Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Jun 9, 2013 - 09:24pm PT
And what are you willing to do to find out for yourself, other than that you are already doing and have always done?

Just for the record, and I know no one cares, but I've done my time in the meditation mosh pits, as I'm sure others here who ain't buyin' the bullshit have. Sat in a Krsna center for a couple weeks just out of high school, did a pilgrimage to the Nyingma Institute in Berkeley, hung out with some of Gurudev's peeps for a while, until things got creepy. The breathing exercises are all good, the emptying of thought is therapeutic, especially after spending a couple months in a Deadhead caravan, so.... yeah. It's not the value of the practice that's at question here, it's these overarching claims that they have something to offer that is oh so superior to normal rationality, and that they somehow completely overthrow the scientific paradigm. Just not seeing it, sweet nuthin'.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jun 9, 2013 - 09:58pm PT
A few weeks of meditation, a few months in a center, a pilgrimage to Berkeley, and hanging out with some followers for a while should have really done it for anyone! (I can't imagine what went wrong, Cintune.)

Who's attempting to overthrow the scientific paradigm?
MH2

climber
Jun 9, 2013 - 09:58pm PT
I like this thread because good people post here who have different viewpoints than my own. I come here because I don't agree and want to exchange views. I am sure my own viewpoint has been shifted and widened. I would not want to be among people who are just like me. Even people who at first seem to think differently than I do surprise me by saying what I am thinking, too. BLUEBLOCR is in my personal Hall of Appreciation for several reasons, among them:



cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Jun 9, 2013 - 10:07pm PT
Yeah, well, y'know, it was interesting and all, but I guess I just didn't have enough issues with my reality for it to really scratch any long-term itches.

But, hey, it looks good on you!
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 9, 2013 - 10:28pm PT
they have something to offer that is oh so superior to normal rationality, and that they somehow completely overthrow the scientific paradigm. Just not seeing it, sweet nuthin'.


Having nothing to do with the "scientific paradigm," it would be hard to "overthrow" same. But you can certainly appreciate how you too are prone to fulsome attacks toward anyone questioning the overarching hegmony of the sacred cow. And i admit I have fun being harsh - that's my crime. But saying you spent a few weeks in meditation pits is like saying you spent a few weeks studying calculus. The fact is, Cintune, you're the avatar of the man fixed by the discursive trance, believeing it is the entire world, and that anything laying outside of it's boundary is "bullsh#t," speculation, or a kind of poetry or juju. The shame is not your silly invective, or your snide evaluations about what you don't know about but won't admit, but the fact that you and others are betting against yorselves.

Perhaps look at it this way. I am convinced that trying to describe things from the inside renders material that you simply don't understand, and that this itself is incomprehensible because your notion of "understanding" is tied to discursive thought alone. So consider the whole subjective work in light of personal mastery. Like an acquird skill.

Just as you must practice an intellectual discipline like writing sonnets or factoring equations, self mastery requires practice. And like exercise, studying, and so forth, it's all an "inside job." No one else can work out for us or do our studying. And whatever someone else has accomplished will provide us little bennefit lest we do your own work.

The first step is to start getting some idea about how our mind operates. Except the rules of this game are not to analyze your mind from the inside because what you will inevitably end up with is an intimate understanding of your evaluations and little to no useful knowledge about how your mind actually works. And since this is an "inside job" like studying or exercise, analyzing objective functioning from the outside will not help with self mastery. At best you will become an expert on objective functioning, and there's no harm in that, but that's not the same thing as self mastery.

Now self mastery implies that our executive center has some midicum of control OVER our internal process. Since tryng to exert control over our mind from the inside only causes mental shock waves, it has been demonstratd over the centuries that the way to start gaining some control is, paradoxically, a process of relaxing and letting go of attachment, meaning neither moving toward or away from any content - thoughts, sensations, feelings, while not trying to "find" anythng or to get "enlightened," which is part of the esoteric myth.

The first thing most people discover is that that have absolutely no control or mastery over their discursive minds. That sub-personality simply grinds away hour after hour requiring no input from the subject and it can proceed entirely on auto-pilot. It usually does. Attemps to stop your mind, stop judging, stop getting dragged of by whatever your awareeness attaches to will rapidly show us that our illusions of having mastery over our mental processes is a total fiction. We are run BY these processes. And we are totally lost in them most of the time, rarely remembering or being mindful of the fact that we are present here in space and time. What people are agruing mostly about on this thread is that they normally command their discursive minds like Captain Kirk commands the Satarship Enterprise, and the most fantastic science is the fruit of their labors. In fact a few quiet hours of settling in a chair makes it perfectly clear that our discursive minds literally have a mind of their own, and if yhou think otherwise, try and modulate the flow and just settle.

Now to get some idea what is actually going on in your mind, rather than trying to analyze things for the inside, you first have to sit with yourself just as you are, and watch and watch and watch some more till you can start getting a clear view of what your mind is doing, and what is involved. We all go into this work thinking we "know" all about how our minds work, and we are shocked to discover we are totally clueless because most of us have never actually just been with ourself without our monkey mind distracting us like a rock track in the BG.

You can get an idea about this process by considering that unlike discursive work, learning about your our mind from the inside is not helped much by whatever people have to say about it. There basically is no guidebook about how to do this work, though there is plenty of clues about how NOT to do it - like the totaly bankrupt policy of thinking about your thinking, which is a beginner's trap that gets us all. So if you have no guidebook and have no idea what is going on in your very own mind, save for your thoughts, quite naturally you'll have to spend a good long time simply observing so you can start to identify what this raging mental and visceral current is doing inside of your head.

The first breakthrough is usually when people wake up to the fact that for at least a brief flash, they were actually witnessing their own process, instead of being fuesed to or lost inside of it, which is the opposite of mastery.

So far I have prsented no ideas or beliefs but have remained with the proven facts about the first few phases. Can you folow this?

JL



jogill

climber
Colorado
Jun 9, 2013 - 10:53pm PT
. . . so you can start to identify what this raging mental and visceral current is doing inside of your head

Once you are well into your 70s this kind of fizzles out.
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 10, 2013 - 12:03am PT
Ed!!
Don't do it
Don't fall for the BS insinuations of having some kind of dishonesty

I was on their side once, and would have possibly made those same kind of accusations, but now I know, it's all an inherent dishonesty on their part, they are the ones with deceiving themselves, that's why they can't verbalize it.
It's a wild goose chase they're on, and they want you to jump onto their band wagon chasing ghosts. It's a dead end, or let them prove it's not.

Please stay here and post your opinions and thoughts on the science, speculate what could be going on with these folks, if what they say is true, then they would be able to show us other folks that have caught this goose, but they can't.



MH2

climber
Jun 10, 2013 - 12:38am PT
learning about your our mind from the inside is not helped much by whatever people have to say about it


My thought exactly.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jun 10, 2013 - 02:06am PT
I don't think anybody should be taking sides here. That's been part of the problem starting with the title of this thread. We are all seekers on some kind of path, we're just not all taking the same path. We're spending time on this thread, rather than writing about what song we're listening to, or posting photos of boobs. So we're all looking for something else.

I think if I've learned anything here (and I've learned lots about science and relearned the scientific world view after 25 years of submersion in the humanities), it's how much we all favor one aspect of our brain over another. It should not be a contest over which is superior, rather an exploration of all that is.

Of course part of the problem is that the participation is so lop sided. There's only a handful of us with any deep experience of the non discursive mind, and lots more science types. This already creates a defensive posture on the minority here, if we aren't careful, and also a kind of attack posture by the majority if they aren't careful.

There's also the vocabulary problem. A writer is not going to use the same language as a scientist. I know I have changed my vocabulary and gotten a lot more careful with my facts as a result of this thread. At the same time, the view of meditation that has been presented, has leaned heavily toward two very philosophically similar schools of Buddhism - Zen and Dzogchen. Particularly with the descriptions of Zen, I have begun to feel a little uncomfortable, since I recognize the vocabulary, that one school of meditation is being presented as the only one. As such it begins to sound like a religion. Unless a person has studied several different meditation methods, I don't see any way around this.

Then there's religion! We have all been so traumatized by the zealots of our own traditions that we are super sensitive to being accused of defending a particular religion. If there's anything people on this thread are bigoted about, it's that.

And finally, there's the alpha male component which should not be too surprising on a climber's thread. Both of the main alphas on this thread representing opposite points of view, have been remarkably consistent in their viewpoint. Nobody has been converted, but as Mh2 has suggested, people have widened their horizons and shifted their perspective. So give yourself credit alphas, for having had a major impact on many, though not a total conversion of anyone.

Meanwhile, my question since we seem to have reached a kind of viewpoint impasse, is what we might respectively like to see as the next step to investigating the mind from both a scientific and subjective point of view? I personally would like to keep trying for some sort of integrative paradigm. I am still reading and thinking about Ed's recommendation on the Science of Yoga, and jogill's reference to mathematical/philosophical models of the universe.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jun 10, 2013 - 02:06am PT
Hey Thanks MH2. That was a good one A!
I like being a jester rather than a molester
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jun 10, 2013 - 02:42am PT

The first breakthrough is usually when people wake up to the fact that for at least a brief flash, they were actually witnessing their own process, instead of being fuesed to or lost inside of it, which is the opposite of mastery.

Could you be talking about destiny here? I first came to this realization some time ago. Looking at my past, as much as I've always felt I was in control of my life I can't help but think
the road ive been on wasn't that much of my choosing. That I had to go through those tolls to arrive at today's destination. So I let go of the steeringwheel of pride, and took a backseat to ego. Now I look to the universe for direction. Now I'm no longer gripped when I look in the rearviewmirror.

The Greatfull Dead said;
" I may be go'in to hell in a bucket baby, but atleast I'm enjoy'in the ride.."

That's close to what I say, but the opposite..
go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
Jun 10, 2013 - 08:04am PT
Now is the time to settle your eternal destiny and be assured of your place in God's kingdom by the blood, righteousness, and name of Christ whom belongs the glory forever and ever, Amen!

No one can do it for you, and the bell it tolls for thee...

photo not found
Missing photo ID#306283

Luke 12:20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’
21 “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

Hebrews 2:2 For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, 3 how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?

“All flesh is like grass,
And all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
And the flower falls off,
But the word of the Lord endures forever.”

...cus t-I-ME isn't on our side, no it ain't!
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jun 10, 2013 - 12:00pm PT
Thanks Ward and Jogill for the kind sentiments about my health. Feeling the threat of mortality breathing down my neck has been an exciting adventure. The meter of my experience has slowed down, my experience has become more crystalized, and I've noticed more minute detail in it recently.

Of course, narcotics are pretty weird, too. They present something like a thick colored glass to view experience, but I've found if I tweak the dosages just right, only the pain subsides.


. . . learning about your our mind from the inside is not helped much by whatever people have to say about it . . . .

This is such a remarkable statement by anyone. (Who made it?)

I don't care what discipline you come from, every field of study's objective has been to discover who and what we are. The study of the universe has always been important because it creates a context for the self, for humanity, for human beings. To the extent that we understand the universe, we understand ourselves. The work of discovery of the universe is a test and testament of our capabilities and values as human beings.

I shouldn't have to explain the studies of the humanities in these same terms, but perhaps I need to for whoever wrote the quote above. Literature, psychology, sociology, commerce and economics, music, art, history, politics, etc. are all reflections of who we think we've been and are as a species, as societies, and individuals. Mind is at the center of all of those studies. All those studies help us understand our nature, our hopes, our fears, and our successes and failures as a life form. They all provide meaning to us about us.

We assume that life matters. We think that what makes our lives special is that we can reflect upon our condition, intentions, and capabilities.

I understand that the brain can be studied, and I'm sure that's interesting and helpful to many people here. The mind seems to be different than the brain in some important respects--which is to say that we cannot yet talk about the mind fully at the same time when we talk about the brain. So, we're left (for the moment at least) with looking at the mind from the inside. We have very few alternatives available to us, and certainly no long line of empirical studies to create a science of the mind just yet.

If you have concerns about how people behave, what they think, what they value, what there belief structures are, what their knowledge representations are like, and how they develop and maintain any of those with others, . . . then finding ways of looking at people's minds (rather than their brains) would seem to be necessary and the best approach available currently.

So, although people are interested in how the universe works (string theory, quantum mechanics, neural nets, chemical reactions within the limbic system, etc.), learning about how your own mind works from the inside is relatively useless???


I'm sorry. I'm having a logic problem here following this logic. (That's about the kindest thing I can say about it.)
MH2

climber
Jun 10, 2013 - 12:04pm PT
There's only a handful of us with any deep experience of the non discursive mind


?

Let's count you, MikeL, and JL. Then BASE104 has mentioned trips into the wilderness when he was immersed in the NOW for days or weeks at a time. Tom Cochrane and jogill have reported out-of-body experiences. Ed recently gave the example of contemplating a mathematical issue, where one can spend hours not having a little voice in the head or constantly shifting one's attention, but rather standing back, as it were, from the conscious part of the mind and listening for whispers of a new construction built by the sub-conscious. How well do you know go-B and his mental process? Or BLUEBLOCR? And give Dr. F. a little credit for at least trying, and Cintune.

I bet that almost everyone has some experience of the non discursive mind. Alcohol will do it for quite a few, and there are other drugs.

You may be talking about a specific version of the non discursive mind? It is clear that you and MikeL and JL do not give exactly the same account of what your deep experience is or why you seek it or what it tells you about reality and other people.



As for where to go from here, I am looking into stories of people who have had subjective experience quite different from the rest of us. Not as a scientific thing but just to stir the imagination. There was Helen Keller but I only recently learned about a gentleman who lived here in Vancouver who was blind and deaf from the age of 9 months.

http://www.vancouverhistory.ca/archives_crane.htm

Then there is that philosophical proposition: "There must be something that is what it is like to be a bat." Can a human see the world as a bat does? If not a bat, how about other animals? There are a few cases of human children who apparently spent years with no human contact, living in the wild.

There is talk of using drone technology for tourism. You would rent a vehicle in Africa and from the comfort of your living room you could roam across the savannah. How about a small flying drone? You could use sonar for echo-location, convert it to a signal human senses could handle, and try to be a bat. The human mind is adaptable.

However, first it would be great to do a little better on the question of what it is like to be another human(*). We need to work together.


* (edit) This is where we thank the anthropologist.
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Jun 10, 2013 - 12:16pm PT
Ed has deleted his posts and has checked out

I will miss him and his contributions, which I feel were huge.

Good luck Ed, I wish I could have met and talked with you!

With much respect

John
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 10, 2013 - 12:30pm PT
I think it helps this conversation to frame things in terms of internal and external processes, and as mentioned, how there are things that can be accomplished only in each respective realm. We all know no one can study for us and pass on the knowledge like handing off a football. We all know that personal mastery cannot be accomplished by pressure from without. The goal of medical science was at one time the control of the internal by way of objective interventions, usually drugs and narcotics. The so-called "pharmo solution." Of course this never remotely panned out because it is trying to do the impossible, though there are still those believing if the database was wide and accurate enough, the "bio machine" could be entirely managed from the outside, that even things like personality disorders and addictions could be chemically controlled, entirely, believing as people do that all behavior and everything inside is "created" by chemestry alone.

So moving forward I plan to address this material by way of the internal (subjective) and external (objective) paradigm, knowing that this will never please everyone, seeming that staunch literalists like Craig will keep demanding external "proof" of internal realities, and that while efforts to do so, using whatever I nexact means seems useful, will be ridiculed by surface dwellers like our very own Cintune, who I aoplogise for lampooning, but such a glib frankfurter begs for his own demise and I have to have some little fun on an otherwise brutal thread.

Lastly, before I start in on work, we need to be respectful of the fact that the kind of non-discursive practice that Mike is talking about is exceptionally directed and intentional, and that it is almost impossible to arrive in the same milieu be accidential or other means, any more than I am likely to solve cold fusion by running some numbrers in my head. Any directed practice is aimed in a certain direction. The "masters," who have takn such a snubbing here (as frauds, deluded, juju worshipers et al LOL) are on hand to model what certain aspects of mastery look like when embodied. But everyone understands that we have to do our own work, or "climb our own peak," as they used to say, knowing that no leader or master can short rope you to the Promise Land, and that it cannot be accomplished from the outside.

JL
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jun 10, 2013 - 12:42pm PT
Ed has deleted his posts and has checked out.

I don't believe that can be done. It's like erasing experience. Posts, . . . sure, but not the experience.

No one can erase experience Ed would have to delete the effects of his posts in all of our minds.

On the other hand, memories (of Ed and his views) do not reside in the past. They manifest in the present, and their true nature should be questioned. Our memories tend to be constructed interpretations.

If anyone wants to leave the thread, they can. I have at different times. So have you.

Ed's probably frustrated, disgusted, and maybe a little angry with his perceptions of things.

Strip out evaluations, interpretations, concepts, and ideas, and what would be left? Raw awareness or experience. Just phenomena.

No phenomenon is as concrete or serious as it seems.

Ed probably needs a break, a little relaxation, a little rest.

When things get overly concrete and serious, who doesn't?
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Jun 10, 2013 - 12:52pm PT
. The "masters," who have takn such a snubbing here (as frauds, deluded, juju worshipers et al LOL) are on hand to model what certain aspects of mastery look like when embodied.


I assume you include yourself as one of the masters?
go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
Jun 10, 2013 - 01:14pm PT
The short and long of it, make sure your secured to Christ...

1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

...everything in this universe blows my mind can you imagine...
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Jun 10, 2013 - 01:36pm PT
I believe Ed said that he made the decision to delete his posts and found he could delete only
back to May 16 and so he did

He already claims that his Zen training enabled him to cope with the pain. Why not healing as well?

yes, I remember JL saying that as his reply to my question for an example from him of how he used his spiritual/meditation findings to enhance or better his own life
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