Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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FortMentäl

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Oct 8, 2013 - 09:01pm PT
They're not looking for him .......


Damn.... and all this time I was looking for a lady.
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Oct 8, 2013 - 09:15pm PT
The Ultimate Truth is always there eternally (Duck)

Wow . . . case closed! It's not just there eternally and it's not just there always, but it's there always eternally! Break out the hymnals.


;>)
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 8, 2013 - 09:15pm PT
And it's good you will admit you haven't found ultimate truth and are convinced we need to find it as well (jgill)


indisputable truths about consciousness (JL)


Guess I was wrong


I'd wager that you are still off the mark if ever so slightly in believing that these indisputable truths are a kind of secret knowledge that is closed to the discursive mind, some golden info that only sages have access to. This is to misconstrue the entire thing, IME. The "truths" have to do with being, as in human being. They are NOT some other, secret, super duper iteration of what our minds do with information in order to "know."

Like we've said all along, the discusive mind will posit what it doesn not understand in it's own language and form, but this can't be done with the subjective adventures. To insist that it can is to be "dishonest" in my opinion, because we are thus insisting what is not in fact possible, while insisting that it, is or should be.

JL
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Oct 8, 2013 - 09:21pm PT

I'd wager that you are still off the mark if ever so slightly (JL)

Then you'd be wrong! I'm off the mark the width of the Amazon and drifting away at warp speed (if I can stop chuckling!)
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Oct 8, 2013 - 10:20pm PT
This feels like someone desperately trying to wrangle the conversation back onto solid discursive ground where, in your belief, rational arguments and speculations hold some sway.

I am not trying to wrangle anything, not even a pair of Wrangler jeans in an old Soviet marketplace .
The precise place where rational arguments 'hold some sway' is nowhere less than the status quo environment where we all usually dwell---observationally clear of notable lotus positions (except for the cute but nerdy vegan chick living next door) and therefore the burden of proof sits rather squarely upon the Nehru pretenders to the regal throne of consciousness, and not to the keeper of the pedestrian flame of rational awareness, minding his own mundane bidness, in the unforgivingly harsh day to day world

The normally unassuming discursive mind is not in the unenviable position of a typical beleaguered victim , cowardly scurrying to find an uncertain relief from the unredeeming downpour of the non-discursive deluge. Rather it is with the motionless meditator, a deformed oddity upon the common landscape, where the looked-for burden of proof must originate.

No demonstrable proof has been hitherto forthcoming. Just the usual exasperating high-minded evangelical urgings and cloudy entreaties---to enter an obscure, terminally smoky opium den somewhere in Marlowe's once great , but pitifully declined, Viking stronghold.
LOL

WBraun

climber
Oct 8, 2013 - 11:00pm PT
Rather it is with the motionless meditator

No such thing is ever possible.

Even those that can do 1 breath and 1 heartbeat per day there is motion within that your defective eyeballs missed .....
splitter

Trad climber
SoCal Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Oct 8, 2013 - 11:05pm PT
1 breath and 1 heartbeat per day
sounds like some people are gonna remain 'grasshopper' for a long, long time. lol

edit: oh, never mind (i thought you were talking about meditating for just the length of one breath and one heartbeat a day).
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Oct 8, 2013 - 11:19pm PT
Even those that can do 1 breath and 1 heartbeat per day there is motion within that your defective eyeballs missed .....

Credit: Ward Trotter

"Any man that can do only 1 breath and 1 heartbeat flat-out deserves to have my defective eyeballs as mute testament..."
"When they start having more than 1 of either is when I refuse to testify"

"..Or so they say..."
pyro

Big Wall climber
Calabasas
Oct 9, 2013 - 08:28am PT
If you wanted chicks who would you hang with? surfers or scientists? Heh?

what up bra! i've met a few hotties in physics lounge during college.

Credit: pyro
here is a wave shot for ya!
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Oct 9, 2013 - 08:37am PT
Credit: Azam Husain
Mouse and Frog must tell me if this photo is offensive. Or rat...

The other day I had this idea of starting "The Offensive ST Thread" for educational purposes. Only offensive photos that could get you banned should be posted on this thread as examples and a warning to all those who could be tempted to post such photos on ST.

One breath a day...a human being... lol... braindead early the first day... or cheating...

There's a lot of cheaters in the world... achieving something... and not nothing...
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Oct 9, 2013 - 09:13am PT
What I've learned from JL and Mike on this thread:

The mind operates on a deeply subjective level. I surmise that this is just how our minds evolved through biological evolution, but the fact does remain that what we see, hear, touch, is grossly affected by subjectivity. The only way to escape that subjectivity, and accomplish anything in the physical world, is to apply a rigorous method to root out the subjective and follow logical steps. Call it the scientific method if you like, but it is a way for us to apply artificial conditions on what we learn, just to make sure that they are physically correct.

You guys poke fun at this, but it is the way to progress in understanding the physical world. The physical world is where I spend most of my time, so I have to do this.

Pondering the notion of no-thing is difficult without training. I have no training, and when I stop and go ponder no-thing, it requires me to quiet down inside, so I can at least see the purpose of meditation, and have no qualms with it. I'm signing up for a meditation class just to check this out.

I have listened and attempted the basics of what Largo talks about. I don't have the luxury or time to visit a Zen center, so I have to read.

As for the importance of the meditative mind over the discursive mind, I don't think it exists. It is a construct. All of us operate in both realms to some degree whether we admit it or not.

I've often used the poor quality of eyewitness testimony to prove the point of the poor quality of relying on our senses. Our minds don't store these events in a "discursive" or logical way. It is very subjective, and that isn't just a statement. It has been studied and is a known fact.

I'm not looking for God, so Werner's grand statements and Go-B's polite pleadings go in one ear and out the other.

I do have an appreciation after Mike explained what the discursive mind is, and I do spend my time there.

There is one interesting thing I have to offer, and that is creativity. In my line of work, we rarely know for sure if the well we are going to drill is going to make enough hydrocarbons to pay for itself. I map huge areas, and at any given time, there may be twenty other geologists mapping the same area. The trick is seeing something in this 3 dimentional cube of rocks that they haven't seen.

Call it inspiration or whatever, but my best ideas come AFTER I've spent a lot of time in an area. I'll be driving down the highway in the middle of the night when a gigantic light bulb goes off. I have to pull over and write it down, because like dreams, these moments of inspiration don't hang around for long. Sometimes they pan out. Sometimes they don't, but my best ideas have come from out of the blue. It is like your mind is a computer (the discursive mind) and you churn away at complex ideas in the background memory.

Then you may be listening to a radio preacher on the AM radio at 2:00am when the lightning strikes. I assume that this comes from your background memory, or you may call it the non-discursive mind. I'm certainly not thinking consciously about the topic when it comes, but it has happened a few times in my life.

The discursive mind is a powerful thing, though. Despite Mike and JL's attempts to get rid of it, it is responsible for many things and many good ideas. It can get exhaustive, but it, and hard work, is responsible for many of the achievements of man. To knock it is missing a very important part of ourselves.

I've always been willing to ponder the ideas put forth, if they are not religion. I have little use for religion because it is a dead idea. By dead idea, I mean that the rules are fixed according to a rigid dogma. When I talk about erosion, BB asked me about the Great Flood. Get over it. There was no great flood, or at least on a global scale. The physical evidence of our planet's history is there for all to see, and the processes that molded the planet are pretty well understood. It is very rare that we see a landform or a microscale bedform that isn't understood.

So go forth mental astronauts. I have no problem with that. Just keep in mind that the discursive mind has come up with amazing human tools.

Without a discursive mind, I doubt there would be a computer for any of us to communicate with.

For me, I want to take up meditation to be able to clear the discursive thoughts and basically take a break.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 9, 2013 - 09:19am PT
No demonstrable proof has been hitherto forthcoming. Just the usual exasperating high-minded evangelical urgings and cloudy entreaties---to enter an obscure, terminally smoky opium den somewhere in Marlowe's once great , but pitifully declined, Viking stronghold.



Perhaps look at it this way. Maybe this will help you to get your head around it.

You can accomplish things with architecture that you can never accomplish with oil painting, and you can accomplish things with oil painting that you can never manage with architecture. Of course they are different pursuits dealing with different issues.

The real challenge here is giving up the delusion that the discursive, or architecture in our metaphor, is not the universal tool for all situations in this existence we are part of, that there are instances where architecture does not apply, and that all that is not architecture is not perforce bullsh#t.

In fact we are not ever talking about architecture. At all.

This is similar to the circular argument that in talking about objective functioning, we are in fact talking about “mind” itself, since “mind is what the brain does.” But oil painting is NOT what architecture does, so to speak. And to request architectural proof that this is so is to miss the point handsomely.

But hey, if you are happy with the results you are getting via your own approach, then more power to you. But insisting that the entire shebang is or should be beholden to your approach and orientation is in my mind another instance of being dishonest. And a pretty clear instance where people are simply unwilling to embrace new things and points of view, and are digging in to defend their home turf. No need for that.

And BASE, stop saying these silly things: The discursive mind is a powerful thing, though. Despite Mike and JL's attempts to get rid of it...

What we ARE saying is that your attempts at using the discursive to understand this material have not provided you with any appreciable shifts or breakthroughs so far as I have seen. Yo keep repeating the same arguments for using the discursive. I use the discursive myself 95% of ever day. I have no intention to give it up so don't ask me to. And how WOULD one give it up? It's just that to traverse certain terrain, it simply does not work. We would have tried it that way if it had.

This is not a construct. You are guessing again. We're not guessing on that point. At all.

JL
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Oct 9, 2013 - 10:02am PT
John,

Your mind operates primarily on the discursive level. To stop the discursive chattering of our minds, you meditate, and work on it. I have no problem with that.

What I think is that we all operate on both levels, although the discursive mind is up front and foremost for the majority of people.

I see it as a spectrum rather than as a hard division of the two types of mind. Even without training, I know that I have had moments of inspiration on topics that I wasn't consciously thinking about. That for me, means that for me, driving down the highway at 2:00am, buzzing along with a wandering mind, thinking about nothing important, is in a way like meditation. That's where my moments of inspiration happen.

I can apply that inspiration later in a discursive way, meaning the normal thinking way. Fully conscious and zoned in on that one topic of geology.

So it seems to me that even without training, you can access the subconscious, for lack of a better word.

I think that I'm right. I might not have explained it well, but that is how my brain seems to operate.

Creativity is a very valuable quality for an oil finder. The vast majority of geologists never find a barrel of oil. That has been a topic of discussion for going on 80 years. You have to see something in the data, and the data is just the relationships of rocks.

You may have it in mind that sedimentary rocks are a simple layer cake, but not so. I wish that I could start a thread and show you guys a neat prospect that I drilled, right underneath the Oklahoma State Campus, in a zone that had multiple M.S. theses written on it. I saw something that none of the others had seen before.

How the mind operates is very interesting, but I think that you should back up a step and appreciate the accomplishments of the discursive mind.

Back to creativity, they actually teach classes to geologists to improve this. A buddy of mind was sent to one by his employer, and they had all kinds of crazy exercises to go through. Draw a nickel backwards with your left hand every day...that kind of stuff. It has kind of fallen out of favor over the last decade, but there are people who can find oil and there are people who just can't. They don't have the ability to construct a three dimensional cube in their minds, be able to mentally pick it up, roll it around, and understand it.

Try it. Think of something physical, then mentally pick it up, roll it around, and look at it. The complexities and errors will become visible in your mind.

Again. I don't think that this is an and/or situation. We mentally operate on multiple levels and multiple dimensions. It just takes some practice.

Calling the most curious people of our entire species "white lab coat mental speculators" is not only an insult, it is a failure to understand what they do. There are a bunch of you that just love tossing out strawman and ad hominem attacks at these people. These people are some of the deepest thinking members of our species.

It is very difficult to see something new. Many people are working on the same problem. That ability seems to come in some sense from the background, or the quieter form of the discursive mind.

Sure, go ahead and say that you know the only way to understand reality. Say it a thousand times. It just isn't true.

I wish I could have you guys look over my shoulder as I work. You would see that it is reconstructing ancient vistas. It takes imagination. This implication that white lab coat mental speculators are robots is just silly. How do you explain it when one of them has a real breakthrough?

More and more, I believe that the mind operates on multiple levels. It is far more complicated than your conscious/subconscious or discursive/non discursive model. It is a web of interaction between these two, and possible other types of thought.

You realize that we are people who get paid to think for a living, don't you? 25 years of that does not close your mind. It opens it. If you don't have a certain degree of open mindedness, you will have a tough go at it.

BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Oct 9, 2013 - 10:06am PT
What we ARE saying is that your attempts at using the discursive to understand this material have not provided you with any appreciable shifts or breakthroughs so far as I have seen.

This is absolute bullsh#t. This is the kernel of woo woo that you have swallowed. I can't believe that you actually said that.

edit: I see that you qualified the statement with the words "this material."

Why have you consistently failed to communicate what "this material" is? You are the communicator among us Largo. I'm not trying to fight here.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Oct 9, 2013 - 10:44am PT
Largo,

I know that you use your discursive mind all of the time like everyone else. You and Mike are different in that you are skilled at meditation, and if I am mistaken, the objective is to free yourself from the discursive during that meditation. I know that it is hard, because I've tried it using what little I know about meditation. Shutting that sucker up is tough.

Correct?

I think it is a worthy objective for anyone to devote that much time to how they are thinking, and the process involved. It is important that all humans be curious and seek to learn truth. Me? I don't see any black magic or religion in meditation. It is an actual process.

I watched "Inherit The Wind" the other night. It is an old black and white film with Spencer Tracy and is based on the Scopes Monkey Trial about teaching evolution in the bible belt of the deep south during the thirties.

What I found interesting is that one of the main religious characters used the term "scientism." It was very much like this thread. The same sort of attacks against science, almost word for word.

Do you ever wonder about other sentient animals? The octopus is related to a snail, but is very intelligent. As for dolphins and whales, who knows?

What I want to hear is what you guys have found out.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 9, 2013 - 10:53am PT
What we ARE saying is that your attempts at using the discursive to understand this material have not provided you with any appreciable shifts or breakthroughs so far as I have seen.

This is absolute bullsh#t. This is the kernel of woo woo that you have swallowed. I can't believe that you actually said that.

edit: I see that you qualified the statement with the words "this material."

Why have you consistently failed to communicate what "this material" is? You are the communicator among us Largo. I'm not trying to fight here.
-

I believe this underscores what we've been saying all along. My sense of this is that you, Craig and others will only accept that "this material" be reductive to an info stream that we can communicate for you to evaluate. This is in my mind you simply demanding that the old painting be explained in terms of architecture.

We have consistantly insisted that if you want to get jiggy with the experiential (this material), you have to ease off the discursive and delve into the totally unknown. That IS the explanation, but I bet a buck that you do not believe it and instead continue demanding something you can ingress up here on your own home turf. That's what you are saying when you are "trying" to understand this. But you are trying on your own terms. It NEVER works that way IME. Or else we'd all do just that. But it will "avail you nothing," as the saying goes.

Sure, I can start relating to you what you will eventually find if you ever took this stuff seriously - and the only way to do that is to embrace what you do not know already - but it would make no sense to you. Use the energy you have in getting riled up to plow into the unknown, and when you're there, kindly tell me what the hell "wu wu" is, and what it is that Mike and I have swallowed.

All we're saying is that you have to shut up and get quiet for a good long time, on a regular basis, in a group, with expert instructors. This is truly "how it works" with learning anything, especially something as slippery as "this material."

What part of that do you either don't get or don't believe - because it's got to be one or the other the way you go off on things.

JL
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Oct 9, 2013 - 02:04pm PT
Okay, question from the peanut gallery: Is there some minimal cognitive aptitude required to get into this work? I'm thinking in terms of, say, a schizophrenic, or autistic, or otherwise clinically mentally challenged candidate. On the assumption that they would first of all have an interest, would all this arduous "just sitting" work the same way, produce the same results, or non-results, or however it can or cannot be metaphorically categorized?

The question was prompted in a roundabout way by this: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22029382.600-bedside-scan-can-show-embers-of-consciousness-in-comas.html
WBraun

climber
Oct 9, 2013 - 02:52pm PT
I want to take up meditation to be able to clear the discursive thoughts and basically take a break.


Just see ....

He wants to take a vacation.

There's no escape ......
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 9, 2013 - 04:06pm PT
Okay, question from the peanut gallery: Is there some minimal cognitive aptitude required to get into this work? I'm thinking in terms of, say, a schizophrenic, or autistic, or otherwise clinically mentally challenged candidate. On the assumption that they would first of all have an interest, would all this arduous "just sitting" work the same way, produce the same results, or non-results, or however it can or cannot be metaphorically categorized?
--


Excellent question. In my experience of working with mentally challenged folk, evoking the witness state can be a very effective tool for separating from the disease identity. For example, there is a program at UCLA that works with people who's OCD is so grave that they can't function very well in life, if at all. They are taught how to separate from the impulses that make them do the repetitive actions WITHOUT acting on them, how to tolerate these impulses with more and more detachment over time. It has proven very effective with all addictions, including nicotine and so forth. You fully acknowledge the impulse, watch it, feel it, and do nothing. It will flare and then pass. We do the same with our addiction to thinking. Breath into it and let it go.

But you have to have the capacity to pry your awareness off of content, and in robust mental illness this seems unlikely. People really taken down by mental illness have little to no separation ("awareness fusion") from what is playing in their head, and probably can't develop it; but I wonder if anyone has ever tried. Who knows what is possible with practice. It would certainly be an interesting experiment.

JL
WBraun

climber
Oct 9, 2013 - 04:36pm PT
Who knows what is possible with practice

When no one is looking I fly around on my carpet.

If Base104 saw me he'd for sure call it more dogma ......
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