Jan Van Ysslestyne, Why Shamans Don’t Do iPhones |395|

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. Michael Patterson

    Michael Patterson New

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    But what is an iPhone? It is a manifestation of a bundle intentions. Bits of physical matter are assembled by the comparatively crude process of what we call manufacturing. The same bundle of intentions in the metaphysical aspect of our reality would look nothing like an iPhone as we know it. So I am not sure which realities you are dealing with.

    I can argue that an iPhone is a metaphor for a bunch of magical functions that that make perfect sense in a dimension where time and space and gravity do not exist as we know them. In our material, obstructed, dimension, metaphors are needed - as an embodiment of intentions. The primary reality (the realm of causes) is the metaphysical. Our physical dimension is a realm of effect. That does not mean that it is not 'real', however. So we stumble over the language of reality.

    So I ask, respectfully, what "realities" do we have to deal with here?
     
  2. Michael Patterson

    Michael Patterson New

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    Oh, it is really very much more complicated. We are only just learning to develop the language that will help us make make sense. That is very hard because our cultural frame has multiple intersecting discourses that have no inherent or coherent relationship. In a single conversation we will pull in ideas and language drawn from Christianity, materialism, Newtonian physics and quantum science without missing a beat. The result is a piece of conceptual art that signals our interests and our intents, but which can be readily deconstructed and rendered silly by any unkind or unforgiving analysis. This why arguing is a waste of time.

    As truth seekers we are mostly thrashing about in the jungle of our cultural shaped mentality, trying to find a hidden treasure - which doesn't exist. Jan gave the hint when he said his shamans said awareness was relational. Its when we quit treasure hunting and start digging the jungle we begin to get a glimmer of an idea. But we are so addicted the treasure hunt. We are conditioned to it from birth. I love the treasure hunt. I have a deep love of animism, but I know I am not an animist - I want to be, but I can't yet think like one with any consistency. I dip into relational awareness way too briefly but fairly often. Its not enough to break the addiction though, not yet.
     
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  3. dpdownsouth

    dpdownsouth Member

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    I like your idea of seeing this though a conceptual art filter. :)

    Still, to divine its usefulness, art, as everything, must be tested against life. So, in this spirit, our conceptual artefacts should be questioned and asked how they measure up to a range of criteria..... for example: How do they match with the broad human experience? How do they align with the data the scientific method has managed to accumulate? Can they make predictions? What kind of culture would they spawn? How would they help us to live better? Do they give us a useful and practical insight into the world? Do they include the anomalous? Etc. Etc.

    Like a kind of existential empiricism, I suppose.

    And I personally feel that general evolution theory, process philosophy, dynamical systems, systems theory and the findings of parapsychology provide the raw material for a truly resilient and formidable metaphysics.

    But I also agree with you completely on the need to keep in mind that these conceptual art pieces are, at best, only partial revelations of the truth (or useful models of reality). In fact, to me, this is one of the strange habits of materialists, they have a worrying inclination to see their models and reality as indistinguishable. A while back, I heard a NASA scientist say (with a straight face) that he had already created an actual, literal universe and had it running on his computer!

    And they say a shaman who speaks to plants is crazy. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
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  4. Michael Patterson

    Michael Patterson New

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    But even so, we have to remember that this body of ideas still manages to exclude vital ideas that might permit the evolution of an even more useful metaphysics.

    If we go back to Jan's observation about a relational awareness, let us remember that in the absence of a direct and influential experience, how we relate is so often defined by ideas we allow ourselves to believe about the agents we might relate with. And ideas we allow ourselves to believe about ourselves also shape our opportunities. Those ideas are not just often plain wrong, they are frequently completely irrelevant.

    There is an aspect of Christianity that espouses a purse relational awareness, summed up in the declaration that "God is Love'. There is another aspect of Christianity that thrives on propaganda and scriptural literalism. And while the latter is not so antithetical to the former that they cannot cohabit, the two together diminish the potential of the former. This mixture is expressed to various degrees of misfortune across 'Western' cultures (I will not speak for others). Even shamanism has fallen prey to this habit. The abundant 'sham'ans misdirect and mislead. In so doing they satisfy a craving.

    Jan affirms the point that shamans are spirit chosen - that is, they arise from a relational imperative, not a rational one. In our rational culture we don't do not being 'taught' on demand very well. Head hunger must be fed, and if the real shaman will not oblige we will take what the sham has to offer.

    A parallel is the loss of the wisdom tradition in the West. In the same way the 'Enlightenment' transformed soul into mind, it also transformed wisdom into knowledge. A metaphysics informed by knowledge alone is very different from one formed by wisdom. Whether you call it heart, soul, relational or wisdom awareness that is at the core of shamanism, it will take you places the other way of knowing cannot.
     
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  5. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    I am not quite sure if by "evolution theory" you mean Darwin's theory. I think that that theory is under considerable doubt, see for example:

    "HERETIC One scientist's journey from Darwin to design." by Matti Leisola and Jonathon Witt.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Heretic-Sc...&qid=1543875354&sr=8-1&keywords=matti+leisola

    The point is that "Intelligent Design" doesn't need to be Yaweh - who probably wouldn't really look cool in a lab coat anyway. It just means that biology had to be designed!

    David
     
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  6. dpdownsouth

    dpdownsouth Member

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    Hey David,

    No, not specifically Darwin, but obviously influenced by his and Wallace's ideas.

    General Evolution Theory:
    Source: https://www.worldscientific.com/doi/abs/10.1142/S021833909400009X

    Without being terribly knowledgeable on the subject, I agree that Darwinism (and especially its current incarnation) is unworkable.... but I do hold out that the discovery of some as yet undetected mechanism could tie it together a bit. Who knows.... definitely not me. :)
     
  7. Michael Patterson

    Michael Patterson New

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    The Porche is a product of intelligent design (surely an oxymoronic statement) and evolution. Materialistic evolutionary theory insists there is no intelligence, and fundamentalistic Christians insist that God's creations are perfect - and hence evolution is not possible, because it is not necessary. But, the animistic logic is that both are not only real but necessary.

    The Porche example is not unfair here. There is virtually nothing of human artifice that is not about (intelligent - even stupid) design and subsequent evolution. Humans are part of nature, even if you accept the proposition that we are 'special creations'. What is the story of humanity but the necessity of evolving from a 'created' state and the subsequent the 'fall', then the demand we evolve toward a redemption? I am not saying take this literally, only that the core Christian theme is a fusion of both design and evolution - unless you want to argue that evolution exists only because of original sin - and then only in humans.

    It is useful to recall that evolution has two aspects - the aspirational and adaptive. The two can be combined - as in a Porche or an iPhone. Darwin dealt with adaptive evolution - as with the finches of the Galapagos, and aspirational evolution through intentional breeding. We mix both together and cause confusion.

    Materialism denies the presence of spirit, and so assumes that all adaptive evolution must be via chance. But once you elude the 'there is no such thing as spirit, therefore it must be chance' trap then idea is actually quite idiotic. And aspirational evolution always has an agent to aspire and to select. The idea of 'natural selection' is sensible only if nature is the agent that does the selecting. Evolution by chance is a science fiction that is dogmatic in its origin - it must be this because no other agent is acceptable.

    Recall the famous Sherlock Holmes quote -" How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?” The materialists have determined that the divine is impossible, so they are left with the improbable 'truth' of chance. But Holmes did not mean the elimination of ideas as impossible on dogmatic terms.

    Evolution is a perfectly fine and necessary idea - as adaptation and as aspiration. But it needs intelligence in both cases. The choice between chance and intelligence is also a choice between intelligence being fundamental to nature or an emergent property of it. That may have been an argument of some merit 13.8 billion years ago. But even if intelligence is an emergent property of physical existence it has had 13.8 billion years to evolve - into what? Into a controlling creative agency maybe? At some stage in its evolutionary journey it maybe developed an aspirational capacity too. At some stage, maybe what started off as chance has become intent - organised into intelligent purpose.

    I am making the point that there is no necessary tension between dogmas. What is now is relational and interactive to some and a dynamic but incomprehensible mass to others. We have the opportunity to experience what is according to the lights of materialists or animists. Both are acknowledged as possible states of mind. Whether either is an objective reality is not a question that can be answered from the POV of a dispassionate observer. It has to be via experience engaged with unconditionally. We must choose.

    I am haunted by the words 'Faint heart ne'er won fair lady.' Back in my late teens those words were uttered by a woman who had entranced me. I had a faint heart then. Now that 'fair lady' is Sophia, Wisdom. We have to make choices, which are, finally, metaphysical guesses about what we dare believe. We cannot know for sure what is or is not, but we can know what is good and right for us.
     
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  8. dpdownsouth

    dpdownsouth Member

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    I currently view existence as an exercise in the maximisation of novelty, form, complexity, consciousness, transcendence, creativity. So, I agree with everything you've written above.

    Powerful.

    If you're inclined to go up on the wall, you can only go fast and high. :)

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Wormwood

    Wormwood Member

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    Yahweh looks cool on a cloud. I see no reason to think that he wouldn’t look cool in a lab coat. In all seriousness though, I tend to wonder if WE ourselves have not played a roll in shaping the evolution of physical form here through conscious and/or subconscious thought. Perhaps we are doing so now during this life, or perhaps a previous life or lives, or during some activity between lives. At any rate, it seems that the hominid design is widely used in “creation” in other parts of creation (according to the APPARENT appearance of many ETs as reported and beings experienced during OBEs/Astral travel/hallucinagenic trips etc) populated on perhaps other planets and/or other “Astral planes.” It leads me to think that this particular design (the hominid design) is useful for spiritual purposes here and many other places as well. As well as the obviously practical purposes it serves in manipulating our physical surroundings for survival. If there’s anything we KNOW, It’s that it is basically impossible for the same design to keep popping up in different areas through accidental mutation.

    I think a problem we run into David, is that people listen to guys like you and I and think that we, therefore, do not think that physical form has progressed on this planet. I’m not even contending that forms haven’t EVOLVED. I think that they probably have, but it certainly hasn’t been a blind accident. These things don’t just happen on accident, over and over and over AND OVER, without fail, seamlessly and flawlessly. An accident? Don’t think so. Darwin was humble enough to admit the gaps in his theory. And subsequent diggings have only increased these gaps and holes in the theory as presented. They HAVE NOT confirmed his theory as he had hoped. Despite this, materialist ademedia keeps growing MORE AND MORE certain of their pet theory to the extent that if anybody challenges it, they are considered “unscientific.” Why do they do this? In my mind, the answer is simple. Since they “KNOW” (A-priori) that materialism is true (this also means that disembodied consciousness does not exist), then, therefore, what else could evolution have been caused by? IT MUST be blind accident because that’s all it COULD BE. Therefore, the gaps and holes in the theory, which keep growing instead of decreasing with our understanding, are COMPLETELY ignored. Because they have to be ignored.

    I do not believe that an all poweful God willed all these forms we now share the Earth with into existence. I think form has progressed through the conscious and subconscious effort of either ourselves or perhaps other “higher” consciousn entities, or both. Perhaps ET has played a roll in this.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
  10. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    Not sure I would agree that ET and other kinds of "sightings" in OBEs, etc. can be taken as evidence that the humanoid form is ubiquitous, or that "we" have some role to play in evolution. Nonetheless, you make good points, particularly when you say that though there can be no doubt that evolution has occurred, the Darwinists are on an increasingly sticky wicket with their bizarre assertion that it all happened through a combination of chance and natural selection. As long as they cling to that, the explanatory gaps continue to increase. Not so much "God of the gaps" as "Why are there any explanatory gaps, and why are they continuing to widen under Darwinist assumptions?".

    I don't know how or why evolution has occurred, but the proposition that there is some kind of telos or purpose seems unavoidable. Whether or not we have a part to play in that is more moot.
     
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  11. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    I agree completely with your comments regarding evolution!
    It is worth reading some of the ID-related output from the discovery institute - people like Stephen Meyer don't push the Christianity, but focus on the science, and I really think Darwin's theory is in trouble. The fundamental problem, is that natural selection can't operate until there is a real gain to be had out of the latest mutation. That means that if the gene for a protein (say) is evolving to become a protein with a new function, there are many steps (individual changes in the DNA) that cannot be selected at all.

    I think if evolution happens by ID, it is interesting to think about why there are so many different life-forms on the planet, and also to think about one or more intelligent entities orchestrating the arms races that occur between certain species. Maybe we did have a part in creation - I mean I have wondered if things really worked with QM and DNA, etc. 500 years ago, or if by studying life we added lots of details. Maybe that was what you have in mind also.

    David
     
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  12. Wormwood

    Wormwood Member

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    The reason that I feel that we MAY have a hand in this process of evolution isn’t becase people encounter hominids during Astral trips/drug trips/ET encounters. Rather I sort of surmise this to be the case because Quantum mechanics might be telling us that our thoughts effect matter, the placebo effects and the psi research tell us this as well. Additionally, I think our sphere of Mental influence (our ability to shape and mold reality, especially collectively) is enormous. It’s evident to me that there is some sort of purpose to our creation, which leads me to think that this progression of form (and everything essentially) is the result of conscious processes or wishes. Since I already know that our thoughts affect reality and matter, I don’t think it’s a stretch to think that we might be involved in the progression of the very forms which we inhabit. But, of course, perhaps our part is much smaller than I think. I do not claim to know, of course. I also agree that we don’t know that the hominid form occurs in a large number of places. But it seems that may very well be the case.
     
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  13. Wormwood

    Wormwood Member

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    I think a lot of ID’ers might be averse to the idea that form has progressed at all, largely because their Bible tells them that Jehova caused all forms to exist in one breath, on whatever day of the week which the mythology in Genesis states. I think this takes away from important discussion as the evolutionists think they can prove their case just by pointing out the fossil record and how it appears that indeed some form of progression has occurred, and that similar type species are also found lumped together in certain parts of the world. Then they rest their case. Unfortunately, I think that the mechanism is what is in doubt and is warrants all of the discussion.
     
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  14. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    My impression is that most of the ID crowd have dropped the idea of a young earth (designed to fit the Bible chronology), and while most are Christian, not all are. David Berlinski describes himself as an atheist Jew.

    I just separate the two issues - ID and Christianity - and keep ID as a being highly probable in some form. I wish Alex would interview someone from the Discovery Institute.

    David
     
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  15. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    I think you might have ID people mixed up with creationists -- which latter fall broadly into young and old earthers. ID people (who aren't all Christians, by the way: some are agnostic and there may even be atheist sympathisers) usually accept an old earth and evolution in the sense of change over time as reflected in the fossil record. Some even accept that Darwinism might work at the microevolutionary level, i.e. at no higher than species or genus.

    Michael Behe is one such, but thinks that the limited changes Darwinism might shape are achieved largely through the LOSS of function. However, it can't have been responsible for macroevolutionary change as occurred in, say, the Cambrian explosion, where 20-30 new body plans appeared without obvious precursors in only a few million years.

    Then there's the theological evolutionists, who tend to believe that God created the universe with laws that inherently favour evolution by Darwinian processes. They want to have their cake and eat it!
     
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  16. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Yes, and I think Behe has a strong point. I mean you can break a gene with one or maybe two mutations. It is entirely feasible for this to happen by chance, and then, in certain environments for the broken gene to be selected for. A classic example of this, is sickle cell anaemia, where the mutation damages the shape of haemoglobin molecules, making them less efficient at carrying oxygen, but that somehow interferes with the malaria parasite. It is like smashing a broken windscreen out of you car in order to see to drive home! think bacterial mutations that protect them against antibiotics are also of this type.

    The point is, you can see evolution by natural selection when the mutations break or damage something, but that process can't explain the evolution of life on earth!

    Behe has a new book on this very topic - out in February:

    https://www.amazon.com/Darwin-Devolves-Science-Challenges-Evolution/dp/0062842617

    David
     
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  17. Wormwood

    Wormwood Member

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    I suppose that if I were a Christian, this is probably what I would believe. If you’re a Christian, you really need to give God a big hand in this.
     
  18. Silence

    Silence Member

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    Have their cake and eat it too, as Larkin mentioned, seems a bit shallow.

    Sure, if that is what you base your faith upon as a Christian (God created favorable laws of nature for man's development) its a bit of cake and eat it too. That said there are many Christians who's faith stems from other sources. For them it isn't a convenient logic, its just logic. A God the Creator, by definition, is responsible for the laws and conditions that would allow evolution to occur. I mean what else could a Christian believe on that point? That God missed a step somewhere and some other source (random or otherwise) is responsible for Darwinian processes?
     
  19. Michael Patterson

    Michael Patterson New

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    This comes back to the problem that what 'God has created' has to be perfect. The problem is in then conception of perfection the is grounded in dogma and theology rather than sensible observation. There are no farmed animals upon which Bible believing Christian rely for meat that are not the product of intentional breeding. Faith has to accommodate reality. Indeed there are many Christian scientists who have no issue with the idea of evolution as a mechanism.

    We know there is evolution from observation, but that does not mean that it is the 'cause' of life. I am yet to see persuasive evidence that evolution is chance driven. It seems to be intelligent, and that is the more parsimonious explanation. Of course, eliminate the prospect of intelligence and you have to come up with another explanation. But then, if you deny the existence of chooks (US chickens) you need another explanation for eggs - and McNuggets (Hell, not even the existence of chickens explains those things. Here you need a theory of evil). Essentially God and evolution are necessary partners in existence - no matter how you conceive the divine, or evolution.
     
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  20. dpdownsouth

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    I think the trinity conception can be useful here:

    The Christian version is the Father/Son/Holy Spirit and is probably the most widely known, but there are other significant trinities to be found in cultural history.... like Soul/Body/Spirit, Yahweh/Sophia/Logos, Goddess/Lover/Love, Chaos, Gaia, Eros.

    The first element of the trinity can be seen as the ultimate, the undifferentiated source of all, mind at large, etc. The second as differentiated creation, the World, and on. And the third as the interaction between the two.... the creative impulse, drive to union, blah.

    So, under this theological model, evolution and the drive toward adaptation, creative response, and transcendence (in a physicalist sense) would be a function of the third element of the trinity (Holy Spirit), and thus an attribute or characteristic of God.

    To be clear, this conception of existence is qualitative and does not imply or imagine three distinct deities or ontologically different levels of being. They are all abstract representations of a single existence / whole.

    It's a very adaptable schematic if you think about it.

    I also like it because of its suggestion of an integrated nature and the ways in which the Source and the World play off each other.... like a two way process of unfolding and enfoldment.

    @Wormwood

    Man, you've been putting out some good thoughts lately.
     

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