I Like the Atheist Life (OT)

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Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 11, 2012 - 08:45pm PT
To be clear, my own "meditation" has bases: a natural basis... a neural basis... a material basis.


How does you meditation itself have a material basis?

Just asking...

JL
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Oct 11, 2012 - 11:18pm PT
How does you meditation itself have a material basis? Just asking...

C'mon, after all these months, you must know my beliefs (aka holdings or positions) regarding the mind-brain relationship.

This relationship, along with its activities or operations, has a material basis.

.....

meditation: any exercise of mind consisting of deep contemplation or reflection esp oriented toward some goal or objective.

How simple a definition, eh? ;)

.....

More importantly I think, for an interesting meaningful exchange, would be your take on any of Sam Harris' ideas expressed in his Australian atheist lecture... Death and the Present Moment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITTxTCz4Ums

For instance, what do you make of his claims of (a) the reality of your life is always now; memory of the past (even the past itself) is but a thought arising in the present; the future is a thought of anticipation arising now, in the present; (b) the frame we put around around an experience largely determines our interpretation of the experience; (c) progress, otherwise performance, in one's practice of living can be as much or more a function of a change of attitude as a function of more facts; (d) his enmass exercise in meditation (mindfulness)...

And there's even more thought-provoking ideas worth contemplating and discussing - you should check it out if you haven't already. It certainly signals big changes - dare I say evolution - coming to our belief discipline systems.
WBraun

climber
Oct 11, 2012 - 11:39pm PT
Sam Harris is your Guru.

You worship him ........
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Oct 11, 2012 - 11:42pm PT
Worship, no.

Better: I respect him.

A smart brave one, he is.

(Although the word "worship" if memory serves derives from the Old English for value. So I value him, yes.)

.....

Hey, the point with the violence in tribal Amazonian history piece (last page) was multifold I think. One point though is this: one's take on violence (e.g., nature and history and causes for being) is likely a strong function of whether he's operating out of an evolutionary ecological framework (like me or many an evolutionary a-theist) or a traditional Abrahamic theological framework (like so many traditional Christians, e.g., Paul Ryan, or Muslims, e.g., the Islamic militant Taliban). (2) And this difference in take could make for an interesting discussion - in the right company - of evolutionary atheists, that is.

.....

re: VP debate

By the way, speaking of Lyin Ryan... Alka Seltzer is fizzable. Uranium is fissionable. I'd prefer that my pol reps knew the difference between the two. Ha!

.....

Here's a favorite from the SH lecture:
"What matters is consciousness and its contents. Consciousness is everything. Our experience of the world, the experience of those we care about, is a matter of consciousness and its contents. So whatever the origins of consciousness, the most important question for us is how can we truly be fulfilled in life? How can we create lives that are truly worth living given that these lives come to an end?"

Deep. Intense. Huge. (For some.) :)



Another droste effect. After visiting recursion.
WBraun

climber
Oct 12, 2012 - 12:30am PT
"Life" never comes to an end.

After you throw your worn out coat into the dumpster do throw yourself in there too?
Timid TopRope

Social climber
'used to be Paradise, CA
Oct 12, 2012 - 02:37am PT
HFC, meditation with goals or objecctives is doomed. Empty mind is where it 's at. Reflection and contemplation are fine but keeps mind busy.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Oct 12, 2012 - 02:44am PT

" the most important question for us is how can we truly be fulfilled in life? How can we create lives that are truly worth living given that these lives come to an end?"

Huge? Deep?? Intense???

Ur walk'in around in the shallow end of the pool like ur afraid to get ur balls wet !!!!!

Jus Backstroke'in
BB
giegs

climber
Tardistan
Oct 12, 2012 - 03:14am PT
I don't know about all this. Who's to say the life I lead is better than the one I don't? Waking up every morning only to confront the inherent pointlessness of it all with an insatiable desire to find and ascribe points is exhausting. I just want to go to work, love my lady and my friends, play with the dog, and climb rocks. The rest is tangential.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 12, 2012 - 12:18pm PT
Fruity - When I asked how meditation itself had a material basis, you're answer requires a thought process hooked to a belief that you can reverse engineer back to a material brain you believe creates consciousness and makes meditation possible. This thought process is not meditation.

What's more, when "meditation with goals or objectives" is not meditation but focused thinking, ergo ego driven, since your ego has determined or decided upon the agenda per what you'll think or contemplate. Of course it's impossible to ever transcend your ego doing so - we can easily see why.

When yo let go of your attachment to thoughts, with getting to or maintaining a state, a place, an idea, and when you don't concentrate, moving toward or away from whatever arises - try and find your "material base." It's just another shimmering piece of qualia in your field or awareness, and that field is itself ungraspable, as is the agency who is present with it.

Note how hard it is to just abide with this without the discursive mind trying to horn in theories and ideas - especially the idea that you are wasting your time unless the discursive mind is engaged in grinding on some thing or idea. Not easy IME.

Those questions about Sam Harris are interesting and deserve serious responses and I have to work now. I hope to get to those later.

JL
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Oct 12, 2012 - 12:59pm PT
Timid TopRope +1

-


What matters is consciousness and its contents. Consciousness is everything.
No, I'd say that's a low-leveled but highly understandable view. As a teacher, I can report that what people first learn must at some point be jettisoned in order to move forward. Ken Wilber has the idea down cold. First, differentiate: see differences and similarities in things. Learn to discriminate one thing from another. Then integrate them into a whole by creating categories: see and link differences through patterns and structures. Finally, transcend: Move to the next wider, deeper, higher more inclusive system. Transcending is where one broad view must be replaced with another system altogether. Then the process starts all over again. Differentiate--integrate--transcend. Hegel's ideas about thesis--antithesis--new thesis is similar in ilk. Cognitive science has made somewhat analogous discriminations when it talks about the differences between naive knowledge structures versus a novice's knowledge structures versus the knowledge structures of experts.

Consciousness (and its contents) are very interesting and a great place to start (observationally through meditation) but it is probably a novice's view of existence to think that it is all there is. Consciousness is undeniably apparent to everyone, but there seem (according to the taproot / leading-edge beings historically) to be non-conceptual states of being that transcend what is immensely obvious. We are surely advanced, but we cannot be at the end of the line.

When I lose consciousness or my consciousness shifts (drugs, illness, etc.), "I" do not go away, become another self, or return as another self. I may feel like sh*t or changed today--my consciousness seems greatly affected by pain, narcotic haze, physical ailments--but "I" am still here. Only by getting beyond my own conceptualizations can I seem to make ANY Real Changes to that object that always seems to be around: my ego, the "I." All beliefs are the enemy.

At some point, it seems a person must pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and transcend themselves. They must kill their own ego. It's a paradox that's been portrayed in almost endless mythology and evolutionary tale. All are metaphors.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Oct 12, 2012 - 02:48pm PT
[youtube=rFuy0gergBE&sns]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFuy0gergBE&sns=em


Isn't it kind of hard to argue that there isn't a material basis for meditation, When you're doing it in a human body?
michaeld

Sport climber
Sacramento
Oct 12, 2012 - 02:53pm PT
I never understood Atheist preachers.

More annoying than liberals.

And people who are Atheist just because they're liberal.

I hate people.
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Oct 12, 2012 - 03:52pm PT
"Life" never comes to an end.


 Was trying to read the entire page… read most but got to here and nearly died laughing….


Now, is this part of your imagination? Or is there any evidence to base this on?


Bwahahaha



(To be sure, this is just more evidence that religion is man made and therefore not worthy of my belief)


Thanks Jaybro, very real video. Alex hits the bullseye
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 12, 2012 - 04:04pm PT
It's it kind of hard to argue that there isn't a material basis for meditation, When you're doing it in a human body?


I wasn't talking ab out arguing or discursive reasoning. We can argue most anything. I meant, when you sit your ass down and settle, what is your immediate, right-now, experiential relationship to material? I'm not saying we don't have one, but what is it? And who or what is relating to that "material base," and do you experience that which relates and the base itself as selfsame?

As strictly discursive ideas, these questions sound nonsensical, but if you can muster the discipline to to hang with the process long enough to let the monkey mind settle, such questions are very interesting for some - but not everyone. Many people get mildly crazy without a task or a bone for the discursive mind to chew on, and the rants start in about staring at your navel and so on LOL.

JL

BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Oct 12, 2012 - 04:41pm PT
MikeL
"Differentiate-Integrate-transcend"
These activities could probably be carried out by the mind and the brain.
I would ration that between Intregrate-Transcend you could insert "moralize" ?
As a judge to direct where to integrate. As to which direction to transcend.

"All belief's are our enemy" Aren't our beliefs our truths?
"I believe it's going to be sunny in JTree today!". I'm giving you my honest truthful opinion of fact based on integrated data and experience. When we say we "believe" something we have a need to be sure that something be true. Enough so as to stake our honor by putting our name on it. And our trust in it. As to esteem our I. "Ego".

Maybe at the point right before he grabs his bootstraps. A man finds his ego deflated by his material being. Maybe to the point of a meditated conscience? So much as to question his own beliefs. Thus descending through his Differentiate-Integrate pattern without bias. In order to Transcend.
Or:
What if your bootstraps are pulled all the way up! And your material cup is full! And you've been able to deduce the truths in your life.. So you earnestly seek what you can't see. Then you look at the Myths, metaphors and parables to fill a cup. In which I may clink my material cup to. And let out a wopping "CHEERS!"

Jus Quess'in
BB

squishy

Mountain climber
Oct 12, 2012 - 06:15pm PT
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Oct 12, 2012 - 07:02pm PT
I'm feeling in an an ornery mood and feel the need to come to the defense of HFCS. The thing about describing the atheistic point of view is that all of the really smart people (who are atheists) converge on the same viewpoint. It's not just Sam Harris. Read two pages from any of the books by Steven Pinker, Richard Dawkins, or Daniel Dennet and you can't help but learn something about the world that you probably really never thought of before. These are some of the smartest guys on the planet (along with Ed Hartouni), in my opinion.

Now think of the "great" theistic thinkers. Do they collectively converge on a world view? I think not. I also think of all of the stuff that I have read of Largo's on this and similar subjects. Do I learn anything? No. Just a bunch of meaningless jargon and questionable logic. Sorry, Largo. You're a hero of mine, but I've got to call a spade a spade. Honestly, what may have put me over the edge was your fruity insult to HFCS, a clearly rationale person.

Malemute

Ice climber
the ghost
Oct 12, 2012 - 07:08pm PT
If Largo had something worthwhile to say, he wouldn't have to stoop to insults.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Oct 12, 2012 - 09:09pm PT
I'm feeling in an an ornery mood and feel the need to come to the defense of HFCS. The thing about describing the atheistic point of view is that all of the really smart people (who are atheists) converge on the same viewpoint. It's not just Sam Harris. Read two pages from any of the books by Steven Pinker, Richard Dawkins, or Daniel Dennet and you can't help but learn something about the world that you probably really never thought of before. These are some of the smartest guys on the planet (along with Ed Hartouni), in my opinion.

In re-reading this, I realized that I should be more clear about what I mean. What I meant to say is that when you read any of the 4 authors mentioned, you will learn new things about the world that are not only interesting (smart people like to think and talk about interesting things), but collectively consistent with our everyday sensibilities about the world. C'mon, the world is infinitely interesting and there are an infinite number of interesting things to know about and creative things to do in the world.

The theistic (including the "ghost in the machine viewpoint" of Largo's) starts with a (painfully) simplistic piece of inductive reasoning (that God or a universal consciousness exists and all of the other related crap which is largely dependent on where you were born) and tries to fit this hypothesis with all of the other facts from everyday life. To me, the most interesting phenomenon is the fact that smart people choose to suspend the instincts that have served them so well in their everyday lives and believe in the magical things required of their religious belief.
Phantom X

Trad climber
Honeycomb Hideout
Oct 12, 2012 - 09:32pm PT
^^^^^^This one will definitly end up at the hot place!
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