How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

A forum for those wishing to discuss Buddhist history and teachings in the Western academic manner, referencing appropriate sources.
User avatar
KarmaOcean
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 5:42 am
Location: English

Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Postby KarmaOcean » Sun Jan 08, 2017 5:52 am

Kenneth Chan wrote:You seem to be under the impression that only science can verify things. This is so wrong. So called "scientific evidence" actually means something detectable by scientific machines. But machines cannot detect everything. That is why there is actually no "scientific evidence" that consciousness even exists. There are simply no machines that can directly detect consciousness. So does that mean that consciousness is nonexistent, and we are all zombies?

No, it means "there are simply no machines that can directly detect consciousness."

Kenneth Chan wrote:A direct experiential interpretation of quantum mechanics, without ad hoc additions, inserted by hand, tells us that, in fact, particles are dependently originated. Crucially, this dependent arising of the object requires the act of measurement or observation by the conscious observer.

We have no scientific evidence that there is either "consciousness" and hence no scientific evidence of "observers".

To presume that the wave-function is dependant upon observation is akin to:
Kenneth Chan wrote:the primitive man insisting that the picture on the monitor must be derived from the physical parts of the control panel itself.

Sir, When arguing against your own present comprehension of the exponent's doctrine,
if you've failed to properly comprehend the exponent's doctrine, your argument is necessarily faulty.

According to Mahayana Buddhism there are no concious observers.

Yet you assert the permanence of the observer.

User avatar
KarmaOcean
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 5:42 am
Location: English

Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Postby KarmaOcean » Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:13 am

Kenneth Chan wrote:You seem to be under the impression that only science can verify things.


On the contrary. It's you who thinks things can be verified.

Anyone, even a child, can read English well enough so of course I understand your simplictic reasoning.

You argue that machines verify things, and consoicness verifes machines, and then form faulty notions about consoicness verifing machines verifing consoicness (not a typo).

Of this paradoxical loop you seem unable to escape. Therefore your reasoning, being a product of what is being reasoned, is unsuprisingly without reason.

boda
Posts: 1150
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:40 pm

Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Postby boda » Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:24 am

Kenneth Chan wrote:
boda wrote:
Kenneth Chan wrote:
Wooden puppets are not conscious, while sentient beings are. Also, there is no evidence that mind is derived purely from matter, so sentient beings are not entirely "composed of the very same matter which is being observed."

Is there a source for your claim that there's no evidence that mind is derived purely from matter?

I believe there is evidence. The contents of our minds are derived from sense data (stimuli via the nervous system), or sensed physical matter. A mind cannot develop without sense data, and a developed mind cut off from sense data, regardless of the initial response to sensory depravation, will rapidly degenerate in continued depravation.

We simply don't know things that are not derived from the physical world around us. Further, we only know a fraction of what goes on around us, due to the limitations of our physical form. Even if we developed new sense organs or enhanced the physical sense organs that we have, our physical minds don't possess the structure to process the new sense data. In other words, our minds are limited by the physical structure of our form.

This issue is covered in my paper in Section 5.4 (http://kenneth-chan.com/physics/direct- ... cs/#Direct). Allow me to reproduce it here for you. Perhaps you can read it first and, after that, we can discuss any further issues you may have concerning this.

I should clarify that I was presenting evidence that mind is at least dependent on matter. I don't know of any evidence that proves mind is derived purely from matter. I'm not even sure exactly what that might mean, having a somewhat blurry understanding of mind/form. For instance, could there be 'matter' if there were no minds to contrive the notion of matter? And if there were no matter could there be minds? If the two are inextricably linked, mutually dependent, nondual.... does it make any sense to say that one is derived from the other?

In any case your distinction are not clear at this point. You appear to view the terms mind and consciousness as synonymous. I think it's implicit in my prior post that mind is not reducible to brain. I don't believe it's reducible to consciousness either, at least not a human mind.

5.4 The Case Against Materialism

The case against pure materialism, and against the claim that consciousness must be derived from matter, is actually very strong. In the first place, there is no actual scientific evidence that consciousness arises from matter. ...

This may not align with your view of consciousness but it could be interpreted as evidence. See: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2014/07/10/why-it-matters-that-human-consciousness-may-be-just-a-simple-on-off-switch-in-the-brain/?utm_term=.6fc7b632478c

boda
Posts: 1150
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:40 pm

Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Postby boda » Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:26 am

Kenneth Chan wrote:
boda wrote:To reiterate, most can easily understand the body as an interplay of organs, and the organs an interplay of cell, and the cells an interplay of molecules... and all of it transitory in nature. This is not revolutionary in the least. The only difference is that most don't incorporate this insight into a religious narrative or find it spiritually meaningful. Indeed Madhyamika philosophy may add a measure of meaning to Quantum physics for you, but for others it may not. In any case, meaningful interpretations and solving practical problems are two different things. The former is the domain of religion and the latter is that of science.

You are still missing the point. In an interplay, we usually think of two or more separate entities coming together and interacting. Here, we have a situation where there is interaction but there are no separate entities to begin with! If you find that hard to imagine, that is exactly what makes this way of thinking revolutionary.

Emptiness doesn't fly unless it applies to everything. I think you're missing my point, which is essentially that you're claiming a spiritually meaningful understanding is revolutionary. It can of course be revolutionary in spiritual or religious meaning. Within the domain of science however, a paradigm shift is founded on established laws, not theories, and earlier in the topic you explicitly defined your paper as theoretical. Meaningful interpretations and theories do not a paradigm shift make.

User avatar
Wayfarer
Posts: 2999
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Postby Wayfarer » Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:48 am

Boda wrote: a paradigm shift is founded on established laws...


A paradigm shift (Thomas Kuhn uses the word in a variety of different ways in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions) is a major shift in the way the world is understood. The paradigmatic case is the shift from Ptolmaic to the Copernican cosmology. It's arguable that another is required, as a consequence of what has been discovered through QM. I think Kenneth is arguing for a paradigm shift - from scientific materialism, to something like Madhyamika.

Kenneth Chan wrote: So called "scientific evidence" actually means something detectable by scientific machines. But machines cannot detect everything. That is why there is actually no "scientific evidence" that consciousness even exists. There are simply no machines that can directly detect consciousness.


I really would like to agree with the sentiment, but you overstate the case. If some poor unfortunate person suffers a brain injury or stroke, then they are attached to an fMRI scanner which can detect brain activity; from this doctors can tell what, if any, conscious activity is going on, or declare the person is 'brain dead', i.e. no signs of consciousness, which is often grounds for disconnection of life-support.

I know there are many doubts being cast around some of the conclusions that are being drawn on the basis of fMRI scans. Like yourself, I don't think that science can detect what is unique to consciousness through such instruments - but to simply assert that machines can't detect consciousness tout courte is to overstate the case.

This problem of how consciousness could conceivably be derived from matter is a well recognised problem in philosophy of mind, and is called the "hard problem."


I've read a lot about 'the hard problem of consciousness' also, but it means nothing to the committed materialist. Daniel Dennett, who is the main antagonist of David Chalmers, simply refuses to acknowledge that 'the hard problem of consciousness' is really a problem. He simply says the 'feeling of being' is what brain activity appears like from the inside.

I think Dennett is mistaken, and Chalmers is in the right, but there's no way to prove that, according to criteria which materialism itself will recognize. Once you've seen through materialism, then of course the shortcomings are obvious, but they're not at all obvious to those who haven't seen through it. And for those who haven't or won't see through it then the argument from 'the hard problem of consciousness' is easy to dismiss, and your explanations simply beg the question (i.e. they assume what needs to be proven).

Kenneth Chan wrote: It is quantum mechanics that tells us that this is impossible, since there is no inherently existing elementary particle that is not dependently arisen.


This has been the subject of many great debates within physics. There is, or was, a school of thought called 'consciousness causes collapse', which is associated with Von Neumann and Wigner, and has been picked up by books such as Tao of Physics and many other pop-sci works of that kind. But I think the reasoning makes very many large leaps of logic.

Again, I agree that quantum physics itself undermines materialism - that much I'm sure of. But many details remain to be elucidated, and many of the 'obvious conclusions' you're drawing aren't really supported by your arguments.

(It must be a bit uncomfortable being the object of so much criticism in what you might have anticipated would be a congenial setting. If it's any consolation, I don't think your post would even be allowed at Physics Forum.)
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

Kenneth Chan
Posts: 168
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:35 am

Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Postby Kenneth Chan » Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:44 am


Please take a close look at this article. This is typical of scientists making outlandish claims that are totally unjustified. They claim they have found a way to turn consciousness on and off. This is ludicrous. Just because they can interrupt a woman's conscious state with electrical impulses, they dare to claim they can turn consciousness ON? They have absolutely no idea how to do that, but they still claim it! I have both a medical degree and a physics degree, and I know for a fact that this claim is rubbish.

Kenneth Chan
Posts: 168
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:35 am

Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Postby Kenneth Chan » Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:57 am

Wayfarer wrote:It must be a bit uncomfortable being the object of so much criticism in what you might have anticipated would be a congenial setting. If it's any consolation, I don't think your post would even be allowed at Physics Forum.

I have been on various forums, including physics forums arguing over quantum physics with actual physicists. This kind of reaction on forums is quite typical. Some people just like to argue for the sake of arguing, and that is why they post on forums in the first place (I am not accusing anyone in particular of this of course). Also, practically no one ever admits they are wrong on forums of this kind; so the only thing that can be done is to put forth your position or explanation and leave it for the readers to judge for themselves whether you are correct or not.

So far, I have not encountered any argument that has actually hurt my position in any way. Most are just misunderstandings or misinterpretations of what I am saying. Also, a large chunk of this thread is over arguments concerning the Gelug interpretation of Madhyamaka, which of course does not really affect the main theme of the thread concerning quantum physics and Madhyamika philosophy.

At some point, I am going to choose not to respond to some comments which, to me, are so obviously incorrect or so totally taken out of context, that it is really not worth my while doing so.

Felix
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:33 pm

Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Postby Felix » Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:20 pm

iI can assure you that I would not argue for the sake of arguing.
Neither would I refuse to admit that I was wrong if I had posted a critique of your theory.
I just think that it is hugely, distractingly , irrelevant to those who turn to the Dharma as a means of ending their suffering.
That is the last you will hear from me on this thread, which I think amounts to no more than a personal hobbyhorse.
But if anyone benefits from it..then good luck.

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 21744
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:35 pm

Kenneth Chan wrote:
So far, I have not encountered any argument that has actually hurt my position in any way.


You do not acknowledge arguments which reject your position. So, it is no wonder that you have never "encountered" any such arguments.
Atikosha
Tibetan Medicine Blog
Sudarsana Mandala, Tibetan Medicine and Herbs
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


So called “sentient beings” are merely delusions self-appearing from the dhātu of luminosity.

-- Ju Mipham

Kenneth Chan
Posts: 168
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:35 am

Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Postby Kenneth Chan » Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:38 pm

Felix wrote:iI can assure you that I would not argue for the sake of arguing.
Neither would I refuse to admit that I was wrong if I had posted a critique of your theory.
I just think that it is hugely, distractingly , irrelevant to those who turn to the Dharma as a means of ending their suffering.
That is the last you will hear from me on this thread, which I think amounts to no more than a personal hobbyhorse.
But if anyone benefits from it..then good luck.

The purpose, of pointing out that quantum physics provides evidence that Madhyamika philosophy is correct, is not for the benefit of those who are already on the spiritual path. They have no need for such confirmation. The purpose is to benefit those, who are not already on the spiritual path, by encouraging them to look more closely at Buddhism, and hopefully to eventually embark on the spiritual journey themselves. This, I believe, is also the purpose of the recent conference on "Quantum Physics and Madhyamika Philosophical View" which was presided by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama.

Kenneth Chan
Posts: 168
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:35 am

Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Postby Kenneth Chan » Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:39 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Kenneth Chan wrote:So far, I have not encountered any argument that has actually hurt my position in any way.

You do not acknowledge arguments which reject your position. So, it is no wonder that you have never "encountered" any such arguments.

I leave it to the readers to assess for themselves whether what you say is true or not.

User avatar
conebeckham
Posts: 4127
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Postby conebeckham » Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:30 pm

Felix wrote:iI can assure you that I would not argue for the sake of arguing.
Neither would I refuse to admit that I was wrong if I had posted a critique of your theory.
I just think that it is hugely, distractingly , irrelevant to those who turn to the Dharma as a means of ending their suffering.
That is the last you will hear from me on this thread, which I think amounts to no more than a personal hobbyhorse.
But if anyone benefits from it..then good luck.


Ding ding ding!
We have a winner!!
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."

May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.

boda
Posts: 1150
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:40 pm

Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Postby boda » Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:13 am

Kenneth Chan wrote:

Please take a close look at this article. This is typical of scientists making outlandish claims that are totally unjustified. They claim they have found a way to turn consciousness on and off. This is ludicrous. Just because they can interrupt a woman's conscious state with electrical impulses, they dare to claim they can turn consciousness ON? They have absolutely no idea how to do that, but they still claim it!

To be clear, they don't claim to fully understand or know how to recreate consciousness. They only seem to be able to turn it off and on, like I can turn on and off this laptop I'm now using, despite not knowing exactly how it works or having the ability to recreate it.

As it mentions in the article (see quote below), they don't have a very exalted view of consciousness.

clip from Washingtonpost article wrote:While centuries of human development have led to a popular view of consciousness as something deeply existential — akin to a gift from the gods — modern researchers have a much more pedestrian view of consciousness – it’s simply the ability to process a number of sensory tasks at the same time and put all the perceptions from different regions of the brain together as part of one unifying experience.


Kenneth Chan wrote:I have both a medical degree and a physics degree, and I know for a fact that this claim is rubbish.

Your credentials don't invalidate it as evidence. If you wouldn't mind putting this logical fallacy aside, I would be very interested in hearing exactly why you view it as rubbish.

Kenneth Chan
Posts: 168
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:35 am

Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Postby Kenneth Chan » Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:56 am

boda wrote:
Kenneth Chan wrote:

Please take a close look at this article. This is typical of scientists making outlandish claims that are totally unjustified. They claim they have found a way to turn consciousness on and off. This is ludicrous. Just because they can interrupt a woman's conscious state with electrical impulses, they dare to claim they can turn consciousness ON? They have absolutely no idea how to do that, but they still claim it!

To be clear, they don't claim to fully understand or know how to recreate consciousness. They only seem to be able to turn it off and on, like I can turn on and off this laptop I'm now using, despite not knowing exactly how it works or having the ability to recreate it.

What they are claiming is akin to this: Just because you can turn on the laptop by pressing on a certain key, you then claim that you know how to make a computer work. Well, unless you are a computer scientist, do you? That is why they need to be careful with the things they claim. Here, in fact, the scenario is even worse than the example with the laptop. They are not even "turning on" consciousness in any sense of the word; they are just stopping their interference of it by stopping their electrical impulses. That's all.

What is even worse than that is that you cited this case as an example of what they may consider as evidence that consciousness is derived from matter. I hope you can see how ridiculous this is as evidence that consciousness is derived from matter.

User avatar
Wayfarer
Posts: 2999
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Postby Wayfarer » Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:36 am

Here's a recent article from NY Times, thoroughly debunking much of the hype around neuroscience-imaging, containing this gem:

when you divide the brain into bitty bits and make millions of calculations according to a bunch of inferences, there are abundant opportunities for error, particularly when you are relying on software to do much of the work. This was made glaringly apparent back in 2009, when a graduate student conducted an fM.R.I. scan of a dead salmon and found neural activity in its brain when it was shown photographs of humans in social situations.

Again, it was a salmon. And it was dead.
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

boda
Posts: 1150
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:40 pm

Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Postby boda » Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:23 am

Kenneth Chan wrote:What they are claiming is akin to this: Just because you can turn on the laptop by pressing on a certain key, you then claim that you know how to make a computer work. Well, unless you are a computer scientist, do you? That is why they need to be careful with the things they claim.

They're not claiming that they know how to make consciousness work. They've only discovered something, unintentionally if I recall correctly, about consciousness and a particular region of the brain. There's no direct metaphorical parallel regarding conciousness between a human mind and a laptop computer, because a laptop like the one I'm using doesn't have consciousness, but we can compare modular functions metaphorically. Regardless of the fact that I don't know how to make this laptop work, I can easily discover for myself which component is responsible for information storage. I'll I need to do is take off the back cover and start disconnecting likely components. It actually wouldn't be so easy on this machine because it uses flash memory which is welded to the motherboard or whatever, but I trust you follow my meaning. I'm not a computer scientist yet I can still discover from which part of a computers hardware it derives memory functionality.

In the article it mentions how the researchers theorize that the claustrum region of the brain has the ability to process a number of sensory tasks at the same time and put all the perceptions from different regions of the brain together as part of one unifying experience to producing consciousness. They don't know if this is actually the case. The evidence leads them to theorize that it is, I suppose.

Here, in fact, the scenario is even worse than the example with the laptop. They are not even "turning on" consciousness in any sense of the word; they are just stopping their interference of it by stopping their electrical impulses. That's all.

And the result of this interference is evidence, of something.

What is even worse than that is that you cited this case as an example of what they may consider as evidence that consciousness is derived from matter. I hope you can see how ridiculous this is as evidence that consciousness is derived from matter.

The evidence seems to indicate that human consciousness is largly dependent on the claustrum, a physical region of the brain. Incidentally, many other species don't have anything like a claustrum. Jellyfish for instance, don't even have a central nervous system. Does that mean jellyfish lack consciousness? Perhaps I should simply ask: how do you believe consciousness arrises?

Kenneth Chan
Posts: 168
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:35 am

Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Postby Kenneth Chan » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:08 am

boda wrote:
Kenneth Chan wrote:What they are claiming is akin to this: Just because you can turn on the laptop by pressing on a certain key, you then claim that you know how to make a computer work. Well, unless you are a computer scientist, do you? That is why they need to be careful with the things they claim.

They're not claiming that they know how to make consciousness work. They've only discovered something, unintentionally if I recall correctly, about consciousness and a particular region of the brain. There's no direct metaphorical parallel regarding conciousness between a human mind and a laptop computer, because a laptop like the one I'm using doesn't have consciousness, but we can compare modular functions metaphorically. Regardless of the fact that I don't know how to make this laptop work, I can easily discover for myself which component is responsible for information storage. I'll I need to do is take off the back cover and start disconnecting likely components. It actually wouldn't be so easy on this machine because it uses flash memory which is welded to the motherboard or whatever, but I trust you follow my meaning. I'm not a computer scientist yet I can still discover from which part of a computers hardware it derives memory functionality.

In the article it mentions how the researchers theorize that the claustrum region of the brain has the ability to process a number of sensory tasks at the same time and put all the perceptions from different regions of the brain together as part of one unifying experience to producing consciousness. They don't know if this is actually the case. The evidence leads them to theorize that it is, I suppose.

All we have, as I mentioned in my paper (http://kenneth-chan.com/physics/direct- ... mechanics/), is evidence that there is a link between the content of consciousness and the brain. But a link does not, at all, mean that one is derived from the other. For example, the electron is linked to the proton, but no one ever claims that one must be derived from the other. That would be illogical.

Here, the link is not even between consciousness per se and the physical brain. All we have evidence of is that there is a link between the content of our consciousness and the brain, i.e. what happens to the physical brain may affect the nature or characteristics of our conscious experience (i.e., only the content of what we actually experience).

boda wrote:
Kenneth Chan wrote:Here, in fact, the scenario is even worse than the example with the laptop. They are not even "turning on" consciousness in any sense of the word; they are just stopping their interference of it by stopping their electrical impulses. That's all.

And the result of this interference is evidence, of something.

What is even worse than that is that you cited this case as an example of what they may consider as evidence that consciousness is derived from matter. I hope you can see how ridiculous this is as evidence that consciousness is derived from matter.

The evidence seems to indicate that human consciousness is largly dependent on the claustrum, a physical region of the brain. Incidentally, many other species don't have anything like a claustrum. Jellyfish for instance, don't even have a central nervous system. Does that mean jellyfish lack consciousness? Perhaps I should simply ask: how do you believe consciousness arises?

There is no evidence that consciousness even arises from something else, let alone arise from physical matter. The dogmatic insistence by most scientists that "consciousness must be derived from matter" is ridiculous, especially since they have no idea how to even address what is known as the “hard problem” of consciousness.

Let me quote from David Chalmers what the “hard problem” is:
… the hard problem is hard precisely because it is not a problem about the performance of functions. The problem persists even when the performance of all the relevant functions is explained.

… even when we have explained the performance of all the cognitive and behavioral functions in the vicinity of experience—perceptual discrimination, categorization, internal access, verbal report—there may still remain a further unanswered question: Why is the performance of these functions accompanied by experience?

Scientists have absolutely no clue how to even begin to tackle this "hard problem," and yet they dogmatically insist that consciousness must be derived from matter! This is completely illogical and unscientific. Kindly allow me to quote the closing paragraph of my earlier paper "Why Relativity Exists" (http://kenneth-chan.com/physics/why-relativity-exists/), which is essentially a plea for scientists to finally accept and acknowledge what their own science is now actually telling them:

"A science that ignores consciousness, or artificially relegates the conscious mind to that of a secondary—and hence, unimportant—phenomenon, is actually an incomplete science. All our scientific data relies on the conscious mind as a necessary component. Both relativity and quantum physics tell us that we cannot blindly assume that the conscious mind—that experiences what constitutes our scientific data—has no effect on the nature of the data itself. So a discipline that willfully chooses to ignore the conscious mind as a vital component of our reality, must be viewed, at best, as an artificially restricted discipline, or, at worst, as a distortion of the truth."

boda
Posts: 1150
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:40 pm

Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Postby boda » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:20 am

Kenneth Chan wrote:There is no evidence that consciousness even arises from something else, let alone arise from physical matter.


You don't believe that dependent origination applies to consciousness for some reason?

Kenneth Chan
Posts: 168
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:35 am

Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Postby Kenneth Chan » Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:31 am

boda wrote:
Kenneth Chan wrote:There is no evidence that consciousness even arises from something else, let alone arise from physical matter.

You don't believe that dependent origination applies to consciousness for some reason?

Context, context, context! Actually, I was already half-anticipating that you would insist on taking this out of context. Here, I am referring to the conventional notion of consciousness being derived from some other entity. There is no evidence that this is the case.

On the other hand, if you are looking at it from the viewpoint of the ultimate truth, every perceptual mind arises in dependence upon causes and conditions, and upon the object that it perceives, and this is already discussed in my paper (http://kenneth-chan.com/physics/direct- ... -mechanics). For your benefit, I will reproduce that section of my paper here below:

5.6 Emptiness of Mind in Quantum Mechanics

Let us now take a closer look at this emptiness of the mind that is suggested by the formulation of quantum mechanics. We must realize, however, that quantum mechanics only involves one of the two possible kinds of mental experience. These two kinds of mental experience are the perceptual and the conceptual. A perceptual mental experience is an experience in which the mind accesses its object directly and involves the senses. A conceptual mental experience does not require the mind to access its object directly through the senses.

The experiential events that quantum mechanics deal with are only those that involve the perceptual kind of mental experience. Clearly, quantum mechanics does not deal directly with our conceptual mental experiences. The reason for this is evident. Quantum mechanics is a formalism that is designed to correlate with the results of our experimental measurements. Since our scientific equipment cannot measure or directly involve our conceptual thoughts, the formalism of quantum mechanics does not deal with our conceptual mental experiences. Conceptual mental experiences are nonetheless real, only they are not accounted for in the formulation of quantum mechanics. Let us now look at what quantum mechanics tell us about our perceptual mental experiences.

What quantum mechanics tells us is that the experiential events, represented by the eigenstates and their corresponding eigenvalues, actually constitute our primary reality. So if an object is dependently originated in an experiential event, so is the perceptual mental experience. This mind, in the experiential event, arises in dependence upon causes and conditions, and in dependence upon the object that it perceives. In this sense, the mind is also dependently originated and hence is also empty of inherent existence.

Thus, in Madhyamika philosophy, both the mind and the so-called “external world” are dependently originated and both are empty of inherent existence. This means that we do not have the situation of solipsism where only the external world is empty of inherent existence. If both the mind and the “external world” are empty of inherent existence, we cannot say that one is real while the other is not.

That is why Madhyamika philosophy is the “middle way” philosophy that steers clear of both materialism and solipsism. All things are empty of inherent existence, but there is still a reality. Our reality is like an illusion, but there is nonetheless a reality. Both Madhyamika philosophy and the direct experiential interpretation of quantum mechanics are telling us that this is the case.

Unfortunately, quantum mechanics cannot provide any information about conceptual mental experiences, since our scientific equipment have no access to this aspect of the mind. And because quantum mechanics is specifically formulated to fit the data from our scientific equipment, quantum mechanics can only provide information on the perceptual mental experiences, and not the conceptual ones. In order to investigate the conceptual mental experiences, we need make use of the mind itself as a direct probe. There is no other way to access this part of our reality but to train the mind itself for this purpose. That is actually a key purpose of training the mind in deep meditation—it is to examine the very nature of the mind itself.

Backed by this deep meditational insight, the Madhyamaka masters also reach the same conclusion that the mind—as well as this notion of the “self”—is empty of inherent existence. That this is true can fortunately also be proven intellectually by very precise logical analysis. Some prominent examples of the deep logical analyses, used by the Madhyamaka masters, are the seven-point analysis, the diamond slivers or refuting the four possibilities of production, and, of course, the analysis based on dependent origination (which is the analysis that we have been discussing).

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 21744
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Postby Malcolm » Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:41 pm

Kenneth Chan wrote:
On the other hand, if you are looking at it from the viewpoint of the ultimate truth, every perceptual mind arises in dependence upon causes and conditions, and upon the object that it perceives, and this is already discussed in my paper (http://kenneth-chan.com/physics/direct- ... -mechanics). For your benefit, I will reproduce that section of my paper here below:


No, from the standpoint of ultimate truth, minds do not arise at all since they cannot be established.
Atikosha
Tibetan Medicine Blog
Sudarsana Mandala, Tibetan Medicine and Herbs
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


So called “sentient beings” are merely delusions self-appearing from the dhātu of luminosity.

-- Ju Mipham


Return to “Academic Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: conebeckham, Kenneth Chan and 12 guests