Scientific explanations?

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Dongle
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Post by Dongle » Thu Jul 12, 2007 10:37 pm

Well ninjin, please consider what it is that you are saying, read through each of your responses, and try to comment on your own posts, think of an alternative. Is there an alternative? You say you do not know the truth, and therefore cannot know, according to your definition, and as such there must be. Having acknowledged that, why are the possibilities posed by other members of the forum unacceptable?

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Post by Webwanderer » Thu Jul 12, 2007 10:59 pm

ninjin wrote:Yes you can but it does not solve anything or bring understanding. The idea does not gain scientific credibility. Not among those who actually research these things. If you want to find an atheist just pick one at random in the natural sciences. I think 80% or more of them are atheists.
Understanding is an individual experience based primarily on an openess to information or greater intergration of currently held perceptions. I doubt one person can truly say what another accurately understands.

The denial of credible science being done is not the absence of it in spite of the turf war that exists between Darwinists and Intellegent Design theorists. Just because Darwinists reject consideration of the expanding body of research being done by Design advacates does not deminish its significance. It's always been this way by established interests fearing loss of the high ground of prominence.

Historically the herd mentallity is almost always wrong. On the other hand about 80% of the general public accept an intelligent agent behind creation. Maybe there is more to be gained by direct revelation than by tinkering with matter. It seems there is a general understanding that there exists a relationship with an intelligent origin, albeit in many cases a muddy one.
I try to understand things based on the explanations that I read. I do not read understandings.
Is it even possible to read an understanding?
Knowing is something that is based on proof that is outside yourself. Belief is something that has no proof hence you believe it to be true.
Proof is entirely subjective. Hold an object at arms length and release it. It falls to your feet and is believed to be proof of gravity. Not so. What it is is evidence of gravity, but not proof. Had our test been done on a space station, the cause of the movement may well have been wind currents or centrifugal force. Proof is a conclusion base on information. It is a belief in the conclusion but may or may not be true.

ninjin

Post by ninjin » Thu Jul 12, 2007 11:33 pm

Dongle wrote:Well ninjin, please consider what it is that you are saying, read through each of your responses, and try to comment on your own posts, think of an alternative. Is there an alternative? You say you do not know the truth, and therefore cannot know, according to your definition, and as such there must be. Having acknowledged that, why are the possibilities posed by other members of the forum unacceptable?
I do not know what truth Webwanderer is talking about that is correct.
Basically what I have written is in its essence occam's razor. "All things being equal, the simplest solution tends to be the best one."
But my original post was about what effects enlightenment had on the brain. The thread has went very far from that subject =).
I see no reason not to question others view as I expect them to question mine. Only through questioning can one reach the core.

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Post by Webwanderer » Thu Jul 12, 2007 11:54 pm

ninjin wrote:my original post was about what effects enlightenment had on the brain. The thread has went very far from that subject
With all due respect ninjin, this question is not likely to get much traction on this forum. I doubt anyone here much cares. It's like asking what effect enlightenment has on the toe. In the world view of atheism the brain is the seat of awareness and in that context your question is more relevant; but in the general perspective of most members here, that relationship is considerably less relevant. It would actually be a better question to ask what effect does enlightenment have on the chair across the room? If genuinely asked, you would have a better chance of getting a wider response.

What is enlightenment anyway? Is it a noun or a verb? An end state, or a relative movement? I guess it depends on context and definition.

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Post by ninjin » Fri Jul 13, 2007 12:04 am

Webwanderer wrote: Understanding is an individual experience based primarily on an openess to information or greater intergration of currently held perceptions. I doubt one person can truly say what another accurately understands.
Inorder to understand something one must research when one has understood it one tries to explain it so others can understand it. If the other explains one can see if he/she has understood.
The denial of credible science being done is not the absence of it in spite of the turf war that exists between Darwinists and Intellegent Design theorists. Just because Darwinists reject consideration of the expanding body of research being done by Design advacates does not deminish its significance. It's always been this way by established interests fearing loss of the high ground of prominence.
The reason why science conducted by IDs is rejected is because that it isn't solid. There are holes, misinterpretations, faulty experiments and such. Of course this occurs with Darwinists also.
Historically the herd mentallity is almost always wrong. On the other hand about 80% of the general public accept an intelligent agent behind creation. Maybe there is more to be gained by direct revelation than by tinkering with matter. It seems there is a general understanding that there exists a relationship with an intelligent origin, albeit in many cases a muddy one.
80% of which population? Where I come from most do not believe in an intelligent creator or religion at all.
The higher the education the lesser the religious belief. That is especially true in the natural sciences.
Is it even possible to read an understanding?
No which was the hole point.
Proof is entirely subjective. Hold an object at arms length and release it. It falls to your feet and is believed to be proof of gravity. Not so. What it is is evidence of gravity, but not proof. Had our test been done on a space station, the cause of the movement may well have been wind currents or centrifugal force. Proof is a conclusion base on information. It is a belief in the conclusion but may or may not be true.
Proof is not subjective. Not in regard with gravity anyway. There is gravity in a spaceship also. The fact that it is where it is is proof of gravity based on our definition of gravity.
But your example is an excellent example on my view on the matter of god or ID. Our lack of information creates a need to explain so we make up things in order to cope with it. So basically enlighten peoples lack of understanding of the experience they are having causes them to create illusions in order to explain there own experience. When a enlighten person speaks teachings from ancient scriptures as those were the truth only show that they themselves are not free. They are stuck in a social context. Their upbringing or socialization make them put their experience in a religious context. To semi quote J.Krishnamurti. Listen to other people but don't take what they say to be the truth.
For example Ramana Maharashi says that one should enquire "Who am I?". But he himself does not question who he is. He is trapped in a social context and try to explain his experience based on the culture in which he lives using ancient scriptures but he does not question the culture. He takes the scriptures explanations to be the truth.

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Post by ninjin » Fri Jul 13, 2007 12:27 am

Webwanderer wrote: With all due respect ninjin, this question is not likely to get much traction on this forum. I doubt anyone here much cares. It's like asking what effect enlightenment has on the toe. In the world view of atheism the brain is the seat of awareness and in that context your question is more relevant; but in the general perspective of most members here, that relationship is considerably less relevant. It would actually be a better question to ask what effect does enlightenment have on the chair across the room? If genuinely asked, you would have a better chance of getting a wider response.
What you write is basically my point. People strive to something of which they do not know or understand. And do not wish to understand only experience. And they do not know if they are actually experiencing it. I my self strive for both the experience and the understanding.
I don't see that there is any conflict with an atheist view and enlightenment. It all depends on how you label your experience, in what cultural context.
Enlightenments effect on the chair is a pointless discussion. It serves no purpose other than feeding peoples egos with alot of new age writing and adjectives. That is something that I have noticed in these sorts of forum. A lot of people use extravagant wordings and colorful writings and get cheered on by the other writers. No one really knows what the other one is talking about. But he/she used a lot of colorful words so it must be good. The favorite word seems to "truth". Just look at proudlybeing reply to your post. My view is that ones should strive towards simplicity. The fewer and simpler words the better. I have violated this principle in this thread.
What is enlightenment anyway? Is it a noun or a verb? An end state, or a relative movement? I guess it depends on context and definition.
I have no idea. I just use the word as it used in the teachings. Another word used is realization.

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Post by Webwanderer » Fri Jul 13, 2007 1:51 am

ninjin wrote:Enlightenments effect on the chair is a pointless discussion. It serves no purpose other than feeding peoples egos with alot of new age writing and adjectives. That is something that I have noticed in these sorts of forum.
So you say. But that depends on your world view. In a wider view than is available from an egocentric perspective, there is a relationship to the chair, and for that matter all form within awareness, that makes the question quite relevant.

Consider for a moment the relationship inherent within a dream. The dream charactor that the dreamer identifies with routinely interacts with charators and forms within the dream. Is their relationship pointless to the dream charactor? How about the dreamer? Is there a comparison to the awakened state? I think you would agree that such a comparison is not completely pointless. But science in this context is somewhat impotent. Freud supposedly had it all figured out, but where is his science now?
A lot of people use extravagant wordings and colorful writings and get cheered on by the other writers. No one really knows what the other one is talking about. But he/she used a lot of colorful words so it must be good.
In fairness, all you can say honestly is that you don't understand what is being discussed, and that is because you have not had the awakening experience that many have had. You are free to discount it, but it will be a difficult case to make with someone who has a direct understanding of concept base identity.

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Post by Seancho » Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:33 am

Wow. This is a fun one! The metaphysical lead is really flying :shock:

Nice job on both sides of the debate, especially nijin for standing up to all the bliss ninnies around here :wink:

Its great that we all come from different philisophical traditions and can have it out in a fun and constructive way. Keep it friendly and maybe we can all gain some clarity from this.

Its a fascinating question: is the mind a phenonenon of the brain, or is the brain a phenomenon of the mind?

Like the similar discussion the other day, I think much of the disagreement would disappear if we stick to a strict use of language. that word IS again. We want to know what the truth is, and we disagree. But is it true that science or mysticism can make a claim to absolute truth? Id say ultimately all we have are our own maps, opinions, beliefs, hypotheses about what reality is. What it actually IS, we never know. So if we stick to what we know, all we can really say is how something seems to us, not how something actually is.

To be fair, science makes a careful effort to test our beliefs about the world. But that testing still doesnt tell us what the world is, only which ideas about the world are useful. for instance, I belief that water boils at 100C. I still dont absolutely know anything for certain about water, but my belief seems to come true, over and over. I dont actually know what the truth is, but I do notice the world seems consistant.

Of course that consistancy gets a little problematic when we try to understand the mind, which is what we talk about around here. Maybe thats why the hard sciences would rather forget the mind and study the brain. Thats fine, but...there never was a brain studied that wasnt in a mind :)

Anyway, its not as much fun, but what if we all just described how things seem to us?

There seems to be a God to me

There doesnt seem to be any god at all to me.

The brain seems created by the mind to me.

The mind seems like a product of the brain to me.

Ok, so we see things differently. Whats wrong with that? No disagreement necessary. Avoid any absolute statements about reality, stick to our experience, and how can we disagree?

All so-called truths seem like opinions to me.
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Post by ninjin » Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:28 am

Webwanderer wrote: So you say. But that depends on your world view. In a wider view than is available from an egocentric perspective, there is a relationship to the chair, and for that matter all form within awareness, that makes the question quite relevant.
It depends on how you label it. Of course physics can be explained through beautiful allegories. If you write about something most will say that you write make so much sense. Its called group thinking. The same behavior is found in most human groups who share a belief. For example one forum where I have been active there were a lot of talking regarding NDEs, OBE and such. But no one really question anything. They all agreed based on there shared belief system. The fact that NDEs is only experienced in 12% of all wakeful deaths they simply ignored since that didn't fit their belief. The same goes with talking about enlightenment. I'm not the first to make this observation at this forum.
The question one should ask oneself is why do I label it this way?
Why do I put my experience in this context?
Consider for a moment the relationship inherent within a dream. The dream character that the dreamer identifies with routinely interacts with characters and forms within the dream. Is their relationship pointless to the dream character? How about the dreamer? Is there a comparison to the awakened state? I think you would agree that such a comparison is not completely pointless. But science in this context is somewhat impotent. Freud supposedly had it all figured out, but where is his science now?
It depends on how you define a dream character. Does the character think? If it does not think the relationship is pointless. There might be reason for the relationship but that is not the same it has a point or meaning. There is no inherent meaning in the universe or in life it just is as it is. There is a reason why things are the way they are but that doesn't mean that it has a point. A pointless joke so to speak :lol:.
Also Freud was wrong. His method never helped anyone. The only thing that has helped people is cognitive therapy that is based on how the brain actually functions.
In fairness, all you can say honestly is that you don't understand what is being discussed, and that is because you have not had the awakening experience that many have had. You are free to discount it, but it will be a difficult case to make with someone who has a direct understanding of concept base identity.

There is no discussion most of the time only statements that agree with eachother ergo signs of groupthinking.
Do you know who is awaken by reading their postings? If so what does a post by someone awaken say? Is there a pattern? If there is a pattern then it can be reproduced and give the impression that the one who wrote it is awaken. As you say it is a personal experience.

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Post by kullukid » Fri Jul 13, 2007 12:31 pm

When a enlighten person speaks teachings from ancient scriptures as those were the truth only show that they themselves are not free. They are stuck in a social context. Their upbringing or socialization make them put their experience in a religious context. To semi quote J.Krishnamurti. Listen to other people but don't take what they say to be the truth.
For example Ramana Maharashi says that one should enquire "Who am I?". But he himself does not question who he is. He is trapped in a social context and try to explain his experience based on the culture in which he lives using ancient scriptures but he does not question the culture. He takes the scriptures explanations to be the truth.
Who are these "enlightened persons" that you are referring to? Are you saying you believe in "enlightened persons?"
IMHO In recent times Jiddu Krishnamurti, Ramana Maharishi & Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj gave the appearance of being enlightened, but i'm not aware of them "using ancient scriptures" to explain there experiences, in fact all three of these tended to avoid the use of "ancient scriptures" whatsoever. Can you provide any quotes from these three where they have referred to "ancient scriptures?" :) KK
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Post by ninjin » Fri Jul 13, 2007 2:52 pm

kullukid wrote: Who are these "enlightened persons" that you are referring to? Are you saying you believe in "enlightened persons?"
IMHO In recent times Jiddu Krishnamurti, Ramana Maharishi & Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj gave the appearance of being enlightened, but i'm not aware of them "using ancient scriptures" to explain there experiences, in fact all three of these tended to avoid the use of "ancient scriptures" whatsoever. Can you provide any quotes from these three where they have referred to "ancient scriptures?" :) KK
You are misquoting me. I wrote "When a enlighten person speaks teachings from ancient scriptures as those were the truth only show that they themselves are not free. They are stuck in a social context."

Have only read a little of JKs writings. He produced a ton. Wouldn't call him enlightened thou. SNM haven't read anything by that one.
But RM I have read some. He speaks of rebirth, birth, death and karma. He also speaks of Siva and other manifestations of Brahman. These things is discussed in "The teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi" and also "RM and the path of self knowledge". Haven't read "The spiritual teachings of RM" yet.
Also Shakyamuni Buddha spoke of these things.

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Post by lucy » Sun Jul 15, 2007 6:38 pm

I don't think religon has anything to do with this. Most religons were formed around individuals who seemed to be "aware that they were aware" It was when they tried to explain it to others that "concepts" arose and thus later developed into religous ideas.

Ninjin, you stated that you don't think we are separte from our universe, I don't think you would get an arguement from anyone here on that point. I think science accepts that everything in the universe is just vibrating energy, including us. The only difference is that there is something about us beyond our senses that lets us be aware that we are aware. How do we know it't beyond our senses? Because when most people lose consciousness they usually know that they lost consciousness upon regaining it.

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Post by Goldenflutist » Sun Jul 15, 2007 7:34 pm

Most religons were formed around individuals who seemed to be "aware that they were aware" It was when they tried to explain it to others that "concepts" arose and thus later developed into religious ideas.
I think the above statement is more or less my view as well. I came close to understanding "the universe" in an organized religious framework. I tried to understand the pointers but the dogmas and doctrines of each religion prevented me from going any further, and resulted in frustration. As I stated in my first thread, I became a hard-core atheist and proceeded to try and convince the religious world that they were morons, (egoism at its worst) that religion is nothing more than a crutch to escape from the realities of life and death. I needed to find something in between. I feel Tolle's pointers have come closer to any, so I am resting here.
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Post by ninjin » Sun Jul 15, 2007 7:59 pm

lucy wrote:I don't think religon has anything to do with this. Most religons were formed around individuals who seemed to be "aware that they were aware" It was when they tried to explain it to others that "concepts" arose and thus later developed into religous ideas.
Don't really know what part of the discussion you are referring to here. The oldest religions have little in common with those religions that have enlightened people. Such as Hinduism and those that evolved from that belief system, Jainism and Buddhism. Burying the dead is probably the foundation of all religions. As soon as we started to bury the dead we embarked on a spiritual journey that isn't over yet. The worship of nature and spirits are probably the oldest forms of religion.
lucy wrote: ... I think science accepts that everything in the universe is just vibrating energy, including us.
Well there isn't really any evidence for the theory of vibrating strings of energy.
lucy wrote: The only difference is that there is something about us beyond our senses that lets us be aware that we are aware. How do we know it't beyond our senses? Because when most people lose consciousness they usually know that they lost consciousness upon regaining it.
Why the talk of senses? The consciousness is situated in the brain, where we don't know yet. If we remove all sensory inputs and the connection the body you will still be aware. So it has to be somewhere in the brain.
You only know that you've lost consciousness if you are aware that you are losing it. If it is instant you think that no time has past and you don't know what have happened.
I don't know what constitutes consciousness. Which animals are conscious? What is required for something to have consciousness?
I believe that "I" do not exist when the body is a sleep. I look at it as an computer. When you cut the power the computer is useless. When you go to sleep you cut the connection to the consciousness and therefor seize to exist when the connection is reestablished the sense of "I" awake.

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Post by Webwanderer » Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:49 pm

ninjin wrote:Why the talk of senses? The consciousness is situated in the brain, where we don't know yet. If we remove all sensory inputs and the connection the body you will still be aware. So it has to be somewhere in the brain.
Isn't this just speculation? The origin of consciousness has not been conclusively determined. The brain may well be a reciever through which a universal awareness perceives. Add to that the brain's storehouse capacity for memories and concepts of perception, and it's easy to see how personality perspectives develope and individualization manifests. All other foibles of the brain add further distinction to the individualization causing further refinement of personality, and in most cases the presumtion of seperateness from other manifestations of form.

Science may look at brain function but it is unlikely to demonstrate an origin of awareness.
Well there isn't really any evidence for the theory of vibrating strings of energy.
Why did you add the "strings" to lucy's comment on vibrating energy? String theory is a whole different issue. It's fairly well known that all matter is in motion, and at its fundamental level energy vibrates into frequencies of light.

Goldenflutist wrote:As I stated in my first thread, I became a hard-core atheist and proceeded to try and convince the religious world that they were morons, (egoism at its worst) that religion is nothing more than a crutch to escape from the realities of life and death. I needed to find something in between. I feel Tolle's pointers have come closer to any, so I am resting here. I was under the impression this forum was about Tolle and his writing.
You are correct in your assumption, although I would have to say it's more about his teachings than Tolle the man. If anything, one of Tolle's core teachings is that it is essential to live in direct awareness of being, and to avoid attachment to teachers. We subscribe to that whole heartedly.

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