Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Dec 7, 2013 - 01:00pm PT
Zen has a long tradition of how it is practiced, lest one (as someone pointed out here) simply invented their own practice. There is a sangha, or meeting place, a teacher or teachers, and a process, depending on the tradition you are studying. You can and many do practice as lay people (I do) with no Buddhist name or affiliations and limited Oriental accretions. Someone claiming to do Zen sans all the traditional aspects of one to one and group instruction and testing, practice, sangha and retreats is strictly delusional. It's like saying you playing football by tossing the pigskin up in the air and catching it your own self. The reason people like Jan go off on calling this Zen is that she understands the anthropological and communal significance of practice, and when that practice is shorn of all the humanity and one attempts to reduce it to a protocol, you lose the very power of it. So when people come back and cry fowl, saying we are accusing them of "doing it wrong," the truth is that they were not doing it at all. They say it takes a village to raise a child. It also takes a village to wake the hell up to our own limited POVs. The cowboy style of the lone meditator is really just some fella sitting still. That's not Zen.

-

And BASE said:

Largo,

You have to always be aware of correlation equaling causation. It is a common mistake.
-


There was no mention in my run down of the bio professor about causation. From a staunch materialist POV, everything was caused or shaped by antecedent physical causes, says this belief system - except the origin of every thing, which was sourced by no thing at all. Exactly WHAT went bang! and how the threshold from no thing to stuff was ever crossed, as well as the infinite qualities involved or believed to be involved - the word is out. I believe you lost your way in believing the bio professors observations were in sum ans substance saying that correlated components of a system "cause" this or that. But let's jump back to biofedback and see how to sort this out. The basic premise is pretty easy if you stick with it.

One of the basic biofeedback techniques is galvanic ski testing, but you can also learn a whole lot by just buying an indoor/outdoor thermometer and taping the small sensor to your finger. The good digital units will give you near real-time feedback on the temperature so you can see what mental and physical adjustments cause the temp to rise, which corresponds to relaxing the smooth muscles in your core, which causes you to relax and increases the temp at your finger. People who are uptight and cannot relax cannot raise the temp at the sensors site. But with enough practice one can learn what works and through breathing exercises and relaxing the mind and putting your awareness in a certain place, and you can get that temp up there remarkable high - experts can approach 106 degrees. But you really have to practice to achieve that level of control. Anyone who wants to spend a very interesting half hour can try this exercise and learn remarkable and subtle things about how our thinking effects our physiology. You can see the results immediately - re: biofeedback. The measurement is fed back to you immediately. In this case, a temperature.

What the professor was saying was that the measuring device (the thermometer) was doing a remarkable job of measuring and feeding back biological information, but this biological information did NOT measure the real time sentience that "caused" the biology (temp) to go up and down. That sentience was not detectable by way of the measuring device. Only the effects of that sentience on the body in the form of temperature.

Once could move on to measure the electrical brain activity believed to be a correlate to sentience, but you'd also be measuring the physiology, NOT the sentience, which is NOT the same thing as the biology. One can measure electrical activity in various biological things and it never adds up to sentience, so the saying goes that electrical activity and sentience are not the selfsame things. Any school boy can see this.

This all goes back to the original truth that we have various measuring devices for biological objective functioning such as blood pressure and temperature and the feedback from these devices are pretty much the last word. There is no extra dimension to blood pressure that is totally lost on the measuring device. However with sentience, taking an EEG or MRI as an example, we get a wonderful stream of objective real-time data back from the measuring/imaging devices, but that data is not IDENTICAL with the sentience we associate with it.

A staunch physicalist will insist, for example, that a skin test is not simply measuring temperature, but also the sentience believed to be behind it. The problem is that sentience itself is not limited to objective functioning, and so long as people insist on such untenable beliefs such as "sentience IS biology and ONLY biology," the essence of "mind" will remain like cold fusion - always ten years off.

Trying to approach all reality as a thing has limitations which a mechanical interpretation of the mind cannot brook, with the only fallback position being "God." Another Naturalist (NOT supernatural) position will likely emerge soon enough to help fill the gaps. Few will see it coming, and many will insist, right up to when it bursts onto the scene, that following anything but a standard mechanistic approach is a "waste of time."

JL
FortMentäl

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Dec 7, 2013 - 01:21pm PT
There is no chance. Probability is partial, artifactual, and artificial. Probability looks like something that exists, but it doesn't. It's just a way of talking and seeing things.

Absolutely hilarious....



It's amazing how much some people dislike anything connected to a religious tradition so much that they will deny the physical, material culture that evolved from it.

Good point.... but you're not talking about anyone here. You're talking about these people:

Trick or treat: Is yoga fit for kids?

ALBUQUERQUE - A New Mexico legislator has voiced concern that stretching during school physical education activities is really yoga and could introduce children to Eastern religions.
The discussion occurred as Albuquerque elementary school teacher Ann Paulls-Neal recently spoke to a legislative study committee about student health and childhood obesity, the Albuquerque Journal reported.

During a meeting on student health and obesity of the Legislative Education Study Committe Rep. Alonzo Baldonado, R-Los Lunas, said he was concerned that parents were not being informed that their kids were stretching on a mat a.k.a. yoga.

Baldonado, a Christian, says he has nothing against Buddhism or Hinduism, but said yoga could be seen as a gateway to Eastern religion, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

“We have the authority, the charge from God, to raise our children as we see fit,” said Baldonado.

Ann Paulls-Neal, a physical education teacher from Albuquerque, was at the meeting to talk about student health, including obesity.

Though Paulls-Neal refers stretching and mat work as yoga, she said religion is not discussed or even mentioned in class. She said the reason kids stretch or do yoga is to increase flexibility and help maintain good health.

You are probably wondering why stretching would be such a problem for folks in New Mexico. Well, it seems Alonzo Baldonado, a committee member, thinks the stretching is in fact yoga, which he links to Eastern religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism. He is concerned that parents are unaware of this and that there is no way for students to get excused from what he thinks is a religious practice. In addition to being able to opt out of stretching, he wants alternative activities offered.

“Are we teaching yoga in public schools now?” he asked. “Are parents notified?”

Baldonado who is a Christian would not want his daughters exposed to such a thing. He insists he has nothing against other religions but admits that he believes yoga could be a gateway to Buddhism. Perish the thought. In an interview he said yoga is, “just not something we partake in.”

His daughters are on a swim team and when the coach uses yoga for training the girls opt out. “We have the authority, the charge from God, to raise our children as we see fit,” says Baldonado.

Unbeknownst to Mr. Baldonado is that swimming, as sport, became popularized by the ancient Greeks among others. It is possible that by participating in this activity his daughters could be exposed to some kind of Zeus-worshipping cult. I hope he pulls them out before it’s too late.

Deepening the mystery of this absurd way of thinking is the fact that Baldonado home schools his children. Why is he even on a public education committee? I’m sure his children will grow up to be open-minded critical thinkers just like their papa.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss student health and combating childhood obesity. Ann Paulis-Neal, the school’s P.E. teacher said that she runs a series of stretching exercises and mat work, but fell short of calling it yoga. She insists that no mention or discussion of religion ever takes place. According to her the only purpose of the stretching is to improve flexibility and maintain good health.

Imagine the gall of this teacher trying to make her students healthier and more flexible. Come to think of it, yesterday as I was watching football, I saw dozens of professional football players stretching as well. Could it be the NFL is secretly trying to promote anti-Christian religion? I am the coach for a youth hockey team and I will immediately get rid of the pre-game stretching, lest I be accused of advocating the non-violent tolerant views of Eastern religion.

The story actually gets better because Baldanado is a New Mexico state representative and chairs the GOP House caucus. So for everyone that thinks I only give democrats a hard time, I give you this asswipe. I’m not the only one that thinks this guys is off his rocker, Patrick Davis or ProgressNowNM.org had this to say about the incident:

“Of all the things a legislator could focus on to get our public schools back on track, Rep. Baldonado chose this one as his most important. Even for conspiracy theorists, this one seems far-fetched. How he thinks a rudimentary stretching routine meant to improve physical health could lead students to join a religious cult is beyond me.”
Dr. F.

Trad climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 7, 2013 - 02:02pm PT
One more time someone who doesn't believe in meditation is telling people who actually do it that they don't know what they're talking about. Interesting.
Jan
I don't believe in meditation?? WTF?
Why wouldn't I believe in meditation!

You must of taken my post completely wrong, I guess my writing style needs a lot of work

so you do think that there is Zen Base Jumping, Zen climbing, Zen Free solo, Zen Skiing, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Zen Tea Cup Collecting, and another million Zen "activity of some sort" catch phrases that are a Real Part of the Japanese Tradition and the Practice of Zen.

Please tell us what part of the Japanese tradition supports these activities
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Dec 7, 2013 - 02:12pm PT
Baldonado is guilty of the amazingly common impulse to dumb down the world and insist that one thing is another - exactly. I have pointed out the materialists' untenable position of believing sentience is the very same thing as biology. Baldonado is saying that strecthing is the very same thing as Hindu or Buddhist religion, and that stretching is a "gateway" to eastern cults, whereby, ultimately, strectching imperils Christianity.

Who elects such folk?

JL
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Dec 7, 2013 - 02:24pm PT
Christian reactionaries, obviously.
Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado, Nepal & Okinawa
Dec 7, 2013 - 02:53pm PT
Base-

I did not say anything about the truth claims of Zen. I was merely remarking on the style of arts and activities which utilize its philosophy which in fact comes from meditation.

Dr. F.-

Much is lost in translation it seems, even between English speakers, so sorry if I misinterpreted your comments.

What I meant was that there's a lot of fake and uncomprehending imitation in every culture (the Japanese are in fact masters of this), There is also the real transfer of ideas, style, and spirit between cultures. I think we see both valid and fake imitation of Japanese culture in America, including Zen.

It seems to be a unique characteristic of the Japanese however, to have a large part of their self identity involved with the notion that they are so complex that no one not born Japanese can understand them and their culture.

Many times I have seen them understand perfectly, an American speaking Japanese on the phone for example, and not be able to comprehend a word they were saying when they showed up in person looking like the gaijin they were, with the Japanese person repeating over and over "I do not speak English", while the American replied over and over, but I am speaking Japanese, please listen." Finally there is an aha moment and they can both speak Japanese.

Another time a friend of mine went to a party, speaking perfect Japanese at three different social levels, bowing, handing out business cards with both hands and the appropriate level of bow depending on the status of the speaker etc., and several of his Japanese friends came over and said to him, "please just speak English, you are so Japanese, it is making us nervous."



BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Dec 7, 2013 - 03:10pm PT
^^^Where else can I hear stories like that?^^^

Well, no matter what anyone else might think, I enjoy this banter. Good company. It would make a hell of a good party.

I talked to a wolf for five minutes once. Damn thing stood there 15 feet in front of me. Can't make that stuff up.
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Dec 7, 2013 - 04:50pm PT
go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
Dec 7, 2013 - 06:01pm PT
Better Question: who was the designer's designer?

The buck stops here...

Isaiah 45:5 I am the Lord, and there is no other;
There is no God besides Me.
I will gird you, though you have not known Me,
6 That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting
That there is none besides Me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other;
7 I form the light and create darkness,
I make peace and create calamity;
I, the Lord, do all these things.’


Isaiah 46:9 Remember the former things of old,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like Me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things that are not yet done,
Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
And I will do all My pleasure,’
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Dec 7, 2013 - 06:58pm PT
The dominionists are out there and they have the potential of becoming a sort of Christian Taliban, replacing the constitution with a set of rules gleaned from the bible. As a child I was indoctrinated with the traditions and beliefs of the Southern Baptists, and saw only the kindness and charity of the church. And I think the majority of SBs feel that way today, but there is a subset that is dangerous to democracy.

_

Whenever JL preaches about Zen I get the impression he sees it as an escape from the discursive reality most of us perceive and with which we are content. Is discursive reality so bad? So incomplete? We are challenged to "take the ride" and see what we have been missing as if our existence depended upon it. What he says sounds like a born-again evangelical Christian touting their religion and bemoaning the fact we have not "seen the light." Particularly if we simply do "cowboy meditation" and don't subject ourselves to the years of rigorous indoctrination he has experienced. JL, I fear, has been brain-washed.


;>(
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Dec 7, 2013 - 07:33pm PT
How can anyone possibly "know" where the "buck stops?" God doesn't tell you he is absolute and final, men do.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Dec 7, 2013 - 07:41pm PT
rsin: these people believe that evil spirits are actual energy fields which inhabit physical objects when not posessing humans.

Er, . . . evil spirits, physical objects, and human beings ARE energy fields. :-)

Dude, reality shows up as everything--even the most disgusting, remarkable, amazing, beautiful, sacred, or profane things. Nirvana and samsara are just different views of the same thing. It's all one. (How could it be anything other?) Reality needs no fixing, least of all from us/me/you. Besides, there's nothing anyone can do about any of it. Not really. You can't change your consciousness. It is what it is. If there's something you don't like, point the finger at yourself. It's you.
WBraun

climber
Dec 7, 2013 - 08:06pm PT
You can't change your consciousness.


That's not true.

Example ...

When one develops a racist consciousness and eventually comes to realization of why that is wrong then one's consciousness is changed.

Consciousness is not fixed permanently and it can change according to time and circumstance ....
jstan

climber
Dec 7, 2013 - 08:50pm PT
Whenever JL preaches about Zen I get the impression he sees it as an escape from the discursive reality most of us perceive and with which we are content. Is discursive reality so bad? So incomplete? We are challenged to "take the ride" and see what we have been missing as if our existence depended upon it. What he says sounds like a born-again evangelical Christian touting their religion and bemoaning the fact we have not "seen the light." Particularly if we simply do "cowboy meditation" and don't subject ourselves to the years of rigorous indoctrination he has experienced. JL, I fear, has been brain-washed.

I am posting here after reading only Gill. Generally a pretty valid approach.

We all hear the discursive voice. What to do? Accept that this is complex machinery our evolutionary past has designed with one and only one objective? That we survive?

It is not us

Us surfaces only after much more extensive processing. Much more extensive experience.

It surfaces in what we DO.

As to Master Long, it is up to you to decide.

I would still like to know how it is I have been targeted for this:
photo not found
Missing photo ID#334038

Great Pecs. I have no reluctance to admit.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Dec 7, 2013 - 09:13pm PT
Whenever JL preaches about Zen I get the impression he sees it as an escape from the discursive reality most of us perceive and with which we are content. Is discursive reality so bad? So incomplete? We are challenged to "take the ride" and see what we have been missing as if our existence depended upon it. What he says sounds like a born-again evangelical Christian touting their religion and bemoaning the fact we have not "seen the light." Particularly if we simply do "cowboy meditation" and don't subject ourselves to the years of rigorous indoctrination he has experienced. JL, I fear, has been brain-washed.


Normally I would go after this but when I pause I remember that the discursive sub-personality trusts only itself because survival is hooked up to it, resulting in a jealous and favored nation consideration to it's very own functioning.

What have I actually been saying - or preaching, as John chides, is that we owe our existence to the discursive, but it was not designed specifically for introspection. We need to go past it to find out about the "being" in human being, and in keeping with what John S. is preaching, we get to that understanding by doing - in this case, doing something other than discursive wrangling. Doing something else is a knock on the discursive only if we are enmeshed with it to the extent that it has basically replaced God as an end-all, one-size-fits-all challenges kind of faculty. What's more, notice that a person with a doctorate in math like John would never use language like rigorous indoctrination and brain-washing to describe a scholastic routine in grad school, but move it to the experiential realm and viola, students and teachers are no longer engaged in an empirical discipline, but in wuwu and mind-melding and fairy dust - as though these were descriptions drawn from direct experience that John and others actually have.

This is, of course, nothing but the vile head of scientism, which at bottom, trusts nothing but itself as a method of inquiry for EVERY DAMN THING.

I say, if you are content with your discursive explorations and they have addressed all the questions you might have had per being a human being, more power to you. Not everyone has the same questions. But it still might be an interesting exercise to plunk one of our staunch proponents of scientism in a week long silent retreat and see how much wuwu and "brain washing" they start talking about afterwards. I'll also bet you 100 to 1 that no proponent of scientism will EVER take up that offer, which betrays a whole other psychological dynamic that sits on this thread like a white elephant.

JL

Nemesis

climber
Dec 7, 2013 - 09:15pm PT
God and science go hand in hand, therefore the title "...God... vs. Science" is a statement that allows one side to set the parameters and assumptions in the debate that are erroneous. Therefore, this whole thread is a waste of time because of that premise.
Malemute

Ice climber
the ghost
Dec 7, 2013 - 09:18pm PT
God and science go hand in hand
A conclusion based on an unproven assumption is invalid.
WBraun

climber
Dec 7, 2013 - 09:29pm PT
It's been proven, not that you will ever understand since you're so rigidly entrenched in your narrow minded bias .......
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Dec 7, 2013 - 09:33pm PT
When one develops a racist consciousness and eventually comes to realization of why that is wrong then one's consciousness is changed.

Sure, but that's not how I meant for consciousness to be understood. I agree what you describe is a change of heart, and a change of the heart is a real change.

When I say that you can't change consciousness, I mean you can't change what it is, . . . it's quality, it's existence, it's essence.

(What occurs within it, well . . . I don't want to go there right now. I have to get dressed to go to a party.)

Happy Holidays.
WBraun

climber
Dec 7, 2013 - 09:35pm PT
You're right Mike about "how it is" and I ultimately thought that's what you meant but wasn't sure.
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