On 07 Nov 2011, at 21:02, benjayk wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:

But if you realize that there has never been a person to begin with,

But this contradicts immediately my present consciousness feeling. I
am currently in the state of wanting to drink water, so I am pretty
sure that there exist right now at least one person, which is the one
who wants to drink water. I might be able to conceive that such a
person is deluded on the *content* of that experience (may be he
really want to smoke a cigarette instead), but in that case a person
still remains: the one who is deluded.

Why does there have to be a person in order for there to be experience?

An experience is always an experience of someone, or some ONE.

there is a feeling of wanting to drink water, this only shows that there is a feeling of wanting to drink water and the ability to experience that.

I use the term "person" in a large sense. All living creature are person (perhaps the same).
Wanting, feeling, and drinking are lived personal experiences.

But why would that ability to experience be equivalent to personhood? It rather seems it is something that transcends persons, as it is shared by different people, and can occur in the absence of experience of personality,
like you yourself experienced during meditative states.

As far as I can communicate the experience, it has been lived by a person, it seems to me.

This might just be a vocabulary issue, but why would one call something that is beyond body, rational mind, individuality, etc... a person? You might say
what is most essential to a person is her experience, and here I would
agree, but it seems a step to far to identify person and experience.

The experience is not a person, but is experienced by a person. A person is almost definable by the subject of the experience. It is not necessarily a terrestrial ego, a human person, an individual with a body, etc. usually I tend to identify a person with a first person. A third person describable body can only be a pointer to some person.
Universal numbers are person's relative bodies.

I would rather call this consciousness.

Indeed I agree with Dan that it is quite accurate to say that there is no person in the sense that experience is not personal, it doesn't "belong" to
anyone (but it is very intimate with itself nontheless).

I think we only fear the elimination of personhood because we confuse being
conscious as an ego with being conscious.

I see this as the confusion between the little ego and the "higher self". The first one is a person which identifies itself with the body and memories, the second one identifies itself with its source. By doing so, it dissociate himself with every contingent realities.

We somehow think that if we in the
state of feeling to be a seperate individual cease to exist, we as conscious
beings cease to exist, which is simply not true.

I agree with you. I just call "person" the conscious being.

Probably we are just so
used to that state of consciousness, that we can't conceive of consciousness
in another state than that.


It is just a big change of perspective, and we fear that as we fear the
unknown in general.

Yes. It is the same type of fear than the fear of freedom, and of knowledge. It is also the root of the fear of other people. There is also a fear that an understanding of the mystery would make the world into a very cold and inhuman place, but this comes from some reductionist idea on the mystery itself. Some people also fears that if the other cease to fear the Unknown, they will become non controllable (which is partially true). Some religion insists that we have to fear God, like some parents, and teachers, confuse fear and respect.



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