Reply To: Stop Press: AI researchers install a Right Hemisphere

  • Don Salmon

    May 8, 2023 at 6:25 pm

    So far, though I’ve made use of the dream analogy many times, I find generally, if people havent spent time living in a contemplative way, it doesn’t help that much. The Tibetan Buddhists have incredibly powerful ways of using this.

    It’s not really hard or confusing at all; I think personally it’s a natural emotional resistance. ALl this feels – it FEELS so real, that to even play with the idea of it as dream just seems to silly and maybe crazy that it’s almost unsettling to think of it seriously.

    But if you want to get a clear sense of what I’m pointing to, try it.

    Look at every object around you – and perhaps you don’t remember your dreams or have never had this kind of dream experience, but I can tell you, you can very very easily be in a dream where solid objects are infintiely more “real” than the objects of our ordinary waking state. You knock on them, they’re hard. Something falls on your hand, it hurts.

    You look through a telescope and if you’re trained as an astronomer, you will observe every celestial phenomenon you observe in the so-called waking state.

    Now this is the point where people usually bail, and i never understand why, except maybe the Dalai Lama has a clue. What you’re learning when you test whether you’re in a dream or not is what the Buddhists call “sunyata.” The Tibetans often say it’s the realization that nothing – neither the universe nor you – ‘exists from its own side” – meaning, has inherent self/separate existence.

    Many people read McGIlchrist and think it means some kind of interdependence of physical and psychological phenomena.

    But those phenomena ALSO have no self existence. Nothing does.

    So the Dalai Lama says, if you hear about sunyata and you aren’t absolutely terrified, then you don’t really get what it means.

    Now, you can glimpse that terror if you spend enough time examining why it is that it’s absolutely impossible to confirm whether you’re awake or dreaming.

    The fear of engaging with this is exactly the root of the problems with AI, racism, sexism, vulture capitalism, war, aggression, addiction, education, health care, international finance, depression, trauma, psychosis, brain disease, all disease, etc.