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Highlights #899

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11/25/01 Sunday


********************


BOBBY G.


Hi Everyone:

A few days ago there was a short exchange about
the tree falling in
the forest with no one around, does it make a sound?

This has bothered me since 1959 when the question
came up on a test
in my seventh grade science class. I argued with my
teacher who was
also the hi-school girls basketball coach (where my
sister was the
star player). I said of course there is a sound because there would
have to be.
Mr. Leach (who was grading by the answers in the back of the book and
could not really argue effectively) said I could have the points if I
would just sit down and shut up. I could not figure out why anyone
would even question whether things happened when we weren't watching
(or listening).

Then years later I read the popularized phisics books that came out
and learned a little about Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. The
issue became less clear. Is there an objective physical universe?
Some physicists claim an observer is required.

This morning I read this by Ramana Maharshi in "Vichara Mani Mala":
"When there is actual knowledge, of pots and other external
objects, what happens is this: The concept part in the concept of
the inner organ accompanied by the reflected consciousness goes out
as far as the pots and other objects and assumes their forms and
removes the obstruction which naturally covers them, on account of
ignorance. Just as a non-luminous object covered by a pot will not
be seen (in the dark) even if the pot is broken by a stick, but can
be seen with the help of a lamp, even so the reflected part [of the
consciousness-bg] illumines the objects."

An object is known by the process of consciousness taking its form
and because consciousness is self luminous the form which it has now
taken is known as the object.

I remembered this passage from a few pages before:
"Disciple: Since a man who wakes up from a dream believes the
objects he sees to be the same as before his dream, it cannot be said
that they come into existence only when there is knowledge of them.
Objects exist permanently prior to and after the knowledge of them.

Guru: Just as the things which come into existence for the time
being in a dream seem to have existed unchanged for a long time, so
also do the objects which come into existence in the waking state on
account of strong nescience [ignorance-bg]. The ideas of cause and
effect in respect of these objects are also, similar."

The result in conceptual form as I see it is that there is no
objective physical universe continuously existing.

It's magic!

Love
Bobby G.


MICHAEL

It is also the setting for many a science fiction plot.

If I do not go into the forest, are there lions and bears there?
Oh, my!

loveya - michael



BOBBY

Hi Michael:
A lot of sci-fi plots are based on the multiverse idea which comes
out of some of the same reasoning as the tree in the forest.
I saw one yesterday "The One".

If you don't go into the forest you don't know if the lions and bears
are there or not which is kinda the idea. The physical universe or
multiverse is subjectively not there when not observed.

If an objective universe can be proved without an observer I would
pay to see it.

Be good
Bobby G.


JAN B.

šA few days ago there was a short exchange about the tree falling in
šthe forest with no one around, does it make a sound?

That kind of logic summarizes to: "With no one around, the tree wouldn't fall"
Which can be extrapolated to all events. And as there are no entities, just one
nobody which is neither here nor there but nowhere, nothing happens at all :)
That is seems different, certainly looks like magic!

<[^_^]>

(Bobby). The face says it all. <[^_^]>.

For an artist, yes... For a philosopher, probably not so...
And that makes all the difference. Why "act" through the
"interface" of a judge to "mere tricks" instead of enjoying
a unique opportunity?


ANDREW

If there's no tree making a sound, is there anyone to hear it?
~
The idea of someone who hears is drawn from the hearing of the sound of the falling
tree.
~
But on hearing a falling tree, you don't think "ah, I am hearing ..." there is just
the sound, then the recognition "that's a falling tree".
So where is the someone to hear?


JAMES


Hi Bobby G.

The tree falls. It makes a sound and nothing that is not
there and the 'Nothing that IS' hears it.


(with respect to Wallace Stevens - The Snow Man)


Love,
james


BOBBY

It occurred to me that consciousness is all there is, it is just not
reflected between different elements (pots and trees) in the physical
world except when the element (mind-body) has the capacity to reflect it.
It seems this reflection of consciousness, in conjunction with the
sensory apparatus results in an abstract being that insists that it
be there before it will admit that anything at all is there. Or it
wants to admit that everything would go on the same without it
which is de facto impossible because the reflective entity does exist
just as much as the other objects.
It sorta makes the philosophy moot.
Just an opinion
Bobby G

ANDREW

If there's no tree making a sound, is there anyone to hear it?
~
The idea of someone who hears is drawn from the hearing of the sound of the falling
tree.
~
But on hearing a falling tree, you don't think "ah, I am hearing ..." there is just
the sound, then the recognition "that's a falling tree".
So where is the someone to hear?


GLORIA

It seems this reflection of consciousness, in conjunction with the
sensory apparatus results in an abstract being that insists that it
be there before it will admit that anything at all is there.

---Bobby, I think you are onto something here.
(This is a true story, btw.) The last time a tree
fell in my little forest, it made such a horrific
crack, I felt sure it was lightening hitting the house.
I mean I felt the house shake too.

So I wasn't sure that a tree actually fell until I
could be there and see it with my own eyes.Prior to that confirmation,
there were actually two parallel universes,
one in which a tree fell and one in which lightening struck the house.

Obviously, if I hadn't been at home at the time, neither of these
possibilities could have occurred to me, so there's your third
universe. The one without me in it, and nothing happened!

This story is no more ludicrous than the rest of the explanations.
Bobby, I think your mad, I'm mad, we're all mad here. And just like
that famed cheshire cat, there's really nothing here but the smile.

Love,
Glo


GENE POOLE

Not to truncate the tree discussion,
which I am sure is good for your growth,
maybe I could go out on a limb and say
that you could hear it if there was a
branch near you,

on the other hand, all trees have bark,
and who has heard that?

and

If civilisation falls, will there be
a tree to hear it?

Time to leave...

Packing my trunk,


==GP==

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