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Seeing "what is"

It may well be that perception is grounded in the motive of survival - we are only able to perceive good and bad.

This thought came up upon seeing the quote from “the open door” :
Surely this is possible: to see clearly ‘what is’ without any distortion, without any motive, and go beyond it. If you see very clearly what is, you are already beyond it. And can you see very clearly what is? See not only the outward, the environment, the social morality, the bureaucratic sanctions, religious and worldly, but also inwardly?

combined with reading Donald Hoffman’s “case against reality” which uses math and game theory to show that humans have evolved to see fitness (whats good and bad for survival) and that seeing reality is a very bad game plan for any agent that wants to survive.

Hi Mac
Don’t know if what I post will be coherent but I have been pondering about ‘what is’ ever since reading K’s comment that when thought ends escaping from what is, that is the ending of what is. Someone here came up with a good explanation of that I thought but it wasn’t clear to me. Now I’m seeing it this way: it’s about thought / time. That there is this concept of ‘now’ or the ‘present’ and that is generally accepted as true. Not talking here chronologically or technically but psychologically is there such a thing as now or what is or is that only an illusion resulting from memory and imagination ie, what was, what is, and what will be? And when that is ‘seen through’, ‘what is’, no longer is.

Regarding the idea of going beyond ‘what is’ is a threat to survival, I think that is true for animals, not for man. We have to ‘go beyond’ or we will destroy ourselves and who knows what else. With the human brain we can question that there is a ‘something’ behind all this and that we are a part of that ‘something’.

Hi macdougdoug,

To survive literally means to live on the surface…
The statement appears to be true, when one is only into surviving.
However, to live is something entirely different…, right?
Life is not only about physical survival, which somehow made its way into the psychological layers. Isn’t that the problem? Aren’t all the theories and intellectual ideas only an escape from reality? Any “game plan” that arises would do so because of fear of what may happen; hence, it is fear that dictates the sense that one “needs” a “game plan”. And, when fear dictates one’s actions, it is then one is only surviving, right?

Consider the following : I can only see red and blue, and I think that reality is basically just a question of color. (This is what is) Suddenly I realise that what I can see is only a reflection of my sense organs. (What is has changed)

Spacetime is a shared perception and thus considered objective reality - though this is a fallacy - shared subjectivity is just what we call objectivity. The only certainty is that our interpretation is wholly psychological - all subjective interpretation - what reality really is outside of our perception and interpretation cannot be determined.
The distinction between psychological/perceived and real/objective is just us talking clever about the known and the unknown. And is only useful in order to communicate different concepts.

Whatever I think living the real life might be, it depends first and foremost on not dying.
Before you cross the street, look both ways, the delusions (such as cars) though most probably merely symbolic of reality as it is, must be taken most seriously.

PS- Survive from Latin supervivere meaning to live beyond. As in to outlive something or someone.

Could this also be the meaning of the statement: when one sees that there are only processes in the mind/ brain (and maybe in the whole universe), when it becomes clear that nothing is static, there is only change, flux, them what meaning has the word “is”?

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This is why hipsters always say : “what’s happening brother!” :grinning: :grinning:

Has your analysis also taken into account that there are no things? (and that movement is relative ie in relation to the point of view of things)

“Special pleading” is a fallacy so well understood that it has a name. Hypotheses based on fallacies cannot be taken to be true.

The deluded/conditioned mind that comes to conclusions about itself, its environment, its future and the unknown; is merely the movement of delusion and conditioning.
If however, you are referring to the impending ecological catastrophe, the causes for it and its solutions are within the known.


No, I hadn’t exactly seen things in this way. It sounds right - but what sort of movement are you referring to exactly?

So what is moving? (if you say change or flux not movement - who is judging? remember its all relative to the observer, change is necessarily a subject/object relationship)

All sorts of movement. The concept of movement. What movement means. (in order to point at the mind that uses these presuppositions for further interpretation and conclusions)

PS - I misspoke (sorry) hipsters don’t always say “whats happening”

Hi again Douglas,



When I posted the above, I meant the fact that fear moves from the physical response into the psychological area (I was not talking solely about the physical areas). In other words, there is a movement from the physical understanding of protecting the body into areas that are psychological - such as greed, ambition, selfishness, corruption, using any and all means to get what one wants, aggression, fantasy, theorizing, accumulating psychological knowledge, etc. etc. etc.

Living on the surface (what is above the core is the shell, i.e. over the core) is what is the superficial, hence, not reality. Very few people realize that their own life is predicated on survival, and that reality is to be seen for what it is. Very few people realize that the entire society of which they participate in is an illusion, based solely on psychological fears. The real horror is that teenagers are encouraged and pressured to participate in this illusion, and very few refuse to do so. This is why it is so important to break away from everything that society stands for - so, it is important to see “what is” really going on around one in society - all the greed, corruption, lies, the horror of what makes our society what it is. You see, that is reality ! This seeing of “what is” outside of oneself is the very beginning of awakening intelligence.

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Thank you Charley for you response. Let me see if I am getting your drift. Also if I may point out what look like either presups or fuzziness.

Are we presupposing that mind is an emergeant property of matter? Are we sure of what we say - or are we just interpreting something we heard and now believe to be true?

I was going to go on, but its probably best to keep clarity by going step by step.

Okay - just to expand a bit more on the ideas implied in the claim :“fear moves from the physical response into the psychological”

Are emotions (like fear) physical? Don’t they necessarily have at least some psychological component?
What is the relationship between the psychological and the physical that is responsible for this movement (from one to the other)?

Hey Douglas,

What does the following mean: “emergeant property of matter”? Not being an intellectual, this particular phrase does not resonate with me…

In your response, you use the word “mind”, surely you mean brain, right?

When you say the above “either presups or fuzziness”, it is obvious you are making a judgement (based on assumptions about people on this site, right?) about what one posted, instead of responding to the content of what was posted, right? One is not in the least surprised by this method of response - par for the course, (laughs) btw.

Please at least give me the benefit of the doubt : I would like to think that I am making assumptions about what you have said/written rather than about your person (is what you think obvious about me necessarily true?)

If we can stop worrying about our personas - I’ll get back to the discussion.

Another way of saying it would be : Does consciousness arise out of things? Are thoughts and feelings created by physical matter?

I ask the question because your claim that “fear moves from the physical response into the psychological” could be construed to mean that physical reactions somehow are a prerequisite for an emotional response. I’m just trying to see where this conversation is starting from

Btw - if you say yes, you will have a large materialist consensus in agreement with you -

Hey Douglas,

So, do you see that you have asked a question, that adds a new dimension called “consciousness”, when all I posted, was that real experience of fear in the physical area, moved (I did not say how, btw), from the physical area into a psychological area. I am very much aware of the intellectual tendency to translate anything one posts in terms of “things” (i.e. thoughts), which for the purposes of what I am posting, is not what I want to encourage, right here, in this moment.

So, all I said was that the physical experience of fear (danger, right? - a potentially dangerous situation) moved into the psychological area, right? So, does one understand that, see that?

From as far back as millennia, human beings have experienced real fear in dangerous situations. And all I am saying is that as society built up, evolved, one can easily see how fear became a kind of basis for all activity in what we all know as the society in which we all live. Do you understand that, see that? Do you see that in the world, see “what is” going on with the way in which our economy works, the b/s of the banking system, the b/s that comes out of politicians’ mouths, the way our education system works (the competition, the requirement for “success” in order to participate in society, etc. etc.)? Do you see the corruption, etc.? This is simple, right?

Okay - let’s leave aside the word consciousness - I was trying to answer your question re: “mind emerging from matter” - let’s use the words mental and emotional states instead as a synonym for psychological.
So the question becomes : are emotions an emergent property of matter/the physical?
If you do not want to reply, let me just say that for my part : I don’t know.

The next thing we can address if you like is the idea that emotions can be purely physical - are you claiming that when you say “fear moves from the physical” or “fear in the physical area”?

PS - I am asking you questions in order to see if we can understand what you are saying - notice that I am not interested in offering a different claim or belief - we are merely exploring your claims - because we are interested in our beliefs. There is no challenge here, merely an exploration.

Please understand, all of my postings here have only one interest in this particular discussion (which is entitled: Seeing “what is”) - which is to awaken intelligence - to anyone reading these postings.

This to me, is what I have observed is of primary importance on this site. That’s all.

I could go on and on. Exploitation, the rich getting richer - at the expense of the other, the injustice, the rise of tyrants, the impending ecological disaster (which @macdougdoug has mentioned), the ongoing endemic. Just observing “what is” happening in the world, what has happened in this world - if one likes, to use one of the K expressions - the ‘wrong turn’.

So, one asks, when one is alone at home, or with a friend discussing what is going on in this planet, what one sees on tv, everything around oneself that is happening, the old people one sees walking around (who look so tired and used up), the fires, the water problems (floods, desertification, etc.), the melting of the ice caps, the food shortages, the inflation, plastic particles showing up in the fish, and all the dreadful things that are going on, migrants fleeing impossible situations, even the creation of imaginary currency (bitcoin !!).

I think your question is : When I look, what do I see?

If so would it be fair to assume that there are essentially 2 possible answers :
1)I see reality as it is - I see “what is”. or
2)I do not see reality as it is.

Is there another possibility? If not, hopefully we can agree that 1 & 2 are incompatible (ie. it is either 1 or 2, not both at the same time)