I wrote this some years ago, and was about to post it as a reply in another thread, but decided to use it as a thread on it’s own. Hopefully people who think materialists do not know wonder, will hear it here.
A man stands swaying side to side in a 30 degree arc, staring steadily at the maps and charts before him, the words are clear and seem to leap from the page to grip his heart, BEWARE for here there be DRAGONS. Aye indeed ’twas sure, strange things awaited any vessel crossing into the arctic circle, in the 17th century, but fortunately no dragons. We look back today a bit wistfully on a time that never really was, of romantic tales of knights in shining armor, dragon slayers, of wizards, and mighty magics, and somewhere behind it all, we know ’tis all fantasy. But that is where we err, and err grievously, for my friends, knights do exist, dragons come in many forms, and the fact of the matter is, Magic exists.
Thirty or more years have I have been of the conviction that “magic” existed as the doing of something by means not explainable by current knowledge, well that was really nothing more than linguistic “slight of hand”, certainly not addressing the essence of the kind of magic that draws on unseen energies to create that which had not existed before, and it is this magic that I now fully assert, exists.
The problem is we have been ignorant of this magic although every one of us has used it ubiquitously, it is in fact the force by which we forge ourselves, on the anvil of our experience. The Magic is so absolutely essential to even our awareness of self, that we are hard pressed to imagine even ourselves without it, in the mentality of the human, being, it is the creator of all things, the enabler of all external behavior, and the only means by which we may begin, to come to know each other. The magic my friends is language.
(Ach! He’s popped his cork now for sure)
Go ahead try to “think” without words. Not feel, that’s emoting, not “picture” that is imaging, call up cognition alone and do it without words………
ya know, Cogito erg sum! I think therefore, I am!
Go ahead hug a word today
With words we create who we are next, and with spells cast of words the future is formed. These very things, you perceive this instant, or actually the barest moment ago, perceived. Arcane symbols made of precise angles, curves, lines, and blank spaces, that create in your mindspace, out of infinitesimal amounts of one of the four fundamental forces of the universe, (electromagnetic force) ‘meaning”, these my friends constitute high magic, value them, cherish them, and by all means take great care of how you use them.
Peace and Love
@epiphileon, Ok we are on the same page. I posted something just like this quite a few months back. https://www.highexistence.com/topic/reality-is-not-real-really/
I think in my description of a materialist, I am assuming by the definition that one thinks there is a universe independent of the mind that contemplates it. Someone like Dawkins, that believe through the scientific process we can point that universe out, when in the end all we are doing is playing more mind games, like we have been all along. Love the post btw.
@ltwild3, Yes Nik, I do assert that there is a universe independent of the mind, and that mind its self is a direct result of that physical universe. I should have perhaps included more clarification in my introductory paragraph. To be clear, what I am calling magic does not rely on metaphysical causation, but I assert that everything I said about it, in those prose is accurate (true).. Language is the most powerful tool ever developed my humankind. Saying it like that though, in my opinion, seems to diminish it, and I think it should be exalted but, understanding that it has, what in my opinion, is magical properties is critical, and even more importantly what the implications of that are, is paramount. Not because it can create, or transform matter, that type of magic as I said, is fantasy, but because of its’ effect on the individual, interpersonal communications/relations, and even on society as a whole.
It’s power cannot be understated, after all, we used it to create gods, and just look around at the results of that. ;)
Here is the ultimate example of the power of language, there are a number of independent and very strong arguments within naturalism, that the evolution of consciousness its’ self is a result of language. .
@epiphileon, Wonder-FULL. About 2/3 years ago the same thought raised in my mind. And I questioned the… LANGUAGE. “Magic is Language”.
I felt/believed that whatever we say is like saying a spell. And ever since then for some period of time I was really careful with anything that came out of my mouth in a form of words/language/sounds/etc.
Pretty interesting and deep thinking. Glad there is more humans that had same thought about it.
@epiphileon, “I do assert that there is a universe independent of the mind, and that mind its self is a direct result of that physical universe.” You see, I find it very difficult to accept this idea, because the one and only way to attempt to verify that external universe is through our mind. There is no way to give an example of the universe what so ever without mind. It is as if they are inherently one thing. There is no way to differentiate the two. As I was saying earlier, science had adopted this idea dogmatically without being able to verify it’s validity. In fact, scientific experimentation is pointing in the opposite direction of this very idea, due to the double slit experiment.
This experiment shows that what we call particles are in a state of quantum superposition indefinitely, until an observer is present. This means the particle does not exist in one place, but it is everywhere in all possible locations at the same time. Once an observer arrives, the particle condenses back into material form and is only found in one location.
You see, what we like to call an objective separate universe, is really an infinite sea of potentiality, not physical in the slightest. The observer is the needed part of the equation, for that universe to exist. The mind is what makes the universe so, not the other way around.
As well, the idea that the brain is the producer of consciousness, is a dogmatic assumption based on the atomic model of the universe. There is no proof that consciousness manifests from the brain. All of our experimentation on the idea does indeed show activity in relation to conscious behavior within the brain, but pinpointing a location of manifestation in relation to either consciousness, or memory, has eluded us. We just assume it has to spawn from the brain, because that is where we see activity directly related to conscious behavior. Here is a good metaphor, we can measure activity in a radio that directly relates to the signal emitted, but we can not open it and say the speaker is the source of the signal. We know the source is coming from an external catalyst, the radio just receives the signal, and reproduces it in a tangible form.
I believe the universe and mind are one and the same, and impossible to differentiate from. We just believe there is a difference because of the dominance of the ideal of self, and ego.
@ltwild3, I thought clarifying my strict materialism might cause considerable topic drift in this thread, something I usually try to avoid, but I did think it important to clarify that I was not referencing, in my view, non-existent metaphysical phenomena.
I am well familiar with the two slit experiment, as well as Schrodinger’s Cat, both of which involve the” collapse of the wave function”. These are indeed bizarre aspects of quantum mechanics; however, they do not demonstrate that reality is subjective, nor that reality depends on being observed.
“Collapse of the wave function”, is actually a physics term, it is used extensively in the “Copenhagen Interpretation”. Here is a link to the Wiki page on this subject, it is a fairly good overview of the relevant issues.
I would object to the notion that consciousness as a function of brain activity is a “dogma of science”. For one thing true science has no dogmas, (which is not to say that there are those who may treat some scientific knowledge that way, but they are pretenders, misunderstanding the nature and function of science), for another thing there is not currently a single, broadly accepted theory of how the brain produces consciousness, in fact it has only been scientifically shown to be possible since 1977.
But I would like to leave these two issues for now, to continue the discussion in your thread on rationalism, I still have to finish watching the videos you referenced, and I think the topic there needs to be settled, if these issues you’ve brought up can be addressed constructively.,
I am glad to see there is so much interest in language, and such intuitive grasp that it is critical to, well, everything.,
@epiphileon, I didn’t mean to pull the topic away from its original point. I just wanted to clarify 100% what your position was. I believe our differences in point of view has a large implications on the topic at hand. I guess after the rebuttal to your ideology above, I could have addressed the implications I believe that it has on language and it’s power. I get sidetracked occasionally. I will address it immediately after I reply to the two points just made, then the topic should be right back on track.
Point1: “These are indeed bizarre aspects of quantum mechanics; however, they do not demonstrate that reality is subjective, nor that reality depends on being observed.” I agree completely. The Copenhagen interpretation does a great job of just providing the results of scientific experimentation without attaching the philosophical interpretations the experiment might have. How “true science” should be, but as I stated earlier, science is married to philosophy. After we have evidence, we have to figure out how to fit it into a model we call a world view. The Copenhagen Interpretation has come under a lot of scrutiny over the past 30 years for not addressing the philosophical implications these experiments have, from the scientific community its self! In fact, the scientific community is beginning to address this issue, and do indeed stress the importance, and non separateness of observers.
Point 2: “non-existent metaphysical phenomena” which you are trying to avoid is impossible. From the strict materialist point of view, ideology can only be upheld and supported by objects that can be identified physically. But thought, the very thing producing this argument, is a non-existent metaphysical phenomena. As you yourself admitted, there is no accepted theory to the origin or spawn of consciousness. It can not be located physically, therefore, believing it truly exists is metaphysics. The scientific community in general does indeed dogmatically believe it is located in the brain without proof. Dogma: a settled or established opinion, belief, or principle. That’s why so many experiments are dedicated to pinpointing it. Now I’m not saying there is something wrong with this, I am just stating that the scientific community never only works with evidence, as they like to claim, “everything we believe can be verified by facts” but largely on assumptions.
Implications regarding language: You make a very very good point about the power of language, and its ties to being a system of magic. In fact we both have very similar posts about that on this very site. I agree with you 100% about the power language holds. I believe however, that because of your view that consciousness is a fundamentally separate happening from the universe, that you in inadvertently inhibit language’s powerful potential.
Yes there are language “hacks” that greatly influence interactions around us.
But I believe this has to be taken a step further. Language doe not only influence everything we experience 100%, but it is fundamental to any form of existence. We can not make the argument for existence without language. If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? People will always like to say, well it makes a pressure wave, but there are no ears to pick it up. Well prove it, without an observer present we cannot make claims about a happening. That very idea of happening is a 100% construct of our language. The very idea of pressure waves is a construct of our language, not a fundamentally separate happening. I argue this because there is no way to refute it. “Well we can put a microphone out there and measure it.” Well you just introduced the observer didn’t you.
Language is not just a magical tool that forms our experience of the world around us, but it does indeed form this world. What we would like to believe exists outside of the matrix of language is completely intangible, to the point that arguing its existence is futile. This void is called the “desert of the real” in philosophy, because it is just that, a void.
@ltwild3, HI Nik, I’ll be back to the discussion soon, apparently the wave form of a particularly nasty rhino-virus collapsed within my system, elevated my internal temperature to altered-state levels, for the last 48 hours. Immune system seems to be getting the upper hand today.
Any language, even a magickal one, will only become magickal when we make it so, in our shpere of sensation. Before that happens, it is merely a form of conveying our thoughts with one another. So I suppose that the amount of understanding of it, along with the intened use is what can make it this way.