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PsiSeeker

The essence of ideas

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Posted (edited)

Does anyone else find it strange how the core or essence of an idea can be communicated through in so many different ways? An idea exists as its own entity yet can be represented in many ways. There are many perspectives one can take of things that you can have knowledge for.

I find it strange that such knowledge of something can exist yet is somehow of a higher level?

Edited by PsiSeeker

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There is a view, platonism, that abstract concepts exist. All ideas already exist in some dimension or realm, and we can access this dimension through intuition. I suppose the core ideas exist, and we interpret and concieve of them in our own individual ways.

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You are basically saying that a single idea can be understood in multiple ways,

and the same idea can be expressed in different ways.

An idea is also defined by the core intention that fuelled its genesis in the mind,

and that root intention is important to identify.

Perception is amazingly variable, the same thing is interpreted in so many ways by

people around you.

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Posted (edited)

I tend to romanticize Plato's Theory of Forms because it gives supreme reality to the abstract concepts we encounter. Consider how one person views an individual as beautiful but another doesn't. And then how the perception of their beauty can change over time as they get to know the "inner person." Are these interpretations of the abstract of Beauty? Or is Beauty a spectrum?

This is funny because I actually made the first post of my new blog about ideas. In it I try and make a case that ideas might be a fundamental part of nature. Neurophysiologist Roger Sperry said ideas are "just as real" as the neurons in our brains. John Wheeler said "It from Bit" to show how reality may be at its essence information. Dr. Giulio Tononi believes consciousness is the integration of information. DNA is of course coded information. If we understand ideas as information, than can't we consider ideas as fundamental to reality as atoms?

I kind of like this thought that everything is information because it puts everything on the same scale; matter, life, and even ideas. If we take Richard Dawkins and his "meme" than we can even postulate that ideas (memes) are quite possibly alive (at least abstractly). I'm a novice at big idea thinking so I'm looking forward to your thoughts on this!

Edited by multilarity
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There is a view, platonism, that abstract concepts exist. All ideas already exist in some dimension or realm, and we can access this dimension through intuition. I suppose the core ideas exist, and we interpret and concieve of them in our own individual ways.

This is fantastic stuff. Reality is certainly irreducibly complex. I wonder if this dimension/realm is present everywhere all at once however is always reduced to its simplest form in the moment. So it exists but it does not exist tangibly. It simply is.

You are basically saying that a single idea can be understood in multiple ways,

and the same idea can be expressed in different ways.

An idea is also defined by the core intention that fuelled its genesis in the mind,

and that root intention is important to identify.

Perception is amazingly variable, the same thing is interpreted in so many ways by

people around you.

I feel that an idea can be understood in only one way however modifications can be made to it to spawn ideas of the same nature. I.e chair and rocking chair. I'm starting to think of categories. There are many things that can be expressed by a single category.

How accurate or how "on the same page" your perception of something is compared to somebody else would be measured by how long reality remains synonymous to the perception?

I tend to romanticize Plato's Theory of Forms because it gives supreme reality to the abstract concepts we encounter. Consider how one person views an individual as beautiful but another doesn't. And then how the perception of their beauty can change over time as they get to know the "inner person." Are these interpretations of the abstract of Beauty? Or is Beauty a spectrum?

This is funny because I actually made the first post of my new blog about ideas. In it I try and make a case that ideas might be a fundamental part of nature. Neurophysiologist Roger Sperry said ideas are "just as real" as the neurons in our brains. John Wheeler said "It from Bit" to show how reality may be at its essence information. Dr. Giulio Tononi believes consciousness is the integration of information. DNA is of course coded information. If we understand ideas as information, than can't we consider ideas as fundamental to reality as atoms?

I kind of like this thought that everything is information because it puts everything on the same scale; matter, life, and even ideas. If we take Richard Dawkins and his "meme" than we can even postulate that ideas (memes) are quite possibly alive (at least abstractly). I'm a novice at big idea thinking so I'm looking forward to your thoughts on this!

I feel that out of the chaos of what is there begins to form patterns and similarities that resonate with one another. Through this harmonizing of matter ideas are born. Or perhaps modes by which to better distinguish from one bit of apparent chaos to another bit of apparent chaos.

Perhaps the well of what is beautiful is infinitely deep. As one begins to know what is beautiful it will become more and more distinguished from everything else. Similarly certainly with other perceptions. Perhaps the definition changes over time to better distinguish from initial perception of beautiful to later perception of beautiful. I feel that the depth of appreciation over how beautiful something can be is truly infinite. Reality itself will continually build on this perception if it is true.

I wonder if reality is only a mechanism by which to test truth.

I like the concept of thinking of reality as information however qualms arise when thinking about things as only "is" and "isn't". It is my inclination that there is something more going on however due to the nature of things to simplify this potential truth is lost or something is left out in the light of some falsehood or... something...

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I'm thinking that there are a finite number of archetypes of ideas that exist in the mind. Sort of like shared templates that make it easier for people to communicate ideas. This may have developed through evolution. I think this has something to do with our recognition of 'common sense'.

The other day I was thinking about why the unknown, the mysterious, seems to be more interesting than the prosaic known. Stories, for example, are interesting because we don't know what's going to happen next, and we are eger to find out.

Perhaps these neural idea templates have a yearning or need to be fulfilled (I'm not sure how to say this). The neural pathway of the template of a specific idea 'wants' to be activated.

Ideas are important to survival. The 'idea' of stabbing an animal with a spear, for instance, that is taught to a youngster in a primitive society. Perhaps this idea archetype already exists in the child's brain and is reinforced by the demonstration.

Are there any 'new' ideas, or do all ideas already exist (in the brain?)? What about counterintuitive ideas?

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An idea exists as its own entity...

Does it?

Can an idea exist without intellect to envisage it?

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Can an idea exist without intellect to envisage it?

I think, in a sense, yes. Aren't all ideas provided by or based upon the way the physical universe behaves? The human intellect, being a product of the univertse, ideas within the mind are also a manifestation of the universe.

Ideas may not be like clothes hanging on a clothesline 'out there' somewhere to be intuited, but they are a built-in consequence of us-as-universe. Ideas are an analogue of the physical universe.

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I'm thinking that there are a finite number of archetypes of ideas that exist in the mind. Sort of like shared templates that make it easier for people to communicate ideas. This may have developed through evolution. I think this has something to do with our recognition of 'common sense'.

I'm reading this to mean that there exists a boundary for the ideas we can actually form. I'm disinclined to think that this is true, or if it is that the boundary itself isn't a static thing. Perhaps before a deeper understanding of the sciences where all of our ideas were based off of what we actually experience. As soon as we developed the ability to theorize the boundary for ideas that can be formed is only limited by self certainly,

The other day I was thinking about why the unknown, the mysterious, seems to be more interesting than the prosaic known. Stories, for example, are interesting because we don't know what's going to happen next, and we are eger to find out.

Perhaps such things aren't limited to the experience of interest alone. That which is unknown can induce fear and other emotions too I would think. I occasionally think of emotions in terms of Newton's 3 laws. When experiencing anything as constant for long enough we lose the ability to "feel" it. It's only when it changes that we become aware of a feeling associated with it.

Perhaps that which is known remains constant, doesn't change and therefore doesn't produce any noticeable feelings.

That which is unknown would constantly be changing as we shift our perception to better encapsulate it thereby producing feelings of interest or unrest.

Perhaps these neural idea templates have a yearning or need to be fulfilled (I'm not sure how to say this). The neural pathway of the template of a specific idea 'wants' to be activated.

I feel like once we theorize something to be a certain way we have an instinctive desire to confirm it by interacting with it. I.e when you're a kid and the concept of jumping occurs to you you instinctively jump to see what it's like. To gain more knowledge of it, the experience.

Ideas are important to survival. The 'idea' of stabbing an animal with a spear, for instance, that is taught to a youngster in a primitive society. Perhaps this idea archetype already exists in the child's brain and is reinforced by the demonstration.

Are there any 'new' ideas, or do all ideas already exist (in the brain?)? What about counterintuitive ideas?

This is what I mean when I say ideas can exists in many different ways, the form in what it's presented is distinct yet means the same thing I can draw on a piece of paper the act of stabbing an animal, or I can visualize it, or I can watch somebody else carry it out or I can read about it or I can pick some set of variables and equate it to this act of stabbing.

I feel like once the capacity to understand is reached it then forms a category that many different forms can belong to.

I'm inclined to think that the number of possible ideas are infinite. Think of prime numbers. There are infinitely many of them however, given enough time, they eventually form patterns with multiples of themselves. It is within this pattern forming that the capacity to categorize forms. I feel like this sort of thinking is synonymous to the concept of ideas.

Ideas that are intuitive still need to prove their "truthfulness" through interaction with reality. So too for ideas that are counter-intuitive and so too for ideas that are simply false. That which is not can exist as a perception that can be proven or disproved or left unknown through interaction with reality.

Does it?

Can an idea exist without intellect to envisage it?

I think, in a sense, yes. Aren't all ideas provided by or based upon the way the physical universe behaves? The human intellect, being a product of the univertse, ideas within the mind are also a manifestation of the universe.

Ideas may not be like clothes hanging on a clothesline 'out there' somewhere to be intuited, but they are a built-in consequence of us-as-universe. Ideas are an analogue of the physical universe.

That would depend on how you wish to define "exist". It would exist as potential if not envisaged. Similar to potential energy in physics. Potential and kinetic energy equal one another, so too for ideas I feel.

Maybe a better question is "Can an idea that can not be envisaged exist?"

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I don't know if I can express this very well.For me I see it as everything,in the sense of a complete knowledge,exists,a person or many people become aware or realize that the concept exists and have the ability to express it to others.People all over the world were inventing cars and flying machines,there wasn't the information network that exists today,months maybe close to a years to some locations just to send a letter.In every sphere of life there are people that think and visualize the same way right from the time of stone tools,pyramid styles of constructions,domestication of live animals,all people did was realize that they could.

jmccr8

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I don't know if I can express this very well.For me I see it as everything,in the sense of a complete knowledge,exists,a person or many people become aware or realize that the concept exists and have the ability to express it to others.People all over the world were inventing cars and flying machines,there wasn't the information network that exists today,months maybe close to a years to some locations just to send a letter.In every sphere of life there are people that think and visualize the same way right from the time of stone tools,pyramid styles of constructions,domestication of live animals,all people did was realize that they could.

I would agree that in a sense all knowledge already exists in the mind, in that we recognize and understand knowledge when it is communicated to us. I think all knowledge or ideas can be reduced to simple archetypal elements. These ideas fit into the already existing templates, as I say, within the mind.

Stone tools were independantly envisioned in many places in the world. The concept of a particular tool must already exist in the minds of these separate individuals.

Maybe a better question is "Can an idea that can not be envisaged exist?"

I would say that there are a finite number of ideas that the mind is capable of comprehending, and all these ideas are manifest within the univere and are intrinsic with the universe. Since the human mind is a creation of the universe, the human mind is capable of comprehending or envisioning every idea the universe has to offer.

Therefore, in my view, ideas that can not be envisioned do not exist.

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Leary and Sheldrake talk about this to great effect.

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I'm sticking my oar in, but please I need it so don't bite it off if I have misread what has been said so far. Vietnamese and other languages don't have the characteristic of English of having the same word, "exist" for so many really different meanings, and this aspect of English I fear leads people to confabulate the meanings. Numbers "exist," places "exist," ideas "exist," emotions or feelings "exist," material objects "exist," and so on. Well, one must be careful. I can think of a several Vietnamese words for different kinds of English existence, and they aren't viewed as synonyms. This tells me that some of this thinking comes from the nature of the range of meaning of the English word and is only therefore a linguistic problem.

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Hi Frank,

When I use exist it is in the sense that it is,just in the same way that I see myself as I am.From Aristotle's position is that man is the unity of a body and a soul and that there are qualities unique to the soul.When I am thinking about building something I can visualize what I am thinking about quite vividly,I realize it exists and can express it in some form be it descriptive or to actualize it by creating it with my own hands,a great part of why I enjoy my work the creative aspects as well as the challenges.

Christian teachings talk about what is on earth is a copy of what is in heaven,so for me heaven is understanding knowledge,in the sense that knowledge is and when I have questions or thoughts on something I begin to understand what it is and what is related to it.

jmccr8

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recommended read -

The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood is a book by science history writer James Gleick, author of Chaos: Making a New Science. It covers the genesis of our current information age. The Information has also been published in ebook formats by Fourth Estate and Random House, and as an audiobook by Random House Audio. The Information was on the New York Times best-seller list for 3 weeks following its debut from 27 March 2011

What Just Happened: A Chronicle from the Information Frontier

by James Gleick

3.33 of 5 stars 3.33 · rating details · 120 ratings · 19 reviews

Here's some of what just happened: Millions of ordinary, sensible people came into possession of computers. These machines had wondrous powers, yet made unexpected demands on their owners. Telephones broke free of the chains that had shackled them to bedside tables and office desks. No one was out of touch, or wanted to be out of touch.

~ enjoy :tu:

~

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I'm sticking my oar in, but please I need it so don't bite it off if I have misread what has been said so far. Vietnamese and other languages don't have the characteristic of English of having the same word, "exist" for so many really different meanings, and this aspect of English I fear leads people to confabulate the meanings. Numbers "exist," places "exist," ideas "exist," emotions or feelings "exist," material objects "exist," and so on. Well, one must be careful. I can think of a several Vietnamese words for different kinds of English existence, and they aren't viewed as synonyms. This tells me that some of this thinking comes from the nature of the range of meaning of the English word and is only therefore a linguistic problem.

I agree. We are captives of the language we speak. There are words in other languages that are untranslatable into English, in that there are no corresponding words that mean exactly the same thing.

For instance, the Japanese term "waba-sabi", or the Sanskrit term "dukkha". Perhaps the ideas these words convey cannot be fully understood without having these languages as one's first language.

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I don't know if I can express this very well.For me I see it as everything,in the sense of a complete knowledge,exists,a person or many people become aware or realize that the concept exists and have the ability to express it to others.People all over the world were inventing cars and flying machines,there wasn't the information network that exists today,months maybe close to a years to some locations just to send a letter.In every sphere of life there are people that think and visualize the same way right from the time of stone tools,pyramid styles of constructions,domestication of live animals,all people did was realize that they could.

jmccr8

What you're describing sounds like a "meme". When conditions are right memes will spread through cultures like wildfire.

I would say that there are a finite number of ideas that the mind is capable of comprehending, and all these ideas are manifest within the univere and are intrinsic with the universe. Since the human mind is a creation of the universe, the human mind is capable of comprehending or envisioning every idea the universe has to offer.

Therefore, in my view, ideas that can not be envisioned do not exist.

I feel like it is finite only within the moment. The moment you add more "time" to anything then more ideas naturally form out of the chaos that evolves forward. Given everything that is known up to that point extrapolations can only be made with things up to that point which is why it would be finite up to that point.

I'm sticking my oar in, but please I need it so don't bite it off if I have misread what has been said so far. Vietnamese and other languages don't have the characteristic of English of having the same word, "exist" for so many really different meanings, and this aspect of English I fear leads people to confabulate the meanings. Numbers "exist," places "exist," ideas "exist," emotions or feelings "exist," material objects "exist," and so on. Well, one must be careful. I can think of a several Vietnamese words for different kinds of English existence, and they aren't viewed as synonyms. This tells me that some of this thinking comes from the nature of the range of meaning of the English word and is only therefore a linguistic problem.

I think I see what you're saying. I've come to better realize what I'm actually asking over the past week. These things pop into my head and I gain a better understanding for my uncertainty as time goes by.

The question is really in relation to syntax and semantics. That is to say there are many different ways to go about deriving the same meaning from relationships formed between distinct parts. The meaning, or semantics, doesn't change, it still means the same thing regardless of how you go about describing it.

I think I was wondering about the relationships that things form with one another. Many different things can form relationships, it is intellect that notices these relationships or patterns. It is these patterns or relationships between things that all point to the same end. They all form the same "idea". It is the act of noticing potential that different things point at. It is this "potential" that confuses me. It is not what is in the moment. It is without being. Is there a word in Vietnamese for such a thing?

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Does anyone else find it strange how the core or essence of an idea can be communicated through in so many different ways? An idea exists as its own entity yet can be represented in many ways. There are many perspectives one can take of things that you can have knowledge for.

I find it strange that such knowledge of something can exist yet is somehow of a higher level?

When my son was a toddler, and talking, he would pipe up the very thing that I would be thinking. He did this all the time. One time, he did this on a rather memorable day. He said the very thing I was thinking as I was backing out of the driveway. I was so shocked that he was talking about what I was thinking that I ran into my spouse's auto, banging up BOTH our autos. My spouse noted this too, quite often. Either son learned our reactions to certain situations or he was literally reading our minds. I have only had two fender benders my entire life.

He was never apart from us, must of thought he was literally a part of us. He slept with us. He ate with us. Until pre-school, he was always with one of us, no baby sitters or anything. We were a very strong triad. NOw he is a teen, so separate from me that I don't really know what to do with him sometimes. But he always comes back for mama hugs, ... every day.

To more directly respond to your statement, I have always thought that anything I think has already been thought by someone somewhere at some time. I seldom think of my own thoughts as original, since I am not all that creative, but is just a part of some field of thought where I pull one out of it that best suits the situation at hand.

Edited by regeneratia
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I was sitting in the car once, running an energy exercise while my wife was in shopping. My then three, or four year old son was sitting in the back seat.

In the exercise, I draw earth energy in through the gate (yongchuan) in the bottoms of the feet, which is visualized in red. This energy is crossed through the heart, mingled with gratitude and breathed out through the gates in the hands (lougong) and fills the space you are charging with gold light.

After a dozen or so breaths, my son exclaimed from the back seat.... 'wow dad!'

'what?' I said, eyes still closed.

'there's all this light shooting in the car from your hands! It's so cool!'

'very cool buddy... didn't know you could see it... what color is it?'

'yellow, but then it's all the colors and it's swirling around and around'

he then proceeded to run his cars on the tracks of light that were swirling around him for the next few minutes...

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My kids would come up with ideas, like something to build or say. However they didn't have the motor skills or vocabulary to express what it was. Sometimes they even felt like they couldn't talk fast enough to relate the idea. I felt for them because they would be stressed by that.

Likewise I can think of a fantastic project but it doesn't come out to my satisfaction not appearing as it originally was in my head.

I think the mind is so good at modeling that it is capable of taking various experiences, clues fragments of life and put together a model of something that exists, even if it doesn't know that thing exists.

I believe that is what deja vu is. The mind has modeled that which actually happens and we feel we have a memory of that experience but it is really a model.

Two days ago someone introduced a completely new concept to me (see the subject Finding your own universal constant.) I was immediately writing original thoughts based on that concept, as though I had studied it before. Freaky scary!

Does anyone else find it strange how the core or essence of an idea can be communicated through in so many different ways? An idea exists as its own entity yet can be represented in many ways. There are many perspectives one can take of things that you can have knowledge for.

In my linguistic studies I was thought the only reason we can use language to express meaning is because it is vague. In the case of English very vague! If we tried to express something meaningful using the mathematical language of Boolean Algebra we would probably die before accomplishing it. That is because it is the least vague language I know of. Yet, here my computer is using that algebra so that I can express something in English.

Some languages are so vague, like Tolk Pison, that it is hard to express the degree or intensity of a matter. They simply repeat the phrase over and over in such a case. Other languages are so precise that it might take a while to state the matter, having one word that expresses a whole sentence in English (Australian Aboriginal Languages).

We are capable to express the same idea in many ways, I feel, because of the vagueness of our language. It is like approaching a pole. We can not approach it from all compass points at a time, perhaps only 25 degrees of the 360 at a time. The rest of the ways to approach the pole are other ways of saying (accomplishing) the same thing.

There is a view, platonism, that abstract concepts exist. All ideas already exist in some dimension or realm, and we can access this dimension through intuition. I suppose the core ideas exist, and we interpret and conceive of them in our own individual ways.

In the above statement you have described the essence of the Dreamtime. When an Aborigine, lets say, writes a new song, he only gives himself the credit for discovering the already existing song in the "either" of the Dreamtime. Humility rather than pride or a celebration dance. (The scary movie Wolfen also help to get a feel for the Dreamtime.)

So, I guess I think contrary to Platonism. But I do not rule out some kind of consciousness connection like the child who would say things mom and/or dad were thinking about. (I have identical twins and I think being so "together" all the time fosters some kind of connection. I have seen them and their mom save themselves from a lengthy conversation yet express a complete meaningful idea.

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