Politics, God and Religion vs. Science


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Social climber
joshua tree
Jun 9, 2013 - 11:42pm PT

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.

Could you be talking about destiny here? I first came to this realization some time ago. Looking at my past, as much as I've always felt I was in control of my life I can't help but think
the road ive been on wasn't that much of my choosing. That I had to go through those tolls to arrive at today's destination. So I let go of the steeringwheel of pride, and took a backseat to ego. Now I look to the universe for direction. Now I'm no longer gripped when I look in the rearviewmirror.

The Greatfull Dead said;
" I may be go'in to hell in a bucket baby, but atleast I'm enjoy'in the ride.."

That's close to what I say, but the opposite..

Hebrews 1:3
Jun 10, 2013 - 05:04am PT
Now is the time to settle your eternal destiny and be assured of your place in God's kingdom by the blood, righteousness, and name of Christ whom belongs the glory forever and ever, Amen!

No one can do it for you, and the bell it tolls for thee...

photo not found
Missing photo ID#306283

Luke 12:20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’
21 “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

Hebrews 2:2 For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, 3 how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?

“All flesh is like grass,
And all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
And the flower falls off,
But the word of the Lord endures forever.”

...cus t-I-ME isn't on our side, no it ain't!

Jun 10, 2013 - 09:00am PT
Thanks Ward and Jogill for the kind sentiments about my health. Feeling the threat of mortality breathing down my neck has been an exciting adventure. The meter of my experience has slowed down, my experience has become more crystalized, and I've noticed more minute detail in it recently.

Of course, narcotics are pretty weird, too. They present something like a thick colored glass to view experience, but I've found if I tweak the dosages just right, only the pain subsides.

. . . learning about your our mind from the inside is not helped much by whatever people have to say about it . . . .

This is such a remarkable statement by anyone. (Who made it?)

I don't care what discipline you come from, every field of study's objective has been to discover who and what we are. The study of the universe has always been important because it creates a context for the self, for humanity, for human beings. To the extent that we understand the universe, we understand ourselves. The work of discovery of the universe is a test and testament of our capabilities and values as human beings.

I shouldn't have to explain the studies of the humanities in these same terms, but perhaps I need to for whoever wrote the quote above. Literature, psychology, sociology, commerce and economics, music, art, history, politics, etc. are all reflections of who we think we've been and are as a species, as societies, and individuals. Mind is at the center of all of those studies. All those studies help us understand our nature, our hopes, our fears, and our successes and failures as a life form. They all provide meaning to us about us.

We assume that life matters. We think that what makes our lives special is that we can reflect upon our condition, intentions, and capabilities.

I understand that the brain can be studied, and I'm sure that's interesting and helpful to many people here. The mind seems to be different than the brain in some important respects--which is to say that we cannot yet talk about the mind fully at the same time when we talk about the brain. So, we're left (for the moment at least) with looking at the mind from the inside. We have very few alternatives available to us, and certainly no long line of empirical studies to create a science of the mind just yet.

If you have concerns about how people behave, what they think, what they value, what there belief structures are, what their knowledge representations are like, and how they develop and maintain any of those with others, . . . then finding ways of looking at people's minds (rather than their brains) would seem to be necessary and the best approach available currently.

So, although people are interested in how the universe works (string theory, quantum mechanics, neural nets, chemical reactions within the limbic system, etc.), learning about how your own mind works from the inside is relatively useless???

I'm sorry. I'm having a logic problem here following this logic. (That's about the kindest thing I can say about it.)

Jun 10, 2013 - 09:04am PT
There's only a handful of us with any deep experience of the non discursive mind


Let's count you, MikeL, and JL. Then BASE104 has mentioned trips into the wilderness when he was immersed in the NOW for days or weeks at a time. Tom Cochrane and jogill have reported out-of-body experiences. Ed recently gave the example of contemplating a mathematical issue, where one can spend hours not having a little voice in the head or constantly shifting one's attention, but rather standing back, as it were, from the conscious part of the mind and listening for whispers of a new construction built by the sub-conscious. How well do you know go-B and his mental process? Or BLUEBLOCR? And give Dr. F. a little credit for at least trying, and Cintune.

I bet that almost everyone has some experience of the non discursive mind. Alcohol will do it for quite a few, and there are other drugs.

You may be talking about a specific version of the non discursive mind? It is clear that you and MikeL and JL do not give exactly the same account of what your deep experience is or why you seek it or what it tells you about reality and other people.

As for where to go from here, I am looking into stories of people who have had subjective experience quite different from the rest of us. Not as a scientific thing but just to stir the imagination. There was Helen Keller but I only recently learned about a gentleman who lived here in Vancouver who was blind and deaf from the age of 9 months.


Then there is that philosophical proposition: "There must be something that is what it is like to be a bat." Can a human see the world as a bat does? If not a bat, how about other animals? There are a few cases of human children who apparently spent years with no human contact, living in the wild.

There is talk of using drone technology for tourism. You would rent a vehicle in Africa and from the comfort of your living room you could roam across the savannah. How about a small flying drone? You could use sonar for echo-location, convert it to a signal human senses could handle, and try to be a bat. The human mind is adaptable.

However, first it would be great to do a little better on the question of what it is like to be another human(*). We need to work together.

* (edit) This is where we thank the anthropologist.

Social climber
the Wastelands
Jun 10, 2013 - 09:16am PT
Ed has deleted his posts and has checked out

I will miss him and his contributions, which I feel were huge.

Good luck Ed, I wish I could have met and talked with you!

With much respect


Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 10, 2013 - 09:30am PT
I think it helps this conversation to frame things in terms of internal and external processes, and as mentioned, how there are things that can be accomplished only in each respective realm. We all know no one can study for us and pass on the knowledge like handing off a football. We all know that personal mastery cannot be accomplished by pressure from without. The goal of medical science was at one time the control of the internal by way of objective interventions, usually drugs and narcotics. The so-called "pharmo solution." Of course this never remotely panned out because it is trying to do the impossible, though there are still those believing if the database was wide and accurate enough, the "bio machine" could be entirely managed from the outside, that even things like personality disorders and addictions could be chemically controlled, entirely, believing as people do that all behavior and everything inside is "created" by chemestry alone.

So moving forward I plan to address this material by way of the internal (subjective) and external (objective) paradigm, knowing that this will never please everyone, seeming that staunch literalists like Craig will keep demanding external "proof" of internal realities, and 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.

Lastly, before I start in on work, we need to be respectful of the fact that the kind of non-discursive practice that Mike is talking about is exceptionally directed and intentional, and that it is almost impossible to arrive in the same milieu be accidential or other means, any more than I am likely to solve cold fusion by running some numbrers in my head. Any directed practice is aimed in a certain direction. The "masters," who have takn such a snubbing here (as frauds, deluded, juju worshipers et al LOL) are on hand to model what certain aspects of mastery look like when embodied. But everyone understands that we have to do our own work, or "climb our own peak," as they used to say, knowing that no leader or master can short rope you to the Promise Land, and that it cannot be accomplished from the outside.


Jun 10, 2013 - 09:42am PT
Ed has deleted his posts and has checked out.

I don't believe that can be done. It's like erasing experience. Posts, . . . sure, but not the experience.

No one can erase experience Ed would have to delete the effects of his posts in all of our minds.

On the other hand, memories (of Ed and his views) do not reside in the past. They manifest in the present, and their true nature should be questioned. Our memories tend to be constructed interpretations.

If anyone wants to leave the thread, they can. I have at different times. So have you.

Ed's probably frustrated, disgusted, and maybe a little angry with his perceptions of things.

Strip out evaluations, interpretations, concepts, and ideas, and what would be left? Raw awareness or experience. Just phenomena.

No phenomenon is as concrete or serious as it seems.

Ed probably needs a break, a little relaxation, a little rest.

When things get overly concrete and serious, who doesn't?

Social climber
the Wastelands
Jun 10, 2013 - 09:52am PT
. The "masters," who have takn such a snubbing here (as frauds, deluded, juju worshipers et al LOL) are on hand to model what certain aspects of mastery look like when embodied.

I assume you include yourself as one of the masters?

Hebrews 1:3
Jun 10, 2013 - 10:14am PT
The short and long of it, make sure your secured to Christ...

1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

...everything in this universe blows my mind can you imagine...

Social climber
the Wastelands
Jun 10, 2013 - 10:36am PT
I believe Ed said that he made the decision to delete his posts and found he could delete only
back to May 16 and so he did

He already claims that his Zen training enabled him to cope with the pain. Why not healing as well?

yes, I remember JL saying that as his reply to my question for an example from him of how he used his spiritual/meditation findings to enhance or better his own life

Jun 10, 2013 - 10:52am 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 - 11:19am 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 - 12:31pm 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 - 12:38pm 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 - 01:05pm PT
I see no difference between Largo & LEB.
The Chief

Climber from the Land Mongols under the Whites
Jun 10, 2013 - 01:13pm 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 - 01:23pm 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 - 01:49pm 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 - 03:00pm 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 - 03:12pm 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.
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