Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Essay outside of the NMT (No-Me Teaching) series 29
Some   Ramana Maharshi quotes:
The World, like Snake in Rope, thief in a Stump, Mirage in air, has no real existence. Seeming to be, mere appearance, is its nature.
The World that hides the Self is but a Dream. When the phenomenal World is hidden by the Self's bright light, Awareness pure, the Self, abides.
The nature of this Mind-created World, now seen in Dream-light dim, is truly known only in that bright Being-Awareness which transcends the Mind's illusion.
Some assert, "This World before our eyes lacks permanence, ’tis true but it is real while it lasts.” We deny it saying, "Permanence is a criterion of Reality."
Some argue, "Though divisible & split up into parts, the World we know so well, how could it be unreal ?" We refute it, saying, ”Wholeness too is a criterion of Reality."
The Wise can no how deem as real a World divided & destroyed by Time’s wheel. Whole, eternal, perfect, ever-shining & transcending Time & Space, such is the nature of Reality.
Only mad folk perplexed because they deem the false World to be real find joy in this illusion. The truly Wise find joy in nothing but Awareness which is Being.
What is the Self’s self-transformation as the World ? A twist of straw appearing as a snake ? Look hard, you see no snake at all. There was no Transformation, no Creation, none, no World at all.
Did the Self lapse from its own wholeness as Being, you ask, "How else did this World come to be ?” It came from Ignorance false. The Self can never suffer any change at any time.
Vast, whole, immutable, the Self reflected in the Mind's distorting mirror may appear to move. Know that it is the image moving, the true Self never moves or changes.
How can the dark, delusive sense of separateness affect the Self which is Non-Dual? It is the Mind's divisive vision which sees difference. Awareness knows no separateness at all.
Those who forget the harm the false World there before us does, & cling to it as real & comfortable, mistake, alas, a floating bear for a boat only to be crushed & drowned in the Sea of Birth.


[a sample of  Fine-Tuning series appearing on the other Blog cited below, instead of the "great Sage" series here]

For:     [U]   =  a Universe
            [E]   =  our Existence
             [I]   =  our Intelligence

The single data-point of our Presence does not allow us to choose between the 2 Speculations. On the other hand, we might have effectively “zeroed-down” that “lo”to vanishingly small, which is to effectively to cast a Contra-Positive of the original generic Hypothesis:

n [I][U]   ==>  n[I][E]

But that Conclusion is contradicted by the simple fact of our being here so such a Contra-Positive could NOT hold True. Converting this back to the original again, which must be equivalent, suggests that:

[I][E]   ==>  [I][U]

is similarly False. But our statements concern Truths rather than Falsehoods, & loosely at that, & yet even this reasoning is suggestive of the disconnect between our single data-point & any Universal conclusion. [Contra-Positives can be less intuitive, like double-negatives, but they can clarify some vague issues. Our Presence suggesting Life elsewhere “sounds” reasonable. But if we check the Contra-Positive we see that no failure to find Life elsewhere will ever convince US that We do not exist. Therefore, we best be cautious about using our Presence to imply Life elsewhere any further than that it “could happen.” Further examination then must focus on whether necessary conditions in the Universe are hard to come by, & how hard,]

Bostrom further extends this issue by multiplying our single data-point by an (even larger) finite number of other earthlike planets in the Universe with intelligent life. To consider 1st a weakly informative scenario, he conceives of widespread telepathic ability (which some actually attribute to plants*[1] on a cosmic level). Putting out the “call” we hear back, just as SETI might by more conventional radio waves: “yes intelligent life has evolved here.” The quality of that new information would improve if we could count the Number of planets so responding, or ever able to respond. But once more we are only hearing from the “winners” and not from perfectly earthlike planets in vast numbers who may be without Intelligent Life.

On the other hand again, if all telepathic or radio respondents specifically affirm somehow that that their planets are actually earthlike, & none of a larger sample replied affirming other planet-types, then more again is learned. With increasing numbers involved in the latter versions, we could begin to Probabilistically rule out intelligent life evolving on non-earthlike planets.

LP Epistemically Illuminated Regions:

When the Philosopher examines Anthropic Principles he may specify some conceptual boundaries, or at least some terminology not always included in a Physicist’s discussion. For one thing, the Philosopher seeks to determine in each case an Epistemically illuminated region within the possible or conceivable range of some parameter value. For instance, to take a simple example, Temperature. How hot, or how cold must it be. to rule out the possibility of Life as we known it (which does admit some extremes) & in what narrower range Intelligent Life (being of necessarily greater complexity however it is configured)? In fact, an Intelligent LifePermitting range is usually the only one of immediate interest (evolution of simpler forms could hold promise for the Future, should conditions, like Temperature, also change over Time so as to enter the narrower Intelligent LifePermitting range). But since the former, more immediate & narrow case of Intelligent LifePermitting is a big enough conundrum to bite off & chew for now, Intelligent LifePermitting is actually the default sense in which LifePermitting or LP is generally meant. 

Then, an Epistemically illuminated region in terms of LP further specifies the limits of our knowledge & imagination, especially if we admit Silicon-based, Boron-based, Nitrogen-based, & other conceivable but not necessarily feasible modes of Life, along with Carbon-based variations now familiar. Strong arguments tend to rule out all but Carbon-based or C-based Life reaching the complexity of LP as in Intelligent LifePermitting. But these are all issues in setting the confines of an Epistemically illuminated region within the range of a given Parameter. One practical detail concerns LP Physical Constants that we are already aware of. For familiar C-based Intelligent Life, just what do we observe as some finite local region around actual value of Constant that is observed? Do we see a finite region of possible variance, & finite regions of actual & tolerable variance already observed? For instance, if we see as LP the Celsius Temperatures between 50 to + 50 hypothetically, we might also imagine a wider  possible range of say 55 to + 60. All numbers being purely hypothetical values, those were chosen for simplicity.

Robin Collins, (theistic) Philosopher, divides Anthropic Principles into 3 broad categories &and rules on their viability after considerable philosophical & scientific argument, these being:

(1)  Intelligent Design Argument, be it Theistic, some more abstract Deist principle of Nature, etc., or attributable to aliens, Future time-travelers, or VR and such Design (for short & to distinguish from less rigorous religious-political uses of the same term) That Argument is defensible on its own terms (one cannot simply unilaterally declare a Physicalist Universe & dismiss dissent although that is the norm rather than the exception throughout Philosophy & Science).

(2)  Ensemble Argument, of a kazillion universes (as isolated regions of 1 Infinite or virtually so) Universe, or as a Multi-Verse. Universes “bubbling off” an M-brane & other exotic bootstrapping appear in some models. Cosmogenesis deriving Quantum Fluctuations, Quantum Many-Worlds, or a serial sequence of alternating Big-Bangs & Crunches echoing across essentially beginningless & endless Time. Any such Ensemble Argument is defensible, however fantastic, because any Long Odds will come home to roost eventually if you bet endlessly. Our 13.7 Billion year Universe may be old enough to support Cosmic & Biological Evolution, or not. But the number of bets taken in any of these Ensemble Arguments render Cosmic & Biological Evolution trivial by comparison, to say the least. If a Cray Super-Computer should attempt to electronically “write”, in conventional decimal form, the number of Eons needed to count the KazillionUniverses in such an Ensemble, the poor machine could not even scratch out a beginning in a Universe-life-so-far of 13.7 Billion years for instance. The numbers of Universes discussed are so fantastic that it may well be hubris to take this projection in stride. And yet the same decry any admission of Deity, Consciousness, or even Mind as so far, far more fantastic as to be rejected out of hand. But so again is it throughout Philosophy & Science, with the typical “proof” being: just look at how dumb  &  inconsistent are the Fundamentalist Christians. Is that a complete Argument?

(3)  Brute Chance Argument, being the off-handed dismissal of both Design  & Ensemble Arguments as needless hypotheses. Something had to happen, & the way things came out is the way things came out, period, Long Odds be damned. These adherents just have to include some great customers for the convenience-store Lottery ticket sales. Robin Collins for one, goes at length to rule Brute Chance or Brute Fact as he calls it. He later argues at length against Ensembles, an arduous effort we will only touch base with here. If his narrowing the field of 3 categories to the 1 category of Design should hold water, then one last rhetorical questions remains. What’s more fantastic, aliens, Deist-Theist-Consciousness based Design alternatives, Time-travelers, or Future VR Sim  programmers?

Details to follow soon later on, but suffice it for the moment to say that Surprisingness in the Bostrom sense depends for one thing on Relative Fine-Tuning or Selection of LP parameter values when the allowed Range is divided by the entire plausible or possible range. Temperatures in the Universe, for instance, vary enough that it is fair to say that Earth is currently Fine-Tuned in LP Temperature as might numerous other Earth-like and possible LP planets. So here with Temperature we have Fine-Tuning but no great Surprisingness in itself. But Surprisingness further relies on compounded probabilities (like the cheating gambler who will 11 consecutive Lotteries). Temperature Fine-Tuning then may play a component role in an immense chain of compounded probabilities that is Surprising enough to “demand an Explanation (Design or Ensemble, since Brute Chance is just the denial of that “demand” for Explanation). Flipping a Heads, H on a Coin-Toss is not Surprising, being 50%, but the compounded probabilities of an Octillion H’s in a row could be found to have the Surprisingness on 1 Chance in a Kazillion (of course an artificial term for an unthinkably large number).

However, if some other Parameter, let us say allowable magnetic field for the sake of discussion, exhibited an LP Range that was ¼ th of its total possible Range [none of this hypothetical really makes sense] then Surprisingness drops put right there on the issue of Relative Range even if the actual or Absolute Range happened to seem very small (plus or minus a few micro-webers or whatever). This hypothetical Parameter could then be dropped from the Fine-Tuning discussion, even as a relatively significant component of compounded probabilities, & so it is for ever so many LP characteristics we might conjure up in our imagination. But then after all the weeding out of the irrelevant, compounded probabilities & Surprisingness of Fine-Tuning for LP Parameters remains remarkable, to say the least.

Bland & Restricted Principles of Indifference:

Bland Indifference can describe the “living in denial” categorized within Psychological Compartmentalization, which in the extreme is the Borderline Psychotic defense against Cognitive Dissidence or disturbing contradictions encountered in Life. As Nick Bostrum used the terms when discussing his Sim-Arg, the Principle of Bland Indifference has another statistical meaning related to the Conclusion of the Subject in Leslie’s Gender Scenario where the Female places her bet with the bigger numbers, regardless of other considerations. If a given century involved 5,000 Females (vs. only 3) in the Project, than Odds are, she lives in that century. This allegiance to the numbers, no matter what, is her Bland Indifference, so to speak.

Generally, by the Bland Indifference Principle we should reason such that if we don't have any Information that indicates that our own particular experiences are any more or less likely than other human-type experiences, then these experiences should be dismissed from the Reference Class in determining our Credence about a given Probability [a neo-Copernican principle].  furthermore, that Credence generally equals the sheer Probability Numbers, if lacking special detailed information.
[That’s why it looked like the Credence version of the 3 Bearded Men scenarios looked that same as the earlier Probability-based. They were the same. It was a needed repeat but only with the Credence instead of the Probability. Added was the note that New Information could temper the Credence or Belief, thus distinguishing it from Probability. Credence held more promise for fixing the Adam & Eve paradoxes, which scenario compares to some Anthropic Principle  issues.]

One common retort would be the Napoleon Case for instance. No matter how many crazy people think they are Napoleon, Napoleon’s own grounds for thinking he is Napoleon are different, & the existence of those crazy people shouldn’t undercut his self-confidence. The Bland Indifference Principle suggests that if 1 Million crazy people have thought they are Napoleon, and if hypothetically Napoleon knows this statistic, then Napoleon himself should only believe he is Napoleon with a Credence of 1 in a Million. But to be less “bland” in one’s “indifference” for Napoleon is to recognize his uniquely special reasons for confidence in his self-identity (memories, peer agreement, etc.) & rely not just on Numbers.

The whole gamut of Credence “re-consideration” arguments included in
Bostrom’s monographs can be readily turned around to support Solipsism, Design, & even “re-consideration” of one’s true Non-Dual Identity. Furthermore, within the Sim-Arg   & Anthropic Principles themselves, numerous thought-provoking surprises can tend to awaken the Mind from its diurnal sleep-walk called the Waking State

In any case, Robin Collins speaks similarly in terms of a Restricted Principle of Indifference which has the same egalitarian democracy of Numbers, all in an acceptable range being deemed equally probable. But if we have other Information (like Napoleon has) to prefer certain Numbers or ranges, we can modify our position. Whether it be arguments by Bostrom or Collins, the net result of this or these principle(s) is to display due diligence against Special Pleading, & instead to favor Objectivity & conservative limits. When still making the Argument within these bounds, the Conclusion is all the more convincing. Various other good points are made by Collins (& of course other authors as well), just one other for now, being his refutation of blanket Agnosticism applied to Anthropic Principle issues.

Collins reminds the reader that Agnosticism can be claimed when one has “no idea” regarding the Probabilities, & not just obvious ignorance of the precise, specific value of a given Probability [or because the claim is convenient]. Both Collins & Bostrom, & others speak in terms of Credence & less-than (<)  &  greater-than (>) inequalities where landslide quantities allow reliable estimation of over-whelming likelihood or unlikelihood. The general range of Probabilities has to be well known as quite vast in these cases. There remains no comfort-zone of Agnosticism here. One must pick a side: Design, Ensemble, or Brute Chance. [And to clarify the obvious for the unfamiliar reader: Ensembles of Kazillions of Universes are “necessary” for the logical [vs. illogical Brute Chance] Scientific Realist. One can only believe super-incredible Coincidence is “coincidence” with a whole lot of Tries available.]

[1]   Secret Life of Plants   from earlier studies, speculations, and claims over recent centuries by Jagdish Chandra Bose, George Washington Carver, and Corentin Louis Kervran, a skeptical retired detective, Grover Cleveland Backster (Cleve Baxter as it is sometimes misspelled) had turned amateur “botanist” when applying his Polygraph equipment to Plants in a small Lab he ran in the suspicious locale of Times Square (ala Nikolai Tesla, the “mad scientist” before him) and like Tesla (not associated with plants but only with Times Square), Jagdish Chandra Bose, George Washington Carver, and Corentin Louis Kervran, Baxter was “buried” in cynical criticism and laughter. Soviet Scientists did considerably more of this same research, and Japanese research institutes did much more. All of the foregoing named (except Tesla) claimed unassailable evidence that Plants, at some distance, telepathically responded to Human emotions and even thoughts, in their own electrical  “emotional” responses, as if responding to the tome (the “vibes”) of those Human emotions and thoughts without necessarily dissecting detailed meaning. Most recent “advances” in this area have Archeologists , ascribing to a few diverse ancient cultures the use of certain Plants to telepathically communicate with “other star systems” and perhaps “other galaxies.” All of this is left without comment for the reader’s perusal if interested, with the disclaimer of any other judgment or opinion here. We have bigger fish to fry here and try (sometimes unsuccessfully) out of controversial, incredible topics without direct relevance. Picking other battles and moving on we will try to side-step ESP. Parapsychology. UFO’s, Conspiracy theories, and politics in general. The taint of the Plant story likely deprived (along with the same racism that greeted Carver) Jagdish Chandra Bose from a Nobel Prize for his other eminent work. Let’s go one further and dare ourselves to just look at Soviet and US Parapsychology research supporting very unpopular hypotheses that Human thoughts and emotions can, at a distance, affect Petri-dish Cells, Ice crystals, and Minerals. (???)

[more "Calculus for Yogis" is forthcoming]

 [The above themes & 1600 pages more are freely available as perused or downloaded PDF’s, the sole occupants of a Public Microsoft Skydrive “Public Folder” accessible through 

or with Caps-sensitive:

Duplicates have been available on:
[But from now on, they will be different & still usually daily.]

"There is no Creation, no Destruction, no Bondage, no longing to be freed from Bondage, no striving for Liberation, nor anyone who has attained Liberation. Know that this to be Ultimate Truth."    the "no creation" school of Gaudapada, Shankara, Ramana, Nome  Ajata Vada

for very succinct summary of the teaching & practice, see:

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