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August 10, 2009

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Brian - great idea
Here is a topic I would love to hear about the experience of others.

Sant Mat is but one path that offers the follower a path to some higher reality, God, Creator, whatever. There are other paths, and many religions making similar claims.
Sant Mat is particularly interesting in that it claims to be a Science, a Science of the Soul.

In many of your posts, you have referenced great works of great thinkers who have taken on the challenge of whether there is or is not a God, the purpose and meaning of life. Some of these writers have presented truly excellent works of thought, original and substantive, with strength to stand up to analysis.

If Sant Mat is a true science, then like all science research, a thorough review of all related work is vital to a full and complete understanding. RSSB approves only RSSB books, while not banning other reading (yet) surely a path that is truly scientific should include all related material, further, be able to shed new light on the works of others, such as Sartre et al.

The followers of this blog have, I am sure, a wide range of experiences, has anyone found a path, a teaching, a religion, that is willing, no, encourages, discussion of other works and writings that pertain to the subject.

True teachings should surely be able to engage in discussions about the works of other great thinkers, perhaps illustrating the failures of the thinkers logic, perhaps demonstrating the writers support for their teachings.

My experience has been the opposite, Sant Mat verbally encourages research, but limits its reading list to Sant Mat books, with the comment that they explain all that is needed to be known.

I personally would place high value on a path or set of teachings willing to embrace works such as Sartre, Heidegger, et al.

JAP, Unitarianism comes to mind -- not the semi-Christian variety (Unitarian Universalist?), but the version where people discuss anything and everything.

Only problem is, given your last paragraph, I wouldn't call Unitarianism a path, in the sense of leading to a distinct goal. I think it is more a way of finding one's own way, in the company of others who are similarly seeking in an independent fashion.

Below are my comments exchanged with Brian on his post about existentialism and Sartre. My comment was highly related to the subject, but Brian deleted it anyway. Just goes to show that even though Brian has made new rules, he is not following his own rules and deletes any comment even if related that he does not like. The value of this blog is severely diminished by your policies Brian, and I would like others to know
Here is the exchange:

Brian
With reference to your last paragraph, please help us to provide you with the class and style and relevance of comment:

Is the topic of this post of the form, "today we will discuss Sartre, here are some quotes, discuss, and send in your comments for marking"

Or is this more related to your enjoyment of reading Sartre, perhaps of the form, "I enjoy reading Sartre, do you, if not send in your reasons"

Or perhaps there is some other message such as, "I believe that these quotes from Sartre support my philosophy, thereby lending credence to my blog, send in your comments"

Or is this just a simple "look at me and what I am reading / have read"

To help us out, some guidelines and pointers would be really helpful

Posted by: JAP | August 10, 2009 at 10:38 PM

JAP, sorry, can't help you. Think like Sartre: you're free! Comment on Sartre in any fashion you like.

Posted by: Blogger Brian | August 10, 2009 at 11:07 PM


As you have now removed the last paragraph to which I referred, my comment is no longer applicable.
Thanks

Posted by: JAP | August 10, 2009 at 11:18 PM

Brian
Assuming you do not delete the above comments, please explain why you deleted my comments? My comments were not offensive, related entirely to your post, requested clarification of how you would like commenters to post, sought your input in the form of guidelines and provided everyone with the opportunity to make more constructive comments that meet with your approval.

JAP writes:

"Sant Mat is particularly interesting in that it claims to be a Science, a Science of the Soul."

-- But is it a truly a science? I think not. It is mysticism, which is pseudo-science. So its claims to being a science should not be supported or affirmed.

I agree any claim of a 'science' of the soul is not accurate in the plain ordinary understanding of the word, since there is no objective evidence for a soul, let alone the study of it.

In its original latin means, science simply means knowledge. So perhaps there are some that can claim knowledge or experience of a soul, and so in this sense could claim science to be accurate, but its not objectively verifiable and so its not science in the modern sense.

Sant Mat lies firmly in the realm of mysticism and so does Taoism and Dzogchen and other non-dualistic beliefs.

There is no science which dicates there is an underlying flow and rhythm to nature. In fact, science is more than happy that nature is random and spontaneous. There is no proof of something that pervades all including inanimate objects. There is no proof of some primordial state of awareness. There is no proof that the multitude of forms in our visible world are all manifestations of a formless oneness.

All pseudo-science and metaphysical beliefs. It does not make them wrong, but it does not make them science in the modern sense we understand it to be.

That is why I used the word 'claim'
Sant Mat does make this claim, and is exactly my point, there is little scientific (if anything) about SM. Given that SM even has (or used to have) Centers for the Science of the Soul scattered around the globe, one would be forgiven for thinking that scientific enquiry takes place.
But, be that as it may, the question arises whether there are any establishments, anywhere, that could claim, or just act as science of the soul centers, ie, genuine enquiry

so where does this so called 'science', this realm of 'knowledge' begin or end?

Here in the realm of intellectual hypothesis, in the realm of skeptical or reasoning conceptualization, or in the realm of the physics laboritory, or the quantum physics realm of deduction?

Is it confined to matter and percieved by human senses, or how honestly are you or anyone of the higher eschelons of scientific learning categorically going to define 'science' or 'reality'?

Science is recognized and makes use of an accepted and established process, Brian has covered this topic in this post http://hinessight.blogs.com/church_of_the_churchless/2009/05/how-to-judge-a-science-of-the-soul.html in which the scientific process is described.
It is not uncommon for scientists to put forward an hypothesis, it may concern something that cannot be seen, heard or is not even known to exist (objectives of CERN is an example of this) yet, if there is good foundation for the hypothesis, experiments will be devised.
Another way science moves forward is when there is either strong military benefit in an outcome, or huge financial gain. Both these drivers will push man to investigate that which is not known.
I suggest that if it was found that huge profit could be made from the knowing that God existed, there would be much more scientific effort and greater resources diverted to such research. Consider telepathy, only when US military thought there may be value did they engage Hal Puthoff to undertake research into remote viewing (his results were in favor of remote viewing, US military withdrew funding and interest in the project because the results could not be assigned suitable levels of reliability and therefore confidence. Nothing in his work ruled out that remote viewing did not exist. Back to your comment jarenda, reasoning and physics do not have to go hand in hand, Quantum Mechanics may not be rational, or intuitive, nay, not even logical, but it works and exists.
Science is relatively easy to define compared with reality, Reality is that which appears real, but science is continuously pushing back the barriers of reality, undermining that which we thought was real, only to reveal new levels of new reality. Reality is perhaps that which science hopes to understand, it is that about which we can comment with certainty and absolute knowledge. We have ways to go yet, but its an exciting journey

the point is those that talk of spiritual science correlate such 'science' or 'knowledge' or 'gian' to be self explanetory to the practitioner of such knowledge.

Now the skeptic will argue if he cannot measure it within his realms or apparatus within the confines of his scientific model than it is unprovable in the physical or quantum realm and hence by 'scientific standards' is by deduction untrue, or not real.

Yet who is to say the mystic or spiritual scientist does not have access to a realm of 'science' or 'knowledge' that the confined physical sense or intellect is incapable of perceiving, I mean how do you know the bulk of the ice berg below the surface does not exist because you have not delved below the surface of the ocean in which you traverse on this 'journey' you speak of?

jarendra,
The difference in knowledge is the type of knowledge, subjective or objective.

An individual may experience a soul, or what he considers to be a soul, but it will be a subjective experience. When that experience is objetively verifiably it will become a science, until then it is a mysticism.

My point is that these different paths may indeed all be valid (and if they are the revelation will undoubtedly be far greater than any science), but these experiences seem only open to a certain few. Many RS satsangis, as i understand it, have not experienced the soul, even subjectively, but even those that have, there is no way of verifying it objectively which is why it cannot be science.

Its the same with Taoism and the idea that there is fundamental rhhtym of flow to nature. Thats a subjective belief, there is no general equation that describes the flow of nature. There are various patterns and laws of nature that can be modelled, but there is no underlying equation describing the flow of nature.

A hypothesis is only a proposal or statement. Such a statement only only becomes verified once it is objectively proven with evidence.

Quantum mechanics has massive objective evidence to support it. It has developed repeatable experiments that are incredibly accurate in their predicitons.

There is no objective evidence for a soul. There may be a subjective experiment or experience for supposedly getting there, but its effects are not objectively verifiable.

The only way to know the bulk of the iceberg really exists is if objective evidence is shown for its existence.

Even our subjective experience can be faulty, since the complex human mind is often prone to delusion and to try find meaning or patterns in a potentially meaningless or patternless universe.

Why is it that only ppl with special powers can 'see' the whole of the iceberg AND why should the rest of us believe them?

JAP, you left a comment that said: "As you have now removed the last paragraph to which I referred, my comment is no longer applicable..Thanks"

Last night, after I read that, I unpublished your original comment and my response to it. Comments on a post other than the Open Thread are supposed to be related to the subject of the post. You said your comment wasn't applicable to the post.

What's the big deal? I'm pleased to restore the comments, however, since you probably simply forgot about the new "stay on topic" policy when you complained here in the Open Thread.

Brian
I take your point, and yes, my comment was no longer applicable, my mistake

George
My point exactly, QM is objective and supported empirically, yet as a theory, it is not intuitive, far from it. It still is difficult to incorporate with GTR and STR. Historically, QM as a hypothesis without the empirical evidence is not dissimilar to a God hypothesis, but the effort went in to prove the theory and it is now established.
God theories appear to suffer from the belief problem, either people believe or they dont believe, genuine open enquiry is far rarer, and is the subject of my post - does anyone know of genuine, unbiased enquiry?

JAP,

Science never claims to be intuitive, far from it, it follows the evidence, not our senses.

Intuition, recognition and direct perception is all for the mystics.

Anything was at one stage a hypthosesis, you are correct. Einstein theory of relativity was a hypthoses when he presented it, but it bore up to objective experiment and testing, and hence became verifiable science.

There is tho quite a difference between a QM or relativity hyposhesis as opposed to the god hypthosesis. The QM hypotheses is supported by numerous mathematical equations that tie-in with previously established equations. The God hypothesis offers nothing in such detail or complexity it merely offers a black absolute statement, which is that God exists. Quite different.

Sorry, but in my opinion the only genuine unbiased enquiry is science, since though each scientist may have his own prejudices, the competition is so strong and the process of peer review and standard of verficiation so high, that prejudiced science is not going to be accepted. There may be competing theories to explain something, but the accumulated objective evidence (not the bias) will beocme that which is accepted.

George

First I did not say that science claims to be intuitive, but I do not agree with you in that science is generally intuitive. Intuition allows the truth of a proposition to be readily known, in other words, rational thinking renders the proposition acceptable. QM does not meet this definition.

You are of course welcome to your opinion about science research, but as director of a pure science research company, I have some knowledge of scientific research (go on tAo, contradict me). While only small company (some 12 employees with PhD's and 26 technicians, engineers and office support staff) we often pursue paths into the totally unknown. We do not have need to publish and so are not driven in the same way as academic research. Income is derived in part from patent royalties, permitting us the luxury of being able to pursue areas of interest thrown up by other projects. We frequently (and are currently) researching areas which defy current scientific understanding, sad to say, it is the possibility of financial gain from the commercialization of any novelty that enables us to indulge.

It may be that you know more about science than I do, and it may be that you know more about research than I do, but from where I stand, with first hand experience of pure and applied scientific research, I stand by my comments

OK people, I just have to hear your comments on this one:
Here is the link, please read all before you post your comments

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/08/11/Is-There-Really-Such-a-Thing-as-Premonition-That-Foretells-Future-Events.aspx

JAP

Forgive me, not sure we really understand one another, but does the word 'intuitive' actually add anything here?

I am talking of a hypothesis requiring evidence before being accepted as science, but perhaps we can look at this in a different way.

Popper felt that a hypthosesis or theory was only capable of being scientific if falsifiable. In other words, its irrelevant who makes the proposition (scientist or mystic) or whether the proposition is actually true or false, rather in order for it to be scientific it needs to be falsifiable.

So the existence of a God is not a falisifiable hypthosesis, since there is no way to test for it. Similarly, the existence of a soul is not a falsifiable claim. On the other hand Quantum theory is falsifiable, since there are experiments that can prove or disprove certain quantum effects.

As you probably know, there are other ways to look at the scientfic method, i.e. kuhn, but science is fundamentally linked with objective evidence. There is no objective evidence, at all, for the existence of a soul or god. These may be true and exist, but they are not Science.

As for your company, it sounds tremendously interesting and open-minded, and indeed a very rare type of setup.

Confusion over meaning of words such as intuition can be understood here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intuition

"Intuition has many related meanings, usually connected to the meaning "ability to sense or know immediately without reasoning", and is often regarded as a divine or prophetic power..."

LOL, does that support or detract from your position?
Does not sound very scientific to me.

If you want to discuss the issue of genius and creativity, well we can all hypothesise about that.

Precognition is simply the ability to plan.
Its not reliant on a soul or divine power.

The article itself provides a rational theory to explain the supposed premonition of the chandelier falling on the baby. However, even such an evolutionary psychological explanation is just one theory and far from accepted science.

Could the soul or god or intuition instead simply be our highly complex subconscious mind that is constantly processing information we are unaware of? Is it that our conditioning or insticts are built up with experience so that we understand the world in which we interact with so finely that we are able to predict the future or plan it accurately with the information in our mind. Could the woman have known in the depths of her mind that there was a heavy chandelier hanging over her babies head and that it always nagged at her a bit where in a storm such a heavy ornament could come loose. How accurate was the woman's story and have double blind controlled experiments been performed?

It is true that some of those consciousness reactionary experiments seem quite unexplianable, but that does not mean an explanation will not be found with time.

But there are many things that are not explainable, science accepts that. Its why premonitions, if they exist, are not science, since their mechanism is not understood and explainable.

Are you saying that unexplainable phenomena offer proof for the existence of a god or divine spirit?

JAP, it's possible that premonition is a real phenomenon. But this should be testable. Any test would have to recognize the law of large numbers issue: with so many events happening in the world every day, some will seem "miraculous" merely by chance. See:
http://www.capatcolumbia.com/reading%20packet/Miracle%20on%20Probablity%20Street.pdf

Yesterday something screwed up with our sprinkling system. Big puddle. And some water draining down some steps. I turned off the main cutoff valve. The draining water stopped. "Ah," I thought, there must be a break in a line of some sort.

Then I did some more thinking. Remembered that some sprinkler system repair guys had cleaned the sediment filter recently. I checked the "flush" cycle. Yes, they had left the outflow valve completely open, letting a lot of water flow out for a minute -- enough to create a puddle where there never had been one before.

I opened up the main valve again. No water appeared where water had been running before. Likely the leftover water from the big flush was going to stop just when I decided to turn off the main valve. Two things happened close in time; no causal connection.

There's a lesson here: the mind can jump to causal conclusions when a couple of things happening together are just coincidences (as in: "I was thinking of X; then a few minutes later I got a phone call that X had died."

George
Intuition is a worthy subject of another post under Brians open thread, we can initiate that topic later.

I have problem with your statement that precognition is simply the ability to plan, I would much prefer a statement such as precognition may be or may in part be the ability to plan, this is far more scientific as it offers an explanation that could be tested, and may explain some, or perhaps all of events that have been classified as precognition. As such, you would then be offering an hypothesis that could be tested via some devised experiment. - part of scientific process. I did not like the tone of the article, it smells of selling a book too much for me, but its thought provoking, and interesting and leads into the area of remote viewing, well worth further reading.
Brian, or rather Blogger Brian, you also have a good point, is it Darren Brown who makes use of our unconscious perception to appear to do magic? It is true, we receive information which we process without being aware which could lead to us predicting an event that again we are unaware, leading to the sensation of precogition. Anyone any links to research papers for an against these theories? It would be wonderful if commenters would not only post their views or knowledge, but the sources that leads them to that knowledge.

Brian, this open thread is working great, well done

Jap

Yes, i think the discussion of intuition, creativity, genius are perhaps all slightly different.

It is a thought-provoking article, tho i too dont like the tone, and there are more famous pre-reactionary tests which are exceptionally interesting and wierd.

That remote viewing is actually very interesting and i believe they'e used it extensively in the russuan military, but the russians were never terrible good with quality control, i've looked into it a bit, but like telepathy and perhaps premonition, i just dont think there is adequate scientific evidence for it. There are alot of whackjob claims and even some from scientists, but there is no convincing evidence for these beliefs.

Yeah Derren Brown, very talented illusionist that uses all kinds of tricks like slight-of-hand, hot and cold reading, neuro-programming, body language, physchology to do shows that make out as if he has superpowers, but he explains that its all just planned illusion.

Uri Geller was of course, the big fraud in the 80s who claimed to bend spoons with his mind, up until james randi exposed all his trickery.

Whats interesting about the Derren Browns and Uri Gellers is that they demonstrate how readily we can believe an illusion. Its not valid to use the see it before I believe it standard, for what we see may not be anything more than a trick of our mind, or some sort of illusion.

JAP,
exactly right, which is the whole point of skeptical enquiry imo. If our mind and senses are capable of error, an objective standard is needed.

May ppl will look at uri geller and think there you go he's bending spoons, proof that that paranormal exists, but its not proof and indeed its been shown to be deception and fact. Ppl obscuring the truth for profit.

So what you are saying is that according to this 'scientific method' which is proposed as the methodology to determine truth from fiction or reality from illusion, you go along with the ardent physicist who's only frame of reference is his human physical senses. This denotes or equates to 'reality' as far as the human senses will decree. Yet how about the senses of a bat or a dolphin, or a sense of perception outside of physical dimension, where the CERN reactor or the Hubble telescope has not reached to make its finite deductions .. yet.

Effectively what we have done is limited 'reality' to that within the confines or bounds of our physical senses, this by western science standards is the be all and end all crux of where reality begins or ends.

Fundamentally this is fraught with the same straight jacketed type thinking of those that proclaimed without doubt that the Earth was flat less than half a millenium ago.

If an explorer, whether scientist or mystic is able to arrive at a conclusion that the earth is not flat at all, reality stretches beyond the minimal dictates of senses that are limited within the bounds of their range of physicality and perception, and that in fact what you witness and see with the lenses or apparati of these senses are in fact only a very minute and limited part of the grander picture puzzle, then either you appease you enquiry with the 'rational' conclusion that he is lying and no such reality exists outside of your frame of referential perception, or you embark on the self same journey that he has undertaken to determine the verity of his discovery.

Now if Einstein had to assure me that E=MC2, I would never be none the wiser, as I am in no position to determine one way or the other whether he is telling me fact from fiction, yet overiding consensus decrees that his discovery bears some veritable provable conclusion to be true.
However Einsteins discovery is only really provable by those with the temerity, patience and dedication as well as the required fine tuning of their apparati and fields of expertise to determine through carrying out the same self path of discovery that Einstein undertook.

Any so called 'subjective' reality outside the realms or bounds of physical sense perception would have to incorporate apparati or means of perception that is finer tuned than the limited framework of the senses are providing. Hence, cometh the mystic, who has through his field of expertise, his dedicated attention and temerity attuned his apparati and his means of deduction, his means of perception to the levels and focus that the sensual 'reality' is unable to comprehend or enter into. It is like asking a camel to enter through the eye of a needle, it simple is unable to pass through.

So effectively the bottom line deduction out of all this to and fro ceaseless hypothesis is simply this, enter into the laboratory of the spiritual scientist, (mystic if you like that term better), and determine for yourself whether he is telling the truth or lying. I don't know too many people who can tell me without a shadow of a doubt that they themselves have proved that E=MC2, likewise there are not too many people who can tell you catagorically without a shadow of a doubt that the 'reality' that you hold so dear to be the be all and end all crux of your fundamental existance is actually a finely woven illusion, a figment of the imagination of the limited perplexity as projected onto the canvas of perception by way of the stepped down energy fields that this level of 'reality' plays itself out.

However there are some who have, and those are the ones you or anyone who is sincerely concerned with making the absolute conclusive discovery for himself should be listening to and adhering to these means or parameters of finer focus.

Jarendra

No, exactly the opposite, science is not about human senses, which are limited and prone to error. Indeed most modern science is well beyond the senses, and has to devise various experiments to test or falsify a hypthosesis.

We do not have a sense that is able to detect a magentic field or sonar or quantum effects, but have developed tests and experiments that prove the existence of invisible field existing beyond out senses.

Science therefore goes far beyond our physical senses. Proof or evidence often take many years and come from different sources, such as solving mathematical equations or thinking-up experiments that can falsify a hopthesis. Mostly one source of evidence is not sufficient and evidence is accumulated over time from different sources like a detective story until the evidence to support a theory is overwhelming, at which point it becomes accepted scientific fact.

Darwin's is but a theory of evolution, but the evidence overwhelming in support of it is so overwhelming that those proposing intelligent design and creationism look crazy. The objective evidence is provided by the fossil record, by carbon dating, by genetics, by computer modelling - all confirm the theory's validity.

Science follows the evidence. Anyone can make absolute claims like the earth is flat or God is true, but it only becomes science if the evidence is shown to support it. Netwton's presented a theory, but einsein's superceded it, because the evidence showed Einstein was more accurate.

Science requires and follows the objective evidence.

And you will keep perfecting the theory and the conclusion till you discover as some quantum physicists already have started scratching at the doors of perception where dark matter or black holes represent realms of reality which do not quite fit into any hypothesis or scientific model that existed before it. I mean have they determined yet quite exactly what 'matter' is, does anybody know the fundemental reality of the source or existence of matter?

Where does understanding of reality as represented by being a part of it in contrast to simply perceiving or being the voyeur of it come into existence.

In short is this being who perceives and decrees the verity or denial of reality a participator in it or an 'objective' voyeur of it. Meaning is this body and its senses and the physical realms within which this body takes its existence the beginning or the end of 'our' individual existence?

No it is not, yet the skeptic scientist does not have the means or the apparati to determine that one way or the other, so unless you are willing to spend perhaps the next countless millenia (of which one in a single lifetime does not have the scope to address it) improving your physical or scientific model means of perception, you will never know, and neither will anyone, unless as I said before, one enters into the realm or laboratory where such unequivical lenses or apparati of such finer attuned means of perception are applied.

The only thing that science decrees is that there is a theory supported by evidence. Future evidence may refute the prevailing theory. There is nothing at all rigid about science.

Science only claim is that a theory be supported by objective evidence.

Thats it.

Science of the soul is not accurate, because there is not objective evidence for a soul. If and when such evidence comes too light, it will become a science - science follows the objective evidence not subjective bias.

There's another difference; the modern trend especially among the poltically correct well-meaning folk is cultural relativity, in which every culture or belief system is considered to be equally valuable.

But I do not buy that. There are some belief systems that are simply better and work better.

Western medicine for example is light years ahead of any other type of cultural healing tradition. Antibiotics, modern surgery, anaesthesia - no-one else gets remotely close - we live far healthier and longer lives. Ppl go on about these ancient traditions, but it does not make them good, just old. the problem is they are not as effective cos they are not based on the rigours of the modern scientific method.

We see science working every day from our cars to aeroplanes to computers to space travel - we know it works, its not even in question whether it works, we know it works.

Science demands theories must be testable and reproducable, neither of these prove reality or correctness. Based upon these principles, of course science works, cars and planes will function, and we can live longer and healthier lives. But being testable and reproducable does not imply a representation of reality, nor true knowledge of that reality. The difference between these two aspects of science is often overlooked.

Thats very true, but until there is a better way of validating a representation of reality - science will continue to bear the gold standard.

Thus more abstract versions of reality, if they exist, can only be searched by more abstract investigative means such as philosophy and mysticism, but such a choice necessarily sacrifices the standard of evidence and accuracy science brings.

Hence my conclusion that science and mysticism cannot be mixed, they are wholly different appraoches to reality.

George wrote: "Western medicine for example is light years ahead of any other type of cultural healing tradition. Antibiotics, modern surgery, anaesthesia - no-one else gets remotely close - we live far healthier and longer lives."

--I think we discussed this before. Western medicine sometimes has its limitations in relation to traditional healing practices. As an example, I once had a pneumonia which the M.D.'s were unable to treat with antibiotics. I was weak and losing weight for weeks. Finally, I consulted with a chinese herbalist who evaluated my condition using pulse diagnosis. I was prescribed herbs to boil and drink at intervals. The concoction tasted terrible, but I began to feel better within a few days and soon I was good as new.

Actually, it is western allopathic medicine that often has not endured the test of time as evidenced, for example, by the many drugs that are pulled from the market when bad side-effects are discovered that did not appear in the initial trials.

Some traditional healing methods and herbs have been in use literally thousands of years and are well understood.

This is not to say that modern medicine is inferior. Clearly, certain drugs and sugeries that were not available in the past are lifesavers. There are times when I would certainly go to a hospital before I would go to a naturpath and vise-versa.

Generally speaking, the allopaths do better with accute conditions and trauma while traditional medicine tends to do better with chronic conditions, with exceptions of course.

George
You have made one of my earlier points far better than I can, namely science is the gold standard for studying those areas that fall within the limits of field of study set by science. This is why science is so successful, especially as the field of study covers just about every area that is physical and can or may be profitable. There is no valid alternative. It is unreasonable to expect the tool of science to be effective in reas that it is not intended to operate, but to deny such areas even exist is not scientific. Open to possibility and open to limitations of science keep science healthy.

Re medicine, just try going to conventional doctors with back ache, this is one area I have witnessed far greater levels of success by alternative medicinal practices

dear sirs,
Of we who speak of science and mathematics and evidences, how many have pesonally varified various phenomena ourselves?
How many of us are really quallified to persue the matter long?
If we are asked to verify for ourselves the deductions of QM ourslves, it will involve months of practice in guidence of some teacher who will enhance our cpabilities of calculations, deductions, comprehensions and inferences.
May be it will take years for some, and for some,only a few days. there are some who have themselves varified it. They are few and had to undergo fullcourse which consumed their life upto atleast 20 years of age. rarer are those who comprehend the subject in their childhood.
I challenge everybody of you to verify personally QM findings.
It is only when you will taste the bitterness of sceince although you have so much of supportigs to keep your faith in sceince burning. You will know how much it differs from peson to person to achieve the goal on the time scale.
Some of you will certainly runaway quitting saying science is not for them or it is for jerks who don't want to live REAL life.
Or, try some other decipline on your own.
Go, try and calculate the mass of any atom using all the apparatus.
We just gossip here with our limitted knowledge.
Who of you really want to know God?
God or anything has always been there.
Have you ever taken pains to open your eyes and notice it?

Yogi, so where is God? Have you seen God? Do you have evidence of God?

In your comment you forgot to tell us what God is like, and how you know that God is real. A real scientist presents evidence, not just religious dogma, as you did.

Your reasoning makes no sense. Countless scientists have verified the truth of quantum mechanics. There is exactly zero demonstrable evidence that God exists.

Using a computer to post your comment, you have proven the efficacy of many scientific truths. Where is similar evidence that God has effects in the world?

Tucson,

Without evidence those types of incidents can almost certainly put down to the Placebo affect. It also follows that anyone with a spiritual tendency is going to be even more attracted to these alternatives and that the Placebo will be even stronger.

Its easy to hopthesise that traditional medicines do better with chonic issues for two reasons, i) there is no evidence to support such a claim and ii) one's life does not hang in the balance - as soon as that happens - anyone with the slightest savvy goes to the allopathic MD. I was quite surprised to read the US still has medically qualified osteopathic physicians, frightening stuff.

What is really not unfair in relation to the drugs, is that they often have to be subjected to incredible scrutiny and exhaustive trials, while these traditional snake potions can be offered and prescribed by any charlatan.

JAP,
We are operating on exactly the same page I think. I believe science is very limited and that if there is an alternative reality it can only be reached by more abstract approaches like a mystic one, and i am open to that possibility, what i am not open to is something called Science of the Soul, since it is wrong and misleading. The path itself might provide real results and be true, but it is not a science until there is objective evidence.

Yogi,
Hello Sir. No, there is no need to do every experiment yourself. Science by its very methodology requires evidence which is scrutinised by peer review so if something is considered science it will have available objective evidence to support it. If one doubts the science, one can then go and check the experimental and evidential data.

Mystic traditions and claims do not have such evidence that can be checked. Instead we are told the experience is a very personal one.

If you challenge me to verify QM findings, you might as well challenge me to verify the bernoulli effect (which allows for plane flight) or the discover of magnetic fields (by which modern navigation exists). The evidence is overwhelming. Show me one scientfically peer-reviewed article for the evidence of a soul and you will have discovered the next Nobel Prize winner.

Yogi
Skepticism can be healthy in moderation, it can also be as blinding as faith. But I suggest that one who presses the light switch and benefits from an illuminated room does not need to study electrical or electronic theory. Equally, for the room to illuminate does not require theories of electric and electronics to be correct.

Your question asking who really wants to know God (should have added 'if he exists' is a good one. An unbalanced skeptic may refuse such an offer, based upon a blind belief that there is no evidence to support the existence of God, therefore why waste time looking.

Your statement that God has always been there is valueless, you offer no evidence, other than your own personal belief, and you cannot, and should not, expect others to accept your beliefs any more than you are willing to accept theirs

So what yogi is saying is none here have actually verified for themselves any of the by now accepted theories and conclusions that QM or science in general has taken aboard, yet it has taken science and western learning how long to get to the current state that they now believe the earth is not flat, and that this solar system is but one of countless others within one galaxy or cluster of solar systems amongst countless other galaxies within a physical universe which to all intents and purposes is still expanding from its initial point of creation or Big Bang.

Now you are telling us to be patient while science goes about the business to discover what in fact is the source of all this instantaneous combustable creative force that creates and sustains and destroys the very nature of matter or of the enquirer himself.

Yet by catagorical decree you refute the existence of soul simple because your lenses of perception are not fine tuned enough to verify or witness such.

Same as Brian dictating that because 'God' is not a physical tangible 'reality' available to the instrument of sensual perception in this stepped down avenue of limitations, such a notion of reason is taboo. Yet where is the evidence that the Big Bang is true, or that a quark is a particle of matter, if you are willing to accept the meagre deduced hypothesis that such phenomena is real, how come you are unable to accept the validity of one who has witnessed soul or spirit in action.

I find it rather ludicrous that these human creatures who by no direct creative energy of themselves stand here as participants in a creation sustained by energetic fields which they themselves have not an iota of a clue as to where they originate, do not even have an inkling of a clue as to who 'they' in fact are, have not an iota of a clue as to what or 'who' initiated or sustains or destroys life, are living, breathing, and dying entities of metabolism sustained by energetic fields at work within their very own bodies and supported by systems of life and energy such as a ball of exploding energetic mass of elemental force that keeps everything sustained in poise and balance while they refute and deny the very architect of all of this.

What yogi is saying is that science tries to go about the business of understanding phenomenal nature by means of its models of accepted principles of learning, yet it takes a practitioner of that learning how long to arrive at a capacity of expertise sufficient to even begin the enquiry, who would need to get taught by other teachers before he is in any way capable of even beginning to grasp the tenets of these principles and methods to determine the weight of an atom, let alone a neutron or quark.

Yet what is nature, who are we as participants in nature to disect and verify its very existence.

Science goes about the deduction the long way around, it takes the skeptical premise that there is no achitect behind nature, nature appeared out of nowhere by itself, we evolved as metabolistic conglomerates of material entities from an amoeba state to what we perceive ourselves to be now, and at this juncture in our evolution we audaciously declare, no one or no force, or no entity created any of this or any of us.

The height of audacity actually, to sit here typing on a computer that science has evolved into existence through the manipulation and harnassing of energetic forces within phenomenal nature and declaring that the power behind the experience is null and void, because our senses are incapable of acknowledging its existence it is hence false and un true simply because at this juncture of our limited knowledge or 'science' we have not witnessed it in action.

What yogi is saying is we are splitting hairs about phenomena that exists before science decreed it does, before science came to the irrefutable conclusion that the phenomena or nature exists, it existed anyway. Who are we to refute its existence because our lenses and apparati of acceptance are incapable of acknowledging its existence. If physical nature exists, what is the energetic forces that motivates and drives it, and if science as we know it today is incapable of determining such, there are other sciences much more attuned and accurate that do, except you would have to follow those tenets and principles of understanding that those sciences impart in order to undertake the experiment and make your own conclusion.

In other words yogi is quite correct, we are beating about the bush around what is already there or here, only we haven't opened our eyes to witness it, all he is saying to you is open your eyes to it and stop beating about the protracted bush till the cows come home, because such ceaseless activity hardly brings one any closer to the point of realization, only opening the shut eyes or shut perception will.

JAP yogi is just suggesting to you, switch the switch and bask in the light and stop the protracted analysis of whether the light exists or not.

He is saying the light exists whether you have switched the switch or not, all he is suggesiting to you is rather switch the switch than agonisingly and skeptically denying that because the switch is closed, there is no such thing as light.

Simply switch the switch and open your eyes to the light.. simple, no rocket science needed, a 5 year old could be capable of such activity, no Harvard education required.

Hi jarenda
Please supply suitable instructions for switching this switch. Like many on here, I am anxious to see this light

BTW, I can follow instructions

My dear friend JAP

as much as I would like to provide you with the instructions right here, this unfortunately is an impossibility in such a medium as this.

You would not be able to achieve a doctorate in quantum physics or rocket science here on Brians website, and likewise the availablity of the instructions by which to switch such illuminating light would need be sort from the source or a true teacher of such a 'science'

It may also be a slightly longer and more dedicated process than simply getting some verbal instructions from a novice such as myself on an internet site, so as a suggestion, I would say keep seeking, I am sure the bestower of such instructions toward attaining such light is pretty mindful of the degree and earnestness you harbor in your desire and yearning to witness or experience it.

Sorry if this sounds like a cop out, but seriously this is no venue for such discussions out here in elusive and delusional cyberspace.

Find the switch and use it, like everything in life it is the application that counts

Hi Jarenda
I am sorry, but I anticipated your response, and refer you to your earlier reply to me, I quote:

"yogi is just suggesting to you, switch the switch and bask in the light and stop the protracted analysis of whether the light exists or not."

Your very own words in your last comment illustrate the chasm between scientific illumination and spiritual illumination.

It is surely no surprise that spiritual illumination lays itself open to skepticism, whereas scientific illumination is without doubt.

But, if I may take the analogy a step further, those who have learnt to turn on the electric light switch will have discovered scientific illumination, and will run out of patience with anyone who refuses to press the switch, preferring to argue the point. Why is it that those who claim spiritual illumination are so willing to argue its existence, rather than bask in the light themselves?

Jarendra,

Science cannot decree anything does not exist. Instead science is only concerned with what it can prove.

Science cannot decree there is no god or no soul, since such a negation would imply that the hypothesis is falsifiable or testable, but there is no way to test whether there is a god or soul or not. It cannot be science.

I cannot understand why mystic traditions even use terms like Science of the Soul, unless its that they actually are quite in awe of science and therefore wish to import on their traditions some sort of gravitas and authority that it should already have.

What I cant understand is why do mystics often downplay science, but yet embrace it and try use it to explain various mystical phenomenon?

This is totally illogical. A person can have both a scientific and mystical outlook, but he/she should clearly appreciate the difference. Science is concerned with what can be objectively proved, mysticism at most is concerned with subjective verification.

JAP,

Your electrical switch analogy is a good one, except of course it is a fundamental creation of science. So while the user may not need to understand electron theory, it is only through science that the room is illuminated. Also, if the electron theory were wrong, the room would not illuminate.

The RS mystic believes the room can be illuminated by God and that the illumination can be directly experienced if one trains ones mind to recieve such illumination. There is an ancient method set out for training one's mind to recieve such illumination too.

With training perhaps an illuminated room is percieved, but the reality is whether the room is actually illuminated? There is no objective evidence to prove this either way.

George
I cannot agree with you when you say that ONLY through science will the room be illuminated. Let me illustrate with this slightly less than practical example. Should sufficient dissimilar metals become in contact while submerged in a suitable electrolyte, and be connected by some conductor that may have a section of very small section in circuit, then said section will get warm (no not illuminate,) irrespective of whether electron theory is correct or not.

It matters not what theory we may hold, or if the theory is correct or otherwise, the reality is that given correct conditions, the desired outcome will result. Such is science.

Mysticism seems somewhat different, and so is subject to much skepticsm: If someone can provide the conditions such that the desired spiritual illumination will result, and it is found so, then this blog may be quite different!


JAP your analogy and pertinent observation is valid, and true.

anyone who has switched any illuminating spiritual switch and is basking in the illumined light that such a switch of consciousness allows, would no doubt not be proselytizing and promoting such a state of illumination in such a mundane skeptical environment as this.

In fact they would rather keep such cherished illumination hidden and private and away from the ravages of skeptical analytical minds.

Contrast the one who has tasted the sweet apple to one who discusses the sweetness of the apple at length.

How would one who has basked in the radiance of illumined light convince one who has no valued reference with which such light refers to his conscious cognizance describe or convince one who is still skeptical of such an experience?

Likewise one who tastes the apple to be sweet, how is he to relay or describe the sweetness of the apple to one who has never tasted a sweet apple? All he could tell him is the apple is sweet, no amount of adjectives or descriptive dialogue will enable him to convey in actuality how a sweet apple tastes.

Similarly, one who has switched the spiritually illumined switch will no doubt simply keep mum about it, as there is no possible description conveyable of such an experience to one who remains in the darkness of skeptical delusion.

ah but is that not a little too convenient, not wishing to discuss or analyse such a mystical experience?

That is exactly why science is different. Nothing is considered taboo in science, everything is open provided there is evidence, and the evidence is wrangled over and scrutinised and purposefully laid bare for all to examine - not kept secret, esoteric or personal.

If the mystic is to keep his experience secret how can one possibly call it a science? Eveything about it is different. That is exactly the point i am making.

Moreover, why would a mystic even be interested in an open discussion forum at all? If certain things are considered offlimits and personal - there is no point discusing them.

I mean it seems to me the mystic does not want the intellectually rigourous approach of the scientist or the questioning open freedom of the skeptic where everything is free game.

So what the mystic get from an internet discussion forum? There is only one thing left, which is proselytizing there belief without being willing to provide any substance.

That is dogma then, if you just bludgeon ppl into believing what you believe without providing any reasons.

Nice one, George. Checkmate, Ashy (Jarendra).

Jarenda
Now I am really struggling with your last comment:
You point out that one who has tasted this spiritual illumination would not be posting to this blog - I agree
Then why are you writing here, I can only presume you write about something you know nothting about.
Forgive my directness, but it is the logical conclusion of your own words

Come on now George, you cannot say that nothing is taboo in science!!! God, spiritualism, and so many more subjects are taboo!!!
Evidence is not a requirement, it is focus of research to confirm a theory, hence CERN and the search for evidence.

To some extent, a full understanding of science is not practical for most, many people are not capable of understanding QM, but accept it because others with greater intellectual capability say it is true.
What if we call these intellectuals the priests of science, how would that sit with you.

But you are absolutely correct, and if I may translate your comment, this blog is NOT the place to attempt to bludgeon the reader into one belief system or another.

If you want to comment, have something of substance to say, and expect to defend your position!!!!!

JAP,

LOL, i seriously am not sure anything is taboo. You may well be right that scientists will piss themselves if you claim santa clause exists, but if your evidence exists i believe you will be vindicated.

Many scientific discoveries are at first laughed at, but over time accepted such is the evidence that comes to their support.

If someone can provide evidence for a soul or a god, i see no reason why it would not also become a science and indeed the greatest science of them all.

CERN is an interesting case that has many aims, but as you say one seems to be the search for corroborating evidence of the 'god' particle (lol as if things are not confused enough with the terminology - this should get the mystics hopping around). This might be taken to be pre-conceived. But surely that is the amazing thing of science, which makes actual predictions (and puts its predictions on the line as it were) and if the evidence cannot be found, it realises that the theory is wrong and not acceptable science.

Jaherendra and JAP both raise some very good points. My questioning is not intended to beat them, but to question the validity of their position. Perhaps logic is overrated, the mystic seems to think so, but i struggle to see why reason and logic are treated as such evils.

How many wars have been fought in the name of science or skepticism?

JAP,

On your proposition that scientists are equivalent to modern-day high priests, i would say you are quite entitled to that opinion.

I personally do not agree with it, but think you may have a point that perhaps science has taken on too much importance in the modern world. Some of the reasons i would disagree is because actual 'high priests' are concerned with a funadementally different belief system based on an unproven divinity and whose acceptance thereof is based on faith not reason, and who are NOT encouraged to scrutinise one anothers intepretations.

Where i agree with you is that science may feel overwhelming and offputting to non-scientists and that there are negative aspects associted with science.

I also personally believe that what is most important to human beings is not the intellect or reason, but love. Love, empathy and kindness are the pinnacle of humn achievement; science does not even come close.

George
I am not sure if I have a position, rarely feels like it to me.
Your observation that logic may be overrated may have been tongue in cheek, but it is valid, and oft ignored.
One of my complaints about science is its unwillingness to question its most sacred foundations, those fundamentals upon which the rest of science is built. Usual excuse is that things work, theories have worked and continue to work, so why re-invent the wheel?

For this, and other reasons, I remain sceptical, of religion, of science, of just about everything, including, and perhaps especially, of myself

Dear JAP

You say: “For this, and other reasons, I remain sceptical, of religion, of science, of just about everything, including, and perhaps especially, of myself”
Posted by: JAP | August 13, 2009 at 02:17 PM

I'm not surprised seeing as in a previous thread you said that you and Jarendra are one and the same person amongst other numerous identities commenting, so you are in fact talking to yourself, for example on this thread:

“My dear friend JAP - Posted by: jarendra | August 13, 2009 at 04:04 AM”

and

“Hi Jarenda - Posted by: JAP | August 13, 2009 at 04:29 AM”

curiouser and curiouser…

Posted on August 09, 2009 - An evolved comment policy:

"But let me tell you something, Walker = JAP = Lolita = Carmen = Rob = quite a few more as well.
Posted by: JAP | August 09, 2009 at 08:27 AM"

Well now, maybe Jarendra = George!! lol

Jen, I don't really think so. On this one I'd have to speak p in George's defense. I believe that George is a bit more more honest than that.

I know he really doesn't like me for some odd reason, but I'm still going to stick up for George here. I really doubt that George has any need or desire to assume other fake identities and carry on fake conversations with himself.

I believe that your first comment was more the case here. Jarendra is really JAP and vice versa. And Jarendra sounded a lot like Ashy a while back. Anyway, this guy thinks that we're stupid and he's fooling us with his dishonesty and fake posting... but NO.

And so lets not jump to such mistaken conclusions about ole George. George is doing a very excellent job on the side of science and reason and logic. I'm appreciating his recent comments immensely. I'm kinda glad he is still hangin around here with the rest of us. He brings his own voice of rationality to this little corner of the net.... Thanks George, and I mean that.

Dear George
To respond again to your comment about high priests of science - if you own a boat, you will, I am sure, have heard the expression that a boat is like a hole in water in which you put money. There is some truth to this similarity, but it is severely limited in its representation of description of a boat. What it does do, effectively is highlight one aspect of owning a boat. Likewise, I, and others, make comments on this blog, with similar intention, to highlight an aspect of the subject under discussion. It is not intended as a statement of equivalence.

Jen, the internet affords users varying degrees of anonymity, depending upon users knowledge and skill, it is also possible to be untraceable, affording a user the ability to assume different identities.

It is possibly true to say that even on an open blog such as this, the average user will not connect a commenter with some physical person, for example, your work mate may be posting on here from down the road, you would not know.

So it seems reasonable that discussions around who someone might or might not be are, well, a total waste of time. It may be more valuable to discuss what the commenter has written, ie the subject under discussion rather than the person who lies behind those thoughts.

Insight into people is best explored when in the physical company of those people.

Perhaps this observation has some bearing on a common topic of discussion, does God exist?
I could imagine a time when computer generated text becomes truly excellent, indistinguishable from human generated text. AI at its best. Jen may then be asking if tAo was a computer or a human. Again, I ask if it would be relevant, or if the comment content was more important. Now I am not so sure about my initial comment above, anyone?

Lastly, as an example of how computer communication has improved, one online language translator from English to Russian was given the phrase "out of sight, out of mind" to translate into Russian, came up with
"invisible idiot"
Lack of understanding, or tongue in cheek humor, I suspect the former!

tAo
Some while back, I owned up to the other names I have used, JAP = Walker = Claire = some other one I have now forgotten. But no, I am not assuming or posting under any other name, I remain JAP and only JAP on this forum.
But I had posted on here some months earlier, under another name, my real name. I became tired of Brian deleting my posts before they were viewed by others, my posts were subject relevant, but I presume Brian did not like them and so were deleted. It became even more irritating when Brian insisted this was an open forum, completely contrary to my experience. So, I decided that I would make my points, and, if it irritated Brian, tough!
I do not take no for an answer easily, and hate the bullcrap of an open forum that clearly is not.
Well, it seems I have managed to 'inspire' Brian into an Open Thread, and, if I may say so, since Brian has left us to get on with it, the quality and value of the discussions between ourselves has improved noticeably.

Brian, you have done a great job of making this blog available, and of attracting some truly interesting commenters, you have also providing many interesting discussion topics, if but somewhat sensationalistic in wording.
Discussions that follow are on the whole meaningful, its when you weigh in heavy handed into the forum you have created that tempers seem to rise. Please keep to what you are good at, and let us minions play in your skirt trails

tAo,

You constantly suprise me and throw me off kilter.
That is very decent of you.

i can confirm i am not JAP or Jahendra who i nelieve are quite different as well, but i must be honest say that i was someone called Terrified Tess and Tawdry Audry, lol, since i wanted to give Brian a few revv-ups and have a laugh, pretty immature it must be said.

Jap and Jahendra have both provided very excpellent posts here, there outlook may be very different to mine and yours but that is fine imo.

ANyway, again, you surprise me no end and i thank you for your comments.

Oh yes, lets have an "own up to blog misuse" thread :-)
Maybe Ashy could come back for just one adjective intense comment

well contrary to popular belief, jarendra and JAP are not equivalent, and neither are they even related, so I would recommend this churchless congregation should abide by their scientific principles and only declare absolute truth once they have concluded their findings without a shadow of any doubt, and not jump straight to the nearest convenient conclusion.

I believe Ashy has been banned from here outright, so it would be interesting to note on what grounds such banning order took place, perhaps he was just too profane with his use of adjectives or else a little too challenging to the holy triumvirate status quo.. whatever the reason I guess it may ultimately be a good one.

I would say that behind all these false persona lie some decent folk after all, I mean even the raging pitbull that is tAo sometimes comes through with some sincere humane retort once all the ego dust has settled... as is evident just a few comments here above.

At the end of it all I would say best possible blogger status to adopt around here is the one the Russian online translation came up with... henceforth I would prefer my online blogging name to reflect my preferred status..

'Invisible Idiot' would be most apt as far as my preferred ignominy should reflect.

I have been pleasantly surprised to discover that lurking behind these blog names are some really decent people with excellent points of view that has now become a pleasure to hold debate. Nothing like reading a persons opinion with respect for their point of view, for me, it encourages me to make the effort to understand that persons view, rather than flare up in anger.
The topics that Brian has posted tend to inflame to some degree, maybe its the jargon, but this thread where we have all been able to calm down and actually listen (read) what the other is saying, with calm interest and measures of respect, well for me, its a pleasure.

lol, 'invisibe idiot' might be your proclaimed preferred identity, but it sure as hell is not how you come accross...hahaha, that made me laugh.

Actually there is something i been discussing with another person, which is that although the world general population is mostly religious, the greatest western thinkers since the age of the enlightement have almost exclusively been non-believers, or certainly not in a personal god or soul.

Scientists like Einstein, Hawkings, Bohr, Fermi, Feinman, Sagan, Turing, Schroedinger, Dirac and philsosophers like Marx, Wiggenstein, Russell, Freud, Sartre, Nietzche, etc

Seems there are very few believing scientists, perhaps only Planck. The two interesting cases are Einstein and Jung.

Jung it seems certainly entertained mystical ideas and was interested in alot of eastern philsophy, but even Einstein might be argued to tend to mystic leanings as someone suggested and i think it may be correct.

Einstein had spinoza's pantheistic type belief in an underlying harmony to the laws of the universe - this actually does tend to support the Taoist beliefs that i cracked onto a few months ago.

Of course, it does not make Taoism any more scientific (a unifying theory evaded Einstein and everyone since), but it does mean that in its broadest philsophical sense, Einstein would appear to have agreed with a philopshical Taoism that posits some sort of harmony or flow to the universe.

However, Einstein did not believe in a personal god or soul. Of course, none of this means Einstein was correct, but still, there appears to be a difference between the atheist who believes in a chaotic random universe and a pantheist who believes in the fundamental ordered universe.

One of the question this raises for the pantheist is how to explain concepts like randomness and genetic mutation and many other seemingly spntaneous phenomena. If the universe is funamentally ordered, then nothing is truly 'random', its just that science has not yet been able to explain its complexity and thus it appears random.

waffling a bit, and will stop there, probaby boring as hell to the non-scientists, but would be interested in anyone's views thats following that.

George, if you dont mind, I would like to take a couple of your excellent topics to Openthread2, saves us scrolling down through pages of previous text !

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