Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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Does it 'matter'?


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Sat, 17 Jun 2017 #1
Thumb_a1056283319_2 Tom Paine United States 1666 posts in this forum Offline

We were discussing in another thread K and Bohm's idea that thought is matter...or at least a 'material process'. I'm not clear how this helps us to understand human conflict and suffering and I was hoping we could explore it further in a thread dedicated to the topic. You say something to me and I'm hurt. I realize that I've been deeply hurt all my life...by parents, school teachers, my religious beliefs, my peers, my boss at work, in my relationships. Does K and Bohm's statement help me to understand my hurt? How does it help me to understand myself? Does it?

Here's something Huguette posted on the topic in the other thread:

Huguette wrote:

If thought IS matter or is a process which is totally dependent on matter, doesn't this fact (if it is a fact) completely destroy the traditional notion of what self is? It seems to me that it does that. Does it?

Looking at it strictly technically, is thought/memory in the computer which is put together by thought any different than thought/memory in the marvelous living computer which is the brain which is not put together by thought? Just as it's not necessary to understand the complex (to me) and many details of how memory/thought operates in a computer in order to understand that there is no independent and separate self beyond the obviously material computer, I don't think it's necessary to understand the complex and many details of how memory/thought operates in the human brain to understand that there is no separate self beyond the material brain. But isn't it an important and relevant point to understand in our .... I don't even know what to call it ... "enquiry", even though it doesn't end our suffering?

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This post was last updated by Tom Paine Sat, 17 Jun 2017.

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Sat, 17 Jun 2017 #2
Thumb_a1056283319_2 Tom Paine United States 1666 posts in this forum Offline

Perhaps the key is that memory is matter...dead matter....but we continually give it life....keep it alive in thought, and lead our lives based upon the authority of a dead thing...limited matter. I don't know if this makes any sense.

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This post was last updated by Tom Paine Sat, 17 Jun 2017.

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Sun, 18 Jun 2017 #3
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3356 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
We were discussing in another thread K and Bohm's idea that thought is matter...or at least a 'material process'. I'm not clear how this helps us to understand human conflict and suffering and I was hoping we could explore it further in a thread dedicated to the topic. You say something to me and I'm hurt. I realize that I've been deeply hurt all my life...by parents, school teachers, my religious beliefs, my peers, my boss at work, in my relationships. Does K and Bohm's statement help me to understand my hurt? How does it help me to understand myself? Does it?

Thanks for starting a new thread, Tom.

In seeking to understand conflict and suffering, I feel the first inquiry needs to be “What does understanding mean?” But before looking at that, I would like to present this little poem. It is from Aldous Huxley's book “Island”

Thought is the brain's three milliards

Of cells from the inside out.

Billions of games of billiards

Marked up as faith and doubt

*

My faith, but their collisions;

My logic, their enzymes;

Their pink epinephrine my visions;

Their white epinephrine, my crimes.

*

Since I am the felt arrangement

Of ten to the ninth times three,

Each atom in its estrangement

Must yet be prophetic of me.

**

This was published in 1962, but I think it would still represent broad scientific theory. So this is one way of 'understanding' what we are, understanding feelings, emotions, thoughts – they are bio-chemical changes in the brain. A process in the material of the brain.

Now you ask how this helps in understanding conflict and suffering.

Does this explain things sufficiently? Over to you, and others.

This post was last updated by Clive Elwell Sun, 18 Jun 2017.

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Sun, 18 Jun 2017 #4
Thumb_a1056283319_2 Tom Paine United States 1666 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Does this explain things sufficiently?

I see that thought/emotion is a material process in the brain and body, but I'm not sure that it does. Does it get to the root of suffering? Of inner and outer conflict? Violence? Can anyone say how this touches on the issue of conflict and violence...in 'me'...in the world?

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Mon, 19 Jun 2017 #5
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3356 posts in this forum Offline

A "material process" implies a mechanical process, does it not? It implies the fact that the thought is conditioned. What does that mean? It means that the brain cells have been arranged in a certain way, a certain pattern. And from that pattern, they automatically react to a challenge, to a stimulous. Pavlov's dog starts to salivate when it hears a bell - it is a completely meaningless response to hearing the sound of the bell, but it has been conditioned that way. And a human being, meeting a person he/she has never met before, remembers (ie the brain cells activate) some past realtionship where they got hurt, and so reacts defensivly (ie without affection) to the new person.

The new person may not be out to hurt you, he may be open, affectionate, but "you" cannot see that, because of the conditioning operating in you - ie because of certain mechanical patterns, certain material processes happening in the brain.

The response can never meet the challenge, because it is only a reaction of this material process.

But your question is, does seeing this help? Does seeing that your feelings are not some absolute reality - they are not TRUE - help to transcend the limitations that those feelings impose on you?

Surely it does. But the question is, do we really see that the feeings, the reations, the convictions, actually ARE a conditioned response,a material process in the brain?

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Mon, 19 Jun 2017 #6
Thumb_a1056283319_2 Tom Paine United States 1666 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
The new person may not be out to hurt you, he may be open, affectionate, but "you" cannot see that, because of the conditioning operating in you - ie because of certain mechanical patterns, certain material processes happening in the brain.

The response can never meet the challenge, because it is only a reaction of this material process.

Yes! Didn't see this yesterday...very true.

Clive Elwell wrote:
But your question is, does seeing this help? Does seeing that your feelings are not some absolute reality - they are not TRUE - help to transcend the limitations that those feelings impose on you?

Will this insight put an end to the 'me'...the self...conditioned reacting? I would tend to say, no. What do you say, Clive? Anyone?

Let it Be

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Mon, 19 Jun 2017 #7
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3356 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
Will this insight put an end to the 'me'...the self...conditioned reacting? I would tend to say, no. What do you say, Clive? Anyone?

Can we widen the question somewhat? Can we ask is it helpful, useful to see the true nature of thought? is this still in tune with your original question, Tom?

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Mon, 19 Jun 2017 #8
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3356 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
Will this insight put an end to the 'me'...the self...conditioned reacting? I would tend to say, no. What do you say, Clive? Anyone?

Can we widen the question somewhat? Can we ask is it helpful, useful to see the true nature of thought? is this still in tune with your original question, Tom?

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Mon, 19 Jun 2017 #9
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3356 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
Will this insight put an end to the 'me'...the self...conditioned reacting? I would tend to say, no. What do you say, Clive? Anyone?

Can we widen the question somewhat? Can we ask is it helpful, useful to see the true nature of thought? is this still in tune with your original question, Tom?

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Mon, 19 Jun 2017 #10
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3356 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
Will this insight put an end to the 'me'...the self...conditioned reacting? I would tend to say, no. What do you say, Clive? Anyone?

Can we widen the question somewhat? Can we ask is it helpful, useful to see the true nature of thought? is this still in tune with your original question, Tom?

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Mon, 19 Jun 2017 #11
Thumb_a1056283319_2 Tom Paine United States 1666 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Can we widen the question somewhat? Can we ask is it helpful, useful to see the true nature of thought? is this still in tune with your original question, Tom?

Absolutely. I think it 'matters' greatly to see the conditioned nature of thought. And it seems to go a long way to help to resolve conflict in one's daily living. But does it help to see that 'thought is matter...a material process'? I'm still not totally clear about all the implications of K and Bohm's statements.

Let it Be

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Tue, 20 Jun 2017 #12
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3356 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
Absolutely. I think it 'matters' greatly to see the conditioned nature of thought.

Is there a great deal of difference between seeing that thought is matter and thought is conditioned?

But OK, so we can drop that “thought is matter” assumption for the moment, and ask if it is useful, meaningful, in the matter of resolving the problems of existence, to see the true nature of thought? And the question arises, “what IS the true nature of thought?”. And also in #6 you ask: "Will this insight put an end to the 'me'?" Are you thinking in terms of ending the self at one stroke, as it were, once and for all? I have doubts about that.

It seems to me there are only two options in meeting life's problems – which are really, I think we would agree, all problems that thought has created. One option is to try to use thought to solve its own problems. This is the method generally adopted by the world, consciously or unconsciously. I reject that. It just takes us into the process of “thought B trying to change thought A”, and we have discussed that sort of thing pretty thoroughly. It just produces more conflict, and proliferates the problems. It just produces more and more mischief.

So what is left? Is it not to examine thought itself? Which means not to be overly concerned with what thought manifests as content, what it says, but to be concerned with the very process of thought itself. Where does it come from? How does it manifest? Why is it so ubiquitous? What is its nature? And will answers to these questions change things in any way?

Have to leave it there for the moment.

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Tue, 20 Jun 2017 #13
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3356 posts in this forum Offline

We are asking if seeing the true nature of thought will make a difference. This suddenly came:

If the true nature of thought is truth, then it will not make a difference, since truth is the same whether it is seen or not. If the true nature of thought is not truth, but is false, then it will make a difference, because falseness, illusion, does dissolve when it is seen.

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Tue, 20 Jun 2017 #14
Thumb_a1056283319_2 Tom Paine United States 1666 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
If the true nature of thought is not truth, but is false, then it will make a difference, because falseness, illusion, does dissolve when it is seen.

Yes, seeing that thought is not truth...can never be truth... is a big insight....agreed. Nor is thought intelligence. Some very interesting discussions on the forum lately Clive. Thanks for your input, and for keeping this forum going!

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Tue, 20 Jun 2017.

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Wed, 21 Jun 2017 #15
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3356 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
Yes, seeing that thought is not truth...can never be truth... is a big insight....agreed. Nor is thought intelligence.

So do you feel that your original question has been answered, Tom? In a meaningful way?

We have talked about "the true nature of thought". We might ask what is that true nature.

Tom Paine wrote:
Thanks for your input, and for keeping this forum going!

Thank you for the thanks, Tom. I must admit at times I have doubts about keeping it going. Although of course it is not me who does it keep it going, but the whole bunch of you.

I have seen that my relationship to the forum, my participation, has changed considerably since its inception. It is much more part of my life. The inquiries that I participate in are only an extension of the inquiries that are going on in me, day and night. Although better I use the word in the singular, inquiry, since it is all part of one, integral, on-going inquiry.

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Wed, 21 Jun 2017 #16
Thumb_a1056283319_2 Tom Paine United States 1666 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
So do you feel that your original question has been answered, Tom? In a meaningful way?

Yes. I think that insight into K's statement that 'the thinker is the thought' goes a long way towards eliminating conflict in ones life. And seeing that the thinker....as thought B acting on thought A, etc....is just more thinking. That A and B are both thought....that 'I' am thought....a limited material process ...memory stored in the brain cells based upon past experience. Thought is not intelligence...not insight....truth...beauty... love....understanding....nor awareness. So with this understanding, isn't all psychological effort ended?

Let it Be

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Wed, 21 Jun 2017 #17
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 318 posts in this forum Offline

13:

Clive Elwell wrote:
We are asking if seeing the true nature of thought will make a difference. This suddenly came:

If the true nature of thought is truth, then it will not make a difference, since truth is the same whether it is seen or not. If the true nature of thought is not truth, but is false, then it will make a difference, because falseness, illusion, does dissolve when it is seen.

As you say, whether or not we understand what thought is made of, does not change the fact or truth of it.

We see (maybe) that there is no self outside of thought. Is that understanding about thought/self enough? Does it also matter whether thought is matter or not?

It seems to me that one may perhaps understand the nature of self, and still be under some illusion as to the capabilities of thought. What do you think?

If thought is matter or rather a material process, isn't it bound by the nature, attributes or properties of that matter? Isn't it important for us (for the mind) to understand whether or not thought is limited by the condition of being matter? Can matter be creative? Can matter understand? Can matter go beyond itself to the new?

Also, if thought is not matter or a material process, what can it possibly be?

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Wed, 21 Jun 2017 #18
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 318 posts in this forum Offline

13:

Clive Elwell wrote:
We are asking if seeing the true nature of thought will make a difference. This suddenly came:

If the true nature of thought is truth, then it will not make a difference, since truth is the same whether it is seen or not. If the true nature of thought is not truth, but is false, then it will make a difference, because falseness, illusion, does dissolve when it is seen.

As you say, whether or not we understand what thought is made of, does not change the fact or truth of it.

We see (maybe) that there is no self outside of thought. Is that understanding about thought/self enough? Does it also matter whether thought is matter or not?

It seems to me that one may perhaps understand the nature of self, and still be under some illusion as to the capabilities of thought. What do you think?

If thought is matter or rather a material process, isn't it bound by the nature, attributes or properties of that matter? Isn't it important for us (for the mind) to understand whether or not thought is limited by the condition of being matter? Can matter be creative? Can matter understand? Can matter go beyond itself to the new?

Also, if thought is not matter or a material process, what can it possibly be?

Later:

The mind can also see that thought is also energy or that thought is related to energy. Is it so? Inquisitiveness, anger, jealousy, danger, and so on - all these things give energy, impel movement, action, don't they? Of course, I'm not a scientist and I don't KNOW or understand the physics or mechanics of it. I think though that even the non-scientific mind can observe/understand directly that matter and energy are related, and that energy is released by matter, no? - being mindful not the take this as a conclusion or fact.

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Wed, 21 Jun 2017 #19
Thumb_a1056283319_2 Tom Paine United States 1666 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
The mind can also see that thought is also energy or that thought is related to energy. Is it so? Inquisitiveness, anger, jealousy, danger, and so on - all these things give energy, impel movement, action, don't they

A fire releases the energy stored in the wood as heat? May be so....I'm no scientist either. However is memory itself, stored in the brain cells, energy? A painful memory can cause the release of tremendous energy in the body, but I don't see memory itself as energy. Do you see thought as a movement of memory? Of limited memory and knowledge? That's how I'm understanding it. I won't say more here, as I'm a bit confused as to how this relates to understanding oneself....understanding violence, anger, craving, or any other conflict. So "Does it matter?" I honestly can't say.

Let it Be

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Wed, 21 Jun 2017 #20
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 318 posts in this forum Offline

re 19:

Tom,

I do see thought and memory as inseparable. An active memory is a thought. A thought comes from memory. Inseparable.

Isn't thought-in-motion energy, and thought-at-rest potential energy? Anger, friction, conflict, desire, motive ... aren't they energy which comes from the movement of divided thought? Where the movement of thought causes conflict or friction, isn't that energy draining on the organism, a waste of energy? Curiosity, necessary tasks, etc., are also energy resulting from the movement of thought, but there is no waste or drain of energy because there is no friction or conflict. No?

The movement of thought is a mechanical process, material movement ... related movements within the brain of brain cells, hormones, electricity, and I don't know what all, producing thought, isn't it?

So is there any significance of this line of questioning? If thought is matter, a material process, I don't see how understanding the fact of it can be considered irrelevant to self-understanding. I am angry. That anger is produced by the mechanical process of the material components of thought (brain cells, hormones etc.) within matter (the brain). That material process, that self-image, that self wants to act on anger as though self were an immaterial thing unrelated to material anger, as thought self and anger were made of different "stuff". Isn't it important to understand that both anger and self are made of the same thing?

I'm still not saying I'm "right", not at all.

This post was last updated by Huguette . Wed, 21 Jun 2017.

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Wed, 21 Jun 2017 #21
Thumb_a1056283319_2 Tom Paine United States 1666 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
I am angry. That anger is produced by the mechanical process of the material components of thought (brain cells, hormones etc.) within matter (the brain). That material process, that self-image, that self wants to act on anger as though self were an immaterial thing unrelated to material anger, as thought self and anger were made of different "stuff". Isn't it important to understand that both anger and self are made of the same thing?

Clive and I have discussed just this point that you're saying here in bold Huguette....though we expressed it a little differently. Thought B (me) thinkS itself as being essentially different from thought A (I am angry, afraid, etc). The controller vs the controlled....both are 'me'....both thought.

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Wed, 21 Jun 2017 #22
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 499 posts in this forum Offline

Just a game of words that played in my mind today

it doesn't matter how matter moves
but the force behind the moving matters
if this force is only matter it forms a chain
but if spirit is the force it's another matter
than matter changes matters course
this even is valid for spirit itself
becourse if spirit is driven by matter
it also forms a chain that matter

So it matter that it doesn't matter

Truth will unfold itself for those who enquire their own actions and only to them and for them and to or for no one else.

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Thu, 22 Jun 2017 #23
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3356 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
isn't all psychological effort ended?

Is this a theoretical question? Or has it ended for you, completely?

Tom Paine wrote:
And seeing that the thinker....as thought B acting on thought A, etc....is just more thinking. That A and B are both thought....that 'I' am thought....a limited material process ...memory stored in the brain cells based upon past experience. Thought is not intelligence...not insight....truth...beauty... love....understanding....nor awareness.

Yes, certainly these insights point towards the meaninglessness of psychological effort. But like all the basic movements of the psyche, they have a tremendous momentum. Perhpas this is because they have been reinforced in countless millions of people, over many thousands of years. So they have enormous persistance. The falseness has to be seen, has to be lived, over and over again.

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Thu, 22 Jun 2017 #24
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3356 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
As you say, whether or not we understand what thought is made of, does not change the fact or truth of it.

Actually I did not quite say this.

Huguette . wrote:
We see (maybe) that there is no self outside of thought. Is that understanding about thought/self enough? Does it also matter whether thought is matter or not?

For myself I find what matters (apart from what you describe above) is the seeing that thought is imaginary. Whether it is matter on not, it has no substance, it has no base for the myriad things that it claims are so. Thought is nothing but imagination. This is an over-simplification, because it can reflect the real world. But never is it 'true'. always it is a fragment.

Huguette . wrote:
It seems to me that one may perhaps understand the nature of self, and still be under some illusion as to the capabilities of thought. What do you think?

I think that there is a difficulty in your question, which is the use of the word "one". Is there a "one"? or is there only the myriad fragments of thought? Is there anywhere firm to stand to make any judgement? One fragment on thought may understand another fragment, but that does not prevent other fragments from being in ilusion, does it?

But having said that, I have to add that the fact that 'the thinker is the thought' is not just a fragment, it is a fundamental movement and illsion of thought.

Huguette . wrote:
Isn't it important to understand that both anger and self are made of the same thing?

I'm still not saying I'm "right", not at all.

Well, I'll say that you are right, Huguette :-).

This post was last updated by Clive Elwell Thu, 22 Jun 2017.

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2 days ago #25
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 318 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
As you say, whether or not we understand what thought is made of, does not change the fact or truth of it.

Clive Elwell wrote:
Actually I did not quite say this.

Clive, Don't feel obliged to explain your meaning if you don't feel like it, it's just a minor point, but I'm just puzzled about what you did mean (below).

Clive Elwell wrote at 13:
We are asking if seeing the true nature of thought will make a difference. This suddenly came:

If the true nature of thought is truth, then it will not make a difference, since truth is the same whether it is seen or not.

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2 days ago #26
Thumb_a1056283319_2 Tom Paine United States 1666 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Tom Paine wrote:

isn't all psychological effort ended?
Is this a theoretical question? Or has it ended for you, completely?

psychological division/conflict ends completely in the moment of seeing this, yes. NOt bringing in any idea of time or permanency here.

Clive Elwell wrote:
But like all the basic movements of the psyche, they have a tremendous momentum. Perhpas this is because they have been reinforced in countless millions of people, over many thousands of years.

I'm not sure if time/years has anything to do with it or not. It may just be inattention....plus the whole society is constantly reinforcing the notion of 'me' and becoming...attaining...effort...and all the other movements of self we're discussing. Maybe that's why I disconnected the cable TV years ago. I can barely stand to watch it for even a few minutes other than a nature show or some other documentary....but nothing else. It's too much insanity to bear!

Let it Be

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1 hour ago #27
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3356 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette wrote (quoting Clive):
If the true nature of thought is truth, then it will not make a difference, since truth is the same whether it is seen or not.

Huguette: Clive, Don't feel obliged to explain your meaning if you don't feel like it, it's just a minor point, but I'm just puzzled about what you did mean (below).

I will have a try, do not know if I can recreate what was perceived then.

I think the crucial word was "if". I was not saying that the true nature if thought IS truth, seems that it is not. But I was examining the possibility. So if thought is 'true', then nothing will change it, will it? Is not truth an absolute, unshakable. No matter what might be thought about it, how it might be questioned, it remains what it is.

So, referring back to Tom's questions, nothing will make a difference to thought if it is "true". But it it is not true, then its falseness can be seen, and that DOES make a difference.

Huguette, I sent you a personal message, I don't know if you check your message box? - Clive

This post was last updated by Clive Elwell 1 hour ago.

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1 hour ago #28
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3356 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
I'm not sure if time/years has anything to do with it or not. It may just be inattention....plus the whole society is constantly reinforcing the notion of 'me' and becoming...attaining...effort...and all the other movements of self we're discussing

So why is 'society' so seeped in the things of the self? Is it not because of what I said?:

they have a tremendous momentum. Perhpas this is because they have been reinforced in countless millions of people, over many thousands of years.

So in this sense time does have something to do with it, no?

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1 hour ago #29
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 3356 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
If thought is matter or rather a material process, isn't it bound by the nature, attributes or properties of that matter?

I have sometimes pondered that if thought is matter, and as it is obviously in motion, it should be bound by Newtons laws of motion:

Newton's First Law states that an object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an external force. It may be seen as a statement about inertia, that objects will remain in their state of motion unless a force acts to change the motion. ...

Thought certainly does have a tremendous inertia. Notice that it is an EXTERNAL FORCE that can change its direction.

The third Law is, roughly, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

This certainly seems to apply to thought.

Huguette . wrote:
Isn't it important for us (for the mind) to understand whether or not thought is limited by the condition of being matter?

I would say not only important, but essential, crucial. That perception seems to be the only possibility of transcending the limited nature of thought.

Huguette . wrote:
Can matter be creative? Can matter understand? Can matter go beyond itself to the new?

Might it be, Huguette, that we, as human beings, are nature's attempt to answer those questions?

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