Are You You, Or Are You It?

The idea that everything is separate bits and pieces is an unscientific social construct

For what it’s worth—the idea that everything and everyone are separate bits and entities is an unscientific, social construct.

Everything you see is seen on the inside of your brain, while at the same time, that brain is on the inside of everything you see. Everyone else is also inside what they are seeing too (insert puddle analogy here) I know this seems rather obvious when you spell it out, so why does one feel we are individual agents of it? Why think of consciousness as an emergent property that arises from the brain—tradition, hypothesis, original sin? Why? Here’s an idea—

The brain does not create or produce consciousness; rather, it filters it”—Peter Fenwick.

My brain is only a receiver”—Nikola Tesla

Your brain is primarily a receiver too. Sure it has some memory and some habitual functions to conserve energy, but since birth it has received input—countless lines of opinion, indoctrination, definitions, and visual stimuli form a particular viewpoint and, occasionally can regurgitate a few lines of coherent feedback out of the mix, or pull an idea out of thin air (inspiration). How could an emergent property like a brain, developed by outside stimuli, suddenly become independent of it—unless that’s how you were taught to see it? There is no outside stimuli. You’re going through it and it’s going through you. That’s why your body is covered in little tubes. In and out, that’s what it does.

So you are inside of what you are looking at, and inside your brain we are seeing what we’re inside of. It is not outside you—it is you. The whole universe is you. It is all one thing. It’s all one process.

Our current thinking is a neat trick based mostly on a Hebrew interpretation from an authoritative culture where you are the created subject of a king—independent agents of freewill guilty of original sin, that you and your actions are somehow separate from the environment. This illusion permeates deep in our culture. You are responsible to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling”. You are on your own—but, “Any immutable attribute of oneself, cannot be a sin”. (1)

Maybe your brain being a receiver of consciousness is why it is so difficult to change your personality. It is 3 pounds of fat, receiving impulses and scanning for danger. How do you make it stop is the question? There are ways.

We are apertures of the entire cosmos, independent only as semi-unique physical structures—outposts in a self regulating organism where there is no freewill. Everything is a reaction to the flow of stimuli—even a well thought-out decision. Enjoy the ride!


Author: jimoeba

Alternatives to big box religions and dogmas

63 thoughts on “Are You You, Or Are You It?”

  1. Hmmmm. How do I see us? As an independent agent of the consciousness that is life while embodied on this physical dimension, I have free will to act and be who I choose to be. The only thing determined is that I will die and return to the consciousness of life from which I came. Life is not a god-like being, but a child growing into adulthood. It has no answers, only questions. We, the independent agents, are seeking those answers. Our brains play little part in this process.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. In this current game/model, if anyone actually had freewill it would be the most destructive force in the universe. Currently no one can exceed their program so the game can stay in play.
          Do you have the freewill to even intentionally stop thinking about your spiritual journey, or anything else for that matter?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Why would I want to? I have no will to stop, free or not.
            But I think this is all semantics, Jim, as usual. I doubt we are talking the same language. My last scientific learning was was back around 1965. That’s when I gave up on science. I use it, yes, but I do not see it as the all-knowing truth my science teachers tried to make me believe it was. There is more to this world than science can describe to us. And that is where I speak from. Your statement, everything is just a chemical reaction in the brain, has no importance to me. I do what I do, and if my brain is just differently wired, with different chemical reactions going on, so be it. But then, my body is not like most human bodies. It is similar, but as surgeons have discovered, my body does not meet their expectations. I am human, yes, but I am different. It is no wonder if my brain does not work like yours.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Well for the record, nothing I write or think about here is anything I believe in. They are merely alternative explanations that easily replace belief in the oogity boogity. The fact is there is no hocus pocus or secret information. It’s all right out in the open. My point of this post is to simply point out the illusion created by Hebrew religion that we are all somehow separate agents from nature. It applies equally to science and say, the Big Bang. The only reason one could feel separate from that is if you were raised to think that way. That is how much influence abrahamic religion has had on how we view the world, even when we don’t want to.

              Liked by 2 people

        1. It is hard to look for a key unless you know you’s it.
          I would like to see someone produce an argument that could illustrate you’s not it. I don’t think they can.


          1. Words, Jim. Words are imperfect symbols of ideas, and feelings. I feel my “I” inside of me. I try to put those feelings into words, but the language makes it impossible. Maybe someone can do it better than I, I’m sure someone can. But they cannot feel what I feel. Double negative.

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          2. You Stated — “I would like to see someone produce an argument that could illustrate you’s not it.”

            My Response — Challenge accepted. “You’s not it” if you are a simulation. Everything else in our reality would still be as you described.


            1. I know we’ve had this conversation before. Philosophically it works, scientifically it works, it is considered to be a dream-like state according to those who awaken from it. If you were simply being dreamed you’d never know it but by a special circumstance, described by sages throughout time and in every region of the world. The difference is some claim ownership of it and suffer from inflation.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Would it also work if we were real but engineered biological machines? Purpose unknown, but still engineered in a lab of some kind on a grand scale project.


            3. There was an apologetic I used to chat with and I suggested if there is a god, it’s probably some mad scientist whose experiment got away from him. He couldn’t fathom it. God had to be all wise, all knowing, and perfect. If fact he said, “who would want a god any less than that? So he built this inconceivable image to placate his need.
              There have been at least 5 hominid events in our geological history. There have been certain animals that have survived all the extinction events. These I believe are the seeds of life.
              I know this is a little off topic, but I think the fall of man came when Adam names all the animals and we entered into a fixed, measured reality.
              So without naming an alligator or a bird and defining them inside of some imaginary class, what are they really? When you feel compelled to go on a hike in the mountains, what is the actual function of that reconnaissance? Everything you see is seen inside your brain and your brain is seeing what we’re inside of.
              By naming things we negate them and eliminate all other possible things they could be. The world is a complex, self governing organism. Like a pond having it’s distinct ecosystem, there’s good and bad, there’s deep water and scum on the edges, and all that life is one system, one event.


            4. You Stated — ‘’ There was an apologetic I used to chat with and I suggested if there is a god, it’s probably some mad scientist whose experiment got away from him”

              My Response — What if it’s running as expected? Engineers have built a few simulations now and they never take out any of the negative aspects of society. Not saying that’s what we are but not saying we aren’t.

              Liked by 1 person

  2. It bothered me enormously when I realised the present was a point in time I could never directly experience because my brain could only process incoming information at a speed of 100 metres per second, whereas the light arriving in my eyes (the world) was moving at 299,792,458 metres per second. I think I was nine or ten at the time, and it really pissed me off.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is a great point. And you can only think of one thing at a time and thinking about the future or past is also wasting the present moment, for those only exist in the present.

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  3. Graham Harman: Real intention exists within a third intension. There is my intension; the intension of any object itself, and the intension through which we encounter reality in which we both are involved.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Sure. If you’re interested Graham Harmon has a relatively short book called “the quadruple object”.

        Or you could go back to one of his original papers which you can find for free on a PDF if you Google “on vicarious causation”

        If you are interested in the more thick academic philosophy.

        His argument is that Heidegger makes an incidental and overlooked point about objects in themselves through his argument about Dasien.

        Harmon gets into very extensive and detailed arguments about how we can relate Hiedeggerian phenomenology with Husserl phenomenology.

        Let’s see if I can summarize it adequately.

        Philosophers and lame and like generally speak about intentionality as some thing that comes out of the individual, that this phenomenological feature of the mind is what allows us to understand objects. But as most philosophers will say, our sense of reasoning never gains the object in itself, but only an estimation of it, or by extension, only models of the object.

        I feel like in your post here or you were saying something similar to rebuttal of this kind of phenomenology.

        If indeed there is an intention behind every knowledge of an object, and so much as I might know what that object is, there is some thing about myself that is withdrawing from that reckoning. And if I may, in so much as I might want to communicate what a particular object is, Something is lost in the communication. In both senses in so much as I might be or have intentionality, or an object has intentionality, there is something about myself that is being with held from that knowledge of the object.

        In short, it is the old phenomenological idealism: that there is something uniquely human to thinking and that is this thinking which is never suspect. Reason itself is never in question because it is assumed that the reason along with thinking is deriving for us reality, the objects of reality.

        Harmon, Innoway, asks how we could even have an object between us, how we could even have reality if phenomenology is always reducing back to the subject of reason? And this is to say that the subject reason is an idea which is withheld from scrutiny. For, the arguments of phenomenology would say that there is no way for subjects to communicate. There is no philosophical phenomenology which explains how it is possible that any two subjects can relate through a predicate. This is just an assumed quality of the real subject.

        However, if we begin to speak about this situation as some thing that is noble, in itself, it makes sense, we are able to say that this knowledge is an object. The same way as any other known thing is an object.

        If this is the case, then we might very well assume that it is not merely humans that have intention, even though we are the only ones that might have reason and thought.

        He lets posits that every object, in so much as we might be able to know that objects relate to each other in someway, must have an intention inherent to the object that is themselves. But as well, there is an aspect of that object that with drawls, in the same way that there is something about the human being that withdraws from relation.

        This situation of withdrawing cannot be totally true, because that is what the subject of phenomenology draws upon: a non scrutinized aspect of being.

        Hence for there to be any sort of knowledge at all about an object there must be some thing of an intention in which both human being and, say, the tree, must be involved.

        So it is that intentionality itself is some thing that is constituent of all objects, human beings included.

        How’s that?

        Sorry so long.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Nicely done. Found Harmon’s paper right now. Here’s an excerpt from early on—“No one sees any way to speak about the
          interaction of fire and cotton, since philosophy remains
          preoccupied with the sole relational gap between humans
          and the world – even if only to deny such a gap. Inanimate
          relations have been abandoned to laboratory research, whereas their metaphysical character is openly dismissed.”
          I’ll read the rest of it and try to get back to you on my thoughts. Very interesting.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. the NDE experiences prove that consciousness exists outside the brain. the brain/body is merely a vehicle that limits the true bounds of consciousness, when it escapes the vehicle, it gets a glimpse of the its real, undifferentiated, infinite state. the body state is only so because our senses are limited- but are we the senses only? absolutely not.

    consciousness is like an ocean, if you put a bottle in the ocean, it fills with water. the bottle is like our body. is the water in the bottle ever different from the rest of the ocean? what is ‘individual’ about it?? when the bottle breaks, what happens with the water? it’s really very simple, and so obvious. there is never any out there, or in here. that is the illusion. my mind reflects in my reality. my reality starts within me, with my thoughts, even before, my hopes, desires, and longings. that is consciousness, the finest material of creation. that is how are like gods. we create. and awakening is becoming fully aware of this fact. but instead, we ‘sleep’, and think destructive thoughts, and have destructive tendencies, and our reality is a direct reflection of that.

    this is the awesome power of consciousness. what we do with it, is always up to us. so no blaming god!
    the only sin is feeling we are separate from it. that is called ‘ego’ and it’s the source of troubles in our life and in the world. the water in the bottle feeling is is ‘independent’ and somehow ‘different’ from the water in the rest of the ocean. illusion of the greatest degree! hehe 😄

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  5. Your discussions on “essence” (for lack of a better word) are interesting. What’s especially fascinating to me is that I went through this same type of “searching” many years ago — and came up with “answers” that resonated with me. Some of them match what’s been presented. Others not so much. This indicates to me that we each have to discover for ourselves the reason for our existence.

    BTW, as I progressed through time (e.g., got older 😊), my need for such answers faded and now I more or less simply accept that I am — along with recognizing that one of these days (in the not-too-distant future), I’ll know whether there’s more. Or not.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. The stickler is that “you” will probably never know because you ain’t really you at all. Indigenous cultures that did not feel this separation from their environment could not comprehend private property ownership or even that they were individual in it.
    In the culture of the Maori people of New Zealand, humans were deeply connected with nature; the two are equal and interdependent, even kin. The idea is reflected in the Maori word ‘kaitiakitanga’, which means guarding and protecting the environment. They are integral to it, not separate from it. Very intuitive.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I was meditating one day a couple of years ago, and as I meditated I started to have an out-of-body experience, as I occasionally do.

    This time I decided to fly to the edge of the universe, to see if I could take a peek at what is beyond. So I flew there not knowing what I was going to see. At first I was slightly disappointed. Because it seemed like there was no edge, for every time I tried to poke my head through the edge, all I could see was what was behind me. Eventually I gave up, and decided to focus my attention on the universe at my back. What I saw amazed me, for there in front of me was a huge, pulsating brain. Each time it pulsed it sent waves inward, and because of the inconsistency of the surface of the brain the waves would create eddies and crash into each other, and when that happened it formed all kinds of different matter, including replicas of itself.

    Then I saw that every brain was a reflection of the universe, or the universe was a reflection of every brain, or both or something else, I don’t really know what I saw but I got a sense that all consciousness is connected, or the same, and that the universe is consciousness. Of course, this was only a vision, but it certainly changed the way I see the people around me, and indeed myself. Perhaps I am everyone, and everyone is me. Perhaps I am the universe, or a copy of it. Perhaps there is a universe inside each of us.

    This post reminded me of that vision.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I hope this was just analogous to our relationship with reality. Wouldn’t seem very sexy if reality were just a trillion tons of fat floating in space. Wouldn’t surprise me though.
      Scientifically speaking, we can only perceive a small sliver of reality with our focused attention, which typically is that part that secures our best chance at survival and reproduction.
      Great comment. Thanks for sharing


        1. You can’t put the ocean in a goldfish bowl. Makes a bit of sense their would be the mother brain feeding all these littles.


          1. You can’t put the ocean in a goldfish bowl

            I agree with your post but not this comment. A better metaphor than the puddle you used would be Indra’s Net – a relational universe in which everything reflects everything else and is illuminated only by those reflections.

            As you said, ‘the whole universe is you’. And you are the whole universe. And that applies equally to everything else in it. So both the ocean and the contents of the fishbowl are completely embraced by mutual cause-effect going all the way back to the single point of the Big Bang and all the way forward to the nondifferentiation of the heat death. They are the ‘traces’ of each other.

            The ocean and the contents of the goldfish bowl are the same thing in the same way all parts of a hologram, from each tiniest piece to the entirety, are the same image. Only the resolution is different.

            So your assertion there’s no free will only applies to an individualised concept of will. Everything both expresses and is an expression of the free will of the universe, though its own internal laws keep any one piece in lockstep with the rest.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. What may seem like chaos at one level all adds up to a harmonious whole. You can’t put the ocean in a goldfish bowl, but you can put a goldfish bowl in the ocean. That more like it?
              – a relational universe in which everything reflects everything else and is illuminated only by those reflections.”
              Really a simpler way to put it is the brain is a feedback loop.
              Fine comment! Thanks for stopping.


            2. a simpler way to put it is the brain is a feedback loop

              If you’re suggesting the brain is any more or less a feedback loop than an ocean or what’s in a goldfish bowl I’d suggest you’re mystifying the brain in its complexity.

              There’s no core or essence. The reflection is the mirror, not a function of it.

              Everything feeds back everything else. And that’s all there is.

              Liked by 1 person

            3. I understand, yet each particular viewpoint serves a geographical purpose on a massive scale. I’m not mystifying the brain. It is three pounds of fat that even the best experts struggle to comprehend. Trying to examine its nature as a pretended third party has proven difficult.


            4. Well there’s no doubt the brain is complex, but I think its complexity has led to it becoming a secular ‘God of the gaps’.

              If there’s something you can’t explain or understand – like consciousness or mental illness – locate it in the brain and kick the answer down the road with ‘more research is needed’.

              If there’s something about you that you really want to believe in but can’t find evidence for – like an immortal, immaterial soul – posit the brain as the ‘receiver’ that connects the material body with it (Descartes thought it was the pineal gland, but we know too much about that these days).


            5. If I can’t posit the brain as a receiver nor a transmitter without reaching at a connection, by this line of reasoning it doesn’t matter because that is all their is. So why bother? The conversation interest me which is just as natural a phenomenon as disinterest. Nothing is going on here that is not a part of the program.


            6. I wasn’t having a go at your metaphor when I talked about positing the brain as a receiver. My understanding is that Tesla didn’t think his ‘receiver’ brain was how his soul communicated with his body because he didn’t think he had a soul.

              But there’s plenty of mind-body and body-soul dualists who use the ‘receiver’ metaphor that way. I think the people who believe their consciousness can someday be uploaded to computers implicitly see brains the same way. Artifacts that express some sort of independent essence.

              IMHO, there’s nothing that cripples critical thought like metaphors of human beings as artifacts. Been going on since someone watched a skilled ceramicist and wondered if God had made us out of clay.


    2. hi Oves, what an awesome vision! i think it’s quite accurate to say ‘i am everyone and everyone is me’.
      the way i feel it, is that consciousness is in fact only One, undifferentiated, primordial and infinite (much like zero-point field of quantum physics!), some pure ‘potentiality’ not made of matter. and the universe we experience appears Within this consciousness, rather than outside, as we feel it in our daily life.
      almost like, under certain circumstances like Thought, coagulates to make matter appear within it. like water becoming solid (ice) and taking different forms into what we call “world”. all by the power of Maya😊

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh I am definately “it.” I just ain’t sure what “it” is yet.

    My best guess is, “it” is riding the brain waves that interpret our realites, until the point we can’t do it anymore. Death if you prefer.

    If, or how, there is some cosmic connection to that, I do not know. Won’t matter anyway, when I can’t do it anymore. My best guess there however, if I had one to posit, would be as valid, or invalid, as anyone elses. I fear anyone selling the notion that they might know something in that regard, is either misguided, or trying to make a buck from pretending to know something they do not. Sometimes both.

    Would it be nice to know if there is some cosmic connection? Yes I think it would be nice to know. But until there is a way to prove that, it won’t matter. Unless that changes. Then things could get interesting. Otherwise, it’s speculation all the way down.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. FULLY agree with this — I fear anyone selling the notion that they might know something in that regard, is either misguided, or trying to make a buck from pretending to know something they do not.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. There’s no tricks or gimmicks. No special knowledge or secret revelation. It’s all right out in the open. The point is we’ve been trained in our culture to feel separated from it. It’s a social construct based on Hebrew religion, not scientific at all.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think I agree here. It may be in the open but am I? Is it existential fear that keeps me in the bushes? Hmmm. It was until I remembered my true father and was no longer afraid. I’m not separated from it but my connection is through the love of parents.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. There are plenty of erroneous methods to go around. My favorite is that belief is a virtue and the pinnacle of religious experience, but it is actually the greatest koan every laid on the minds of men—giving them heaven for doing what they can’t help but do. The natural man is actually the believer, not the other way around. Neat trick until you see it.


    2. You Stated — “One’s independence is illusory and is largely the result of a mediocre education. ”

      My Question — Are you saying this because each individual needs something from something else in the world or am I not understanding you correctly?


  9. “I am that I am” I’d hate to find out I am alone, that I am all one. So I am me. The Hebrew tradition is the preservation of the individual, right? The splintering is sacred. Rebirth is for me to become more separated, more individual, more specialized until maturity. Then I will love as I have been loved and share eternal life. “I am” is sacred. It makes us all know that we will not die alone. It is the I am that makes the we are. And this is joy. You are unique and you are precious. The heart of the great “I Am” grows tender thinking of you. How do I reconcile this tenderness I know with the horrific suffering I know about? I have peace with being but not yet with my doing. My mind is fairly satisfied but my heart breaks. Is there any help in the union of hurt, in a crying spirit?…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You may not die alone, but you may die as one.
      Btw, what is there to be afraid of in death outside Hebrew tradition? “The splintering is sacred “—I like that there buddy. Preservation of the individual is nothing unique to humans or the Hebrew. Punishing the individual for his natural attributes however, is. Any immutable attribute of oneself cannot be a sin.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. You Asked — “The Hebrew tradition is the preservation of the individual, right? ”

      My Response — I would say no, it’s more about cause and effect. Each individual makes choices and those choices affect everyone around them.


  10. What you say is possible. But is it a possibility we should concern ourselves with? I don’t think we should concern ourselves with things beyond our control. But is it possible we do have control? If so then how should we live?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What I say here isn’t just possible, it is what is.
      It is not possible that we do have control, but if you could, would you?
      How should, or ought we live? Everyone is in it for selfish reasons. It’s a much more interesting game with a few plot twists and unpredictability than perpetual heaven would be. The Hindus say there is nothing that is not god. This is what the gods do to relieve the boredom of infinite living. Go into a realm of not knowing. What else could you possibly do once you know and have everything at your disposal?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. How are you so sure we do not control our conduct. You describe a situation where we do not control our conduct but just because you can describe it, that does not mean it is true. What makes it impossible to believe we actually are individuals with individual consciousness?

        I am not sure we are all in it for selfish reasons.

        I agree that if we have perfect knowledge then we would likely act more predictably even if we are distinct entities. I think it is possible that we have imperfect knowledge and God and his ways are somewhat hidden in order to reveal something about who we are.

        It is one thing to go back in time knowing what we know now and acting morally. But it is more interesting to wonder how we would act if we lived in those times without knowing what we know now. I think we may agree on this last paragraph.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. What is interesting about that last paragraph, life is better now than ever known of before. The world is safer, life spans are up, extreme poverty is lower by the billions, and your chance at living a full life is better than ever, yet Christianity has a target fixation for doom. This tells me that in reality, Christian morality is ultimately sexual purity.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Jim I agree that life is very good now. We probably disagree about what role Christianity played in getting us here but that is fine to disagree. But I wasn’t talking about sexual morality in the last paragraph at all. I was basically agreeing with what you were ascribing to a Hindu view. That is it is boring if you know everything so going into a realm where you don’t know everything might be interesting.

            My own view is a bit different but still along those lines. Like the ancient Jewish scripture writers I think “knowing” can also mean to experience something. And therefore I think it is fair to say someone who has never suffered does not “know” suffering. So to the extent it is possible we existed in some way before we were born we may have known a huge quantity of propositional knowledge. But the question is do we want to also learn experiential knowledge. (thus the story of Adam and Eve.) In gaining that experiential knowledge we may find out things about ourselves that we couldn’t have known for sure before.

            Liked by 1 person

    2. First, we concern ourselves (step one), then we take control over it (step two), then after much time goes by we realize that we were never in control (but it was fun while it lasted)

      Don’t get ahead of the program

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It makes for a good story but I am not sure it is true. I’m not saying you have to prove your view is true, I am just saying I hold different beliefs and see no value in adopting your beliefs.

        Liked by 2 people

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