Idealism

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Antaradhana
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Re: Idealism

Post by Antaradhana »

The suttas speak very clearly about the perception of the external rupa (4 elements). The five perceptions > consciousnesses focus mainly on the perception of the external rupa, and the consciousness of the mind equally on the perception of external ideas and ideas constructed by own mind. The distinction between the internal / external is outlined by the boundaries of the body, everything is pretty trite.
All that is subject to arising is subject to termination, all formations are non-permanent. And that which is impermanent is suffering. Regarding what is impermanent and prone to suffering, one cannot say: "This is mine, I am this, this is my self".
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Idealism

Post by Ceisiwr »

lostitude
Yes for those scientists there is no question that what they know about deep space is real.
This smells like the wrong view of “the world exists”. The world is a collection of dhammas created in the mind.
That's what I'm talking about: you don't really tackle my remarks, you just repeat over and over "all I know goes thrrough my mind, therefore it cannot have any existence outside of it", which is a false argument.
Because you haven’t demonstrated that a phenomenon such as an apple exists separate from its qualities. Is “redness” inherent in the apple? Is sound inherent in the apple when it crunches during eating? No. Colour and sound require a mind. Without a mind to construct said dhammas they do no exist. If a tree falls and no mind is around then there is no sound.



Alright, then what is your alternative explanation? I haven't seen any.
I’m not here to provide ultimate answers. All I can say is that there is no empirical evidence for matter and to claim that the world really exists, that it is independent and is as it is is antithetical to the dhamma and to reason.


But I could actually return the same to you: you can't possibly know that your mind actually generates anything, nor do you have any justification to explain why it's not the same to imagine something in your mind's eye, and to see something physical with your physical eyes.
Without mind there is no sound even within a dualist universe. Without mind there is no perception of time even within a dualist universe. My mind constructs dreams, beliefs, thoughts etc. Do tell me where the material base for belief is?

If you are not pulling my leg, then don't you think such a statement would deserve some elaboration? You say you reply to my every post, but compare the length of my responses with the length of yours. I think either you want to debate and you should, or you don't want to and you should say it clearly so that no one wastes anyone's time.
When I shake your hand I feel pressure, I feel temperature, I feel either pleasure of displeasure and so on.



Yet you have no proof that your mind can actually construct anything. Daily experience strengly suggests otherwise: inability to remember, inability to foresee, inability to properly assess situations, confusion, lack of understanding, etc. are all our lot. That's a a very far shot from the "supercomputing mind" that could possibly generate the infinite complexity of the universe as we know it.
Our mind constructs sound.


Not a logical fallacy? it's a false inference at the very least. From "the only way I can see a yeast is through a microscope", it does NOT follow that "therefore it's more likely that my microscope created that image". Please rebut that. Until you haven't, none of what you say has any sound logic to it.
The microscope is an idea within mind. It doesn’t create. Paṭiccasamuppāda doesnt operate within it.
Well that's usrprising because as far as I know, in paṭiccasamuppāda there is a clear distinction between mental phenomena (thoughts, percetipons, etc.) and physical ones (form, action). And the complete separation between thoughts and actions are at the core of the concept. Which what youu describe seems to abolish.

There is a distinction between phenomena. The Buddha never asserts that the world exists nor does he says that it doesn’t exist. The world is a mental construct, so it exists as far as that, but as it’s a mental construct it’s always falling away and becoming otherwise which is why it can be said it doesn’t exist or, to put it another way, it does and doesn’t exist. It’s the result of paṭiccasamuppāda.

You still haven’t demonstrated that an apple can known apart from its mental qualities. Please describe the apple apart from touch, colour, taste etc etc?

Let me put it another way, when you see the apple do you see it exactly how it is or is there something which you only see qualities of? If it’s exactly how it is then all you can describe are it’s mental qualities. If there is something which generates these qualities how do you know it exists since all you can know are it’s qualities which are mental in nature? In other words, how do you know a Noumenon exists? If you say it exists, what is it like apart from hard, red, bitter etc which are perceptions (and so strictly mind wrought in nature)?
Last edited by Ceisiwr on Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:47 am, edited 7 times in total.
Paññaṃ nappamajjeyya, saccamanurakkheyya, cāgamanubrūheyya, santimeva so sikkheyyā’ti
“One should not neglect wisdom, should preserve truth, cultivate relinquishment and train for peace.”

Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Idealism

Post by Ceisiwr »

“Form is like a glob of foam;
feeling, a bubble;
perception, a mirage;
fabrications, a banana tree;
consciousness, a magic trick —
this has been taught
by the Kinsman of the Sun.
However you observe them,
appropriately examine them,
they're empty, void
to whoever sees them
appropriately.”

https://suttacentral.net/sn22.95/en/sujato
Paññaṃ nappamajjeyya, saccamanurakkheyya, cāgamanubrūheyya, santimeva so sikkheyyā’ti
“One should not neglect wisdom, should preserve truth, cultivate relinquishment and train for peace.”

Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Idealism

Post by Ceisiwr »

lostitude wrote: Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:02 pm
Ceisiwr wrote: Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:32 pm P1) An apple is experienced as hard, soft, sweet etc.

P2) Outside of these sensations nothing can be said of the apple.

C1) Therefore, all we can know of the apple (and other objects) are its mental phenomenal qualities.

C2) Therefore, we cannot speak of anything apart from these qualities/sensations and so “matter” is unknown.
P2 is completely false. Of the apple, it can be said that it weighs X, that it hase a size of Y, that it has reached a degree of maturity of Z, that if you throw it at angle A with force B, it will land on point C in amount of time D, that it is made up of a skin, itself made up of XYZ, same for the pulp, same for the seeds, which contains molecules FGH, which interact in such and such way, that it has a certain color because of such and such wavelength etc. etc. but none of this is knowledge that comes from your mind. If it did, you wouldn't have to learn it and calculate it in the first place, and you wouldn't ever make calculation mistakes that would later be contradicted by the landing spot of the thrown apple, only to understand your calculation mistake in retropsect, THANKS to the inconsistency between what happened in reality vs. your mind's excpectations.

So obviously C1 and C2 are false as well.

To put on a dualist hat, colour doesn’t exist without a mind to create it from wavelengths. If there were no minds there would be wavelengths but no colour. Colours are strictly perceptions, and perceptions are strictly within one’s mind. The same for sound. Without a mind there are sound waves but no sound since, within a dualist universe, sound requires sound waves, a functioning ear and a mind to process said waves into what we call sound. Remove the sound waves then there is an ear and mind but there is no sound. Remove the ear and there is a mind and sound waves but no sound. Remove the mind and there is no sound only an ear and sound waves (eg the brain dead). Sound requires all three, and so we can see that the mind creates sound. Sound is a mind-wrought dhamma.

As we can see, the creed of materialism is demonstrably false. The only two remaining options are dualism or idealism.
Paññaṃ nappamajjeyya, saccamanurakkheyya, cāgamanubrūheyya, santimeva so sikkheyyā’ti
“One should not neglect wisdom, should preserve truth, cultivate relinquishment and train for peace.”

Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Idealism

Post by Ceisiwr »

Antaradhana wrote: Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:04 pm The suttas speak very clearly about the perception of the external rupa (4 elements). The five perceptions > consciousnesses focus mainly on the perception of the external rupa, and the consciousness of the mind equally on the perception of external ideas and ideas constructed by own mind. The distinction between the internal / external is outlined by the boundaries of the body, everything is pretty trite.
All of those are mind wrought dhammas.
Paññaṃ nappamajjeyya, saccamanurakkheyya, cāgamanubrūheyya, santimeva so sikkheyyā’ti
“One should not neglect wisdom, should preserve truth, cultivate relinquishment and train for peace.”

Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Idealism

Post by Ceisiwr »

Dan74 wrote: Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:47 pm Well of course "out there" cannot be conclusively proven, since all we have is our senses and they can be manipulated. In the West, Descartes talked about this at length, including a thought experiment of an evil genius manipulating one's mind and making reality appear completely different to what it is. Plato too, with his cave. Descartes, however, was pragmatic, as was the Buddha way before him. Both admitted that all we conclusively know are the senses, but it makes sense to admit the world, rather than collapse into solipsism, like Berkley's tree that only makes a sound if there is someone to hear it.


As Buddhists, we practice both with the khandas and our actions in the world - inner and outer, idealist and materialist, until the dichotomy disappears.

It must also be mentioned that we make predictions based on our current understanding of the world which come true. Whether it is a weather forecast, a Higgs boson or a Black Hole, not only do we have consensus reality, reality follows physical laws and we can even predict future discoveries based on our current understanding. Of course, the Universe could be a computer simulation, a Matrix of some sort, or a Mind, but in any case, there is evidence of something beyond my personal sensations, volitions, and mental formations, as much as I am constrained by them as my tools.

Shared delusion is a real thing even within the “normal” world of the folk. The fact that we all experience a “real world” with it’s laws etc doesn’t mean it really exists. To say the world exists is an extreme position, as is saying that it doesn’t exist. The world is constructed via paṭiccasamuppāda. It’s a product of it. When I experience a skyscraper, that’s paṭiccasamuppāda in action and so it’s foolish to say the world does or doesn’t exist. The skyscraper, like the world as a whole, is a delusional construction.
Paññaṃ nappamajjeyya, saccamanurakkheyya, cāgamanubrūheyya, santimeva so sikkheyyā’ti
“One should not neglect wisdom, should preserve truth, cultivate relinquishment and train for peace.”

Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta
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Re: Idealism

Post by Spiny Norman »

Ceisiwr wrote: Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:10 am
Dan74 wrote: Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:47 pm Well of course "out there" cannot be conclusively proven, since all we have is our senses and they can be manipulated. In the West, Descartes talked about this at length, including a thought experiment of an evil genius manipulating one's mind and making reality appear completely different to what it is. Plato too, with his cave. Descartes, however, was pragmatic, as was the Buddha way before him. Both admitted that all we conclusively know are the senses, but it makes sense to admit the world, rather than collapse into solipsism, like Berkley's tree that only makes a sound if there is someone to hear it.


As Buddhists, we practice both with the khandas and our actions in the world - inner and outer, idealist and materialist, until the dichotomy disappears.

It must also be mentioned that we make predictions based on our current understanding of the world which come true. Whether it is a weather forecast, a Higgs boson or a Black Hole, not only do we have consensus reality, reality follows physical laws and we can even predict future discoveries based on our current understanding. Of course, the Universe could be a computer simulation, a Matrix of some sort, or a Mind, but in any case, there is evidence of something beyond my personal sensations, volitions, and mental formations, as much as I am constrained by them as my tools.

Shared delusion is a real thing even within the “normal” world of the folk. The fact that we all experience a “real world” with it’s laws etc doesn’t mean it really exists. To say the world exists is an extreme position, as is saying that it doesn’t exist. The world is constructed via paṭiccasamuppāda. It’s a product of it. When I experience a skyscraper, that’s paṭiccasamuppāda in action and so it’s foolish to say the world does or doesn’t exist. The skyscraper, like the world as a whole, is a delusional construction.
If the "real world" doesn't exist, then how DO you explain the remarkable degree of consensus about our shared experience? Are you saying we're in the Matrix?

Idealism looks to me like a red herring in relation to the the suttas, which are concerned with the subjective reality of "my world", rather than with the objective reality of "the world". Dhamma is not science, and the Suttas don't promote idealism, which is just a philosophical position or view.

And "delusion" has a specific meaning: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delusion
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Re: Idealism

Post by Spiny Norman »

Antaradhana wrote: Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:04 pm The suttas speak very clearly about the perception of the external rupa (4 elements). The five perceptions > consciousnesses focus mainly on the perception of the external rupa, and the consciousness of the mind equally on the perception of external ideas and ideas constructed by own mind. The distinction between the internal / external is outlined by the boundaries of the body, everything is pretty trite.
Indeed, and MN140 makes a clear distinction between internal and external elements.https://suttacentral.net/mn140/en/sujato

The suttas explain how sense-consciousness arises in dependence upon sense-base and sense-objects, both of which are derived from form. So experience depends on form. Some will argue that this is an internal bifurcation rather than a functional description, but the fact remains that experience occurs, and experience has to be based on something.

While the suttas challenge our assumptions about what "out there" is like, and how we experience stuff, I don't see them denying that an "out there" exists in some sense.
Last edited by Spiny Norman on Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:30 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Idealism

Post by Spiny Norman »

Ceisiwr wrote: Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:10 pm
lostitude wrote: Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:59 pm
sunnat wrote: Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:42 pm What laws exist in this world. How is two or more people viewing, feeling, smelling etc the same event and describing it as the same event explained. What's the mechanism.
I think that's precisely the kind of situation warranting the acceptance of matter as a basis to describe how this works. From an idealist perspective denying matter, I really don't see how you can satisfactorily describe such cases and draw conclusions and make predictions.

Because an idealist world and a materialist world can function in the same way.
But the idealist view doesn't provide any practical explanation for "consensus reality", and the remarkable consistency of shared experience.
Without such an explanation, idealism is just a bit of philosophical titallation.
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Re: Idealism

Post by binocular »

Dinsdale wrote: Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:36 amBut the idealist view doesn't provide any practical explanation for "consensus reality", and the remarkable consistency of shared experience.
Without such an explanation, idealism is just a bit of philosophical titallation.
But idealism is the ultimate conceptual framework for power over others. With materialism, other people still have a fighting chance, since in materialism, the existence of an external reality is presumed, an external reality to which all are bound, have recourse to, and can hold eachother in check in regard to.
But in idealism, it's all down what's in a person's head, and with an outlook like that, one person can presume to have unlimited dominion over others. For all practical intents and purposes, it's solipsism, but without the madness.
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Re: Idealism

Post by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta »

binocular wrote: Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:40 pm ...
...
For all practical intents and purposes, it's solipsism, but without the madness.
:goodpost:
.


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Re: Idealism

Post by dhammacoustic »

Ceisiwr wrote: Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:26 am (...) All I can say is that there is no empirical evidence for matter and to claim that the world really exists, that it is independent and is as it is is antithetical to the dhamma and to reason.
and you are saying this while your feet are on the ground and your hands are typing on a keyboard so that you can communicate with the outside world?
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Re: Idealism

Post by Spiny Norman »

Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta wrote: Sun Jul 07, 2019 2:08 pm
binocular wrote: Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:40 pm ...
...
For all practical intents and purposes, it's solipsism, but without the madness.
:goodpost:
They both look a bit mad to me. :tongue:

Philosophical titallation, but of no practical use.
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Re: Idealism

Post by chownah »

dhammacoustic wrote: Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:41 pm
Ceisiwr wrote: Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:26 am (...) All I can say is that there is no empirical evidence for matter and to claim that the world really exists, that it is independent and is as it is is antithetical to the dhamma and to reason.
and you are saying this while your feet are on the ground and your hands are typing on a keyboard so that you can communicate with the outside world?
Exactly!!!! so I can communicate with the outside world which I fabricate internally and then construe to be a real thing out there somewhere.....that limitless space jahna shows that there is plenty of internal space to hold the breadth of the universe I think.....don't know for sure.....
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Re: Idealism

Post by SDC »

Idealism implies a materialism that is inaccessible, and materialism implies in idealism that is imagined. No matter which view is held, both aspects endure and are influential to the experience as a whole. They can never be "pure" in either direction.

The Dhamma is the view that would encompass all views. On a particular level, within the confines of its own nature, any view can have some validity, but when that shared nature of manifestation is understood as the most prominent aspect of any arisen thing, it gradually becomes clear that there is no view more fundamental (SN 22.37).
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