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Author Topic: Cosmology, Perception, and the physics of Contemplation: Part A  (Read 2336 times)

Offline DMBoie

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Hi folks:

Crazy post? Perhaps... hopefully a little like a fox.  ;)

Thanks for providing a forum
-Dave (DMBoie)

P.S. Moved post here from chat area...

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If physics indeed seeks unitive understanding, then science must seemingly account for religious and mystical experience within a context that embraces what mystic experience has to teach - without sacrificing conceptual rigour... 

An abridged transcript from a Bohm-ian Dialog of two physics-minded perspectives... who nevertheless work toward embracing both mystical understanding and conceptual rigour...

The voice in bold text appears as a Socratic Mentor to the voice in plain text...

Part A of ABRIDGED DIALOG (note: the dubious term "forgiveness" in this post does not refer to the same concept used traditionally, and erroneously, by Christians - rather the term imples, in large part, letting go of greivances in process of moving toward acceptence of complete responsibility for one's own experience)

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Apprentice (plain text): ...kinda’ seems hard to talk about some of science's blind spots; they seem largely “contextual” and jus’ ain’ part of the conventional dialog... ain’ what science says that seems off kilter; more like what she ain' sayin'... and since I ain recognized as a scientist, I don' know if I could effectively address these "blind spots" in any fashion that people could "hear..."

Mentor (bold text): David, dogs may be color-blind, but they can sense things that appear invisible to you, and give you a heads-up. So, where do you see our scientific blind spots highlighted in what ain’ being said?
 
Well, perhaps the largest error and blind spot in physics appears in the tendency to extrapolate data and theories well beyond what appears a sensible scope. In pursuing a Grand Unified Theory, science attempts to extrapolate human subjective power right out of our official picture of the world...

...Such that the vitality of people (latent, expressed, and repressed) appears minimized in potential and import.

Yes, in large part, pursuing a Grand Unified Theory involves the attempt to "find" Laws that govern the very small scales... "Laws" which might then predictively extend in application to "explain" the colossally large.  In the middle ground, the power of the human choice to forgive gets the squeeze, appearing subsumed and squelched... "caught between quarks and curved space."


What lies behind this scientific attempt to "predict" everything?

In part, ego-based fears seem involved. For starters, don't get fooled by the idea that the probabilities of quantum mechanics grant humanity sufficient room for practicing forgiveness. Scientific personalities themselves, for the most part, ain' drawn to that kind of thinking.

So where do we go from here...

How 'bout a roundabout introduction to the principle of "Conservation of Energy" - as violated by what Gary Renard calls "quantum forgiveness..."

That sounds a little far out there... Could we discuss a simpler example of how science tends to extrapolate and remain ignorant, or at least unwilling to question its own presumptions? Maybe we could work our way around "Conservation of Energy" and forgiveness that way...

OK.  As a first case, consider how physicists ascertain that the universe "must" now be expanding... some review might be appropriate... you remember witnessing how the pitch of a train horn goes up in frequency as it approaches the listener, and then drops as the train passes...

Yeah, in Newtonian physics, tha's the "Doppler effect..." the frequency of the horn's "sound" appears different to an observer who moves with respect to the train. As the train approaches, the pitch appears "artificially" elevated, and then when it passes and suddenly starts going away from the observer, the "effect" operates the other way...

...and so the person standing on the side of the tracks "hears" a sudden drop in pitch... meanwhile, on-board the train, as the theory goes, the horn would sound normal the entire time... constant pitch...

And when galaxies or stars move away from an observer, a similar phenomenon appears witnessed known as a "red-shift"...

OK. According to current models of space-time... perhaps somewhat inaccurate although they are the best we currently have... "red-shifts" can occur as a function of a distant light-source having a conventional velocity which increases the distance between the observer and the star or galaxy over time, or "red-shift" can occur as a function of the whole fabric of space-time stretching and expanding...

And judging by the fact that lights more distant in the sky appear to be receding faster then closer stars and galaxies scientists currently conclude, based on some assumptions, that the universe is expanding...

Yeah...

And you have found yourself asking, what are those assumptions...

One thought that came into awareness was that the red-shift "data points" physicists rely upon for their projections reflect the state of stars eons ago... I mean were talking billions of years in most cases... at least for this kind of data...
   
And the "further" a data point appears in the sky, the older it be... so scientists appear to be taking data from all over the space-time "map" and projecting it onto a template reflective of their biases... and numerous templates appear possible, including some that might account for the universe "shrinking," or at least having potential to do so...

And this kind of extrapolation has seemed presumptuous, from your perspective?

Well... there have been changes in the meantime... I mean, billions of years ago, supposedly our solar system had jus' begun evolving...

…so if a hypothetical human-like race in some far-distant galaxy were to assess the earth's condition "now," based on "measured astrological data" millions... or perhaps even billions of years old, their assessments of earth might seem distorted by the appearance of nothing but a big ol' ball 'o lava in the viewfinders of their advanced-imaging telescopes.

Touche...

...and as physicists have said, based on Einstein's equations for general relativity, matter/energy, space, and time all appear related and interwoven... so if space can expand (and contract), then according to our current models something else must be changing as well...

Yes, an Unconscious reason some personalities in physics would like to pin down a fixed "Cosmological Constant" for Einstein's Metric Equations in General Relativity Theory and, thus, a corresponding constant rate of Universal expansion appears, again, somehow related to a fixation for "explanations" that minimize the possibility of awareness, or subjectivity, having any power to significantly alter "the Dream of Cosmos."

From where does science inherit this bias?

When Einstein expressed concern over the published results of the "EPR experiments" - experiements which confirmed theories of quantum entanglement, he complained that these results seemed to validate what he called "ghostly action at a distance."
   
In some measure, science appears as a protection against conscious recognition that the Magical Worldview we each experienced in childhood indeed does have veracity, and, in fact, has deeper roots than the worldview of science. Within context of a maturing Magical Worldview, aspects of Modern Science appear as a form a "black alchemy" where "the ends" are thought to justify "the means." The predominant attitude of many a hard-edged scientist might be summed up like this: "nothin' matters, and what if it did..."
   
Science's paradoxical pride in, and placing of value on, its very claim of being "value-free" - this amounts to a form of advanced Orwellian "double-speak," albeit unconsciously motivated and misunderstood. In dismissing philosophical questions of "value," scientific spokesmen gloss over what seems a deeply important issue - and in light of the fact that science has given humanity the power to incinerate whole cities, perhaps we might consider that the very concept of a "value-free" pursuit of "knowledge for its own sake" amounts to a diabolical contradiction in terms... for how we understand and experience the world appears constrained in no part greater than by the qualities of beingness we value.

Offered up as a rationalization for continuing on with a cold-edged "interrogation" of nature, scientific detachment as an end in and of itself really amounts to a choice of, and a vote for, continued emotional / intuitive numbness - a deliberate callousness laced with barely acknowledged aggressive tendencies.    

Science, as a collective enterprise, compulsively seeks to extend the ability to predictively man-handle the world remotely from within the Ivory Towers of the Intellect... when denied access to particle accelerators, biotech laboratories, and other scientific tools, the "playpen" of the intellectual shrinks to a desperately small size - and the psychoanalytic term "object-loss" can then seem far too tame a label to describe the intensity of consuming despair.

   
Does science have any authentic spiritual roots?      

Of Course.  Modern Science began in the crucible of Newtonian Observation... the observer who could sit back, contemplate nature, and align his ruminations with the rhythms of the Cosmos such that he might receive understanding.

Nowadays, the  mental vortex spins even faster, and many scientists don' seem to find their lives centered in contemplative stillness, but rather feel like they have to struggle jus' to keep afloat in a very competitive intellectual climate.

These days, egos' and arguments are tough and toughly fought within the Scientific Academy, and advanced science appears to have, in large part, devolved into a form of male heroics, a "grail quest" of denial where the violence we commit and are subject to in our daily comings and goings (usually verbal and emotional) "doesn't matter a whit," so long as we get our paper on cosmology, QED, "String-Thoery," or whatever written and published to rave reviews...

   
You hinted earlier that science appears as an extension of the collective "public" ego... are scientific attitudes mirrored in each of our private psyches?
   
Yes, in some measure, we are all little scientists in our own worlds. Sizing up the competition, addressing problems, and more authentically, opening our minds on occasion to larger perspectives and possibilities.

In general, the ego appears - in its "milder" forms - as a generally defensive orientation towards the World... and, in more virulent forms, as downright hostile (and even murderous) attitudes. Negative "ego-attitudes" appear embodied in the human organism as the habitual "ocular tension" studied by psychiatrist _________________.
   
Most of the time, people look at one another - their work - and even at the objects of their surround as if they were confronting a dubious problem, puzzle, or adversary of sorts. Science takes this dubious attitude toward the World to the extreme, and might even be said to have "sprung from" the general populations' coming further and further under sway of this worldly orientation.

   
How does one begin loosening the grip of this trap?

Spiritual practices like Meditation, Contemplation, and various "thought-replacement" strategies practiced by Buddhists (and now, students of A Course in Miracles) all manage to disengage subjectivity from identification with the ego's thought-stream - while concurently "teasing out" a relaxation of the human organisms' "ocular tensioning patterns" ...meaning the habitual tendency to "pull" a sharp, steely-eyed focus on the objects of perception.    
   
With disciplined spiritual practice, a softly warm "peripheral focus" develops, allowing for "the World" to come into (or out of) awareness as a holistic gestalt, rather then as a scrutinized "figure" against an ignored "ground..." - to use the jargon of Gestalt psychology.

   
I had been playing dangerously with alcohol consumption recently, and wonder how drug and alcohol intoxication play into all this. I have used them to "stuff the gap," as it were, though their abuse seems to "short circuit" any dawning spiritual awareness via a false promise of "Love in a Bottle."
   
Many drugs that folks use to "get high" seem to mimic the effects of disciplined spiritual practice... filtering out ego-based thoughts via a "forced" relaxation of our "ocular tension" and the linked association with "point-focus." With a few drinks, the world seems softer and our tendency to view it through problematic eyes wanes somewhat. Booze and drugs have well documented pit-falls of their own, and a temporarily "happy drunk" must come down from his artificial-high and "face the music..."
   
When people drink, they often do so to "shut off their minds" and quell unsociable, "crazy" thinking. The forced ocular relaxation provides a taste of what unitive experience feels like... a state devoid of "racing, crazy thoughts."

   
On the topic of thoughts, could you elaborate?

{Dialog Continued in Part B}


 

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