Toward a Unified Metaphysical Understanding - Tag: quotes    
 Cognitive Repression in Physics - Reasons for the Entrenched Culture of Denial
The quotes below discuss reasons for the entrenched culture of denial within physics (as well and philosophy and science in general) regarding the consequences that quantum mechanics has for naive realism (AKA classical objectivism).

"After more than 50 years (now over 80 years) of unquestionable success as a theory, questions about the interpretation of quantum mechanics continue to plague both physicists and philosophers. It is argued here that discussions about the meaning of quantum mechanics remain stymied as a result of the failure of physicists to formulate a cognitive paradigm adequate to their theory. The conventional interpretations which they offer can be seen as inadequate in one of two ways — implicitly, they retain one or the other of the two basic tenets of classical physics, the objectivity or the knowability of nature. This, it is argued, can be viewed as a form of cognitive repression of knowledge acquired, but not yet assimilated. A psychological explanation for the persistence of classical beliefs is proposed...

Piaget has invited the comparison between the historical development of scientific thought and the cognitive development of the child. Both, it is suggested, proceed through the emergence of discrete stages of structural organization, each stage brings with it new possibilities of conceptual integration, and concurrently, the possibility of a verbal articulation of the new level of organization perceived. Prior to the establishment of a new conceptual structure, knowledge already present in nonverbal forms (in e.g., sensorimotor rather than representation schemes) finds no avenue of expression, and, to the extent that it jars with the earlier established structures, demands cognitive repression. Piaget [1] tells us that an action schema which "cannot be integrated into the system of conscious concepts is eliminated... (and) repressed from conscious territory before it has penetrated there in any conceptualized form." Caught in a transition between stages, the child, when pressed to articulate perceptions requiring cognitive structures which are not yet available, displays confusion, denial and avoidance - a disequilibrium strikingly reminiscent of the mechanism of affective repression." (Cognitive repression in contemporary physics, Evelyn Fox Keller,

"There exists a cognitive repression of the interpretation problem by the majority of physicists. For that majority the questions concerning the meaning of quantum mechanics are answered once and for all by the Copenhagen interpretation, and all further inquiry is rejected as a sign that the inquirer does not understand the topic. Further questions are called "only philosophical" and thus not befitting a physicist. But if one inquires in depth what the Copenhagen interpretation says one gets a variety of different answers. According to Fox-Keller this, too, is a sign for evasion, whereby what is evaded is the necessity of a new cognitive structure which differs radically from the existing one. Fox-Keller calls the old structure classical objectivism. To her, the confusion concerning the interpretation of quantum mechanics exists, thus, in the attempt to retain one or more components of the classical position. While this may be as it is; I suggest that the search for interpretations different from the Copenhagen interpretation very often is motivated by trying to evade its radical consequences, that is, an act of cognitive repression on the part of the proposers." (On the Interpretation and Philosophical Foundation of Quantum Mechanics, Anton Zeilinger,

 Quotes regarding truth, reality and knowledge

Some quotes from Advaita Vedanta:

“Truth must be discovered, but there is no formula for its discovery. You must set out on the uncharted sea, and the uncharted sea is yourself. You must set out to discover yourself…” (J Krishnamurti)

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"No person from outside can make you free... No one holds the Key to the Kingdom of Happiness. No one has the authority to hold that key. That key is your own self, and in the development and the purification and in the incorruptibility of that self alone is the Kingdom of Eternity..." (J. Krishnamurti)

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“That which is the subtle essence, in it is the self of all that exists. It is the True. It is the Self, and thou ... art it.” (Chandogya Upanishad 4:10:1-3)

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 Mystic Perspective: Comments and Quotes

I empathise with the difficulty that people have in grasping the mystic perspective. For those with an empiricist perspective these issues are usually perplexing and seemingly inside-out and back-to-front. I will briefly describe an approach to the mystic perspective that some have found useful.

Consider an AI mind within a VR simulation. If this mind had an empirical perspective it would seem to it that it had inner cognitive phenomena and that it lived within an external physical universe. However in a deeper sense these are just perceptual illusions and the actual reality is a single unified information process that is imperceptible, universal, non-local, timeless, all-pervading, etc. Realising this fact leads to a mystic perspective.  More >

 What is knowledge and what is to be known?

“A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again.” (Alexander Pope)

Quotes from Chapter 13 “The Yoga of the Division of the Cosmos into Body and Soul” from the Bhagavad Gita.  More >

 Karma Yoga: The Way of Action - Quotes from the Bhagavad Gita
picture 2010-07-13

From a response to a Facebook conversation about the issue of action, inaction, non-action, ego, doer, doership, etc.

I just opened the Bhagavad Gita at random and it opened at chapter 3, "Karma Yoga: The Way of Action". The entire book is relevant to this issue however I will quote extensively from just this chapter because synchronicity is suggesting that it may be particularly relevant.

First some background. Arjuna is a prince of a great kingdom that has disintegrated into two warring factions. Krishna, the avatar of the Supreme Godhead is serving as Arjuna's charioteer. A great war has arisen and Arjuna is called upon to lead an army to fight his kinsmen, his brothers, his teachers and those who he loves and respects.

On the eve of the battle, in the midst of the two armies, Arjuna breaks down. "O Krishna, when I see these people, my kinsmen assembled here, eager for battle, my limbs sag, my mouth feels parched, my body quakes, and my hairs stand on end... I am unable to stand still and my mind is in a whirl. I see adverse omens, and do not forsee any good from killing my own kinsmen in battle... These I would not wish to kill though they may have risen to kill us. Even to obtain the kingdom of the three worlds (outer, inner & inner most); far less for the sake of the earth...."

Krishna's first reply is "O Arjuna, from where does this disgraceful conduct come into your mind in this hour of peril? It is unknown to the Aryas (awakened ones), does not lead to heaven, and brings one disrepute."

Krishna goes on to explain the entire nature of reality, the cosmic process and its projection upon the earthly plane, the fact that none there on the battle field are actually alive to begin with so they cannot be killed, that one must fulfil one's dharma and enact one's innermost law, which is the law of the cosmos. Anything else is futile and ruinous.  More >

 Quotes Regarding Gnana, the Yoga of Supreme Knowledge

"The main purpose of jnana meditation is to withdraw the mind and emotions from perceiving life and oneself in a deluded way so that one may behold and live in attunement with Reality, or Spirit."

Gnana "advocates that the real, experiential knowledge of the Brahman/Atman identity is sufficient to get enlightened, and that as far as spiritual seekers are ready to sacrifice everything to obtain this supreme wisdom, they need neither rituals nor meditation as spiritual exercise."
- comment on Shankaracharya

"the Jiva or the empirical self becomes one with Brahman when it gets knowledge of Brahman. When knowledge dawns in it through annihilation of Avidya [ignorance], it is freed from its individuality and finitude and realises its essential Satchidananda nature. It merges itself in the ocean of bliss. The river of life joins the ocean of existence."
- comment on Shankaracharya

"The seeker is he who is in search of himself. Give up all questions except one: "Who am I?" After all, the only fact that you are sure of is that you are. The "I am" is certain. The "I am this" is not. Struggle to find out what you are in reality. To know what you are, you must first investigate and know what you are not. Discover all that you are not - body, feelings, thoughts, time, space, this or that, nothing concrete or abstract, which you perceive can be you. The very act of perceiving shows that you are not what you perceive. The clearer you understand that on the level of mind you can be described in negative terms only [not this, not that], the quicker you will come to the end of your search and realize that you are the limitless being."
- Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, I am That, [full text pdf]

"Questioner: How long will it take me to get free of the mind?

Maharaj: It may take a thousand years, but really no time is required. All you need is to be in dead earnest. Here the will is the deed. If you are sincere, you have it. After all, it is a matter of attitude. Nothing stops you from being a gnani here and now, except fear. You are afraid of being impersonal, of impersonal being. It is all quite simple. Turn away from your desires and fears and from the thoughts they create and you are at once in your natural state."
- Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, I am That, [full text pdf]

 Quotes regarding the illusion of being a person

"The person is merely the result of a misunderstanding. In reality, there is no such thing. Feelings, thoughts and actions race before the watcher in endless succession, leaving traces in the brain and creating an illusion of continuity. A reflection of the watcher in the mind creates the sense of 'I' and the person acquires an apparently independent existence.

In reality there is no person, only the watcher identifying himself with the 'I' and the 'mine'. The teacher tells the watcher: you are not this, there is nothing of yours in this, except the little point of "I am", which is the bridge between the watcher and his dream. "I am this, I am that" is dream, while pure "I am" has the stamp of reality on it.
- Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, I am That [full text pdf]


"So long as people do not understand the true nature of the objective world, they fall into the dualistic view of things. They imagine the multiplicity of external objects to be real and become attached to them and are nourished by their habit energy. Because of this system of mentation, mind and what belongs to it is discriminated and is thought of as real; this leads to the assertion of an ego-soul and its belongings, and thus the mind-system goes on functioning."
- Lankavatara Sutra [full text pdf]


"When the television set is burned or destroyed, will the people in the movie feel the pain and die? You have no form, no shape..."
- Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, Seeds of Consciousness


"What is it that had birth? Whom do you call a human being? If, instead of seeking explanations for birth, death and after-death, the question is raised as to who and how you are now, these questions will not arise...

The body is born again and again. We wrongly identify ourselves with the body, and hence imagine we are reincarnated constantly. No. We must identify ourselves with the true Self. The realised one enjoys unbroken consciousness, never broken by birth or death - how can he die? Only those who think 'I am the body' talk of reincarnation. To those who know 'I am the Self' there is no rebirth.

Reincarnations only exist so long as there is ignorance. There is no incarnation, either now, before or hereafter. This is the truth."

- Sri Ramana Maharshi

Again for emphasis...

"There is no incarnation, either now, before or hereafter. This is the truth"


“Greatest assumption in human history: The existence of a personal identity. 99,99% of our global communications refer to a you and a me, but no one actually ever found an 'I' to exist anywhere! All our thoughts, emotions and words refer to something no one has ever been able to confirm to even exist. HA HA HA!! It's hilarious!! :D

And it's very very sad at the same time! The single cause of our current state as a species. We're all like sheep, following the herd, assuming what everybody else has also been taught to assume. Time to wake up my friends.” (Bentinho Massaro) ...  More >

 Naïve Realism Discussed in the Lankavatara Sutra

Quote from the Lankavatara Sutra

"So long as people do not understand the true nature of the objective world, they fall into the dualistic view of things. They imagine the multiplicity of external objects to be real and become attached to them and are nourished by their habit energy. Because of this system of mentation, mind and what belongs to it is discriminated and is thought of as real; this leads to the assertion of an ego-soul and its belongings, and thus the mind-system goes on functioning. Depending upon and attaching itself to the dualistic habit of mind, they accept the views of the philosophers founded upon these erroneous distinctions, of being and non-being, existence and non-existence, and there evolves what we call false-imaginations...

False-imaginations rise from the consideration of appearances; things are discriminated as to form, signs and shape; as to having colour, warmth, humidity, mobility or rigidity. False-imagination consists of becoming attached to these appearances and their names... The five sense functions and their discriminating and thinking function have their risings and complete ending from moment to moment... By setting up names and forms greed is multiplied and thus the mind goes on mutually conditioning and being conditioned. By becoming attached to names and forms, not realising that they have no more basis than the activities of the mind itself, error arises, false-imagination as to pleasure and pain arises, and the way to emancipation is blocked...

By the cessation of the mind-system as a whole is meant, the cessation of discrimination, the clearing away of the various attachments, and, therefore, the clearing away of the defilements of habit-energy in the face of Universal Mind which have been accumulating since beginningless time by reason of these discriminations, attachments, erroneous reasonings, and following acts... Getting rid of the discriminating mortal-mind is Nirvana.

But the cessation of the discriminating-mind cannot take place until there has been a “turning about” in the deepest seat of consciousness. The mental habit of looking outward by the discriminating-mind upon an external objective world must be given up, and a new habit of realising Truth within the intuitive-mind by becoming one with the Truth itself must be established.... With the ending of pleasure and pain, of conflicting ideas, of the disturbing interests of egoism, a state of tranquilisation will be attained in which the truths of emancipation will be fully understood..." (Lankavatara Sutra )

 Simulacrum Definition
picture 2009-09-01
Simulacrum: Something that replaces reality with its representation, which is not a territory, a referential being, or a substance. Simulation is the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal. It is not imitation, nor duplication. It is substituting the signs of the real for the real. The simulacrum's function lies in the derealization of the whole surrounding world of everyday reality.

Paraphrased from Definition: Simulacrum.

 Liberation is not of the person, but from the person

Extracts from two different Satsangs...

We are nothing. You have no reason to exist. As a matter of fact, you do not exist. (Laughter) You have never really existed. It is all a cosmic joke. There is no reason for you to be alive and to be here. This may sound like an insult – it is! (More laughter) But it is the truth and the truth hurts.

You may think you are important, that you have come to earth to accomplish great deeds, or to get enlightened. That is not true. The enlightenment is already here and it doesn't need you. You are not wanted by anything or by anybody. (Laughter) You are a complete failure. (Loud laughter)

In truth you do not exist. The illusion of your existence makes you think that you are important, that you are somebody. That is why we talk about being nobody so much; there is no body.

(It's All a Cosmic Joke, Robert Adams)

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 Extracts from the Lankavatara Sutra
picture 2009-08-28

Below are extracts from the Lankavatara Sutra that are related to naïve realism, information theoretic metaphysics and self-realisation.

All that is seen in the world is devoid of effort and action because all things in the world are like a dream, or like an image miraculously projected. This is not comprehended by philosophers and the ignorant, but those who thus see things, see them truthfully. Those who see things otherwise walk in discrimination, they cling to dualism. The world as seen by discrimination is like seeing ones own image reflected in a mirror, or ones shadow, or the moon reflected in water, or an echo heard in a valley.

People grasping their own shadows of discrimination become attached to this thing and that thing and failing to abandon dualism they go on forever discriminating and thus never attain tranquillity. By tranquillity is meant Oneness, and Oneness gives birth to the highest Samadhi which is gained by entering into the realm of Noble Wisdom that is realisable only within ones inmost consciousness...  More >

 Signs of a New Paradigm 01

Following is a collection of quotes from leading thinkers that variously point towards an emerging paradigm that challenges many of our deepest assumptions about what is real and what is reality.  More >