Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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MH2

climber
Feb 18, 2013 - 12:52pm PT
The brain is not independent of it's own


I agree and like your take on how reality might be encountered. A neuroscientist I admire once told me that he thought all scientists were on a journey, either downward to the molecule or upward to the soul. In simple terms I see JL as looking toward his soul.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Feb 18, 2013 - 02:01pm PT
In simple terms I see JL as looking toward his soul.


I would suggest that "soul" as you use it is simply the non-linear playing field of the right brain. But whereas most believe that this territory is "produced" by the brain, or is neurological blow back of some kind, this all pertains to the content of same, not the nothingness from which all forms emerge. This sounds like mumbo jumbo to the left brain, I'll readily admit.

JL
jstan

climber
Feb 18, 2013 - 03:22pm PT
How do we come to encounter reality itself?

Three ways come to mind:

1. When you are hungry and have no food.

2. When you are thirsty and have no water.

3. When you are alone except for someone who is pointing his gun at you.

As Farmer Hoggett said, "That will do Pig."
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Feb 18, 2013 - 03:37pm PT
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ nails it!


Which means that the fluff in between creates lots of opportunity to tune into the "other realities"!
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Feb 18, 2013 - 04:36pm PT
we cannot escape the maps, they are not only all around us but built into us... strictly speaking, the maps are not the thing they describe, yet the maps are real, the thing that they describe may not be.
-


From my perspective, the maps MAKE things real for the rational mind to grock onto and to use for practical means. Saying that the maps themselves are more real than the stuff they describe harks back to archetypes and Platonic forms, or what Alfred North Whitehead called the "consequent nature of God."

One wonders if "maps" in this sense are interchangeable with the observer in the Copenhagen interpretation of QM, both being organizing principals or a sort.

JL

High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Feb 18, 2013 - 04:58pm PT
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/18/science/project-seeks-to-build-map-of-human-brain.html?_r=0

Sam Harris,
One wonders how much Collins thinks should be spent on locating our immortal souls. 2 billion?

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2013/02/obamas-brain.html?mobify=0
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Feb 18, 2013 - 05:30pm PT
One wonders how much Collins thinks should be spent on locating our immortal souls. 2 billion?

might be tough to "locate" something as subjective as a soul

from wiki
The soul, in many mythological, religious, philosophical, and psychological traditions, is the incorporeal and, in many conceptions, immortal essence of a person, living thing, or object.[1] According to some religions (including the Abrahamic religions in most of their forms), souls—or at least immortal souls capable of union with the divine[2]—belong only to human beings. For example, the Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas attributed "soul" (anima) to all organisms but taught that only human souls are immortal.[3] Other religions (most notably Jainism) teach that all biological organisms have souls, and others further still that even non-biological entities (such as rivers and mountains) possess souls. This latter belief is called animism.[4] Anima mundi and the Dharmic Ātman are concepts of a "world soul."

Soul can function as a synonym for spirit, mind, psyche or self.[5]

To me, not looking for a fight, "soul" is a term invented to describe mostly human essence in order to give definition to what part of our consciousness survives physical death and (hopefully) lives on in an afterlife of some sort largely defined by one's religious or if not religious, spiritual desires.

The physical evidence for the invention of a soul was first found when artifacts where found buried next to skeletons on pre homo sapiens, the strong desire for life not to end just because the body dies.

Even hard core "atheists" can accept that a human essence apart from the body can exist, depending on how careful the definition is, and if one wants to call it a soul, fine.

Those who believe that spiritual essence also dies for good when the body dies would of course say that soul is done, gone.

Religion in many of its forms is highly dependent on satisfying their followers seemingly hard wired need to believe in a soul, an afterlife, through rituals and reinforcing feedback.

Belief in a soul gives very strong meaning, peace, fulfillment, and purpose to many.

My mom passed away in September at 97, and myself and my siblings were very happy to see how her strong belief in the soul having an afterlife brought peace to her.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Feb 18, 2013 - 06:58pm PT
Norton, as we've discussed in the past, it's the same here, regarding my mom. Hence the predicament before us, that perhaps only time over generations will resolve.

It's a briar's patch, for sure.
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 18, 2013 - 08:46pm PT
Do plants have a soul that lives on?

NO
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Feb 18, 2013 - 09:29pm PT
Regarding the brain, interesting article in the New Yorker, fructose. I assume that those sorts of questions will be hashed out by committees deciding which projects to fund. By referring to the European project, I think that Obama was trying another version of cold war competition which is what got us to the moon in ten years. Neither American politicians nor the public are much motivated by intellectual exploration for its own sake, but rather, the commercial applications of same and the chance to wave the flag.


Soul can function as a synonym for spirit, mind, psyche or self.

This is the first problem we encounter in my opinion, when discussing spiritual matters in the West. We lack a specialized and agreed upon vocabulary for doing so. This is not the case in Sanskrit or Tibetan where an early Tibetan king set scholars on the task of inventing a Tibetan equivalent for every Sanskrit term.

One of the things I hope the ecumenical study of mystical experiences will bring about is some kind of unified vocabulary. The Dalai Lama and leading Christian contemplatives have recently formed a group to describe and catalog all known spiritual experiences. I am sure this will fit well with some of the studies of the brain in the future.

And finally, I am agreed with Largo that soul equates to the non sequential right side of the brain. However, that doesn't for me at least, explain the difference between the very intuitive person who uses their right brain for creative endeavors and the spiritual person who has a selfless vision and types of energy not found in secular people. Perhaps it is the difference between developing one's soul and one's spirit? The two terms are different in Sanskrit and Tibetan.

Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Feb 18, 2013 - 09:41pm PT
Another interesting and possible convergence with what Ed was saying some months back, or all along, is that science need not know the "why" or even the nature of something to do science. You need only have something that works that is predictable and that someone else can replicate.

That is, I might not be able to totally explain how gravity works, or even what "it" is, but if I am thirsty and have a bucket I can place it under a waterfall and know gravity will fill that bucket and folks in New Guinea and El Paso can do likewise. We learn how to get the thing to work for us, and as we stay with the process, more will be revealed.

In my experience, spirituality is works much the same way. The basic "stuff" is ungraspable in any concrete way, so the immediate task becomes is not to try and work in out in our minds, but to place ourselves in a position that the ju ju and voodoo starts flowing into us, also knowing our rational minds will insist that we are "doing this." Once we default to trying to "prove" this wrong, we're back at the discursive game and have already defaulted out of the voodoo.

Just hanging with the not-knowing is the work. And in hanging with the Cloud of Unknowing, "More will be revealed."

JL
Psilocyborg

climber
Feb 18, 2013 - 11:05pm PT
The "game". The secret to why we are here, and what is our perception of reality.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Game_%28mind_game%29

The Game is a mental game where the objective is to avoid thinking about The Game itself. Thinking about The Game constitutes a loss, which, according to the rules of The Game, must be announced each time it occurs. It is impossible to win most versions of The Game; players can only attempt to avoid losing for as long as they possibly can. The Game has been variously described as pointless and infuriating, or as challenging and fun to play.[1] As of 2010, The Game is played by millions worldwide, although in theory, the whole world is playing it.[


The only rule of the game is if you think about the game, you lose. This game is of course a metaphor. You can only win by not thinking about the game, and that my friends is the answer to the age old question of "why are we here?"

We are here, now, in these bodies to play the damn game. This is why Dr. F is as right as he is oh so wrong. He is fully embracing the game, and winning.

What I am saying is, when you gown down the rabbit hole of meditation or psychedelics, when you peer through the curtains and see the wizard pulling the levers, you lose.

WBraun

climber
Feb 18, 2013 - 11:17pm PT
There's nothing to win or lose here and there's no game.

The only game is the one in your dull stoned head ......
Psilocyborg

climber
Feb 18, 2013 - 11:42pm PT
It is a metaphor dummy
splitter

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane ~:~
Feb 19, 2013 - 02:17am PT
Bruce Kay - the best little bit of scripture that resonates with me is, "God helps those who help themselves." ...
That is not found in the Bible.

edit: Jan - "It's actually a Puritan saying..."

Never heard that before!

"The phrase originated in ancient Greece, occuring in approximately equivalent form as one of Aesop's Fables. ... Althogh it has been commonly attributed to Benjamin Franklin, the modern english wording appears earlier in Algernon Sidneys work (1623-1683/English politician/philospher)." ~ Wiki

I seriously doubt that the "Puritans" would declare that, since it is in conflict with the doctrine of God's grace, etc!!

"Cleanliness is next to Godliness." - that's another one that is not scriptural, but often attributed to the bible.

Just like the false doctrine of the "Prosperity Gospel" that is promoted by a small (but they have captured, mislead and defrauded a wide audience through tv/the mass media, etc) segment of the current day Church, I'm sure there were also some back then.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Feb 19, 2013 - 05:14am PT
It's actually a Puritan saying, one of many ways the Puritans perverted the original message of Jesus. Perhaps their greatest perversion however, was the teaching that those who prosper materially are obviously favored by God and those who are poor are not. You can't get much further from the Gospel of Jesus than that. The modern day equivalent as Base is always pointing out is the new "Prosperity Gospel".
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Feb 19, 2013 - 08:25am PT
Splitter-

Interesting. So now I wonder about a whole lot of other Puritan sayings some of my relatives passed down.

Waste not, want not.

Idle hands are the devil's workshop

Cleanliness is next to Godliness

Of course part of the Puritan's idea of grace was that everyone should think like they did. They tarred and feathered and hung Quakers on Boston Common.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Feb 19, 2013 - 11:24am PT
I'm not surprised to hear that Splitter although i'm not sure it makes a difference in the context it was used and It certainly was a traditional saying in my neck of the woods (left coast mult- cult). Funny enough, I thought for a second about referencing that term to "scripture" as I certainly had no idea but I figured I would get corrected if off the mark. Sorry to abuse the scripture through association!

Out here we have another saying - "Lightness is next to godliness" which is said in reference to ski touring and the absolute need to minimize the amount of crap you carry to truly soar with the gods (or if your prefer, god in the singular). I suppose it is just an evolution of language, much like "hey check out my new pimpin' skis dude!"
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 19, 2013 - 11:45am PT
Credit: Dr. F.
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Feb 19, 2013 - 01:03pm PT
since we have forgotten the origins of most of our cultural heritage going back millions of years, with a few moldy texts going back only 2000-5000 years, and all buried in a immense deluge of socially manipulated disinformation materials in the past 10-200 years...




remind me just how it is that we think we know the origins of all this 'wisdom'?
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