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In John C. Lennox's excellent book God's Undertaker (a philosophical and scientific critique of naturalism, which was recommended to me by Chris Carter), I encountered this quote from Robert Pirsig:
When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called Religion.
When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called Religion.
I think I might add: When everybody suffers from the same delusion, it is called "reality."
December 09, 2014 in Personal thoughts | Permalink
Michael, brilliant---just brilliant!- AOD
Amos Oliver Doyle |
December 09, 2014 at 06:01 PM
"I think I might add: When everybody suffers from the same delusion, it is called "reality.""
Witty, but only true up to a point. Some agreements only constitute social reality.
Roger Knights |
December 10, 2014 at 09:26 AM
No. It's called general consensus, surely? ;)
Julie Baxter |
December 10, 2014 at 09:31 AM
Seth uses the term 'consensus reality'.
December 11, 2014 at 06:19 AM
Ha- love it and totally agree! Yesterday I explored clive's links about living in a simulation. I'm sure I don't grasp the whole thing, but as of now, I feel paranoid and hopeless. Mainly I feel driven to push the whole idea out of my head. That very urge, if I am not mistaken, is proof that I am a simulation. Well, anyway, I enjoyed the post.
December 11, 2014 at 09:47 AM
But has anyone figured out how to get out of the simulation (short of death)?
Speaking of Seth, does anyone remember reading how he said that people in need unconsciously draw natural disasters to themselves? It seemed to fit perfectly for Haiti - a very poor country with such a painful past, and the devastating hurricane. The United States seems such a very very unhappy country in the last several decades, I wonder if it's going to start experiencing this too - or already has.
December 11, 2014 at 01:17 PM
It's interesting how Seth served as a bit of a jumping board for the 'positive thinking' crowd but a lot of it is based on a misinterpreted version of what Seth actually said.
Seth distinquishes 'outer ego' from 'inner ego'. The inner ego is based on what we *believe*, not what we want. The inner ego drives manifestation. The inner ego is a lot more difficult to reprogramme. The outer ego is our day to day thoughts and desires. The outer ego is the area of mind that the majority of positive thinking guides try to modify, but this is in vain. You can wish for things as much as you like, but if this doesn't filter down to the inner ego then it wont achieve anything.
We do not necessarily manifest what we want. We manifest what we believe. People manifest things they don't want all the time.
December 12, 2014 at 06:53 AM
I'm not surprised that the reality of reality is something different to many of us. Reality cannot be judged by opinion. The out poring of various opinions on reality is usually from people that are trying to escape it, rather than trying to convince themselves of it. So what is reality, and how can one tell? Perhaps we can all test reality, if we are able to understand what is not reality. By applying a simple criterion one can usually determine the only reality pertinent to our physical world. This criterion is this: Use any of the 5 physical senses that are available to you, and if you can sense anything with any one of them, that is reality; anything else is just your imagination, or your madness, or your stupidity.
Therefore what are we to make of your witty remark on what reality is, Michael?
All the speculations man makes on the nature of reality are just that, speculations. All mankind is not able to discern to the same degree, as variation in abilities, sensual or abstract, is a reality, is it not? One billion blockheads together cannot outdo one wise head. We have the past to show us this reality, which, actually should be termed as "truth," for such is reality, truth. The visionaries, the ones that see the truth plainly, are few, while the rest of mankind are blockheads. What discerns a better blockhead from a worse one, is doubt. The more doubt the better the blockhead. The best blockheads are the ones that realize that they are blockheads. The worst blockheads are those that think that they know best, or that they know who the visionaries are.
Personally, I have all sorts of doubts, but like one wise head said long ago: I doubt everything, except for my ignorance; that I know.
December 13, 2014 at 11:53 AM
"The visionaries, the ones that see the truth plainly, are few, while the rest of mankind are blockheads. . . .The worst blockheads are those that think that they know best, or that they know who the visionaries are.
Come now, Frank. Sounds to me like you think you know who those visionaries are. Otherwise, why are you so convinced visionaries even exist?
Maybe you take someone else's word for it?
Seems to me you've put yourself in the position of either being one of the worst blockheads, or relying on one of the worst blockheads.
"This criterion is this: Use any of the 5 physical senses that are available to you, and if you can sense anything with any one of them, that is reality; anything else is just your imagination, or your madness, or your stupidity. . . .I doubt everything, except for my ignorance."
Which means you must doubt even your own criterion, right? (I sure do.) Or is that the one single thing you don't doubt?
Bruce Siegel |
December 13, 2014 at 11:07 PM
@ Frank. The posting is all in fun. Though if we are getting down to specifics..
Reality is the conjectured state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined. In a wider definition, reality includes everything that is and has been, whether or not it is observable or comprehensible. A still more broad definition includes everything that has existed, exists, or will exist (Wikipedia).
So the state of things as they exist or will exist, outside of what we sense or understand.
By the way, the common understanding is that we have at least 9 senses, although they think there may be up to at least 21. So we don't even have a full knowledge at present as to what constitutes a sense.
I am glad that you don't class yourself as a blockhead (cause you have doubts). Even though you are of the opinion that other than visionaries, the rest of us are blockheads. Cheers Lyn.
December 14, 2014 at 02:04 AM
What about the sense of being stared at? I think nearly everyone has experienced that prickly kind of feeling, and then you turn around a bit and someone's staring at you. I think there's even a book on it, where experiments were done on it.
And it's often true that we mis-perceive the data we receive from our senses, or that it takes a few seconds to understand what the data is.
December 15, 2014 at 12:52 PM
Rupert Sheldrake, 'the sense of being stared at'. But I don't think everyone has that sense. Very relaxed people do 't seem to notice. I wonder if Sheldrake controlled for that variable in his experiments.
Julie Baxter |
December 16, 2014 at 04:33 AM
So true Kathleen, we probably have a lot more than we realise.
Sone years ago, although I don't notice it so much now, I could always tell if I left a stove element on. I could be in another room, and I would just know as I could smell it. If you asked me what I could smell, I would say the heat, which really didn't make nay sense. I have to laugh though, as one day not long after when visiting a medium. She told me I had three guides. One a seer, one a soldier and one a fireman, and in retrospect that was kind of interesting.
I also have a keen sense of time. How that works, I don't know. But I will frequently get the time correct to within 5 to 10 minutes.
I did grow up using the sun and its position in the sky as a guide for time, direction etc. And this came in handy when driving in Europe in the early days without GPS. Once when we were in Italy, we had a map that didn't make sense with the roads and the husband said, "Do you know where we are"? I said, "Well the suns in the east and the rivers in the west, we are going the right way". We pulled off at a tourist info place and I told her the maps didn't make sense. "Oh", she goes, "we have just changed them". And I said, " But this is a new map for this year". "Yep",she says, "but they have completely changed". Oh right! Ha ha.
December 16, 2014 at 04:54 AM
@ Lynn and Bruce...I will try to down two birds with one stone. My post was also in fun. Perhaps I failed in my scope, as it was to remind all of ourselves that we should not be so arrogant as to believe that in this universe of ours, although we may have began to, possibly, understand some of the workings, that we also think to know the cause and purpose for existence and being. Your definition of reality, whether your own idea or belonging to others, is a poor one, if we are truly attempting to define reality in contrast to non-reality, such as imagination, delusion, opinions, and especially "common understanding." This last was, especially, the reason for my posting to begin with; referring to Stephen's comment of: "I think I might add: When everybody suffers from the same delusion, it is called "reality." Further, perhaps my sentence structure was poor, because I was not implying that I considered myself other than a common blockhead, because I am one, just like you, or anybody else who thinks they know about "Reality/Truth." When I stated that I had all kinds of doubts, that was exactly what I meant, and which does not imply "all doubts", as I too am arrogant to a degree, believing myself to be capable of having a few correct opinions on some things. The second part of the statement was merely a reference to Socrates; meaning that we are all blockheads, those that think they know. And as Socrates pointed out, one can begin to become a lesser blockhead by realizing that we are all ignorant of not only reality, but just about anything else.
As far as my proposed criterion of using the five physical senses, it was meant to point out just the opposite; you did not get it. The senses fool us into believing all kinds of absurdities we deem as reality. As far as the number of senses, whether just five, or nine or 21, or an infinity of them, still will do us no good in knowing reality.
As far as your deduction that my comments are implying my knowing that visionaries exist; actually I don't really know, I just think that some have been are, and will be. Visionaries, as far as my opinion goes, are those that realize that the obvious (as far as our senses tell us) sometimes is not the truth, and so they begin to use the "mind's eye" to search out what reality is. You too (two) can become visionaries, and you can, like some of the great men and woman of the past, brings us blockheads face-to-face with the truth/reality. You can begin by not relying on "Wikipedia" as your source of knowledge. Man is not the measure of all things; God is. Our Dilemma is one of old; does God exist? But before trying to find out if God exists, What is God? What does Wikipedia tell you?
Here is what a visionary would tell any of us blockheads:
Then I will tell you, said Socrates. When I was young and just another blockhead, I had a prodigious desire to know that department of philosophy which is called the investigation of nature; to know the causes of things, and why a thing is and is created or destroyed appeared to me to be a lofty profession; and I was always agitating myself with the consideration of questions such as these:—Is the growth of animals the result of some decay which the hot and cold principle contracts, as some have said? Is the blood the element with which we think, or the air, or the fire? or perhaps nothing of the kind—but the brain may be the originating power of the perceptions of hearing and sight and smell, and memory and opinion may come from them, and science may be based on memory and opinion when they have attained fixity. And then I went on to examine the corruption of them, and then to the things of heaven and earth, and at last I concluded myself to be utterly and absolutely incapable of these enquiries, as I will satisfactorily prove to you. For I was fascinated by them to such a degree that my eyes grew blind to things which I had seemed to myself, and also to others, to know quite well; I forgot what I had before thought self-evident truths; e.g. such a fact as that the growth of man is the result of eating and drinking; for when by the digestion of food flesh is added to flesh and bone to bone, and whenever there is an aggregation of congenial elements, the lesser bulk becomes larger and the small man great. Was not that a reasonable notion?
Yes, said Cebes, I think so.
Well; but let me tell you something more. There was a time when I thought that I understood the meaning of greater and less pretty well; and when I saw a great man standing by a little one, I fancied that one was taller than the other by a head; or one horse would appear to be greater than another horse: and still more clearly did I seem to perceive that ten is two more than eight, and that two cubits are more than one, because two is the double of one.
And what is now your notion of such matters? said Cebes.
I should be far enough from imagining, he replied, that I knew the cause of any of them, by heaven I should; for I cannot satisfy myself that, when one is added to one, the one to which the addition is made becomes two, or that the two units added together make two by reason of the addition. I cannot understand how, when separated from the other, each of them was one and not two, and now, when they are brought together, the mere juxtaposition or meeting of them should be the cause of their becoming two: neither can I understand how the division of one is the way to make two; for then a different cause would produce the same effect,—as in the former instance the addition and juxtaposition of one to one was the cause of two, in this the separation and subtraction of one from the other would be the cause. Nor am I any longer satisfied that I understand the reason why one or anything else is either generated or destroyed or is at all, but I have in my mind some confused notion of a new method, and can never admit the other.
Then I heard someone reading, as he said, from a book of Anaxagoras, that mind was the disposer and cause of all, and I was delighted at this notion, which appeared quite admirable, and I said to myself: If mind is the disposer, mind will dispose all for the best, and put each particular in the best place; and I argued that if any one desired to find out the cause of the generation or destruction or existence of anything, he must find out what state of being or doing or suffering was best for that thing, and therefore a man had only to consider the best for himself and others, and then he would also know the worse, since the same science comprehended both. And I rejoiced to think that I had found in Anaxagoras a teacher of the causes of existence such as I desired, and I imagined that he would tell me first whether the earth is flat or round; and whichever was true, he would proceed to explain the cause and the necessity of this being so, and then he would teach me the nature of the best and show that this was best; and if he said that the earth was in the centre, he would further explain that this position was the best, and I should be satisfied with the explanation given, and not want any other sort of cause. And I thought that I would then go on and ask him about the sun and moon and stars, and that he would explain to me their comparative swiftness, and their returnings and various states, active and passive, and how all of them were for the best. For I could not imagine that when he spoke of mind as the disposer of them, he would give any other account of their being as they are, except that this was best; and I thought that when he had explained to me in detail the cause of each and the cause of all, he would go on to explain to me what was best for each and what was good for all. These hopes I would not have sold for a large sum of money, and I seized the books and read them as fast as I could in my eagerness to know the better and the worse.
What expectations I had formed, and how grievously was I disappointed! As I proceeded, I found my philosopher altogether forsaking mind or any other principle of order, but having recourse to air, and ether, and water, and other eccentricities. I might compare him to a person who began by maintaining generally that mind is the cause of the actions of Socrates, but who, when he endeavored to explain the causes of my several actions in detail, went on to show that I sit here because my body is made up of bones and muscles; and the bones, as he would say, are hard and have joints which divide them, and the muscles are elastic, and they cover the bones, which have also a covering or environment of flesh and skin which contains them; and as the bones are lifted at their joints by the contraction or relaxation of the muscles, I am able to bend my limbs, and this is why I am sitting here in a curved posture—that is what he would say, and he would have a similar explanation of my talking to you, which he would attribute to sound, and air, and hearing, and he would assign ten thousand other causes of the same sort, forgetting to mention the true cause, which is, that the Athenians have thought fit to condemn me, and accordingly I have thought it better and more right to remain here and undergo my sentence; for I am inclined to think that these muscles and bones of mine would have gone off long ago to Megara or Boeotia—by the dog they would, if they had been moved only by their own idea of what was best, and if I had not chosen the better and nobler part, instead of playing truant and running away, of enduring any punishment which the state inflicts. There is surely a strange confusion of causes and conditions in all this. It may be said, indeed, that without bones and muscles and the other parts of the body I cannot execute my purposes. But to say that I do as I do because of them, and that this is the way in which mind acts, and not from the choice of the best, is a very careless and idle mode of speaking. I wonder that they cannot distinguish the cause from the condition, which the many, feeling about in the dark, are always mistaking and misnaming. And thus one man makes a vortex all round and steadies the earth by the heaven; another gives the air as a support to the earth, which is a sort of broad trough. Any power which in arranging them as they are arranges them for the best never enters into their minds; and instead of finding any superior strength in it, they rather expect to discover another Atlas of the world who is stronger and more everlasting and more containing than the good;—of the obligatory and containing power of the good they think nothing; and yet this is the principle which I would fain learn if anyone would teach me. But as I have failed either to discover myself, or to learn of anyone else, the nature of the best, I will exhibit to you, if you like, what I have found to be the second best mode of enquiring into the cause.
I should very much like to hear, he replied.
Socrates proceeded:—I thought that as I had failed in the contemplation of true existence, I ought to be careful that I did not lose the eye of my soul; as people may injure their bodily eye by observing and gazing on the sun during an eclipse, unless they take the precaution of only looking at the image reflected in the water, or in some similar medium. So in my own case, I was afraid that my soul might be blinded altogether if I looked at things with my eyes or tried to apprehend them by the help of the senses. And I thought that I had better have recourse to the world of mind and seek there the truth of existence. I dare say that the simile is not perfect—for I am very far from admitting that he who contemplates existences through the medium of thought, sees them only 'through a glass darkly,' any more than he who considers them in action and operation. However, this was the method which I adopted: I first assumed some principle which I judged to be the strongest, and then I affirmed as true whatever seemed to agree with this, whether relating to the cause or to anything else; and that which disagreed I regarded as untrue. But I should like to explain my meaning more clearly, as I do not think that you as yet understand me.....
If you do not understand, clearly, what was stated above, read Plato's dialogue in its entirety, along with the rest of Plato's works. I could never explain it to you, I'm still a blockhead and not much of a visionary to speak of; but I believe that in my darkened world I'm beginning to see shadows.
@Lynn... Before faulting the maps, did you compensate for the time of day when you noticed the sun's position? What about the position of the river; were you certain which river it was that you were seeing to the west? When in Italy, do like the Romans. They do not need maps, as all roads lead to Rome.
December 16, 2014 at 02:57 PM
A lot of writing Frank..
The time of day is important, the map was wrong. The river was in the correct position though. Many road signs say Rome, but they are not much help in trying to find your way- for tourists or Romans alike. I noticed that Romans got lost all the time.
I don't have much problem with Wikipedias interpretation of reality.
Socrates as intimated by Plato, is espousing philosophy mixed with a certain irony and ethics as well. Born around 469 BC, his interpretation of a blockhead is probably different to yours i.e. there were an awful lot of uneducated people at that time, and this is the differential he is alluding to, between that and so called exalted figures of the time.
People are more educated now, as evidenced by mass protests holding those at power to task. Society had often questioned so called visionary's to bring about change.
Do people here think they have all the answers on reality, no. Can they form intelligent reasoning, absolutely. Do they think science falls short by not including the study of consciousness- absolutely.
So I say follow your own path, and seek your own truth as no visionary's is an answer in themselves.
It's called having a different opinion Frank. Lyn x.
December 17, 2014 at 01:04 AM
A visionary to me is someone who doesn't automatically accept accepted truths - i.e., such as the world is flat. This is someone who is willing to change their own accepted truth when they are introduced to new evidence (this is also a Buddhist principle). The blockheads aren't just ignorant - would you say the American Indians before Westerners arrived were blockheads simply because they were ignorant of Western culture and science? No. The blockhead is the one who clings to their beliefs when all evidence indicates the contrary. This is the one thing I personally strive to avoid; I know I have been wrong, I probably will be wrong in the future, but I'll try my hardest to keep my mind open to new evidence and change accordingly.
December 17, 2014 at 07:29 PM
Paramahansa Yogananda (author of the spiritual classic "Autobiography of a Yogi") was reported to have said that, ultimately, "Space is a vibration."
I don't recall where exactly I read this. I am almost sure it was not in "Autobiography of a Yogi," but in writing by one of Yogananda's direct associates. Regardless of the source, it seems relevant to this thread.
James Oeming |
December 20, 2014 at 03:40 PM
Error! I posted the preceding comment about "Space is a vibration" to the wrong Prescott thread. Re-posting in progress... :)
James Oeming |
December 20, 2014 at 03:48 PM
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