On 24 Feb 2011, at 22:13, benjayk wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 22 Feb 2011, at 22:14, benjayk wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:

Now, just recall that "Platonia" is based on classical logic where
falsity f, or 0 = 1, entails all proposition. So if you insist to
that 0 = 1, I will soon prove that you owe to me A billions of
dollars, and that you should prepare the check.
You could prove that, but what is really meant by that is another
It may simply mean "I want to play a joke on you".

All statements are open to interpretation, I don't think we can
avoid that
entirely. We are ususally more interested in the statements that are
vague, but vague or crazy statements are still valid on some level
though often on an very boring, because trivial, level; like saying
"S afs
fdsLfs", which is just expressing that something exists).

We formalize things, or make them as formal as possible, when we
search where we disagree, or when we want to find a mistake. The idea of making things formal, like in first order logic, is to be able to follow a derivation or an argument in a way which does not depend on
any interpretation, other than the procedural inference rule.
Yes, I get the idea. I agree that the derivation does not depend on
interpretation (other than one we can easily agree on). But what the
and the derivations thereof "really" mean is open to interpretation.
Otherwise we would have no discussion about "Do numbers exist?".
I don't think we can understand "1+1=2" without some amount of
interpretation. We need to interpret that the two objects are of the
kind, for example.
Formal results are useless if we are not able to interpret what they

I am not sure. We want avoid the "philosophical discussion", which can
be endless and obstructive. So instead of trying to find the ultimate
interpretation on which everybody would agree, we try, in a spirit of
respect of all interpretation, to find our common agreement.
Is 0 a number? OK, we agree that 0 is a number, and from that,
agreeing with classical logic, we already agree that at least one
number exist, 0. And the existence case is closed.
Next question, do we agree that numbers have a successor? Yes, that is
the point, if x is a number, we want it having a successor, and
successors ...., 0, s(0), s(s(0)), ...

In this manner, we don't throw away, any interpretation of the
numbers, but we are able to derive many things from what we agree on.

The question of the relation between human and numbers is very
interesting, but has to be addressed at some other levels, with some
supplementary hypotheses. If not we mix unrelated difficulties.
I agree. Some interpretation is needed to make sense of numbers, but we can easily agree on that. Some more interpretation is needed to make sense of numbers in the context of practical use (we need relative interpretation of one as one meter, one joule, one apple, which all are different yet all use the number one, so in this context 1=1 may be false or undefined because we might need *different* relative one, just like there are different relative

Yes. It is the difficulty of applied science.

So our disagreement seems to be quite subtle. It seemed to me you wanted to make numbers the absolute thing. But when we are really modest it seems to me we have to admit the meaning in numbers is an intersubjective agreement in interpretation and we should not be too quick in disregarding seemingly
contradictory statements as completetly false.

We try to understand things by reducing them to things we already consider having a good understanding of. If not we are doing obstructive philosophy, cutting the hair kind of activity.

See my example of 1=2. It might reveal a deeper sense of the relativity of numbers (what is one in a context is one billion in another; my one head may
be conceived of consisting of many billions of cells), that is quite
compatible with the sense in 1+1=2.

Remember that our discussion evolves initially from Peter (1Z) apparent lack of understanding that once we accept that the brain or body can be described at some level as a digital machine, then the physical science are no more the fundamental or basic science, and that to solve the mind-body problem we have to solve the body problem. It means also that we have to backtrack 1500 years in the theological science. But this does suppose the kind of understanding that 1 is different from 2. Like I guess you do understand that in physics E = mc^2 does not imply that E = mc.

By the way I have some doubts about 0 being properly conceived of as a
number. It might be more useful to conceive of it as a non-number symbol, like for example infinity. Zero makes some things in mathematics messy if
interpreted as a number. For example "removable discontinuities" in
functions (I don't know what the right term is in English): If we have the function (x+1)(x-1)/(x+1)(x+2), this functions is not defined for x=-1, but in a sense it clearly should be and indeed if we reduce the terms (which seems to be seen as valid, although we implicitly divide through zero) it is defined for x=-1. So this suggest that it would be better to give zero a
relative meaning, so that for example 0/0 may mean different things in
different contexts (like the symbol x).
I have no clue how this could be formalized, though. Also it may be I'm just
interpreting some inconsistency that is not there due to my lack of

Such problem are usually handled in an analysis course.

Bruno Marchal wrote:

It might lead to a language that is too
difficult, too little flexible and too much restricting for almost all

Not really. Formal can be very flexible, like the programming
languages, but natural language are "naturally" self-transforming, and
have to adapt.
Yes, I meant flexible in the latter sense of transforming and adapting.

OK. Once you accept arbitrary self-transformation, the distinction between formal and non formal becomes relative.

Bruno Marchal wrote:

I'm not sure, either, if it is - even just in science - always a good
approach to try to find mistakes.
Maybe there are none and we never really
know and trying to do will lead nowhere or there always some
mistakes and
trying to eliminate them will just spawn new ones. Maybe both are
true in
some way.

Mistakes are what make us progress. Beware the fatal mistake, like
flying a plane with a bug in the altimeter.
Right, though some times we have to trust in order to not waste time
controlling everything for the billionth time. Therefore I believe we can
not make it the top priority to find mistakes.


Bruno Marchal wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:

3=7 may mean that there are 3 objects that are 7
objects which might be interpreted as aserting the existence of
example) 7*1, 7*2 and 7*3.

Logicians and mathematicians are more simple minded than that,
and it
does not always help to be understood.
If you allow circles with edges, and triangles with four sides in
Platonia, we will loose any hope of understanding each other.
I don't think we have "disallow" circles with edges, and triangles
with four
sides; it is enough if we keep in mind that it is useful to use
words in a
sense that is commonly understood.

That is why I limit myself for the TOE to natural numbers and their
addition and multiplication.
The reason is that it is enough, by comp, and nobody (except perhaps
some philosophers) have any problem with that.
I'm not so sure about this. There seem to be many people who have a
with numbers, especially with ascribing existence to them (even if
it seems
obvious to you) - not just "some philosophers".

People having problem with numbers have been victim of a traumatic
teaching of math.
The philosophical question of the existence of any thing, except
consciousness here and now, is desperately complex.
Right, after all every question can be formulated as an problem of
determining existence ("Does there is exist a solution for the problem


Bruno Marchal wrote:

That is why I like comp, because it allows (and forces) to derive the
psychological existence, the theological existence, the physical,
existence, and the sensible existence from the classical existence of
numbers, which is simple by definition, if you agree with the use of
classical logic in number theory.
Honestly I still have doubts about this. The reason is that there is always the implicit axiom "I am conscious." (for example a bit more explicit in
"Yes, Doctor"), which is incredibly general.

The statement "I am conscious" is not just general. It cannot be formalized at all, and is not part of any scientific discourse (as opposed to the sentence "I am conscious"). But saying that my consciousness is invariant for a transformation (like "yes doctor") is not so much general. It is a highly non trivial act of faith capable of deciding eventually between Aristotle, and Plato.

I am not sure that if we take
"I am conscious" as axiom,

I don't do that.

we can say we derived the existence of any mental
state from arithmetics, because we may simply derive what we already know: "I am conscious" (or "I have an unspecified but existent mental state").

"Yes doctor" is NOT I am conscious. It is more "I bet I will remain fine and well with my new artificial brain. And the consequence are not trivial. It begins by indeterminacy and end with immateriality, and the idea that the laws of physics have a reason (indeed an arithmetical reason).

After all we can not say we derived the existence of number 1 by saying 3-2=1, because we had to assume one at the beginning, to make sense of 3 and

It depends of the theory chosen.

But maybe I don't get a crucial thing.

Digital Mechanism is not a trivial hypothesis. It contradicts the part of the theology of Aristotle used by most believers and non believers since 1500 years. (To be short).

Bruno Marchal wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:

I think it is a bit authoritarian to disallow some statements as

I feel it is better to think of truth as everything describable or
experiencable; and then we differ between truth as non-falsehood and
trivial truth of falsehoods.
It avoids that we have to fight wars between truth and falsehood.
swallows everything up. If somebody says something ridiculous like
"All non
christian people go to hell.", we acknowledge that expresses some
about what he feels and believes, instead of only seeing that what
he says
is false.

This is a diplomatic error. Doing that will end up with everyone
war to you.
There is definitely some truth in that. Many people don't like lack of
opposition, or even interpret too much agreement as a kind of
opposition. I
experienced this quite a few times.

Like when Alice said that mustard is not a bird, and the duchess said
'you are so right', and Alice said she thinks mustard is a mineral,
and the duchess daid "of course it is", and Alice add "oh I know it is
a vegetable" and then duchess still agree, and on and on ...
Yes, disagreeing is needed to communicate anything. But so is agreeing, I
would argue.

Sure. There is a need for a good balance, to make things profitable.

Bruno Marchal wrote:

I don't have the experience that "everyone" is doing war to me, when
I am
very much inclusive in what I believe to be true (or good). Some
especially those holding unconventional beliefs, will appreciate your
You will not have the masses or authorities behind you, though (they
people reiterating their beliefs in strong and authoritative
manner). But
neither do I want to. Well, maybe in some way I would like to, but
then I
would probably fall into the trap of authoritarianism myself. There
seems to
be inherent tension between being believed in and not being

Not really. Authoritative argument are symptoms of lies or bad faith.
If you trust truth (which is hard given that it is unknown) you fear
The problem is that we either formulate total modesty (or rather we get as close as we can about it and say "I really don't know so I better don't pose any possibility that might influence you in what you think is right" or better "..." ) or we pose some truth to be the truth; and as soon as we do
this, some might take us to be an authority.

That is why in (ideal) Science we never do that. We just never posit something as being true. We posit things, and if you don't like them, you can always propose another theory. Scientist pretending that we know things, per science, are philosophers confusing pseudo-religion with science. That's human weakness, not science weakness.

We don't necessarily decide if
we want to be an authority. You don't have to say "I am right and you have to obey me", we may say "Everything is fine and you can't do anything wrong and you don't have to do anything" (like some spiritual teachers do) and
thus prevent personal progress, because there are seen as authorities.

We can follows authorities, although we are the only judge to evaluate if they are authorities. In science, authorities never use authoritative arguments. The media and bad popularization book does that all the time, but they are deeply wrong. They fall in pseudo- religion. It is very important to distinguish "authority" and "authoritative argument". The first are appreciable, the second are perverse in all situations. When authoritative argument are used for the bad cause, it leads to the possible good. When authoritative argument are used for the good cause, it leads to the very bad. Why? Because authoritative argument kills its cause. When the cause is bad, it kills the bad, which is good, and when the cause is good, it kills the good, which is bad.

Authorities never uses authoritative arguments.

Bruno Marchal wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:

It is far too much "politically correct'.

I don't think I am politically correct.
Saying that the state or conventional religion is harmful (or just
superfluous) - like I do sometimes - will lead you into much
opposition (the
second not so much in my particular environment).
I am not saying we shouldn't disagree (even vehemently). We may
but at the same time realize that there is some truth to what is
being said
by the other party. I agree, though, that it is a hard line to walk
disagreeing too much and agreeing to much. Most confusingly sometimes
agreeing to much might seem like disagreeing (with disagreeing) too

Yes. This can be contingent, but religion is the best thing in the
world until the power steals it. This lead to unending confusion and
suffering, and "religion" is made into the worst thing, *especially*
that some truth remains.

I think religion, that is your relation with truth, is eminently
private, and that no one can tell what you need to believe in, unless
your belief harm others.
I would very much like to agree. But unfortunately "harming others" is an
relative and personal term itself.

I am not sure about that. This form of relativism is a way to escape our responsabilities. So we can continue to sell guns, alcohol, etc.

Probably christians  believe they are
right in trying to muzzle atheists, because in their mind they are doing
incredible harm (they send people into hell for gods sake!). And they
*really* don't know better.

We have the choice: to eat or to be eaten. To eat is good, to be eaten is (usually) bad. To suggest that someone can go in hell because he does not believe, or take for granted, the last theory in fashion, is terrorism.

Ultimately I think no one can tell anyone what to believe in...


This is not
a statement of "should" or "should not", but a statement about reality.
Reality does what reality does.

Ah! That looks like 1 = 1. I do agree very much.

And honestly - even if I am careful to whom
I communicate this - I think it ultimately will be seen to be the best
thing, regardless what it is. Otherwise reality would have a sort of mistake built in that seems totally senseless. And if this is true we really could
believe everything about this world (if it there are totally senseless
things ins this world, maybe one of them is that God does indeed sent many
people to hell forever!).

Yes. And may be God send all the Christians to hell. You are a bit too vague. Of course the idea "give me money or I can assure you that God will send you to hell" is a very clever idea, in the world of the bandits. This is no better than saying that cannabis is bad for the health, to sell you expensive addictive unhealthy product at his place. A better idea consists in trying to figure out what can be the most plausible truth. It is not so hard to guess it, but it might be hard to communicate it.

Bruno Marchal wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:

Of course, when someone genuinely says that all "non christian people
go to hell", there are many possible "truth" behind the statement,
like "F..ck the atheists", "F..ck the agnostics", "I hate you", "you
have to obey to what I say", "You don't belong to my club", etc.
Or "I believe there will be justice and non-Christian people are
evil and thus have to go to hell for justice to prevail, even if I
like it" or "I believe what I have been told, because I cannot
believe only
what I see myself".

Yes. Lack of self-confidence. It is the children philosophy: p is true
because my father said so. It should no be used in the academy, I
think. It can be useful in the army, or with the fire men, when quick
decision have to be made. For poliltics, it is already much more
The problem is that we can totally doubt everything everyone says.

That's extreme relativism. But we can doubt a lot, and that is a reason to find a common solid base, like with elementary arithmetic, or even part of physics.

So we are
somewhere in the continuum between "believing everything everybody says" and "believing nothing anybody says". How can we now what is the right point to
stand on?

By listening to music, doing mathematics, smoking psychedelics or doing sports perhaps, and encouraging free personal thinking, with exercises (not with "beautiful ideas"). That's a bit like the greeks did in science, and like we continue to do in the natural science (only, alas). We have to fight, or defend ourself, against all form of authoritative arguments. That's all.
Not against authorities, against authoritative arguments.
Perhaps we should make them illegal when used against someone being more than 7 years old. With the little children, I have no ideas. It is too much complex. I trust the mother's intuition and love.

Bruno Marchal wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:

On the contrary, when you want to make a point, especially a new one, it is far better to respect the truth of your opponents, but then you have to distill what you and your opponent agree on. In science this
works very well in theory (in practice we have often the obligation
wait that the opponent dies).
"On the contrary"? What you wrote seems to be a confirmation of
that there is truth in other people beliefs.

Because then you can extract the partial truth on which you agree, but this asks for accepting there is a part where we disagree. There is no
shame in that, and in absence of convincing argument, we have to know
we don't know the truth. The genuine respect comes from the genuine or
sincere doubting.
Yes. I wanted to point to the synthesis of agreement and disagreement, not
to the substitution of agreement for disagreement!


Bruno Marchal wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:

I believe the only way we can learn to understand each other is if
acknowledge the truth in every utterance.

That is extreme relativism, and makes truth so trivial that it lost
its meaning.
I think truth is a naturally very relative notion, today it might be
that "it rains today" on Monday and it might be false on Tuesday.

That might be absolute truth disguised into indexical statement. "It
rains today" is "it rains the 23 february 2011" uttered the 23
february 2011.
Okay, but then it is plausible to say relative truth is absolute truth.
Which again leads to truth being a relative notion.

If you make *all* truth relative, then you will contradict yourself at some point. Descartes saw this, I think. Truth is not a relative notion, but all relation that we can have with truth will be relative, except perhaps one (consciousness).

Bruno Marchal wrote:

It might
be true that x=3 in some context and in some other x=4.

And given that Leibniz convinced us that two quantities (3 and 4)
equals to some other (x) are equal to each other, we can derive that 3
= 4.
Come on, x is a variable. Variables variate. You were obliged to
mention the context. This does not relativize truth. It just motivates
us for the study of functions and all that.
I don't know. Maybe truth is like X. Sure, in a weak sense it has absolute
existence (some x does exist), but it's expression takes place in an
infinite number of relative contexts.

That is why we search (and found) deductive rules which are valid independently of the context.
First order logic is such a frame.

It seems to me that the more we discover, we more discover the relativity of everything (think of Einstein - the relativity of time and space -, quantum theory - the relativity of physical existence and non-existence - or Gödel -
the relativity of provability).
The absolute seems to remain only as the fact of existence of infinite

Yes. And in the comp theory, the relativity in physics is a special case of the relativity in number theory, which has the advantage of putting physical "relativities" on a very solid base (elementary arithmetic).

Bruno Marchal wrote:

But paradoxically it seems like an absolute notion, too. There
really seems
to be an absolute truth regardless of circumstances.
So I am an extreme relativist, but also an absolutist.

Doubt can rise only from at least a certainty, like consciousness.
Right, but this certainty might be a really really weak one. We are certain that we are conscious, but in non-lucid dreams we experience how weak the
sense of being conscious can be.

I don't think so. Why? We might only experience how weak our belief in some reality can be, but not on the reality of our consciousness.

It seems to be almost a paradox: There is
no experience of unconsciousness but plausibly almost unconsciousness.

I doubt "unconsciousness" has a clear meaning. Like infinite, the "unconscious" can be a too large concept, so that its informal use might lead to abuse of language if not contradiction.

Bruno Marchal wrote:

It's the same with triviality. Truth is trivial, it simply is true
and it is
hard to say anymore about it that is surely true. On the other hand,
highly non-trivial, as seen in this non-trivial world; there seem to
infinite structures in or of truth.

Logic makes that clear. Some truth are trivial (like "p -> p", or "p & q -> p", or "0 = 0"), but the notion of truth itself is so complex and
non trivial that there is no arithmetical predicate for just
arithmetical truth. Truth is as trivial as God! It has no description.
Or it has every description!

It has none. You can go from none, to an arbitrary one. Neither about truth, nor about God.

It might be too trivial to express in
arithmetics, not too complex.

Well that "1+1 = 2" is true is easily expressible in arithmetic, basically by "1+1=2". That is the "p" I used in the hypostases. What cannot be defined is a truth predicate, so that truth('p') would be provably equivalent with p. If you do that, you make the Epimenides paradox into a contradiction. That's Tarski's discovery. It entails that no machine can be both arithmetically sound and capable of defining its own truth predicate, nor can such a machine define its own notion of knowledge (accepting the classical theory of knowledge).

Bruno Marchal wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:

I don't think the omnipotence paradox is problematic, also. It
simply shows
that omnipotence is nothing that can be properly conceived of
classical logic. We may assume omnipotence and non-omnipotence are compatible; omnipotence encompasses non-omnipotence and is on some
equivalent to it.
For example: The omnipotent God can make a stone that is too heavy
for him
to lift, because God can manifest as a person (that's still God,
non-omnipotent omnipotent one) that cannot lift the stone.

That makes the term "omnipotent" trivial. You can quickly be lead
give any meaning to any sentence.
Well I think this makes sense on some level. Language is symbols
that are
interpreted. There is no absolute rule how to interpret them, so we
interpret everything in it (but we don't have to!).

We can do poetry. But if you allow this practice in science
theology) you will just prevent progresses.
I don't think science has to defend itself against something by
something; it follows simply from what we understand as science that
doesn’t include poetry in the usual sense.

You are quite optimistic here. If you were correct on this, I think
human science would be much more human. We would practice harm
reduction since a much longer time, and cannabis would never have been
made illegal (not even a second).
Poetry and art are not a problem, but rhetoric and sophistry is.
Maybe it has its important place. Why would it be there, else?

To make money by selling fears to gullible people. Notably. It has the same role as the devil, evil, and eventually the jaws of the lion. It has its role, but we have to protect ourselves against it.

Bruno Marchal wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:

Language are interpreted plausibly by universal machine (brains,
bodies). The interpretation have to follow constraints to be
But if there are no constraints they can follow constraints.

It's similar to the omnipotence paradox. If there are no constraints it need
not be a constraint that there are no constraints.

Worst than that. It needs to be not-a-constraint, but it *is* a constraint. The omnipotence paradox just shows that omnipotence does not exist. I would say. "Omnipotence" still exist as a concept, but that is different: a concept can exist without being capable of any instantiation in any possible world.

Bruno Marchal wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:

In most cases it is most useful to interpret some quite specific
into a sentence (if you don't want to act madly), but as we use more
and vague terms there are more and more ways to interpret what is

I think that humans suffering is in great part due to a feeling that in religion and in human affair we have to let people believe in what
they want to believe. We just tolerate superstition.
I disagree very much with that.
I think tolerating superstition is important. Otherwise we are just
authoritarian. If people can't believe what they want to believe,
they will
have to believe what you want them to believe - everybody needs to
What would you do with superstition, if not tolerate it? If you don’t
tolerate superstition you can’t tolerate superstitious people. And
this will
lead to great disaster of leaders imposing their superstitions on
people. Because the leaders will not be aware they are being
They believe especially strongly that they are in possession of the

Oh! I can tolerate superstition, unless they harm people (me, but also
Ok, this is a much more complex question. It is really hard to decide what
to tolerate and what not, and in what way to not tolerate (can we kill

In case of immediate legitimate self-defense. Perhaps.

Bruno Marchal wrote:

To give a cruel example, if you are not to much sensible, look at this:

This is just awful. It is so hard to imagine why it could be necessary that
such acts are done.

They believe that burying children alive can help the gods to make a good harvest possible, so that more children can eat.
Human history is full of drama of this kind, favored by superstition.
We can't fight against that, but we can promote values by examples, if we can.
Placebo can work, but I would distinguish it from superstition.

Bruno Marchal wrote:

I don't say it is easy to fight them, but I think we have to fight
them. It makes the fear of some people harmful to themselves and to
the others. It also put pseudo magical marmalade on top of mystery,
hiding the fundamental questions and the deeper mystery to people.
Yes, but fighting is maybe best fighting in a very peaceful manner, like Gandhi. I don't know. It just seems to me we can not use force to overcome

Here I totally agree with you, and when I said "fight" I should have added without imposing our views, because this would only aggravates the situation. Sure. Force is for self-defense, not for convincing people of anything.

Bruno Marchal wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:

But that it is impractical to speak in a in an incomprehensible way
can be
reconciled with that it still makes sense on some level.

Of course.
Well, that was my point.

Bruno Marchal wrote:

But that is the reason that we should avoid going to that
So we should avoid about talking truth in the seemingly

OK, let me tell you the truth once and for all:   thu ioplokio
kjy7n'k, but but isnasmich ty(6,iolopik, no?
It is a good example of a sentence that is supposed to be incomprehensible,
but has a quite clear message: "I'm trying to say something you don't
understand." - which is easier to understand then many other things you say,

That is not correct. The correct meaning was "When will you stop to cut the air, my friend?"
Sorry for not having been clear.

Bruno Marchal wrote:

Honestly it seems that would lead to disregarding truth we simply do
understand, which is not good.

uityju778, thryunbvazo^lo-iolopik, ##@jolopik#
I don't disregard this. You want to show me "Don't interpret too much where there is plausibly not much there, like in this sentence". It is a very useful statement. I am indeed prone to do what you just communicated ;). It *might* be that some entity residing in your head (beside your usual self) wants to communicate trough your "nonsense". But it might be better to
not think of such things, or at least to take a good distance from it.

Not always. I love nonsense. But it is fair sometimes to say "and now we do fiction", or "this was a joke". Or to use some "smiley" (although some people can interpret directly a smiley as a mockery).

Bruno Marchal wrote:

I don't think we need to be afraid of any level.
If we avoid this level we will exclude persons from society that
speak in a
way that is hardly comprehensible, for example schizophrenics (I
know one).

This is different. As we might feel some empathy for some person or
group, we can *try* to understand. But we are not obliged to make
sense. You might ended like the duchess. Someone tells her
"thryunbvazo^lo-iolopik, ##", and she will tell you "Oh, you are so
right, my dear".
You seem to like the word "iolopik". Maybe it conveys some deep truth, maybe it is more connected to the way the letters are arranged on your keyboard,
maybe both. ;)

No. It means "my friend". "iolopy" means friend, iolopik means "my friend", on an imaginary planet, gravitating around an imaginary sun, in an imaginary galaxy, in an imaginary cluster of galaxies, in an imaginary branch of an imaginary solution of Schroedinger equation, if that exists.

Bruno Marchal wrote:

Among them it is quite common that they talk a way that is hard to

*That* is the problem.
Yep, but it can't be solved by avoiding to make sense of them.

I am not sure. We can learn by finding sense, but also by discarding sense.

Bruno Marchal wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:

If you approach that level, you can please everyone for a time
but soon enough, everyone will disagree and feel betrayed.
I am not saying we should pretend to not disagree if we do disagree.
But we
still can appreciate some underlying truth in every utterance.

Once people genuinely engage a discussion, they appreciate the truth
of mutual respect and mind opening.
A conversation where people agree is quickly boring. Disagreement is
the salt and pimento of the rich conversation.
What is not nice is *systematic* disagreement, or *systematic*
agreement (unless you are a dictator or something).

There are two very bad sort of parents. Those who say always "yes" to
their children, and those who say always "no".
I agree...

...how boring!
I disagree. Wait, but then I agree that we should disagree. So I agree.

Ugh, whatever.


Bruno Marchal wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:

The case of salvia divinorum is particularly interesting with respect
to your question.
I had some experience with salvia. It is an interesting herb. One of
most interesting entheogens it seems.
My experiences were a bit disappointing, though. I tried maybe 10
first with minuscule amounts (that didn’t do anything at all), then
with as
much of 30x extract as I was able to take in. I was sometimes giggly,
relaxed, confused or physically uncomfortable. I had the feeling of
belonging into another (quiet strange) place, or being (slightly)
and mentally pulled into another realm. During some tries I was
making movements or repeating syllables/words. During another try if
like I was dying during each moment of experience. But none of these
experiences were really profound.

Try 15X, or perhaps the leaves. You have to be very patient, and
probably explore a bit more that "quiet strange" place, perhaps.
I meant "quite", but "quiet" fits to.

I meant "quite" to. Just a spelling mistake. Glad you find salvia quiet.

I'll probably won't try it again. It is not that I disliked the experiences or didn't find them interesting, but I am a bit worried on the effect those excursions might have on my psyche. As said, I'm prone to overpinterpreting
things (coincidences etc -  I had some very strange ones, but probably
everybody had), I feel psychedelics might exacerbate that. Salvia seems to be less problematic than shrooms or weed in this regard, but I think it is
better to be careful about this.

I am a bit sad about this, but well...

I agree that weed and psychedelic can encourage over-interpretation. It is not helpful when people have a psychotic tendency. I think also that salvia might be less problematic with that respect, but I am not entirely sure. It can depend of people, age, mindset, etc. Salvia is very "perturbating", but probably less so that quantum mechanics, computer science or mathematical logic ...

Bruno Marchal wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:

Many experiencers get a distinct feeling that they
got information that they are not supposed to know, or to memorize,
and still less to make public.
It is an interesting aspect of the experience. It is hard to judge
it is more than a feeling that is induced by the drug, or whether
there is
something more profound behind it.

Eventually the experience can be often described as an hallucination
that life is an hallucination. It is very amazing, and you learn about
the capacity of putting in doubt what you believe in the most.
Which might be very uncomfortable or even dangerous at times.

Very uncomfortable yes.
Dangerous? I am not sure. Unless you handle heavy machinery, drive a car, etc. But this makes no sense with salvia.

If you are
lead to doubt everything you might tend to consider arbitrary things to be
true, because you can not - psychologically - doubt everything.
Ultimately doubting everything might lead our perceptions to becoming
inaccurate, because our internal models of the world (that are necessary to function normally) are fundamentally questioned beyond just intellectual
I experienced this (though thankfully I don't hallucinate when being sober
like some psychotic people do).

When, under psychoactive substance, people needs to be not too much naive. That is why it is not for the children. But even for very young people, I think salvia is far less dangerous than alcohol, and that we could save many lives by daring to tell parents about this.

Maybe the salvia reality is some emergency reality that emerges when the usual models of reality are doubted (even our very deep indentity patterns). The secret truth might be "doubt everything" and it might be kept secret for important reasons, because it might only be locally true in an environment where things are very unbelievable and should be doubted almost universally (eg salvia land) - and might lead to destruction of the local person if it is too much remembered. Maybe you would go so terribly insane that you would
make the rest of the world go insane too (by downloading very very
convincing, yet extremely false arguments, from the salvia realm - which is crazy enough to generate such arguments), and thus make the world a dream like world full of white rabbit generating "Gods", which would explain why
you don't seem to go insane in our local world :D. Dreams and drug
experiences might be the tool to include / distribute such white rabbit
worlds (or pieces thereof) in our more consistent world.

That's what do movies, and art in general. Just that with some substance you can trig your brain doing the work for you, like with sleep. The rest will depend on many factors. American kids don't like salvia, but they love to film their friends under it and send the movie to YouTube. And then I find *this* very interesting, both on salvia and on humans. Many salvia intakes are done in the worst recommendable ways, and the worst which happens, rarely, are some bruises and nightmarish feeling which does not last long. It is the problem with salvia, we don't really remember the key part of the experiences. It is of interest for "metaphysicians" and "theologians". Loving salvia = loving the *very* deep questions, I would say.

Also heaven and hell (not in the christian sense of course) and
reincarnation might be emergency realities that are there as a
semi-consistent bridge to more consistent histories (maybe some advanced
technological future, where we can learn to locally manifest through
development and with the help of computers and live forever in a more
plausible way than in salvia land or heaven).

Just some speculation - I guess I'm wildly creative today ;).

If mechanism is true, we can say that we are plausibly already in the 'matrix'. No need to wait for an advanced technological future, we are already there. I don't know if mechanism is true, but the 'matrix' has a well defined structure which might be studied.

Bruno Marchal wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:

You are not supposed to remember "heaven", because ..., well, because
if comp is correct, that kind of information belongs to G* minus G.
is true but unbelievable, incommunicable. So, to make them public,
makes no sense.
It conflicts I bit with the observation that seemingly many of the
having an awakening / enlightenment experience try to convey what they

I guess this is due to half or partial enlightenment. The real guru
might be your taxes inspector, or the taxi driver, you will never
know. Above some threshold of such experience you know it makes no
sense to try to share.
It is "almost" obvious: once you meet God (assuming it exists), you
can trust Him or She or That concerning the others, accepting some
usual attribute of God. You can guess somehow that "he" does not need
you to convey anything.
Do you think it is plausible that there is "absolute" enlightenment? It
seems extremely akward to me.
It might be more true that we all are enlightened all the time, and there are degrees heightened self-awareness that are interpreted as enlightenment.

It is a very complex subject. The word "enlightenment" is very fuzzy, and can have already many different nuances among the same school of buddhism, so it is hard to be precise. In that sense, the expression "absolute enlightenment" might just be an example of 1004 fallacy. I might answer "Do you mean really 'real absolute enlightenment', or what?". If we are machine, we cannot communicate that we are consistent, and we cannot express that we are sound. We might be able to prove that any machine pretending to be enlightened is mistaken about this, perhaps, but I doubt that "enlightenment" can be expressed. It is an experience of consciousness usually described as non describable, and ineffable. Just talking about it can lead to contradiction. The shorter description of enlightenment is the realisation that "I = GOD", but the two words around "=" are not really describable.

This reminds me Damascius' theory of the ONE. The ONE, explains Damascius, is so ineffable that even just one sentence about it will completely miss the point. Oops.



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