Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, Apr 3, 2018.
Nice idea. I found him a bit irritating tbh.
This is the very problem with the arts as they are now. I've heard this often "good artists copy, great artists steal' and it's such a dismissive approach to creativity. Yes, it's true, if you need to make a buck. But the greatest of artists did not do this, their piece of the weave of creation was utterly unique and that's what made it special, and that's why they died in poverty and always will, b/c the market is not reflective, in any way, of true art.
Whaaa?? Is this BS to prove a point? WTF was in that salad?
Yeah, I dunno. It seems to me culture is such a gigantic heap of intertwining influences that to make art is to work in a great chain of influence - working in a line of past endeavour and remembrance that stretches back to the beginning of humanity. I reckon our job is to do those influences justice and add our own contribution to the chain. Good art should cause its history to sing around it.... I think this is part of it's power, the ability to trigger remembrance.
through infusion sweet / Of thine own spirit, which doth in me survive, / I follow here the footing of thy feet.
Then there's inspiration, of course (for which I think no one should take credit [except, perhaps, for making themselves ready to receive it]).
Thanks for that. But the wiki does put an emphases on divinity, so I still think it's a strange catch-all for Radin to use.
Well, you definitely come down on Terrence Mckenna's side vs. Sheldrake's on this one...
For me, if nature is full, at every level, of self-organising wholes with their own ends, nested in larger gestalt wholes, and it is fields of some sort that keep the show on the road, perhaps acting as the link between the implicate and the explicate (like our minds interact with our bodies), and fields of higher complexity systems do exchange information with lower complexity systems..... then it's entirely plausible to me that we could a) be apart, in some way, of the Earth's consciousness, the Solar System's, even, and b) that we could partake in an exchange with higher levels of organisation than ourselves. Of course, this exchange, filtered as it would be through our perceptions, may take on culturally/personally appropriate or very strange forms.
Y'know, if shamans can talk to plants and some parrots can read their owner's minds.... why not?
Maybe the grey aliens are Zeta Reticuli!
Anyway, blah, blah, blah.
The concepts of “all is one” and “all are connected” seem re-occuring, particularly during NDEs but also during other STEs such as messages received during abduction scenario accounts, meditation, or psychedelic use. It seems clear there is something to it. It’s difficult to know what exactly is meant by this when people speak of it though as it probably carries some level of innefebility with it. It seems we are “one” and yet “separate.” They aren’t mutually exclusive, or are they?
Regarding whatever “magic” is; magic is a word we use for something which we feel is contrary to our physical laws. But “REAL magic” is not contrary to any law. It is an underlying theme of reality, just as “real” as the second law of thermodynamics, or gravity. I think, for contemplative purposes, ifs helpful to stop thinking of anamalous phenomena as magical and mystical and recognize them for what they are, part of the genuine fabric of reality. It might seem odd or contrary to our everyday experience, but it is no less real for being so. Those who experience NDEs etc will generally convey the thought that the “spirit realm” is more representative of a fundemental reality than this physical plane is. But that doesn’t mean you can’t study it using material science, but when you do, you need to be careful about your interpretation of the data you glean, because you’re only getting a very small part of the REAL data.
I’d say it’s extraordinarly likely that people have been doing this for much longer than 7,000 years.
I say a Certainty more than "likely".
If all is pattern, and pattern requires a subjective element (the arbitrary designation of boundaries), then it is an arbitrary choice whether to see the perspective of individuated existence or the perspective of oneness. Both are correct at the same time, and both are useful depending on the context/motivation.
Fabric = material which affirms what I said in previous posts: if magic operates mechanistically on as yet undiscovered "laws", then materialism/physicalism can expand to incorporate it.
Are you absolutely sure that magic operates entirely on laws, or could it be possible to violate the laws? What law says that all laws of nature must be always followed and cannot ever, ever, EVER be broken? Is there an Abyss of unstructured insanity outside this bubble of sane structured reality, and is it possible for a spirit to ride the boundary between structure and non-structure and pull in something novel? If reality is consciousness or ideal in nature as Radin believes, then who is to say this meta-consciousness is perfectly rational? If it wasn't perfectly rational, how would we notice if our method for analyzing reality (science) is designed to eliminate from consideration anything irregular or irrational?
To be clear, I have a lot of sympathy with that viewpoint. It's highly likely that nature has a dynamic intelligence driving its seamless systems, I just don't believe it's a type of intelligence we'd be able to make sense of. So while the organic world, micro and macro should be treated with the greatest respect, I'm not a pagan and wouldn't worship it as an end in itself. As someone who spends much of his time in wild places, it would be bizarre not to recognise the importance of nature in creation.
I think everything is alive, but as its "aliveness" cannot be embraced in a way that distinguishes it from deadness, my oak table's daemon is in bondage to its role as a setting for dinner.
If its possible to violate a law, then its not a restrictive law of reality in the first place and violating it is thus in perfect accord with reality. It really comes down to a philosophical and semantic mish-mash of what you feel "a law" really is. That is to say that if a law can be violated, then violating it doesn't actually violate a law because it couldn't (by my definition) then be called a law in the first place. Of course for the purposes of physical science we measure out what seems to be the normal and apparent laws of nature and that serves a wonderful and useful purpose to us. But these "conditions" can be compromised and manipulated. And in doing so, youre not breaking anything, but rather you are tapping into a fuller representation of fundamental reality
What does "perfect accord with reality" mean? It sounds like an appeal to a higher order or higher law which you are labeling "reality".
What I am asking is: can reality be divided into two fundamental aspects - lawful/lawless, rational/irrational, logical/illogical, structured/unstructured, sane/insane... mechanistic/free-will?
We find that our own minds have this duality, so if we are saying the universe is fundamentally conscious or in some sense an extension of our own consciousness, then can reality itself be likewise divided?
And if reality can be divided thus, then perhaps magic is not an appeal to a higher law, but an appeal to an entity with truly free will to cross over from the free side of reality and set in motion a truly new course of mechanistic action in the structured side of reality. And any mechanistic aspects of magic are merely a pacification of the mechanistic aspects of our being so that the aspect of our being that is pure will can impose itself upon reality. Or perhaps the mechanistic aspects are designed to attract some other entity with a will of its own.
If we have truly free-will, then we imagine that our spirit (whatever that is) provides a little nudge to the neurons to set in motion a chain of mechanistic actions... so maybe magic works the same just on more than neurons.
I don’t see “appealing to a higher law” a mutually exclusive and contradictory idea with the idea that you are “appealing to a higher conscious being.” To me, you could just as easily say, “it’s a law that you can call on a higher conscious being to affect change.” Different ways of phrasing the same idea, depending upon your intent. The whole talk of laws in this case I find very difficult.
I agree with your last paragraph and that consciousness is Fundamental. I would say that as we incarnate here, certain restrictions are placed upon us for learning purposes. But they aren’t HARD restrictions. I think both your own consciousness can manipulate local “material mechanistic law” but so can other non-human forms of consciousness who are not incarnate here. The ascribing and categorization of laws describing these phenomena, I find a subjective philosophical matter. Also, quantum physics complicates the idea of “material law” immensely.
But your main question, I don’t know how to answer.
"Appealing to a higher law" and "appealing to a higher conscious being" can only be equivalent if the conscious being's free-will is illusory (governed by laws too complex to map out).
"Law" implies a fully automated system with consistent application and without any capriciousness. Appealing to a conscious being implies that the conscious being has a will of its own and has decision making capabilities not bound by any law or causal chain. If there is any such thing as true free will, it is by definition the opposite of a mechanistic law-bound process.
The dualism I spoke of in previous post could also be stated as: law vs. will. If consciousness is fundamental and a property of consciousness is free-will then all material existence and law governing its mechanisms has its roots in the will of a conscious being(s) - in other words all law could change on a whim. If consciousness is not fundamental and the materialist metaphor (stuff = dead rocks) is correct, then all material existence is fully automatic and free-will is an illusion.
Reality seems amazingly consistent. It seems resistant to changes by direct force of will, so we decided to assume that what seems to be the case actually is the case, and we decided to use as a metaphor for reality, the hardest most immutable thing we know: rocks. An assembly of "rocks" we call a material. After a few hundred years, we forgot this was a metaphor for the consistency of reality so some of us actually believe we are composed of dead rocks and that consciousness and free-will must be illusions.
In attempt to map out the consistencies in nature, we developed science which assumes that EVERYTHING is ALWAYS consistent and any inconsistencies are the result of bias or lack of further info. So we made a decision in the era of rationalism to assume that nature is always consistent. This was a useful assumption, but not necessarily the most correct.
To a hammer, everything looks like a nail, and to science, everything looks consistent and if we don't find the consistency at first, we assume we will eventually.
So science is a bias that precludes the possibility of finding inconsistencies in reality.
Parapsychology - being a science - looks at apparent inconsistencies with the assumption that more investigation will expand the scope of the "laws of nature" to encompass the phenomenon, but if the phenomenon is the result of entities from the Abyss with free-will rather than laws of nature, perhaps no consistency will ever be found and the Trickster will reign supreme.
Or perhaps, parapsychology is actually engaged in a creative work: by assuming these phenomenon are the result of "laws", backstory is being created to explain everything and the laws will actually manifest as such.
Well maybe not! During the 1980's version of AI, people began to get desperate for an AI demonstrator, and the law was considered a suitable candidate. I didn't follow what happened that closely, but clearly we haven't replaced judge or jury with AI robots!
The problem is that law as interpreted by conscious beings is more subtle:
Law: Stealing is taking without the owner's consent."
Yes, but how far do you have to move something for it to count as 'taking'? If you have a pile of bikes outside an undergraduate lecture hall, does moving a bike to get at your own, count as stealing?
Does grabbing a bike to dash down the road to call an ambulance count as stealing?
Suppose you are a policeman, and you take the bike because you think it has been stolen!
Human laws are more like real legal interpretations, not like mathematical laws, so if you appeal to the law of a higher being, it will be interpreted by the laws of common sense, not logic!
I suspect that some sort of consciousness goes all the way down through living systems:
This refers to 'intelligence' but since the word 'intelligence' has acquired a distorted meaning, I'd rather use the word 'consciousness'.
Your oak table is undoubtedly dead!
Since I am not a Christian, could you possibly summarise this guy's 3-hour message - please!
I think the arts would be best to get back to the idea that their subject should evolve creatively - not just be searching for something 'new'. Thus a composer should be free (i.e. not be shunned) if he starts with Chopin (say) and develops his ideas on top of Chopin's work, rather than starting from some obscure a-tonal base, and producing something pointless!
I think we're off in the weeds now...
I was using the word "law" to represent the principle of an idealized consistent regularity of nature (e.g. the law of gravity) rather than a codified set of behaviors subject to the deconstruction of language / symbol / meaning / interpretation.
Separate names with a comma.