One problem with mystics and mystic wannabes is that they so often have an underdeveloped rationality. It gives mysticism a bad name.
For instance, an inordinate amount have the magical/mythical belief that if but ye had faith, ye could move mountains.
On some respectable web forums, dealing with Kundalini and meditative absorption, some posited that reality may be so dream like as to possibly be as mutable by mind as it is in a dream:
— Joel Hikari wrote: > Reality as you perceive it is nothing else than a thought form. All what you can see around you has been created using the power of manifestation of thoughts. Thoughts DO control reality.
Ok, test your meme Joel. Test your mental construct, against others that disagree, and see whose is more robust. Can yours create a rocket ship that can go to the moon?
I mean, create it for real, not just “if” you really believe hard enough.
The peter pan principle only works for children and
>Science is the very energy that allows us to continue the concept that anything is possible.
That’s not an accurate reflection at all of what science does. Science does not show is that it is possible for Pi to equal any number. It shows a specific value for Pi. Science shows us the constraints that the universe operates under. Science measures what is “out there”, and tests it against our theories. Theories are adjusted depending upon what is measured. Do you see the difference? Science may invent new ways to deal with what is out there, but these new ways are dependent upon the specific limitations on how things out there interact and work.
Maybe I’m just not being clear enough, or maybe there is some resistance to the idea that the world has set patterns, that are measurable. The earth follows a mathematically describable elliptical orbit around the sun. This is one example of an objective fact, that is independent of the magical powers of the observer. It did not take the evolution of aware creatures to bring this orbit into being. The objects appeared before the subjects, and may long outlive the subjects.
Science measures and discovers the limits of physical interaction – these interactions are givens – the mind does not create or change these limitations – they are properties of the physical universe, before you were born, and after you die.
> What is scientifically possible in this moment has nothing to do with what will be possible 10 years from now.
Certainly we will discover new aspects about the universe that exists out there. It is still a universe that exists, independent of your ideas about it. We will learn to see it more clearly, and manipulate it better.
>…There is a very wide gap between excepting the world as it is and believing you can fly or walk through walls. We all create our worlds with our minds, if we didn’t there would be one concrete interpretation of every scientific measurement we have identified in this moment and there would be no progression.
No, we don’t all create our world with our minds. What we create is the interpretation of our world. The facts are given to us, and from the facts we order them into our interpretations of the facts. We don’t create facts. Turn on the local news channel, and tell me if you created the middle east conflict with your mind.
> There is a very human compulsion to expand from a given measurement and this compulsion comes from the human mind interpreting through it’s own reality.
Yes, you’ve got it. We interpret. We start with a given, then order that as interpretation. We don’t create the givens. We interpret them. We can’t interpret our way into being a giant balloon filled with lighter than air lead.
If you think we can, prove it. Not with ideas, but in real life. Prove it.
>; Science and the ability to measure progress is the very proof that everything and anything is possible through thought.
That is precisely incorrect. It is the proof that the limits of how things actually work can work for us – we can create tools out of these limits. It is the understanding of limits, boundaries, that allows for creative construction.
Another poster mentioned that the reason people cling to certainties, such as the world not being similar to a dream, is that in this busy modern world, we need the solace and comfort of rock steady notions.
We all look for certainty – pattern recognition is hard wired into how our brain functions And cognitive dissonance hurts – when we see information that doesn’t fit with our current world view, it’s easier to dismiss the new info.
We are infected by memes, and these memes inhabit us, and pull our strings. Then we get meme wars. My idea is more robust than your idea.
But don’t assume that reality is a meme that is eny more entrenched than is an idea of unreality. Both are memes. People defend both views.
Wasn’t it Nagarjuna who said “To believe in reality is foolish. To believe in emptiness is even more foolish”
Do you want to protect the fish in the sea? Do you take pleasure in making love? Emptiness shmemptiness.
Edward-Casper Dahle wrote: For a while I’ve been playing with the thought that the reality or the waking state of the mind is a dream. A projection of the mind, just like the dreams when you’re sleeping may be a projection of the mind.
Some people think that truth is worth pursuing, and that there is a difference between fact and opinion. Others think that we should respect the faiths of others, all viewpoints are equally valid.
Science won. You don’t get to vote on what your opinion is on how many electrons are in the outer valence shell of hydrogen. The quantifiable world has, inarguably, been dominated by those that measure it. The mind only subjectivists and their Peter Pan theory of that if you believe hard enough you can fly and walk through walls aren’t the ones producing the DVD players that you use.
So, sure, you can “believe” that there is no substantive difference between a dream and the waking world. But it’s a rather impotent belief, and one that does not take into account as much information as does one that can notice that only in this world can we have an intersubjective reality – communication among people.
We require the material of objects, objective reality, to carry our signals. No matter if the material of objects is fundamentally empty, or made out of space. It makes no difference. What is objective is that what is around us affects us indipendantly of our will, and our will is not omnipotent in affecting what is around us. There are both exteriors, and interiors. Objects, and subjects. You can think anything you like, but if you want to think coherently, I can see no other conclusion.
Ken Wilber is most articulate about this. He sums it up this way. “You don’t create your world with your mind. Psychotics create their world with their mind” Ancient sages used to talk about standing in front of Elephants. Mind over matter? If you can’t prove it, it’s an idea that you want, not a search for truth, that can accept painful truth.
Timothy McKee wrote:
> You make a statement that you have not heard any successful arguments against objective reality. I think there have been many successful arguments against objective reality, way too numerous to name. The UniverseEqualsHolog ram perhaps would probably be a good place to start. or even the idea of the moon not being there if you do not see it.
Regardless of if the universe is a hologram or a piece of tuna, it still has an objective, measurable component that we can discuss. I can grab at your part of it, and influence you, and you can influence me, regardless of what you are thinking, or if you are asleep or awake. The universe also has a subjective component. But you can neither reduce the objective to the subjective as vice versa. Neither reduces to the other.
Even strict subjectivists will tell you that mind over matter is not a good idea when standing in front of a speeding train. The peter pan principle is merely that. A principle. A nice idea. If you can make it work in the objective world, we’ll all be thankful.
Timothy McKee> wrote: I think the “measurable component” has proven to be problematic. Perhaps the subjective/objective e dyad has limitations in itself. Certainly the Gurdjieffian triad transcends the dyad.
Can we be specific about what is problematic about a community of peers sharing observations to come as close as possible to the most inclusive and reproducible theory? It’s what physical scientists, and meditators do. We build consensual reality through intersubjective dialogue. To me this implies the common sense notion that we don’t create the world with our mind, we observe our world, interact with it, and discuss it.
There is a world of difference between subtle powers and magical thinking. For instance I practice chi-kung healing, and don’t understand how that works, that awareness seems to be able to transmit without touch. I feel and perceive this. The biggest rational picture I can make of this is to include into my picture the words “i don’t know” in the blank spots.
If extensive double blind research showed that the effects are purely hypnotic and suggestive, etc, I’d have to include that into the facts that I have to use to build the most coherent world view.
I can’t just pick and chose which facts I’m comfortable with. *I* can’t. Many do.
I love cognitive dissonance. If something doesn’t fit, that is something that is interesting.
There are many people who really love the world view that they hold some hidden inner omniscient power over all, that they could uncover. The facts don’t support such a view – it is magical, wishful thinking.
Prove me wrong – many would love to see it. There are millions of dollars in rewards for any demonstration of psy.
We do measure our world, no problem. I don’t see meditators working in factories pumping out DVD players with their refined intention of will. I see mechanics and materials scientists and electrical engineers making them. The measurers win the philosophical question of whether there is an external reality.
And as for a Dyad, I am not directly familiar with your reference, but I assume the third would be non-duality. Which we can’t exactly talk about, nor does it negate the objective component to reality.
One reason I go to all the trouble to point out the errors in these mythical world views with their magical thinking, is that I think the mystical and meditative paths have a lot to offer, but if the practitioners wind up looking like new age nut jobs, with little grasp of basic thinking skills and scientific understanding, our case loses traction, and we wind up sidelined and misunderstood and ignored.
If the meditative insight of oneness gets translated into words and ideas through a pre-rational world view, there will be the idea that our personal ego contains the world, and therefore we can manipulate all of everything.
We need to develop our rationality, and translate meditative insight through robustly rational and transrational organs of image organization.
We have to include all the knowledges of science, and use our rational skills, as well as our transrational skills. Leave being pre-rational to the creationists. It looks naive and out of touch, at best.