Re: [kenwilber-275] Myth of the Given, Jeff's Elephant in the Room, Metzinger, ...

From: margo
Sent on: Monday, August 8, 2011 9:55 AM
... some good stuff Doug... although the Holy Volt is definitely not broken!!... at least in my experience!!  Also as I understand it consciousness is non-local; that is what Evolutionary Mutuality is all about...the non-local space between... we are proving this to ourselves and others with direct experience as examples of the possible.  All the best to all... love... Margo

On Mon, Aug 8, 2011 at 9:33 AM, Doug <[address removed]> wrote:
Weaving several things together -- Myth of the Given, Integral Postmetaphysics, Metzinger, Jeff's elephant in the room ....
Wilber replaces given metaphysical levels of reality with levels of consciousness -- Orange Dog, ... and these levels evolve.... It may be easy to take these levels themselves as given, as absolutes; however quite hazardous. Wilber discusses cosmic address where both the subject and observed are identified by levels of consciousness, quadrant, etc. This is very similar to mathematical coordinate systems. In math, there is a clear absolute against which all things are measured -- 0. All things are relative, but 0 is given. Without resorting to metaphsyics we cannot assert that levels of consciousness are givens and that any kosmic address is given. To say with conviction that a object is at Blue and the Observer is at Green assumes an absolute measure of Blue and Green that define these addresses. Or that we take cosmic address with a large grain of salt. I do agree that that both the subject and object exist only relatively and any experience involves taking a perspective that has some structure. I take that as the point, not that kosmic address is a given.   
There are clearly no levels of reality independent of the observer. It's not at all clear that we can measure levels of consciousness in a means separate from the observer. My profession involves test and measurement. Electrical measurements involve measuring volts. All measurement of volts are relative to a standard. There are only 12 places in U.S. where the "given" volt exists -- two in CO -- one where I work and one at NIST. These are known as the Holy Volt. Really the Holy Volt isn't an absolute either. We simply take a certain physical process operating and give it the name 1 volt. That physical process operates at, you guessed it, absolute zero temperature. All good measurments of volts everywhere must be traceable to these holy volts.
How do we know the Holy Volt isn't just broken. Well, the Holy Volt Masters share data with each other to ensure others see similar operation. In fact, the Holy Volt is housed in a building designed especially for it. It is so sensitive that someone walking into the room changes its temperature ever so slightly. There is really no given here. We simply establish correlation between your cell phone battery and a reproducible physical process that is culturally accepted. The universe knows no such thing a 1 volt existing out there.
That's how tough it is to get to anything close to given for something as simple as the everyday volt. You can rest assured that consciousness absolute measurements are well outside any human ability. In fact, to say that there is just one measurement of human consciousness is a metaphysical assumption.  There are oodles of conscious operations and assuming there is one consciousness with one measure of complexity is pretty presumptive.
The road to the given is paved with good intents:). Be wary of any subtly advocating givens.
In Troy's quote, Krishnamurti states you are the teacher, the student, etc. Mystical mumbo jumbo or scientific reality? According to Metzinger the state of neuroscience is that it's fact and K determined it through introspection. All consciousness is local -- happening inside not outside. All conscious events have neurocorrelates (read if the brain isn't operating, consciousness as we know isn't either). Stimulating specific neurons produces the conscious experience. We know exactly what neurons must be stimulated to produce the smell of sandalwood and amber. The experience is not the same as the neural events. Experience cannot be reduced to neural events, however we accept there is a strong correlation. Not doing so is also a metaphysical assumption. 
M states there is a reality but we carve a tunnel through it with consciousness -- a consciousness that produces along with it the experience of being concious of being conscious. I am concsious that I am typing.  We all carve a different Ego Tunnel through reality resulting in our experience. That tunnel is shaped by many factors, e.g. training. It reshapes itself as all of can attest.  
In essence, science has proven there isn't a given out there at all. It's all arising in consciousness as consciousness. This isn't to say that we cannot have real knowledge, it's just that we cannot be said to have absolute or complete knowledge of it independent of the means to experience it. 

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Margo Yoder
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