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June 13, 2009

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Dalai Lama: "Now I'd like to say more about the fundamental nature of the mind. There is no reason to believe that the innate mind, the very essential luminous nature of awareness, has neural correlates, because it is not physical, not contingent upon the brain. So while I agree with neuroscience that gross mental events correlate with brain activity, I also feel that on a more subtle level of consciousness, brain and mind are two separate entities."

Brian Hines: "Well, there's nothing wrong with having feelings. But demonstrable evidence of the luminous nature of awareness doesn't exist. In fact, there is no way such proof could exist. So when Buddhist dogma separates brain and mind, a separation also occurs between Buddhism and science."

I agree with Brian. Whats more is there are plenty of reasons to believe the innate mind has neural correlates. In fact, its the only reason of explanation, which is logical. Even if consciousness is some independent entity pervading the cosmos that is yet to be discovered (or is undiscoverable), by what means are each us able to connect with it to give us such innate mind? If not via the brain, what other extrasensory perception allows us each to access this luminous nature of awareness?


Thanks for this comment, George. I also agree. I don't think you can separate "spirit" from "body", not at least at our level. Even in the linguistics of mystic spirituality, every thought is born from Karma generates its own Karma, came from action and IS a form of action. Translated from that culture to science, everything we see and think and feel has a physiological, neurological and psychological correlate, and therefore these things influence and create our thinking, behavior, experience and the sociology, the social reality these reactions influence in our families, towns, social groups, clubs and societies. The influence works both ways.

Hence, there is no such thing as free will. We are bound by our genetics, environment and biochemistry. Just because we aren't aware of how the world will effect our choices does not mean it isn't predetermined. If I buy a Coke because I feel thirsty for Coke I have no idea how many Coke commercials in the last week I saw or heard, the good-looking people I noticed drinking Coke in the park that conditioned that choice.

The food we eat also influences what we think and feel. The TV shows we watch influence how we behave. Very little escape from that, and no use pretending it isn't so.

So, what are we eating? How are we living? What are we watching and listening to? What are we saying? That becomes tomorrow's internal experience.

As for spirit, no scientist can claim to comment on what they cannot reliably test. And every good theoretical scientist has lots of experience in false theories that arose because they tried to extrapolate in a linear fashion from what little they knew to things way outside their experience, research and knowledge. That is the problem with most theology, and with pseudo-scientific claims about God and spirituality.

So, as for spirit, the scientific approach is not to say "it cannot be" but rather, "no evidence - no comment". Are their really UFOs? No hard evidence, no comment.

Indeed, there is no point even thinking about it until that experience of spirit intrudes on your life. Then it deserves real, hard investigation, and not theory ad nauseum.

Hi Spencer

I posted a whole response, but it seems to have got lost somewhere.
Discussions of 'free will' are helluva interesting.

Difficult one, all your points are well made, and yet humans have a brain and consciousness that allows us to supercede our natural instinct or genetic predispositions (as opposed to other known lifeforms), and yet at other times we act on these baser urges. We often faced with a range of difficult choices, sometimes reason is used to decide, other times its emotion and sometimes even the toss of a coin.

Your last paragraph hints at spirit intruding on certain lives. I presume this randomness is instead what you believe to be fate, i.e. no free will?

By hard investigation, as opposed to theory, I presume you mean practicing each of the many spiritual traditions out there and deciding, which most closely resonates with the earlier intrusion of spirit?

Dear George:

Thanks for your comments. The issue of free will is a sticky one, but all the scientific evidence there is points to a cause to every action, including our psychological decisions. We are conditioned creatures.

As for intrusion, the issue of spirit must be personal. If I saw my Master turn into His Master and back again, was that hallucination, hypnosis? But it happened. And more than once.

Then at another time I was staring right at him walking down a hallway, thinking "that man is wearing indian clothes. Perhaps he is a guard to Baba Ji - I wonder when Baba Ji will show up?" He walked through a crowd and no one, not even I, recognized him until one specific moment, just as he stepped onto the platform to speak, then everyone recognized Him at once, including me. A couple of us spoke about it afterward. "Did you see that?" "Yes". "What was that?" Hell if I know."

What happened? It can't be magic. There is an explanation. I accept that I don't know what it is. And I think claiming it is "spirit" or "hypnosis" is just a way to say "I don't know what the hell that was, but something just happened."

So, I don't like thinking about labels for things I don't understand. I don't lie to myself with a label saying "there, I've contained it, I've trivialized it." OR "That is spirit!"

I have to admit honestly I can't comment because I don't understand. But I can't pretend it didn't happen. That is also a lie. I would rather presume there is a logical explanation, and avoid discussing things which if I heard it from someone else I'd say "insanity." Those things I don't even want to call Spirit or any other label - I just avoid discussing them. It's an intrusion. I accept, already, I'm not in control. If that was Baba Ji's point, He made it loud and clear. But that kind of intrusion just convinces me I don't know very much about what is really going on.

But things one can test and experience for oneself, like watching the stream of consciousness, seeing how we react, and practicing higher functioning, higher thinking, kinder, gentler behavior, those are things I am very interested in because I can learn, test, control those things to some extent.

So that is what I mean by intrusion. In some ways it is meaningless. I don't know what it means. But the things that help me function better, those are important and sacred things. If spirituality is practicing kindness, then we can really talk about spirituality.

Spencer,

Your spiritual intrusions appear to be unexplainable as you say, but suppose it does not mean it did not happen. If it cannot be explained, suppose it will just remain a mystery. Who knows.

The practice of a spiritual tradition with the aim of leading a nobler or higher life is surely very admirable. Kindness is perhaps the most noble human quality, although i think one does not have to be spiritual to practice it. Perhaps a moral philopshy to life is just as satisfying?

Thanks for the chat, better hit the sack.
Addictive days blogging.

Spencer Tepper,

You are flirting with, or rather vewturing into the deep waters of supernatual belief an myth.

I would advise you to stick to a more pragmatic approach to your spirituality.

Are you aware that espousing magic, masters, mysticism, and other supernatural myths and beliefs is making yourself a target here?

You appear to be an RS believer. That's alright, but stick to what you are certain of, or better, what you can actually prove.

The kernel of Buddhism is this:

There has never been an objective thing.

That's it.

Yet we have all these schools of Buddhism, lamas, robes, monks, karma, rebirth, eight-fold path, statues, prayer wheels and Kwai Chang Cain.

There really is nothing to Buddhism at all.

Tucson,

Yes, and also to nondualism, no-thing, as you drummed into me.

Hi,
I’m so greatly caught by your discussion…it seems to me, while not knowing anything about the objective we call it that way in order to establish some grounds for communication. Some people call it God, and it unites them into communities, gives the illusion of connection with each other. How people call the unknown defines cultures, morals and so on…Once being established the metaphor starts a process of reproduction. What is a Big Bang, if not just a metaphor after all? The same goes for the correlation between physiological, neurological and psychological correlation. We know what we are taught to see, and to know…
You’re saying “each of us makes our own meaning, right here and right now.” I wish it was true. I wish we could make our own meaning. However, what we call our own ideas are products of time, culture, family, education…you name it. We cannot discover what we are, since we are layers of meanings formed by human communities and cultures. Buddhism calls to dig for ourselves. Sometimes it gives physiological tools such as fasting, breathing techniques…
Buddhism doesn’t give a straight answer that is right for everybody--science does. Sometimes an answer given by science feels as the truth, but isn’t it just our desire to see it that way? 
Irene

Irene says:

"However, what we call our own ideas are products of time, culture, family, education…you name it."

-- Yes and no. That is generally true for some people, but not all.

"We cannot discover what we are, since we are layers of meanings formed by human communities and cultures."

-- I strongly disagree. I do not think superficialities such as "layers of meanings" or "communities and cultures" can prevent us from "discovering what we are" at all. What we are is actually quite accessible and discoverable at any moment, no matter what "layers of meanings formed by communities and cultures" there may exist.

Dear Tao:

You wrote:

"You appear to be an RS believer. That's alright, but stick to what you are certain of, or better, what you can actually prove."

Yet the Tao tells us that the most essential thing cannot be proven. The central hub around which all things revolve is empty space.

I am generally uncertain, and must cling to belief in the absence of proof. I take it for granted that every moment will proceed logically from the last, but that is just my belief.

Many great ideas, many acts of genius, many remarkable accomplishments started out without any proof at all. They didn't exist yet. "If man were meant to fly..."

That world of vision is the subjective world, which is greatly enhanced by objectivity, but shall never be its slave.

As Einstein said, imagination is far more important than fact.

The important thing to me is distinguishing between the two, and honoring both. Vision and dreams, fantasy drive every creative work we see around us. A dream can inspire. A dream can keep us going during tough times. To say it is merely a dream is true, but misses the point. That dream may be more real, a better friend, the true "now" than the objective past we see in evidence around us as broken pieces, broken wings strewn upon the ground.

Spence,

You stated,

"The important thing to me is distinguishing between the two, and honoring both. Vision and dreams, fantasy drive every creative work we see around us. A dream can inspire. A dream can keep us going during tough times. To say it is merely a dream is true, but misses the point. That dream may be more real, a better friend, the true "now" than the objective past we see in evidence around us as broken pieces, broken wings strewn upon the ground."

And, in the other thread, you stated,

"Having learned that as a scientific fact, I also have the opportunity to witness it in meditation."

---So, is your "witness" of a snap-shot of a "black-out" event, a dream or a scientific observation? I'm confused with your 6.50am comment, in this thread.

You go on to state,

"A dream can keep us going during tough times. To say it is merely a dream is true, but misses the point. That dream may be more real, a better friend,............"

---Nothing wrong with a dream, however, why dream when you have a unique ability to "witness" these snap-shots, during your meditations?

---If you could, distinguish between a dream and a "witness" event. Again, in your own words, honor me with a comment, as you honor these two.

Best wishes,
Roger

Irene,

You stated,

"You’re saying “each of us makes our own meaning, right here and right now.” I wish it was true. I wish we could make our own meaning. However, what we call our own ideas are products of time, culture, family, education…you name it. We cannot discover what we are, since we are layers of meanings formed by human communities and cultures."

---In dualism, I can create a meaning. I can make my meaning true for myself. If, I'm KOOL enough, I can convince others of my self made truth. I can steal someone's idea and call it mine. I can discover something about myself, in a particular layer of myself. In dualism, these things can happen, right here right now.
---In nondual-ism, what you say may be true, and probably true. However, I know and don't know anything about no-thing.

I'm just a Ford pickup truck driver.

Best wishes,
Roger

Spence, some Googling revealed that the Einstein quote supposedly goes:

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

That's a different implication from your rather mangled version. Einstein isn't saying imagination is more important than fact. Rather, that our knowledge shouldn't be limited to what is known now, but should continually expand.

Meaning, knowledge should expand. Imagination should lead to knowledge, not remain imaginary.

Brian/Spence

Maybe this is way off.

Another word for "knowledge" is "fact." Paraphrasing Einstein:

“Imagination is more important than fact. For fact is limited to all we now know (factualize) and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be know (factualized) and understand.”

My take is that Einstein knew the limitation of scientific models in explicitly describing the imaginable and recognized that there is always something left out of factual representation. Had we stuck to knowledge as fact, there was no factual proof that general relativity had any basis but through imagination. The entire Newtonian cosmology was challenged and when the new knowledge (fact) that the solar disk caused space-time to bend according to an concept out of Einstein's imagination, the scientific community claims credit for something that went beyond fact (but not beyond imagination).

The Nobel prize committee never even recognized the significance of Einstein's imagination based general relativity - even after the facts were in. The Nobel prize committee is an example of institutional thinking based upon collective reality building. Incidentally, even Einstein's theory is wrong, as all theories are.

I don't know much about buddhism (particularly as practiced or as doctrine) but think that it falls in the same class as any ism that departs from a pure collective realization. Scientism and Buddhism are belief systems devoid of what is unknowable - by definition. Scientists appear to perform an objective synthesis of facts into theoretical models whereas buddists appear to work through subjective analysis of self into theoretical dissolution (a buddhist is not equal to a scientist). However, neither can successfully claim exclusion from the other if both are attempting to realize the Totality. Yet both practices appear to be antipodal in their nature. Perhaps this is the distinction between a buddhist and a Buddha; a scientist and the Science. Perhaps only when one IS the Science and one IS Buddha are they the same (Science = Buddha)?

So the act (karma) of imagining and the act of factualizing are both acts doomed to exclusion (samsara). It seems that as long as one is in the act of religion or the act of science, then there is samsara. Perhaps imagination and dreams are equally important to facts in context of building meaning into a world view but neither is more important in context of the Totality.

Respects,

Jayme, how is Einstein's theory wrong? You've got a Nobel prize coming if you know. And what do you mean by all theories being wrong? How do you know this?

Isn't what you just said your theory -- that all theories are wrong? How can you sure of that? Science isn't based on absolutes. It is based on preponderance of evidence. You seem to be thinking in terms of black and white, right and wrong.

For example, the theory of evolution is "right" because it does a great job of explaining evidence. Creationism is "wrong" because it doesn't. Yet this doesn't mean that the theory of evolution is 100% true, or couldn't be proven wrong if some future evidence popped up that refuted it.

Also, I think you have a mistaken view of Einstein's work. Intuition and imagination certainly played a role in his theorizing, but they rested on a solid foundation of scientific facts. And then those theories had to be tested experimentally to be confirmed, a far cry from imagination.

It's a matter of balance, I'd say. Plato spoke of the good, the true, and the beautiful. I agree with him that all are necessary for a satisfying life. Your last sentence seems to imply that facts can be set aside in favor of a beautiful bit of imagination or a dream.

Sure, that can be done. We just need to simultaneously recognize that this sense of beauty isn't true, in the sense of reflecting a reality beyond our own mind. If we want to be connected to other people and other things, we need to try to get beyond our entirely personal way of seeing the world, which often is filled with illusions.

Science is our best way of reducing ego and accepting the truth of how things really are, apart from our desires that they be a certain way.

Well said Brian. I definitely agree.

Spence,

I agree with, as you say in your comment above: “…everything we see and think and feel has a physiological, neurological and psychological correlate, and therefore these things influence and create our thinking, behavior, experience…” and also “We are bound by our genetics, environment and biochemistry.”

Then you go on to describe how you experienced: “I saw my Master turn into His Master and back again, was that hallucination, hypnosis? But it happened. And more than once.”

---These magical and mystical experiences happen, but what do they prove? I know you say you don’t understand and don't know what it means and presume there is some logical explanation but maybe too much emphasis amongst the RS group is being put on this type of phenomena?

You also say: “It's an intrusion. I accept, already, I'm not in control. If that was Baba Ji's point, He made it loud and clear.”

---This is what you have been taught… that He is in ‘control’, this is what RS followers do… they give away all their personal power to this being and it really is still very much (for most people) in the realm of mind and imagination and belief.

---Like Brian says in his above comment: “…we need to try to get beyond our entirely personal way of seeing the world, which often is filled with illusions”.

Hi Brian,

I wrote a reply but the site doesn't seem to want to take it. I shortened it but still didnt' upload.

Anyway, all I mean to say is that there is error in measurement and so all facts are subject to error. Additionally, there are anomalies in data. The errors and anomalies are what I call "wrong."

There are mathematical singularities in General Relativity and the theory cannot be reconciled with quantum gravity. I'm not an authority so no Nobel for me.

I do agree that science is a great way to model the facts but think that it is not the only way to gain knowledge. Knowledge is also awareness.

tAo said that:

"But among the various methods, the one that seems more effective and more direct than the rest, is Self-enquiry (Atma-vichara)." Posted by: tAo | June 16, 2009 at 12:52 AM under the topic "Mind in the Balance" unfairly slams science, 1 June 2009.

which seems to agree best with what I have experienced.

I think that the use of science as a technique of ego is okay as long as it works. I don't personally think it is the best. I suppose that one can conduct "Self-enquiry" while "doing science." This is what I was trying to get to with the Totality thing of "Science" and "Buddha."

My last sentence explicitly states that "neither is more important." That is, fact and imagination are equally important.

Respects,

Jayme,

Here's WHAT the problem is:

Typepad has a time limit on comments. So when you write a long comment, it times out. Then when you try to post it, it tells you that it cannot accept that data.

And so here is HOW to correct that problem:

If you write a comment (and if for some reason you have taken a long time doing so), and then you get that 'no-acceptance' message when you click "Post" (it does not post your message), then DO THE FOLLOWING:

Just simply COPY (as in Copy & Paste) the entire text of the comment that you wrote, and then simply hold that copied text.

Then, re-fresh your browser.

Then, PASTE your text back into the comment box.

Then, click "Preview".

Then, check to see if your comment is correct and ready to post.

Then, if your comment is OK, just click "Post".

Important Note: If, when you go to "Post" your name/id and the buttons are barely visible, put your cursor just after your name and then make a space with the space-bar. Your name and the buttons should then turn darker and become more visible again.

So then, just click "Send".

And remember: Don't take too long a time to do the above simple procedure, or you will have to do it all over again.

After a few times, you will get the hang of it.


To 'copy' and 'paste', first highlight your text by holding down the left button on your mouse and running the cursor over what you have written. Then right click on the highlighted text. A box will appear where you can choose 'copy'. Left click on 'copy' which will save your text. Then 'refresh' your browser and in the blank comment window right click your mouse. A box will appear with the option 'paste'. Left click on 'paste' and your text should appear just as you wrote it.

Dear Jen:

You wrote

"---This is what you have been taught… that He is in ‘control’, this is what RS followers do… they give away all their personal power to this being and it really is still very much (for most people) in the realm of mind and imagination and belief."

Thanks for freeing me. Or have you put me into your box? Fixed and formulated, pinned and boxed?

Even the notion of personal power falls to the realm of mind, imagination and belief.

It's a common superstition ;)

Yours

Spence

Dear Roger:

Thanks for your reply. You wrote:

---So, is your "witness" of a snap-shot of a "black-out" event, a dream or a scientific observation? I'm confused with your 6.50am comment, in this thread.

You go on to state,

"A dream can keep us going during tough times. To say it is merely a dream is true, but misses the point. That dream may be more real, a better friend,............"

---Nothing wrong with a dream, however, why dream when you have a unique ability to "witness" these snap-shots, during your meditations?

---If you could, distinguish between a dream and a "witness" event. Again, in your own words, honor me with a comment, as you honor these two."

They are no different, only in degree. Reality is filtered through brain and that means imagination. What is the difference between dream and waking reality? What about that awakened reality within? Degrees of reliability, testability, constancy, that is all. You cannot test a dream, unless you are awake in that dream. Then you see the people and elements are plastic - your own mind. But they are images of something real - they came from some real elements, impressions - they have their source. In this world, we understand the things and people are more constant, and so they are "real". But we are in a dream, hidden from those very things within which we may see represented in dreams.

Then there is a witness even more consistent, direct perception. But direct perception of this world is still another dream, just a higher one. The world is a projection. What you see around you isn't solid at all. That is our common waking dream. We live in fields of energy - waves which are particles, which are really waves, that is what you can see between the beats. And every thought to some extent or other, makes a ripple that has no end. So, now even our thoughts are real.

Yours

Spence

Dear Brian,

You wrote:

"Meaning, knowledge should expand. Imagination should lead to knowledge, not remain imaginary."

Einstein did not say that imagination ends in fact, or leads to fact. He merely stated it encompasses all facts. Your interpretation imposes a process of imagination-then-fact which is not actually in what Einstein said. Your conclusion is that fact is the final product of imagination, and therefore the point. But Einstein said the opposite. Imagination is the more important, and does not come to an end on the shore of fact.


Yes, we should give up favored opinions when facts prove otherwise.

That is also not what Einstein spoke of.

If you follow your imagination, it may lead you into facts you would not have been able to arrive at from "the facts". That is a critical point. Things which fact suggest are not possible, or which facts have no evidence of may still be true!

As Neils Bohr said "The opposite of a truth is not necessarily false, but possibly another truth!"

There are facts which only imagination alone can lead you to discover. The bridge of facts is broken, leads to a drop. So you must fly on imagination for a while into uncharted territory only poets venture and no practical thinker at all, until you arrive at the new land of a new, testable fact. But then you might just choose to fly to yet another land, since fact was never a vehicle at all for you. By the time it is a "fact" it is yesterday's news, old, static, lifeless.

Yours

Spence

Spence, I get the feeling that you live in your head. Nothing wrong with that. But I prefer the real world. There's plenty of imagination, wonder, and mystery right here and right now for me.

I can understand your desire to soar off to a distant realm and explore the uncharted territory you speak of, because I used to feel that way myself.

All I can say is that it's possible to see with new eyes, and by staying stationary perceive what previously was conceived to be over the horizon.

[Jen had previously written: "you have been taught… that He is in ‘control’, this is what RS followers do… they give away all their personal power to this being" --and-- "it really is still very much (for most people) in the realm of mind and imagination and belief."]

Spencer writes: "Thanks for freeing me. Or have you put me into your box? Fixed and formulated, pinned and boxed?"

-- No. Jen did no such thing. Jen has merely observed (and rightly so) that RS followers are indeed taught and do tend to think that the so-called "master" is in control of, and oversees their spiritual progress and life. Jen did not 'fix' or 'pin' you to anything.

Spencer writes: "Even the notion of personal power falls to the realm of mind, imagination and belief. It's a common superstition"

-- Thats a load of rubbish. Personal power has nothing to do with imagination or belief. Just because you are disempowered by following RS "superstition" and giving your power away to some supposed "master" and his supposed "control", does not mean that others do not have personal power. You are a typical example of people who believe in the superstition of saviors, and who foolishly believe that the savior or the "master" has all the power.

"What is the difference between dream and waking reality?"

-- Well, if you don't already know, then you would be wise to find out and know the difference.

"What about that awakened reality within?"

-- And what exactly is that?

"You cannot test a dream, unless you are awake in that dream."

-- No such animal. You are either awake, or not awake.

"Then you see the people and elements are plastic - your own mind. But they are images of something real - they came from some real elements, impressions - they have their source."

-- Thats a load of nonsense which says nothing.

"we are in a dream, hidden from those very things within which we may see represented in dreams."

-- No... YOU are in a dream. Speak only for yourself, not for others.

"direct perception of this world is still another dream, just a higher one."

-- More nonsense. Sorry, but you just don't know what you are talking about.

"The world is a projection."

-- BS.

"What you see around you isn't solid at all. That is our common waking dream. We live in fields of energy - waves which are particles, which are really waves, that is what you can see between the beats."

-- That (energy, particles, and waves) is irrelevant. We experience our environment as being solid and real. That's all that matters.

"And every thought to some extent or other, makes a ripple that has no end. So, now even our thoughts are real."

-- That is only an idea, a supposition. It is not necessarily so.


Imagination is as key to scientist as it is to an artist.

I would argue tho that imagination is informed by our brain and its aptitudes, not some divine intuition or other sense.

This is why Einstein's imagination is of a particular type, i.e. a scientific not artistic. He has mastered his field and a natural apitude for it, so when he uses his 'imagination' or 'intuition' its bound to be a very informed thought process. Since he's conditioned in this way, its very likely his theories will be proven objectively by experiment.

Similarly Picasso had imagination for cubism, not relativity. Their minds are overflowing with the ideas of their discipline which percolate away, sometimes producing ideas that others call genius.

Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration - Edison

Ppl can have any theory they want, but it only becomes scientifically validated when supported by the evidence. Its often why these nobel awards are only given out 20 years after the theories itself.

Dear Brian:

You wrote:

"Spence, I get the feeling that you live in your head. Nothing wrong with that. But I prefer the real world. There's plenty of imagination, wonder, and mystery right here and right now for me."

Brian, we all live in our head. It is real. Physically, truly - we have a brain, a body, and we experience through those. That's a fact.

But maybe it's just easier not to deal with it. That's cool.

Dear Tao:

You quoted me...

"Then you see the people and elements are plastic - your own mind. But they are images of something real - they came from some real elements, impressions - they have their source."

and you commented:

"-- Thats a load of nonsense which says nothing."


Let me explain. Your dreams are made up of impressions - stimuli from the day, memories, all sorts of things. When people have a dream, they are seeing things that are imaginary. But their imagination creates those images and people from real memories and impressions, things that had an impact. Your brain combines these things, but they are sourced in your actual experience. It is a scientific explanation.


You also wrote:

"Personal power has nothing to do with imagination or belief. "

It's a concept, Tao. Like "Charisma" or "Grace" or any other quality. People try to describe whatever it is they mean by "personal power", but like the term "family values" it just means whatever you want it to mean to further your agenda, to make wrong what you don't like. RS isn't your flavor. But is it "wrong" in an absolute sense? No more "wrong" than a tree or a park, or a waterfall, or any other part of this reality. It is natural to love and to have leaders. Whether you like it or not, those two conditions are not going away anytime soon.

But whom you love and whom you follow are entirely your choice. The neighbors may talk about your marriage, but they do so in ignorance. They can't know your experience. They might respect your relationship, happy that they are not involved, happy with their own relationship. That is respect.

Spence,

Your response: “Thanks for freeing me. Or have you put me into your box? Fixed and formulated, pinned and boxed?”

No way have I “fixed and formulated, pinned and boxed” you… I suppose I can understand your defensive attitude because I’ve been there and done that too. I don’t like to define myself never mind anyone else, so don’t try to “box” me either because I am simply questioning.

Why so sensitive about being questioned? I’m not judging you personally, simply looking at your stance and also the particular mindset of many RS believers and questioning their distinctive attitudes because this is what I’ve experienced as well.

My own “box” is exactly what I am stepping out of now. You think personal power can also be in the “realm of mind, imagination and belief”. I prefer to think of it as more about experiencing one’s own “reality” with no preconceived formulated ideas of who and what we are, where we are going, what to expect… and also to do this without buying into other people’s concepts and beliefs. Just being open to direct experience, observing my own individual consciousness or what you call “imagination” without grabbing onto it, defining it, categorizing it.

Thanks tAo. I thought I had done what you have suggested. At various times, this has worked but it does appear that typepad may have timed out. I'll watch more carefully next time to verify.

Dear Jen:

When you wrote:

"Why so sensitive about being questioned? I’m not judging you personally, simply looking at your stance and also the particular mindset of many RS believers and questioning their distinctive attitudes because this is what I’ve experienced as well. "

But you claimed that I fit into some category of zombies you had defined - people who have given up their personal power. That sort of box doesn't fit me at all. So that is what I meant. I apologize if it came off defensive. It is a defense, but I think a defensible one - except if it wasn't kind. That would not be defensible.

Yours

Thanks tuscon.

Brian I agree with what you said:

"...it's possible to see with new eyes, and by staying stationary perceive what previously was conceived to be over the horizon." Posted by: Brian | June 19, 2009 at 02:42 PM

George: I agree with you. I think Edison fits more of the engineering/inventor class with his desire to perspire. His motives seemed to be more "practical" rather than aesthetic. Picasso was more aesthetic and I think that Einstein was too. I think this is why Einstein appears so artful in his scientific descriptions of nature.

Regards,

Spence, it was good to hear you talk about experiencing reality through a brain and a body. In previous comments you've emphasized imagination and the unreality of physical existence. I guess we are more on the same wavelength (namely. material) than I thought.

Hey Spence, your words: "But you claimed that I fit into some category of zombies you had defined - people who have given up their personal power."

I wouldn’t have been so harsh as to classify people as “zombies”… your perception… your interpretation…

Spence,

[ Spence had previously written: "Then you see the people and elements are plastic - your own mind. But they are images of something real - they came from some real elements, impressions - they have their source." ]

You now write:

"Let me explain. Your dreams are made up of impressions - stimuli from the day, memories, all sorts of things. When people have a dream, they are seeing things that are imaginary."

-- Imaginary perhaps, but then perhaps not. So then, what makes you so sure of these things?

"But their imagination creates those images and people from real memories and impressions, things that had an impact."

-- Again, perhaps... but then perhaps not.

"Your brain combines these things, but they are sourced in your actual experience."

-- Well, that is not yet known for sure.

"It is a scientific explanation."

-- It may be a 'scientific' "explanation" - meaning that it is one possibility or one theory - but it is not yet a proven certainty and fact.

[ tAo had previously written: "Personal power has nothing to do with imagination or belief." ]

You then responded: "It's a concept, Tao. Like "Charisma" or "Grace" or any other quality."

-- No, personal power is not the same as "charisma" and "grace" at all'. The term obviously denotes a concept, but it is also something more than just a concept. People do in fact have degrees of personal power, and that personal power is acquired and/or developed in various ways. It is not just a mere "concept". Personal power is not charisma or grace.

You say: "People try to describe whatever it is they mean by "personal power", but like the term "family values" it just means whatever you want it to mean to further your agenda, to make wrong what you don't like."

-- That is absolutely incorrect. Personbal power is not just something to claim or put up as to "further your agenda, to make wrong what you don't like". You clearly do not understand what personal power actually is. It has nothing to do with making something to "just mean whatever you want it to mean" as you say. It is not about appearances at all.

You say: "RS isn't your flavor. But is it "wrong" in an absolute sense?"

-- For one thing, I never said that RS is simply "wrong". This issue is also not anything related to being or not being my "flavor". Fyi, I am quite well acquainted and experienced with RS.

You say: "No more "wrong" than a tree or a park, or a waterfall, or any other part of this reality."

-- Again, I never said that RS is "wrong". You have made a mistaken assumption here.

You say: "It is natural to love and to have leaders. Whether you like it or not, those two conditions are not going away anytime soon."

-- Well I also never said (or implied) that it is unnatural that some folks do gravitate toward leaders for various reasons. And that also has nothing to do with what I may "like" or don't like. I don't like or dislike as far as that goes.

You say: "But whom you love and whom you follow are entirely your choice."

-- I never said otherwise. So you apparently have a mistaken idea.

You say: "The neighbors may talk about your marriage, but they do so in ignorance. They can't know your experience."

-- That is quite a different matter from RS. With regard to RS, I am NOT "in ignorance", and also I myself HAVE much "experience". So your marriage example or analogy simply does not apply here.


Jayme,

I'm not sure that people who do not have an appreciation for science would agree that Einstein (or any science) was aesthetic. They find the equations, experiment and rationality supposedly boring, confining and rigorous.

Likewise those that don't appreciate modern art or cubsim simply find picasso's work to be a confused blur of paint with no aesthetic appeal.

So to for Edison, his field was applied science, but some of the greatest ideas are the simple and practical ones, which are extremely elegant (and aesthetic) in their own right and to those who appreciate them.

What Einstein did have was a wonder of his chosen field, which is also common to Edison and Picasson - but his way of expressing his wonder was so euphorical as to perhaps make it seem aesthetic or even divinely inspired.

In fact, many religious folk willfully misundertand or misrepresent the intended meaning of religious metaphor, often used by einstein and hawkins to try convey their wonder of the universe, with evidence that these two believed in some sort of god who controlled people fates and destiny.

Well in any process, hopefully, there are the thinking, communication and finally the action phases.

In a scientific process, one would begin with thinking, contemplating, imagining(?) a particular problem or project.

All that mental activity needs to be written down, conversed with others, and such. A written "action plan" would be prepared. A bound research notebook would be used.

With a written "action plan" prepared, one would then engage in a particular action activity that one had thought through and organized into a written procedure and such.

The action takes place in a lab or in the field. While in this action phase, one is making observations, taking notes, and making recordings using a particular type of instrumentation. All the way, one can think through a possible "change of direction" if needed. Again, taking notes and recording any needed changes.

Within, all this, the Scientific Method is being adhered to.

So, everyone understands this process. This is true.

However, words like "imagination" could be used in the so-called thinking phase. So whats the big deal with the word - imagination. So What??????(A term I learned from suzanne....)

Spence, when you say that the Radha Soami faith is no more "wrong" than a tree, you're mixing together some very different meanings of "wrong." I think this explains the confusion I feel when I read your comments.

Sure, a group of people who meet together, worship a guru, do good works, sit and meditate, etc. etc. are really existent in the world. You can see them, touch them, videotape them, and so on. No one is denying that an organization called Radha Soami Satsang Beas exists on Earth, just as trees do.

However, a tree doesn't make assertions about metaphysical realities. RSSB does. In this sense it is valid to say that RSSB is "wrong," in that the philosophical essence of the group, including the beliefs of those who belong to it, involve assertions for which there is no demonstrable evidence.

A scientist can explain a tree deeply. By "deep," I mean there are causal explanations of what constitutes a tree in biology, physics, ecological sciences, evolutionary theory, chemistry, and so on. They all fit together to provide a nice meaningful picture of "tree."

But concepts like "shabd," "satguru," "sach khand," "Kal," and so on are just that -- concepts. Abstractions. Some would say imaginings.

This is what I was getting at when I said that you seem to live largely in your head. Your comments contain a lot of concepts, but not much connection with here and now reality. I can more or less grasp what you are saying, but I can't link that up with what it means for living in the physical world.

People have a right to say whatever they want. However, when they make assertions about how things really are, not just personally but universally, then others have an equal right to challenge them. This is why I can say, "You're wrong when you say that RSSB is no more wrong than a tree."

Dear Brian:

My comments had to do with my own opinion, and not that of any organization. You see, you can watch a debate of Democrats and Republicans, each claiming objective fact for their argument. It is a choice whether you enter into that debate.

Are trees good? Maybe not! If the tree is sick and about to fall on your house, it's a bad tree. If the shade prevents the flowers below from blooming, tree is bad.

But for an equal number of other reasons, the tree may be very good.

So, if you only point out where the tree is doing more harm than good, I don't argue, I just say your thinking is biased.

That is why there are democrats, republicans, devotees, philosophers and scientists - I don't see the wisdom in pitting one against the other. Here you have me confused.

Dear Tao:

You can witness some of the things you claim are "concepts" in meditation practice. That is a personal matter. It's that simple. So what you are labeling conceptual may become experiential, and what you experience through your senses, you may realize is a construction - a conceptualization of physical reality.

To label the fields of energy which make up matter conceptual is to deny the objective reality which science has proven in favor of your own personal sensory experience.

I pointed to my example of seeing Baba Ji for entirely different reasons than you have inferred: not to prove anything, but to disprove your claim that sensory witness is all that should matter - it can be inaccurate.


Spence, you still are missing my point. What I'm challenging is your apparent contention that the only reality is inside our heads -- whatever we imagine, whatever we believe, whatever we consider to be good or desirable.

You equated a tree and a religious organization. I said that both exist as physical entities, but the latter also posits a metaphysical reality beyond the physical.

Evidence for that supernatural realm doesn't exist, whereas evidence that trees exist is abundant.

Look at your comment to me above: you put words into my mouth, saying that I said a tree is doing more harm than good (whatever that means), so my thinking is biased.

WIth all due respect, I'd say that you're the one whose thinking is biased. I detect a lack of ability to follow a line of thought in a comment conversation on this blog. You don't respond to questions and challenges, yet you claim that others are saying things that they are not.

I understand your commitment to your belief system. However, my attitude is that when the only way to hold onto a belief is to deny the natural world and shared interpersonal reality, we limit ourselves -- and also shut ourselves off from other people.

I feel like you have some interesting and valid things to say. But as others have noted, your defensiveness and strong tendency to shunt away questions, rather than addressing them honestly and directly, betrays a fundamentalist mindset that doesn't feel comfortable looking at weaknesses in a belief system.

Spence,

I can see that sensory witnessing could be inaccurate. However, what is the witnessing, you mentioned in your meditations? What snap-shots have you witnessed in your meditaions? Hopefully, you have a reply. Again, do you have a teacher?

Roger

Dear Brian:

Hmmm. I hear your complaint. Well, none of us are perfect. Let me try to focus on the issue you raised... At the very least we can demonstrate an understanding of each other, even if we agree to disagree.

You did write:


"Spence, you still are missing my point. What I'm challenging is your apparent contention that the only reality is inside our heads -- whatever we imagine, whatever we believe, whatever we consider to be good or desirable."


I think I see the confusion. Brian, reality is not in our heads. Our reality is. Human reality, what human beings talk about is a loose construction in their heads. But that isn't physical reality. Reality is something else. So we are stuck with what we perceive and believe. We can refine that with scientific facts, and we can refine it practicing calm objective and dispassionate thinking. We can even practice greater objectivity with less thinking and more perceiving.

That reality in our heads is informed from our senses, but even what our senses report must be reconstructed. There is an entire field of the sciences - physiological psychology - which operates from that principle, and whose evidence supports it.

And yet, much of the physical world around us - the architecture, the performances, the artwork, the engineering has resulted from a blend of physical fact combined with vision, desire and imagination. Our artificial world has been entirely created using something you might call "false" and entirely in our heads. You might even disprove, in your terms, something that inspires tremendous good in truly physical terms. Facts alone are a poor basis to extrapolate theory, and science and art are filled with stories of that flash of brilliance whose source no one can say, that gave forth the answer - whether that is the double helix or a Brahms concierto.


Facts never made an automobile, but imagination, guided by engineering principles, did!

How odd that the starting point of great things in this world began in that world of imagination and vision - the world which is so very imperfect, weak, but which spans the galaxies - at least in one's own mind.

Shouldn't things begin here? But they end here. The final step in creation is here, but it began in imagination, in a place entirely vulnurable to criticism. You can't test imagination. You can't argue whether it is true or false. It's imaginary!

So, imagination is the more important part, but saying so presumes you can separate it from reality, which I am unsure you can. It is it's own reality.

How much of your world - your food, clothes, furniture, habitat, vehicle, entertainment, literature, music, sports are all such creations - from the human mind, which had its flashes and connections even the owner of that mind does not entirely understand?

The internal experience of that imagination, the rich source of much of the most comfortable, exciting and fun parts of the world we live in, is worth some consideration.

Unfortunately, imagination, belief, biochemistry and experience can entirely color our perception. Even what we think we saw may be entirely false.

I agree there is a testable physical reality - that's what science is all about. However, we generally go with our senses, and they are flawed reports. That is why there is also a tradition of meditation. If all you did was use meditation to calm down and focus, at the very least you would interpret your senses and thinking a little more dispassionately, and objectively. You would be a better anthropologist of your own internal workings. And you might witness the physical world a little more objectively.

If you assume that your understanding of reality and "reality" are the same, well, I would disagree. Too many people claim on the basis of science they "know" but even science proves them wrong. Then they have a dogma, a belief about "fact" that is no better than any religious dogma, because they won't put their thinking to the test.

A theorized principle inevitably, upon investigation, becomes a whole host of dynamics no one had any idea about before.

You can't test whether chocolate or vanilla are the better flavor - some things don't make much sense to test, and then you have to invent all sorts of silly criteria to create something testable. Then one is twisting that whole belief to fit their pre-conceived notion - they gear the test to generate the conclusion they want. You can see it in so much recent pharmaceutical research. You can't test a love affair - then you miss the point. When you dissect a frog, you kill the frog and immediately can learn nothing about the life force that animated it. You learn a lot about the frog, but nothing about what brought it to life. That is still a mystery to science.

You wrote:
"My point about politics is that "facts" end up getting distilled into "beliefs" and they generalize and tend to extrapolate into principles which are not always testable.

You equated a tree and a religious organization. I said that both exist as physical entities, but the latter also posits a metaphysical reality beyond the physical."

Yes, that is right. The two are different. But we place so many values on physical objects that it might as well be another system of belief - that was my point. People have a belief about "trees" in general.

As for a reality beyond the physical, that's imagination. That's fantasy. The bookstores are filled with it.

But the really weird thing is that sometimes it took fantasy and imagination to help science discover another part of this reality!

So, don't knock it, till you've tried it, and if you tried it and gave up, you gave up too soon.

Yes, Brian, I can see that I do jump around a bit. Try to take it in as entertainment, and not real food.

The whole meal can't be consumed in a single bite ;)

Yours

Spence

Dear Roger:

Thanks for your question. My comments about fields of energy was a direct report of what I witnessed between those beats. Everything around us is empty space - every object a projected field. That wasn't concept. Was it just imagination? You will have to find that out in your own investigations. Brian said we learn so much just sitting still. I'm in agreement there - everything comes to us that way.


Spence,

It has become clear to me (and Brian) that you reall don't understand what is being debated here overall.

You are rather stuck in your own personal worldview (both inner and outer) and your biases.

You are actually drifing farther and farther away from the issues (and into mental speculation) than when you started.

You really need to go back and take it from the beginning, one step at a time. Its to the point now that you are making less sense and more confusion relative to the issues and the facts.

Its pretty apparent that you seem to be an RS believer. So it would help if you would just first stick to defending whatever position you hold on that, before you go off into all these other vague philosophical or psychological speculations. As Brian also observed, you seem to be out of touch and unable to engage in a pragmatic discussion based upon facts and evidence. Every comment you post adds more abstraction and confusion to the mix. Get down to earth.

Anyway, here's my responses to some of your statments and assertions:


"My comments had to do with my own opinion, and not that of any organization."

-- Nobody said that you represented any organization.

"It is a choice whether you enter into that debate."

-- But you HAVE entered in to this debate, so take responsibility for that.

"if you only point out where the tree is doing more harm than good, I don't argue, I just say your thinking is biased."

-- No. Pointing out errors is not biased. But your evasive avoidance and denial of facts clearly shows bias on your part.

"Tao: You can witness some of the things you claim are "concepts" in meditation practice."

-- In case you haven't noticed, my pseudonym is tAo, not "Tao". As for witnessing "things you claim are concepts" during "meditation practice"... well apparently you do not see and understand that thoughts, sounds, lights, visions, and various sorts of inner imaginings proves absolutely nothing. If that is all you have to present, then yes it is only concepts.

" So what you are labeling conceptual may become experiential, and what you experience through your senses, you may realize is a construction - a conceptualization of physical reality."

-- This is mere mumbo-jumbo, signifying nothing. Regardless of whether its simply concepts (thoughts), or actual sensory perceptions or inner experiences... it proves nothing.

"To label the fields of energy which make up matter conceptual is to deny the objective reality which science has proven in favor of your own personal sensory experience."

-- Incorrect. Your thinking is rather skewed. I did not assert my "own personal sensory experience"... you do. And the ideas that science has come up with to explain the physical and energetic universe are still merely concepts. Do you even understand what the issues here are? I have my doubts.

"I pointed to my example of seeing Baba Ji for entirely different reasons than you have inferred: not to prove anything, but to disprove your claim that sensory witness is all that should matter - it can be inaccurate."

-- I simply did NOT say or claim "that sensory witness is all that should matter". So again, you are misrepresenting me, and so your arguement is misplaced. As for your supposed visons of your "Babaji", that is irrelevant.

"Brian, reality is not in our heads. Our reality is. Human reality, what human beings talk about is a loose construction in their heads. But that isn't physical reality."

-- I disagree. Everything that humans perceive is via their senses and the brain, including so-called "physical reality". But that does not mean that its all in our heads. We have a consensus of perception, a consensus about the physical world. Society and civilization and science etc operates on that basis. Its not just 'all in your head'.

"Reality is something else."

-- Bullshit. Reality is the physical world that we all share, perceive and function in. Thats why we say it is "reality". But the stuff you are claiming is not physical reality, but rather it is thoughts, concepts, and various other intangible supposed inner phenomena. You say "reality is something else". Well then, if reality ois something else, then what is it? and where is it? To be said to be "reality" it must be perceived and experienced and shared by a majority of human beings. So what and where is the other reality that you speak of?

"much of the physical world around us - the architecture, the performances, the artwork, the engineering has resulted from a blend of physical fact combined with vision, desire and imagination."

-- Yes, so what?

"Our artificial world has been entirely created using something you might call "false" and entirely in our heads."

-- No, not "entirely" through imagination. It has mainly been created out of matter using intelligence, reason, logic, scientific knowledge (technology), etc.

"Facts alone are a poor basis to extrapolate theory, and science and art are filled with stories of that flash of brilliance whose source no one can say, that gave forth the answer"

-- But it was still built on a foundation of facts and knowledge, not imagination.

"Facts never made an automobile, but imagination, guided by engineering principles, did!"

-- No, thats incorrect. Hard scientific knowledge and materials built the automobile, not merely abstract imagination. The automobile was built upon solid material science, not mere fantasies. You are really living in a world of illusion if you think everything came about through imagination. It is primarily due to techological advances and progress, not mere dreams. You are living in a fantasy dream world. Thats also no doubt why you are an RS believer.

"How odd that the starting point of great things in this world began in that world of imagination and vision"

-- I disagree. The actual starting point was always founded in progressive knowledge, science, etc... and "imagination and vision" are helpful but secondary.

"The final step in creation is here, but it began in imagination"

-- No, it began in the discovery of material facts and scientific principles and knowledge, and the application of intelligence to those discoveries and facts.

"You can't test imagination. You can't argue whether it is true or false. It's imaginary!"

-- And THAT is the problem. You are touting the imaginary as being the reality.

"So, imagination is the more important part"

-- No way. Imagination can be useful, but it does not provide a solid foundation.

"saying so presumes you can separate it from reality, which I am unsure you can."

-- No, its clearly YOU who cannot distinguish reality from imagination.

"It is it's own reality."

-- Thats nonsensical mumbo-jumbo.

Unfortunately, imagination, belief, biochemistry and experience can entirely color our perception. Even what we think we saw may be entirely false."

-- Which is why RS believers like yourself are living in mere imagination and belief, and not reality.

"That is why there is also a tradition of meditation."

-- Meditation is entirely personal. There is nothing in meditation that proves your beliefs.

Then they have a dogma, a belief about "fact" that is no better than any religious dogma, because they won't put their thinking to the test."

-- That is simply not so. Sorry, but you are full of it. Science is put to the test everyday. Whereas your eleigious dogma is mere belief, and is never proven.

"As for a reality beyond the physical, that's imagination. That's fantasy. The bookstores are filled with it."

-- And so is RS.

"So, don't knock it, till you've tried it, and if you tried it and gave up, you gave up too soon."

-- You don't have any friggin idea what you are talking about Spence. None. Thats a load of BS. Thirty years is definitley not "too soon".

"Yes, Brian, I can see that I do jump around a bit. Try to take it in as entertainment, and not real food."

-- This is not all only about entertainment here. And I for one am not entertained by your rather scattered jumping around. Its an evasive technique on your part.

"My comments about fields of energy was a direct report of what I witnessed between those beats. Everything around us is empty space - every object a projected field. That wasn't concept."

-- No. Unfortunately, it IS a concept.


Spence,

You stated,

"My comments about fields of energy was a direct report of what I witnessed between those beats."

---Again, third time asking, what would be an example(your direct report) of what you witnessed between those beats? The beats being Sensory and Conceptual cognition. You described a direct report as being a snap-shot.
---No problem with your statements, however a direct response would be appreciated.

Roger

Dear Roger:

I can attempt to answer your question by also answering Tao's comments:

Dear Tao, you quoted me:

"My comments about fields of energy was a direct report of what I witnessed between those beats. Everything around us is empty space - every object a projected field. That wasn't concept."

and you commented on that...

"-- No. Unfortunately, it IS a concept."

Here we disagree. This is what I saw - fields, transparent - like an xray. Yes, that is what I saw between beats, when in a flash everything slowed down, and I saw through the room, and the people on the street, and the cars, transparent and fluid, and even thoughts rippling through all those. That's what I saw. I don't know how much more detailed I need to be. It is hard to explain uncommon experiences. But it was experience to me. And concept to you.

Tao, you would have to demonstrate an understanding of what I wrote first, before you could comment on it. You would have to reflect and question the accuracy of your understanding first. Then, of course, attacks are entirely understandable. But before attack there must be insight - ready, AIM, Fire, not Ready, Fire.

You quoted me and commented...

""How odd that the starting point of great things in this world began in that world of imagination and vision"

-- I disagree. The actual starting point was always founded in progressive knowledge, science, etc... and "imagination and vision" are helpful but secondary.""


May I suggest the writings of Newton? He said "I frame no hypothesis!" - He didn't claim to explain how he had arrived at the laws which run this world. He admitted he had no idea where the principles came from. They pulled together experimentation and experience, but his genius was that he saw beyond those facts in a way no one else could.

And Einstein also disagrees with you. For you say that imagination is secondary to fact. And Einstein says it is more important than fact.

So, you may take your case with Newton and Einstein.

But before doing that, please let me know what sort of scientific experimentation you have actually conducted. What branch of sciences are you involved with?

I am an experimental psychologist by training.

Spence,

You said: "My comments about fields of energy was a direct report of what I witnessed between those beats. Everything around us is empty space - every object a projected field. That wasn't concept."

And I responded: "it IS a concept."

Then you said: "This is what I saw - fields, transparent - like an xray. Yes, that is what I saw between beats, when in a flash everything slowed down, and I saw through the room, and the people on the street, and the cars, transparent and fluid, and even thoughts rippling through all those. That's what I saw. {...] it was experience to me."

-- An "experience", including one such as you descrobed, is still a matter of thoughts and ideas, a concept in your mind.

Ypu said: "Tao, you would have to demonstrate an understanding of what I wrote first, before you could comment on it."

-- No, because all I needed to know is that you had presented an idea, a concept, about some sort of experience that you had... and that was obvious. This is what you fail to see.

"You would have to reflect and question the accuracy of your understanding first."

-- No, I only have to understand what YOU wrote. I merely responded to what YOU presented what YOU wrote.

"before attack there must be insight"

-- All I need to know is what you wrote, and that was already quite apparent.

"May I suggest the writings of Newton? {...] He admitted he had no idea where the principles came from. They pulled together experimentation and experience, but his genius was that he saw beyond those facts in a way no one else could."

-- As I have already said: "The actual starting point was always founded in (or upon) progressive knowledge, science, etc... and "imagination and vision" are helpful but secondary."

"Einstein also disagrees with you. For you say that imagination is secondary to fact. And Einstein says it is more important than fact."

-- No he does not. His work was founded first and foremost upon facts and established princlples - mathematics and physics.

"So, you may take your case with Newton and Einstein."

-- No, unfortunately Newton and Einstein and I would not agree with you.

"But before doing that, please let me know what sort of scientific experimentation you have actually conducted. What branch of sciences are you involved with?"

-- I am well versed in this area, as I have post-grad degree in physics and electronic engineering.

"I am an experimental psychologist by training."

-- That is all well and good, but psychology is quite a different field than the principles and science of physics and electronics. So I would venture to say that I have a far better and deeper familiarity, comprehension, and understanding of Newton's and Einstein's work than you do. And I say that also because I have considerable academic level background in psychology as well.

Dear +Ao:

You quoted me..

""Einstein also disagrees with you. For you say that imagination is secondary to fact. And Einstein says it is more important than fact.""

and then responded...

"-- No he does not. His work was founded first and foremost upon facts and established principles - mathematics and physics."

Here is what Einstein wrote:

"“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

Actually, my academic interests began with surface physics before moving on to other sciences and settling on experimental psychology. They are actually quite similar, from a mathematical modeling perspective. In most classic physics, variance from one experimental trial to another is not nearly so great under controlled conditions as in the social sciences, which must average aggregate responses over populations, and therefore multivariate statistical analysis becomes critical in the latter. In physics you can get away with a simple experimental and control study. Not so in social sciences. Highly complex blind and double-blind procedures must be established. Longitudinal studies, costly studies are required that take decades to conduct. Multiple variables have to be mathematically teased out because the experiment cannot entirely control or block them.

However, in sub-atomic physics, where plotting the path of theorized particles or waves can also be inexact, such statistics find similar applications, and experimental control is again very costly and time consuming.

Yet intuition can open a window to both!

If you can read someone's face, perhaps you can also "see" static electrons congregating or scattering on a surface. Maybe Huygens didn't theorize waves in combination, forming a surface. Maybe that's what he saw. Then he might have used his intellect to describe with mathematical precision what he witnessed. So then, you are right! We come full circle. We witness, and then we use intellect to understand the principles of what we saw, and to communicate them.


That's what it was in high school physics class for me. The teacher would ask students what happened to the electric charge. They were guessing. They were trying to use induction. But there the charge was, on the cup! I could see it. So, there was no induction for me, just reporting what I saw. Was it imagination? Highly accurate imagination, if it was - but I can't say. The world is full of strange things.

You and I probably have a lot in common... ;)

Spence,

Thanks for finally responding to my repeated "witness" questions.

You stated,

"........This is what I saw - fields, transparent - like an xray. Yes, that is what I saw between beats, when in a flash everything slowed down, and I saw through the room, and the people on the street, and the cars, transparent and fluid, and even thoughts rippling through all those. That's what I saw. I don't know how much more detailed I need to be. It is hard to explain uncommon experiences. But it was experience to me."

---Nothing wrong with having an experience to you. You can have your experience.
---I wonder, how one can see "thoughts rippling" through all those rooms, people and cars? If this is an uncommon experience, then how do you know what you saw was a "thought(s)" rippling? Maybe you just saw some "thing" else. Maybe, maybe not. Likewise, how does one see transparent fields, like an x-ray?
---Thinking of Sensory and Conceptual cognition, and the snap-shots in between. Seems like the pictures of "rooms, people and cars" would lie in the conceptual cognition phase, not in between the two mentioned cognitions. Could you clarify this for me?

Thanks,
Roger

Dear Roger:

I reported what I saw. I wish I could tell you more. You are free to dissect it as fits your interest and psychology.

But really, what is the point? Whether you can see the cylinders of your engine firing or not makes little difference. They are doing their job. Probably an advantage not to see all that, not to be burdened with all that.

It is your own experience that matters.

Personally, these things are intrusive. They are blessings, and they are traumatic. Who wants that knowledge? It is mostly dark. The world is beautiful in its construction. But it is a construction rebuilt several hundred thousand times every second. No one really exists. You are looking at beautiful masks. We also live in a hoax and utter darkness.

So, those are burdensome experiences, traumatic experiences. And what is the result? Distance from others? More compassion for others, but less and less willingness to participate with them in the darkness.

Be happy that the world you see is solid, that you can go into a room oblivious of what others have done, and what they are thinking, planning, wishing for, scheming. They are all innocent.

Why ask for more of the pieces, when the whole was lovingly put together for you?

I think the illusion is fantastic and beautiful. Like the ultimate science fiction. So much work has been done to create it, just enjoy it!

If anything, my experience convinces me how lucky you are not to know, and how much more valuable the simple perceived world really is.


Yours

Spence

Spence,

Good comment. Don't forget, this is a dualistic blog, like any blog. If you make a statement, someone in a blog may want a clarification. Deconstructionism takes place in blogs.

Nothing wrong with illusion being fantastic and beautiful. The gal holding the beer was beautiful and fantastic.

Likewise, nothing wrong with the simple percieved world, as is.

Best wishes,
Roger

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