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Open Individualism

The purpose of this episode of Cybernetik Free Radio is to address the difficult questions of Open Individualism, and explore its interesting and complex notions. The program begins with an interpretation of what transhumanism means and what it has to do with our future, then moves into an interview with IEET intern Edward Miller on Open Individualism, and concludes with some reflections on the Singularity.




COMMENTS
@ Edward

I have listened to your interview and would like to offer some constructive criticisms. But let me begin by stating that I believe that consciousness is the prime mover of life, and yet more than this, that "pure consciousness" is the phenomena that pervades and imbues the entire universe and cosmos. And that the individual mind is merely the subjective phenomena of thoughts and ideas and notions that lead to the establishment of Self and the veil of ignorance, (avidya).

In this way such as that of the proponents of Advaita Vedanta, I believe that the Buddha may have been close but not necessarily correct. However, saying this, it is at least arguable, as it indeed was between the Buddhists and Vedantin of their time, and that neither can we prove scientifically without doubt at this time whether it is "mind" or "consciousness" that is the prime mover.

Note, western philosophy and science tells us that consciousness cannot exist without the mind, at least at the superficial levels of wakefulness and dream sleep, and even in the tether of deep sleep. Yet the deeper philosophies of Hinduism posit in the same way as open individualism that there is "only one pure consciousness", and that this is the "ultimate reality" beyond materialism, defined as "that" which cannot be described with any words or terminology. Although the name that is readily associated with this is Brahman. Thus we are all Brahman, (the ultimate reality and prime mover), and we are all as one and the same. "Tat tvam asi".

I get the feeling, although I have not yet read Kolak, that this push to establish a new philosophy of open individualism is yet more ways that our scientific western cultures are attempting to absorb and redefine the vedic philosophies that are thousands of years old. And whilst I feel there are great benefits for all of us in the exploration of connectedness, and in the investigation of the connectedness of consciousness, I can't help but feel that this new wave is being constructed upon confusions and shaky ground.

The benefits for humanity to establish a "material connectedness" of mind and body and of the understanding of our connected needs and volition's would be immense, and I believe that even this would lead us all to new horizons of compassion and understanding. And this is merely the first step to the realisation of pure-non duality, (monism).

Yet the pursuit of inner truth in both Hinduism and Buddhism is a personal journey of experience that may never be rationalised entirely. Self-enquiry leads to Self-understanding and if the final realisation may be achieved through either Moksha or Nirvana, it yet may never be fully expressed or understood between us, and thus always remain as impossible to describe or rationalise. Like the ancient philosophies understood, the practice of mediation and tuition is guided to a change in the individual mindset to "establish new neural connections?" in mind that may lead to enlightenment?

It may be worth contemplating and investigating the differences between open individualism and both Buddhism and Advaita. I'd like to draw your attention to the below website and articles concerning Advaita, which have proved most beneficial to myself. I also know that Alexxarian may also be familiar with the Ashtavakra gita.


There are six schools, (darshanas), relating to Hindu philosophical thought.

1. Sankhya, (Samkhya), strongly dualist theoretical exposition of mind and matter.
2. Yoga, a school emphasizing meditation closely based on Sankhya
3. Nyaya or logics
4. Vaisheshika, an empiricist school of atomism
5. Mimamsa, an anti-ascetic and anti-mysticist school of orthopraxy
6. Vedanta, opposing Vedic ritualism in favour of mysticism. Vedanta came to be the dominant current of Hinduism in the post-medieval period.

These later schools of Vedanta are further divided into Advaita, Visishtadvaita, Dvaita, Dvaitadvaita, Shuddhadvaita, and Acintya Bheda Abheda.

For an excellent introduction to these later different schools of vedanta see here ~
>> http://www.hinduism.co.za/schools.htm


Ashtavakra Gita >> http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Ashtavakra_Gita


Ps. Good luck with your facebook group and the pursuit of Self-understanding.
CygnusX1, open individualism has indeed a certain similarity with these eastern philosophies, but it is more of a purely philosophical rather than religious nature, its arguments and criticisms of other serious opposing philosophical views of personal identity are very strong.

I think that it is more denying personal identity (kind of resembles Dennett's position), because there can be nothing to base it on, therefore concluding that essentially we all share an identity (or non-identity) as parts of the single ontological whole which is the universe, being in this sense immortal. It's not that we have a unified mind or are actually connected in any sense, except for our ontological sameness and absence of personal identity.

The concepts we have of ourselves and others as defined people with personal identities are illusory, because the real people they make reference to actually don't remain unchanged even for a short time in any relevant sense. The atoms in our brains, our patterns and our mental contents change in milliseconds, a time too short even for consciousness to appear.

Consciousness itself is a process by which all of these things are changed, the very existence of which seems to rule out personal identities based on those criteria. Nor can they be based on other criteria such as apparent continuity because of its intermittent flashing nature and the past not mattering to the present. The only thing that can still save personal identities from open individualism is the existence of supernatural souls or spirits (just kidding).

The "computer program" or equation that produces one person has its variables changed in the fastest of times, and the only thing that distinguishes one person from the other are these variables. So we can say that what matters is that the program works:its effect:not the exact person which it produces. And whoever it produces, in practice it is you.
Heh. This is the conclusion I came to decades ago in my search for 'spiritual enlightenment'. I'm glad I'm not the only one who invented it.

One of the way's I've tried to express the thought is by asking 'Is God self aware? Or is that our job in the organism?'

Picture the stretched sheet of rubber of 'describing gravity' fame. take the weight out of the middle, flat sheet. This can represent...the universe? god? the quantum flux? poke a finger into it from the bottom and make a hill. That's an individual consciousness.

It's a nice realization but I also came to the conclusion that you just can't know a heck of a lot while you're in the flesh...against the rules. Not unless you devote a lifetime of looking (mountains, cave, long white beard, pilgrims coming..the whole schmear.)
The norms and values of philosophy is too noble and ideal for a common mind. It cannot fend for all. it can at the most idealize the mind and thought. The race of life in the modern world is too crazy and hectic. we don't have time to stand and stare at the Maya or the illusion. ie. when we stand before a mirror and look into it , we believe it reflects our image. that image can never be real. Reality is highly demanding and dictatorial. the ultimatum of philosophy is to serve the purpose. what is the purpose - to appease the individual will and the common weal. if we focus much on the individual, just like staring at our image in the mirror , sometimes we tend to become Narcissus- that is we begin to admire our own self. sometimes philosophy too is highly ideological and sometimes misnomer. The individual cannot exist without a society. suppose if everyone tend to become a Christ or Buddha it too can mean the end of this world. Just like the happening in USA ,where in one of the national parks they tried to preserve the deers. It finally ended in complete wipe out. it is not the conscience or the mind that rules this world . it is the divine feeling of harmony and innocence that can give us complete satisfaction of living. we must be willing to grow not at the cost of our own destruction. it is then better to be an illiterate and innocent man( complete ignorance) than a all knowing man who leads a daily life of 'Prometheus Torment'

'Never bargain life to Mephistopheles' . it is rather better to deny him as like Christ did! So all ending end of life should aim at the harmony of the individual and the society. there may be diffidence, dissension and dissipation. it is all in the course of life. yet we grow ultimately towards tomorrow. that is the future of mankind. i.e a temporal eternity.

i would like to relate a common Indian tale.
Three scholars happened to cross a river in a boat.They were great scholars. The boat man was ignorant and to an extent innocent. The scholars began to enquire to the boat-man. The first scholar asked , Have you learnt Ramayan? The ferryman meekly replied, i am sorry sir i am ignorant. The first scholar said you have wasted one fourth of your life! The second scholar asked, Have you read Maha Bharata? once again the answer was a meek No. The second scholar said you have wasted another quarter of your life. The third scholar asked , Have you learnt Baghavad Gita, The ferry man felt much remorse and said, o wise beings, please try to understand that i am a simpleton, an ordinary ferryman. The third scholar said you have lost one third of your life. so the total loss was three fourth of his life.

in the meanwhile there was a sudden spate of flood in the river. at that time the ferryman asked , oh, noble scholars , Have you learnt swimming? The blatant answer was NO. Then the ferry man
said in anguish and anxiety, oh, you great scholars have failed to learn the basic survival skills. Now You have to save yourself. without swimming how are you going to . so it is complete loss of Life!!!! so life is only too wonderful to be spent worrying constantly.
i am neither a scholar nor an illiterate but the world needs to come into closer preview to understand better. the eastern Vedanta and the western materialism are only the two chapters of life. it is not a complete book. we are still to write it . that is the
book of civilization. now both the west and east come together in the form of globalization. it is only in the offing we cannot comment even at the outset about its results. i believe and hope humanity is heading towards a better tomorrow.
great post...

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