Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Messages 17001 - 17020 of total 22369 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Nov 6, 2013 - 11:39am PT
FortMentäl

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Nov 6, 2013 - 11:46am PT
Wasn't that long ago that you'd have ascribed your cancer to something that couldn't be understood by "analysis". And it's utterly shameful to ascribe social problems in today's world to anything other than failures in policy... failures of management.

But that's the problem right there: that loathsome word, "manage". That's your world-view: action is to be discredited. It's a source of problems; we should "manage" our way into a better world. Why didn't you manage your life around your cancer? Why did you act to remove it? What analysis did you perform that caused you to ACT to have doctors cure you? What cost-benefit calculation did you perform that led you to seek out science and why didn't you simply meditate your way to a cure? And yet you pitied the person who analyzed his reality in your satsang? This from a person who believes thinking is "Squirrels in a cage, round and round and round"? Shameful is too polite a word.
MH2

climber
Nov 6, 2013 - 01:34pm PT
For most everyone here on this thread, the mind is all-consuming and really all there is for them--especially the mind that's evaluating and thinking 24x7.


How would you know that? From things we say here? Just because we make an attempt to be understood on this thread, don't assume that analysis and rationality are all we do.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Nov 6, 2013 - 01:47pm PT
Cintune: Great! Funny.


FM:

"Action" is a mis-interpretation. As for my cancer, what I did I could not help but do. There was no real decision. It just looks that way. I expected to die anyway, so I pretty much took my hands off the controls. There were so many people who cared. I felt cared for.

Management is a misnomer. There is no manage. It's "get along," "navigate," "go with the flow," "see things the way they are." Since it is that way, for me at least, then thinking is pretty much irrelevant. It happens, but it seems to make no difference whatsoever to what happens in my life. It's sort of some kind of activity along with a myriad of others.

The problem with being smart is believing that you can figure your way through the world the way that you want. There are, to my knowledge, no studies that have shown that attempting to make changes or control things has any impact at all. Indeed there is no study that could. Hence, what you and others think is the obvious evidence for control is at least a speculation. Worse, it is a delusion.

I have no real idea what causes me to "act" the way that I do. It's pretty much a mystery to me. Some folks will perhaps offer karma as a cause. I don't know. I just try to pay attention to what's going on around me experientially, and if I come to realize something, then I figure this body / mind will use it. But I don't really try to drive it so much anymore. Sure, I feel good or bad that nice things or not-so-nice things happen around me, but that just seems to be the universe's plan for me. This is where I'm at. If there is any real learning, it's consciousness simply learning about consciousness.

How would it be possible that anyone could have control in a perfect universe? How would it be possible to give some 7 billion entities free will on this planet and witness any precision? How is it possible that everything isn't complete randomness?


MH2: Ok. It's what appears to me. I don't see much of anything else here.
manemachen

Sport climber
Pinedale, Wyoming
Nov 6, 2013 - 02:22pm PT
I believe, and it's only a belief-so no one get your panties in bunch here-that some things in life are a "higher calling" because of the truth that they bring and skills you learn. It is a bitch and some people rise to the challenge and some people opt to check out.
I *think*(assume) about all the skills that have to be refined to do a 5-12 move. At any level of climbing skill, it has been my experience to think in 1-D and in 3-D. It is engineering and problem solving..and well, you know..and the people that are attracted to climbing seem to, as a group, be intelligent way beyond average. it's practice, practice, practice if you ask me kind of a flight simulator? (ok, too much time alone..)
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Nov 6, 2013 - 04:43pm PT
Magnus Carlsen, blindfolded, playing chess against 10 lawyers at Harvard: http://www.vgtv.no/#!id=73427&index=11
PSP also PP

Trad climber
Berkeley
Nov 6, 2013 - 05:02pm PT
Werner said "One good look at this whole planets consciousness is the clue.

Endless wars, endless violence against all living entities and material nature itself."

Obviously he is correct; what a mess.

The way Zen practice approaches this mess, and probably alot of other practices, is to ask what is the root of this madness? and to take a step further of what is the root of my own madness (i.e. ignorance, anger,and greed). Meditation is the tool Zen uses to look at these states of mind that act and cause so much pain and suffering. When you are sitting on a cushion you have the opportunity to see the anger arise and to hang out with the anger and get to know it and then to watch it disappear. But since you are sitting on a cushion you don't punch any body or insult them.

Anger and greed usually have the word "I" associated with them ; so the next big question is who is this "I" that is helping make the mess and why? Why do that? Why be angry ?Why be Greedy? IMO most of the humans still act like children I want that and I want this non-stop, and if they don't get it they make a mess with their frustration and greed.

It is about sitting down and observing what is going on and looking deeply into yourself to look at your own mess and making it correct.




FortMentäl

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Nov 6, 2013 - 05:07pm PT
It is about sitting down and observing what is going on and looking deeply into yourself to look at your own mess and making it correct.

No it's not.

It's about making less babies.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Nov 6, 2013 - 05:26pm PT
What cost-benefit calculation did you perform that led you to seek out science and why didn't you simply meditate your way to a cure?


Wrong tool for the task. You need the evaluating mind to do medicine, wall climbing, technical writing, et al.

An interesting question to you, would be to get your take on where the evaluating mind leaves off, beyond which it is on no value. We know that meditating is not the way to cure cancer, at least not directly. But evaluating is, in your experience, the wrong tool for exploring what side of reality?

If your answer is not the very thing of scientism (evaluating is the right tool for EVERYTHING) I will buy you a burrito.

And MH2. You repeated: Knowing the mind in real, subjective and experiential terms involves keeping the focus wide open. And you asked:
Keeping the focus of what wide open? Of the mind?

Your raw awareness. We have some modicum, of choice over where we place our awareness, but we rarely use this ability so it is vastly underdeveloped. You can verify this by directing your awareness on an item on your desk. Do it now. Notice how the item you choose is in focus, meaning your attention is focued on the given item, and everthing else is in the background so to speak and you're only vaguley aware of it. Now open your focus wide, to infinity, so every thing is in soft focus, so you are not focused or paying attention to any one thing, so you are taking in the whole.

Notice two things. A), your mind will autonatically have the impulse to narrow focus on some thing internal (thought, feeling etc.) or external (computer, smart phone, blue jay, etc.), and B), your language center will start wanting to label and qualify whatever you are focused on. But when you keep your awareness open, you can't generate words in the regular way because you are isolating out nor identified with a thing, so to get a feel for the whole the only recourse left is to shut up and linger and see what happens from there. Understand that the evaluating mind will keep butting in asking what is the point because it has no sense of the whole. the whole is not what the evaluating mind does.

JL

MH2

climber
Nov 7, 2013 - 12:11am PT
Notice how the item you choose is in focus, meaning your attention is focued on the given item, and everthing else is in the background so to speak and you're only vaguley aware of it.



This is nowhere even remotely close to what happens when I look at an item on my desk.

I like your analogy though.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Nov 7, 2013 - 01:10am PT
This is nowhere even remotely close to what happens when I look at an item on my desk.


I'm afraid that you misunderstand the example, which is not my opinion but the plain facts as described by the Brain Institute at UCLA.

Perhaps the example was poorly explained, but your brain does not work differently than anyone elses in regards to how you focus your attention.

Again, pick out something on your desk and focus on it. This is the same as focusing the lens of a camera on one object, and having the rest of the field out of focus or in soft focus. Your awareness follows the focus, which is not strictly a visual process since you can do it eyes closed.

The thing to realize is the difference between narrow and wide focus, and the plain and incontrovertible fact that no human being can be narrow focus on a thing - be it a pencil or a cat - and be paying close attention to the whole at the same time. This is especially true when you have to concentrate. You can only pay close attention to one "thing" at time, which is required for the process of evaluating. Try writing a poem or doing a math question while also listening to the lyrics of a song on the radio.

You'll get the point soon enough if you fiddle with the focus. Then you can go back and see how holding an open focus precludes evaluating - you have to narrow the focus down for that to start happening. And the untrained brain will begin to do this immdeiately.

JL

Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
U.N. Ambassador, Crackistan
Nov 7, 2013 - 10:10am PT
The thing to realize is the difference between narrow and wide focus, and the plain and incontrovertible fact that no human being can be narrow focus on a thing - be it a pencil or a cat - and be paying close attention to the whole at the same time. This is especially true when you have to concentrate. You can only pay close attention to one "thing" at time, which is required for the process of evaluating. Try writing a poem or doing a math question while also listening to the lyrics of a song on the radio.

You mean like driving an automobile in rush hour traffic while on an important conference call where nuance and inflection of various transmitted voices must be listened to quite closely?

Agreed its hard to multitask. The tighter I draw my focus, the more I have to rely upon my instincts to pick up the slack.

The more intense the discussion the harder it is to stay sane in traffic. I've long noted that its not the 'holding' of a cell phone in a car is dangerous. Its the focus a call steals away from driving....

I had started out to offer disagreement about multi-tasking but as I typed I realized from personal experience alone I have to agree.

DMT
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Nov 7, 2013 - 10:19am PT
. . . can only pay close attention to one "thing" at time, which is required for the process of evaluating.

A guidance from Lama Tsong Khapa about this is to see in the same way as a child would look at a fresco painted on a wall. No interpretation, but seeing.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Nov 7, 2013 - 10:35am PT
You mean like driving an automobile in rush hour traffic while on an important conference call where nuance and inflection of various transmitted voices must be listened to quite closely?


If you notice carefully you'll see your attention zipping between the nuanced voice and traffic at light speed, but it won't be zeroed in on both at the same time.

When you are maintaining an open focus, you are paying attention to nothing in particular, neither moving towards or away from anything, and you awareness is not bound by the borders of a thing as is ALWAYS required to evaluate something, when we isolate out this atom or that star from the matrix. In fact when experiments really get down to brass facts, they isolate and eliminate every needless thing required to predict an outcome. Notice how recently, even space and time have been eliminated from some calculations, and have subsequently been described as unreal as they are not needed to conduct the experiment in question (squaring macro and quantum matters).

JL
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
U.N. Ambassador, Crackistan
Nov 7, 2013 - 10:36am PT
A guidance from Lama Tsong Khapa about this is to see in the same way as a child would look at a fresco painted on a wall. No interpretation, but seeing.

My experience as a child and with many subsequent kids - there is always interpretation. Always. Even babies do it.

DMT
PSP also PP

Trad climber
Berkeley
Nov 7, 2013 - 11:03am PT
"there is always interpretation. Always. Even babies do it."

I don't think young babies do it , at least not on a discursive level.

MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Nov 7, 2013 - 11:05am PT
Above I argued that management doesn't exist, not as any reliable or efficient means of control. There is no reliable or efficient means of control, not for a person's mind or for a group of people who mean to change anything in the world.

A basic problem that I see is an orientation towards achievement and goals. Our focus tends to be invariably oriented to getting the gold star, the bigger paycheck, greater profits, to moving or changing things in the world. Orientations to gold stars tend to lead to conflicted outcomes and unintended consequences. "Problems" don't get solved. They just become other kinds of problems; impermanence may be the rule, but transformations of energies tend to keep their tenor. Indeed, nothing really seems to change the way of the world around us. It's obvious to many that orientations to achievement and goals have been producing outcomes that increase conflict (Wall Street, yada yada). "Winning," "achieving," "competition," produces squirrelly behaviors.

"Well then, Mike, why do anything if an orientation to results is improper or unskillful?"

The reason as I'm seeing it these days to do anything is for the experience, for the flow, for as Hannibal would say in "The A Team": "I love it when a plan comes together." Why do things? It's not for the achievement (curing cancer, solving poverty, creating more jobs, etc.) or gold stars. It's because of the feeling that comes when everything comes together, when everything seems to work, for the flow, for the very experience.

For those of you who have ever been a part of a great event or organization, when you look back on them, you probably don't think a lot about the final end state as much as you think about the experience of when folks and things came together consonantly or harmoniously. You remember the moments in the experience. I'm not saying that difficulties aren't met or that conflicts aren't confronted, but what appears to be most referred to and remembered is *the experience* of overcoming them, not the overcoming. And that means, I think, that what most matters is not the doing, but the being within the doing. Being comes first and foremost, not the doing, not the achievement.

If you might see that, then it's not too far of a realization to start to see the flow of experience in everything, everywhere. It's happening right now. Maybe not in any apparent dramatic way, but I suspect that's because awareness is underdeveloped, dull, and not very intense. Keen awareness is not about breadth but about depth. Dial up the attention and back off on the interpretations, and little pops and sparkles and infinities start to show up in everything.

So there is no management. Instead, it's get along, navigate, go with the flow, quit fighting the forces around you, see the way things are. There may seem to be 5 senses and the mind, but I suspect there are an infinite number of nuanced dimensions (forces) that are running in the background, under everyone's radars. Most of us are operating only at the grossest of levels of perception, and we are probably way too oriented to achievement and goals. People don't have to give up goals--just subordinate them to experience.
tioga

Mountain climber
pac northwest
Nov 7, 2013 - 11:48am PT
Hedgehog, The Ph.D

Credit: tioga


Are you gonna use mind power, Dr?
Credit: tioga
MH2

climber
Nov 7, 2013 - 01:29pm PT
not my opinion but the plain facts as described by the Brain Institute at UCLA


Haha.

Please tell me what the Brain Institute at UCLA knows about what happens when I look at something.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Nov 7, 2013 - 04:16pm PT
Please tell me what the Brain Institute at UCLA knows about what happens when I look at something.
----


They were not looking at any subjective inferences, but only how our focus and awareness and attention respond when we are scanning the environment and our focus variously fixes on this or that, as it does most every second of every day. They were investigating the actual mechanics of this process, and it was Les Fehmi who discovered the narrow/open focus dynamics that occur in everyone, without exception, whenever our attention settles and fixes on a feather or sound or feeling or idea, as is needed to evaluate said thing - an essential tool for our survival. When the cave man saw the lion approach, his awareness isolated out the lion at the exclusion of all else in order to increase his chance of surviving. Our focus and awareness function much the same way (minus the terror and hyperfocus when encountering the lion) when we are looking at a bug or the moon.

The meta level stuff that happens AFTER you have isolated this or that to focus on and pay attention to is what I trust you are talking about. It is not realistic to believe that your focus, awareness and attention work by way of mechanics qualitatively different than the rest of the human race.

But I am certainly open to have you describe to us what DOES happen, in terms of the actual cognitive mechanics (awareness, focus, attention) when, say, you look at your computer screen. Unless you are practiced at observing your own process at such fundamental and mechanical levels, it is slippery to grasp how this all happens because it is so automatic and instant.

But again, maybe we could all learn something if you described to us what happens to YOU when you focus on something, in terms of isolating that one thing our from the rest of reality.

JL
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