Thinking

So, this is where I keep my current thinking: links to posts…

Contingency of Knowledge – I’m an atheist who is an atheist as a consequence of where science leads me – my atheism is a working conclusion rather than a presupposition, and certainly not a faith. I’m occasionally asked how I get to that point, so this is where it starts.

Human Fallibility – I’ve arrived at the point where my working model is that we think with our minds and we have senses to sense the natural world. But on closer examination, by our minds, these senses appear to be fallible.

Confirmation Bias – Confirmation bias is such a tricky one that it requires persistent vigilance.

Stating the Obvious – If the answers to our questions at the edges of our understanding were obvious, we wouldn’t be debating them.

Philosopher Stephen Law Doesn’t Get Science – Stephen Law debates chemist Peter Atkins. I think Peter can teach Stephen some philosophy.

The Depth of Empiricism – Philosophers don’t get that empiricism rules – OK.

Thought v Experience – Putting thought (reason) and experience into perspective and challenging the primacy of thought as a way of acquiring knowledge.

Ontological Determinism, Epistemological Indeterminism, Laplace’s Demon – Some thoughts on how these fit together as a simple model of the universe, and why we have to get over our fear of determinism, whether it pertains or not.

Re-running The Universe: Determinism, Indeterminism, Quantum Stuff – Comparing re-runs of the universe.

A View of Science: Lawrence Krauss on Cosmic Connections – How to think about science.

Plantinga, Law, Coyne: Theology, Philosophy, Science – More on the comparison between these ‘ways of thinking’ (as opposed to ‘ways of knowing).

Ideas, Concepts, Thoughts – Physical Instantiation In Brains – What are concepts made of?

The Primacy of Thought – Why do we think that thinking is superior to experience in knowledge acquisition?

2 thoughts on “Thinking

  1. Hello Ron

    You took the trouble to respond to my TED comment. You provided a link to your blog with an invitation to comment.

    So I will.

    At the top of your page it reads:

    “I haven’t a clue and nor have you. I think I think, and that makes me think I am.”

    The problem, in short, is the thinking. You can either engage in thinking (and not have a clue) or you can know truth. Unfortunately the two are mutually exclusive.

    When you think you are literally inhabiting your mind which is its own world, created entirely of your beliefs. It has no objective reality outside your mind.

    I don’t expect you to take my word for this or to accept that it is true. I’m just sharing what I claim to know.

    Here the human jumps in to say: Prove it! Where is the evidence?

    This is the response of the ego mind. It is the egoic response which makes truth inaccessible to those who choose to dwell there.

    You cannot have both, truth and proof. Proof is a mind game. It takes you inside the mind which is a little like a maze and a lot like the matrix. It is not where truth resides. If you want truth you need to step outside the mind and look elsewhere.

    This is my perspective, which I have now shared with you. The problem is that this puts us into apparent opposition and highlights the illusion that we are separate from another which we are not.

    Consider again the proof game. For starters, I could list a million links of research that has been done to “prove” me correct and you could do the same and we would each then have to follow all these links and read books and scientific papers which we would then refute or dismiss. Clearly this is an energy draining process. It is a game of energy feeding. A process that runs counter to the real goal which is the expansion of human conscousness. The expansion of knowledge and our own sense of inner knowing.

    And for what? If we are honest with one another then we would have to admit that the game is really just about determining who is right. It is purely a duality game, driven by the ego (the part of us that wants to be right about things).

    Wanting to be right (and seeking to prove it) is the exact opposite of questing knowledge or a deeper understanding. Wanting to be right is a game played by the ego and it takes us away from our deeper understanding of consciousness and the true nature of reality.

    Just on that basis, it is better for us simply to agree to disagree. You don’t have agree with my perspective or even to like it. You can simply reject it and say: This is not my truth. Much energy is saved and we are both further ahead.

    Here is how it really works: We are already equipped to discern truth. This capability is associated with the heart and not the mind because the heart is where we feel it. We feel truth as an intuitive sense of knowing. The trick is learning to trust this.

    For most of us the heart has been disconnected for many lifetimes because we are stuck inside the matrix of the mind.

    So let me leave you with this:

    I have shared with you a part of my personal truth which I cannot prove or verify.

    I claim to know things. This is a no no in a culture stuck with scientific materialism which is essentially the tool we have used to brainwash ourselves.

    Actually there are only two possibilities. If I am wrong then I’m deluded and you are best off to ignore me. You can do this politely. Fools are essentially non-threatening and don’t have a lasting impact.

    Alternately it is possible that I am correct. So let’s entertain this possibility for a moment. Let’s entertain the possibility (my reality) that the universe itself is conscious and that we are ourselves a part of that greater consciousness. For this reason it is possible to know things which are true without having learned them (in a conventional sense) simply as a result of how we chose to direct our conscious attention. Perhaps to some degree we are novices at this although perhaps there will be feats of genius in the future which will make this idea non-controversial.

    Suppose then, just for fun, that I know something and I’m simply sharing what I know. We could ask ourselves, on a very personal level, why our reaction to this tends to be hostile, agressive and challenging. Why do we react negatively to those who claim to know things without offering proof – especially if we allow that there is such a thing as inner wisdom, that we all have an intuitive nature and that it is indeed possible to know things.

    I would say any hostile reaction (where it arises) necessarily comes from the ego mind. And yet the only thing that could ever truly threaten the ego mind (and by extension, any entrenched belief system) is truth. Untruth carries no weight behind it and is therefore inherently non-threatening.

    A better reaction would be: That’s very interesting. I can believe that (because I can feel truth in it). or:

    That’s interesting but I don’t buy it.

    For what it’s worth: I communicate with whales and other conscious beings. This is my direct experience and my reality. I have no desire to prove that it is real. It cannot be proven and shouldn’t have to be.

    And yet there is so much deep wisdom directly available to all of us if we are open to it.

    Love Michael
    http://www.seaofheartlight.com

  2. Hi michael,

    Welcome, and thanks for dropping by.

    “Prove it! Where is the evidence?”

    The latter would be sufficient. The former unnecessary.

    “I could list a million links of research that has been done to “prove” me correct and you could do the same…”

    Is that your assertion that I could, or your assumption that I think I could make the assertion that I could? To put you straight on the latter I don’t make the assertion or think that I could justify the assertion. In other words, there is no ultimate proof that I know of, only contingency. As you say, “Proof is a mind game”, of logic, deduction, with no guarantee of the premises.

    “You cannot have both, truth and proof.”

    I don’t need the latter, and as above, can’t guarantee it. And I don’t know that we can get at the former, and, what’s more, don’t know if we know what it is.

    “It [thinking] has no objective reality outside your mind.”

    I happen to agree with that. Because its objective reality is in the brain, which is all the mind is.

    “If you want truth you need to step outside the mind and look elsewhere.”

    How do you do that? What do you do it with? Not thinking, as you say.

    “Clearly this is an energy draining process. It is a game of energy feeding.”

    The universe is an energy dissipating process. That’s how the universe works. So, no problem there then.

    “A process that runs counter to the real goal which is the expansion of human consciousness.”

    There’s a goal? How do you know that? You type these words of yours. With what capacity? What tool do you use? Your thinking brain? Your fingers? How does a fetus come to know what you think you know? Does it use its mind? Is its mind necessary? Is yours? Did you use your mind to come to know what you know? What is it to know, if not to know in the mind?

    “The expansion of knowledge and our own sense of inner knowing.”

    So, our knowing is now inner again? I step outside the mind and look elsewhere for the truth, and yet I expand knowledge and a sense of inner knowing? Could you elaborate?

    “And for what?”

    I presume for ‘the real goal which is the expansion of human consciousness ‘?

    “It is purely a duality game”

    You mean as in a dual? Or are you alluding to some sort of dualism?

    “driven by the ego (the part of us that wants to be right about things)”

    I actually get this bit. The first bit so far. Thank you for the clarity of meaning on that one.

    “Wanting to be right (and seeking to prove it) is the exact opposite of questing knowledge or a deeper understanding.”

    You’re starting to lose me again. Surely I can want to be right about making the right quest for knowledge and a deeper understanding? Should I want to be wrong?

    “Wanting to be right is a game played by the ego and it takes us away from our deeper understanding of consciousness and the true nature of reality.”

    I don’t get that. How can my desire to be right in and of itself lead me so astray? I see I could want to be right, but fail despite that longing; but not because of it, surely?

    “Just on that basis, it is better for us simply to agree to disagree.”

    If you wish. But then I feel your visit has wasted your time.

    “You don’t have agree with my perspective or even to like it.”

    I understand that, but, more clarity so thank you.

    “You can simply reject it and say: This is not my truth. Much energy is saved and we are both further ahead.”

    I suppose we could do that. But is that how we learn from each other? Or is that how we protect our own ideologies from criticism?

    “We are already equipped to discern truth. This capability is associated with the heart and not the mind…”

    So, truth is outside the mind, but we know it in the mind? That seems to be what you’ve said twice now, so it seems like you mean it. Now, how is that achieved? How do you know we are so equipped?

    “… because the heart is where we feel it. We feel truth as an intuitive sense of knowing. The trick is learning to trust this.”

    But, how do we know that? If you know, and that requires the mind to have that knowledge already, then how is the mind first equipped with the knowledge that the truth is in the heart? I also get a feeling in my leg occasionally, so is that telling me anything I should listen to?

    “For most of us the heart has been disconnected for many lifetimes because we are stuck inside the matrix of the mind.”

    Lifetimes? This is the first you’ve mentioned that term. My lifetimes? Or do you mean genetic lifetimes, as in our evolutionary ancestry? You’ve not made your stance on empirical knowledge clear yet.

    “I have shared with you a part of my personal truth which I cannot prove or verify.”

    Well, to be honest, you’ve not shared much. How do I know it’s your truth, and not just your opinion that it’s your truth? How do I know you have access to the truth?

    “I claim to know things. This is a no no in a culture stuck with scientific materialism which is essentially the tool we have used to brainwash ourselves.”

    Actually it’s fine to claim to know things. The tricky bit is backing it up sufficiently to distinguish it from bullshit. I’m still waiting. For example, with regard to the brainwashing, how do you back up your claim, so that you can identify that it is not you that has brainwashed yourself with bullshit.

    “If I am wrong then I’m deluded and you are best off to ignore me. You can do this politely.”

    I could also do it impolitely. And who gets to judge that I would be better off ignoring you?

    “Fools are essentially non-threatening and don’t have a lasting impact.”

    But an interesting puzzle. Can a fool be helped to stop fooling himself?

    “Let’s entertain the possibility…”

    I thought it had been entertained countless times. It’s solipsism.

    “…simply as a result of how we chose to direct our …”

    We? You mean ‘I’, no I mean you mean ‘you’, as in me. Because this reality, if you are right, is my universal consciousness, not yours. You are a figment of my imagination. Or am I a figment of yours? How do you, or I, know?

    “Perhaps to some degree we are novices at this…”

    Well, I suspect one of us is, at least.

    “perhaps there will be feats of genius in the future which will make this idea non-controversial”

    Possibly as non-controversially nonsense?

    “Why do we react negatively to those who claim to know things without offering proof – especially if we allow that there is such a thing as inner wisdom, that we all have an intuitive nature and that it is indeed possible to know things.”

    But you have to know already, in order to know. Or rather I do. You claiming that you know is no use to me. But, if I can know by the same means you can know then what I know is true. And, if I know you to be the fool, then you are, by virtue of your own way of knowing that this conscious ‘I’ knows.

    “And yet the only thing that could ever truly threaten the ego mind (and by extension, any entrenched belief system) is truth.”

    If a belief is entrenched, how will it recognise the truth? How will you with your entrenched belief recognise truth? I you know, but you know not the truth, then you don’t know after all.

    That’s interesting but I don’t buy it. (I’ve not missed the quotes there, just to be clear.)

    “I communicate with whales and other conscious beings”

    I imagine you imagine you do.

    “This is my direct experience and my reality. I have no desire to prove that it is real.”

    Just as well, since you can’t. As you said earlier, proof is mind games.

    “And yet there is so much deep wisdom directly available to all of us if we are open to it.”

    Good luck with opening up to it then.

    “Love Michael”

    I’ll try my best, but I can’t guarantee I’ll do it as well as you do.

    It’s been a pleasure. I recommend your site, as linked at the bottom of your comment, to any visitors here, to better understand where you are coming from, and where you have gone to.

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