Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Is anything real? How do we know? (video)

Editors, Wisdom Quarterly; VSauce2/Jake Chudnow; Martin Gardner
(Vsauce) Song at the end: "Pious Reflection" by Paul Mottram

What is the heart of wisdom?
The "mind door" is in the area of the heart, not in the skull. The brain may be important for processing information, sensory data, sequencing, and so on. But it is not the "seat of consciousness." Inasmuch as the entire body contributes to knowing, there is knowledge outside the body, as revealed by out of body and near death experiences. When consciousness separates and acts independently of the body, it is hard to maintain the opinion that the brain is the locus of knowing. Knowledge, wherever it is, in the abstract or concretely in the body, is falling away and distorted. There is much to know and much that can be known. But if it is not related to enlightenment (bodhipakkaya dharma), it is ultimately futile in the quest to overcome all unsatisfactoriness. What do we want? Happiness! When do we want it? As soon as possible! When will it come? When our karma matures and bears its mental-resultants (vipaka) and fruits (phala). It matters what we think and say. So what will we do? Will we strive to better understand in an undistorted way -- clearing the mind/heart and mindfully observing things just as they are -- or will we drift along taking in sensory data, jumbling it around in line with wrong view, and clinging to the byproduct?

Our human senses are explained at HowStuffWorks and Wikipedia. Illusions, such as color, audio, and temperature, and tactile (touch) are fascinating if we can grasp the mechanism and STILL be fooled. How much the more when we have no idea what is happening? How do we "know"? Epistemology tells us so, and it is how we know, or at least that's the theory. Where's the proof? (But remember, "proof" is not a synonym of "true"). What we know we may know apriori. What is apriori? It is metaphysical, forming before there was a body and brain to sense it, for the brain to grasp it. The brain? We know where that is, but do we know where memories are? Memories? Yes, a few facts about the brain suggest they can be located physically. At least that's the claim, according to Scientific American. Engrams are cool, according to this "scientifical" blog. Feel free to go crazy now, but first it would probably be good to bone up on the The Matrix defense. Never know when it might come in handy. The Matrix, you know, with actor Keanu Reeves, who played the Buddha in "Little Buddha." Oh, and know your solipsisms, as every philosopher should, or join the club and find out. Then you too may come to know why cats like keyboards.
Memory: a modern misconception (backed by biased "science"). If experts 
say so, who are you to question the Priesthood of the White Lab Coats?

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