I haven't posted on here for a long time. I hope everyone is well and send my special regards to Captain Kumar who might remember me. I have been in India for most of the last six months.
Recently I have been looking at some of the work of several very brilliant and brave scientists who have come to recognize the severe limitations of Science as it is today, as a lens through which to understand the nature of existence and the human experience. All of these individuals have run into these limitations particularly in relationship to Science's refusal to deal with what is often referred to in Scientific circles as -- "the problem" of Consciousness. And they all recognize that this is because there are a small number of very conservative and very vocal scientists, who are, ironically, like the Catholic Church in the past -- clinging to a kind of orthodoxy based on a set of materialist foundations that hark back to the 19th century, that scientists in general feel they have to fall in line with, if they don't want to be labelled as heretics!!. So these brave individuals are desperately attempting to open Science to new thinking especially in relationship to our understanding of what Consciousness is. One such individual is Rupert Sheldrake who is actually going to be in dialogue with cultural visionary and spiritual teacher Andrew Cohen later this month at EnlightenNext in Islington. I think its going to be a fascinating exploration of a new ground of potential that lies before us, where Science and Spirituality are not at odds with each other, but rather are supporting each other toward a fuller and more whole understanding of the nature of Existence, of the Universe and of our human experience. If anyone has any thoughts to share on this subject, it would be much appreciated...Thank you
Hi Cindy. Thanks for your post. I completely agree with what you are expressing here.
I started this thread because I was planning on attending a dialogue on this subject in London between the innovative biologist Rupert Sheldrake, and the cultural philosopher and spiritual teacher, Andrew Cohen. So I have been thinking quite a lot about this topic. The event took place last Wednesday and I thought it was excellent. There is no audio or video available yet, but there will be before too long, in which case I will leave a link here.
Meanwhile here is a link to a blog post I just wrote about it for those who are interested, which was just posted on the EnlightenNext UK website, with a few photos.. Thanks all!
I am very glad that there is an interesting dialogue about this subject. I think part of the position against fluid knowledge is the parts in the Jewish/Christian book that tells people something about not building your foundation on sand, and Jesus telling James he is the rock and upon this rock shall he build his church.
(Forgive my lack of the exact excerpts there it was a long time ago I did read the book aka the Bible.)
Thus people have concrete ideas about most things religious. They fear if they sway or bend they will be lost or slip and fall and be trampled, etc.
Fear in the institutions of religion and science have caused people much turmoil.
I listened to the other link you posted where Rupert Sheldrake tells us about his book and it was delightful however it seemed to me he must have forgotten that in the dark ages when religion ruled all things scientific and otherwise if anyone were to say anything against religion it was then heresy. I think it is ironic that the scientific community is using that term today.
Still I appreciate the breath of fresh air you have brought to my small corner of the world.
Just wanted to share this. Topic: Physics and the Mind
I thouroughly enjoyed "the ascent". I can so totally believe it too, you know when you're alone and play the music and you get into that zone where you feel the power and energy in the air around you, I imagine it would be somewhat like that. And didn't the old time Hindu teach one how to affect their mind and body through meditation? And didn't the Bible say Mary actually ascended to heaven?
I am concerned however as I was reminded about that photographic technology that allowed people to see their auras and it went to the way side. I imagine this experience will be popular for a while then people will find it all a bit too much and forget about it and fall back into their rut of certainty.
It is just too cool..
What stands in the way of merging science with spirituality is the "scientific method" which is based on objective measurement of phenomena, i.e., "measuring the measurable" which is usually what one sees, touiches, feels, hears, and think. Even the last one (thought) is a bordrline between science and spirituality. If the scientific method is material measurement, the spiritual method is meditation - and is beyond measurement. Yes, brain waves can be measured while meditating (it moves from delta to theta). But what about the "state of mind"? Each meditator is a unique experience. It would be hard to generalize, as in science, the experience of thousands of meditators. No one has attempted to apply the scientific method to cataloguing meditation experiences.; The Buddha says it all: "do not believe what I say; test it for yourself." And the personal testing is each unique. Now, that statement does not lend itself to scientific generlization from clinical trials, of say 10,000 meditators. Freud and Jung tried to "scientifize" consciousness, and evolve a procedure for psychoanalysis. I really do not know if they succeeded (there are many unbelievers). A psychiatrist in Hawaii,l a medical docgtor - a scientist - cured a lot of mental patients in a mental hospital by looking at their files intently and saying "I'm sorry." But he cannot generalize from those samples. The Reiki Healing is supposed to work, but cannot be scientifically standardized. What about the healing of Jesus?
When I think of joining science and spiritual activity I think of it more as a side by side. Science can measure and weight and deduce to accomplish the what and how of a situation / problem while Spiritual evaluation can answer the why and what else. The point I would like to suggest is that they do not need to compete or submit to the other but coexist and compliment each other in the realm of knowledge and understanding.
So how do we go about doing that? I am reading an e-book I found on smashwords.com by David Hockey called Developing a Universal Religion. It is very interesting and I suspect that it might be useful. I am writing a 'something' filled with my opinions and observations I hope will demonstrate to both religious and scientific people how they can share a hand-shake, it is a long way from done though.
The first thing we can do is remind people of the importence of perspective; physically and mentally. To demonstrate the physical aspect I use the example of two people, one is standing in the doorway between two rooms having a clear sight to all things in each room. The other person is sitting in a chair facing the wall near the door to the other room. There is a glow of light eminating from behind the person sitting and from the doorway.
They can both agree that there is a light sorce in both rooms. The person in the doorway can clearly see both the lights and describe them, the other person has to use their imagination and / or accept the description as it is. If the person in the doorway has good eyesight and able to describe well then there is no cause to disbelieve; however it does not necessarily go that way.
Add another dimention and suppose the light in the other room is turned out by a third unknown person and the room goes into darkness before a complete and accurate description can be made, then a multitude of misinterpretions are going to be included.
For instance if the lights are not the same in both rooms but because there is no absolute recall they agree that the light sources are the same. Not to mention they will begin to imagine why the light source ceased. Eventually an experience is described and a neuropathway is established regarding the experience and what it means.
Psychologically if one or the other has had previous experience with lights going out and it was a negative experience then assumptions will be added to the explaination.
Something very simple becomes incredibly conviluted and that is what happens in the course of a religious experience and a scientific discovery.
Very true - you are absolutely correct what you have said in conclusion - Everything has to be kept as simple as possible . Even what we sometimes feel to be complex , it is a perspective and the better if it is kept simpler . Unnecessary assumptions brought on by a multitude of experiences only complicate the issue - it is human nature. The trick is NOT to assume that each experience is connected with any previous one and it becomes easy to reduce the experience to the difference obtained which in fact would be an additional knowledge - rather than an obfuscating reality.
There is no science without observation and so it has its own parameters of working - It works within the boundaries of Observation, Experimentation and Inference of an Object by a subject , In some cases of course the experimentation part may be done away with and observation and inference is sufficient ,
Scientists have been overrated over the ages based on our (each person alive) perspective of the "good'' that they have done to humanity .I have found that many cite ''ease or comfort in living'' and , and alleviations of a host of ailments which previously were the causes for the short life span in human beings generally. This variously has been called progress and the achievements of the human race . I personally look upon these things as puerile reasoning or no reasoning on part of human beings.
Fools would succeed in integrating Science and Religion - it is entirely possible since religion is more of low end practices and cheap reasoning and superstitions anybody can get a body of scientists (who have religion) and religionists to "Proclaim" that through the efforts of a few people who feel self important the world has changed . It would corrupt both sciences .
From time immemorial religion has been the bedrock for higher things called the "Science of Soul" or spirituality . No theorems or postulates , lines or pictures or formulae are required here .
What does not come under the a classification of Science has a place in religion and so it is also a Science but whose primary assumptions are those which science precludes (other wise there will be no science) .
So what I despair at is the quality of the thinking and intellect that the people who are acclaimed have these days and the quality of the intellect of their followers . Why are things not seen correctly and simply ?
Consciousness = Knowledge ..... problem of consciousness ...indeed!!!!
Dear Mark ,
I shall be very forthright with your question , no it does not exist without observation and the rise of an accompanying need for quantification by human beings . In the higher metaphysical regions where words are not required for communication but Ideas are "flashed back and forth'' in order to communicate - the ultimate region or the region that is highest in such imagery and symbols is an area which is designated as being "the limit of names and forms '' . Here it is more (in our individual cases) more to do with ''unconditioning'' of our intellect and mind and all images resolve into lines, circles, triangles at its basic (2 dimensional only ) if one persists you will transcend all names and forms and they will not ''impinge'' on your consciousness anymore - they fail to create any impression - you will know a thing both in the general and particular - for instance from a piece of earth "all earth will be known'' and from the general idea of earth "all particulars will be known of the objects in the word idea'' . It is the fact of things and an obtained reality - THis is the point where one transcends the intellect and objects and evidences are not required to know a word or thought or feeling .
The ancient Greeks used to consider all sciences as emanating from the Divine - It is a matter of preference whether one considers it human or Divine - the idea is that a man MUST take a stand within himself and he will be shown what is correct - if you have doubts they will beget more doubts .
Observation is a prerequisite for a science , as also experimentation, and inference . So boundaries are inevitable and all boundaries are man made. As for the Greek divine it does not mean GOD it meant a person who was a thinker or had some such attribute that marked him out from the crowd (in the arts and sciences - in theory only so that it did not devaluate into evil or worse). Agency is required for a science to have evolved. Diseggregation of will is a criteria for a science to evolve .
The world has no absolute existence but that by which we apprehend this fact has both an absolute and phenomenal existence at the same time . That which is true is defined as something which is True in the past , present and future and does not undergo any change . Even the body in the higher metaphysical regions do not have an existence - given sufficient consciousness there is absolutely no evidence of the body or world at higher levels of the Dream state itself.
If you ask me Scientifically the existence of the world has not been yet proved. It does not satisfy the basic requirements of "Self Truth and Consciousness".
Dear David ,
According to the Greeks the Intellectual abilities within us :
1.Good Sense or gnome - Capacity to forgive and be fair or sympathetic understanding.
2.Understanding or Synesis -Similar to prudence but does not issue commands
3.Prudence or phronesis - Action and Command on what is good
4.Art or techne - regarding production
5.Wisdom or Sophia -Comprises intelligence and Science
6.Scientific Knowledge or Episteme - Knowledge of demonstration and conclusion
7.Intelligence or nous - Knowledge of Insights.
8. Sophrosyne or Intelligence and even mindedness
And Above all Akresia or Practice - This is the difference between what is possible (by the intellect) and what is actualized (difference between Intellectual capability and the extent to which it is realized )
Anything not to do with the above pertains to the mind and therefore are images and not knowledge - or conversely images drawn by the knowledge available in the intellect on the mind as interpreted by the I within us and expressed .
The term Buddhi as used in Vedic literature also comprises of the above same .
Existence is being it has to be true in all three periods of time and does not undergo change .It is
Self Intelligent and its Knowledge does not undergo change (ie. It does not have modifications).
So I am precluded from using the word existence in case of physical objects - ie. Physical Objects on the material plane , They are evident to the senses and hence Facts - This is right knowledge and understanding ,
In the mental plane they are ''Objects of Knowledge '' this is the rule - since pictures and images or "representation of Knowledge '' is what the mind does . It means that since the physical body is not existing in that state - it is an object or image of the inner world which is its subject . The inner world (once our eyes are closed) is supplied by Memory and the impressions of the physical world are the objects and hence are liable to come and go and so like the physical objects they are non existent and Facts only . It is there for the time being and one need not accept it nor reject it .
In the Intellectual Plane the intellect is an object of knowledge to the self . This self is the I in every one . It has species, name and form and hence is subject to modifications and vanishes with the demise of the experiencing person - the intellect does not exist in deep sleep where the world is not there - without intellect we cannot know the world - but since it is liable to come and go depending on states it too is not true.
As also its observer the I (word Idea)
Then Who am I ?