Nothing is spiritual

Nothing is spiritual

in the same way as we [some of us] can look at the physical without seeing the mind [only its interactions with the physical], can we not do the same with the so called ‘spiritual’?

e.g. if a soul or spirit isn’t your mind, then what is it? If it is your mind, then it should be termed such.
If the soul is e.g. the transformed self or consciousness [like the Egyptian ‘Sahu’], then thats how the term should be used. In fact such ancient terms probably were used to define our minds, but now we have different and more fact based definitions and so I think they should be used ~ in philosophy.

Equally, if ‘Nothing is spiritual’ [as like nirvana or caugant], then everything else isn’t!


“Spirit” was merely their word for “behavior”. A “high spirit” merely means an energetic behavior.
Stories told to children turned it into an independent gossamer thing floating down dark hallways.

But you can’t say that people don’t have behavior.
An individual type of behavior is a specifically named spirit.
The spirit of a person can be seen merely by seeing anything that behaves as that person behaved.

A “soul” is a different issue often conflated with spirit but meant “the fundamental definition of who you are”.

So you mean “nothing” as in “nothingness”? Could we paraphrase you as saying: “spirit” is that which contrasts with “matter”. You look around at the world and all you see is matter. Therefore, matter is all that exists. Therefore, “spirit” being that which contrasts with matter is that which doesn’t exist. It is nothingness.

I don’t know, James. Are you a behaviorist? I find it hard to imagine that there was ever a time when we couldn’t introspect and see our own thoughts and inner mental states. Couldn’t this be what was originally meant by “spirit” or “soul”?

The behavior of your mind, your attitudes, and passions count as your behavior, “spirit”.
They didn’t get into pedantry.

Pedants who didn’t get into pedantry? Non pedantic pedants, I find that hard to believe. :wink:

The Greeks had the essence of it I think psyche=soul=mind also rendered as breath and life and spirit depending on context, makes a hell of a lot more sense than that psuedo mythological bs anyway. But then what do I know I have no soul. :wink:


All we see is matter, I thought we only see, feel etc what is not matter [quale etc]? nothingness = emptiness here [‘still’ thought-wind to we druids] see below…

We derive info from matter or at least the brains ability to turn that into something the mind can read [on a 1 – 1 correlative basis [assumedly perceptual and visual]].


the ancient egyptians had many notions of spirit and none were behavioural [not to say some aren’t behavioural]. The khu for example ~ which could be paralleled with the celtic ‘head-spirit’.

H & H

The druids/celts had ‘awens’ = thought-wind, much as the chinese had/have also [chi].

…but does any of this make sense relative to the question in the op? surely if any of these things are real they are us in some way, and hence are consciousness of some kind.

The behavior of your mind and attitude?

Actually, that could make sense–I forgot the greeks didn’t make such a huge distinction between the mind and the body.

So does this mean that “spirit” was the inferred energy that made these things “move”?

You know, Amorphos, Jean-Paul Sartre had a similar concept of consciousness–not that I really understood much of Sartre when I attempted to read B&N–but what I got from him is that whereas the material objects we see in the world are objects-in-themselves (Kant’s term), consciousness is an object-for-itself. That is to say, consciousness is inferred in contrast to the things it sees to exist. Consciousness allows us to see a rock, and we see that it exists–it is therefore a rock-in-itself. Consciousness allows us to see a tree, and we see that it exists–it is therefore a tree-in-itself. But consciousness does not turn onto itself–it cannot see itself–it therefore is never a thing-in-itself (not to itself anyway). But it is inferred by itself–as that which is not everything else, everything it sees as existing–it is a not-thing–the nothingness that is inferred in contrast to every-thing. It is therefore not a thing-in-itself, but a thing-for-itself. I don’t quite understand what the “for” in that phrase connotes except that it is an alternative to “in”.

I’d go out a little further and say that you’d have no way of finding out what is there. There’d be nothing to inform you apart from the knowledge you are using of that which you are calling consciousness or spirit or the like. It’s so simple what that means I know …. to say that you cannot know anything about what you do not know.

And then there’s the matter of how the seeing and hearing is not completely done solely by the eye or ear, but by the translation of signals it sends to the brain where the ‘mind’ goes about linking the signals with activated memory cells that (someone said I think Jayson) move along in thought analogous to a film projector where frames of knowledge flit by as on a mental medium. The architecture of this involves thousands upon thousands of neural connections all occurring in the head.

But can an experiencing structure experience what it does not know? Not that what it does not know is not there. We pass down to the next generation the knowledge that has been passed down to us and so on. So, when it comes to concepts and abstractions such as spirit and consciousness and even thought itself, there would be no way to even ask questions about them without having first answers already, that is, the knowledge. And what is there to thought other than the repetition/movement of knowledge? Yet it is this constant utilization of thought that gives continuity to the experiencing structure inside you. When thought is born, you are born. When thought is not there, it’s not that you are not there, in a sense, but there is no concern at that time for an experiencing ‘you.’

Gib’s comment on how consciousness cannot turn and look at itself is the same with thought. How do you look at thought? When you want to look at thought, what there is is only whatever you know about thought. Knowledge IS the structure of thought. So what you have is thought about thought and not thought itself. It’s cyclic: knowledge creates the experience and the experience strengthens the knowledge. If you were to be freed up of the knowledge you have about ‘mind’ or ‘consciousness’ or ‘spirit’, then for that experiencing structure referred to in this way as ‘you’, there would be none of them. They would not exist there and no questions about them would be there.

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it what colour is it?

Yes. I used to refer to “internal energies/efforts” as something’s “spirit”. But that actually translates to simply “internal behavior”. The external behavior is what is most observed and often referred to as “spirit” as well. So I just call it “behavior”, allowing for both internal and external.

In some texts from some cultures, concepts or ideas are referred to as “spirit”, most notably by borrowing the word from other cultures and mis-applying it. A concept or idea in the earliest lingering languages is an “angel” or “a branching angle on a tree of knowledge”. “Angle” and “angel” are linguistically related through that understanding (notably in Roman Catholicism).

There would be no colors; no eyes are there to assist in converting the electromagnetic waves into the subjective experience of colors ( qualia ).

Yes … yet, in the constant effort to maintain the experienc-er, knowledge is continually extracted from memory giving the consciousness the impression that, through a separate mental reality, ‘you’ are ‘seeing’ a tree that is of some shade of the typical brownish hue as given by past experiences. This coordinating entity, or so called thinker, does not allow thought to come to an end. The fear of losing what it knows puts its existence at stake such that, after having such a close parallel relationship with knowledge and memory, the experience-er would lose all of its protection and purpose that thought and knowledge provided it. So, even though it is an illusion, in that it’s the imagination (mind), it is a self perpetuating mechanism that goes on in the brain. And so it seems a lot of energy is wasted and a lot of neurons perhaps being worn out by this steady activity that’s going on to protect and maintain a separate self.

There would be no colors; no eyes are there to assist in converting the electromagnetic waves into the subjective experience of colors ( qualia )



I am not sure if Sartre meant the same thing as you there, I think he meant it more like I do ~ that the thing itself is there anyway. Perception is consciousness projected, and it can perceive itself ~ or we wouldn’t know what it is eh! This is key to why humans are philosophical beings, we can see into our own minds. see also below…


Then we wouldn’t be having this conversation because we couldn’t communicate. Our concepts of a thing are derivative of that thing, or they are composed e.g. an hallucination, dream etc.


That’s a new take on an old chestnut. :slight_smile: The tree does make a sound and have colour, or the properties by which we compose such things wouldn’t exist ~ again its that correlation thing between objects and concepts/perceptions. …but if the tree/universe didn’t also have the concept of things, then we would have no way of correlating our concepts with the object of said thing. There has to be a way in which things are communicated, and even though informations abstract, you still require enough juice from the object such that the mind can compose the concept ~ that there may be a language and understanding between two things?

[suggests that mind [and quale] are universal].

May I suggest a new universal; non-object [from which obejects derive] quale~concepts as the base of reality ~ well, second to that philosophers stone like thing that is reality itself.


When light stimulates the receptors on the retina, the nature of physiology is to convert the stimulation into nerve impulses and transfer them to the brain. It is a unification that cannot be interrupted by anything emanating from your thought or conceptualization. No light results in darkness literally and metaphorically. But just because there is lighting up in the visual cortex area, it doesn’t mean that some mysterious conscious-like stuff was preexistent having full knowledge about the nerve signals being presented to the brain. The knowledge comes from the outside.

I would say the mind, when it is contrasted with the spirit, is taken as a set of cognitive Tools and habits, whereas spirit is the experiencing self where the mind happens (the body also).

The knowledge being used cannot help us to understand or solve the problem concerning the existence of the spiritual. Because there are no questions that arise at all in that sense. We have only answers. There is an interest only in answers, and those answers have not solved the problems. So there’s an effort to find different kinds of solutions. But the situation will remain exactly the same. There is somehow the hope that maybe a solution will be found for solving the problems.

So our problem is not the problem but the solution. If the solution is gone, there is no problem there. If there is a solution, the problem shouldn’t be there anymore. If the answers given by “wise men” are the answers, then the questions shouldn’t be there at all. So they are obviously not the answers.

If they were the answers, the questions would not be there. So why don’t you question the answers? If you question the answers, you must question those who have given the answers. But you take it for granted that they are all wise men; that they are spiritually superior to us all; and that they know what they are talking about.

Why are you asking these questions? – if I may ask you that counter-question. Where do these questions come from, first of all? Where do they originate in you? I want you to see very clearly the absurdity of asking these questions. It is essential to ask questions to learn the technical know-how of certain things. Somebody can help you, if something is wrong with the television, with the help of his technical know-how. That is understood. I am not talking about that at all. But the questions which you are asking are of a different kind. Where do you think these questions take their birth? How do they formulate themselves in you? They are all mechanical questions. What I am trying to emphasize is essential for you to understand how mechanical the whole thing is.

There is nobody who is asking the questions there. There is no questioner who is asking the questions there. There is an illusion that there is a questioner who is formulating these questions and throwing them at somebody and expecting somebody to answer them.

The answers that you get really are not the answers, because the questions persist in spite of the answers you think the others are giving you. The question is still there. This answer, which you think is the answer (satisfactory or otherwise), is really not the answer. If it were, the question should go once and for all. All questions are variations of the same question. You already have the answer, and all these questions are the questions that are not interested in getting any answers. The answer, if there is any to that question, should destroy the answer you already have. There is no questioner there. If the answer goes, along with the question, the questioner – the non-existent questioner – also has to go.

Do you have any question which you can call your own? You don’t have to sit and ask anybody those questions, because such questions don’t exist at all. A question which you can call your own has never been asked before. All the answers are there for those questions you do have. You probably do not realize that the questions which you are asking are born out of the answers you already have, and that they are not your answers at all. The answers have been put in there.

Actually the trees colour is not beholden to the beholder so it would be brown. :-"

If a brown tree fell in the woods would it make a sound?

You cannot separate yourself from the tree and look at it without the knowledge that tells you that you are one thing and the tree another. Like Amorphos said, we wouldn’t be having a conversation at all about anything we have no knowledge of. Everything is beholden to knowledge, even the self.


Fuck me a definition issues here, etymology isn’t it? how do you define sound, how do you define colour?

Right let’s start at the beginning so we don’t confuse the rtards, a tree means what, a colour means what? A sound means what?

No offenc but there are specific meanings to these contentions, a sound means, a colour means…?

If a colour is x then a sound is what?