Finding Religion

dr wu

Doctor Prog
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
Messages
1,823
Likes
1,179
Points
184
Location
Indiana
Mind you,

If we all sat around in saffron robes looking beatific, nothing would get done.

Isn't there just the faintest whiff of 'freeloader' about these groups ?

INT21
"One does nothing yet nothing is left undone."
Haquin
:)
 

INT21

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
4,752
Likes
3,281
Points
154
"One does nothing yet nothing is left undone."
Haquin

From that the only reasonable conclusion is that there was nothing to be done in the first place.

INT21.
 

INT21

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
4,752
Likes
3,281
Points
154
My well grounded Western Materialism latched on the following from you link.

...and the philosophical Taoism of the Zhuangzi, which emphasizes Wu wei in the sense of not striving, often considering the search for immortality secondary, laughable, or harmful.[

and

... according to Lao Tzu, the attainment of this purely natural way of behaving, as when the planets revolve around the sun. The planets effortlessly do this revolving without any sort of control, force, or attempt to revolve themselves, thus engaging in effortless and spontaneous movement...


I think I'll go with Isaac Newton on this one.

INT21
:)
 

Coal

Polymath Renaissance Man, Italian Wiccan Anarchist
Joined
Jun 27, 2015
Messages
8,866
Likes
10,687
Points
279
"One does nothing yet nothing is left undone."
Haquin

From that the only reasonable conclusion is that there was nothing to be done in the first place.

INT21.
It's something of a Barnum or Forer phrase.
 

dr wu

Doctor Prog
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
Messages
1,823
Likes
1,179
Points
184
Location
Indiana
My well grounded Western Materialism latched on the following from you link.

...and the philosophical Taoism of the Zhuangzi, which emphasizes Wu wei in the sense of not striving, often considering the search for immortality secondary, laughable, or harmful.[

and

... according to Lao Tzu, the attainment of this purely natural way of behaving, as when the planets revolve around the sun. The planets effortlessly do this revolving without any sort of control, force, or attempt to revolve themselves, thus engaging in effortless and spontaneous movement...


I think I'll go with Isaac Newton on this one.

INT21
:)
You are trying to compare apples and oranges ...meaning that the 'philosophical aspects for living' in harmony with life (presented a very long time ago before modern science) are not to be confused with so-called scientific materialism when it comes to physical reality and your microwave oven. Does that help...?
;)
btw...'wu wei' is a precept in Taoism but the idea of living in harmony and with equanimity with Reality is also found in Vedanta and Buddhism.
Again this has nothing to do with what we call science today which addresses reality on a physical level and not on a societal or spiritual one.
 
Last edited:

dr wu

Doctor Prog
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
Messages
1,823
Likes
1,179
Points
184
Location
Indiana
Not really.

It harks back to the difference between 'belief' and 'fact'.

Reality tends to get in the way.

Have you read 'Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance' ?

INT21. :)
Read it many years ago...back when I was into all the eastern ideas.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

INT21

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
4,752
Likes
3,281
Points
154
It does tend to drag a bit at times.

But once you have your mind 'in the groove' it is quite good.

I particularly like the part where the narrator has to have a small welding job done on his bike.

INT21.
 

INT21

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
4,752
Likes
3,281
Points
154
Wu,

...we can use (in this case eastern) to live our lives in a happy contented manner ..

I agree completely.

For me there is always the knowledge that by doing this I am essentially living in two different forms of existence.

The practical side that has to take into account the world as it is. Warts and all.

And the aesthetic side that looks for an inner calm and needs to blank out the real.

INT21.
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
11,497
Likes
12,428
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
Dr Wu / INT21:

It seems to me the difference you've come to debate most recently is a difference that need not make a difference, and illustrates something about the subject of this thread.

The difference lies in how much 'explanation' for (e.g.) a phenomenon one insists on having before one can feel sufficiently satisfied with experiencing said (e.g.) phenomenon.

One doesn't need a detailed knowledge of formal mechanics to enjoy using a swing. On the other hand, one cannot fully understand the mechanics involved without additional abstraction and inference. If you can't enjoy the swing without understanding its operation to such depth, the additional knowledge becomes a requirement for contentment.

It all depends on where one places his / her horizon of explanatory sufficiency. This notion of differing explanatory horizons explains (IMHO) the sort of variations mentioned earlier in how much specificity in, or personal commitment to, explanatory lore (scientific or otherwise) one versus another person needs to accept / adopt to simply 'get along' with acceptable contentment.
 

dr wu

Doctor Prog
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
Messages
1,823
Likes
1,179
Points
184
Location
Indiana
Wu,

...we can use (in this case eastern) to live our lives in a happy contented manner ..

I agree completely.

For me there is always the knowledge that by doing this I am essentially living in two different forms of existence.

The practical side that has to take into account the world as it is. Warts and all.

And the aesthetic side that looks for an inner calm and needs to blank out the real.

INT21.
Why would you want to 'blank out' the real? If you are doing It that way then you are doing It wrong....so say the mystics.
The idea is to be one with whatever reality presents....warts and all.

"The world and the Self are perfect....it is our attitude that needs adjustment."
Nisargadata
 

dr wu

Doctor Prog
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
Messages
1,823
Likes
1,179
Points
184
Location
Indiana
Dr Wu / INT21:

It seems to me the difference you've come to debate most recently is a difference that need not make a difference, and illustrates something about the subject of this thread.

The difference lies in how much 'explanation' for (e.g.) a phenomenon one insists on having before one can feel sufficiently satisfied with experiencing said (e.g.) phenomenon.

One doesn't need a detailed knowledge of formal mechanics to enjoy using a swing. On the other hand, one cannot fully understand the mechanics involved without additional abstraction and inference. If you can't enjoy the swing without understanding its operation to such depth, the additional knowledge becomes a requirement for contentment.

It all depends on where one places his / her horizon of explanatory sufficiency. This notion of differing explanatory horizons explains (IMHO) the sort of variations mentioned earlier in how much specificity in, or personal commitment to, explanatory lore (scientific or otherwise) one versus another person needs to accept / adopt to simply 'get along' with acceptable contentment.
Or to sum it up...
"Truth waits for eyes unclouded by longing."
-Haquin-

:)
 

INT21

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
4,752
Likes
3,281
Points
154
Where I go for the best soup in town is the 'World Peace Cafe' or 'The Buddha House'.

Their motto is 'Soup and Serenity'.

And it is serene. The serenity last until you open the door and go back out into the world again.

INT21
 

altered_boy

your friendly neighborhood alchemist
Joined
Jul 15, 2018
Messages
78
Likes
119
Points
33
Location
USA
Fascinating little roundabout of conversation going on here :cheer:

Not really.

It harks back to the difference between 'belief' and 'fact'.

Reality tends to get in the way.

Have you read 'Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance' ?
For whatever it's worth, I'd say that understanding and separating the difference between fact and belief is a quintessential part of the human experience. it's a constant tightrope and that should be both celebrated and treated with caution. i always found Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance to be a perfect example of this as well. And ima say I don't even think that book dragged, I found it pretty gripping. Dunno if y'all have ever found yourselves in similar positions, where the difference between fact and belief becomes a tightrope mental stability, but I thought the concept was very throught provoking. I'll never look at the word "quality" the same ever again...

I don't think there is much of a difference between the hard sciences and esoteric science beyond what EnolaGaia called the "horizon of explanatory sufficiency."

i provide a quote by CG Jung that I always felt lent a great deal to this classical dichotomy.

"A belief proves to me only the phenomenon of belief, not the content of the belief… If there is something we cannot know, we must necessarily abandon it as an intellectual problem. For example, I do not know for what reason the universe has come into being and shall never know. Therefore I must drop this question as a scientific or intellectual problem. But if an idea about it is offered to me—in dreams or in mythic traditions—I ought take note of it. I even ought to build up a conception on the basis of such hints, even though it will forever remain a hypothesis which I know cannot be proved.” – Carl Jung, Memories Dreams Reflections p. 319, 301-2

Basically, in summary, I think you two are arguing about difference steps of one continuum. The belief develops the fact in one form or another... eventually.
 

Coal

Polymath Renaissance Man, Italian Wiccan Anarchist
Joined
Jun 27, 2015
Messages
8,866
Likes
10,687
Points
279
The difference lies in how much 'explanation' for (e.g.) a phenomenon one insists on having before one can feel sufficiently satisfied with experiencing said (e.g.) phenomenon.

One doesn't need a detailed knowledge of formal mechanics to enjoy using a swing. On the other hand, one cannot fully understand the mechanics involved without additional abstraction and inference. If you can't enjoy the swing without understanding its operation to such depth, the additional knowledge becomes a requirement for contentment.

It all depends on where one places his / her horizon of explanatory sufficiency. This notion of differing explanatory horizons explains (IMHO) the sort of variations mentioned earlier in how much specificity in, or personal commitment to, explanatory lore (scientific or otherwise) one versus another person needs to accept / adopt to simply 'get along' with acceptable contentment.
I like that - it illustrates how a pal of mine can see an old cane fishing rod and considers it a thing of beauty without question and I've already seen the incorrectly spaced rings and the needlessly long handle that will mar its practical use. He will see the matched 'original' thread colours and wax lyrical and I'd take the readjustment of that ring by the required inch if it was held on with a cable-tie.

He and I have different horizons of explanatory sufficiency.

However, in the case of spiritual longing (or 'need to search'), it's (imho) not so much a horizon as a different point of view entirely.

One might apply the "spiritual filter" to the same fishing rod, casting it in the role of a magic wand or other mystical weapon, but the rod, annoyingly, responds only to the laws of Newtonian physics, irrespective of one's beliefs in its mystical potency or one's level of explanatory sufficiency.

So;

"A belief proves to me only the phenomenon of belief, not the content of the belief… If there is something we cannot know, we must necessarily abandon it as an intellectual problem. For example, I do not know for what reason the universe has come into being and shall never know. Therefore I must drop this question as a scientific or intellectual problem. But if an idea about it is offered to me—in dreams or in mythic traditions—I ought take note of it. I even ought to build up a conception on the basis of such hints, even though it will forever remain a hypothesis which I know cannot be proved.” – Carl Jung, Memories Dreams Reflections p. 319, 301-2
Jung nailed it with "A belief proves to me only the phenomenon of belief, not the content of the belief…".

By accepting this - belief 'is what is is' - and that we (humans) are disposed to have spiritual beliefs can, at least for this poster, lead you to a quiet place.

However, despite the words of the great man himself above (Jung ;) ), we are the worst possible candidates for investigating our own beliefs as there's boat-loads of cognitive biases to ensure we usually find what we are looking for.

This [sic.] hypothesis which I know cannot be proved, becomes a belief, the belief becomes 'fact' and the preacher takes his 'facts' to 'convert' the 'non-believers'. Which is where the trouble starts.
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
11,497
Likes
12,428
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
I like that - it illustrates how a pal of mine can see an old cane fishing rod and considers it a thing of beauty without question and I've already seen the incorrectly spaced rings and the needlessly long handle that will mar its practical use. He will see the matched 'original' thread colours and wax lyrical and I'd take the readjustment of that ring by the required inch if it was held on with a cable-tie.

He and I have different horizons of explanatory sufficiency.
I'm having trouble accepting this example (as stated) at face value. The difference you describe has as much or more to do with 'functional acceptability' (as an instrument for fishing) than 'explanatory sufficiency' (e.g., the judged extent to which the old rod represents a candidate example of a fishing rod being sought in the first place).


However, in the case of spiritual longing (or 'need to search'), it's (imho) not so much a horizon as a different point of view entirely.
These two things (horizon; POV) are not alternatives - they are interrelated aspects of any observational context. The observational scope (horizon) affects the set of points of view that may 'fit'. Conversely, any given POV indicates (if only implicitly) the scope (hence 'horizon') of its viability or acceptability.

It's analogous to the interrelationship of depth of field (DOF) versus focus / resolution (F/R) in photography. DOF sets or delimits the 'horizon' for discriminability of objects in the scene, whereas F/R sets or delimits how much you can discriminate about those objects (singly or collectively). You can't change either factor without affecting the other.

Circling back to Ringo's original query as an example ...

The stated objective was to achieve a state of contentment or happiness similar to that attributed to true believers. This may well be accomplished by committing oneself to any of a number of faiths, practices, etc. The 'horizon' (DOF) of concern extends only so far as adopting a palliative worldview, and the 'F/R' can be limited to known alternatives others have used to beneficial effect.

If, on the other hand, Ringo's objective were to be understanding how he fits into the cosmos overall, the 'horizon' (DOF) expands to encompass positions on cosmology, ontology, etc., as arguably unavoidable components of an acceptably complete explanatory worldview, and the set of available options or inspirations (F/R) expands to encompass possibilities that remain speculative.

The former version of a quest can be satisfied by simply declaring, "Works for me!". The latter version entails problems in achieving acceptable coherence among disparate approaches and orientations to vastly more numerous dimensions of reference and effect.
 
Last edited:

INT21

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
4,752
Likes
3,281
Points
154
Ah well.

As all you guys know I do not believe in a God. Of course, I may be wrong.

But I know some of you do.

I need to ask you a favour.

Tonight my ex son-in law's father has come to the end of his road. Years of drinking to much and neglecting himself finally caught up with him.

And they are pulling the plug on him. no hope.

He never asked anything from me.

So, if you do have a bit of space in your schedule, maybe you can offer a prayer for Willie.

It can't hurt.

And it is the last thing I can do for him.


Thanks.

I don't feel like nattering at the moment.

Catch you later.

INT21
 

PeteS

Seeking refuge
Joined
Dec 5, 2016
Messages
940
Likes
1,757
Points
134
Ah well.

As all you guys know I do not believe in a God. Of course, I may be wrong.

But I know some of you do.

I need to ask you a favour.

Tonight my ex son-in law's father has come to the end of his road. Years of drinking to much and neglecting himself finally caught up with him.

And they are pulling the plug on him. no hope.

He never asked anything from me.

So, if you do have a bit of space in your schedule, maybe you can offer a prayer for Willie.

It can't hurt.

And it is the last thing I can do for him.


Thanks.

I don't feel like nattering at the moment.

Catch you later.

INT21
Will do, although never done me any good in the past, but I'll try...
 

INT21

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
4,752
Likes
3,281
Points
154
Dr wu.

I think that the problem with Eastern Mysticism and science is that Eastern philosophy does not need scientific facts.

Spiritualism doesn't particularly care one way of the other. They were probably quite happy with the 'crystal sphere' model.

I don't know if you have ever tried the 'empty your mind completely' exercise.

It can get quite scary.

INT21
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Kingsize Wombat

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Jan 19, 2016
Messages
931
Likes
1,117
Points
134
I don't know if you have ever tried the 'empty your mind completely' exercise. It can get quite scary.

INT21
Really? Why? That is pretty much the point of meditation, which I do regularly. Unless you are trying to hang on to your ego.
 

Coal

Polymath Renaissance Man, Italian Wiccan Anarchist
Joined
Jun 27, 2015
Messages
8,866
Likes
10,687
Points
279
I'm having trouble accepting this example (as stated) at face value. The difference you describe has as much or more to do with 'functional acceptability' (as an instrument for fishing) than 'explanatory sufficiency' (e.g., the judged extent to which the old rod represents a candidate example of a fishing rod being sought in the first place).




These two things (horizon; POV) are not alternatives - they are interrelated aspects of any observational context. The observational scope (horizon) affects the set of points of view that may 'fit'. Conversely, any given POV indicates (if only implicitly) the scope (hence 'horizon') of its viability or acceptability.

It's analogous to the interrelationship of depth of field (DOF) versus focus / resolution (F/R) in photography. DOF sets or delimits the 'horizon' for discriminability of objects in the scene, whereas F/R sets or delimits how much you can discriminate about those objects (singly or collectively). You can't change either factor without affecting the other.

Circling back to Ringo's original query as an example ...

The stated objective was to achieve a state of contentment or happiness similar to that attributed to true believers. This may well be accomplished by committing oneself to any of a number of faiths, practices, etc. The 'horizon' (DOF) of concern extends only so far as adopting a palliative worldview, and the 'F/R' can be limited to known alternatives others have used to beneficial effect.

If, on the other hand, Ringo's objective were to be understanding how he fits into the cosmos overall, the 'horizon' (DOF) expands to encompass positions on cosmology, ontology, etc., as arguably unavoidable components of an acceptably complete explanatory worldview, and the set of available options or inspirations (F/R) expands to encompass possibilities that remain speculative.

The former version of a quest can be satisfied by simply declaring, "Works for me!". The latter version entails problems in achieving acceptable coherence among disparate approaches and orientations to vastly more numerous dimensions of reference and effect.
I was working on a careful reply to this, then AVG installed it's 'safe browser', locked my laptop, had to power cycle it...dammit. I'll do it again. *sighs*
 

dr wu

Doctor Prog
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
Messages
1,823
Likes
1,179
Points
184
Location
Indiana
Dr wu.

I think that the problem with Eastern Mysticism and science is that Eastern philosophy does not need scientific facts.

To paraphrase (someone or other) 'Why let a few facts get in the way of a good story ?'.

It's similar to mainstream religion in that respect, and in a way similar to the whole ufo/Fortean view.

Things happen but we don't know why.

And generally the 'why' of things can be ignored. if you are reaching out to the 'eight fold way'.

'Eight fold way' has a very different meaning in physics. And you definitely need to know the 'why' if studying it.

Going back to Newton.

He was a very religious man. But he still knew there must be a reason for the way the planets moved.

And it wasn't simply because God made it so.

Spiritualism doesn't particularly care one way of the other. They were probably quite happy with the 'crystal sphere' model.

I don't know if you have ever tried the 'empty your mind completely' exercise.

It can get quite scary.

INT21
I still think you are missing the point of being 'at peace' or trying to 'live one's life harmoniously' using an eastern path model (or even a western Christian model) and trying to link it to solving how to make a microwave.
btw as Wombat mentioned it would only be 'scary' to someone attached to his ego and afraid of losing his zipcode in the material world.
;)
 
Last edited:

INT21

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
4,752
Likes
3,281
Points
154
Dr wu,

..btw as Wombat mentioned it would only be 'scary' to someone attached to his ego and afraid of losing his zipcode in the material world. ..

I like that.

And in a way, you are correct. Not because of a loss of ego. But because as the void gets ever deeper there is a feeling that you may not come back out.

Anyway, for me the problem no longer exists. Since my 'mini stroke' back in 2007 I have had a form of tinnitus that means I have a 'zissing' noise as continual background. It isn't noticeable during the day but it won't allow a clearing of the mind.

..what I was talking about regarding using eastern ideas to be at 'one with 'reality'. ..

Isn't the aim to rise above everyday reality; to 'transcend' the daily grind and lift your awareness to a higher plain ?

INT21.
 

dr wu

Doctor Prog
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
Messages
1,823
Likes
1,179
Points
184
Location
Indiana
Dr wu,

..btw as Wombat mentioned it would only be 'scary' to someone attached to his ego and afraid of losing his zipcode in the material world. ..

I like that.

And in a way, you are correct. Not because of a loss of ego. But because as the void gets ever deeper there is a feeling that you may not come back out.

Anyway, for me the problem no longer exists. Since my 'mini stroke' back in 2007 I have had a form of tinnitus that means I have a 'zissing' noise as continual background. It isn't noticeable during the day but it won't allow a clearing of the mind.

..what I was talking about regarding using eastern ideas to be at 'one with 'reality'. ..

Isn't the aim to rise above everyday reality; to 'transcend' the daily grind and lift your awareness to a higher plain ?

INT21.
By becoming 'one with it all' you are then 'rising above' 'everyday reality'....but according to the mystics you aren't ignoring reality but accepting it in a much more holistic and harmonious manner. The problem is trying to explain it in language because it's a 'state' you must be in and not one you can talk about that makes sense to others. At least that's the way I understand it....and again since I'm not in that state it's just a description.
.
 

INT21

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
4,752
Likes
3,281
Points
154
..The problem is trying to explain it in language because it's a 'state' you must be in and not one you can talk about that makes sense to others. ..

I understand pot smokers have the same problem.

INT21.
 

Carl Grove

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Dec 14, 2014
Messages
773
Likes
722
Points
94
Location
Bury St Edmunds
I may as well add my own small observations. (1) Religion, whatever its original impetus, rapidly decays into cultism, belief systems, brainwashing, and power struggles. (2) Like the OP I grew up thinking that science had all the answers and even became a founder of the school atheist and agnostic association. However, I soon had a number of experiences that showed me that things weren't always as scientists thought they were, and (3) went through the usual 1960s alternatives -- yoga, buddhism, zen, Castenada, etc. -- until I found a totally different approach and a set of teachings that is designed for our culture and does not support any of the secondary characteristics of the traditional religions. The drawback -- years and more often decades of effort are needed to detach from the elements (such as the need for conviction, ritual, emotion, and intellectual stimulus) that stand in the way. Worth having a look:
https://idriesshahfoundation.org/
 
Top