Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
Experimenter's Corner | moderated by John Raica

Are we actually machines?


Displaying posts 31 - 60 of 551 in total
Fri, 03 Mar 2017 #31
Thumb_img_20150716_212047-1-1 richard viillar France 37 posts in this forum Offline

Yes i understand what you say..

Paul David son wrote:
Personally, I am attracted by the idea that life is material.

Yes, as i see it, all is life...

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Fri, 03 Mar 2017 #32
Thumb_img_20150716_212047-1-1 richard viillar France 37 posts in this forum Offline

Paul David son wrote:
Personally, I am attracted by the idea that life is material. Living matter is a process within matter that, once began, will continue until it ends.

Yes i understand, as i see it, all is life...

Paul David son wrote:
I would think it would make many people feel unsettled. What type of mind would seek security in imagining itself to be a machine?

No no... what make (illusory) human secure, is to control (illusion). So through the known, human feel illusion of security.

Paul David son wrote:
Before I go, just to ask once more, are my cats machines?

What are you looking for through this question? Is it a question? Or have you already the answer?

Paul David son wrote:
Sorry Richard, I have to go work now. I'll come back to this later.

Ok Paul

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Fri, 03 Mar 2017 #33
Thumb_2474 Dan McDermott United States 159 posts in this forum Offline

Paul David son wrote:
Before I go, just to ask once more, are my cats machines?

No. 'Machines' are made by human thought, cats aren't.

When there is only fear without any hope of escape, in its darkest moments, in the utter solitude of fear, there comes from within itself, as it were, the light which shall dispel it."

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Fri, 03 Mar 2017.

Sign in to recommend  This post has been recommended by 1 reader
Back to Top
Fri, 03 Mar 2017 #34
Thumb_img_20150716_212047-1-1 richard viillar France 37 posts in this forum Offline

The comparison arise also because one is the extension of the other and then there is comparison... but can we compare something which is not known?

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Fri, 03 Mar 2017 #35
Thumb_screen_shot_2017-04-11_at_14 Paul David son Brazil 202 posts in this forum Offline

richard viillar wrote:
but can we compare something which is not known?

What an odd question. If something is not known we can do nothing with it or about it, though we may discover it . . . even by extension, as Cristobal Colon discovered America. Once he landed there, he had something to compare.

But you allude to the unknown as if by saying the word, you bring some light to it. That's what makes the question doubly-odd.

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Fri, 03 Mar 2017 #36
Thumb_screen_shot_2017-04-11_at_14 Paul David son Brazil 202 posts in this forum Offline

richard viillar wrote:
as i see it, all is life...

Also odd. It's like you just substitute one thing for the other. If all is life one dfoes not need the word 'life' but simply has to say and keep repeating the word 'all.'

No Richard, I choose to distinguish between the inert and the 'nert.' You do too, if you would admit it. It is different to break a rock or to break a skull, no?

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Fri, 03 Mar 2017 #37
Thumb_screen_shot_2017-04-11_at_14 Paul David son Brazil 202 posts in this forum Offline

richard viillar wrote:
What are you looking for through this question? Is it a question? Or have you already the answer?

Yes, I have an answer, clearly. But for you the machine is also alive "all is life."

There is nothing wrong with asking a question when one already has an answer, Richard. But it was obviously not a simple yes/no type of response I sought.

One could ask if you already had your answer to your question, "Is it a question?"

One could ask the Buddha if he already had an answer to his questions. Some questions are posed in order to break through the routines of thought.

If thought is a machine because it is repetitive, programmed, predictable etc, then so is the whole universe a machine.

It is a problem that arises with all-encompassing concepts such as "all is life." One word is simply dissolved into another with no greater understanding, and then we sit back and say, "ah!"

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Fri, 03 Mar 2017 #38
Thumb_screen_shot_2017-04-11_at_14 Paul David son Brazil 202 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
No. 'Machines' are made by human thought, cats aren't.

Yes, and yes to Jess too. One of the basic things is that machines are extended tools, made by man. Like Jess, I hesitate to define them as being made by thought, not thought alone but thought-driven human activity, bearing in mind that thought itself is emotion-driven and emotions are, in general, instinct-driven. The mind, consciousness, works together, not sectioned out, no matter the level of fragmentation.

But if the cat is not made by human thought, is human thought made by human thought? Is thought the origin of itself? Or, thought arises naturally due to the capacities of the human brain? Is the human brain then a machine in which thought is a functional reality? But, if so, then all brains are machines, including that of the cat.

Somehow, we have to get back to the original question, not literally, "are we machines" but, in defining thought as purely mechanical, are we missing something very important?

We could ask, is sight mechanical?

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Fri, 03 Mar 2017 #39
Thumb_img_20150716_212047-1-1 richard viillar France 37 posts in this forum Offline

Paul David son wrote:
What an odd question. If something is not known we can do nothing with it or about it, though we may discover it . . . even by extension, as Cristobal Colon discovered America. Once he landed there, he had something to compare.

But you allude to the unknown as if by saying the word, you bring some light to it. That's what makes the question doubly-odd.

well Paul...

so, if we don't know something, we can not extend it and therefore, compare it .

this odd question try to mean that we think, we are convinced to know what we exactly are. but as i see it, it is an illusion, we can not know what is unknowable. so, as i see it, it is impossible to compare the whole beingness of what is named human being.

Paul David son wrote:
No Richard, I choose to distinguish between the inert and the 'nert.' You do too, if you would admit it. It is different to break a rock or to break a skull, no?

ok i understand your view of life, but, i as see it inert and nert are constituents of the whole life and in this way i say that all is life.

Paul David son wrote:
But for you the machine is also alive "all is life."

here you confuse the word "alive" and what i mean by the fact that all is life.

you think it seems, that i consider that human is also a machine isn't it? :-) maybe i'm wrong.

richard villar wrote on #10:
can the brain be aware?

can the computer be aware?

...

Paul David son wrote:
There is nothing wrong with asking a question when one already has an answer, Richard.

so Paul, if you have (I could be wrong) the answer to this question (and of course there is nothing wrong with that), i ask you really this question: what are you looking for through this question/affirmation?

Paul David son wrote:
It is a problem that arises with all-encompassing concepts such as "all is life." One word is simply dissolved into another with no greater understanding, and then we sit back and say, "ah!"

yes i understand what you say here Paul and that is logic, but when i say to you that all is life, it not a concept, i see life like that in the whole variety of apparences, compositions etc...

what is named "machine" (here computer) as i see it Paul, can not be compared to the whole human being

This post was last updated by richard viillar Fri, 03 Mar 2017.

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Fri, 03 Mar 2017 #40
Thumb_leaping_fire_frog_by_sirenofchaos natarajan shivan India 11 posts in this forum Offline

A question arises, what happens when we translate one system of language, say as that used by K into our personal system with a conclusion that we have understood it or that his system is wrong? Is it even necessary to excerpt a part from a dialogue and dissect it (or say to make a quote from it)? .. to look for logical consistency in a singular level of consciousness, which in the end and at it's best could either refute or reinforce the ideological component posited into the dialogue. As I see, the effect of dialogue extends beyond the spoken words and the meaning attributed to those words, beyond an ideology that could be constructed from it; extended dialogue (if not attempted to be reduced to a rationally consistent dialectic) prompts for an integration of being and to relate with a world which is not separate from it amidst all the perceived differences.

contraria sunt complementa

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Fri, 03 Mar 2017 #41
Thumb_img_20150716_212047-1-1 richard viillar France 37 posts in this forum Offline

i can agree with that

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Fri, 03 Mar 2017 #42
Thumb_screen_shot_2017-04-11_at_14 Paul David son Brazil 202 posts in this forum Offline

richard viillar wrote:
you confuse the word "alive" and what i mean by the fact that all is life.

Maybe so . . . but I always understood that life meant to be alive as hunger means to be hungry and so on. If you have a special meaning and use words differently it is up to you to explain them, otherwise, you are right, it does lead to confusion. As for me, I now have no idea as to what you mean. Apols!

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Fri, 03 Mar 2017 #43
Thumb_screen_shot_2017-04-11_at_14 Paul David son Brazil 202 posts in this forum Offline

richard viillar wrote:
what are you looking for through this question/affirmation?

I already explained. Please don't make personal attacks. The question was a provocation for the reader to look again at a common assumption. It was meant to open up the discussion, not close it down. Certainly, I am not looking for affirmation. If I was, I would not expect to find it here on Kinfonet.

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Fri, 03 Mar 2017 #44
Thumb_screen_shot_2017-04-11_at_14 Paul David son Brazil 202 posts in this forum Offline

richard viillar wrote:
i see life like that in the whole variety of apparences, compositions etc...

Well, I won't discuss it on this thread. It seems to metaphysical.

We are not asking if all is life, we are asking about the relation of thought to the mechanical.

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Fri, 03 Mar 2017 #45
Thumb_hot-sale-font-b-cool-b-font-cat-animal-poster-custom-font-b-wallpaper-b-font Jan Kasol Czech Republic 101 posts in this forum Offline

Paul David son wrote:
The mind that predicts is also engaged in thought, which we are told is marked by mechanicism and is predictable. So we enter a circle. How to get out of the circle, which is itself a product of mind? If the mind is not quite predictable, then the circle is a temporary phenomenon which ends as the conditions for its arising cease.

Our minds are machines composed of the reactions of memory. We are our memory. Our whole identity (our "me") is memory. We exist only as a product of thought, of memory. The circle you are talking about is the circle of memory. Whatever effort you are making, whatever you are longing after, whatever you are fearing, is a product of your memory, of thought. Thought is a reaction of memory to a challange. We encounter a challenge, the memory as our thought is searching for an answer. This whole process is purely mechanical, is purely material, is a product of our brains which are biochemical machines. This brain can function only within the circle of its memory, of the "known". The brain is material, is a machine.

Ask youself what or who you are? You are a product of your biology + enviroment. Is there something in you which is not a product of environement? Your language comes from society, you notions of the world come from without, you were programmed, conditioned by society, by previous experience, by your inherited instincts. Various roles in life have been imposed upon you, you are a father, brother, you have your profession, your name, your opinions, your likes and dislikes, you have your beliefs, your religions, your political attitudes, your experiences, your education. All of that is your conditioning. All of that is the circle in which your thought is moving and which it cannot escape. Your whole identity is just a product of thought and memory. Your built your identity, your "I", as a bird builds its nest from small twigs, you built if from your memories.

And Krishnamurti is asking: can you break away from this circle? Obviously, you cannot do it by will, by effort, by premeditation, by speculation, because all of that is still within the circle, is still conditioned by memory. Your whole identity, you every effort, your every thought, your every attachment, every pleasure, every fear, is still within the circle. You cannot experience that state outside of the circle, because by bringing that state outside of the circle down to the circle, you would corrupt it, you would bind it. Than what is that state? Maybe it is your natural state. Maybe your very reaching for it is destroying it, your trying to come to it is running away from it, your trying to understand it is muddling it. You do not need to search for that which has always been with you. You are free. Freedom is your fundamental state. By being caught in the circle (of memory, maya, samsara) you lose that freedom. This state of pure being, pure energy, pure life, pure freedom, is immaterial. It is the heart, the inner self of everything and everyone. It is Life. It is indesctructible, it is immortal. But to come to it, you have to liberate it within yourself, you have to abandon the circle of ego, of selfishness, of ingorance, of memory. This circle is purely mechanical, composed of reactions of memory, which are old, conditioned, never free. What is it that holds us within the circle, what prevents us from escaping it? The prison is fully self-created. Once the mind understands that, it is free.

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Fri, 03 Mar 2017 #46
Thumb_hot-sale-font-b-cool-b-font-cat-animal-poster-custom-font-b-wallpaper-b-font Jan Kasol Czech Republic 101 posts in this forum Offline

and we have such a fitting and beautiful quote today:

"What is the nature of the enclosing wall around you, which gives you psychological protection in relation to your neighbour, your wife and your society? The wall you build around yourself psychologically consists of the values you give to things made either by the hand or by the mind, i.e. of your ideation. These values are merely the outcome of the pleasure or the pain felt by you through your senses, i.e. the outcome of sensory values. They have no substance behind them except the significance or value you give them. In protecting yourself outwardly, you say you can use the outward things to protect you inwardly. You can use property as a means of psychological protection. Property in itself is just a piece of land which can give you food; you give that property a significance which it has not, and with that significance you protect yourself."

The enclosing wall around us is self-created. We create the wall by giving psychological value to things, people, theories. The values are merely the outcome of pleasure and pain. Once we understand this, we realize that only we have the key to our freedom. We build this wall and only we can tear it down. Once we master our own minds, we are free.

This post was last updated by Jan Kasol Fri, 03 Mar 2017.

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Fri, 03 Mar 2017 #47
Thumb_img_20150716_212047-1-1 richard viillar France 37 posts in this forum Offline

Paul David son wrote:
I already explained. Please don't make personal attacks.

Oh no Paul... that is not a personal attack. I Just try to understand and i am sorry you re├žeive it like that...

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Fri, 03 Mar 2017 #48
Thumb_2474 Dan McDermott United States 159 posts in this forum Offline

Jan Kasol wrote:
The enclosing wall around us is self-created.

Thought/time created the 'corridor of opposites' and then is trapped in it. Life/death. permanence/impermanence...seeking the one and avoiding, pushing away the other, not seeing that it is a 'self-created' illusion fraught with anxiety, fear and conflict, as well as pleasure and periods of joy.

When there is only fear without any hope of escape, in its darkest moments, in the utter solitude of fear, there comes from within itself, as it were, the light which shall dispel it."

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Sun, 05 Mar 2017.

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Sat, 04 Mar 2017 #49
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 536 posts in this forum Offline

Jan Kasol wrote:
I understand under the word "mechanical" that a thing is functioning according to deterministic mechanisms. According to K, thought is mechanical, it is a reaction

It is indeed very possible that in his 'over-simplified' terminology K called 'mechanical' the psychological reactions of the 'ego'. Once the ego is engaged in a personal dispute, fight, competition, its behaviour is quite predictable. So if this observation is correct, it would imply that the totality of the human brain is not necessarily mechanical - but when it 'choses' or is forced to react 'personally', it falls by default in the same animalistic patterns of our ancestors

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Sun, 05 Mar 2017 #50
Thumb_photo Prasanna P India 8 posts in this forum Offline

Jess S wrote:
Machines try to substitute human activity but the material itself lacks inner initiative, in other words, it isn't living stuff so machines are all right mechanical, organisms aren't.

As per dictionary, the word 'Mechanical' means, acting or performed without spontaneity, spirit, individuality, etc.:

We are undoubtedly, biological machines, but we also have 'freedom and spontaneity' in the normal state. Of course, this normal state has been lost, so we have become 'mechanical'. We often feel that what we are doing lacks creativity. Despite being repetitive, we can still be lively or creative and non-mechanical.

Unless Advanced, K's Teachings May Remain As Ineffective As of Now

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Sun, 05 Mar 2017 #51
Thumb_screen_shot_2017-04-11_at_14 Paul David son Brazil 202 posts in this forum Offline

John Raica wrote:
Once the ego is engaged in a personal dispute, fight, competition, its behaviour is quite predictable.

Thanks, John. I think the truth or not of such a statement revolves around what exactly is implied by the use of the word 'quite.'

Does it mean 'extremely,' as the word 'quite' does in some cases, or does it mean 'slightly?'

Personally I have never been able to accurately predict the behavior of anyone. I may predict the probably direction of behavior or maybe one or two specifics. I may judge that by cutting in on the driver with the neck-tattoo I may run into trouble, but the exact form of the trouble evades me until it begins to unfold. Even then, it unfolds according also to how I react to the unfolding of which I am a part.

I was following this dispute between Trump and Obama over the alleged tapping of Trump Tower. I can see that Trump's reaction is within the realm of what I find typical of him, and the same with Obama. But can anyone here actually predict what will happen next or what either one will do next? I doubt it.

What actually happens very often in prediction is that one has an idea of the general direction and when specific events confirm ones idea one says one has 'predicted.' Prediction is usually declared in retrospect and avoids the awkward fact that not one specific thing was predicted yet the whole show is treated as an affirmation. Watch yourself and those around you doing it.

This is of course 'quite' different from a machine. I worked all types of machines, from paper-winders, to capstan lathes to automatic lathes, mortising and every type of woodworking machine, computers, worked in car factories and so on. I know for certain that a machine's output is predictable. If I press this button I can be certain of the specific response of the machine. The machine does not appear to have one ounce of arbitrariness.

What we might best focus on are the strengths and weaknesses of the 'mechanical' metaphor. What is it good for, what does it actually describe, what about thought does correspond to the metaphor and where might the metaphor mislead us if taken wrongly or taken too far. We are so easily fooled by our own ideas. The word 'mechanical' creates a powerful image and we are intoxicated, perhaps, by the image, as if it explains the whole, whereas it solely explains a part, an important part, but a part.

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Sun, 05 Mar 2017 #52
Thumb_2474 Dan McDermott United States 159 posts in this forum Offline

K:"This revivification of memory is called thinking." QOTD

This is a very interesting image to me: the 'new', enters the 'uncorrupted' senses and awakens, stimulates the 'bundle' of memories, experiences, knowledge that is the 'self-image'. The self responds to the (always) new 'challenge' of the sensory information, input... and that (mechanical?) response (which is always the past), is what we know as 'thinking'.

When there is only fear without any hope of escape, in its darkest moments, in the utter solitude of fear, there comes from within itself, as it were, the light which shall dispel it."

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Sun, 05 Mar 2017.

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Sun, 05 Mar 2017 #53
Thumb_screen_shot_2017-04-11_at_14 Paul David son Brazil 202 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
the 'new', enters the 'uncorrupted' senses

A very interesting phrase, Dan. It seems to me that you have isolated the senses from the functioning of the mind as a whole and determined that they are in some way, pure. I am supposing that's what you mean by 'uncorrupted.' That is, that the senses, taken on their own, have not come under any nefarious influence and therefore give an accurate account of what they are sensing.

But is it so? The important question is whether or not we can take the senses out of the living context of the mind of which they are a part? The irony is that, if it were so that the senses are uncorrupted, they would be the most mechanical part of the mind.

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Sun, 05 Mar 2017 #54
Thumb_screen_shot_2017-04-11_at_14 Paul David son Brazil 202 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
The self responds to the (always) new 'challenge' of the sensory information, input... and that (mechanical?) response (which is always the past), is what we know as 'thinking'.

Hi Dan. It may be so, but it begs a number of questions and it brings me back to my cats. I watch them interact and they certainly act not only from the 'always new' but from their memories. Minnie Moocher and Pitogo circle round Shah because they know how she snarls and bares her claws at them when they come to close (she is a street cat). And it leaves me with the question: Are my cats mechanical, do they have 'selves' and are they thinking?

Dan, when I read your post I note that the key emotional words that come with the K-teaching. I see that they are strung together in 'quite' predictable ways and come to a conclusion which is present at the start. In other words, the original idea is reinforced by being dressed in slightly different clothes and taken out into the street. Not trying to get at you, just trying to explain how I read your response.

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Sun, 05 Mar 2017 #55
Thumb_2474 Dan McDermott United States 159 posts in this forum Offline

Paul David son wrote:
That is, that the senses, taken on their own, have not come under any nefarious influence and therefore give an accurate account of what they are sensing.

Not in the sense of "nefarious" Paul, just in the sense of taking in the information they were 'designed' for... The ear hears, the eye sees, the fingers touch. Probably the only difference between all of us in this case would be variations in the operation of the sense organs...the point as I see it and what seems of paramount importance is that they all operate in the 'now', the immediate present. It is when thought responds to these inputs that our 'differences' arise, the likes and dislikes etc. And it goes without saying that there is a role for thought and the intellect, no one is questioning that. It is the imbalance that seems to be the problem, the desire for a 'continuity' that does not exist, say, for the senses which are always in the 'present'.

When there is only fear without any hope of escape, in its darkest moments, in the utter solitude of fear, there comes from within itself, as it were, the light which shall dispel it."

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Sun, 05 Mar 2017 #56
Thumb_screen_shot_2017-04-11_at_14 Paul David son Brazil 202 posts in this forum Offline

Prasanna P wrote:
We are undoubtedly, biological machines,

I think it's always good to doubt categorical statements.

I would ask, what are we doing when we form a phrase such as "biological machine?"

If humans are such then we are 'undoubtedly' saying that all forms of life are machines.

Man has made the machine. That much is clear. But then he looks at the machine and notes certain qualities about it and sees some of those qualities in other things. Then he calls those other things also 'machines.' What has he done? What has he learned by this?

It's a bit like another thing he does when he invents an image of God that follows his own image of himself in certain key regards. But in this case, he has formed an image of the machine and on the basis of certain correspondences with animals has declared that the animal is a machine. Man can easily declare the universe itself to be a machine, which is exactly what Descartes did and it begged the question, who set that machine into motion and Descartes declared that God did, the great clockmaker in the sky.

My own prejudice is here revealed: The universe is not a machine. Biology, though it may have some aspects that appear mechanical (to the eye of the beholder) is also not a machine. And, more importantly, to reduce the biological to the mechanical because of certain shared aspects, is to miss something quite remarkable, that the biological sphere departs radically from the chemical, inert material and mechanical. This radical departure from the mechanical may be conceptualised away very cheaply, but where does it leave us?

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Sun, 05 Mar 2017 #57
Thumb_screen_shot_2017-04-11_at_14 Paul David son Brazil 202 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Not in the sense of "nefarious" Paul, just in the sense of taking in the information they were 'designed' for

Okay, but I don't believe in design. The idea that the senses have been designed for certain purposes is a prejudice. There used to be someone here who was against kissing because the human mouth was designed for eating and breathing. It all begs the question, who was the designer? It also suggest we err when we do not stick to the 'designer's' script.

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Sun, 05 Mar 2017 #58
Thumb_screen_shot_2017-04-11_at_14 Paul David son Brazil 202 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
The ear hears

Sorry, Dan, that is a very great misconception. The ear does not hear, the eye does not see etc etc. Hearing is a process, a mental process. It is the mind that hears, not the ear. The ear is essential to hearing but the ear does not hear. This is not pedantics. It is crucial to following through on a thought that the thought does not start off already twisted by a misconception.

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Sun, 05 Mar 2017 #59
Thumb_screen_shot_2017-04-11_at_14 Paul David son Brazil 202 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
the point as I see it and what seems of paramount importance is that they all operate in the 'now', the immediate present

But the basis of this and your other statements is that the senses can reasonably be taken separately from the movement of the mind of which they are a part. You confuse the sense with what is called the sense organ, the movement as a whole with the organ of reception. You miss the process and declare a timeless 'now' as being the realm of the senses. There is no justification in this. It is thought declaring it, not the imaginary 'now' realm of the senses.

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Sun, 05 Mar 2017 #60
Thumb_screen_shot_2017-04-11_at_14 Paul David son Brazil 202 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
The self responds to the (always) new 'challenge' of the sensory information, input... and that (mechanical?) response (which is always the past), is what we know as 'thinking'.

Finally to this:

It is a line of logic. It is like a school lesson. This leads to that and concludes there. Thoroughly mechanical.

Sign in to recommend
Back to Top
Displaying posts 31 - 60 of 551 in total
To quote a portion of this post in your reply, first select the text and then click this "Quote" link.

(N.B. Be sure to insert an empty line between the quoted text and your reply.)