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In the Name of God بسم الله

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(bismillah)

(salam)

Title should read: is 'knowledge by presence' ('ilm hudhuri) enough to prove the immaterial nature of the soul? Reason I'm asking is because I know Mulla Sadra (and more recently Allamah Tabatabai and Mutahhari) have used the 'knowledge by presence' argument to prove the immaterial nature of the soul, through several premises, one of which being 'the unchanging nature of the unchanging' (lit. trans. from arabic: ghayr al mutaghayr ghayr al mutaghayr).

Those of you who've studied this know what I'm talking about and I don't want to explain their argumentation around this, my question is:

The human body changes itself several times over the course of a person's life (through cell self-renewal), but I have yet to read anywhere that the nervous system renews itself. IF it DOES NOT, as some materialists claim, is 'knowledge by presence' enough to prove the immaterial nature of the soul? since the fundamental basis of this, is that since the body changes over time, and the materialists claim the self IS the body, hence the self should change as well, but you know through 'knowledge by presence' that yourself 20 yrs ago, is yourself now. Therefore, since the materialists say your self is your nervous system and your self is the collection of senses that flow through this nervous system, that, presumably does NOT change, how can the argument of 'knowledge by presence' remain the main proof of the immateriality of the soul?

I'm thinking out loud here and haven't fully looked into this, so bear with me. Any comments much appreciated, I'm no neuroscientist and no expert in the theory of knowledge, but this is something, I believe, that needs defenately further investigation.

(salam)

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(salam)

The immateriality of the soul is not really proven by knowledge by presence often. In fact it is not the main argument that is often presented, even by Mulla sadra. In volume 8 of Al Asfar, Mulla Sadra presents ten arguments for the immateriality of the soul, mainly adapted from Al Razi's works. The principle argument offered is the ability of the soul to comprehend universals qua universals, and it is impossible for such things to inhere in a material entity, so regardless if such a material entity is ever present or constantly changing does not undermine the argument.

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(bismillah)

(salam)

Title should read: is 'knowledge by presence' ('ilm hudhuri) enough to prove the immaterial nature of the soul? Reason I'm asking is because I know Mulla Sadra (and more recently Allamah Tabatabai and Mutahhari) have used the 'knowledge by presence' argument to prove the immaterial nature of the soul, through several premises, one of which being 'the unchanging nature of the unchanging' (lit. trans. from arabic: ghayr al mutaghayr ghayr al mutaghayr).

Those of you who've studied this know what I'm talking about and I don't want to explain their argumentation around this, my question is:

The human body changes itself several times over the course of a person's life (through cell self-renewal), but I have yet to read anywhere that the nervous system renews itself. IF it DOES NOT, as some materialists claim, is 'knowledge by presence' enough to prove the immaterial nature of the soul? since the fundamental basis of this, is that since the body changes over time, and the materialists claim the self IS the body, hence the self should change as well, but you know through 'knowledge by presence' that yourself 20 yrs ago, is yourself now. Therefore, since the materialists say your self is your nervous system and your self is the collection of senses that flow through this nervous system, that, presumably does NOT change, how can the argument of 'knowledge by presence' remain the main proof of the immateriality of the soul?

I'm thinking out loud here and haven't fully looked into this, so bear with me. Any comments much appreciated, I'm no neuroscientist and no expert in the theory of knowledge, but this is something, I believe, that needs defenately further investigation.

(salam)

(salam)

Maybe I don't quite get the question but, on pain of falling into skepticism, we must acknowledge the fact that knowledge as such is necessarily immaterial or indivisible. How can the nervous system (which is made of parts / divisible) be "self-knowledge" (which is impossible for it to be compounded)?

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(wasalam) both

I'm more specifically interested in the proof of the unchanging nature of knowledge.

In recollection and memory, our islamic philosophers use as evidence the unchanging nature of knowledge/the thing that we remember. The fact that we remember an event or a picture that happened 20 years ago, which has not changed at all, and we can with confidence and certainty attest to be the exact same thing that we saw/experienced back then, is evidence that the laws of matter do not apply in this case.

However, materialists can argue: these pictures are stored in DNA or the nervous system, and since the nervous system does NOT change or renew itself (except grow?) over time, our claim of the materiality of knowledge stands, irrespective of what you theosophists have to say in other arguments. I as a materialist (not me), don't believe in universals and all that nonsense. I believe that I am my nervous system, which stores all past present and future knowledge, experience and sense perceptions. And since the nervous system has a flowing nature and connected to the brain, I concure with you that if you cut of my limbs, I'm still aware of myself, and do not consider myself as a composition of limbs, but a network of signals and emotions and feelings etc...

of course, the moment someone (a neuroscientist visiting this site say) tells us the nervous system renews itself as much as the rest of the body, we're covered...

Edited by thecontentedself

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(wasalam) both

I'm more specifically interested in the proof of the unchanging nature of knowledge.

In recollection and memory, our islamic philosophers use as evidence the unchanging nature of knowledge/the thing that we remember. The fact that we remember an event or a picture that happened 20 years ago, which has not changed at all, and we can with confidence and certainty attest to be the exact same thing that we saw/experienced back then, is evidence that the laws of matter do not apply in this case.

However, materialists can argue: these pictures are stored in DNA or the nervous system, and since the nervous system does NOT change or renew itself (except grow?) over time, our claim of the materiality of knowledge stands, irrespective of what you theosophists have to say in other arguments. I as a materialist (not me), don't believe in universals and all that nonsense. I believe that I am my nervous system, which stores all past present and future knowledge, experience and sense perceptions. And since the nervous system has a flowing nature and connected to the brain, I concure with you that if you cut of my limbs, I'm still aware of myself, and do not consider myself as a composition of limbs, but a network of signals and emotions and feelings etc...

of course, the moment someone (a neuroscientist visiting this site say) tells us the nervous system renews itself as much as the rest of the body, we're covered...

One thing for certain is that philosophers try not to rely on scientific facts which are constantly being discovered and modified. Their source of knowledge is by and large not contingent on historical and scientific facts.

By the way, doesn't our memory change over time or get erased? Can we say for sure that our memory doesn't get distorted (and therefore changed)? Yes, we cant deny that we have a memory, but we also can't say it hasn't changed at all!

What do you think?

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One thing for certain is that philosophers try not to rely on scientific facts which are constantly being discovered and modified. Their source of knowledge is by and large not contingent on historical and scientific facts.

By the way, doesn't our memory change over time or get erased? Can we say for sure that our memory doesn't get distorted (and therefore changed)? Yes, we cant deny that we have a memory, but we also can't say it hasn't changed at all!

What do you think?

Absolutely, I'm not trying to justify our principles through scientific discoveries. However, when we go up on stage somewhere and make a claim like ' the whole body changes and renews itself...', we need to be sure this is indeed correct and backed up by the latest scientific discoveries. we don't want some neurobiologist in the crowd to stand up claim otherwise.

Anyway, I think you're mixing things with the mental pictures that are stored in the mind, and the act of recollection. everything you see is stored in the mind. the fact that you've got poor memory, or are not aware of your knowledge, is something else. once you've shown that the mental concepts are immaterial, that's it, laws of matter do not apply anymore. Now how does mind manipulation and hypnotism come into this, I can't say.

When you remember an event, or a picture, you remember that exact same thing as it was. the fact that your imagination plays games with that mental picture is, again, different to the concept of recollection of a mental image that is unchanging.

(salam)

The immateriality of the soul is not really proven by knowledge by presence often. In fact it is not the main argument that is often presented, even by Mulla sadra. In volume 8 of Al Asfar, Mulla Sadra presents ten arguments for the immateriality of the soul, mainly adapted from Al Razi's works. The principle argument offered is the ability of the soul to comprehend universals qua universals, and it is impossible for such things to inhere in a material entity, so regardless if such a material entity is ever present or constantly changing does not undermine the argument.

see also

A Philosophical Discussion on Immateriality of the Soul

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Anyway, I think you're mixing things with the mental pictures that are stored in the mind, and the act of recollection. everything you see is stored in the mind. the fact that you've got poor memory, or are not aware of your knowledge, is something else. once you've shown that the mental concepts are immaterial, that's it, laws of matter do not apply anymore. Now how does mind manipulation and hypnotism come into this, I can't say. When you remember an event, or a picture, you remember that exact same thing as it was. the fact that your imagination plays games with that mental picture is, again, different to the concept of recollection of a mental image that is unchanging.

Why do we assume the mental images or pictures we recollect stay the same even after being "effected" by the play of imagination? One can say that the very fact that they are effected shows it has changed. If you say they are not effected then one can say that is a mere claim... How do you know that. If we really have unadulterated knowledge of our past experience the this knowledge should be something present to us (we should be aware of it like how I am aware of the self). What is knowledge (the point of it) if one does not have awareness of it?

Thought?

Edited by eThErEaL

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Why do we assume the mental images or pictures we recollect stay the same even after being "effected" by the play of imagination? One can say that the very fact that they are effected shows it has changed. If you say they are not effected then one can say that is a mere claim... How do you know that. If we really have unadulterated knowledge of our past experience the this knowledge should be something present to us (we should be aware of it like how I am aware of the self). What is knowledge (the point of it) if one does not have awareness of it?

Thought?

that's exactly it. it's NOT an assumption because you have 'knowledge by presence' of it, just as you are aware of yourself at all times (even in states of shock for example, where you can lose sense of your limbs and body but not your self).

the mental image qua mental image is NOT affected by imagination. the fact that you're remembering a thing means you've seen it and it was stored in the mind. any play of the imagination has no effect on the actual image itself, but the way you decide to deal with that image post-recollection.

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what else would the knowledge you have recollected be a memory of?

Maybe there is no such thing as memory. We simply invented this idea of memory because of we have mental images that we think are of the past. The fact may be that these mental images we think are of the past are simple occurring now. In fact one can say that there is no such thing as a past except that it is occuring at the present moment.

I guess it just becomes a word game (because we still have this so called "experience of the past" even if there is no past). So Nevermind.

But actually this makes the whole idea of "immutable memory" irrelevant in a way. Why?

Because one simply has to point to the fact that they are self-aware. And because self-awareness is always occuring at the "present moment" it is unchanging and eternal just as much as the present moment is ever present, unchanging, and eternal.

Is it obvious now why this self-aware, eternal present, can't be the nervous system?

The only reason why philosophers bring up memory is to show that there is only the present moment. And that the past is in fact now.

What do you say though?

Edited by eThErEaL

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(

(salam)

Thank you for the link. The nature of discussion presented by Allameh here, being particularly involved in exegesis and the audience of readers, does not really expand on a detailed argument to the immateriality of the soul. However, this has been proven in the relevant areas of philosophy.

In philosophical discussions of Mulla Sadra, Avicenna, Aquinas and co, the arguments are very detailed and well constructed. Principally, everything material is particular and indeterminate, it is always an approximation of something. If our thinking faculty was material, it is IMPOSSIBLE for it to grasp universals. Universals however are of course universal and exact. For us to comprehend a universal, such as the form of cats - namely catness - the comprehending faculty must not be material, for something material can only take on THIS cat or THAT cat, but never can it grasp catness as a universal. For when we think of cats, it must be the form of cats that we think of, and if something material takes the form of something, it becomes that thing - i.e. it becomes the cat which entails absurdity. If it is not the form of cats that we are thinking of then we are not really thinking of cats but rather something else and this too entails many problems and sophistry. As such for us to grasp the many universals, our faculty cannot be material.

If you wish, I will present some detailed arguments in due course, when I have some time God willing.

Edited by InfiniteAscension

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(

(salam)

Thank you for the link. The nature of discussion presented by Allameh here, being particularly involved in exegesis and the audience of readers, does not really expand on a detailed argument to the immateriality of the soul. However, this has been proven in the relevant areas of philosophy.

In philosophical discussions of Mulla Sadra, Avicenna, Aquinas and co, the arguments are very detailed and well constructed. Principally, everything material is particular and indeterminate, it is always an approximation of something. If our thinking faculty was material, it is IMPOSSIBLE for it to grasp universals. Universals however are of course universal and exact. For us to comprehend a universal, such as the form of cats - namely catness - the comprehending faculty must not be material, for something material can only take on THIS cat or THAT cat, but never can it grasp catness as a universal. For when we think of cats, it must be the form of cats that we think of, and if something material takes the form of something, it becomes that thing - i.e. it becomes the cat which entails absurdity. If it is not the form of cats that we are thinking of then we are not really thinking of cats but rather something else and this too entails many problems and sophistry. As such for us to grasp the many universals, our faculty cannot be material.

If you wish, I will present some detailed arguments in due course, when I have some time God willing.

As-Salamun Alaykum,

Thank you for sharing with us your valuable and precious philosophical learnings. We hope to benefit more from future posts.

I have a question regarding what you just said. Is it true that Mulla Sadra talks about knowledge of particulars as well knowledge of universals? If so, is this knowledge of particulars immaterial? And how so given that particulars are material?

Edited by eThErEaL

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I like discussing ideas like this, but in all honesty, I have no clue what the OP is talking about. Otherwise id join in, having believed, and in a sense, still believe in materialistic ideas.

However, a few of the posts I have read sound reasonable, in that, memory is stored within unchanging matter, within out heads. You can destroy your brain cells and lose that memory though. Otherwise it lasts for a pretty long time (with respect to human life).

Edited by iDevonian

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I like discussing ideas like this, but in all honesty, I have no clue what the OP is talking about. Otherwise id join in, having believed, and in a sense, still believe in materialistic ideas.

However, a few of the posts I have read sound reasonable, in that, memory is stored within unchanging matter, within out heads. You can destroy your brain cells and lose that memory though. Otherwise it lasts for a pretty long time (with respect to human life).

http://plato.stanfor...es/mulla-sadra/

4.0 - 4.5

Edited by eThErEaL

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Mulla Sadra applies his metaphysics to problems in psychology and eschatology as well. Just as the totality of existence is singular with degrees of intensity, similarly intellect and the soul are singular realities with grades of intensity, since there is an intimate connection among existence, the intellect, and the soul as the concrete, intellectual, and psychic aspects of being.

Totality of existence is singular with degrees of intensity? As are the soul and singular realities? I havent the foggiest.

This entails a thoroughgoing pan-psychism in which for Mulla Sadra all existents are sentient beings that aspire to be "more intense" than they are, to a higher ontological level. Everything that exists thus possesses consciousness.

Rocks do not appear conscious. I still dont know whats going on.

Since all levels of intellect are connected, knowledge is an existential relationship of identity and the cognition of certainty

Since knowledge exists as a relationship between identity and ideas of certainty? what?

in which the intellecting subject becomes identified with the intellected object (ittihad al-‘aqil wa-l-ma‘qul).

What do they mean by, becomes identified?

Further, he uses his doctrine of modulation to explain physical resurrection, a theological doctrine that traditionally could not be philosophically demonstrated. He distinguishes two levels of resurrection that involve two "types" of body, a purely physical one and an “imaginal” body that is as real as the physical. The imaginal body is at first resurrected and can be demonstrated. This is predicated upon the existence of an ontological state of being known as the imaginal (mithali) that mediates between an intelligible world of concepts and the sensible world of things.

What?

It is used to explain those traditions that discuss abstract concepts such as fear and desire as having physical or corporeal features in resurrection. Concepts from the intelligible world can mimic the physicality of this world through the mediation of the imaginary realm of being.

still have no clue whats going on. Concepts from the intelligible world? What is the intelligible world? what is physicality, and what is meant by mediation?

I am not familiar with the jargon as a whole.

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I will make a humble attempt to explain (not prove) a little of what you seem to be so confused about. I don't believe this can even be proven. Because all this is trying to point to a self-evident knowledge which we are not necessarily aware of. So alll that is required is an understanding of what is going on.

Mulla Sadra applies his metaphysics to problems in psychology and eschatology as well. Just as the totality of existence is singular with degrees of intensity, similarly intellect and the soul are singular realities with grades of intensity, since there is an intimate connection among existence, the intellect, and the soul as the concrete, intellectual, and psychic aspects of being.

Totality of existence is singular with degrees of intensity? As are the soul and singular realities? I havent the foggiest.

Everything (dispite all of its multiplicity and difference) has something in common, and that is...they all exist! This existence which is the common thread found among all entities may seem like a mere abstract concept but it actually isn't. This existence is precisely everything concrete about the real world we see and is not simply an abstract idea in our minds. To give you an idea, when you taste a peice of bread you are tasting a little bit of existence. You are not tasting a bread which you then abstractly pin to it "the idea of existence or is-ness".

What is the implication of this? The implication is that the whole of reality, all of what exists, is essentially One. There is a concrete and real (not abstract in the mind) unifying principle to all the various things we see around us including ourselves.

I hope this makes sense so far.

So we have so far an essentially single reality (I.e. Is-ness or existence). But we also have a difference going on which we experience between various entities or things in the world. These differences are nothing but different limits of this One reality. Just to give you an analogy, light, as far as the naked eye can ascertain, is one. But this one light has various manifestations we call colors. There is white, blue, red etc.. These different colors, we can say, are nothing but pure limits of light as such. So there is an essential unity of light and also an accidental multiplicity of light (which we call colors). In the same manner, all the differences in phenomena are just different limits of one single existence or reality. There is an essential unity of existence (is-ness) and also an accidental multiplicity of existence (we call the different entities).

I'll address the rest later. :)

Edited by eThErEaL

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This entails a thoroughgoing pan-psychism in which for Mulla Sadra all existents are sentient beings that aspire to be "more intense" than they are, to a higher ontological level. Everything that exists thus possesses consciousness.Rocks do not appear conscious. I still dont know whats going on.

Existence is not distinct from Awareness (and for that matter, every single existential or positive quality). This is because existence (this one single reality) is everything. Therefore existence possesses all possible qualities (it is the reality of all possible qualities); not in a compartmentalized way, but in a simple and indivisible way. If this is understood it wouldn't be difficult to see why a rock, to the extent it exists (to the extent that it is not limited), is also conscious. The rock's existence, and therefore it's consciousness, is so limited that it pales in relation to our existence and consciousness. A rock is so limited in existence that it doesn't manifest a lot of the qualities we see in higher levels of existence (like that of a plant, an animal, and a human).

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(salam)

Thank you for the link. The nature of discussion presented by Allameh here, being particularly involved in exegesis and the audience of readers, does not really expand on a detailed argument to the immateriality of the soul. However, this has been proven in the relevant areas of philosophy.

In philosophical discussions of Mulla Sadra, Avicenna, Aquinas and co, the arguments are very detailed and well constructed. Principally, everything material is particular and indeterminate, it is always an approximation of something. If our thinking faculty was material, it is IMPOSSIBLE for it to grasp universals. Universals however are of course universal and exact. For us to comprehend a universal, such as the form of cats - namely catness - the comprehending faculty must not be material, for something material can only take on THIS cat or THAT cat, but never can it grasp catness as a universal. For when we think of cats, it must be the form of cats that we think of, and if something material takes the form of something, it becomes that thing - i.e. it becomes the cat which entails absurdity. If it is not the form of cats that we are thinking of then we are not really thinking of cats but rather something else and this too entails many problems and sophistry. As such for us to grasp the many universals, our faculty cannot be material.

If you wish, I will present some detailed arguments in due course, when I have some time God willing.

salam brother. thanks for your contribution. I didn't really paste the link for a specific reason except as to add another dimension to your point, and because I'd forgotten that Allamah had such a discourse in the first volume of Mizan..!

I have no issues with accepting or understanding conception of universals, and all the 8 proofs Sadra in Asfar (and Allamah in Usool Al Falsafah..) has put forth in their argument on the immateriality of the soul.

As-Salamun Alaykum,

Thank you for sharing with us your valuable and precious philosophical learnings. We hope to benefit more from future posts.

I have a question regarding what you just said. Is it true that Mulla Sadra talks about knowledge of particulars as well knowledge of universals? If so, is this knowledge of particulars immaterial? And how so given that particulars are material?

particulars in the external existence are material, but not the mental existence. remember their quiddities are what are equal the external and mental existences, and hence our assent to their unity.

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particulars in the external existence are material, but not the mental existence. remember their quiddities are what are equal the external and mental existences, and hence our assent to their unity.

Alright!

Shukran

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Existence is not distinct from Awareness (and for that matter, every single existential or positive quality). This is because existence (this one single reality) is everything. Therefore existence possesses all possible qualities (it is the reality of all possible qualities); not in a compartmentalized way, but in a simple and indivisible way. If this is understood it wouldn't be difficult to see why a rock, to the extent it exists (to the extent that it is not limited), is also conscious. The rock's existence, and therefore it's consciousness, is so limited that it pales in relation to our existence and consciousness. A rock is so limited in existence that it doesn't manifest a lot of the qualities we see in higher levels of existence (like that of a plant, an animal, and a human).

Maybe the rock just doesnt have the qualities of "higher levels of existence". I dont think I agree with that. The idea that, because something exists, it will possess all qualities.

but alright thanks.

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As-Salamun Alaykum,

Thank you for sharing with us your valuable and precious philosophical learnings. We hope to benefit more from future posts.

I have a question regarding what you just said. Is it true that Mulla Sadra talks about knowledge of particulars as well knowledge of universals? If so, is this knowledge of particulars immaterial? And how so given that particulars are material?

(wasalam)

Our ability to think of particulars must also be immaterial. If we say thinking of a tree is grasping the form of a tree, then this must be an immaterial process as a material entity in our mind turning into a tree is absurd. Secondly, it would mean we could not think about two particulars at the same time, which we can do.

Now Mulla Sadra is very interesting because he offered the theory of the unity between the knower and the known, and that the soul grows existentially everytime it knows something. This knowledge is not something added onto it, like paint added on to a wall, rather it unites and forms part of the very soul on it existential movement.

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(wasalam)

Our ability to think of particulars must also be immaterial. If we say thinking of a tree is grasping the form of a tree, then this must be an immaterial process as a material entity in our mind turning into a tree is absurd. Secondly, it would mean we could not think about two particulars at the same time, which we can do.

Now Mulla Sadra is very interesting because he offered the theory of the unity between the knower and the known, and that the soul grows existentially everytime it knows something. This knowledge is not something added onto it, like paint added on to a wall, rather it unites and forms part of the very soul on it existential movement.

Thank you!

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Do we undersand universals? like 'catness' - this is an invented concept surely? 'catness' is just a story. It only exists in the mind and the way it exists is subjective.

'Knowledge by presense' is a new one on me. Does it basically mean being deliberatly conscious? I think one of the biggest problems humans have is our identification with our thoughts as being 'who we are'. Who we are is a story we tell ourself based on very biased/distorted or entirely fictional recollections/perceptions. They are clearly at least partly stored in our material being, evidenced by the fact that damage to the material being can dramatically change the story of who we are. We are only present in the moment, and so we can only 'know' in that moment and the knowing can only be an aproximation of knowledge - a best guess dependent on our senses and the stillness (non-interfering) of mind. As soon as the mind starts its thought narative/projection we are no longer our most conscious and have lost the strongest aproximation of 'knowledge' we can have. There is nothing universal about it that i can recognise, we can only aproximately identifying with language. We cant know we are conceptualising the exact same way.

Sorry, i dont usually get into these kinds of discussions - i just found the 'catness' thing weird.

Edited by ~Ruqaya's Amal~

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As-Salamun Alaykum!

Do we undersand universals? like 'catness' - this is an invented concept surely? 'catness' is just a story. It only exists in the mind and the way it exists is subjective.

This discussion of universals goes back to Plato. For him these universals were what he called Forms. And, if anything, these Forms are objective and eternal. These Forms are not "out there" in the material realm (the material realm being made up of particular things). Nor are these Forms "in here" (in my individual mind or in my thoughts). Rather these Forms are beyond the distinction or dichotomy of "in here" and "out there". Let me give you an example. Beauty (a universal quality), for Plato, is a Form; which means that Beauty is not a mere thought associated with my thinking-ego. Nor is Beauty something material and perishing. Rather Beauty transcends both my thinking-ego (i.e. the subject) and the things in the world out there (i.e. the object). All the Forms are encompassed by the Form of the Good (the Form of all Forms, which we can call God).

'Knowledge by presense' is a new one on me. Does it basically mean being deliberatly conscious?

Knowledge by Presence simply mean the the awareness of the Now. But bear in mind that even if a person is not aware of the Now he still participates in it. After all the thinking-ego is only a thinking ego in the present moment.

So knowledge by presence (what this thread is about) is referring to the self-awareness of the present moment irrespective of whether people are participating in it or not.

Sorry, i dont usually get into these kinds of discussions - i just found the 'catness' thing weird.

The Catness is an aspect of the Now. It is eternal like the Now and is more specifically that aspect of the Now which makes a cat (when you see one) present in ("Your") awareness.

Edited by eThErEaL

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As-Salamun Alaykum!

This discussion of universals goes back to Plato. For him these universals were what he called Forms. And, if anything, these Forms are objective and eternal. These Forms are not "out there" in the material realm (the material realm being made up of particular things). Nor are these Forms "in here" (in my individual mind or in my thoughts). Rather these Forms are beyond the distinction or dichotomy of "in here" and "out there". Let me give you an example. Beauty (a universal quality), for Plato, is a Form; which means that Beauty is not a mere thought associated with my thinking-ego. Nor is Beauty something material and perishing. Rather Beauty transcends both my thinking-ego (i.e. the subject) and the things in the world out there (i.e. the object). All the Forms are encompassed by the Form of the Good (the Form of all Forms, which we can call God).

Knowledge by Presence simply mean the the awareness of the Now. But bear in mind that even if a person is not aware of the Now he still participates in it. After all the thinking-ego is only a thinking ego in the present moment.

So knowledge by presence (what this thread is about) is referring to the self-awareness of the present moment irrespective of whether people are participating in it or not.

The Catness is an aspect of the Now. It is eternal like the Now and is more specifically that aspect of the Now which makes a cat (when you see one) present in ("Your") awareness.

Salams and thank you for your informative reply. I havent studied philosophy or philosophers, so im not knowingly familiar with Plato's ideas. But its all very interesting and i keep meaning to get more invloved. I often feel i'd like to join in in these kinds of discussion but tend to feel a bit intimidated because, it seems so much of the time, that people have this prior knowledge about terms and certain concepts that im pretty clueless about. So thank you for engaging with me.

How can we say the forms are objective and eternal? you could guess they might be from Gods perspective, but from our own, when we percieve, the experience is subjective and we cant know we're experiencing something like someone else, even if we agree on a term for a 'form' can we?. Beauty is a good example of a concept which is invented by the mind, and although people might believe they have similar ways of interpreting the word, how can we call any of those perceptions permanent? maybe some things we are calling beauty arent even beauty, but a similar but different perceptual experience that is closer to awe or something else.

How can you not participate in a present moment you are aware of? even with minimal awareness of the moment, you are participating surely? (unless you mean irrespective of whether other people are participating?)

You can also be in the now without ego also. If youre not grasping, when thoughts are still, what you have is a purer kind of experience; If the narrative of thoughts and projections can be stilled. When this happens you are meeting the moment as fully as you can without the barrier of thought inbetween the experience. It seems that the thinking ego isnt in the present moment, and thats the problem - it always seems to be at least partly motivated by a future projected, using the moment as a means to a future end. The mental processes could be said to be taking place in the present moment, but the experiencer isnt in the present moment in their mind, their ego has taken them elsewhere and they are always less conscious, less here, if barely at all - a minimal awareness, like that of a robotic type creature that isnt concious that it is concious, but its eyes see and it feels the surface it is on etc.

Isnt the Now not subject to change because its definition doesnt change?... like, by its nature it is what ever is when it is noticed. But 'catness' can evolve - like, the things that people generally attribute to a 'catness' could evolve over time and become disassociated from it or have different attributes added...if you see what i mean (?)

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I often feel i'd like to join in in these kinds of discussion but tend to feel a bit intimidated because, it seems so much of the time, that people have this prior knowledge about terms and certain concepts that im pretty clueless about. So Thank you for engaging with me.
 I should say, thank YOU for engaging with us!  I thought your approach was different and interesting and so I wanted to see if I could relate what was being discussed in this thread (Knowledge by Presence) to what you were talking about.       
How can we say the forms are objective and eternal? you could guess they might be from Gods perspective, but from our own, when we percieve, the experience is subjective and we cant know we're experiencing something like someone else, even if we agree on a term for a 'form' can we?. Beauty is a good example of a concept which is invented by the mind, and although people might believe they have similar ways of interpreting the word, how can we call any of those perceptions permanent? maybe some things we are calling beauty arent even beauty, but a similar but different perceptual experience that is closer to awe or something else.

You know, I find it interesting that you say our experience is subjective.  I wonder about this in the context of Knowledge by Presence.  I would really like to know what "Contented Soul" and "Infinite Ascension" have to say about this.  

 

we cant know we're experiencing something like someone else, even if we agree on a term for a 'form' can we?

 Are you trying to say that beauty is simply an empty term or word with no significance and meaning?  If not, then what does this term refer to? A "form"? What is this "form" according to you?

although people might believe they have similar ways of interpreting the word, how can we call any of those perceptions permanent?

So perhaps you mean that the word "beauty" refers to our similar interpretations. But similar interpretations of what? And what makes these different interpretations similar?

Isn't the Now not subject to change because its definition doesnt change?... like, by its nature it is what ever is when it is noticed. But 'catness' can evolve - like, the things that people generally attribute to a 'catness' could evolve over time and become disassociated from it or have different attributes added...if you see what i mean (?)

Indeed, the Now is eternal, it doesn't change, and is immutable. In fact even when the Now is not noticed (because of our ego) It does not cease to exist (which is why it is immutable and eternal).

I can understand that our use of the term "cat" can evolve, but are you saying that the awareness, the knowledge of this cat "as what it is" can change? Is a knowledge which can change worthy of being called "knowledge"?

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