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  1. #101

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3625 View Post
    are you one of Dizzy's brethren Randall?
    yes, along with james moody, jamie findlay, mike longo, tierney sutton, rachael price, cindy blackman, and flora purim...
    "Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror, which we still are just able to endure, and we are are so awed because it serenely disdains to annihilate us." -- Ranier Maria Rilke

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #102

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    I would not has anticipated the Baha'i twist to this thread, which is refreshing. It's usually about, well, you know.
    Build bridges, not walls.

  4. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by ah.clem View Post
    @BigDaddy - best laugh of the week-end, thanks!
    I'm serious! One leg is longer than the other.
    Build bridges, not walls.

  5. #104

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    This thread is prompting seminary flashbacks! Which is not unpleasant but I'll respectfully bow out, as talk of scripture and revelation is not something I wish to engage in here. But I am enjoying seeing new (to me) sides of so many members!
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  6. #105

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles View Post
    I'm serious! One leg is longer than the other.
    If you were a woman from Japan, your name would be Irene.

  7. #106

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles View Post
    I slant, so I'm fine with that.
    yep, knew that already.

  8. #107

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    Quote Originally Posted by randalljazz View Post
    yes, and Bahá'í temples are constructed with nine sides, symbolizing that people of all faiths (or no faith) are welcome.

    Bahá'í House of Worship - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    The Baha'i' (sorry, just can't figure out those special chars) house of Worship in Wilmette is worth a visit if you are ever in the Chicago area. It's quite an impressive architectural structure and the grounds and gardens are beautiful and quite relaxing to stroll through.
    "Talent is a pursued interest; anything that you're willing to practice, you can do." - Bob Ross

  9. #108

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    Quote Originally Posted by ah.clem View Post
    The Baha'i' (sorry, just can't figure out those special chars) house of Worship in Wilmette is worth a visit if you are ever in the Chicago area. It's quite an impressive architectural structure and the grounds and gardens are beautiful and quite relaxing to stroll through.
    I've been there, love the colors and flowers. Actually, for a good period of time many years ago when I was training for marathons, my regular running route was up Sheridan Road from Rogers Park through Evanston and Northwestern to the Bahai Temple and back. About 10 miles total, with the Temple serving as the halfway point. Very nice run.

    EDIT: on the subject of the seminary, Kurt Elling was in the seminary at the University of Chicago, almost finished, then became a jazz singer.

    And a damn over-rated one, I must say. The people I know who knew him in Chicago said he had was ALL EGO, completely self-absorbed, not very nice and all-around arrogant. Thankfully, he's New York's problem now.

    Guess he never learned much about humility. Too bad.
    Last edited by NSJ; 03-31-2014 at 12:31 AM.
    Navdeep Singh.

  10. #109

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    Discussing jazz and spirituality wouldn't be complete without some Albert Ayler.


  11. #110

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    Quote Originally Posted by zigzag View Post
    If you were a woman from Japan, your name would be Irene.
    And from religion to race-based jokes. Let's really get the mods involved here.

  12. #111

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    The flip side of John Coltrane's spirituality/mysticism is the Saint John Will-I-Am Coltrane African Orthodox Church.



    Google them.
    Build bridges, not walls.

  13. #112

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles View Post
    The flip side of John Coltrane's spirituality/mysticism is the Saint John Will-I-Am Coltrane African Orthodox Church.

    We all can be a bit obsessive about our fav players, so obviously with extreme obsessiveness the logical conclusion would be to start a church and worship them.
    “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”
    ― Mahatma Gandhi

  14. #113

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    “One of the really important things about modal music is that you have a set of frequency relationships that are repeated over and over. And because of the emphasis on intonation in Indian classical music, this set of frequency relationships is very much in exactly the same place, so that each frequency comes back at exactly the same place, and this sets up a series of patterns in the mechanism of the nervous system of the listener so that a psychological state is created. If you believe that the universe is composed of vibrations, then you can understand how a study of sound, which is the most concrete form of vibrations that the human mechanism can immediately assimilate, can be an introduction to the understanding of universal structure.” –La Monte Young, from The World According to John Coltrane



    Edit:

    "But to a more sensitive soul the effect of colours is deeper and
    intensely moving. And so we come to the second main result of
    looking at colours: THEIR PSYCHIC EFFECT. They produce a
    corresponding spiritual vibration, and it is only as a step
    towards this spiritual vibration that the elementary physical
    impression is of importance.

    Whether the psychic effect of colour is a direct one, as these
    last few lines imply, or whether it is the outcome of association,
    is perhaps open to question. The soul being one with the body,
    the former may well experience a psychic shock, caused by
    association acting on the latter. For example, red may cause a
    sensation analogous to that caused by flame, because red is
    the colour of flame. A warm red will prove exciting, another
    shade of red will cause pain or disgust through association with
    running blood. In these cases colour awakens a corresponding
    physical sensation, which undoubtedly works upon the soul."

    -Vassily Kandinsky, Concerning the Spiritual in Art
    Last edited by zigzag; 03-31-2014 at 02:44 PM.

  15. #114

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    Quote Originally Posted by mangotango View Post
    And from religion to race-based jokes. Let's really get the mods involved here.
    I am a moderator and I am involved here. The subject of the thread is jazz and spirituality, so mention of religion is by no means cause for alarm. Race-based jokes is another matter, though I am surprised that anyone took offense at that one. Perhaps because I have Japanese sisters-in-law and most of my nieces and nephews were born in Japan. I didn't find this offensive---and I don't think they would either---but if you seriously do, I can edit it out.
    Last edited by MarkRhodes; 03-31-2014 at 01:07 PM. Reason: clarification
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  16. #115

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    I spent about 4 hours the other night visiting and talking to my friend, the retired jazz and flamenco musician. One of the focal points of discussion was the chief transitional point, sometime in the 60s, when the following events happened:

    1. The Beatniks gave way to the hippies;
    2. Jazz was largely destroyed as a popular music.


    As someone who was not there or even alive when much of this happened, it was nice to gain some insight from someone who was there.

    Some thoughts: the Beatniiks demonstrated a tangible appreciation and knowledge of a wide-ranging array of cultural touchstones, from literature to music to thought and philosophy to spirituality (at least compared to the hippies). That was perhaps the last time in American history where poetry had any pretense of a foothold in American consciousness.

    All these elements were things that the hippies only dabbled in and put their little toe in, more or less, in a pastiche, facile, simplified and half-hearted sort of way (at least vis-a-vis the Beatniks). These only appeared to be "deep" due to the extensive mediation of psychedelia and the attendant drug use. In reality, there was nothing profound, once the curtain was raised to reveal things for those that have eyes.

    Look at Bob Dylan as a figurehead of an apparent semblance of cultural substance that reveals, underneath, a vapid sheen of retarded musical stupidity and lyrical emptiness. He patterned himself after Woodie Guthrie and Leadbelly, but those sources were far more out there and deep than Dylan. They were so much deeper and subversive that anyone who professed any allegiance to them, had to emerge fully neutered and appreciably "Safe" and only hint at a facile and ultimately sterile semblance of cultural "change". In fact, it only appeared to get more radical, when in fact, there was even less critical thought, more blunted and appropriately channeled affect. And the music got dumber, too, for sure.

    The dude is a a horrible, horrible singer. It must take him all of 3,4, even five minutes to create the music to one of his songs. And the "voice of the generation", what exactly did he have to say? Not much.

    That was a watershed moment in American history: jazz in specific and a deeper and more profound attachment to cultural substance (the arts, philosophy, poetry, language, spirituality, music) pretty much was cut adrift from American culture. The deep commitment and appreciation has given away to a nation of dabblers.

    Every time I walk down the street and see the 500000000th person toting a yoga mat, realizing they probably have NO IDEA whatsoever what that even means or symbolizes, it only re-enforces all that. The rubicon was crossed and a watershed moment went by, largely unnoticed.
    Navdeep Singh.

  17. #116

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    Not buying it entirely NSJ. The hippie movement evolved out of the beat generation. It is only because it became a popular movement and incorporated the use (primarily) of marijuana that it's reason for being became fractionated and fuzzy. But don't think for a second that it wasn't a time of spirituality and political and social awareness. Most had learned the lessons of previous generations and the beat generation, the Viet Nam war, three assassinations, and the civil rights movement. And you may never reach a more potent spiritual awareness, selflessness, and oneness with the universe than being on LSD. There was also a movement to eastern spiritualism by a lot of those who moved out of drugs into that form of spirituality because western religion did not resinate.

    "The hippies, who had never really believed they were the wave of the future anyway, saw the election (Nixon) results as brutal confirmation of the futility of fighting the establishment on its own terms. There had to be a whole new scene, they said, and the only way to do it was to make the big move — either figuratively or literally — from Berkeley to the Haight-Ashbury, from pragmatism to mysticism, from politics to dope... The thrust is no longer for "change" or "progress" or "revolution," but merely to escape, to live on the far perimeter of a world that might have been." -Hunter Thompson

    I would argue that jazz killed itself and lost all hope of being a popular form of music due to the esoteric and intellectual form it had become. Interpreting the hippie movement as a group of apathetic druggies whose music was simple and empty totally misses the social, cultural, and musical significance of that era.
    Last edited by zigzag; 03-31-2014 at 03:46 PM.

  18. #117

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuyBoden View Post


    Yes, we're all matter. Matter is the substance that makes up all observable physical objects, that includes you and me, so we're matter too.
    Stephen Toulmin's "The Architecture of Matter" is a fascinating read because it considers the long development of how we think about matter, or define it. It's a much trickier concept than most suppose. It's handy enough for most purposes to use the ol' "anything that has mass and volume (-occupies space)" definition, so long as it is understand that not everything material is made up of the same sort of matter. (Consider that when a lion eats a hyena, some of the matter of the hyena becomes some of the matter of the lion, but this is not the case if a lion eats a stone.) In chemistry, a chemical substance is a form of matter; chemists don't say matter is the substance from which compounds come. What we might call "just plain matter" is not part of our experience (-and some would argue it is not part of our understanding either.)

    We have material bodies. Bodies, we say, are material or material objects. But, say, mathematical objects are not material, yet they have a reality. Ideas such as justice or freedom are not material and yet they may influence people. How something immaterial, such as an idea, may influence a person's thinking is a nut to crack for eliminative materialists (-those who think there is can be nothing but material objects and that all causes of human action are material causes, that is, causes in the form of material objects.)
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  19. #118

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    Quote Originally Posted by NSJ View Post
    a vapid sheen of retarded musical stupidity and lyrical emptiness.

    Now THAT is some poetry.

  20. #119

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    Quote Originally Posted by ah.clem View Post
    The Baha'i' (sorry, just can't figure out those special chars) house of Worship in Wilmette is worth a visit if you are ever in the Chicago area. It's quite an impressive architectural structure and the grounds and gardens are beautiful and quite relaxing to stroll through.
    Bahá'í House of Worship - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

    "The Wilmette House of Worship is the largest and the oldest surviving Bahá'í House of Worship."

    Used to live near there. Used to see it almost daily, even went in a couple times.

  21. #120

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    ...(Consider that when a lion eats a hyena, some of the matter of the hyena becomes some of the matter of the lion, but this is not the case if a lion eats a stone.)
    Reduced to the lowest level, the matter of both are made up of the the elements formed right after the "Big Bang"; I believe that everything we are aware of is ("Dark Matter" being excluded for this comment; not enough known about it's composition). I am not picking nits with you, I just believe that, at the fundamental level, everything is made of the same stuff - the neutrons, protons and electrons that formed and bound together within milliseconds of the Big Bang into the elements we have discovered so far that make up everything that the are aware of at this time.

    Maths and ideas; I agree that in this particular universe, they have no physical substance that we have discovered yet, but if you subscribe to the theory of (or are willing to entertain the notion of) the Multiverse, then it may be that there are as yet undiscovered dimensions existing right now in which there are physical representations of math and ideas. Our consciousness (perhaps even "souls") might exist in one or more of these dimensions, and if you subscribe to the notion of infinite Multiverses, then god exists, doesn't exist, time is linear, time is non-existent (or simultaneous), etc. It can get pretty interesting, as I am sure you are already aware.

    Damn, my cat just crawled into a guitar case and the lid flopped closed; I gotta go see if he's OK.
    "Talent is a pursued interest; anything that you're willing to practice, you can do." - Bob Ross

  22. #121

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    Quote Originally Posted by ah.clem View Post
    Damn, my cat just crawled into a guitar case and the lid flopped closed; I gotta go see if he's OK.
    OMG, he's dead and alive at the same time!
    Build bridges, not walls.

  23. #122

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    Quote Originally Posted by ah.clem View Post
    Maths and ideas; I agree that in this particular universe, they have no physical substance that we have discovered yet, but if you subscribe to the theory of (or are willing to entertain the notion of) the Multiverse, then it may be that there are as yet undiscovered dimensions existing right now in which there are physical representations of math and ideas. Our consciousness (perhaps even "souls") might exist in one or more of these dimensions, and if you subscribe to the notion of infinite Multiverses, then god exists, doesn't exist, time is linear, time is non-existent (or simultaneous), etc. It can get pretty interesting, as I am sure you are already aware.
    Excuse me for being parochial, but I tend to focus on this universe.

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. To say that there may be undiscovered dimensions where our souls might exist is really tossing it out there.
    Build bridges, not walls.

  24. #123

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles View Post
    Excuse me for being parochial, but I tend to focus on this universe.

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. To say that there may be undiscovered dimensions where our souls might exist is really tossing it out there.
    Agreed; but apropos to this thread, in my opinion. Any discussion of religion or spirituality is pretty much "tossing it out there" to me. I've just been enjoying the ride and thought I might string some folks along with me.
    Last edited by ah.clem; 03-31-2014 at 08:54 PM. Reason: Typo - I'll blame the wine.
    "Talent is a pursued interest; anything that you're willing to practice, you can do." - Bob Ross

  25. #124

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    Spirits from a tangible dimension


  26. #125

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    A man has to believe in something. I believe I'll have another drink.
    Build bridges, not walls.

  27. #126

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    I am a moderator and I am involved here. The subject of the thread is jazz and spirituality, so mention of religion is by no means cause for alarm. Race-based jokes is another matter, though I am surprised that anyone took offense at that one. Perhaps because I have Japanese sisters-in-law and most of my nieces and nephews were born in Japan. I didn't find this offensive---and I don't think they would either---but if you seriously do, I can edit it out.
    No thank you, that would be total overkill. The thing about free speech is that it is free and thus people can say what they like. Other people may not like it and are free to say so.

    I am not Japanese, nor have I any Oriental family of any persuasion, though many of my friends are/have. Given the Eastern philosophy that permeated my previous post, I wouldn't have thought that this shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone reading this thread.

    Thus I have no personal axe to grind; it just surprised and disappointed me that in a thread where we're all (for the most part) exhibiting remarkable tolerance for other people's religious opinions, there should be a gag that mocks how people of another ethnic background speak English. But, maybe that's just me.

  28. #127

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    I am a moderator and I am involved here. The subject of the thread is jazz and spirituality, so mention of religion is by no means cause for alarm. Race-based jokes is another matter, though I am surprised that anyone took offense at that one. Perhaps because I have Japanese sisters-in-law and most of my nieces and nephews were born in Japan. I didn't find this offensive---and I don't think they would either---but if you seriously do, I can edit it out.
    No thank you Mark, that would be total overkill. The whole thing about free speech is that it is free and thus people can say what they like. Other people may not like it and are equally free to say so.

    I am not Japanese, nor have I any Oriental family of any persuasion, though many of my friends are/have. Given the Eastern philosophy that permeated my previous post, I wouldn't have thought that this shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone reading this thread.

    Thus I have no personal axe to grind; it just surprised and disappointed me that in a thread where we're all (for the most part) exhibiting remarkable tolerance for other people's religious opinions, there should be a gag that mocks how people of another ethnic background speak English. But, maybe that's just me.

  29. #128

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    mango,

    My intent was not to be racist or to mock anyone. The "gag" was actually part of a longer joke where various common names were given to people under certain conditions: What do call a guy floating in the ocean? Bob. What do you call a guy who's hanging on a wall? Art. What do you call a one legged woman? Ilene Etc. (My apologies to all one legged women everywhere named Ilene, especially to those who cannot pronounce the letter "L.")

    I saw an opportunity to add some levity that I couldn't pass up. The intent was simply to be clever. Sorry to upset your sensibilities and your sense of political correctness. As has been demonstrated many times on this board, jazz guitar players are simply not funny, no matter hard we try to be.
    Last edited by zigzag; 04-01-2014 at 09:22 AM. Reason: Not yet finished.

  30. #129

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    Quote Originally Posted by mangotango View Post
    No thank you, that would be total overkill. The thing about free speech is that it is free and thus people can say what they like. Other people may not like it and are free to say so.

    I am not Japanese, nor have I any Oriental family of any persuasion, though many of my friends are/have. Given the Eastern philosophy that permeated my previous post, I wouldn't have thought that this shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone reading this thread.

    Thus I have no personal axe to grind; it just surprised and disappointed me that in a thread where we're all (for the most part) exhibiting remarkable tolerance for other people's religious opinions, there should be a gag that mocks how people of another ethnic background speak English. But, maybe that's just me.
    First, a word about free speech. (This is not really a response to you but a chance to make a general point that bears repeating.) When a person joins this forum, he agrees to abide by its rules. You could call that the price of admission. What Americans regard as "freedom of speech" or "the First Amendment" doesn't have the weight here it would have, say, in a US court wherein a person claimed the government (or a government agency) censored him, or violated his First Amendment rights. Membership here is privilege, not a right, and that privilege may be revoked, either temporarily or permanently.

    As for the gag about Japanese speakers using "l" for "r" (-as my sister-in-law Tetsuko says, with a big grin, "lock and loll!") I wasn't expecting it and at first I didn't get it. When Zig said "Irene" I wondered, "What Japanese story has a woman in it named Irene?" It took me a minute to realize, "Oh, that would be 'Eileen.' But wait, Eileen is an actual name, and more common than Irene. So this doesn't actually work...." I thought it far too off the cuff to be offensive. (I am aware others might disagree.) And it means a lot that Zig contributes heavily to this thread (and forum) and never comes across as mean or insulting. (Reputation really does matter.) I think this is why no one took offense. I think it's just something that popped into his head and he posted it. I think we've all done that.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  31. #130

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    Quote Originally Posted by L4CESN View Post
    I've been listening to "A Love Supreme", which is a high benchmark for me in terms of authenticity, purity of intent, and prayerfulness expressed through improvisation.

    What is the place of spirituality in your playing? Where do you go in your head when you're improvising? Does your music have a spiritual imperative?
    VERY mushc so, but I need to explain what I mean by 'spiritual'. For me spirit is not separated from nature. I have learnt so much from psychedelics and playing and singing. It is impossible to explain in words but I will give it a good try.

    I feel possessed, for example when I have eat some magic mushrooms, and sing and/play guitar. The feeling is direct. What do I mean by direct? You are honest. You dont feel you are playing/singing via an image. Somehow you feel primal. You instinctually reach vocal notes and ways of rhythm that usually you have feel inhibited about. it is uncanny. And before anyone thinks it is me imagining, like the sad drunk singing and think he sounds great. In the past I have recorded myself and discovered that you seem to have more breath, and are willing to go places vocally etc you haven't before. It is sacred. REALLY sacred

    Does this help you after the trip? YES. I have found that me lack of confidence learning these tunes I was learning, and also playing and learning to sing in Portugese has been greatly helped.

    How?

    In the approach. When playing when tripping (obviously not at the most powerful part lol when you are just not capable of playing at all because you are immersed in ecstasy) I learn humour, and patience, and soul. So even though you are making mistakes you dont let that get you down, you USE that--hard to explain but it works

    I am more fluent singing of course because I sing every day, whereas with guitar there have been long periods of putting it down and lack of confidence, but since this year I have eat some magic mushrooms after at least 5 years of not, I have seen and felt great improvement. More insight into the importance of soul. ONE note played or sung with soul is more important than 10 played without!!

  32. #131

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    I agree Mark. And I would add that most people from all cultures are able to find humour in these kinds of jokes and laugh at themselves so to speak. Irish people usually laugh when people make fun of them drinking and fighting all the time; Italians usually laugh when their accent and machismo is exaggerated; Indian people laugh when their accent is used to comic effect (see Russell Peters) and so on. I have seen Koreans and Chinese and Japanese people laughing hysterically when their accents are exaggerated and Jewish people also laughing at their own cultural stereotypes.

    Sometimes we can be overly sensitive with respect to this type of thing (which is not necessarily a bad thing) but a lot of the time we would be better off assuming that these jokes are made in fun and without malice as they usually are.
    Still working on it.

  33. #132

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post

    As for the gag about Japanese speakers using "l" for "r" (-as my sister-in-law Tetsuko says, with a big grin, "lock and loll!") I wasn't expecting it and at first I didn't get it. When Zig said "Irene" I wondered, "What Japanese story has a woman in it named Irene?" It took me a minute to realize, "Oh, that would be 'Eileen.' But wait, Eileen is an actual name, and more common than Irene. So this doesn't actually work...."
    Ha! Seems the joke is on me.

  34. #133

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    It's interesting the way this thread has hung on for me; I had a 40 minute drive this AM to take a friend to the doctor and I found myself thinking a lot about it. I know I made a few physics jokes in previous posts (BigDaddy got the first one right off the bat, probably chose to ignore the second), but I actually do see the possibility of String Theory (and all of it's implications) as a next logical step in the evolving science of that which we understand. I think this is because one can (with enough training) do the math and see it for themselves; it's not a matter of "Faith", it's a matter of observation and interpretation. Now, if that observation and interpretation is correct is fairly open to debate, but it's grounded in sound physics and maths, no need to suspend disbelief in order to make all the pieces fit. The "Big Bang" was the String Theory of it's time, and a few weeks ago (30 years after it was first proposed), we have seen evidence of the initial gravitational waves of the predicted inflation. I'm not saying that String Theory will be proven to be correct, just that it will either be proven or dis-proven and then we will move on.

    I believe that is my fundamental issue with notions of spirituality and religion; there is no quantitative quality that points to a possibility.
    "Talent is a pursued interest; anything that you're willing to practice, you can do." - Bob Ross

  35. #134

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    Quote Originally Posted by ah.clem View Post
    It's interesting the way this thread has hung on for me; I had a 40 minute drive this AM to take a friend to the doctor and I found myself thinking a lot about it. I know I made a few physics jokes in previous posts (BigDaddy got the first one right off the bat, probably chose to ignore the second), but I actually do see the possibility of String Theory (and all of it's implications) as a next logical step in the evolving science of that which we understand. I think this is because one can (with enough training) do the math and see it for themselves; it's not a matter of "Faith", it's a matter of observation and interpretation. Now, if that observation and interpretation is correct is fairly open to debate, but it's grounded in sound physics and maths, no need to suspend disbelief in order to make all the pieces fit. The "Big Bang" was the String Theory of it's time, and a few weeks ago (30 years after it was first proposed), we have seen evidence of the initial gravitational waves of the predicted inflation. I'm not saying that String Theory will be proven to be correct, just that it will either be proven or dis-proven and then we will move on.

    I believe that is my fundamental issue with notions of spirituality and religion; there is no quantitative quality that points to a possibility.
    I found this post very interesting. I don't know much about string theory, so I won't wade in there. But I think I have something to offer where you end with "there is no quantitative quality that points to a possibility" (-re notions of spirituality and religion). One difference between moderns and ancients is that they looked for answers in terms of causes in a way broader than we do. (For example, many an ancient and medieval thinker wrote that "God created all things in their causes" but many moderns would not understand what they meant by that.) Ancients thought humans have intellects because humans can reason abstractly and it seemed that the "objects" of abstract though cannot be physical. It seemed obvious to them that it took something immaterial to, um, handle immaterial things. (Such as the ideas of truth and justice, or triangle and ratio, or number or species.)

    Many moderns will not have this. They start at the other end, saying there are no causes except material causes and limit the term "reality" to mean "those things whose material causes we know or whose unknown causes are assumed to be wholly material."

    Curiously, ancient and medieval philosophers did not debate the problem of other minds because they all they assumed (correctly) that other people had minds; it is only with the dawn of modern philosophy and its insistence on how *I* can know anything that the "problem of other minds" entered the philosophic lexicon. Many undergraduates hear from their professors that this is a perennial problem in philosophy but it is wholly modern, and a wasteland. It is remarkable that so many philosophers have wrestled for so long with a problem that is not an actual problem for a single one of them. Not one such philosopher actually doubts that other people have minds. Yet they find this incredibly problematic. Now there is a burgeoning literature on Swampman (a thought experiment introduced by Donald Davidson in the late '80s.) Many philosophers are intrigued by the "problem" of creatures who look and act human but have no conscious life. The obvious never occurs to them: if you assume something that leads you to doubt you have any reason to think other people have minds, you need to check that assumption.

    By the same token, some argue that we actually aren't conscious at all. (Some have even argued that there's no "real" difference between the organic and inorganic world, aka life and death.) Or if we are, it is wholly determined by physical causes and there's nothing really interesting about it. (Jean Cabinas, who died in 1808, infamously said, "The brain secretes thought the way the liver secretes bile." There was never a good reason to believe that but some still argue along that line and the main reason they do is that it is the only way they can think of to allow for the existence of something called consciousness and, so to speak, take their materialism the way they like it.)

    I think many ancients and medievals would have started with what people actually do and tried to understand that rather than decide in advance what an answer must look like to count as a scientific answer.

    Let me be clear. I'm not arguing against what you said. I am suggesting that you think about your claim that "there is no quantitative quality that points to a possibility" and consider that it is possible that, a) no quantitative quality (-that we know about or can measure) points to such a possibility and yet b) the reality exists, or could exist. Perhaps J.B.S Haldane was right when he said, "The universe is not only stranger than we imagine; it is stranger than we can imagine."

    He also said, I forget now exactly how, that if we believed our thoughts were wholly determined by physical forces alone, we would have no reason to believe any of them true.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  36. #135

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    An excellent post, thank you! I am going to reply via a PM as I think we are way beyond the original scope of this thread and most likely boring the few folks still reading. I do want to publicly acknowledge and thank you in that your posts have kept me researching references more than I have anyone's for quite some time. I have been learning/re-discovering/re-thinking a lot based on the flow of this thread. Best fun I've had in some time, too!

    And you are correct, I do agree that something can exist without specific knowledge of it's existence at this time; I just do not give it much credence. I should have worded that better.

    I bow to your superior philoso-fu!
    Last edited by ah.clem; 04-01-2014 at 05:27 PM. Reason: Added correction.
    "Talent is a pursued interest; anything that you're willing to practice, you can do." - Bob Ross

  37. #136

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    Quote Originally Posted by ah.clem View Post
    An excellent post, thank you! I am going to reply via a PM as I think we are way beyond the original scope of this thread and most likely boring the few folks still reading. I do want to publicly acknowledge and thank you in that your posts have kept me researching references more than I have anyone's for quite some time. I have been learning/re-discovering/re-thinking a lot based on the flow of this thread. Best fun I've had in some time, too!

    And you are correct, I do agree that something can exist without specific knowledge of it's existence at this time; I just do not give it much credence. I should have worded that better.

    I bow to your superior philoso-fu!
    please continue publicly. i doubt i am alone in my fascination with the discussion.
    "Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror, which we still are just able to endure, and we are are so awed because it serenely disdains to annihilate us." -- Ranier Maria Rilke

  38. #137

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    "There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

    I can understand atheism. I can appreciate that science only gives validity to the physical, the measurable, or the mathematical. To argue against the possibility of a spiritual realm, or anything outside of the physical/measurable/mathematical, may be practical, but it's also arrogant and narrow minded.

    As for the spiritual in us, what we may all be able to understand without having to explain is the concept that there is a core, or center, from where we conceptualize, from where all thoughts and emotions spring, a consciousness (sub-consciousness) beneath our consciousness, like where the bubbles come from that form the head on a beer.

    It is interesting that several reputable universities around the world have departments of "Perceptual Studies" which could be a euphemism for parapsychology and psychic research. They also do sleep and dream studies.

    I've read about string theory, I've watched Through the Wormhole, I've read Hawking's A Brief History of Time, but as hard as I try I cannot understand string theory. Just when I get a glimmer of understanding, it goes away.
    Last edited by zigzag; 04-01-2014 at 06:58 PM. Reason: grammar

  39. #138

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    I'll put the opposite view on the science...String Theory fails the most basic test of physics: after thirty years of research it still can't make a unique prediction that could be used to falsify it. Rather than fill a jazz site with physics, if anyone's interested in the subject, I'd strongly recommend Peter Woit's blog Not Even Wrong. (Ignore his current top article; it's an April Fool's joke.)

  40. #139

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  41. #140

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    @GaryColby - Woit's blog is a good read, but I am the first to admit that I am out of my depth with most of his posts, let alone being able to fully comprehend the subject matter at that level; if i could, I'd most likely be be a cosmologist, not an IT hack. Just my opinion, but 30 years is a pretty short amount of time to declare the horse dead, but that argument has been around a long time. I will certainly defer to your expertise, but I will continue to be patient.

    We got into this topic in a back-handed way by a somewhat tongue-in-cheek post I made regarding Multiverse theory and the existence of god; I don't think anyone is trying to talk real, hard core physics on a Jazz site - that is why I suggested to Mark that we take what was turning into a "Philosophy of Science" discussion to PM as it was seeming inappropriate (although hardly "filling" the site <chuckle>).

    I think I'll just go check out that "Jed Clampett Plays Double Neck Guitar" video again. <imagine a smiley here>
    "Talent is a pursued interest; anything that you're willing to practice, you can do." - Bob Ross

  42. #141

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    Quote Originally Posted by ah.clem View Post

    And you are correct, I do agree that something can exist without specific knowledge of it's existence at this time; I just do not give it much credence. I should have worded that better.
    Understood. And I think it is good to be hard-headed about such things. (In seminary, I was voted most likely to be burned at the stake three years running! I once brought a Christology class to a standstill by saying, "God must love Satan as much as He loves the Virgin Mary." The professor, God bless his Thomistic soul and education, told me that he disagreed with me but that he understood on what grounds such a claim could be made and defended.)

    I think the main question to keep coming back to is, "Am I following reality toward the truth or defining truth in a way that limits what reality can be?"
    Matters are not helped---for any of us---by the way many terms used by religious / spiritual writers (-soul, intellect, will, faith, understanding, even truth) have changed down through the ages. Not all such change is bad (or good) but so much change makes it harder than it otherwise would be to "come to terms".
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  43. #142

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    Quote Originally Posted by zigzag View Post
    To argue against the possibility of a spiritual realm, or anything outside of the physical/measurable/mathematical, may be practical, but it's also arrogant and narrow minded.
    Perhaps, but it is nowhere near as arrogant and stupid as saying "My 2000 year old story book gives me a ticket to eternal paradise and the rest of you are going to burn in hell forever because you don't follow my rules", with no evidence of anything except that a LOT of other people believe it. It's even more problematic because there are in fact, many different and opposing 2000 year old story books.

  44. #143

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    I think the main question to keep coming back to is, "Am I following reality toward the truth or defining truth in a way that limits what reality can be?"
    Yes!
    "Talent is a pursued interest; anything that you're willing to practice, you can do." - Bob Ross

  45. #144

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    I think the main question to keep coming back to is, "Am I following reality toward the truth or defining truth in a way that limits what reality can be?"
    Yeah, I dig that too - and it's applicable to music and everything other facet of life as well.

    Cool.

  46. #145

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    "Am I following reality toward the truth or defining truth in a way that limits what reality can be?"
    It would seem to me that the reality is that humans of all cultures, races, and beliefs have for many 1000's of years been searching for some evidence of the supernatural/spiritual/divine/etc. and have not really found anything of any substance. Therefore, I reasonably believe there is no such thing. I may be wrong, but it makes much more sense to me to believe that no evidence (in the face of the most exhaustive search of all time) does mean 'nothing' as opposed to believing in 'something' simply because I want to. I think we all want to believe. It is a much much more comforting thought to think that someday I will be in paradise with all my friends and family and an all-powerful all-loving creator for all eternity and all knowledge will be revealed to me, rather than to think that once my brain stops, I am gone forever, nothing more than worm-food. However, what I want to believe, just doesn't seem to be what reality is telling me. I have come to terms with that, and am quite peaceful, happy and satisfied with what I do have, for hopefully a few more years at least.

  47. #146

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    "God must love Satan as much as He loves the Virgin Mary."
    Of course He did. He gave him complete autonomous rule over his own kingdom. That's more than He did for His own son.

  48. #147

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    Fortunately, the choice is not only between atheism and fundamental Christianity.

    Hell might actually be an eternity in paradise.
    Last edited by zigzag; 04-01-2014 at 11:22 PM.

  49. #148

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    Quote Originally Posted by tribeo View Post
    It would seem to me that the reality is that humans of all cultures, races, and beliefs have for many 1000's of years been searching for some evidence of the supernatural/spiritual/divine/etc. and have not really found anything of any substance. Therefore, I reasonably believe there is no such thing. I may be wrong, but it makes much more sense to me to believe that no evidence (in the face of the most exhaustive search of all time) does mean 'nothing' as opposed to believing in 'something' simply because I want to. I think we all want to believe. It is a much much more comforting thought to think that someday I will be in paradise with all my friends and family and an all-powerful all-loving creator for all eternity and all knowledge will be revealed to me, rather than to think that once my brain stops, I am gone forever, nothing more than worm-food. However, what I want to believe, just doesn't seem to be what reality is telling me. I have come to terms with that, and am quite peaceful, happy and satisfied with what I do have, for hopefully a few more years at least.
    My only problem with the general athiest consensus is that often I see many who espouse such a position know next to nothing about religion and spirituality beyond the mainstream version they are exposed to in their immediate society. There's a tradition of mysticism in all cultures stretching back thousands of years - Russian Orthodox forest monks, Burmese buddhist monks, Tibetan yogis etc. Many have reported similar experiences of conscious states (despite being culturally and geographically isolated from each other) which suggest that there is a strong possibility that our consciousness, or a part of it, is something other than our strictly physical selves (at least the contemporary definition of our physical state according to neuroscience, psychology etc.).

    To me, those that are quick to dismiss the experience of thousands of dedicated practitioners over millenia without serious investigation is a bit like someone who hears some bebop and thinks its just a bunch of silly random noises with no sense of reason or method.

    It's not that I think people should check this stuff out, but that their somewhat entrenched and self-assured judgements mirror in some ways the very fundamentalist religious believers that they oppose.

    I really don't have an axe to grind on this (I prefer athiests to zealots) but rather just saying it would be premature to write off jazz if all you'd heard was Kenny G and you didn't even know who Lee Konitz was...

  50. #149

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3625 View Post
    I really don't have an axe to grind on this (I prefer athiests to zealots) but rather just saying it would be premature to write off jazz if all you'd heard was Kenny G and you didn't even know who Lee Konitz was...
    Same here. I have my beliefs, but no horse in this race. I find the OP a great point of departure for this kind of discussion. There is no science in spiritualism, unfortunately. Where does creativity come from? Does everything created exist in the abstract, apart from the intellect, before creation?. Did the concept of a chair exist before one was created? Was the rock a chair before someone sat on it?

    Poser: I have my grandfather's axe. My father changed the head, and I changed the handle. Is it still my grandfather's axe?
    Last edited by zigzag; 04-01-2014 at 11:53 PM.

  51. #150

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3625 View Post
    To me, those that are quick to dismiss the experience of thousands of dedicated practitioners over millenia without serious investigation is a bit like someone who hears some bebop and thinks its just a bunch of silly random noises with no sense of reason or method.
    I don't mean any disrespect, but what have those thousands of dedicated practitioners over millenia produced? That is exactly my point. It is not at all like different opinions about bebop. I like some bebop, my wife does not like any, and it is fairly unimportant even to us, completely irrelevant to anybody outside our house. If there are any spiritual truths, they would be profoundly important to all people, and as such, I would think they would become fairly widely known. However, the two largest schools of thought on this subject are Christianity and Islam, and I am quite convinced both are quite flawed. I know a little about Islam, I know a lot about Christianity (albeit not as much as someone who has gone to seminary, for example). I have read some philosophy and spent a lot of time distilling my own thoughts. I most certainly have not quickly dismissed this subject.

    To me, most religious people are quick to dismiss the common experience of all humanity. That is, you live, you die, and nobody has any knowledge beyond death. Their wishful thinking leads them on a never-ending search. The search by thousands of dedicated practitioners has gone on over millenia with nothing to show for it. I've only got about another 40 years if I'm lucky. I'm not going to spend it searching for something I don't believe exists. I would be thrilled to change my mind if I saw anything of any substance, but I think that is highly unlikely. So unlikely, that I'm willing to risk my immortal soul on it.