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romansh

Two Birds

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"Quantum" refers to how at a very small, building-block level, energy comes in steps. It's not a continuous variable. That's it. It's not at all mystical. That there are spooky things like quantum entanglement of co-created particles is intriguing, but there's no way the whole universe is entangled this way, even if all our heavier atoms came from the same supernova. That's not co-created enough. That's the science.

 

To a neuroscientist, "conscious" means ordinarily awake, as I am typing this. It's also not at all mystical. It's just phenomenology.

 

When someone uses a term like "quantum consciousness", therefore, it can have no meaning in science, no matter what degrees the speaker has. It's worse than a mixed metaphor. The speaker means whatever he or she means. The listener hears whatever he or she hears. Such is the imprecise way of language. But it's not science.

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Eastern thought, it seems to me, is a contradiction in terms as it seems to value non-thinking. :)

 

 

As would I, Rom. I suspect the only times are brains aren't thinking is when we are dead. :)

 

Bill I have to admit when I juxtapose your two quotes I get a certain degree of cognitive dissonance.

;)

Edited by romansh

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Joseph,

 

I watched half of "What the Bleep Do We Know" and while I found it entertaining, I found it to be far from scientific insight into the nature of reality. As I understand it, quantum physics is not true science at this point, but only speculative theory. This doesn't make QP wrong, but neither does it make it right. But the notions presented in the film that there is no reality outside of us, well, to me is pure New Age clap-trap. For instance, the authors of the film say that what we think to be material reality (chairs, tables, rocks, etc.) are mere illusions in our minds. And then when Judy Zebra Knight, who claims to be channeling a 35,000 being, started in with her assertions, I knew that, for me, this film abandoned any serious science or documentary format and went into mystical claims with absolutely no way to verify them.

 

To be fair, Christianity often shares this same approach. Paul claims to be "channeling" Christ. And the gospels are replete with accounts of miracles that don't line up with reality as we know or understand it.

 

I do believe in positive thinking in that we can and should have a positive effect upon the physical world. But I don't believe we create reality. I think we perceive it and interpret it. If you looked at a chair and said it was a chair while I insisted that it was an elephant, reason tells me that one of us is wrong, no matter how "one" we may think creation to be.

 

As I've said before, I have a paradigm that, for the most part, works for me. There is still mystery in my world. But I don't have much use for these kinds of claims that have no basis in the reality that most of us live in. Entertaining, yes. And I really like Marlee Matlin. But I don't see how any scientist could claim that this movie reflects the best current understanding of quantum physics. To me, it is simply more of the New Age "you are god" message that is little more than idolatry.

 

It was interesting though, until I could take no more. :)

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Bill,

 

It is a rather outdated film (2004). it was quite controversial because it posits a spiritual connection between QP and consciousness.. QP is indeed a branch of science. All in the documentary were not scientists as you also mentioned. There is more up to date information available . While it is considered as you say theory, it is based on scientific physical phenomena at microscopic scales that are repeatable. .To me, this makes it deserving of some study by those who are more scientific minded. (excludes me) :)

 

As you know, even electricity is theory. We know much about it but we can't can't see it , only the effects or manifestations of it. Perhaps QP is similar in that physical phenomenon is manifested from that which is not seen (waves of energy). We may not understand it exactly but we form theories to explain the behavior of matter and accept them if the effects are demonstrable, and repeatable. While Quarks, Gulons. and the like are mysteries to me and are not something that really interest me, it seems to me that recent QP discoveries are supporting what SOME mystics have been saying as best they could in words for a long time.

 

Anyway, glad you found it somewhat entertaining. I agree with you that the lady mystic seemed a bit far out and "new agey". but after all, i feel no need to either have to accept or have to reject what she says. If i can't receive it, perhaps i can just let it pass without judgment..

 

Joseph

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Joseph,

 

I do admire your gift/talent for being able to let things pass without judgment if you can't receive them. That is, I suspect, a large part of what makes you an amiable moderator here.

 

I, on the other hand, and for better or worse, have a compass that, at least for me, still points to a true north. And I tend to be a pragmatist, so some of the technicalities of theory are lost on me. For instance, theory says that atoms are made up of tiny protons, neutrons, and electrons (plus mostly empty space) that are constantly in motion. But we find fossilized bones that, despite having their molecular makeup made of tiny moving things, have not changed significantly in millions of years. I'm no scientist, but I can't help but wonder why these things haven't dissolved in all of these years if their reality is nothing more than tiny bits that are constantly in motion.

 

On the other side are claims that people make to know what is real (especially in spiritual areas) that have no way of being verified. One of the reasons I find Progressive Christianity appealing is because it is a way to still value some of Jesus' teachings without having to believe that he walked on water or turned water into wine or cast out demons or was born of a virgin. PC, for me, helps me to get behind and beyond the myth which has no basis in reality (the way the world seems to work in a consistent, rational manner).

 

I know that these things are not the end-all. There are intangible realities, such as the fruit of the spirit, that I believe are very real without having a molecular makeup as such. And many of these do make life worth living. But I was under the power of institutional religion for so many years that told me I had to believe in things which are not real or don't make sense, that, yes, I do tend to be judgmental. The good thing is that I really don't care what people like Mrs. Knight believe or how they understand reality as long as they do no harm to others. I can say that I don't see things as they do without saying that they are going to hell (ha ha), and I like having that kind of freedom.

 

Have a good day!

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Joseph,


In WTBDWK, I did get a kick out of how Marlee’s character became more and more anxious as she began to grasp the movie’s theme that we really don’t know reality, that all we really have available to us is the constructs of our own mind. Psychology tells us that insanity is not being able to distinguish between reality (what exists outside of us and is verifiable) and fantasy (the way we think things are that has no basis in external evidence). And because we are creatures who seem to need patterns and structures in our lives, repeatability so-to-speak, to think that reality is nothing but fuzziness or the unknowable, utter randomness, could indeed lead one to anxious living.


But, to me, the fact that we don’t know what the tiniest bits of reality are made up of doesn’t bother me in the least. This aspect of reality doesn’t affect my day to day living.


As you know, I am a metrologist for Lockheed Martin. My job consists of measuring unknowns against knowns in order to determine how close an unknown actually is to the known. So accuracy in my job matters. But there are levels of accuracy involved. For instance, if I measure gauge blocks, I measure them down to millionths of an inch, usually to within plus and minus 5 millionths. But the users of the gauge blocks only use them down to thousands of an inch. They don’t care if a gauge block is 3 millionths too thick or 4 millionths too thin. For their purposes, a 1 inch gauge block is 1 inch, but they can look up the certified value if they need that kind of accuracy. The company that certifies our gauge blocks has even better accuracy than we do and at that level, no two gauge blocks measure exactly the same. There are variances and that is okay as long as we take those variances into account if we need high accuracy. This is how physics work in my everyday world. I know that I don’t work with absolute values. But the practical needs that we have don’t require absolutes, only close approximations that give us repeatability and reliability in our measurements. So just because I don’t know the absolute value of a 1 inch gauge block, it does not follow that the gauge block does not, therefore, exist.


Similarly, just because we don’t know the smallest bits of reality or exactly how they work, it does not follow that reality is not, therefore, real. It is real enough. It gives us enough repeatability and reliability that we can build our lives on it in meaningful and satisfying ways. I don’t know what things (?) like quarks and gluons and dark matter really are. I find it fascinating to consider what theories might speculate about these things. But my day to day life does not require me to be knowledgeable about the workings of these things. I don’t need that kind of accuracy in order to live my life. And if I did, then I, too, would be as anxious as Marlee’s character who seems paralyzed because she doesn’t know what is real and can’t be sure whether or not she can know.


Perhaps it is all a dream within the mind of what we call God. But it seems real enough. And that is enough for me.

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Joseph,

 

Perhaps it is all a dream within the mind of what we call God. But it seems real enough. And that is enough for me.

 

Me too.

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This world of dew
is only a world of dew -
and yet

 


A haiku by Issa, written after the death of one of his children

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Not for me.

 

Rom,

 

What is it you are in need of to make it enough? Just curious.

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Rom,

 

What is it you are in need of to make it enough? Just curious.

 

Absolutely nothing. I am not in need.

Strange question I thought.

 

Regarding Bill our Lockheed Martin metrologist - giving examples of sizes in Imperial Units. Apparently somethings from before the nineteenth century are still in fashion.

 

I wonder if LM measures force (thrust) in poundals ... I somehow doubt it.

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Juris, can I ask, if you are not in need, why, as an affirmed agnostic, does a Christianity forum interest you?

 

Most Christians would affirm that God exists. If your mind is already made up about that, what do you seek here? Are you, perhaps, looking for some kind of "progressive Christian" insight where James is concerned? If so, I think it is a fair statement that progressive Christians have a wide range of views on what is usually called the afterlife and we are usually very non-dogmatic about it. Personally, I think we all return to our Creator. What happens then? Now, that, I am agnostic about.

Edited by BillM

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Juris, can I ask, if you are not in need, why, as an affirmed agnostic, does a Christianity forum interest you?

 

Most Christians would affirm that God exists. If your mind is already made up about that, what do you seek here? Are you, perhaps, looking for some kind of "progressive Christian" insight where James is concerned? If so, I think it is a fair statement that progressive Christians have a wide range of views on what is usually called the afterlife and we are usually very non-dogmatic about it. Personally, I think we all return to our Creator. What happens then? Now, that, I am agnostic about.

 

Perhaps this is a case of equivocation on either or both our parts.

 

Needs ... Do I have a need to be here? I don't think so. There is no conscious part of me that says, "I need to be here on the Progressive Christian website"

 

This Clarence Darrow quote gives a sense where I am coming from

 

Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails.

 

Why am I here? I chased a Spong thread and I am here for a while. This is definitely not my "home" site.

This is.

 

I see some value in the Abrahamic texts, so long as they are not taken literally three times a day with food.

 

Is the Christian shell better than any other religious shell? I suspect not, but it is more readily available.

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An afterthought on Why am I here?

 

Bill as you no doubt aware "Why?" is one of those question words that have some unintended connotations.

 

It assumes a purpose ... where in fact there may be none.

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Two birds of beautiful plumage, comrades,
Inseparable, live on the selfsame tree.
One bird eats the fruit of pleasure and pain;
The other looks on without eating.

 

 

I am two birds.

Both of the world and not.

I am the seer and the seen.

I am that and that is me.

Add awareness and there are three.

Edited by Larry

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Isn't there unity before awareness/distinction followed by the struggle for unity?

The key word is "inseparable." There are two: 1) the seer and 2) the seen. Awareness is the third that looks at the seer and the seen.

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