Non-Duality and the Wavefunction

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
User avatar
Pondera
Posts: 771
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:02 pm

Non-Duality and the Wavefunction

Post by Pondera » Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:16 am

I’ve been going over, in my mind, what the eight jhana could be and I’ve come to this unsubstantiated conclusion - which I wouldn’t mind others chiming in on.

So, in science class we’re taught that atomic particles, sub-atomic particles, even rocks have wave functions. The particle-wave duality model is still a puzzle to us. Or maybe some have figured it out. It doesn’t really matter...

But there is the “indeterminate state”. The state that the particle is in when it is not observed. As shrodinger’s cat tells us, the cat is both dead and alive so long as we don’t open the box. More on that later.

Could this “empty”, indeterminate state be the eighth jhana - neither perception nor non-perception? Or could it be in the spirit of that jhana?

There is a spirit I felt in university among my peers in physics class that a truly recognizable quantum physicist is one who can remain in the indeterminate state or, better yet, be well acquainted with this state.

I know, personally, that this indeterminate state exists as an attainable mental state. But is it the eighth jhana? Or does it exist in the spirit of the eighth jhana? Or is it simply a conceptual model existing inside the head of the quantum physicist?

Food for thought. Thanks y’all
Four simple meditations on earth, water, fire, and wind - leading to tranquility and pleasure, equanimity and peacehttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1G3qI6G ... sp=sharing

Saengnapha
Posts: 1350
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:17 am

Re: Non-Duality and the Wavefunction

Post by Saengnapha » Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:39 am

Pondera wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:16 am


Food for thought. Thanks y’all
That's all that this seems to be, 'food for thought'. You have to first examine what thought is and how it originates. Then you begin to see what thought is and what it isn't. What it can do and what it can't do. You cannot understand non duality through your thinking. Your thinking is a dual process that only is involved with 'measuring' and 'grasping'. It can only know what is known, which is the past, the accumulation of experience, which is not non duality.

User avatar
Pondera
Posts: 771
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:02 pm

Re: Non-Duality and the Wavefunction

Post by Pondera » Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:55 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:39 am
Pondera wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:16 am


Food for thought. Thanks y’all
That's all that this seems to be, 'food for thought'. You have to first examine what thought is and how it originates. Then you begin to see what thought is and what it isn't. What it can do and what it can't do. You cannot understand non duality through your thinking. Your thinking is a dual process that only is involved with 'measuring' and 'grasping'. It can only know what is known, which is the past, the accumulation of experience, which is not non duality.
The question is: is non-duality the spirit of the eighth jhana? Or is it the spirit of the quantum physicists? Or is it a Mahayanian concept, perhaps?

Do you really think I’d bring up non-duality without having first experienced it? Do you even grasp the idea of an indeterminate, unmeasured system?
Four simple meditations on earth, water, fire, and wind - leading to tranquility and pleasure, equanimity and peacehttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1G3qI6G ... sp=sharing

Saengnapha
Posts: 1350
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:17 am

Re: Non-Duality and the Wavefunction

Post by Saengnapha » Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:12 pm

Pondera wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:55 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:39 am
Pondera wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:16 am


Food for thought. Thanks y’all
That's all that this seems to be, 'food for thought'. You have to first examine what thought is and how it originates. Then you begin to see what thought is and what it isn't. What it can do and what it can't do. You cannot understand non duality through your thinking. Your thinking is a dual process that only is involved with 'measuring' and 'grasping'. It can only know what is known, which is the past, the accumulation of experience, which is not non duality.
The question is: is non-duality the spirit of the eighth jhana? Or is it the spirit of the quantum physicists? Or is it a Mahayanian concept, perhaps?

Do you really think I’d bring up non-duality without having first experienced it? Do you even grasp the idea of an indeterminate, unmeasured system?
No, I don't grasp it. Your experience of non duality is probably within the field of thought and time which is probably not non duality but a conceptualization of what it might be.

User avatar
Pondera
Posts: 771
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:02 pm

Re: Non-Duality and the Wavefunction

Post by Pondera » Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:45 pm

No, I don't grasp it. Your experience of non duality is probably within the field of thought and time which is probably not non duality but a conceptualization of what it might be.
My grasp of non-duality is non-temporal. It is indeed conceptual, for it is a fabrication of consciousness.

Non duality is at the heart of quantum mechanics. The one thing that collapses a wave function is consciousness. Given the definition of what a wave function is [in an untouched sense of meaning] - the connection to the eighth jhana - or the possibility of a connection - is more than mere food for thought. It’s a genuine avenue for discovery.

It’s obvious however that you place non-duality on the pedestals of the unfabricated (which is incorrect).

Consciousness is fabricated. Nothingness is fabricated. And the eighth jhana of non-duality is fabricated also. It is the condition which conditions all other conditions (in the purest, untouched sense of things).
Four simple meditations on earth, water, fire, and wind - leading to tranquility and pleasure, equanimity and peacehttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1G3qI6G ... sp=sharing

Saengnapha
Posts: 1350
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:17 am

Re: Non-Duality and the Wavefunction

Post by Saengnapha » Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:44 pm

Pondera wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:45 pm
No, I don't grasp it. Your experience of non duality is probably within the field of thought and time which is probably not non duality but a conceptualization of what it might be.
My grasp of non-duality is non-temporal. It is indeed conceptual, for it is a fabrication of consciousness.

Non duality is at the heart of quantum mechanics. The one thing that collapses a wave function is consciousness. Given the definition of what a wave function is [in an untouched sense of meaning] - the connection to the eighth jhana - or the possibility of a connection - is more than mere food for thought. It’s a genuine avenue for discovery.

It’s obvious however that you place non-duality on the pedestals of the unfabricated (which is incorrect).

Consciousness is fabricated. Nothingness is fabricated. And the eighth jhana of non-duality is fabricated also. It is the condition which conditions all other conditions (in the purest, untouched sense of things).
Yes, I agree, that all of what you said is fabricated. Non duality is not a thing, but a verbal quality/description given to something that is not expressible. Those who have misunderstood talk about non duality because their minds are still trying to capture and measure a self experience which is fabricated by thought and passed on through our shared cultures. This is the essential thing to see, not wave function.

Garrib
Posts: 483
Joined: Mon May 30, 2016 8:35 pm

Re: Non-Duality and the Wavefunction

Post by Garrib » Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:47 pm

I think I have a vague sense of what you are getting at and it sounds like an interesting avenue for exploration - not so much through intellectualizing but through meditation practice...

User avatar
Pondera
Posts: 771
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:02 pm

Re: Non-Duality and the Wavefunction

Post by Pondera » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:45 pm

Garrib wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:47 pm
I think I have a vague sense of what you are getting at and it sounds like an interesting avenue for exploration - not so much through intellectualizing but through meditation practice...
“Sunyata” is the most common term for this indeterminate state. It is a concept developed less in Therevada and more in Mahayana. The culmination of it, I suppose, is the idea that in between the links of dependent origination there is only emptiness - a lack of inherent being. And this is the aspiration to which bodhisattvas aspire - to abide in that “wisdom”.

To meditate on it, you need only look past the nose on your head. Everywhere you look you see the process of DO and, therein, emptiness - a non-dual oneness to things.

My initial question remains: is this the spirit of “neither perception nor non-perception”?

The intellectual side of it is interesting, IMO. Physicists have concluded that the outcomes of their experiments, on a quantum scale, are affected by consciousness!

The wave function collapses when exposed to consciousnessness. So, what if we could expel consciousness from the mind; and establish a non-collapsed wavefunction within our minds? We would be exposed to our environment without affecting it - approaching a state where we do not grasp at form but are still aware of it.
Four simple meditations on earth, water, fire, and wind - leading to tranquility and pleasure, equanimity and peacehttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1G3qI6G ... sp=sharing

Saengnapha
Posts: 1350
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:17 am

Re: Non-Duality and the Wavefunction

Post by Saengnapha » Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:11 am

Pondera wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:45 pm
Garrib wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:47 pm
I think I have a vague sense of what you are getting at and it sounds like an interesting avenue for exploration - not so much through intellectualizing but through meditation practice...
“Sunyata” is the most common term for this indeterminate state. It is a concept developed less in Therevada and more in Mahayana. The culmination of it, I suppose, is the idea that in between the links of dependent origination there is only emptiness - a lack of inherent being. And this is the aspiration to which bodhisattvas aspire - to abide in that “wisdom”.

To meditate on it, you need only look past the nose on your head. Everywhere you look you see the process of DO and, therein, emptiness - a non-dual oneness to things.

My initial question remains: is this the spirit of “neither perception nor non-perception”?

The intellectual side of it is interesting, IMO. Physicists have concluded that the outcomes of their experiments, on a quantum scale, are affected by consciousness!

The wave function collapses when exposed to consciousnessness. So, what if we could expel consciousness from the mind; and establish a non-collapsed wavefunction within our minds? We would be exposed to our environment without affecting it - approaching a state where we do not grasp at form but are still aware of it.
What you are talking about is a form of idealism and speculation. There is no factual information and no direct experience that you have where this is the case. Why get carried away by this kind of thinking?

User avatar
Pondera
Posts: 771
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:02 pm

Re: Non-Duality and the Wavefunction

Post by Pondera » Tue Apr 24, 2018 5:24 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:11 am
Pondera wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:45 pm
Garrib wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:47 pm
I think I have a vague sense of what you are getting at and it sounds like an interesting avenue for exploration - not so much through intellectualizing but through meditation practice...
“Sunyata” is the most common term for this indeterminate state. It is a concept developed less in Therevada and more in Mahayana. The culmination of it, I suppose, is the idea that in between the links of dependent origination there is only emptiness - a lack of inherent being. And this is the aspiration to which bodhisattvas aspire - to abide in that “wisdom”.

To meditate on it, you need only look past the nose on your head. Everywhere you look you see the process of DO and, therein, emptiness - a non-dual oneness to things.

My initial question remains: is this the spirit of “neither perception nor non-perception”?

The intellectual side of it is interesting, IMO. Physicists have concluded that the outcomes of their experiments, on a quantum scale, are affected by consciousness!

The wave function collapses when exposed to consciousnessness. So, what if we could expel consciousness from the mind; and establish a non-collapsed wavefunction within our minds? We would be exposed to our environment without affecting it - approaching a state where we do not grasp at form but are still aware of it.
What you are talking about is a form of idealism and speculation. There is no factual information and no direct experience that you have where this is the case. Why get carried away by this kind of thinking?
Well, my direct experience isn’t something you’re privy too. Then again I won’t discount what you’ve said.

I find the science interesting and I find the order of the immaterial jhanas to be very interesting as well. For example - space, consciousness, & nothingness - these are the modicum of human experience. They define the world and they are have long been the subject of western philosophy as well.

If the eighth jhana is something altogether different than an uncollapsed wave function, so be it. But if such non-duality is the spirit of the eighth jhana, then I would not be wasting time going down that avenue of thought and exploration.

But, as you say. It’s likely not worth dwelling on in great amounts.

:anjali:
Four simple meditations on earth, water, fire, and wind - leading to tranquility and pleasure, equanimity and peacehttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1G3qI6G ... sp=sharing

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 16452
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: Non-Duality and the Wavefunction

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Apr 24, 2018 5:29 am

Pondera wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:45 pm
The wave function collapses when exposed to consciousnessness.
Hmm, I've been thinking about this while getting my notes together for another term of teaching...

In all of the experiments I've seen the wavefunction collapses when there is a measurement. This measurement usually involves things like photomultiplier tubes, oscilloscopes, computers, and other electronics.

OK, so a human (or a team of humans) built and assembled the gear, and pressed the button to start it running, but their conciousness is quite disconnected from the actual experiment, and the wavefunction collapses seem to happen whether they are watching the gear or out having a cup of coffee... This applies to both simple experiments and Alain Aspect's beautiful demonstrations of Bells' Inequalities where the polarizations of entangled photons are measured...

Besides, I think you are taking the wavefunction too seriously. The wavefunction is a theoretical constuct that is part of the mathematics that we use to calculate what the outcome of an experiment will be. It turns out that we can use this mathematics to predict the outcomes very precisely in some cases, but that doesn't mean that the components of the theory such as the wavefuntion are "real". Though it's been about a century since the invention of the wavefunction concept, it may, in the future go the way of the ether, and some other theoretical construct will replace it.

:heart:
Mike

Saengnapha
Posts: 1350
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:17 am

Re: Non-Duality and the Wavefunction

Post by Saengnapha » Tue Apr 24, 2018 5:46 am

Pondera wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 5:24 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:11 am
Pondera wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:45 pm


“Sunyata” is the most common term for this indeterminate state. It is a concept developed less in Therevada and more in Mahayana. The culmination of it, I suppose, is the idea that in between the links of dependent origination there is only emptiness - a lack of inherent being. And this is the aspiration to which bodhisattvas aspire - to abide in that “wisdom”.

To meditate on it, you need only look past the nose on your head. Everywhere you look you see the process of DO and, therein, emptiness - a non-dual oneness to things.

My initial question remains: is this the spirit of “neither perception nor non-perception”?

The intellectual side of it is interesting, IMO. Physicists have concluded that the outcomes of their experiments, on a quantum scale, are affected by consciousness!

The wave function collapses when exposed to consciousnessness. So, what if we could expel consciousness from the mind; and establish a non-collapsed wavefunction within our minds? We would be exposed to our environment without affecting it - approaching a state where we do not grasp at form but are still aware of it.
What you are talking about is a form of idealism and speculation. There is no factual information and no direct experience that you have where this is the case. Why get carried away by this kind of thinking?
Well, my direct experience isn’t something you’re privy too. Then again I won’t discount what you’ve said.

I find the science interesting and I find the order of the immaterial jhanas to be very interesting as well. For example - space, consciousness, & nothingness - these are the modicum of human experience. They define the world and they are have long been the subject of western philosophy as well.

If the eighth jhana is something altogether different than an uncollapsed wave function, so be it. But if such non-duality is the spirit of the eighth jhana, then I would not be wasting time going down that avenue of thought and exploration.

But, as you say. It’s likely not worth dwelling on in great amounts.

:anjali:
What I am really on about is the nature of thought and thinking. Thinking is always based on past experience. It is an accumulation. What most of us do is use thought to observe ourselves or the world. This means we already are viewing experience based on the past. We are not observing anything but the result of thought. This kind of summary observation stops the mind from further fabrications. Then, there is the possibility of really seeing things from an uncondtioned perspective. This would result in a massive change towards your own existence, free of belief, free of the past. Most of us will not venture into this 'territory'. It would be a negation of who we think we are and the ending of time.

User avatar
Pondera
Posts: 771
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:02 pm

Re: Non-Duality and the Wavefunction

Post by Pondera » Sun Apr 29, 2018 4:13 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 5:29 am
Pondera wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:45 pm
The wave function collapses when exposed to consciousnessness.
Hmm, I've been thinking about this while getting my notes together for another term of teaching...

In all of the experiments I've seen the wavefunction collapses when there is a measurement. This measurement usually involves things like photomultiplier tubes, oscilloscopes, computers, and other electronics.

OK, so a human (or a team of humans) built and assembled the gear, and pressed the button to start it running, but their conciousness is quite disconnected from the actual experiment, and the wavefunction collapses seem to happen whether they are watching the gear or out having a cup of coffee... This applies to both simple experiments and Alain Aspect's beautiful demonstrations of Bells' Inequalities where the polarizations of entangled photons are measured...

Besides, I think you are taking the wavefunction too seriously. The wavefunction is a theoretical constuct that is part of the mathematics that we use to calculate what the outcome of an experiment will be. It turns out that we can use this mathematics to predict the outcomes very precisely in some cases, but that doesn't mean that the components of the theory such as the wavefuntion are "real". Though it's been about a century since the invention of the wavefunction concept, it may, in the future go the way of the ether, and some other theoretical construct will replace it.

:heart:
Mike
Ahh. So yea be ein scholar on das subject, ja? Güt. Exactly the person I would like to speak to. Honestly, I don’t know where I’m going with this. I am no quantum physicist. However, my use (of the wave function - Schrödinger’s) is to merely illustrate the nature of particle duality.

What you highlight is that “measurement” alters the wave function of the particle and not, necessarily, consciousness. So it is mere contact which collapses the function?

I don’t recall the name of the man who said it, however, he was serious when he said [to paraphrase], “the whole universe is one wave function and thus there is no measurement problem”.

My point is still that the non-measurement of the perceivable world results in a) equanimity and b) the sphere of neither perception nor non-perception. In the absence of contact, or rather on the verge where all contact is coming to an end, one has this eighth jhana.

The “plenum” of the world (to borrow a word from Satre) is undifferentiated. And Sartre once explained that the entire upsurge of reality is an attempt by the “plenum” of the world to become self-knowing. In doing so, not only does it annihilate it’s relation to itself, it also (in what is a self identical statement) brings consciousness into the world. Consciousness is an attempt by the thing-it-itself to become a thing-for-itself. It fails in its attempt. It does not establish itself as it would like to. Rather it establishes what it is not.

Disengaging from contact and consciousness we arrive at the thing-in-itself; the world which has not attempted to name its form; in other words, the unbound.
Four simple meditations on earth, water, fire, and wind - leading to tranquility and pleasure, equanimity and peacehttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1G3qI6G ... sp=sharing

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 16452
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: Non-Duality and the Wavefunction

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:59 am

Pondera wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 4:13 am
What you highlight is that “measurement” alters the wave function of the particle and not, necessarily, consciousness. So it is mere contact which collapses the function?
Generally the collapse of the the wavefunction involves interaction with macroscopic objects.
Pondera wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 4:13 am
I don’t recall the name of the man who said it, however, he was serious when he said [to paraphrase], “the whole universe is one wave function and thus there is no measurement problem”.
Possibly Hawking, but I've not really followed that.
Pondera wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 4:13 am
My point is still that the non-measurement of the perceivable world results in a) equanimity and b) the sphere of neither perception nor non-perception. In the absence of contact, or rather on the verge where all contact is coming to an end, one has this eighth jhana.
It seems to me to be a rather large leap from quantum theory, which is designed to explain physical measurements, to our internal experience. I don't really see why there should be such a connection.

:heart:
Mike

Dinsdale
Posts: 5930
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Location: Andromeda looks nice

Re: Non-Duality and the Wavefunction

Post by Dinsdale » Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:01 am

Pondera wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:45 pm
The wave function collapses when exposed to consciousnessness. So, what if we could expel consciousness from the mind; and establish a non-collapsed wavefunction within our minds? We would be exposed to our environment without affecting it - approaching a state where we do not grasp at form but are still aware of it.
If we expel consciousness from our mind, how could we be aware of anything?
Buddha save me from new-agers!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 87 guests