Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jun 9, 2013 - 11:42am PT
I looked to my ancestors here. The natural people- before modern Euro ways .

They had, and felt what i do inside. It isnt something to convince others of , it isnt something to convince myself of. It simply is. I cant question it directly, but it gives me answers if my eyes are open. I cant touch it physically yet its brushed me a times. It is much like ancient Oriental philosophy in many ways.

I could show you but its outside, somewhere, in some form right now.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jun 9, 2013 - 12:02pm PT
Her are some excerpts , contained in the below link, from the book Ed cited above :

http://www.amazon.com/Paleofantasy-Evolution-Really-Tells-ebook/dp/B007Q6XM1A
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Personally I have been very careful in distinguishing between descriptions of human genetic endowments and their contemporary effects or manifestations and that of actual faddish affectations like the author references.

A good example of some of this faddish thinking is the recent popularity of the " paleo diet"
which is a diet loosely based upon what is thought to be the natural diet of our Paleolithic ancestors: refined carbs, such as grain and grain-derived foods are avoided. The diet basically consists of animal protein, veggies, and fruits.
In point of fact the paleo diet is probably superior- but not because it is closer to a prehistoric diet but because it avoids overly processed foods, and empty carbs. The paleo diet is a generally more nutritious and lower in the production of systemic inflammation.

It is interesting that the author cites the mutation that allowed the adult digestion of milk as being a sort of genetically- driven advance over our paleo ancestors, in that it allowed modern humans to exploit an additional food source.
I have not read the book but I wonder if the author mentions the genetic status of gluten digestion.
Gluten is the protein in grains that causes digestive problems for many people. Celiac disease is an affliction in which the lining of the intestines are damaged by gluten- containing foods.
The sensitivity to gluten amongst humans are on a continuum with Celiac at the far end of the spectrum of reactions. Many people walking around today have a sensitivity to gluten and don't even know it. It has been linked to weight gain and diabetes for starters.
This gluten problem did not exist before settled agriculture and the widespread cultivation of grains and grasses.

Psilocyborg

climber
Jun 9, 2013 - 12:39pm PT
I just saw this video and it made me think of this thread.

This is about how science can be very much faith based just like religion.

BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jun 9, 2013 - 01:32pm PT

And while you might laugh at the idea that the discursive mind is jealous and beligerent, if we were to look at your unwillingnes to consider any other perspective but your own, my claim has about all the empiracle evidence it requires to be accepted as a plain and simple fact. You're stuck in a perspective.

I can pretty much say this about you to, unless ofcourse you would be willing to accompany
me to Sunday school sometime?
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jun 9, 2013 - 02:01pm PT
I can't speak for anyone else but I already put my Sunday school time in.
My aunt ( bless her heart) would drag us off to church every Sunday. A grave injustice for a 10 yr old who felt as if a week of drudgery at school entitled him to his weekends. I felt I had earned the weekend and it was being stolen from me outright -- by a well-meaning aunt and a strange bug- eyed preacher.

After two interminable hours of preaching we would sing the hymns. At the time I was embarrassed. What boy isn't embarrassed when he is being forced to sing? But looking back I now know that the simple act of following the hymn book gave me a good sense of melody and harmony and how the two interfaced. And looking into the faces of the devout, how music could touch the heart, and the soul, in a way nothing else could.

After the service the kids would go to their Sunday school class. A grave injustice if ever there was.. Once in the class we would sit in a circle and take turns reading scripture. I hated it. The scenes and personages being depicted in verse had no relationship to my small life. I rebelled in a way that would not make my aunt proud. So I bit my lip and endured the agony, like a visit to the dentist.
Now looking back I know that seminal experience helped to give me a firm sense of language beyond the hitherto ordinary. How the King James would sometimes flow like Shakespeare would one day. Sunday school class also gave me a sense of history, of grand mythic symbols, of struggle and defeat, and final victory.

I put in my Sunday School time.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Jun 9, 2013 - 03:21pm PT
...now I'm sure Largo will come back with some sort of statement like "well, maybe the actual story isn't true, but you get my point."

Yes, this bothers me too. This uneasy mix of truth and fiction that occurs now and then when the poster strays from their expertise. It can be entertaining, but . . .

On the other hand this is an Internet forum. A little like Wikipedia in that mistakes can be corrected. When the writing is humorous or informative it's fun to read. Grain of salt.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 9, 2013 - 03:30pm PT






I would note that it only takes a very little chain pulling to start a full avalanche of "aren't you stupid Largo dumber than a box of rocks" et al. This is scientism showing its fangs. Stupid = challenging measuring as all-powerful.

What Ed and others are being dishonest about is that they have any interest in learning or expanding their POV, when in fact their actual motivation is in trying to discredit the credibility of anyone but fellow quantifiers. Case in point: I actually took the time to draft up a pretty formalized review of awareness, awareness fusion, discursive narrow and open focusing, how to detach from sub-personalities, and so forth, the role of focus in “free will,” etc., and these subjects get glossed over as Ed concentrates on the verity of a silly joke about a lighthouse. Can any sober individual call this a serious investigation with any modicum of integrity attached, or is this just an ill-spirited diversion away from the substantive issues which, in the case of discursive focus and so forth, are apparently totally lost on people. Like I asked, and which never gets answered: How far are you willing to go to learn something and expand your understanding? How much time are you willing to invest? A half an hour? An hour? Nothing at all? If you have no interest in these topics, at least have the integrity to admit it.

And so far as anyone paying actual attention to what’s been said, how about the fact that I can say 1,000 times that subjective experience is particular to a given subject, and yet Ed can say I believe that "Consciousness is a non-local phenomena.” You and I both know Ed is trying to smuggle God into the equation here and attribute it to me. But at a subtler lever, can you see somebodies mind desperately trying to frame consciousness as a thing (a “phenomenon” or a function) , as a discernable force, or some damn thing they can get hold of? But as I have said, consciousness is no-thing, is unborn, is uncreated and was never made by a brain or any other thing. Is “meditation a process of becoming aware of the connecting of our person with the universe?” I suppose that can be one of the early boons of meditation, overcoming the illusion of duality, of separateness, but meditation has always been a method of boring directly into the truth, and the bedrock truth of Zen is that everything you see and feel and think and believe and conjure and add, subtract, and multiply is entirely empty, without any independent existence whatsoever. All things are impermanent.

That question is: What is otherwise? And how is Mind the wormhole to it? And what are you willing to do to find out for yourself, other than that you are already doing and have always done? Go back to what John G. wrote about the moment the merry-go-round and the music stops we all are left clinging to our favorite wooden horses. What would it take to get you off of it, even for a second?


Consider this: When Mike said, "I wonder how the future gets created? The answer is that it doesn't. The future, like the past and the present, happens all by itself."

What do you think he meant by this? Before defaulting back into chain-link causal thinking, consider a deeper take on this. Just for a moment.

JL
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jun 9, 2013 - 03:35pm PT
You folks have covered a lot of ground since I was last here. Whew. I've been at a Dzogchen retreat this week.

The fact that people believe I have a secret God agenda tells me that believe not what I am actually writing, but what they believe.

If I've learned anything at all from participating in this thread, it's been the importance and power of beliefs. Irrespective of data or direct experience, beliefs seem to run our worlds and ourselves.

In Dzogchen, we're simply trying to notice what's right in front of us, and we've been spending not much time sitting (not as much as I like). Instead, we're trying to move the furniture of the mind out the way so that our awareness is unobstructed. Some participants are having a difficult time of it, wondering why "the big thing" doesn't show up for them, only to hear from our teacher that there is no big thing. Not only is there no thing at all anywhere, but the thing being referenced is right in front of them and has always been so.

You can see people in the room fight that notion, asking analytical questions, trying to figure out what IT is mentally, rationally, linguistically, psychologically. (We even had a psychiatrist this time, which was fascinating to me. Talk about trying to work through mazes within mazes! Holy Cow!) In so many retreats I've been in, one's mind gets light, an ethereal atmosphere gets built, and one "retreats" to another world than the one they normally inhabit. In other words, the effects of a little peace, quiet, and solitude leads to nothing abiding.

But in the retreats with this teacher, everything remains rather regular and normal (nothing sacred about this teacher, never), straightforward, neither light nor heavy. People find often find it difficult to simply see or experience their own experience. (Sounds ridiculous just to say it.) They don't get it (yet they are it).

Anytime you see anything as a thing, more importantly that you Believe that the thing is a THING, you've moved away from your experience, Reality, As It Is, the here and now, what Dzogchen people call pristine awareness, that which forms the ground of consciousness, that place of total ease and peace.

I know it might seem that you need beliefs to do or be anything, but it's just not the case when you're in that place without beliefs. You simply do what needs doing, only without the you and without the object of doing'ness. It's when there is seeing without a seer and without anything being seen, when there is hearing without a hearer or things being heard, etc. Everything then is absolutely natural, spontaneous, open, and one (non-dual). The funniest thing is that IT is available and operating at all times; it's just that there are all these self-made obstacles / obscurations in the way of being.

Although Largo might have seemed harsh, I think his criticisms are fair. On the other hand, Ed is usually observant, careful, maybe plodding. I'd like to see him use those same skills on his own consciousness. But it's a lot to ask; it's a big investment; I've been at it for 25-30 years, and look at the little I have to show for it.



Had surgery last week, and I'm still eating percocets like mints. Just don't yet have the energy back. Surgery went ok (they found nothing), so I'm liable to think that I got over-diagnosed. Now I'm sore as heck.

Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jun 9, 2013 - 05:10pm PT
Had surgery last week, and I'm still eating percocets like mints. Just don't yet have the energy back. Surgery went ok (they found nothing), so I'm liable to think that I got over-diagnosed. Now I'm sore as heck.

Get well soon. May your horizons be pain free.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Jun 9, 2013 - 05:31pm PT
Glad they found nothing, Mike. Another meaning for "no-thing"!
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Jun 9, 2013 - 06:24pm 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 - 06:58pm 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 - 06:58pm 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 - 07:07pm 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 - 07:28pm 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 - 07:53pm 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 9, 2013 - 09:03pm 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 9, 2013 - 09:38pm 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 9, 2013 - 11:06pm 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 9, 2013 - 11:06pm PT
Hey Thanks MH2. That was a good one A!
I like being a jester rather than a molester
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