Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
May 27, 2013 - 09:20am PT
Giving an answer may not seem important to him to give but it would help at least me to know his core belief basis

 Norton, one of my contentions is that this question does not absolutely have to be asked.
One of my favorite podcasts commonly asks the questions "What do you believe and why?"

In a closed room, alone, all of our beliefs mean nothing. Life outside the box continues. Nothing inside the box means anything outside the box, nothing outside the box means anything inside the box.

Now imagine the box is our heads. Nothing inside means anything outside and vice versa.

This view seems to help me get to the bottom of many pained discussions

Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
May 27, 2013 - 09:25am PT
but few have proceeded from there, and ventured way down that road . . .


Well John, have you?

And if so what did you find?

No sarcasm from me and thus can I have a non condenscending reply?
MH2

climber
May 27, 2013 - 09:41am PT
What do you mean by "conscious?"


What I mean by conscious is the waking state of mind of a normal person or dog or cat as testable by response to stimulation. I am aware the word has other uses, too, but the definition that has the best chance of being understood and agreed upon by others is, "that which goes away under general anesthesia."


the experience of being totally present

Sure. There are two very different operating levels: that in which you face obvious and immediate threat of death (I can speak from experience) and everything else. However, it is better to avoid talking about being more or less present, or more or less conscious or aware or awake, because that language implies that there is a thing which is measurable.
WBraun

climber
May 27, 2013 - 09:51am PT
Nothing inside the box means anything outside the box, nothing outside the box means anything inside the box.

This is stupid.

There is no box.
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
May 27, 2013 - 09:59am PT
This is stupid.

There is no box.

 Everything inside this box is as it says it is. And when I say "this box" I mean the quote box and not Werner's head.

Is the mind not a form of the box postulated in my previous postů..?

Oh, f*#ků.

Werner is trolling again
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
May 27, 2013 - 11:53am PT
but few have proceeded from there, and ventured way down that road . . .

Well John, have you?

And if so what did you find?

Can I have a non condenscending reply?
--
I suspect that you want an answer that you can "get your head around" and evaluate for merit - but based on what? The evaluation, to be of any use to you, must be based on the road itself, and your presence there, lest you have to take someone else's experience and description (2nd hand). There's simply no way around making the effort yourself. If we could just noodle the question, or know Paris from LA, so to speak, we'd never leave "home."



MH2

climber

May 27, 2013 - 09:41am PT
What do you mean by "conscious?"


What I mean by conscious is the waking state of mind of a normal person or dog or cat as testable by response to stimulation. I am aware the word has other uses, too, but the definition that has the best chance of being understood and agreed upon by others is, "that which goes away under general anesthesia."


That definition suggests that there is no qualitative differences between the consciousness of a June Bug and a Great Dane. If fact there are vast differences, and they issue from not experientially knowing the difference between raw awareness and mindfulness. And the difference is night and day, of that you may be sure.



The experience of being totally present

Sure. There are two very different operating levels: that in which you face obvious and immediate threat of death (I can speak from experience) and everything else. However, it is better to avoid talking about being more or less present, or more or less conscious or aware or awake, because that language implies that there is a thing which is measurable.


That's you evaluating mind trying to reify consciousness into a thing, which has qualities or aspects you can quantify. It is
better to avoid" talking about this so long as you want to stay in the dark about how this and how consciousness works, not theoretically, but experientially, where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. Without investigating, you quite naturally will assume that there are in fact only "two operating levels": fight or flight, and "everything else."

JL
mechrist

Gym climber
South of Heaven
May 27, 2013 - 12:00pm PT
All this talk about boxes makes me want to spend time in an isolation chamber or sweat lodge... on second thought, I could just sweet talk my special lady friend.
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
May 27, 2013 - 12:20pm PT
I suspect that you want an answer that you can "get your head around" and evaluate for merit

yes, I suppose I do want that, being fairly normal and all

and you John I presume then, from your training in spiritualism and consciousness at the hands of notable teachers, get something "more" from going further down the road as you said few do?

then what is "it" that you get and others like me don't?

it must be something you have learned to be a better experience to be pursued, otherwise why bother and just accept being lesser trained at this, like myself

can you please get more specific, John?
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
May 27, 2013 - 02:46pm PT
You are normal. To really get jiggy with consciousness you have to do something that is quite unnatural - and that is access the rest of your mind aside from the quantifying function. The discursive mind cannot access or even fathom what that is, and that's the challenge here. You're asking for information that your evaluating mind won't even understand, so you're basically asking for the impossible.

People mention all the books written about meditation and so on but the best of those depend on the reader having certain experiences so the information has some context. Imagine reading a hardcore climbing article knowing nothing about the sport and having never had any climbing experiences yourself. But if the terrain is familiar somewhat, the report jumps alive. The important thing at this stage is not reading the reports, but getting out there and grabbing the experience.

That part IS possible. But not easy. It's about the most counterintuitive things you'll ever try.

JL
mechrist

Gym climber
South of Heaven
May 27, 2013 - 03:02pm PT
check out largo droppin the Will Smith reference!
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
May 27, 2013 - 03:03pm PT
People mention all the books written about meditation and so on but the best of those depend on the reader having certain experiences so the information has some context

thanks for your reply, John

and yes, there ARE a lot of books on meditation and consciousness

and as a complete rookie, can you suggest a couple to get started with?
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
May 27, 2013 - 05:41pm PT
Here's a sleeper. If you're at all interested in a moderated debate on the motion... "Islam is a religion of peace," this won't disappoint. It features Ayaan Hirsi Ali, too. Douglas Murray, too (whom Jan enjoyed I think in the recent Cambridge Union debate).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFvklPpGZtA
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
May 27, 2013 - 05:42pm PT
and as a complete rookie, can you suggest a couple to get started with?


I would honestly say to forget the books for the moment, and just go join some group where you can practice meditating. It hardly matters where or what form at first. You're just going to be fighting yourself for awhile anyhow so the brand is not so important, only the doing. Once you have a little of that under your belt the books and this discussion will literally get lift off. But be prepared for the astonishing thing (on an adventure web site) that most people are only interested in exercising their discursive minds (the couch potato version of experiential study), or are convinced that they have already exhausted the esoteric arts by practicing in a vacuum.

JL
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
May 27, 2013 - 06:06pm PT
WBraun

climber
May 27, 2013 - 06:07pm PT
God created war so Americans can learn geography ......
MH2

climber
May 27, 2013 - 06:44pm PT
Without investigating, you quite naturally will assume that there are in fact only "two operating levels": fight or flight, and "everything else."


The full-on mental operating level I refer to is the sort described in Falling, by Mike Quigley, in Games Climbers Play. That essay is about experiences of survivors of falls in the Alps as reported to Albert von St. Gallen Heim and published in the Yearbook of the Swiss Alpine Club in 1892. A similar instance of unusual calm and confidence after a bad fall begins Rob Schultheis' book Bone Games.


A notable characteristic of the out-there mental state I refer to is that people who have experienced it report viewing themselves and what is happening around them in an objective way, perceiving details clearly, and rapidly and logically reviewing their options for survival. Are you talking about the same thing, JL? It doesn't sound like it from the fuzziness that usually enters your own descriptions of your meditation experience.


Are you quite sure that a June bug will go down under halothane, or just guessing?
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
May 27, 2013 - 07:55pm PT
A notable characteristic of the out-there mental state I refer to is that people who have experienced it report viewing themselves and what is happening around them in an objective way, perceiving details clearly, and rapidly and logically reviewing their options for survival. Are you talking about the same thing, JL? It doesn't sound like it from the fuzziness that usually enters your own descriptions of your meditation experience.


What you're describing above sounds like standard detachment, up to a point. Your example had people in crisis situations who have an important task to perform, so what they are objectifying still is bound up in content - details, options, an action plan, basically, what the hell to DO. This is a describable state.

What I am mostly talking about is beyond a state, doesn't concern objectifying at all, and most of all, is neither concerned or unconcerned about content - but rather context - and so quite naturally the talk concerning this realm will seem fuzzy if not incomprehensible to the discursive mind. Not just yours, but everyone's. The mistake is to suggest that a clearer description is better, or more accurate, when in fact you are simply defaulting back into discursive reasoning, which finds no toehold at all in anything without borders and dimension and size. This is truly something that gets lost on people. For example, I can say up and down that Zen, for example, has no content, but silly rabbits like Cintune can still come back with hare-brained notions that what I am really talking about is a cult. Like a Stonemaster is going to be some boot-licker in a freaking cult. Please . . .

But seriously, the reason the arts were invented was to experientually explore and respond to those realms for which our quantifying minds can only dance on the surface. The expression of these are are not attempts to do science, though softly and inexpertly, but to answer what science cannot. The problem here is often that people expect way too much from science, ascribing to it all the all-powerful qualities of old-time religion.

JL
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - May 27, 2013 - 07:58pm PT
Credit: Dr. F.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
May 27, 2013 - 08:16pm PT
God created war so Americans can learn geography ......

Did we lose our way to Germany and Japan?
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
May 28, 2013 - 03:23am PT
Unlike Zen, jokes do have content.

[You're also getting really predictable.
As soon as the question about Zen textbooks came up,
I knew your answer would be to get to the sangha.
So predictable. I was going to suggest this:
http://goo.gl/1PRwK ]
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