« Religion, like fast food, makes you unnaturally large | Main | "The Ego Trick" -- selves exist, but not as we believe »

July 04, 2011

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


A thought-provoking and profound post, especially the second half, yet there remain a number of mitigating factors against this worldview.

For one thing the consciousness of dogs and humans seems quite different.

Firstly, there is the emotion of love, which seems so powerful in humans as to transcend so much else. It may be an evolutionary mechanism for our survival as social animals, but the urge is SO powerful in humans one must whether love is indeed the alpha and omega of it all, as the mystics suggest.

Our particular level of human consciousness includes raised capabilities, such as the ability to reason, plan, and be self-aware. The realization of our mortality and eventual demise is perhaps a blessing and a curse in that we know what is to come but it can affect how we live, before that.

Reason and logic have allowed us to explain the universe without magic or mystery, and yet even the most logical train of thought must wonder how a supposedly 'logical mind' could arise from disorder and random illogical origins?

And the most rational of minds, must also marvel at our existence, and that of the universe itself, which seems to border so closely on the completely improbable that one has to wonder how rational such explanations are. We are then only left with the logic of Holmes or Spock: when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

There is also the aspect of our human consiousness that seems predisposed to seek meaning, whether it be the more basic response of the religious believer, the supposedly more intuitively-developed response of the mystic or the curiosity of the adventurer or scientist. It seems that all humans, throughout history, have had this innate predisposition for religion and belief in some sort of hidden deity or spiritual aspect to reality.

It also seems as if there are so many aspects of reality that are not only strange, but ordered in such unlikely ways, that events often occur in our lives which on reflection are often difficult to explain in terms of sheer coincidence. Other explanations such as our hidden pschylogies, which predispose us to certain decisions, are a more powerful explanation -and yet the very hiddenness of the aspects of our mind, and in the nature of the reality around us, might also be suggestive of some more fundamental source.

Nice dog btw.

Some great fotos!

I loved the last one 'a dog's view'.


You should be a photograper. No excuse for you being in bad form or miserable, with views like that.....:)


Marina

George, we humans certainly are much different from other animals. But that's what we are: animals. Mammals, more specifically. As such, there is a continuity of consciousness between us and other species.

Scientists are finding that animals are more human-like than was previously suspected. And it only takes a cursory look at people to see that we can be decidedly animalistic.

So just as animals learn from us, so can we learn from animals. I've commented before on the "zebras don't get ulcers" notion (the title of a book, which I may have mangled somewhat). Leaving aside the new evidence that stress actually doesn't cause ulcers, the author's point is that zebras get chased by lions, then they go back to grazing peacefully.

Danger. Safety. Danger. Safety. Zebras don't waste their days worrying about lions in the brush. When there's no lion around, they relax. When there is a lion around, they perk up and get defensive.

Us supposedly advanced humans, though, have evolved the capacity to worry. Often unnecessarily. Being more in the here and now, when this is appropriate, is something our dog teaches me. Along with how to run to the pantry and get her a dog treat when she gives the right look after she eats her dinner.

yes good point, and no doubt they do have something to teach us, but as well as not worrying or planning, animals also do not spend time contemplating their existence and whether there is any meaning.

I guess this is the point of your post, but what i am saying is that perhaps they are wrong and that these innate abilies allow humans to understand more of reality than is available to dogs.

George, no disagreement. Humans know more about reality than dogs. Aside from a few aspects, like the scents of animals that have passed by on a trail.

My point is that we humans have more options open to us than other animals. So we have some degree of control over what we pay attention to. Sometimes shutting down an over-active cerebral cortex and paying more attention to sensory inputs is a useful counterbalance.

Frequently I'll be walking along in nature, thinking about something or other, and suddenly realize that I've been totally unaware of the wonderful wind sound in the tall trees surrounding me. Our dog is much more attuned to such inputs (which is why we keep dogs as guard animals).

yes, same reality, but they percieve a different version of it.

This is the thing, which has always struck me difficult to reconcile with the concept of a soul, such as in the RS tradition. How do they view animals as compared to humans, and for that matter, plants and rocks. Do these all have souls or different sizes of soul, in which humans have more developed souls?

Why is it that humans are singled out for special treatment? Did Neanderthals have souls? they cared for their sick and disabled and had a sense of self and community. what about homo erectus and other human species? what about the great apes? what about your favourite potplant?

It also ties up with their morality system with regards to vegetarianism - where is the line drawn? animal, egg, plant and why?

Brian,
I have a dog, too.

My dream is that human beings
survive as a species long
enough ... to evolve into dogs.

Yoga ...a rediculous idea

We are all tied to the long journey
theory from childhood. Meditate, meditate,
meditate. Struggle against the mind.
Suppress the self.

Then we learn there never was a self.
That knowing that, the mind becomes net
neutral and doesn't need to be stilled
at all.

The inner planes are simply fluff
tossed about by sexually repressed
mental activity. And, they all
fall by the wayside in he end.

No self, no heaven, no God.

Just Substance

Global News Blog
$22 billion in gold, diamonds, jewels found in Indian temple's secret vaults
Gold coins, diamonds, and other precious stones discovered in the vaults of
a Hindu temple in southern India are worth an estimated $22 billion.

By Aarti Betigeri, Correspondent / July 5, 2011

New Delhi
It's a find worthy of a "Raiders of the Lost Ark" plot line:
Jewels, gold trinkets, coins, and statues worth an estimated $22 billion
were uncovered in a series of secret vaults beneath a Hindu temple in the
southern Indian city of Thiruvananthapuram.

The loot includes about 1,000 kilograms (2,205 pounds) of gold coins –
some dating back 400 years – ropes of gold, sacks of diamonds, and a
gold statue of the Hindu god Vishnu studded with precious gems, as well
as an 18-foot solid gold ornament weighing 35 kilograms (77 pounds) and
rare silver and brass platters.

So far the find is worth nearly double India’s 2011-2012 education budget
($11.61 billion) – and there's still another vault to be unlocked. The 16th
century Sri Padmanabha temple, in the capital of the southern coastal state
of Kerala, is now considered to be the richest of India’s temples.


"Above every form of creation is the creator; transcending every object of beauty is the source of beauty; on the further edge of all that exists is existence itself." -- Return to the One, p. 94 Thank you for that. The upward tension that Plotinus supplies creates a groundwork for authentic community -- if we renounce that upward tension and seek to be content with experience as it is (you with yours, me with mine, they with theirs, etc.) then what's the point of communication?

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Welcome


  • Welcome to the Church of the Churchless. If this is your first visit, click on "About this site--start here" in the Categories section below.
  • HinesSight
    Visit my other weblog, HinesSight, for a broader view of what's happening in the world of your Church unpastor, his wife, and dog.
  • BrianHines.com
    Take a look at my web site, which contains information about a subject of great interest to me: me.
  • Twitter with me
    Join Twitter and follow my tweets about whatever.
  • I Hate Church of the Churchless
    Can't stand this blog? Believe the guy behind it is an idiot? Rant away on our anti-site.