so you think you exist...

From: Higgo James <>
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2000 17:41:38 +0100

Yes, Brent, 'objective' is the key. I should have made that clearer, perhaps
- you will note that I always say there in no *objective* relationship.

What I mean by using 'objective' is that, unless a thought defines it, a
group of thoughts can not exist. Archimedes, viewing the multiverse from
without, cannot see any groups of thoughts unless he specifically chooses to
- in which case he can see anything, choose any group he likes. But what
would be the point of that? Archimedes can just imagine something without
bothering to look at the multiverse, as he knows for sure that something is

You could say, "well this very present thought of mine is defining a group
of thoughts as all the ones I remember, and calling that group 'Brent
Meeker'". Congratulations, you have defined yourself into existence! But why
do so? What is the point? What objectives will you meet? The only thing you
achieve is pander to an urge that is a component of your very present
thought - an urge to believe 'I exist!' I speculate that all thoughts which
include 'I am submitting a post to the everything list' have that urge as a

So this is why I say it is meaningless to declare that Brent Meeker or James
Higgo exist. It is meaningless to say anything particular thing exists if
everything exists. This means that observers ('selves') do not exist, if you
define them as groups of thoughts - unless they literally think themselves
into existence! The reason I mention buddhism now and then is that I just
happened to notice that this is buddhist philosophy too - Nirvana is when
you stop willing yourself into existence, and simply enjoy all there is to
enjoy, your very present thought.

A common 'koan' runs: 'if there is no self, who is it that achieves
enlightenment?' This paradox is traditionally not susceptible to logic, so I
am feeling rather pleased with 'myself' for having come up with the
beginnings of a logical answer.


PS My machine says I replied already, but I don't remember...

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Brent Meeker []
> Sent: Wednesday, 09 August, 2000 3:36 PM
> To: Higgo James
> Subject: Re: Extra Terrestrials
> > The one thing we can all agree on is that there
> > isn't. There is no objective relationship between 'your present observer
> > moment' and any other, let alone 'us' and 'our descendants'.
> > James
> I think we can agree that the universe is quantum mechanical (although
> maybe
> classical universes could also exist by Tegmark's critereon). But there
> must
> be a relationship between observer moments which defines subsets on them
> that
> we refer to as 'you' and 'me' and even 'our descendants'. Otherwise 'you'
> has
> no referent and I have no readers.
> Perhaps you mean something important by the adjective 'objective' but I
> don't
> know what it is.
> Brent Meeker
Received on Fri Aug 18 2000 - 10:10:49 PDT

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