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Posted by Richard D. Stafford, Ph.D. on July 5, 2001 17:35:49 UTC


Well Chief, I think we might be getting down to the nitty gritty here! Reading ahead, I see that all of your questions involve the same issue which implies you are getting very definitive. Although I suspect my answers will not convey much information, I will do my best to give what I think are rational answers to each question before I explain what I believe is the problem.

"I (CS) think I (CS) am correct" says nothing new (i.e., new information is not presented in the statement). ---T

Since we are speaking of CS, I would interpret the meaning as "I think" = "I am correct"; essentially a restatement of Paul's "thought happens". The thought that thinking is incorrect seems to carry no meaning.

"I (CS) think I (CS) am incorrect about P and Q" is a SC judgement subject to doubt. --- F

"Incorrect", as used here, is a judgement. CS does not judge itself. CS knows what it knows and nothing else. It depends on SC to keep track of all concepts and relationships; even CS's failure to understand becomes information from SC. All CS knows is that it either understands or doesn't understand some concept or relationship SC has presented. One could say SC does all the thinking for him. Picture CS as being aware only!

"I (CS) think I (CS) am spider man" says nothing new (i.e., new information is not presented in the statement). ---???

Viewed as "I think" = "I am spider man", no new information is presented but such a meaning is quite far from what would commonly be meant by such a statement. What is commonly meant by this statement is too complex a relationship for CS to consider. If it is to be interpreted under the common meaning, it can be seen as a presentation of SC to CS. The validity of it can either be accepted or rejected by CS.

"I (CS) think I (CS) am the Flash " says nothing new (i.e., new information is not presented in the statement). ---???

"the Flash" = "spider man" and this is the same as the previous question.

The statement that "any particular non-tautological statement of reality is no more correct (or approximately correct) than any other non-tautological statement" is an SC statement. --T

Yes, the statement contains concepts and relations complex enough to be outside the comprehension of CS.

The statement that "tautological statements are unique because they are simple enough that the CS can comprehend them the moment they are presented to the CS if presented one step at a time" is an SC statement. ---T

All complex relations are SC statements. All CS can do is tag the relationships with "accept" or "reject" (the tag is then remembered by SC). Somewhat akin to the angel in "Barbarella" who could remember nothing!

What we are talking about here is the division between "me" and "not me". "I" am aware. What am I and what is not me is a deep philosophical question. Arguments over this division have raged for thousands of years. Even today, there exists a strong difference of opinion between the East and the West.

Consider the primitive who believes his shadow is part of him. He has made the division at a different point than any modern person would accept. A western mind would find such a division as irrational, seeing the shadow as some consequence of logical analysis of reality and having nothing to do with the "aware individual". On the other hand, there are those (usually in mental institutions) who will claim their arms are not part of them (just another division seen as irrational).

The eastern position is to put the division as far away as possible "one must be one with the world". From their perspective, "aware" is awareness of everything! They would hold CS (when properly attuned to the world) to be the entire ball of wax. If you are "one with the world", "all will be clear to you".

The western position is very specific as to where the division occurs. And that division (in their mind) corresponds with what they can directly control with their mind and what they cannot directly control. Their use of the concepts conscious and subconscious are divisions used to alibi the failures of their picture; their subconscious controls things they cannot consciously control allowing them to regard "me" to be what they regard it to be.

Who is right? I would say both and neither. The division is very analogous to the division between "Arts" and "Sciences". If you look at that division carefully, you will find that "Arts" consist of fields which must be experienced to be understood. You must be shown how it is done. Whereas, "Sciences" consist of fields where explanation is sufficient.

The arts must be learned on a subconscious level whereas the sciences, in essence, really constitute validation of concepts and relationships. (Note that remembering and using the concepts and relationships remains a subconscious activity.) The division is a conceptual division and not real: i.e., all fields are, in fact, a mixture of both ideas, it's just that the mixture varies from field to field.

The eastern perspective and the western perspective are identical to my perspective except that they move the boundary between "SC" and "CS". The eastern tradition is to forget about any division and let "CS" be everything (CS being your conscious awareness). Western tradition is to let "CS" be a specific limited entity (portion of reality) which can objectively examine that part of reality which is "not you" (SC).

Now, I am aware that I am aware, but how do I know you are aware? All I have to go on is your statement that you are aware. It follows that, when I look at your presentation of your picture of the world, there exists some major ambiguity, (the division between "SC" and "CS" by definition depends on that awareness). From my perspective, both the eastern and the western traditions are making one major error: they trust their "SC" presentation implicitly. Taking that fact into account, I conclude that the eastern advice is, essentially, to forget trying to analytically understand things, just let your "SC" have full reign and everything will be fine.

There is certainly a lot of truth to that. Anyone who has had any experience with "Zen" knows that he can do a lot more than he thinks he can on a conscious level. But, as any western thinker will show, "SC" does on occasion make significant errors. One needs some good analytical analysis to confirm their beliefs. It is difficult to comprehend Zen yielding an H-bomb.

So where do I come in? I say wait a minute, can't we encompass both pictures by moving the division between "SC" and "CS" to that phenomena we can clearly and unambiguously comprehend on a conscious level? The problem is, as you have pointed out, that that is dammed little! However, the answer is not exactly zero! "CS" can comprehend the truth (and therefore validate) any particular step of a tautology, including the initial definition.

If you can get my perspective down pat, we can begin to discuss that information which is not tautological and how it should be attacked!

Hope your fourth was as much fun as ours -- Our home town had a fireworks display which was awesome. Apparently one of the cannons fell over about three minutes into the display. A huge hemisphere of colored lights rose suddenly from the field between the crowd and the display. Before it even halfway decayed, rockets were flying into the sky; there were a couple of more ground bursts; lots of stuff going off at different angles into the sky -- a real show for about two minutes. I thought the whole display was going up and we were all worried about the guys who had been lighting things.

Turned out no one was hurt. When the smoke cleared, they both reappeared about a hundred yards from the display from opposite directions and went back to setting off what was left. It quite surprised me as to how much was left; could have been as much as two thirds of the original display.

Looking to hear from you -- Dick

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