Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Messages 13901 - 13920 of total 22789 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
jstan

climber
May 15, 2013 - 12:47am PT
could theoretically be superceded by yet another if we survive that long?

If the gen 1 neuron were to serve no purpose but would still require calories, the efficiency of the organism would be lowered. The evolution of us mammals was a huge change of direction from the reptiles. While we use many more calories, our profligate life style makes efficiency even more of an issue.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 15, 2013 - 01:00am PT
Clearly the discursive mind combined with an active social life that also contributes to survival is the most efficient use of our brain.

If we can only afford to have the less efficient uses rise to consciousness during sleep as in dreaming, then an interesting question becomes in what order are the less efficient uses most useful?

In our modern society, dreams about professional stuff should count as more important than run of the mill emotional material that is usually repressed, yet that is mostly what we dream of.

It's a wonder that more of us don't suffer from split personality disorders. I guess maintaining order even as an autocrat, is something we should thank our discursive minds for.

TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
May 15, 2013 - 02:11am PT
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMhAIdqH0Cs&NR=1&feature=fvwp

i think this video is well worth your time, and i'd really like to hear your comments...

The Philadelphia Public Ledger 1933: Asked whether the sudden introduction of his principle would upset the present economic system, Dr. Tesla replied, 'It is badly upset already. Now as never before, the time is right for the development of new resources'
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
May 15, 2013 - 08:07am PT
I would like to hear about your direct experiences with meditation that led you to this conclusion.

I have a small stack of books on the topic of Buddhism. Zen is a sect of Buddhism, correct?

The main point is that all life is suffering. Buddhism helps to relieve this suffering.

So the point is happiness. Maybe you are after something else, but this is very clear right up front, as well as the fact that the Buddha, first among others, was a man just like you or I.

Did I get anything wrong?
jstan

climber
May 15, 2013 - 09:35am PT
A couple of posts:
5/9/13
In a sense individuals now assume the role of a neuron
.

5/14/13
As we type people are learning how the brain actually does work. That this kind of dialog still goes on is weird. The answers are are coming in.

Base and I seem to see the same kind of future forming up. Go ahead. Tell me the existence of the republican party and politics in the Middle East are not evidence humans are well along the road to forming a hive. We are facing a very major change.

On another note.
This thread has taken yet another turn for the worse. I would not have thought it possible.

Response:
In our modern society, dreams about professional stuff should count as more important than run of the mill emotional material that is usually repressed, yet that is mostly what we dream of.

Jan, JO and others have said they wake up with answers to problems associated with their technical work, as do I. This suggests dreaming is only one level or approach used by the brain. There can be many. That suggests scene construction has been found the most effective way to resolve emotional issues.

Emotions are often an impediment to good thinking. Emotions are not involuntary. We choose to be emotional. I can think of only one example where emotion is productive. Facing a grizzly while armed only with a pen knife. That would require emotion.

(This thread has not as yet risen to the level of a grizzly.)

WBraun

climber
May 15, 2013 - 10:51am PT
Buddha, first among others, was a man just like you or I.

No

You made a terrible mistake.

You need to study more.

Buddha was not an ordinary mortal. He wasn't even a mortal.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
May 15, 2013 - 02:11pm PT
I have a small stack of books on the topic of Buddhism. Zen is a sect of Buddhism, correct?

The main point is that all life is suffering. Buddhism helps to relieve this suffering.

So the point is happiness. Maybe you are after something else, but this is very clear right up front, as well as the fact that the Buddha, first among others, was a man just like you or I.

Did I get anything wrong?


Zen as it is practiced now in American and elsewhere does not require that you be Buddhist or faux Japanese or any such thing, though most people find that some of the structures are useful having been arrived at over many years.

The main problem with trying to noodle Zen from books is that Zen and other meditation practices are not intellectual pursuits, though there are vast amounts of writing on the subject, but never BEFORE the practice. The writing is always the fruit of the practice, otherwise the practice is noodled from the outside and you'll never realize that noodling is the cul-de-sac of the whole shebang.

The point on suffering is a subtle one. We can never get rid of pain and death and so forth, but we can learn to stop suffering over the pain - never perfectly, but we can move in that direction. But there is no attempt to abolish pain which is impossible.

I think one of the things that gets overlooked in this discussion is the terrific resistance most people have in letting go of the discursive mind even for twenty minutes a day. There's a terror associated with it, or a mistrust in going elsewhere BEFORE the terrain is even approached. Most amazing to me is that if the discursive mind had any hope of working on the deeper issues, don't you think people would use it in that way? Of course they would. Why not? Only after centuries of drawing a blank in that regards, trying to objectify Mind from the inside, did people start wondering if there might be another approach, counterintuitive as it is. The great breakthrough of the Buddha and others is that they found a way "that works."

Point is, reading about Zen or any other contemplative discipline is merely a stepping stone to the practice, and any opinions must be your own drawn from the practice itself, not from ramblings in a book which were derived form someone else's practice.

JL
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
May 15, 2013 - 06:34pm PT
if the discursive mind had any hope of working on the deeper issues...

Deeper issues? Like what? Such as?
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
May 15, 2013 - 07:27pm PT
Hey Largo. At least I show interest in what you say.

Your mind has been made up since your first post. I seriously cannot tell if you have learned anything in this discussion. The rest of us have, or at least we are having an interesting discussion.

The conclusion that I draw is that talking to you is about as fruitful as talking to a wall. You have created your own thesaurus, borrowing words and concepts, and using them out of context.

I know that you are a big boy and that I won't upset you, but if you can't explain your theories in small and cogent language, despite your occupation as a writer, then you are really stuck. Your ineffability regarding anything objective, or having anything to do with science, is just weird. Go-B makes more sense than you do.

It has been plain to me for quite a while that while others are willing to argue and discuss, you have revealed yourself incredibly slowly. I think it took you two years to tell us that you were practicing Zen. Why?

Perhaps it would help if you actually tried to communicate. For the life of me, I don't know what the hell you are talking about most of the time, and buddy, I have tried.

Maybe you should share your lessons with us. That would be a really good place to start.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
May 15, 2013 - 07:38pm PT
Werner,

There are differing accounts of the life of Siddhartha. I am aware of the virgin birth, and Christ like powers that people have attached to him, but at the same time I have read that since him there have been other Buddhas who have reached enlightenment.

One of my books is from a Vietnamese teacher. In that book he says that Siddhartha was a man just as the rest of us.

I used to go to a little store near my work, and there was a guy from Nepal working there. Naturally this caught my ear and we discussed religion and politics of Nepal.

He was a Hindu who also was a Buddhist. He told me that many Hindu's have incorporated the life and teaching of Siddhartha into their religion.

I have also read that you do not have to believe in God to be a Buddhist. That admission is what attracted me.

You know more than I, so give me a lesson.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 15, 2013 - 08:47pm PT
On another note.
This thread has taken yet another turn for the worse. I would not have thought it possible.

Response:
In our modern society, dreams about professional stuff should count as more important than run of the mill emotional material that is usually repressed, yet that is mostly what we dream of.

Jan, JO and others have said they wake up with answers to problems associated with their technical work, as do I. This suggests dreaming is only one level or approach used by the brain. There can be many. That suggests scene construction has been found the most effective way to resolve emotional issues.

Emotions are often an impediment to good thinking. Emotions are not involuntary. We choose to be emotional. I can think of only one example where emotion is productive. Facing a grizzly while armed only with a pen knife. That would require emotion.

I was hoping jstan or someone else would elaborate on his statement above since I can't quite make out what he's saying and I think it pertains to my contribution?? Personally, I think this thread has taken several interesting turns lately so I don't know what he thinks is worse about it??

Meanwhile, I would disagree with him when he says emotions are voluntary. I think the point of many dreams is to reveal our true emotions to ourselves in small doses since they are sometimes so painful we can't face them head on. Starting with Freud we have learned that repressed emotions often lead to unpleasant and unhealthy outbursts. It seems to me that only by facing emotions in small bits as done in dreams and meditation, can we understand them and their source and our sometimes unhealthy response enough to have true voluntary control over them which is different than repression.

Some people seem to arrive at emotional control through pure reason, but I suspect these are people who have had relatively smooth emotional relationships compared to some of the rest of us. A guy suffering PTSD from service in a place like Iraq is going to have a tough time trying to reason his way out of that. His pain goes deeper than logic.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
May 15, 2013 - 09:06pm PT
That was pretty logical.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
May 15, 2013 - 09:13pm PT
I was googling up some of the phrases and words that occasionally slip out here, and psychology is apparently going through a sort of revolution right now, as far as the whole mind/body question goes. Some of the stuff that I read this afternoon sounded a lot like John.

Didn't you go back to school to study psychology or something, John Long?

What did you study? Where did you go?
WBraun

climber
May 15, 2013 - 09:18pm PT
Lord Buddha is himself incarnation of God, and he induced his followers to worship him.

He cheated the atheists.

Just worship me he said. Do as I do.

In other words they never knew he was a direct incarnation of God himself to cheat the atheists to keep them from incurring more karmic reactions.

Only God knows how to cheat perfectly so that one can advance.

This shows that on the absolute platform there is always personality, individuality, variegatedness and everthing is animated.

Not that the ultimate truth is impersonal ......
MH2

climber
May 15, 2013 - 09:44pm PT
I am not sure what jstan is getting at, either, but I take it as a reminder that we can never be sure we understood what the other person meant. Maybe jstan is taking several paths simultaneously.

Emotions are mostly involuntary. You can learn to control your response to them but only good actors can convincingly simulate emotion. In How the Mind Works Stephen Pinker makes the case that emotions are important in social groups to allow members to differentiate honesty from deception. There are good evolutionary biology reasons for trying to cheat if you can get away with it, and therefore good reasons for not letting it happen, too.

Dreams are a fascinating topic, unless you are telling yours to someone else, and then it can be hard to pay attention. One view is that dreams are a form of psychic healing. This would be important in social groups where your status in the group is subject to challenge. When you sleep you restore your ego. Like Freud said? No doubt some psychic wounds exceed the healing capacity of dreaming just the way some body injuries are too traumatic.


Is your brain at work when you sleep? Yes, it is always at work, even for JL when he is in no-space, unless he has stopped breathing, and his heart has stopped beating, and his temperature is heading toward room level, etc.,etc.

Your brain is working even under general anesthesia but you will likely not have a great new idea when you come out of it.

Whether dreams sometimes play a special role in problem-solving is not a sure thing. To test such a hypothesis you would need to compare sleep to other long intervals when you were not consciously directing your thought. Remember that a keystone of QED came to Freeman Dyson during a long bus ride and that the same sort of sudden inspiration took Kary Mullis by surprise during a midnight car ride in California and he gave us the polymerase chain reaction. I am sure all of us have experienced lesser examples.

Yesterday it took me about 6 hours to remember the name of an edible wild plant I saw: amaranth. I have a well-rehearsed method from crossword puzzle practice. I go through cycles of conscious effort but I know that time is necessary, too, and I have a feeling that the answer needs to present itself, not have me find it, but that I have to prime the pump, as it were, with conscious thought.


It makes you wonder what cavemen dreamed of. I like to think that perhaps dreams are messages from another realm and that cavemen woke up in the morning with fresh ideas about fire, stone tools, or hunting strategy. Now we have rendered the other realm obsolete and we are not getting the help we used to.
Malemute

Ice climber
the ghost
May 15, 2013 - 10:04pm PT
Is your brain at work when you sleep?
I read (decades ago) that dreams occur during transfer from short term to long term memory.
Here's a recent paper:
http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.65.4332&rep=rep1&type=pdf
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 15, 2013 - 10:06pm PT
I spent several years studying my dreams as one form of meditation. If you tell your mind just before sleep that you want to remember, then you will, especially if you write notes or talk into a recorder right after they happen.

I found that there are many levels and types of dreams.

Some seem to be scrambled and unintelligible. I classified those as "too much pizza before bed" type dreams.

Some are clearly filing and sorting the day's information dreams (short term to long term memory).

Some seem to be really interesting movies. If you get a book on dream symbolism, you'll begin to understand them at a deeper level though. Some symbols seem to be almost universal, others are culture specific, and the most interesting are personal. Sometimes I woke up laughing and laughing at how clever my unconscious mind was at presenting old issues in unexpected form. Other times while dreaming I would recognize a particular symbol set that appears in many different dreams (indicating unresolved issues).

Some dreams appear to be learning dreams. I often found myself in school type situations (sometimes in a room with Indian yogis) and would wake up exhausted but knowing I had learned a lot. Some dreams however, did seem to come from a different deeper realm with a more profound message whether a new idea or the solution to an old problem.

I note that several important inventions came as these types of message dreams, including the insight of the structure of organic molecules (symbolized for the scientist by a snake rolling down a hill with its tail in its mouth) to the guy who invented the automatic sewing machine, whose break through came while dreaming of being chased by natives with spears that had an elongated hole in the tip like a sewing machine needle.

I'm not sure it is required to believe in other realms to get these messages so much as we need to relearn the nature and importance of symbols. Our whole world has been skewed toward the verbal and written word the last couple of centuries. Perhaps one of the benefits of the internet then, is that it has reintroduced symbols on a daily basis.

cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
May 15, 2013 - 10:17pm PT
Frankenstein, benzene, and the scientific method itself, all dream-begotten:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dreams
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
May 15, 2013 - 10:46pm PT
I think it took you two years to tell us that you were practicing Zen. Why?

I've spent two years swearing to you and others that your rational mind is limited, that deeper issues of identity and Mind and reality are not assailable via thinking about them, any more than you can get the low down on a rock climb by noodling the topo. How many people were willing to move one inch in that direction. This alone is betting against yourself, but it also shows the trance and the awareness fusion that most of us have with our discursive minds. There is simply no way that you are EVER going to get that till the trance is broken. That alone is why you are never going to "understand me" even though you have tried. But you have tried strictly on your own terms, the very terms that I have repeatedly said are the very trap we encounter in the experiential realm. I hardly have an exclusive on this notion - any viable esoteric tradition has some practice to quell the discursive mind. If you simply refuse to do so, you can blame me if you like, but it doesn't get you any further down the road. And again, it is downright ludicrous to believe that if the discursive mind had any shot at handling the larger issues, all the meditators from all time would not have immediately gone that route. Why wouldn't we have done so if it held out any hope for results. But again, no disrespect intended, but you are a little like Cintune asking what "larger issues" I am talking about while expecting them to be presented to him as discursive artifacts, when all along I have said this is a road paved with pyrite - per the mysteries of presence and being.

Another thing is this insistance that I have some skewed idea about the importance of quantifying and science, like I not only don't grasp what is at hand, but deprecate the sciences in the process. I have never done this. I have only giggled at scientism and it's belief in itself as the new God, sans limitations per investigating reality. One need only go to a discursive fundamentalist like cintune to realize he not only doesn't know what the deeper issues are, but doubts they even exist becasue if they don't exist as discursive artifact, they are not real, correct? A physicalist can believe no other way because the discursive mind only deals in those terms.

But I think the thing that has surprised me the most here is that for an adventurous group, few are willing to go one inch into the unknown with anything but their standard discursive tool kit. That does amaze me.

JL



MH2

climber
May 16, 2013 - 12:22am PT
And again, it is downright ludicrous to believe that if the discursive mind had any shot at handling the larger issues, all the meditators from all time would not have immediately gone that route.


Maybe the meditators from earlier times did not have the math, logic, instruments, and world-wide connections with other investigators that the science of today has. If you are handling larger issues progress might be incremental and cumulative. Although meditation may be your chosen path, you should still give science the benefit of some doubt and not proclaim that it cannot handle larger issues.
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