Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 15, 2013 - 08:04pm PT
My experiential, mystical, or supernatural adventures did not conflict with any sort of scientific approach I might have made. The science might eventually describe the electrochemical phenomena, but that in no way would diminish my feelings and recollections.


This is where I have arrived also.

Beyond that, I think it is the beginning of a new paradigm.

Ironic isn't it, that the physics and chemistry oriented industrial age finished up with a greater sense of naturalism and man's place in the biosphere, including his mystical experiences?
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Apr 15, 2013 - 09:17pm PT
Credit: TomCochrane
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 16, 2013 - 08:42am PT
The sound of the tree falling is independent of everything except for a medium for sound to travel through.

Sound is just pressure waves passing through a medium. It travels through rock, it travels through water, and it travels through air.

Solid, liquid, gas.

Sound does not propagate through a vacuum. It pisses me off to no end when watching a science fiction movie where the space ships make noise.

This is independent of any observer. If the tree falls, it still makes a sound. Having an observer around is not necessary.

I have never heard of any exception to this.

With Earthquakes or sound waves in any solid, you can have not only pressure waves, but also shear waves. We study this with seismic data and we study this in seismology. In an earthquake, the shear waves near the epicenter are the most damaging. There are a number of different waves which travel at differing velocities, and by measuring the distance between these wave arrivals, you can determine the epicenter, including depth, with a high degree of precision.

Shear waves will not propagate through a fluid or gas because those mediums have no shear strength.

So how do we know that the earth has a liquid outer core?

There are seismographs all over the world. They travel through the entire planet. You can derive a lot about deep structure from the behavior of those waves, but on the opposite side of the earth, there is a sudden circular area where there are no shear waves, only pressure waves. For that to happen, you need a fluid that lacks shear strength. We can tell how big it is from studying seismographs around the world. The shear waves go away, but the pressure waves continue.

This happens all over the universe and is very simple.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Apr 16, 2013 - 09:04am PT
Tom: I like the cartoon.



At a recent meeting with my teacher and some other folks, we got to talking about how none of the great spiritualists left any of their own writings behind them. They wrote nothing down at least that has survived to this day. What we learn of them we've learned through their disciples, most of who made records many years after the demise of their the teachers. Almost all of these disciples were not fully awakened or realized.

Most all of what we have today in scriptures is somber and parental. My teacher said that surely people of those times took various drugs just like we do today--and had a good time with themselves. Humor, joking, and merriment were surely common among spiritually enlightened masters as much as they are today. He said there must have been times when Buddha or Christ caroused with disciples with wine or other substances. "Dude, you were so wasted last night, heh heh." And if you know anything at all about what is to be realized spiritually, Why Not? "So, try not to be so serious about any of this stuff," said my teacher. "Relax. Enjoy your life. It's no big deal."

He must be right. Now that I think about it, almost all scriptures (and philosophy, science, and other "rigorous disciplines") present us with views of being and doing that are dull, dull, dull. Even in a state of samadhi, where bliss shows up, people come out with a deep sense of awe and solemnity.

Where are the scriptures that crack us up? Where is the joy? When or where do we see religions, philosophy, or science dancing? Humor and joy are found in regular doses of skepticism and irreverance.


There is an old story of two enlightened Chinese masters who ran into each other for a few hours at the same monastery in their travels. The monks at the monastery emptied the courtyard for them and watched from afar wondering just what two fully realized beings would talk about or do with each other. The two masters sat on a bench under a large tree and said nothing for an hour or more. Finally, one looked up at the tree the two were sitting under and said: "And they call this a tree!" Both broke into great laughter with each other. They then stood up and went on their way.
WBraun

climber
Apr 16, 2013 - 09:09am PT
we got to talking about how none of the great spiritualists left any of their own writings behind them.

They wrote nothing down at least that has survived to this day.

Completely untrue and completely defective ......
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Apr 16, 2013 - 09:17am PT
Base:

Sound, tree, pressure, rock, water, air, earthquakes, waves, data, velocities, epicenter, fluids, gas, core, area, world, universe . . . these are labels that you've applied to experience. . . when you have direct experience. But in fact, you have experiences of none of those things directly. What you have are perceptions, and you have assumed that your perceptions indicate those things which you have defined into existence. Sure, labeling is useful and can even help you make predictions, but all those things are concepts, theories, frameworks. Like Ed says: "provisional."

Proof? Well, there is no proof for just about anything, but what I suggest is that anytime science changes its collective mind (via consensus) about the universe, the definitions of those "things" that you refer to, shift.

Now, be honest, if any of those things truly existed as you believe, how is it possible that they could change? Reality doesn't change. How could it?

What changes are your beliefs about it.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 16, 2013 - 10:20am PT
I felt two small earthquakes last night. We do get a fair amount of mag 4+ earthquakes in Oklahoma.

I felt much larger ones when living in Bishop.

Look. These things are real, and of so simple description that denying their physical existence is just whacky.

If you are religious, don't get mad. Just admit that God made it that way.

I agree that experiencing is much cooler, but I have no doubt that earthquakes are recorded by sensitive instruments around the world. The instruments are simple. They are just anchored in bedrock, hopefully away from a lot of surface noise, and earthquake waves hit the block which moves a pen on a scrolling sheet of paper. Many of them have no computers at all. They just squiggle when earthquake motion hits them.

We use this all of the time in oil and gas exploration. We send down sound and shear waves, listen with a massive array of little microphones called geophones, and when you work the data you will see buried rivers, deltas, buried faults and folds, you name it. There are even a few that directly indicate hydrocarbons.

So if you tell me that sound doesn't exist without an observer, I say you are full of it. In 3D seismic in the oil and gas industry, you can't feel the sound source a mile away, but the geophones can. The frequencies and signal to noise strength has to be filtered. You can't feel them, but they exist.

Take lightning. You see a lightning bolt in the distance, but it might take 7 seconds for the thunder to reach you. If you know the speed of sound at that altitude, you can tell how far the lightning is in your head with simple multiplication.

So what are you saying? That sound waves don't occur without an ear to hear?

Man, you hear everything around the world if it is strong enough. You feel close earthquakes even if weak.

This is like saying that there is no air unless there are a pair of lungs around to breathe it.

Any sane person would draw the line at that one. It is just nature, and we are a part of nature.

Now, be honest, if any of those things truly existed as you believe, how is it possible that they could change? Reality doesn't change. How could it?

It doesn't. This is a simple matter of natural events, and even the Dalai Lama himself wouldn't argue that.

Now HOW you experience them depends on the observer. A dog can hear different frequencies than humans, for instance.

An instrument can measure the entire spectrum. It isn't any big deal and it isn't anything new. Nature ticked along quite well before humans, and it will tick along just fine after we are gone.

You are really freaking me out here with your statements.

What I think you are getting at, is that with careful meditation, these things either go away or they are felt as raw awareness. The observer can be quite wrong in his interpretation. We already have conspiracy theories going on with the bombings yesterday. They eye witness testimony was all over the place.

So an observer can be incorrect. Certainly different observers have differing experiences over the same thing. That is why our brains are not like computers. We are analogue, and a strange analogue at that.

As for beliefs changing, that doesn't change the actual event. It is because the brain is lousy at quantitative work. We design and use instruments as proxies for our senses. They are quite accurate and real. Even the creationists don't argue with things as simple as this.

Do you meditate while in a seat at a Metallica concert or do you meditate in a quiet location? Your own perspective can easily be wrong despite your absolute conviction. You have to interpret experiences in order to understand them. We can get into a real ass biting session over this.

All it is is nature. We are as much a part of nature as a banana slug.
rrider

climber
Mckinleyville, Ca
Apr 16, 2013 - 11:50am PT
As any climber knows, there are definitely going to be a few cracks somewhere in the universe.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Apr 16, 2013 - 12:13pm PT
Base:

Forget HHDL, he can't help any of us. All he can do is provide another interpretation. In an absolute sense, you're on your own.

I appear to be unclear about a particular point. Sound, rock, earthquake, and other objects are concepts that have been constructed consensually by experts. We all use concepts as a natural matter of course in our everyday lives.

Concepts are signaled with words. We take our concepts to be representative of objects in reality. But those concepts cannot FULLY represent reality. No thing--nothing--can fully represent reality. Concepts (in practice and in their development) are parsimonious descriptive renditions of phenomena. Being parsimonious, they include only bracketed pieces of reality. That "works," but only to a certain extent, within parameters. Indeed, the more stringent the parameters, the fewer things can be said that are meaningful, broad, or appreciable. Concepts are indeed useful and predictive, but they are not reality. They are abstractions.

Name a thing. Now tell me what the thing IS. Leave nothing out.

Hegel said that to properly describe a red ball, you would have to describe the rest of the universe.

Look at the wall in front of you. What color is it? OK? When I look at the wall in front of me, I see what appears to be almost an infinite gradation of colors. The more I look, the more I see. The color of my wall appears to be infinite, and by golly, it's actually changing as the light changes or as I breath and move. Although I painted the wall here with the very same gallon of paint with my own hands, there is this infinity right in front of my eyes. When I look into the corners, I see different shades of colors, even different colors altogether. The gradations are simply amazingly complex.

What is an earthquake? It's everything you say it is . . . and much more, more than anyone can say.

That you know a lot about geology does not mean you know all there is to know. No one could say what all there could be about it. No one, with no language. It's like cramming the ocean into a gallon ziplock bag. Ridiculous.

We're just little animals equipped with a very limited communication technology called language (which creates infinities all by itself--see Chomsky). Do you honestly know what things really are, even in your own field? With all due respect, Base, you might be over-reaching.
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Apr 16, 2013 - 08:08pm PT
Credit: TomCochrane
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Apr 16, 2013 - 08:23pm PT
^^^^^^^^^^^^

I'm so sorry, Tom. I laughed so hard I cried and couldn't see the screen for the tears.

Thank you so much!

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

M.
go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
Apr 16, 2013 - 08:49pm PT
Tom, I think M. C. Escher used your 3 by 4's to build his staircases instead of the usual 2 by 4's!
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Apr 16, 2013 - 09:25pm PT
I know I harp on beliefs all the time here, but I too am a devotee to a belief. I believe in truth.

Whatever we're talking about, I'm interested to hear what is true. Not half, not almost, not mainly. TRUE. Totally true. Nothing left over. No residue. Just 100% true. Is that really so much to ask?

What is true, and how would you know it? How would you know what is--without a f*cking doubt in the universe--True? Capital T.

I don't care too much about the rest. Oh, sure, "sorta kinda true" is a little interesting, but really . . . how much time should I give to "kinda true?". . . and why? Sounds like just talking to me.

I am a little bit surprised that so many folks who argue for a scientific approach don't focus on what's completely true. (I'm unreasonable.)

I think I have a unique life. I think I should use it. Finding what is true is the only thing that seems to make my life worthwhile. The rest . . . well sure, "kinda interesting," . . . . . . . but not so much.

The only question I struggle with is: "how much am I willing to commit to finding what is true?" How far am I willing to go?

I want to say I'm all in, but I sense there is still some reservation in me. I'm not ready to absolutely let go.


Joke: There is this guy who has finds himself hanging on for dear life on the thinest of ledges on a sheer face. Credit card thin. He panics and yells for help. A voice above him comes to him that says, "Let go, Adam. I'll catch you." The climber says, "Who is that?" The voice replies, "It's God. Let go, and I'll catch you." The climber is silent for more than a few moments, and then yells out: "Is there anyone else up there?"
MH2

climber
Apr 16, 2013 - 09:35pm PT
So good, go-B!


What is true

If you ask that question, you immediately get into the issue of how to verify.
WBraun

climber
Apr 16, 2013 - 10:20pm PT
the truth. How would you know when you find it

And you guys are always so logic and reasoned?

Why no logic and reason used here?

We are part parcel of the whole truth.

When we come in contact with the "Truth" we are like the puzzle piece that fits into the whole.

This is how one naturally "sees" the "Truth" as the truth reveals itself .......
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Apr 17, 2013 - 12:02am PT
We're just little animals equipped with a very limited communication technology called language



no




each of us is a great expanse of spiritual awareness...




apparently oddly obsessed with a perishable little pink wiggly thing stuck in it like a pokeymon toy...





behold the wisdom of the turtle...
behold the wisdom of the turtle...
Credit: TomCochrane


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pok%C3%A9mon
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 17, 2013 - 05:50am PT
No. I like MikeL and I like listening to his ideas. We've talked offline and he is a good guy.

He is just trying to explain things in a very limited medium...typing.

I enjoy Mike's posts. He seems all in to me.

edit: At this point, most of the posters seem pretty familiar to me. These aren't the mean spirited and short sighted posts like you see on the political thread. They are thought out. I can't count the number of posts that I typed and didn't post because they didn't seem right.

I'll look at a wall today. I help a friend who was ravaged by a stroke, and I will be driving him up to the city for Doctor's appointments today. So I will stare at a wall. Can't hurt.

Mike is pretty experienced at this, so I enjoy it when he posts. The discussion falters when one camp takes over and yacks for twenty posts.

This prying and prodding helps us to arrive at the truth, and that is what Mike says he seeks. OK. I'm heading in that direction, but via a different path. I'm still interested in his path, though.

I've said it before. I've had these intense experiences that I have a hard time describing. It would be great if I could snap my fingers and have those experiences again.
MH2

climber
Apr 17, 2013 - 09:43am PT
BASE,

Have you read Bone Games by Rob Schultheis?
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Apr 17, 2013 - 10:46am PT
Well, Tom's got me there. He's right.

I was trying to highlight the problem of language. Language is a limited technology, yet it can generate infinities (unendingly different strings of meaning). It's one of the reasons folks in cognitive science and AI were so interested in how people learn and understand language.

I'll take a hint from Ed. I don't mean to press Base unfairly. He, Tom, Jogill, Cintune, Go-B, Ed, MH2, Largo, Jan, Werner, Dr. F., and others here have the courage to put their ideas, values, and thoughts out here--alas even for ridicule sometimes. Kudos and Kowtow. It's almost always a pleasure.

Base you don't need to stare. Just notice. The more you notice, the more you notice.

My regards to your friend, Base. Man, lots of serious illness going around in my circles. Even me. Just got a CT confirmation that I have a growth in one of my lungs. Need to get a biopsy next. (Yuck.) At first, I was crest-fallen and obsessed about returning to a cancer ward for radiation, chemo, and maybe surgery one more time. Then, for some reason, this appeared: "Hey, it's just another amazing experience in front of you; check it out." Things got much quieter, and for a half a day, all I could see was my consciousness. That left me after 8 hours, but now I'm strangely chipper and upbeat. I shake my head at my own experience.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 17, 2013 - 10:50am PT
Sound, tree, pressure, rock, water, air, earthquakes, waves, data, velocities, epicenter, fluids, gas, core, area, world, universe . . . these are labels that you've applied to experience. . . when you have direct experience. But in fact, you have experiences of none of those things directly. What you have are perceptions, and you have assumed that your perceptions indicate those things which you have defined into existence. Sure, labeling is useful and can even help you make predictions, but all those things are concepts, theories, frameworks. Like Ed says: "provisional."


All of the above is also strictly beholden to the perceptional aperatai of human beings. As I've said, our discursive minds think the world is a kind of movie and it is what it is - real and selfsame - regardless of who is here to see it. But in fact said movie is almost entirely a projecting or our own minds, organizing experience and the undifferentiated flux out there (which IS real) ways that our brains can get hold of. BASE mentioned that he believes that when a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear, it still makes a sound. The question is: Where? A sound is not the excitation of waves. A sound is a word that objectifies a subjective audio experience. This is subtle thought.

JL
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