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  1. #151

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3625 View Post
    ...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.).
    In fact, there is very sound scientific evidence that no, this is strictly a part of our physical selves:
    BBC News - Brains of Buddhist monks scanned in meditation study

    I think you made quite big leap from "similar experiences of conscious states (despite being culturally and geographically isolated from each other)" to "other than our strictly physical selves".
    Just because we don't understand every thought and feeling we have doesn't mean there must be some supernatural explanation. Our ancestors had no understanding of lightning and thunder, some thought it was Zeus, some thought it was Thor, and some thought it was the angels bowling. They didn't understand something so they came up with supernatural explanations, which we have later disproved, and have explained through completely natural mechanisms. There are still many things we don't understand. Indeed, there may well be things beyond our ability to understand. It doesn't mean they are supernatural. It just means we don't understand it.

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  3. #152

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    Quote Originally Posted by tribeo View Post
    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.

    No disrespect taken (and vice versa) - all good. I guess one general, but important distinction between traditions of mysticism compared to organised religion is that mystics in general don't tend to view it as an all or nothing game where you bet your 'soul' to everlasting paradise or condemnation. Consciousness, or 'soul' is viewed more as a continuum - a work in progress that continues on after the end of this physical body. As for the stuff I'm talking about, I guess for the most part I've been referring to Eastern traditions, but there are some real deal mystics within Christianity and Islam who are about as far removed philosophically from a fundamentalist view that you can get - but they're real underground, tending to live either as solitary hermits or communities in isolation. Granted, it's a pretty extreme lifestyle choice, but the overall vibe from many of them is that they're sane, genuine, decent people who have chosen to permanently hang out in the spiritual woodshed. Definitely the opposite polarity to a cult or sect. That said, I think in this life at least, I'll stick to being a bop guitarist and not a Carthusian monk!

  4. #153

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    Quote Originally Posted by tribeo View Post
    In fact, there is very sound scientific evidence that no, this is strictly a part of our physical selves:
    BBC News - Brains of Buddhist monks scanned in meditation study

    I think you made quite big leap from "similar experiences of conscious states (despite being culturally and geographically isolated from each other)" to "other than our strictly physical selves".
    Just because we don't understand every thought and feeling we have doesn't mean there must be some supernatural explanation. Our ancestors had no understanding of lightning and thunder, some thought it was Zeus, some thought it was Thor, and some thought it was the angels bowling. They didn't understand something so they came up with supernatural explanations, which we have later disproved, and have explained through completely natural mechanisms. There are still many things we don't understand. Indeed, there may well be things beyond our ability to understand. It doesn't mean they are supernatural. It just means we don't understand it.
    Re: Tibetan Buddhists/Neuroscience - what I found cool was that it shows that skilled meditators have got something going on and aren't just sitting there daydreaming all the time. As for what's referred to in the scientific community as the 'mind-brain problem/mind-body problem' that is, the ongoing question as to the relationship between mental activity and brain activity - there is as yet no clear consensus as to what consciousness actually is - and that's amongst the scientists and philosophers who spend all day working this stuff out - it really is the great unknown. So considering that fMRI's (and other experiments) have shown that these monks aren't complete fruitcakes, it's doesn't seem a stretch to me to consider the possibility that their claims about consciousness and spirituality might have some merit - but not to fall into the trap of deifying them at the same time. At this stage, it's anecdotal and individual experience from mystics with science gradually looking into the matter through empiricism - one day in the future there might be a final conclusion on the issue but we're far from it yet. With Tibetan Buddhism at least, there's no conflict between scientific research and the religious hierarchy - the Dalai Lama openly encourages it.

  5. #154

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    It seems to me religious zeal has caused misery and death to a lot of people through history, and for what?..Was it Tom Pain who said "At the mention of god people stop thinking"...L...

  6. #155

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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.
    lol I see what you doing here is this: you go around with this little paragraph in your head, and from that form a worldview which is completely false. The whole way you phrase it is wrong "have been searching for". THAT is the scientitific enterprise. Ancient people who had a completely different concept of time didn't think like that. The sacred was here, now in eternal time. You don't 'search' when the sacred is here.

    Mythology in its real meaning is not the patriarchal linear kind like for example Christianity, and the literal belief of an actual 'Son of God' being born 2000 years ago, etc etc etc. Real mythological understanding ritual was the dancing, the singing, and entering eternal time. They['d eat mind-altering substances, but also there can be drumming, dancing etc, but the most guaranteed way, and which many people who are experienced know today, is the ingesting of vegetation/food which changes your concept of time to an understanding of the eternal.

    Music can do this also, as many musicians here will know. Music and psychedelics are intertwined.

    I also have had two OBEs when I had not ingested any psychedelics where I experienced being out of my physical body. The second OBE was particularly mindblowingly life changing where I saw on either side of my sleeping body were a male and female who communicated with me telepathically, and then later in the experience I met two people who were close to me, and I had a sexual encounter with one of them which was dramatic and shocking, and then both took off the human masks and underneath they looked like Satyrs!! Now, PLEASE, when you have such experiences like this they very much make you question 'ordinary' reality as transmitted by 'education' or the 6:00 news,

    Question: WHY do you accept the reality being pushed by this culture to be real...???! Are you not aware that you could be being mind controlled? How would you know if you were?

    By asking questions!



    THIS conversation can be seen to be like Jazz, or creative explorative music. Sometimes people can get quite disturbed and even hostile when they hear music that is outside their comfort zone. Some will sometimes scream "TURN THAT FUCKIN SHIT OFF!!!" lol

    As this conversation goes on, and if I say things that piss you off--disturb your worldview, be aware of this is all I encourage. And same can happen to me too of course. But you must admit, using the creative music analogy, someone wyho is experienced with 'weird music' is gonna get maybe less rattled then someone who aint?
    Last edited by elixzer; 04-02-2014 at 04:31 AM.

  7. #156

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    This just in. Herbie Hancock giving a one hour lecture at Harvard on "Buddhism and Creativity"


    Navdeep Singh.

  8. #157

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3625 View Post
    Re: Tibetan Buddhists/Neuroscience - what I found cool was that it shows that skilled meditators have got something going on and aren't just sitting there daydreaming all the time.
    I wouldn't presume to call myself skilled, though I meditate every day and have done so for years; but I have to say, I'm trying not to sit there daydreaming ANY of the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by 3625 View Post
    So considering that ...these monks aren't complete fruitcakes....
    That's very kind of you to say so.

  9. #158

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    Quote Originally Posted by elixzer View Post
    I also have had two OBEs when I had not ingested any psychedelics where I experienced being out of my physical body. The second OBE was particularly mindblowingly life changing where I saw on either side of my sleeping body were a male and female who communicated with me telepathically, and then later in the experience I met two people who were close to me, and I had a sexual encounter with one of them which was dramatic and shocking, and then both took off the human masks and underneath they looked like Satyrs!! Now, PLEASE, when you have such experiences like this they very much make you question 'ordinary' reality as transmitted by 'education' or the 6:00 news,
    Okay, I think we have our post of the day. Now where is that durn award...
    Build bridges, not walls.

  10. #159

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3625 View Post
    Re: Tibetan Buddhists/Neuroscience - what I found cool was that it shows that skilled meditators have got something going on and aren't just sitting there daydreaming all the time. As for what's referred to in the scientific community as the 'mind-brain problem/mind-body problem' that is, the ongoing question as to the relationship between mental activity and brain activity - there is as yet no clear consensus as to what consciousness actually is - and that's amongst the scientists and philosophers who spend all day working this stuff out - it really is the great unknown. So considering that fMRI's (and other experiments) have shown that these monks aren't complete fruitcakes, it's doesn't seem a stretch to me to consider the possibility that their claims about consciousness and spirituality might have some merit - but not to fall into the trap of deifying them at the same time. At this stage, it's anecdotal and individual experience from mystics with science gradually looking into the matter through empiricism - one day in the future there might be a final conclusion on the issue but we're far from it yet. With Tibetan Buddhism at least, there's no conflict between scientific research and the religious hierarchy - the Dalai Lama openly encourages it.
    I definitely believe that there is more to meditation than 'daydreaming'. I believe there is a lot more potential for a lot more mental discipline than we seem know about. I just don't believe it means a demon or spirit inhabits you.

  11. #160

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    there is as yet no clear consensus as to what consciousness actually is - and that's amongst the scientists and philosophers who spend all day working this stuff out - it really is the great unknown.
    lol, Many times when I get into deep discussions about this amazing experience life, I will let people know, especially the usually arrogant debunker types that science not only doesn't know what consciousness is, but also doesn't know what matter is! Of course scientific materialists don't like this and will claim that it is known or soon will be! Promissory materialism lol

    But regardless, there is an underlying mystery, or Chaos to life. It is like this: the patriarchal conceptualizing mind splits dynamic processes into parts and then assumes its intellectual operation has reality, for example, known and unknown is a dynamic. You can never ever ever ever have just one without the other. You couldn't know one without the other. This means there must always be the unknown, mystery, darkness, chaos which underlies the known.
    Same is so with male and female, dark and light, good and bad, life and death, space/emptiness and form/sound etc~~~

  12. #161

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    Quote Originally Posted by elixzer View Post
    lol I see what you doing here is this: you go around with this little paragraph in your head, and from that form a worldview which is completely false.
    Yes, I do repeat those ideas frequently. I find they give me great clarity about life and this world we live in. Sometimes, I even repeat them out loud to others in the hope that they might find similar clarity. I don't see how it makes anything false.

    Quote Originally Posted by elixzer View Post
    The whole way you phrase it is wrong "have been searching for". THAT is the scientitific enterprise. Ancient people who had a completely different concept of time didn't think like that. The sacred was here, now in eternal time. You don't 'search' when the sacred is here.
    I have seen in many places people make claims about eternal truths based on the mere fact that ancient people believed it. Why do you think that just because something is old it is right or true? Ancient people had many concepts which were complete bullshit. Diseases were most often attributed to spirits, magic, hexes, etc. They had no knowledge of anything microscopic. They thought mercury was an elixir of life. Slavery was commonplace and all women were frequently thought of as little better than slaves, sometimes not even as good. They thought the earth was flat and at the center of the universe. Libraries are filled with 'ancient knowledge' which was just plain wrong. We have a whole lot more true knowledge today than the ancients did. And I would hope that 1000 years from now, our descendants will know much more than we do.

    Quote Originally Posted by elixzer View Post
    The sacred was here, now in eternal time. You don't 'search' when the sacred is here.
    I actually quite agree with that, I just have a different definition of "sacred" than most. Life is for living, right here, right now. Most religions today actually preach the exact opposite, that this life is nothing but some kind of test and that the real deal comes after we die here.


    Quote Originally Posted by elixzer View Post
    Mythology in its real meaning is...
    That would seem to be a question of semantics and definitions and beliefs. I generally use the term to mean a collection of stories of the supernatural created by a culture to explain things they could not easily understand, usually weather, life, death, etc.


    Quote Originally Posted by elixzer View Post
    ...the ingesting of vegetation/food which changes your concept of time...
    I agree with exactly this excerpt.

    Quote Originally Posted by elixzer View Post
    Question: WHY do you accept the reality being pushed by this culture to be real...???! Are you not aware that you could be being mind controlled? How would you know if you were?
    I don't accept "the reality being pushed by this culture to be real." The reality of this culture (where I live) is overwhelmingly Christianity. I came home today to find a flyer on my door about Easter services at a local christian church, which I have never been to. I am actually quite careful (sometimes fearful even) about what I say and where I say it. Some of you may look at my postings (and others' postings) in this thread and think that we are having some kind of contentious fight. From my perspective, this has been a remarkably open-minded progressive tolerant enlightened discussion, the kind I don't really get to have with too many people in person in "this culture". It's kind of funny really, I feel like a Roman Christian being persecuted for my belief.
    Yes, I am aware that I could be being mind-controlled, and depending on the type of mind-control being used (Goa'uld, Vulcan, Matrix, Jedi, pods, etc.), I might not know it. Nevertheless, I have to do the best I can with what I have.

    Quote Originally Posted by elixzer View Post
    I also have had two OBEs when I had not ingested any psychedelics where I experienced being out of my physical body. The second OBE was particularly mindblowingly life changing where I saw on either side of my sleeping body were a male and female who communicated with me telepathically, and then later in the experience I met two people who were close to me, and I had a sexual encounter with one of them which was dramatic and shocking, and then both took off the human masks and underneath they looked like Satyrs!! Now, PLEASE, when you have such experiences like this they very much make you question 'ordinary' reality as transmitted by 'education' or the 6:00 news,
    I don't watch the 6:00 news.

    Quote Originally Posted by elixzer View Post
    As this conversation goes on, and if I say things that piss you off--disturb your worldview, be aware of this is all I encourage. And same can happen to me too of course. But you must admit, using the creative music analogy, someone wyho is experienced with 'weird music' is gonna get maybe less rattled then someone who aint?
    I am sorry if I disappoint you, but not only did your post neither disturb me nor piss me off, but I can say in all honesty, it brought me great joy. My worldview is fairly solid (although open to change when I come across proper evidence). I am not easily rattled. I have attended concerts of avant-garde atonal experimental music, not a regular thing with me, but I have the experience.

    Vaya con dios, mi amigo.
    Last edited by tribeo; 04-02-2014 at 06:25 PM.

  13. #162
    As the originator of this thread, I just want to say that I've been following it, and appreciating everyone's input, which on the whole has been civil and constructive, and diverse!

    I was reflecting on that idea of what is knowable, versus entertaining the possibility of unknown realities beyond the material. It reminded me if this CS Lewis quote:

    "If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world".

    I'm sure this won't sit well with some here as its phrased to presume we were made with purpose, and by a creator. However, it resonates with me as someone who is perpetually dissatisfied and searching. It favors the spiritual over the material, which is fine by me. I don't have much of a scientific mind, and tend toward philosophical thought more easily. Sometimes I wonder if the diversity in the way we understand the world around us comes down to personality type. In that sense there is no point in trying to make anyone see things the way I do, because they're not me. We each do the best we can with what we've got.

    To bring the discussion back to music, I think one of the remarkable things about music is that we get to express "what is" as well as search for "what isn't yet known". I think in the Ken Burns film, Jazz is referred to as "existence music", meaning that you can bring the good, the bad, and the ugly to it (what is). However, some of my favorite musicians are the searching ones, with desires they can't seem to satiate, who move beyond what they know, really reaching in their improvisation, toward something not yet known, trying to bring unknown into the realm of the known... which is why I liken it to prayer or other spiritual activity.
    Last edited by L4CESN; 04-03-2014 at 01:14 AM.

  14. #163

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    "“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

    ---Einstein, A.

    the fascinating dual and seemingly contradictory aspect of jazz music to me is the fact that, on the one hand, the best of it is timeless, eclipsing the particularity of culture, time and space; simultaneously, it is always the music of the moment, of the now, oblivious to the druthers of the past or the vagaries of the future.
    Last edited by NSJ; 04-03-2014 at 12:08 AM.
    Navdeep Singh.

  15. #164

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    Quote Originally Posted by tribeo View Post
    Yes, I do repeat those ideas frequently. I find they give me great clarity about life and this world we live in. Sometimes, I even repeat them out loud to others in the hope that they might find similar clarity. I don't see how it makes anything false.



    I have seen in many places people make claims about eternal truths based on the mere fact that ancient people believed it. Why do you think that just because something is old it is right or true? Ancient people had many concepts which were complete bullshit. Diseases were most often attributed to spirits, magic, hexes, etc. They had no knowledge of anything microscopic. They thought mercury was an elixir of life. Slavery was commonplace and all women were frequently thought of as little better than slaves, sometimes not even as good. They thought the earth was flat and at the center of the universe. Libraries are filled with 'ancient knowledge' which was just plain wrong. We have a whole lot more true knowledge today than the ancients did. And I would hope that 1000 years from now, our descendants will know much more than we do.
    I could ask you the question Why do you think that just because something is modern it is right or true? By the way, I don't think just because something is ancient it must be true, but I do think we moderns have lost a sense of something very deep. EVEN being forced to live in cities can take away the sense of mystery country people had. That sense of feeling very close to nature. I am trying to explore and reveal the mind control we are under. I am aware of feeling oppressed, and know that some people aren't aware of that and will get upset if you mention this. BUT if you were to take them out of the situation they are unconscious of and then bring them back they would understand.

    I actually quite agree with that, I just have a different definition of "sacred" than most. Life is for living, right here, right now. Most religions today actually preach the exact opposite, that this life is nothing but some kind of test and that the real deal comes after we die here.
    When I use that term I am not creating a duality between sacred and profane. It is more the understanding that nature is full of spirit. Is alive. Traditional religion, and scientism don't believe that, and that has been the indoctrinating of the sense that we are divided from our natures and the natural world.


    That would seem to be a question of semantics and definitions and beliefs. I generally use the term to mean a collection of stories of the supernatural created by a culture to explain things they could not easily understand, usually weather, life, death, etc.
    I see mythology in its benign natural creation of us understanding that underlying reality there is a more-than-human world full of mystery. That our usualy conceptual understanding can never fully KNOW, because there is always the unknown, and mythology is the exploration of that. But groups have created what I can toxic myths for the deliberate purpose of dividing and controlling for their own benefits.


    I agree with exactly this excerpt.


    I don't accept "the reality being pushed by this culture to be real." The reality of this culture (where I live) is overwhelmingly Christianity. I came home today to find a flyer on my door about Easter services at a local christian church, which I have never been to. I am actually quite careful (sometimes fearful even) about what I say and where I say it. Some of you may look at my postings (and others' postings) in this thread and think that we are having some kind of contentious fight. From my perspective, this has been a remarkably open-minded progressive tolerant enlightened discussion, the kind I don't really get to have with too many people in person in "this culture". It's kind of funny really, I feel like a Roman Christian being persecuted for my belief.
    Yes, I am aware that I could be being mind-controlled, and depending on the type of mind-control being used (Goa'uld, Vulcan, Matrix, Jedi, pods, etc.), I might not know it. Nevertheless, I have to do the best I can with what I have.
    I just feel that becoming aware of mind control undermines it. Be it religious, political, musical, etc. Mind controllers depend on you being un-conscious of what they are up to.

    I don't watch the 6:00 news.
    I try and not watch any mainstream news


    I am sorry if I disappoint you, but not only did your post neither disturb me nor piss me off, but I can say in all honesty, it brought me great joy. My worldview is fairly solid (although open to change when I come across proper evidence). I am not easily rattled. I have attended concerts of avant-garde atonal experimental music, not a regular thing with me, but I have the experience.

    Vaya con dios, mi amigo.
    Good, then let's talk

    I have very eclectic taste in music, and can feel myself into a mood of most music unless I hate it. But have noticed others cant and freak out if a music is not 'their music'. Some people get headaches etc, which means they are resisting it

  16. #165

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    Quote Originally Posted by L4CESN View Post
    As the originator of this thread, I just want to say that I've been following it, and appreciating everyone's input, which on the whole has been civil and constructive, and diverse!

    I was reflecting on that idea of what is knowable, versus entertaining the possibility of unknown realities beyond the material. It reminded me if this CS Lewis quote:

    "If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world".

    I'm sure this won't sit well with some here as its phrased to presume we were made with purpose, and by a creator. However, it resonates with me as someone who is perpetually dissatisfied and searching. It favors the spiritual over the material, which is fine by me. I don't have much of a scientific mind, and tend toward philosophical thought more easily. Sometimes I wonder if the diversity in the way we understand the world around us comes down to personality type. In that sense there is no point in trying to make anyone see things the way I do, because they're not me. We each do the best we can with what we've got.

    To bring the discussion back to music, I think one of the remarkable things about music is that we get to express "what is" as well as search for "what isn't yet known". I think in the Ken Burns film, Jazz is referred to as "existence music", meaning that you can bring the good, the bad, and the ugly to it (what is). However, some of my favorite musicians are the searching ones, with desires they can't seem to satiate, who move beyond what they know, really reaching in their improvisation, toward something not yet known, trying to bring unknown into the realm of the known... which is why I liken it to prayer or other spiritual activity.
    "If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world".

    But I wonder how he meant that, by his term "in this world". For me 'world' means the world of business and commerce. It is the oppressors world. NOT planet Earth. So do you think he meant the former or the latter or both?

    Music for me is the essence of spiritual. Spiritual meaning it has no boundaries. In your nature to not have boundaries means you listen to your emotions, feelings, spirit. It is real, and to nurture that creates deep music which others will feel also.

  17. #166

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    Quote Originally Posted by larry graves View Post
    It seems to me religious zeal has caused misery and death to a lot of people through history, and for what?..Was it Tom Pain who said "At the mention of god people stop thinking"...L...
    That's an old nag that invariably gets trotted out when religion and spirituality is discussed. The reality is that human history is full of cruelty and violence and, whereas religion has often been used to justify that inhumanity, it is rarely the actual cause of the violence. More likely it is tribalism and the quest for power among elites that can be looked to at the root of most serious conflict. Of course, when one nag gets trotted out, another will follow so I would mention that, in the last century, the biggest mass murderers were Hitler, Stalin and Mao and their atrocities had nothing to do with their own religion or in fairness their lack of religion.

    I would also say that, inasmuch as it seems attractive to blame religions for past(and present) crimes, one must at the same time consider the good that comes from religions. Often in the past and in the present, many people would have starved, gone without shelter and clothing, been without "family" and hope, and lost their way in many different fashions, without the presence of spirituality and religion in their lives.

    Although Mr. Pain's comment is pithy, I find it vacuous and more than a little ironic.
    Still working on it.

  18. #167

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    Quote Originally Posted by ColinO View Post
    That's an old nag that invariably gets trotted out when religion and spirituality is discussed. The reality is that human history is full of cruelty and violence and, whereas religion has often been used to justify that inhumanity, it is rarely the actual cause of the violence. More likely it is tribalism and the quest for power among elites that can be looked to at the root of most serious conflict.

    What sort of history of are you looking for? Settled societies (i.e, agriculture, formation of class societies and what we know as civilization) are only more or less 10,000 years old.

    Human history is far greater than that. The pre-civilized times, wherein humans travelled in tribes and groups, scavenging for food and shelter, were characterized by two things: (1) general cooperation and equality, which required the labor everyone in the group to survive; and (2) desperate attempts to survive, find food and shelter. The 2nd required the 1st.

    The entire reason why our body is prone to store fat is because of this long prehistorical period, wherein food may not be readily available.

    It is with the dawn of civilization, wherein settled societies emerged, could there bethe rise of organized religions. Practically everywhere until modern times (post Enlightenment), reading and literacy were the private domain of the priestly classes. And they had a far more direct and connection with the rulers, who tended to rule absolutely and divinely (kings/monarchs , et al). It was only with things like the French Revolution ("what is the 4th Estate? Nothing! What must it become? Everything!) that the connection between religion and the rulers began to become severed. Before that time, if there was war and strife, it was caused and decreed by the absolute rulers, and religion was intimately connected with absolutism.

    But, like the way our body continues to physiologically store fat because that's (Scarcity and hunger) what most human history has known, religion continues to residually linger and hold sway in our minds, despite the Enlightenment and the rise of science. And, has adapted accordingly. Indeed, the Catholic Church accepts the theory of Big Bang. the "6000 years" date-of-birth is actually construed figuratively, now, not literally. If you talk to pious Jews, they will tell you of the vigorous intellectual debates that have been going on not in the Bible, but in the Talmud and Talmudic studies. Like everything else, religious thought cannot just fall back on 12th century thinking; else it will become irrelevant in modern society.
    Navdeep Singh.

  19. #168

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    trouble with that it implies on-the-move = good settled = bad. And in my understanding it wasn't like that. In fact it was settled communities which were matriarchal, and close to the land in a practical and spiritual sense who were invaded by Aryan groups on the move who had sky gods and didn't feel a deep spiritual connection with the land, and thus nature

    The trouble with some idealist notion of hunter gathers is that we cannot DO that if we wanted to. There is too many of us critters. So we HAVE to rather remember a spiritual connection with the land, with nature, and then we will work with nature and not against nature. Permaculture is a great example of this

    David Holmgren on his essay 'Crash on Demand' by 21st Century Permaculture | Mixcloud

  20. #169

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    OK, have only just started watching this interview myself, but would like to introduce it to this thread for those who are interested. I am online friends with Seth Farber and he has acknowledged me in his latest book The Spiritual Gift of Madness

    Altough he is brilliant regarding knowledge of and his expose of the mental illness myth, we RADICALLY differ regarding spirituality (yet we don't fall out. We agree to differ on that). Summarized. He believes that some spiritual event will make it so nature becomes 'spiritualized' and predatory animals won't attack other animals for food. He thinks that these are bad habits, and it doesn't have to be that way.
    I however am coming from a Goddess spiritual perceptive which understands nature and the sensual physical body to be sacred, and what went wrong is not nature, but THINKING. When thinking becomes cut off from the organism and thus nature. When a male-dominated philosophical bent comes to prominence and dissociates its process--- which 'it' identifies with- --from organism, feeling, soul, and nature.

    I am also not a fan of Webre either. But hey, check it out, Farber says some very interesting things: "The perfectly adjusted bomber pilot may be a greater threat to species survival than the hospitalized 'schizophrenic' deluded that the bomb is inside him. Our society may itself have become biologically dysfunctional and some forms of 'schizophrenica' alienation from the alienation of our society may have a sociobiological function that we have not yet recognized" (R.D.Laing)

    Only watched first 10 mins so dont know what kind of weird shit is gonna be talked about I may not agree with lol

    Last edited by elixzer; 04-03-2014 at 09:44 AM.

  21. #170

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    Quote Originally Posted by NSJ View Post
    But, like the way our body continues to physiologically store fat because that's (Scarcity and hunger) what most human history has known, religion continues to residually linger and hold sway in our minds, despite the Enlightenment and the rise of science. And, has adapted accordingly. Indeed, the Catholic Church accepts the theory of Big Bang. the "6000 years" date-of-birth is actually construed figuratively, now, not literally. If you talk to pious Jews, they will tell you of the vigorous intellectual debates that have been going on not in the Bible, but in the Talmud and Talmudic studies. Like everything else, religious thought cannot just fall back on 12th century thinking; else it will become irrelevant in modern society.
    But what if by bringing religious thought up to the 21st century, all its non-secular aspects become liabilities?

    That's what I got out of this book:



    The author feels that some atheists have thrown the baby out with the bath water. But what he wants to keep is mainly rituals, not anything supernatural.
    Build bridges, not walls.

  22. #171

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles View Post
    But what if by bringing religious thought up to the 21st century, all its non-secular aspects become liabilities?

    That's what I got out of this book:



    The author feels that some atheists have thrown the baby out with the bath water. But what he wants to keep is mainly rituals, not anything supernatural.
    Don't know about this book. I look at the "baby and the bathwater argument" this way. While I may, in some sense, be in fundamental agreement with Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens, in other ways, these people, with their callous and cold approach to humanity, have also thrown out "the baby with the bathwater" (Hitchens is truly a piece of work who sold his soul for a pot of porridge; or as a prior Brit colleague said, let him get his 15 minutes of fame with gullible Americans who may be enamored by his accent). In that sense, I feel more at home talking to some old nuns from the 8th Day Center for Peace and Justice (Jesuit tradition) I have met who have done exemplary work among and amidst the poor in Latin America.

    And it's hardly the case where the 21st century is the most rational place to live, either. It's hard to imagine any more bloodshed being split as has been done in the past 100 years; it's hard to imagine all these natural resources and nature itself, which have been growing and/or accumulating for millions and millions of years, being squandered, just like that, in a blink of an eye. It's hard to imagine all this science and scientific achievement creating mass weapons that could destroy the world several times over.

    Knowledge is more prevalent than ever; but the contradictions of life are sharper than they ever have been. Hence, the continued role for religion, spiritual thought, and contemplation of that sort.

    P.S., we're starting to see "non-chruch" churches emerge, which have all the trappings of Sunday religious gatherings (the social aspects, the rituals, etc) but imbued with more secular "feel good" messages as "sermons".
    Navdeep Singh.

  23. #172

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    As far as music goes, it's probably hard to historically separate it from spirituality, as music has long served as a major spiritual function in most cultures. Even in today's modern world it still remains an important part of worship.

  24. #173

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    As far as music goes, it's probably hard to historically separate it from spirituality, as music has long served as a major spiritual function in most cultures. Even in today's modern world it still remains an important part of worship.
    I know what you mean. Dotted-eighth-note delay.

    Build bridges, not walls.

  25. #174

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    As far as music goes, it's probably hard to historically separate it from spirituality, as music has long served as a major spiritual function in most cultures. Even in today's modern world it still remains an important part of worship.
    Here's a picture my friend Thomas recently posted (he's the one playing the flamenco guitar). The pic must be from several decades ago, and the tabla player is actually perhaps the best jazz drummer I have ever seen play, named Hamid Drake. I mean this cat can flat out play and even bring form and definition to the free-est of musical situations.

    He is also known as a deeply religious and spiritual human being. I have only met him on a few occasions, and each time he strikes me as a truly gentle and dignified person, one of the nicest people you could possibly meet.

    Incidentally, speaking of ritual, he and this other local drummer, Michael Zerrang, play two very special all-night drum and percussion shows each year, both in celebration for the winter and spring solstice. They've been doing it for decades now, and it remains popular.
    Attached Images Attached Images Jazz and Spirituality-thomas_hamid-jpg 
    Navdeep Singh.

  26. #175

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    wow what was the name of these musicians? I would love to hear their music

  27. #176

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    Quote Originally Posted by elixzer View Post
    wow what was the name of these musicians? I would love to hear their music
    Here is Hamid with his mentor, the late great Fed Anderson.





    You can look him up, he's played with tons of people. From his Wiki page:

    "Drake has worked with trumpeter Don Cherry, pianist Herbie Hancock, saxophonists Pharoah Sanders, Fred Anderson, Archie Shepp and David Murray and bassists Reggie Workman and William Parker (in a large number of lineups)He studied drums extensively, including eastern and Caribbean styles. He frequently plays without sticks; using his hands to develop subtle commanding undertones. His tabla playing is notable for his subtlety and flair. Drake‘s questing nature and his interest in Caribbean percussion led to a deep involvement with reggae."


    Thomas Sorensen is a saxophonist and flamenco guitarist who has played locally with the Ethnic/African Heritage Ensemble, particularly with a veteran 86 year old AACM player who started out playing with Sun Ra and has never has gotten his proper due, named Phil Cohran.

    Here is Mr. Cohran's most beautiful pieces, called "White Nile".

    <font color="#252525"><font face="Arimo">
    Navdeep Singh.

  28. #177

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    the fred anderson and hamid drake recordings are great. And, it's always nice to be reminded that some tastes in music here go outside the (small) "jazz guitar" realm.

  29. #178

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    Quote Originally Posted by elixzer View Post
    Why do you think that just because something is modern it is right or true?
    I don't. I think something is true if I see good evidence for it. If you plant an apple seed in good soil and make sure it gets water and various other conditions are right, eventually an apple tree will grow. That bit of knowledge is about as old as human civilization, and I absolutely believe it as it has been proven again and again. Right now, we are lucky enough to be living in a time when communication and record-keeping technology are far superior to anything from the past, and there are more people 'cooperating' (yes, there is still plenty of fighting and injustice around the world, but I believe it was worse in the past) with each other in knowledge-seeking activities than ever before. All of that together means we generally have much greater knowledge now, than in the past. That hasn't always been true, and sadly, it might not continue to be true. If we were having this conversation in 7th century Rome, I would certainly have a different view. Civilizations have risen and fallen, and I believe that right now we are at a peak much higher than any previous society. Finally, I am only speaking about 'knowledge', not really morality, justice, equity, etc. I believe there is great injustice in this world today, and that there probably have been some simpler smaller human societies in the past which were more just and fair, and there citizens were probably, on average, happier than most people today are.

    And, yes, I believe 'knowledge' applies to spirituality, religion, whatever you want to call it.

  30. #179

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    Quote Originally Posted by tribeo View Post
    I don't. I think something is true if I see good evidence for it. If you plant an apple seed in good soil and make sure it gets water and various other conditions are right, eventually an apple tree will grow. That bit of knowledge is about as old as human civilization, and I absolutely believe it as it has been proven again and again. Right now, we are lucky enough to be living in a time when communication and record-keeping technology are far superior to anything from the past, and there are more people 'cooperating' (yes, there is still plenty of fighting and injustice around the world, but I believe it was worse in the past) with each other in knowledge-seeking activities than ever before. All of that together means we generally have much greater knowledge now, than in the past. That hasn't always been true, and sadly, it might not continue to be true. If we were having this conversation in 7th century Rome, I would certainly have a different view. Civilizations have risen and fallen, and I believe that right now we are at a peak much higher than any previous society. Finally, I am only speaking about 'knowledge', not really morality, justice, equity, etc. I believe there is great injustice in this world today, and that there probably have been some simpler smaller human societies in the past which were more just and fair, and there citizens were probably, on average, happier than most people today are.

    And, yes, I believe 'knowledge' applies to spirituality, religion, whatever you want to call it.
    knowledge isn't wisdom. this modern world is overflowing with knowledge and information but hardly any wisdom. This is why even the natural world is under threat, the very thing we need to live because we are nature

    If you think that about an apple tree, then you must admit the tree and its fruit has knowledge also? I would call it intelligence, as also its dropping leaves, and fruit, which recycle in the soil and enrich it for further healthy growth

    Was it worse in the past? Did they have nuclear weapons, and other types of technology which carry on contaminating life?

    And when you say 'past' what timespan do you mean? 5000, 10.000, etc years? In comparison to life and human kind this modern civilization hasn't been around that long

  31. #180

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    Beautiful deep powerful spiritual music!!

  32. #181

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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.
    You may be right but there is another way to see this. For example, people for thousands of years have claimed to have "spiritual experiences"-----in many cultures, one is not asked to prove the existence of a spiritual realm, so it is not fair to say these people have been searching for the evidence and not finding it. Many started with the evidence of having the experience.

    Now, I'm not offering that as a proof of spiritual reality. Nor am I saying that people are (or usually are) right about what they assume. People can make mistakes.

    Here is a link to a book I think you might enjoy. It's about ancient philosophy, which was seen as a search for wisdom (The Greek term for philosophy means 'love of wisdom.') The author, a contemporary philosopher, argues that Aristotle's argument for the existence of God is a sound argument. Aristotle died over 300 years before Jesus was born; Aristotle was neither Jewish nor Christian; his argument about God----and of course, how he understood God is debated---was a sound philosophical argument. And the author means that it remains a sound argument. (This book had a great impact on Antony Flew, a philosopher who was publicly identified as an atheist for decades but came to believe in the existence of God, without appeal to any divine revelation.)

    Amazon.com: The Rediscovery of Wisdom: From Here to Antiquity in Quest of Sophia (9780312234065): David Conway: Books

    Not everyone who reads this will come to believe in God. But this a good primer in how old arguments about God could be made without reference to any holy book, and by an adherent of no particular religion. (There's a flip side to this, of course: Blaise Pascal, the famous mathematician, had a vision and later made pains that when he spoke about God he meant the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, not the god of the philosophers. Some accept the god of he philosophers but not of the prophets. And of course some reject both. But a rejection of the prophets cannot in itself the arguments of the philosophers.)

    Here's a link to Flew's book, which I found interesting.
    http://www.amazon.com/There-Is-God-N.../dp/0061335304

    It is worth reflecting that some people deny that there is any such thing as consciousness (-because no acceptable description of it passes their test of an acceptable description of reality). The same goes, even more so, for freedom of the will, which many have dismissed as sheer fiction with no evidence for it.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  33. #182

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    I remember with Flew, there are accusations that he was being taken advantage of in his old age and that he didn't really write that book.

    BTW, I don't believe in free will or any supernatural sort of consciousness.
    Build bridges, not walls.

  34. #183

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    Quote Originally Posted by elixzer View Post
    Music for me is the essence of spiritual. Spiritual meaning it has no boundaries. In your nature to not have boundaries means you listen to your emotions, feelings, spirit. It is real, and to nurture that creates deep music which others will feel also.
    This sounds like romanticism, which mirrored the rationalism it arose in opposition to. It's a modern view of things. Mind you, a view can be modern and true (or ancient and true or ancient and false or modern and false or ancient /modern with a mix of truth and error). I am not critiquing that view here. (I will say that although I am drawn to some poetry of the romanticists, I find their philosophy untenable.) But the notion that the 'spiritual' has no boundaries is based on the old notion that it is immaterial. This is why God is said to be simple---as He is wholly immaterial, He has no parts, and is thus a wholly spiritual being. Having no parts, He cannot change, which is what immutable refers to.

    Music can be the essence of the spiritual if you mean prompting (or expressing) certain feelings. And music has been called the most abstract of the arts. But to say it is our nature not to have boundaries is false in that we are animals, we do have 'parts,' we do change, and of course we have bodily needs that place certain limitations upon us. Without bodies, we could not make or enjoy music. (If a choir of angels sang, you would hear nothing.)

    One reason religion seems irrational to some moderns is that many people within the churches grew bored with logic of theology and wanted something more visceral. They got it, and then some, and one unfortunate consequence is that some people think 'all believers must be irrational, or at least overly emotional and, um, childish in their understanding.')
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  35. #184

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles View Post
    I remember with Flew, there are accusations that he was being taken advantage of in his old age and that he didn't really write that book.

    BTW, I don't believe in free will or any supernatural sort of consciousness.
    I read the Flew book and some interviews with him conducted late in life. He seemed lucid to me. I had read several of his prominent (much-anthologized) arguments in support of atheism before.

    When I said "consciousness," I wasn't talking about a supernatural sort. I meant yours or mine, or anyone else's.
    Here's a link to a recent NY Times op/ed in which the author (an editor at Scientific American) argues that nothing is really alive.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/13/op...f=opinion&_r=3

    I understand what prompts some thinkers to go down this road. It's because they can't allow for anything to count as "reality" that they can't fully explain with their current worldview. A great example of how bad this can get can be seen in the reaction to Thomas Nagel's recent book, "Mind and Cosmos." Nagel is a philosopher. And an atheist. He's been known to be an atheist for decades. Indeed, near the end of his book "The Last Word" he makes explicit that not only does he not believe in God, he doesn't want there to be one. (One sometimes hears atheists say, "I wish I could believe but I can't," or "it would be easier to have your naive faith, but alas, I do not." Nagel is clear that he does not want there to be a God.

    But in "Mind and Cosmos" he argues that the current view of Darwinism needs amending because it cannot account for the evolution of consciousness.

    Well, Nagel was pilloried. (Google him and the book and follow the firestorm at your leisure.) His atheism is rock-solid. He makes no appeal to Scripture or God. He just says 'this explanation cannot hold.' It would be one thing for people to disagree and point out where they think he went wrong. (And some people do mention that.) But it is clear that what has happened is a sort of shunning----he is personally attacked for 'letting down the side' when what he did was make a thoughtful statement on an important matter. I think this is a case where people who have defined reality in a certain way, a way that cannot explain some things we all experience (-and I don't mean religious things or special experiences but the garden-variety inner lives of garden-variety folk.)

    And yet none of the people who have demonized Nagel have answered the questions. Beyond some who say that either there really is no such thing as consciousness ('you may think you're thinking but you're wrong'), or that there is no "real" difference between organic and inorganic life.

    When you say you don't believe in free will, do you mean that if you're at home and want to hear some music you are completely determined to put on a certain record for a certain amount of time? And when say, choosing between two guitars, the choice is already determined but somehow it is also determined that you will be unaware of this and thus talk to yourself about the pros and cons of each for a pre-determined amount of time before buying the one you could never help buying anyway? Have you ever posted something, looked it over, and then said,'Wait, that's not what I meant.' How are mistakes possible when acts are wholly determined?
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  36. #185

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    When you say you don't believe in free will, do you mean that if you're at home and want to hear some music you are completely determined to put on a certain record for a certain amount of time? And when say, choosing between two guitars, the choice is already determined but somehow it is also determined that you will be unaware of this and thus talk to yourself about the pros and cons of each for a pre-determined amount of time before buying the one you could never help buying anyway? Have you ever posted something, looked it over, and then said,'Wait, that's not what I meant.' How are mistakes possible when acts are wholly determined?
    If I could rewind the universe and replay from a point, I would do the same things. I look for a mechanism for free will and don't see it. I guess this makes me a materialist. I'm unwilling to make leaps in belief without evidence.

    Our brains trick us. They look at what the body does and say "I meant to do that". There are experiments of people playing a video game (if I am remembering this correctly) where you have to make left or right turns. Measurements of the subjects muscles and higher brain function show that the brain is noting "turn right" after the muscles initiate the right turn.
    Build bridges, not walls.

  37. #186

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    You may be right but there is another way to see this. For example, people for thousands of years have claimed to have "spiritual experiences"-----in many cultures, one is not asked to prove the existence of a spiritual realm, so it is not fair to say these people have been searching for the evidence and not finding it. Many started with the evidence of having the experience.
    lol, now the materialists want solid evidence! In a way I can sympathize, because anyone can say any old shit and this is how cults form. The pattern is you get the charismatic leader with the flashing eyes and powerful demeanor , and then you get the followers---the needy gullible people he has the mind control tactics to manipulate.
    I have seen documentaries that show this VERY powerfully. I will never forget the expression of these two women who were sitting at the feet of their American guru. it was really spooky their expression---they were gone. They would have done anything for this maniac shyster!
    Also remember Charles Manson! There's this dude in Australian who thinks/says he is Jesus reborn, and dresses like the stereotypical/cheesy way you see him on twee cards etc, and he has followers and they were growing. And what I noticed was they could break down in tears at the drop of a hat. VERY emotional, vulnerable. It was tragic to see.
    So there is all that.

    There are the 'channelers' who have claimed to contact 'ascended masters' etc and what not, and a lot of what they say is reactionary, racist, and ecocidal, and misogynist and a good example of this is the founder of the Theosophical Movement, Helena Blavatsky whose 'channelings' etc influenced Hitler, and his Nazi idealism!

    I am sure stuff like this is what freaks out many materialists.,,,,,,,,,,,,BUT, even so this does not account for genuine spiritual experience. But they will claim that whatEVER experience it is it must be hallucination because the brain produces consciousness so they believe. But there is no evidence for that assertion. None whatsoever! And that theory cannot explain genuine anomalies, and this restricts real scientific investigation also.
    So I suggest both allowing for spiritual experience and also encouraging critical questioning. As explained, like when people have spiritual experience---what are they saying. Are they fucking things, people up? Question. And also yourself


    It is worth reflecting that some people deny that there is any such thing as consciousness (-because no acceptable description of it passes their test of an acceptable description of reality). The same goes, even more so, for freedom of the will, which many have dismissed as sheer fiction with no evidence for it.
    I know LOL, how absurd can this be and get. There they are having consciousness and they deny they have it! They think it is an illusion.
    If we look at the traditional religion myth, the 'creation myth' what do we have? We have the 'God' tell Adam and Eve they must not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. IE, they must do as told by their creator and have no free will. This myth was set to make people obey an authority, God and 'his' Church. Isn't the same shit going down with the modern myth of scientism. But in this case it is using the mind-control of pseudoscience to convince you you are a robot without any free will and you must abide by the authority of materialistic science? I think so!
    Last edited by elixzer; 04-04-2014 at 05:30 PM.

  38. #187

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles View Post
    If I could rewind the universe and replay from a point, I would do the same things. I look for a mechanism for free will and don't see it. I guess this makes me a materialist. I'm unwilling to make leaps in belief without evidence.

    Our brains trick us. They look at what the body does and say "I meant to do that". There are experiments of people playing a video game (if I am remembering this correctly) where you have to make left or right turns. Measurements of the subjects muscles and higher brain function show that the brain is noting "turn right" after the muscles initiate the right turn.
    I think you'll enjoy this. What is truly astounding is that consciously, the subject knows exactly is happening, there is no attempt at illusion or deception. In fact, the researcher goes to great lengths to explain everything as it happens:


  39. #188

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    You may be right but there is another way to see this. For example, people for thousands of years have claimed to have "spiritual experiences"-----in many cultures, one is not asked to prove the existence of a spiritual realm, so it is not fair to say these people have been searching for the evidence and not finding it. Many started with the evidence of having the experience.

    Now, I'm not offering that as a proof of spiritual reality. Nor am I saying that people are (or usually are) right about what they assume. People can make mistakes.

    Here is a link to a book I think you might enjoy. It's about ancient philosophy, which was seen as a search for wisdom (The Greek term for philosophy means 'love of wisdom.') The author, a contemporary philosopher, argues that Aristotle's argument for the existence of God is a sound argument. Aristotle died over 300 years before Jesus was born; Aristotle was neither Jewish nor Christian; his argument about God----and of course, how he understood God is debated---was a sound philosophical argument. And the author means that it remains a sound argument. (This book had a great impact on Antony Flew, a philosopher who was publicly identified as an atheist for decades but came to believe in the existence of God, without appeal to any divine revelation.)

    Amazon.com: The Rediscovery of Wisdom: From Here to Antiquity in Quest of Sophia (9780312234065): David Conway: Books

    Not everyone who reads this will come to believe in God. But this a good primer in how old arguments about God could be made without reference to any holy book, and by an adherent of no particular religion. (There's a flip side to this, of course: Blaise Pascal, the famous mathematician, had a vision and later made pains that when he spoke about God he meant the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, not the god of the philosophers. Some accept the god of he philosophers but not of the prophets. And of course some reject both. But a rejection of the prophets cannot in itself the arguments of the philosophers.)

    Here's a link to Flew's book, which I found interesting.
    http://www.amazon.com/There-Is-God-N.../dp/0061335304

    It is worth reflecting that some people deny that there is any such thing as consciousness (-because no acceptable description of it passes their test of an acceptable description of reality). The same goes, even more so, for freedom of the will, which many have dismissed as sheer fiction with no evidence for it.

    Thank you. I will try to read that book.

  40. #189

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    Having no parts, He cannot change
    I don't see how "having no parts" means immutable.

  41. #190

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    When you say you don't believe in free will, do you mean that if you're at home and want to hear some music you are completely determined to put on a certain record for a certain amount of time? And when say, choosing between two guitars, the choice is already determined but somehow it is also determined that you will be unaware of this and thus talk to yourself about the pros and cons of each for a pre-determined amount of time before buying the one you could never help buying anyway? Have you ever posted something, looked it over, and then said,'Wait, that's not what I meant.' How are mistakes possible when acts are wholly determined?
    (Disclaimer: I am not sure about free will, but I lean towards 'predestination'.)
    If your brain (or the entire universe) were 'preprogrammed' to have the doubts, go through the motions of reflecting and 'changing your mind', how could you ever know that you really 'chose' a certain course of action, or guitar, or whether that is simply the way it was going to happen? At least for right now, I don't think we know enough about the brain, the cosmos, or the supernatural to be absolutely certain if we have free will or not. If you are part of a giant mechanism, how could you know it?

  42. #191

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    I think this is really the final word on music and spirituality:


  43. #192

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    Yes. Free will v. predestination.

    Is it possible that predestination actually means predictability. IOW, all of our actions, all of our choices are a result of a set of conditions that have been set in motion since birth... that given what we know, who we are, what our environment has presented us with, all of our past experiences, and all of our past associations, that all of our actions and reactions are predictable. And taken a step further, there is no force that has assigned a certain set of actions to us since even before birth, but that we fit into a continuum of events that cause us to be compliant with a set of behaviors within that continuum. And is it possible that this continuum of events falls into a larger scheme, a fabric consisting of a world of threads that are each of our lives, intertwined into the fabric of humanity? So while we think we have free will, all of our actions are shaped by a lifetime of internal and external influences causing us to choose a predictable course of behavior- thus we are predisposed or predestined to make certain choices.
    Last edited by zigzag; 04-05-2014 at 10:06 AM.

  44. #193

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    Surprised no one mentioned Mclaughlin who was very influenced by the spiritualilty of Coltrane:

    Last edited by WESTON; 04-05-2014 at 12:52 AM.

  45. #194

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    Quote Originally Posted by tribeo View Post
    I think you'll enjoy this. What is truly astounding is that consciously, the subject knows exactly is happening, there is no attempt at illusion or deception. In fact, the researcher goes to great lengths to explain everything as it happens:

    but does this mean that someone with a prosthetic hand would feel the same if someone stroked it?

  46. #195

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    This sounds like romanticism, which mirrored the rationalism it arose in opposition to. It's a modern view of things. Mind you, a view can be modern and true (or ancient and true or ancient and false or modern and false or ancient /modern with a mix of truth and error). I am not critiquing that view here. (I will say that although I am drawn to some poetry of the romanticists, I find their philosophy untenable.) But the notion that the 'spiritual' has no boundaries is based on the old notion that it is immaterial. This is why God is said to be simple---as He is wholly immaterial, He has no parts, and is thus a wholly spiritual being. Having no parts, He cannot change, which is what immutable refers to.
    I don't consider it modern but very ancient. But agree that modern can be connected with ancient. of course, because mythical or spiritual experience is experience of eternal time, not linear sense of time. IF spirit is material please will you present a piece of it to me? Is love material or is it feeling. Cannot experiences be immeasurable? That means not de-fined BY measure.
    I agree with you that the patriarchal notion of 'God' as spirit, and is unchageable, is the usual notion of 'spirit' but it is not the spirit I mean. I am no divided 'spirit' from 'matter' but I am also not defining 'spirit' or 'matter' actually. Science does not know what either are! Mystery.

    Music can be the essence of the spiritual if you mean prompting (or expressing) certain feelings. And music has been called the most abstract of the arts. But to say it is our nature not to have boundaries is false in that we are animals, we do have 'parts,' we do change, and of course we have bodily needs that place certain limitations upon us. Without bodies, we could not make or enjoy music. (If a choir of angels sang, you would hear nothing.)

    One reason religion seems irrational to some moderns is that many people within the churches grew bored with logic of theology and wanted something more visceral. They got it, and then some, and one unfortunate consequence is that some people think 'all believers must be irrational, or at least overly emotional and, um, childish in their understanding.')
    When I say spirit is don't divide it from animals, and boundaries--from nature with its changes. However there are spiritual experiences where the usual sense of boundary are surpassed, such as feeling yourself out of your body, also feeling someone else when observing and/or listening that this empathy allows you to feel you are they, and this can include anything you may observe, tree, cloud, other animals, rocks.
    You cannot know that without bodies we couldn't hear or make music. Read up on NDE, and OBE reports. I have had two OBEs. Although I didn't make or hear music I interacted with other beings. There is also cases of blind people (from birth) who have been able to see in a Near Death Experience!

    I think that traditional religion lost its soul or spirit when it totally suppressed any knowledge and/or actual sacramental ingestion of psychedelic substances for spiritual inspiration!

  47. #196

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    No one has tried to differentiate the brain from the spirit. At what point does one stop being the other? I think most neuro-scientists would say that who we are comes from the biological and chemical composition of our brains. The exact makeup of the cognitive part of the brain is physically shaped by our thoughts. Is there anything deeper than that? Is there any part of our conscious/unconscious that is apart from the physical part of our brains that is linked to the brain but apart from it; perhaps we could call that the self or the spirit or the soul? Could that also be the spark that gives us life and that which leaves us at the point of death?

    An interesting concept that has been pretty much abandoned by scientists in the west involves the notion of auras and energy fields produced by living things. These fields have been "photographed" using a technique called Kirlian photography. In the Chinese discipline of Qigong, these energy fields are called qi (chi) or prana. There is little doubt in my mind that chi exists and that the universe is teeming and flowing with the energy that emanates from all living things.

  48. #197

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles View Post
    If I could rewind the universe and replay from a point, I would do the same things. I look for a mechanism for free will and don't see it. I guess this makes me a materialist. I'm unwilling to make leaps in belief without evidence.

    Our brains trick us. They look at what the body does and say "I meant to do that". There are experiments of people playing a video game (if I am remembering this correctly) where you have to make left or right turns. Measurements of the subjects muscles and higher brain function show that the brain is noting "turn right" after the muscles initiate the right turn.
    I understand what you are saying but it seems obvious to me that there is not and cannot be evidence for the proposition that, say, if we re-wound the clock to 1904 that everything we know to have happened since then would happen again in exactly the same way. (I read Nietzsche as a teen and gave a lot of thought to his notion of "eternal recurrence.")

    I'm familiar with the research you talk about. Curiously, none of the researchers argue that they had to conduct those experiments in just that way and that they are not respsonsible for their conclusions because they couldn't help but think them because, well, there's really no such thing as thinking. (This is the old line that 'the brain secretes thought like the liver secretes bile.')

    Instead of looking for a mechanism for free will, consider your own experience of choosing one guitar or another to buy, or to play, or one song rather than another to work on, or one movie or another to watch, or one verdict or another to render in a trial. (If people cannot help what they think, it never makes sense to say a jury or the Supreme Court rendered a bad verdict. Of course, you could say, "I know it could be no different but I can't help but think it should have been.") Perhaps the greatest irony here is that this view shipwrecks science, for the idea that truth or logic----immaterial things---can make no physical impact upon brains, so really, materialist atheists should say 'my view is no more reasonable than a mystic's vision because no one actually reasons. It is ironic that materialists--the ones who deny anything 'mental' can happen---think of themselves as smarter than other people but if we cannot help what we think, if logic and reason cannot influence physical acts in the brain, which is all 'mind' is, then it is no more intelligent to study, physics or biology, than to study numerology or Nostradamus because we don't actually think, period. We just tell ourselves we do.

    Haldane captured this puzzle well in an essay he wrote in the 1920s:
    "It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere byproduct of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms." from "When I am Dead" in Possible Worlds (1927)
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  49. #198

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    Instead of looking for a mechanism for free will, consider your own experience of choosing one guitar or another to buy, or to play, or one song rather than another to work on, or one movie or another to watch, or one verdict or another to render in a trial. (If people cannot help what they think, it never makes sense to say a jury or the Supreme Court rendered a bad verdict. Of course, you could say, "I know it could be no different but I can't help but think it should have been.") Perhaps the greatest irony here is that this view shipwrecks science, for the idea that truth or logic----immaterial things---can make no physical impact upon brains, so really, materialist atheists should say 'my view is no more reasonable than a mystic's vision because no one actually reasons. It is ironic that materialists--the ones who deny anything 'mental' can happen---think of themselves as smarter than other people but if we cannot help what we think, if logic and reason cannot influence physical acts in the brain, which is all 'mind' is, then it is no more intelligent to study, physics or biology, than to study numerology or Nostradamus because we don't actually think, period. We just tell ourselves we do.
    I view my brain as a computer (warning: I am a software developer!). It recognizes logic and it can learn. Suppose I had a coworker who was a robot: no spirit, no free will. How could you tell us apart? Or what about the old idea of replacing biological parts of a human one at a time with manufactured components? At what point does one stop being a person? Where is free will and spirit when one is 0% biological?
    Build bridges, not walls.

  50. #199

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    Quote Originally Posted by zigzag View Post
    An interesting concept that has been pretty much abandoned by scientists in the west involves the notion of auras and energy fields produced by living things. These fields have been "photographed" using a technique called Kirlian photography. In the Chinese discipline of Qigong, these energy fields are called qi (chi) or prana. There is little doubt in my mind that chi exists and that the universe is teeming and flowing with the energy that emanates from all living things.
    While it might be possible that "chi" exists, I believe that you have told much less than half the story on "Kirlian photography". The reason scientists everywhere stopped looking for auras and energy fields with this technique is that *all* matter (organic and inorganic) produces an aura when exposed to the kirlian technique. What is being seen is the coronal discharge produced by water vapor being dispersed either from the living organism or in the air surrounding the inorganic material. In both cases, if you up the humidity, you get bigger auras, if you lower it, smaller. It is repeatedly demonstrable in the lab - higher humidity, bigger coronal discharge, lower, smaller. This is just scientific fact. You can choose to ignore that and believe that something bigger is going on, but in a case where alternative hard science explanations are available, I think it's doing a disservice to not supply all the evidence.

    If you go back a step, the entire process is suspect as the coronas could only be "photographed" when photographic paper was placed on a conducting material and a low amperage, high voltage current was applied; the actual corona was never visible to the operator. If auras and energy fields exist, and are visible to one person, they wold be visible to all, and photograph-able. The human eye/brain combination only sees a very small slice of the spectrum; IIRC, folks that claimed to be able to see these things were tested for the ability to see beyond the normal spectrum and that ability was not demonstrated.

    A discussion of music, spirituality and religion is one thing, as these are all matters of opinion and personal belief as well as being beyond testing via the scientific method to be found true or wanting, but introducing "spiritualist" claims as being proofs when there are simpler explanations that can be repeated using the scientific method borders on charlatanism. That is unfair to the casual reader.

    Again, this is all my own personal opinion.
    Last edited by ah.clem; 04-05-2014 at 12:58 PM. Reason: Typo, no wine to blame, yet.
    "Talent is a pursued interest; anything that you're willing to practice, you can do." - Bob Ross

  51. #200

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles View Post
    I view my brain as a computer (warning: I am a software developer!).
    That is the theory Computationalism. I remember about 2/3 years ago, I was discussing with this guy who is quite well known in the psychedelic community known as MAX FREAKOUT lol, and I was real shocked to find out he is alamost an evangelist for that theory which forced me to look more into it. I remember searching at Youtube about this philosophy which MAX said was the leading philosophy of the mind. Not ONE freaking video lol

    This quote comes to mind: “Everyone takes the limits of his own vision for the limits of the world.” Arthur Schopenhauer [this would include, limits of the 'state of the art science' of course]


    It recognizes logic and it can learn. Suppose I had a coworker who was a robot: no spirit, no free will. How could you tell us apart? Or what about the old idea of replacing biological parts of a human one at a time with manufactured components? At what point does one stop being a person? Where is free will and spirit when one is 0% biological?
    heard of the Turing Test which was asking this question:

    The Turing test is a test of a machine's ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human. In the original illustrative example, a human judge engages in natural language conversations with a human and a machine designed to generate performance indistinguishable from that of a human being. All participants are separated from one another. If the judge cannot reliably tell the machine from the human, the machine is said to have passed the test. The test does not check the ability to give the correct answer to questions; it checks how closely the answer resembles typical human answers. The conversation is limited to a text-only channel such as a computer keyboard and screen so that the result is not dependent on the machine's ability to render words into audio
    ( source )

    response: The Trouble with the Turing Test ...Turing’s paper claimed that suitably programmed digital computers would be generally accepted as thinking by around the year 2000
    ...These facts have made the Test highly problematic for AI enthusiasts, who want to enlist Turing as their spiritual father and philosophic patron. While they have programmed the computer to do things that might have astonished even him, today’s programmers cannot do what he believed they would do — they cannot pass his test...

    Computationalism is an essential tenet of materialism, which states that there is no need to assume any spiritual or non-algorithmic aspect to existence.

    One of the most spectacular and substantial difference[s] between machines and living systems is that in the case of machines the source of the work is not related to any significant structural changes. The systemic forces of machines ... work only if the constituents of the machine are taken into motion by energy sources which are outer to these constituents. The inner states of the constituents of a machine remain practically constant. The task of the constituents of a machine is to convert some kind of energy into work. In contrast, in the living systems the energy of the internal build-up, of the structure of the living matter is transformed into work. The energy of the food is not transformed into work, but to the maintenance and renewal of their internal structure and inner states. Therefore, the living systems are not power machines” (ibid., 64). The fundamental principle of biology acts against the changes which would set up in the system on the basis of the Le Chatelier-Braun principle (ibid., 59). The Bauer-principle recognises the problem of the forces acting at the internal boundary surfaces as the central problem of biology...
    (“Integrative Science”: The Death-Knell of Scientific Materialism? )