Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Messages 17701 - 17720 of total 23145 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Nov 5, 2013 - 12:36pm PT
No. There is no fence. You let go of the agency that would set up a fence.


Why does that, in your words, "challenge the evaluating mind?"


Because it is the evaluating mind that makes the evaluation that it (the evaluation mind itself) must be let go of. Imagine a bubble saying to itself, I have to transcend myself, and the only way to do so it to drift into that brier path where I will pop on a thorn. Quite naturally the bubble will fear extinction.

That's somewhat how the evaluating mind operates in this instance. It is an evolutionary mechanism that works on its own and fears that our survival will be put in jeopardy if it is not entirely in charge. It literally cannot fathom NOT being in charge. It tends to believe any other mode will be either some kind of imagining or second-rate process per what it does - evaluating. In other words, the evaluating mind cannot imagine some other mode where evaluating is not the chief feature and the only process by which we can know anything. If told there are several ways to know reality, the evaluating mind demands some material proof - that's right, to evaluate. Ergo the talk about a "closed loop."

Again, there is nothing in this discussing saying the evaluating mind is not the shizzle for working with aspects of physical reality. The part that says, "What else is there, and give me something to evaluate to prove it," it the part that cannot see beyond it's own doorstep.

So you have to go about the process indirectly, and let go of trying to direct and control the process, and as a consequence the evaluating mind will taper off while our fusion to it will lesser over time. Or sometimes all at once - which is usually a very frightening experience.

JL
MH2

climber
Nov 5, 2013 - 01:44pm PT
Again, there is nothing in this discussing saying the evaluating mind is not the shizzle for working with aspects of physical reality. The part that says, "What else is there, and give me something to evaluate to prove it," it the part that cannot see beyond it's own doorstep.


The fence is now a doorstep?

Could you not just say, "the mind," without qualification?

If there is an evaluating mind, are there also other minds?
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Nov 5, 2013 - 02:12pm PT
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2013/11/do-our-bones-influence-our-minds.html
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Nov 5, 2013 - 05:13pm PT
Again, there is nothing in this discussing saying the evaluating mind is not the shizzle for working with aspects of physical reality. The part that says, "What else is there, and give me something to evaluate to prove it," it the part that cannot see beyond it's own doorstep.

Largo, exactly where you swerved away from clarity in the above statement--- is in a persistent failure to convey a few rather indispensable distinctions. You must "get your mind right " on a few key facts.

I think it is thoroughly unjustified to consider "scientism" in a consistently pejorative light.
As I indicated in some earlier posts ---the methods of science intentionally excludes other sources of knowledge simply because those sources and alternative methods are outside of the predetermined protocols of science. The scientific method is consistent enough to gather and validate knowledge about the physical world (and the physical world only) based upon its applicability to that method .
And you know all of this.

Any given scientist attempting to determine how a pathological virus behaves is going to be wasting his time with any given epistemological approach other than the methods and tools of science. He is working within the protocols of science. His central working assumption is that he can never really understand this subject virus if he strays outside of those established protocols.

If a polemical opponent says to you: "what else is there , give me something to evaluate to prove it" ---that opponent is simply adopting the consistent methods of science to confront your counter claim that experienced -based knowledge contains valid forms of actualization outside of the sphere of empirical evaluation.
Science has taught your opponent some real "seal the deal" facts inhabiting what that opponent considers the real world :That water boils at 100 degrees C , that the universe is around 13 billion years old, that some viruses and bacteria cause disease. In other words, what Werner characterizes as a poor fund of knowledge. In other words, facts that can be used and appreciated in a tangible world naturally available to everyone's rational ,evaluating mind---the same mind I have elsewhere solidly linked to evolution and survival. The mind that we all effortlessly share--- without the superimposition of specialized disciplines and motives. The mind that nature has calibrated with the external world through the crucible of eons of organic development. The mind that must evaluate or perish . The mind that confronts our tiger and the insistent, primordial option of eating or being eaten.

Zen has not taught or discovered these things (bacteria and supernova) ,nor has any metaphysical ,transcendental , or religious discipline.
I personally am open and agnostic to all claims of knowledge*. But I would not fault someone for having a scientismistic outlook. Even if it were adopted for general epistemological purposes, outside the strictly day to day yeoman efforts of science.

This is not to say there are not some bad actors in this drama. Science , because of its power and persuasiveness ,is often co-opted by political, egotistic, and even megalomaniacal purposes.
This is what I like to sometimes call the "characterological" abuse of science.

All fields of endeavor have these bad actors. Learn to know when one of them is rattling your cage. And when you're rattling their cage. And,again, you probably already know this.(I am not referring to any particular individual currently on this thread. )


*well, maybe not the cat lady who lives down the street with 500 cats and claims a cat goddess rules the universe.


WBraun

climber
Nov 5, 2013 - 05:21pm PT
Zen has not taught or discovered these things (bacteria and supernova) ,nor has any metaphysical ,transcendental , or religious discipline.

All science is ultimately rooted there.

Stupid modern fools think it comes from their minds.

Stupid stupid stupid mental speculators ......
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Nov 5, 2013 - 08:10pm PT
If a polemical opponent says to you: "what else is there , give me something to evaluate to prove it" ---that opponent is simply adopting the consistent methods of science to confront your counter claim that experienced -based knowledge contains valid forms of actualization outside of the sphere of empirical evaluation.

-


Ward, what I have half-heartedly and very rapidly sketched out for you is an alternative POV. I have said that it is not an opponent POV nor is it in conflict with your strictly discursive POV. In your "consistant methods of science" approach your are basically demaning what Craig is demainding - that any and all experiential-based knowledge must conform to your evaluating mind lest it is not only non-empirical but it also is not even valid. The fact that your evaluating mind has once more fenced off it's own terrain as the only terrain worth investigating or possible to validly investigate and know true things is the quentessence of scientism. There simply is no disputing this. This is not a pejorative statement. It is a plain and fascile fact.

But you cannot get your head arond this because you are trying to understand French with an Italian vocabluary, so to speak.

What does this mean?

First, we can, for the sake of this discussion, look at human reality as consisting of two sides of one coin, the coin representing the whole mo fo, the entire shooting match, the infinite all. What's more, we have the objective, physical world, and the subjective, experiential world. The aforementioned "all" as well as the experiential world is incomprehensible to the evaluating mind, which can only handle discrete things like feelings, thoughts, smells, all the sense data, memories, thoughts, feelings, and all those "things" that our awareness can narrow focus on and separate out from the whole. This separating out is only possible by way of narrow focusing on a discrete bit of data. We look at the tree at the exclusion of the forest. We look at the T-Rex bone at the exclusion of the star, at least for the moment. We can shift focus to the star later on, but we can only narrow focus or focus at all on one thing at a time, ergo we cannot discursively know the whole and the parts simultaneously.

This narrow focusing on one thing is the essential facet of science, or in dealing with our day to day lives. When we really need to get down to it, we need to focus intently on the atom or the book report or whatever. That's how work gets done in the material, physical, objective world. This is also how we get to know our subjectivity and experience - by focusing on this or that feeling, and so forth.

But this method is NOT how we get to know the all, "Mind," though we can learn much about objective processing. Knowing the mind in real, subjective ahnd experiential terms invloves keeping the focus wide open, like setting the aperature on a camera on infinity. And staying there till the "all" hoves into view in ways your discursive mind cannot manage because it did not evolve to linger in open focus, but to narrow focus on things.

When beginning meditators complain of not being able to stay with the process of not identifying with mental and physical content, what happens when they go astray is that their awareness becomes unconsciously fused with a piece of content, their focus went narrow to that content (a thought, memory, or scenario in their head) and "they" left for a momnent and came to their senses a minute or ten minutes later. Meaning their narrow focus fusion to that thought, for example, was broken and once more they are back with the conscious and the living.

What the alternative POV is all about is not a watered down version of looking for a virus or an atom or any such thing. That is what the evaluating mind was made to do. The alternative POV is about exploring the reality that the evaluating mind was not only NOT made to do, but is incapable of doing, and that is holding the focus open to the whole, in fits and starts (it is VERY hard to do, even for people with 30 years of practice), till for moments here and there, the figure and the foreground change positions, where the all and not the parts, where the open focus instead of the concentrated narrow focus becomes paramount.

This is a strictly empirical process but our minds did not evolve to do this. That's why the whole thing is so counterintuitive and difficult and why it takes so much practice.

It's a mistake to think that open focus training is an attempt to do science, but differently, or is some kind of method of imagining an alternative world. It is simply the only way of investigating the whole in real time, which is strictly imposible through narrow focus objectifying - we can easily see why.

JL

manemachen

Sport climber
Pinedale, Wyoming
Nov 5, 2013 - 08:26pm PT
science, usually contained in academia, validates, congratulates, and ...
science, usually contained in academia, validates, congratulates, and subordinates it's own theories. Ask anyone you know that has battled cancer- I just thought you'd possibly like my snow blackbird photo- I will find the appropriate link-
Credit: manemachen
MH2

climber
Nov 5, 2013 - 10:40pm PT
Knowing the mind in real, subjective ahnd experiential terms invloves keeping the focus wide open


Keeping the focus of what wide open? Of the mind?
manemachen

Sport climber
Pinedale, Wyoming
Nov 5, 2013 - 11:16pm PT
http://www.wksu.org/news/story/37146

the cliff notes: you've possibly found a cure? but you are not one of us so funding will be a problem. And, we don't want to loose our cushy jobs.
manemachen

Sport climber
Pinedale, Wyoming
Nov 5, 2013 - 11:31pm PT
MikeL- Your story of communicating in effect "so what" with your wife- I get that- we are in this same place having survived what would have been the unimaginable a few years prior. When we were first together, we were on a back road heading toward Mt. Saint Helens and Rainer- in the middle of logging country- WEST west virginia..It was dark when our headlights hit an overhead train bridge. In 6' letters painted with school bus yellow paint, were the words, "JOEL F*#KED VERN"- so 25 years later- we still have moments that insist we smile politely and say to each other..JFV-
maybe we are still having rites of passage-things just don't f*#king matter after flying too close to the sun and wings haven't melted yet..my give a damn is busted and I really like this place.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Nov 6, 2013 - 10:38am PT
JL: This narrow focusing on one thing is the essential facet of science, or in dealing with our day to day lives.

That's analysis. It is THE most basic element of scientific research. Break a problem into its parts, solve the parts, and then put it back together. Or so the approach goes. But some issues can't be broken into parts, so it can be a failed process before it begins. The important issues, like healthcare, poverty, economic policy, war, happiness, awareness, evolution / development, yada yada--analysis doesn't seem to work well on those.

JL: Knowing the mind in real, subjective ahnd experiential terms invloves keeping the focus wide open
MH2: Keeping the focus of what wide open? Of the mind?

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. Squirrels in a cage, round and round and round. I listened to a guy last night at a satsang who was telling us all about how he had come to see reality, and then he went on and on analyzing it, telling us the parts, how the parts fit together, what the meaning of it all was, where he expected things to go to from there, and so forth. Poor guy.

Your question is a great question MH2. What could be kept wide open? The mind? Awareness? Experience? I know it's difficult to "BE" open for, er, things that you cannot imagine or conceive. ("What the hell could things be that I can't conceive or imagine?") Again, if one can find some way to keep oneself from labeling and interpreting, then there would be more openness in one's world. This holds true for everything, and for No Thing as well.


Manemachen: ha-ha. Good story. I also liked the story from WKSU.

Cisplatin is the chemo they used on me a couple of years ago, and it's pretty weird. Due to a bonding with platinum, cancer cells are tricked to commit seppuku once they can't untie the chemical bond. Unfortunately for patients, the chemical effects feel like death. It was as though I was completely seasick 24x7 for 9 weeks. I fell into doing percocets just to make my self feel less across-the-board.

Being close to death can be enlightening. Actually, anything that gets us out of our ruts does the same, I believe. All experience is unrepeating and indescribable, but we interpret it, categorize it, label it, model it, abstract it, so we think that it is blase and simply elemental. We think it's not much of anything. But it's truly unbelievable if IT is looked at closely and honestly.

All habits lull one into dream worlds.


FortMentäl

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Nov 6, 2013 - 10:57am PT
Fatalism as Zen.

You should be ashamed of yourself.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Nov 6, 2013 - 11:11am PT
FM, you're sounding like HFCS.

"Ashamed" I understand, . . . but "should"? I thought that was the complaint here by most posters against religion.

Again . . . openness, dude.
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.




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