Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Messages 20321 - 20340 of total 23263 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Mar 12, 2014 - 07:50pm PT
Sin&#40;1/z&#41;=z ?      Dark spots
Sin(1/z)=z ? Dark spots
Credit: jgill


Where are those pesky fixed points? An essential singularity at zero, with the light at the end of the tunnel glowing fiercely.
MH2

climber
Mar 12, 2014 - 08:44pm PT
Where are those pesky fixed points? (jgill)


Remember what we have been told: nothing is permanent.






An essential singularity at zero (jgill)


Everything and nothing at the same point?


What is the inverse of the bright light at the end of the tunnel?
go-B

climber
John 6:44
Mar 12, 2014 - 09:19pm PT
Credit: go-B

...jgill, as the fog clears! :)
MikeL

Trad climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Mar 12, 2014 - 09:33pm PT
jgill:

Nice story about your dad. Would perhaps make a warm movie. You looked up to him, and he was a role model. Play along with me here. Who would you pick to be him and you from Hollywood today?

MH2:

I can't say what makes pristine awareness what it is and is not. I should say that nothing "makes it," which is surely not helpful (or that what makes it is something that you don't want to hear). All I think I can say is that it is an absence, it is an absence of a positive and an absence of the positive's negative or opposite. Perhaps I should say that pristine awareness is awareness without any content. Yet it would not be a "blank piece of paper" nor nothingness, either. There would be hearing, seeing, feeling, smelling, etc. Any vision or experience that you would have would be pristine (and pardon the continued use of nouns and adjectives) if your mind were without interpretation. Sticking with a grammatical metaphor, pristine awareness would be verbs, only verbs.

So let's dial back to your question: "Can't a person have an experience of a narrative, etc.?" Yes, they can, but it would be nothing more serious or concrete than the touch of a wisp of air in the forest caressing your cheek. Such things are fascinating, wonderful, amusing, interesting, and completely insignificant. They are fun in themselves, by themselves, for no reason at all. Like the images on a TV screen, they are insubstantial, hardly there at all. Their insubstantiality suggest place, space, time, and cause-and-effect, but none of those are just quite there.

What do you have when you have a thought in your mind? What is there? An electrical transmission? An imprint? A movement that feels like a draft in an empty hall? From what I see, there's not much, but obviously one can build out into very substantive and brittle structures that last and take on life and are bigger than the earth. What a strange things thoughts, emotions, instincts, and feelings are. They obviously manifest phenomenally, but trying to get a handle on them leads to frustration. Of course, the same thing could be said for the I-subject.

I suspect I've raised more consternation than I've alleviated with this. Sorry. In Zen, asking your question might call for the hall master to apply the keisaku to bring you back to mindfulness (which means the very opposite).

It's these "opposites" thing: they turn everything into poetry.
MH2

climber
Mar 12, 2014 - 10:56pm PT
No consternation here, Mike. I just wanted what you had to say. Thanks.
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Mar 13, 2014 - 01:56am PT
It's fascinating. I hear people saying: I can achieve the point beyond duality by simply not having thoughts (discursive thoughts) and In the point beyond duality I find bliss. Furthermore I validate this experience based on my own personal realization, the intimacy of my own unshared experience. And furthermore this is true of all knowledge. That is: all knowledge, all epistemology needs only the personal experience of the individual as its validation. The validation of repeatability and consensus is subordinated to individual feelings. Is this not simply the notion that "man is the measure of all things?'

I'm reminded of Socrates response to such an idea, referring to Protagoreas:

Socrates:
I am charmed with his doctrine, that what appears is to each one, but I wonder that he did not begin his book on Truth with a declaration that a pig which has sensation, is the measure of all things; then he might have shown a magnificent contempt for our opinion of him . . . no better than a tadpole, not to speak of his fellow-men - would not this have produced an over powering effect? For if truth is only sensation, and no man can discern another's feelings better than he, or has any superior right to determine whether his opinion is true or false, but each, as we have several times repeated, is to himself the sole judge, and everything that he judges is true and right, why, my friend, should Protagoreas be preferred to the place of wisdom and instruction, and deserve to be well paid, and we poor ignoramuses have to go to him, if each one is the measure of his own wisdom? . . . I say nothing of the ridiculous predicament in which my own midwifery and the whole art of dialectic is placed.
Malemute

Ice climber
great white north
Mar 13, 2014 - 10:40am PT
http://www.flickr.com/photos/47808265@N08/
this week in science
Hashem AL-ghaili
MH2

climber
Mar 13, 2014 - 12:22pm PT
A wonderful story to open one's eyes - Krista and Tatiana Hogan.



Louise covers Tatiana’s eyes.
Felicia holds up a small stuffed animal in front of Krista’s open eyes.
“What am I holding?” she asks Tatiana.
Tatiana, her eyes completely covered, hesitates.
Her mother prompts her. “Tati, look through your sister’s eyes.”
There is a pause, a breath held.
Then Tatiana, eyes covered, somehow floats into her sister’s brain: “The Lorax!” she announces.

Vancouver Sun January 2, 2014
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 13, 2014 - 01:14pm PT
It's fascinating. I hear people saying: I can achieve the point beyond duality by simply not having thoughts (discursive thoughts) and In the point beyond duality I find bliss. Furthermore I validate this experience based on my own personal realization, the intimacy of my own unshared experience. And furthermore this is true of all knowledge. That is: all knowledge, all epistemology needs only the personal experience of the individual as its validation. The validation of repeatability and consensus is subordinated to individual feelings. Is this not simply the notion that "man is the measure of all things?'


This interpretation makes perfect sense from the outside, but it is not my experience per the experiential arts.

First, it's not the goal to "not have" discursive thoughts." The exercise is to detach from discursive thinking, and also to detach from "that point beyond duality," including detaching from bliss itself. So long as you hold bliss to be the end game, anything short of that and you will flounder. So forget about arriving some place different than where you are right now. Dive into you immediate experience and the rest will follow.

Second, "I validate this experience based on my own personal realization." The risk of doing this is why meditation is not a solo, but rather a group exercise lest one starts inventing their own practice and self-verifies all kinds of nonsense. Getting moment to moment feedback from peers and teachers is key in working past illusions and blind spots and plateaus.

Finally, "The validation of repeatability and consensus is subordinated to individual feelings."

Not sure why this business of feelings or emotional content is seen from the outside as such a principal component of the process. Feelings are simply other qualia passing through the field of awareness. Just more data. No need to reify them to special status.

JL
MikeL

Trad climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Mar 13, 2014 - 01:56pm PT
Paul:

From my experience and inchoate understanding, you've said many things that I don't see or have said here in this thread.

Nothing is "beyond" anything else. WYSISYG. "Beyond" is just a way of talking. There is experience, which everyone appears to have available to them, but experience is only subjective. I have understanding that is neither knowledge nor experience, and I can't say what that is.

Bliss is a feeling that seems to come from being quiet and still. It is a state of consciousness, and states rely upon bodies.

Knowledge appears conceptual, which implies that there might be understanding other than conceptual understanding. The understanding of any feeling, for example, is non-conceptual (e.g., the feeling that comes from a full stomach). As an exercise, here are a few attempts at stating what my cognitive understandings are of three emotions.

Curiosity

∗ I assert that X has happened or exists.
∗ I assess that I do not understand it.
∗ I declare my desire to learn more about it.

Enthusiasm

∗ I assert that X has happened.
∗ I assess that X is positive for me.
∗ I assess that X opens up new possibilities for me.
∗ I declare my disposition to act to make these possibilities a reality.

Humiliation

∗ I assert that I have done X or X has been done to me.
∗ I assert that other people know about it.
∗ I assess that other people will think less of me because of it.
∗ I declare my desire to hide.


Epistemology focuses on knowledge.

As for "validation," what validation does one need when one experiences? You seem to be saying that one must validate experiences with concepts.

(I respect and agree with Largo's concerns about getting lost in remarkable experiences and the problems of self-verification--but one thing at a time. At the moment, I'm replying to your writing with some distinctions here about understanding that comes from pure awareness vs. conceptual knowledge. Alas, in the end there is only one. The proof of any pudding in in the tasting. Vajrayana says there is only one taste to everything.)

Paul, both you and Socrates are devoted to knowledge, which of course implies nothing bad.

What knowledge could you report about your thoughts, and how could you hope to do so if you had to rely only upon concepts? Wouldn't you then need another thought to validate your thoughts? Could you only validate them with others beings' thoughts? Would they be validated only with concepts? How could you validate them empirically? (In any event, wouldn't this make you a very busy person?)

Paul, I think you're trying to shoe-horn some Buddhist and meditative notions into someone else's argument (e.g., Protagoras or Socrates). It's not a very good fit.

You seem to be a moral man, and you seem to be especially concerned about a reality that has no moral basis to it (which is probably what you hear in my words). If so, I would understand the concern.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Mar 13, 2014 - 02:56pm PT
The last two posts more or less represents the current " thinking" amongst the Lords of tomfoolery Nonsense , divers Pettifoggery, and slippery convulsions.

To anyone who wants to undertake the manifestly unproductive task of walking these guys through their prior posts, in order to cite the abundant inconsistencies and contradictions, my advice is ---don't bother ---unless you're in it for for the writing exercise.
Which is cool.
jstan

climber
Mar 13, 2014 - 03:42pm PT
pettifoggery (ˈpɛtɪˌfɒɡərɪ)

Definitions
noun

(law) the activity of conducting unimportant cases, as a lawyer of inferior status, esp one who is unscrupulous or resorts to trickery
the activity of quibbling or fussing over details
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 13, 2014 - 04:46pm PT
pettifoggery (ˈpɛtɪˌfɒɡərɪ)

Definitions
noun

(law) the activity of conducting unimportant cases, as a lawyer of inferior status, esp one who is unscrupulous or resorts to trickery
the activity of quibbling or fussing over details
-

Perhaps the thing to do is for Mike and I to bow out of this conversation and let you guys get back to the important game of talking about objective functioning, rather than fiddling with us folk of "inferior status."

Like I've said all along, scientism is the turd in the punchbowl here, ie the belief that lest we are measuring, and speaking in proofs and formulai, we are "wasting time."

But perhaps an even greater hurdle is the basic lack of curiosity about what might lay beyond our automatic, conditioned way of thinking and being and interpreting the world, or that going there with anything short of a slide rule is "unimportant," or a shell game for fools.

JL

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Mar 13, 2014 - 04:48pm PT

Tuba Skinny ragtime band at Chichen Itza
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Mar 13, 2014 - 05:01pm PT
I would say the conversation is remarkably interesting in that it simultaneously critiques two approaches to knowledge both of which become more resilient because of that critique. I don't think either science or the experience of meditation can ultimately claim absolute efficacy and that's why the debate between them is so necessary and so fascinating. What can we know? How can we know it? Sublime questions that stir the sense of mystery that fascinates us all.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Mar 13, 2014 - 06:12pm PT
I would say the conversation is remarkably interesting in that it simultaneously critiques two approaches to knowledge

This of course sounds good if it were not for the sticky fact that the so-called non-discursive in actuality does not represent an approach to knowledge--- lacking as it does the genuine bona fides in that regard. It might be an approach to something else--- such as a rediscovery of the nothingness and static immobility of reptilian consciousness---but of knowledge , per se, no. Unless we were speaking of metaphysical knowledge---yet even here the reports we get back from "nothingness, non-attachment central headquarters" is not encouraging.

If a sudden deadly plague raged through the human race, or our collective lives depended on real knowing of something ,all the lotus-upended gurus and their " knowledge " would be of no practical utility whatsoever. They lack a methodology to get them passed square one when the rubber hit the road.( Because all they've got is their own private experience.) The same methodology often disparaged on this thread for being too limiting , too proscriptive, too locked within the confines of measuring and quantification---is the same methodology that might actually have a shot at actually solving something in the real world.

The pursuit of the individual experience is not knowledge. It knows nothing . It is dedicated to knowing nothing. The point of revelation, namely ,the individual experience ,is non-transferable. It cannot be measured and therefore claims to be relevant to nothing,according to its champions.
The Nehru-jacketed 'arts' are not in the major league of knowledge.Sorry. It's just not, despite how it is often erroneously portrayed .Nor does it represent some sort of bipolar equivalent to Science or any means of discovery that genuinely seeks to understand , through hard work and careful method, something about the universe we live in ---including ourselves.
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Mar 13, 2014 - 06:23pm PT
Like I've said all along, scientism is the turd in the punchbowl here (JL)

OK, point taken. No one can fault you for a lack of vivid imagery, John!


A number of years ago I read of a young man, a mathematical prodigy, who had finished his PhD at one of the IV league schools, and was immediately given a professorship there at the age of 21 or so. He made a comment I have heard two or three times over the years: "Mathematics is the only true academic doctorate." This is ridiculous, of course, even though mathematics is called "the Queen of the Sciences", (essentially for two reasons: (1) It is used as a tool in all the other sciences, and (2) "theory" has a different and more conclusive definition in math than it does in physics, say.)

The feeling that the time and effort one puts into a project somehow bestows upon the practitioner a special, even superior gift or insight is apparent in academia as well as many other pursuits, say art. If one studies under a master and eventually completes a nice painting, after years of study, one is likely to think that one's artistic product is of a superior quality, regardless of the critiques of others, who perhaps have differing styles.

Is this also true in the "experiential arts?" If one doesn't make the grade in zazen, for example, is there a stigma attached? If one only achieves the astral plane, does one fall short of some kind of ultimate epiphany? If one only achieves bliss is this inferior to the "real thing?"
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Mar 13, 2014 - 06:24pm PT
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Mar 13, 2014 - 06:37pm PT


Love this group!


;>)
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Mar 13, 2014 - 06:42pm PT
^^^^^^^^^^^

Yeah, Tuba Skinny, are the buskers par excellence. If you are familiar with New Orleans rag or Dixieland in general you can instantly recognize they possess true originality , style, and consistency---despite numerous personnel shuffling.
Most of the key members have only migrated to New Orleans in the last several years (post- Katrina) , and they are relatively young.
Tuba Skinny and a few like them have revitalized the old New Orleans street jazz sound and culture. God bless em. They are what I like to describe as a "raging anachronism"
And perhaps a study in reincarnation. Lol
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