There are no
invisible entities. No ghosts or goblins. No fabric to
the Universe as discussed by scientists. No ether or
forces. No fields or strings. These invisible things were
invented by people to explain the visible. They were
designed specifically to account for experience and thus
do in fact account for it. This is like a puzzle piece
cut out to fit a missing space in a puzzle. It fits
because it was cut to fit. But they are not themselves
supported by experience. Where do they get their support?
From systems designed by men to support them. Yet these
systems themselves are supported by axioms that are made
up by men to support them. These systems are consistent
because they are designed to be consistent. But they are
inventions, unsupported by experience.
It is said that they explain experience and their
explanatory power is support that they are true. But this
is a fallacy. For multiple systems can have equal
explanatory power. That they provide an explanation,
then, is no argument that they are true. As said before,
they work largely because they are designed to work. When
they do not work, they are corrected to work. When no
correction is forthcoming, their proponents pride
themselves in their patience.
It is taught that this is the only way to explain
experience. That something that is not experienced must
be postulated without support itself to explain
experience. And if it can explain experience then this
will be its support. But this teaching has no basis. For
at any moment another alternative might arise. This is
what this short paper is, the alternative that is said
not to exist. There is no basis that it does not exist
except that it has not existed before. But the very
meaning of discovery is finding what is not expected.
When I open my eyes something very exotic takes place. A
rich kaleidoscope of color, sound, smell, taste, and
thoughts appear. My mind is taught from childhood to
organize it, to name it, to build out of it other things
based upon this organization and names. But what can I
infer rationally from this event that occurs when I open
Let me stop to clarify this exactly. When I say
"infer rationally" I mean, what can I derive
from this experience using well established rules of
inference like modus ponens without inventing any axioms
at all? Nothing. Can I infer, for instance, that the door
experience is caused by a door? No. To do so I would have
to include axioms that I invent that presuppose that
there is. So my argument would beg the question. It would
assume what it set out to prove. All I can infer
rationally from this exotic thing that takes place when
my eyes open is that it occurs.
Let me give an example of how an argument that I might
give that a door that I cannot see is causing my door
experience might start out.
Premise 1. I see a door.
Premise 2. For everything there is a cause.
Even these two premises already presuppose where they are
leading. Neither is grounded in experience. Both are
based on man-made axioms that have no support themselves.
How do I know that everything has a cause? I can't
observe everything. What is cause? At best we can only
ever observe correlation or a sequence of events. But
cause? What is that? These premises are actually axioms
disguised as observations and they are part of a circular
man-made argument to save the assumption that there is a
door independent of the door experience, that there is an
invisible entity which is a door causing my experience.
It is logical, but it is circular. It is not grounded in
experience. It is part of a system of belief grounded in
faith among many systems of belief grounded in faith.
It is not philosophy at all, but sophistry. For the
system was invented precisely to save the belief that it
saves. It saves the belief because it was designed to
So don't we have to do this? People will tell you we have
no choice but to build these systems around our
assumptions. But the very people who will tell you this
will not be able to ground this belief either. They will
tell you to take their belief on faith that we have to do
it this way precisely because the belief that we have to
do it this way supports the fact that they do. So the
claim that we have to work this way is actually one of
the axioms of their system, the one that says you must
stay in the circles because you have to.
So if we do not have to work in circles of reasoning
without support, what alternative do we have?
We replace metaphysics with mechanics. We choose only the
players on the stage of life to enact our bold story of
evolution. We do not dream up any new players. We look to
see if we can find a mechanics observable in the record
of evolution that could account for the world as it is
out of the big bang without introducing any invisible
entities or forces. This is science at its very best.
Taking only the elements that experience allows and
seeking a mechanics that can be observed and abandoning
the insupportable metaphysical entities and forces
invented by imagination to save its belief systems.
So where do we start? What are the players that are going
to be in this drama? If nothing can be rationally
inferred from experience, that seems a terrible empty
Let's talk about experience a moment. Normally experience
or perception is either dismissed as impossible because
it does not conform to materialist systems designed
specifically to save materialist assumptions, or it is
imagined as a "thing" analogous to the objects
of perception. Neither of these options makes sense.
Consider this. Current materialism imagines that an
invisible, inconceivable material door causes your
brain's illusory representation, the door of your
experience. They believe that the material door that you
cannot see is real, but your experience of it is not.
From this comes movies like "Matrix."
Materialism breeds idealism, solipsism and skepticism. It
is the source of almost all metaphysical problems because
it is metaphysical and claims not to be. But the
materialist fails to see that he infers the hypothetical
material door from his door-experience that he himself
deems to be an illusion. So the materialist derives from
this illusion his hypothetical reality. This is fine. But
when he goes another step and says that the experience is
not even happening (which currently is popular amongst
materialists), then he has entered a self-contradiction.
For he is denying the ground upon which he has shakily
built his own theory of materialism.
So even the materialist has to admit that the door
experience is occurring for it is from this that he
sloppily derived his materialist theory. To turn around
and say that his theory of matter now suddenly undermines
the possibility of experience is like denying the
existence of the ladder you are standing on.
Unlike the metaphysical substance of matter that is
sloppily derived from experience, the fact that
experience is occurring when I open my eyes is
self-evident. I do not derive it from anything else
because I do not derive it at all. It stands as evidence
of itself. I do not derive experience. I derive
everything else from experience. I can give no
argument for it but when I am honest I must admit it. How
do I know that experience is happening when I open my
eyes? Because when I am honest and not being cute, I am
forced to acknowledge that it is? This tears us up. We
want to have an argument for something or against it, but
here we can find neither. All arguments to deny that
experience occurs either contradict themselves or are
grounded themselves in the unsupported axioms of man-made
systems. What argument is there that experience takes
place? None. Is this because it is groundless like the
man-made axioms of other systems? No. It is because it is
its own evidence. There is no other fact that is
self-evident than that experience takes place because all
other facts are derived sloppily from experience. It is
elusive precisely because it is the very ground. It can't
be supported because it is, itself, the support. It is
the turtles all the way down.
So here is our starting point. Experience is taking
place. That experience is taking place is not an
axiom. An axiom is simply an invented starting point with
promise to lead us where we want to go. That experience
takes place is neither derived nor invented. Rather all
invention and derivation is made possible by experience.
How can we be sure this is right? Because if you open
your eyes and experience happens and you say "It is
false that experience is happening" what could you
possibly mean by this? You're simply lying.
Now a philosopher might ask what I mean by experience?
This question sounds profound, but it isn't. The very
concepts that make such a question possible are derived
from experience. As I go on, it will become clear why
experience eludes us. It is, as is often said, as elusive
as an eyeball that is in pursuit of itself. The eyeball
can grow to feel very clever denying that it knows what
you mean by it.
Now don't we have to postulate something else in this
drama to explain the evolution of the universe? No. We
don't. We can just use experience. But we must add one
other possibility. We must steal it from Kant and nothing
else from Kant and then forget Kant. This experience,
let's suppose for a moment, not only occurs, but has ways
of occurring. That is, we have perception and various
ways of perceiving. These are called here, the
"formative perceptual intuitions." These are
ways of perceiving, ways of organizing the event of
perception, or schemata of perception. Duality, space,
time, the mathematical laws of nature, reference,
analyticity, self-awareness, causation, induction,
mathematics, logic, pretty, ugly, good, bad, all are
Think of Darwin and set aside any metaphysical
assumptions. The evolutionary mechanics that Darwin
observed evidence for is actually an evolution of
perception itself. There is nothing in Darwin's work to
contradict this. For Darwin's work is mechanical, not
metaphysical. He was not interested in postulating what
he could not see, only in accounting for what he could,
using mechanical processes that he could observe.
With each successive new formative perceptual intuition a
new era of evolution was made possible. Perception itself
evolved. But no thing, as it were, ever evolved. No
metaphysical "stuff." Rather the appearance of
hard, fibrous, substantive stuff gradually emerges as the
formative perceptual intuitions evolve. Each new
successive invention in intuition is compounded upon the
previous in a building up of complexity of what is seen.
Applied to the previous products of perception,
themselves made possible by the congeries of previous
successive formative intuitions, complex objects moving
about, eating, sleeping, mating, and shaving, appear.
What again is perception? Is perception a thing, an
entity, a force? No. To assume it is a thing or force is
to make the unfounded assumption that perception is
analogous to the objects that it produces. Perception is
the condition for the possibility of entities and forces
that it produces. These entities and forces emerge
ephipenomenally in perception. That our complex ability
to perceive, think, and be aware also appears to evolve,
is due to the increasing complexity of evolving
perception and its increasingly complex formative
Why is this not idealism? Because idealism inevitably has
a "mind" or "mind-like" theoretical
entity at work. This "mind" or "mind-like
entity" in idealism is inevitably imagined by the
idealist to be analogous to the entities or forces that
are the objects of perception. They are imagined as
unobservable theoretical "things." Idealism is
inevitably just as Platonic as materialism. In perceptual
realism there is no representationalism. The object
that you see is the real original object as it is formed
by your formative perceptual intuitions in the moment. It
is not a copy. There is no "invisible world" no
"spirit" no "noumena." There is only
perception. There is only one world at any given moment
and this is it. We depart from Platonism. We depart from
the two-world view. We depart from metaphysics altogether
into the world of immediate experience where we live.
Isn't perception itself a theoretical entity? If the fact
that perception occurs when you open your eyes is a mere
theory to you, then you have lost site the meaning of the
word "theory" which means something guessed at
to explain something else. That experience is happening
when I open my eyes is no guess. If it is diaphanous, its
obscurity is merely the result of its mundaneness. Its
invisibility is due to its omnipresence, not its absence.
For a person who could not experience, who was a zombie,
the question of perception could never even arise. It is
the experience itself that makes possible the question
about what experience is. Thus the very question of
experience proves its existence. To search for it proves
it is taking place. A materialist will object, but he
will do so from his own unsupported circle of illusion
which is not based in experience and is thus
If one examines this, all of the metaphysical problems of
the last 2500 years turn out to be the result of
metaphysics itself. Life removed of metaphysics is devoid
of metaphysical problems. To do this we must remove all
metaphysical entities, be made bare, and replace that
metaphysics with a mechanics that is grounded solely in
what we have left, perception itself.
In our fragmentation and
confusion, we have been ignoring the very model of a
perfect spiritual life inside ourselves, says Deepak
What does it mean to live a spiritual life?
Who can teach me the core principles of spirituality? Strangely
enough, my own body can teach me everything I need to know. The
cells of my body are already doing what I want to learn. My body
does everything better than me. The cells in my body have no
problem fully participating in life.
A hundred thousand billion of them signed on
to the same silent agreement, which can be described through
qualities that the most spiritual person would envy but,
at the same time, the most practical person would envy them too.
These shared qualities speak eloquently for what a cell agrees
not to do as much as for what it does.
Higher purpose: A cell
agrees to work for the welfare of the whole body first and its
individual welfare second. If necessary, it will die to protect
the body. Skin cells perish by the thousands every hour, as do
immune cells fighting off invading microbes. Selfishness is not
an option, even when it comes down to a cell's survival.
Communion: A cell keeps in
touch with every other cell. Messenger molecules race everywhere
to notify the farthest outposts of any desire or intention,
however slight. Withdrawing or refusing to communicate is not an
Awareness: Cells adapt from
moment to moment. They remain flexible in order to respond to
immediate situations. Getting caught up in rigid habits is not an
Acceptance: Cells recognise
each other as equally important. Every function in the body is
interdependent on every other. Doing it alone is not an option.
Creativity: Although every
cell has a set of unique functions, these combine in creative
ways. A person can digest food never eaten before, think thoughts
never thought before, dance in a way never seen before. Clinging
to old behaviour is not an option.
Being: Cells obey the
universal cycle of rest and activity. Although this cycle
expresses itself in many ways, such as fluctuating hormone
levels, blood pressure and digestive rhythms, the most obvious
expression is sleep. Why we need to sleep remains a medical
mystery, yet complete dysfunction develops if we don't. In the
silence of inactivity, the future of the body is incubating.
Being obsessively active is not an option.
Efficiency: Cells function
with the least expenditure of energy. Typically, a cell only
stores three seconds of food and oxygen inside the cell wall. It
trusts totally on being provided for. Excessive consumption of
food, air, or water is not an option.
Bonding: Due to their
common genetic inheritance, cells know that they are
fundamentally the same. The fact that liver cells are different
from heart cells, and muscle cells different from brain cells
does not negate their common identity, which is unchanging. In
the laboratory, a muscle cell can be genetically transformed into
a heart cell by going back to their common source. Cells remain
tied to their source no matter how many times they divide. Being
an outcast is not an option.
Giving: The primary
activity of cells is giving, which maintains the integrity of all
other cells. Total commitment to giving makes receiving automatic
it is the other half of a natural cycle. Hoarding is not
reproduce in order to pass on knowledge, experience, and talents,
withholding nothing from their offspring. This is a kind of
practical immortality, submitting to death on the physical plane,
but defeating it on the non-physical. A generation gap is not an
We are selfish and greedy. As they evolved,
cells learned what really works for survival. Your body can't
afford to pay lip service to leading a spiritual life unless it
wants to throw away aeons of wisdom. Yet, the vast majority of
suffering in our personal lives comes about because we
consciously choose to behave contrary to the soul bargain that
keeps our bodies alive.
from Natural Perfumery
Musings on evaporation
~White Ginger by Thymes~
We all know that the hotter the temperature, the quicker the oils
perfumes evaporate off our skin, Perfumery 101 :-) For that
reason, we play
around with base accords that will hold on to the scent as long
possible, and we recognize that oil-based 'bases' hold the scent,
release it over a longer period of time, than alcohol-based ones.
I do have to share an observation with the group, as basic and
naive as it
may seem, because it really hit home this week.
I love the commercial Cologne by Thierry Mugler. Supposedly made
14th Century formula, it smells like fresh, clean soap to me, as
in it is divine, a true ephemeral, lovely scent.
As you may know, I live in hot, humid Miami. The stuff evaporates
off me in
record time, to the point I have seriously considered not
Even when it's not hot and humid, it zips right off. I use
everyday, on my topsides of my arms, and my upper chest area. I
the Cologne on my wrists, and on the neck and upper chest area
This past week, we had plunging temperatures here, and I wore
and no sunscreen on my arms. The Cologne lasted for hours!
Now, i use commercial perfumes all the time, with a bias, of
towards the more natural ones, like White Ginger from Thymes
now.) It is so persistent that sometimes I wash it off before
I just wanted to share that I'm so happy that Cologne will now be
winter-only scent with me (aside from my own blends and faves, of
On a fashion group I frequent, the ladies there often talk about
winter vs. summer fragrance 'wardrobe', and they chat when the
change about how they're pulling out the seasonal stuff, like
with their clothes. Not news to us perfumers, of course, and we
the difference between 'day' and 'night' scents, it's usually
sense dictated by the perceived 'strength' or 'complexity' of the
I've never seen this discussed on this group, so I thought I'd
it out there, especially since I had such an awakening this week.
never smelt Cologne by Thierry Mugler, I suggest you do. Avoid
his Angel at
all cost -- smells like funky armpits the day after eating a
Indian meal, and of course, it's the most popular perfume in the
Don't threaten me with love. Let's just
go walking in the rain.
is the true upadesa (teaching).
It is the perfect upadesa. It is suited
only for the most advanced seeker.
The others are unable to draw
full inspiration from it.
Therefore they require words to
explain the truth. But truth is beyond
words. It does not admit of explanation.
All that is possible to do is to indicate it.
- Sri Ramana Maharshi contributed by Viorica Weissman to NDS