Mind only, Donald Hoffman - Sam Harris Daily Meditations 2022.11.01



And now open your eyes and as the world comes rushing in notice that it too as experienced is a modification of consciousness. It's appearing in the same space. All of this color and shadow is made of consciousness.

The statement "all is made of consciousness" represents in principothe "Mind Only" theory of Buddhism.

we are only ever aware of mental images or impressions which manifest themselves as external objects, but "there is actually no such thing outside the mind." (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yogachara)

It also reflects one position in the contemporary discourse on the fundamental question "what is reality".


Here, Sam Harris sounds very much like Donald Hoffman´s thesis in "The Case Against Reality", where everything literally is "made of" consciousness, including atoms and the entire universe.


However, its not clear how Sam Harris means that. Sam Harris usually refuses to make ontological, or metaphysical statements or claims. He normally prefixes such statements with "..as a matter of experience..".

On the most basic level, everything has the same status as a modification of consciousness. Again, I'm speaking as a matter of experience. This is not a metaphysical claim (Daily Meditation 2022.11.04)

or

As a matter of experience, there is just consciousness.

Which means that all one can speak about is experience. But, therefore, making statements about what reality "is", is impossible. Thus, color and shape are representations of "something unknowable out there" in consciousness. Whether color and shape "are" consciousness, is a different matter.


Well, these questions easily lead one into Bill Clinton´s famous discussion of "what "is" is" ...


Addendum

Having just fully heard Annaka Harris´ podcast with Lex Fridman, I have to revise that Harris does not mean the "everything is made of consciousness" as a metaphysical - or physical, ontological - statement. Annaka reveals that at her and Sam´s home (they are married) they had many private conversations with Donald Hoffman (Harris 2022, October 5) and have adopted Hoffman's position. Here she goes into some detail :



https://youtu.be/q6zEzZCtkXw?t=7065


Resources

Bill Clinton and the Meaning of “Is”. (1998, September 14). Slate Magazine. https://slate.com/news-and-politics/1998/09/bill-clinton-and-the-meaning-of-is.html


Harris, A. (2022, October 5). Annika Harris: Free Will, Consciousness, and the Nature of Reality | Lex Fridman Podcast #326 [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6zEzZCtkXw&feature=youtu.be


Hoffman, D. (2020). The Case Against Reality: How Evolution Hid the Truth from Our Eyes. Penguin. https://www.amazon.de/-/en/Donald-Hoffman/dp/0393254690/


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