Humm… ok, say there is a child who believes in Santa Claus. Every year he strives to be a good boy so he will get the presents he desires, and every year he gets those presents and his belief in Santa Claus is reinforced. To him, Santa Claus exists. And by exists I mean, to him there is a man at the north pole actually making presents all year and actually distributing them every Christmas with his reindeer sleigh etc.
Now at one point the child is old enough, and be it a sudden realization that Santa Claus isn’t real or at some point just realizing that he no longer believes, at some point the child stops believing in Santa Claus.
So my question to you is - did the child kill Santa Claus? . Did Santa Claus exist at one point and then cease to exist (i.e. the child’s actions caused Santa Claus to die)? Or did the child simply stop believing in Santa Claus - thus revealing that Santa Claus never existed in the first place?
And again, by Santa Claus I don’t mean an image or thought or something in the child’s mind which happened at one point and stopped happening at another point, but rather an actual man at the north pole making presents.
This is not to deny that all those years the child had a lived experience of Santa Claus existing – realizing Santa Claus never existed doesn’t change that fact – but it is simply to say that even when the child experienced Santa Claus to exist, Santa Claus did not exist.
The language can get a bit tricky here. To make it clear: in the example of Santa Claus, the fact of the matter is that there never was a man at the north pole. This is what is meant when it is said “Santa Claus never existed in the first place” – it means, “There never was a man at the north pole making presents in the first place.” It doesn’t mean there was no felt and lived experience of Santa Claus existing and making presents.
Thus when it is said that ‘I’ don’t exist and never did exist, what is meant is that this feeling-entity that ‘I’ feel ‘myself’ to be, never is and never was this actual flesh and blood body being conscious. It is not to deny there is a felt and lived experience of ‘me’ existing as these feelings, this fear, etc.
Regardless of the nature of how it comes to be that the child has a felt and lived experience of Santa Claus existing, it is still an undeniable fact that there never was a man at the north pole making presents in actuality.
As Santa Claus does not truly, physically, factually, and actually exist, we can draw a very clear line between Santa Claus and things that do exist (like the trees, the birds, this computer screen, this computer keyboard, etc.)
And therefore we can draw an equally clear line between ‘me’ the feeling-being entity that doesn’t actually exist, and things that do exist.
The maintenance of ‘Me’ is chiefly because of a belief that it is ‘good’ for me to continue anyway - that is the genesis of good, actually. And so ‘I’ prop up everything that is ‘me,’ not interested in challenging or questioning ‘my’ belief in ‘myself.’
Part of what Richard challenges us with is that ‘I’ don’t live up to my beliefs about myself anyway… the results don’t match with the beliefs. Regardless of the moment of believing happening or not, from physical causes or not, there is no factual link between everything that is ‘me’ and what is actually happening in the world. Our internal worlds are absolutely littered with contradictions, false memories, convenient forgettings, grudges, etc etc etc.
‘I’ am made up with all of these beliefs, contradictions. There is no solidity or validity to ‘me.’ Yes the moment of believing happens, as can be seen by the actions of billions of people all around the world and down through history, but that doesn’t make ‘me’ actual. ‘I’ am a lie I tell to myself over and over for the entire physical life of this body - unless ‘I’ remove myself.
It’s the other way around–A belief is an emotion attached to thought.
What label we stick to a set of physical responses for the purpose of identification is immaterial. Does whether one identifies them collectively as anger or not bear any relevance to experiencing it as a belief?
I thought of something that might help further clarify matters as well.
From the link:
Here, we introduce and explore Scintillating Starbursts , a stimulus type made up of concentric star polygons that induce illusory scintillating rays or beams.
Speaking particularly of this illusion, “This illusion exists in the actual world” can be construed to mean one of two [EDIT: three] things, depending on what we mean by “this illusion”:
A: The constituent parts of the illusion actually exist (the “concentric star polygons”).
B: The things the illusion purports itself to be actually exist (the “scintillating rays or beams”).
[EDIT: C: The illusory effect is being perceived (i.e. a human looking at the illusion perceives “scintillating rays or beams”)]
Now, A is certainly true - those concentric star polygons are indeed being rendered on the screen here. [EDIT: And C is true as well - a human looking at this illusion does in fact perceive “scintillating rays or beams”.]
However, B is not true. To say that the scintillating rays or beams that we both presumably see when we look at the illusion actually exist, would be to be saying that there is actually light being emitted from the screen, in the shape of those scintillating rays or beams, that our eyeballs are picking up and eventually being made present in our sensorium.
But this is not true. There are no rays or beams of light actually being emitted from the screen. Rather, there is the illusion of rays of light being emitted, but there are no rays of light emitted. Our sensory apparatus is ‘tricked’ into ‘seeing’ rays of light when there are none.
Even though when we see the illusion, our eyes don’t make a distinction per se between the polygons they see and the rays of light they ‘see’ - it doesn’t change the fact that the polygons actually exist while the rays of light do not.
Now, typically when people describe things as illusory / not real, they are referring to B - that that which the illusion professes to be, does not actually exist (i.e. there are no rays or beams of light), not A - that the parts that constitute the illusion do not actually exist (i.e. it would indeed be absurd to say that there are no concentric polygons being rendered on our screens)… and certainly very few would mean C - that there is no illusion happening or occurring at all when it plainly is (i.e. it would be equally absurd to say, while looking at the screen and ‘seeing’ those rays or beams of light, that you are not at that moment perceiving rays or beams of light in your visual field).
The concentric star polygons exist, but the illusory rays or beams of light do not exist.
The child and his brain and consciousness exist, but the illusory Santa Claus does not exist.
A human flesh and blood body being conscious exists, but the illusory feeling-being that feels itself to exist, whether as a physical entity (e.g. as that very flesh and bloody body itself) or as a metaphysical entity (e.g. as a metaphysical ‘soul’), does not exist.
Hi Henry - perhaps you could flesh out what you mean by an experience that ‘signals’ emotion?
It is unclear whether you find raw emotion to be physical or nonphysical.
I appreciate that you gave some thought as to whether the fright that a horse (or any animal) experiences exists. Yes, I would agree that a horse would not experience an emotional self in the way that a human would given they have not evolved the same capacity for thought and self-awareness. But would the fright that a horse experiences exist? Would it not exist? Is it physical? Is it metaphysical? Is it a belief?
Would you consider the emotions of a new-born infant to be a factual occurrence, given that they have not yet developed the ability to believe?
When fear arises, say for example, pure terror, there is little sense of anything other than that fear. The raw emotion consumes almost the entirety of consciousness. Blind rage is another example. Yet no amount of emotion, no puny or aggrandized self, is able to create a dimension that stands apart or beside an infinitely massive operation that has zero boundaries. The universe produces everything: every conscious or unconscious movement, every degree of understanding or misconception, every instant of doubt or conviction, every flicker or eruption of emotion, every variety of perception and experience, every shape and form and sound, every event bar none. Even the sense of separation is inseparable from the universe from which it arose. There can be no exceptions.
So, to use the fatty liver metaphor, having a liver is a DNA based actuality, however having a fatty one is that DNA based actuality trying to store fats produced by a lifestyle of excessive consumption.
Excessive consumption is not DNA based, or every person would be born and consume excess ively without choice (like having a liver to start with).
So, while a ‘self’ has a DNA based origin, what happens after that point is not DNA based. That is to say, there is no evidence that i am aware of that prior to me feeling any of the thousands of feelings i could feel (i am a primary feeling of ‘me’, expressing in those thousands of ways), that DNA is involved at all.
In short, an origin does not imply ongoing causation.
The argument is: The feeling of “self” is an effect of some cause. And the cause is physical in nature–chemicals coursing through veins, neurotransmitters jumping between synapses, hormones signalling etc.
The fact that these processes are real isn’t disputed, but the truth/existence of the co-emerging phenomenon of those processes in the real world-- the “self”–is disputed.
How “self” is seen in the real world but not in the actual world is still a mystery. And that perhaps is the area of bone of contention in this thread.
I think, @rick, that at this point it would be good if you reference which quote from Richard (or which statement from someone else) you are disputing about that it has anything to do with “the boundless, borderless, limitless universe”.
Because several parts of this topic seem to me to keep attacking/dealing with some straw men (which is not to say that it hasn’t produced excellent insights and clarifications -and clarifications of clarifications -, but in spite of it).
But limiting myself only to the one related to the universe, you finished your last answer to @Kiman with
Whether in relation to the fear of the horse, the self, the real, the actual, the brain, brain processes, imagination, the idea of Santa, beliefs, the sense of separation from the universe, etc., did Richard, @Kiman in his comment or anyone else here stated that there are exceptions? That is, that something exists outside the universe?
Because you keep making it clear that it is not possible, as if those posts or Richard affirm that it is. In this last case, to your
So yes, he seems to be yet another one who agrees with what no one seems to disagree with… He then even added:
@Kiman did not said that that sense of “me” creates an “external” and an “internal” with respect to the universe. So he must be, like everyone else, referring to something else, right?
In turn, his quote (“There is no ‘external’ or ‘internal’ in a boundless, borderless, limitless universe”) came from your last sentence to this @Kiman comment:
So, “there is no ‘external’ or ‘internal’ in a boundless, borderless, limitless universe” was again refuting/commenting on something he had not stated about the universe.
The same thing happened when you finished one of your answers to @claudiu with
@claudiu (and others; @kiman included) has referred more than once to two worlds (the real and the actual), and what can happen or exist inside and outside each of those worlds but, where did he refer to two universes, or that anyone of those worlds could exist outside this universe? But in his answer was not necessary to infer what he was referring to since he mentioned explicitly these worlds and did not not mention the universe, right?
So, again, at this point it would be good if you reference which quote from Richard or which statement from someone else (that perhaps I missed in this numerous posts) you are disputing about that it has anything to do with the boundless, borderless, limitless universe.
‘Santa Claus’ was nothing more and nothing less than an illusion. As such, and like all naturally occurring phenomena, dynamic conditions configured ‘Santa Claus’ into existence at one point and dynamic conditions later configured him out of existence.
‘Santa Claus’ did exist in the first place; ‘he’ always existed as something. In this case, ‘Santa Claus’ did not exist as an obese elf in the North Pole, but instead as an illusion of an obese elf in the North Pole proliferated by Western society and Coca Cola. Conditions at first brought that illusion into existence through an interplay of a variety of variables; whereat some later point, conditions brought that illusion to an end through yet another interplay of a variety of variables.
‘Santa Claus’ was never anything more (and never anything less) than that illusion; and yet, for the duration that it persisted, the illusion was inseparable from the physical variables that birthed, sustained, and terminated ‘his’ existence; ‘he’, like all things, existed inseparably from this physical universe, and was therefore just as physical as anything else in nature. ‘Santa Claus’ – that illusion – was therefore as fundamentally actual as the flesh-and-blood parents that would covertly place gifts under the tree in an attempt to sustain the illusion; parents who, through a variety of dynamic physical variables, likewise were subject to birth, subsistence, and termination.
That which occurs inside the brain – images, beliefs, abstractions, or illusions – do not have a fundamentally different form of existence to that which occurs outside the brain.
The conventional perspective – the typical way of thinking – dictates that a perception is ‘real’ or ‘actual’ if what is being perceived has an external existence, whereas a perception is ‘false’ if what is being perceived does not have an external existence (the perception of a tree is considered ‘real’ if there is an externally existent tree whereas the perception of a tree is ‘false’ if there is no externally existent tree). Yet our illusion sample of the scintillating rays demonstrates that perceptions of objects that have no external existence can be just as actual as perceptions of objects that have external existence; in other words, fundamentally, the experience and existence of the illusion is just as actual as the experience and existence of the non-illusion. Despite this understanding, in typical conversation, we say, “those ‘beams’ are not actual, they don’t actually exist.” Yet, what is typically said is in actuality not correct, because those ‘beams’ do actually exist, they are happening. We call it an illusion because there is the perception of an object which does not exist outside the mind; nonetheless, the illusion – the scintillating beams – is, in every respect, as actual as the black polygons in that image which do exist outside the mind.
The universe does not distinguish between what happens inside or outside the human mind.
When the children reach a certain stage, the illusion of ‘Santa’ will disintegrate, the physical mechanisms in place that sustained ‘him’ as an illusion will disassemble, and the now-disillusioned children will scoff and say that, “Of course Santa doesn’t exist, he never existed, it was all an illusion, don’t ya know? There’s no fat man with a magic sled.” They ignore the fact that ‘he’ did exist (or they ignore the way in which he existed); ‘he’ of course was an illusion – a demonstrably actual phenomenon – that materialized inseparably from the physical universe that bore, sustained, and ultimately terminated ‘him’. ‘His’ dynamic existence was as actual as anything that ever was.
What you refer to in that paragraph as ‘actual’ are perceptions with attendant external objects, whose externality can be verified, among other methods, via human consensus. In truth, perceptions which occur absent external stimulus are just as much of the universe as those perceptions with attendant external stimulus. The actually free person’s mental visualization of the ‘number four’ is just as actual as if it were written on paper, no? Richard’s thoughts about tea would be just as fundamentally actual as the tea he sips, as another example.
For myself at least, I cannot view the scintillating rays as anything other than actually existing; to my perception and understanding, they exist just as much as the polygons. The polygons exist outside the brain to be perceived whereas the scintillating rays are manufactured inside the brain to be perceived. In both instances there are actual perceptions of actual things (one of those things does not exist outside the skull whereas the other does).
That is typically the case, yes.
Yet that very perception of what is typically regarded as ‘not real’ is, as you can attest, so plainly happening as a material/ physical phenomenon occurring in time and space as form.
Further, that not only is a perception occurring, but that a perception of something is occurring; it is plainly not a perception of nothing. Perception does not occur unless there is actually something to be perceived. That something – that object of perception – does not need to originate outside the skull for it to be actual; the activity of the brain is just as actual as the activity going on anywhere in the universe.
I arrived at a different conclusion: that the illusory rays or beams do exist in this universe; that just because the illusory objects do not exist outside the skull does not mean that they do not actually exist. Typically, however, people do not regard the objects that arise in the brain as actually existing, they typically relegate as actual only that which has existence outside the skull.
I arrived at a different conclusion: that the illusory Santa Claus does exist in this universe; just because the illusory object does not exist outside the skull does not mean that it does not actually exist. Typically, however, people do not regard the objects that arise in the brain as actually existing, they typically relegate as actual only that which has existence outside the skull.
I arrived at a different conclusion: that the illusory feeling-being does exist in this universe; just because the illusory object does not exist outside the skull does not mean that it does not actually exist. Typically, however, people do not regard the objects that arise in the brain as actually existing; they typically relegate as actual only that which has existence outside the skull.
Here’s a question: do the raw emotions of a new-born infant fresh out the womb actually exist?
I’m partially basing my consideration off of the work of Lisa Feldman Barrett, an emotion researcher. She argues that emotions consist of a subjective reading of factual body/mind-states. So, for example, one might see a tiger in the woods (a fact), and begin to shiver (a fact) and make a determination that the shivering means one is afraid (this part is the belief). That’s what emotion consists of. The shivering itself doesn’t mean fear, as in a different context or a different moment one might translate it as meaning excitement or anticipation. That’s where it’s ‘me’ - the believer - believing in the meaning, just as a child, to use everyone’s favorite example, believes that Santa Claus left the presents under the tree.
Apologies, I was being a bit loose with my language there. An emotion consists of a belief layered over an instinctual response. The instinctual response is physical, the belief is not.
That’s the interesting question, what exactly is the horse experiencing? Clearly, physically, the horse is experiencing something similar to what we experience. But how is the horse experiencing it, in the absence of a believer? What about a primate? Are there shades of grey, or is there the concrete arrival of a ‘believer’ in some species? One of the interesting things about humans is the gradual ‘increase in consciousness’ that comes with growing up. I’m not sure of the answers to these questions.
Using the above model again, I’d characterize the instinctual response as the factual occurrence, and the believer - which emerges in the infant-toddler-child - as the belief.
Human childhood consists of the inculcation of beliefs (& thus of a “well-adjusted self”) and actualism consists of the removal of the beliefs.
Something which I think helps to clarify the distinction between the physical and the ‘self’/belief-being is that some newly free people report still having sweaty hands or stuttering in a situation in which their ‘being’ (now extinct) previously would have been afraid (the example used was public speaking). Essentially the physical instinct-response is still active out of habit to certain cues, but without any ‘fuel’ of believing behind it. These responses quickly fade in the newly-free for want of that ‘fuel’ - Richard reports no sweaty hands in any circumstance.
I looked for the passage describing this occurrence on the AFT site to no avail, but perhaps the newly-free on this forum can speak to it experientially
What you’re saying is that, in your current reality or the reality you are currently aspiring to live in full-time if you aren’t already, illusions and other things that exist only “inside the mind”, exist in precisely the same manner and with precisely the same fundamental being-ness as things that are not illusions, objects that exist “outside the mind” as well. With that in mind maybe it makes sense why earlier in the conversation I gave you an “ASC alert”? .
That being said, I don’t think that you truly believe that illusions are fundamentally the same as objects existing in the world. With respect, consider a child who has lost their parents in a tragic accident… is their memory of their parents really the same as the actual parents themselves? Do the parents they see on a video recording really fulfill the same role as if their father and mother were still alive? If illusions really were the same, then these two would be equivalent. Watching a video of their parents would be the same as watching their actual parents. But it isn’t, of course it isn’t…
If you really believe that, and they are really the same for you, then you are a lucky man. You can be married to the top supermodel in the world - whichever one you consider most attractive. All you have to do is watch videos of her, and she will be just as actually existing as if she were standing right next to you. You can be with her 24/7, keeping her on repeat all the time, and if you ever get tired of her you can shut her off until you are ready for more.
You can also easily be the richest man in the world. Just take $1,000 out of the bank, then take a photograph of it and duplicate it 1,000 times. As the illusory money depicted in the photograph has the same actual existence as the money did in the first place, you now have $1,000,000 dollars. If you carefully arrange the photos inside of another photo you can easily exponentially grow this to billions and trillions of dollars. I won’t even charge you for this idea .
Whatever other fantasy or dream you desire to be fulfilled, with the array of multimedia available to us today, you can easily satisfy it. Truly you can live your dream life! You must consider yourself very lucky indeed.
But, if after reading this you aren’t currently planning to procure a video of whomever you find most attractive, or take photographs of piles of money, or create whatever other illusion that would satisfy whatever fantasies you particularly have… can I ask, why not? What’s different for you between the illusory money/girl/whatever and the non-illusory one?
Hi Miguel - my mentions of a “boundless, borderless, limitless universe” or elsewhere of a “universe that is physically absolute”, and other similar expressions, is to bring attention to the fact that what exists in a physical/actual universe – in this case, hallucinations and mirages – does not merely have a physical “basis”, as Kiman observed, but that they must themselves be physical and therefore real (used in the conventional sense of the word per Kiman’s explicit intention), given that, in a universe that is physically absolute, there is nothing non-physical that can possibly exist. To put it another way, nothing non-physical (or non-material or non-actual) can emerge from a set of physical components (the physical basis) to be something more or something other than the sum of its parts. If something in this universe were to emerge from a physical basis that was not itself physical, then this universe could not correctly be classified as physically absolute or limitless or boundless, for a boundary would form between that which was physical and that which emerged as metaphysical.
Therefore nothing can be metaphysical, all must be physical (material, factual, actual) without exception; therefore hallucinations and mirages must themselves be physical (material, factual, actual), and not merely physically (materially, factually, actually) based.
There are not two worlds (or universes); there is only one world (or universe); the ‘real world’ does not exist in any way, shape, or form.
Richard (2004): … apperception reveals that there is only this actual world/ universe. In short: there is no ‘the ‘real’’ in actuality to minimise … Mailing List 'AF' Respondent No. 64
Now I understand why you have emphasized the subject so many times:
So when you mentioned the “boundless, borderless, limitless universe" you were not necessarily responding to an explicit contrary statement from Richard or from others, but to other statements (from Richard or from others) that in your view implicitly could held (or from which inferentially could be followed) that there is something more than a “universe that is physically absolute”. Although in many cases the repetition still strikes me as an excess of precaution, I understand it now (if I understood it correctly; if not, by all means correct me).
Because of this (unless, I repeat, I am mistaken), I will overlook that your answer…
…did not answer my question, which was where@claudiu, @kiman and others had claimed that the real and the actual world could exist outside the universe. However, that answer and your two final statements + question…
…serves me to bring up a problem that I had with several of your answers and comments in this topic: sometimes I don’t know whether you are stating your ideas on a point (even when quoting AF’s words, in which case I take them as your way of endorsing your ideas) or, instead, stating what AF holds on a point (or you think AF holds on it) even without you necessarily agreeing with those AF’s ideas. Even when you ask questions, I’m often not sure if it’s a rhetorical form of stating your ideas or stating AF’s ideas (instead of truly asking).
So, taking this particular subject, my confusion increases because there are a lot of mentions of the real world in the AF site (along with the mentions you quoted that only the actually world exists). The emphases are Richard’s:
“The normal world is commonly known as the real world or reality”
“The self-imposed iniquities that ail the people who stubbornly wish to remain denizens of the real world”
“for the daring to be here as this body only. One does this by stepping out of the real world into this actual world”
Note that I am not quoting this to establish either my position or what I believe to be AF’s position on the subject, so please do not answer as if they were. I am only trying to understand you better, so they are just examples because I know you are familiar with this type of allusions to "the real world"
So, can you clarify the following (leaving aside for now the answer to your question)?
“only the actual world exists”
Can you tell me if this is your opinion/understanding, or if it’s what you think AF claims, or both?
the ‘real world’ does not exist
Can you tell me if this is your opinion/understanding, or if it’s what you think AF claims, or both?
In your opinion, what is the meaning that Richard gives to “world” in those expressions? What do you think he is alluding to?
Or, may be, are you trying to emphasize that you don’t understand the difference (or even that the difference can’t be understanded) because there seems to be one or more contradictions in AF that prevent that understanding? In this case, please point them out.
Your reply contained a bit of tricky wordplay, so I’ve re-inserted the full context and added emphases to demonstrate that you do in fact agree with the salient fact, namely - the actual man at the north pole making presents never existed in the first place.
Further, although the child believed and had experiences that an actual man at the north pole making presents did exist – when the child recognized that the man at the north pole making presents was not an actual man but rather an illusion – this did not change the fact that the actual man at the north pole making presents never existed in the first place. Whether the illusion of an actual man at the north pole making presents “persisted” or was “inseparable from the physical variables that birthed, sustained, and terminated ‘his’ [illusory] existence” doesn’t change the fact that the actual man at the north pole never existed in the first place.
I am pleased to see that we are in agreement on this point!
Therefore it is plain as day, a totally undeniable fact, that an actual man at the north pole making presents is not the same as an illusion of said man, regardless of what anyone might say the ‘nature’ of each is.
The factual perspective – the way of thinking in accordance to what is factually the case – is that a perception is a perception of something actually existing if that thing that is being perceived actually exists, while a perception is a perception of something not actually existing if that thing that is being perceived does not actually exist. Whether one calls the perception real, actual, false, or true, does not change this simple fact.
For example, if you are at a mall and there is a man in a red suit surrounded by small men in green suits giving out presents, when you see that man, you are perceiving something that actually exists - an actual man in a red suit actually surrounded by small men in green suits actually giving out presents.
Whereas if you are at home imagining a man in a red suit surrounded by small men in green suits giving out presents, this perception is a perception of something not actually existing. In this scenario there is no actual man in a red suit actually surrounded by small men in green suits actually giving out presents. Just because the perception of this is occurring, does not change the fact that there is no actual man in a red suit actually surrounded by small men in green suits actually giving out presents.
This is plainly true and simply undeniable, and I think you completely understand this point, otherwise you would have a hard time functioning in the world.
That is besides the point, though. When you watch a music video of an attractive woman busting out dance moves – even though you are perceiving an attractive woman busting out dance moves, and that perception is very similar as if you were at a concert watching that same attractive woman busting out those same dance moves, it doesn’t change the fact that while watching the video there is not actually an attractive woman busting out dance moves, while when you are at the concert there is an actual attractive woman busting out dance moves.
Just because the video of the attractive woman busting out dance moves is happening, does not mean there is an actual attractive woman busting out dance moves. Just like the illusion of the man at the North Pole making presents was not an actual man at the North Pole making presents, the ‘woman’ busting out dance moves in the video is not an actual woman busting out dance moves.
And there is simply no way to deny this plain and simple fact.
No, as you agreed with in your reply, there never was an actual man at the North Pole making presents. That an illusion of the same was occurring, doesn’t change that fact. And it is plainly evident, with no sane and rational person being able to contradict this, that an illusion of something is not the same as that thing itself.
Then, as I alluded to in my last post, you are a lucky man, as any time you watch a video of something happening it is the same to you as that thing itself happening. An exciting life you must lead! Though it must have been terrifying watching Independence Day, seeing the actual earth actually get invaded by actual aliens. I’m not sure how you were able to reconcile that with looking outside and seeing it wasn’t happening, though. I will leave that for you to ponder.
Yet you arrived at the same conclusion I did. Here it is again:
‘Santa Claus’ […] did not exist as an obese elf in the North Pole, but instead as an illusion of an obese elf in the North Pole […]
Thus we both actually have the same conclusion - that just because an illusion of an obese elf in the North Pole was happening, does not mean that there ever was, is, or will be, an actual obese elf in the North Pole.
That you are re-defining “exist” to mean something other than what everyone else does when they use the word doesn’t change the fact, it only serves to confuse matters.
Here is what it would look like if you used standard language, using “man at the North Pole” instead of “Santa Claus” to be more explicit:
I arrived at a different conclusion: that the illusory man at the North Pole is an actual man at the North Pole; just because the illusory man at the North Pole does not exist outside the skull does not mean that it is not an actual man at the North Pole.
And this is plainly false.
Again, you are only able to construct this sentence because of your redefinition of standard words. Here is what it would look like if you used regular language:
I arrived at a different conclusion: that the illusory feeling-being is an actual flesh and blood body being conscious; just because the feeling-being does not exist outside the skull does not mean that it is not an actual flesh and blood body being conscious.
As the actual flesh and blood body being conscious plainly exists “outside the skull”, this is again, patently false.
Incidentally, this may be a good place to explicate the meaning of the actualism terms ‘real’ and actual. As the perception of the illusory feeling-being is occurring, in much the same way as the perception of objects outside of the mind does (as you have found), in actualism terms we say the feeling-being is ‘real’ - but as the illusory feeling-being is not the actual flesh and blood body being conscious (in exactly the same way as the illusion of an obese elf is not an actual obese elf), in actualism terms we say it is not actual.
Hmm… well I am interested in the practical, actual, and tangible, with regards to you seeing this point for yourself such that it makes an impact in your own life. Perhaps once we resolve the matter of whether ‘you’ and ‘your own’ feelings exist, we can move on to discuss other matters such as these.