Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 9, 2013 - 12:56am PT
perhaps, but I think that most people on this thread are climbers and have worked hard (at times in their lives) to push themselves to their limits in climbing. As we all know, this is not something that can be done very effectively without "putting in the time" and it often places the climber in a situation of experiential immediacy (to coin a term), the meaning being the exclusion of our "normal awareness" into a state of awareness which is a "being, active" state unconnected with internal dialog and intellectualizing. We often feel that "we just do the moves" in that state... perhaps it's described as "flow" but it is a state familiar with climbers.

Interesting point. However, I'm not sure the "experiential" state ,as defined by our resident experientalists, could be purely delineated as merely the absence of intellectualizing, or reflective thought as such.
The type of experience you are describing is, in a very real sense, the more acutely quantified
experience of all.
In a state of danger, challenge, and fear , the human brain is measuring the extraneous world in a highly calculative manner- so much so that the executive function of the brain (the brain that wins Nobel Prizes) can't keep up with the multilevel processing. Intellectualizing is just too non-algorithmic, as a function over time. This does not mean that the brain and nervous system has stopped measuring and quantifying ,as a central- if subliminal- feature of the experience. IMHO



MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Apr 9, 2013 - 01:32am PT
Base:

The CEO of Schlumberger (Jean Ribaud) once said in response to vague and sloppy questions about the recent acquisition: "You're an engineer. Be a little more precise . . . ."*


I don't think of my students as investments, nor do I think of any of my nieces and nephews, nor any of my sisters (I the only boy, oldest in a family of ten), or my wife as investments.

I don't exactly know how I see my students, but as investments not. It's just not the right, er . . . idea.

Words do not just communicate. (I'd like you to meet some friends of mine: Foucault, Habermas, Lyotard, among others.)



*(taken from "A Certain Poetry" by Ken Auletta, The New Yorker, 1983; also used by Harvard Business School in published case studies textbooks.)

BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Apr 9, 2013 - 01:48am PT
Nice opinion Ed!^^^^

the meaning being the exclusion of our "normal awareness" into a state of awareness which is a "being, active". ----Flow

i crave the "flow". Earliest was learning to ride a bike. Then through skateboarding/surfing.
This "flow" really grew and matured through years of Crew. And decades of Climbing.
But none so satisfying as feeling in the flow when I pray and worship.

Can I coin a term, Attitudelessness.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Apr 9, 2013 - 01:52am PT
If I can kibbutz over Ed and Largo's shoulders, I'd add from back here in the cheap seats that these days when I leave one scene (classroom, home, grocery story, office, etc.) and move on to another, I'm increasingly struck with how each scene seems like a completely different world to me. The power of the shifts of context is beyond words.

Flow? Nah . . . multi-dimensional travel. I'm telling you: it happens all the time. TFW. Csíkszentmihályi saw the tip of an iceberg.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Apr 9, 2013 - 02:21am PT
MikeL you must have meant Michel Foucault ?

Did you know Jean Foucault invented the gyroscope?
Did you watch that YouTube upthread about the spinning weight?
I've been trying to figure out if that phenomenon coulda been used to
build the Corral Castle. We've already had some fun playing with this
Weightlessness. My daughter thinks its magic.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 9, 2013 - 02:22am PT
when I leave one scene (classroom, home, grocery story, office, etc.) and move on to another, I'm increasingly struck with how each scene seems like a completely different world to me. The power of the shifts of context is beyond words.

At first I glossed over this statement, but then later it seemed to take on a deeper significance as regards basic consciousness.
The two factors described in your experience are the usual suspects, namely:

A) your internal sense of self as distinct from the outer world of home, store, classroom.
B) the outer world of home , office, classroom.

What you are saying here is that B. , defined as these distinct adaptions of your surface mind ,takes precedence over A. to the extent that your deeper internal self is completely submerged against the sturm und drang of sequentially escalating compartmentalized outer stage settings?
Shakespeare had something to say about this.

Maybe Dostoevsky too. LOL.


Jaques:
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.

As You Like It Act 2, scene 7, 139–143

Marshall McCluhan always deferred to Shakespeare when it came to lyrical descriptions of that part of functioning consciousness tied to major shifts in the ratio of our sense perceptions.
Artists seem to detect these shifts before anyone else. It's a non-intellectual ,sensory detection.
McCluhan would have , and perhaps actually did, identify the above Shakespearian lines as illustrating the fragmented , discontinuous, linear nature of industrial western culture in the centuries leading up to electronic media.
In the 19th century , typographical man could act without reacting.
In the 21st century digital man's action is his immediate reaction.
Human culture was in the process of being transformed from the linear to the global.
From the fragmented assembly line to the instantaneously integrated mosaic.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 9, 2013 - 11:55am PT
Interesting point. However, I'm not sure the "experiential" state ,as defined by our resident experientalists, could be purely delineated as merely the absence of intellectualizing, or reflective thought as such.
-


There's many ways to skin a cat. For instance, on Monday nights I go to a sangha called "Against the Stream," which is full of tattooed young dudes, mostly former addicts who became serious students of Jack Kornfield back in the 80s and early 90s and have become pretty accomplished Vapassana (insight meditations) teachers. Vapassana is very counter to the formal and highly ritualized Zen practice I normally encounter. Strange thing is that Zen practice - koan study notwithstanding - is largely unstructured and as such is so nebulous that few make real headway. The concentration exercises (breath counting, sensation tracking, etc) of Vapassana are very helpful in this regards to ground your attention so when you go to the more advanced and nebulous practices of no-mind, of NOT concentrating, and holding an open focus, the mind doesn't once more yank you into it's involuntary tidal drift.

So yeah, there a lot more going on besides detaching from the discursive mind. That's just the start of it.

JL
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Apr 9, 2013 - 01:32pm PT
Blast from the past...

re: on killing people “for what they believe”

"The link between belief and behavior raises the stakes considerably. Some propositions are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them. This may seem an extraordinary claim, but it merely enunciates an ordinary fact about the world in which we live. Certain beliefs place their adherents beyond the reach of every peaceful means of persuasion, while inspiring them to commit acts of extraordinary violence against others. There is, in fact, no talking to some people. If they cannot be captured, and they often cannot, otherwise tolerant people may be justified in killing them in self-defense. This is what the United States attempted in Afghanistan, and it is what we and other Western powers are bound to attempt, at an even greater cost to ourselves and to innocents abroad, elsewhere in the Muslim world. We will continue to spill blood in what is, at bottom, a war of ideas."

.....

Here you go, BASE...
jogill

climber
Colorado
Apr 9, 2013 - 02:27pm PT
Hoax



;>{
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 9, 2013 - 03:52pm PT
10 million a year salary for the preacher man?? For real?

For the love of Baby Jesus, I gots to get me some religion. Like yesterday.

JL

jogill

climber
Colorado
Apr 9, 2013 - 08:58pm PT
. . . you go to the more advanced and nebulous practices of no-mind, of NOT concentrating, and holding an open focus, the mind doesn't once more yank you into it's involuntary tidal drift. So yeah, there a lot more going on besides detaching from the discursive mind. That's just the start of it

Interesting, but I guess I don't really see the point. Is the quest of nothingness a study of quixotic dimensions, or does it truly make life more worthwhile after its attainment? I've never had a problem with "involuntary tidal drift" having picked up fairly quickly "mind as a mirror" over fifty years ago.

Why do so many paths of enlightenment - mental or physical like climbing - seem to require instructors, coaches, fitness consultants, etc. these days?
Is this trend simply the result of high unemployment promoting new vocational avenues, or is there something basic that's missing in the human personality? Something that previous generations managed to handle on their own. I would not have gotten into climbing if it was as structured back then as it is today. I saw it as a path of individual accomplishment, tempered by a bit of advice from practitioners here and there.

I agree with Ed concerning the experiential factor in climbing if we have been at it long enough. No one needs to "lead" us along paths of enlightenment. For years I practised bouldering as a moving meditation - one that was perfectly natural and needed no guru.

It's true that the sciences need the guidance of good instructors. I can only think of one mathematician off hand who made considerable progress on his own: Ramanujan. And that was long ago. But to state the absolute necessity of teachers and gurus and disciplined instruction for an extended journey into nothingness doesn't make a lot of "rational sense."

Maybe these practices originated in dense populations where privacy was at a premium. Jan might be able to tell us about this.
WBraun

climber
Apr 9, 2013 - 11:04pm PT
No one needs to "lead" us along paths of enlightenment.

Yeah .... just do anything you want and make up a bunch sh!t and pass it off as authorized and then mislead and kill people in the process.

This is the western way?

if such were true then any idiot can become instructor.

Any idiot can learn all by himself.

Why bother even having education to begin with if such nonsense statement as below holds true.

Destroy all schools now!!!

No one needs to "lead" us along paths of enlightenment.


But it isn't true.

Knowledge has and comes from root, life.

Not that any rascal makes up some stuff and makes claims.

Higher knowledge is still scientific in its root, always.

The scientific process is eternal ......


Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 9, 2013 - 11:09pm PT
But to state the absolute necessity of teachers and gurus and disciplined instruction for an extended journey into nothingness doesn't make a lot of "rational sense."



Gurus are not part of what I am suggesting. Experts are. One can look at this as you look at any other skill - you simply want to recruit the best talent out there since the going is slippery to begin with. If you are satisfied with your results on your own, that's great. No need to go further.

It's helpful to clearly state your goals when undertaking the "work" so you understand your motivations. Any opinions you might have before getting started are bound to burn up in the fire that follows - that's the only certain thing because none of us ever know beforehand what the whole thing is really about.

Why people have an aversion to seeking experts in this work is, in my experience, based on misperceptions about what the work actually is. It isn't about anything - which indeed makes no "rational sense."

JL
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Apr 9, 2013 - 11:10pm PT
Higher knowledge is still scientific in its root, always.

The scientific process is eternal ......



finally, even the dumbest of all sees the light

unbelievable,

again
Higher knowledge is still scientific in its root, always.

The scientific process is eternal ......


I am gone, can finally stop reading this thread, my work is done, the stoopid has been won over


major error, watch him try to walk it back

strike three
WBraun

climber
Apr 9, 2013 - 11:14pm PT
No Norton you're an idiot,

You only maintain the scientific process to a limit.

It's an unlimited process that is not a prisoner of only the gross physical material manifestations ....
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 10, 2013 - 11:02am PT
Another concern per having experts is that as you mind settle and you start to drop you'll likely (not always) start pitching through the unconscious and that's some truly heavyweight material, especially or those with early trauma (many), and someone who knows how to deal here is a lifesaver. Also, there are often spectacular energy surges that can violently unseat the ego, and that can scare the sh#t out of people as well. In all of these cases and more a group and a few steady teachers help normalize the process layer of rattling through surface level turbulence and keeping on. There's terror here for most, plain and simple.

JL
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Apr 10, 2013 - 02:08pm PT
Lots going on here.

Everyone is on the path, and schools are a part of many people's paths. If it's a part of your path, cool.

Wittgenstein said that when you reach a height, you can kick your ladder away.

When teaching (or learning), what you initially learn is childish when compared to what you learn later--but you had to go through an early stage to get to the next. What you learn early on is made obsolete by what you learn later. There is always some kind of transcendence in a growing process. Twain said we start as infants, and if we live long enough, we return to roughly the same state in old age. The 10 Ox Herding pictures from China (Cha'an) shows a young boy without much care hearing about enlightenment (the Ox), and then he goes looking after it. Once he finds it and learns to live with it fully, and assimilates it, he abandons the Ox and returns to his village--whole, complete, and perfectly natural. Campbell's typical hero starts as a naive waif, becomes a great warrior who slays a dragon, and returns to his village to become a regular joe (but with ultimate realizations). You start at the beginning, you go through changes, and if you are open enough and courageous enough, you change and return to exactly where you started, only with the view of a sage. Nothing changes, except your integration with reality--which you see as absolutely equivalent to your total awareness in the here and now. It's simple, and it's impossible.

There's nothing wrong with any school, religion, philosophy, institiution, profession, or calling. They are all necessary for an individual given where they are at / or where they've gotten to in the now. There's nothing wrong, there's really nothing to do (to attempt to change or make things better), and there's no where to go. Ironically, you're right where you are going. You are just not fully aware of it. We are all waking up, in our own ways. We are consciousness becoming aware of consciousness.

Differentiate, assimilate, then transcend.

It seems to be endless.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Apr 10, 2013 - 07:41pm PT
Any opinions you might have before getting started are bound to burn up in the fire that follows - that's the only certain thing because none of us ever know beforehand what the whole thing is really about

I appreciate your thoughtful replies, JL and MikeL. I certainly don't have any problem with seeking instruction from competent teachers in any number of disciplines, academic, vocational, religious, athletic, etc - I taught mathematics for 40 years. What I question is the incentive or attraction of reducing one's self to nothingness through a disciplined program. What are the goals here? Is the resulting state some sort of ineffable consequence? How are lives changed or enhanced by the process? Why do it?

My pet peeves concerning formal instruction have more to do with my perception that people could do more for themselves, rather than fasten upon a guide or guru. In particular, fitness centers with their myriad machines and contrivances and eager instructors seem to leave little to the imagination. When I first walked into my local gym a couple of years ago after enrolling in Silver Sneakers, which gives me free access to thousands of such gyms across the country, I was encouraged to procure an instructor. When I explained what I had been doing for 60 years, I was told "There are new, modern techniques that are superior, and you need a fitness coach for them."

After my first bodyweight workout I heard no more of this.


;>)
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 10, 2013 - 08:44pm PT
After my first bodyweight workout I heard no more of this.

LOL
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 10, 2013 - 09:41pm PT
Credit: Dr. F.

That crack looks pretty thin?
Credit: Dr. F.

What phenomenon is he using to ascend the Impossible?
Can it be purely physical? or is there some paranormal levitation going on?

Credit: Dr. F.
Rubidoux
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