Post news RSS Life as the sum of sensory feedback

Discussing the idea of "Life as the sum of sensory feedback".

Posted by on

So each and every one of us (hopefully) has five senses; sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing.
Each of these senses is an input of information to the brain, and by analyzing this input of data, we are able to react and function in the world.
Consider how we (sometimes) experience dreams as if they were reality. During those dreams, things can be happening that have absolutely no grounding in reality, they can be quite surreal.
And yet we often don't question what is happening, how it is happening, or why it is happening. We just accept it as we see it because that is what we perceive with our minds. Thinking like this can lead to questions such as "which is the true dream?", that which we experience while asleep, or that which we experience while awake.
This leads to my main point; is life merely a sum of sensory feedback?
In life there is constant input to the senses, what happens if there is a lack of input?
What are we if we cannot see, smell, taste, touch, or hear?
If life is not the sum of sensory feedback, then what is it?
And of course this leads to the age old question to which we rationalists should try to crack down on producing an answer:
What is the meaning of life?

This topic is quite open to interpretation, I'm just going on what I know, and do not claim to be right in anything that I have said, I'm just trying to play "the stinging fly".

Comments
feillyne Staff
feillyne

Do you mean lucid dreams? Lucid dreams a specific kind of dreams that feel & are more real than normally. That's exactly why they're called lucid. Conscious dreaming - knowing that you dream.

What's the meaning of life?

To develop oneself, to push towards the ultimate light. Ignoring one of the studies or sciences, whether they are ethics, history, physics, spirituality, moral systems, rationalism, critical thinking, mathematics, etc. etc. leads to the darkness.

They are all like bricks of a house.

Reply Good karma+3 votes
open_sketchbook
open_sketchbook

Your senses are your only link to the outside world. Everything around you is interpreted through them; the structure and reality and solidity of our surroundings is an illusion created by the brain. It's not actually FAKE per say; the stuff we see and hear and touch is real, but concepts like sound, smell, and touch are creations of the brain and the appearence of objects is just a result of our eyes making an image from light patterns. The reality is the "real" world is little more than a complex set of mathmatical equations that happen to come out as quarks and atoms and such. The etchings on a physics paper are truer to the nature of reality than our own senses.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+4 votes
feillyne Staff
feillyne

Hmm. After a very careful examination of many NDEs, one can come to a objective conclusion that these experiences vary greatly. From washing one's hands (Chinese/Japanese NDEs) to experiencing torments, all sorts of imaginary hells or heavens to even a place of total warm darkness and aloneness (not quite loneliness; but also the presence of sort of warmth).

Why do these experiences so vary? From one person to another, from one belief to another, from one culture to others?

Reply Good karma+2 votes
open_sketchbook
open_sketchbook

Why should their be consistancy at all? Why would consistancy even be expected?

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
feillyne Staff
feillyne

Because you expect our own (physical) reality to be consistent. Without any kind of consistency it would be as stable as dreams... to say not at all. This physical reality is unstable either, but it lasts longer and passes much slower.

Anyway, the reality is based upon this consistency.

Otherwise they're just dreams. Afterlife dreams.

Reply Good karma+3 votes
BluishGreenPro Author
BluishGreenPro

I agree with Sketch. I don't think there would be consistency in NDEs around the world.
Before I say why, I just want to say that these are only my thoughts, I have done literally no research on the subject.
I think it is pretty safe to say that, just as snowflakes, no two lives are the same. Everyone has such a vastly different range of experiences that make up their lives, and make up their personal opinion about what an afterlife would be like, or if there even is such a thing as an afterlife.
The things we believe ourselves can heavily influence our interpretation of events, so why shouldn't the same be true of the afterlife?
That is to say, perhaps what these people saw was little more than what they thought the afterlife would be, and not what it actually is like. When would they experience this "true" afterlife? In actual death, not just a NDE.
OR maybe even in death we keep our personal interpretation. It's pretty well impossible to say until that final day comes where we can finally experience it for ourselves.

Reply Good karma+3 votes
feillyne Staff
feillyne

Hmm, everything seems to be a belief system. Even in this very moment, we can ask ourselves whether WE dream this REALITY in another reality - as a very short dream that only appears to us in this reality as a long one.

How can you be sure we don't? We can't prove or disprove it so perhaps we should leave it there - in uncertainty.

BTW, these NDEs/"afterlife dreams" also seem to be filtered by personal human's nature.

So if you subconsciously judge you yourself at the end of your life, completely objectively and without taking any sides, that you was e.g. an unaltruistic egocentric egoist the whole life, the subconsciousness creates "special" hellish realms for you as a punishment to dream them for a very long moment.

No God, no other beings... YOU yourself. For your own deeds. So two factors, nature & belief system, would influence what NDEs you'd have.

Reply Good karma+3 votes
BluishGreenPro Author
BluishGreenPro

While I do personally believe in God, I see the validity of your point.

As for the matter of belief, it's true that this all could be a dream, but you know what? It's real enough for me.
Perhaps I should clarify that,... I just mean that we shouldn't think, "Oh it's okay for me to do this because it's just some cosmic dream and my actions have no REAL impact"...

Reply Good karma+2 votes
Galgus
Galgus

Personally, I think that we innately have some traits, some feelings, beyond our senses.

Whether or not that is true is, of course, up for debate- but from my observations of others and myself, it is what I believe.

Is that a poor thing to base your view of off?

Perhaps, but it may also be a hint at something beyond what we sense.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
CommanderDG
CommanderDG

Well in my head all is relative. First, no I don't believe it is only a sum of sensory feedback but rather a analysis of it. Second, It can't be only based of your sense or else those who are blind and deaf by definition don't have a life. In fact, you compare it to the schrodinger's cat thought experiment. Until having made a observation you cannot come to any absolute conclusion. That why the only true assumption I can make of what i can percieve is that I am present and that all the rest are a probability or a simulation beacause my observation affect the result. 1 point for quantum physics =P.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
Yuribeard7
Yuribeard7

Necropost ftw! Ok in seriousness though. You know there are scientists that are beginning to think/observe that we actually have 10 senses. 5 physical and 5 spiritual for a lack of better terms. We of course know about the 5 we were all taught about but what about the remaining 5? The last 5 can account for the ability of people like myself to sense things others cannot. Now I'm not talking about telekinesis and psychics and that nonsense. I'm talking about the ability to sense emotion in people without being anywhere near them. Or the ability to sense an aspect of a person (good/evil). Or even more common, the ability to sense the presence of something that you cannot perceive with your first 5 senses. No this is not paranoia or hallucinations I'm talking about there is a huge difference. For example I can sometimes sense the presence of something in my home that should or should not be there or I can sense evil in a person without actually being anywhere near them as long as there is some kind of non physical contact (communicating via the internet or just hearing them). A great many people can do this to lesser or even greater degrees and not surprisingly they are all people who are spiritual in nature and have faith in God. (Therefore I can only conclude that it is a God-given ability that one achieves upon learning to trust Him). This might not sound "rational" to some of you but sometimes reality is not very "rational". Just felt I should mention this while I had it in me to speak these words. Peace.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Post a comment
Sign in or join with:

Only registered members can share their thoughts. So come on! Join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) and join in the conversation.