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A pragmatic approach: What is "real", and when is it actually useful to ask this? Options
 
Aetherius Rimor
#61 Posted : 12/19/2011 8:38:57 PM
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My interpretation of the wrods:

What's "real" is anything consistently following a set of rules in which some branch of science attempts to explain through scientific method.

Reality's definition, is the perceptual interpretation of the universe a sensor or conscious being exists in, such that if the internal workings of a sensors/conscious being is unmodified, and input data received by it is unmodified, the same interpretation is given consistently.

Example: A scale which suffered no entropic loss of calibration, will return identical readings each time it weighed the same object.

"Normal" Reality is the consistent perception and interpretation of the world/universe around us, as perceived by A) Majority of humans, B) Confirmable by mechanical sensors devices.

Example: Full inner workings of the brain is a mystery, some people probably do see auras, ghosts, etc; and if two people have identical brains, both would see them. However, until a mechanical sensor can also observe these perceptions in a consistent/verifiable manner, then to me they are not a part of normal reality; and if they are not consistent given the same inputs, then they are not real. However those inputs could be varied. Hypothetical rationalization for auras, being a part of the brain that takes the emotions you believe an object/person to have, and modifies the visual interpretation of it to make it more apparent. The aura is then real, just not representing light, but a belief you hold.

Hyperspace is a real "experience". It's a consistent perceptual phenomenon that has a set of rules deeply nestled in neuroscience/biochemistry. However it is not a part of "Normal Reality" according to my definition. The visual/audio I would not consider real though. When your eyes are closed, and no changes in lighting occur or sound occur, what you perceive still changes. Input data is consistent (back of your eyelids/silence), but the interpretation changes, proving it's not real. Continuing with previous example of "Real Auras" though, these could be something that's real, just not easily discernible what manner of synesthesia it is.

Alternative "realities" are simply a different perceptual interpretation of reality governed by a different ruleset, due to a change in the inner workings of the sensor.

Example: It was night, and I was in my truck using the AC at a campout once while on LSD. I opened up my phone to write something, and the entire car lit up like someone was coming up behind me with lights on. Turn around, nothing. Close phone, car is dark. Open phone, car lights up. After repeating this several times to ensure it, I determined that my visual perception of the light emitted from the phone was being blurred and applied throughout my entire field of vision.

The perception/interpretation of the universe was consistent. When the input change from State A, I perceived Perception A, when the input changed to State B, my perception changed to State B.

So it was reality... just not a normal one.
 

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Hyperspace Fool
#62 Posted : 12/19/2011 10:12:05 PM

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Aetherius Rimor wrote:
My interpretation of the wrods:

What's "real" is anything consistently following a set of rules in which some branch of science attempts to explain through scientific method.

Reality's definition, is the perceptual interpretation of the universe a sensor or conscious being exists in, such that if the internal workings of a sensors/conscious being is unmodified, and input data received by it is unmodified, the same interpretation is given consistently.
***********
"Normal" Reality is the consistent perception and interpretation of the world/universe around us, as perceived by A) Majority of humans, B) Confirmable by mechanical sensors devices.
***********
Alternative "realities" are simply a different perceptual interpretation of reality governed by a different ruleset, due to a change in the inner workings of the sensor.

I think your definitions of reality are a bit close to the vest and anthropocentric.

Are you suggesting that there is no reality outside of human perception... or the current state of our dark ages technology?

By your reasoning, x-rays & infra red light weren't real until we invented machines that could perceive them?

We know that other animals can see and hear things we do not... were not ultrasonic waves real enough for dogs while still being unexplained by the science of a few hundred years back? Could it not be the same for auras and the like?

Who is to say that our perceptions are wholly the result of the configuration of our brains?

How can we leap to your conclusion that our sensors are modulated when we perceive things outside of the paltry range of average human perception? Our pathetic 5 external senses only process such a limited and narrow range of the waveforms we know exist around us... what makes us think that the machines we have today can perceive all the totallity of the rest? I say we can not assume that.

The vast majority of our Universe is comprised of Dark Energy & Dark Matter that we have no sense of whatsoever. We don't even know where to begin to look. At the moment, we only can perceive certain things by their affect on the things we do perceieve... indirectly. And even then, it is possible that the things being indirectly affected are also outside of our tiny range of perception.

When you consider that normal people use such a tiny fraction of their brain's potential, and are only aware of the tiny fraction of that which is conscious (as opposed to the sub or unconscious)... and then tack on the reality that we are swamped in a sea of tangible perceptual data that we either ignore, or are simply unable to ascertain... and you will see that your definition of reality is rather incomplete.

How can we claim to be the arbiters of reality when we are aware of less than 1% of what we know exists... let alone the parts we don't. Is an unconscious urge any less real because we can not directly perceive or work with it?

Our science is better than it was in centuries past, and improving daily... but you have too much faith in it if you think that its conclusions and technological sensors (as they exist today) comprise all of what we experience as reality.

And let's not even get into the vast infinite realms that lie completely outside our abilities to even try and sense... such as the upper dimensions of string theory.


"Curiouser and curiouser..." ~ Alice

"Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it." ~ Buddha
 
Aetherius Rimor
#63 Posted : 12/19/2011 10:34:13 PM
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Hyperspace Fool wrote:

Are you suggesting that there is no reality outside of human perception... or the current state of our dark ages technology?

By your reasoning, x-rays & infra red light weren't real until we invented machines that could perceive them?

We know that other animals can see and hear things we do not... were not ultrasonic waves real enough for dogs while still being unexplained by the science of a few hundred years back? Could it not be the same for auras and the like?


X-Ray's infra red lights, etc, are examples of "Real things (sensors capable of detecting them, do so consistently and reliably)".

My definition of reality is only the perception/interpretation of sensory input from "real things".

"Normal" reality, is just a consensus based on the perceptions the majority of humans agree upon. If down the line, the majority of humans perceive auras based on emotional feelings towards an object/person, then that will be part of "Normal" reality, and is based on a "real thing" (an emotion being a perception of the hormones/neurons communicating in certain patterns in the brain).

Real things can be objectively measured (emotions such as fear could be measured by levels of adrenaline/other fight/flight hormones). The perceptual interpretation of that measurement is entirely subjective and constitutes what I consider reality.

When I'm on LSD, my brain is attempting to use it's sensory system's measurement outputs and recognize the patterns/discrepencies between LSD Reality and Normal Reality to determine what a perception in LSD Reality correlates to in Normal (or my very specific version of it) Reality, so I can respond appropriately (as we're evolved socially/genetically to respond to Normal Reality).

In my anecdotal experience, those who prefer psychedelics the most, have one of two traits. A superior pattern recognition/logic processing ability, or the reality they live in daily is already different enough from the "Normal" reality most of our species has agreed upon, so they are more able to adapt to the experience and enjoy themselves.

I'm bi-polar, and years before I even tried any psychoactive drug (other than prescribed), I'd stopped taking my medication and worked very hard at self-discipline to determine which mental state I was in so that I could realign my subjective interpretation of the world to be more normalized and less mood-shifty.

I credit that, and my pattern recognition/logic abilities to the reason I am generally quite capable of carrying on my day to day routine, work, socialize, maintain physical security etc, even when I have a very altered mental state. That and everything's not boring/monotonous anymore so it's quite entertaining.

Just takes a lot more mental work to function normally. I explain to gamers that LSD is like reality on hard mode.

Side note: I believe each species also has it's own "Normal" reality, based on it's sensory abilities. A scale also has it's own reality... just a 1 dimensional (array of variables) reality consisting only of weight or gravity.

Ours, is just an extrodinarily high dimensional (array of variables) reality. Vision alone is a composite of all the different wave lengths of light detected. Oh, I'm colorblind too. Purple doesn't exist in my reality for instance. I know it's real, and if it weren't part of "Normal" reality, it would be just as arbitrary to me as X-Ray/Infrared.

TLDR: Reality is the subjective interpretation of what's real and what isn't, and is based on data observed from real things.
 
MMPA
#64 Posted : 5/19/2012 1:27:07 AM

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This was very nice. In summary, I interpreted this whole thing as:

-Questioning reality may not be important, especially if doing so brings about zero benefit.
 
wingchun
#65 Posted : 7/11/2012 1:24:18 PM

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Great thread - I'll throw my two bob's worth in....
It's a tangent series of questions that might offer another perspective

How to define real...? Seems the key to the whole puzzle....

Does Real mean made of matter and/or energy ?
(ie Real things are those found within the current 'scientific'
world view, objective data, physics and the standard model)

Why only these two "domains" What about information / mind / the observer?
Perhaps the bigger reality has 3 domains: information / matter / energy.

So perhaps spice permits human consciouness to experience 3Domain reality
for a moment, where the information built into our reality is apparent / percievable - perhaps even malleable.

Perhaps the elves are actually made of pure information,
and thus are not matter / energy based entities.

We can't normally percieve the elves, because normal waking consciousness
is based upon streaming sensory based 4 Dimension reality data, (3 D + time)
rather than pure information (non-dimensionally generated?) data.

Therefore - the elves ARE NOT REAL if real = made of matter/energy
but equally true - the elves ARE REAL if real includes information.

I hope that was logical enough - as someone earlier claimed you could not
concieve of both being true and still be rational?

So is the content of your dreams real?
What if you dream of a pink unicorn eating blue mushrooms that talk?

What if you dream of flying a rocket to the moon? (or similar..)
Once upon a time - one of these dreams was not real, it was "nonsense"

Then information interacted with peoples brains and those brains
caused more matter/energy interactions, and the Apollo missions became
history. The dream becomes the real.

Perhaps information is the only thing that is real - the rest is derived?
(I think plato has been here first?.... ideas as prototypes for reality?)

Makes me wonder - given all those highly advanced ideas that seemed
to seed the ionian culture so long ago - if they knew how to use spice?
Smile
 
polytrip
#66 Posted : 7/11/2012 2:32:54 PM
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I think that the only thing that matters is consistency. If you define 'real' in a certain way, then you should stick to that definition for the length of the whole argument. When you use a certain definition of the word, and it is clear that you are using that definition, theoretically that would mean that all disagreements about stuff like elves could be solved neatly.
 
Hyperspace Fool
#67 Posted : 7/11/2012 5:47:06 PM

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@wingchun

I agree with all you have said.

What you are calling a 3 domain approach is something I have talked about... albeit with different terminology perhaps.

My gut feeling is that mind/information precedes and supersedes the mater/energy structure (matter is merely a condensed form of energy after all e=mc² etc.).

MMPA wrote:
-Questioning reality may not be important, especially if doing so brings about zero benefit.


There are very few things you can do that bring zero benefit. Many that bring more headache than benefit, but philosophizing doesn't fit into that category. At the very least, it excercises your mind and clarifies what you really think about the weighty issues. IMHO it is almost always worth the time it takes to question reality... if only because it sets you up for some wicked lucid dreaming when you are in this habit.

As "real" applies to the discussion of hyperspace and elves, it is tempting to say it doesn't matter... but it actually does. And quite a bit I might add. Your feeling about the relative reality of those things has a huge effect on how you approach them, the kind of experiences you are able to have, and what you actually get out of your spice journeys. You can say that the experiences should be the same whatever you believe about them, but I find that not to be the case. It is much easier to bring back useful information and apply it in your life if you fundamentally believe that such experiences are valid and that you are able to access information that you aren't previously aware of while there.

Anyway, I'm not trying to revive a long dormant argument / thread. This is a topic that will never find any consensus.

It is a lot of fun to debate it though.
"Curiouser and curiouser..." ~ Alice

"Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it." ~ Buddha
 
hixidom
#68 Posted : 7/27/2012 6:03:27 AM
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Quote:
Solipsism is not falsifiable and completely uninteresting when trying to understand the world around you.


Couldn't help but notice that this is an appeal to consequences fallacy. "This is based on an appeal to emotion and is a form of logical fallacy, since the desirability of a consequence does not address the truth value of the premise."

Furthermore, the whole appeal to predictability point assumes that I care about knowledge and information. Sure I do most of the time, but in the depths of my most pleasant acid trip is a bliss that could only come from being at peace with not knowing and not wanting to know. A peace that I only get when I'm focussed on nothing but my experience of right now. Right now is my favorite experience, but the idea of predictability breaks down at right now because causality requires 2 points in time and right now is only one; Just one perfect point.

So if I'm trying to express anything, it's that your appeal to predictability assumes that knowledge is more important than happiness to me. I'll admit that it used to be when knowledge and happiness were one in the same thing, but at one point I was forced to choose between the two, and that's why we disagree now.
Every day I am thankful that I was introduced to psychedelic drugs.
 
edge2054
#69 Posted : 2/12/2014 9:21:51 PM

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I skimmed through this topic and was surprised to see no mention of Wittgenstein's solution to the problem of solipsism.

http://www.iep.utm.edu/solipsis/
 
empire
#70 Posted : 5/14/2014 11:12:02 PM

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i think noting is reel.. maybe placebo..
 
BundleflowerPower
#71 Posted : 1/1/2015 1:42:34 AM

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One can be certain that at this moment one exists, but one can't be certain that anyone else is real, or even that one was real just a moment ago. One may be creating a giant illusion.

In other words, you may simply be a brain in a vat. Or the entire universe could be a simulation.
 
gibran2
#72 Posted : 1/1/2015 3:46:28 PM

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BundleflowerPower wrote:
One can be certain that at this moment one exists, but one can't be certain that anyone else is real, or even that one was real just a moment ago. One may be creating a giant illusion.

In other words, you may simply be a brain in a vat. Or the entire universe could be a simulation.

You cannot be certain that at this moment you exist – you can only be certain that consciousness exists. Consciousness “suggests” that there is a “self”, but this suggestion is not a confirmation of one’s existence.

The analogy I like these days compares existence to reading a book: Although the characters in a novel may “come to life”, in fact they reside only in the mind of the reader. It’s possible that all of apparent existence is nothing more than the imaginings/daydreams of consciousness.
gibran2 is a fictional character. Any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental.
 
tatt
#73 Posted : 1/1/2015 5:05:23 PM
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gibran2 wrote:
BundleflowerPower wrote:
One can be certain that at this moment one exists, but one can't be certain that anyone else is real, or even that one was real just a moment ago. One may be creating a giant illusion.

In other words, you may simply be a brain in a vat. Or the entire universe could be a simulation.

You cannot be certain that at this moment you exist – you can only be certain that consciousness exists. Consciousness “suggests” that there is a “self”, but this suggestion is not a confirmation of one’s existence.

The analogy I like these days compares existence to reading a book: Although the characters in a novel may “come to life”, in fact they reside only in the mind of the reader. It’s possible that all of apparent existence is nothing more than the imaginings/daydreams of consciousness.


That last last little paragraph you wrote; powerful. Much of my life (especially after much of my DMT usage especially coming back from such experiences) feels like a story is unfolding, a story that ive been secretly telling myself, and quite possibly have been telling myself..forever; feeling like im the reader and whats being read, i am the story, yet im the reader also.

Sorry if this slightly detracted from the discussion; im done Very happy . Really appreciate your view on the matter Gibran. <3
 
BundleflowerPower
#74 Posted : 1/4/2015 2:40:55 PM

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I agree
 
PH0Man
#75 Posted : 8/4/2015 12:20:19 PM

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There seems to be a overwhelmingly large number of ideas as to what the psychedelic phenomenon, the trip, actually is. What is happening during a trip? Science of course roughly knows the mechanics of of it, but what is the experienced phenomenom? I personally believe it to be an internal phenomenon, but other than that don't know what to believe. I would be interesting to have a few more enlightened/experienced psychonauts give their opinions.

 
Koornut
#76 Posted : 12/18/2015 12:14:47 PM

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It must be a kind of spectrum of real-ness, the questions one asks are specific to the context of what brought about the question in the first place. The journey toward the question has weight, more weight than any superficial answers one might arrive at. The answer is just the point at which the question becomes irrelevant. The answer is already known, albiet in-communicable. But the shadows of the answers exist at the birth of the question, grasped from the ether in a desperate attempt to understand the truths and knowledge one has already tasted but not paid for. That payment is born by the the questionee, their answer; A confirmation or denial of the initial intuition of the questioner.

Inconsistency is in my nature.
The simple PHYLLODE tek

I'm just waiting for these bloody plants to grow
 
Old Crow
#77 Posted : 11/6/2016 6:25:16 AM

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I'm feeling a little pretentious posting here.. but it draws me too.

Like gravity... it is a different reality for a bird.

A cosmic star dies and it makes a statement... and it sits by the fire now becoming a huge part of what we all are....right?

I love to look at the stars at night, they light up my dreams, and the moon too. This is our planet.. the earth, what a place it is. And we have our very own.... Star.





A few open spaces left out of respect for what we are..

We have dreams from here, ground zero as I know it.. and we do so many other things too and make all these theories about what this con·scious·ness is.. it's nothing new to the stars.

And when I go flying into hyperspace it's all because of them, reminds me of them. There is also a place so. so.. internal, its what gives the stars a reason to come out at night.. and shine in their eyes.

What am I.. the witness. Hyperspace lights me up like the sun at times..like the stars must have wanted.. but what are we, really.

Particles of star dust with.. awareness... that's what we are, with a lot of space to think in, and that is useful.

It all seems to be working OK until someone/something comes along and goes supernova.Confused





 
PsyDuckmonkey
#78 Posted : 11/6/2016 1:44:27 PM

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Old Crow wrote:

It all seems to be working OK until someone/something comes along and goes supernova.Confused

That will be an interesting experience in and of itself too, and a start to a new mode of existence. Pleased
Do you believe in the THIRD SUMMER OF LOVE?
 
Old Crow
#79 Posted : 11/7/2016 1:03:20 AM

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life is a continuum, a process of birth and death, a constant state of becoming and going like the stars, giving us all plenty of chances to practice living.Smile

Interesting how the hyperspace experience can expand our internal awareness of the universe as we are.
 
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