More on mind-body..
As established in previous essays, the traditional statement about 'the soul' and the atheist stance are both useless. Science and human understanding cannot make progress without testable hypotheses. The soul is no exception. Borrowing terminology from biology and concepts from reincarnation, we can make some progress on this front – in the very least – about creating testable hypotheses. ^^ We cannot let religious types dictate to science 'what we can study and what we cannot' or 'what is science?' We cannot let this schism grow between religions and science – the value systems and beliefs codified by each.. We must make objective steps to stop these camps further separating or asserting dominance over the other. We must find ways to reconcile moral frameworks from both perspectives – acceptable to both sides (which are frequently bridged by single individuals). I cannot let the scientist in me dictate to 'the rest of me' how to behave.. At the same time, I cannot let my 'man of faith' within live in isolation with no connection to reality.. There must be a way to become unified/coherent.
Personal meditation is a way to explore yourself and so I have encouraged that whenever I can.. TMers insist we're tapping into the 'coherent me' when we meditate 'properly' (according to their standards). ^^ Whatever meditation technique you use, chance are, you're minimizing internal noise while maximizing inner tranquility/peace. When we meditate properly, we minimize 'inner chatter' (the mind talking to itself) in the process 'forcing' the mind to relax and become more spontaneous. The mind stops its incessant chatter, the mind opens up, the mind explores itself,.. The mind explores the All.. In this sense, the mind is like a blooming flower and so the lotus blossom is frequently employed to represent enlightenment in various cultures.. ^^ But let's not get distracted by the symbols themselves.. They simply represent something special about meditation and meditative states: Awareness. Some people might mislabel that meta-awareness but I feel that's a mistake; Awareness is the archetype of awareness: the highest form of awareness of All. You cannot 'teach' that kind of awareness anymore than you can teach how to create Mozart music. ^ So.. We're back at square one? Not necessarily..
I suggest you meditate every chance you get – to learn more about yourself and what makes you 'tick'.. ;) For example, I'm a very visual person. I teach with lots of visual aids and depend on visualization skills a tremendous amount.. ^^ I cannot overstress how visual I am – in my consciousness, modes of thought, and ways of learning myself.. ^^ I'm sure you're very different.. Maybe you're more verbal and less intuitive than me.. ^^ Try this assessment – to see what your learning styles are.. Please post the general results in a comment below – and – how those learning styles affect your ability to meditate and achieve Awareness .. If you have time, please also comment about any epiphanies you might have reached during/after meditation.. (Sorry for all the 'homework'.. ^^ I'm trying to get these articles more helpful/interactive.)
'Back' to becoming more integral/unified/coherent.. (As if the last two paragraphs had 'nothing' to do with that.. ;) The scientist in me cannot dictate to the rest of me anything – much less my total morality system. At the same time, my spiritual side must be connected to reality (not off in some delusional playground). ^^ My spiritual side must be grounded in reality (not some self-reinforcing delusion). My scientific side cannot 'take over'. The 'compromise' that promises any possibility of growth is: testing the existence of 'the soul'. Now because we know almost nothing about what 'the soul' is, we must be a 'little' more clever in devising a testable hypothesis.
Let's redefine what 'the soul' is (to make it more testable):
a symbiotic 'parasite' feeding off nervous tissue impulses residing in various animals/hosts: humans, whales, dolphins, elephants,.. (and possibly in the near future - robots)
largely electromagnetic and therefore is 'disturbable' by strong electric/magnetic fields
attaches to a particular body sometime before birth and detaches at/after death of the body
is unique and provides unique guidance to a particular body
In this view, the body is/provides:
a support / attachment point for souls
a way for souls to 'articulate' spiritual ideas in the physical plane
an illusion of 'reproduction' in the physical plane
a 'theatre' of interaction for souls
suitable illusion for Awareness to occur
You might be curious how I 'came up' with these ideas.. ^^ Over many years and getting exposed to many sci-fis such as: Ghost in the Shell, Stargate, The Invisibles (Outer Limits), Riverworld, and various Star Treks dealing with mind-dominating aliens. I've studied symbiosis and parasitism from a systems perspective. I've studied religions and belief systems from the same.. Over the years, I realized my scientific beliefs and spiritual beliefs need not be so disjoint. I kept reducing my 'spiritual belief system' to 'bare essentials'.. ^^ All with the idea to maintain integrity = who I am .. For the longest time, as stated in a previous essay, I refused to 'go along with' the idea of 'a soul'. Poppycock. Self-reinforcing delusion. Pure BS. But..
My super-simplified spiritual belief system still did not make any scientific assertions.. To assert the existence of God is untenable. To assert the existence of 'the soul', as defined by tradition, is also untenable.. We must redefine 'soul' to make the concept more testable.. But we cannot be 'weak' about it; we must be strong in our statements! We must take a stand! We may be wrong but we cannot make ANY progress without this crucial step! We cannot simply ask the question: is there a soul? Because we don't know what a soul is! ..The ONLY way to make progress is to propose what you think a soul exactly is and try to disprove/test that idea..
..To explain some of the finer points, we suppose we're here for a reason – it's not just all random bull-shit.. ^^ The 'only' general reason I can see why all of us would come to such a silly accursed place is.. ^^ Not 'education' – that's too general.. Not to union with God – that's too specific and sounds (honestly) too sanctimonious to be real.. ^^ The most general reason I can give for all of us coming to such a silly planet like Earth is.. Awareness.
Awareness like awareness – seems to require something (or sets of things and events) like a veil (a bride/bridegroom veil?) which functions as a distraction/illusion from Reality (Truth). In this sense, We are The Christ who lifts off the veil of our Bride (nature) to See Her true Beauty (her true nature). Another analogy is portrayed in Dark City where our hero realizes he's like the Kwisatz Haderach from Dune or Neo from Matrix or.. ^^ Do we all have this capability as some modern physicists would have us believe? ^^ Personally, I think we take the analogy too far.. We may have ability to become Aware like God but.. To have the creative power of God is something else, isn't it? ^^
Then again, maybe we're more like Eddorians who crave raw power of domination more than anything else! :( (I hope/pray not..) ^^ [sigh] .. Whether you lean toward Eddorian or Arisian.. Fervent religious or atheist.. Spiritual or non.. Let's lift the veil and see what's under that..
Let's ask testable questions; let's make testable statements; let's do it about things that matter.