Mind and Body / Body and Mind

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Re: Mind and Body / Body and Mind

Postby Serpent on August 2nd, 2016, 11:00 am 

DragonFly - - I also draw attention to that conscious states as global brain results feed back in and percolate during rumination; however, it is still that the brain does the analysis, as ever.


For my $0.02, rumination is an interactive, iterative process, wherein the "thinker" develops a single subject or theme. Each retrieval/comparison/analysis the brain performs only takes a very short time, but then the result is examined and, on the basis of that, the next question posed, or the previous question rephrased for similarity or difference of results, and so on. Each question (or task) may be minuscule, so it can take a long time to cover all of the assigned material to the"thinker's" satisfaction. Also, the process of rumination has no predetermined starting point or completion or duration all of these can be arbitrary.
The "thinker", of course, is not a separate entity - or any kind of extant being - but rather an active network of connections among several parts of the brain. A switchboard or access panel...

(S'alright, DragonFly?)
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Re: Mind and Body / Body and Mind

Postby neuro on August 2nd, 2016, 12:04 pm 

Old Rasputin » August 2nd, 2016, 3:52 pm wrote:Thoughts are purely ‘reactionary' memory experiences. If you hear me say “DOG”, then the image of a dog auto-reactively pops into your head. You ‘experienced’ this thought/reaction specifically as a sensory (visual image) experience from memory.


You may play with words as you wish and tell me you are only the "experiencer".

But this is exactly why I say that your view is dualistic: I am not only the experiencer, but also what you call the "reacter".

Lots of stuff go on in my brain without me being able to experience it. But that is ME as well.

The moment you dismiss the "reacter", and obviously all that goes on unconsciously (more or less automatically) in your brain, by saying that that is not YOU, because you only are the "experiencer", then you fall back into a sterile dualistic perspective: a body that reacts and works so that thoughts "auto-reactively pop into your head", and you (an observer??) who experiences.

The fact that a specific experience may produce a thought to "auto-reactively pop into my head" whereas it may produce a different thought to "auto-reactively pop into your head" defines a difference between your "reacter" and my "reacter". I advocate the right of considering such "reacter" as well as part of ME (my identity): I consider as a part of me, of my personality, of my story, of my life, any specific emotion that pops into my head when I live an experience, because that is as personal and private to me as my experiencing my thoughts is.
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Re: Mind and Body / Body and Mind

Postby Paul Anthony on August 2nd, 2016, 1:36 pm 

Old Rasputin » Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:52 am wrote: Thoughts are purely ‘reactionary' memory experiences. If you hear me say “DOG”, then the image of a dog auto-reactively pops into your head. You ‘experienced’ this thought/reaction specifically as a sensory (visual image) experience from memory. It is this memory (past experience) of dog that you currently experience in your auto-response to hearing me say “DOG”.

And likewise, the reading of this text auto-reactively creates the thought experiences of 1) hearing a talking voice read along with your eyes, and 2) comprehension; ‘meanings’ of the letters, words, and sentences automatically popping into your head.



Have you ever heard of "confirmation bias"? You seem to be unable to think of any examples that don't fit your preconceived notion. That would be an example of confirmation bias. Every thought you have confirms your theory. :)


Paul Anthony wrote:What Vivian (and I) ask is, how do you explain the origin of a thought no one else ever experienced?

Old Rasputin wrote: If you are meaning to say - that we can’t have a thought of ‘dog’ if we have never experienced ‘dog’, then yes, I agree. We must first experience a thing called dog, before we can then have a memory or thought of dog.


When the world was in agreement that the world was flat, how could anyone think it wasn't? This thought did not match any memory. It was counter to experience. And yet...

Another example would be ideologies. Your theory seems appropriate to knowledge of physical things, but not to conceptual thinking.
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Re: Mind and Body / Body and Mind

Postby Serpent on August 2nd, 2016, 2:10 pm 

And then there is still the problem of language. Any number of people may have encountered dogs, and each of their experiences will have been different - not to mention, many of them will have seen different dogs and recall different aspects or details.
But then, somebody had to come up with the notion that all these toothy, smelly quadrupeds have something in common, generalize that common feature to include all of caninedom, abstract the generalization to a symbolic concept, make a noise to express that notion and then share the concept and word with other people.
That's a lot to ask of a mental picture that just popped in!
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Re: Mind and Body / Body and Mind

Postby vivian maxine on August 2nd, 2016, 2:20 pm 

"Toothy, smelly quadrupeds? SOS! All dogs, arise now!!!!! <G>
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Re: Mind and Body / Body and Mind

Postby Paul Anthony on August 2nd, 2016, 2:32 pm 

It is true that much of our thinking is the result of our experiences. The word "dog" may invoke fond memories of a loving pet long gone, or of being bitten as a child. Our thinking is influenced by our experiences.

It is also true that we are not aware of our thoughts until we have had the thought. The conscious mind is always two steps behind the unconscious mind. This may be where Old Rasputin gets his theory - that we aren't aware of our thoughts until we experience them.

But that doesn't explain where the thoughts originate. Or how.
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Re: Mind and Body / Body and Mind

Postby Serpent on August 2nd, 2016, 3:00 pm 

Some brain had to make - yes: create, author, invent - every single new concept, every abstraction, every symbol, every word, out of pre-existing mental material* + fresh experience + rumination.
(* material may be visual, auditory and olfactory memories, recalled emotions and actions, verbal communications and unsorted, unnamed impressions, instinct, cultural attitude, trained response and personal bias - all sto4ed in different archives compartments of the brain, retrieved from archives and subconscious by various routes, none of which the thinker can be aware of or control, experience or follow.)

PS Vivian - those prehistoric dogs hadn't got any flea shampoo, dentibones or rhinestone collars. You wouldn't want to get too close to them. But then, the same probably applies to the prehistoric people.
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Re: Mind and Body / Body and Mind

Postby DragonFly on August 2nd, 2016, 3:02 pm 

vivian maxine » August 2nd, 2016, 8:07 am wrote:
Dragonfly, I was giving great pause to your statement that the brain takes a small fraction of a second to perform its analysis. But, further along, I think you covered what stopped me with your mention of rumination. Am I right to think comprehension would take place during the rumination - if at all? So, does the analysis simply put things in good thinking order so rumination/study can go forward?


Hi Vivian. It's a "great pause", indeed, as any amount of delay for analysis dooms the 'knowing', as the surfacing of the result, to ever be the last to find out what happened—what the brain's analysis already came up with.

Of course, other parts of the brain check in and may suggest that more information is needed, or more thinking, so then there is rumination over some period until the brain decides there's a better choice or has to throw up its hands and guess.











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Re: Mind and Body / Body and Mind

Postby DragonFly on August 2nd, 2016, 3:05 pm 

Serpent » August 2nd, 2016, 10:00 am wrote:
For my $0.02, rumination is an interactive, iterative process, wherein the "thinker" develops a single subject or theme. Each retrieval/comparison/analysis the brain performs only takes a very short time, but then the result is examined and, on the basis of that, the next question posed, or the previous question rephrased for similarity or difference of results, and so on. Each question (or task) may be minuscule, so it can take a long time to cover all of the assigned material to the"thinker's" satisfaction. Also, the process of rumination has no predetermined starting point or completion or duration all of these can be arbitrary.
The "thinker", of course, is not a separate entity - or any kind of extant being - but rather an active network of connections among several parts of the brain. A switchboard or access panel...

(S'alright, DragonFly?)


Sounds good to me, and since I only gave a penny for your thoughts, and you provided two cents, I'll keep the change.
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Re: Mind and Body / Body and Mind

Postby DragonFly on August 2nd, 2016, 3:26 pm 

The rather limited 'I' of a consciously aware moment would be that subject/experiencer of what objects the brain has just come us with, such as " 'I' feel hot; damn this global warming!" (The hot feeling even spurred another thought about global warming.)

One's entire repertoire, though, is the entire body, and especially the brain as an organ of the body and all of its connections to the rest of the body. We might call this whole thing the self, or even "I", although this notation still overloads the term. ("I" am driving to Chicago on Wednesday-Thursday.)


Thoughts would seem to be about providing a future for the organism.


Never Mind; always Will. Whatever Will be Will be!

(They wanted to get rid of their wills, and did, but, alas, then there wasn't any "they" left.)
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Re: Mind and Body / Body and Mind

Postby vivian maxine on August 2nd, 2016, 3:50 pm 

DragonFly wrote:(They wanted to get rid of their wills, and did, but, alas, then there wasn't any "they" left.)


Quite an insight there.
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Re: Mind and Body / Body and Mind

Postby Old Rasputin on August 2nd, 2016, 4:05 pm 

Old Rasputin wrote:Thoughts are purely ‘reactionary' memory experiences. If you hear me say “DOG”, then the image of a dog auto-reactively pops into your head. You ‘experienced’ this thought/reaction specifically as a sensory (visual image) experience from memory.

neuro wrote:The fact that a specific experience may produce a thought to "auto-reactively pop into my head" whereas it may produce a different thought to "auto-reactively pop into your head" defines a difference between your "reacter" and my "reacter". I advocate the right of considering such "reacter" as well as part of ME (my identity): I consider as a part of me, of my personality, of my story, of my life, any specific emotion that pops into my head when I live an experience, because that is as personal and private to me as my experiencing my thoughts is.

Yes, we can define “ME” however we wish. Though it seems to make more sense (to me) to exclude the ‘reacter’ part from the definition of “ME”.

Your definition includes both ‘experiencer’ + ‘reacter’. Mine is only ‘experiencer’. The reason that I exclude the ‘reacter’ is because I can’t experience/know this ‘reacter’, I can only experience the resulting ‘reaction’ itself. I can only speculate that there is a ‘reactor’ (cause) behind the ‘reaction’ (effect).

Another reason for excluding the reactor as part of “ME” is because I have absolutely no say-so; no active conscious role, in the process of reacting. I only get to ‘experience’ the resulting reaction/effect/experience.

A reaction happens, and I experience that reaction. That is all I can say with true honesty. Can I claim to be the reactor, making the reaction happen, if I don’t honestly remember doing so? I think not.

If I experience an itch on my arm, can I honestly claim to be the causer of this itch (reaction), …or am I really just the ‘experiencer’ of it?

To claim something as “ME”, that I have no knowledge nor control of, does not seem to make sense (to me).


Paul Anthony wrote:When the world was in agreement that the world was flat, how could anyone think it wasn't? This thought did not match any memory. It was counter to experience. And yet...

People that know (experienced) flat, round, and square things, can know (experience thoughts) of things that are flat, round, and square.


Paul Anthony wrote:Your theory seems appropriate to knowledge of physical things, but not to conceptual thinking.

There is no “theory” here. It is just simple logic -- We can’t know, what we don’t know!
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Re: Mind and Body / Body and Mind

Postby Paul Anthony on August 2nd, 2016, 4:42 pm 

Old Rasputin » Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:05 pm wrote:

Your definition includes both ‘experiencer’ + ‘reacter’. Mine is only ‘experiencer’. The reason that I exclude the ‘reacter’ is because I can’t experience/know this ‘reacter’, I can only experience the resulting ‘reaction’ itself. I can only speculate that there is a ‘reactor’ (cause) behind the ‘reaction’ (effect).

Another reason for excluding the reactor as part of “ME” is because I have absolutely no say-so; no active conscious role, in the process of reacting. I only get to ‘experience’ the resulting reaction/effect/experience.

A reaction happens, and I experience that reaction. That is all I can say with true honesty. Can I claim to be the reactor, making the reaction happen, if I don’t honestly remember doing so? I think not.

If I experience an itch on my arm, can I honestly claim to be the causer of this itch (reaction), …or am I really just the ‘experiencer’ of it?

To claim something as “ME”, that I have no knowledge nor control of, does not seem to make sense (to me).





Ahh, now I see the problem. And, as is often the case, it is a matter of semantics. You have defined "self" as the conscious mind, the experiencer. What, then, is all the rest if not a part of self?

When I drive a car I am the driver - not the car. I can define that which is not "me" as "the car". But I can get out of the car. Can your conscious mind - your "self" - separate itself from the rest of you with as much ease?
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Re: Mind and Body / Body and Mind

Postby neuro on August 3rd, 2016, 6:10 am 

Old Rasputin » August 2nd, 2016, 9:05 pm wrote:Your definition includes both ‘experiencer’ + ‘reacter’. Mine is only ‘experiencer’. The reason that I exclude the ‘reacter’ is because I can’t experience/know this ‘reacter’, I can only experience the resulting ‘reaction’ itself. I can only speculate that there is a ‘reactor’ (cause) behind the ‘reaction’ (effect).


You see, here comes the "res extensa" and "res cogitans" distinction.
Yours is a "res sentiens, or percipiens, or experiens", and - at difference with Descartes - you shift also the burden of originating thoughts on the "res extensa". But that does not make much of a difference, in terms of the big problem of consciousness.

It actually does make a difference in ontological terms - in other words if you stick to Descarte's problem: one cannot be sure of the existence of their body and not even of the ontological existence of something that produces their own thoughts, they can only be sure that a "res experiens" exists that experiences the thoughts.

But I feel this is not the crucial point.
Because the problem that arises from a dualistic perspective (res extensa + either cogitans or experiens) remains unsolved: either you are not an experiencer, but rather a dreamer (solipsism) of experiences that do not exist, or you have to address the question of how the "res extensa" can communicate with your metaphysical, immaterial "res experiens" to give rise to experience. You remain with the unsolved problem that - OK you DO exist as an experiencer, but - you do not know what is the relation between such metaphysical you and anything else. This is why I say you are standing exactly at Descarte's point.

Another reason for excluding the reactor as part of “ME” is because I have absolutely no say-so; no active conscious role, in the process of reacting. I only get to ‘experience’ the resulting reaction/effect/experience.

A reaction happens, and I experience that reaction. That is all I can say with true honesty. Can I claim to be the reactor, making the reaction happen, if I don’t honestly remember doing so? I think not.


Can you claim you are not the author of a crime if you don’t honestly remember committing it?

If I experience an itch on my arm, can I honestly claim to be the causer of this itch (reaction), …or am I really just the ‘experiencer’ of it?

To claim something as “ME”, that I have no knowledge nor control of, does not seem to make sense (to me).


This is exactly Descarte's standpoint.
You simply shifted the limit a bit: from thought to experience.
But beware: you may well have knowledge of your experience, but you have no control on your experience nor your "experiencing". So in your perspective even your experiencing is something you might not claim as "YOU".

Your metaphysical you may - sadly and simply - be a passive spectator.
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Re: Mind and Body / Body and Mind

Postby Serpent on August 3rd, 2016, 8:17 am 

Then 'I' must be that tiny Hercules sitting in the freshly-swept Augean stable of a head that he disowns (with or without God for company). He has no books, trophies, photo albums, filing cabinets; no memories or knowledge. He just waits for "thoughts", "ideas" and "facts" to pop in, so that he can experience them...... Yet, God holds him responsible for those thoughts.
Seems like an unnecessarily difficult position in which to put oneself.
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Re: Mind and Body / Body and Mind

Postby Old Rasputin on August 3rd, 2016, 11:49 am 

Paul Anthony wrote:Ahh, now I see the problem. And, as is often the case, it is a matter of semantics. You have defined "self" as the conscious mind, the experiencer.

Not so. You’re missing what I say. There is no “self”, nor “conscious mind”. There is only an ‘experiencing’ entity; called ‘experiencer’. That’s it.


Paul Anthony wrote:What, then, is all the rest if not a part of self?

What “rest”??? -- Is there ‘something’ else that exists other than an ‘experiencing’ entity (aka ‘experiencer’)?

And can you actually know this ‘something’ without resorting to ‘blind faith'?

…or do you really believe that you can experience this ‘something’ without ‘experiencing’? -- Can you detect this ‘something’ without a means of detecting? -- Can you perceive beyond your perceptions? -- Can you see 'things’ without looking through an experiential window?

…or are you unable to admit that this (experiential) ‘window-seat’ is the best you’ve got? -- Can you admit that everything you experience is just an experience? ...or are you naively adamant that you can experience a non-experience?

Any (experiential) assertion of a thing/object/self is via pure speculation, i.e. ‘blind faith'.

We can only experience EXPERIENCES (feelings/senses/reactions/effects), not THINGS, nor OBJECTS, nor SELFS. We can only experience ‘effects’. We are not privy to the ‘causers’, (assuming they exist in the first place!).

We are not the 'thinkers' (causers/creators) of our thoughts, we are just the 'experiencers' of our thoughts. We have no view of the causation of our experiences. Our view is limited to the 'effects'/experiences themselves. The causes/causers can only be speculated (via blind faith!).
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Re: Mind and Body / Body and Mind

Postby TheVat on August 3rd, 2016, 12:18 pm 

In all the 678 threads on this topic, "mind" seems to wind up being recursive if one isn't careful.

If a mind is a momentary snapshot of a process, then we capture snapshots of meta-levels....

I am aware of the cat. (mind)

I am a mind that is aware of the cat (meta)

I am a mind that is aware it is a mind that is aware of the cat (meta2)

See the problem. When you reify a process ( a philosopher jargon that means "make a thing of"), then you sometimes get an infinite recursion and a notable lack of insight or sense.

Remove the "thingness" of mind and what do you get?

Cat!

Me! Cat! Purrrrrr.

Process, minus meaningless metalevels. There is a primate. There is a cat. There is perception and connection, the process of life. There is no "mind/body problem of philosophy" because there are just bodies and body processes of perception and connection and engagement. No duality.

OK, not sure I got that across too well, maybe needs more work. Really enjoying everyone's posts here.
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Re: Mind and Body / Body and Mind

Postby Old Rasputin on August 3rd, 2016, 3:44 pm 

Old Rasputin wrote:Your definition includes both ‘experiencer’ + ‘reacter’. Mine is only ‘experiencer’. The reason that I exclude the ‘reacter’ is because I can’t experience/know this ‘reacter’, I can only experience the resulting ‘reaction’ itself. I can only speculate that there is a ‘reactor’ (causer) behind the ‘reaction’ (effect).

neuro wrote:You see, here comes the "res extensa" and "res cogitans" distinction.
Yours is a "res sentiens, or percipiens, or experiens", and - at difference with Descartes - you shift also the burden of originating thoughts on the "res extensa". But that does not make much of a difference, in terms of the big problem of consciousness.

It actually does make a difference in ontological terms - in other words if you stick to Descarte's problem: one cannot be sure of the existence of their body and not even of the ontological existence of something that produces their own thoughts, they can only be sure that a "res experiens" exists that experiences the thoughts.

But I feel this is not the crucial point.
Because the problem that arises from a dualistic perspective (res extensa + either cogitans or experiens) remains unsolved: either you are not an experiencer, but rather a dreamer (solipsism) of experiences that do not exist, or you have to address the question of how the "res extensa" can communicate with your metaphysical, immaterial "res experiens" to give rise to experience. You remain with the unsolved problem that - OK you DO exist as an experiencer, but - you do not know what is the relation between such metaphysical you and anything else. This is why I say you are standing exactly at Descarte's point.

As always, very interesting observation/perspective. Thanks Neuro for the ‘quality’ comments/responses, …though I don’t quite agree. I disagree that my standing is “exactly” as Descartes. Here are the differences, as I see them:

1. Descartes claimed two (2) ‘entities’ (dualism); the mind + the body (res cogitans + res extensa), one entity to do the ‘thinking’ and the other to do the ‘doing’.

Whereas, Old Rasputin claims only one (1) ‘entity’ (mono-ism); the ‘experiencer’ (res experiens), which for all practical intents and purposes is the body (res extensa) (or more accurately, half the body). This entity only does ‘experiencing’.


2. Descartes claims there is a ‘thinker’ (a creator) of thoughts.

Whereas, Old Rasputin claims there can only be an ‘experiencer’ of thoughts.


3. Descartes claims the mind controls the body via ‘mental causation’.

Whereas, Old Rasputin claims the body auto-reacts accordingly, (of which reactions/effects can then be experienced by the experiencer).


*****

WHERE DESCARTES WENT WRONG:

Descartes's goal was to arrive at one item of truth that could serve as the starting-point and foundation for all knowledge. His starting point was his famous statement "I think, therefore I am". As Descartes explained, "We cannot doubt of our existence while we doubt …" Descartes asserted that the very act of doubting one's own existence was proof of the reality of one's own mind; there must be a thinking entity; a “self”; a “mind”, for there to be a thought.

According to Descartes, I can doubt anything. But when I doubt, I am thinking, and as long as I am thinking, I exist. Thinking is inseparable from me. Thus I have a clear and distinct idea that I am a mind, or intelligence, and my nature is a thinking thing. On the other hand, I have also a clear idea of body as an extended and non-thinking thing. He concludes that res cogitans and res extensa are two independent entities. This dichotomy is the foundation of Descartes's dualism. “For all that I am a thing that is real and which truly exists. But what kind of a thing? … A thinking thing (res cogitans).” --- source unknown

Descartes made two errors --

Firstly, he falsely equivocated his ‘experiencing’ of thoughts to the ‘thinking’ (self-constructing/creating) of his thoughts. He falsely believed that he could ‘think’ thoughts, when in reality, all he could only do was ‘experience’ thoughts. This error led him to his flawed dualism (mind and body) position.

Secondly, he did not go back far enough. If one’s goal is to find the true starting point of knowledge, then the starting premise is of utmost criticalness. This starting premise needs to be ‘absolute and undeniable’. Descartes premise “I think, …” does not meet this level of certainty. Descartes should replace the “I think”, with “I experience”, or to be truly accurate, he should replace it with “Experiencing exists”. Since the “I” has not yet been determined with absolute certainty, it does not belong in this starting premise. For this critical first premise, the ‘experiencing’ itself is the only true absolute/undoubtable thing, and therefore is the only thing that belongs in this starting premise.

So to help Descartes reach his original goal, I have re-written his logical statement that satisfies his original goal:

“Experiencing exists, therefore I (the experiencer) exist.”

But this of course, shoots down his dualistic position. “I” is just the ‘experiencer’, and is NOT a ‘mind’ (nor a 'thinker of thoughts' entity - but only an experiencer of thoughts, ...and feelings, and sensory experiences).

*****


Old Rasputin wrote:Another reason for excluding the reactor as part of “ME” is because I have absolutely no say-so; no active conscious role, in the process of reacting. I only get to ‘experience’ the resulting reaction/effect/experience.

A reaction happens, and I experience that reaction. That is all I can say with true honesty. Can I claim to be the reactor, making the reaction happen, if I don’t honestly remember doing so? I think not.

neuro wrote:Can you claim you are not the author of a crime if you don’t honestly remember committing it?

No, I can make no claim either way. I can neither claim to be, or not to be, the author/criminal, if I don’t remember doing so.


Old Rasputin wrote:If I experience an itch on my arm, can I honestly claim to be the causer of this itch (reaction), …or am I really just the ‘experiencer’ of it?

To claim something as “ME”, that I have no knowledge nor control of, does not seem to make sense (to me).

neuro wrote:But beware: you may well have knowledge of your experience, but you have no control on your experience nor your "experiencing".

True, and good point.


neuro wrote:So in your perspective even your experiencing is something you might not claim as "YOU".

Not true. It is impossible for me to deny experiencing, and likewise "ME" as the experiencer.

“Experiencing exists” is absolutely certain; undeniable, and is the starting point of all knowledge. We cannot reduce any further. We are as low as we can go. And because of this absolute certainty, we can then logically derive a “ME”, the experiencer. For without the experiencer, experiencing could not happen (exist).
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