Politics, God and Religion vs. Science


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Apr 27, 2013 - 09:16pm PT
Farewell, thread. Too weird for me.


Apr 27, 2013 - 09:19pm PT

You poor soul.

You missed it by a mile.

Actually completely .......

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 28, 2013 - 12:57am PT
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.

I too have known people with successful careers who spent their whole life in therapy. Academia is full of them. My interpretation is that because they are so good with their discursive mind they let that mind interfere with the healing process. They can relate in excruciating detail what all their problems are and who did what to them to produce all that, but never can actually heal themselves. I maintain that is because the emotions come from a different level of mind.

I agree with Largo that the purpose of spiritual disciplines and having a teacher is to one day be autonomous in the spiritual realm. If nothing else, gurus grow old and die. While authority, hierarchy and gratitude to elders is more pronounced in the East, and monastic traditions in some communities quite strong, there has always been a place for the hermit or the wandering practitioner which has now been replaced in the West by the lay practitioner.

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 28, 2013 - 07:57am PT
So what does everyone think about mental illness? Does it exist, or is it some sort of fabrication?
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 28, 2013 - 07:59am PT
You can learn all anyone knows about Biochemistry from books
You don't need a teacher of any kind.
In fact, you can learn so much from just books, that you could just read, do your own thing, and publish articles in peer reviewed journals along with the experts.

Can you do that in the spiritual realm?
Maybe, maybe not.

But a teacher is only going to give you what he knows, and we all know that most religious practices are pure bunk, so the teachers will teach you the bunk like is the gospel straight from God's lips. right?

How about Scientology? Satanist's? Christianity? The Pope?
If I took in a teacher of one these religions, would Largo agree that it is my only way to get to the truth? No, of course not, It has to be His discipline, right?, all the others are bunk,
or if we ask Werner, is has to be his discipline, all the rest are wrong.

So were does this get us? no where, because we can't agree what the best discipline is, since none of them provide any proof that they are valid and a path to the truth.

Sport climber
Apr 28, 2013 - 08:14am PT
Upon "I too have known people with successful careers who spent their whole life in therapy."

Yes, this is so. And it is not impossible to be a scientist even if you have "mental issues". It can even be beneficial.

I have often considered alternative medicine, western zen, and so on, as some kind of self-chosen therapy attracting people who have "mental issues". Nothing wrong with that... people searching, finding something on the way.

But I guess you can see the difference...

Edited: WBraun - yes, yes... we already know WBraun is eternal truth, which means nothing... really... Lol...


Apr 28, 2013 - 08:14am PT
If nothing else, gurus grow old and die.

Guru never ever dies. Guru is eternal absolute truth.

The teacher is the transcendental medium.

There are different grades and levels of teachers according to their advancement.

Their instructions also take into consideration "Time and Circumstance".

There are also ever liberated souls who never ever fall under illusion.

Jesus Christ, Budhha, Caitanya and Hazrat Muhammad were ever liberated. (saktyavesa avatara)

As far as Jesus Christ goes this why he is the Christians "Guru".

To think "Guru" is material is poor fund of knowledge.

Some rascals in this thread will now freak out by these revelations .....

Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 28, 2013 - 08:22am PT
How did I become an atheist?
The one deciding factor that threw me over the cliff was the topic "life after death."

My spiritual quest was driven like everything in my life, I discover something, and then think of what the end outcome of success looks like, and how to get there directly. Like climbing, I discovered it, and quickly found out that climbing 5.11 (1976) and doing FAs was the bomb, so I trained, and explored and laid out the foundation to become a 5.11 climber and do 5.11 FAs, discover new areas, and be in with the top of the heap (and hang with Largo and the Stonemasters).
I had no desire to be the Top climber, just the top 5-10%.

So my spiritual adventure was the same: what is does success look like, how do you go directly to success? Just by pass the whole middle section.

The only apparent success would be spiritual enlightenment, since everyone else in the spiritual game are just talking opinions and beliefs that have nothing to do with spiritual success.

How do you become enlightened? Buddhist or Zen Meditation is the only answer according to the books, so I did that. My Favorite book at the time was the "3 Pillars of Zen", you could open it up to any page, and it would just blow your mind.

To be continued:
Now I have 2 story lines going, enlightenment, and life after death.

Apr 28, 2013 - 08:27am PT
I'm a part of a group of teachers in my university investigating hybrid teaching models (MOOCs, flipped classrooms, new teaching technologies, etc.). This morning I have been reading blogs and looking at TED videos on the subjects.

Viewers and respondents wonder what Should be taught. There is concern that new technologies / approaches will not overcome the division between the haves and have nots around the world. Some argue that education should be a basic human right. Others wonder whether the creation of more Steve Jobs or Einsteins make the world a better place. Do minds need to continue to grow in the world? How? If we need to learn, what do we (individually, groups) need to learn? Does education solve our problems? (Did it solve Your Problems, or did it simply put you on a particular lifestyle path?) I teach business. Am I part of the problem? Am I solving anything?

When I think about my work sometimes, it feels like I'm pissing in the wind. All the stuff I'm teaching is just stuff to me these days. On the other hand, working with my students, learning from them about the world they're creating / seeing (subjectively, objectively), and simply seeing the whole thing as some kind of process / drama that I find myself a part of--that's my payoff, I guess.

With all the activity around me (you name it), it feels like I'm in some kind of theatre play. I have this role, and I'm trying to play it as well as I can, but deep down inside, I'm occasionally having difficulty taking my role seriously.

I wonder how actors see their craft. They know they are actors, but they're trying to do it as well as they can.

"The play's the thing"

"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything."
(As You Like It)

Sport climber
Apr 28, 2013 - 08:43am PT

Let's add Kierkegaard:

"A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that's just how the world will come to an end: to the general applause of wits who believe it's a joke."

Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 28, 2013 - 09:08am PT
back to the life after death topic

In my mind then and now, no spiritual belief could defy science, they have to compatible to be valid. So my goal was to find a scientific explanation for the spiritual questions I had. The fields theory could explain a lot of these questions, like psychic abilities and what ever, not that the fields theory has passed any scientific scrutiny, but I didn't know that at the time.

But the question of life after death, How could that work?
Well if you think about it critically, it can't work, it's impossible, there is no possible mechanism or pathway for it work, not without some kind of super computer up in space to figure it all out so that it would work with any kind of karma or past life sequences that make sense.
And there is absolutely no evidence of life after death, why would we even think there was? why? because it's man's most desired wish, to live forever, be good, and you will be rewarded with a new better life!
Well that just reeks of more man made up dogma to control other humans, and BS magic that pervades so many religions

to speed forward, if there is no life after death, what does that mean??
That has more meaning that you would think, first of all - it means that life has no purpose, because there is no repercussions for what you do during your life on earth, no karma, no heaven or hell.

If there is no purpose to life, then the next question is: Is there a God?
Why should there be a God if there is no Purpose to life, the whole point of God was making life have a purpose.

No purpose = no God

There is more, but I won't bother with that now.

But I could be wrong, so that is why I am still on a spiritual quest, to learn more, to find out what others have to bring to the table that could convince me that there is something I missed.
But the more I learn, the more I can see that God was just a idea made up by man, and the scientific evaluation of the concept of God proves that God doesn't exist, it is impossible for God to exist.


Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 28, 2013 - 09:12am PT

How do you reconcile a monk burning himself, which is suicide, to the rule that if you do take your own life, you will wander eternity as a lonely ghost?

I also want someone from the mind contingent to explain craziness.

Is crazy real or something made up?

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 28, 2013 - 09:38am PT
Life having a purpose or not is a very tough question for theists and atheists. I'd wager that everyone here has a different notion over that topic.

If there is no life but this single one:

At the moment of death, the lights go out, just like a general anesthetic, but you never wake up. That's it.

The flip side:

We have these things called "souls," which live forever, and the suit of meat that we are wearing is the only thing that dies.

I think it would be cool if we never died, but how do we make the same stupid decisions lifetime after lifetime? If my fellow travelers have the benefit of multiple lifetimes of experience, why don't they own up to it? Are you not allowed to know?

Middle Eastern religions say that you have one life on Earth and one life in either paradise or hell. I believe many native American religions share that belief.

Some eastern religions believe that you come back again and again and again. You don't eat cattle because it might be your grandmother.

Is there somebody keeping score here? You made a D, so you have to do 30 lifetimes as a dung beetle before a second chance at the big leagues?

What is the point? Is religion really just a gigantic self help group that springs up among every society like a weed, based on the uncomfortable idea that the finality of death simply cannot be true?

Eternal life is a damn good thing to be selling.

Social climber
the Wastelands
Apr 28, 2013 - 09:52am PT
Is religion really just a gigantic self help group that springs up among every society like a weed, based on the uncomfortable idea that the finality of death simply cannot be true?


Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 28, 2013 - 10:28am PT
Is religion really just a gigantic self help group that springs up among every society like a weed, based on the uncomfortable idea that the finality of death simply cannot be true?


Chunking religion in with spiritual practices is like combining creationism with evolution. They're both talking about origins, right?

The problem with the above statement is that this gets presented not an another opinion, but as some known fact, when this is either something Norton either just guessed at by observing religious folk, or projected from his own experiences. From my experience, I know of few who got into long term, structured meditation practices whose primary reason was to skirt existential fear (dying).

What's more, there's a lot of speculation of the disadvantages of engaging a structured approach to the work, with teachers and so forth, but there are no questions being asked from those who have never had experience in doing so.

For instance, if you were to ask 50 leading biologists if they thought it was advantageous or a drawback to their knowledge and career to have been part of structured higher education, fearing they might lose their independence, or blunt their initiative to find out things for themselves, how do you think the 50 would answer - to the man and woman?

Try asking people in the spiritual disciplines how they feel about the same question. Problem is, the fundy quantifying camp simply don't trust the other camp to infer valid info since it is not quantifiable, so by and large there is no movement away from what they are already doing and continue to do. The shame is that this is not an all-or-nothing affair. No one has to give up quantifying. How would you? WHY would you.

But a new skill outside of the old is a daunting prospect based on how few ever make the effort to acquire it.l Instead there are endless debates about "what it is," a stall tactic to avoid never trying into the cord in the first place, so to speak.



Apr 28, 2013 - 10:38am PT

The monk who burned was fighting the hypocrisy of that war's consciousness and it's senseless violence against the non warriors.

In battle only the combatants should be fighting.

Not that you napalm innocent civilians.

His act of burning his material body and remaining detached was an act of transcendent education to the the stupid materialists.

He had no selfish interest of his own.

He was not suffering.

He was in his warrior mode at that moment according to time and circumstance for the benefit of humanity.

The gross materialists are always bewildered by such displays due to their defective senses ........

Sport climber
Apr 28, 2013 - 10:44am PT
An act of wits who believe they're serving eternal truth, though it's just a self-delusional act - at best serving as an eternal joke? Violence turned against their own material body?

Apr 28, 2013 - 10:48am PT
With the last few posts people have begun to talk about real personal issues. Finally.

A person puts meaning into their life when they decide to do something they think is meaningful. Important in some way. Here in JT the Park is so filled you have to make reservations weeks or months early. So several of us did what was needed to make the Pit work better. You pull in, stay, and help take care of the place. Whenever. Into the face of horrible predictions for failure, we have completed a very successful season. Everybody, myself included, made new friends.

It was a decision when Robert decided to make the Pit. I made a personal decision to help make it work better. The people who came made a decision to make it work. We all gained meaning.

Everyone loves Yosemite's Facelift. Why? Yosemite of course but it is also about new friends and being able to look behind yourself and see you have just made a real difference. There is meaning there. All from just deciding to make a difference.

That's one of the reasons I worked on clean climbing. After making a new route I came to realize all I had done was to preempt for myself the chance to enjoy doing a new route. In a real sense a new route is a negative. No meaning there. Not really. So I worked on something I thought had meaning.

There is great meaning to be had today.

Much as it was during Socrates' time.

It won't come from answering unanswerable questions. It will come from answering questions that must be answered. Like Socrates was doing, at the end.

We feel the Bush recession has to go away and we will be back to "normal." Maybe. Maybe not. Look at the experience in Japan with its decades old recession. Compare their interest rates with ours. Zero percent, in hopes of getting people employed. Big deficits. Declining birth rates and more old farts with fewer young people around.

It is also possible we now have more people than we have jobs. And the planet lacks the new resources needed to boost an economy. Would you have ever thought tar sands would be so important? That we would look forward to strip mining Alberta? And build a pipeline so Texans can sell that oil to China?

The future ain't what it used to be. There are big questions ahead. And we have to answer them. Every person will have to make adjustments.

Best to get started.

Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 28, 2013 - 12:44pm PT
OK Largo
I ask one (3) sincere question(s)

What is the end game of your practice?
What purpose will it serve in the end?
What is the goal?

Apr 28, 2013 - 12:53pm PT
I think that's just how the world will come to an end: to the general applause of wits who believe it's a joke."

I suppose that one of those wits would be me.

The question is which world, Marlow.

that is why I am still on a spiritual quest

I think you are, Dr. F. Funny, that. You are perhaps the more vociferous critics of religion on this thread, and that's your spiritual path. I get it. Please keep writing.

Is crazy real or something made up?

You could probably answer this question yourself. All you have to do is say what "sane" is. Then you can go from there. But I suspect you already see the problem with that line of approach.

There continues to be many strong dualisms declared on this thread. I suppose that's the nature of the topic heading. It's invariably "this" as opposed to "that."

I ask you: is that really how things are? It seems to me that the more you investigate that approach and its results, the more you'll see how unskillful and unproductive it is. When you begin to see that, you start to drift in the other direction. More and more you see that things are instead open, undefined, fluid, and resistant to analysis. Keep going in that direction, and you'll find yourself absolutely groundless.
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