Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Sep 28, 2013 - 11:37am PT
Largo.

Today I wrote nothing.

And remember:
"We can insist on a literal translation of material reality, can call any deviance of it an "inconsistency," but such an observation is based on the aforementioned freeze-frame modeling which itself is inconsistent with how things are constantly morphing into something else. Sure, there are laws, but are these "things" in the regular sense of the word? And if so - how?

It's not all so perfectly logical as our minds make it out to be, though there is every reason for us to want it to be."
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Sep 28, 2013 - 11:44am PT
We can insist on a literal translation of material reality, can call any deviance of it an "inconsistency," but such an observation is based on the aforementioned freeze-frame modeling which itself is inconsistent with how things are constantly morphing into something else. Sure, there are laws, but are these "things" in the regular sense of the word? And if so - how?

I can see little tidbits and traces of the very type of thinking I have alluded to earlier:
World as a total optional construct of subjective consciousness.

Ironically what has reinvigorated and rescued subjectivist thinking in recent times has been the tangential implications gleaned from quantum physics.
Whether or not perception operates within a "freeze frame" mode or as a stop- action animation ( Gumby or Davey and Goliath) is a question contained within whatever metaphor or model one prefers.

We all know that external reality is dynamic and seamless, even at our particular meager level of perception.
Our sensory view of the world is within a narrow , exclusive band . This simple fact has needlessly invited all sorts of fanciful implicative thinking.

The fact that the brain organizes or "fits" the external world to present a sensible, pre-molded picture we can operate with--- does not necessarily mean this picture --for us-- is an optional reality. Nor does it mean this picture is false because it is incomplete,or even occasionally intemperate, or askew.

Up thread MikeL asked this question:

For naive realists who are so sure that objects are undeniable, solid, unambiguous, certain, definable, graspable, measurable, etc., how is it possible that there is ever a mistake made about what things there are?

My answer is that mistakes are made all the time. The crucible of biologic evolution has decreed that in the case of humans, or sparrows , or tree shrews ---more correct choices in the buffet of Life were made as opposed to incorrect choices.
It's as simple as that guys.
Like someone who single-handedly builds a multi-million dollars business from nothing. That individual made a greater number of crucially accurate " bidness " decisions than inaccurate ones. The proof is in the pudding.

If our perceptions vis a vis the external world did not accurately portray that definite world, we would not exist, as individuals, or as a collective.
If our sense perceptions and the subsequent automatic process of integration were not ,more or less, adequately calibrated to an external ,objective , real world of reliably consistent objects and energies---we would not exist.

Capiche?

( I hope this long post didn't cut into my Gilligan's Island marathon.)
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Sep 28, 2013 - 02:58pm PT
Oh, Ward, you are a riot.

You need a keener scalpel.

It's an absolute mystery how Man (and ahem, woman) ever got here. Must've been aliens from the planet XR2 who protected, nurtured, and guided those ridiculously stupid and ignorant cave men. And down through millions of years of historical accident--viola! We have you!

I teach bid'ness. Fifty percent of the Fortune 500 drops out of the list every 25 years. They get there, and then they pass on. Everything is impermanent. What you think looks like success or capability could well be random chance when looked at through a telescope. As for strategic leadership in any kind of industry, we just don't know for sure. Bid'ness has more fads than British fashion. (I'm chuckling right now.)

What's getting adequately calibrated is EVERYTHING, not just Man.

We would not exist, my friend, if we did not exist. There's no stopping it. It's all One and the same thing. (Just ask my friend, Werner.)

Have a good weekend, dude. I'm glad you are here.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Sep 28, 2013 - 03:15pm PT
I teach bid'ness. Fifty percent of the Fortune 500 drops out of the list every 25 years. They get there, and then they pass on. Everything is impermanent. What you think looks like success or capability could well be random chance when looked at through a telescope. As for strategic leadership in any kind of industry, we just don't know for sure. Bid'ness has more fads than British fashion. (I'm chuckling right now.)

Now I'm chuckling. You haven't proven my example to be false.
You can't . Why? Because I had a certain individual in mind that I know personally, and I am aware of that person's biography.
Another person I have in mind I gifted a few hundred dollars to back when that individual was nearly penniless. 4 yrs. later and said individual is worth 17 million.( Entertainment, not business)
But that was a case of just pure talent mixed with dollops of good luck and lots of hard work.
I just happened to recognize that talent long before the rest of the world did.

It's an absolute mystery how Man (and ahem, woman) ever got here. Must've been aliens from the planet XR2 who protected, nurtured, and guided those ridiculously stupid and ignorant cave men. And down through millions of years of historical accident--viola! We have you!

Don't underestimate survival in a harsh universe without adequate instructions, operating manuals, class sylabbi, or sun-drenched lanai.
And it's planet XR7 , not XR2.

The rest of your post makes sparse sense. Aliens and things? Hmmm

I'm glad you are here.

You Need Me



Like a baby needs a toy
Like Hawaiians need their poi
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Sep 28, 2013 - 04:51pm PT
Ward, you have to put it out of your mind that we are guessing on this. We're not. Anymore than you are guessing that one plus one is two. You do the work and it becomes verifiable and clear. If not, you just keep guessing what is real and not, based on your own discursive understanding. And no one said that consciousness itself is either freeze frame or total flow. That comment was in relationship to the "things" out there that you and others are certain are museum pieces in space and time which remain the same no matter the observer.

This leads yous this conslusion: "If our perceptions vis a vis the external world did not accurately portray that definite world, we would not exist, as individuals, or as a collective."

What you know as "existing" is a product of your perception. Where you loose your way - and you can see it no other way without the direct experience (NOT thought) that would show you otherwise - is in believing because your discursive mind can objectify things "out there," the "thingsness" or verity of said objects rest in the object themselves. After all, El Cap is a big rock no matter who measures "it."

It's a piece of work to finally realize how this is not so, that you actually have it reversed. That DOES not say there is no external world, but simply that the forms we perceive as real are relative to our perception.

Imagine trying to describe anything that did not depend ENTIRELY on our perception and cognitions particular to being human. Imagine putting all of those on hold - our sense organs, our physical bodies, then describing anything sans the faculties of sight, hearing, touch, smell, and so forth. You still have you discursive mind in all of it's glory, but you have no physical body, nor senses.

And that's just the start of getting at this most slippery truth.

Notice how your discursive mind will tell you that your sense organs exist in order for you to accurately report and mirror what is really and truly "out there." Strangely enough, the way to see how this is incorrect is to focus on your sense organs and suspend the discursive mind.

Very counterintuitive work.

JL
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Sep 28, 2013 - 05:16pm PT
Imagine trying to describe anything that did not depend ENTIRELY on our perception and cognitions particular to being human. Imagine putting all of those on hold - our sense organs, our physical bodies, then describing anything sans the faculties of sight, hearing, touch, smell, and so forth. You still have you discursive mind in all of it's glory, but you have no physical body, nor senses.

You are flirting with sensory deprivation here Largo.
Remember , when the first sensory deprivation experiments were carried out they were somewhat shockingly surprised at how rapidly this deprivation drove the subjects to a state of severe anxiety and eventual madness.

Why is this?
Because the sensory calibration I referred to in earlier posts thankfully has a built in thermostat arousing the individual to a series of responses that short-circuits the imposed deprivation. Much like your response to being burned by a flame is to instantly pull your hand away. This is because the evolutionarily-conditioned biologic dictates in a harsh natural world will brook no interruption in the ever-demanding struggle for survival.

Merely because , as sensory deprivation expert , you , Largo, do not obviously go batty, (no doubt because you are practiced) --- this does not necessarily mean that your own personal sensory deprivation experiments are not exerting a pernicious and unrecognized effect, however subtle, and frighteningly untoward.

cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Sep 28, 2013 - 06:03pm PT
Whoa, this is starting to sound like an Arthur Machen novel.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Sep 28, 2013 - 07:14pm PT
I had a certain individual in mind that I know personally, and I am aware of that person's biography. Another person I have in mind I gifted a few hundred dollars to back when that individual was nearly penniless. 4 yrs. later and said individual is worth 17 million.( Entertainment, not business). But that was a case of just pure talent mixed with dollops of good luck and lots of hard work.

Oh, Ward, that's what science is for, my friend. Rather than taking a couple of anecdotes and generating theory and conclusions, you're supposed to run the process on a much larger sample (controlling for a thousand different things) and set-up properly. You have your rose-colored glasses on when you chose your sample (not random, eh?), and you used your own biased perspectives to interpret what you actually saw. (It's all right. We all do it.)

NEED BIGGER SAMPLE. NEED MORE CLEARLY DEFINED VARIABLES. NEED MORE RIGOROUS ANALYSIS.

The rest of your post makes sparse sense.

(I understand.)

You Need Me

I do.


BTW, Ward, what is talent, how do people get it, or where does it come from? If there is such a thing as talent (and I'm not so sure we have the right variable description), it appears to be a mystery just how people get it, or even what it is. It appears to be some characteristic that we assign to people after a fact.

Talent? It's just another one of those weird unexplainable things in the universe. That's all there is in the universe. Totally weird things. Look closely at anything, and you'll see weirdness that stretches into infinity.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Sep 28, 2013 - 07:17pm PT
No Ward, you're still trying to cram what I am saying into what you either already know, or have heard about.

I'm not asking you to go into a depravation tank. I never have but have read on the subject. And you're not reading what I was actually writing - that for many, getting at this truth is a matter of focusing on the body and suspending the discursive mind, basically the opposite of what you went off on, which is to go into a depravation tank - or the equial - and try and use your discursive mind, resulting in pernicious and untoward results.

If you want to make any ground here, it's been my experience that you have to start at zero, give up all preconceptions, so far as you can, and take a totally different route lest you'll just spin around trying to nullify the route you have yet to travel (it's pernicious, brain numbing, untoward, the royal road to insanity, a road perfctly accessible to the discusive, et al). If this road has worked for you so far in making sense of what we are saying, then head on and good luck. If the results are providing nothing new, then perhaps a different route is worth a look. There's many ways to jump past the discursive, and I certainly have no exclusive on any of them, nor has Mike.

As always, it's your call.

JL
MH2

climber
Sep 28, 2013 - 07:52pm PT
I am happy that there are people such as Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj who know about God, consciousness, and objectless states. I am glad that MikeL sees the Universe out to infinity and it is all weird. I respect JL's work in non-discursive experience. Though small those issues need attention and it seems that they are getting it. That allows me to turn my attention to much larger questions. What beer to buy? What to have for lunch tomorrow? Where did my socks go?
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Sep 28, 2013 - 08:01pm PT
Sorry some of my spray hit you on the shins there.

NEED BIGGER SAMPLE. NEED MORE CLEARLY DEFINED VARIABLES. NEED MORE RIGOROUS ANALYSIS.

MikeL:
If you averred that you have some sort inkling of what it was like to experience a spouse that went through a traumatic home accident and your listener responded with the above quote, how would you respond to them?

BTW, Ward, what is talent, how do people get it, or where does it come from?

I could launch into a lengthy explanation but I am in a rather noisy , distracting environment right now.
Under the circumstances I'll briefly answer that question like the judge famously did years ago when asked by an insistent lawyer in court "what is pornography judge??"
The judge answered:
" Sir,I will not answer that question directly in detail... Suffice to say I know what it is when I see it"

go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
Sep 29, 2013 - 06:44am PT
I added a (qualifying verse) to the aforementioned answer for the entrance of Heaven...


3) "But nobody ever told me about any entrance exam, I sure hope the test ain't too hard"....True & True!

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
(Matthew 6:9 “Pray, then, in this way:‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.)

Romans 10:13 for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”


...It's an open Book test!


...Bonus! :)
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Sep 29, 2013 - 03:48pm PT
That comment was in relationship to the "things" out there that you and others are certain are museum pieces in space and time which remain the same no matter the observer (JL)


Certainly, perceptions may differ from perceiver to perceiver. I see a red rose. My friend, who is color blind, sees a grey rose. Strange creatures from PlanetX might look at our moon and see an asymmetrical hunk of ultraviolet matter. The things are still there, but perception of them, depending on sense data could vary.

I have no doubt the "spiritual" experiences of JL and MikeL and others provide them with a different perspective of the nature of reality, the undistinguishable flux they describe. However, that doesn't mean their perspective is more "true" than the normal perspective. Things seem separate for most of us - they might seem cosmically connected to some of us when meditating or using certain drugs. El Cap is still an object that exists, as numerous climbers can attest. But it will appear different to a non-climbing tourist. It's still there.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Sep 29, 2013 - 04:40pm PT
Certainly, perceptions may differ from perceiver to perceiver. I see a red rose. My friend, who is color blind, sees a grey rose. Strange creatures from PlanetX might look at our moon and see an asymmetrical hunk of ultraviolet matter. The things are still there, but perception of them, depending on sense data could vary.
-

John, I'm not doing a very good job explaining this.

I'm not saying that there is some absolutely objective "thing" out there that is perceived differently depending on our perspective, and that this "thing," be it El Cap or a Miles Davis song, is what is absolutely real (because we can measure it and predict it's behavior). I'm saying that what is real "out there" only seems that way because our brains organize the flux according to our physical bodies and sense organs.

An alien with vastly different cognitive faculties doesn't "see" El Cap because his system oraganizes the flux relative to the particulars of "his"
system.

Again, this is totally counterintuitive. Our minds tell us that Mars, say, has been floating out there for a billion years, the exact same way long before we were ever even here to see and consider it. The insight is not is seeing "Mars" differently, but is realizing our participation in fashioning "Mars." This is NOT subjectivism, which denies the undifferentiated flux.

But again, this is going to sound like utter bullshit when pondered discursively. After all, we can "prove" that Mars is out there and has been cha cha cha.

JL
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Sep 29, 2013 - 05:37pm PT
I have no doubt the "spiritual" experiences of JL and MikeL and others provide them with a different perspective of the nature of reality, the undistinguishable flux they describe. However, that doesn't mean their perspective is more "true" than the normal perspective.

I can imagine how all of this stuff sounds. Ridiculous. Absurd. Looney. Out of their heads.

What do you see here?
What do you see?
What do you see?
Credit: MikeL

I took some photos of a painting my wife was working on, and it's instructive to look at them as the image changed from one to another.

At first there were wide swaths of color--just paint, really. Then the painted surfaces became, er, primitive and incomplete designs. Finally, a flower emerged.

The image above is a print of a famous painting by Georgia O'Keefe. When I show it or the painting my wife started to folks, I ask them what they see. Invariably, people say they see a flower, maybe along with some comments about the kind of flower, its color, and so forth.

What do you see? John, it's not a flower, is it? Is it a painting, an image, color, light? Which is it REALLY? Is it more than one thing? Is it anything?

I'm not in bliss. I'm not in another dimension. I'm not high. I'm not in a place of endless peace and contentment. I'm not one with some all-powerful and loving being.


MH2

climber
Sep 29, 2013 - 08:10pm PT
I'm saying that what is real "out there" only seems that way because our brains organize the flux according to our physical bodies and sense organs.


Okay. An evolutionary biologist might say that your brain, body, and sense organs have become organized by what is in our environment. New versions of DNA occasionally are better at copying themselves than the old, or may be better suited to another niche within the larger environment.

When you and MikeL use words like 'flux' and 'real' perhaps you are using them differently than I think. I am surprised that you call 'real' only that which does not change with time. What do you call everything that does change? Flux? Could I get used to saying, "The brick is flux?"

MikeL's example of the flower is good. He asks, "What do you see?" Many answers are possible, so what is it really? My sense is that the word 'real' is flexible enough to cover all the possibilities.

The spelling could change, the language could change, but a Mauri and a Jersey mom could quickly agree on what a poppy is. In their heads both can have a similar enough idea of what a poppy is from experience with poppies.

Even MikeL, if I asked him for a pencil would probably not give me a postcard. That is enough evidence for me that things are real and people can refer to them with words. The external world has taught MikeL and me what a pencil and a postcard are. Now we can forget them because like everything else they were impermanent.

Another suggestion for MikeL. He has said that he cannot define consciousness. In that case it would be better to choose a different word. For example, pottlewhim, so as not to give up any syllables. He is free to choose another word. It just seems better to not give the appearance of meaning when there is none.
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Sep 29, 2013 - 08:47pm PT
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2011/09/15/time-on-the-brain-how-you-are-always-living-in-the-past-and-other-quirks-of-perception/

This article goes all over the place, but it touches on a few of this thread's favorite tropes.
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Sep 29, 2013 - 10:25pm PT
What do you see? (MikeL)

Well, Mike, I see an image on my screen of what appears to be a photo of a painting of a red flower. I don't think I want to enter a meditative dimension that confuses this perception. Sometimes images are illusions, but I believe what is there is there. I'm too old to flirt with confusion!

Nice post, JL


P.S. The Law of the First Ascent thread has collapsed into that flux.

;>)

MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Sep 30, 2013 - 06:48am PT
MikeL. He has said that he cannot define consciousness. In that case it would be better to choose a different word. For example,pottlewhim, so as not to give up any syllables. He is free to choose another word. It just seems better to not give the appearance of meaning when there is none.

poeomge uke xcoj bemm eshlem asie.

(Better?)
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Sep 30, 2013 - 07:56am PT
If you develop an ear for sounds that are musical it is like developing an ego. You begin to refuse sounds that are not musical and that way cut yourself off from a good deal of experience. - John Cage
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