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Well that famous quote seems pretty comparable with what is frequently discussed on your blog here MP.To me the "God is nature" theory is what he's saying right there as well I've heard plenty of people who worship a personal God call B.S on that theory yet ironically enough can't even describe their own personal God.

Einstein was a pantheist and admirer of Spinoza, as Marcel notes in his post. I came across a page on http://www.geocities.com/HotSprings/6072/1einstein.html>Einstein's Pantheism, which has several commentaries and excerpts of his ideas on existence.

There's several good quotes at the bottom of the page. (And some that I totally disagree with.) I thought the following was appropriate in the context of David Brooks' column in yesterday's NYT, anticipating the advent of "Neural Buddhism":

"The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. The religion which based on experience, which refuses dogmatic. If there's any religion that would cope the scientific needs it will be Buddhism...."

This one's better:

"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."

"The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish."

From my point of view the bible is a mixed bag of wisdom and ignorance. There is profound wisdom in the bible but also profound ignorance. Separating the two is the wonderful and interesting and joyful challenge.

To suggest that Jesus' Sermon on the Mount is “pretty childish” is rather naive. Dare I say stupid about Einstein? Maybe being Jewish he only read the old testament but then even in the old testament there is much profound wisdom.

"I cannot believe that God would choose to play dice with the universe."
"Two things inspire me to awe -- the starry heavens above and the moral universe within ."
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
-Einstein


Cute saying but cannot be taken literally because it misses the evolution of the soul and how the manifestation and creation (evolutionary) process of perceived individual life forms demands unawareness. (His term stupidity)

Out of this evolutionary process comes innocence and this innocence leads to ignorance and out of ignorance comes stupidity, joy, foolishness, sin, suffering, pleasure, happiness, creativity, struggle, misery, drama, and distress. (Dynamic expression of the infinite Oneness)

Is it worth it? Did we have a choice? Ask the mystic if it was worth it. And a thousand times over they would say yes absolutely, totally worth the struggle.

Like Michael H I found most of Einstein’s quotes on Marcel’s website very much in line with what we have been discussing on this blog.

I don't understand why Einsteins opinion is important. He is not known to have done any paranormal research so why is his opinion considered relevant?

"This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us."
-------------------------------------------

What Einstein didn't understand is that this "prison" that we experience happens for a reason and that reason is to teach the soul what it means and how it feels to be a separate, unique, individual. The soul comes here to become "unassimilated." The amazing thing about this unassimilation is that "resistance is futile". Everyone experiences duality and separation whether they want to or not. The soul's lessons are embedded in our everyday lives and the soul is holistically imprinted with what it needs to learn - whether we want it to be or not. We don't have to do jack squat. Belief is irrelevant, acceptance is irrelevant, agreement is irrelevant. From the moment we are born and we separate from our mothers and our umbilical cord is cut till the day we die and our physical death becomes a lesson in separation to those loved ones we leave behind life is a never ending series of separation experiences. It doesn't have to be physical either. It can be emotional. You can feel and experience separation from people that you live with in the same house. Divorce, friends moving away, moving to a new location, even picking a tomato or grape off a vine is a kind of separation. Heck, even getting up in the middle of the night and using the restroom is a way experiencing separation. Duality such as religion, politics, gender, sexual orientation, race, culture, language, dialects, wealth, I.Q., etc. (the list is endless) causes the soul to experience separation and duality oftentimes leads to separation. And when someone responds to me and argues "no, that's not so! 'we are here to learn how to love and be one with god!'" That too is just more duality and separation for our souls to be imprinted with. We are gods in training. Baby gods. God's children. Gathering memories of what it's like to live in a physical universe so that our souls can one day use that information to create our own heaven or hell in the Spiritual Universe.

The way I understand that letter is that Einstein was talking about organized religion being “childish superstition”, not about his believe in God; at least in the concept of Spinoza’s God --an infinite transcendent nature as opposed to a personal God of the Abrahamic religions who is supposed to constantly intervene in human affairs through miracles.

On the other hand there are other Einstein letters and quotes that express favorable ideas about religions, including his famous "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind" and "God does not play dice" –regarding Quantum Mechanics.

Also, Einstein liked to give opinions about many subjects where he was not an expert. As someone has put it: Einstein was brilliant when it comes to science, less so when it comes to politics and fashion.

I've read that Einstein had Asperger's Syndrome. If he was anything like my nephew that has Asperger's syndrome he must have been goofy as heck. My nephew says weird and inappropriate things all the time. He was actually in the gifted program in grade school but when he hit puberty his social skills never developed.

I too have asperger's syndrome, Art!

I may have grown out of the notion of an Abrahamic God, but I do believe in the Panentheistic one. ;)

Pantheists Unite!!!

I didnt think Pantheists believe in a God a such?

Well not long before everyone finds out I guess.

Hope, I thought fundamentalists were pantheists. I mean, I thought they believed that God is everywhere and in everything.

Pantheists:
the doctrine that God is the transcendent reality of which the material universe and human beings are only manifestations: it involves a denial of God's personality and expresses a tendency to identify God and nature

Fundamentalists:
A movement in American Protestantism that arose in the early part of the 20th century in reaction to modernism and that stresses the infallibility of the Bible not only in matters of faith and morals but also as a literal historical record, holding as essential to Christian faith belief in such doctrines as the creation of the world, the virgin birth, physical resurrection, atonement by the sacrificial death of Christ, and the Second Coming.

I guess I'm neither, I don't follow a denomination per se, there are some things that challenge me in the bible, therefore cant say infallibility of everything in it.

What this means is this little bird has no home by normal christian man made definition :-)

Well, I start with the premise that defining God is self-defeating, and all these concepts, "Abrahamic" God, "personal" God, "impersonal" God, "transcendent" God, "immanent" God, God "the Father", "pantheism", "panentheism ", monism, dualism, etc. are man-made. I would venture that the first principle of theology should be "God is that which is beyond all human categories".

“We are gods in training. Baby gods. God's children. Gathering memories of what it's like to live in a physical universe so that our souls can one day use that information to create our own heaven or hell in the Spiritual Universe.”

This appears to be so Art. Never quite have seen it stated that way but even the bible I think states we are gods about 8 times. We need many incarnations to learn this wisdom and hopefully we will create heavens and not hells. Although I have talked to many people that believe hell is the earth experience.

“Well, I start with the premise that defining God is self-defeating, and all these concepts”

Maybe to try and define infinite is to limit infinite but maybe we can define some of the qualities of God like love and divine intelligence. There are about 6.7 billion descriptions of “God” on this planet. Every human appears to have a bit of a different opinion of what or who God is. To many atheists their God is their intellect or for many scientism.

One definition I always favored was “Isness.”

Einstein had great intellectual capability and he did pretty good describing this infinite Oneness. We see this intellectual capability in many skeptics but this not mean they have as yet acquired or demonstrated much divine intelligence as least in this life. Einstein appears to be accepted by both the religious and the atheists from his writings.

As an experiment I used to visit atheist’s websites and post comments like them and oh how well I was treated and then slowly I started to turn the page and express some of my spiritual views and it was amazing how they started to treat me differently, sometimes even hostile. We love being around people that think like us. Gives us comfort and smoothes our doubts I think.

Anyone see Oprah the other night on past life regression. I very seldom watch Oprah but that night something told me to flip to her program and there it was past life regression with the many lives many masters guy.

Michael, thanks for the link to my post. I Love the discussion here.

You know, I had a weird thought just a moment ago. What if Einstein was the Messiah? It's not that inconceivable.

Who, since Moses, Buddha, Jesus or Mohamed, has had such a lasting influence, both popularly and academically, on the way we understand or challenge our relationship to religion, morality, humanism, naturalism, politics, ethics and love?

What if we looked at the legacy of Einstein's work and wisdom as a type of corrective "white out" on all the obvious mistakes that were made in the first two millenniums since his last visit?

Kind of crazy, yes, but the more you toy with the idea in your mind, the more I'm starting to believe it.

Anyone wish to start a cult with me? We will let our hair grow wild, ride bicycles and greet each other by sticking out our tongues. Just like HE did.

>Pantheists Unite!!!

If this seems a popular position around here, I will give *one hundred dollars to anyone who can tell me what 'panentheism' means.

* No I won't.

"Who, since Moses, Buddha, Jesus or Mohamed, has had such a lasting influence, both popularly and academically, on the way we understand or challenge our relationship to religion, morality, humanism, naturalism, politics, ethics and love?"

I would disagree with you. Newton (by extension of the Protestant Reformation and its weakening of traditional Christianity) provided the intellectual backdrop for contemporary views of these topics. All of the philosophers and scientists that followed him merely built on the Newtonian mechanistic worldview (it is still implicitly part of the scientific worldview despite its overthrow by QM and relativity). Einstein is a mere drop in the bucket compared to Newton.

I’m not a big fan of Ken Wilber’s Integral Philosophy, which I find to be unwieldy and complex, but he does make several interesting observations in his http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2008/04/28/ken_wilber/index.html>recent interview with Salon. I thought this brief description was about as accurate as one can do.

On the nature of God:

“The word "God" is much more misleading than it is accurate. So there's a whole series of terms that are used instead by the esoteric traditions -- super-consciousness, Big Mind, Big Self. This ultimate reality is a direct union that is felt or recognized in a state of enlightenment or liberation.”

It is the profound feelings of unconditional love and interconnectedness that are realized in this state of direct union that the founders of the various religions were all attempting to express. While contemplation of the varying interpretations of this state of mind has value, the common hope and intention of all mystical thought is to lead others to identify with the deep, warm feelings that are inherent to the state of mind that the mystics themselves experienced.

Understanding them involves looking for those positive feelings. If someone is simply evaluating ideas conceptually, they’re denying themselves the essence of the message. The whole point is to raise the spirit, or as I like to say, to discover a higher level of consciousness. It’s about uncovering positive feelings that are natural to us, and following them to see where they lead.

Panentheism is God extending beyond the known Universe. Ryan -please send the $100 to Save the Children/Whales/Planet? I don't care which ;-).

Panentheists Unite!!!

When I read discussions about God like these, I am always reminded of Gödel’s Theorems, which in essence state that “No consistent logical system is complete” or “No complete logical system is consistent”, kind of like the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle applied to mathematical models or logical systems. The implications of these theorems are obvious. If we intend our concept of God or any of our philosophical “ism” to be a logical system, then such system will never be complete and consistent at the same time.

Alex,

Sometimes it helps to have a sense of humor when reading comments.

:-)

Michael H: I think you must be implying that there is no possible way that panentheists can be disunited?!

Ulysses: "such system will never be complete and consistent at the same time."

In the same way that quantum particles can't have their position and velocity determined at the same time?

@ Ross

>Ryan -please send the $100 to Save the Children/Whales/Planet? I don't care which ;-)

Very funny :-). I may or may not take you up on your offer to give some money to a child, whale, or planet. But I believe charity should be kept private. ;-) (wipes brow - 'phew, got out of that one!')

I was first introduced to the term 'panentheism' via Kitaro Nishida's work. I was a little unsure, myself - but in the book I have, the explanation is a little different to how Ross puts it.

If this discussion is still live tomorrow I will flesh it out. It's Brahms and red wine at the mo' - not concentration.

PS - I'm in the UK not the US. I'm not drinking wine at 2pm on a Thursday! There are worse things I could think of doing then, though...

You know you are not being taken seriously when you call Einstein stupid and no one comments.

"What if Einstein was the Messiah? It's not that inconceivable."

Ok Marcel what have you been smoking? Come clean now. Saw your beautiful child on your website. My question is how did a guy with a baldhead and a questionable sense of humor and believes Einstein was the messiah and talks to people on the other side get such an attractive woman.

I have two grandchildren about your child’s age and if you don’t think god is love have grandchildren. Cutest kids on the planet. Really. Mom was in movies and father looks like a movie star like his dad. Just kidding son looks nothing like dad. Ok I am bias but what grandparent is not.

Signed
Bald headed guy with a very very dry sense of humor and believes dr hora was the messiah. Hey he was Jewish.

I agree with Alex, Newton has had a much more profound effect on western civilization and its religious beliefs then Einstein. We are still recovering from Newton’s discoveries. I.e. scientism.

Even most PhD’s in physics are still materialists and don’t have clue the implications of quantum physics.

Michael H: ken is a Buddhist I see little difference between his writings and Buddhism except he uses a lot more gargantuan words.

"Understanding them involves looking for those positive feelings."

Don’t think we can look for them. If we look (i.e. want) they might elude us. They find us if we are open (i.e. loving) or something to that effect. Or not.

Actually the intelligence that came through George Wright the medium I think would agree with you


William, thanks for the compliments on my family, they often vindicate me before the executioner. :-)

So if I am wrong about Einstein, then explain why Mariah Carrey has the #1 album in the country right now - an album called E=MC2.

I rest my case.

I think quantum physics (which Einstein opposed) has been more revolutionary than Einstein's theories. I also believe that George "Goober" Lindsey is the one and only true Messiah.

But it would be cool if there were an Einstein cult ... except, given all the Einstein calendars, T-shirts, posters, and bumper stickers, maybe there already is one!

Regarding panentheism, I take it to mean that God suffuses the physical cosmos but also exists beyond the physical and gives rise to the physical. I.e., God is both immanent and transcendent.

Yes, I should have said that Einstein appears to have regarded a personal God as a childish notion, but not the Spinozan God. Not that Einstein necessarily had any better grasp of these things than anyone else ...

i wonder what everyone thinks of Keith Augustine's assessment on nde target identifccation experiments?

NDE Target Identification Experiments

The cutting edge of near-death research lies in controlled tests of veridical paranormal perception during the out-of-body phase of those NDEs that include OBEs. The detection of remote visual targets during out-of-body NDEs has the potential to provide decisive evidence of consciousness functioning independently of the body, conceivably answering the survival question once and for all. Alternatively, if NDErs are given ample opportunities to identify remote visual targets during their experiences yet fail to do so, veridicality studies offer the prospect of confirming the hallucinatory nature of these experiences. Given the importance of such experiments in either establishing or falsifying veridical paranormal perception during NDEs, it would seem remiss to conclude this section without a survey of the results of NDE veridicality research conducted to date.

Thus far there have been five separate studies in which remote visual targets were placed in presumably NDE-conducive hospital environments. Although earlier experiments with OBEs induced at will have failed to provide compelling evidence of any paranormal processes operating during induced OBEs (see Alvarado 199-200 and especially Blackmore, "Beyond" 189-199 & 213-224 for a survey of the results of these experiments), one might anticipate a greater likelihood of paranormal activity during spontaneous out-of-body NDEs. The first NDE target identification experiment was carried out in the mid-1980s by Janice Minor Holden in the emergency room (ER), each room of the coronary care unit (CCU), and each room of the intensive care unit (ICU) at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois (Holden and Joesten 46). As Holden and Leroy Joesten report, visual targets were placed

in the corners of hospital rooms in which near-death episodes were most likely to occur.... in such a way as to be visible only from a vantage point of looking down from the ceiling. No living person was to know the exact content of the stimuli, thus rendering the design double-blind. Once the patient was resuscitated from a near-death episode in one of the "marked" rooms, knowledge of the content of the visual stimulus would be assessed (Holden and Joesten 46).

The authors go on to explain what would constitute a positive result in their study: "If [out-of-body NDErs] accurately identified card content with significantly greater frequency than other NDErs and non NDErs ... the hypothesis that [out-of-body NDErs] have veridical perception ... would be supported" (Holden and Joesten 48). Unfortunately, however, in the entire year of the study, only 1 cardiac resuscitation occurred in the hospital areas covered by the study, to an Armenian immigrant with poor English who declined to give an interview about his resuscitation. At the same time, at least one NDE occurred in a hospital area not covered by the study (Holden and Joesten 51). With no experiences to test, inevitably no positive results were reported.

A second experiment was conducted by Madelaine Lawrence at Hartford Hospital, Connecticut until early November 1994, when Lawrence was Director of Nursing Education and Research. A scrolling LED display placed in the cardiac electrophysiology lab--though occasionally turned off--was up and running for a total of about 6 months (M. Lawrence, personal communication, August 7, 2006). Lawrence reports:

I placed an electronic sign high on a cabinet in the room [of the electrophysiology lab], not visible to anyone standing on the floor. In order to read the sign a person needed to use a ladder or be out of his body. It contained a nonsense statement like, "The popsicles are in bloom," and I changed it randomly. It was nonsense so that no one could say he overheard a conversation about the words on the sign. All subjects who became unconscious during the EP [electrophysiology] studies were interviewed and asked to describe their experiences. We were hoping they had had an NDE and had read the sign (Lawrence 158-159).

Unfortunately, although "three patients reported the early stages of an out-of-body experience," no one had an OBE extensive enough to see the sign (159). So the results of this study, too, can only be considered negative.

A third experiment was set up in "the medical, emergency, and coronary care units of Southampton General Hospital" in the United Kingdom by Sam Parnia from August 1997 to August 1998 (Parnia et al. 150; S. Parnia, personal communication, August 3, 2006). For one year "boards were suspended from the ceiling of the wards.... [with] various figures on the surface facing the ceiling which were not visible from the floor" (Parnia et al. 151). Of the 63 cardiac arrest survivors interviewed during that time, 7 had some recall of the period after they lost consciousness. Of these 7, 4 had NDEs as defined by the Greyson NDE Scale, 2 had NDE-like memories (e.g., feelings of peace or seeing deceased relatives), and 1 had memories unlike NDEs (e.g., seeing "some unknown people jumping off a mountain"). Though two of the four NDErs "lost awareness of their bodies," none of them had full-blown OBEs (151-153).

Under the supervision of neuropsychiatrist Peter Fenwick and Religious Experience Research Centre (RERC) Director Paul Badham, Penny Sartori conducted a fourth target identification experiment, also in the United Kingdom, at Morriston Hospital, Swansea from January 1998 to January 2003 (Sartori 34). As Sartori explains:

At each patient's bedside in ITU [the intensive therapy unit], mounted on the wall, is a cardiac monitor. Symbols which were mounted on brightly coloured day glow paper to attract attention were placed on the top of each monitor. These symbols were above head height and concealed behind ridges to prevent them being viewed from a standing position, thus ensuring they could only be viewed from an out-of-body perspective (Sartori 35).

Sartori adds that the symbols were inconspicuously changed every two months and covered by a card removed away from her sight, "ensuring that not even the author knew which symbol was on which monitor" (35). Though all ITU patients were interviewed in the first year of the study, for logistical reasons interviews in the remaining four years were limited to cardiac arrest survivors, those who came so close to death that their survival was unexpected, and spontaneous OBErs and NDErs (36). Consistent with van Lommel and colleagues' findings, about 18% of the cardiac arrest survivors reported NDEs; about 5% of them reported OBEs (37-38). In the entirety of Sartori's 5-year study, 15 patients reported NDEs or NDE-like experiences, and 8 OBEs were reported (37-38). Nevertheless, Sartori reports, this study also yielded negative results, as "not all of the patients rose high enough out of their bodies and some reported viewing the situation from a position opposite to where the symbols were situated" (Sartori 38).

The fifth and most recent veridicality study was conducted by Bruce Greyson, Janice Minor Holden, and J. Paul Mounsey at the University of Virginia Health System Electrophysiology Clinic from January 2004 to July 2006 in order to demonstrate that "patients during cardiac arrest have perceptions that they could not have had normally from the position of their bodies," as this would provide profound "evidence for the independent functioning of the mind while the brain was physiologically impaired" (Greyson, Holden, and Mounsey 93). Following Lawrence's precedent, the University of Virginia study was premised on cardioversion, the controlled administration of an electric shock to the heart to restore normal heart rhythm. But whereas only about 30% of Lawrence's electrophysiology patients required cardioversion in order to restore a normal heart rhythm (of which 9% reported NDEs) (Lawrence 158), all 25 of the University of Virginia patients experienced at least two episodes of induced cardiac arrest in order to test implantable cardioverters/defibrillators (ICDs) (Greyson, Holden, and Mounsey 90).

During the two-and-a-half-year period of the study, a ceiling-facing laptop computer visible only from a perspective far above eye level was opened and laid flat on top of a cabinet or video monitor before patients entered the procedure room for ICD implantation and testing. The laptop generated clear and simple but unpredictable cartoon animations (e.g., a jumping frog) of varying colors quasi-randomly selected by the computer based on when it was turned on and unknown to any living person prior to the completion of the study (88-89). Although 5 patients (20% of the sample) acknowledged some recall of events while unconscious--such as a sense of timelessness, feelings of peace, vaguely being somewhere unfamiliar, and possibly sensing the presence of a deceased relative--no NDEs were reported, and thus no out-of-body NDEs were available to test (91-92).

Given that controlled studies of veridical paranormal perception during NDEs have only been attempted intermittently and on a small scale, it is imperative that further target identification experiments are simultaneously carried out at multiple hospitals over a period of several years. For, as Sartori notes,

If hundreds of patients report an OBE there is a greater potential for the symbols being viewed. Equally, if hundreds of patients report an OBE but none correctly identify the symbols then it could lead to the conclusion that the OBE is a mind model (Sartori 39).

In a related but hardly surprising development, similar long-term multicenter research has already established that distant prayer (i.e., prayer unknown to the prayed-for) has absolutely no effect on the health of hospitalized patients (Benson et al. 934). If past experience is any guide at all, NDE veridicality research is no more likely to overthrow our current scientific understanding of humanity's place in the universe. In the meantime, at any rate, existing veridicality research presents no challenge to the current scientific understanding of near-death experiences as hallucinations.

That's the problem scientists who claim to have knowledge about the paranormal sometimes do not. Albert Einstein believes that their is no individual soul but of course that does not mean he's right.

Hey sounds like they had a bad run with "these" NDE experiments, not enough near deaths, varying experiences etc. Its not enough to draw conclusion that they are hallucinations, with many other NDE's previously verifying unknown knowledge only able to be obtained via OBE.

People who aren't expecting to see certain things, generally don't! Not every NDE floats up looking towards ceilings either, I know with mine, I was more intrigued with looking at myself, lying on the bed I didnt even see the ceiling but I felt myself being lifted upward, the next second I'm in the tunnel, it was like an instant thing.

That study appeared not to be well thought out as far as I'm concerned.

Although it does raise the question as to why some NDE's miss the vital NDE experiences.

Why some people get the OBE,tunnel, life review, meetings, light and messages and others are lucky to get only one or maybe nothing at all.

And why is it there are people who have NDE's without dying, they have it via a dream with all the same symbols and intensity?? Yes this is very true!

Is this similar to why some mediums can produce lifeforms and others hear thought forms and others again have almost no psychic ability?

"In the meantime, at any rate, existing veridicality research presents no challenge to the current scientific understanding of near-death experiences as hallucinations."

Well yes and no. NDE's leave a person with an entirely different view of life and death whereas to my knowledge hallucinations do not appear to have this effect.

People have had an NDE and have come back and have knowledge that defies explanation unless of course their consciousness left the body. There could be other reasons for a person's consciousness not focusing on a computer. But these are good points you bring up and much more research needs to be done.

As far as OBE's I myself am very skeptical of these at least most that are reported. But then if I had the ability to leave my body and remember I would be singing a different tune I suspect.

“Nevertheless, Sartori reports, this study also yielded negative results, as "not all of the patients rose high enough out of their bodies and some reported viewing the situation from a position opposite to where the symbols were situated" (Sartori 38).”

“Unfortunately, although "three patients reported the early stages of an out-of-body experience," no one had an OBE extensive enough to see the sign (159). So the results of this study, too, can only be considered negative.”

Not sure you could call these negative results. Maybe inconclusive, but negative? Also one must be very careful and take into consideration the beliefs of the person doing the research. After checking her out on the Internet it appears she indeed took this into consideration.

Not sure what her hypothesis was but if she considered those results negative maybe she needs to create a new hypothesis. The significant variable may be the placement of the sign. Or not.

I predict that someday Einstein’s famous formula will be seen as an approximation and not an absolute.

Ryan -please send the $100 to Save the Children/Whales/Planet? I don't care which ;-)

Very funny :-). I may or may not take you up on your offer to give some money to a child, whale, or planet. But I believe charity should be kept private. ;-) (wipes brow - 'phew, got out of that one!')

HA HA..... you guys a real comedians, like Laurel and Hardie or Abbott and Costello, now which one of you is the big one?? ;-)

If you want something to laugh about, how about this Seinfelid reruns are on again, yippee!!

I was chatting to someone and this crazy idea came to my head about, if we had to cast a show with each of us up for a role who would play which character from the motely crue on this blog, so here goes ;-)

I'm Elaine of Course, MP would naturally be Jerry, since he runs the blog, MichaelH can be the soup Nazi, I dont think he'd mind that role, um lets see Ross I reckon your Elaine's Boss, the textile dude, and William maybe you could be Jerrys dad, because of your age and I'm sure we can think of people for the other roles.

We need a George, Kramer, George"s mum and dad, Jerry's mum and a Newman any ideas? ;-)

Now that's comedy!

Einstein has always been something of a personal hero for me. I am still in awe at the imagination that could have conceived relativity. Nevertheless, I'm a little saddened at the way people hold him up to be the ultimate authority on everything. Einstein was a true scientist, like Newton, Bohr and Heisenberg. But he was not a guru and I suspect he would have been embarrassed to know that people considered him as such.

For what it is worth, I agree with Wilber that the word "God" is misleading insomuch that it means so many different things to different believers. The term "All that is" has often been used instead and I think, although unwieldy, it does sum up the concept precisely. If consciousness is the source and there is nothing outside of this consciousness, then God is that consciousness and there is nothing external to God. So God is nature and the universe and you and me.

“Einstein has always been something of a personal hero for me. I am still in awe at the imagination that could have conceived relativity”

One day while walking in the mountains with a friend he had a revelation that time was relative. He ran back to his cabin and the rest is history. Where do these revelations come from? Are we receiving help from the other side?

Dave C: “If consciousness is the source and there is nothing outside of this consciousness, then God is that consciousness and there is nothing external to God. So God is nature and the universe and you and me.”

Possibly, Dave –that’s pantheism (or panentheism!). But if you and I are created by inattention (some part of the great Awareness falling asleep to its own omnipresence), and manifest as a spacetime dream, then we could simply be meaningless ephemera. That would apply to Einstein’s theories too, of course. With events like this Earthquake in China and cyclone in Burma, I sometimes hope that’s the case. When the dream becomes a nightmare, you just need to wake up.

So what are you saying here Ross that God is still asleep?

Well Hope, it could be a recurring (after Nietzsche) nightmare. Gurdjieff used to talk about the War against Sleep. In which case, maybe it needs to be exorcised from within by the archetypes (us). In that case, let’s start a Baptist-style prayer: “Lord, you’ve given us the blisters. Now let’s have the bliss.” Or – “Give us the bliss, not the blisters.”

Sorry -I shouldn't be facetious, but what else is there?

...apart from Art, Music, poetry, sculpture, plays, films, novels, religion, materialism, charity work, sport, etc, etc… pretty stupid thing to say, really…

I must have been half asleep :-(

The biggest discoveries in science by Einstein and others during his lifetime have been unexpected/amazing/nearly unbelievable (relativity, big bang, QM, etc). Scientists who made those discoveries were thinking 'outside-the-box'.
That's why I'm a little surprised that Einstein's view of 'god' seems somewhat humdrum/unimaginative/inside-the-box.
A personal god and life after death seems more 'outside-the-box' than his view.
But I like his sense of humor.

Haven't there already been at least a few successful OBE experiments? I know Charles Tart conducted one with successful results, and I've heard a few other ones conducted by members of the Monroe Institute. Really though, don't we already have enough credible OBE accounts as it is? >_>

"I must have been half asleep :-("
Maybe, Hope, but it was me being stupid, not you. Question is, do we immerse ourselves in this possibly phoney reality, or do we try to find the escape hatch?

I'm inclined to agree wth PD about the importance of a sense of humour (that's English humour with a "u", though, not the American 'irony-bypass' type without a "u");-) {...thank God for emoticons!}

Well Charles Tart Obe experiment the controls were not good.

The charles tart obe experiment the controls were not good

William,

Actually Einstein got the idea of Relativity while on a bus passing a very famous clock tower in Bern, Switzerland, where he worked as a patent office clerk. He stated this fact at the time in a letter to his closest friend.

In the universe of forms everything is relative but beyond it everything is absolute

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