its dimensions. It measures likely a few inches in diametre...

atoms consist of something smaller, and inches consist of something smaller. there's always something smaller, infinitely. so stuff consist of infinitely small things.

If it has a possibility, then it is not nothing. It is something.

infinity is something and that exists in "nothing". but like i said... nothing is not really nothing... it cannot be... it is "nothing-everything", the only true reality.

What is 1 + 0? 1. Nothingness is zero. It neither adds nor it substracts.

hatem said it divided. he said 0 becomes 1 only by infinite division.

Somethingness can have; nothingness cannot.

i think emptiness/nothingness needs infinity. the kind of nothingness you talk about is impossible, it does not exist.
 
Prince_James said:
Awareness being what? The internal eye? Or the capacity to be aware to stimuli, external or internal?

That is a good question. Keep in mind that most of this comes from my readings on the subject. It is that thing that cannot be observed but is the observer. All things are objects of observation, including the mind, the only exception being the observer (awareness).

Prince_James said:
Indeed, perceptions of other sorts may be suspect, but such things as repeatability, verifiability, correspondence with others, cohesion of experience, et cetera, are several ways which we can conclude that the world around us is not a dream.

That would stand to reason, but you are still making your observation based on the perception of an instrument that is creative and very capable of projecting itself without effort. The world in a dream is a good example of mind's abilities.

Prince_James said:
The future, however, is present in the possibility of the present and the existence of time. Moreover, the past was once existent - and was never necessary - and still influences the present through causal interaction. You will note, however, that any possibility and necessity present is always present in the moment it is, and that is in something, rather than in nothing.

So, all potential resides in the moment, which is something? The something and it's potential then spills into nothing?

Prince_James said:
If it is a canvas, though, it still has properties whereby something can be found in it. It is not an absolute nothingness, which we must speak of when we speak of "nothingness", or we are not truly grasping the matter of an ontological nothingness. If you speak merely of the past, or of possibility in the future, see above for why we can speak of an prior and future existences which are nevertheless not nothing.

My hypothesis is that the past and future have no existence beyond the moment or beyond the mind's memory or its observation of potential. My thought is that, although nothingness is without any possible conception, it is the very foundation from which all things spring and then return.

Prince_James said:
If potentiality/possibility exists, does not it demand time outside of the mind? For that which is potential does not have manifestation at present, but will in the future, yes? That is, does not any such movement from current to future conditions necessitate just that, a future?

I view potential as energy that needs expression, and it certainly does suggest an expectation of future reaction, it implies a future of sequential events.

Prince_James said:
I will agree with you that at present, there is no moment that exists but the present one, and that the future is not yet manifest. That being said, all possibility does not lie within the future, I would affirm, but rather in the present. For instance, in the above mentioned match situation, it is not in a future match that fire's potentiality is contained, but rather right now in the present that capacity to be "on fire" is found. It is only the manifestation of that potentiality that necessitates a future, and that future shall only become the present when we move towards it and the match bursts into flames.

As to the past, we can speak of it slightly differently than the future, for whereas it does not exist as a state of prevailing things at this time, past influences govern all things. A ball, struck by a bat, depends on the bat striking it when it finds itself a hundred feet in the air. The past no longer has an existence, but it is not nothingness, in that it has existed, whereas nothingness has never existed, nor ever will.

Energy in motion, or a sequence of events... The view I am exploring is that there is a vacuum, nothingness, that pulls us towards it. I am not certain that you can use the present or potential to disprove the notion of nothingness. Although the past once was, it is now a not, though its evidence exists in the present, it can never be revisited.

Prince_James said:
But allow me to ask you this: If nothingness may have potential, where does it arise from? In the case of the match, we can discern that it is because of the properties of said match that it may one day be able to burst into flames, whereas if nothingness is nothingness, it has no capacity to hold within it properties that could manifest, for properties necessitate a substance, relation, an interaction with time, et cetera, none of which nothingness can have.

You see time and energy as being a ball of expanding energy, and we are riding the wavefront of that ball. What was is no more. what will be has yet to happen. Therefore, they are nothing. Your argument that nothingness, by definition, cannot exist, muchless hold any qualities of potential. That is a very logical analysis. My consideration is that the moment falls into that very hole of nothingness since it cannot exist beyond the present. Since the future has yet to be seen, it too is a child of the abyss. By evidence of the moment and its qualities--the non existence of past and future--there must also be a nothing.

Prince_James said:
We never live in either the past or future, no. We always exist in the present moment. That being said, the present moment is new every moment and necessitates a past and demands a future. For without the past the present is impossible, whereas without a future necessities of relation and space which produce time (and which in turn are produced by time in many ways) would function in a way that is absurd and impossible.

As to whether we can say that time is a product of the mind, I again say not. For in order for potentiality to exist within things, we must have time, and thus aside from minds alone, things have a relation to time.


I understand your logic and appreciate the time you have given to your response. Thank you.

I'm not certain that time is anything more than a concept. When I explore the concept I find that it invites questions. Thanks again.
 
<b>You see time and energy as being a ball of expanding energy, and we are riding the wavefront of that ball.</b>

PJ,

Just a passing thought... If we are to assume that there is no nothing and always something, then past and future does exist. I would be inclined then to view time as being nothing more than a stagnant storyboard, the present being the only thing in motion as we ride forth along the timeline. This also seems to suggest that all events, past, present, and future, are concrete and beyond change.
 
c7ityi_:

"atoms consist of something smaller, and inches consist of something smaller. there's always something smaller, infinitely. so stuff consist of infinitely small things."

I agree, yes.

But not infinitely -large- things. An infinitely small thing is the -epitome- of limitedness.

"infinity is something and that exists in "nothing". but like i said... nothing is not really nothing... it cannot be... it is "nothing-everything", the only true reality."

Infinity is something. In that it does not exist in anything else, it exists in "nothing", but if you mean something else, I'd have you explain how this is possible?

"hatem said it divided. he said 0 becomes 1 only by infinite division."

Infinite division cannot make 0 = 1. If you divide nothing, you are not dividing at all.

"i think emptiness/nothingness needs infinity. the kind of nothingness you talk about is impossible, it does not exist. "

You are right - it doesn't exist. THat is why it is nothingness. Nothingness is the antithesis of nothingness. But how could nothingness have infinity in your book? I am growing more and more confused by your conception.

Bowser:

"That is a good question. Keep in mind that most of this comes from my readings on the subject. It is that thing that cannot be observed but is the observer. All things are objects of observation, including the mind, the only exception being the observer (awareness)."

So the homunculi of the mind that perceives. But let me ask you this: If we are aware of it, are not we observing it? That which understands is observable by the process of understanding.

"That would stand to reason, but you are still making your observation based on the perception of an instrument that is creative and very capable of projecting itself without effort. The world in a dream is a good example of mind's abilities. "

This is very true. One is rather working on somewhat unstable ground with the mind at times, when there is such possibility for fantasy. That being said, it could be affirmed that the mind's fantasies are necessary for the imagining capacity of thought, and indeed, dreams are the extension of thought-imagination in the absence of sensory stimuli which disturbs it. In this case, we can be certain of perceptions so long we are healthy at the time and awake, whereas dreams we are asleep, and drunken, high, or sick we are under external influences.

"So, all potential resides in the moment, which is something? The something and it's potential then spills into nothing? "

I do not see it so much as spilling into nothing, for nothing would not allow itself to be filled, but rather that time's inherent union with space and relation is more like a linear reorganization within space than it is a flow into "something else".

But yes, all potential resides in things -right now-. The fire in the match is an example of one such potential. Potential manifests in what we would call the future, but the future is essentially the present changed by time.

"My hypothesis is that the past and future have no existence beyond the moment or beyond the mind's memory or its observation of potential. My thought is that, although nothingness is without any possible conception, it is the very foundation from which all things spring and then return. "

I would agree that the past and future have no existence in the same way as say, a tomato has existence in the present, but would you also agree that the past retains its influence on the present and thus is vindicated as something actual (as opposed to imagined)? And that though the future is not yet manifest, it too will have our present moment as its causal foundation and thus is it also even real in the present, in that its seed is therein contained?

Also, in whawt way would you say that "nothingness is the very foundation from which things spring and return"? Do you mean that nothingness is the cause? Or do you mean that when the tomato becomes tomato sauce, the loss of the original relation implies a return to nothingness of that object?

What would you say when met with the idea that utter return to nothingness is never reached? In science it is said that energy is neither created nor destroyed, it simply shifts form. This seems to be the case, in that everything is a recombination of something else. In that way, does not nothing at all return to nothingness?

"I view potential as energy that needs expression, and it certainly does suggest an expectation of future reaction, it implies a future of sequential events. "

Potential as energy that needs expression is a good definition of potential. For I would further state that were all states possible at once with all things, then potential would never exist.

"Energy in motion, or a sequence of events... The view I am exploring is that there is a vacuum, nothingness, that pulls us towards it. I am not certain that you can use the present or potential to disprove the notion of nothingness. Although the past once was, it is now a not, though its evidence exists in the present, it can never be revisited."

That past-time cannot be revisited is quite true. That former relation no longer exists and it would be impossible in an infinite existence to set back existence to that very moment once again, but the past retains its existence by shaping the present and all which once existed, remains existent, but not so combined.

Now, the idea of nothingness as a vacuum is actually an interesting notion, but I question it still. For must not vacuums be a place to be filled? Whereas if existence is infinite, it all ready fills all which can? Moreover, if nothingness can be filled, does not itself have some conception of emptiness and of border to be filled, and thus is not itself nothingness absolutely?

"You see time and energy as being a ball of expanding energy, and we are riding the wavefront of that ball. What was is no more. what will be has yet to happen. Therefore, they are nothing. Your argument that nothingness, by definition, cannot exist, muchless hold any qualities of potential. That is a very logical analysis. My consideration is that the moment falls into that very hole of nothingness since it cannot exist beyond the present. Since the future has yet to be seen, it too is a child of the abyss. By evidence of the moment and its qualities--the non existence of past and future--there must also be a nothing. "

An interesting conception, I must state again, but see above for some of my objections.

Here's another one: If somethings are necessary, would not their necessity - if they are to retain necessity - extend throughout all possible futures and past? And in being eternal, transcend any nothingness which we could ascribe to both present and past?

"I'm not certain that time is anything more than a concept. When I explore the concept I find that it invites questions. Thanks again. "

A pleasure. We have having quite the interesting discussion here and it seems rather fruitful, also. A maturation of our metaphysical views will result, no doubt.

Also, yes, time does indeed invite questions, but it seems to be a necessity lest we sacrifice motion.

Bowser:

"Just a passing thought... If we are to assume that there is no nothing and always something, then past and future does exist. I would be inclined then to view time as being nothing more than a stagnant storyboard, the present being the only thing in motion as we ride forth along the timeline. This also seems to suggest that all events, past, present, and future, are concrete and beyond change. "

I am actually willing to accept this for many reasons. Amongst which are as followed:

1. The uniformity of causality seems to demand such order in the universe.

2. Chaos is illogical, in that in order to be chaotic, the chaos cannot retain its chaotic nature, which would imply order.

3. Free-will does not seem to hold existence due to the impossibility of chaos and the above determinism of causality.

In essence, yes, when we speak of potential, we essentially speak, as you said, of energy needing expression, but not of a "it could happen, it could not" in the sense that its manifestation will be random and not determined by past states.
 
Fun thread...

So the homunculi of the mind that perceives. But let me ask you this: If we are aware of it, are not we observing it? That which understands is observable by the process of understanding.

It is the one thing that cannot be observed independent of the observer.

This is very true. One is rather working on somewhat unstable ground with the mind at times, when there is such possibility for fantasy. That being said, it could be affirmed that the mind's fantasies are necessary for the imagining capacity of thought, and indeed, dreams are the extension of thought-imagination in the absence of sensory stimuli which disturbs it. In this case, we can be certain of perceptions so long we are healthy at the time and awake, whereas dreams we are asleep, and drunken, high, or sick we are under external influences.

Even an alert and healthy mind is subject to error and constantly projects itself outwardly. If we presume that the brain is the source of all understanding, then certainly our image of ourselves and our environment is a projection of that mental perception. I would think that the dream state is a reminder of that factor of uncertainty when dealing with perception. Observations are always subjective.

I would agree that the past and future have no existence in the same way as say, a tomato has existence in the present, but would you also agree that the past retains its influence on the present and thus is vindicated as something actual (as opposed to imagined)? And that though the future is not yet manifest, it too will have our present moment as its causal foundation and thus is it also even real in the present, in that its seed is therein contained?

I would agree with that. One moment is the foundation for the next ; however, that frame of time is gone. It is no more. It has vanished. At least as far as the present is concerned, even though the past has given it's potential to the present and the future.

What would you say when met with the idea that utter return to nothingness is never reached? In science it is said that energy is neither created nor destroyed, it simply shifts form. This seems to be the case, in that everything is a recombination of something else. In that way, does not nothing at all return to nothingness?

Honestly, I could visualize it as being many things. ;) On the surface that is a comforting thought. Nonetheless, I would also recognize that what that energy once was is no more and what it will become has yet to be--though I concede that its essence remains the same throughout time. Although, in our linear view of time, we then again must assume that that energy form exists only in the present. Otherwise, we are looking at a string of energy that transcends our understanding of time: existing in all three...

For I would further state that were all states possible at once with all things, then potential would never exist.

Carry that thought further...please.

That past-time cannot be revisited is quite true. That former relation no longer exists and it would be impossible in an infinite existence to set back existence to that very moment once again, but the past retains its existence by shaping the present and all which once existed, remains existent, but not so combined.

Okay, but we still have lost that frame of time that once was. My house now stands where once there was a forest, but that forest is no more. Sure, they used the wood to build my house, and that lumber brings with that there was once a forest, but still that forest is gone. The new owners might add a second floor to this, but they have yet to buy it.

Now, the idea of nothingness as a vacuum is actually an interesting notion, but I question it still. For must not vacuums be a place to be filled? Whereas if existence is infinite, it all ready fills all which can? Moreover, if nothingness can be filled, does not itself have some conception of emptiness and of border to be filled, and thus is not itself nothingness absolutely?

If we see nothingness as being nothing and somethingness as being somthing, where else would there be room for soming to go? I still find the notion of infinite something very attractive; yet we still find ourselves searching for the past and future within the present, beyond the evidence of energy within the process transformation. BTW: Energy is a slave to time, too.

Here's another one: If somethings are necessary, would not their necessity - if they are to retain necessity - extend throughout all possible futures and past? And in being eternal, transcend any nothingness which we could ascribe to both present and past?

Evidence of past and future in the present resolves to their existence; therefore, the past and future exists beyond the present? It seems reasonable, but it would also suggests that all three states exist at once.
 
To be without time, i.e. if the universe was dispossessed of time, perhaps we would find that 'space' remains motionless. So then, time could be defined as changes in space (as clocks pre-sent time in this way), but space itself is not simply aether, and substance, because space is needed for the movement of substance. Surely we find space to be the opposite of aether ('substance').
 
http://www.thebigview.com/spacetime/timedilation.html

Time seems to have qualities that are independent of the whole, exerting itself on the individual parts, dependent on (possibly) an objects energy.

Surely we find space to be the opposite of aether ('substance').

I am not certain that you are presenting a example for that sake of definition or making an observation. PJ was asserting that if a thing exhibits a quality, then it is a something. My argument is that, since there is evidence of existence and evidence of nonexistence, then nothingness must be, even though we cannot fathom its nature. My assumption is that the past (an event) has slipped into nothingness. It Doesn't exist. The future is nothing since it doesn't exist. Both exhibit a condition of nonexistence since we cannot view them concurrently.

So then, time could be defined as changes in space (as clocks pre-sent time in this way),

We could view reality as being a pulsing ball of energy, and that which we measure as time is nothing more than the observation of an aspect of energy morphing into something new. Energy seems to be, as James has mentioned, the foundation of all reality--responsible for all things. It might be the <i>one absolute</i>, but we have yet to discover its fundamental nature. On the other hand, it may be that they ( energy and time) are intertwined. Possibly, you cannot have one without the other.

I said above that energy is a slave to time. I now retract that statement.
 
though a vacuum denotes the absence of something, it is not itself nothingness. the past and future are concepts people have created relying upon the continuity of spacetime. also, you seem to be thinking of the whole rather than the constituent parts; for instance, you speak of forests and houses as coming and going whereas the matter that makes up these things goes nowhere. and as for dreams, i would not consider them reality. in so far as reality really exists, then it exists without and we observe it. dreams are a residue left behind from the process of observation repackaged and are not indicative of the external reality. finally, i should say that i am speaking with far too much authority here, as this sort of question is way out of my league. :confused:
 
i should say that i am speaking with far too much authority here, as this sort of question is way out of my league.

Nonesense... We are in this together. I have simply enjoy the muse of this thread.

though a vacuum denotes the absence of something, it is not itself nothingness. the past and future are concepts people have created relying upon the continuity of spacetime. also, you seem to be thinking of the whole rather than the constituent parts; for instance, you speak of forests and houses as coming and going whereas the matter that makes up these things goes nowhere.

You return back to energy. It may be eternal, but its form changes over time. I am looking at what that energy once was, what it is now, and what it will become. That does seem to be the way we measure time. As James said, we invite chaos if energy is allowed to express itself in all its potential at once.

and as for dreams, i would not consider them reality. in so far as reality really exists, then it exists without and we observe it. dreams are a residue left behind from the process of observation repackaged and are not indicative of the external reality.

If I met you in a dream and we agreed that it was reality, would that make the dream anymore real? It's a paradox. Nothing more...
 
Bowser:

"It is the one thing that cannot be observed independent of the observer."

The privacy of the internal eye is indeed something that distinguishes it from other things, yes.

"Even an alert and healthy mind is subject to error and constantly projects itself outwardly. If we presume that the brain is the source of all understanding, then certainly our image of ourselves and our environment is a projection of that mental perception. I would think that the dream state is a reminder of that factor of uncertainty when dealing with perception. Observations are always subjective. "

In what way do you suppose our mind projects itself outward? And is error necessary an aspect of the mind warping perception, or simply coming to the wrong conclusion from the perceptions, but excluding something, or not delving into the matter fully? The information certainly does not come to the individual with it all explained to us, and indeed that can be a problem, but it would certainly seem that no distortion need take place, specifically if we adopt a mindset towards objectivity. Though yes, clearly our image of ourselves and enviroment is based on our perceptions, but then again, our perceptions do not seem to be so grossly distorted in most instances as to warrant an intense skepticism of their worth. Check out a few reasons why I am not too skeptical about this in two of my prior essays of sorts:

http://www.sciforums.com/showthread.php?t=48082

and

http://www.sciforums.com/showthread.php?t=51003

I would also affirm that there is a limit to any influence the mind might have on our perceptions, in that the objectivity of the world imposes upon us a response in many instances. We could not fantasize our way out of a bouncing boulder coming down the mountain at us, for instance.

"I would agree with that. One moment is the foundation for the next ; however, that frame of time is gone. It is no more. It has vanished. At least as far as the present is concerned, even though the past has given it's potential to the present and the future."

The moment cannot be returned to and no longer is this moment, yes.

"Honestly, I could visualize it as being many things. On the surface that is a comforting thought. Nonetheless, I would also recognize that what that energy once was is no more and what it will become has yet to be--though I concede that its essence remains the same throughout time. Although, in our linear view of time, we then again must assume that that energy form exists only in the present. Otherwise, we are looking at a string of energy that transcends our understanding of time: existing in all three..."

Change most necessarily demands a relative annihilation of former relations, yes, and thus perhaps it is best to concede of what may be considered a relative nothingness to those prior forms, but it is important to stress that this nothingness is not truly the same as ontological nothingness, or a nothingness opposed to somethingness in everyway, shape, and form. Although nothingness would be the opposite relative to absolute somethingness and contingent-somethingness, it would always be a nothingness of something which once had existence, but now is changed. Moreover this nothingness would not cause somethingness, as it would only result

An analogy that is coming to mind is that the present moment's movement into the future may be less described as water running down a hill, and more described as the internal jiggling of a spoonfull of jello. The change is entirely internal in space and the alteration which is allowed by time's advance is taking place always in that space, so that the past ceases to be not so much in the sense that we could speak of the past being "nothingness", but that that things have changed for all of space.

"Carry that thought further...please. "

A pleasure.

Let me begin with an analogy. Suppose I have four lines and I wish to make a square. Now, in any given square, each line would only touch two others, yes? So that one line is not touched at all at all times by at least one other line, yes? Suppose than that I wanted to rearrange this because I want each line to experience every other line at least one. Does not this mean I must make two squares out of these same lines, and thus take up two moments (or really more like MANY moments, but we'll say two for simplicity) to do this? That there must be a time for square one, then a later time for square two? Well, consider if instead of my personal whim guiding this, and instead of lines on a square, anything that is potential - in order to be potential, and not impossible, or actual - must manifest, but often times, is prohibited by such in any given moment. Now, if it is to remain potential, does not this necessitate that the present conditions change in some way as to allow for it to manifest? And thus a moment, or many moments, must pass?

In essence, I argue that present day potentialities necessitate that in order that we do not have simulteneous contradictions of existence - which would invalidate them by virtue of being impossible - must have time to allow for the two states to manifest. In fact, I would even go as far as to say that in an infinite existence and infinite time, that everything that can happen, has happened, and ontop of that, has happened an infinite amount of times before.

Now, suppose this weren't so. But everything that was potential could manifest in the present moment? Would time be needed? I see no reason to suggest so, for all things would simply be actual, and never potential.

This also goes back to another thing I affirm: That it is by "sharing in the essence" of both somethingness and nothingness that temporal and limited things exist. That is to say, when we speak of contingent things, we always speak of things which exist for a certain period of time, and have an boundaries less than infinite in space. This I would say results from two things:

1. The necessary "middle ground" betwixt absolute somethingness and nothingness.

2. The necessary mid-point betwixt infinitely large and small.

That is to say, once you have any extremes, you must have everything that resides somewhere in the middle of each. Something like a mountain then has a closer approximation of pure somethingness, as it is large and lasts a long time, compared to say, the microsecond lifetime of virtual particle/anti-particle pairs.

But yes...Potential demands time for if potentiality of all things is not possible to manifest in one single moment, more than one moment is necessary. And for reasons I have given for eternity, that time can neither begin nor end, but must be eternal.

"Okay, but we still have lost that frame of time that once was. My house now stands where once there was a forest, but that forest is no more. Sure, they used the wood to build my house, and that lumber brings with that there was once a forest, but still that forest is gone. The new owners might add a second floor to this, but they have yet to buy it."

Yes. Change has occurred. I am not Parmenides that I should deny thus (the philosopher not the poster here on the board).

"If we see nothingness as being nothing and somethingness as being somthing, where else would there be room for soming to go? I still find the notion of infinite something very attractive; yet we still find ourselves searching for the past and future within the present, beyond the evidence of energy within the process transformation. BTW: Energy is a slave to time, too."

Yes, energy is a slave to time, as time is a slave to energy. I rather view the Three Fundementals in a way that is somewhat similar to the co-dependency of a Christian concept of a trinity. That is to say, that neither can exist apart from the other and that all necessitate the other and are, beyond merely being existent, are impossible to be made simpler beyond speaking of them as one thing united, which they are.

These three fundementals, as I believe I have noted, are Time, Relation, and Space (which can be said to be both dimension + substance).

Now, you speak of "room for something to go", and I view this as an improper view for two reasons:

1. If somethingness is infinite, than it has never "expanded" at all, and never had to "go" anywhere.

2. Movement is found in somethingness. Like time's "jelloesque" nature, the jiggling is all internal. Internal inhomogenity resulting from potentialities and the result of relations that produce forces and other such things, but always more than zero presence of somethingness there, and never absolute nothingness.

"Evidence of past and future in the present resolves to their existence; therefore, the past and future exists beyond the present? It seems reasonable, but it would also suggests that all three states exist at once."

In some ways, they may well. In that we can definitely speak of the predetermined nature of all three timeframes. Hmmm.

I'll have to think this over and consider how far any such existence can be spoken of to vindicate the future and past's existence at the same time with the present.

Spectrum:

"To be without time, i.e. if the universe was dispossessed of time, perhaps we would find that 'space' remains motionless. So then, time could be defined as changes in space (as clocks pre-sent time in this way), but space itself is not simply aether, and substance, because space is needed for the movement of substance. Surely we find space to be the opposite of aether ('substance'). "

So you purpose a true dichotomy betwixt space and substance, or as you put it, aether and substance? I rather envision space being capable of being viewed both as the individual objects that compose space and in space itself.

Hmmm. It is rather like a ball being thrown through a pile of balls. Both the ball and its surroundings are ball, but the ball thrown is a single ball, whereas everything else, taken together, is a larger example of ball.

That being said, space itself is dependent on relation and relation on space, which brings in another thing into the discussion.

Bowser:

"http://www.thebigview.com/spacetime/timedilation.html

Time seems to have qualities that are independent of the whole, exerting itself on the individual parts, dependent on (possibly) an objects energy."

Good reference, really. It points to how we can truly speak of time as a distinct force, whereas the same time, pointing out that it can only manifest within space.

"I am not certain that you are presenting a example for that sake of definition or making an observation. PJ was asserting that if a thing exhibits a quality, then it is a something. My argument is that, since there is evidence of existence and evidence of nonexistence, then nothingness must be, even though we cannot fathom its nature. My assumption is that the past (an event) has slipped into nothingness. It Doesn't exist. The future is nothing since it doesn't exist. Both exhibit a condition of nonexistence since we cannot view them concurrently."

This brought to mind that I have not made this point and I think it rather important:

Whenever we speak of nothingness, we speak of an absence. "There is nothing there" means "there is a lack of something there", rather than "there is a thing which is nothing which is there". Even when we speak of the past bieng "nothing", we speak of its absence. This is in contrast to when we speak of something, which we speak fo its presence. "The apple is on the table", "the car is in the garage", "the president of America is currently George W. Bush". This would point out to something important in nothingness, in that it is capable of being spoken of in a positive manner. This somewhat goes back to my question/challenge of thinking of nothing. For you see, I would propose that in order to think of nothingness, you must not think. To not think is to think of nothingness. That one cannot think of nothing positively. The absence of thought is thinking of nothingess.

I have always been bothered that in math there is a conception of 1 x 0 = 0. I would propose that a more philosophically valid statement would be 1 x 0 = 1, by virtue that to "multiply by zero" implies "multiply zero times" or "never multiply at all".

"We could view reality as being a pulsing ball of energy, and that which we measure as time is nothing more than the observation of an aspect of energy morphing into something new. Energy seems to be, as James has mentioned, the foundation of all reality--responsible for all things. It might be the one absolute, but we have yet to discover its fundamental nature. On the other hand, it may be that they ( energy and time) are intertwined. Possibly, you cannot have one without the other. "

I would indeed affirm the latter idea, that time + energy are intertwined so much that one cannot have one without the other.

Gah, this truly makes it a necessity to write out extensively my Theory of the Fundementals.

"I said above that energy is a slave to time. I now retract that statement. "

And replace it in that energy and time are slaves to one another? Or that they are free of eachother?

antifreeze:

"though a vacuum denotes the absence of something, it is not itself nothingness."

I agree. A vacuum is only a relative nothingness.

"the past and future are concepts people have created relying upon the continuity of spacetime."

So do you affirm that time does not exist?

"also, you seem to be thinking of the whole rather than the constituent parts; for instance, you speak of forests and houses as coming and going whereas the matter that makes up these things goes nowhere."

Agreed, the essence never leaves. But certainly relation undergoes a change.

" and as for dreams, i would not consider them reality. in so far as reality really exists, then it exists without and we observe it. dreams are a residue left behind from the process of observation repackaged and are not indicative of the external reality."

For the most part, I agree. I make somewhat of a similar argument, though with more speciifcs, in the links I provided.

Bowser:

"If I met you in a dream and we agreed that it was reality, would that make the dream anymore real? It's a paradox. Nothing more... "

This was a very intriguing statement. If we agree on fantasy, does this fantasy thus become real? For one of the underpinnings of the dichotomy of reality and fantasy is that fantasies are almost always subjective experiences, whereas the reality we share is objective and the same to all, or so similar as to be indistinguishable from the same.
 
James,

I see that you have been very busy. I need put a hold on this for the weekend but will see it again on monday. Once again, thank you for your effort.
 
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