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ben-ja-men
GOLD Member since Jun 2003

ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide, Australia

Total posts: 2474
Posted:so before i even get started i just want to put a warning of sorts in as i know alot of people took offense to some of the views offered in the hotties thread, so if the concept of being responsible for your life and being able to influence the events that occur in your life offends you please stop reading because its not my intention to offend anyone simply to discuss ideas and concepts



to believe one thing is to disbelieve the opposite, this limits your perception of the world, so please suspend your beleifs and disbeleifs to entertain the ideas that unfold within this thread



the mind and what its capable is something that particularly fascinates me, one of my personal goals this year is to learn firewalking. the goal behind this thread is to hear peoples personal experiences and ideas relating to the power of the mind and its influence on the body and surrounding universe. if you disagree or have a different opinion to one that is offered please quote the text that you disagree with and offer a reason as to why you disagree



things to bear in mind when reading this thread

1. all scientific human knowledge is based on observations which carries with it the possibility of human errors and assumptions (edited to add scientific in to clarify smile)

2. human perception is a limited range of all the information (ie infrared and ultraviolet light) that exists

3. the commonly accepted truth was once that the world was flat however this does not make it true

4. concepts are conveyed through language, language is based on an individuals life experiences as such meanings of words can vary from person to person



at this point in time i am of the opinion that the mind regulates all aspects of the body via the brain. here are some quotes from experimental findings from the book Best Evidence by Michael Schmicker,



"Researchers at the famed Menninger Foundation in Kansas tested one Indian yogi who could, at will, produce with his mind an 11 degree Fahrenheit difference between the left and right sides of the same palm, with one side turning pink from heat and the other turning gray from cold."



"a man with no yogic training who demonstrated the ability to voluntarily stop his heart -- to produce cardiac arrest -- on demand. EKG tests showed his heartbeat did indeed disappear completely. (As he began to faint from lack of blood, the subject would take a deep breath and revive himself)."



"In 1981, Benson and a group of researchers from the Harvard Medical School instrumented three Tibetan monks in India practicing a form of meditation called Tummo. The monks could take a blanket soaked in cold water, wrap it around themselves, and sit in the snow on a mountain top in a meditative trance. In the Harvard tests, the monks meditated for 55 minutes in an unheated, cold room, using their minds to raise their internal body temperature... All three monks produced dramatic body temperature changes. One 50-year old monk was able to raise the temperature of his toes by 15 degrees Fahrenheit; another 59-year old monk raised his finger and toe temperatures 11 and 12 degrees Fahrenheit respectively, and raised the overall temperature of the room he was meditating in by 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit."



"Using hypnosis, researchers are able to produce real, physical blisters, bruises and skin inflammations on test subjects simply with words"



"Documented clinical studies have shown the placebo effect has successfully relieved or cured hay fever, coughing, insomnia and sleep disorders, colds, headaches, diabetes, peptic ulcers, seasickness, and various kinds of pain including angina pectoris; reduced obesity and urinary incontinence; matched the effectiveness of anti-arthritic pills in treating the symptoms of arthritis and the effectiveness of chemical anti-depressants in treating depression; and treated anxiety. Placebos can speed up or slow down a heartbeat rate; alter moods and perceptions, produce observable calm or its opposite, nervousness; and even produce feelings of euphoria."



"Researchers say a doctor's diagnosis usually sets a patient's mind visualizing the outcome predicted by the doctor"



so if a dr tells you that something is the way it is and you believe them then often thats the way it will be.



my current thoughts on the working of the universe are



1. there is an energy connection between every entity in existence, the stronger your relationship with the entity the stronger the connection

2. the natural state of life is growth but it exists in two states growth and the cycle of stagnation death and decay

3. we exist and both individuals and as a collective (kind of like the internet all interconnected in different ways)

4. as individual we exist as the subconscious, conscious and higher self

5. the subconscious is programmed by our lifes experiences to survive (this can be unprogrammed) not all of the instincts of the subconscious are healthy though eg running away from problems to avoid them

6. the conscious mind is the you bit thats thinking now

7. the higher self is the part that communicates with the rest of the collective and regulates things like making your nails grow.

8. you can draw events into your life to help you grow throught your higher self

9. the conscious mind goes through lots of different thoughts so you have to make it very clear to the higher self what you want, also some of the subconsciouses learnt behaviour are contradictory to growth and self sabotage growth the maintain a feeling of safety even if its not a happy safety

10. the collective responds in a kind of survial of the fitest kind of way so if u want something really bad (and dont have conflicting learnt things in your subconscious) it will bring events into your life "coincidences"

EDITED_BY: ben-ja-men (1109317272)


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

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Tao Star


Tao Star

Pooh-Bah
Location: Bristol

Total posts: 1662
Posted:Written by:
believing somehting and being open to other ideas doesnt mean you believe the opposite it just means u consider it, if u find it to be true then u disbelieve the other, if u then find they are both true even though they contradict each other then they are only partial half truths which u dont believe as u know they arnt the absolutly correct



you know that makes complete sense, but this is something i've been grappling with for a while. It is possible to believe to complete but contradictory things at the same time. Like, i believe in a higher power, but i also believe there is nothing more than we see here. It doesn't make logical sense, but you don't have to chose, you can believe both things equally.


I had a dream that my friend had a
strong-bad pop up book,
it was the book of my dreams.

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nearly_all_gone
SILVER Member since Aug 2004

nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton, United Kingdom

Total posts: 1626
Posted:I think you can just accept that you hold 2 contradictory views, but aren't intelligent enough to understand how they can both co-exist. There are lots of contradictory things in the world, and people are forever trying to make sense of them to no avail - doesn't mean they aren't both true smile

That's how I feel, anyway.


What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau

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spiralx


spiralx

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Location: London, UK

Total posts: 1376
Posted:Written by: ben-ja-men
i have a little trouble understanding what caused the big bang to take place, if time began at the big bang then surely all the events prior to the big bang are identical hence no time, which to me seems like an unbalenced equation in that all this stuff was just always there, if that was the case and its all unchanging then why would it suddenly go bang, for it must be stable if its not changing and has always been there, possibly "god" set it off, but then u have two distinguishable events gods intervention and per gods intervention but then how did god get involved where did he come from etc etc


The question of what is outside of the Universe or what happened before the Universe is quite possibly either a) irrelevent or b) unanswerable. In any sense it's not a question there are any good answers for at the moment. There are theories (search for "chaotic inflation" for one for instance) but in any case time is something that is part of this Universe, inextricably linked to space - you can't have one without the other.

Written by: ben-ja-men
its easy to visualise with the steps and faces


But why does that make it likely? Things don't exist because you find them easy to envisage... smile Personally I'd say a tree of some kind is more like what you're talking about (and is already what the many-worlds theory uses)... but that doesn't mean I'm right.

Written by: ben-ja-men
thats one hell of a calculation to do taking into account all the different diminishing graviational effects and inertia of all the bodys in existence?


If you know tensor calculus, general relativity and make the standard assumptions of cosmology then not so hard actually wink You don't need to know everything, just the average.

Written by: ben-ja-men
thats alot of chance for all that matter to all randomly appear in the same vicinity .... maybe when time doesnt exist its not chance at all, or does time exist in segments when stuff exists and all annuls until a big bang sized mass appears .... mmmm i like this idea smile


Well in one sense the Universe has zero energy with the negative potential energy of gravity balancing out the positive kineteic and mass energy of matter. But really, we don't know enough about this sort of stuff to be making definite claims smile

Written by: ben-ja-men
the no plan and no guiding hand i like, but where do the laws come from?


They're part and parcel of what the Universe is. Like the program that runs on the data (i.e. everything in the Universe).


"Moo," said the happy cow.

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Burning Brain


Burning Brain

eye shifter
Location: between my headphones

Total posts: 321
Posted:Written by: nearly_all_gone

But if only a single point is occupied by matter in a non-changing state, time is meaningless


but if the universe is infinate then there is no single point.


If I could be granted one wish I would ask for all the questions of the universe.

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:From a scientific perspective time (and space) are a part of the world that came into being at the 'big bang'.

There was nothing 'before' the big bang (as there was no time), and to ask why the big bang occured 'when' it did is a meaningless question.

Scientifically speaking, 'fire-walking'- the ability to walk on properly prepared coals is an entirely physical phenomena.

It's like fire eating which initially looks like magic or some mystical abilitity to work outside the laws of physics, but, in actuality is a simple physical process that anyone can do, provided they understand the technique.

Someone who believes they can walk on the coals unharmed will succeeed,provided they walk at the right pace.

Equally, someone who does not believe, will also succeed if they use the appropriate pace; it wouldn't be recommended due to the risk of them panicking, standing still, and getting burnt.

The reason for the meditation that invariably accompanies fire-walking guided workshops is nothing to do with mysterious powers- it's to focus and empower the participants; and/or beef up the time to an all day session, thereby making the cost of the workshop seem more reasonable.

It's my belief that all new age technologies that rely on complex systems of belief about 'higher energies, chi, mystical forces, etc, etc; are, assuming they work (and some do), totally explainable by 'mundane' (non mystical) concepts.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:
One of the reasons that I have a lot of respect for buddhism (in its original, uncorrupted form) is that it sidesteps all the magic/mystical stuff that invariably comes bundled with much of the 'new-age' technology.

IMO, buddhism (in its original, uncorrupted form) could pretty much qualify as a science- the science of overcoming suffering.

When a group of metaphysicians heard about the 'buddha' who had, reputedly, found the 'answer to everything'; they approached him with ten classical questions of metaphysics.

These included- 'Does God exist?', 'Is the universe finite or limited in extent?' etc, etc; but could easily have included questions about what happened 'before' the big-bang, and queries about 'chi' etc.

The buddha didn't even attempt to answer them, he simply pointed out that they were irrelavent to the matter at hand- which was overcoming suffering.

Humanity seems to have a built in fault whereby it confuses magical abilities with spiritual acheivement. Shamams utilise this by cleverly using knowledge of chemical reactions to produce effects that awe the tribe, who are thereby led to beleive the the shamen has spiritual power.

Levitation and walking on water hold a unique fascination, yet consider- suppose an individual does acquire the ability to levitate and walk on water: - why would you assume that that individual would have any spiritual authority/understanding?


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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arashi


arashi

Pooh-Bah
Location: austin,tx

Total posts: 2364
Posted:Written by: OWD
it's my belief that all new age technologies that rely on complex systems of belief about 'higher energies, chi, mystical forces, etc, etc; are, assuming they work (and some do), totally explainable by 'mundane' (non mystical) concepts.



secular as sacred: i think that mystical and non mystical have been here relegated to things that are verifiable or not. if it is mundane, but works, then is it not mystical? what isn't mundane, in this 4d world? i think your definition includes a negative view of the word, which... seems prejudiced and non scientific. if it works, and it is what people call mystical, then is it not mystical?

if someone's healing is "miraculous" and unexpainable, then doesn't the word mystical suffice, whether it will one day be explainable or not? and if "sacred" means "endowed with thought force" or mono-no-aware does it lose it's power?
I think everything will one day be explainable, but on that day we will truly realise that it doesn't matter- that what we think is in the end, what lets "the cat out of the bag"
(sorry i brought up the cat)


-Such a price the gods exact for song: to become what we sing
-Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.
-When the center of the storm does not move, you are in its path.

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:
Ben, the first thing that springs to mind after reading your intro is that u may be talking about race memory.

Big bang is only one theory.

Firewalking works because charcoal is a poor conductor. And it takes hours for the fire too reach the stage where they can walk on the coals.

smile


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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arashi


arashi

Pooh-Bah
Location: austin,tx

Total posts: 2364
Posted:for instance, let's move away from fire walking as an example, how about- remote viewing or astral projection, or even something simpler, like coincidental dreams or reiki. or even my hottie thread example about growing my hair an inch in a few hours. Yes one day [if these things exist] we may have instruments to make these phenomena verifiable. but even then, without an ability to direct the mind to be sensitive to them, they will be "mystical" to those without the abilities. so, does mystical mean "beyond understanding," or "powered by the mind?"

-Such a price the gods exact for song: to become what we sing
-Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.
-When the center of the storm does not move, you are in its path.

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:arashi- as 'mystical' according to the dictionary means 'direct religious experience', it wasn't the correct word for me to have used in my post above.

'Mysterious' may have been a better word. What I was trying to say was that some traditions use very elaborate world views to explain phenomena which can equally well, and generally more consisely, explained without such systems.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Gnarly Cranium
SILVER Member since Feb 2005

Gnarly Cranium

member
Location: San Francisco, USA

Total posts: 186
Posted:An important thing to remember is that belief is not as easy to decide, define, and recognize as people tend to think.

Belief and intent are primarily subconscious. What you SAY you believe, and what you really truly count on, expect, and define your world by, is very deeply ingrained and very difficult to consciously change. A person can say and truly think that they believe coals won't harm them, when underneath they really haven't convinced themselves. Other beliefs we just take for granted-- like the idea that things fall down instead of up. (of course they do? exactly!)



My own most distinct experience with those sorts of things and the placebo type effect: My family are all Christian Scientists-- I wouldn't consider myself a member myself, but I was raised with exposure to a religion that declares the mind and spirit (belief, etc) far more powerful than mere corporeal, physical reality, and the members generally refuse medicine, not wanting to become dependent on it. I haven't witnessed any particular miracles myself, but one thing I do know for certain is that at the dentist, PAINKILLERS DO NOT WORK ON ME. I absolutely [censored] dread going to the dentist, there is nothing worse. Every time I get a filling, it hurts like hell. I hate needles, too, so I've tried electric anaesthesia too, which just stings and vibrates, and likewise didn't do a damn thing about the pain. Eventually just told them to do the procedures without anaesthetic. Just as I expected, it feels the same. Every bit as much pain, every time-- depending on how deep they go. Teeth don't have much feeling at the surface.

There is only one time I have gone to the dentist and not experienced pain-- I got two teeth pulled, something I'd been terrified of for months... so terrified in fact that eventually an old dentist came out of retirement to do it for me. That was the ONLY time I felt that I trusted the dentist. That older guy had a completely different manner about him than the other 4 dentists I'd been to. (the very first one got his license revoked from working while drunk, and also once gave my gramma so much novicaine she passed out and had to be taken to the hospital, and another time had three or four people hold me down and pry my mouth open when I didn't want to deal with the needle... I was like 4. The main dentist seemed nice enough, but now years later my parents are having to get ALL of the crowns he did replaced because it turns out he did a crappy job, and one of the fillings he did on me has fallen out twice... yeah I hate them. I really do.)

Maybe every other time I've gotten novicaine injections they just screwed up and didn't get the right spot, and this guy was the only one who knew what he was doing. Maybe I have some kind of genetic immunity to one brand and he used another. Maybe he used extra, though there was only 1 shot on each side, and the other time I'd gotten a tooth pulled they gave me six, and it was still the single most excruciating thing I have ever been through. I don't know. But I do know that I trusted him, and I was far calmer when I sat down in that chair than I'd ever been, long before anything sharp got near me. Hell, I didn't even feel the needle go in. By the time he got one tooth out I was on Cloud 9-- I had to whiteknuckle the chair to keep from leaping up and shouting in joy because I actually didn't feel any pain. Not so much as a twinge. I was hyper for 2 hours afterwards, running around with bloody gauze in my mouth babbling like a lunatic 'Miff mim'mp mrrfp!!'

So... I personally think mind-over-matter stuff really is amazingly powerful-- but knowing that and USING it are two entirely different things. Belief is a tough bastard to budge. If I could just say to myself 'well if believing it won't hurt makes it not hurt, I'll just believe it won't hurt!' and go to the dentist and not feel a thing... you can damn well bet I would, but telling myself that hasn't worked since. '[censored] what if it DOES?' always crops up right away and it all goes to heck. Fear is so annoying.


"Ours is not to question The Head; it is enough to revel in the ubiquitous inanity of The Head, the unwanted proximity of The Head, the unrelenting HellPresence of The Head, indeed the very UNYIELDING IRRELEVANCE of The Head!" --Revelation X

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ben-ja-men
GOLD Member since Jun 2003

ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide, Australia

Total posts: 2474
Posted:Written by: spiralx


The question of what is outside of the Universe or what happened before the Universe is quite possibly either a) irrelevent or b) unanswerable. In any sense it's not a question there are any good answers for at the moment. There are theories (search for "chaotic inflation" for one for instance) but in any case time is something that is part of this Universe, inextricably linked to space - you can't have one without the other.







saying its irrelevant seems like a bit of a cop out answer, in that hmmm its really hard we have no idea how to do it so lets just assume theres nothing to be learnt from it. just because we cant test the theories in our current state of being i think that what it means to be human will change alot in the next 50 years with cybernetics becoming more advanced and neural implants allowing a different perception of the world.



Written by: spiralx


But why does that make it likely? Things don't exist because you find them easy to envisage... smile Personally I'd say a tree of some kind is more like what you're talking about (and is already what the many-worlds theory uses)... but that doesn't mean I'm right.





dont get me wrong i dont think that it is a giant pyromid, i just find that the image of the pryomid is much easier to visualise than trying to picture everything in existence in a 4 dimensional space



Written by: spiralx


They're part and parcel of what the Universe is. Like the program that runs on the data (i.e. everything in the Universe).





programs require programers



Written by: spiralx


That's a bit of a logical leap isn't it? Just because 0.9 recurring is equal to 1 (and that's not even true in certain number systems mathmaticians have come up with) then it doesn't in any way imply that 0.9 recurring 8 is the same as 1.





that was my point, i was trying to illustrate that the rules at hte very large or very small scale dont apply elsewhere, the proof works for 0.9999....8 =1 to and any other recurings but not on numbers like 0.99. what number systems isnt it true in?



Written by: onewheeldave


There was nothing 'before' the big bang (as there was no time), and to ask why the big bang occured 'when' it did is a meaningless question.







i disagree that its a meaningly question, currently we have incomplete models of physics to examine the conditions around the big bang where the forces acting are in a very different state to how they are now imho is a good way to find faults in current theory.



Written by: onewheeldave


Scientifically speaking, 'fire-walking'- the ability to walk on properly prepared coals is an entirely physical phenomena.







so is



"In 1981, Benson and a group of researchers from the Harvard Medical School instrumented three Tibetan monks in India practicing a form of meditation called Tummo. The monks could take a blanket soaked in cold water, wrap it around themselves, and sit in the snow on a mountain top in a meditative trance. In the Harvard tests, the monks meditated for 55 minutes in an unheated, cold room, using their minds to raise their internal body temperature... All three monks produced dramatic body temperature changes. One 50-year old monk was able to raise the temperature of his toes by 15 degrees Fahrenheit; another 59-year old monk raised his finger and toe temperatures 11 and 12 degrees Fahrenheit respectively, and raised the overall temperature of the room he was meditating in by 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit."



its just harder to understand the physical phenomeon that goes on as it occurs inside our brains



Written by: onewheeldave


Levitation and walking on water hold a unique fascination, yet consider- suppose an individual does acquire the ability to levitate and walk on water: - why would you assume that that individual would have any spiritual authority/understanding?





you would assume that they have some knowledge or understanding that everyone else didnt be it the placement of a jetty that lies just under the water (as some people speculate jesus did), or a true ability to manipulate the forces existing in their environment



Written by: Gnarly Cranium


I personally think mind-over-matter stuff really is amazingly powerful-- but knowing that and USING it are two entirely different things





in your conscious mind you can know it to be true but if your subconscious has a learnt behavour that is afraid of positive change it will sabitage your conscious minds efforts to do so


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

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Nate
BRONZE Member since Aug 2004

Nate

Groovy ga watashi no namae desu!
Location: Oxford, Oxfordshire, England

Total posts: 1530
Posted:baring in mind that i've only read the first post in this thread

i am very interested in this sort of thing, i saw shaolin monks perform things that looked incredibly painfull, and they do it without even flinching, i would love to be able to do this, set out to do this and fail even, a very interesting journey

my mum is a psychic and a sound therapist, she is very much into things to do with the mind etc

but she works more with vibrations and how the affect the workings of the body...very amazing stuff, i suggest you look some things up to do with it ben, she uses tuning forks. does workshops and treatments on people everywhere

good luck


I like Languages.

Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug.gif" alt="" />

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i8beefy2
GOLD Member since Mar 2003

i8beefy2

addict
Location: Ohio, USA

Total posts: 674
Posted:Well, admitting that I've only read this first part, I'm still going to venture a response on your four presuppositions.... sorry I'm a philosophy major, I live for this stuff.

1. all human knowledge is based on observations which carries with it the possibility of human errors and assumptions

This is confusing. What constitutes knowledge? Are instincts knowledge, which in turn are not observationally known, or a posteriori if you like? If you are aiming at showing that what we call "knowledge" is really just human interpetation of an objective world, then I somewhat agree, but let me flesh this out a little.
I will be working from a modified Kuhnian sorta philosophy of science. All of human description of experience is based on current atmosphere of paradigm, and almost a priori, on the way in which we experience and order our reality as humans. The current understandings of the universe define how we generally think about things until a new, better paradigm comes around that explains things more reliably and accurately predicts things.
Now, as for HOW we perceive, there's all kinds of stuff there which I will get into in the next one...

2. human perception is a limited range of all the information (ie infrared and ultraviolet light) that exists

Yes, this is true. But you must not limit your understanding of this to simple limitations of sense modalities. We also have KNOWLEDGE or a way of ordering our world which is prior to our interperting data. For instance, we order everything in time by cause-effect. We assume freewill, or determinism. All of these things are prior to our ever doing anything to explore our world. Therefore all knowledge is human knowledge of the universe that we can talk about, and can never be objectively true. This includes mathimatical descriptions as well, as numbers do not really exist, but are abstract demarcations humans create to help define their world. And math also fails in that it is not falsibiable. It answers only to it's own axioms and logic, and can not be judged outside of it's own system.

3. the commonly accepted truth was once that the world was flat however this does not make it true

Also true, and follows from the above. All of our truth is based on human conceptions.

4. concepts are conveyed through language, language is based on an individuals life experiences as such meanings of words can vary from person to person

No, wrong, I completely agree and completely disagree. We define certain things we experience or think about in words. Now you may have some slightly different concept of something than me, but you still know what I mean when I say "love" or "faith", because there are certain attributes of the experience that goes with that word that are common to all of them. Words ARE completely inadequate to convey the entire meaning of our experience, I agree. However this does not mean that it is worthless to speak about things. This is how we refine our language to convey better the concepts we have, and can help us to better understand our own experience. There is NO SUCH THING AS PRIVATE LANGUAGE, because that "language" can be explained to me and it is no longer private. We may suffer a clarity of terms, but we are still talking the same language.

As for mind over matter, I don't know about that. I believe that the higher self can control things on a higher scale like that. I enjoy the mystical traditions very much, but am very ecclectic. I borrow what I like from every religion and move on. Buddhism is nice and all, but still has a dogma (8 fold path). Taoism is better, and having influenced Zen Buddhism, it's really good too. "The Tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao". See the parallel to your language argument here? There are many paths to follow. All are exceptable.



Now on belief I disagree strictly following from the above. We know what we are talking about when we say belief, and the term can be clarified if need be. I don't find it hard to define, and I view our belief in science in the same light as our belief in religion. The belief is the same kind. Good science is falsibiable, like astronomy. "Bad" or "soft" science like my beloved psychology or say astrology, lack this by being vague enough in their predictions to account for almost anything. However, they EXPLAIN things very well within their own systems. Religions do the same thing. We can not judge these "soft sciences" (and religions) in terms of hard science's standards. They both explain things quite well. We chose which one to believe more in.

Another interesting thing about belief is the pendulum trick, and this kinda works with that subconscious thing too. Explain to someone the physics of how a pendulum works, how it slowly slows down and can never reach the same height on a backswing and such. Demonstrate it. Then ask the person if they KNOW this to be true now. They invariably will say yes. Now put them back against a wall, and build a pendulum that is fairly heavy, say a bunch of weights on a rope, pull it up to their nose and release telling them not to move if they really believe in physics. Not many people really have THAT faith in it. Some do. Religious belief is similar. We may say that we believe, but true faith is kind of rare.

Anyway, I'll post more once I've read more. biggrinb


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ben-ja-men
GOLD Member since Jun 2003

ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide, Australia

Total posts: 2474
Posted:Written by: i8beefy2

This is confusing. What constitutes knowledge? Are instincts knowledge, which in turn are not observationally known, or a posteriori if you like?



hehe thats the second time this has come up i should have written scientific knowledge ill edit the original post smile

Written by: i8beefy2

We also have KNOWLEDGE or a way of ordering our world which is prior to our interperting data. For instance, we order everything in time by cause-effect. We assume freewill, or determinism. All of these things are prior to our ever doing anything to explore our world. Therefore all knowledge is human knowledge of the universe that we can talk about, and can never be objectively true. This includes mathimatical descriptions as well, as numbers do not really exist, but are abstract demarcations humans create to help define their world. And math also fails in that it is not falsibiable. It answers only to it's own axioms and logic, and can not be judged outside of it's own system.



one definition of knowledge is "Specific information about something. " i think like maths views such as determinism or free will are concepts rather than knowledge. i dont think you can say that all knowledge is human knowledge as some knowledge comes from sources that are not humans, for example if i write a computer program hook it up with some sensors to analyse trends in shopping it might conclude that on fridays sales of beer and nappies are higher than usual, so placing the nappies next to the beer might boost sales, the cause possibly being that on fridays wifes ask their husbands to go to the supermarket to pick up some nappies for hte baby and while they are there they pick up some beer. this knowledge comes from a machine and is a trend that a human would have much difficulty finding.

why cant maths be judged outside of its own system?

Written by: i8beefy2

However this does not mean that it is worthless to speak about things. This is how we refine our language to convey better the concepts we have, and can help us to better understand our own experience



Written by: ben-ja-men
as such meanings of words can vary from person to person



key word in there was can, i was just trying to get across that immediately assuming something is wrong because it doesnt make sense could be a mistake as the person might have intended something quite different to what was written

Written by: i8beefy2

Good science is falsibiable



thats exactly what i was trying to get across with the things to bear in mind points 1,2 and 3

Written by: i8beefy2

Another interesting thing about belief is the pendulum trick, and this kinda works with that subconscious thing too. Explain to someone the physics of how a pendulum works, how it slowly slows down and can never reach the same height on a backswing and such. Demonstrate it. Then ask the person if they KNOW this to be true now. They invariably will say yes. Now put them back against a wall, and build a pendulum that is fairly heavy, say a bunch of weights on a rope, pull it up to their nose and release telling them not to move if they really believe in physics.



id be more worried about shoddy workmanship than the laws of physics changing. its like sky diving u know its "safe" and as long as the parachute opens you will be fine, but u still get that what if survival voice going dont do it


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

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i8beefy2
GOLD Member since Mar 2003

i8beefy2

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Posted:Well allow me to address this "all knowledge is human knowledge" thing.

Here's the main gist I'm trying to bring across: there is no such thing as "objective". We try to get at objectivity, but never reach it because we AUTOMATICALLY interpret data based on what we think we know so far.

Our senses are the first bottleneck, limiting our experiences to what they can perceive. We modify or create instruments to measure reality that we can't directly perceive, or we infer from other things we CAN perceive things we can't.

The next level of analysis is our subconscious assumptions about reality, ie that every cause has an effect, etc. It's quite possible we are only wired if you will to perceive the world in such ways, and the world doesn't actually act that way. For instance, what if reality is completely random and chaotic, and all we can perceive is order, so we construct our observable world as one that acts according to these rules... I use cause and effect because this is the most poineant example. Free will vs. determinism, etc. work the same way. What I'm getting at here is that we THINK of our world as having these features, but they may actually be just our human method of perceiving that we are assuming.

The next we might term the paradigm level. Based on these assumptions, and our current conceptions of the world, we then interpret NEW data in terms of this old data that has entered the realm of assumption of truth.

I quoted Taoist philosophy, though I could easily use Jainism, the Judeo-christian concept of God's indescribability, etc. Is science reality? No, it is a human conception of reality, a description. Just like is a cat the word "cat"? No, but calling it such is useful for us to talk about it. All scientific knowledge is a descriptive MODEL, a system by which we interpret our OBSERVATIONS. Observations in turn are subject to the presuppositions we have based on our current "knowledge" (the paradigm example), and in turn is based off the more basic WAY in which we perceive. Are our perceptions exact copies of reality? No: senses are limited, and are then filtered by our perceptual filter (Oh boy, calling on Aldous Huxley here), which includes the most basic assumptions about our reality, like cause-effect.

What we are talking about when we say we "know" something is not "reality is this" but "I perceive reality as such". Thus all knowledge (that we can talk about) is human knowledge and necessarily flawed.

Now about this whole knowledge from "non-human sources". I feel your making a mistake here and let me explain why. Who makes computers? As such, they are based, and function in a similar manner, on human assumptions about things. In addition, we program them to work in the way we want them to. They do the same things HUMAN minds do, but they do them faster. Except they are ONLY deductive and thus rely ENTIRELY on what we give them, or how we program them to think, and can not think in any other way. A computer is still just a tool, this is like saying that I gain knowledge that is not human knowledge by putting on glasses that let me see infared. Technically speaking, we aren't seeing infared, we see as we normally do, we are using something to translate non-humanly-perceivable things into a perceivable format.

Why are numbers STILL just human knowledge? Point me to the number one. You hold up "one apple" or something? Well now we have a problem of identity. If I cut that apple in two is it now two apples or just one? (Locke) Are there really two of ANYTHING or is everything unique? What makes an apple a single apple? ARE there abstracted forms in existence? Well not unless your Plato, and if we carry this to the empricist Barkley, we get the direct statement "There are only particulars" and the idea that what we perceive is a set of individual perceptions, which when we perceive similar ones we call them a "form" like "apple". ABSTRACT PRINCIPLES, those that we take from, asbtract from, our perceptions, but which can not be perceived as such, do not really exist. Numbers are such a principle. They do not really exist, but are a human system (like science too, nice huh?) to help describe reality. They are not a feature of reality. Math, and logic are both human conceptions, which ironically we use to interpret the world around us.

But I'm rambling. One last thing on math, the whole "answerable only to it's own axioms" (Which, again science is, namely the scientific method) thing. Math is a system: you do this and this happens, in the realm of numbers. As such, each advancement in math is just discovering more relations between the numbers, and MUST be logically consistent based on it's OWN axioms and assumptions. Science is a very mathematical system (Well, hard science anyway) and works in a similar way, and is almost based off mathimatical formulation. (physics) BOTH of these systems are based on the systematic assumption (cause-effect). MAN MADE SYSTEMS. Thus all knowledge we talk about as knowledge is based on a belief in this system. They answer only to their own axioms, which are derived largely on HOW we perceive the world rather than WHAT we perceive.

More later... gotta run.


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spiralx


spiralx

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Posted:Written by: ben-ja-men
saying its irrelevant seems like a bit of a cop out answer, in that hmmm its really hard we have no idea how to do it so lets just assume theres nothing to be learnt from it. just because we cant test the theories in our current state of being i think that what it means to be human will change alot in the next 50 years with cybernetics becoming more advanced and neural implants allowing a different perception of the world.


I didn't say it definitely was irrelevant, just that it may be irrelevant. It all depends on how far we can extend the domain that science is applicable in. And that's something we don't know yet.

Written by: ben-ja-men
dont get me wrong i dont think that it is a giant pyromid, i just find that the image of the pryomid is much easier to visualise than trying to picture everything in existence in a 4 dimensional space


But why should things conform to what you find easy to visualise? That's a very egotistical view of the Universe.

Written by: ben-ja-men
programs require programers


It's not a perfect analogy and I was merely describing the relationship between the Universe and the laws of physics, not making any claims about why things are as they are. Your claim is an assertion, not a conclusion.

Written by: ben-ja-men
that was my point, i was trying to illustrate that the rules at hte very large or very small scale dont apply elsewhere, the proof works for 0.9999....8 =1 to and any other recurings but not on numbers like 0.99. what number systems isnt it true in?


But it doesn't, you've misunderstood the maths. 0.9999....8 is not equal to 1. It's all to do with the limits of infinite sequences.


"Moo," said the happy cow.

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ben-ja-men
GOLD Member since Jun 2003

ben-ja-men

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Posted:Written by: i8beefy2

Why are numbers STILL just human knowledge? Point me to the number one. You hold up "one apple" or something? Well now we have a problem of identity. If I cut that apple in two is it now two apples or just one?



no theres two halfs of an apple, a apple exists as a whole, if i offer u an apple half im not offering you an apple but a portion of an apple

Written by: i8beefy2
Science is a very mathematical system (Well, hard science anyway) and works in a similar way, and is almost based off mathimatical formulation. (physics) BOTH of these systems are based on the systematic assumption (cause-effect). MAN MADE SYSTEMS. Thus all knowledge we talk about as knowledge is based on a belief in this system. They answer only to their own axioms, which are derived largely on HOW we perceive the world rather than WHAT we perceive.



i dont know that i agree when their axioms contradict each other the system then evolves so it still answers to the reality we perceive, good example of which being subatomic particles which appear to communicate instantly voiding the idea that information can not travel faster than the speed of light

i want to write more stuff about stuff but im digesting stuff after reading this
http://twm.co.nz/hologram.html


i really like the ideas it has and think my concept of realities about to radically change rah biggrin


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

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i8beefy2
GOLD Member since Mar 2003

i8beefy2

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Posted:Yes you have two halves of an apple. The apple is not "one thing" though, althrough we talk about it as such. It is many things, a "bundle of perceptions" as Berkeley and Kant would argue. Speak with the vulgar and think with the lerned my friend, as the good Bishop recommended (Berkeley). Though we USE Math and numbers to talk about things, they are NOT a part of the universe, but an abstract concept which we seperate from the world. However to seperate these things from an object is a mistake, as when we talk about the world we are talking about SPECIFIC INDIVIDUALS and not UNIVERSAL FORMS. Is the red of one apple the red of another? What about the shape? Do not mistake something which we abstract from reality as part OF that reality. This includes amount or number.

When you say "half an apple" you are just recognizing a difference between the perceptions of a "whole" apple and a "half an apple". However we still call it "apple", we just qualify it, because our system of thinking of things in those terms demands a difference, namely that "1/2 does not equal 1". That is arbitrary. I could just as easily call an apple tree the whole and then take away one apple and ask if it's still 1 apple tree even though it is materially different. Problem of identity.

Math is a system of relationships. We don't find new Math, we find new relationship tricks to help us describe reality (physics). These numbers are a SYSTEM which we use to describe reality, not really part of it.

Now one could argue that because human beings are part of reality, and ideas are part of human beings that these things ARE a part of reality because they part of us I suppose. But that will get hairy.

Now your link is interesting and actually follows a lot of what I've been saying in this and a few other threads I'm active in right now... Reality is CONSTRUCTED and ORDERED by our perception. When we do science, we aren't really saying ANYTHING about the nature of reality. We are saying something about what we perceive, so we are saying something about the way we perceive the world around us. It is not necessarily so. We could be perceiving only the orderly world, and the other many possible worlds also here we are completely oblivious to. Carlos Casteneda's books (as mentioned in said article) gives a nice overview of this kind of metaphysical thought.


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ben-ja-men
GOLD Member since Jun 2003

ben-ja-men

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Posted:Written by: i8beefy2

When you say "half an apple" you are just recognizing a difference between the perceptions of a "whole" apple and a "half an apple". However we still call it "apple", we just qualify it, because our system of thinking of things in those terms demands a difference, namely that "1/2 does not equal 1". That is arbitrary. I could just as easily call an apple tree the whole and then take away one apple and ask if it's still 1 apple tree even though it is materially different. Problem of identity.



you could call an apple tree the whole, taking away all the apples from the tree doesnt change the fact that its still an apple tree, because having apples on the branches is not fundamental to it being a tree that produces apples, if you cut an apple in half it no longer exists as an apple but as part of an apple as to be a apple requires a skin that covers its exterior.


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

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i8beefy2
GOLD Member since Mar 2003

i8beefy2

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Posted:Ok, let's talk about the perseus then. Perhaps this can illustrate better than my apple the problem of identity. Let's say we have a sailor who has a ship named the Perseus. He takes it to a boat yard to have repairs done, lets say a thousand times. Each time a part of the ship is replaced, until finally the entire ship is completely different from the original, and yet it is still the Perseus. We ASSIGN that name.

Or more erie, every seven years there is no part of your body that was existent seven years prior. Every cell has been replaced and shed. Yet you still have a continuous sense of "youness". What accounts for it?

What I'm getting at is calling something "one" is arbitrary. You can take parts and put them back, but your still going to identify it as one. How about this, I take an apple and I polish it. I have removed several atoms from the whole that you once called one. Is it now NOT one?


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FireTom


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Total posts: 6650
Posted:Would you agree that the minds holds powers beyond what "hardbacked science" is able to explain?

Would you agree that your thoughts are having an impact on not just yourself, but also on your environment?

There was a study done in Washington D.C. (the alleged "per capita murder capital of the world" shrug not my words) June - July 1993, where 4.000 people were meditating and during this time there was a significant drop in violent crime. It was predicted, but strongly doubted by law enforcement agencies, that this effect could be accomplished - but in the end they had to admit that this was the case and were overwhelmed by the result.

Even though I am not buddying with the idea that there is only ONE AND ONLY that way to create a similar or even better result, I find it astonishing.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

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Posted:Given that the study is valid (could you dig out a link? It's good form when basing stuff on studies to give a link because often they turn out to be hearsay, either exagerated or studies with serious flaws).



And, if the study is valid, it's important to realise that a substantial crime drop during a period where 4,000 people were meditating, if it was established that there was a real causal connection, then it would be easy to postulate various hypotheses which account for it by purely scientific explanations.



I'm actually agreeing with you here, if the studies do indicate that the effect is real, that's very important and well worthy of further input and development.



Easing off on the strict science, it seems intuitively obvious to me that aggressive crime has its roots in minds that are profoundly dissatisfied with their lot and which are in pain- meditation directly addresses that (particularly in buddhism where meditation is seen as the 'cure' for suffering) and so a reduction in crime would be expected (that's not science fact, just my feelings, at best, scientifically, it's a hypothesis).


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted: Written by: FireTom


Would you agree that the minds holds powers beyond what "hardbacked science" is able to explain?


Does it? Like what? Who says? Why are they so consistantly incapable of demonstating it?
 Written by: FireTom


Would you agree that your thoughts are having an impact on not just yourself, but also on your environment?


Sure would. I think about making a sandwich, then a sandwich gets made. The process is accomplished via my body, but it's a clear example of my thoughts changing the environment
 Written by: FireTom


There was a study done in Washington D.C. (the alleged "per capita murder capital of the world" shrug not my words) June - July 1993, where 4.000 people were meditating and during this time there was a significant drop in violent crime. It was predicted, but strongly doubted by law enforcement agencies, that this effect could be accomplished - but in the end they had to admit that this was the case and were overwhelmed by the result.

Even though I am not buddying with the idea that there is only ONE AND ONLY that way to create a similar or even better result, I find it astonishing.


That astonishing. Astonishing that we're expected to accept that on your word alone. Who carried out the experiment? What safegaurds were used to ensure there were no influencing factors? Has it been repeated? Who reviewed it?


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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S3KnoT
BRONZE Member since Oct 2005

S3KnoT

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Posted:wow, great thread ben, and all who have replied. Was looking at some info on this topic a little while ago, and i think that this discussion has as much to add to it as what i found.
I neither agree, or disagree to any of what i have read.

In recent events in my life, i feel that this theory well and truely can be used to benifit your growth and change the direction of your life. I would not be where i am now if i did not 'manifest' these things. I use the term loosely because there are many aspects at which to look at it from...
I do not wish to argue about the topic, which is not to say i do not have my own perspective, or that i dislike reading others, but i am just so interested in each perspective that arises and care more to take from each what i find to suit my needs.

The extent to which this topic could be used and discussed is endless. But i do have one question:
"In death, the part of us that carries on is neither concious or unconcious, rather it would be a collective of information that would become part of human existence as a whole. This said, does that mean we would be carried through to say,'the next life' as many?"

Just a thought?! But thankyou all for great reading...


Petey: "i just finished a rubiks cube, from completely shuffled to not, in 1 minute 57 seconds "

Experiencing people is the best experience of all.

Govenor of Flynt's Ass...

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alien_oddity


alien_oddity

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Posted: Written by: ben-ja-men











"a man with no yogic training who demonstrated the ability to voluntarily stop his heart -- to produce cardiac arrest -- on demand. EKG tests showed his heartbeat did indeed disappear completely. (As he began to faint from lack of blood, the subject would take a deep breath and revive himself)."



"In 1981, Benson and a group of researchers from the Harvard Medical School instrumented three Tibetan monks in India practicing a form of meditation called Tummo. The monks could take a blanket soaked in cold water, wrap it around themselves, and sit in the snow on a mountain top in a meditative trance. In the Harvard tests, the monks meditated for 55 minutes in an unheated, cold room, using their minds to raise their internal body temperature... All three monks produced dramatic body temperature changes. One 50-year old monk was able to raise the temperature of his toes by 15 degrees Fahrenheit; another 59-year old monk raised his finger and toe temperatures 11 and 12 degrees Fahrenheit respectively, and raised the overall temperature of the room he was meditating in by 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit."









eek i've seen the videos of these two, the monks had the cold soaking wet sheets steaming in a mater of minuites and they would have competitions to see who could melt the lagest circles in the snow.



i'm really into the idea of mind over body way of thinking

and it's not just from flashy stuff like snapping a chop stick on your throat it's things like when a young child is trapped by something heavy and her father some how manages to lift it off the child long enough for the child to free itself.



there's enough documented evidence around for me to concidder the possibility that the mind can help you overcome some amazing things.


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FireTom


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Total posts: 6650
Posted:Here you are OWD and (obviously) Jeff:

Clickety clock

Spent too much time on the net today, me thinks - therefore as of tomorrow. Same time, same place.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

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Posted: Written by: FireTom


Here you are OWD and (obviously) Jeff:

Clickety clock



No sign of rigorous review, short study and no serious repetition plus there have been massive criticisms on method and interpratation. Basicaly, it's a load of crappyity crap until proven otherwise. This happened 13 years ago. If there were a real phenomenon, they would have been able to repeat it many times by now.


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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FireTom


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Total posts: 6650
Posted:No offence, Jeff - only sidethrust.

To get 4.000 yogis to meditate in Washington DC at the same time has surely been the hardest task of the entire project. Therefore repetition is unlikely to happen to that extent. However I understand your concerns and resentments, as to me it appeared more of a marketing situation for Trandescendal Meditation (reg.TM) and the corresponding institute.

As a project to proove something to the world - I conclude that from the same reasons, you do: it has not been repeated and it's a commercial intitution (the "initiation fees" speak for themselves). But as to the rest of the criticism on the particular study itself I am not quite as certain, because on this planet we have all kinds of "serious" scientists, who simply have to oppose pretty much anything that is outside their belief system.

May you please be as kind to backup with evidence that prooves the study to be erraneous, beyond the mere proclamation that it's crap until proven otherwise?

There are myriads of fake Gurus and self proclaimes Messiahs whose only goal is to seperate ones-self from hard earned bucks. In no way I aim to promote any (commercial) institution or trademarked (and therefore expensive) practice.

Yet as far as my informations go meditation has been ("seriously") proven to be beneficial for the mind and therefore the individual. I guess there is no scientist who would seriously oppose that.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Mojojo
GOLD Member since Mar 2005

Mojojo

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Location: Aussie in London, Australia

Total posts: 167
Posted: Written by:

Would you agree that the minds holds powers beyond what "hardbacked science" is able to explain?





Yes.

Including (but of course, not limited too!) the ability to heal one's own body without 'medical' assistance. And also the ability to create illness.



For example, I wear glasses. My prescription was, for fifteen plus years, -1.75 in both eyes. After a visit to the optometrist, I decided to actively and conscientiously meditate on improving my eyesight. Less than a year later, I went back to my optometrist, asked to be re-tested ahead of the usual four year schedule, and my eyesight was now -0.75 in one, and -1.0 in the other eye.



My optometrist was dumbfounded, saying that in 30 years he had never seen someone's eyesight correct itself like that, and that it just should not happen, and insisted on re-testing me. Same results. Then he concluded that every other test he and all the other optometrists had ever done must have been wrong. Me, I knew that my eyes had gotten better, because I simply could see better. I also believe it is because I had willed it to be that way.



I wonder what, if I was involved in one, a 'scientific' study would make of that.

But, ultimately, it does not matter to me whether science could prove or disprove what I had experienced. I experienced it, and it is true for me. (must get around to focusing on fixing it completely one of these days)



I fail to understand why we need to 'prove' everything scientifically. Prove it to who? Especially when scientific methods at the given point of time may not necessarily have the capability to prove or disprove something.



Just because something cannot be proven does not mean that it cannot be true.

Just because something CAN be proven does not mean that it is true.



 Written by:

Would you agree that your thoughts are having an impact on not just yourself, but also on your environment?





Yes. I would say that at least some part of my environment is created by my mind.


Only three things are certain: Death, Taxes, and that England will not win back the Ashes in this lifetime.

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