Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Dec 7, 2012 - 08:35pm PT
So when egg has been modified by the direct influence of the external world, then it becomes false egg.

Freud got into that. When the parental agency, mom or dad usually, boils or fries an egg, particularly if scambled, the eggo waffles - thus a false egg, as anyone who has eaten one will attest. Another example would be humpty dumpty, scrambled under the influence of the external (gravity, a wall, a hard flat surface) and unable to "put himself together again".

Beware the false egg.
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Dec 7, 2012 - 09:03pm PT
Thanks to Jingy for posting the talk by Dennett on creating meaning from the bottom up. I think this is the path that atheists must take if they wish to have a real influence on society. Instead of insulting people and making them mad, make them think more deeply about their preconceptions and about alternatives to their current belief systems.

 Jan,

Thanks for the props, glad to know any of my posted get read, or watched.

 P.S. Personally I think making fun of peoples silly wishful thinking is so much fun though. It doesn't cost anything and comes so easy.

cheers
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Dec 7, 2012 - 09:07pm PT



After all, why have a soul unless some sense of self survives death? Surely each soul is unique


Reverting back to "Conscienceness". Isn't in our "conscience", the memories we have of yesterday? Our thoughts; our physical exhertions;
our feelings; our asperations; our lessons learned; EVERYTHING we know
in ourselfs as "yesterday". Isn't the sum of yesterdays memory "stacked"
up in our conscience?

Oh! Fringe is on.Gotta Go
jogill

climber
Colorado
Dec 7, 2012 - 09:59pm PT
Although some Eastern traditions may see the self as illusory, they could be wrong. Nothing appears to rule out a sense of self separate from a body

Interesting comment. Thirty years ago I indulged in Castaneda's Art of Dreaming and discovered that the "I-consciousness" might indeed separate from the physical body, or the experience of separation might itself be illusory. Whatever the explanation, it was an astounding adventure for me.

In the years that followed I wondered occasionally about the convictions of some oriental religions and their insistence that "I-consciousness" is an illusion. When I gazed down on my sleeping body whatever it was that I was at that point felt incredibly free. Repeated episodes never dulled that exhilarating sense of freedom, and to this day those were the only truly religious experiences I've ever had.

A mystery, but a wonderful one.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Dec 7, 2012 - 10:14pm PT

Castaneda's Art of Dreaming

Is this at all like Eckankar?
go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
Dec 8, 2012 - 05:16am PT
I have an alter eggo...

photo not found
Missing photo ID#277518

The original are good but I like the nutri-grain!
jogill

climber
Colorado
Dec 8, 2012 - 12:25pm PT
Is this at all like Eckankar?

I looked it up on Wikipedia and the "soul travel" sounds similar to my adventures; but what I experienced was not wrapped in any sort of religious trappings. The various "astral planes" seems like an attempt to identify and make coherent something that defies the logic of the human mind. A mystery for now. Perhaps science will pull the veil aside eventually. Not sure that would be very satisfying, though.

St Theresa of Avalon walked through the mansion of Jesus many times while in a similar state. It all depends on the matrix of beliefs you have when you start the process. But whatever the explanation it certainly adds a huge dimension to one's life.

;>)
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Dec 8, 2012 - 12:46pm PT
Blast from the past...

After a hairball pitch on a remote wall, two climbers are on a hanging belay and having an existential screamfest. They make a deal that if one dies, he'd come back in spirit and tell the other what the afterlife was like.

Sure enough, the leader peels off a relatively easy move (go figure, eh?), and is cut in two by a detached flake 200 feet below.

After several tearful weeks, HFCS is napping in a hayloft back down in a valley somewhere when he hears,
"Fruity! Fruity! It's me!"

"Holy Sh1t! Dr. F! Is that you?"

"Yes, it's me. Like I promised, I've come back."

"You're so awesome Dr. F! So, what's the afterlife like?"

"Well Fruity, I get up in the morning and have sex. Then, a little breakfast and then some more sex. I lay around in the sun, have sex, maybe have some lunch, and then some more sex after that! There's all this rock too! It's wild! Then I have dinner and then have even more sex, until I fall asleep! The next day, I get to do it all over again!"

"Wow, that's sick, Dr. F.! Heaven must totally rock!"

"Oh Fruity.... I'm not in Heaven. I'm a jackrabbit in Joshua Tree."
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Dec 8, 2012 - 12:46pm PT
It all depends on the matrix of beliefs you have when you start the process.


Astute insight, I'd say. Helps to explain the diversity of beliefs and supports.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Dec 8, 2012 - 12:50pm PT
Blast from the past...

Culture is to human social interaction as mud is to mudwrestling.

The metaphor of wrestling conveys the idea that social interaction is in many ways a contest or struggle between people with competing goals. But wrestling of the non-muddy variety does not do the metaphorical job. The mud is needed to stand for culture in order that the analogy may more fully convey the nature of human social interactions as they take place in cultural contexts. Just as mud drastically changes the nature of the contest when it is introduced into a wrestling match, so does culture drastically change the nature of social interaction in humans compared to non-humans. Just as mud-wrestlers are coated in mud, people are coated in culture: It shapes who they are and how they interact with others in profound ways, which of course is an old lesson to anthropologists. Like mud, culture can get in your eyes, leading you to do things that may not be in your own best interests. Just as mud-wrestlers may use the mud itself in their contest—flinging it, wallowing in it, using it to blind their opponents—so do people use culture as a tool in social interaction. Just as one wrestler covered in mud is likely to muddy others in the ring, so do culture traits cling to people and move from one to another through social contact. The mud-wrestling analogy also inspires some interesting questions about culture. For instance, how deep is the mud? That is, to what extent does culture limit and guide human actions? Are we up to our necks in mud, able to move only in culturally prescribed ways, or is the mud down around our ankles, causing us to slip now and then but not influencing our basic strategies in meaningful ways? Or is it somewhere in between? As apt as the mud-culture metaphor may be, the wrestling part of the metaphor needs some modification because it makes it appear that all social interaction consists of contests in which only one person may win. That of course, is not the case. A better image might be an n-person mud melee, in which cooperation and coalitions (tag teams?) are possible.

Lee Cronk, anthropologist

.....



The star inside the moon's circumference has always reminded me of Islam's (and more generally, Abrahamic religion's) incorrect worldworks model.
Donald Thompson

Trad climber
Los Angeles,CA
Dec 8, 2012 - 01:30pm PT
Possibly. The 'travel' referred to by some posters I have taken to mean a sort of out-of-body experience in a nominally waking state. If this is correct then such travel could be very similar to dream states and involve those portions of the brain responsible for REM states of sleep. The only differences being that the person is not asleep.
In my own sleeping dreams the places I find myself inhabiting are invariably a synthesis of different locales I have visited in previous waking experience. They are a little bit of this place and a little bit of that one- a synthesis.
Remarkable how the sleeping brain stages these cinematic episodes and how spontaneously these internal scenes are directed and acted.
Last night I recall 3 distinct dreams. 2 seemed to take place within landscapes I did not recognize and one took place at a locale that was a synthesis of 2 places I certainly recognized.

Moreover, the emotional impact of many dreams has been shown to have nearly an identical physiological effect as measured in waking life. Sex, anger, love, anxiety- all provoke the same bio markers as they do in waking life.

It has also been shown that people tend to recall experiences, whether asleep or awake, when those experiences are associated with stronger emotion. We also learn better when we have a passion for the subject, or when certain particulars of that subject can be associated with emotion.

The more any given experience can involve the triune structures of the brain-reptilian, limbic, and cerebral-the more intense and memorable the experience.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Dec 8, 2012 - 02:08pm PT
So is it not possible that the perception of such "travel" is just learning how to switch the perception to "move around" in that internally contained "map"?

Quite possibly. My first experience occured in my bedroom and I looked around and touched the various pieces of furniture, treading oh so lightly across the rug, feeling the fibers beneath my feet and the muscular movements of my legs.

On another occasion I "awoke" in a desert, bright with sunlight and blue sky with sand gently rolling away into the distance. Before me was a large fully developed cactus with flowers. I became fascinated with the brilliant color, sharpness, and 3-dimensionality of the plant and moved slowly around it gazing at it from various positions. It was a moment of rapture, and its clarity was beyond my experiences with normal reality. I didn't recall seeing such a plant before, but of course I may have, and may have conjured it up from memory. Nevertheless, for me this kind of adventure enhanced normal reality and made me feel there was much, much more to our existence than "meets the eye."

;>)
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Dec 8, 2012 - 02:14pm PT
So that's what the kids are calling it these days. I had a bio-marker when I woke up this morning.
Donald Thompson

Trad climber
Los Angeles,CA
Dec 8, 2012 - 02:27pm PT
Mr Cintune:
I went to the considerable trouble of copy and pasting this definition just for you.
In your case I think it was pharmacologic.

"A biomarker, or biological marker, is an indicator of a biological state. It is a characteristic that is objectively measured and evaluated as an indicator of normal biological processes, pathogenic processes, or pharmacologic responses to a therapeutic intervention. It is used in many scientific fields."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biomarker

. I had a bio-marker when I woke up this morning

Nope, you are still asleep. You have entered the REM cycle of 'The Twilight Zone'
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Dec 8, 2012 - 02:34pm PT
Thank you.

I used to get very excited back whenever one of Castaneda's then-ongoing series of books came out. There's been a lot of debunking in the meantime, but it struck me from the start how all the psycho/mystical stuff really fed into the intimate power play between the brujos and their acolyte tripsters. Seems to be an almost unavoidable consequence.
Donald Thompson

Trad climber
Los Angeles,CA
Dec 8, 2012 - 02:47pm PT
Nevertheless, for me this kind of adventure enhanced normal reality and made me feel there was much, much more to our existence than "meets the eye."

Mr.jogill:
Just so that you know , I personally am open and considerate of the possibility of your experience being authentic ,transcendental, and outside the bounds of normal perception.
go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
Dec 8, 2012 - 04:41pm PT
photo not found
Missing photo ID#277580


Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!
jogill

climber
Colorado
Dec 8, 2012 - 06:09pm PT
I used to get very excited back whenever one of Castaneda's then-ongoing series of books came out

A young climber I met in the early 1970s was into pot and probably a few other drugs, plus tequila; he convinced me to read one of Castaneda's books even though I told him I had no interest in drugs. He said,"Oh, you'll like it anyhow - it's a lot more than drugs." I found the book very entertaining and read other books by the author when they came out, always feeling they were at best allegorical and at worst pleasant fiction. On a lark I decided to try Castaneda's instructions for the art of dreaming, for I had done meditative exercises off and on going back to the 1950s. To my surprise, I attained the waking dream state on my first try.

On the other hand, I never had any luck with the author's descriptions of one's allies. Kind of glad I didn't drift into that realm.

;>)
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Dec 8, 2012 - 06:18pm PT
Just when I am about to give up on this thread, I open it up to discover a whole series of sparkling gems! I've been wrestling with similar questions as jogill for a long time now. I have never had a waking out of body experience of the type he describes but have experienced the incredibly bright vegetation where one sees down to the molecular level in all its shimmering beauty, many times. I have also read a meditation teacher who says that the astral world of flowers is the first level of that plane that most people tune into. It was very similar to being on peyote but without the nausea thank goodness, and more than 20 years later.

Because it started after I began reading and meditating within an eastern tradition, I can see now that all those beginning experiences were cloaked in that culture and still are to a large extent, because several eastern traditions provide a much clearer road map than those of the West. Among the western mystics however, I have found Theresa of Avila to be the clearest. Her seven roomed crystal mansion is obviously a description of the seven chakras and their associated insights.

Because of my previous psychedelic experience which was clearly biochemical in nature, I was always aware that my mystical experiences had that element. The grand question always, is what provokes them without the use of outside chemicals? It would be interesting to know if jogill had been meditating at the time of his experiences, reading and thinking about such things, or under a lot of stress and perhaps sleep deprivation? In my own case I can say they happen most frequently when I spend a lot of time meditating or engaging in spiritual reading. And they happened most frequently at the beginning of my quest.

Many people report that they frequently have such experiences in the beginning of a spiritual journey and few or none later on. This is generally interpreted as having one's faith tested without the incitement of experiences to keep going. Perhaps it is just that we have a limited supply of serotonin and dopamine and other chemicals in our brain which become exhausted. Having drenched our brains in higher than normal levels, however, it may be that the brain itself has been permanently changed. And the question of whether these experiences are internally or externally induced, remains.

Edit: I see jogill answered many of my question before I could post this.

MH2

climber
Dec 8, 2012 - 06:47pm PT
it may be that the brain itself has been permanently changed


Seeing what PCP did to neurons in a slice of hippocampus permanently changed my own brain. It's safe to say that parts of the brain are always ready to change, in the process of memories being formed of events and their associated feelings. This process is needed for us to learn how to survive and prosper in the world around us. At the same time, some parts of our brain conserve a sense of self and an associated personality that other people observe in our behavior. Getting the right balance between plasticity versus persistence in behavior probably depends on the problems life throws at a species. It looks like humans have turned the nob toward change. I hope we can keep up with ourselves.
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