Can the mere act of observation alter reality?

Hello Conditioned - I wondered when I’d show up :slight_smile:

I’m no physicist or mathematician having only a layperson’s understanding of these things, but am intrigued by them. I am aware of the fact quantam mechanics has been looking at these things for a time now, and that the conversation has moved from not just the observer influences what is observed, to the notion the observer does not necessarily share the same observation as an other, which calls the consensus or objective reality into question. If you wanted to start with a specific line of enquiry I would be happy to look at it with you.

Hello @Dominic -I wondered too, glad you did.

Thank you for the invitation.

I am not sure how far I can go with this dialogue as I have an unclear understanding of quantum physics and only admiration for what I can understand. I wanted to see how you connect the selves with quantum. We shall see if my mind can move with this and please forgive me for my mind’s ignorance.

I have read most of your postings with great attention and can see many clear points. I think I would like to first clarify and question a few things before I can attempt to move to quantum.

I would like to first clarify the selves. It seems to me that many selves are competing for control. But as far as I am aware, there is only one self present at each moment. It may seem like you’re being pulled in different directions, but it seems to me that one is dominant or changes per moment as to appear as many for when the mind is not quite silenced or free. It seems that these selves seem to manifest a variety of realities.

On another note, about objective realities, when observation is operating, it makes no conclusions thus no subjective, objective reality or no question if reality even exists. In the same line of thought, with consciousness, observation is not having consciousness or consciousness is not having it. It seems that it is only thought that inquires on reality. And thus these may not have much significance except to make the selves more powerful.

We shall see how your beautiful mind moves my mind…

Yes there is always one fragment or self dominating, who is a controller of a kind, suppressing all the others, and that activity is very much evidenced in the so-called society where control of everyone, by everything is very pronounced. Which brings us to the matter of external, which is to say external to me, and other than me, other self, other constellation of fragments.

In the world of quantum mechanics, which is very much part of the reality here, the whole notion of an external being in the way it is held to be via consensus reality, breaks down, and I see a connection here with what Krishnamurti has said regarding the death of the self, and the death of thought, which is the image maker, and to Krishnamurti’s notion of mind, which he placed outside of the brain.

Krishnamurti pointed out the brain is not contact with the mind, which is the immeasurable, and actual external to the brain, and not the external generated by thought as in the consensus reality, mapped by science, which is the observer of it, which brings us back to the observer is the observed, and not just psychologically.

The observer of reality is not a haphazard or accidental thing, but is embedded in that reality, as a fundamental construct of it. So when the observer ends, the reality ends.

So to come back to the Self, which is the many selves. The selves viewed as other than myself, in what is ordinarily considered the external to me, as mapped by science, is no actual external, and so all the other selves are me, just as I am them. So Krishnamurti has pointed out that I don’t just share the same self image you are, I am the self I see you being, just as you are the self you see me to be.

How do you see this?

Here is as I see it thus far and please clarify the view whenever.

Excellent point! If the mind is placed outside the brain and the mind is creating the images, then it implies that the mechanism operating externally is producing our realities. That implies that the mind would not know of the actual as you and K have pointed out. Then I would ask, why is it that the mind can see that the observer is the observed, the conflict, the potential for the ending of the observer? Is there a relationship between the mind and the brain? Another question, if you would like to share, in your investigation how did you come about placing the mind outside the brain?

Very interesting point. I am not sure about this one or I am not there yet in my own awareness…The reality created by thought as I see it, created the observer for making itself more real perhaps but as “fundamental construct of it” would imply that we know thought completely and all of its trickery. And perhaps you have come to this conclusion in your investigation/awareness and it may be so.

Quantum, “the way the world behaves is dependent on an observer”. I agree, with this line of thinking, it would suggest that when observation is in operation, no reality would exist. Thus:

As a side note is the Buddha’s interesting take on this topic. If you are unfamiliar with the Buddha’s doctrine it is pretty interesting to see his findings on the workings of the mind. It is called Pratityasamutpada, dependent arising. It is a deep topic with many components and can have several interpretations. One of the meanings is that he was describing the nature of reality-the self. It may be worth some consideration.

aka - codependant origination - ie no independant existence. - you includes, at the very least, the air around you - so when meditating don’t just be aware with the brain and eyes, and skin; but also, at the very least with the walls and the windows. :partying_face: :exploding_head:

Hello @macdougdoug,
That’s great and surprising that you recognize that term and your conclusions are interesting because its a heavy topic but a key doctrine in the Buddhist findings.

About your meditation technique, I question your entire premise :face_with_monocle:…just kidding that’s funny :grin:

I am not sure if it is significant to ask but lets say we establish that there is no reality except that created by the mind. Would it follow then to ask if there is an objective world out there, irrespective of the human mind?

The meditation “technique” comes, if I remember correctly, (via chinese whispers including Dogen and one of his modern disciples) from some old koan about the goddess of compassion. Where Bill asks his pal Ted why she’s (the goddess) got so many eyes (wisdom) and hands (compassion) - Answer : because her whole body (everything) is just eyes and hands. And to demonstrate this fact we can imagine trying to find our pillow in the dark (ignorance) - we use our whole body (the whole shebang). :face_with_head_bandage:

Although I do have an actual technique that I may have invented - do you meditate?

Do you mean we only percieve what is created by our own mind?
But yes, obviously there’s something going on (reality)
For it to be all me - we must first demonstrate the existence of me.

Hello @macdougdoug,
First of all my apologies :pray: for my ignorance and for not considering your statement. I thought you were being humorous.

Interesting technique, now to compare it or in context with K/Buddhism, the collapse of the approach would be in the desire of “trying to find the pillow”. This is what I saw as the problem in many meditation circles. The Buddha was very clear about accepting reality as it is and the problems of desire. But most techniques created have a progress bar towards enlightenment.

That’s great, creating your own approach based on your own investigation. Good for you! I too have seriously experimented with many well known techniques and my own means. Yes, I too meditate.

No worries - I was having a bit of fun - although I try not to lead anyone astray

Shame! I think thats why they had to invent zazen

What does that consist of? Does it alter reality?

I could only perceive what is in my mind. And naturally I cannot perceive what is in your mind.

K/Buddha seem to point at the Self and all its content as an illusion.

I do not alter reality or anything advanced. For me it is much simpler. It is a free movement of the mind and my whole awareness follows it.

I can’t see there any opening comments associated with the title, but the title is “can the mere act of observation alter reality?” so that question is what I am addressing.
I’d say observation and reality are not divorced. A change occurs as change does. What I see is the change. What happens when there is a quiet, effortless mind? This watching, listening, is not the ego mind, and the seeing is not associated with the viewer. In that sense, reality, the world of things, is untouched.

Complete separation then between the source and the world? Or between the material and the immaterial?

Sorry for the late response, I caught up in a quantum entanglement :slight_smile:

Can we look at our own reality from the beginning and take it one step at a time and see if there is the same thing here for us, and whether the notion same, or us, even has a meaning under the circumstances?

My sense of reality is of a legion of other entities like my self being who ordinarily are considered to be a biological organism with a brain, on a planet in space, and whose mental landscape is permeated throughout by division and conflict, such that everything considered to be the world is taking place as that division and strife, and echoes it throughout. There is a sense of it as deeply irrational in nature, such that there can be no reasoning with it, or ability to turn it around. It cannot be influenced, because it is under the influence, and so influence is part of the problem. And had I to pinpoint one factor at work throughout, I would say it is the fact of inattention being.

So is there something of the same nature for you?

Myself and Conditioned had a brief exchange in another thread and the Admin split the responses off under this present title, so I am not sure what the title means.

What do you see as the factor involved in a mind which is quiet?

Ha ha that’s funny! MDR! What? You left?

Very well, we walk slowly.

I have a brain/mind that gives rise to consciousness. It gives rise to my subjective reality; feelings, perception, thoughts, and all materiality (including my body). The brain/mind is connected to my body’s senses and it is continuously adding to the consciousness landscape.

When there is contact from X (taste, smell, hear, feel, see, etc.) the brain/mind processes these forms and adds them to my reality.

Thus, the brain/mind gives rise to a shared interpretation of a physical existence and the notions of you, me, same, us, etc.

Dominic sense of reality

Beautifully written Dominic. I see it in the same nature. However, you seem to only touch on the inattention states of being.

I think a chief factor is the deep understanding of the self.

So what part would you say our senses play in the apprehension of a physical and material world, which is ordinarily pictured as outside of myself, as an objective reality, which is investigated by science, and which brings forth technology, and what part does our brain play in the apprehension of it all? Is it an entirely passive arrangement, as with a receiver say, or is it a collaborative venture?

If I focus on inattention it’s because that is where I see the group consciousness primarily residing as of this moment, and where the most pressing issues of self are coming from.