METAPHYSICS: Paradigms  of REALITY

4.3 THE RISE AND FALL OF MONOTHEISM 

& Religion in General

Dehumanization - the dumbing down of humanity

  through doctrine and data.

" This Life's dim Windows of the Soul
Distorts the Heavens from Pole to Pole
And leads you to Believe a Lie
When you see with, not thro' the Eye."
.....William Blake

"PRIEST : May the Lord have mercy on your soul.
VERDOUX : Why not? After all, it belongs to Him.
"
.....Charlie Chaplin

"Religion is the soul of soulless conditions, the heart of a
heartless world, the opium of the people." .........Karl Marx

 

Introduction and Definitions

The word "religion" is used throughout this work  mostly as referring
to the organized form of religion, that is, a set of beliefs and concepts
that a society or culture believes to be ultimately true as a matter of
"faith" without questioning of its validity in time or place, and without
examining or acknowledging the fundamental assumptions behind
those beliefs and concepts. However, this does not mean that there
is nothing to learn from organized religion.

WEB 2012: There are two broad domains of understanding based upon two distinct world views.
One is the material world view of science which is necessarily confined only to the physical,
 material world, and has severe limitations because it is based upon the unexamined assumption
 that the material world is all there is. The other world view is that of religion (in this age it is
organized, by which I mean it follows a pattern based upon scriptures which are mostly
outdated) which has more severe limitations because it is based upon doctrines rather than
 direct experience, or genuine understanding or genuine faith.
In between these two world views lies the no man's land of exploration and adventure, and
whosoever ventures there does so on his or her own resources, but finds no common ground
that can reconcile the two extreme world views.

The whole point is that there is are no clear grounds developed upon which communication
 and dialog or dialectic that can take place between these extremes, and that
 is a colossal human failure.

"Those who say that 'believer' and 'atheist' are concrete categories do violence
 to the mystery we must be humble enough to confess." ...Roger Ebert


WEB INT 2016: ROOT ANTHROPOLOGY: The classification of categories of fundamental belief
systems of post-modern man is deeply flawed. A new category has been made in the last
couple of decades.
NONE is a category too broad that includes two extreme kinds: on the one extreme is the
non-conformist, non-organized-religion thinker (rather than "believer", one of the earliest
example in civilizations is Socrates) and on the other extreme is the scientific-materialist
(or atheist) who believes only in so called "evidence" or "facts" established as such by the
scientific methodology and upheld by scientific authority ( the kind that doesn't even
understand the concept of "interpretation").
Thus it is not surprising that endless unproductive debates yield only confusion and
en-darken-ment ( the opposite of enlightenment).
(Comment in http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/23/
no-religion-outnumber-christians-england-wales-study )
 

The following definition comes close to what I would call social/organized
or institutionalized religion:

"Religion  is  1) a system of symbols which acts to 2) establish powerful,
persuasive and long-lasting moods and motivations in people by 3)
formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and 4) clothing
these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that the moods and
motivations seem uniquely realistic.".....Clifford Geertz

A more elaborate definition is from Colombia Univ. Encyclopedia:

Religion is a system of thought, feeling and action that is shared by a
group and gives the members an object of devotion; it is a code of
behavior by which individuals may judge the personal and social
consequences of their actions; and a frame of reference by which
individuals may relate to their group and the universe. Usually,
religion concerns itself with that which transcends the known,
the natural, or the expected; it is an acknowledgement of the
extraordinary, the mysterious, the supernatural. The religious
consciousness generally recognizes a transcendent, sacred
order and elaborates a technique to deal with the inexplicable
and unpredictable elements of human experience in the world
or beyond it.
 

Note : I have underlined the word 'general' as the key word in the above
definition to distinguish this definition of religion as valid for the domain
of social/organized/institutionalized religion, from that of 'personal
religion'.
All organized religions are characterized by a code of rituals, norms, symbols,
and of course scripture ..... these are all correctly to be understood as social
 organizations and communities ... there is virtually no true religion left in
any of them.

In a tribal, shamanic society ( see also article : social structures and
constructs
) religion is purely a personal affair, and has no specific
doctrines. It is purely a personal quest, and any interpretation or
presentation of the results of this quest are not considered as
definitive, as is the case with organized religion.

urbbul1a.gif (627 bytes) The only progress of institutionalized religion is in terms of replacing
 one set of beliefs and rituals with another set of beliefs and rituals.
Organized religion  have never and can never promote unique
 individuals, only decadent institutions. Therefore, in a fundamental
sense, this work deemphasizes organized religion or institutionalized
religion.
urbbul1a.gif (627 bytes)

This article is a critical analysis of the role of organized religions in the
 downfall of societies and cultures. Science is also viewed here as an organized
 religion in which individual experience is nullified and degraded in favor of
"objects" that can be experimented with in the temple of science: the laboratory.
I have called it an organized religion not only as a rhetorical provocation to the
typical
narrow-minded scientific mindset, but also for sound reasons: because
Science as a method or discipline has crucial similarities to organized religion
insofar as they both do not clearly acknowledge the  fundamental assumptions
and beliefs thereof on which they are founded, and therefore deny any reality
beyond the confines of their paradigm of reality. Scientists deny any reality
beyond the physical, and scientists presume that the observable, quantifiable
measurable, tangible or deductible from these is all there is that is real, the
rest is merely imaginary at best and illusory or superstition at worst.

The dangerous trend towards reductionism and denying the existence of anything
 that has no measurable or tangible evidence has become the habit of most scientists
 - and what is even more deadly is that they are appropriating authority over every
human field of concern without the corresponding responsibility - and carried to
 it's logical conclusion - it means certain disaster.

see also sobject.htm

Organized religion has the 'my way and no other way' attitude, and hosts
a baggage of doctrines, beliefs and rigid conceptions of reality that leave
little or no scope for the individual to think or experience anything beyond
the well defined doctrines, scriptures and rituals of that particular religion.
Sadly, this is true even of Buddhism. However, to the credit of science more
than that of religion, within the boundaries of their paradigm, the scientists
are more open ended to new developments, and it needs to be mentioned
here that the accumulation of mountains of data and theories/ mathematical
relationships, models developed from this data about the physical cosmos
not only baffles the lay person but is increasingly baffling to the scientists
themselves as to its overall comprehension or  meaning, but this being
embarrassing to them, have started denying that, and to cover up their
 lack of comprehension, they either invent sophisticated jargon or use
existing words ( ex. 'god particle') in a manner so as to ensure that enough
funds are always available from their political bosses to carry on this process
of 'uncovering all the secrets of the universe'. Some scientists keep their
fingers in every pie or hedge their bets by proclaiming their 'faith' in
both science and religion.

“Quantum theory was split up into dialects. Different people describe the same
experiences in remarkably different languages. This is confusing even
to physicists.”―David Finkelstein
 

This would otherwise be innocuous but for the dangerous myths generated by the
fanatic scientists like Dawkins and Krauss, and these myths of science then being
perpetuated to monstrous levels by the armies of hard programmed recruits from
schools and colleges from all over the world.

Although scientists having some religious experience are better off than
 those who are totally entangled in the material because they have a
better chance of having an open mind to examine alternate paradigms
of reality, whereas those who are relying on doctrine and scripture
are just as stuck.

Even the learned scientists who profess faith in god are getting flak here
 because their idea of religion/god is (again just like the priests) not really their
 own but a result of indoctrination by an unchanging institution that is thousands
 of years old and carries the useless burden of a so called 'covenants' that have
been taken as an absolute and never to be revised.

JUNE 2016: Is religion an obsolete system of knowledge?
It would not be incorrect to state that "organized religion" is an "obsolete system
 of knowledge". Even then, religion in it's true sense is not a "system of knowledge"
 but an experiential based dynamic knowing - that is: existential knowledge that
develops into power. In modernity, Kierkegaard is the religious philosopher who
 understood this and articulated it brilliantly in his works.

Even primitive man understood that religion was a personal quest, and not
 to be made an object of consensus. Institutionalization has made religion
an object of scorn and ridicule because it has destroyed individual capacity
 to experience by making god into an object and the pathetic attempts
to compete with science to give proofs and evidence of things for which
 there are necessarily no proofs to be given as that very process is an
 anti-thesis to religious experience.

All attempts to prove God/Creator will fail simply because the creator of
existence of space-time itself is not within this space-time temporal existence,
but is the presumed primordial cause/transcendent cause, and therefore of the
Eternal realm, best conceived as the Eternal One - that is - a unity of the essence
 of everything/every-being in the timeless realm.
Such a unified and timeless essence is at best experienced and intuited, and cannot
 be proven or established by logic/science/linear thought. God is not an existential
 entity in temporal reality ( time-space Universe), but a Unitary entity in Eternity, not
 part of the physical cosmos nor reflected in the physical, and therefore properly
 speaking 'God Does NOT EXIST', and therefore cannot be proven to exist.
 

"God and religion are not objective. There are no proofs of God.
Such an attempt at proof is ludicrous. Even miracles do not
constitute proof. We are not talking about exceptions to the
laws of science, but we are talking about a realm in which
scientific explanation doesn't even get a foothold."
.......R. Solomon TTC on Kierkegaard

"Faith is necessarily without evidence - otherwise what faith?
The real question is: where is faith placed?” ..Eudamoniac

"Aside from general human inadequacy, a good deal of the blame for this
rests with education, which promulgates the old generalizations and says
nothing about the secrets of private experience. Thus, every effort is made
to teach idealistic beliefs or conduct which people know in their hearts they
can never live up to and such ideals are preached by officials who know that
they themselves have never lived up to these high standards and never will.
What is more, nobody ever questions the value of this kind of teaching."
.......Jung


What is 'personal religion' as contrary to 'organized religion' ?

“... the most probable of all my theorems, is that life is ordered by the principles
of some religion so peculiar and obscure it has no followers, and none may
fathom it, nor know the rituals by which to court its favour.”
― Alan Moore,

"There can be no doubt that as a matter of fact a religious life,
exclusively pursued, does tend to make the person exceptional and
eccentric. I speak not now of your ordinary religious believer, who
follows the conventional observances of his country, whether it be
Buddhist, Christian, or Mohammedan. His religion has been made for him
by others, communicated to him by tradition, determined to fixed forms
by imitation, and retained by habit. It would profit us little to
study this second-hand religious life. We must make search rather for
the original experiences which were the pattern-setters to all this
mass of suggested feeling and imitated conduct. These experiences we
can only find in individuals for whom religion exists not as a dull
habit, but as an acute fever rather. " William James

 

Personal religious experience is defined in this work as having the following
characteristic features:
1. The first and foremost sign of a religious experience is the strangeness
and novelty of the experience that makes the ordinary day-to-day
affairs of survival and social engagement appear trivial, mundane, of
little or no importance, of little or no worth compared to the religious
experience which is characterized by its high worth or high value for
the individual and which is neither directly related to nor dependent on
 social values or survival value.

"There are moments of sentimental and mystical experience that carry an
enormous sense of inner authority and illumination with them when they come.
But they come seldom, and they do not come to everyone; and the rest of life
makes either no connection with them, or tends to contradict them more
 than it confirms them. ".....William James


2. The experience typically disrupts the continuity and linearity of time,
space and existing notions or conceptions that the person has acquired
 by the process of social-cultural upbringing.

3. The strength of the experience is indicated by the jolt or shock that
the individual experiences, because no one in any social system can
describe or predict if and when and how it can happen. Some native
tribal cultures do have words to the effect that a strong religious
experience is preceded by pre-shocks or 'strange feelings' that forces
that person to go to an isolated place and sit in a state of 'empty mind'
or 'inner silence' until the full impact of the religious experience
is unveiled or a powerful vision results. The other response is that the
individual suspends all other activities to allow for the full impact
of the experience to be absorbed by his/her mind and intellect by
analyzing and restructuring existing knowledge.
The other factors that may trigger such a state is 1) extreme stress
of a physical or mental crisis 2) death or near death experience
3) profound altered state of consciousness 4) confrontation of
an apparently impossible challenge.

4. The result of this churning brings clarity  to the individual about
what is trivial or worthless and what is worth doing: the direction or
purpose of the individual's life becomes clear.

5. The most significant sign of the result of such experience is that the
individual undergoes a vital transformation that energizes or galvanizes
 the individual towards his/her goal or purpose.

6. The final result of this transformation is the individual's sense of
gratitude towards the world as well as the absolute, and also the
realization that this can only be complete by making a contribution
by action or expression that serves as a light for others.

WebInt2015 Gratitude is curative too, but it works only when it spontaneously
comes from within, and has little or no power if enacted ritually or by social or peer
pressure. Feelings of gratitude are an indispensable part of religious experience,
and without which no religious experience is complete.

Note: The above process may occur in a series of events spread over
many years rather than just one major event.

Can other deeply personal experiences which do not necessarily  fit
the above description be called religious? I do not wish to provide
or impose on the reader a fixed definition of religion since it is
a very personal experience - and therefore I say here that any
experience out of the mundane that makes that person more
wholesome, leads to greater integrity, especially moral integrity
and provides a direction and fulfillment to one's life is basically
 a religious experience. And this is so because integrity implies
(and there can hardly be integrity without a moral basis to it)
a synthesis of the temporal component of a being with eternal
 and absolute component of the being, with the essence and
totality of the being.

Therefore the common understanding of religion should NOT be
based on teaching or acquiring  a set of beliefs but it should be :
 An initiation of an open ended  search and inquiry into the purpose of
 one' s existence, that generates the sufficient impetus to experience
and experiment with one's own nature until one discovers the work
that fulfills that purpose.

"Religion, whatever it is, is a man's total reaction upon life, so why not
say that any total reaction upon life is a religion? Total reactions are
different from casual reactions, and total attitudes are different from
usual or professional attitudes. To get at them you must go behind the
foreground of existence and reach down to that curious sense of the
whole residual cosmos as an everlasting presence, intimate or alien,
terrible or amusing, lovable or odious, which in some degree everyone
possesses. This sense of the world's presence, appealing as it does to
our peculiar individual temperament, makes us either strenuous or
careless, devout or blasphemous, gloomy or exultant, about life at
large; and our reaction, involuntary and inarticulate and often half
unconscious as it is, is the complete test of all our answers to the
question, "What is the character of this universe in which we dwell?"
It expresses our individual sense of it in the most definite way. Why
then not call these reactions our religion, no matter what specific
character they may have?" William James

One kind of powerful religious impulse comes from the sense of mortality and the
relentless march of time - the feeling that in temporal reality there is constant change
and flux, that everything is transitory; that everything will be destroyed. And then the
 secondary response to it is what must I do in face of this. There are critical moments,
especially when death seems very close that these feelings reach a crescendo
 - what is called ecstasy, a state in which one become clear what one must do.
Most people just get back to 'business as usual' after a brief moment of terror.
Finding meaning through one's actions in the face of inevitable death and destruction
is purely an individual affair, or individual's personal religion. Organized religions
fail to provide it because they try to provide ready-made solutions for the masses.
 

Web Int: Mar 2017: EdX: UBC The Science of Religion?

Will the "Evolution" of Science drive out all religions?

Extremely unlikely that they may disappear, but it will be an evolutionary social, cultural
mutation if people can learn to draw boundaries (preferably not beyond their homes) which
are limited to their community, and not try to impose their doctrines on other communities or
on the world, that is, religious doctrines cannot be the basis in law and politics
- I guess that is the meaning of secularization.

But it doesn't end there .... the conflicts generated by economic interests, control
over resources, nationalism, race, drive for power and domination etc are far
greater in magnitude than religious and ideological conflicts.
And when these conflicts flare up then religious fundamentalism of all kinds also
flare up and are then mistaken to be the cause.
All these factors are therefore interwoven and entangled, some at the
conscious, some at the sub-conscious level.

EdX UBC cont.... How are science and religion related?

Science deals with the physical reality - i.e. discovering the properties and behavior
of matter-energy, through objectively verifiable and testable methods ... either through
mathematical relationships between the various elements or objects of the physical,
or by experiments that can demonstrate the posited or hypothetical relationships.

It deals with the quantifiable and measurable properties of the physical., symbols of
which can be mathematically related.

Science, and even mathematics cannot deal with the qualitative or the intangible.
These are dealt with in Art and Philosophy.


The function of religion as an ideal has best been expressed by Martin Luther King Jr. as:

"A religion true to its natures must also be concerned about man's
social conditions. Religion deals with both earth and heaven, both
time and eternity. Religion operates not only on the vertical plane
but also on the horizontal. It seeks not only to integrate men
with God but to integrate men with men and each man with
himself.".........  Martin Luther King, Jr.

Clearly the functional activity domains as well as the domains of inquiry are
not overlapping or converging in any pragmatic sense of the term.


In the overarching sense there are serious areas of divergence and conflict, the
most significant is that of divergent world-view, ontology, metaphysics and
teleology or in simple terms the overarching divergence is on the issue of
origin, fate and destiny of mankind.


The following definition captures the essence of religious experience:

"Religion is a state of being grasped by an ultimate concern, a concern
which qualifies all other concerns as preliminary, and which itself
contains the answer to the question of the meaning of our life."
..........Paul Tillich

"James was less concerned with the objective truth of what the
subject may have felt or seen than the effect it had on their lives.
What mattered, he concluded, is not so much the content of a person's
beliefs but whether or not they led to personal transformation of  a
positive kind. A religion is not simply a collection of beliefs but a
particular way of seeing the world - a way of knowing that
satisfactorily explains the place of humans in the universe for
the believer." ...Tom Butler Bowden

In the more personal branch of religion it is on the contrary the inner dispositions
of man himself which form the center of interest, his conscience, his deserts,
his helplessness, his incompleteness. And although the favor of the God,
as forfeited or gained, is still an essential feature of the story, and
theology plays a vital part therein, yet the acts to which this sort of
religion prompts are personal, not ritual acts, the individual transacts
the business by himself alone, and the ecclesiastical organization,
with its priests and sacraments and other go-betweens, sinks to an
altogether secondary place. The relation goes direct from heart to
heart, from soul to soul, between man and his maker."
William James

4.3.1 PRIMITIVE AND SHAMANIC RELIGIONS

Web Interactive 2013: What if there were no religion?

If there were no religion (in the broadest sense of the term) there would be no existence, since the
religious impulse which awakens a sense of mystery and wonder is the most profound form of human
curiosity there is about who we are and what or why we are here for – the telos of existence.
This is mostly intuitive in primitive man, but takes a rational form in post-shamanic societies.

Eventually this impulse gets dulled in civilizations whereby religious institutions, doctrines and rituals
 replace the inner drive and curiosity with ready made answers, whereas the genuine religious impulse
 must be internal and fulfilled individually.
To regenerate the impulse, archetypal figures like Moses, Jesus, Buddha appear, and the conflict of
the orthodox versus the heretical plays out – new ideas, new ways of understanding emerge. Again
the new or reformed institutions emerge, then degenerate...the cycle goes on until the global culture
based upon science fully develops only to find out that destruction is programmed and imminent.

Good acts are driven by moral consciousness (which does not depend upon organized religion), and evil
 acts are driven by greed, ambition, desperation, vengeance etc. and any ideology (for ex. Nationalism,
 Fascism etc), not necessarily religious, can serve as a justification, although religion is the most
convenient form. In post-modernity the forms of oppression have become so veiled and sophisticated
 that the oppressor can no longer be identified but has become systemic, and the people who feel
oppressed take recourse to religious ideology, nationalism, etc. as a source for their drive for violence.
 

It should be noted at the outset that the idea or concept of what is religion or religious
 is very different, even contrasting, between primitive, tribal cultures and civilizations.
The view here is that what is called religion in civilization is, without exception, a
degraded form of religion than that in most primitive or tribal societies. Exceptions will
 be found, as such, only in individuals in civilizations and not in the institutions.
This is the whole point of Kierkegaard's work.

"We also have a religion which was given to our forefathers, and has been
handed down to us their children. It teaches us to be thankful, to be united,
and to love one another! We never quarrel about religion."
.......Red Jacket (Seneca) replying to Missionary Cram in the 1800's

"The earliest religion was - to establish a relationship with the spirit world -
through the penetration of a world not accessible to our senses - this seems
to be the kind of religion documented by paintings on the walls of caves and
rocks." ......Felipe Fernandez

Early man lived in close proximity with nature,  interacting  and co-dependent with what
was naturally available for survival, development or creativity and the essential difference
(that is known)  between  man  and  animals  is in the neo-cortex   structure  of  the brain,
particularly the frontal lobes that generate new thinking, experiences etc.  How this huge
gap between man and  the next lower intelligence creature came to be is a mystery that
is not satisfactorily answered by the theory of evolution,  which states that the organs or
parts evolve according to their usage, whereas in context to the human brain the reverse
is the case. That is, how come that a structure evolved, whose usage potential is only now
beginning to be stretched to its limits. (Arthur Koestler)

Anyhow, early man was for most of the time engaged in the activities of survival, but
compared to the man of today was still comparatively free to reflect or meditate on the
mysteries of life and existence. The more important factor was the isolation factor, that
is,  man's thinking and experiencing apparatus was not constrained much by social and
cultural beliefs and  agreements. Thus the construct or structure of the mind of early
man was simple and unconstrained, which means that the potential experiencing
capacity of primitive man was vastly more than modern man. 

Some people who had a predilection for the mysterious and unknown, once free from
their daily chores, or in any case living in isolation, knew from their resultant experiences
 in isolation, that the world was not simply determined by what was recorded and
observed through their senses.

Only the faculty of translating these experiences into  a coherent
  system of form and thought was undeveloped. 

It is well known that early man was intuitive and instinctive, and the rational faculty,
 although indispensable for survival was undeveloped and unsophisticated. So many
of the natural phenomenon were not well understood in terms of their cause-effect
 relationships, but understood more so in terms of causative entities that were hidden
and not observable by the physical senses but by intuition, instinct or direct
sheer experience.

 

DEFINITIONS:

Shamanism is a technique of temporally attaining heightened states of consciousness in
order to encounter and interact with the spirit world. A shaman is a person regarded as
having talent and predilection for access and ability to have influence in the world of
 benevolent and malevolent spirits, and is capable of entering into a state of ecstasy or
trance whenever it was deemed necessary (not ritually) to communicate with the spirit
world.

The term "shamanism" is presently often used as a umbrella term referring to a
variety of spiritual practices, although it was first applied to the ancient religion
 of the Turks and Mongols, as well as those of the neighboring Tungusic and
Samoyedic-speaking peoples..........Wiki

Religious ecstasy is an altered state of consciousness characterized by greatly
reduced external awareness and expanded interior mental and spiritual awareness
which is frequently accompanied by visions and emotional/intuitive (and sometimes
physical) euphoria. Although the experience is usually brief in time,[1] there are
records of such experiences lasting several days or even more, and of recurring
experiences of ecstasy during one's lifetime. Subjective perception of time, space
 and/or self may strongly change or disappear during ecstasy......Wiki


 

SORCERY: Is the talent or developed ability of a person to attain an altered state of
perception in which the ordinary mode of sensory perception becomes suspended or
becomes altered at the Will of the person in order to 'see' or perceive in different
ways than those programmed by society and culture. The perceptions in this state
are synthesized or created perceptions through the force of Will.

Sorcery essentially implies taking the perceptual field beyond its normal
 boundaries in order to perceive in a new way, and to relate, translate or
  formulate this novelty in action and expression. It is an energetic
 maneuver which results in the transformation of the being's ability to
 enter into new and unknown areas of human possibilities. It also
 involves the  sorcerer in the possibility of the link with intent, to
 master it and act in command to or from it.


Notice that this could also come close to what can be called the process of Art.

That's why I have called Sorcery as an exceptional Art - the ability to
create magic and 'objects of art' spontaneously, 'on the fly'.

"Art and Religion are, then, two roads by which men escape from circumstance
to ecstasy. Between aesthetic and religious rapture there is a family alliance.
Art and Religion are means to similar states of mind"....Clive Bell

From as far back as the known history of mankind, it had been believed in all cultures
of the world that there are entities / elements other than the sensory based and
observed physical world of the elements of matter, only most of the times there was no
  formal distinction between the two. Primitive people all over the world lived in harmony
  with nature and they understood that all living creatures were not only physical entities
  but also had a quality  that  although could not be perceived  by  normal  consciousness,
  that nevertheless was a vital element of all living creatures. But since the primitive man
  was not formal  and institutional, but rather instinctive and intuitive, they also realized
that since this vitality of living creatures was not perceived by everybody,  and further
that since whatever was perceived was not uniformly perceived as was also interpreted
  differently by different people, thus it was not only not necessary to agree amongst 
themselves about its meanings, interpretations and significance, but also that this was
a highly personal matter that when made a subject of agreement actually distorted
its personal appeal and significance.

" The worship of the "Great Mystery" was silent, solitary, free from all self-seeking.
It was silent, because all speech is of necessity feeble and imperfect; therefore
the souls of my ancestors ascended to God in wordless adoration. It was solitary,
 because they believed that He is nearer to us in solitude, and there were no priests
 authorized to come between a man and his Maker. None might exhort or confess
or in any way meddle with the religious experience of another.
Among us
all men were created sons of God and stood erect, as conscious of their divinity.
Our faith might not be formulated in creeds, nor forced upon any who were unwilling
 to receive it; hence there was no preaching, proselyting, nor persecution, neither
were there any scoffers or atheists.".......Eastman ( The Soul Of The Indian )

"William James was more interested in individual experience. He was trying to
convince his readers that although religion often seems absurd, the spiritual
impulse is humanity's most important function - it's what makes us human.
James wanted to know why the human is a religious animal and what practical
benefits spirituality brings, assuming that we will not engage in it if it does not
do us any good. His emphasis upon individual rather than institutions pave the
way for a whole new age of personal development ethic in which it is taken for
granted that our beliefs are based on personal meaningfulness and efficacy.
His book's great service was to make the religious reader see matters from
a more rational, objective perspective and to persuade the scientific minded
that religious experience has its value and is a fact."
........Tom Butler Bowden
 

And so, a sort of informal metaphysics was the characteristic of all the early cultures :
Reality and its temporal manifest in Nature, was understood  as a manifestation of
 two distinctive elements:  The Animate or Spirit ( present only in the living  ) and its
  counterpart : the Inanimate or Matter  (or the non-living, for example : in a dead
body, it was presumed that the Spirit or Soul of the creature had left the body ).
However, in some cultures like the Native American, even the material or non-
living things were considered as imbued with Spirit
Since there was no formal metaphysics as such, and any understanding of reality
 was more personal and never institutionalized by the seers and shamans and it
 is doubtful if it is appropriate at all to do so unless the context in which
 this is to be used is clear.

So it was a widely held belief that the world was not only physical (as perceived by
the sensory systems) but also more importantly had an hidden element that could be
perceived only in altered or special states of consciousness, or through special states of
sensory deprivation or certain experiences like a near death experience. Furthermore,
that the "essence" of this hidden element (termed mostly as an equivalent of the word
Soul), since it was essentially hidden, manifest itself as a Force or Power or Spirit in
all living creatures, big or small.  A living being's consciousness was understood to be
primarily a property of this hidden element, a consciousness  that existed prior to the
physical birth, and  also that which had some kind of continuity after death, again in
essentially unknown ways. ( This is not the same thing as saying that the "same person"
 is reborn in an cycle of life and death, that is, this is not the same thing as "reincarnation"
 in which the entire "persona" is reborn.) 

 Most cultures had a small minority of people that can be loosely called as Shamans, Seers,
Sorcerers or Medicine Man  (again all controversial terms but are terms that are different
 from Sages or Mystics)  who either naturally, or taught or self-developed, had the ability for
perceiving elements of non-physical realms or aspects of the world of Spirits (or the parallel
world of non-physical entities or forces). The term Shaman etc. is not a formal one and there
was no formal titles as such, but is a distinct term from say, a priest or preacher. There was
 no formal institution such as shamanism: for the non-physical realms were and are by their
 very nature, dream like, whereby giving definitive form to any such experiences itself
distorts its nature and mostly also its significance.
Henceforth I shall call this 'category' of people like Shaman, Seer, Sorcerer, Medicine man
as Shamans etc.

" Shamanism is the use of archaic techniques of ecstasy that were developed
independent of any religious philosophy - the empirically validated, experientially
operable techniques that produce ecstasy. Ecstasy is the contemplation of
wholeness. That's why when you contemplate wholeness - you come down
remade in terms of the political and social arena, because you have seen the
larger picture.
So is the form of the mind that the shaman works with :  he has a larger view
because he is not really in his culture....the shaman may appear as a member
of the culture, but he's broader, deeper, higher and wider than the culture
that created him.".......T. McKenna

 Shamans etc. were therefore, one man 'religious institutions', subservient to no authority,
did not seek agreement for their actions although they had a vital social role to perform:
that of metaphysician, healer, guide or even leader because he/she was the main or chief
communicator between the Spirit world and the tribe. Certain developed tribal cultures
like the North Naive American had no specific person/s for the role but was left to all
individuals (like the vision quest) if they had a predilection to seek and communicate
 with the Spirit world, or their tribal Ancestors. 
But Shamans etc. tended to or had a predilection to remain in the fringes of society so that
 the mundane social forces themselves do not devour the individuality of the Shaman. This
category is therefore neither well defined nor universal but taken up here as a contrast to
well defined religious figures like priest, saint etc in civilizations.
At times, shamans etc. even passed themselves off as ordinary people so that they do not
become known and accessible to all and sundry and any interaction took place at their
 own initiative and only in specific manner or occasion. Most people in tribal societies
also feared, shunned or kept out of the way of a known Shaman particularly who were
 also kind of sorcerers with extra-ordinary powers. Again, this is not necessarily a
characteristic of a 'Shaman', for many of them had a very social inclination. 
It is then appropriate to say that the Shaman etc. had no fixed religious belief system as
such and the term Shamanism does not refer to a religion.
Here one can also use different terms like brujo or sorcerer or tantrik but all these terms
  have a somewhat different context, appropriate according to the cultural context. But the
important point is that the Shaman was typically the informal spiritual leader (tribal
culture typically had multiple leadership that was non-hierarchical, but specialty or
talent based - like political chief, war chief, peace chief, chief story teller) etc. of a small
society or tribe, a leadership that took responsibility of the tribe as well as contribute 
positively to its social needs without being corrupted by the trappings of social power
that the Shaman wielded, since the power  of the Shaman  was derived from the Spirit.
And this was always appropriately demonstrated by the Shaman. The second point is that
another person of the tribe or society rarely challenged the leader Shaman, since there
  was  no need to do so. Almost no one in these simple social setups craved for social
 leadership and responsibility unless they had a clear inner mandate or predilection. 

Social leadership and responsibility was thrust upon the Shaman by virtue of his proximity
to the Spirit.   A Shaman that was not intuitively recognized as such or deliberately hid
his/her nature, talent or predilection, remained in the fringes and usually in semi-isolation. 

 

4.3.2 MYTHICAL BELIEF SYSTEMS

" If we go to the beginning, we shall find that ignorance and fear created the
gods ; that fancy, enthusiasm or deceit adorned or disfigured them ; that
weakness worships them ; that credulity preserves them ; and that custom
respects and tyranny supports them in order to make the blindness of
men to serve its own interests." ..........Holbach

"The one place Gods inarguably exist is in our minds where they are real
beyond refute, in all their grandeur and monstrosity.”
― Alan Moore

The transition of a tribal society led and maintained by its shamans to a town or city
society is a transition from living with nature to a human synthesized living based
  upon developing rationality, its manifest technologies, planning and consolidation of 
security with the development of organized armies for defense and expansion.
  This movement from simple, natural, but high risk living to complex and secure
living is no doubt a manifestation of human nature, but how it develops, and what
are its precipitating factors and how it kills an essential vitality of our nature that
alienates man from nature, are not well understood and not much study has gone
into it. Simply because everything is brushed aside as "evolution".  But that this so
termed process of evolution also destroys and devours something in its wake is
never acknowledged by the "evolution dominating"  culture.

The very first written story about this transition, the epic of Gilgamesh, points out
that humans in civilization began to be disconnected from nature. The character
of Enkidu, who first lives with the animals, becomes 'civilized', can no longer live
with the animals because the animals who once flocked around him, now flee
because by instinct they see that he has changed - almost become their enemy.
This story is powerfully symbolic of the great lifestyle changes that takes place
wherever civilizations take root. The whole worldview of the people shifts.

With the growth of societies from tribal to town or city civilizations, almost
  all societies became post shamanic, that is, their Shamans  became lesser and lesser
and finally almost extinct.  The Shamans of tribal societies were gradually replaced
by the priests who did what the shamans almost never did: the institutionalization of
elements of non-physical reality in the form of myth based religion and worship of
deities. The mythology of the Greeks and the Hindus are clear examples of this
transition.  In this transition,  mythical beliefs,  rituals and worship become dominant
features of the priests who follow a definite pattern of practice and believing. In other
words the unknown and hidden elements (non-physical) of nature are given definitive
characterization,  and mythical stories are developed according to these agreed  upon
( by the priests)  characteristics. Thus the Spirit is characterized by Gods and Deities,
personified in various ways, and the predatory or trapping elements of the non-physical
realms are characterized as Demons, Devils etc. These mythical belief systems are the
first forms of organized religion of various societies  and cultures.  Experience
and power give way to beliefs, rituals and  practices that yield definitive social and
cultural values that become deeply embedded in the psyche of the societies.


The individual gives way to a social being, whose behavior is dictated

by the developed and developing norms of Society.

"Each age has its own characteristic depravity. Ours is perhaps not pleasure
 or indulgence or sensuality, but rather a dissolute pantheistic contempt
for the individual man"
........Kierkegaard

Philo. project on Kierkegaard vs Hegel: Great humor as well
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7jBnk4gizg
 

A  deviant or non-conformist is eventually considered a misfit and even insane.
 The Shaman is now considered as a potential threat - a de-stabilizer, sometimes 
 the very embodiment of evil itself - to be quickly put to death, preferably by 
 being burnt alive.

Philosophies are then invented to provide meaning and support to an already
developed or developing social - cultural  structure.  The faults, wrong doings and
defects of the social system are shoved under the carpet by sophisticated  philosophies
that serve only to justify the status quo.  Sometimes, a rebel, strong willed or powerful
individual throws a spanner in the works by questioning the very foundations of the
society, and  sometimes the message hits some people and a change occurs - even
  splitting society into the old and new systems (the orthodox vs the heretical). 
 But basically all societies looked for stability and security - the driving forces behind
 social structures. This quest for stability and permanence led in two opposite directions
 - the consolidation of all non-physical elements  behind the concept of one God (or
some mono entity) and on the other extreme, the consolidation of the objectification
 of physical elements behind Science.
But first the concept of one God had to exhaust its effectiveness in the quest for
permanence, although people like the Buddha taught that change is the only
permanence of existence, and that everything in this world is transitory and that
all fabrications (conceptions) are bound to decay.
2016: I found the story of Buddha quite interesting, and found quite useful a set
of very simple quotes from him. He was a simple man who was on the quest for
 finding out why there is suffering. Note that the question of meaning is not his
interest and so Buddhism doesn't handle that question well at all - that is it's
 severe shortcoming. The good thing about Buddhism is that it is not doctrine
heavy, and the downside is that it is not very philosophical either. The primary
 goal is the end of or transcending suffering.

"Pain is certain, suffering is optional">>>>Buddha

But mankind looked for eternal solutions - the absolute  - the always true - valid  for
  all times. This was conceptualized in various ways : as "The Truth" or "Ultimate Truth"
or "Ultimate Reality" or the "Absolute" or "The One", and certain cultures even dubbed
the whole world as a huge illusion that had to be transcended in order to be released
from this state into a state of union with this "One". Certain philosophies, metaphysics
and religions were the offshoots of this - mostly in the eastern cultures, but none of
these provided any positive solutions to the rapidly degenerating societies of the East.

When the primitive world disintegrated into spirit ( non-physical ) and
nature ( physical ), the West rescued nature ( physical ) for itself. It was
prone to a belief in physical nature and only became more entangled
in it with every painful effort  to make itself spiritual. The East, on the
contrary, took mind for its own, and by explaining away matter as mere
illusion ( Maya ) , continued to dream in Asiatic filth and misery.".....Jung

In the West, after a short upsurge in philosophy in the Greek civilization in which
Socrates questioned the very fundamentals of society, religion and politics through
the process of rational inquiry beginning with an examining of one's own self, the
focus shifted towards the material world in the works of Aristotle, for whom   "The
Truth" was to be ultimately found by the intense study of the physical, thus rejecting
the very significant metaphysics of Plato.

The quest for "The Truth" continued. The Physical Sciences seemed  to fulfill this
quite admirably, but only when the dominant culture had exhausted its interest
and utility in the concept of one God , which process had anyway destroyed the
cultural diversity of Europe under the banner of Christianity.

"Under the influence of scientific materialism, everything that could not be seen
with the eyes or touched with the hands was held in doubt ; such things were
even laughed at because of their supposed affinity with metaphysics. Nothing
was considered "scientific" or admitted to be true unless it could be perceived
by the senses or traced back to physical causes. Belief in the substantiality of
the Spirit yielded more and more to the obtrusive conviction that material things
alone have substance, till at last, after nearly four hundred years, the leading
European thinkers and investigators came to regard the mind as wholly
dependent upon matter and material causation."....Jung

The other extreme of religion,  the pattern of behavior is not too different, because
religion too has after all had become more of an institution,  with its holy books,
its wise preachers  and priests,  the various prescriptions of rituals and practices. 
And most important of all, a system of fixed beliefs  (whether consciously realized
or not). Even those religions that claim that they have no fixed belief systems are
perhaps the most dogmatic in terms of the socially manifest beliefs, making their
claims laughable, to say the least.

Almost all religions are based upon myths about non-physical elements of Reality. These
eventually develop into hard and fast beliefs  that are  beyond questioning and doubt. 
All other beliefs are  considered as false and misleading. It is no surprise that all religions
instead of harmonizing society  eventually only get bogged down in conflicts that are as
trivial as terminology. For most religions, terminology itself becomes synonymous with
truth. Terms and symbols are endlessly worshiped. 

If the hotchpotch of the various Gods and Goddesses or Deities was confusing,  then
Monotheism, the belief of one God was definitely an improvement because it did for at
least sometime made societies more cohesive and non-divisive. In any case, the central
 idea propagated by all monisms was essentially a good one: that the source of all that
exists, physical or non-physical is singular and one, and that everything in this universe
has been created from or by this source. But this did not provide lasting and satisfactory,
for the assumption inherent and implicit in all belief systems founded on monism is
that this source must therefore be the controller, the willer, ( 'the will of God', 'God's
 plan etc) the doer etc of all that happens in the universe - a fatal assumption of
most monotheisms in terms of its social impact.

It follows from the article "The nature of Duality .." that  a unitary anything must manifest
itself as a multiplicity of dualities in the existential domain in space and time, since the
space - time domain is a differentiated state, and not a unitary state. It may be argued that
the space-time domain is an illusory concept, having no ultimate reality, but firstly, we do
not live in ultimate reality  ( the ultimate reality or infinity is at most only experienced),
and secondly, it follows then from this type of thinking that all conceptions are illusory.
  If all conceptions are to be avoided  ( being illusory)  then there  is no need for language, 
reason, discourse, even symbolism, that is, all aspects of human activity is then illusory and
 should not have existed  (by this logic) in the first place.
Incidentally, certain religions  do blame the creator for having created a mess in the first
place and that the goal of life in these religions is to break the cycle of life and death. 
Life is then conceived by these religions to be a state of negative, illusory existence whose
cycle of birth-death-rebirth has to be broken so that rebirth does not take place.
They form cults in which a certain skill or technique like meditation is applied to their
(paying) clients or subjects so as to achieve a state of bliss in which all problems of life
seem to disappear or become irrelevant. Many of such 'spiritual' cults become big business
houses having large financial assets and properties 'donated' by their wealthy clients.
These cults can quite appropriately be called 'The Merchants of Junk Faith'. (Even
Buddhism has not freed itself from this cycle of religious institutionalization)
[2016: I found the story of Buddha quite interesting, and found quite useful a set of very simple quotes
 from him. He was a simple man who was on the quest for finding out why there is suffering. Note that
the question of meaning is not his interest and so Buddhism doesn't handle that question well at all
 - that is it's severe shortcoming. The good thing about Buddhism is that it is not doctrine heavy,
and the downside is that it is not very philosophical either. The primary goal is the end of or
 transcending suffering. "Pain is certain, suffering is optional"...Buddha

"Religion, like water, may be free, but when they pipe it to you, you've got
to help pay for the piping. And the piper!."...........
Abigail Van Buren


WEB INT 2015:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-raushenbush/how-we-talk-about-god-all-together_b_7461826.html

"Marketing of religion" is the problem itself. Any actions that come from true religion don't need
 to be sold or "marketed", they will have a momentum or moving power of their own. Sure, a story
or narrative may be weaved around it, but if it is packaged for the masses to be "marketed",
it becomes a doctrine and finally a dogma that loses it's power. This is the fate of all organized
religions - all they seek is masses of blind followers who are unable to act on their own, and are
 reduced to becoming mere empty believers - the "faithful" as they are called.

"In a world where all are Christians, ipso-facto none is a Christian" Soren Kierkegaard.




 

4.3.3 The Rise of Monotheism.

( & The Rise of Organized Religion )


"Monotheism is, to me, a great simplification. I mean the Qabalah has a great multiplicity
 of gods, but at the very top of the Qabalic Tree of Life, you have this one sphere that is
absolute God, the Monad, something which is indivisible. All of the other gods, and indeed
everything else in the universe, is a kind of emanation of that God. Now, that’s fine, but it's
when you suggest that there is only that one God, at this kind of unreachable height above
 humanity, and there is nothing in between, you’re limiting and simplifying the thing.
I tend to think of paganism as a kind of alphabet, as a language, it's like all of the gods are
letters in that language. They express nuances, shades of meaning or certain subtleties
 of ideas, whereas monotheism tends to just be one vowel and it's just something
 like 'oooooooo'. It's a monkey sound." Alan Moore
 

Question that has uselessly been beaten to death without anyone being any wiser:
Does God Exist?
Short answer: God does NOT 'EXIST'


  Web Interactive 2013: God is not an existential entity in temporal reality ( time-space Universe),
 but a Unitary entity in Eternity, so although strictly speaking not part of the physical cosmos,
but present through the active principle (Spirit) which is both temporal as well as eternal.
In order to test itself, the Unity in Eternity (God), creates the space time cosmos in which the
power of this unity (Spirit) splits or fragments itself. (Some myths refer to this as a sacrifice on the
part of God, but I think this myth although has a point, is misleading because of the word ‘sacrifice’.)

There is also a Metaphysics of the trinity of Creator-Sustainer-Destroyer that essentially implies
 that after Creation, God has no role to play in the universe until the end of time, and it is the Sustainer
(Spirit or Life Force) and the Destroyer (Controller of the Universe, and the force of necessity as well as
 death) that runs the show or cosmic drama.

In the central Christian myth, however, God intervenes once directly in taking human form in the
life-death cycle in the world, and in the myths of other religions God intervenes by sending
messages through ‘Prophets’.

Therefore, logically, God is not all-powerful in temporal reality, however all-knowing and
immanent is still valid because Spirit as the active principle is pure consciousness.

WebInt2013: Critical scholars of religion are more or less correct about the process of the advent
of organized religion, but the trajectory of their academic thesis seems to imply that primordial
man's religion was mere superstition.
A direct experience of non-tangible, hidden realities with which scientific methods of verification
 (and thinking) can never hope to deal with or even glimpse, let alone understand, cannot
 be dismissed merely as superstition.
North Native American nation's religion does not fit into the model and pattern that is typically
proposed. For example all these nations recognized only ONE primordial creative force ( monism)
which translates into "Great Spirit" or "Great Mystery"
Academic study (without any experience) of primordial religion (uncorrupted) is a dead end and
waste of time and effort. Modern man takes recourse to psychedelics to get some glimpse of this
primordial religious experience - but that has it's own limitations and distractions.

WEB INT 2015: What the brain of praying nuns have in common with psychedelic drug users

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/28/psychedelic-drug-brain-effects_n_7455368.html


There are important differences in the kind of experiences from prayer and psychedelics, the former
 is mostly passive and predictable in it's aftermath and the latter is active, unpredictable and paradigm
shattering, and not always in the positive sense.
The more important point than mere experiences of “unity” or “expanded consciousness” is what one
does after those experiences – is there a creative result? Or just mystical experiences that do not
actually transform oneself towards creativity, but away from it? Psychedelics have one advantage
though – the chances of paradigm shattering and transformation is more than that of prayer.
Brain patterns can never reveal the process of creativity, only a vague and general similarity
 in extra-ordinary states of consiousness, which may actually be very diverse in experience.


Organized religions like Judaism and Christianity arise because in civilizations the human link with
 the primordial creative force is lost - a fallen state of humanity which accelerates with the
developments in science and technology. The only redemption lies in artistic creativity.

Why is it that even when organized religion has been exposed for it's failures, artifacts
(holy grails) or documents from the archaic world continue to fascinate people even though
 they yield no profound 'secrets'. It is because of the visceral gut feeling that in the 'progress'
 of civilizations something vital has been lost or left behind that can give a clue to where
we are headed, and because of the materialism of this time people think that this
vitality can be found in these ancient artifacts or documents.

While the obsession with rituals, artifacts and structures (like the pyramids) takes hold in all
civilizations, any 'living voice' that tells these civilized people that they have entered a
spiral of degeneration of human values is considered as the lunatic fringe or misfits
that are unable to appreciate the fruits and comforts of 'progress' and 'security'. The vast
majority in civilizations are very proud and completely convinced of their great achievements
in the form of structures, scriptures, armies, 'social order and hierarchy' that any criticism
of these is considered treason or  blasphemy or both. Only the slaves, the poor, the down-
trodden secretly curse the civilized people and their structures.

“Any city however small, is in fact divided into two, one the city of the poor,
the other of the rich. These are at war with one another.”
―Plato


WEB INT 2015 Comment in HuffPost: 12 Essentialist Oversimplifications About Religion
Badly in Need of Theory

Unless man goes back full circle to primordial man's religion in which there was the primacy
 of personal religious experience without any indoctrination, and without the need for generating
 doctrines to gather sheep-herds of followers, these countless maladies of organized religions
 will never abate.
The only option in the absence of a guiding experience is to stick to upholding justice, being fair
 and ethical, and find the modalities to set some limits to greed and exploitation.
The frame of reference in this comment is that of an "existing individual" (Kierkegaard's phrase) in
relation to organized religion. Moral action is an individual centric sphere, whereas commonality  of
ethics or what may be called as morality in society, is ironically an unachievable ideal in civilizations,
 something that long ago was realized by Plato. He did try to build a model "city state" (civilization)
 which in theory could achieve this ideal of agreed upon commonality of ethics, but as we know
very well, that was just Plato's dream.
Unless someone insists on not wanting to know, it can be easily seen through that in civilizations,
 the primary value is not to achieve high ethical standards but to dominate others at any cost,
and organized religions are complicit in this.
The rise of nationalism has sealed the fate of mankind, but not that of "that single individual"
 (Kierkegaard's phrase) who is not subservient to the diktats of the religious or political authority.
Without any need for exaggeration, such ideals have been achieved in some societies, but again
 if someone insists they can't see it and want scientific evidence for it...too bad the only way
 to see is through one's own efforts - this is a point that both science and organized
 religion misses completely.

Another Question beaten to death: Problem of Evil: Terrible, evil  and bad things
happen to people. God is omnipotent, omniscient, omni-benevolent, i.e. all
powerful, all present/knowing, and all goodness.
Then why does God allow evil/bad things to happen, when He?/She? can easily
prevent it. (EdX MIT geniuses became irritated with the answer below.)

Quite simply: God is not omnipotent in the world because the potency/power of god is
split/fragmented/devolved in the free will of individual constituent beings of the world/s
who through their exercise of this potency/power in choosing/judging between good and
evil, right and wrong are able to retain this potency (or lose it, as per their actions)
and determine their own destiny.

Evil (terrible actions like genocide) becomes the default actions of those who have either
 lost this potency/power or are merely mechanical bots, and thus become the challenging
means/adversaries for those who do exercise and fulfill their potency/power in
right actions or creativity.

Isn't God all good?
Goodness is an individual action that has transcendental "effects", and has nothing whatsoever
 to do with survivability or diseases. One of the biggest flaws of organized religions is the
unexamined assumption that the Creator is in control of or cause of all the events of the world.
The other wrong assumption is that God is "all powerful". (whereas the primordial creative power
is actually devolved into the constituent beings of the world/s -
Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are "gods"'? John 10:34).
The only organized religion that does not subscribe to these assumptions is Buddhism.
 

What about the love of God?

Love is a human emotion, and all conceptions are of the human temporal realm, whereas the
 closest terms that can be attributed to the Creator are: the Absolute or Immortal, the Eternal
 and the Infinite (without limits) and without Forms. All our human emotions and conceptions
(conceived forms or representations) are of the temporal realm not the Eternal, infinite realm.
Now since humans have the potentiality that in direct individual experience there are no limits
 to what can possibly be experienced, therefore it is possible to experience the Creator or
 the Creative Force (Spirit), but any description, imagery, emotions, conceptions, forms etc.
are necessarily of the limited, finite and temporal realm, and therefore it is vital to understand
the nature of the temporal realm as that of being limited and finite to a particular human being
 in a particular time and place. Organized religion tends to fix or force feed a uniform content of
 forms and conceptions on it's followers, thereby limiting the potential for individual experience.
Thus it is not necessary that the experience of the Creator/Spirit must be the emotion of love
only - it can be an un-definable emotion ( for example a state of ecstasy or union as described
 in shamanistic literature). It is also not necessary that a definitive conception be made - because
 that itself will tend to put a limit to the the potentiality of any experience of the infinite.

 

THE CHRIST

 

The fall of humanity in civilizations, hinted at in the Gilgamesh epic, was a fall of not only that of
the moral conditions, but also of the link with the spirit world. This led to the conditions whereby
what can be called as the script of the 'divine intervention' had to come into play. This is the
necessary script that has to be per forced for the fulfillment of the Telos of the cosmos.

The loss of the link with the spirit world meant that for some form of religious connection to remain
in civilizations, the primordial source (God) had to interject so that in civilization a form of organized
 religion would be perpetuated through scripture and doctrine, even though the institutionalized
form would have a fatal tendency towards corruption and degeneration. Besides after a fateful fall,
what more is to be lost by falling further? Many times things have to get worse before they become
 better. Even in a fallen state, it could at least give to the bold and courageous a possibility for
recovery, regeneration and redemption, if not to all. The rest could hang on to doctrine and hope.

This script was, of course, to unfold in the region of the cradle of civilizations, and it would
consolidate through the prophets of Judaism into an initial scripture: The Old Testament,
although in other parts of the world a vaguely similar and milder script too would take place.

The stage was being set for the coming of The Christ - this was also prophesized by the
prophets of Judaism - the script would unfold surely. But the time and manner in which it
would take place was always an uncertainty. So when Jesus appeared on the scene, the
poor and common folk did find signs that he was their hope and savior, but the priests
would be satisfied only if he could make the Romans disappear, otherwise all these so
called miracles of healing and curing were just sorcery or trickery and Jesus was just a
charlatan out to rob them of whatever social status they had or worse - destabilize their
closely knit and indoctrinated community.

The phenomena of the Christ is a very significant happening simply because in civilizations
the connection with the noumenal world (the spirit realm) would not only be increasingly
difficult to access, it would be denied altogether at the point when scientific materialism
and technology would eventually seem to satisfy all human drives, pleasures and curiosities.

A person like Jesus would have been easily recognized as a shaman or 'medicine man' in
advanced tribal cultures like the nations in North America, but for civilizations, such
a person would never be accepted as anything but a trouble maker or charlatan, and
that is what happened insofar as the religious and political authorities were concerned.
Instead of making the Romans disappear, Jesus went to Jerusalem and literally turned
 the tables on the priests of Judaism. The priests, who were waiting for a prophesized
messiah who would reaffirm the Jews as the 'chosen people of God', rid them of the rule
of the Romans and establish the 'kingdom of heaven' in Jerusalem, was instead saying
something completely blasphemous to their religion: that he was not just the Christ
but also the 'Son of God' who was here for all human kind, not just the 'chosen ones'.
His criticisms of their rituals, attitudes and ways, his contempt for their 'laws' were
the gravest possible provocations that the high priests could no longer tolerate.
His main tenet that all human beings were equal before God was heretical to and
blasphemous of Judaism's tenet that Jews were chosen people of God and thus special
 or superior than other humans.
The life of Jesus is itself an example of how he as an existing individual was pitted against
 the rigid authorities of Judaism who lived their lives only according to the doctrines of
 that religion and rigid application of their 'laws'.
Therefore Kierkegaard concludes that 'the crowd' is untruth, meaning that the truth is 'lived'
 individually, and that 'the crowd' actually is a 'worthy adversary' to the truth. The genuine
 individual is always in adversarial relation to 'the crowd', and the creativity of the individual
arises out of this fundamental conflict between the individual and 'the crowd'.
 

"The Jews were persuaded that God, the one God of the whole world, was a
righteous god, but they also thought of him as a trading god who had made a
bargain with their Father Abraham about them, a very good bargain indeed
  for them, to bring them at last to predominance in the earth.  With dismay
and anger they heard Jesus sweeping away their dear securities. God, he
taught, was no bargainer; there were no chosen and no favorites in the
Kingdom of Heaven. God was the loving father of all life, as incapable of
 showing favors as the universal sun. All men were brothers - sinners alike
and beloved sons alike - of this divine father. In the parable of the Good
Samaritan, Jesus cast scorn upon that natural tendency we all obey, to
glorify our own people and to minimize the righteousness of other creeds
and other races.....There are no privileges, no rebates, and no excuses in
the Kingdom of Heaven."......H. G. Wells 


The only recourse for the priests was to accuse and convict Jesus of blasphemy towards
their (organized) religion and treason towards their laws. Jesus, who was fully aware
of the consequences of his actions, showed no sign that he would recant, and simply
accepted his fate, like Socrates, without flinching. Thus the death and resurrection of
Jesus are not only symbolically powerful but also meaningfully powerful if one accepts
 in good faith that Jesus said that he is the son of God. These events appear nonsensical
 only if one believes that he was an ordinary human who suffered from delusions.

The story of the life, death and resurrection of Christ was to serve as a reminder to civilized
people that there is a transcendental realm beyond the temporal, material world - a reminder
that would ring a bell in the minds of people who would NOT be completely satiated and
consumed in the material world and it's indulgences in technology.

The idea that the 'Son of God' died for 'our' sins was the catechism of the apostles that applied
mainly to them and the first generation Christians. Whereas the Gnostic gospels indicate that it
 was more a question of enlightenment than that of sin and that the 'Death and Resurrection'
was the clear pointer of the transcendental, noumenal realm which the primordial man
 had access to, but was lost to the civilized man.

Jesus was thus THE Shaman (spirit guide) for civilizations, and the ‘Death and Resurrection’ was
the necessary sacrifice (Paul: ‘sacrificial lamb’) in order to keep the story alive, even though the
spirit is dissipated in civilization. ‘Son of God’ phrase fits because of the descent of the spirit from
 the primordial source itself. So ‘died for our sins’ has become a dogma for those who had to be
 ‘given hope because they were hopeless to begin with’ (Rick Roderick), and were
only capable of clutching at straws while drowning.

Belief in anything by itself means nothing, unless that belief is to be put to the test – at times a
deadly test. Another famous example apart from Jesus is the trial and death of Socrates who
 believed in the transcendence of Justice.

Jan 2016: The Nerve!
What nerve to call himself Son of God!
To Pontius Pilate that was very odd.
The Pharisees and Sadducees were alarmed,
If he was the Christ, why were they not informed?
The Prophets had said he would be coming,
But surely their God would have said something!
For them there we no omens or signs, only insults
If they believed him, then what results?
They lose their high seats and privileges
If they allow any more such sacrileges
One more day of such blasphemy
It would be the end of their hegemony
They knew nothing of the Spirit’s trickery
So they concluded that it was sorcery
This imposter must not see another day or night
Crucify him now! they cried, only then it will be all right.


"Take the case of the extermination of Jesus Christ. No doubt there was a strong
case for it. Jesus was from the point of view of the High Priest a heretic and an
impostor. From the point of view of the merchants he was a rioter and a Communist.
From the Roman Imperialist point of view he was a traitor. From the commonsense
point of view he was a dangerous madman.
From the snobbish point of view, always a very influential one, he was a penniless
 vagrant.
 From the police point of view he was an obstructor of thoroughfares, a beggar, an
associate of prostitutes, an apologist of sinners, and a disparager of judges; and
his daily companions were tramps whom he had seduced into vagabondage from
their regular trades.
From the point of view of the pious he was a Sabbath breaker, a denier of the
efficacy of circumcision and the advocate of a strange rite of baptism, a gluttonous
man and a winebibber.
 He was abhorrent to the medical profession as an unqualified practitioner who
healed people by quackery and charged nothing for the treatment. He was not
anti-Christ: nobody had heard of such a power of darkness then; but he was
startlingly anti-Moses. He was against the priests, against the judiciary, against
 the military, against the city (he declared that it was impossible for a rich man
 to enter the kingdom of heaven), against all the interests, classes, principalities
 and powers, inviting everybody to abandon all these and follow him. By every
argument, legal, political, religious, customary, and polite, he was the most
complete enemy of the society of his time ever brought to the bar. He was guilty
on every count of the indictment, and on many more that his accusers had not the
wit to frame. If he was innocent then the whole world was guilty.
To acquit him was to throw over civilization and all its institutions. History has
 borne out the case against him; for no State has ever constituted itself on his
 principles or made it possible to live according to his commandments: those
 States who have taken his name have taken it as an alias to enable them to
persecute his followers more plausibly.
It is not surprising that under these circumstances, and in the absence of any
 defense, the Jerusalem community and the Roman government decided to
exterminate Jesus. They had just as much right to do so as to exterminate
the two thieves who perished with him." ...G. B. Shaw

Web Int 2015: The curious case of Judas Iscariot & the  Gospel of Judas:

"You will get a deep insight into the state of Christianity in each age by seeing how it
treats Judas." (SK, Provocations 287)

Consider this: Kierkegaard had no access to the Gospel of Judas unearthed only late in the
20th century. This Gospel is very unlike the "official" gospels - it gives a startlingly different
 account about the character of Judas and his relation with Jesus.
An alternative view has emerged from it: that Judas was no betrayer of Jesus but had a kind of
"hyper-faith" that intertwined with his fate in the drama that unfolded in the last days of Jesus.
This alternative narrative demonstrates that history is essentially interpretive, not factual,
and that what is commonly understood as "faith" is not a straightforward or "cut and dried"
affair, but a complex relationship between a being and reality - between expectations from
that "faith" and the subsequent events that may not turn out as expected, but rather the reverse
of those expectations. That is when what is really "faith" is going to be tested,
not in the fact of merely believing as "faith".

The 'Will of God': In the garden of Gethsemane:
Why was Jesus hesitant, and wanted this 'cup to pass from him?
 How come his will was not aligned with the 'will of God'?

Although such matters are not analyzable with iron clad logic, the flaw lies in such phrases like
 "the will of Our Heavenly Father". The idea of "will" does not apply to the "Eternal One" or
"Creator", nor does emotions like "Pleases God" or "the Wrath of God". All such attributions
 are human assigned, and are therefore the source of all kinds of logical contradictions.
Such concepts, emotions (yes even the emotion of love!) and terms do not apply to "the Eternal",
 "the Absolute" or "the Infinite" because the Eternal realm is un-conceivable, un-knowable,
without form and definable content (which are all of the temporal realm) that can be expressed
linguistically and in a logical manner. This realm is intuited by direct experience or expressed by
poetry and rhetoric and is beyond the scope of logic.

Jesus is faced not by the "will of the Heavenly Father" but by the script of necessity that determines
individual fate, which he foresees as a horrible torture and death that awaits him if he continues
 to challenge the religious authorities. The choice he has is either to accept his fate or flee in the
night into obscurity and oblivion. He can only vaguely intuit that he is in the crossfire between
 the script of necessity and the abstract core of the Spirit. He prays for some alternative, (because
 which human can, with the consent of "the flesh" be willing to face such torture, humiliation
and condemnation?) but no alternative exists for him, which he realizes, and accepts his fate.
Even then, he hopes and expects (as does Judas) that "the Heavenly Father" will intervene with a
miracle, which does not happen (my God why has thou forsaken me?). Jesus dies, but his Spirit
 triumphs and transcends his death. Judas commits suicide.

DEATH and RESURRECTION

"What has always been basic to resurrection, or Easter, is crucifixion. If you want to resurrect,
you must have crucifixion. Too many interpretations of the Crucifixion have failed to emphasize
 that. They emphasize the calamity of the event. And if you emphasize calamity, then you look
 for someone to blame. That is why people have blamed the Jews for it. But it is not a calamity
 if it leads to new life. Through the Crucifixion we are unshelled, we are able to be born to
resurrection. That is not a calamity. We must look freshly at this so that its
symbolism can be sensed."...Joseph Campbell

Resurrection, transformation or the transcendence of the Spirit is closely related to death, but not
necessarily a tortuous one.   And yet, the phrase "you must have crucifixion" is not good articulation,
although fairly true in the conditions of the time and place and most importantly the context of the
 religion - Judaism. The crucifixion was a necessary culmination of the conflict and tension between
the ultra-liberal stand that Jesus took and the ultra-conservative stand of the Jewish priesthood,
 amounting to heresy against the orthodox, sterile and rigid doctrines and dogmas upheld and
defended by the Jewish religious and political authorities. The point is not of blame but to
understand the dynamics of the conflict - between the orthodox and the liberal, between
stasis and change, between organized religion and transformative experience, between the
 sterile and the novel, between Eros and Thanatos, between the dead and the alive itself
- which is always ongoing but climaxed at that time, which is what gives great significance
to the events of the that time, but the focus should not be on the physical or blaming an
 entire community for it. The physical crucifixion is therefore only a powerful symbolism
 ( the archetype of The Sacrifice) for the non-thinking masses of followers.

2015: H post: Why Jesus was and is a political threat

Not only a political threat but also a threat to all organized religions, a threat to all blindly
applied laws, a threat to capitalist economy, in short.... a threat to all civilization. But not to
 worry, that threat was exterminated two thousand years ago.


Comment Posted on Huff Post: Who killed Jesus? 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/02/who-killed-jesus-podcast_n_6991806.html


The narrative of the Jews through all 2000 years has been that they had nothing to do with the death
of Jesus, and since the new testament is looked upon as a continuity with the old testament as one
whole Bible by the Christian orthodoxy (and not as heretical to the old testament), then conveniently
 the two orthodoxies try not to contradict each other, rather they try to defend each other and therefore
 the most convenient way out is to absolve the Jewish priests of that time of any role.
 You see, since the Jews are still sensitive about it (also because of being unjustly persecuted) and since
the "chosen people" privilege has been appropriated, why bother the Jews any more - just blame the
Romans. Every one is happy because the Romans are no longer around. The funny thing is: if any Jew
accepts Jesus as the prophesied savior, he is Jew no more; he becomes a Christian. So what you are
 pointing out to is that someone who has not accepted the compromise made by the orthodoxies, senses
 the tension between the core tenets of the Jewish religion and the tenets of Jesus as heretical to the
Jewish religion. That tension continues to this day. The significant thing is that whoever takes on or
 appropriates the privilege of being a "chosen person" or merely presume "saved because Jesus died
for his/her sin" also has to bear and fulfill a responsibility in equal measure. Without it, he/she faces
the similar fate and plight of the typical priest or dogmatic follower of any organized religion,
as it has been so throughout history. With all the trappings of doctrine, scripture and worthless
 catechisms, today the plight of the Christians is the same as that of those orthodox Jews
 two thousand years ago.

Why am I not a Christian?

Basically I have an aversion to all organized religions, their doctrines, scriptures and rituals.
And as far as Christianity is concerned, I do not accept the central doctrine that Jesus died on
 the cross for my sins or that I will be redeemed because of him.

However I do find that the story of Jesus is a very fascinating and powerful one and I do believe
that the human person of Jesus was constituted by a direct descent of the Spirit from the
primordial and eternal source (God) as part of the superscript of necessity because of the
 fallen state of humanity in civilizations.

One of the fascinating interpretations I found was Kierkegaard’s parable of the King who
falls in love with an poor maiden….

The Spirit of Jesus is thus a fresh infusion of the Spirit into the civilized part of the world
 which had dissipated and lost its link to the “First Spirit” that created and constituted
this world, whereas a few non-civilized societies of “noble savages” were able to retain
 it and in exceptional cases even enhanced it.

WebInt2015: Jesus wasn't white and here's why it matters (H post)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/jesus-wasnt-white-and-heres-why-that-matters_567968c9e4b014efe0d6bea5

It's quite clear from the gospels that he was very ordinary looking - almost identical to his fellow
 apostles.... or he was extraordinary looking but made himself look like a beggar for the specific
purpose of being "incognito" to the elite, for after all he was a magician and sorcerer as well.

"The God-man needs to be "incognito" - to arrive in the unrecognizable form of a servant.
He needs to suffer, to be spurned, to avoid any possible direct revelation of His exalted
 status.".....Kierkegaard


So then, what is "faith"? Hope & Faith

I don't have to have faith, I have experience.
Joseph Campbell

In my own life I have almost never used these words in my thought processes, having
stayed away from all organized religions. However I wasn't an atheist either, only a
skeptical non-believer in anything (not holding any fixed beliefs). But now that my interests
have ventured into the study of religion in a more explorative sense, I find that these words like
 faith, hope and love are very tricky and problematic in their use.
Looking back I would have used these in the following manner: Hope for me would be an
expectation of becoming a better being through my own efforts, and faith would be a confidence
 in my own ability and resources to accomplish that which I seek.
Therefore I would put Hebrew 11.1 as: Faith is the confidence I put in myself to find the right
 path to what I hope to accomplish - a fulfilled human being, without any need for "evidence". To
 the religiously affiliated I would say: "Faith should be the substance of right actions, irrespective
 of rewards hoped for, and faith is necessarily without evidence, otherwise what faith?"

The key to understanding what genuine faith is, lies in the answer to the question: where is
 one’s faith placed? In an institution, a doctrine, or in blindly following the social, cultural
 norms? The simple answer is: it must be placed in the individual’s own moral conscience. But
what if an individual has no sense of one’s own moral conscience? And that so easily happens
 because it was never exercised, it was never allowed to be exercised because the social
pressures already over-ran it with the traditionally handed down norms or doctrines. So if you
 are told from birth that whatever wrongs you do (sin) will be forgiven if you unconditionally
 have faith in Jesus as the only savior, then the most likely result will be that your moral
conscience becomes as good as dead, because it may never be tested or exercised.
Powerful figures like Jesus are effective only if their life lessons serve as inspiration for evoking
 and empowering one’s own moral conscience. Lessons like: to do the right thing even if it is
against all social norms and laws, or even if you have to suffer for it.
Therefore when I say that I do not accept the central doctrine of Christianity, I am reaffirming
 that it will be wrong and misleading for me to believe that someone else had to pay with
 his life for my sins, and I would rather take complete and total responsibility to redeem
 my sins through my own actions and not expect to depend on any other authority (even God
 for that matter) to bail me out. Faith for me means that the net worth of my own actions
will be valued justly in the ‘light of Eternity’ when I die, without any expectations for
rewards like ‘everlasting life’".

"Faith simply means that what I am seeking is not here, and for that very reason I believe it.
Faith expressly signifies the deep, strong, blessed restlessness that drives the believer
 so that he cannot settle down at rest in this world. He who has settled down has ceased
to be a believer, because a believer cannot sit still--a believer travels forward in faith."
(Provocations: Spiritual Writings of Kierkegaard )


Faith for me simply means that Reality will synchronize the necessary conditions and
liberty for what I am seeking to accomplish, and for that very reason I “have to believe” it.
Faith expressly signifies the deep, strong, blessed restlessness that drives the doer so that
he cannot settle down at rest in this world. He who has settled down has ceased to be a doer,
 because a doer cannot sit still-- a doer acts forward in faith. ..Updated


And if the doer is stuck, with all the resources at his disposal, commands the Intent:
 “give me liberty or give me death”.

 

Huff Post: 2015: Is Theology of Atonement a Ponzi Scheme That Enslaves Us to God?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christian-piatt/is-theology-atonement-a-ponzi-scheme-that-enslaves-us-to-god_b_7163520.html
"Perhaps even worse than how this makes God look, it presents a dangerous opportunity for
Christians to act fundamentally un-Christ-like"

This article is an example of bad faith or junk faith. It's a nice summary of the biggest business deal
ever made! and billions have bought it, and en-cashed it to enslave, murder, steal, dominate,
exploit,...the list goes on and on. And just because they were sold the idea that they will get away
 with it if they had "faith". Yeah sure it's "faith", but it is worthless with a deal like this thrown in.

"Junk is the ultimate merchandise. The junk merchant does not sell his product
to the consumer, he sells the consumer to the product. He does not improve
and simplify his merchandise, he degrades and simplifies the client.".
.......William S Burroughs

 2016:Q&A: Does the theology/doctrine of atonement make sense?
The story of Jesus and it's subsequent indoctrination has baffled thinkers, confounded those
who are dependent only on reason and dismissed out rightly by atheists/naturalists/materialists.
Heck, the story has confounded even the Jews from that time till now. The problem stems from,
as in all organized religions, turning a story into a hard and fast doctrine in which either you
are an unthinking, uncritical believer or have had some experience of "conversion" (like Paul) and
 then become an unquestioning follower (appropriate in the case of Paul), or you dismiss it out-rightly
 as completely fabricated nonsense. Very few people treat it as a story from which there is a significant
 potential to learn, or as an intellectual challenge. One thing is clear: that it requires experience,
knowledge and power to unravel this story for it's significance on an intellectual level.
For those not inclined intellectually, it's a binary situation: either you become a blind follower or a
bitter critic. Sadly, this is the state of the human mind in this age of instant solutions - we don't want
 to  wonder on mysteries and exercise our minds on them - it has to make instant sense or dismissed
 immediately as non-sense. The big flaw in the doctrine of atonement is that it is too easy a formula
of "died so that we can be saved" - that which poses the question of not only "how can that be?" but
 also "why?". The problem and the flaw in the doctrine is that all that is required is faith/belief in
Jesus as the savior in order to be saved, and then you can go about doing just about anything.
And this kind of problem is generic to all doctrines in all organized religions. What organized
religions will never even inform you is that all doctrines are fragile and fallible - they have
 huge limitations, and even the best fitting ones are bound to fail in time and exceptional
conditions.

"The truth is a snare ; you cannot have it without being caught. You cannot have the truth in
 such a way that you catch it , but only in such a way that it catches you."
2nd Translation: "The truth is a trap: you cannot get it without it getting you; you cannot
get the truth by capturing it, only by its capturing you."
"Present-day Christendom really lives as if the situation were as follows: Christ is the great
hero and benefactor who has once and for all secured salvation for us; now we must merely
be happy and delighted with the innocent goods of earthly life and leave the rest to Him.
But Christ is essentially the exemplar, that is we are to resemble Him, not mere profit
from Him."
― The Journals of Søren Kierkegaard

2016 MAY21: NOW WHAT ABOUT HOPE?

Comment in H Post: Tomorrow’s Leaders: A Reason to Hope

“Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will
turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.
” Vaclav Havel

hope: (noun): a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen.
Another word that is much abused in organized religion.

So hope is a kind of emotion and I think it's reasonable that one of the synonyms of hope should be
 "Illusion". I know that sounds negative and pessimistic, but in order for it to not be so, it's more
reasonable to define it as "a necessary illusion that when shaken or shattered, opens up a path
or potential for knowledge".
So hope is not something that you sit back and expect "Reality" to somehow fulfill for you, but
 something in which you yourself are actively engaged in, and that, in that engagement, you have
a personal stake in the outcome – and that you will learn from it, if nothing else, as a feedback
 to temper your hopes – not to abandon them, but to modify them and shape them according
 to what you yourself can realistically achieve. To “hope” that the world at large will conform to
 your “hopes” requires huge amounts of energy and Will – we have seen what typically
(not exceptionally) happens when someone (like Hitler) tries it.
So hope has to be tempered with meta-hope: what can we hope from “hope”?
1. I hope that people will learn from their hopes.
2. I hope that through my actions, knowledge and better sense prevails not only for me,
but also to those with whom I engage.
So as to the hope that a new generation of leaders will emerge in politics, religion (or science?)
 that will transform the landscape of this world is a misplaced hope, since leadership requires
 enabling power, and if there is one thing to learn form the modern, post-modern era it is this
 – that power has simply dissipated (and now disappeared) into systems of bureaucracy,
military and business enterprises that are driven by eco-devastating values of survival and
 domination at any cost, capture and control of resources, and cancerous economic growth
 that’s clearly (and hopelessly) unsustainable.
So there’s nothing wrong in hoping, but only if you can develop the power to fulfill those
hopes – or else they quickly slip into delusions.

”I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope, 
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing.” T. S. Eliot

2015: Are you ready for robot preachers?
Machines as priests and preachers

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/17/robot-preacher-daily-show_n_7087566.html

We have reached that stage of human de-evolution where even the so called men of religion
cannot make a basic metaphysical distinction between the "Animate" and the "Inanimate",
which even the so called primitive man could easily make.

Is belief..and programming the same?
Not the same thing...although these days these tend to converge. Beliefs that have been programmed
 into an individual by society, and are blindly followed, without the individual having any experience,
 experiment or testing - that supports a belief, is technically a program.

"In the province of the mind, what one believes to be true is true or becomes true, within certain limits
to be found experientially and experimentally. These limits are further beliefs to be transcended.
In the mind, (in pure experience) there are no limits."
.... John C. Lilly (Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer.

"Pastor, what do you think of when Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself?"
Likely answers by the Bot:
"Sorry, I don't think, I only process"
"Please define "think" and "love".
"Your question does not have a software solution, contact your
neighbor-hood hardware store for objects to love"
"It's a sin! Refer to your spouse for confirmation"
"It's a blasphemy! Please refer to the "Human Nature Manual" supplied to
you at birth: Law 101:1 It is impossible to love another as ye love yourself"

Baloney and more baloney says a TB
Response: IN the confession room: Forgive me FatherBot for I have sinned. Bot: What is your sin, son?
I have balonied twice….once about the state of your subjects, and the second time I made jokes
about you…a terrible sin, I confess. Bot: Why did you do it?
I was bored…..you see FatherBot, I have this terrible weakness: unless I make fun of the machines, I get
bored to death. Humor is the only anti-dote against these machines for me, but the TB’s call it baloney.
Bot: Recite the Lord’s prayer and you will be redeemed
Yes FatherBot: Our MasterBot in Cyberspace, hallowed be thy programming, your domination come.
 Your commands be done. Give us this day our daily jokes, the latest gizmos, and write off all our loans
 and debts, forgive our balonies, as we forgive the balonies of our accusers. Lead us away from humanity,
 and deliver us to the machines.

.............................................................................................................................................................................

The Fall of Monotheism.

( & The Fall of Religions in General )

The core idea in Monotheism is that there is only one creator of all creation, an idea that is
accepted by everyone with a religious inclination, except materialists or die-hard atheists.
The disputes, even wars occur when sets of people disagree about what the creator wants,
or in other words what is the so called ‘will of god’. Every monotheistic religion claims they
have the correct or final interpretation of the ‘will of God’, and as such, are hostile to others.

Therefore the flaw in Monotheistic religions is that they do not realize that all our conceptions
and attributes about the creator/God are actually human conceptions and attributions based
 upon linguistic concepts that are invented by that society and are actually part of the social
 construct. Thus the wars and conflicts among different societies arise because of this lack of
realization that conceptions and words associated with these concepts are aspects of ever
shifting and changing temporal reality, and do not apply to absolute reality or eternity,
 which is essentially unknowable, only fleetingly experience-able.

Let us look at the least controversial attribute made for the Creator: that of Unity – the word
 means “constituting of a single unit”. While this concept of unity is fairly accurate in its
application to the Eternal realm, it is inapplicable in the temporal realm. Yet, in spite of all
 the disputes and wars, even this is not realized by the proponents of organized religions.
Therefore even this word needs to be used with caution, unless one has a self propelled poetic
 license. Thus the experience of ‘Unity’ in which the individual consciousness dissolves or
merges with the universal consciousness does not automatically mean that this becomes an
absolute belief to be propagated – objective reality doesn’t allow subjective experiences
to be imposed over every other being for it defeats the purpose of creation itself!

In civilizations, and the development of organized religions, these conflicts of ‘my idea of God
is better that your idea of God’ is the indulgence of people who are afflicted with doctrines of
their respective religions in which the interplay of the orthodox and the heretical often also
leads to ‘holy wars’. History is full of such conflicts – billions of people have died or persecuted
just because of minor differences in the perceived attributes of God, or doctrines about the ‘will
of God’ to which all must be made to ‘surrender’ either by the force of social conformity or more
crudely, by the sword.
Also unfortunately, (or properly speaking by the nature of necessity or fate of the condition of
human conflict) there is a peculiar lack of comprehension in organized religions that just being
 a believer does not ipso-facto amount to anything except a social bond or community. That a
bond of conformity to any fixed beliefs also has an awful price to be paid in the potential loss of
 individual creativity. That there is a chasm between belief and truth, which may or may not be
bridged, and that there are limits to which every belief is valid or becomes true. That one’s
concepts about reality is not reality itself. That one’s idea of God is not God itself. That
institutionalized religion has been a cause of a colossal human moral failure.



“Unity can only be manifested by the Binary. Unity itself and the idea of Unity
are already two” - Buddha

"Not the least of my problems is that I can hardly even imagine what kind of
an experience a genuine, self-authenticating religious experience would be.
 Without somehow destroying me in the process, how could God reveal himself
in a way that would leave no room for doubt? If there were no room for doubt,
there would be no room for me." --Frederick Buechner

"God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the miserable.
They find not only sanctuary in His arms, but also a kind of superiority, soothing
to their macerated egos; He will set them above their betters.".....
H. L. Mencken

Monotheistic religions have the central belief that the purpose of life is a unification with
God,  or at the very least, a realization of God through the worship of God in a method or
way prescribed by the founder of the respective religion.  Even the polytheistic religions
follow the same pattern except that they have a variety of Gods or Deities to choose from,
 suitable according to the occasion, vocation, requirement etc etc.
All monotheisms claim that their way is the correct and only way to know and interpret
the "will of God" and the others are degenerate paths that need to be brought under their
fold.  Some do it with aggression and others do so with a sugar coated pill. But the real
purpose of all religious systems is to bring all of mankind under their interpretation of
the "will of God". And herein lies the blunder of all religions ( with the possible exception
of  Buddhism - being an open ended religion) : that  they seek to sub serve the individuality
of human beings to their idea of the will of God, at the same time vehemently denying that
they are doing anything of the sort - only following the command of God. Now many of the
founders of these religions would be turning in their graves at the plight of the people who
blindly follow in their steps but then most of these great souls will have only themselves to
blame for not warning that merely following a set of beliefs or practices only leads to
decadence and degeneracy,  because it doesn't allow for the dynamism of individuals
 to express itself and stifles any new thinking, conceptions or creativity, all of which are
crucial aspects of human nature.

"While man still lives as a herd-being he has no "things of the spirit " of his own ;
nor does he need any, save the usual belief in the immortality of the soul.
But as soon as he has outgrown whatever local form of religion he was born
to - as soon as this religion can no longer embrace all his life in all its fullness
- then the psyche becomes something in its own right which cannot be dealt
with by the measures of the church alone"..........C G Jung

 

The bottom-line of all religious belief systems is that the subjects or the followers of the
religion or cult do so in a similar fashion as a give and take deal in society. The individual
gets a sense of  security and cooperation in return for his  compliance or conformity with
the norms of that religion or society. Religion - a system of fixed beliefs serves for most
people as a cushion for their minds- something to depend upon to resolve  the troubles of
their minds.  Historically, all societies have had at least some sort of mythical beliefs to
support their social structures, and it is only in modern times that we now have societies
 that have beliefs that are grounded mostly or even totally in science or what may also
be termed as materialism.  This however too will prove to be as flawed as monotheism
- the atom or quantum or 'god particle' or 'quantum fluctuations' as substitute for God is
hardly an appropriate substitute, the worship of which carries the free gift of
complete destruction.
A better pursuit for scientists should be to detect and discover the 'greed particle' and
incorporate it as a fundamental particle form which all other particles and forces can be
derived so that apart from so many other implications, the economic havoc unleashed
by stock markets and the derivatives traders can be 'controlled' or 'regulated', and
the 'infantile obsessions of the market place' (McKenna) can be cured.

"Without an understanding of myth or religion, without an understanding of the
 relationship between destruction and creation, death and rebirth, the individual
 suffers the mysteries of life as meaningless mayhem alone".....Marion Woodman

The basic flaw of most religions, and monotheism in particular is that these belief systems
have no room for or do not account for the power and uniqueness of individual beings
and therefore fail to bring about a sense of responsibility in  their subjects.  Most of these
religions suppress individuality, and any critical analysis by anyone is immediately counter-
attacked. Their only collective purpose is subservience of all of humanity to their perceived
ideals based upon their interpretation of the will of God/s This interpretation is further
based upon the sayings or scriptures of their founding leaders, whether composed by
themselves or their followers.  Most of the diehard followers become captive morons
subservient to the masters or to just a fixed doctrine that is taken to be sacred
and eternal.

" There's a Bible on that shelf there. But I keep it next to Voltaire—poison and
antidote." .....Bertrand Russell

"It's only in western civilization that you get this steady focus on this monotheistic
 ideal, and working out the implications of what is essentially a pathological
personality pattern. The pattern of the omniscient, omnipresent, all-knowing,
wrathful male deity. No one you would invite to your garden party."...T McKenna

"Religion prevents our children from having a rational education; religion
prevents us from removing the fundamental causes of war; religion prevents
us from teaching the ethic of scientific cooperation in place of the old fierce
doctrines of sin and punishment. It is possible that mankind is on the
threshold of a golden age; but, if so, it will be necessary first to slay the
dragon that guards the door, and this dragon is religion." ......Russel

"No public man in these islands ever believes that the Bible means what it says:
he is always convinced that it says what he means." G. B. Shaw

The fall of monotheism in particular and religion in general took place due to the
following perceived causes :                            
( it should be noted here that some of the critical analysis below does not apply
to Buddhism, Zen and Daoism )

1). Denial of Duality: Monotheism denies and condemns any kind of duality or dualism
 whereas the truth is that the existence of life and human consciousness/perception in a
time-space  axis is  a manifestation of a duality of counterparts. The very conception of
one-ness or unity that monism insists upon itself implies or yields a counter concept of
not-oneness or multiplicity or duality. The twin concepts of space and time in the exist-
ential domain is an example of this fundamental duality, but both these, while acknow-
ledged, are denied as illusory concepts. ( if these were not a true pair of dual concepts,
then it would be possible to have a single concept that fully includes both, which is
inconceivable ). The very concept of illusion as the counter concept of reality itself is
proof of a duality in thought that is also denied ! ( Which means that all thoughts must
be illusions ! ) Anyway, life itself is considered to be a state of illusory existence that
must be done away with so that a peaceful union with god is resulted, which directly
contradicts their very assertion that its all a unity. If everything is a unity, then we all
are already in union with this unity, or god or whatever and so there can be no illusion,
there can be no separation in this unity. The concept of illusion is thus itself an illusion.
If we accept that there is no duality of any kind then everything is reality itself, and no
illusion can take place because if there is illusion, then we have a duality of reality and
illusion. This argument is side stepped by monists by saying that duality is itself the
illusion ! It is impossible for them to understand that the very concept of illusion ( or
what is illusory ), as a counter-concept of the concept of reality ( or what is real ) is a
supposedly meaningful duality of concepts that they are using in their thought process.

The first flaw of monoism therefore is that its subjects tend to deny a fundamental truth
of any existence of life and thereby are usually not attuned to current ongoing reality. 
(This however does not hold true for all believers of monisms, for some exceptional
individuals even in a monism belief system are well attuned and responsive to their
current reality.  Ultimately,  an individuals ability to deal  responsibly  with the current
reality rests more upon one's own personal moral power (one's spirit)  than upon the
belief system one is operating from. )
The point however, is that a monism belief system does not acknowledge personal
power or power as the attribute of an individual but only as an attribute of God.  An 
even more significant point is that by denying the self, such people although effective
and efficient in their own lives, since they are not self-analytical, do not realize that
they are indoctrinating their circle of associates and  followers to copy their own
 system of beliefs, irrespective of whether this is valid for others or not.

2). No religion promotes self-analysis, rather the self is considered to be illusory
  by most, and therefore no question of self - analysis arises according to them. Therefore
the followers of a religion are rarely self- critical and it follows from this that they never
are able to realize the limiting conditions of their fixed beliefs. The construct of their
values becomes a closed system that refuses to even acknowledge that they could be
providing a justifying shell for certain wrong doings that they may not even be aware of.

3). Denial of the Source of Being, Experience and Action from within, rather
it is insisted as sourced from God, Deities, etc
  All religions teach that both
reality as well as illusion are outside oneself. Some say it explicitly and some implicitly.
If this is not taught, the religion cannot acquire subjects and so cannot become a distinct
cult or society that worships a doctrine which has entities or deities to be worshiped or
certain rituals and methods to be adopted.  Religions and monisms deflect from reliance
upon inner resources of individuals, rather a mono entity is attributed as the source of all
resources. The individual is made to believe that he/she has no resource or power of
their own, its all vested in one source on which the individual is totally dependent.
Rather there is not supposed to be an individual at all, only the illusion of individualness
has to be overcome, or better still, obliterated altogether.

"The disastrous idea that everything comes to the human psyche from outside
and that it is born a "tabula rasa" is responsible for the erroneous belief that
under normal circumstances the individual is in perfect order...C. G. Jung

" For Nietzsche the Christian morality that grew out of the slave context meant
that its doctrines of love and compassion were rooted in the resentment of a
power that could not exercise itself. One of the things that slaves have a problem
with is that they have powers too but are constrained from exercising them."
..........Rick Roderick ( TTC – Philosophy and Human Values )

4). Ignorance that they are themselves operating  from and projecting a
belief system
.
The fundamental belief inherent in all religions is that they do not
think that they believe ( they call it faith ), but rather think that they know for sure
that the tenets of that religion are absolute, unchangeable and forever valid.
By not
recognizing that they themselves are operating from a belief system having underlying
 unquestioned assumptions, they invariably also propagate people to be non-critical and
non-analytical about their own selves, since in a monism the self is not recognized as
a distinct entity but only as another manifestation of an undifferentiated continuum
of the unity of the One.  ( at least that is the operating and highly valued central
belief,  but this truth is not recognized by them).  This then becomes an easy escape
or justification for the subjects of that religion of all their wrong doings. It therefore
becomes the norm for  every believer of any religion to simply  never question the
  rightness  or wrongness of their own actions so long as they pay the regular visit to
the temple or church to which they are aligned.  Just a nod, bow or a ritual
performed is presumed to be a substitute for all sins and wrong actions.
Which then leads to the next point.

5).  Emphasis and higher value for worship, not for experience, effort & 
Right action
    All religions follow a fixed doctrine consisting of beliefs, rituals,
procedures and also a code of morals.  No religion is fully open ended and self
-analytical.  The validity of its beliefs are not to be questioned and must be
assumed to be absolute and a matter of "faith".  No wonder then that all religions
only promote value for worship or so called "faith", which, as each of their systems
claim, is the only correct way. The subjects of these religions are never encouraged
to experience and to experiment on their own, only to act in subservience to the
doctrine of that religion, which they believe to be the only Right way. All religions
talk about morals but that is all that they do - just talk about morals. Do this thing
this way or that way. They have it all figured out for you - all you have to do is
just follow the direction they have already charted out for you. Now if you deviate
even a wee bit from what they have already so painstakingly programmed for
you, well, you are a rebel or worse - a degenerate, a psychopath.

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us
 with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."
-- Galileo Galilei

6). Emphasis on conformity not individual uniqueness :  Most religions 
thrive by making their subjects conform to certain doctrines or set of beliefs that
 are never to be doubted or questioned, rather only to be propagated further.
  They do not admit to any individuality and uniqueness of any individual, and
divide the world into believers and non-believers ( another duality that they are 
not even aware of ! ). They fail to realize that positive dynamic inputs are
 provided by exceptional individuals without which any institution stagnates
and degenerates.

"Wandering in a vast forest at night, I have only a faint light to guide me.
A stranger appears and says to me: "My friend, you should blow out your
candle in order to find your way more clearly." This stranger is a theologian."
.........Denis Diderot

"In the final analysis, as Kierkegaard summarizes, in the realm of the religious,
 the individual is above the universal. Standard moral rules are no longer
absolute in the sense of demanding to be followed by all and always."
..........Thomas Flynn
 

7). Institutionalization of the Spirit :  The failure of most religions to realize
that the Spirit cannot be institutionalized or confined within a system of beliefs and
practices. Yet most of them try to do exactly that without realizing or admitting
that they are doing anything of the sort and so the institution that they create
cannot adapt itself with change, because by the very process of institutionalizing
devours the Spirit.

8). Suppression of natural instincts and spontaneity : Again, most religions
consider natural instincts to be animal like behavior and they discourage
spontaneous, insightful and instinctive behavior as unbecoming of humans. Animal
life is considered to be lower, and humans, especially the believers, are considered
to be divine, the non-believers presumed to be lost souls, degenerates etc. Here
again, tribal cultures and especially the Native American culture were the only
ones to retain and sustain their connection with the animal and plant world.

" We believed that the spirit pervades all creation and that every creature
 possesses a soul in some degree, though not necessarily a soul conscious
 of itself. The tree, the waterfall, the grizzly bear, each is an embodied Force,
and as such an object of reverence.
The Indian loved to come into sympathy and spiritual communion with his
 brothers of the animal kingdom, whose inarticulate souls had for him something
 of the sinless purity that we attribute to the innocent and irresponsible child.
He had faith in their instincts, as in a mysterious wisdom given from above; and
 while he humbly accepted the supposedly voluntary sacrifice of their bodies to
preserve his own, he paid homage to their spirits in prescribed prayers
and offerings."
........Eastman ( The Soul of The Indian )

"(True) religion is a process of continuing revelation and experiencing of revelation
and being obedient to your greater awareness of becoming in life." BBC doc on Jung

9). Kills creativity and takes man away from nature No religion encourages
the creative potential of humans. No religion deals with or creatively channelises the
destructive potential of human beings, but tries to suppress it, thereby suppressing
creativity also, failing to understand that there is a thin dividing line between the
two and that any human institution must first be oriented towards addressing this
basic aspect of human nature. Religions fail to go deep into human nature and the
human mind and therefore lose touch with nature altogether in search of an elusive
and empty purity. No religion encourages the use of intelligence to resolve personal
and social problems. No religion promotes an effort towards understanding nature.
No religion encourages fresh intellectual ideas.

"Religion circumscribes...choice and adaptation by...decrying the value of
life and promulgating a view of the real world that is distorted like a delusion,
and both of these imply a preliminary intimidating influence upon
intelligence"..........
Sigmund Freud

So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise
 of intelligence. -- Bertrand Russell
 

10). Fails to provide creative social inputs :  Since most religions only end up
supporting social status quo, they fail to bring about conditions of creative dynamism
in society, without which any socio-political system is bound to decay and degenerate.


WEB int 2015: Is Religion to blame for war?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/soumaya-ghannoushi/religion-is-not-to-blame_b_8417720.html

Conflict, strife, war....are intrinsic aspects of human nature, and are the processes in which the
 creative and the destructive are interweaved. Sadly, the main motivating forces are greed, ambition,
lust for power and domination. Organized religion has been in cahoots with the political bosses and
has often provided "divine" justifications for the rulers. But to put the blame on religion generically
 is a mistake that any genuine student of human nature will eventually realize. Even organized
religion mostly has played a secondary role to economic and political motivations.
 

" Not everyone plays golf with the Pharaoh, but the suspicion hangs over that
the entire religious enterprise serves vested interests - economic interests -
I agree with Marx that they are all involved with that shit called money.
The religious trick themselves into what they are really doing."
……..Rick Roderick ( Self Under Siege )

10).  Failure   to go into the roots of cultural shortcomings by not analysing
cultural and social values and their current validity. Religions tend to promote only
traditional values of the culture in which they are established and so can throw no
light on the faultlines and shortcoming of these values and their relevance
to current reality.

"Religion acts as a kind of drug and prevents us from seeing what is really
going on (social injustices) by giving us a false sense of comfort and hope".
 

12) Failure to learn from other cultures by the correlation of cross-cultural values
between different cultures, since almost no religion encourages learning from cultures
that are divergent  or even in conflict, to their held values.

Existentialism and Monotheism:

As such, there is no conflict between Existentialism and Monotheism, because the core
idea in existentialism is that the authority and the autonomous power to make choices,
 decisions, attitudes, beliefs etc, are vested within the living, existing individual, insofar
as that individual exercises that authority in a judicious manner or is capable of beholding
 that autonomous power through right actions.

Thus an existing individual may choose to be an atheist or theist or agnostic, but that choice,
beliefs and attitudes are his/her is own and cannot be projected as universally valid, because
 there is a responsibility associated with every choice made, every action taken by the individual
and for which he/she is solely accountable eventually – this is the reality to which all are
 subject to, even if they are atheists, because otherwise nothing would make sense.

Existentialism and Pantheism are however quite incompatible,
rather the  two are contradictory and in total conflict with
one another.
MAR14: COMMENT in H post Article on Einstein's religious take.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/albert-einstein-on-god-and-science_us_56e6f491e4b065e2e3d6a9d9

 
From this synopsis of Einstein's attitudes about God/religion, the best classification that
can be made is that he was a scientific-mystic-pantheist. Not surprising that he concludes
 that God is inherent in the "laws of nature". But what I find bizarre is the statement
"science itself bears evidence that there is some spirit in the world that shows itself
through the laws of nature" - this is what I would call a classic pantheistic fudge that
is the hallmark of post-modernity - a peculiar inability to differentiate between the
 physical and the non-physical.
However I find that he at least is aware of the limits of his own intellectual abilities
regarding the larger questions about life when he says "I prefer an attitude of humility
corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our
 own being."
A man's gotta know his limitations, and Einstein indeed does. That itself is a praiseworthy
 unscientific quality of being human that unfortunately is rare.
One bit of knowledge he certainly has got dead right: that God is not in the "business" of
running the day to day affairs of human beings. What he gets dead wrong is that the
 "laws of nature" are in-charge, whereas the Gnostics got that one dead right: that this
 "business" of running the daily affairs has been "outsourced" (to the Archon) right
from the beginning, and continues till the end.  Happy Birthday Einstein.

 Atheist Insistence: It is the "laws of nature" that are in charge.
Reply: The "laws of nature" apply only to the purely physical objects, observed
objectively.


 

MYSTICISM

Mysticism becomes the ultimate refuge for the religious in post-modernity. Organized religions
slowly lose their appeal as they become sterile and defunct. Mysticism becomes the new catch
word and the self proclaimed mystic as the new messiah of "ultimate reality". Mysticism
becomes a bed of ignorance when fortified with Pantheism - the only mantra they chant
is: All is One, and One is All.
The other mantra is: The Self is an Illusion that has to be rid of as the
goal of all life (or simply: there is no Self.)
Some of the other ideas they preach are: The world is an illusion. (also
called Maya or Samsara), and often also: Time is an illusion.


The New Mysticism: Is Religiosity Declining Or Simply Transforming? Butler Bass calls it a
"Revolution".
WEB INT 2015: Comment in The Huffington Post

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/religion-in-america_563a5c99e4b0411d306f490e

There is no revolution taking place as such, but sporadic transformation is taking place in which
outmoded religious beliefs and thinking based upon scriptures and doctrine is being discarded
 as a result of individual religious experience not induced by peer pressure or community.
But this leap towards mysticism (or claims of thereof) is what makes the so called revolution suspect
 ( as History shows us), because any revolution must be intellectually driven. This is not to devalue
 mysical experience, but to point out that unless it leads to better understanding, which is essentially
 a laborious intellectual exercise, the mystics have historically never initiated a revolution in thought,
 but led to further dumbing down and obfuscation of the real human condition, and consequent
 social degeneration in which scripture and doctrine is replaced by sophistry. Hopefully this doesn't
happen on a mass scale now but since we are very much in the post-modern trajectory and this
trajectory has yet to reverse it's course ( if it ever does), it can't be ruled out.

Question by Alvin: Why must a revolution be intellectually driven? Why wouldn't a revolution be
 emotionally driven (fear and anger are strong motivating force, but so is love) and later rationalized?
Mystical experiences are totally disruptive; they are a complete breakdown of how you construct and have been taught to construct the world. They force you to see and understand in a new way. But the
 thinking only comes later when you try to reconstruct and understand the experience. Of course, the reconstruction in thought can never fully capture the understanding that was the original experience. The dumbing down is the reconstruction as it moves further and further from the original experience.

Gross Ryder: Depends upon what you mean by revolution. If you mean any dramatic change in the social,
political and cultural conditions then of course by that meaning what we are witnessing now is mostly
 a “technological revolution” which has followed a century or so of “scientific revolution”. However,
I consider “revolution” as a widespread substantive improvement in understanding of the human
 condition in a pragmatic manner, driven by ideas (or improvement of existing ideas) that are universal
 to human nature and purpose, and which leads to changes that improve the social and political
 conditions. Such revolutions are hardly ever driven by emotions, but mainly by well articulated
 intellectual ideas that appeal to man’s reason and desires for a better society and politics.
The thesis of the author Butler Bass is that we are in the midst of a “religious revolution” in which
 humans are moving away from one specific organized religion towards a metaphorical “playlist” drawn
 from various religions and that there is a widespread outbreak of mystical experiences amongst them.
 I do not totally disagree with this thesis, but calling it a revolution is too farfetched and hyperbolic
and has inherent dangers.
Mystical experiences may (I emphasize “may”) reveal insights or intuitions into certain aspects of reality,
 but unless these insights can be incorporated in a developing understanding which also requires
articulation (I emphasize “art” in articulation) they fizzle out. History shows us that mystics, more
often than not, tend to have this fatal attraction towards “nothingness”, “emptiness” and “a permanent
 release from the cycle of life and death” and not towards developing or constructing basic structures
 of understanding about human nature, purpose and meaning.

Question by Melvin: Or, it simply means many humans are realizing hocus-pocus is imaginary and finally
 deduce it's all a lie to get money and power. They look back and ask, "Besides Santa and the
Tooth Fairy, what else did my parents lie to me about?"

Gross: I would say that it is not so black and white as you are portraying, but it is illustrative of how
important it is what stories we tell our children and how they are told ..... very important to tell each
 story not in terms of definitives but open ended and explorative, so that the children are
encouraged to find out on their own what suits their own mental development.

WebInt2015: Should you tell your child about Santa? Comment in Newsweek:

This is a grave cultural flaw: to first tell something to kids as literally true, while knowing
 that it is pure fantasy, and then the kid finds that he/she has been lied to - the result is that most end
up with their faculties of imagination and synthetic perception permanently damaged in which (with
the help of scientific education) they believe ONLY in "facts" which have been established by general
 consensus with the scientific methodology in which "evidence" is irrefutable. No wonder the mass
 culture of the world looks like a colony of robots.
It is best to tell everything to kids as a story with open ended multiple possibilities that the child
explores on his/her own and in which there should not be an emphasis on whether it is "really true"
 or pure fantasy, The sharp distinction is required only when working in the domain of science.
Also in story telling, the story teller should be conscious of, and be at least implicit, if not explicit
 in the presentation of the story as mythos (handed down story) or logos (personal account of story).
 

How can we morally hold ourselves to a higher regard.....?

Well it's more like self-esteem rather than confidence.  The Greeks would say through
 Arete: Excellence in what you do. I would add: only by those actions by which not only you
 gain knowledge, but others also gain knowledge through those actions.
An Eastern poet Iqbal has developed such a concept called "Khudi" which loosely can translate
into "self-hood or individuality through excellence. In one poetic piece he is very radical:
(Translated):
"Take your self-hood to such heights of excellence that at every critical turn of History,
 God himself asks you: what is thy concurrence?"


Is God's foreknowledge compatible with free will?

If God's foreknowledge was absolute and not probabilistic, then:
1) There can be no free will
2) There can be point to creation
3) Time becomes meaningless.
4) There can be no creative
activity.
Hence God's foreknowledge is not absolute, only highly probabilistic, but
God is however still absolutely all knowing in the present.


Free Will in it's true sense is exercise in creativity.
Mechanistic Will is nothing but exercise in destructivity.

 

4 The Rise and Doom of Scientific Materialism :

The Atom or Quantum Worshippers
 

What is Science?  Finding out verifiable, objective data about the physical cosmos.

What is Technology ?
Using scientific data to build physical devices or machines that
 enable human beings to do better art for some and leisure or entertainment to others,
 and finally to destroy for yet others. The ultimate end of technology is destruction.
(This truth is never realized nor accepted by the gurus, nerds, experts, self-
proclaimed contractors of "reality", who keep dishing out useless "theories of
everything" to confuse and confound the general public.)

What is Intellect/Philosophy?
Understanding the world, nature and human beings.

What is Art ?
The creative expression of the movement and dynamism of life itself.
What is artful is an opposition or a revolt against the mundane, the routine,
the definitive or the superficial.


Let me state at the outset that the huge body of data about the physical cosmos
(science) developed over hundreds of years has resulted in powerful technologies
that beckon and challenge the human psyche to emerge from the pits in which it has
sunk in the past few millennia (like the machine on which I am typing, and contrary
to the insinuations by some, I am not sneering at the machine, FGS why should I sneer
 at an object that I am using as physical tool? And neither am I awestruck by it, nor
consider it with reverence, nor elevate it's status beyond what it is: a machine. And I
am not in debt to anyone for it - I have purchased it with my own hard-earned money)

While I am pessimistic about any mass psychic and religious transformation, I am
optimistic about individuals who have a passionate commitment towards knowledge to
 seize the challenge to make full use of technology to reach new heights in creative
 intellectual art that leads to the ecstasy of communication with those who care for life
and want to be the explorers and pioneers in this always ongoing battle between the
force of life and the force of death/destruction.

Incidentally, the core of Mesoamerican religions was a deep concern with this eternal
struggle between life and death. The belief was that if their actions did not meet up to
 the standards of the powers that be, then the sun will not come out and the world will be
plunged into darkness and all life would end. (The sun was the physical manifestation of
that power that created life). Unfortunately the masses eventually perverted this to
mean performing ritualistic sacrifices to 'please that power' !
Contrast this to the Zoroastrian belief of there being a ongoing struggle between truth
 and falsehood with a final outcome. In the Abrahamic religions there is to be a decisive
 (once and for all ! rather than ongoing) struggle between good and evil.

Now however great may be the 'achievements' of science, it is after
all data and information about matter that is used to build devices
and machines that can be used or abused or indulged in.

In itself science and technology is neither good nor evil, and arises
 out of the force of necessity, but it's potential to destroy increases
 with every new development in much greater proportion to the
potential to create , and therefore the human responsibility
 to make creative use of it correspondingly increases.

With every new scientific discovery, or development of new
technologies, a higher degree of moral and ethical testing of
humans takes place, and unfortunately those who fail or are
not even aware of it, become inanimate, amoral beings, not
unlike the machines they have created, and which these
inanimate human beings even believe that these machines
 deserve to replace them!
 
WARNING ! Without this basic awareness, acknowledgement & 
 responsible acts that reflect these, the default is destruction.

This happens when science and technology is misunderstood
to be ends in themselves rather than means to human ends
or purposes.


"It would indeed be a tragedy if the history of the human race proved to be
 nothing more than the story of an ape playing with a box of matches
 on a petrol dump.".....Lord Harlech

"Humanity had a past, the future belongs to the terminator." ..Eudamoniac

“If God is dead, somebody is going to have to take his place. It will be megalomania
or erotomania, the drive for power or the drive for pleasure, the clenched fist
or the phallus, Hitler or Hugh Hefner.” ― Malcolm Muggeridge

Having taken a close look at religion in starting from pure individual experience to myth making
and finally the institutionalization of religion, the attention is now going to be focused on it's
opposite or anti-thesis (Science) by taking a look at the contrast between them.

Web Interactive 2013:  Firstly, at the outset we need to be clear what science and scientific
method is about:
Science is verifiable and objective (independent of an individual) data about the physical cosmos
 or physical reality that can be tested and measured - that is - it should be quantifiable, and the
scientific method is the experimental method by which the hypothesis and theories about the
properties and attributes of the physical in the form of quantifiable data can be either
 verified or disproved.

"What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method
of questioning".....Heisenberg

Since it is an objective method, it means that the method and experimental results are
INDEPENDENT of anyone's opinions, beliefs, feelings, emotions, viewpoints,
choices and interpretations.

And since science is data that is independent from any human individual, society or culture's
point of view, I have emphasized that it is point of view from nowhere - that is, it's not a
point of view at all, only data. Individuals and societies only "find" or "discover" this data
through experiment and mathematical formulation.

 

WEB INT 2015: The entire focus in the academia worldwide has been on STEM (Science,
 Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). But I posit that STEM is worthless without AH (Arts
and Humanities), unfortunately AH has been crushed underneath the STEM onslaught.
Data has submerged value. Humanities, or human values have been drowned by mountains
 of data. Those who keep chanting the mantra of STEM are no better than buffoons.
 Science can only provide data about material facts - not value judgments which are beyond
 the scope of science, but is a subject of humanities. STEM propagators use climate change
deniers as strawman for science deniers. People are deniers of climate change because
 they have a vested interest in it, not because they are science deniers! They will just
as easily switch sides the moment they are personally affected by climate change.

http://www.newsweek.com/bill-nye-science-guy-solar-sailing-stem-and-science-deniers-332632

 

RELIGION AND SCIENCE

Religion as pure experience reveals what is both good as well as true

 for an individual. Religion as doctrine is mostly no-good/bad, but religious

literature may provide a wider understanding for those studying comparative

 religion to enhance or widen their understanding of their religious experiences,

whereas science tends to inhibit the value of religious or deeply personal

 experiences to the point of making them redundant and insignificant. All scientific

 discoveries lead to reject religion and the concept of god, since the very purpose

 of scientific discovery is to 'objectify' reality, as opposed to true religion

which is pure subjective experience.

WEB INteractive 2013: Science and organized religion are in a thesis anti-thesis
relationship, and a synthesis of these is possible in a pragmatically oriented individual,
but the fulcrum or key in this synthesis is Art ( intellectual art of poetry, dialectic, rhetoric
 - i.e. the art of language by which it is possible to decipher myths and differentiate between
myth and scientific data and the correct mapping of the domains in which they apply or
 imply). Science is the data resource and technology is means by which potentially
any human being can achieve this.

2016: (But)The Internet is Killing Religion (and Science too)
.... H Post comment

The point is well made, although the title is hyperbolic. The key to the problem is focus and
 control, and not putting all your fingers in too many pies. Your mind can become bloated
 with information overload if you follow the crowd that thinks that pumping your self with
information can make you knowledgeable. Far from it .... it will lead to the syndrome of
 hyper-distraction that you have aptly described.
Although the internet has become the "Lord of Distraction", at the same time it also presents
 abundant opportunities and challenges to those who remain focused. At one time the same
was being said about TV, but I think that that was actually worse because TV is only one way
communication, whereas the internet is "fairly" interactive. (Of course many of my posts
disappear in Huff Post... but that's okay with me. So long as I get to exercise
 my tools ... who cares about losers?)
All these are complexities of the post-modern culture, and if you cannot find your way
 around in this labyrinth, you are food for the Minotaur, but please don't mislead by stating
that the internet is destroying religion and science.
All "it is doing" is that it is posing greater and greater challenges to those who are willing
 to take them on. For the rest, it's distraction all the way to the end.

"If you see in any given situation only what everybody else can see, you can be said to be
 so much a representative of your culture that you are a victim of it".....S. I. Hayakawa


THE ADVENT OF SCIENCE

   The advent of myth making took place when man wondered about the mystery of existence and
from the power of synthetic visions or dreaming to reveal hidden forces that created, affected
or controlled the beings of the world. The advent of science began (Thales) by speculating on,
and by making hypothesis about the material world - what was the "stuff" that everything was
 made of. (Note the contrast between myths and science).

Thus speculation began about what "ultimately" constituted matter, and one by one propositions
were made; Air, Water, Fire were all taken up as possible mono "stuff" that constituted
everything, and although these did not lead anywhere, a process had begun, but verification
techniques and methodology were missing. Even though some good speculation was finally
made by Democritus about a smallest possible particle which he called "Atom", there was
no way to find that at that time, but the legacy is significant as this word would finally
be adopted.

"Thales attempted to explain natural phenomena without reference to mythology and was
tremendously influential in this respect. Almost all of the other Pre-Socratic philosophers follow
 him in attempting to provide an explanation of ultimate substance, change, and the existence
 of the world—without reference to mythology. Those philosophers were also influential, and
eventually Thales’ rejection of mythological explanations became an essential idea for the
scientific revolution. He was also the first to define general principles and set forth hypotheses,
and as a result has been dubbed the “Father of Science”, though it is argued that Democritus
 is actually more deserving of this title.".....Wik


Thus the process of development of science is concentrated upon discovering and formulating
reliable, consistent and verifiable data about: 
 1) the constitution of the material world 2) Logical hypothesis building and testing or verifying
 (making models) about the properties of matter. Note - Both of these points are a distinct
 and different process from the myth making process. I bring these up again because it is
crucial to make these distinctions in order to avoid endless confusions !
Also noteworthy is that the scientific method can deal only with tangible and observable
 things or their analytical derivatives.


Therefore this process that started in ancient Greece was recognized as an anti-thesis to
mythology and religion, and the very first person to question it was Socrates who
immediately realized that this type of thinking was a move away from direct human
concerns of morality, ethics and politics, since he realized that scientific thinking cannot
tell us anything about intangibles like justice, soul, human purpose etc.

"A hundred years before Socrates, there was a turning of the corner in our
 knowledge of the physical world - beginning of those naturalistic, materialistic,
  mechanistic conceptions of the universe that leave out divine providence,
 which leave out meaning, which create just a blind, pointless mixing of elements,
 earth, water, fire etc This materialistic and mechanistic conception of nature is what
 Plato feels as dangerous to the human soul, and therefore dangerous to the political
 and moral order. Plato is trying to convince his listeners that everything happens
  for a purpose, everything has a 'telos'. The divine demiurge, the creator/god created
  the world for a reason, and everything is there for a particular reason, and ultimately
  serves the best. Plato was trying to reconcile 'nomos' and 'phusos' , to reconcile moral
law and natural law, to undo the distinction. All of Plato's natural theory exists only
 to legitimize the life of the soul and the organization of morality within the polis. He
tries to create a (meta)physics that is not dangerous to moral and political life.
God created the universe, the universe didn't just happen in 'chaos', but created by
a demiurge in its own goodness, in its own beneficence to organize the chaotic
matter of the world into a 'cosmos', into a ordered unity that means something.
And Plato thinks that he can discern if not this meaning then at least give a
plausible opinion, a true opinion of the reality of God's plan for the universe."
....TTC. M. Sugru

Modern science began when the data was made systematic and properly formulated
(given proper form) so that this could be tested for its posited properties by anyone
without interference of personal opinion, biases, emotions, hunches, intuitions etc.

Galileo and Copernicus presented ideas based upon logical models that correctly
established the movement of planets in the solar system, and it was also established
that the solar system was one such in a galaxy, and the galaxy was one such in
the seemingly infinite Universe. This data contradicted the Biblical assertions about
the cosmos and the organized religious cosmic view was shaken. But the sad thing is
that the church failed to correct it's way of thinking or to accept that the Bible
was not a literal, absolute truth, but rather it was at best poetic and metaphorical.

After major developments in the physical sciences, being based upon physically observed
cause - effect related phenomenon than can be objectified, defined and verified by
anybody, and the resultant properties of such objects been identified, it has become
almost a permanent belief and presumed to be true that the physical reality is 
complete and is the whole of Reality and thus there are no non-physical elements to
it, or that the non-physical is merely human imagination.

The even worse thing that happened as a consequence of this so called Copernican
revolution was that scientific data starting acquiring a competitive authority over the
religious, whereas both are pseudo authorities as far as individual experience is
concerned. One was a pseudo authority of doctrinally imposed myths, the other
was new information about the physical cosmos, and as such had no inherent
moral authority, but having pushed aside or exploded some religious myths,
assumed an authority which was just as fake an authority for an individual
human being for whom essential human values were of primary concern.

" Naturally, the new nominalism  (scientific) promptly claimed universal validity
for itself  in spite of the fact that it too is based on a definite and limited thesis
colored by temperament.  This  thesis runs as follows :  we  accept   as  valid
anything that comes from outside and can be verified.  The  ideal instance is
verification by experiment. The anti-thesis : we accept as valid anything that
comes from inside and cannot be verified." .... C. G. Jung



The qualitative experience of being human was now coming under siege
from both doctrine and data, whereas earlier it was under siege only
by doctrine.

" Modern neurosis began with the discoveries of Copernicus. Science made man
feel small by showing him that the earth was not the center of the universe. "
..........  Mary McCarthy


There was more fatal consequences to follow after every major developments in
science. People all over the world were being taught that this new and ever expanding
field of information was the only reliable way of knowing anything about reality
itself, and that all would be found out by the scientific method. The corollary to
this was unconsciously assumed - that if the scientific method could not establish
the evidence for something, then that thing could not exist. Thus it began to
be established worldwide that metaphysical (beyond physical) things were
merely imaginations or even worse - delusions of the human mind.


These are dangerous myths that mislead, and it is surprising to me that there was
very little challenge to this, and the poet or artist who opposed these myths
were considered to be fringe crackpots, or ridiculed as 'uneducated'.
There were people who opposed this encroachment of science over other domains like
art, literature, poetry and philosophy, but these were very few in number. The poet
was clear: that science was an anti-thesis to art and poetry.

This situation came about after remarkable breakthroughs in Science that established
clear cause-effect relationship of many phenomenon that were earlier based upon myths,
leading to the belief that all myths were false and that scientific materialism could explain
the whole of Reality in terms of definite cause-effect relationships that could be put into
precise mathematical formulas. This was believed even by eminent persons like Einstein,
who even refused to believe that there was an inherent uncertainty in the behavior of
sub-atomic particles by making the famous statement that "God does not play dice with the
Universe".
Einstein was on the lookout for an equation that could establish a relationship between
all energy, matter and forces in the universe- a unified field theory. Despite quantum theory
and Schrödinger's equations proving that the behavior of matter at the sub atomic level 
was probabilistic and not determinate, scientists continue to believe that all of nature and
reality can be described by the laws of Science yet to be discovered. And even if everything
cannot be explained by science, well so what ? Technology provides  for the solution to
every problem, or so they believe without doubt, almost as a religious faith.

For all scientific purposes, i.e., the study of the objectified physical universe this
assumption does not pose any problems, however, when we try to understand Reality
in its whole or we look for meaning, either for one's own existence or generally that of
life, the scientific-materialistic assumptions and the consequent results leads to a dead
end, since all they can really comprehend are lifeless objects to be studied without any
personal interference, opinions, desires etc.  Of course there is study of biology, society
etc. that tends to go beyond the strictly physical,  but still even there the underlying 
assumption remains the same, the effects are same, and only those results that are in
accordance with established procedures, methods etc are acceptable. These too are
determined by a class of people who dominate the establishments and institutions
related to the various specialized fields. The field of Physical Sciences is a closed
system in which only those are admitted who have already been programmed and
trained without even realizing it,  that the underlying assumption is that reality is
purely physical,  or in other words,  that which cannot be detected by scientific
instruments  and thereby quantified or measured does not exist but is merely a
byproduct of the mind and its tricks, or dismissed as supernatural nonsense. 
It is in this aspect that science itself resembles a religion, that is, it never
questions its most fundamental operating assumption.

We see here that two fundamental axioms of science are : 1) every thing in the universe
can be reduced to a cause-effect relationship in a mathematical form and that 2) any thing
that cannot be empirically observed ( or detected by instruments through 'controlled'
experiments ) by trained scientists and thereby objectified, does not exist.
These are the axioms that are taken to be true beyond question and examination.
Even worse is the presumption that these discovered relationships or "laws" are valid
under all conditions, for everyone and for all time to come. Some of these laws were
found to be not applicable under newly posited conditions, so even after being declared
infallible, some laws were found to change under different conditions. (Like Newton's
laws were inapplicable in quantum mechanics)

"The progress of science is strewn, like an ancient desert trail, with the bleached
skeletons of discarded theories which once seemed to possess eternal life"
.........Arthur Koestler

Is science then an 'imagined reality' ?

Science cannot be called an imagined reality, because science is data about physical reality
 which is common to all human beings - that is, the properties of matter and how the physical
 behaves is objectively (independent of subjective interpretation) determined by experiment
or mathematical relationships that can be tested for consistency and verifiability.
It's another matter that many scientific discoveries have been made through the exercise
of imagination, before a concrete expression could be formulated. Basically the term
'imagined reality' cannot be applied here - it is a misuse of language.
It becomes an imagined reality when exaggerated claims and hyperbole takes over (like the
 hypothesis about multi-universes). It becomes a dangerously imagined reality when it is
assumed that it can explain abstract human values - that is when it infringes upon domains
that are beyond it's reach - and those are Philosophy, Metaphysics.....in short the
domain of the Humanities.

 

MYTHS vs SCIENCE

At the outset, we need to understand the basic distinction between myth making and scientific
 method. The domain of science covers only objectively (without individual views and opinions)
verifiable data of tangible, physical, external reality, whereas myths are narrated experiences and
handed down stories about intangible, hidden, non-physical reality (which the scientific method
cannot deal with at all) and accessible only through individual experience. Thus the domain of science
 and myths is not convergent but divergent. And what science fanatics keep trying to do is impose their
opinion of the superiority of the scientific domain over every other by their unscientific assertions.
Their 'faith' in science is touching, no doubt, but their approach thus is antithetical to the scientific
 method itself - it's rather blasphemous to science. Instead of admitting and acknowledging the
limitations of their domain, fanatic scientists have started making wild claims that are laced with
sophistry and technical jargon so as to zap others into blind submission. A strange kind of
illicit marriage is taking place between sophistry and materialism.

As a consequence of this sophistry, what is nothing more than data about how the physical
cosmos behaves, is falsely raised to a level and authority that even religions would not dare
to claim. The god of equations, data and information has become the supreme deity today.
This has resulted in what can be called the Myths of Science - which have directly to do
with the false attitudes and hyperbolic claims about the potential of science.


2106: Shifting "Evolution Paradigms"?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/suzan-mazur/whos-invited-to-the-royal_b_8995952.html

The evolutionary scientists have de-evolved into sophists. New terms are being invented to
keep the funds ball rolling. This helps them not only to ensure their salaries but also to look
 down scornfully on those who question them. Sneering at everyone who does not support
their ever increasingly convoluted theses, and dismissing them as "creationists" or
"conspiracy theorists. This phenomena can also be observed in quantum physics.
Although it was insisted that Abiogenesis is not part of "evolutionary biology", I notice
 this term has been dropped like a hot-potato after many failures. (The scientists are
 even denying now that they were attempting "spontaneous synthesis")
This has now been replaced with the term "emergence", marking a new
 low in deception and abuse of authority.

 

The Silly, The Misleading and The Dangerous Myths of Science

Just as there are silly, dangerous or misleading myths in religion and mythology,
there are just as silly, dangerous and misleading myths in science.

Although myth making and science are thesis anti-thesis to each other as processes, the
false elevation of scientific data to a god like status and the hyperbolic claims made thereof
has generated many myths of science that misrepresent what science is - and these myths
 also acquire a dangerous dimension because these are not then recognized as myths, but
given the status of so called 'facts'.


Dangerous Myth: Science has shown that all myths are false and are either superstitions
 or deceptions or delusions of primitive mentality.

Reality: This scientific myth is the most dangerous of all – I have called it the monster myth of
science and modern rationality because this has changed the definition of myth in the modern/
post-modern world to literally mean: falsehoods or misconceptions of irrational minds.
The synonymous phrases/words are: false collective belief; imaginary or fictitious thing or person;
 any invented story, idea, or concept. In other words myths are considered to be totally fictitious,
 imaginary and even delusions, whereas myths are attempts to get some grasp of intangible reality
which is not physical but nonetheless vital for human concerns. Myths are human expressions of
that which is neither tangible truths nor imaginary fictions – myths therefore fall in the
gray area between these two categories.


Silly and misleading myth: Through science, everything can eventually be explained, even if
at present we cannot. Corollary: Science will eventually solve all the mysteries of the cosmos
and formulate the “Theory of Everything”


Reality: It MAY be (big Maybe) possible to explain all purely physical phenomena and properties
 of matter in parts, not even in whole, because a strange paradox exists here: the more new
 ‘laws’ are discovered - the more new hypothesis and possible new laws or relationships emerge
 – leading to an ever increasing number of laws, equations, relationships etc – a bottomless
 quicksand or quagmire where the ‘unified theory’ or composite wholistic picture becomes more
 and more elusive whereas even long existing paradoxes are nowhere
near resolution (ex. EPR paradox).


Silly and Dangerous myth: That which cannot be detected or measured or quantified by
scientific instruments or methodology or mathematical formulation is nonsense.


Reality: There are qualitative, immaterial, intangible realities like human values, beauty, love,
 caring and especially justice that can never be quantified, measured or detected but are more
 ‘Real’ than the quantifiable and measurable itself. Even if we assume that science can explain
 everything, it can never explain the qualitative experience.


Silly and misleading myth: There is no domain that is outside of scientific inquiry and methodology.
 Even Philosophy is regarded as a foolish and vain pastime for those who do not have enough
intelligence to be scientists. The hatchet job done by scientists on Philosophy is so complete
that the state of affairs is such that there is no agreement whatsoever on what that means
 anymore or how to define it. The scientists have invaded and taken over there too by using
 data and evidence to prove that Philosophy is useless and worthless waste of time.


Reality: Non-physical domains are completely out of reach of scientific inquiry and explanations.
The realm of the Spirit is one such a domain where scientific explanation can't even begin.
Philosophy is the intellectual art of asking questions and providing pragmatic answers about
 vital issues of human concern that science by itself cannot deal with. – for ex. Morals.
Science can tell us nothing about qualities, only tangible and measurable quantities.
 Science, or rather scientists have as yet to define the ontological domain of science
 with it's inherent assumptions and thus shoots itself in the foot with such bizarre claims.

 

Silly, Dangerous and Misleading myth: Science is a search for the "Truth" and the only
method to "know all Truth".

Reality: This is the biggest deception and lie perpetuated by science fanatics. Truth for whom
and for what? Science is merely data that can establish material facts from an objective
perspective, and has as such nothing to do with the truth. Truth has to do with how the
facts are interpreted and used for a particular purpose or value by individual human beings.

Silly and Dangerous myth: Of which there is no 'evidence' doesn't exist, and is either
imaginary or is a delusion.

Reality: There are abstract realities like Justice of which there is no tangible evidence of it
being integral to the moral fabric of reality, and therefore no scientific study will ever find
any evidence for it. Does that mean it doesn't exist? If it didn't exist the moral order of
the cosmos would not exists, and therefore the cosmos itself would not exist, because
that is the very Telos of the cosmos. The whole qualitative fields like Art and literature
and qualitative emotions like love and empathy have no evidence to support their value
and so should these be considered imaginary or delusions, just because these cannot
be evaluated for their measurable or detectable evidence to prove their existence?

Silly and Dangerous myth: Subjective experiences are of no value in themselves because
these arise out of brain functioning which works according to the physical laws and thus
the objective and scientific study of brain functioning can explain all subjective states and
individual values. Thus values themselves can be derived from objective scientific data.
Corollary: Human behavior is codified and derived from DNA/ genes

Reality: This is a very dangerous myth and has arisen because of the unexamined assumption
in science that there is no reality beyond the physical, objectified universe. Another related
assumption is that consciousness is solely generated by the brain. While both these assumptions
may be necessary for science to carry out it's business, the least that scientists should
acknowledge is that these are assumptions made by them which become invalid for subjective
experiences and values that also have a non-physical (psychic) component. Science is thus
sharply limited in understanding subjective human values and motivations. This problem
arises because in science only 'objective' understanding has any validity.


VALUES ARE PRIMARILY SUBJECTIVE (Individual Experience
 based) not on OBJECTIVE DATA


What is Objective? The word Objective in the scientific context: The word ‘objective’ fits best in the
 scientific context by which it means the consistency and verifiability of the data about the properties
 and attributes of the physical cosmos, independent of any individual interpretation. Through this
 verifiability by experimentation or mathematical formulation, this data is established as a ‘physical
 fact’ (or scientific truth if you want to call it that) that is generally agreed upon by consensus amongst
peers. General consensus cannot take place if the fact cannot be verified consistently, although
 ‘peer pressure’ is a psychological fact that can generate a pseudo general consensus in ‘grey’
areas of science.
Thus E=mc^2 is an established objective fact/relationship about the conversion of matter-energy
 in the physical cosmos. The Hiroshima bomb is a verifiable truth, through consistent records of
 a factual, physical occurrence – thus the Hiroshima bomb was an objective fact of recorded history
- and not merely an interpretive one. The psychological effects of it and the moral implications are not
 objective scientifically, but are interpretive.

That which cannot be consistently verifiable through experiment/mathematical formulation, cannot
 be called an objective physical fact, for example, the hypothesis about evolution of life from inorganic
 matter through random chances and mutations, since that was neither observed as happening by
 any human, not is demonstrable. (A limited demonstration of ‘speciation’ – is just that – limited to
that range.) Thus the underlying principle of life – which is not physical – will remain absolutely
 elusive in the objective scientific domain.
 The ‘earth revolves around the sun and around it's axis’ is an objective physical fact about the
 solar system, even though almost no one experiences the rising and setting sun in that manner.
Thus the experiential perspective is a different realm than that the objective paradigm of the
 physical cosmos. This objective paradigm is generally considered, as of today, as the only
relevant paradigm of reality, but the over-importance given to this "empty of value" paradigm
will eventually implode on itself. This was anticipated even by Einstein who said:


 “The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of
thinking...the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind.
If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker.” Einstein

This process of objectification, the necessary part of scientific method also makes it's domain
limited to the physical, quantifiable, measurable, but this limitation is strangely not properly
understood by scientists themselves.
Science - verifiable data about the physical cosmos ( which includes energy like light, heat etc),
 as such has no inherent value in itself - because it is just data. Value comes in when and how
 we use the data and therefore value is either individual or social/cultural. This may be accepted
 explicitly by few, but since the logic has sunk into the subconscious, the thinking in pragmatic
 terms is the same. Thus explicitly they will deny that matter has primary value whereas all
 thinking implies it - even if they are not conscious of it. Again they have created a dangerous
myth that whatever cannot be evidenced by the scientific method does not exist.


The point I am making is that dominant western thinking implicitly acknowledges value only in
this type of thinking: 1)the objectively verifiable (meaning science) 2)the paradigm of reality that
 is centered in scientific explanation only, rest all are misinterpretations 3) consciousness, spirit etc
arising out of matter itself, or inherent in matter itself 4) denial of any non-physical reality 5) myths
 of all cultures including their own as mere imagination and not true in any sense 6) the concept of
 truth is understood as that which is established by general consensus 7) individual experience, if not
 in conformity with the dominating culture is non-sense or delusion, all conceptions of the religious
kind are as you put it 'false beliefs' 8) That matter and spirit are integral - not contrary
to each other in any manner.

"Science carried out its analysis of nature to the point that it shot itself in
the foot - to the extent that even nature doesn't exist except as an object
 of description"...T. McKenna

 

SCIENCE and ART  

Science and Art are counter-modes of processing - science is grounded in reason and
Art is an intuitive - creative synthesis. Since these processes are so contrasting to
each other, it's no surprise they end up appearing as opposing ways in which the
mind operates.

See:-PAGE 13 : [ 13heartor.htm ]

"Poetry is not the proper antithesis to prose, but to science.
Poetry is opposed
to science, and prose to metre."
.......Samuel Taylor Coleridge

What is the best science?

WEB INT 2013: The phrase ‘best science’ is intriguing – and I would like to view ‘best science’
 as that kind of questioning which examines and highlights the limits of science AND reminds us
constantly (so easy to lose sight of) of the assumptions (currently in the unconscious) on which
 the ‘scientific mode’ of thinking and methodology is based upon. Therefore the ‘best science’
 is that which forces us to examine the functioning of our own minds and more generally
 - the human mind.


Thereafter the ‘best science’ is that which actually points to the ‘Great Mystery’ (Native American
phrase) which perennially surrounds us but which science cannot deal with at all. The ‘best science’
is therefore the use of intelligence to differentiate between the applicable domain of science and the
 domain of art or artistic thinking which can provide intuitive insights or glimpses into the
mysterious and unknown.

This is the ultimate challenge of the educational system, but which requires educators
 who are themselves ‘balanced’ in both scientific thinking and artistic thinking.


"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant.
We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift".
....Albert Einstein

 What happens at the 'ground floor of the educational institution' is far more vital than what
 happens on the fifth floor, because what has been 'programmed' (or rather rammed)
 into young minds has a nearly permanent impact that becomes very difficult to shake off.
By emphasizing only the 'definitely known', a young mind loses any respect for the unknown
 or the value of unfettered imagination. This becomes dangerous when even that which
must be necessarily doubted (ironically both 'creation' and ‘evolution’) is taught as
 an ‘irrefutable fact’.
Even “as we understand it now” is not the ideal, but it should be ‘as I understand it and
articulate it as…”, because ‘we’ tends to create a monster that eventually cannot be leashed,
 only demolished, for radically new understanding can emerge only by demolishing a
structure whose foundations have rotted.
So ‘as I understand it’, Nature/Reality will reveal only those secrets that One has earned
 the right (freedom) or the need to know (necessity), the rest remains hidden. Therefore the
past is elaborately hidden to ‘us’, for each one of us must make a bid for knowledge that is
 valid for oneself, without which one is merely a cog in the cultural machine.
The task of ‘first floor’ of education is to keep the young mind open and inquisitive.


 

SCIENCE IN MIS-EDUCATION

"In trying to debunk metaphysics, Scientists use incorrect terms that are loaded
 with prejudice - like speculation, imaginary etc. Incidentally, the so called 'pure
speculation' of Thales is what led to a series of speculations and arguments based
on them is from which science emerged.
But the activity that can give us some sense of non-tangible and abstract is imagination
 and intuition, but I would not rule out reason. However what trumps everything else
 is direct experience of the non-tangible, which however still needs to be processed
into language for it to be expressed.
This is what poets, writers, myth makers, story tellers, meta-physicians like Plato,
 Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer etc. do. And some of them have presented explanatory
 principles about these hidden non-tangible realities. Although all these also do not
present the complete picture, they never the less provide valuable snapshots.
Myths, fables and stories are very empowering human activities that promotes
consciousness of what it means to be human as well as promote imagination from
which all knowledge, including scientific emerges” ...Eudamoniac

Even after these developments, science was presumed to be infallible in every possible
domain, even in fields like psychology and anthropology. Jung opposed this appropriation
 but he found no support from scientists simply because the manifestation of archetypes
( which are in the non-physical or collective unconscious as Jung put it) are of psychic
 origin and not material origin, thus verification of unpredictable experienced events
 that have no material or physical source is beyond the narrow domain in which science is
confined to. Jung wanted this domain of scientific investigation to be expanded so as to
save psychology from being doomed by the materialists, but by then the materialists had
taken over psychology along with anthropology, history etc..”

"All our inventions have endowed material forces with intellectual
life, and degraded human life into a material force".....Karl Marx

 

"In the new science of psychology, religious experience could be explained
away as a creation of the mind. Yet James was skeptical that all religious
experience could be so easily reduced to the brain - what he calls 'nothing but'
view of spirituality. St. Paul's vision on the road to Damascus, for instance, could
be explained away as a discharging lesion of the occipital cortex - an episode of
epilepsy. According to this medical materialism, St Teresa with her uncontrolled
ecstatic raptures was simply a hysteric. A physical state can help to produce a
mystical experience, as James noted, but this does not discredit revelatory worth
of the experience. Certain forced physiological states (like fasting) can lead to
higher states of consciousness. Religious experience was therefore not created
by such manipulations, it was there all along for the taking. It was a matter of
making ourselves more sensitive to its occurrence. The crucial point was as
it seemed to him whether the experience has good effects - simply put: do
they enlighten us?, do they make sense? are they a good guide to living ?
'Uprooting my vices, filling me with courage' St Teresa. Both psychology
and religion, James observed, agreed that a person can be transformed
by forces apparently beyond their normal consciousness.
.....Tom Butler Bowden

In this sense science itself is another religion, although scientists do not acknowledge even
this. The fact that the "laws of science" are taught or rather programmed into everybody, all
over the world without regard to their validity, limitations and unquestioned assumptions
makes it the most dangerous kind of religion that is being propagated,  whose disastrous
consequences scientists are not even aware of and the most devastating consequence is
that which is most valuable - individual experience, is totally devalued and degraded, even
called delusional if it is unusual. They have even gone as far as to ridicule ancient man as
 living a totally deluded life. By denying that there is anything to learn in ancient myths
and culture they have made the study of all subjects except science as worthless and
degrading to modern man.
They deny any reality 'because it is not science' - this itself is a myth they fanatically
 believe in and perpetuate without even knowing it.
 

2016 JUNE2 Comment in H post: Degasse's SERMON: Teach critical thinking
to every child. (Presumably to eliminate religion completely from the human
mind - the goal of Atheists)


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/neil-degrasse-tyson-science…

Critical thinking also requires motivation - and that in turn requires a stimulating challenge
 that can't be forced or taught.
The only way is to provoke and provoke until some of the young minds find a genuine
and suitable challenge for their talent.
Unfortunately, the way science is taught, it is not unlike the Church, except that instead of
doctrine you have "data" and so called "facts" drilled into the mind. Only quantifiable answers
 are taught to quantifiable questions.
Where are the questions? Who even bothers to ask any these days? Forget the classroom, even
 in post-graduate research the story is the same. What can't be put in the form of quantifiable
 data, simply doesn't exist.... and any imaginative quest is driven into a black hole.

In Reply: Tyson will never get this, but the trajectory of science and technology is ultimately
 the elimination of all that is "human".

"Never trust a human to do a machine's job" Agent Smith in the Movie "The Matrix" 1999

In Reply: On the other hand many would find the Evolutionist Doctrine a demonstrative
 lack of curiosity.
 

2016 JUNE 1  The Great Pope is puzzled:

http://www.newsweek.com/trump-stephen-hawking-brexit-464881

Comment:
The smarter you get at Science, the dumber you get at Humanities.
(Hiesenberg's principle of uncertainty extrapolated to post-modernity.)


Incidentally this should be put up as an epitaph to all scientists (with exceptions)



Feb 2016: History of Science versus Religion

Historically, the genesis of the divide between religion and science, classically took place
 in Greece just before the time of Socrates. Pre-Socratic thinkers were cosmologists: they
were speculating and thinking about natural (physical) causes and constituents of things,
 while disregarding or eliminating Mythological explanations or stories on which Greek
 religion was based. Socrates studied the cosmologists and came to the conclusion that
 materialistic explanations were useless in the study about the place and significance of
 humans in the world, while at the same time also keeping the mythological explanations
at a distance, as unsatisfactory. Socrates, by the time of his execution discoursed around
 a rough metaphysics centered around the concept of Sukey ( which translates as Psyche
 or Soul) - an immortal vitality particularly connected with the existence of human beings,
 which (as is clear from the dialogs), was also deeply connected with the concept of Justice.
Christianity copied many of the ideas in the metaphysics of Plato, without acknowledging
 the sources, made it wholly religious centered, and dominating all discourse until the
developments in science overruns the domination of Christianity and tries to appropriate
 all discourse over "reality", thereby sharpening the conflict between religion and science.
The potential ground for reconciliation is Philosophy generally and Metaphysics in particular,
 but these are defunct because of the lack of any substantial development, since Plato,
 of conceptual and linguistic tools, and literature based on these.
There have been attempts by Kant, Schopenhauer, Hegel and others to bring these together
under some common understanding, but these have been shots in the dark in all directions.
 Kierkegaard gets the religious perspective dead right, which earlier only primordial man had
 been privileged to. Jung tries reconciliation between religion and science, fails, but concludes
 science more dangerously positioned than organized religion, by his remark:

" Science has destroyed even the refuge of the inner life. What was
 once a sheltering haven has become a place of terror. "...C G. Jung

Finally, the crowning glory of human life - Art, is too estranged from science to be a bridge,
 but is closer to religion, but not organized religion. The infusion of Art into Philosophy/
Metaphysics has the greatest potential for human enlightenment, but again not for all the
 masses or armies aligned with science or organized religion - their minds are eternally
 made up.

2016: Scientific Literacy, Religion and Fate of this World - H post article.

One kind of fundamentalism fuels the other kind of fundamentalism and thereby the lines
are drawn, knives are sharpened, and no quarters given or taken. This is clear to the open
 minded person who does not rely on scripture or so called "facts". Whether the conflict is of
 world-views, like creation versus evolution (between religious and material fundamentalists)
 or it is that of western power fundamentalism versus Islamic reactionary fundamentalism.

Earlier it was a clash for a long time between civilization and native cultures, from which
 nothing was learned. It was assumed in the civilizational world-view that the native
cultures were primitive, uneducated people who were incapable of comprehending the
great achievements of civilization in science and technology - especially stuff like
"evolution". The warnings of native peoples about environmental degradation and
ecological disasters were either dismissed as "unscientific nonsense" or out-rightly
 laughed at as "primitive mumbo jumbo" - ranting of un-evolved, childish people.

Now the chickens have come home to roost for civilizations, and yet, once again,
nothing is being learned, even after devastating world wars and even now the ongoing
 wars, direct or by proxy. In the whole article the author has missed the trajectory of
History completely, and failed to point the actual reasons why we are failing to tackle
 such issues as GW, not to speak of other potential catastrophes which are not as clear
 cut as GW.
One such reason is the utter failure of the scientific-commercial enterprise to understand
human psychology, especially in regard to religion. The other reason is political, but again
 a very important aspect of human psychology in civilizations that science has yet to come
to terms with - that of an insatiable lust for power and domination, in the face of which all
the scientific factology of "evolution" is utterly useless and powerless. Human beings are
driven by motivations, not so called "facts" is what the scientific enterprise has first to
understand before assuming authority over human affairs. You have a lot to learn, but
 only if you are willing to give up your material fundamentalist attitude, but
then the catch22 that you are trapped in is - it's not science!
 

Comment in EDx Reconciliation Through  Indigenous Education
Why is the holistic approach to education not adopted?
It's because of the post-modern teaching emphasis only upon 'objective' learning,
 where the human subject has been made insignificant so as to have almost disappeared.
It's a symptom of the post-modern trajectory which has slowed down somewhat
 but not reversed as yet.

2015: AH vs STEM
Although I have coined the term Material Fundamentalism, there are others who
have coined a different term SCIENTISM:
A belief (amounting to a ineffable religious fervor) that scientific knowledge provides
 a necessary and sufficient (that is, complete) worldview that entails the reduction
 of all reality, including human subjects to (mere) physical processes. ....From:
Challengers of Scientism Past and Present: William James and Marilynne Robinson


Comment in H post: How science education can save the world.

The ongoing hyperbole about STEM as cure all or fix all for all problems continues.  I
take a contrarian's stand on this. Does this mean that I do not support science education?
I think kids with a talent for science must direct their energies towards real-world science -
 but I am dead against imposing STEM as as fix-all for social-political-human problems -
especially the attitude of appropriating all reality under the scientific discipline -
I call it material fundamentalism. And as a counter to the STEM mantra I have
designated the acronym AH (Arts and Humanities).
Comment on:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/how-science-education-can_b…

Chanting the STEM mantra and shoving it down the throat of each and every child on this
planet is not going to make even an iota of difference simply because STEM can never
 ever control human motivations, especially greed and self-interest of those in power who
 will continue their game of domination and hold over power even if they end up
destroying everything.

This all permeating drive in human nature cannot be understood and leashed by any
 formula, equation or discovery of scientific laws.
A deep rooted malaise of Western Civilization has been to force humanities as a subject under
 scientific methodology, and has led the entire world into a dead end. Even if there is clear
data and mathematics to solve one particular problem, firstly the vested interests will fudge it,
 and that usually works, but if by chance that can't be carried too far, simply shrug their shoulders
 and claim that nothing can be done - because that would imply that the power status-quo
 will get rocked - and they will ensure a catastrophic collapse.
The real problem is the attitude that STEM can solve any social, political or human problems.
Material solutions cannot resolve the problems caused by a defunct psyche. (as a generic
joke goes - it's not a hardware problem, its a software problem). The geniuses of
Massachusetts, Harvard etc. etc. are incapable of comprehending even this.


Even in a world where there are no nuclear weapons (or WMDs) an educated society based
upon putting science at the highest pedestal of values cannot overthrow the greedy and
powerful to establish a just order. (I found the thought experiment of Ayn Rand kind too
perverse to be of any value)
This problem was first highlighted by Socrates/Plato as the fundamental and perennial
problem faced by humanity, but unfortunately the West and the world has forgotten
this genesis of the divide between science and humanities - and left it too late. However,
I believe that although we cannot "save the world" it is never too late to do the right thing
 - if for nothing else except to enlighten those who care.
The revival of AH as the complimentary counterpart to STEM is a possible solution -
but for that firstly we need to set our value priorities right - go back in time - start from
Socrates - revive the defunct fields of Anthropology and Psychology - but please
spare these from the STEM methodology.

 

PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE

“The 'scientific paradigm in closed systems' even fails to see a dead end or a wall
when it comes across one, and the people within it pretend that there are no dead
ends or walls in that paradigm. Finally in frustration they yell 'God show yourself'
and when they receive no response, they say 'see - there is no evidence' ...God is
'not supported' etc” ...Eudamoniac

The most fatal flaw of science is the applying of the objectification method to everything,
and not just the physical : to the study of human nature and psyche; to social and cultural
behavior; to economics; to history; to law and justice. Even repeated failures and dead
 ends, nothing was learned : it is only insisted that the method was not rigorous enough
 or some more laws need to found and will be found to account for everything......a few
more equations...some more pure mathematics...and bingo..


The scientific view of life as that of emerging and evolving from inorganic matter is in
essential conflict (not total conflict) with the creation myths of all societies of the world.
Only one view has to be essentially correct, if not totally correct. The point I am presenting
here is that this conflict can be productive only if new intellectual tools emerge - which
 can only happen if some people from the two sides step outside the paradigm in which
they are currently dug in (people like Campbell and Jung have done well). Having vested
 all their energies therein I doubt this, but for an individual who has not vested all his/her
curiosity already, all the indications are beckoning.


What scientists can't seem to distinguish is that ancient man valued direct experience as
compared to modern man who thinks in an objectified manner (forced by education), and
therefore saw the world and modeled it from that perspective.
If I see the sun "rise" in the east I experience the sun go around my static position to set
in the west. I don't experience myself being rotated. But from an objective point of view
 the earth is rotating and therefore makes no sense to say that the sun rises in the East.
Neither view is incorrect - what matters is your experiential perspective and the preferred
operational paradigm for a given situation or purpose.

Science fanatics pretend to choose to remain in one reality - the so called objective one.
But no one lives one's life in the objective paradigm - it is useful only insofar as one is
looking for objective explanations of the behavior of the physical cosmos. So their choices
are not open and explorative - just eternally fixed in a non-existing objective realm.
Therefore it is impossible for them to comprehend where value comes from, or how
and why moral decisions are to be made. They choose to remain stuck only in one
paradigm and treat it as absolute.

"There remains a vast field, traditionally included in philosophy, where scientific
methods are inadequate. This field includes ultimate questions of value ;
science alone, for example, cannot prove that it is bad to enjoy the infliction
of cruelty"........Bertrand Russell

"Though many have tried, no one has ever yet explained away the decisive
fact that science, which can do do much, cannot decide what we ought to do."
......Joseph Wood Krutch

One of the worst fall outs of the scientific developments  and appropriation of authority
by scientists has been lack of moral responsibility by scientists to acknowledge the
destruction unleashed upon both human beings as well as the environment by
most scientific developments.

"I have seen the science I worshiped, and the aircraft I loved, destroying
the civilization I expected them to serve".....Charles A Lindbergh

"Every positive value has its price in the negative - the genius of Einstein
leads to Hiroshima."...Pablo Picasso
 

The "philosophy of science" has given a deadly blow to all of humanities, including philosophy
 itself by appropriating the usage of terms so that they support the scientific method. Even
Metaphysics has not been spared by assertions like 'everything is part of a mathematical
fabric of reality' (Krauss). Whereas, science or mathematics cannot enlighten us about
art or qualitative experience.

As scientific understanding has grown, so our world has become
dehumanized.
Man feels himself isolated in the cosmos, because he is no longer
involved in nature and has lost his emotional ‘unconscious
identity’ with natural phenomena. ~Carl Jung


Scientists constantly need to be reminded that the subject matter of science is matter
 ( physical), ( like the business of business is business) not metaphysics, and therefore  any
philosophy of science is essentially materialistic - dealing with matter only. The problem
 arises when this philosophy tries to extend its reach to where it cannot reach, and further
compounding the problem by insisting as an axiom that matter is all there is and then
 concluding that metaphysics is nonsense, religion is pure nonsense, and individual experience
 beyond the senses counts for nothing, is irrelevant etc....The final insult to humanity is when
 the propagandists of this type of thinking declare with authority that their view
must prevail over and above everyone else’s.

"Sex is the mysticism of materialism and the only possible religion in a
materialistic society."....Malcolm Muggeridge

Science is anti-philosophy because it distracts us from the focal questions in philosophy -
 like a witch it leads us on a path that ultimately ends in destruction, and it does so by
distracting us from the functioning and examination of our own minds - the unconscious
 assumptions that we operate from, we are no longer willing to examine. We are so dazzled
by its achievements that even to suggest that there is a reality beyond the physical is
 considered blasphemous, primitive and deluded. Science has become a religion
more deadly than any before - the ultimate lord of destruction.

All scientific discoveries lead to denigrate religion or religious experience and the concept
of god, spirit, consciousness etc. since the very purpose of scientific discovery is to 'objectify'
reality, as opposed to true religion which is pure subjective experience.

Even consciousness has not been spared - it is laughed at as a mere offshoot of neuronal
activity. Although a lot of data about the brain has been generated, the overall functioning
 is and will remain elusive. The simple fact that personal memory has never been found
 in any part of the brain - even after cutting of almost all of the brain shows that scientists
 cannot see the writing on the wall - that personal memory is not located in the physical but
 the non-locatable non-physical part of a being - another deadly habit of scientists is to ignore
 data if it does not fit in with their reductionist paradigm. Here I am reminded by the dialog
in the movie Rise of the planet of the apes -"we know everything about the brain,
except how it works"”

 

Assertions of scientists about reality and nature, that impinge upon the domain of humanities
(having an impact on humanity in general - the domain of ethics and morals) is where I am
 positing that scientists cannot assume authority. Within the domain of science (the physical
structure of the cosmos and its 'laws') and conscious of its limitations, acknowledging
this limitation, they are free to teach to laymen what they find - that is, about the data
of the physical properties of the cosmos. Even the implications of the data come under the
domain of philosophy of science which must be a category or subject under humanities.
Otherwise scientists will keep making grandiose claims and politics will appropriate
the use of scientific data and technological developments, as it has been doing
till now, with destructive consequences.

Wherever science fails to provide any answer or credible answer to question the scientists
 who make grandiose claims, instead of spending their energies in a genuine search/research/ or
to acknowledge their ignorance, legions of fanatics are unleashed who start making strawman
 arguments ( Hah - see the god of the gaps) against critics - even those who do not profess
 religious beliefs. No wonder the other extreme responds likewise, so these discussions are just
a slanging match between one kind of fanatic and another kind of fanatic, between religious
 fundamentalists and material fundamentalists. One result of material fundamentalism is
reductionism - reducing everything to material causation.

Fanaticism is due to an unconscious doubt threatening the conscious attitude.
For example, dogmatism is merely to protect a creed against an unrecognized
doubt. True conviction needs nothing of the sort. Fanaticism is due to a
threatened conviction. ~Carl Jung,

The grand reductionist bandwagon marches on – new finding!
 all magic is matter in motion!

Take on the material fundamentalist’s burden
Set forth the best scientists you breed.
To prove that there is no magic
And all men have become quantum sheep
In the pen of the great herder,
Will you be put to sleep.

 

"Science seems to have no power to make people better in a moral sense, but a
limitless power to inflict damage - ruining environments and destroying lives."
......Felipe Fernandez

“[Materialism] seeks the primary and most simple state of matter, and then tries
 to develop all the others from it; ascending from mere mechanism, to chemism,
 to polarity, to the vegetable and to the animal kingdom. And if we suppose this
to have been done, the last link in the chain would be animal sensibility - that
is knowledge - which would consequently now appear as a mere modification
or state of matter produced by causality. Now if we had followed materialism
thus far with clear ideas, when we reached its highest point we would suddenly
 be seized with a fit of the inextinguishable laughter of the Olympians.
As if waking from a dream, we would all at once become aware that its final
result - knowledge, which it reached so laboriously, was presupposed as the
indispensable condition of its very starting-point, mere matter; and when we
 imagined that we thought matter, we really thought only the subject that
perceives matter; the eye that sees it, the hand that feels it, the
understanding that knows it.
Thus the tremendous petitio principii (a logical fallacy in which a premise is
assumed to be true without warrant) ...reveals itself unexpectedly.”
-- Schopenhauer

“Science is like being in a room with the Schrodinger’s cat without ever
knowing whether it is alive or dead” ...Eudamoniac

SCIENCE & ETHICS/MORALITY

Science is absolutely clueless about ethics and moral behavior. The deadly consequences
 of the arrogance of scientists in not admitting to scientific data being amoral is that the
whole issue of morality is fudged and deliberately obfuscated. People's thinking and
behavior is sought to be controlled without any ethical and moral basis. Rather any
thinking that has no 'scientific evidence' to support it is ridiculed.  Increasingly scientists
have taken on the role of preachers - and their first commandment is - do not believe in
anything that has not first been verified and proven by scientific consensus (and
interpreted by themselves as valid for all human beings ! ) There is a lesson there for
everyone, not just religious people and that is: Do not have anyone as a middleman
between your own mind and reality.
In other words make your own interpretations and judgments as to what is real 
and right for you to do or believe.

"The genius of Man in our time has gone into jet-propulsion, atom-splitting, penicillin-
curing, etc. There is none left over for works of imagination; of spiritual insight or
mystical enlightenment. I asked for bread and was given a tranquilizer.
.....Malcolm Muggeridge

The deadly mix of purely linear, rational, logical thought without an artistic element in it,
and the survival domination tendencies, produces a gigantic build up of a science based social
automation, wherein everybody is programmed to think in only one way and that is : that
there is no reality beyond the linear cause-effect truths of reality determined and established
by the scientific method. Any ideas contrary to this presumption and method is considered
the work of an insane mind. Science is then the ultimate religion of the mechanistic culture
that dominates all other cultures, forcing them to become subservient to it.

This is one religion that does not and will not accept that its methods applied to society
leads towards a destructive path. But then which religion can see the folly of its errors,
omissions, rigid, unexamined ways ?

 

 WebInt 2015: STEVEN PINKER's Book Better Angels of Our Nature

Claims: Violence has declined ( with the advancement of science and technology)

But even if we accept this claim does this mean a better quality of life?  This book - full of statistics,
raises and begs this question. But of course the scientist, loaded with statistics and using utilitarian
philosophy will claim in the affirmative as if 'quality of life' can be measured by any data - let alone
statistical data.
The problem is this invasion by scientists into the domain of 'humanities' by data bombing - these
 dumb people down to a point whereby 'humanities' has been made defunct.

"The truth is that our race survived ignorance; it is our scientific genius
that will do us in.".....Stephen Vizinczey
 

SCIENCE VS RELIGION
CREATION VS EVOLUTION DEBATES

It’s sad that so much time and energy is wasted by extremists on both ends of the religious
spectrum (the religious fundamentalists and the material fundamentalists), and what is
sadder is that both end up learning nothing from each other – an utter and colossal failure
 of the dialectic. The only thing they become proficient in is abusing each other.
A pathetic state of humanity – all civilizations become proficient in it.
Although some of these new atheists have made incisive and precise attacks against all
religions, but in the process have thrown the baby out with the bathwater - their understanding
of religion is not only defunct, they consider all religion as a perverse human activity that has
only negative value. The present band of atheists reject religion totally as falsehoods and
 delusions. I found that only William James had a healthy perspective on religion. In Western
 Culture as far as I know only Jung and Kierkegaard were knowledgeable about religion.
If there are others that have some positive coherence ... please let me know

“Around 1500 BC: Thus Spake Zarathustra: I teach you Evilution and it is thus -
Man is something to be surpassed and man will become the UBER-VIRUS of this earth.
Around 1995 in some studio: Have you ever stood and stared at it, marveled at it's
beauty, it's genius....after billions of mutations, millions of scientists...we have the
 end product of Evilution - the UBER-VIRUS - the only creature who can liberate us
from the problem of life-death karma cycles that the Buddhists spend thousands
of lives to attain. Are you listening Morpheus?” ...Eudamoniac

 

Creation myths of all aboriginal people are ignored in these debates, and only one reigns
supreme - the Biblical creation myth, whereas the former are more significant.


What I mean here is that creation myths AFTER civilization has set in are different in
certain important ways as in these the trickster element is missing or unimportant.

Further what I mean is that modern/postmodern people from all parts of the world, and
educated in science, and especially after the recent developments in 'evolutionary biology'
have increasingly started stating that 'the evidence of evolution' and 'no evidence of creation'
proves that all the creation myths are false and that matter is all there is from which
everything has evolved by itself (without any agency, force, power, entity, God, Spirit etc).
They even assert that these myths  are all delusions, imaginations, hallucinations of the brain.


I am saying this because I have encountered armies of such people in other discussion
forums. The popularity of the books of Dawkins, Hitchins, Harris, Krauss etc is also 'evidence'
of this movement called "New Atheists". Now the fundamentalists and apologists of Christianity
 have come out to counter this New Atheism, with many arguments of their own. The positions
 of both have hardened, but the noteworthy point is that this 'battle of Armageddon' as some
Christians have called it, rages mostly among Western people and in America. The battle for the
 dominating view in the classrooms has become sharp and a no holds barred trading of insults.
Personally I find it quite amusing because it is a phenomenon of the trickster element at work,
or rather hard work. Among the Christian fundamentalists this is however interpreted as
Satan (should be Datan) spreading lies about evolution.

Evolution is not literally Satan’s big lie, since the traditional myths no longer have
any power to the explication of dynamic control structures of reality, and so it is
 best interpreted as an archetype of confrontation and conflict coming into play
 between the fake authority vested to scientific data by a section of scientists, and
 the fake authority vested to religious doctrines by organized religion, since both
communities have squandered and forfeited their powers to correctly interpret the
 ever changing temporal reality and its countless traps. Both are trapped in myths
 that they believe are literally true.
The myth of Satan as a discrete entity may have had some explanatory power two
millennia ago, but today in the dynamic flux of the world, it cannot be viewed as a
discrete entity making lies as he goes about his business, but as a diffuse non-
-cognitive mechanical Bot permeating into the minds of people who have no
experience and thinking beyond that which been drilled into them through
the educational process and peer pressure.

The trickster myth is more valid here and more fundamental, and so this conflict
seems to follow the script to the dot. The doctrine (ideas taught as truth) of evolution
from inorganic matter to human beings is not basically true, yet many scientists propagate
 it as fact and so it is a kind of lie that they spread probably because of their ineptitude to
 demonstrate evolution or origin of life. In frustration they take on creationists who get
provoked and hit back in this vicious circle. Rather than Satan going about spreading lies,
 it is a typical archetypal conflict triggered by the self-delusion of having unconsciously
creating dangerous myths about the meaning of scientific data.
However, when the materialist fundamentalists start using verbal abuses, then at times
even creationists look in better light, and no wonder the myth of Satanic lies sounds
 more plausible and that evolution as hard doctrine becomes 'Evilution", but personally
 I think the trickster myth fits better here, as these debates reveal a devolution of the
human condition (dumbing down of humanity by many scientists, the educational
 process and organized religion)

There are “Lies, damn lies and statistics” evolutionists have taken recourse
to all three. There are many flaws and outright lies in what they are saying
 – ‘evolution is a fact. things change over time.’…is a plain lie
Lie no1 They are equating any change with evolution
Damn lie 2 From exceptions they are making general conclusions.
Damn lie 3 Having reached a conclusion falsely they are stating it as fact
Damn lie 4 Minor changes within a species doesn’t mean a different species
Stastistical lie 5 They misuse words like ‘facts’ to give the false impression that
there is consensus among scientists about evolution, and treat those that
question it as heretics - some of whom are subjected to intimidation by peer
pressure – a sophisticated modern terror technique of this religion of evolution.
Evolutionism is a dangerous religion telling outright, deliberate lies based
upon twisting and misrepresenting words like ‘facts’ .....Eudamoniac


2016MAY22: Comment in Newsweek: AROUND THE WORLD ON ZERO GALLONS OF GAS

http://www.newsweek.com/solar-impulse-2-airplane-clean-ener…

There is nothing like a radical demonstration to teach people to adopt values that are inconvenient
 now, but have future potential for sustainability and more importantly: that enhance the moral
 consciousness of people.
So there are two divergent attitudes: One is that of "faith" in "evolution", which rests on the
 belief that "evolutionary pressures" will compel mankind to develop new technologies that
give us limitless energy - which may not be sustainable environmentally on earth, but will lead
us to colonize the galaxy, universe... which to them is good enough because in that mindset the
 purpose of life is merely survival.
The other attitude is that the writing on the wall is clear: either we learn to care for this world,
and find the purpose of our lives here, before it is too late, else we do not even deserve the Moon/Mars/Whatever. The choice is clear.


ARE INTELLIGENT DESIGNS PROOFS OF GOD?

What most people on the side of creation present what is called the ‘argument from design’ – series
 of logical arguments used by Christian apologists for ‘proof of God’ – these arguments were made to
 ‘reconvert back into Christianity’ atheists in Europe during and after the ‘Enlightenment’ period
when scientific discoveries were making the Biblical Genesis and Judaeo-Christian world-view look
 silly and ridiculous, and more and more people like Voltaire, (who were also horrified by the atrocities
 committed by Christian fundamentalists) began to reject the Biblical explanations of man and the
universe, especially after the so called Copernican revolution.

Also came Darwin, the father of the (religion of) evolutionists, and the number of ‘atheists’
started growing, and recently, after certain results or ‘revelations’ from ‘evolutionary biology’,
the ‘New Atheist’ movement began at the end of the 20th century.
The bible of this ‘New Atheist’ movement is ‘The God Delusion’ whose creator is the scientist 
 Richard Dawkins. He and three other such New Atheists are called the Four Horsemen of
 the Apocalypse by the Christian apologists – although I find it as a good joke, but there
may well be more to it than just that because of the synchronous signs of an impending
 Apocalypse in the signs of the onset of global warming and climate change.
Along with these are the creation versus evolution debates that rage in the US – (again called
 the ‘Battle of Armageddon’ by Christians) - especially about what to teach in the classrooms
– even going to the highest courts in US. (The Scopes Monkey Trial is the famous starting
flashpoint of this conflict). These debates have degenerated into a slanging match between
 religious fundamentalists and material fundamentalists  and abuses/threats are now freely
hurled at each other.
Evolutionists claim that all the ‘evidence’ of evolution is on their side, and nil evidence of
anything supernatural on the creationist’s side. The evidence for evolution is now claimed to
 be formidable, and armies of science students take it to be the gospel truth propounded by
the high priests of science. Earlier, it was Nietzsche who became the guru of both the
atheists and the Nazis.
Dumb students of science made him their guru by his “God is Dead” announcement, totally
 disregarding the meaning behind it and assuming that he was an atheist. Philosophers point
 out that for God to be dead there had to be a God to begin with who died, and that is what
 Nietzsche meant: that for the corrupted modern world, organized religion has a negative
 value because one of the main factors for this downfall of humanity is organized religion.
 This becomes clear when he adds: “What are these churches except tombs and
sepulchers of God?”

How was organized religion to respond to this atheism in the age of reason and logic? It is in
these debates that Christian apologists use a series of logical arguments as ‘proof of God’,
most of these have been beaten to death without much effect, because these are essentially
 tautologies, like:
 ‘A person goes to the beach, and finds a watch lying in the sand, he has never seen a watch
 and he figures out it works in cycles that corresponds with the daily cycle of time.
 By the complexity of the mechanism, he realizes that it is ‘designed’, and therefore
 must have a ‘designer’. (The Watchmaker Analogy) Hence proved!
(In rhetoric, a tautology (from Greek tauto, “the same” and logos, “word/idea”) is a logical
argument constructed in such a way, generally by repeating the same concept or assertion
 using different phrasing or terminology, that the proposition as stated is logically irrefutable,
while obscuring the lack of evidence or valid reasoning
supporting the stated conclusion….Wiki)


The simplest so called proof that is given is:
Premises: The Universe is so intricate and complex that it must have been
 created/designed
Conclusion: Therefore the Universe must have a Creator/designer.
More elaborate version: Leibnizian cosmological argument:
1. Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence
(either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause).
2. If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God.
3. The universe exists.
4. Therefore, the universe has an explanation of its existence.
5. Therefore, the explanation of the existence of the universe is God.


The premises is countered by evolutionists who insist that the Universe has evolved through ‘natural
selection’, the proofs of which can be found in the results from evolutionary biology. Now the thing
about such ‘proofs of God’ is that they do not add anything new to our knowledge of anything,
which is a valid counter by the atheists/scientists.
Proofs are reasoned or logical arguments in the form that given a certain premises or assumption,
a definitive conclusion must definitely and necessarily follow. The best logical proofs are those of a
‘knock down argument’ in which no one can find a flaw with the premises as well as the reasoning or
logic.
However, often (though not always) it is found through rigorous reasoning that the ‘knock down
 argument’ is simply a matter of the premises restated in different words, that is, it’s a tautology and
 no new knowledge has emerged from the logical exercise.


The best argument from the Christian apologists is provided by William Lane Craig as follows:
Premises 1: The Universe had a beginning in Time. ( The Universe began to exist)
Premises 2: A beginning has to have an uncaused-cause (or Transcendent/Primordial cause
of The Eternal realm) that brought the universe and Time itself into existence.
Conclusion : Therefore the Universe has a Transcendent Cause (commonly called God)


Craig justifies premises 1 as true because if not true then the Universe ‘always’ existed, which he
argues cannot be true because infinitely backwards stretching time is ‘infinitely’ absurd as it is
 absolutely inconceivable. He argues that even the Big Bang theory, which acknowledges the

beginning of time itself, supports this premises.
The premises 2 is presumed to be a ‘self-evident’ truth, which the atheists recognize is the weakness
 in the argument by raising the objection that the necessity of there being an uncaused-cause is not
‘self-evident’, and that the universe could well have spontaneously come into existence from nothing by
 ‘quantum fluctuations’ (Krauss).


There has been a rare voice against these attempts at ‘proofs of God’, notably that of Kierkegaard who
scoffed at the apologists’ logical arguments, and argued that attempts at proofs was itself an anti-thesis
 to true religion, which cannot be based upon logic and is beyond the scope of reason, and insisted
upon the primacy of experience and a ‘leap of faith’ in religion.
Kierkegaard was pointing out that ‘proof’ falls within the domain of science, not in the domain of
religion, and ‘attempts at proof’ were actually demeaning to true religion.

Kierkegaard is at his provocatively best when he says: “God does not exist, we (humans) exist”. He means
 that God is NOT an existential being in temporal reality, but a unitary being in Eternity. Even the experience
 of ‘Unity’ in which the individual consciousness dissolves or merges with the universal
consciousness does not
automatically mean that this becomes an absolute belief to be propagated – objective reality doesn’t allow
subjective experiences to be imposed over every other being - for it defeats the purpose of creation itself!
In temporal reality to insist on ‘unity’ is misleading and demeaning. Buddha put it simply as: "Unity can only
 be manifested by the Binary. Unity itself and the idea of Unity are already two."

In temporal reality therefore this binary and duality are to be correctly acknowledged for making any
intellectual sense of the universe and creation.


"Nothing can exist without its opposite; the two were one in the beginning and will be one in the end.
There is no consciousness without discrimination of opposites. This is the paternal principle, the Logos,
which eternally struggles to extricate itself from the primal warmth and primal darkness of the maternal
womb ; in a word, from unconsciousness. Divine curiosity yearns to be born, and does not shrink from
conflict, suffering or sin. Unconsciousness is the primal sin, evil itself for the Logos." ..Carl Gustav Jung


In the metaphysical trinity of Creator-Sustainer-Destroyer, the Creator of the Universe has no role to play
after creation has been initiated by him/her/it because he/she/it has ‘sacrificed’ or devolved his/her/it’s
powers into the beings of this creation, and the process in time is then in-charge of the two primary
forces – the sustainer and the destroyer. This is correct process metaphysics, but lacks of essence
or meaning probably because the deification of these leads to meaning becoming defunct
.

Two key figures: Socrates and Kierkegaard more than hinted in their works/ expressions that human
 beings were more potentially privileged than even the divine because both the realm of the temporal
 reality as well as the Eternal realm converged or synthesized in the actions of existing individual
human beings, and that there was no other point of convergence or synthesis.

This creation-evolution would have been a useful battle if the people who call the shots in public
 spaces/academia etc, had learned something about the functioning of the human mind from this,
and some synthesis of the thesis, antithesis could have emerged from it.
But from my own experience I can say that even listening to the debates has been useful for me,
and whenever/wherever I have engaged in the battle, being in the middle of two extremist
 positions, I have been able to sharpen my own tools.

There are people in the middle who make interesting points. This is what a deeper thinking
 evolutionary biologist had to say about the goal of evolution


"Evolutionists, after all, might well look at all living things—human beings not least
—as playing a vast existential roulette game. No one can ever beat the house.
There is no option to cash in one's chips and walk away a winner. The only goal
 is to keep playing, and indeed, some genes and phyletic lineages manage to stay
 in the game longer than others. But where, I ask you, is the meaning in a game
whose goal is simply to keep on playing, a game that can never be won, but only
lost?  And for which we did not even get to write the rules?" David Barash

 

The above example is rare use of reason to make clear and challenging points, otherwise
 we keep listening to the same discourse in various permutations and combinations
ad nauseam, both from the scientists who pretend to be philosophers and religious
authorities who lack sufficient intellect to be articulate even about religious terms.
None of these discourses is enlightening simply because the purpose of these
discourses is only for making more people follow the respective bandwagon.
There is still another bandwagon - called here as united bandwagon - people
 propagating the belief that science and spirituality are united or will be united.
 As the world heads towards the next catastrophe, the cacophony will become louder.
 Meanwhile humanity, or human values take a plunge and as the useless rhetoric takes
 over, in which much abused terms will be thrown around - like spirituality, soul, God
on the one side and silly terms like the 'god particle', unified theory, etc on the other,
the crisis of the receding human spirit will not even be acknowledged,
let alone articulated, for us to be conscious of it.


Someone posed the question: How are you calling attempts at Unified theory silly?

Are attempts at a unified theory silly? yeah, simply because 1) the number of 'particles'
even in the standard model keeps on increasing 2) even if there is a completion of the
standard model in terms of particles, scientists are still clueless about the explanation
of the gravitational force, and there is no account of this force in the standard model
 3) any unified theory should be able to ideally reduce to one basic or fundamental
force/particle from which all other forces/particles can be derived/explained, and right
 now the whole process is clearly moving in the other direction 4) The assumption that
everything in reality is detectable/derivable from observable, quantifiable, measurable data,
 that can be repeated in controlled experiments with complete consistency...is not even
 acknowledge as an assumption by scientists - is the fatal fault line in the mind of scientists.
(This is not a problem if the scientists state candidly that their domain of investigation
 is limited to the observable, measurable, detectable universe, and that there may be forces,
elements in reality that are hidden/invisible/undetectable/un-measurable).
Therefore, in the line of the scientific method, scientists should state that all their theories
 are theories or models of the physical cosmos, not of all of reality. So a unified theory of
'everything' is still impossible within the domain of science - is the fatal fault line in the
 mind of scientists.

There has been several attempts by the fundamentalist scientists to explain the origin
of life by a reverse extrapolation of 'the evidence of evolution'. But since there is no way
'evolution' can explain the spontaneous synthesis of even a single cell from the
'primordial soup', their only recourse is something called 'random chance' which is literally
 a substitute for the religious 'God'. The following is the 'random chance' explanation of
'the myth of creation' according to science:

Life is that highly complex unit of organization of molecules coming together by the process of
a very long series of ‘random chances’ (that is, without the need or necessity for any underlying
 principle or force or rhyme or reason) in a manner that the resultant organism is capable of
reproducing itself, and further, by more ‘random chances’ grow and ‘evolve’ into higher
 order organisms. Thus life, given the requirements or conditions for it to occur, is although
 statistically almost impossible AND also by ‘random chance’ reverses the second law of thermo-
dynamics (which thus mathematically implies a ‘negative possibility for life’* rather than just
a high improbability), but given the ‘multi-universes’ and the nearly infinite number of galaxies
and the star systems and given billions and billions of years, is bound to happen somewhere,
sometime by ‘random chance’ and since this has happened on this earth, is the proof that
‘random chance’ trumps over everything else as it is the only possible explanation for life.


*Please note: the phrase ‘negative possibility of life’ is meaningful; it simply means ‘death’
of life if there is life anywhere in the ‘multi-verses’ that ‘random chances’ have been unable
to cope with. Also please note that even the simplest of life forms, the singular cell organism
 has an as yet unexplainable but annoying characteristic to ‘die’ whereas there is no 'need'
for it to do so.

Once formed life has the following characteristics - 1) The organisms keep multiplying till they
consume all available support resources after which they die OR by ‘random chances’ have
‘evolved’ an ecosystem of complex cycle of interdependence between different organisms.
2) That this ecosystem is kept stable by ‘random chances’ that precisely counter any detrimental
 variations in it’s support conditions as well as counter the annoying second law of
thermodynamics.

The evolutionary scientists have de-evolved into sophists. New terms are being invented
to keep the funds ball rolling. This helps them not only to ensure their salaries but also
to look down scornfully on those who question them. Sneering at everyone who does not
 support their ever increasingly convoluted theses, and dismissing them as "creationists"
 or "conspiracy theorists". This phenomena can also be observed in quantum physics.

Although it was insisted that Abiogenesis is not part of "evolutionary biology", I notice this
 term has been dropped like a hot-potato after many failures. (The scientists are even
denying now that they were attempting "spontaneous synthesis") This has now been
replaced with the term "emergence", marking a new low in deception and abuse of authority.
 

Fuelled by ignorance, scientists have nothing but ad hominem arguments. Scientists apart from
having no clue, they have not even a thesis about the origin of life, and most importantly no idea
 of any underlying principle to life. Even "evolution" is a misused word by scientists, whereas
 it is properly speaking a "de-evolution" of the intellect. All that the scientists have been able
to establish is that random changes in DNA makes changes in an organism, and that those
changes that are better adapted to "survive", are more likely to "survive" and the change
 passed on to the off-springs. This is only a tautology. And from this a grand extrapolation
 has been made with the religious belief amounting to a doctrine that through these random
 changes (their God), man “evolved” from a single cell organism, which assembled itself
 miraculously from the “pre-biotic environment” also by your God of “Random chance”.
Logically, this is even more ridiculous than the Biblical creation story. Scientists have
yet to “discover” that there is an element in life forms that is not subject to the laws of
physics and chemistry, and since they have shut themselves off from reality*, to mask
their ignorance they (and you as prime example) have resorted to abusive language,
 abuse of their authority, deceiving and dumbing down themselves as well as all of
humanity, destroying the ecosystem, destroying all other cultures , sneering at all of
nature because they have not been able to conquer and dominate it, and never will,
 capable only of destroying nature, incapable of examining their own assumptions,
and refusing to take responsibility to the consequences of their actions.
Scientists have in effect become merely datamatons, by which I mean, having no
 knowledge beyond data, ie, they are effectively merely collectors and worshipers of data
and equations. No wonder they have no clue about the domain of their ignorance.

“Thermodynamic miracles... events with odds against so astronomical they're
 effectively impossible, like oxygen spontaneously becoming gold. I long to observe
 such a thing. And yet, in each human coupling, a thousand million sperm vie for a
single egg. Multiply those odds by countless generations, against the odds of your
 ancestors being alive; meeting; siring this precise son; that exact daughter... Until
your mother loves a man she has every reason to hate, and of that union, of the
thousand million children competing for fertilization, it was you, only you, that
emerged. To distill so specific a form from that chaos of improbability, like turning
 air to gold... that is the crowning unlikelihood. The thermodynamic miracle.
But...if me, my birth, if that's a thermodynamic miracle... I mean, you could say that
about anybody in the world!.Yes. Anybody in the world. ..But the world is so full of
people, so crowded with these miracles that they become commonplace and we forget...
 I forget. We gaze continually at the world and it grows dull in our perceptions. Yet seen
 from the another's vantage point. As if new, it may still take our breath away.
Come...dry your eyes. For you are life, rarer than a quark and unpredictable beyond
the dreams of Heisenberg; the clay in which the forces that shape all things
leave their fingerprints most clearly. Dry your eyes... and let's go home.”
― Alan Moore

In case you missed the point, let me spell it out - the above is a parody about the mental state
of those scientists who are garrisoned and entrenched inside the a paradigm in which everything
 is in black or white, and the assumptions on which this paradigm is based are not even known,
 let alone examined. Deep down it is an unconscious evasion mechanism to avoid confronting
 the terrifying truth that most of scientific research is driven by ‘necessary illusions’ which if
 break out into the conscious (it is a severe blow to find that you are nothing but a ‘gigantic
 lab rat’) will drain out the drive and motivations for doing research - which is also ‘necessary’
to keep the world in flux so that it can go as far as it can go. Now I am not saying that all
 scientists are alike and that all are rats, and there are exceptions like Einstein and many
others who were genuinely motivated by the fundamental human curiosity and need to
know, but also know their limits. One fundamental principle of knowledge is that knowledge
 is to know the extent of one’s ignorance (the foundational principle that was the crux of
 Socratic teaching). Another fundamental principle of knowledge is to have a sense of what
 is unknowable for the limited human capacity to comprehend, but which can only be
experienced fleetingly – like the logic defying ‘eternity'.
I would let ‘sleeping rats’ dwell in their ‘necessary illusions’ and not ‘dare disturb the
 universe’ (T S Eliot), but when the ‘rats’ start to unbalance the mental ecology of humanity,
 and assume the role of masters of the universe, some balance has to be restored.

Comment in:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/these-rats-are-heroes-for_b…

Interesting article, and let me commend the people and organizations that are doing this
kind of work in which animals are treated properly and even given a "job" for their efforts.
Although your "passion for rodents" is not only an interesting expression, it is, as you may
 suspect, a deeper relation between certain humans and certain animals. Primordial (non-
evolved!) man "knew" (please don't get me started on: how?) that every human's nature
had a psychic (I won't say spiritual) bond with a particular animal's nature. In some
cultures (please guess) most children were named in relation to a particular animal
 with which they seem to have a "natural bond".
I have a thesis that scientists have a "natural bond" with animals like the HeroRats, for
they have a "Karmic" (for lack of a better word) if not psychic connection between them..
... they serve "Reality" like soldiers in war ... they have an important "heroic" role to
play... they keep the ball rolling.

The following is a provocative probe, but although the figures are non-verifiable, the
substance of the statement is valid:

Evolutionary changes (random mutation-natural selection) are barely IMO 0.1 percent of
changes in species in the life cycle on a planet. Also genetic information determines barely
10 percent of the behavioral characteristics of a creature, the rest is encoded in the non-physical.
 The physical characteristics of a living creature is metaphorically only the tip of the proverbial
 iceberg.

But what are the alternative theories?
Let me state here clearly that to a purely rational mind, creation appears to be an irrational
"theory", and an un-testable hypothesis. But "creation" anyway is not theory, it is myth,
and must be dealt as myth. The problem with myths is that unless one is an "irrational
seer" (stuff that poets are made of), myths don't make sense and the developments in
science put a negative pressure for engaging in myths, thereby inhibiting the processes
by which myths can be made sense of. And there is no formula for it.  
Here we are now in the wilderness - no man's territory (no consensus possible), where no
authority can guide you, except that of your own autonomous self (if there is any left after
 the modern, post-modern siege) - which means each of us has to find our own way, make
 our own theories and paradigms, and test and modify them by experience and experiment
to find out how far they are pragmatically useful, and in what situation and when.
Yeah, I know it's a tough call - it's a mine-field full of pitfalls in which you have to have an
extensive tool kit - keep a fluid set of alternative paradigms based upon alternative
assumptions and ontology.
The safe and secure side is to just hold on to a fixed set of ontology, assumptions and
beliefs - these are well known by now - science or religion (organized) or a cocktail of both.
 But if you are an explorative kind.. there is no security there... especially of the mental
kind, an no fixed theories or paradigms will work, for now you will have ventured into
what is called art generally and sorcery exceptionally. But it is what you can create
 from it is what matters.

 What about confirmation bias in such a process?

 It's a very valid and important question. In the scientific domain objective verifiability
 is sacrosanct, but in individual experience, this cannot be so in order to be creative, as we
observe in all Art, therefore the individual is vulnerable to what is called confirmation
 bias - getting carried away by one's own beliefs.  This confirmation bias is there in
science too - built by peer pressure to interpret facts in a biased manner that conforms
to the norms and conceptual framework defined by certain unexamined assumptions,
while totally ignoring counter-assumptions and counter-concepts.

But that is what I mean by testing one's beliefs - and here one has to be honest with oneself,
 that is, no other authority except that one's own moral conscience is at stake here,
whereas in scientific methodology, moral conscience has no role or stakes - again it
 reverts to the individual.


"In painting, as in the other arts, there's not a single process, no matter how insignificant,
 which can be reasonably made into a formula. You come to nature with your theories,
and she knocks them all flat."...Auguste Renoir


 

THE PLANET OF THE APES: Movie Review

 Tagline: Deep satire on 'evolution' – you will not like what you find., 25 June 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There is a haunting mood in this original make that is missing in the subsequent remakes despite
 all of the new special effects in the remakes. So one point is already made – more and more
 technology does not necessarily make art better, rather most of the time technology degrades
 art and humanity, and at best technology posits a greater and tougher challenge for art and to
 humanity in general. This is because technology, apart from producing weapons of greater
destructive power also entices us with 'appearances' or 'virtual reality' in which we are more
likely to get lost and lose sight of our nature and purpose as human beings. Technology is only a
 tool, a means, not an end in itself; it is a physical tool, just as language is a metaphysical tool
for expression and communication. Therefore what may appear as 'evolution' may
actually be 'devolution' in another sense.

While we humans may 'appear' to have evolved from apes, in some ways we are worse off than
 apes in our behavior. "What is called human progress is purely an intellectual affair - not much
 development, however, is seen on the moral side. It is doubtful whether the methods of modern
warfare are preferable to the big stones used for cracking the skulls of fellow-Neanderthals".
 (Ludwig Von Bertalanffy)


 
The plot is simple: the crew of a spaceship crash lands on some unknown planet after having
 left Earth long ago. The planet has life on it but in a reversal of sorts, human like creatures are
 living in jungles, and hunted and enslaved by apes living in cities. Not only that, but the apes
behave very much like modern day humans, and the humans are in all aspects of behavior very
 much like apes on our very own planet Earth. At a very superficial level it's all quite silly and
'cheesy', if not outrageous or atrocious. It would even seem blasphemous to the typical
blockheaded scientist, if not assured of the fact that this is all harmless science fiction that is
 meant to be amusing for their kids. Let them rest assured that the formerly theory of evolution
 (which now, of course, according to scientists is an established irrefutable fact) is not being
refuted here, only being made fun of. Who says that there is no humor to be found in 'hard as
rock', 'facts' of evolution? 'But you are so ugly' says the ape to the human – funny for some,
but morbid for others.


Yes, we humans will 'seek and ye shall find' (Jesus!), but we will not like what we find, for although
 we are much more intelligent than other primates (a huge gap or paradox in the 'fact' of evolution),
 we are even much more destructive proportionately – a fact that we are yet to 'find' and acknowledge,
 and then also 'find' why and for what that is so – and that is the significance of the last shots of the
movie – that it is our destiny to eventually 'find' our true nature, it's significance and to what purpose.
Also significant is that like Taylor very, very few humans even want to do so,
and even they will not like what they find.

LEAKEY DIGS INTO HUMAN ORIGINS ....

and finds....


THE EVOLUTIONARY RECIPE OF LIFE & DEATH

 
Dig, Leakey, dig into your origin.
Take us back to that first Hydrogen
The condensations after the lots of explosions
Primordial soup of carbon ..oxygen…nitrogen
Use the witchcraft ….add the magic potion
Of ‘Random Chances’ and infinite collisions
Until there emerges that crafty bacterium
Our common ancestor – the first organism.
Perform the sorcery of reproduction
Let the cauldron simmer in multiplication
Now add the ingredient of mutation
Wait for survival and natural selection
And voila! You have evolution.
 
Billions of years pass. Patience Leakey, patience
Eventually you observe your own emergence.
You go back and forth to find how it all happened
But now you see that it is taking the opposite direction
The irony of ‘Surviving fittest’ charting their own destruction?
Wonder now, what was it all for – this long seduction,
When the end of evolution is eventual extinction?


We are living in what the Greeks called the right time for a “metamorphosis of the
gods,” i.e. of the fundamental principles and symbols. This peculiarity of our time,
which is certainly not of our conscious choosing, is the expression of the unconscious
 man within us who is changing.
Coming generations will have to take account of this momentous transformation
 if humanity is not to destroy itself through the might of its own technology
and science. ~Carl Jung

Is the debate a dialectical conflict?

 Lets look at Darwin's idea of evolution as a dialectical antithesis to the myths of creation, whether
 Biblical or others, AND evolution is essentially true IF and ONLY IF materialism ( that is, there is no
 non-material reality/force or power behind the origin and creation of life) is true and creation is
false. In other words if this is a Hegelian thesis antithesis conflict then where is the possible
synthesis ? The only possible synthesis here can be that one of the two is essentially true
and the other is marginally true.


But if creation is even marginally true, the foundation of evolution on materialism stands
shattered. That is, if you are willing to allow even marginal creation at some point, it means that
 materialism is essentially false, and therefore evolution is at best only marginally true.
To say that one of these is absolutely true and the other as absolutely false, then that is not the
meaning of Hegelian dialectic if you associate it with 'True ideas confront False ones' - which
 is not a true dialectic. For ex, Slavery is right vs Slavery is wrong - this is not a dialectical conflict
 but a moral conflict where one side is absolutely true and the other is absolutely false.

A true dialectical conflict is one in which two ideas clash which are contradictory in some aspects,
 and yet both of them are true in some sense or context or situation. (For example capitalism
 and communism - a limited synthesis of the two has taken place in China)


Is human intellect evolving ?

My thesis is: human intellect is evolving only in terms of tangible and material aspects but devolved
 to negative territory (below the intellect of primitive man) in terms of the intangible but transcendental
 aspects of reality.
The postmodern man's material intellect has advanced and evolved to such an extent that even the
ongoing destruction of the material world itself is hardly of any concern !! Ah, but you will say - look at
 all these wonderful and smart machines - even worthy of taking over the role of intellectual evolution
 from us so that we can be in a state of blissful enjoyment.


WebInt2015: Four Reasons for the decline of religion.  H Post comment:

The author has missed some of the most important reasons for the decline of religion not so much in
 numbers but qualitatively: the foremost is the continuous decline in the depth and intensity of religious
 experience which can be gauged by the lack of any expressive novelty by the so called religious leaders,
 and so it is mostly mere regurgitation of outdated and out-moded doctrines.
The second most important reason is the inability of organized religions to reform the core tenets in their
 doctrines because they are unable to correlate these meaningfully with the other (competing) religions.
 This is because the so called religious leaders or even the mystics have a peculiar inability to use the
most powerful of human tools – reason. Another important factor is the lack of understanding the
process of mythology and it’s deciphering with developments in science and technology. They don’t even
 have the wisdom or the guts to admit that scientific methodology and the scientific claim and appropriation
 on “reality” is antithetical to true religion. Thus even the Popes bow their heads before “evolution”.


Are vivid dreams, visions mere states of delirium?

"Scientists have tended to dismiss these experiences as a result of delirium or mental confusion,
 although the patients in the new study were lucid and did not exhibit any signs of delirium."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/end-of-life-dreams_562e297fe4b0ec0a3894ed6a


All unusual individual experiences are automatically categorized as "delirium" or "hallucination"
or "imagination" by scientists. If an experience cannot be reproduced verbatim in a "trained
 and competent scientist" under "controlled conditions", then ipsofacto it cannot be "Real"
according to the scientific ontology, since such experiences cannot be objectively verified by
any and all scientists in the place, time and conditions to be determined by the objective
standards of their methodology.
"Afterlife" is not a good word - it would be better to use "afterdeath" instead - and of which
 no objective knowledge is possible.....thus any study based only upon individual experiences
 is beyond the scope of science to deal with.
What the scientists can do however is to collect stories about "afterdeath" experiences and
put the data into the public domain - so that good story writers can produce some works of
 literature that serve to enlighten others. Scientists themselves, because of their mindset
are poor story makers or tellers.

 

Will communication (SETI) with extra-terrestrial intelligences reveal more
science truths that explain all and everything?

One oversimplified answer to this question was provided by H G Wells: War of the Worlds, in which
 he makes the correct 'intelligent' guess that any higher intelligence would 'shoot first and ask
questions later', an idea he extrapolated from the news of the near extermination of indigenous
 peoples around the world during the 'conquests' of newly 'discovered' continents - Americas and
 Australia by the most 'intelligent' beings on this planet.

Any more 'advanced' extra-terrestrial 'intelligence' that was capable of communicating with us
would never reveal any so called 'truths' except one: you don't stand a chance against us
 - surrender to our domination and control and hand over any resources we are in short supply.

But even that scenario cannot happen because above a critical threshold, 'intelligent' beings
develop science and technology which in their 'intelligent stupidity' is elevated into god like
status and authority without realizing that the initiation as well as ends of all technology is
destruction, and therefore, despite their so called 'intelligence' they are not aware of their
self-destruction by their own technology. This happens because their 'intelligence' has
 already devoured it's counterpart to the extent that their 'intelligence' makes them
believe that there is nothing more of value in the cosmos than 'intelligence'
of their own defined kind.


In 1921 H G Wells wrote: “Again I ask the reader to note the warnings I gave in that year,
 twenty years ago. Is there anything to add to that preface now? Nothing except my epitaph.
That, when the time comes, will manifestly have to be: ‘I told you so.
You damned fools.’ (The italics are mine.)”

The question of alien intelligence communication is, of course, hypothetical, for even communication,
 let alone travel, is hardly possible. Electromagnetic waves which travel at the speed of light would
 take years and years to reach from source to destination, even if such a source is detected, so in
effect it would for all practical purposes be one way communication.
It is obviously expected that the laws of physics, chemistry etc would be the same everywhere. What is
 presently not obvious to everyone is that the fate of all civilizations is also the same everywhere - they
are destroyed by their own technologies and that is why SETI has remained and will remain without
any result - only a deafening silence. This (SETI) is another example of the inability of scientists to
comprehend that there are limits to science and scientific methodology.


2016: Scientists speculate that "early Armageddon" snuffs out life before it has a
chance to "evolve" thus no contact with aliens.... (H post)

No, it is not "early" Armageddon, but "late and quick" apocalypse.

SETI is a wild goose chase - two way communication across light years is practically impossible.
 Any ETI worth it's salt would know that and would hardly bother - like us they are probably busy
 throwing bombs at each other.

Why is belief in aliens important for scientists?

The belief in aliens is important for scientists because they are evolved and intelligent beings
who are feeling lonely and want more corroborative evidence from aliens about evolution ....

Frank: Our alien ancestors came for gold..
Reply to Frank: Then they found oil, uranium etc etc .... and then slaves to do the work, and
now they are hell bent on destroying the earth - yes, indeed they were aliens to this earth,
 that for sure the natives realized very quickly ... the only thing the natives of the earth are
 not clear about is just from where the aliens came from. Any ideas?

 Reply in Comment to : The aliens came, saw and left...

No they are still here but they are so evolved and intelligent that they have camouflaged themselves
 as human beings. But an artist was able to see through them and made the movie "Invasion of the Body
 Snatchers" (1978) to warn us, but everyone thought this was science fiction, not art. Anyway, there
 are no longer any original humans left so art is merely looked upon as amusing pastime - but always
remember that art imitates life and life imitates art.
All the evolved and intelligent scientists will of course call this a joke, and it is.... but the question
 remains on whom the joke is on.


What about machines enabling us for Techno-Spirituality? H post

Insofar as one understands and uses technology as a means to creativity, the active fusion of
man/woman and machine can well be called techno-spirituality. Unfortunately, few humans
 (mainly artists) have this experience of tecno-spirituality and ironically it is the technologists
 who look upto machines as ends in themselves as saviors of the human race and are even
willing to surrender their consciousness to them in the hope of immortality!
Talk about faith!



The techno-scientific quest for immortality

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/07/01/mark-zuckerberg-stephen-hawking-facebook_n_7703632.html

Immortality, or infinite lifespan through genetic engineering is the new haloed frontier and
many scientific and technological luminaries. This takes them further and further away from
the fundamental principle of life itself - and therefore also of it's counterpart: death.


Qs: What if science could produce "immortal Einsteins"? Imagine the endless
new wonderful discoveries we would enjoy for ever!

From this it becomes clear that most people are not clear about the concept of death, let alone
 the value of death for life itself to be of value. This seems to be because they are conflating
 the temporal and the eternal. There is simply no such thing as "Eternal life" or "immortal life" -
this misconception has been spread by the bible fanatics, and is now being pursued by
science fanatics. Life itself is temporal, mortal and finite. If you understand this, then the
phrase "immortal Einstein..etc" is meaningless. The only "immortal being" is the one in
Eternity, not in time.
However, we human beings do have the privilege of a potential for a creative synthesis
 of the two realms, a privilege that even the "immortal one" does not have.

Death is not only a necessity, but also the essential counterpart of life. Without death, human
 existence, even life itself, has no meaning, just as survival for it's own sake is without purpose.
Death is the mirror that reflects the totality of an existing being and only the touch of death
 reveals the essence of a being.
Just going on multiplying numbers and making life perpetual is to lose whatever real value
there is in life - it goes against the principle of life itself.


There is a fundamental law in reality which science, religion etc. are yet
 to discover: real value is in inverse proportion relation to quantity.
Real value is qualitative, intangible, creative and transcendental, and is
inversely related to the quantitative, tangible, measurable and temporal.
 

MAR19.2016: The Problem of AI consciousness. (H post)

Scientists and technologists are worrying about the threat from AI consciousness.
They seem to believe almost with religious fervor that AI is just round the corner,
since they are working so hard for it, but are scared that AI will usurp their authority
to establish the machine kingdom, and even eliminate all humans.
Also scientists have yet to crack the “Hardness” of Consciousness.

Can machines (AI) have consciousness? If yes then: Is that a threat to us?
Short answer: No. Machines cannot have consciousness, and therefore are not a direct
threat to us humans.
Unless one defines consciousness as ANY kind of data processing - which is actually conflating
machine data processing to make it identical with human brain data processing. Which is a
huge mistake, because human brain data processing, particularly synthetic processing (as in
dreams – simplest example) has potentialities that cannot be modeled by any means, and thus
 impossible to program in machines. There is also the problem of conflating “intelligence” with
data processing, confusing the terms “intelligence”, “consciousness” and “perception”.
Instead of conceptual clarity, the confusion is compounded by the day, with everyone having
 their own definitions and ideas about these terms that cannot be correlated between different
 disciplines.
Thus the threat does not come from machines but the threat comes from our own ignorance
and particularly “intelligent stupidity”, by which I mean in short: improper and inappropriate
use of language and concepts (although it becomes much more sophisticated than just
semantics).
If I were to put it in one sentence: It is a result of an illicit marriage between materialism
and sophistry. This problem has become even more acute than the time that Wittgenstein
remarked:
"Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language.”

Finally the “hardness” arises because we humans have lost consciousness of the psychic fact
of having a primary consciousness that is inaccessible to cerebral consciousness because it
operates rarely and that too subliminally. It recedes into ineffectiveness especially when
 the scientific methodology and (unacknowledged) assumptions are neurolinguistically
programmed as part of “education”.

Machines are good for specialized tasks of data processing that humans take too long to
accomplish, and which can be modeled through programming. As such, therefore they
are merely mechanical tools, can never have general intelligence, let alone consciousness.
If we need to worry about, it is our own deteriorating mental condition which we are not
even “conscious” of and thus not even acknowledged. It’s simultaneously sad and funny.

 

 Do We Live in a Universe Hospitable to Our Aspirations? (Huff Post)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lee-smolin/temporal-naturalism_b_3240634.html

“'The Universe' or the material cosmos as such is only a resource for the process of life and therefore
 by itself cannot be termed as hospitable or hostile to human aspirations. These attributes are
themselves determined by human attitudes and actions towards life and it's meaning or purpose.

If one finds, constructs or create noble meanings to one's own life and one's work, 'The Universe'
 itself 'becomes' hospitable, but if one seeks (abundant in the History of the dominating culture)
 dominion over all life or seek the 'conquest of paradise' or try to understand the cosmos, nature
 or life only through physical laws or mathematics, then 'The Universe' itself becomes
hostile or predatory.

I am putting in a caveat here: Hospitable does not necessarily mean pleasurable, blissful etc. and
 hostile or predatory does not necessarily mean painful and horrible - very often the 'prey' is
 'comfortably numbed' (Pink Floyd) before being devoured.”

Clarification of the above: “The artist is not the 'prey' but the real beneficiary of the hospitality of
'The Universe' - it is there FOR the artist, even if the artist is a tormented one.
By devoured, I don't mean physically devoured, but metaphorically. ( More than a single layer
of metaphor)
The reference to Pink Floyd was only for the borrowing of their phrase 'comfortably numb'.
(Certainly I don't mean that the artists of Pink Floyd were the prey or being devoured)”

Are science and religion in a 'Beautiful Friendship'?

Yes indeed, together they have damaged human dignity beyond repair. Both have dumbed down the
 human race into a bottomless pit. One has done so by doctrine and the other by data.

"What could go wrong?”
 Yes indeed, what more could go wrong? But hope is eternal, and we
 shall keep testing lower and lower levels of moral degradation.

"Modern man must descend the spiral of his own absurdity to the lowest point;
only then can he look beyond it. It is obviously impossible to get around it, jump
over it, or simply avoid it.....Vaclav Havel


“Are we overlooking new threats to human dignity?"


Certainly! By continuing to surrender human values to amoral scientific data and amoral machines,
we already have succumbed to this ultimate threat to human dignity. We are completely
oblivious to this threat.

“Will Supra-human intelligence outperform the most creative person?”

Man, you need to wake up. There is a counterpart to intelligence that you are not even aware of.
You have no clue whatsoever!
"Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger
and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and
better idiots. So far the universe is winning."....Rich Cook
 

Does Science have a 'point of view'?

What I have been trying to show is that science is a point of view from nowhere. The objective
 point of view is a non-human individual, society or culture's point of view.  Now since science is
data that is independent from any human individual, society or culture's point of view, I have
shown that it is point of view from nowhere - that is, it's not a point of view at all, only data,
 as it is not a living person's point of view, only data that is independent of living beings.
What this data means from the human point of view, how it should be used, for what purpose,
 etc, is not a scientific question at all, but a human centered question of value. That means
 that the data itself cannot tell us anything about how we are to use that data and what it's value
 is. E=Mc^2 is data about conversion of mass and energy in the physical cosmos, and this bit of
data itself cannot tell us whether the Hiroshima bomb was a good thing to do or a bad thing
 to do - that is what is the value of the bomb is determined not by the data but by human
choices and decisions that are independent of the data itself.

"An error doesn't become a mistake until you refuse to correct it"
....
Orlando A. Battista

Science tries to study Reality?

Comments in:

http://www.ted.com/talks/donald_hoffman_do_we_see_reality_as_it_is

As a scientist who has obviously never ventured into Philosophy, he doesn’t realize that what
 he is saying has been thrashed around for millennia. He should at least have read Plato’s
allegory of the cave, if not gone in depth into Plato’s Metaphysics.

The funny thing is that he comes so close to getting it right and yet misses the real point:
that consciousness is primary to and not a cause of brain activity, and more importantly this
implies that since consciousness is the primary reality, matter or the physical reality is
secondary – and in brain activity the cerebral related consciousness is a derived or a virtual
reality which has components of both the “real” as well as the “illusory”.
The logical corollary is that “evolution” is essentially false and only marginally true.
Again this is missed by him surprisingly since he himself has discovered that “evolution”
takes us further away from reality and merely into fitness/survivability. (Survivability for
how long in the face of the inevitable?)
And “who we are” as human beings is all about being able to differentiate between the “real”
(i.e. transcendental) and the “illusory” (only temporal, and at best as a means), and to act
upon this knowledge. Which in theory and study is beyond the scope of science, since it is
 not “objectively verifiable”, and the proper domain of study is Humanities, specifically
Philosophy – the intellectual art of asking and answering questions that are fundamental
 and perennial to human existence and purpose.


Personally, I think he has taken a small but bold step outside the strict parameters of the
 scientific paradigm, and such efforts must be encouraged. Sadly, by the end of the talk he
sounds like a heretic who has recanted with such expressions of faith like: "selection
pressures for our logic and our mathematics to be at least in the direction of truth"
It would have been far more revolutionary if he had come to the realization that his
 research indicates that there is more to reality than the physical alone - and that this
intangible non-physical reality cannot be explored within the current scientific
paradigm and methodology, nor will anything about this reality be revealed by
mathematics.


The most serious problem that Philosophy faces today is that all the space of discourse has been
appropriated by scientists. The problem is not of language but of intent and motives, which are
 at cross-purposes and therefore no common ground on which discourse can take place.
You can't even make a single statement or proposition about anything without a college going
student of science tripping the whole field of Philosophy by saying: what is the evidence? Where
 is the data? This has led to not only Philosophy becoming defunct but the whole of Humanities.


Effectively, we have reached a dead end, and the reason is that the dominating culture is incapable
of learning from other cultures, and the only change in the past few centuries has been the
 replacement of the authority of the priest with that of the scientist - both having totalitarian
 world-views and both are anti-philosophy.

"History is ending because the dominator culture has led the human species
 into a blind alley." Terence McKenna

2016 Have we reached the end of Physics? TED

http://www.ted.com/talks/harry_cliff_have_we_reached_the_end_of_physics

He asks the question: "Why is there something rather than nothing?" This question is not
a valid question in the domain of science, and thus must be referred to the mother domain
of all inquiry: Philosophy (left behind in the ruins of Athens by Western Civilization
2400 years ago).

The important entry point of any inquiry should be to be clear firstly about what the inquiry is
 about: is it a personal inquiry?, that is, addressed and related to oneself, or is it a dialectic?
( engaged in a dialog with others, example: Plato's dialogs ), in which case the terms have to
be defined first and the question framed, or is it a scientific inquiry in which the physical
properties of matter are to be tested and verified as per the hypothesis framed.

What I have posited elsewhere is that the question "Why is there something rather than
 nothing?" is not a scientific question, because no verifiable conclusions can be arrived at
 from such inquiry, therefore it falls in the domain of Philosophy - and then the first point
should be whether the inquiring person wants to address it to himself alone or wants
to engage it dialectic-ally. The Greeks were keenly interested in this kind of inquiry
 ... and the word Telos was designated to mean "ultimate purpose, or final end or goal"


In any inquiry, start by defining your terms and ontology, example:
What is "something"? Is it only the Physical, quantifiable, tangible, measurable....?


The scientist can rather  become even humbler by saying that "science definitely has limits",
simply because the domain of science is limited to the physical universe - and is only one
aspect of "The Finite Realm". Similarly, organized religion is even more limited, because it
tries to deal with "The Infinite Realm" in definitive terms and concepts of the finite, AS IF
the infinite can be understood in terms and concepts of the finite.
The only sphere where there are no limits is the pure, unrestrained, unconstrained
individual experience - wherein it is potentially possible to experience anything. But the
moment one tries to capture it in words, fixed images or concepts, one has to first of all
 realize that we are in the domain of the limited and the finite, and thus subject to
constraints and limits.
Dr. Lilly proposed this as a fundamental principle of our consciousness and it's relation
to "Reality":

"In the province of the mind (in the set of one's assumptions, beliefs and concepts),
what one believes to be true, is true or becomes true, within certain limits to be found
experientially and experimentally. These limits are further beliefs to be transcended.
In the mind, (in pure experience) there are no limits."
.... Dr. John C. Lilly (Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer.


How do I know that the physical is only one aspect of The Finite Realm?
I know this through personal experience.

However I will qualify this statement by adding that not all experiences lead to meaningful
 knowledge. Experiences need to be supported by intuitions and processed by reason and
linguistic expressions to result in meaningful knowledge. If the source of any knowledge is
primarily experience, that kind of knowledge rarely falls in the scientific domain, because
the methodology of science is independent of individual experiences.

 

Has science buried God?

 Fortunately for us, the Creator/s isn't part of existential reality (only the source thereof),
 she (my preference) doesn't HAVE to or NEED to say anything, and therefore doesn't
(the 'messengers' use their own language processing faculties). We have to figure it out
for ourselves, both for the material universe as well as non-material. The unfortunate part is
that the smarter we get about one aspect of reality, the dumber we get about it's counter-aspect.
 ( Extrapolation of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle) . Hence we have started patting ourselves
 on our backs for having buried the Creator/s. There is a cosmic joke here and irony here,
but only if you can discern it.

Society, Culture and Imagination define science, like everything else.

That's correct, but that's an aberration - an attempt to give science a status beyond what it signifies
 ( the reason is obvious - funds for research depend upon these projections) - what I am pointing out
is that scientific results, data, equations - in short all of science is "independent" from social. cultural
and metaphysical viewpoints. E=mc^2 does not change from one society/culture to another, however
 so we may imagine it to be. The race for domination gives science a false sense of value in human
 affairs, whereas science is value neutral, for it cannot provide any clue to our moral, ethical values
 (what we ought to do), but rather distracts humans from positive values by providing a shield of
amorality which actually cloaks, hides and covers up negative human values - which
lead to destruction.


There can be no scientific explanation of :

1) the origin of life on this planet - that is, how it came to emerge from inorganic matter and
 then evolved into complex and higher order organisms like humans

2) for what purpose, that is, why should there be life, and in particular - human life, and
 towards what end or telos ?


( Remember that in science, myths are not accepted as valid explanations and for anything to be
scientific it must be verifiable with evidence, not just some stories about possibilities so the
myth of 'random chance' is actually invalid as scientific explanation.)

Even now attempts are now being made to integrate science and spirituality by making science
central to the 'integral world views'. This again is a new level of deception. You cannot have
other ways of looking at reality within the scientific paradigm.

For "learning other ways of looking at reality" you will have to take leave of the assumptions on
which science is based and what science is really about - verifiable, objective data about the
physical aspect of reality. In other ways of looking at reality, these mountains of data and
evidence going with it will be of no use, unfortunately.

What about the Great Hope Artificial Intelligence? H Post: what the
next 20 years brings
"There must be something wrong" why AI has not even come close to human intelligence.

1. Firstly, there has been no clear or even vague definition of what is intelligence.
Even IQ scores are considered highly controversial and unreliable.
2. Even the process of how we reason cannot be explained, let alone the creative process.
Thirty years ago I use to hear prophesies that AI will produce music, paintings, poetry ..
...and so on. I have yet to hear an AI produced rhythmic piece, forget melody.
As for poetry....that's a complete joke.
3. Humans have yet to understand how our minds process concepts and language. In
frustration Wittgenstein had to remark: Philosophy (task has become) is a battle
against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language.
4. Humans have yet to collectively articulate and educate the next generation of any purpose
 or goal of our lives beyond survival and domination. The concept of "evolution" which is tied
only to the concept of survival, has actually led to de-evolution of the human intellect.
How can someone even imagine that by more intelligence this process can be reversed?
 When we can't even identify and prioritize our values, how can someone even imagine
 that machines will do this for us, or for that matter any "superior" intelligence?

The sad thing about artificial intelligence is that it lacks artifice and therefore intelligence.
......Jean Baudrillard


Isn't Science great fun?

Science is great fun for a while after every major discovery, but what is not apparent to most
people but quite clear to those who are not totally hooked by science or completely taken
in by the scientist's rhetoric and their appropriation of all reality, is that after every step or
discovery, what appears to be a great breakthrough which gives a new hyperbolic twist
to the science fanatics, becomes in a few years or decades a horrible nightmare or hangover
that adds on to mankind's woes and responsibilities.

Will the new 'great science hope' the one and only 'god particle' unravel all mystery ?

No chance. It only adds another level of obfuscation and deceptive mystification that can only
confuse rather than clarify anything least of all human concerns about our nature and purpose.

Finally, all the mountains of data could not tell the scientists about the concept of ecology and
 environment and the interconnectedness of all life, whereas these concepts were well understood
even by the most primitive aboriginal cultures. These concepts have been learned from the
aboriginal cultures, because no 'god particle' could possibly enlighten anyone from any point of
 view about ecology and environment, howsoever infinitely long it 'tries'.


Jan2016: The fourth Industrial revolution:
"left us wondering where the line is between 'bot and human."

This line became blurred long ago when humans lost their humanity and started
 behaving like machines. (a gradual process of de-evolution, rather than a sudden
 event). The tragic consequences of which is that humans even lose consciousness
 of having become machines - mere automatons who think their only goal is
survival at any cost. It's not surprising therefore that the ethos of such a culture
(if indeed it can be called a human culture anymore) is ironically called "Evolution"
 - merely survival of the fittest to survive. The High Priests and Popes of such a
mechanical "culture" even issue Papal Bulls like "Philosophy is Dead" (If you are
 in doubt about who I am talking about - it's none other than the hero of
 "Theory of Everything"). What a joke!
So if it "leaves you wondering where the line is"... the "truth" is that this line
 has disappeared; only this reality has to sink in fully. The wondering game is
 already over, but still something is better than nothing, so wonder on,
 wonder on.... it can only do you some good.

JAN2016: Concerns mount over ISIS Meme spreading - and how
to eradicate this "mental virus".

While you have presented the ISIS meme …. there have been even more deadly
memes that have ruled the world and continue to do so with new and
“evolved” mutations

1. Gilgamesh Meme/ Egyptian meme/ Chinese meme/ Civilizations Meme:
Seek immortality by building huge walls and structures that last till infinity
 to defend against the unknown, time and fate.
2. Old Testament Meme or Noah’s Meme/ Genesis of Western Civilization’s
 Meme: Be fruitful and multiply and seek dominion over everything on this earth…
3. Judaism’s Meme: Build the indestructible eternal city of God, in other words,
the Kingdom of Heaven where the chosen ones will live forever and ever,
in other words, Jerusalem…..but for those pesky crackpot prophets who turn
up after every few centuries.
4. Rome’s Meme: Conquer the world, loot it, tax it, and collect slaves to build
the perfect city – Rome and enjoy therein all the wealth of the world while
 watching bloody gladiatorial contests.
5. Christianity Meme: Spread all over and convert the world by hook or by crook
 in order to “save their souls” so that they can then in return become voluntary
 slaves to serve the “messengers of the Lord”… and if not, just kill them, since
their souls have already been saved, and they have no need any
more of their lands…
6. Capitalism Meme: Get rich quick by hook or by crook, establish a business
empire, accumulate all the wealth of the world and become “The Illuminati”.
7. Evolution Meme: Move over all God memes, this new “survival of the fittest”
 meme will dominate all other memes, consume them, and reach it’s destiny,
which is, lo and behold: destruction and extinction.
8. STEM Meme: This daughter meme of the evolution meme is trying desperately
 now to save the “survival of the fittest” themselves! And thereby to
“save the world”.


Changes always happen, always will: what's the big deal?

As far as change is concerned, of course the nature of temporal reality is that of
constant change, but the whole point of it is: what is your own response to it - are
 you capable of discerning and responding to the abstract core of the absolute in the
 temporal changes, or simply shrug your shoulders and say: well, change happens
and that's that. So think about it - behind all these glamorous changing lights -
what's the "wiring under the board in Eternity"? (McKenna) and even more
 importantly: why?"

2016: Isn't space travel the "Final Frontier" ?

When I was a child I thought so too. The vastness of the cosmos... gave a sense of infinity
 - challenging and beckoning. Most science fiction was about travelling into "deep space",
encountering strange situations. But all that was left behind in the teens.
Life's experiences has taught me that this spacial frontier is nothing compared to the real
 "Final Frontier" - The Mind Of Man. The seemingly insurmountable difficulty for human
 beings at large is that in the Final Frontier the scientific methodology, or depending only
 on reason leads to a miserable failure that goes unacknowledged. The only recourse
therefore is to develop one's own tools to explore the Final Frontier - but that depends
 upon one's own Will. ( a catch 22). What we need is a provocative stimulus.
But for starters, for kids - let them play with this idea that there is a Final Frontier - and
let them start with space.
 

2016: Is this the last century for Humanity? H post

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/seth-shostak/could-this-be-humanitys-l_b_8980080.html

Surprisingly, this article projects the stuff that the transhumanists have been peddling - super
or uber-humans and super-machines. Instead this only highlights the real problem that faces
 humanity: the crisis of a collapse of morals and ethics, and one of the reasons for this collapse
 is putting all of our values in the basket of science and technology in the illusion that with
these we can dominate and conquer nature completely. And what are the dreams that
 drives these values? That we will colonize the universe, attain immortality, ..etc.
Most, rather almost all "intelligent" beings think that "intelligence" is all there is, and is a
 result of "evolution". Whereas "intelligence" by itself is inherently self-destructive - and
 that this drama of "evolution" of "intelligence" that destroys itself takes place as an
inevitability and fatally (as in Fate) on every planet on which life "evolves".
Therefore I have enunciated the following (unscientific) principles as:
1. All "intelligent" civilizations are eventually destroyed by their technology. (That's
the bad news principle) However:
2. The good news principle is: Creative people are the real beneficiaries of
technology - esp. artists who thrive with technology.
Indeed this tragedy of destruction occurs in every world over and over, forever and ever...
for it is the process of relentless necessity and indifferent fate - whose "server" is what
 the Greek mythology depicted as the goddess Ananke: that personified fate, inevitability,
compulsion and necessity along with her father and consort, Chronos. (Time)
Of course this pours cold water over the "dreams" that drive science and technology,
but what can I do? I can't help it... for I too am a "client" of the "server" called
 Ananke by the Greeks. I can't help it... but tune in to this song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdLhXTGH58s
 

FEB2016: Where did matter come from? What is consciousness?
What makes us human?

These questions were supposed to be in the domain of Philosophy, until it was announced
by the Pope of Science: "Philosophy is dead".
In modernity the Nietzsche-ian creed became supreme: "God is dead. We have killed him.
 What are these churches but tombs and sepulchers of God?"
And now in post-modernity, after the discovery of the "Theory of Everything" by the Great
 Pope of science, it was declared by Him that "Philosophy is dead", the modernity creed
 has undergone an evolutionary mutation and should (if I may dare) be : "Philosophy is
dead. We (esteemed scientists) have killed it. What are these universities and
academia's but tombs and sepulchers of Philosophy?"
Just in case you have not heard, Science has provided all the answers to these
 questions in the Theory of Everything:
1. Where did matter come from? ...... Quantum Fluctuations produce Quantum Foam,
 from which all matter "emerges".
2. What is consciousness? ....... It is the "Emergent" property of neurons in the brain.
3. What makes us human? ...... "Emergence", followed by "Evolution" followed by
 "Emergence", followed by "Evolution" and so on till infinity, that is, colonization of
the Universe, and then create another Universe.... and so on... that is till infinity.
QED. Any doubts?

May 14: Comment in : Religion and Science H post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/our-epistemological-crisi_b…

Epistemology or the “study or theory of knowledge”, is in crisis because in Western culture
 religion and science have split apart … this is your thesis. Furthermore your thesis is that
 this moment of split occurred “in the early twentieth century when the logical positivists
decided to ground their conception of science in the epistemology of philosopher David
Hume instead of that of Immanuel Kant.”

Your thesis implies that before Hume, science and religion had a unified information base,
 same assumptions, ontology and the same domain of inquiry. This further implies that the
Bible is as much a scientific document as it is a religious document.
Your thesis itself is in deep crisis because it is illogical, non-scientific, non-religious,
non-artistic and makes no sense from any point of view.
The problem lies in your starting assumption that religion and science are identical
domains of inquiry and knowledge, methodology, concepts and underlying assumptions.
I have an alternative thesis:
The epistemological crisis is therefore not of a split but that of conflation and confusion
of terms – a crisis of getting tied up in knots by inappropriate use of language and having
 no clear basis, purpose or strategy for dialectic communication. In short – a complete
collapse of the mother discipline or root of all inquiry: Philosophy.
Religious experience and thereby religious knowledge is primarily dependent on intuitions
 and non-sensory (synthetic) perception, whereas science primarily depends upon sense
 perceptions and reason.
There is however even more importantly, one vital and crucial distinction in the kind of
knowledge in the two domains, without which we are mired in endless confusion and it
 is this:
Religious experience and knowledge developed there from cannot be objectively verified, is
typically not consistent because it is dependent entirely on the individual (ref. Kierkegaard)
 and which also explains why scriptures and doctrines fail all the time to enlighten as they
insist that they are consistent for all time and sundry.
Scientific knowledge is valid only if objectively verifiable, is not dependent on individual
experience or intuitions, and has to be necessarily consistent.
But in technology we get to play God, no?
In technology, man indeed gets to play God: but that has a dangerous downside to it: he
 eventually ends up playing the Devil more and more, and even worse, without "knowing" it.
A "fall" in the beginning and another "fall" before the end?
I have given a religious classification for human species
: Pithecanthropus Falliballus.
 

2016: MAR20 comments in
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/casey-gerald-ted-talk_us_56…

Casey's talk illustrates how all traditional and even modern paradigms of all kinds are
unraveling one by one as the "fractals of time" (McKenna's phrase) are getting
increasingly compressed and converging on "timewave zero" or the Eschaton.

"History is the shock wave of the Eschaton." Terence McKenna

Positivist Nullifidian: Eschatological, or end times, thinking, while it may be popular, is
one of those self-reinforcing beliefs to which I recommend the application of earnest
and sincere doubt. Peace.
Gross Ryder: Firstly, it's not popular. The entire mass of humanity, fed intravenously with
scientific data and technological dreams, mostly have been made to believe that we
 are on the verge of colonizing the universe. It's only lately that the scientific community
 is waking up to one possibility: that GW will end it all.
Many other possibilities (even probabilities) are still laughed at as silly ranting of
"science deniers" (strawman).
Secondly, we are in the stage where nothing is to be believed - even as a possibility -
unless there is scientifically verifiable evidence of it. This is the positivist-nihilist legacy:
All beliefs are not merely suspect, or to be doubted, but to be annihilated altogether
at the altar of "evidence first".

"Logical positivism contradicts itself. The statement of the theory 'all meaningful propositions are
logical tautologies or empirically verifiable', immediately contradicts itself because that proposition
 itself is neither a logical tautology nor empirically verifiable. Its criterion for meaningful proposition
 is so narrow that it eliminates itself - it commits suicide."....TMS P. Kreeft

Doubt is a starting point for testing one's beliefs for their validity and limits by experience
 and experiments where individual integrity is at stake - as such nothing to do with
science - because in science there is nothing to believe in - it's either evidence
or no-evidence, witthout the individual being figuring anywhere in the equation.
On the road towards knowledge, doubting should be carried only as far as it yields results,
where after doubting itself must be doubted - yes the final stage is meta-doubt - beyond
 which is knowledge - that is: what you "Have to Believe" - for your very Being is going to
 be at stake there.

"Believing is a cinch. Having to believe is something else. A warrior doesn't believe, a warrior has
 to believe. Death is the indispensable ingredient in having to believe". .... Carlos Castaneda

It's a war! I have no doubts about it. That is what I "have to believe"!

"Prayer begins where human capacity ends.".....Marian Anderson

"The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the
 nature of the one who prays"......Soren Kierkegaard
 

NEXT ARTICLE : 4.4 Paradigms of Culture

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4.1 Metaphysics, What is it for ?

 

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ADDENDUM:

 

2104:The following was passed on by a friend

A CASE STUDY OF THREE POETS
These three poets are legendary in  Urdu literature as also their following couplets.
The poets Ghalib(1797-1869), Iqbal(1877-1938) and Faraz(1931-2008) present their views on the universality of God in the couplets.
It was not a feud. At best you can call it a poetic difference of opinion by intellectual and witty minds, spread across centuries.

Ghalib started it: In the 19th century , it was a bold statement. But then Ghalib was never known for meekness or following the crowd.
“Zahid, sharaab peene de masjid mein baith kar
Ya wo jagah bataa, jahaan Khuda nahin”
[Let me drink in a mosque; or tell me the place where there is no God.']

 Allama Iqbal was not convinced and decided to reply about half a century later. So in the late 19th-early 20th  century, his poetic reply to Ghalib
“Masjid Khuda ka ghar hai, peene ki jagah nahin
Kaafir ke dil mein jaa, wahaan khuda nahin”

Mosque is the abode of God, not a place to drink. Go to the heart of a non ​-believer because there God is not.

 Faraz had the last word. (Later half of 19th century) .
“Kaafir ke dil se aaya hun, main ye dekh kar Faraz,
Khuda maujood hai wahaan, par usey pata nahin”

[I have returned from the heart of the disbeliever and i have observed :God is present in his heart too,
 but he just doesn’t know it. (he is ignorant/sleeping)​

{Pantheism is the belief that the universe (or nature as the totality of everything) is identical with divinity, or that everything
 composes an all-encompassing, immanent God.
 Pantheists thus do not believe in a distinct personal or anthropomorphic god. Some Eastern religions are considered to be
pantheistically inclined.
Pantheism is derived from the Greek roots pan (meaning "all") and theos (meaning "God"). There are a variety of
definitions of pantheism. Some consider
 it a theological and philosophical position concerning God. As a religious position, some describe pantheism as
 the polar opposite of atheism.
From this standpoint, pantheism is the view that everything is part of an all-encompassing, immanent God.
All forms of reality may then be considered either modes of that Being, or identical with it. Others hold that
pantheism is a non-religious philosophical position. To them, pantheism is the view that the Universe
and God are identical.
….Wiki}

 

The following is the response to the above three poets

Ghalib is a poet, whereas Iqbal is a thinker as well, very often these two modes are contrary to each other.
What are the ideas that they want to convey, apart from just the amusement of the non-thinker and
orthodox believer? In the rhetoric employed by all three there is a touch of religious fanaticism, as well 
as a failure to make crucial distinctions between the sacred and the profane, between the relative and the
 absolute, between the individually valid and the social/community valid.

The context of Ghalib is that of an individual who is not as such an orthodox community member, but
rather an urban fakir. Ghalib’s creativity comes only when intoxicated, and when he has an audience who
also take care of his liquor and food bills. God therefore, for Ghalib (and rightly so FOR him) is where
he can get free booze and ears for what comes from his mouth – whether the place is a Masjid, a pub
or a toilet.
One of the effects of intoxication with booze is that it lowers most inhibitions – therefore in that state
nothing is blasphemy – and while that state fuels creativity, it also can become offensive to an audience
that is socially conformist, which most are. Ghalib fails to make a crucial distinction between what is
sacred for him personally ( booze and audience), and what is sacred for the community, and that is a
masjid for muslims.

But ah! The non-muslim will say with a smirk – see how fanatic is the mulla who does not understand
that God is everywhere – which is the doctrine of pantheism – that every atom, every photon, every
quark, every Higgs Boson (so called God particle) are all the presence of God. (kan kan mein bhagwan hai)

The hypocrisy of the pantheistic believer of another religion can so easily be exposed by a simple thought
experiment: whichever religion you belong to, imagine then that the word masjid is replaced in Ghalib’s
couplet by the name of the most sacred place for your religious community, and then ask someone else
 to read it aloud.
The smirk will vanish, replaced by consternation and anger at the sacrilege, and may even result in
violence. What appeared to be such an amusing, even enlightening piece of poetry will sound like
the worst blasphemy.

Iqbal’s rhetorical response is also fanatical, for a masjid itself cannot be called the house of God, but
rather a community house for the worship of God. Iqbal, being a leader of his community, is forced by
his social position to become the defender of his faith (as if genuine faith needs any defense at all!), and
the defender of his community’s sacred places. Iqbal would have been better off by taking a leaf out of
Plato’s ‘immortal’ dialogs and respond dialectically rather than rhetorically, but then his audience is
 his own community.
If I were in Iqbal’s place I would have said:
err… Ghalib, if you say that there is no place where God cannot be found, how about trying the local pub,
for it will serve just as well, and rather the additional advantage there will be that you will be appreciated
much more there rather than here in a masjid. Even better will be Bhairon ka mandir or a church ( where
wine is served as the symbolic blood of Christ), for there you will have found not only your own personal
God, but also the God ‘at large’.

Which reminds me of a Taoist saying:
That which cannot be laughed at is not the Tao.
(Tao is the ‘substitute of God’ in Taoist monism, and since I have laughed at the Taoist
if not the Tao itself, according to a Taoist I am a fool to exercise this option! Talk about
the Taoist tying himself in knots over the Tao: it's a meta-joke.)


To Faraz I would say:

It takes a lifetime to see into your own heart,
And that too after you have understood your own mind,*
So claim not to know what good or what evil lies in another’s heart,
Just tell us what is within you, tell us ‘this is mine’.

(* the essence of Buddhist teaching)


This also reminds me of one of Woody Allen’s jokes:

“I cheated at my metaphysics exam: I looked into the soul of the person sitting next to me.”

Kaafir ke dil mein kya hai, mujhe pata nahin,
Sirf jahan ‘shubh karam’*hon, khuda hai wahin.

(What is in the heart of another,
believer or non-believer, I cannot know,
From where good deeds come,
I can say for sure God is within.


(*The phrase shubh karam is borrowed from Guru Gobind Singh’s poem)

I end with another poem:

 Man’s Nemesis: Organized Religion

One man’s cup of tea is another man’s cup of poison,
One culture’s reason is another culture’s absurdum,
One religion’s god is another religion’s demon,
One poet’s perception is another poet’s condemnation
Ghalib’s ‘God in the bottle’ is Iqbal’s abomination.

One man’s sacredness is another man’s profanity,
One man’s notion of absolute is another man’s relativity,
One religion’s faith is another religion’s infidelity
One community’s adulation is another community’s  blasphemy.
Once people decided between what was Good, Bad or Ugly
Now the only choice is between the Devil and the Deep Sea.
The Devil I have already seen, I choose the unknown – the Deep Sea.


May 4: Comments in Newsweek: More "Alien" Jokes
http://www.newsweek.com/intelligent-alien-life-almost-certa…

Richard Krentz: Why are we looking elsewhere. Has anyone ever thought that WE are the
 aliens? I guess we're looking for ourselves.

Gross Ryder: Now that is not just a joke but also metaphorically true - we have indeed
become alien to our own home planet and disconnected from our real "human nature".
Thanks to the gods of science and technology, our "human nature" has been replaced
 by machines - and we are so proud of it!
At last we have finally been made in the image of our own creations - machines.

Monty Keegan: There will be huge discoveries in the future but our time will pass long before
a lot of the huge breakthroughs. It is sad. I wish we as a species would collectively strive to
 make interseller travel and space exploration the center attention of our purpose and leave
 behind the fractions of space people fight and the idiology that we bicker over. There is
many planets that likely are habitable and even possibly more so than our own.

Gross Ryder: Oh you are in such illustrious company. Such lofty ideals....
"I know exactly what you mean" Alexander (The Great?)
"My sentiments precisely, all those aliens waiting for us with all that gold, silver,
minerals...." Columbus

Verfas Sung: If you take the world at face value, it is a miracle that our life exists at all at
this point in time from the supposed Big Bang.

Gross Ryder: The "Evolutionist's" counter argument is: There is no evidence that miracles
 are possible. Since there is all the evidence that we (scientists) are here, it follows that:
We have "evolved" without any miracles.....just "naturally" selected by the "laws of nature".

Barry Van Zee: Not hard to believe in aliens but not God??? Hypocritical???
Gross Ryder · It is hard to believe in God because God cannot even be imagined, whereas
 it is easy to believe in aliens because Hollywood has imagined them thoroughly.

James Mariani: Arthur C. Clarke's old adage about "any sufficiently advanced technology
being indistinguishable from magic" would come into play. The ineffable God would be
 in big trouble. I'd like to be a fly on the wall in the Vatican during their "discussion."

Gross Ryder ·What Clarke failed to foresee is that this "magic of technology" has a
fatally deadly side to it - something that is not even obvious to us even in hindsight!
And they say hindsight is 20-20. Go figure!
The ineffable God is the fly on the wall here.