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October 08, 2018

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Hmmm, I never comment much on the posts about atheism because I’m a “quantum chic”... and a huge fan of Michio Kaku. Can’t help but think anything is possible. ;)

“Kaku studies tachyons, or primitive semi – radius tachyons if you want to get down with the lingo that all the cool science kids speak. These tachyons have the ability to "unstick" matter in the universe, meaning that all matter is free from influence of the universe. Rather than living in a universe where everything is created by chance, Kaku believes that the existence of these tachyons means that the world we live in has an intelligent creator.”

Since we are “God”—each/all of us... actually the word “Creator” makes more sense here. We are all creators and contributors of the world and “worlds” we live in. Like the old saying goes, “thoughts are things”. So, how can any of us define exactly what God is or isn’t if “we are all gods” as Jesus and the Saints say. We create the world we live in. Every thought leads to a decision which leads to an action which leads to a reaction—many reactions. We’re a glob of tachyons. I don’t believe there is some God up there calling the shots but I do believe in consciousness and the ability to direct our thoughts.

That being said, we’re ALL responsible for our thoughts and actions and I believe we are all creators and contributors to this matrix that we call Life. I guess the question of whether your consciousness will continue beyond this world is up to you. And there’s no judgement either way.

For me, the real question is what is consciousness?

Hilarious. I mean the "gerbiling" part.

Brian, I had a really good Jewish/Satsangi/Buddhist friend that was hit and killed by a car last year on December 1st. She had just turned 71 six weeks prior. She was extremely active, healthy and sharp. Perhaps she was too active—she was hit and killed by a car while she was walking from her him home to a 6 am yoga class about a mile away. She died as soon as the car hit her according to the coroner. I miss her so much. She was my mentor and friend.

Like you, she had been on the path for about 35 years and then about a year before she died she had taken her bodhisattva vows. She said she was completely at peace with dying (even though, obviously, she had no idea it would be so soon). She was fine with being reincarnated... or not.

Some people are totally at peace with dying and it doesn’t seem to be determined by their particular faith or beliefs. I’ve met individuals from all sorts of different views on the afterlife who had this peace about it. But I guess most people aren’t that comfortable with the idea. I was never afraid of dying and then in my thirties I was and now I’m not anymore. Just like I was never afraid of flying until my thirties and then I was but now I’m not afraid to fly anymore. A strange parallel. 🤔 Right around the time I became a Satsangi I was afraid of death and flying. Only in the past few years has that gone away.

Guess my point is the best way to overcome your fear of death is hang out with people who are comfortable with the process like hospice workers. And if you (not you specifically) want to get over your fear of flying then fly first class!! No one in first class is afraid... 😆 Fear is contagious but so is peace.

That’s the first rule of mass consciousness—fear is contagious (but so is peace). :)

BTW, I’m not one of those people who has the luxury of flying first class everywhere. But when I was forced to start flying regularly for work I would upgrade to first class just before I boarded when they’d discount it dramatically if there were open seats.

AR,

Holy Shit! Do you know what gerbilling is??? (please don’t post the definition).

Tell me you meant to use a different word. I’ve had enough Kavanaugh type weirdness to last me the rest of my life...

I confess to being one of those who are not afraid of death. This needs a little explaining as in my understanding it revolves around the processes that formed 'me' :-

At birth there is no 'me', no 'self' and no thought. This develops quite early as we grow and experience. The experiences the infant brain absorbs becomes his/her information – and a mind is formed. The young brain 'stores' this information (as mind) – name, gender, culture, religion (or not), nationality, history, beliefs etc. – and a 'self' is constructed. Thought recalls this information as memory. For us, perhaps through our ability to think, and to form concepts, our 'self' has become as, if not, more important to protect and maintain as the body.

We protect our ideas and beliefs simply because they are (have become) 'me' – they are who I am. The 'self' we maintain is purely this accrued information. It says 'I' am important. Interestingly this 'self'-structure' is not static; it continually maintains its existence by defending itself against any threat or criticism that it encounters – to the extent that some will fight, kill and die for their beliefs (defending their 'self-structure')

There is no doubt that a healthy sense of self (mentally and physically) is necessary although perhaps it can be a relief to see that :- the mind is simply information: the 'self' is formed from this information: the brain recalls this information as thought and memory – and we react (or not) according to the current situation: and being conscious is the result of the organism as it contacts its environment (both mentally and physically)

The 'dread' of death is always from the point of now while we are alive and thinking and protecting my 'self'. At the point of dying the brain/body shuts down. Perhaps the anxious and noisy 'self' with its ever busy thoughts is the first to subside – which may explain the peacefulness onlookers report.

We are not important in the scheme of things, only my 'self' which fears annihilation believes this - for its day-to-day survival. This is my take on death.

Brian, I really enjoyed the "gerbiling" bit, would loved to have seen the attorney's expression.

Also liked, not sure if you are having fun with this, but it does make sense to me, and then I do think outside the box...

"There's also a possibility that nothing in the universe is truly real, because it could be a simulation of some advanced civilization that puts our computer games to shame. Just about anything we can imagine has some probability of actually existing, albeit extremely small."

Brian said: "Obviously human consciousness doesn't exist without a brain."

That's the typical atheist meme that isn't obvious at all. There is basically no way to prove what kind of consciousness exists outside of the human brain. Many people, for instance, see the physical brain as a medium for consciousness, and that there might be many such mediums.

Radical materialists, or should I say, narrow minded materialists, like to take this position when in fact it is as dogmatic as any other religious type saying and should be relegated to the scientism dog pile, just like the many scientific dogmas of history have been.

Joe, when has anybody seen evidence that human consciousness exists without a brain? Like I said, there is zero evidence of this in all of recorded history.

So it isn't "narrow minded" to speak the truth. I'll throw your phrase back at you and say that you are the narrow-minded person, because you're ignoring all the evidence that shows human consciousness isn't possible without a brain.

Here's some of the evidence: anesthesia; brain damage; coma; being hit on the head with a baseball bat; birth defects; brain imaging.

So it isn't dogmatic to say that human consciousness requires a brain. Instead, you're being dogmatic when you're turning a blind eye to the truth that is right in front of you, and choosing to believe a highly improbable religious fantasy.

It's unscientific to make claims
of fact about something you can't measure. So how can anyone make claims about what happens after death?

Most religious folks I've known are very clear that they hold hope in an afterlife. They hold belief in an afterlife. They do not offer proof of fact.

So Brian's assertion that there Is no afterlife, is conjecture.

Only extreme religious zealots claim the afterlife is a fact and try to prove it with flawed reason.

And its very strange to see Brian adopt this line of thinking.

Brian, it's OK to say "I believe in no afterlife", or "it's against my belief system."

That's more factual than to claim anything about something that can't be measured.

People believe in God for many reasons that have nothing to do with an afterlife. They like His / Her company.

"Here's some of the evidence: anesthesia; brain damage; coma; being hit on the head with a baseball bat; birth defects; brain imaging."

The actual scientific evidence demonstrates that awareness is often heightened as many areas of the brain are supressed. In meditation cognitive functioning improves even as MRI scans reveal whole brain regions being shut down.

After coma there are often memories of significant activity and awareness.

And while there are centers in the brain for speech, vision, hearing, movement, and some that appear to control conscious wakefulness, there is no actual center of conscious thought that has been discovered and confirmed.

The brain is more of a place for connecting the mind to the body, with specific centers of sensory and motor control from some center of thought that has never been found. It's like a car with no detectable driver.

The evidence just isn't there to claim no brain no thought.

If my phone breaks and I can't call you, I still exist.

That isn't proof of an afterlife.

It is pointing out the irrational attempts to prove something either way that can't actually be measured.

Spence, as i've noted frequently, the burden of proof in science, as in life, is on the person making an affirmative claim. Your claim, which is echoed by other believers in mysticism, is that human consciousness can exist without a brain.

You've presented no evidence of that. Instead, you want evidence of "no brain, no thought." Well, that's my point. If there is no brain, there is no thought. Or no any conscious anything. So all you've done is restated my assertion that without a brain, there is no consciousness.

Don't you see the absurdity in your argument. It's like me saying, "There is no evidence that fairies make the flowers in our garden grow." Then you say, "There's no evidence that no fairies, no flowers." Well, actually there is -- the absence of any evidence for fairies.

Usually it's impossible to prove a negative. That's why science almost always looks for positive evidence of a claim. Sure, it's possible that invisible fairies make flowers grow, and it's possible that invisible consciousness actually makes the brain work. But there's no evidence of either, just assertions that such might be true.

Brian: "Anyone who believes in these things is forced to say stuff like, 'But there's a possibility they exist!'"

It is the "not knowing" that is the source of faith for these poeple. As I mentioned, my brother-in-law is a classic example of this. He takes great comfort in current gaps of scientific knowledge. He construes the gap as a lifeline for his belief. As you said, it is still possible.

Hi Brian

You wrote
"Spence, as i've noted frequently, the burden of proof in science, as in life, is on the person making an affirmative claim. Your claim, which is echoed by other believers in mysticism, is that human consciousness can exist without a brain".

Brian, I challenge you to find a single instance where I have made such a claim.

Your statement is in error.

I have no idea whether the mystical experiences I've had are anything supernatural at all. I wouldn't claim so. I might believe it, but that's a personal belief, not an objective fact.

They could just be amazing brain functions only available to deep meditators.

But your assertion about what happens after the body dies isn't scientific. It's presumptive and the burden is on you to prove it.

But it cannot be proven.

That isn't unique Brian. We can't prove a lot of things.

We only know about gravity because of its effect on other things. No mechanism of science has ever detected any connection between our sun and the planets that in any way explains the tremendous force the sun exerts in pulling the planets into their arcs. We have bodies in space millions of miles apart effecting each other but with no detectable connections.

Science also admits that the dark matter that must exist can also not be very well detected. We must conjecture the existence of it by linking it to the movement of other objects in space.

There is more that we don't know than we do. And that also applies to human consciousness.

To make the case that what we don't know doesn't exist is unscientific, to say the least.

And unnecessary. If you are an Atheist because of the current level of scientific discovery, that's a moving platform.

But if you are an Atheist because you do not like the idea of painting over reality with false beliefs that can be disproven, I think that's a stronger foundation.

As for life after death, it can't be measured today therefore nothing can be said either way.

Do you understand the above distinction between what can be measured, and therefore proven or disproven, and what cannot currently be measured, and therefore cannot be proven or disproven?

Before 1890, if you had pounded your foot upon the earth and claimed it was mostly empty space, held together with particles so small that packed together the total mass would be invisible, any classic physicist would say "that's crazy."

But they have been proven wrong.

Likewise, when Galileo pounded his foot upon the earth and shouted to the court of inquisition, "It moves!" he knew none of them would believe him.

And when Pythagoras claimed the earth was round and floating in an elliptical orbit around the sun, few believed him.

These individuals understood from their own discernment, and the tools of perception and measurement available to them, something those around them did not.

That open minded attitude, of investigation is a fundamental principle of science.

So please share what your have learned.

And let's avoid conjecture about things we have no exposure to.

Brian, let me be a little more pointed.
You wrote

". It's like me saying, "There is no evidence that fairies make the flowers in our garden grow." Then you say, "There's no evidence that no fairies, no flowers." Well, actually there is -- the absence of any evidence for fairies."

This is different. You would claim
" Sun, water, soil and time make the flowers grow. "

I would claim " there is more there at work. "

You would say, "there is nothing more."

But the more you understand about flowers, the more you understand there is a seed of life that no human being has been able to duplicate from mere chemicals.

More is there. Much more. And the deeper we look, the more we see.

Similarly, no seat of conscious thought has been located and confirmed in the human brain. There are centers that control wakefulness, but no center had been found where the thinking takes place. And specifically where thought resides. There are centers for hearing,
Vision, locomotion, speech, autonomic functions, even controls for levels of wakefulness and levels of conscious awareness, , but no center for conscious awareness and thought.
What does it mean?
We don't know. It hasn't been discovered yet.
That's my point.

Spence, you're a smart guy. But you have your blind spots. I recognize them in you, because for 35 years I had them myself.

I badly wanted to believe that consciousness survived bodily death. I mostly read books that supported what I wanted to believe. I went to talks (satsangs) that supported this belief. I'd argue with people who thought differently, just as you're arguing with me now.

Then, bit by bit, my mind was opened. I realized that there was no solid evidence in favor of consciousness being separable from the body/brain. I started to read neuroscience books that presented good reasons why, even though this isn't possible now, fairly soon science likely will be able to explain how the hundreds of billions of neurons in the human brain produce conscious awareness.

There are solid theories, based on solid scientific evidence, aimed at explaining how the brain produces consciousness in us humans. By contrast, mysticism and religion only are able to say, as you are, that maybe consciousness survives the death of the brain. Maybe.

Sure, anything is possible. But only some things are probable. Wisdom consists in distinguishing between possible and probable. Yes, it is possible that I might win a mega-lottery if I buy one ticket tomorrow. But since I know that this isn't at all probable, I choose to spend my money on other things.

Likewise, I continue to believe that it is possible consciousness can exist without a brain, But now I realize that this is very improbable. I assume you have the same realization, right? You know that it is very likely that when you die, you'll be dead and gone forever. However, you hope this won't be the case, so you choose to believe that consciousness is separable from the brain.

That's fine. All I'm saying is that there is no evidence for this, even though humans have been wishing it were so since the dawn of recorded history. One would think that by this time there would be some solid evidence of consciousness free-floating outside of a human brain, but there isn't. Naturally I'll be very much open to this evidence if it ever pops up.

Regarding the historic examples you cited, even in the time of the Greeks simple math (trigonometry) showed that the earth was circular, and that it likely orbited the sun. After Galileo, this was proven beyond a doubt. Science steadily progresses toward the truth, albeit with stops and starts, ups and downs. Religion and mysticism don't. That's why ancient holy books are still revered, which science textbooks are constantly updated.


Likewise, I continue to believe that it is possible consciousness can exist without a brain, But now I realize that this is very improbable.

The endless, uncanny reports of reincarnation provide an
compelling counterpoint. A separable consciousness is arguably far more probable than alternatives.

One interesting study by researcher Dr. Banerjee cites the case of a young girl in Russia who suddenly begins to relate precise details, in fluent Japanese, of places and events occurring in Japan although she had never been there. She was accompanied by Russian researchers to the actual site and details of her story were confirmed.

There are literally hundreds of similar cases. Were they all fake news? Machinations of publicity seekers? Children coached by parents? Pure coincidence on the order of the Big Bang?

Or looking scientifically, was a damaged/diseased brain to blame? Did some unknown force permute molecular reside in the brain to create a new memory? The odds have been compared to that of a gale wind blowing through a junkyard and fabricating a fully assembled 747. Or did some long-deceased Japanese's brain particles traveling via upper atmosphere winds make their way to Russia and waft down targeting this particular child's brain. The Russian Academy of Science actually examined the girl's case and theorized that exact scenario.

In physics, the law of conservation energy states that the total energy of an isolated system cannot change- it is said to be conserved over time. Energy can be neither created nor destroyed, but can change form." So my friend, that energy that is animating you while you are "Alive".....Where did it come from? And after you pass, where will it go?

@spence
You wrote
We only know about gravity because of its effect on other things. No mechanism of science has ever detected any connection between our sun and the planets that in any way explains the tremendous force the sun exerts in pulling the planets into their arcs. We have bodies in space millions of miles apart effecting each other but with no detectable connections.

Gravity is a discovery of science.
Gravity is the explanation.

Spence, you seem to adopt the position:

I don't know, I just believe.

Well I might believe in the blue fairy.

The question is:
Do you CARE if what you believe in actually true?

If you do, then you will need evidence

Christians quote the bible as if its evidence. Its not, anymore than I can quote Pinocchio as evidence of fairies

If an angel appears to me tonight and tells me I am Jesus, does it make it true?

Or does it just mean I've lost my marbles

The Theist believes in god, so has the burden of proof

The atheist is just saying this:

Please provide evidence, then I too will believe.
In the absence of evidence I don't have the belief

He does not assert their opposite that there is no god.
Maybe there is, maybe not, I just Dunno

That's the atheist position and it doesn't require proof as there is no assertion.

"I don't know" requires no proof

Hi Osho
You wrote
"Gravity is a discovery of science.
Gravity is the explanation."

It's an explanation for a phenomenon.
But no one actually knows how it works.

There is no detectable connection between the sun and the earth. Why should the size of the sun influence something millions of miles away?

We don't know why.

Even Newton admitted he didn't freaky know why.

I'm pointing to the fact that reality is bigger.

Are you happy with ignoring the mystery?

Hi Osho
You wrote
"He does not assert their opposite that there is no god.
Maybe there is, maybe not, I just Dunno"

That's exactly my position.

It is you and others who are claiming "there is no God" and with zero proof.

That's anti - theism, not Atheism.

Hi Brian
You wrote "I badly wanted to believe that consciousness survived bodily death".
I have no need to. You clearly didn't get my comment.

It seems to me that those who claim to believe in science (rationalist). and those who actually conduct science (scientist) have different world views.

To the person who claims to believe in science but who doesn't conduct it, they use scientific results to support all sorts of assertions about things science has no activity in, such as the existence of God. They try to rationalize every obvious thing as fact and dismiss every unknown as non - existent, fantasy or illusion.

They see the world of reality as all the things science has proven. Or what they can manipulate scientific results to claim as truth.

But the scientist lives in a different world. They stand on the edge of a rushing river. The edge is solid ground, scientific results without conjecture.

The water before them is what might be. It's very real, but no evidence yet. The unknown. The mystery.

So they conduct very conservative means to experiment and determine new facts. They place pillars in the water and bury them in the ground underneath one at a time. Then they build planks connecting the pillars. They only focus on that portion of the unknown they can see and build their basis of results upon.

In time they have a very narrow bridge that other scientists can cross also, add to, and discover what's on the other side.

The active scientist is always on firm ground even under water in the midst of the unknown. That's how they spend most of their time, investigating. In the unknown. In the middle of the mystery. Under the water, sinking new pylons.

For a scientist to listen to people who are not actively conducting science make conjectures about the unknown, they see this as wild and useless thinking.

Similarly, to hear others who claim to love science make claims that the unknown isn't real, is a source of mirth. Because the scientist is always working with the unknown, building upon the known, piece by piece transforming the mystery into the known. That's where they live. They live in the place the rationalist says doesn't exist.


The very thing they have their hands on every day, the rationalist denies exists.

On another note... it’s interesting to question why you believe what you believe. I mean, there is no way to prove life after death to anyone. And we can’t really prove that their isn’t a higher consciousness either. But, I will agree that without a brain their is no human consciousness. I don’t know how anyone can argue that. However, no “human consciousness” doesn’t prove that their is no consciousness whatsoever. And yes, no one can prove that there is a higher consciousness to anyone but themselves.

That being said, for some people the idea of an afterlife is comforting and for others it may actually be discomforting—fear of the unknown can work both ways.

I’m not trying to prove any belief system to anyone because quite frankly I don’t care what people believe about an afterlife. I just think it matters what people believe and value regarding life here on earth—the one you’re living now.

What’s truly messed up about religions is that they say you have to believe this specific thing about the afterlife and follow this particular way to get to the afterlife. They usually say the “being good is not god enough”. You have to believe in this specific person or say umpteen Hail Marys... get baptized or take vows.

Sorry, but I think being a good person is good enough. Continually improving yourself and learning to love and respect others is our human responsibility. Learning to forgive... all those things take a lot of discipline. It takes effort. It gives life meaning. You can worship a god or an entity or a guru all you want but if it doesn’t make you a better and kinder person then what are you doing??

Has anyone read this book? Many Lives, Many Masters by Dr. Brian Weiss? It's a book which has many experiences of his patients about life and death. Good read. Brian and others do read it in free time.

Joe, when has anybody seen evidence that human consciousness exists without a brain?

I sweared . . .

777


-

When I said : You go where your heart is !

I didn't add the 'disadvantages' of the time_space environment after you will die

You will be subject to gratification of what you repeated on earth
but without the ( earthly) gross time_out ( delay) between
thoughts and actions

That means : any thought will crystallize without delay
they will all be vicious circles I mean like a perpetual mobile

SO, . . this GOD bashish , it has profound consequences
and only a new birth can repeat You Sirs

Better seek some Love , now You can

This has little to do with Sant Mat
it applies to every Jeeva, like sowing and harvesting

777

PS
This applies even more
when your thoughts/opinions/consciousness
( like Buddha said : biggest sin ever°° )
where manipulated to such a degree
that you even applied the 2+5 is minus 60
which I see so regularly on this blog
like God is but I have to go
meaning : He doesn't respect me

-
°° ever
t means that it almost cannot be repaired
without draconian happenings/births

-

Quote Sarah : “AR, --- Holy Shit! Do you know what gerbilling is???” .


Well, yes and no.

That is : I do know what a gerbil is, of course. But I came across this word, used in the verb form, for the first time in this blog post of Brian’s.

(You may have skimmed over Brian’s article proper, and missed the part where he says, “I asked the attorney to say ‘gerbiled’ rather than ‘died’ ” , and “So upon Brian’s gerbiling, his estate will pass to… ” , and “ … I’d have to seriously envision my, um, eventual gerbiling” .

So then I looked it up online, and found the same meaning that you yourself did. (I’ll wager you had to look it up too, Sarah, didn’t you?)

I took Brian’s use of the word as an idiosyncratic (and somewhat risque) idiom, used for humorous effect, akin to saying “getting screwed over”, or “getting done over”, as metaphorical reference to death. That is the sense that the article conveyed.

Of course, I realize this is only my inference. If Brian meant differently, perhaps he can correct us.


“Tell me you meant to use a different word. I’ve had enough Kavanaugh type weirdness to last me the rest of my life...” .


Actually, like I explained, that is exactly the word I was going for. I am not normally given much, myself, to swearing when I speak, and certainly not outre expressions like this one, but I was appreciating, and joining in laughter at, what I inferred was Brian’s risque and humorous reference. (Again, if my inference was incorrect, perhaps Brian can correct me.)

While I think your Kavanaugh reference is misplaced and wholly uncalled for -- there is no similarity, at all, that I can see -- I do appreciate how two men sniggering away over bawdy jokes can make some woman -- or even some man, for that matter -- uncomfortable, how they may find their sensibility offended at this kind of humor. Which is why I will not put in the smiley here that I might otherwise have been tempted to use!

I think we’re fully within our rights to engage in humor of this sort, between ourselves, and given that it is not directed at or meant to insult any particular person at all, neither you nor anyone else ; nevertheless, if I’ve made you feel uncomfortable by my use of that word, Sarah, then you have my unqualified apologies.

(And again, Brian can correct me if my inference of that word was different than how he meant it. And if it isn’t, then whether he chooses to join me in expressing regret to you, is up to him entirely.)

Quote Turan : “Perhaps the anxious and noisy 'self' with its ever busy thoughts is the first to subside – which may explain the peacefulness onlookers report.” .


That’s an interesting idea. I’d never looked at it that way. It’s possible, even plausible.

But if this is true -- and I realize we're both speculating here, you in suggesting this and I in agreeing -- then that would mean that when the countenance of the one passing away apparently shows some particular emotion, whether a smile or a grimace, then that would mean that the "self" has not, somehow, abated for them, right, that perhaps for some reason they're holding on for dear life, or perhaps death has been very sudden and unexpected?


“We are not important in the scheme of things …” .


Importance to whom? Using concepts like “importance” presupposes agency. When no agency is presumed (or detected), then the question of importance becomes irrelevant, and being “not important” tautological.

Quote Spence : “Brian said: "Obviously human consciousness doesn't exist without a brain." --- That's the typical atheist meme that isn't obvious at all. There is basically no way to prove what kind of consciousness exists outside of the human brain.” .


Occam’s Razor?


Longer version :

While I am with you in much of what you say, Spence, on this particular point I’m afraid I have to disagree. If you’re taking a positivist, rational approach, then other things being equal, one tends to go with the more parsimonious explanation. While that isn’t proof, that is certainly compelling reason not to accept, and even to reject, the existence of consciousness outside of the human brain.

Although sure, no reason at all why one shouldn’t go ahead and investigate further! That is a different matter altogether.

And also : you have access to subjective experiences that lead you to see an immaterial consciousness as possible, perhaps probable, but that also is a whole different matter. Your statement, that “There is basically no way to prove what kind of consciousness exists outside of the human brain”, while true, is misleading, in that there is a very good and established “way” to reject this idea, as I’ve tried to explain. Not that you necessarily have to take this “way”, yourself, but surely you appreciate that the logic in rejecting this idea is sound?


.


Quote JB : “It is the "not knowing" that is the source of faith for these poeple. As I mentioned, my brother-in-law is a classic example of this. He takes great comfort in current gaps of scientific knowledge.” .


JB, that is the second time you’ve produced this argument, and brought up your brother-in-law, at exactly this kind of juncture in these discussions. Your refutation of the God of the Gaps is well done, both times, but you do realize, don’t you, that no one, including Spence, has actually made that argument? You’re simply putting up a straw man and pulling it down again.


.


Quote Brian : “Wisdom consists in distinguishing between possible and probable. Yes, it is possible that I might win a mega-lottery if I buy one ticket tomorrow. But since I know that this isn't at all probable, I choose to spend my money on other things.” .


But Brian, wisdom lies also in understanding that wisdom isn’t exclusive to one’s own particular choices.

After all, someone does win the mega-lottery. Improbable though that win at the individual level, that possibility dwindles to a big fat zero if you don’t buy a ticket at all. And there is an immeasurable difference between a one-in-a-million chance and a zero probability. It may be argued that wisdom lies in buying a single ticket, or a very few tickets -- such that the outlay, the investment, is negligible -- so that one does not shut for good the small sliver of opportunity that the mega-lottery represents.

True : going crazy with the lotteries, and spending on them what one cannot afford, that is objectively not wise.

My point is : The existence of one “wise” course of action does not mean that other courses of action are necessarily “not wise”. (Not that you have actually said this in so many words, but the implication is unmistakable.) You could have a number of options, each of which is equally “wise” -- as well as other options that are less wise, and some options that are plain unwise.


Quote Brian again : “Likewise, I continue to believe that it is possible consciousness can exist without a brain, But now I realize that this is very improbable. I assume you have the same realization, right?” .


While I agree with you myself, Brian -- that is, I agree that an immaterial consciousness is unlikely, even as I continue to wish/hope for something of that nature, and continue to prepare to participate in it should that possibility, although improbable (much like your mega-lottery), might turn out to be true after all -- I don’t see why we must insist that Spence should share in our subjective estimate of what is probable.

My ideas about subjectivity and objectivity owe a great deal to your discussions on this blog. If Spence’s personal experiences lead him to subjectively affix a far higher probability to an immaterial consciousness than you do (and that I also do), and if he does this while fully clear that his evaluation is purely subjective and not objectively real, then I see no reason for you (or for me) to object.

Sure, if he claims objective reality for his experiences and his ideas, and tries to push his beliefs down our throats -- or for that matter to frame public policy basis his personal beliefs and ideas -- then you can object, sure, and I will gladly join my voice with yours in protest, but as it is, I don’t see why anyone should have a problem with his purely subjective assessment of this issue.

https://carljungdepthpsychologysite.blog/2018/10/08/zen-and-death-jungs-final-experience/#.W75L3TVR378

Even while in The 'soothing' Shabd
but not while our thinking stops, . . .
the following applies :

Where there is beauty, there is ugliness.
When something is right, something else is wrong.
Knowledge and ignorance depend on each other.
It has been like this since the 'beginning'.
How could it be otherwise now?
Wanting to toss out one and hold onto the other
makes for a ridiculous comedy.
You must still deal with everything ever-changing,
even when you say it's wonderful.

– Ryokan

Geez, this shows how people can read much more into someone's words than they meant. What I meant by "gerbil" was, not surprisingly, a little animal that runs around a wheel. We used to have a gerbil when my daughter was young and wanted a pet. Any other meaning is purely in the reader's own mind, not mine.

Hi Brian,
You deleted the 2 posts of mine?
Why?
Thanks.

s*, I didn't delete them. So you're mistaken. Your last two comments were left yesterday on this post. They're still there. See:

http://hinessight.blogs.com/church_of_the_churchless/2018/10/rssb-book-shows-why-theres-no-such-thing-as-a-perfect-master.html

Regarding your comment about where thoughts come from, they come from the brain. I just listened to a short talk by Sam Harris, a neuroscientist, and am planning to write a blog post about what he said tonight.

By the way, I never actually delete comments, unless they are spam or duplicates that someone leaves. If necessary, I unpublish them, which leaves them visible on the Typepad blog administrator's panel. That's why I can be confident that I didn't delete your comments.

AR: "but you do realize, don’t you, that no one, including Spence, has actually made that argument? You’re simply putting up a straw man and pulling it down again."

Actually, it's not a straw man. Spence has brought up the undetectability of gravity and the mysterious nature of dark matter and tied this in with his theory about the possibility consciousness transcending death. This was my point.

Hi AR
You wrote what you thought was me
"Quote Spence : “Brian said: "Obviously human consciousness doesn't exist without a brain." --- That's the typical atheist meme that isn't obvious at all. There is basically no way to prove what kind of consciousness exists outside of the human brain.” .

I didn't write that AR. It's not quite what I believe.

The true Atheist world not conjucture about things outside of scientific inquiry. Therefore as evidence of God, spirit and the like cannot be obtained scientifically, therefore they would conclude nothing.

Doesn't mean those things don't exist because most of reality can't be measured currently. So there is a lot we don't know.

The Atheist says "no evidence, no conclusion."

The Anti - theists, such as Brian, Osho and JB claim there is no god. That's an assertion for which they can offer no supportive evidence.

Lack of evidence is not a proof. Not to a scientist.

And that's why a true scientist will assert that science cannot answer certain questions.

But a rationalist will attempt to claim evidence for any assertion they make.

Imagine a slave owner in 1600. They claim, "Not one of my Slaves can read. They just don't have the intelligence."

It's the same false argument.

Spence: "No mechanism of science has ever detected any connection between our sun and the planets....Science also admits that the dark matter that must exist can also not be very well detected. There is more that we don't know than we do. And that also applies to human consciousness....As for life after death, it can't be measured today therefore nothing can be said either way.

Spence: "Therefore as evidence of God, spirit and the like cannot be obtained scientifically, therefore they would conclude nothing. Doesn't mean those things don't exist because most of reality can't be measured currently. So there is a lot we don't know."

Case in point.

Hi JB

I think you misunderstand.

Not knowing what is out there is not attributing a probability to it.

It's not going there.

You are attributing probability in the absence of information.

Like I said earlier, if you were a classic physicist in 1890 you would attribute zero possibility that matter is mostly empty space, which it actually is. That error would be the result of ignorance alone.

So no, I attribute no probability to things that cannot be measured scientifically. That doesn't mean the probability is zero. It means neither I nor science is equipped to draw conclusions of any kind, even a probability.

I see that this point is elusive for you, Brian and Osho.

It comes easily to me because I deal in statistical probabilities all the time.

There really are questions science is not currently equipped to answer. That is the world of both fantasy and conjecture.

Blogger Brian says: "Geez, this shows how people can read much more into someone's words than they meant. What I meant by "gerbil" was, not surprisingly, a little animal that runs around a wheel."

Thats what I thought. Damn my curiosity. Just checked out the internet and all I can say is I'm so grateful to be innocent and extremely naive. But now my mind has been infiltrated with filth. I'll never go to heaven. I think I hate people.

Sorry for being over emotional but I love animals:

An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language. ...

Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened. ...

@spence
"There is no detectable connection between the sun and the earth. Why should the size of the sun influence something millions of miles away?

We don't know why.

Even Newton admitted he didn't freaky know why."

I think you are mistaken. There is no mystery. It's gravity. Not sure where you're getting your information. Any references you can provide that science cannot explain why the earth circles the sun? It's gravity!

You also have once against made the assertion that
athiests claim there is no god.

I have explained this so many times, it's getting ridiculous.

The athiest makes no claim at all. He simply denies the position of the theist.

The atheist does not say "there IS NO GOD"
what he says is, "You claim there is a God. I don't see the evidence. show me."

You still seem to think the athiest says "there is no god" - this is not the claim of the athiest

Hi Osho
Isaac Newton, the guy who identified the force of gravity, admitted he had no idea why two bodies in space, completely disconnected, were drawn to each other. He said

"Hypothesis Non Fingo"
(I frame no hypothesis).

Check it out.

It's a physics Thang.

I echo Osho Robbins' response to Spence, who apparently has spent little time trying to understand Einstein's theory of relativity -- which explains gravity wonderfully well as the curvature of space-time in the presence of massive objects.

Yes, scientists are still trying to reconcile relativity theory with quantum theory, but they're making progress on a quantum theory of gravity.

At any rate, science has progressed a lot since the time of Galileo and Newton. This distinguishes science from religion, which doesn't progress at all, except in terms of the amount of dogmatic assertions religions put forward without evidence.

Hi Osho
You wrote
"The atheist does not say "there IS NO GOD"
what he says is, "You claim there is a God. I don't see the evidence. show me."

You've mixed together two things.

The Atheist says "I hold no belief in a God." lack of evidence or lack of interest, or both, may play a part in their decision not to hold a belief in God. Or any reason they like.

They don't say there is no god. They day there is no evidence to hold that belief.

A (Latin for 'without') Theism (belief in God).

The Anti - Theist (anti, again Latin for 'against') theism (belief in God) believes there is no God, and they also have their own reasons. They might not like the idea of a God that lets or even causes injustice and cruelty to happen. Or they might infer, as Brian, you and JB do, that the evidence of this running creation and all its causal variables, none of which can be proven to be sourced in God, is an adequate proof there isn't any God.

An Atheist doesn't say "show me the evidence" because they've already made up their mind. Their not searching to prove anything.

Only the anti - theist uses that to illuminate their own argument that there isn't any, and therefore they use this as a proof (fallacious by the way). That there is no God.

Science can't answer the question of God, therefore trying to use evidence either way is pure conjecture.


And unscientific.

Osho you wrote "The athiest makes no claim at all. He simply denies the position of the theist."

Sorry that's Anti - theism.
The Atheist makes no claims either way. They don't deny the theist. They just don't hold that belief themselves.

The anti - theist claims the theist is wrong. They are against theism.

Ah Brian
Matter warps empty space and time in proportion to mass and speed.

But how, why?

What is empty space?

Particles, waves? Quanta?
These are all hypothesized to help explain what we can't see that must be there to explain what we can see in the movement of planets, and in the movement of light as it bends around stars.

But we don't know why or how this is all connected.

When light bends you can measure that and that label it a quality of light. But no one knows the actual physical connection between the light passing the sun and the huge mass of the sun.

You and Osho share the same ignorance of physics. A Principle of physics that explains what we can measure does not actually reveal how or why it works that way. It becomes a maxim, a principle, a law. It's an explanation. But no one knows how empty space is actually warped, let alone can anyone measure empty space. We can only measure distances between objects.

These principles are place holders that prove correct to explain what can be seen, but what is unseen is so unseen. These are all inventions to explain measurement on other things to make inferences about things we can't actually measure, like empty space, or whatever it is that connects two bodies in space completely separated by millions of miles. Einstein improved our understanding but even he had no idea what connects matter to empty space. He simply conjectured that if two objects in space effected each other, they can only be connected by the empty space between them. Therefore empty space must have its own qualities.

We still have no idea what empty space is. It's empty (although dark matter is a newer addition to that theory).

And not all of it actually fits the available data. In the world of theoretical astrophysics there is a bit of conjecture, and therefore room to be disproven, as has happened to Dr. Hawking in recent years.

As you say, if you can't be disproven, it isn't scientific. Those are claims of fantasy and conjecture.

All claims about God, for and against, fail into that category.

Spence, you have a strange view of science. Meaning, a religious view. Now you seem to be claiming that you know more about the theory of relativity than Einstein.

There is a space-time continuum. Massive objects distort it. That's how gravity works. Scientists also have discovered gravity waves, which further confirmed the theory of relativity.

What you seem to want is a quasi-religious (or actually religious) definition of some sort of primal substance -- which I'm guessing you consider to be the Sant Mat conception of shabd, or a divine sound current.

I have no idea what you mean by "We still have no idea what empty space is." Maybe you aren't as familiar with modern physics as I am. Science knows that empty space isn't really empty. It is filled to the brim with quantum fluctuations, with virtual particles.

Sure, science doesn't understand everything about the cosmos, not even close. But it understands much more than religions, which have contributed exactly zero to our knowledge of the universe.

As JB has correctly noted, you subscribe to a "God of the gaps" religiosity. If science can't explain something about the universe, then you jump to the conclusion that this lack of knowledge points to something divine or godly.

No, it simply points to the need for more study, more investigation, more experiments, more science.

Tell me this: what new fact about the universe do you expect mysticism or religion to reveal? And if you have an answer to that question, explain how it will be revealed? So far, mysticism and religion are batting .000 when it comes to new knowledge about the universe, while science has a great record with this.

Spence: "They just don't hold that belief themselves.The anti - theist claims the theist is wrong. They are against theism. "

But you are claiming that the supposed anti-theist is wrong in their claims. You are against anti-theism. I suppose that makes you an anti-antitheist!

Personally, I don't care what term you use. The belief in God, spirit, etc is completely and totally unfounded. If that makes one an "anti-theist", so be it. I'm not offended.

Spence, you have said that one should say "I believe" or "I don't believe" and leave it at that. But unless one's belief is entirely arbitrary, it is based on some manner of thought process; some reason.

Frankly, some reasons are better than others. You know that atheists reject religious claims on the basis that they are without evidence. That's it.

What is your reason for belief? Because the universe is mysterious? Because spirit hasn't been disproven?

You have to ask yourself, does any of this actually constitute evidence?



Sure, science doesn't understand everything about the cosmos, not even close. But it understands much more than religions, which have contributed exactly zero to our knowledge of the universe.

I think once again, Brian, you're conflating religion
and mysticism. The later doesn't purport to explain
or advance predictive theories about physical
phenomenon.

Mysticism doesn't impede or contradict science. No
sermon will lament "the end of the world is coming
next Monday" or assert "climate change is a hoax".

Most of mysticism will never be verified by physical
science. Mystic cosmology explores a provable reality
beyond time and space. Its claims must be confirmed
experientially by meditative practice.

The health benefits of a meditative discipline and
heightened awareness however have been proven.
Arguably, mystic cosmology adds to the knowledge
of the universe too. But, you must go on a journey
within to grasp it. Meanwhile, true mystics respect
science. They're not in competition. They wisely
keep their mouth shut.

AR,

I’ve read so many of your posts that I knew you wouldn’t intentionally write something like that. But it was TOO FUNNY! I couldn’t resist so had to make a big deal about it. Unfortunately I know many things I wish I didn’t know thanks to South Park. 😂 😂

Don’t worry, even if I do get upset (which isn’t very often) I will still usually find something about the situation to be funny... I’m a far cry from being an idealist.

Again, I knew you didn’t know what gerbelling was and that’s why it was sooooo funny. Sorry.

Terms like atheist, non-atheist and theist, universal consciousness, mysteries, spirit, tachyons and so on. – although good for debate – are unhelpful when it comes to trying to understand reality. This is because all these subjects are products of thought and thought has evolved from the survival instinct of simply being aware (in order to protect the organism) to being extended in we humans to protect the mental constructions produced by our brains that we know as the 'mind' and the 'self'.

Our 'self' constructs have become incredibly important to us as these constructs purport to be our 'selves' and tell us who we are. They contain all the information we have experienced since birth (mind) to form an identity. This information 'stored' in the brain (we now call mind) arises not only for day-to-day practical living purposes, it also arises when the illusory 'self' (illusory in the sense of not being what we habitually think it is – an actual entity) when its ideas, opinions, beliefs etc. are challenged or threatened.

We now particularly spend much time protecting and maintaining abstract thoughts and beliefs, all because we feel these are 'who we are'. It all comes down to how we are programmed to think. A religious believer for example, will protect his particular beliefs, his conditioned thinking as an atheist or theist protects his. All great for an interesting discussion but we need to be aware that we are merely protecting ideas formed from a 'self' construct that doesn't really exist.

Thinking has evolved to protect and maintain us physically. Thought is of course very necessary for our survival, but do we really need to protect our abstract thinking to the extremes that we go to for what is in effect an illusory mind and self?

Quote Brian : “Geez, this shows how people can read much more into someone's words than they meant. What I meant by "gerbil" was, not surprisingly, a little animal that runs around a wheel. We used to have a gerbil when my daughter was young and wanted a pet. Any other meaning is purely in the reader's own mind, not mine.” .


“Geez”, indeed! I seem to have gone and put my foot in my mouth, don’t I?

In that case, this is entirely on me, and not on Brian at all. Blame my unfortunate linguistic “research”, and my apparently off-tune (as well as off-color) inference!

Sarah, Jen, my apologies to both you ladies for distressing you by bringing up these allusions!


.


That said, Brian -- and quite apart from that unfortunate (and erroneous) linguistic detour of mine -- how then does one go from “gerbil” to “death”? This is a usage I have never come across : is that some obscure but nevertheless accepted idiom?

Or is it some personal, idiosyncratic joke of yours? If the latter, then how does one go from “a little animal that runs around a wheel” to “ say[ing] ‘gerbiled’ rather than ‘died’ ” and “Brian’s gerbiling”, et cetera ? (Given that the route from the one to the other that I myself looked up online and inferred, seems to be different from what you’d had in mind?)

I’m not doubting you -- and I’m clarifying this, because this sequence of exchanges is clear evidence how warped one’s meaning can get and how fast, when conveying things online I mean, so perhaps it is better to clarify too much rather than too little -- but I’m curious, that’s all.


.


Quote Sarah : AR, --- I’ve read so many of your posts that I knew you wouldn’t intentionally write something like that. But it was TOO FUNNY! I couldn’t resist so had to make a big deal about it. Unfortunately I know many things I wish I didn’t know thanks to South Park. 😂 😂 --- Don’t worry, even if I do get upset (which isn’t very often) I will still usually find something about the situation to be funny... I’m a far cry from being an idealist. --- Again, I knew you didn’t know what gerbelling was and that’s why it was sooooo funny. Sorry.


Why, thank you, Sarah, for saying this. And thanks for taking the time to clarify this. I’d hate to think I’d inadvertently ended up causing you any distress.

Quote Spence : “I didn't write that AR.” .


No, that was Joe, as I see now. My bad, Spence.

Brian
I have not extended physics as you have. You have mistaken mathematical principles with scientific discovery.

And you have failed to grasp the principle that science cannot answer questions about many things including God.

Please take time to read the writings of these scientists.Newton, Bohr, Fermi, Hawking and Richard Feynman. And learn a little more about inferential statistics and experimental design.


There is no further point in discussing physics with you.

Or find a good physicist to help you.

Hi JB

You wrote
"But you are claiming that the supposed anti-theist is wrong in their claims. You are against anti-theism. I suppose that makes you an anti-antitheist!"

Not so. I just think people should own their view. There are several good reasons to believe God and religion are actually destructive beliefs.

I don't agree with all of them. But I respect them.

Quote JB : “Actually, it's not a straw man. Spence has brought up the undetectability of gravity and the mysterious nature of dark matter and tied this in with his theory about the possibility consciousness transcending death.” .


Quote Brian (addressing Spence) : “As JB has correctly noted, you subscribe to a "God of the gaps" religiosity. If science can't explain something about the universe, then you jump to the conclusion that this lack of knowledge points to something divine or godly. --- No, it simply points to the need for more study, more investigation, more experiments, more science.” .


But I don’t think that’s what Spence is saying at all! Of course he may well, separately from what he’s said recently in his comments here, actually hold that view -- or not -- but that is a different matter.

What Spence is actually saying here is different : He brings up gravity (for instance) to show two things : first, to show how we can arrive at an understanding of things that are not necessarily directly observed, and two, to show how what is today unknown may well be common knowledge tomorrow. (Correct me, Spence, if I’m wrong in that very brief summary of your “gravity” arguments.) He’s saying that mystical possibilities -- including some of the teachings of RSSB -- seem probable to him subjectively on those same grounds, and basis his personal subjective experience.

That isn’t the God of the Gaps argument at all. That isn’t saying “Science cannot explain X, Y, Z … therefore God!”

.

I don’t, myself, subscribe to Spence’s conclusions -- except, that is, for the fact that I am open to mystical experiences myself, while taking care to not give in to any theistic mumbo-jumbo -- but I though it right to point out that you guys (JB to begin with, and now you too, Brian) are probably putting up strawman arguments in trying to refute him.

I too disagree with Spence’s particular position, but like I suggested to him, the way around his “gravity” argument is probably to bring out Occam’s Razor, and go with a more parsimonious explanation (in which there is no need to bring in immaterial levels of reality).

"Science knows that empty space isn't really empty. It is filled to the brim with quantum fluctuations, with virtual particles."

Filled to the brim is false. It's still mostly empty. You could shoot a cannon through it. Or house several multiverses there.

No gravity waves have been detected between the Earth and the sun. We still don't really know what's there. But by half.

Quote Dungeness : “Mysticism doesn't impede or contradict science.” .


I fully agree that that is true of mysticism as I myself see that term (and as, it seems, you do too).

But still, to be fair, in practice it often happens that mysticism does contradict science : or at least, to be more precise, it often happens that so-called mystics contradict science. That happens, that is fact. We may say that that sort of science-contradicting mysticism isn’t true mysticism at all, but religiosity mixed with mysticism, and that that is the religiosity speaking not the mysticism : but wouldn’t that be a rank No-True-Scotsman fallacy?

Perhaps it might be wiser to simply say that your personal ideas about mysticism (and mine) do not contradict science, rather than making blanket statements about mysticism in general? (Because such blanket statements can easily be disproved, by looking up nonsensical quotes from actual mystics.)


“Most of mysticism will never be verified by physical science.” .


Why not, Dungeness? Of course, none of us can possibly predict what might or might not actually happen, but I think the core assumption when it comes to mysticism is this : that we do have senses, modes of perception, that are not ordinarily evident. All of the rest, including the going beyond time and space, is IMO conjecture, theology, attempted interpretation. The core of mysticism would be these alleged modes of perceptions -- again IMO. And sure, it is a fair enough hypothesis IMO, this perceptions idea (as long as we’re prepared to accept that it may well turn out to be false).

There is no reason at all to imagine that what one man can perceive in isolation, tomorrow a great many won’t be able to perceive, in a systemic and organized manner. Once that happens -- I should say, if that happens -- then these experiences will be well within the purview of science.

Quote JB : “Actually, it's not a straw man. Spence has brought up the undetectability of gravity and the mysterious nature of dark matter and tied this in with his theory about the possibility consciousness transcending death.” .

Nope. Please avoid reading my stuff because you are badly misunderstanding.

I make no claims for anything supernatural.

My experiences are personal and subjective, and may be entirely biological. I've only written that about ten times here.

Spence, you're trying to have it both ways and then claiming that I'm not understanding your writing. That's not it at all.

This comment thread has once again reinforced my understanding that there is an unbridgeable gap between faith and reason. And faith and reason are not on the same footing.

"Never the twain shall meet."

Hi JB
You wrote
"there is an unbridgeable gap between faith and reason. And faith and reason are not on the same footing."

If only life could be boiled down so neatly.

An initiate once asked my Master, "When people are wrong should I help them understand the truth?"

Maharaji replied, "Who thinks they are wrong? Anyone?"

Naturally, JB, you must be on a higher footing than those why differently.

It's only reasonable, right?

But reason is nothing more than a prostitute who will assume any position for a fee.

Spence, you're making less and less sense. You just used reason to write your comment trashing reason. How do you live your life, if not through reason? Do you use reason when deciding whether to buy home insurance, a new car, or where to go on vacation?

It's difficult for me to imagine that you shun reason in your everyday life, yet on this blog you defend faith as being better than reason.

Obviously (though maybe not to you), faith actually is better termed "a prostitute who will assume any position for a fee." People accept religious dogmas purely on faith. The same is true of those who have faith in a "perfect master" or the survival of an invisible soul after death.

Reason, argument, testing of hypotheses, subjecting claims to careful examination -- all of these are proven means of making sense of the world. Not perfect means, but very good means. By contrast, faith leads nowhere unless it is backed up by reasonable evidence that the path faith indicates is one that should be followed.

In which case, faith is superfluous.

Brian
We've been subjecting your claims to scrutiny and in no place have you acknowledged the least flaw in the gaping holes in logic and the conveniently disregarded scientific facts.

So much for reason.

Brian you asked
"How do you live your life, if not through reason?"

On a wing and a prayer, buddy.

On a wing and a prayer.

Spence, you've got your way of reasoning. I and the rest of the scientific community have ours. I'm happy with the company I keep. When you have solid evidence challenging the scientific consensus on some subject, be sure to share it. Until then, I'll assume that modern science is correct, and you're not.


There is no reason at all to imagine that what one man can perceive in isolation, tomorrow a great many won’t be able to perceive, in a systemic and organized manner. Once that happens -- I should say, if that happens -- then these experiences will be well within the purview of science.

Hi AR,

I agree inner supernatural perception is conjecture. Since I don't have inner experiences, I can only guess about them. What mystics say descriptively, however is "Neti,
Neti" when asked to explain those experiences.

Instead they only tell stories or metaphorize to hint of what's experienced in those states of awareness. After vanishing down a rabbit hole far stranger than Alice's, how else could it be framed.
.
Despite this descriptive chaos, mysticism is governed by systemic, organized practices. There is method to its madness. There's a clear assertion that its discipline leads to increasing awareness, self-realization, and ultimately God realization. Or call it "Totality of awareness" if "God" evokes too much religiosity.

It is a slow process and along the way, our relentless intellectual ruts and "I-ness" are shed. Every step is experiential. Most of the time, it's very humbling. frustrating too. Like a tea party with our "mind" replacing the lunacy of the Red Queen.

Along the way, though, there are moments of bliss, hints of a great peace-giving awareness, and enough release from the jail of relentless, dead-end thought, that you never want to let go.

Spence, here's a bit more explanation of what I meant in my last comment, which really wasn't meant as a dig at you. What I was thinking of is this:

I'm a voracious reader of science books. For at least twenty years, maybe longer, I've been buying books about...

Cosmology. Neuroscience. Evolution. Consciousness. Quantum theory. Relativity theory. Particle physics. Climate science. Nature. Plus a few other subjects.

I rarely, if ever, put question marks in the margins of the science books I read, though I regularly do this with religious, mystical, and philosophical books. Science simply makes sense to me, in large part because science reflects how I lead my daily life.

I make observations. I gather information. I consider my past experience. I reflect on how others have viewed the subject I'm interested in (such as car or computer reviews). I mull things over. I ponder alternatives. Then I make a choice. After that, I see how things work out. I change my view as I obtain more facts, more observations, more experience.

This is how science works. And it is how I've found my life works best.

I accept what modern science says not because it is perfect unchanging truth, but because it isn't that. Rather, science is a process for gradually coming to a better understanding of the world, and our place in it. And I'm very comfortable with that openness toward continual learning, and continual adjusting of our views about reality.

Brian

Modern science is correct!
Most of matter, and even more of outer space is empty.

Like I said, you could shoot a cannon through it, or several multiverses (which might turn out to be there, though we have no evidence of it today).

Thems science bro..

And BTW, science can't answer the question of whether there is a God, just as they can't, today, detect and gravity waves between the Earth and the Sun.

Yah, it's there. It must be by logical necessity.

But guess what... We can't see it yet with our instruments...

The gravity waves that have been detected are all the way over near the next Galaxy.

So, you have a decent explanation, but no actual witness of it in our solar system.

Not sure of the scientists you are speaking about, but they aren't on the list I gave earlier. Thems my posse ;)

Hi Brian
Even among those who love science you will find diversity of views. Many are quite spiritual, many Atheists, many Anti - theists.

It could be our different backgrounds.

You wrote
"I'm a voracious reader of science books. For at least twenty years, maybe longer, I've been buying books about...

Cosmology. Neuroscience. Evolution. Consciousness. Quantum theory. Relativity theory. Particle physics. Climate science. Nature. Plus a few other subjects."

My own background is a little different.
From high school on I wanted to be an applied nuclear physicist with an emphasis on surface physics. But military was the big employer and my interests changed dramatically to experimental psychology with a minor in multivariate statistics. My thesis was conducting three independent studies in meditation and stress biometrics. Since then I've gotten involved in programs for the disabled, then free clinic and then hospital management. Currently working with Healthcare systems, with specialization in emergency care, medical imaging and population medical research.

I went the applied route. It seem you went with theoretical. Both are science.

Brian
Wrong Question :
"Do you use reason when deciding whether to buy home insurance, a new car, or where to go on vacation?"


Do you use reason when you fall in Love?

777

-


Spence: "BTW, science can't answer the question of whether there is a God, just as they can't, today, detect and gravity waves between the Earth and the Sun. Yah, it's there. It must be by logical necessity."

Spence, since we all agree that science cannot conclusively answer the God question, please give us some data that demonstrates a greater probability of God's existence than nonexistence.

You've obviously taken the stance that there is reason to believe in such things. So what are the reasons? What is your belief based on? What is it grounded in? Is what it is based on reasonable or unreasonable?


Spence: "BTW, science can't answer the question of whether there is a God, just as they can't, today, detect and gravity waves between the Earth and the Sun. Yah, it's there. It must be by logical necessity."

Is there also a logical necessity for God existence, as well? If so, please elucidate that logical necessity.

777, as my retired psychotherapist wife frequently observes, brain chemicals are what make us fall in love.

Reason is secondary to brain-caused emotions in love. But when it comes to marriage, people certainly do use their reason to decide whether to get married. It's well known that often we "fall in lust" when it comes to sex, but "fall in love" when it comes to marriage.

Sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference, though, so reason is needed to assess the good and bad qualities of a potential marriage partner. When we met, my wife had written down 17 qualities that she was looking for in a mate. Fortunately I fit all of them, other than having a dog. But I learned to love dogs.

Hi JB
Great questions
You wrote
"Spence, since we all agree that science cannot conclusively answer the God question, please give us some data that demonstrates a greater probability of God's existence than nonexistence."

In order to set a statistical probability one must have both independent and dependent variables appropriate to the hypothesis that can be measured.

We have neither in this case. Therefore just as Science cannot currently answer the question of whether God exists, nor can it set a probability.

To do so without metrics one must make conjectures, and that is completely subjective.

So for example my choice to believe in God is purely subjective. It has no objective factual basis, certainly not anything that could be transferred from one person to another.

"It works for me" I'd probably add close to objective as I can get.

There are many methods of meditation that have substanial effects on our health. But which firm of focus works best? Depends upon the individual.

For me, focus on my Master and on Shabd be far produces an experience of happiness and well being that the other methods I've tried simply can't touch. But your mileage may vary.

Hi Brian
You wrote
"777, as my retired psychotherapist wife frequently observes, brain chemicals are what make us fall in love."

But no chemical chose the person.

It's a bit more complicated than that.

Of course psychotherapists generally prescribe drugs, so the bias is understandable.

However, some of those drugs save people's lives. And some turn tragedies into functional and happy lives. When one suicide is prevented, hundreds of peoples lives have been spared.

Advancements in psychotropic and anti-depressants have given people hope and lives that otherwise would have been impossible for them. It has given so many many people a chance at peace and happiness. Nothing short of miraculous in my book. People can, with great effort, with teamwork, create real miracles. Not supernatural ones. Real ones. That's the story of modern psychiatric medicine. Working as a college student in locked psychiatric wards with patients on Haldol and Mellaril offering only limited control, I've witnessed first hand where this used to be. And in the last forty years we have seen a true revolution. Is there a greater gift to humanity than the revolutionary changes in psychiatric medications? I would be hard pressed to think of one.

But true love?

There's still a lovely bit of mystery there.

Spence: "my choice to believe in God is purely subjective. It has no objective factual basis...."It works for me" I'd probably add close to objective as I can get."

Thanks. I appreciate your candor. I really have nothing more to add.

Spence, you stated that you live your life on a wing and a prayer.

My guess is you just wrote that because it came to mind and sounded cool, so you wrote it.

You obviously don't live like that, as you wouldnt survive for long.

Secondly, you say your choice to believe in god is purely subjective.

meaning you have no evidence.

A christian believes in god because of personal experiences

So does a muslim, and a sant mat follower.

but they cant all be right, as they have opposing beliefs.

so the real question is this:

do you CARE if what you believe is actually true?

If you dont care, then no issue at all.

If you do care, then you need to examine beliefs before accepting them


"777, as my retired psychotherapist wife frequently observes, brain chemicals are what make us fall in love."

SURE. ?

ONE MAJOR point is :

The Compassion of helping an old lady to cross the street
or spare an animal
is
the EXACT SAME
as orgasmic LOVE knowing, experiencing you are the gorgeous Shabd

This is the Alpha and Omega of cruel evolution and more
and of all creations and rssb

Please catch that !

777.


( no preaching ment)

-
Again
LOVE IS THE ( intense°°) DESIRE TO GOOD TO ANOTHER BEING


At the end : Do good to Purusha

-

Thought - how can any body be comfortable with facing death. Have you got a reference point from learned people on how death feels or is it you just reassuring that everything will be ok and nothing is there - afterwards.

How you know what death is when you haven’t died???

Just a thought popped into my head - thought I’d share it . 😀

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