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April 13, 2021

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Hi Brian,

I haven't watched this documentary, not sure if I will - but as may or may not have been made clear by the documentary makers (I have no idea how deep they go into the background of all this), the reason they probably played Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit (which is brilliant, btw :) is because one of the creators behind the QAnon myth is alleged to have been highly influenced by his psilocybin mushroom journeying.......a much, much bigger subject here than most people will be able to assimilate.....

Cheers,

Manjit

Smelling ...
Smelling WHAT?

Sulphur or roses?!

Believing ...
Believing WHAT?

Belief and faith rest on qualities of personality. They do not depend upon proof. If you prove anything, there is no need of faith. Your proof ends the necessity, and possibly the romance of faith.

But it also ends the grounds for opinion.

Both faith and opinion thrive in the absence of information. They are the ways in which the human brain tries to bridge the gaps to create a clear picture. Just as the brain fills in the blind spots in your visual field as best it can, just as it turns the image on your retina upside down, and takes curved lines and makes them straight before you see them, so too the brain fills in gaps of knowledge with its best guess and presents them to you as ideas that pop into your head. It's a healthy process if you are going to test those ideas, and a harmful process if you are not.

The kinds of things your brain comes up with as explanations for what it doesn't know are opinion. And faith is largely in your own opinion.

But there is another kind of faith. Faith in the mystery of what we don't know. Not faith in your version of God, science, or politics, or your certainty of a leader's strength or corruption on the basis of limited information, or their own claims, or even faith in your opinions about what is going on, or even your faith in someone else's opinion. Because that isn't actually faith. It's just opinion. And opinion is not only a poor substitute for Truth, it gets in the way of seeing Truth. And then we can confuse opinion for Truth. And that makes letting go of a favored opinion difficult when facts prove otherwise. Then we just reject the facts as someone else's opinion.

Real Faith in not knowing. It's loving confidently in that place where we know we don't know everything. And what we experience, we understand is just from our point in space. Faith that new information is actually there but we don't see it yet. Living that way, because it is the truth. Faith that the invisible truth yet to be discovered is greater than any opinion.

Faith enough in what is there that you don't know, to give up opinion and say, confidently, honestly, "I don't know, and I don't think having an opinion about something I haven't experienced, something I have no actual knowledge of, is of any help in learning about that, in finding what I don't yet know."

Real Faith is no faith if it is faith in a preconceived opinion. Faith is valuing the unknown Truth higher than any opinion, with the maturity to know from experience the dangers of holding onto opinion.

If there is a God, they would like you to put aside your opinions as a first step to seeing them. Even about God. And when you see them, you won't say "I see God", because that is just your label, your opinion, for what you are seeing. You will just enjoy seeing what you are seeing. That's a higher value than trying to fill in the gaps of what can never be known, but fully experienced. The cost? Faith in your opinion.

"Belief and faith rest on qualities of personality. They do not depend upon proof. If you prove anything, there is no need of faith. Your proof ends the necessity, and possibly the romance of faith.

But it also ends the grounds for opinion."


-----------------


Pardon me, Spence, for butting in again, but I disagree squarely. We see plenty of weird opinions in here, like people who climb on the GSD-bashing bandwagon to then claim in apparent earnest that GSD has horns and a forked tail. And that's fine, some weirdness is par for the course. Not every weird opinion from every weird person needs to be quarreled with. But coming from you, who, given you background in science (that we've discussed in the past), should -- and do -- know better, this kind of anti-scientific POV cries out for rebuttal, and I could not but answer that call.

Science does not deal in "proof". Proof is the domain of logic and math. What science deals in is evidence. Evidence, and, building on observations and evidence, on hypotheses and theories,

And absolutely, that does call for faith. Because scientific theories aren't written in stone. Ultimately they're opinions, no more. Faith even, if you wish to use that word.

What science does is guide us towards a reasonable basis for our opinions and our faith. Instead of believing in random unevidenced things, what science guides you towards is belief (and, yes, faith) in reasonable, evidenced things -- always with the understanding that such faith, such belief is provisional, and subject to change should fresh observations and fresh evidence so warrant.

----------

Nor does this "kill the romance of faith". If you have the eyes to see and a heart that can feel, then you will find romance in contemplating the earth going round the sun, the colossal macro-universe, the microscopic world governed by QM, the wonder that is our bodies. Any and all of that is, truly, wonderful. You don't need "faith" in fairy tales in order to access wonder, no Sir!

Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful, Spence, without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?

(By all means believe in fairies, if your subjective experience shows you fairies, and you find reasons to believe in fairies that may not be objectively appreciable to others. That is a separate thing altogether. But this kind of advocacy for unevidenced faith in whatever takes one's fancy, that religions are based on, and that QAnon-type bullshit is also based squarely on, let's leave that kind of thing to the loons.)

Revisiting your comment:

"Real Faith is no faith if it is faith in a preconceived opinion. Faith is valuing the unknown Truth higher than any opinion, with the maturity to know from experience the dangers of holding onto opinion.

If there is a God, they would like you to put aside your opinions as a first step to seeing them. Even about God. And when you see them, you won't say "I see God", because that is just your label, your opinion, for what you are seeing. You will just enjoy seeing what you are seeing. That's a higher value than trying to fill in the gaps of what can never be known, but fully experienced. The cost? Faith in your opinion."

-------


Agreed.

I'd read that much, that I'd commented on, without having read all of the rest. This last, which seems to be your conclusion, is something I can get behind. I'm sorry, I'd spoken out without reading your full comment.

-----

But this last doesn't really follow, at all, from the initial parts of your comment, that I'd responded to above, does it? That initial part of your comment seems to contradict your later conclusion.

(And in any case, this is a pretty much idiosyncratic use of the word "faith". On the other hand, you do have the right to use words as you like, as long as you clearly explain the sense you've used them in -- which you have done, here.)

------

Anyhoo. This is where my inner master --- which, in my case, is me! --- steps in and tells me that I shouldn't rush to respond before reading through fully! :---)

Hi Appreciative
Thanks for your comments.

When I wrote that proof is the end of opinion and faith, I was referring to faith in an opinion.

And Appreciative, you are right to take me to task for redefining words as I go.

When people sincerely say "I have Faith in my Master /Christ / Gravity"

This is a statement honestly that they don't actually know. They want to believe. Perhaps love compels them, but they are saying the word Faith because they don't have the evidence yet. They believe in it.

But when we lose that humility and try to prove our faith, using whatever trumped up logic, miracle stories, etc, then we are using the word Faith, but it is just faith in our own opinion. There is no faith in that.

And faith is absolutely necessary because none of us knows the whole Truth. We actually know a very tiny tiny portion, if really any thing at all.

But faith in Truth, in facts, yet unseen that we don't know, faith in our capacity to learn new things tomorrow we don't know today, that is humility, and an open mind. Faith in an open mind.

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