Mod+ UPCOMING INTERVIEW: RICK ARCHER SCIENCE AND NONDUALITY

#2
more question for Rick:
- what is this enlightenment community all about?
- what is it telling us about culture? science? religion? big picture questions?
- how do we know what we know?
- does experience get in the way of gnosis/knowing?
- are some "enlightened" people dogmatic? (ok... why are they :))
 
#3
Great idea. In addition to the above questions, a run down of the conference itself, including presentations from Neil Theise, Julia Mossbridge, and Rudi Tanzi. The ramifications of their ideas for revolutionary science breakthroughs. Personally, I loved the idea of the psi crowd closely mixing with the other non duality folks.
 
#4
I've been bugging Rick Archer to come back on Skeptiko and tell about the 2014 Science and Nonduality Conference . I finally pinned him down for an hour tomorrow (12/4/2014).

What do you make of the "nonduality" crowd?
A bit cocksure at times. They often seem to think they've got to the ultimate, but I suspect it's just a particular, lingering flavour of experience and a beginning. To be fair, I think some of them come to realise this, and IIRC what he has said in the past, Rick Archer is aware of this.
 
#5
I'm really looking forward to this interview and finding out more about 'Enlightenment', I have been drawn towards this topic in recent months.
Thanks for this Alex and Rick.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#6
My question would be what makes anyone think a particular "inner-science" is an accurate picture of reality?

It seems to me that from our perspective we hit limits of analysis where we can conclude materialism is almost certainly false, and leaping from those limits into whatever gnosis a person got while meditating (or OBE-ing, or tripping on drugs, or following Dennet's intuition training to see consciousness is an illusion) would have to be suspect.

Now I think it's fine for people to take whatever reality gamble they want, so long as they aren't hurting anybody, but it seems one has to acknowledge they are gambling. And that takes a bit of hot air out of any kind of "enlightenment".
 
#8
leaping from those limits into whatever gnosis a person got while meditating (or OBE-ing, or tripping on drugs, or following Dennet's intuition training to see consciousness is an illusion) would have to be suspect.
I disagree. Strongly. That's in much the same vein as stating that " every conclusion drawn insight claimed while meditating is correct." Sweeping generalizations, whether yay or nay, are almost always inaccurate and not that helpful.

As I see it the question is how to know which conclusions are correct - especially in areas where intellect isn't the most suitable tool.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#9
I disagree. Strongly. That's in much the same vein as stating that " every conclusion drawn insight claimed while meditating is correct." Sweeping generalizations, whether yay or nay, are almost always inaccurate and not that helpful.

As I see it the question is how to know which conclusions are correct - especially in areas where intellect isn't the most suitable tool.
That's probably a better way of wording it, though I guess I personally can't fathom an answer that wouldn't be personal in some way. I am partial to the idea that the Truth (if there is such a thing) can manifest itself in different - perhaps wildly different - ways from our perspective.
 
#11
As a long time avid Skeptiko listener I look forward to Alex's interview with Rick Archer.

I have had a long time interest in non-duality and Zen meditation practice. I recommend Phillip Kapleau's "Three Pillars of Zen" and the enlightenment experiences related by meditation students at the end of this fascinating book. This leads me to Alex's question about whether experience gets in the way of gnosis/knowing. I hesitate to do this as this may not clarify anything. There is a term in Zen - namely Kensho which refers to a moment of direct experience of reality (ken- "seeing", sho- "nature, essence"). The term refers specifically to an initial insight that then becomes an impetus for further meditation. Kensho is described most essentially as the realisation of the indivisibility of observer and observed, of experiencer and experienced (Non-duality). This can happen in a flash that has a visceral physical impact that is more akin to a feeling than conceptual knowing, a body-mind shock that may or may not last depending on further meditation or the depth of the initial experience and is marked by a buoyant feeling of well being.

And inevitably all this sounds very abstract and conceptual. The Kensho experiences related in the Three Pillars of Zen are anything but however and my own shallow experience - a jolting, electrifying feeling that the place I was looking at (the wall in front of me) was the same place as the place I was looking from - was very concrete and I am reminded of the words of Wei Wu Wei - "Never forget. What you are looking for is what is looking."
 
#12
As a long time avid Skeptiko listener I look forward to Alex's interview with Rick Archer.

I have had a long time interest in non-duality and Zen meditation practice. I recommend Phillip Kapleau's "Three Pillars of Zen" and the enlightenment experiences related by meditation students at the end of this fascinating book. This leads me to Alex's question about whether experience gets in the way of gnosis/knowing. I hesitate to do this as this may not clarify anything. There is a term in Zen - namely Kensho which refers to a moment of direct experience of reality (ken- "seeing", sho- "nature, essence"). The term refers specifically to an initial insight that then becomes an impetus for further meditation. Kensho is described most essentially as the realisation of the indivisibility of observer and observed, of experiencer and experienced (Non-duality). This can happen in a flash that has a visceral physical impact that is more akin to a feeling than conceptual knowing, a body-mind shock that may or may not last depending on further meditation or the depth of the initial experience and is marked by a buoyant feeling of well being.

And inevitably all this sounds very abstract and conceptual. The Kensho experiences related in the Three Pillars of Zen are anything but however and my own shallow experience - a jolting, electrifying feeling that the place I was looking at (the wall in front of me) was the same place as the place I was looking from - was very concrete and I am reminded of the words of Wei Wu Wei - "Never forget. What you are looking for is what is looking."
Hi Luke... thx for this great story... and a great quote!

I've completed the interview with Rick... showcasing a healthy diversity of opinion among two people with a very similar worldviews :) BTW I think Rick and BATGAP are awesome.
 
#14
more question for Rick:
- what is this enlightenment community all about?
- what is it telling us about culture? science? religion? big picture questions?
- how do we know what we know?
- does experience get in the way of gnosis/knowing?
- are some "enlightened" people dogmatic? (ok... why are they :))
I would need more background info to answer these questions.

Different traditions define enlightenment differently. What I am familiar with is Buddhism in which the original word meaning "awakening" is often mistranslated into English as "enlightenment". There is a very specific definition of what awakening means but it can only be understood by experiencing it. All the Buddhist writings describing different states are not at all helpful in attaining them or understanding them. Those writing are helpful allowing one to recognize when one has experienced a state at which point one understands it.

I described my own experience of kensho here:
https://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/mystical_experiences#mystical_kensho

I used to go to the Zen center a couple of days a week. I would go right after work and I would start meditating a few hours before the evening practice session and then stay for the evening session. On one of these days there was an extra long evening session so the total time I would spend in meditation that day added up to a good number of hours. One day, near the end of that long evening session, I was meditating, gazing at the wooden floor, (in Zen it is customary to meditate with the eyes open) and I felt myself being pulled forward out of my body for a few seconds. A minute later it happened again for a longer time. During this time I had no sensation of my body at all, the only thing I was aware of was the perception of the floor in my visual field. Because it was the only thing I was aware of, it seemed to me that I associated my self with that thing. I knew I existed but I didn't know where. I knew this image of the floor existed. It seemed natural to associate this image with my self. It seemed like I was this image of the floor.

I knew that this experience must be kensho. It was is without a doubt the "non duality of subject and object" mentioned in the definition of kensho above. It proved to me that the sense of self is subjective.
Some related neuroscience suggesting that the sense of self is subjective, it is created in the brain.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2012/05/experience-of-oneness.html
http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/neuro/neuro01/web3/Farrenkopf.html

At the peak, the subjects indicate that they lose their sense of individual existence and feel inextricably bound with the universe. "There [are] no discrete objects or beings, no sense of space or the passage of time, no line between the self and the rest of the universe" (Newberg 119).
...
The subjects then meditated. When they reached the peak, they pulled on a string attached at one end to their finger and at the other to Dr. Newberg.2 This was the cue for Newberg to inject the radioactive tracer into the IV connected to the subject. Because the tracer almost instantly "locks" onto parts of the brain to indicate their activity levels, the SPECT gives a picture of the brain essentially at that peak moment (Newberg 3). The results revealed a marked decrease in the activity of the posterior, superior parietal lobe and a marked increase in the activity of the prefrontal cortex, predominantly on the right side of the brain (Newberg 6).
...
It has been concluded that the posterior, superior parietal lobe is involved in both the creation of a three-dimensional sense of self and an individual's ability to navigate through physical space (Journal 216). The region of the lobe in the left hemisphere of the brain allows for a person to conceive of the physical boundaries of his body
More of my experiences have been described here:
https://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/mystical_experiences
 
Last edited:
#15
Hi Luke... thx for this great story... and a great quote!

I've completed the interview with Rick... showcasing a healthy diversity of opinion among two people with a very similar worldviews :) BTW I think Rick and BATGAP are awesome.
Thanks Alex. I really love what you are doing. Particularly enjoyed your recent interviews with Bernardo Kastrup and Peter Russell. Am reading Materialism is Baloney at the moment and Russell's presentation on the primacy of consciousness is a hoot..
The Primacy of Consciousness - Peter Russell - Full Version ...
 
#16
Russell's presentation on the primacy of consciousness is a hoot..
The Primacy of Consciousness - Peter Russell - Full Version ...
Watched the first 9:42 but have to take a break. So far I agree with a lot of what he said. However, there is a way to distinguish some humans from zombies, some humans will have ESP, zombies won't.

From my blog, ESP is not produced by the brain: http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/04/near-death-experiences-and-afterlife.html#facts_esp

From my web site, Alan Turing felt lack of ESP would cause a computer to fail a Turing test: https://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/eminent_researchers#researchers_turing


I totally agree about Descartes' Cogito ergo sum:
https://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/skeptical_fallacies#skeptical_fallacies_illusion
Furthermore, the suggestion that consciousness is an illusion is blatantly preposterous. The idea that consciousness is an illusion is refuted by Rene Descartes' formulation, Cogito ergo sum, I think therefore I am. The reality of consciousness is self-evident.

http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/08/consciousness-cannot-be-emergent.html

However, consciousness is not an emergent property of matter. Subjective experience which cannot be measured objectively cannot be the product of fundamentally different objective measurable phenomena such as neuronal activity in the brain. If you study a lump of brain cells, neither the laws of physics nor any biochemical reactions can explain why subjective experiences feel the way they do. Subjective experiences are known only in terms of subjective experience, not in terms of mathematics, or molecular models, or physics, or chemistry, or biology, or psychology, or sociology. Red looks red. Physics can tell you what wavelengths of light look red, and chemistry can tell you how light is sensed by the retina, and neurology can tell you how the signals from the optic nerve are processed by the brain, but none of that will ever tell a colorblind person what red looks like. Consciousness and physical processes are fundamentally different things.

Thinking you will be able to explain how consciousness emerges by understanding more about a massive number of nerve cells is like trying to make a ham sandwich from bricks. You can't make a ham sandwich from bricks and piling up more and more bricks will never get you any closer to having a ham sandwich.

The subjective experience of consciousness cannot be understood in physical terms therefore, consciousness cannot be a result of any physical process. Consciousness is a fundamentally different thing from any physical process.
More here: http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-materialist-explanation-of.html
 
Last edited:
Top