Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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jogill

climber
Colorado
Apr 26, 2013 - 10:13pm PT
There seems to be some uncertainty about just how long one is actually compelled to be under the guidance of a teacher, whether in science or on a spiritual path. In the sciences and mathematics the student strives to be independent as soon as possible after a certain amount of preparation. That's why the final thesis is referred to as "independent research." After that you are to a great extent on your own and you will either thrive intellectually or settle for less demanding challenges. I've seen it go both ways in academia. There's nothing wrong with adopting a less rigorous approach to one's profession, just as there is nothing wrong with competing in the publish or perish environment. But either way you are your own person and not some kind of perpetual student. (Although I have seen that on and off in my career and it is not a pretty picture) I would like those dedicated to and supporting spiritual or subjective goals to address this issue: How long is it necessary for one to remain under the guidance of a "master?" If the answer is a very long time or dependent on the student, there you have a distinction between the two paths of knowledge.
WBraun

climber
Apr 26, 2013 - 10:24pm PT
This man remain calm under extreme pain.

Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 26, 2013 - 10:42pm PT
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Incredible. I've never failed to marvel at that photo.

Here is the same scene a few moments later. The monk has still not moved .incredible.

WBraun

climber
Apr 26, 2013 - 10:55pm PT
Yes ....

So Dr F says there's no proof and largo has shown nothing.

Dr F has never done anything except run big mouth.

Let him light himself on fire.

No he won't.

He'll just run mouth and make empty claims.

Maybe he should sit inside 6 billion dollar smash tube and turn it on ......

Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 26, 2013 - 11:06pm PT
Here is the story behind Thich Quang Duc's self- immolation.

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

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 26, 2013 - 11:38pm PT
Per teachers, most of us find that if we are satisfied with the results we are getting, then whatever methods you are using is surly good enough. The thing that gets lost here, or misunderstood for lack of practical experience, is that the whole hierarchy thing is almost absent in the western world once a person has put in the work. It is not so much a green novice seeking the wise council of some celebrated master, as someone embedded in the game checking out this guy's angle or that girl's angle, because the diversity of insight is so vast, and no one has an exclusive on knowing. It's an ongoing process because it is for everyone. No one ever arrives.

I always had a problem with ceremonies and non western teachers. My original koan study was under Maetzumi Roshi at LAZC, but I made little progress till I started with his head student, who was British and later became the Abbot at Idyllwild. By nature I don't believe in positions, belts, levels of attainment, appellations, et al. But anyone in the game for long usually has something interesting to offer. And when doing something as traditional as koan study, it's just a cluster trying to do it on your own. The entire point of the thing is the interface between two people who can manifest their understanding to each other. Thinking such understanding is a kind of product that if correct is selfsame, is also to misundertstand the process handsomely. There's often a lot of ego hooked up with resisting the input of a teacher, because it implies we are less than in some way. But this in not in the spirit of the work.

JL
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 27, 2013 - 12:01am PT
Well, the application of a teacher, as such, seminally involved in the course of experience you are discussing ,tells me one thing: there is a commonality to the subjective journey, or at least within its prescriptive technique, that is transferable from one person to another.
In other words , this order of subjectivity on some level can be generalized, and as such stands outside of a strictly spontaneously generated experience rigidly confined to the individual.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 27, 2013 - 03:36am PT
That's what I've been saying all long, most recently on the page before this one. Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, Catholic and Biblical sources and what little I know of the Jewish Kabbalah and Sufi Muslim traditions, all describe similar stages as well as Native American traditions and shamanic traditions. Increasingly, totally secular people have such experiences as well. These experiences are the common heritage of all humanity. No guru or tradition owns them.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Apr 27, 2013 - 10:50am PT
My experience with completely awake teachers is that they bring simplicity and directness to the party. When I ask my teachers something, I'm asking about something that I don't and apparently can't see. They do, and their reports are as simple and direct as you reporting the wall in front of you.

Sure, anyone Can Be autodidactic, but it takes terrific discipline and motivation--and "mind training" seems to present the most insidiously illusory maze. Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj said the real teacher is always one's self, and it often directs you to find to an external teacher because you need one. It's also been said that when you are ready for a teacher, one magically shows up. It's happened to me and friends. (I have no idea just how that works. I must have sent our radio signals or something.)


The conversation about teachers, teaching, learning, and autodidacticism is becoming increasingly relevant and interesting recently. MOOCs (massive open on-line classes), flipped classrooms, individualized learning approaches, and the internet are providing ways to individualize teaching for students all over the world, irrespective of numbers of students, culture, and capabilities. People are realizing that students can teach themselves, and they can collaborate with other learners to teach themselves and learn from one another better than instructors can teach them. (Moreover, the millennials favor community approaches and social technologies, and they excel at them.)

Teachers are becoming course designers and administrators rather than instructors, and digital and video technologies and statistical analytics are enabling a teacher to see what's sticking, what's not, and to learn from the students' responses even what needs to be taught. This means the instructor becomes a student. It's a full-fledged form of democracy with full transparency and with free-floating content. It includes setting up forums, chat rooms, and various social media technologies so that the very notions of what "needs to be learned" may not even be content anymore. Emotional maturity, collaborative skills, empathy, passion, commitment, and leadership may be more important to learn than Bayes theorem or the periodic table.

In the end, all this appears to be turning the teaching model on its head. The teacher is no longer the person who has the answers. What matters are the questions. Instructors can post questions (maybe even Way Advanced ones) and watch the students go find answers (some of which may not be at all predictable). This new approach even questions whether there are right answers. Learning becomes a discussion, a dialogue, a process without end. Most faculty are hesitant, for many reasons.

The same thing has shown up in most religions. It used to be that the clergy were The Authoritative Intermediaries between the Divine and Man, but Christians were born again, radical Islamists started to interpret the Koran in their own idiosyncratic ways, and now almost every person of religious faith can communicate directly with God and know His Will. Everyone is their own teacher. Multiculturalism? No, . . . free-flowing multi-individualism. Who needs scriptures or textbooks when you have confidence in your own abilities to use the internet and think and feel for yourself? Look at our own country. People here on ST seem to think it's liberal versus conservative. It looks far more like free-flowing fragmentation, with groups coalescing momentarily around issues, but not lasting. In markets we see the same thing: customer segments are increasingly becoming difficult to find and defend. Customers defect at the drop of a hat. Customer loyalty doesn't last because customers are thinking for themselves, and they don't accept authorities as omniscient or credible.

I had often wondered where postmodern sensibilities could possibly go when I was a graduate student. (I loved the ideas and rebelled from authority.) People wondered: If there are only views (not true views), authors (and not authorities), and theories (but not facts), then isn't that simply unrestrained nihilism that does nothing and solves nothing? Apparently not. As far as I'm concerned, it's a new world order that threatens to undermine everything I thought was important when I started my academic career. It may well be the case that there is nothing stable, unambiguous, certain, or achievable that can be taught. This is how I stumbled on to Buddhism initially. Later, I drifted away from even that codification and authority to a more free-form approach to What This Is. Luckily, I found teachers who were waiting for me.
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Apr 27, 2013 - 01:38pm PT
Removed and posted to the correct thread.

All who are better than me line up and get your awards.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Apr 27, 2013 - 06:14pm PT
Are you OK, Jingy? Do you need help? ;>\

It would seem that psychotherapy and grad school in the sciences/math do not intersect. I had a fellow student, a young woman, who was overcome by the demands of her thesis and committed suicide. She might have benefitted from counseling. Or from zen. Psychotherapy and meditative practices like zen seem to be complementary approaches to lessen mental anxiety and emotional disturbance. I suppose that is one reason I was asking about prolonged study under a teacher or meditative guide. I have known several people who had successful careers, but never stopped seeing a psychotherapist of one type or another. They never left the fold.

This feature really separates the objective (grad school, science research, etc.) from the subjective (meditative practices, religion, etc.)To argue that scientific vs spiritual both require diligent and lengthy apprenticeships under teachers of one sort or another draws attention from the strong distinctions between the two. In science one is honed to be, in MikeL's words, and autodidact, capable of individual initiative and research capabilities, while the spiritual practices lead somewhere else. There is no "equating" of one with the other. It shouldn't be a pissing contest.
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 27, 2013 - 07:26pm PT
Yes ....

So Dr F says there's no proof and largo has shown nothing.

Dr F has never done anything except run big mouth.

Let him light himself on fire.

No he won't.
Just because a person can sit still while on fire, it somehow is supposed to mean something special about what Largo said????

Yes, you are correct, I will not light myself on fire, nor will you, nor will Largo

Werner, this is complete crazy talk.... you should realize this, or maybe you already know, and hoping someone would call you out and ask you to be accountable, like a scream for help!!

He's dead now, so what was the purpose of lighting himself on fire?
It didn't do him any good, maybe it helped some cause, I'm not sure, I don't know the context.
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 27, 2013 - 07:27pm PT
MikeL.
I will answer your inquires tomorrow
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 27, 2013 - 07:28pm PT
Read the article about Thich Quang Duc on Wiki. His death was a turning point in Vietnamese history which some of us remember living through.

Today many brave people in Tibet are doing the same thing for similar reasons. Americans are more easily swayed however, than Chinese.
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Apr 27, 2013 - 08:07pm PT
[quote]Are you OK, Jingy? Do you need help? ;>[/quote]


 Yes. Fine. Why do you ask? And more importantly… why would you care even slightly?
WBraun

climber
Apr 27, 2013 - 08:26pm PT
Jingy

Go look at your post above before your last one.

Did you even look?

Probably not since you're in outer space somewhere as usual.

You're posting political crap in this thread which makes no sense at all to this thread.

But you don't look. You just keep running your mouth.

Do you even think at all ..... ?

Probably not or never .......?
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 27, 2013 - 08:31pm PT
Werner
are you sure that it isn't you that keeps running his mouth
Projection seems to be one of your weak spots

Jingy is welcome to post anything he wants
and applauded when he does post
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Apr 27, 2013 - 08:34pm PT
I support Jogill's observations.

A number of folks I've personally known in psychiatry and therapy become long-standing patients themselves. I've been told that getting long-term counseling is a mandatory part of the training, so there may be some kind of "continuing education" experience going on with that. The same can also be said, I think, for folks who become, er . . . professional spiritual groupies. People get into the lifestyle, not the self-searching (actually, self-destruction).

In both areas (objective sciences and subjective contemplative studies), people become highly socialized and institutionalized. It's not easy to say which area self-reinforces its own viewpoints / perspectives through the work.

Both areas produce some real human oddities in my book. Not exactly the most balanced organisms on the planet.

(Hey, take your time, Dr. F. It's really not that important.)
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 27, 2013 - 08:39pm PT
Most of the good teachers I have known are champions of independence. They don't want followers, per say, and certainly not dependents. That's enmeshment. They want participants. And when asked questions they often say, You tell me?

JL
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Apr 27, 2013 - 09:01pm PT
Hey Werner….. Have you looked at the headline of this thread, per chance?

"Politics, God and Religion vs. Science"


Have I looked?

Have you looked?



Now you can take your righteous head out of your ass and keep posting about how dumb everyone else is. After all, a world full of you would be a pretty righteous place… right?
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