Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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MH2

climber
Nov 16, 2013 - 08:33am PT



But the fundamental nature of mind is empty, for one and all (JL)


In fact there is no "I" (JL)

Insofar as we have already made clear the difference between subjective experience and a person's REWACTION to that experience, what, exactly is it that you are hopeful of observing from the outside? (JL)



WE? Made CLEAR?

If you make something clear to someone else, are you not cast out of Zen, or at least whacked with a stick? Your meditative experience is outside logic so how could you claim to make anything clear to someone else? You making sense would make no sense.


Here is a better route.

"Suppose someone to assert: The gostak distims the doshes. You do not know what this means; nor do I. But if we assume that it is English, we know that the doshes are distimmed by the gostak. We know too that one distimmer of doshes is a gostak. If, moreover, the doshes are galloons, we know that some galloons are distimmed by the gostak. And so we may go on, and so we often do go on."

Q: What is the gostak?
A: The gostak is that which distims the doshes.
Q: What's distimming?
A: Distimming is that which the gostak does to the doshes.
Q: Okay, but what are doshes?
A: The doshes are what the gostak distims.



In this thread JL tries to convince readers to try meditation to see reality in a different way.

In this classic science fiction story, a mathematical physicist convinces his friend to try to travel into another dimension by merely altering the way he thinks about things.


The Gostak and the Doshes (1930)
Miles J. Breuer, M.D.




The gostak is an invention of Andrew Ingraham. In 1903 Ingraham listed 9 ways in which language may be used:

1 To dissipate superfluous nervous energy.
2 To direct motion in others, both men and animals.
3 To communicate ideas.
4 As a means of expression.
5 For the purposes of record.
6 To set matter in motion (as in charms and incantations).
7 As an instrument of thinking.
8 To give delight merely as sound.
9 To keep grammarians busy.


On this thread I give JL the 1 out of the 9.



Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Nov 16, 2013 - 10:23am PT
MH2, you have to be the most passive-aggressive poster on this list.

You quoted:

Insofar as we have already made clear the difference between subjective experience and a person's REACTION to that experience, what, exactly is it that you are hopeful of observing from the outside? (JL)

Then MH2 went off on a tangent about how I had done no such thing as to make this all clear.

Let me attempt to make this absolutely clear. And bear in mind I am not simply drawing from meditation and non-logical sources to explain these basic principals, but also from clinical psychology and brain research (especially neurofedback and qEEG stuff).

For the sake of clarity, let's stick with the above quote as cited by MH2, who again was apparently not convinced that I have made clear the difference between a subjective experience, and a person's reaction to same. Or perhaps he didn't understand the concept, or that in actual practice, that there is a difference.

This concept, and being able to separate out the difference between a subjective experience and reacting to same, remains a key technique in psychology, the human development movement and the recovery movement.

In the human development movement, an old technique dating back to the Fritz Pearls Gestalt days is called "contrary action." A common maxim is, "Feel the fear and do it anyway." That is, a person feels fear - a subjective experience unobservable from the outside - but the subject merely witnesses the experience and does the opposite of what is natural - that is they don't let the fear keep them from acting.

In the addiction arena, people are trained to notice and observe the impulses to have a cigarette, for instance, to feel the subjective force entirely, and instead of going for a smoke, just stay with their breathing till the impulse (known as a nicotine fit) passes.

These simple but widely known examples hopefully make clear the difference between a person's subjective experience, and their reaction to said subjective experience.

JL
FortMentäl

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Nov 16, 2013 - 10:46am PT
And you expressed curiosity about what consciousness would be good for. What experiences have you had that makes you believe that anyone would be hard-pressed to answer that? This is one of the first things taught in the experiential adventures.

Consciousness is not required for memory, conceptual formation, learning, thinking, and reasoning. I'd elaborate more, below, but I don't have time right now.
WBraun

climber
Nov 16, 2013 - 10:47am PT
100% wrong ^^^^^^

The nutcase FortMentäl has absolutely no clue what consciousness is .......
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Nov 16, 2013 - 12:17pm PT
Consciousness is not required for memory, conceptual formation, learning, thinking, and reasoning (FM)


Wow, tell me more . . .!


JL, you say there is no "I", yet it is the "I" that initiates the process to meditate into the empty version of consciousness. There is the will to do so, to "open your focus." Are you saying something doesn't exist, yet does exist long enough to initiate the process leading to the realization that it doesn't exist?

You have lost your way: "I" exists and "empty consciousness" is a delusion.
WBraun

climber
Nov 16, 2013 - 12:23pm PT
"I" exists and "empty consciousness" is a delusion.


Yes, correct ....
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Nov 16, 2013 - 01:12pm PT
"I" exists and "empty consciousness" is a delusion.

Correct-a-mundo
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Nov 16, 2013 - 02:25pm PT
What makes this tricky to explain is that most folks are trying to discursively understand this, while others are going the more comprehensive route of resourcing both their discursive minds and their direct experience, and the empirical insights afforded thereof. What's more, the discursive camp is mostly convinced that the experiential findings are a kind of guessing, as opposed to standard objective values arrived at through the centuries. So instead of finding where things are true for them, they argue against what is easily verified in the experiential arena in an attempt top find what believe is wrong.

John, consciousness in never empty. Raw awareness or raw witnessing IS empty - it is absent any "I" or tangible witness and is entirely unborn and unmanifested and is not a thing or an object observable from the outside. However, once raw awareness narrow focusses on a thing, an "I" appears in the ego self (for example) just as a wave become a particle when observed, according to the more progressive QM folk. In this sense "nothing" becomes "something" continuously.

A provisional "I" is needed to operate in the world, but it has no independent existence separate from subjective experience and therefor cannot be construed as an objective thing.

The experiential realm is full of paradoxes, none more renown than the experiential Magna Carta: Form is emptiness and emptiness is form - exactly.

To the discursive mind, you cannot have it both ways - that is, heads cannot also be tails, our uncle cannot be your aunt. But reality is much more fluid and amorphous that our thinking.

JL

BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Nov 16, 2013 - 02:56pm PT
Form is emptiness and emptiness is form

Wow. That sounds really cool. I've read that about a hundred times.

How do you know that you are not deluding yourself, JL? There are probably an infinite number of delusions, yet a finite number of truths.

You should know that all science isn't black and white. If you are given an incomplete dataset, you will get multiple working hypotheses. This is why we still drill dry holes, even with an incredible array of technology.

Man. I don't know why I even read this thread anymore. JL and Werner are now like two of the bullies we knew in grade school.

And yes, subjective experience can be observed. Our minds are subjective organs. This does not mean that we can't put down a few self checking rules to arrive at an objective answer.

Grok on the Statue Of Liberty. Does it exist? Are we really back to square one, spewing out epistemological nonsense?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ouroboros

jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Nov 16, 2013 - 03:56pm PT



Edit: You have lost your way: "I" exists and "raw awareness" is a delusion.
go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
Nov 16, 2013 - 04:00pm PT
Job 13:15 Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.
Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.
16 He also shall be my salvation,

20 “Only two things do not do to me,
Then I will not hide myself from You:
21 Withdraw Your hand far from me,
And let not the dread of You make me afraid
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Nov 16, 2013 - 04:23pm PT
http://www.upaya.org/2013/07/john-dunne-07-17-2013-form-is-emptiness-emptiness-is-form-experience-and-the-heart-sutra/

Emptiness is form and form is emptiness is not something I said or made up - I'm flattered you'd think that I did - but is a basically tennet of reality about 2,000 years old. For a modern reading, check this pod cast done a few months back.

I'd be interested in hearing your experience with raw awareness and the beliefs you have about it.

There's a standard trick often played on particularly stubborn beginners in the zendo, people who believe they have an independent "I" that perceives - and is computable. It goes like this:

Imagine your awareness going out in every direction, to the ends of the earth, and keep pushing out towards the end of the universe, and keep expanding and opening your focus till you find an "I."

Of course there is no such I, though one will appear in your psyche when your focus narrows, or when you start thinking that said "I" is expanding out - an unconscious trick of the discursive. But so long as your focus is open, there is witnessing, but no witness to grab hold of. It takes some people a while to experientially get this, but most everyone gets it with enough practice.

What's especially entertaining is listening to people try and explain it all away and cling to the "I" without doing the very practice that can show them otherwise. When you see this, and people insisting that they are in the right to do so, you understand the unconscious factors involved with getting past our own ignorance, even while they claim the other man is deluded. Such folks are said to have a circus in their minds.

We humans are a find kettle of fish . . .

JL
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
U.N. Ambassador, Crackistan
Nov 16, 2013 - 04:42pm PT
Largo you're pretty PA yourself. I'd say you top MH by a mile, brah.

DMT
MH2

climber
Nov 16, 2013 - 05:02pm PT
Of course there is no such I, though one will appear in your psyche when your focus narrows, or when you start thinking that said "I" is expanding out - an unconscious trick of the discursive. But so long as your focus is open, there is witnessing, but no witness to grab hold of. It takes some people a while to experientially get this, but most everyone gets it with enough practice.





"And so we may go on, and so we often do go on."
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Nov 16, 2013 - 06:14pm PT
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Nov 16, 2013 - 06:25pm PT
http://cspeech.ucd.ie/~fred/cogsci/readings/Zahavi_JCS_5_5-6.pdf

For those not given to introspection, but like to think about stuff and have scholastic capacities, you might find this article interesting.

And by the way, Cintune, in that page you quoted on electricity, I'll pay you a buck you can answer any of those qustions, and I'll pay you another buck if you can tell us honestly why you can't (other than attack or mock the qustions themselves).

JL
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Nov 16, 2013 - 06:52pm PT
Electricity is what electrons do... and we can easily see why ;-)
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Nov 16, 2013 - 07:01pm PT
Jan, bet we can find common ground on this one...



http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=U2YcC_H66XY&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DU2YcC_H66XY%26feature%3Dyoutu.be&app=desktop

I just finished his book, Religion for Atheists, in which he makes some similar points, e.g., regarding universal human needs, power of institutions to support ideas, standards of behavior, etc. . Interesting are some of the reviews of reviewers of this book at amazon by atheists who just don't get it, who are so set and passionate in their atheism that they don't see the deeper and broader ideas or points de Botton makes about how religious institutions are worthy study and how we can learn from them. They can't get past "religion" in the title or whatever. Their loss. But the reviews also show that many naturalists or post-supernaturalists do get his work - which is enheartening.

This de Botton from TED is also along similar lines and pretty good, I thought, and it too points the way to future developments I think.

http://www.ted.com/talks/alain_de_botton_atheism_2_0.html?utm_content=buffer08fcd&utm_source=buffer&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Buffer

de Botton,
There is no such thing as work-life balance. Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life.

Turns out he's got quite the twitter following.

.....

"Atheism 2.0"
For lack of a better name, eh?
Give it time, it will come.
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Nov 16, 2013 - 08:41pm PT
. . . there is witnessing, but no witness to grab hold of (JL)


So when we "lose ourselves" briefly in an activity like climbing that shows there is no "I?" Of course the "I" is there, as it is there when we sleep. The existence of the "I" is not threatened - we are merely not self-conscious at times.

It's good you enjoy this banter. Are you writing a book about the subject? I'm certain there are readers out there who would be persuaded by your efforts. Perhaps this is a hobby for you. Here's what I do as a hobby these days: Minor research & Classroom Notes
Dr. F.

Trad climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 16, 2013 - 08:44pm PT
Credit: Dr. F.
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