Please let us explore 'spirituality' and this means being free to question

Discussion in 'The big picture' started by zvall, Jul 26, 2012.

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  1. Ludi

    Ludi Junior Member

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    I think one of the main ideas of science is that all physical effects can be explained eventually. In science there is no concept of a physical effect or part of the natural world which can't be explained by science. In science, there is no "energy" which is beyond the eventual ability of science to measure and define it. Science does not deal with the supernatural, that is, effects outside of or beyond the natural world. Subjective experiences which can't be replicated, observed by others, or measured and documented don't find their place in science. And I think this is why spirituality doesn't have a place in teaching permaculture. Spiritual experiences are subjective, permaculture seems to be an objective design science.
     
  2. NGcomm

    NGcomm Junior Member

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    Touche, if you are being flippant, otherwise the comment is rather scary :)
     
  3. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    I don't consider it to be a fact either. First you would have to define what you mean by reincarnation. Then you would need to demonstrate how it is a fact. There is nothing wrong with the subjective. There is something wrong with presenting the subjective as fact.
     
  4. Ludi

    Ludi Junior Member

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    Yes, that's what I mean, pebble. The common understanding of reincarnation is the rebirth of the soul in a new body. Science doesn't have a definition of reincarnation or of the soul nor means to measure the existence of the soul. I do not see E=MC2 as an expression of reincarnation as a "fact" I see it as a belief. There would need to be a replicable experiment showing the soul being reborn in a new body, demonstrating how that is an expression of E=MC2. I would certainly like to see the peer-reviewed papers about those experiments!
     
  5. NGcomm

    NGcomm Junior Member

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    Correct to you both but as I stated in my comment, E=MC2 is a valid expression of reincarnation IF you remove the need for an 'I' in the rebirth process. If you can't do that then it is an invalid explanation. I have no need for an I or soul to be included in reincarnation. I am more than happy to appreciate myself as simply being a conglomeration of atoms that were at one stage in time parts of stars exploding out from the big bank, nothing more, nothing less. And quantum mechanics states that any atom that has ever been in contact with another atom will instantaneously transmit information to that atom even if they are now on the opposite sides of the universe. Therefore, for me, science explains how the body I presently delude myself that I own can re-purpose itself in time and space without the need for an I or soul to be part of that 'reincarnation'.

    PS - can you tell me where this 'soul' is in my body that you allude to as without it I have no need to include it in any theories of reincarnation?
     
  6. Ludi

    Ludi Junior Member

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    Key words "therefore, for me, science explains." You are stating a belief. Yours is a personal definition of reincarnation. There is no place for personal definitions in science. Again, I do not accept your personal belief as a fact. :)

    Incidentally, if I were to choose some aspect of science to reflect reincarnation it would be the conservation of energy, not E=MC2. It just makes more sense, for me. :)
     
  7. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    I agree, 'reincarnation' doesn't mean what you think to most people who use the term, esp people who don't believe in reincarnation. It refers specifically to soul not matter. You can use the word 'reincarnation' in your own personal way if you want, but most people won't be able to understand you, and IMO it's a misappropriation of a very useful term in terms of communicating ideas.

    I'm sorry to hear you don't know what a soul is. Seems to be a common problem in some circles. Where the soul is is the wrong question ;-)
     
  8. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    So much discussion in this little thread. It spans across so many topics that it gets confusing...

    On the 'should spiritual philosophy be included in PC training?' thing. Previously I have said they probably should be kept separate. Upon further reflection I realised that had it not been raised as an issue I would not have given it another thought. I don't think it matters in the bigger picture. So I have changed my response to - people should be free to do as they see fit, who am I to say what is right or wrong in this regard.

    In many ways I feel that permaculture suffers most from labelling itself.

    On the science vs the rest thing... Well, what can you really say? There has been discussions about this stuff for centuries, sometimes people even go to war over it. To me, dogma more than anything else has no place in permaculture. My experience, and I take it the experiences of many thousands or millions of others, is that there is much more to the universe than the physical 'reality' of things. The spiritual and the mental are at least equally relevant and real. Scientific method is only about the measurable, about the physical universe - it cannot and never will be able to measure the other 'two thirds' or two aspects of what I hold to be reality. However, it is possible for us to understand our mental and spiritual realms better through the reflections scientific and other physical world experiences provide us with. I think it is ignorant, naive and limiting to assume the physical reality is the only one. It certainly isn't my experience.

    Perception is reality.

    To me permaculture has tendrils in my mind, body and spirit. It does not define my mind and spirit, but it does now influence my physical doings. It is important as a physical manifestation that harmonises with my mind and spirit. It is a set of tools that expands across all three aspects of reality but it is the physical realm tools that I look for in learning about it. If and when I do a PDC it will be the technology I am after, first and foremost. Any nourishment to the mind and spirit will be an added bonus.

    Another 2 cents deposited :)
     
  9. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    Well said Grahame. Summed it up for me as well. :)
     
  10. zvall

    zvall Junior Member

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    I don't want you to think I am anti science, of course I am not. It is a tool. But to impose its model onto ALL of reality is when it becomes a religion called scientism. When it states, as the previous quote I showed above, that because something cannot be measured it does not exist---that is NOT science but religion. I get this sense from some here, who will promote science as THE arbiter of reality, and of permaculture. But what about indigenous wisdom? First of all do you discount ancient knowledge and 'non-scientific' knowledge. You should read also the book I mentioned above---read about it, and reviews, see what you think: The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge, by Jeremy Narby, and here is it PDF so you can read more about 'pre-scientific' indigenous knowledge (which confounds science)
    So we are not dicrediting the advances in science, but also please be aware of what we may have lost, and be losing?


    As for the idea that 'we don't know now but we may soon know, even if it is 50 or 5000 years'. OK, I want you to consider these two terms 'known' and 'unknown'. First understand they are words, and that they are denoting two extremes of experience. So we hjave conceptually cut these two oppo-sites from each other, yes? But in reality is this so would you say? Or is that they form a dynamic process that can NEVER actually be severed, and this means that there must always be the unknown? What do you think?
     
  11. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Have to say that Unmutual's positing of indigenous knowledge (and science!) as superstition made me cringe. Sorry Unmutual, but your descriptions of ancient peoples is very ignorant, equally as ignorant as religious people who don't understand science. Indigenous knowledge and practice underpins permaculture. These things didn't just jump fully formed from Mollison and Holmgren's heads.

    "When science was in its infancy, it couldn't explain why people got sick until the microscope and we discovered microorganisms. "

    Science is still in its infancy (or maybe its teen years with all the arrogance, risk taking and idiocy that can involve by some). Understanding microbes is useful, no doubt about that, but the loss of ability to work with the whole is one we are feeling keenly on the planet right now.

    You will be aware I assume that we've had antibiotics for maybe half a century and we're already well on the way to wrecking that advantage. Fifty years, it's unbelievable.
     
  12. zvall

    zvall Junior Member

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    I want to also say this because I forgot in last post, I remember watching the amazing video, The Permaculture Concept (and I think it was quoted in this video), where Hollison said how he had physicist friends who supposedly 'knew' lots about 'energy' as their 'specialization' but YET did not know though how to create their homes etc to live sustainably!
     
  13. zvall

    zvall Junior Member

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  14. Unmutual

    Unmutual Junior Member

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    Unless you want lengthy anthropological posts, all you're going to get is the abbreviated version. I'm not convinced that reductionist science is a failure of science, it's really a failure of man to use science fully. You have to understand the function of the parts, but unfortunately some people don't take a step back to look at the function of the whole, and that includes some medical professionals also. Cancer treatments have begun to look at the whole person recently, which is a good step forward.

    As far as antibiotics go, yes, I'll agree with you. Food production and some doctor's willingness to prescribe medicine when it isn't needed may end up costing us this valuable and simple medicine.

    As far as indigenous knowledge goes, even the myths about Herakles held some truth to them. Herakles didn't necessarily exist, and I doubt many people would believe that he was the child of a god either. The last I read about it, Herakles was more than likely stories about a single king, or multiple kings. And if you look back to the beginning of the thread,
    The thing about myths and legends is that you sometimes have to strip them of their "spiritualness" to get at that kernel of knowledge. I realize that I'm sometimes difficult to follow, and that I don't explain myself well, but I also realize that if I typed out a 5 page response that nobody would read it either.
     
  15. Ludi

    Ludi Junior Member

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    Do you mean something like "The spirit of the plant heals" might mean (in the view of science) "The chemical action of the plant heals" ?
     
  16. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Unmutual, I think I understood your post well enough, it didn't need to be longer. My point is that people who have no spirituality are in no position to judge spirituality. So when I see someone calling indigenous knowledge 'superstition' I know that I am talking to someone who doesn't have the skills and knowledge to speak about the subject.

    If stripping out the spiritual from myth helps you make some sense of the myth, that's great :) But that doesn't mean that the spirit is useless, it just means you have no use for it.
     
  17. Ludi

    Ludi Junior Member

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    I like that observation. I think that's a problem I see with the "science can explain everything" idea. I'm not convinced science can explain everything, even though the claim of science is that it can. Science can explain everything science can explain, but there seem to be a lot of things outside the ability of science to explain, and maybe there always will be. Science is only one method of examining reality. There seem to be others, such as spirituality, esthetics, probably others I'm not thinking of right now.....
     
  18. Ludi

    Ludi Junior Member

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    Maybe they had great knowledge but little wisdom....
     
  19. Ludi

    Ludi Junior Member

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    An esthetic and spiritual way of viewing reality might be symbolized by the Munsell Color Solid*.

    Because the language I communicate in (American English) has no language for how I experience the world, I can't talk about it.

    * or maybe metaphor.....
     
  20. zvall

    zvall Junior Member

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    hah, it just so happens that about two days before reading your reply, I had contacted Dennis Mckenna with a similar question. Here is my question and his--what I think-- great reply:

    Dear Dennis,

    May I ask you this question.

    "It can be explained now that the action of, say eating psilocybin mushrooms, is where : Once ingested most of the Psilocybin is converted into Psilocin within an hour. The alkyl group attached to the indole ring makes the molecule more lipophillic and therefore able to penetrate the central nervous system. It is the phosphoric acid group attached to this ring that is oxidised in the body to the hydroxyl group in Psilocin. It is this Psilocin that is the highly psycho-active compound that actually effects the brain. The structure of psilocybin mirrors that of some neurotransmitters in the brain as it contains the indole ring. This mirroring leads to the psilocybin molecules fitting into receptors in the brain causing over stimulation (trips). Other hallucinogens, such as LSD, contain indole rings and produce similar effects."


    So there is a 'chemical explanation'. In a way it is like saying--hope not to mean this in a crude way--water is 'H20'. I had an experience several years ago at the online forum The Lycaeum. I was talking about water in a spiritual way--if you like--and another poster said, angrily--"water is H20!!!" lol
    Well, yes, but there is more.......!

    So likewise, how do you feel, Dennis, about an ancient metaphor of eating the magic shrooms as being 'possessed by the god'. My favorite is the Lunar mythological interpretation of magic mushrooms as being the son/lover of the Goddess, and once plucked/eat/ingested/sacrificed is 'born again and simultaneously as the 'static you' 'dies' you become possessed/enthused by this ecstatic love for nature. I am just wondering what you feel for metaphors like this. Do you think they should remain in the 'per-scientific' past, or do you think they can still be fruitful interpretations of this mysterious experience?

    Peace

    ps: ps, I have just seen an interesting video where Graham Hancock asks Richard Dawkins if he would take of psychedelics. I wonder if you, or some contacts could arrange this? it would be very interesting to be filmed, if he was willing:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UwvaSLbIgc&feature=g-all-u

    Julian,
    Well there is the chemical explanation for the pharmacology of psilocybin. That's pretty well understood, we know the pharmacokinetics of the compound, the relevant receptors involved, etc. What we don't know is how those biochemical processes can lead to the alterations in consciousness that are so interesting! Which is a part of the larger question, how does biochemistry, specifically neurochemistry, lead to conscious experience at all? How does the brain generate (or detect?) consciousness.
    So then there are the mythical aspects that you describe below. One is not exclusive of the other. We have the reductionist, nuts and bolts picture of what happens, and the experiential picture, interpreted through myths and symbols, etc. You have to take both aspects into consideration; either 'explanation' by itself is incomplete. I think the chief challenge to science in this area is to remain constantly aware of how incomplete the models are. It should not dismiss any evidence because our knowledge is so limited.
    Them's my thoughts.
     
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