Politics, God and Religion vs. Science


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Jun 10, 2013 - 01:52pm PT
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

The heart of the problem here, Jan.

I've brought up the subject of the "I-consciousness" on several occasions, but this has been dismissed either by ignoring it or refering to it as an illusion. I think there is far more to it than that.

I get a little weary of "no-thingness" and the overly confident assertions that things are some sort of mental constructs arising from a perfect vacuum and have no existence beyond this. On and on.

Hebrews 1:3
Jun 10, 2013 - 02:19pm PT
Ecclesiastes 3:1 To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
2 A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
3 A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
4 A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
7 A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
8 A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.

9 What profit has the worker from that in which he labors? 10 I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.
12 I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, 13 and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God.

14 I know that whatever God does,
It shall be forever.
Nothing can be added to it,
And nothing taken from it.
God does it, that men should fear before Him.
15 That which is has already been,
And what is to be has already been;
And God requires an account of what is past.

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 10, 2013 - 03:31pm PT
Lunch break. First, I'm no "master." Nor is an master a master. The good ones are just teachers like in any other field. People propping them up as demi-Gods need to go to a retreat and get schooled on this stuff. His Holiness is not going to wash in today's market. I'm just a lay person who has practiced for a while 39 years).

Per Ed, it's to bad that he left. But it is strange how BASE can accuse me of beign the fraud and swindler and heretic who has "straw-dogged" science. What I have said is that quantifying, like anything else, has limites. Only scientism insists that is does not, and only because people insist that internal and external reality are self same. To stage unequivocally that this is so, that the objective IS subjective, is to be dishonest becuase anyone saying so is speculating - of that we may be sure. Why, because if you ask ANYONE with experience in the subjective adventures, every one will tell you that discursive reasonsing is a dead ene and a trap, leaving a person thinking abot thinking, like a cat chasing its tail. What's more, Ed, when the sacred cow of quantifying was qurestioned as end-all, rampaged against me and others doing subjective work as foogies and stooges deluded by "masters" and "revealed wisdom" and such dusty and outmoted frivolities. while insisting that whatever ground we might have covered he too had covered, but by following a discursive road. I am pretty much certain that what Ed never got over was the simple fact that his mode of inquiry had limits, that the subjective adventures has it's own rules of engagement, and that quantifying is a defalt position in the playbook. To insist that it is not, while lacking any direct exprerice with the work, is by any definition being "dishonest" because you have misrepresented someone for which you are not privy to in any substative way. As if a person can claim expertiese in BASE jumping have never had a chute on their back. What's more, BASE jumping is not a belief or an idea, but a direct experience, and we'd best take the work about it from those who have done it, not those spculating on the practice from the outside.

But I'm putting all that to rest for the moment and concentrating on the inside/outside, self mastery dynamic, which seems a much better way to approach the subject.

And John, nobody is saying that the world we imgine that is "out there" has no corporeal, only that what our brains project to us as real is entirely empty, that is it has no independent nature, seperate from exerything else. It, you, me, and all of it is impermanent and entirely empty. But the words are of little value. Only the direct experience of this as a plain fact will change your perspective. That'sbeen my experiencee anyhow.


Jun 10, 2013 - 03:38pm PT
It, you, me, and all of it is impermanent and entirely empty. But the words are of little value. Only the direct experience of this as a plain fact will change your perspective

I question whether your "plain fact" is not an illusion conjured up in a certain meditative state as well. I'm not saying it is, but you seem so certain it is not . . . according to your experience.

This truly has the appearance of a religious belief, even if it is not.

Ice climber
the ghost
Jun 10, 2013 - 04:05pm PT
I see no difference between Largo & LEB.
The Chief

Climber from the Land Mongols under the Whites
Jun 10, 2013 - 04:13pm PT
I see no difference between Largo & LEB.

The difference between Largo and you Malmut, Largo is 100% Realist. You are 100% Fantasia.

Jun 10, 2013 - 04:23pm PT
I'll agree with Jan that there are many approaches and paths. Zen and Dzogchen are particularly known for being direct, sudden, and among the least instructive (no process, few terms, not much to study) of all. This may have made our side of the argument immensely difficult to understand or pick apart. On the other hand, those attributes make these approaches some of the easiest to attempt because there is so little formal learning to do. Pretty much, one gets quiet, stationary, and looks closely.

As a teacher, I can say that some of us need lots of direction, sign posts, training, application, rote-memory training, and integration into increasingly larger viewpoints. Others of us need only the broadest of pointers, and then left alone. Some of us are highly intuitive, while others of us really need formal training with every step painted in neon along the way. And of course there are many intermediate approaches in between that use different symbols, procedures, values, and objectives. For example, there are scores of Buddhist and Hindi sects, most of which fight with each other about what's proper, what exists, and what works. Yet all roads lead to increased consciousness, no matter what one's personal discipline, practice, vocation, or avocation is. All roads lead to Rome.

Indeed it might have been the best possible situation that the hard-core, mental-rational, science types had to run up against a couple of us who were not so oriented to mythological approaches or instinctive primitive approaches of early tribal approaches of consciousness. We have occupied the extreme views as it were and talked from those points of view. It is little wonder that we have difficulty hearing or talking to one another. At least the conversations (discussions?) have provided the greatest distinctions without wallowing in the personal (religious) baggage associated with our youth.

Jun 10, 2013 - 04:49pm PT
Yet all roads lead to increased consciousness, no matter what one's personal discipline, practice, vocation, or avocation is

I'll buy this if I am allowed to substitute "altered" in place of "increased."

"Increased" sounds a bit superior. Maybe it is, but as a more or less "scientific type" I would need a better argument then "believe me" or "it's such a common experience it must be true."

I like the civil tone of your post, MikeL.

The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Jun 10, 2013 - 06:00pm PT
...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.

No worries, Jockrates, everyone has to let off steam somehow.

I wonder what your meta-take is on humor, though, and the role it may or may not play in intrepidly delving into The Deeper Issues™?

- What's the difference between a vacuum and a Zen vacuum?

 A Zen vacuum has no attachments.

Jun 10, 2013 - 06:12pm PT
I'll buy this if I am allowed to substitute "altered" in place of "increased."

Oh, I'll give a very wide berth to any idea that opens the door for learning about self, John.

I wasn't even meaning to point to anything related to religion or consciousness of the ilk as we've been discussing here. The study of geology, the study of literature, the study of mathematics, the study of studying (education) all work for me. All provide insight into ourselves, either in process or content. The self has many facets. I suspect we have an infinite list of things to learn.

I'm sure i could have written my post better, but I wanted to reach out to Jan and say how much I think she's said something important (before I forgot).

Even the stuff about customized teaching and learning I wrote was overly generalized, theoretically constructed, and perhaps know-it-all'ish as I read it now.

In talking with my teacher last week, he suggested that all teaching / learning is hypnosis--even his.

He may be right. There are so many times when I don't understand how it is that I came to understand something or how one of my students understood something. The process seems downright magical. "Noesis" (direct apprehension) just seems to happen for no apparent reason that I can see, all on its own. Oh, I know we can come up with many "explanations," but I can't see the thread of commonality.

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 10, 2013 - 06:55pm PT
Cintune, humor is key. So is fierceness. Both blow out the chaff. I never take this stuff or myself nor anyone else too seriously. Easy does it. My only refrain is: If you want to know about the play, you have to go inside the playhhouse and watch the whole damn thing unfold. You can tell a whole lot from outside, about the outside. But you have to see and hear and live with the play itself, not just the script, or the architecture, to get jiggy with the shebang.

I really think that having some metaphor for practice is helpful. Mine changes month to month. Lately I've been using the idea that every time (and I've been going to the zendo morning and night lately), I sit and let myself die to all my desires, thoughts, and beliefs. It takes an enormous amount of fortitude to just be with your immediate experience, which leaves us wide open and vulnerable, as opposed to jumping into thinking about it, which closes up down and foists us into a much safer and more secure feeling mental space.

It takes most of us a very long time to understand that what we are trying to find is nothing more than being present. We spend ages trying to figure out stuff or following our thoughts. Chasing our tails. Running in place.



Hebrews 1:3
Jun 10, 2013 - 07:11pm PT
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Jun 10, 2013 - 07:14pm PT
Jockrates walked up to Glib Frankfurter the salesman and said, "make me one with everything".

He handed a 20 over and was delivered some spicy sustenance. Then he waited.

"Hey Frankfurter, where's my change ?

"Change can only come from within"...

May I rot in philosophy for dredging that old chestnut up.

There are no limits to quantifying anything, be they scientific, philosophical or spiritual. To do so would mean there is a limit to intelligence and understanding.

Hebrews 1:3
Jun 10, 2013 - 07:35pm PT
Nice one Jim, pass the mustard!

Hebrews 1:3
Jun 10, 2013 - 08:17pm PT
photo not found
Missing photo ID#306344
It must a been the hotdog!


Jun 10, 2013 - 08:22pm PT
That's some heavy projection Mark.

What you did not see in this thread is that Ed by his own admission actually agreed to what Largo wrote below in quote.

Ed then ... deleted his agreement statement.

And Ed, you have been lampooning and trying to stonewall all of what we've said - from pissing on so-called "masters" to calling all subjective disciplines age-old "revealed wisdom" to serving up half-baked philosophical renditions (or determinism, for example) and have repeated insisted that quantifying objective reality is the only real game in town, all others being the silly games of those lacking the brain power to do the heavy lifting. By your own admission you have done none of the subjective work whatsoever and yet you insist you have some privileged understanding of it believing as you do that the subjective is merely the bastard stepson of the grand pappy, the physical. In short you have learned nothing from anyone but quantifiers on this list and have not budged one inch from a staunch physicalist position because we have come up with no physical evidence or discursive paradigm that will convince you otherwise. As though something as unique and slippery as consciousness can be so easily framed. There is nothing remotely the equal or which has any likeness to subjective experience in the universe. And yet when we go into the realm so many of you keep backpedaling back into objective functioning insisting that the supposed physical basis of something is the exact equal of something else. This is insane, really, because if nothing else, it tries to totally dismiss the only reality that you ever live as a human being - and that is your subjective experience. This is not so much insane, as it is sad, because you are missing such a great and fantastic piece of the puzzle, which at the same time refusing to move out of your comfort zone for fear of seeing an expanded view of reality as you now understand it. At the bottom, what we are really up against here is scientism. I've said that all along. That is a safe view of the world because it believes that only the physically tangible and measurable is real, but it forces you into absurd positions like insisting that an objective physical process IS a subjective experience. As thought this were a distinction so subtle that it could be lost on otherwise intelligent men and women. To anyone who has any experience in subjective adventures, these arguments are absurd. But as I have said, the only people calling me full of sh#t are those who have never gone there. That part, and perhaps only that part, is not in dispute.

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 10, 2013 - 08:48pm PT
BASE, it's all intentional, pestering and lampooning you. Arrogantly sticking pins in the evaluating bubble. It's an old Renzai trick for shattering pride and rigidity. The rancor you are feeling is the same we all felt when first working on the whole "Mu" question. Each tradition has a threshold and in Renzai, it is "What is Mu?" You will drive yourself crazy trying to discursively figure out what it "means," while clinging to discursive reasoning like a life raft. Once you gfive it up, even for a second, and realize you will not drown, your off to the races. In the meantime the "problem" will always lay "out there," with someone else. You're actually a perfect candidate for the work. But at the same time people will peck away at that pride like so much birdlime till eventually you just burst out laughing, not at anyone "out there," but at the absurdity of clinging to a lead weight.

Does discursive reasoning have a valued place in the world. Of course. If I didn't value it I wouldn't have ever tried to codify technical conundrums like anchors and so forth. But one size doesn't fit all.

Reminds me of this:

In his biography of Samuel Johnson, James Boswell tells of a
long night in the tavern when the good doctor and his intellectual
drinking buddies argued through the night about whether a horse gets
to its feet in the morning front feet first or hind feet first. The
debate was as spirited as the libations, and the late night and early
morning hours were filled with sophisticated arguments and references
to knee anatomy and centers of gravity.

When someone pointed out that the sun was about to rise and
suggested a trip to the nearby barn to settle the question by
observing a horse, the gasps and protests were immediate: no 18th
century intellectual and gentleman would set foot inside a barn! If a
question couldn't be settled by reason alone, it was not worth asking.
They all went home to bed with the issue unresolved.

The point is to find out, yhou hae to go into the barn.

Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 10, 2013 - 09:29pm PT
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 we can experience things we can't describe, so what.
This changes nothing for us.

Some of us have already done these things you tell us to do, and in the end, it was nothing more than "a warm fuzzy feeling",
sure we may have come up with some new knowledge or wisdom, but can it be the only goal worth pursuing?

Is there anything more?
maybe, but maybe it doesn't matter.
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 10, 2013 - 09:53pm PT
At the most, I call you an arrogant person, ready to make the most personal insults, while at the same time cloaking yourself in some sort of position of authority, which presumably gives you the feeling that your insults are OK. You are, after all, the famous John Long, and that comes across pretty thickly to us who converse with you.

Well said Base
Largo has brutally insulted me over and over, he even called me autistic, which is way below the belt
I can take it, but I sure as hell tell you this,
Largo can't take the criticism he deserves, I won't even say it here

Maybe I will say it some other time

But of course I am glad that he posts here
as I said over and over, debate the subject, not the person
unless that person is just posting stuff too stupid to not have something to say about, they have be accountable for their posts, otherwise, they get the abuse they deserve.

Jun 10, 2013 - 10:18pm PT
Cry us a river Dr F.

You insult Intelligence itself .........
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