Politics, God and Religion vs. Science


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Social climber
An Oil Field
Aug 7, 2013 - 05:53pm PT
An honest question:

What do you find or experience when you have mastered the ability to quiet the discursive?

This is a sort of "What's the point?" type of question, although I am being serious.

I'm curious if less mentally gifted animals live their entire lives without discursive thought.

If you discover something by mastering control over the discursive, is that something already a part of the brain, or are we talking spirit here.

Boulder climber
Aug 7, 2013 - 06:11pm PT
Ask a philosopher

Usually a mistake if one wants clarity.

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Aug 7, 2013 - 06:14pm PT
BASE, I tried to show you or make clear that quieting the discursive was not the place to start, because we have no direct control over the geysering of the discursive, or the mental chatter (monkey mind), so the task is to understand how our focus works, since we do have some conscious control per where we place or direct our attention. This is the way to answer your question - indirect as it seems. Trying to skip these initial steps is inviting but you can't do that. I've never seen it work.

So just for a few moments, consider returning to the original consideration: Can you see how you focus your attention on one thing at the exclusion of most other things?

Just notice how your mind does this. Then we can vault forward to your other questions in short order.

You might as well take a simple crack at this since Marlow is in fact a troll. I razz and pick on him soemtimes because he's such an easy mark - though quite possibly a borderline - but he has demonstrated no honest effort in understanding something new. And this initial stuff is open to anyone to find out for themselves in no time. So for whatever my encouragement is worth, take a flier at it. It only takes moments.


Somewhere out there
Aug 7, 2013 - 08:53pm PT
MikeL - In further response…

There is no point. A person either identified those topics or issues as meaningful, or they didn't.

 Whenever I think about things that I find true for me, I will commonly ask myself a series of questions - "Would this same thought be true for someone else" i.e. does my thinking of survival fit with that kid from india? Do my thoughts pass muster with someone born deaf, dumb and blind (would I really need art to live a life worth living or make my life "better" (whatever that is?), would talking to others about spiritual matters really be all that important, or would it be more of a diversion than useful in everyday life, is it absolutely necessary to have a hero….)

If the things I think don't hold up solid to my own questions, how could I even consider foisting the thought onto anyone else?

From this same vein, if the firmly held belief about one deity or another cannot pass my own bit of scrutiny (is a god really necessary in my everyday life, or is it really just wishful thinking) then how can I be expected to consider unloading it on someone else, let alone keep the belief myself.

I feel that others, specifically those considering themselves devoted to anything, take the a list of questions to their held beliefs, whatever they may be. It is possible, if they want to find truth and if they are honest with themselves, they may find themselves in a better place by letting go of their most strongly held belief.

Hope this helps

Edit: Looking for Universals = Across cultures, across ages, across any man-made boundary.

Aug 7, 2013 - 10:42pm PT

Most of the conversations I'm aware of are not focused on survival these days. I live in a developed country, and for the most part, I hang out with people who live in developed countries. Most of our conversations are about those soft, non-scientific topics--other than in my job as an academic.

I'm quite aware that 60% of the world's population make under $3,000 a year (BoP--base of the pyramid): 4 billion making about $2.50 a day. Survival is likely a thought that comes into their heads once a day. I appreciate those are the folks who you feel most empathetic with. (Wish Jan were a part of this conversation.)

I have a research fellow (family in Delhi and Nepal) coming back from Nepal after 5 weeks of field research. I've been skype'ing her to walk in their shoes, live their life, and listen to what They have to say. Anthropologically, we have to very ginger with our questions and interpretations.

What's true, is what's true for a person in question. I can't possibly say what's true for you, my research fellow, or any person in Nepal. Nor should I, not even hypothetically.

You said you are concerned about your questions, and then you're concerned about fostering thoughts on others. I'd say that your questions alone foster more than enough thoughts to be concerned about.

Let's just hang out and live with others for a while before stipulating what's important for or to them and what's not.

All this points to our own consciousness, and getting in touch with that--first and last. Then we can see where we are.

The Indian sage, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj was asked what to do about saving the world. He responded:

"Why do you worry about the world before taking care of yourself? You want to save the world, don't you? Can you save the world before saving yourself? And what means being saved? Saved from what? From illusion. Salvation is to see things as they are. I really do not see myself related to anybody and anything. Not even to a self, whatever that self may be. I remain forever -- undefined."

Later, to a similar question:

"Which world do you want to save? The world of your own projection? Save it yourself. My world? Show me my world and I shall deal with it. I am not aware of any world separate from myself, which I am free to save or not to save. What business have you with saving the world, when all the world needs is to be saved from you? Get out of the picture and see whether there is anything left to save."

For me, what's best about your post above is your intentions. Those are really enough. Any more, is more than enough. I understand that appears heartless.


Aug 7, 2013 - 10:46pm PT
Why do you worry about the world before taking care of yourself?
You want to save the world, don't you?
Can you save the world before saving yourself


It can't be done without liberating oneself first from the clutches of maya.

The modern fools do not have any clue what so ever about this .....

Social climber
joshua tree
Aug 7, 2013 - 11:25pm PT
I send you my utmost respect and gratitude for your work and time spent to the consciousness
of this thread. I REALLY mean it! I'm not sure why you do it? But if it's any consolation I look forward everyday to read ur posts, and I'll be thoroughly bummed when you decide to stop!

Not that I agree or like everything you post, like this one? But I Truely believe that ur a Gentleman and a Scholar!!

I really do not see myself related to anybody and anything. Not even to a self, whatever that self may be. I remain forever -- undefined."

What about Love?

Aug 8, 2013 - 12:00am PT
What was the question?

What is it that you think you can explain once and for all? What can you get to the bottom of without equivocation, without uncertainty, without ambiguity, incontrovertibly, incorrigibly?

What is it that I think?

What is it that I think I can explain?

What is it that I think I can explain once and for all?

And philosophers have given their best shots we either disagree or do not understand?

Then I will ask a mathematician.


Towards a SymbolicComputational Philosophy (and Methodology!) for Mathematics
Doron Zeilberger
Dedicated to Bruno Buchberger, on the occasion of his 5!/2!-th Birthday

Logocentrism appears to be what Largocentrism is an opposite if not equal reaction to.

High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Aug 8, 2013 - 12:12am PT
Some very self-assured confusion from Ross Douthat. In response to Steven Pinker's piece...


Reminded me again of MikeL. :(

Social climber
joshua tree
Aug 8, 2013 - 12:24am PT
^^^That's pretty fun-ny!

what's even more funny is to try and prescribe numbers to love or hate.

But I certainly won't knock a guy for taking on a challenge.

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Aug 8, 2013 - 12:39am PT
Funny Whitehead came up in conversation. You want to tie your head in knots, get hold of Process and Reality. I did grad work in a "process" oriented joint, with Whitehead remaining the resident guru (late, having died many years before), with side orders of James, Sherborn, and de Chardin.

James was the only one who really dug in - and looked at 1st person experience. The others were mostly just talking, but some fine talk it was.

What Whitehead called the consequent nature of God was in fact him just carrying water for Platonic forms, later recast by Jung as collective unconscious - and then some. Archtypal stuff. And interesting.


Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Aug 8, 2013 - 12:47am PT
What Whitehead called the consequent nature of God was in fact him just carrying water for Platonic forms, later recast by Jung as collective unconscious - and then some. Archtypal stuff. And interesting.

Your're guessing here.

Aug 8, 2013 - 12:49am PT
At the most fundamental level of personal freedom, why is it any of your businesses? Keep in mind please I am talking about individual choice to hold and keep a religious belief, in a manner consistent with the laws of the land.


Because to an ever increasing degree in the US, religiousism is seeking to change the law so that there is religious limitation on existing individual freedoms.

Sport climber
Aug 8, 2013 - 01:41am PT

You said Marlow is a troll. I don't see it that way.

Marlow wrote:
"Don't get stuck with Marlow. Marlow is not important. He is only balancing you out...or giving you balance...when you're too drunk on yourself...and write like a drunken sailor... inbetween... well rather often... Lol..."

I often see your writing as bullying. You're often a bully ("write like a drunken sailor") and you're tooling as I have explained elsewhere. I will in a while repeat what I wrote about your bullying and tooling. And since you're a dominant tooling bully I do what I have given the name "balancing you out" or "giving you balance" once in a while.

And just to remind you - here's the repetition:


Marlow said:
"Largo seems to be changing style at times, but it's superficial. He is in the domination mode, he has concluded beforehand and he pretends to be learning. When he is confused it is because his facts does not lead to his preconclusion. When that happens he pretends to have been joking or an other act of escaping. Largo is in many ways the LEB of philosophy on this thread and the Mind thread."

Largo said:
"Sometimes I have a hard time understanding you Marlow, possibly because your English is strangely phrased.

What your probelem is, I trust, is you're not used to hearing anyone but science types make declarations of any kind, believing as you do that they are the only one who have the "facts" to back up declarations. You lack the experiences to understand differently, so I honestly don't hold it against you. How would you otherwise know? You couldn't. That's the challenge Mike, Jan and I have in presenting some of our ideas. The data was not arrieved at through discursive means, and that's a concept largely lost on those here, who assume anything non-discursive must be intuitive, fuzzy felings, beliefs, or whatever, as opposed to knowing.

While you accuse me of posturing in terms of "learning," I have noticed that you have never asked a single honest qustion, the earmark of someone wanting to learn, and instead are content to toss out things in a transparent passive-aggresive fashion, always aiming at undermining credibility. That's a sneaky game, Marlow, and I'd wager you've learned little to nothing in meantime. I'm afraid you'll have to return to that coner and think it over. I'd expect a little more from a jazz lover.

I've only been confused here in believing that people were actually interested in exploring things beyond the discursive or evaluating mind. In that case I was confused and mistaken indeed. This thread has all the markers of an old-farts club, with me leading the way, mistaken as I was that it was otherwise.

Marlow's answer:

Just to remind you of what you're doing Largo, from the horse's own mouth, since the horse do not remember his own words. The pattern is easily seen all the way in your argumentation: http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1386860&msg=1837901#msg1837901.

Some of Largo's Words from the link:

"Marlow, I am going to flame you every time out because your are an easy mark because you take it all too seriously. Did it ever occur to you that I am intentionally assuming an evangelistic - sartorial tone simply to sound pompous and to co#k around with this material. I never even revise this stuff. I'm just mostly free associating. Now when you hit your stride with that faux professor tone, you simply cannot expect not to told not to return to your corner with the pointy hat because it's not all that serious."

Yes, Largo's a great pretender.

If you want to, you can just repeat the words "taking it too seriously" - that's part of your pattern when you're stuck. Or maybe you were joking?

Aug 8, 2013 - 01:51am PT
Marlow = cry baby pussy .....

Sport climber
Aug 8, 2013 - 01:58am PT
No problem, WBraun, no problem. I see your bullying. ;o)

Social climber
joshua tree
Aug 8, 2013 - 03:07am PT

Marlow = cry baby pussy .....

I don't know..his sounds as good as any arguement

Aug 8, 2013 - 09:57am PT
The others were mostly just talking, but some fine talk it was.

Ah, yes.


Such fine words they talked, but so unlike fly fishing.

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Aug 8, 2013 - 10:39am PT
Marlow, what makes you an amateur flame in plain and simple terms is that yor are never focused in any honest way on what the subject matter is, or what YOU, Marlow, want to learn, but am in fact obsessed with attacking the messenger. Rather than digging in and making a real, authentic, and honest effort with the material being presented, you piss into the ear of everyone who laughs and chides you for pretending to be anything but a troll attempting to drail the conversation by underminding the verity of the author. Of course I am always bullying you because at bottom, you are a kind of piss ant circling around the conversation and landing wherever you might stir up a little dirt.

The crux of the issue is that while you accuse me of posing and pretending, I have repeatedly invited one and all to do a few very simple exercises to get started down a road where what Mike and I and others have been pointing at for some time, and you and others have begged off taking a single step in that direction, while at the same time defending your right to stay right where you are. I trust you already know all about your native turf, but invitations to travel are received as a kind of insult. I would think you were frightened if I didn't know better.

If you came right out and said you are totally lost in that terrain and don't want to got there - fine. Of if you said you were a fear-based kind of person who had to know all about a town before ever visiting, we might live with that too. We could understand and respect that. But you're just stalling and standing there doing nothing while presenting yourself as some oracle of truth. Silly Marlow . . . Even your own mother knows you're faking it. Always have been. Ask an honest qustion, in which yo don't know the answer. 1,000,000,000 to one you will NEVER do this. You know why.

Marlow, you can't say you weren't warned, but you've done this to yourself, dear boy. You've goiven me no other choice but to send you back to the corner with the dunce cap. This time, try and do the first part of the focus exercise I assigned you yesterday. Don't come out of the corner till YOU have something to say in that regards. I repeat, do not flee from the corner till you can answer the question about how you pay attention. No more of your silly backtalk and boring quotes. You have your assignment.

And Ward, put down that gay porn long enough to tell me what you think I am guessing about per Whitehead, Plato, James, Jung, et al. This should be charmking . . .

Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Aug 8, 2013 - 11:19am PT
Because to an ever increasing degree in the US, religiousism is seeking to change the law so that there is religious limitation on existing individual freedoms.

Yeah? One of those existing individual freedoms is the right to worship as one sees fit. I don't get what you're driving at.

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