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Does Belief In Evolution Automatically Mean There Is No Soul?


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Or perhaps those so finely in tune with their higher cognitive processes are missing other aspects of life, like their ability to tap into their soul. Certainly hasn't affected the arrogance though, that seems to be in perfect working order. You think I haven't heart this stuff fifty times? I can only assume there are parts of you not evolved enough to even begin to understand what I am saying.

It seems I've touched a nerve. Was it unfair of me to answer your questions honestly?

 

Are you capable of defining and demonstrating this "soul" you speak of? So far it just remains a word, along with "spirit," that is tossed about as if it means something and we'll all pick-up on it and nod in agreement if this is done enough. "Ahh, yes, the 'soul.' Why didn't I, we, see it before? I think it was the italics that did it. But of course. Let's all laugh in unison now. <ha ha ha> That was pleasant."

 

mwc

 

 

Well not being given to tactics, not having to convince everyone I am right and they are wrong, and not giving a flying fuck whether you agree with me or not I really don't care if you laugh. Predictable, very predictable. Lets laugh at the retards. You haven't learnt much since leaving christianity have you really?

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What is the spiritual aspect of life if not simply a method of viewing the experience of being alive?

Not being one given to certainty, and not needing it, I am often puzzled by man's (and I do mean that as a gender specific term) need to be right. There are things we do know, and things we don't know

This is an example of what I wrote above. I personally think MWC makes sense, but I often think that. Since guys like I and MWC don't get what you are saying, you are going to have to adjust your ex

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It seems I've touched a nerve. Was it unfair of me to answer your questions honestly?

 

Are you capable of defining and demonstrating this "soul" you speak of? So far it just remains a word, along with "spirit," that is tossed about as if it means something and we'll all pick-up on it and nod in agreement if this is done enough. "Ahh, yes, the 'soul.' Why didn't I, we, see it before? I think it was the italics that did it. But of course. Let's all laugh in unison now. <ha ha ha> That was pleasant."

Well not being given to tactics, not having to convince everyone I am right and they are wrong, and not giving a flying fuck whether you agree with me or not I really don't care if you laugh. Predictable, very predictable. Lets laugh at the retards. You haven't learnt much since leaving christianity have you really?

We all laughed in unison. You, me and all the rest who finally picked up on this meaning of "soul." It never got defined but the italics somehow allowed everyone to just somehow understand the meaning. We all laughed at how we could have missed getting the meaning before. So what "retards" are being laughed at? We're essentially laughing at the situation.

 

You've been invited to actually define and demonstrate this "soul" thing many times now. You've avoided it at every turn. Is the concept so fragile that it cannot be examined? Or is it that you don't want to put yourself out there with this concept for someone, who I've apparently been told you don't give a "flying fuck," to pick it apart? Are you looking for a soapbox so you can go unchallenged or is the idea sound?

 

I'm curious because this is the science forum and you came here to speak of the "soul" in relation to evolution. I didn't go into the spirituality forum (or whatever it is) and start-up with anyone and if I had I would have been a lot more respectful than I am being now. I wouldn't throw ad homs for not stepping up to their game. So what's going on here? In science evidence is presented. Examples. Definitions. All that kind of stuff. Why won't you play along? Where have I gone wrong not wanting to accept this all on a type of "faith?" I think I'm being reasonable for the context of the venue and I'm very interested in your answers but you won't share.

 

mwc

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It seems I've touched a nerve. Was it unfair of me to answer your questions honestly?

 

Are you capable of defining and demonstrating this "soul" you speak of? So far it just remains a word, along with "spirit," that is tossed about as if it means something and we'll all pick-up on it and nod in agreement if this is done enough. "Ahh, yes, the 'soul.' Why didn't I, we, see it before? I think it was the italics that did it. But of course. Let's all laugh in unison now. <ha ha ha> That was pleasant."

Well not being given to tactics, not having to convince everyone I am right and they are wrong, and not giving a flying fuck whether you agree with me or not I really don't care if you laugh. Predictable, very predictable. Lets laugh at the retards. You haven't learnt much since leaving christianity have you really?

We all laughed in unison. You, me and all the rest who finally picked up on this meaning of "soul." It never got defined but the italics somehow allowed everyone to just somehow understand the meaning. We all laughed at how we could have missed getting the meaning before. So what "retards" are being laughed at? We're essentially laughing at the situation.

 

You've been invited to actually define and demonstrate this "soul" thing many times now. You've avoided it at every turn. Is the concept so fragile that it cannot be examined? Or is it that you don't want to put yourself out there with this concept for someone, who I've apparently been told you don't give a "flying fuck," to pick it apart? Are you looking for a soapbox so you can go unchallenged or is the idea sound?

 

I'm curious because this is the science forum and you came here to speak of the "soul" in relation to evolution. I didn't go into the spirituality forum (or whatever it is) and start-up with anyone and if I had I would have been a lot more respectful than I am being now. I wouldn't throw ad homs for not stepping up to their game. So what's going on here? In science evidence is presented. Examples. Definitions. All that kind of stuff. Why won't you play along? Where have I gone wrong not wanting to accept this all on a type of "faith?" I think I'm being reasonable for the context of the venue and I'm very interested in your answers but you won't share.

 

mwc

 

I think Cooley finally helped me to understand in chat last night. You are still on your journey with this stuff, I have already made my peace with it. Can I explain to you what my soul is? Maybe but I don't know that you will be able to understand it, seeing you have a scientific view of the world and I don't.

 

Since leaving christianity, which I found invasive in the extreme in terms of the dogma that was forced down my throat, I have no tolerance for any further dogma, be it religious or scientific. If you lot that worship science want to believe it is the be all and end of of everything knock yourselves out. The way some atheists persent science is just like the christianity I ran screaming from. Not all of us are happy to believe that we are reduced to the workings of brain chemicals and nothing further.

 

I don't belong in science vs religion because I think it is a stupid concept anyway. I should not have tried to express an opinion in what really amounts to a snake pit for me. I have PTSD from prior mind control and I am sorry if I was rude. These days I come out swinging if there is even a sniff of what I perceive to be arrogance, condescension or the attempt to tell me I am stupid for not jumping on the "this is what we believe and we are right" bandwagon.

 

What Antler says about dogma really hit the nail on the head.

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Not all of us are happy to believe that we are reduced to the workings of brain chemicals and nothing further.

I can appreciate this answer without having to agree with it. It leaves me a bit cold since I would like to know more but it seems that's not going to happen.

 

I don't belong in science vs religion because I think it is a stupid concept anyway. I should not have tried to express an opinion in what really amounts to a snake pit for me. I have PTSD from prior mind control and I am sorry if I was rude. These days I come out swinging if there is even a sniff of what I perceive to be arrogance, condescension or the attempt to tell me I am stupid for not jumping on the "this is what we believe and we are right" bandwagon.

I'm sorry about that.

 

What Antler says about dogma really hit the nail on the head.

I'll deal with him then. I was hoping for other perspectives.

 

mwc

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I think Cooley finally helped me to understand in chat last night. You are still on your journey with this stuff, I have already made my peace with it. Can I explain to you what my soul is? Maybe but I don't know that you will be able to understand it, seeing you have a scientific view of the world and I don't.

 

Whether or not MWC "understands" your definition is not really the issue here. What is more concerning to me, personally, is the fact that you refuse to give him that definition. Because in a sense, you're not even giving him the chance to try to understand you at all. It's almost as if you're deliberately withholding secret information that you worry might lead to some holy grail or something.. Why can't you just give him what he needs so that he can formulate his arguments? I really can't see why this would be too difficult a thing to do..

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This is derailing the topic somewhat, but the failure I see on your part is in how you create this false analogy that what we're talking about is "being right". No one aims to be wrong (unless its part of an overall strategy towards success). People seek to succeed, not "be right", which has the implications of superiority over others who are wrong, or otherwise to find their strength and identity through having correct beliefs.

So this may be about definitions after all.

 

I didn't bring up anything about being right. I responded to it. About men, specifically men, wanting or needing to be "right." Since this is a thread about evolution it seems that there must be a reason for that. So I started poking around.

 

In all of your argument there is no middle ground of understanding that comes through which recognizes those who seek to be open and flexible in opinion towards a greater end than "being right". In your mind, everyone is seeking to be right positionally. I very much disagree with this.

I was trying to say that from my understanding of an evolutionary point of view it is about mating, hunting, fighting, and so on which would require someone, a man, to be "right." Not sometimes "right" but always right. Sometimes "right" would mean sometimes "wrong" or sometimes "dead" which translates into you're either "right" or you're dead (a failure to thrive).

 

Does your position work in the evolutionary sense? If you choose to negotiate with me and I bash in your skull I guess I was "right." I get to mate. Hell, I get *your* mate. I move on to the next round of evolution. It's only as we come forward in time that we even begin to see the luxury of your type of system come into play to any degree. On the overall time table I would think there's not been enough time for is to have evolved beyond the previous system. It's forced and that's probably why it does not prevail.

 

In fact, it is this very thing that I say is nothing more than just a shift of a flawed mindset inherited from a system based on Dogma. This is where I see so many people simply transfer this Western religious mindset of Authority and Truth in absolutes from one set of thought to the other, "Religion is a lie! Secularism is true!" (or vise versa, it doesn't matter). I hear it injected into your interpretation of the Gnostics, projecting this mantra of dogma in your analysis of others. It's how you appear to be seeing the world in these terms and reading into the motives and actions of all others.

So point out my errors since you have the correct interpretation of these things. I clearly have a mind clouded by many bad words. These are easy to throw around as ad homs, as specific in meaning demonstrated above, but to want to have "soul" defined and all is somehow just not something that can happen. In that case I've stepped over some line.

 

I think what Galien is saying, and I'm saying, is that it's not about 'being right', but about growth and progress and further understanding. I will happily embrace "being wrong", if it is a means to an end of growth and success. That is not at all the same as "being right". And my point about orthodoxy is that it becomes being about that. What you believe makes "you" right. And that I say is an error. We are not talking about making wise choices in judgment, we are talking about conceptual beliefs that are either held dogmatically, or fluidly. You're whole right/wrong equation is an expression of binary thought. Binary thinking is the heart of dogmatic thought.

So you've managed to analyze my whole method of thinking via some mind reading mechanism and have declared it to be in error? It's the "heart of dogmatic thought" and you've thrown around "dogma" like a very dirty word I don't know how many times now. It's interesting that I'm accused time and again but I'm not making one veiled insult after the next.

 

Being "right" didn't come from me. Go back a re-read the whole side-issue but look at it with the perspective of natural selection. Why would someone choose to be "wrong." Who would want that person? How would they succeed? And the questions and responses are all tied into that very idea. Men do what they do, they are "right," because that is what is required. They get respect/power. They get mates. In the truck example that is what those people do in their group to get those things. It just it how it goes. The whole thing was related to this topic that includes evolution. But how so the "soul?" How to even define it so to discuss it in this context? So far? Nothing useful. Just me being told I'm way off-base for no reason.

 

And we are just biological animals? You know that my response was rhetorical, turning back on you everything you said in exactly how you said it substituting the word mature for soul. The point was to illuminate perhaps a little understanding of the non-concrete nature of our language and perceptions of reality, and that how you yourself use it. I know you're quite intelligent, so I'll just assume you didn't want to acknowledge that point in your response. I thought your question to her was lacking, and this illustrated why.

I caught it. Almost skipped it. Decided against it. Threw it back.

 

This is about evolution and the soul. By substituting in the word maturity I took the word in the evolutionary, biological, sense. This allowed me to show that I can demonstrate something for maturity. You want to see it? Here it is. This is how it can be measured. It's a biological process in the brain and it has some reflections here on the body. Here's more about it if you care to look. It's an actual thing from an evolutionary perspective.

 

So about that soul? I've asked about it how many times now? And still just nothing. Nothing at all. So from an evolutionary perspective? Can't say there's anything really going on here. Just a lot of talk and hand waving. Are we just biological animals? Yes. That's all we are. Unless you have evidence you'd like to present that demonstrates otherwise. Do you? I'm practically begging for it along with the everything I've asked for previously.

 

But I'm accused of not living up to your expectations. I'm not given the respect of any sort of meaningful response. So is there a meaningful response?

 

Which is why the Gnostics embraced Paul... And it is not the same thing as the Orthodox, but the opposite. No man is the holder or giver of Divine Truth, only God is. That is not the Orthodox structure of Apostolic Succession. Once someone has reached enlightenment, or gnosis, they no longer need any man to guide them or tell them truth from error. It is now within them alone. This is quite different from the Orthodox position. And yes, the Orthodox claimed Paul as well, etc. I'm not going to argue where Paul best fits, but this one example illustrates the different approach. It is not just the flip side of the same coin of Dogma, as you appear to assume.

I think we're using the term "orthodoxy" differently. I see "orthodoxy" and I substitute "right thinking/ideas/opinion." I have the idea you don't do this and it's causing an issue. Likewise heterodox is "other thinking." So everyone is orthodox and others, that hold other ideas, are heterodox. I am orthodox. You, likewise, think of yourself as orthodox. While we see each other as heterodox

 

I didn't use Paul as some "flip side of Dogma." How often do I even use the term "dogma?" I used Paul to illustrate how one could simply take a "gnostic" approach that bypassed any existing church structure and use it to impart one of his own. Which is what he apparently did.

 

I can't track down any reference that would indicate that once a person reached "enlightenment" they wouldn't need anyone anymore. Maybe it's in one of the texts but was it practiced? Lots of NT writings aren't/can't be practiced (in any meaningful way). This sounds like it would be some Buddhist type of gnosticism and like it might be late around the 3rd century or even later? I'd need a pointer for this.

 

mwc

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I have very little time this morning to offer much in way of response but want to throw this out there since the complaint of defining soul seems a legitimate request. The difficulty with that is of course is that it is as has be mentioned many times a descriptive term like ocean. In my retort back to MWC about "maturity", and can he show me evidence of it, it was not a criticism of anyone's behavior but to show how difficult and subjective a term it is when applied to humans, because it goes beyond simple stages of biological growth into states of mind - evidenced by resulting behaviors, external, objective manifestations of internal, subjective states of reality.

 

So how do we define soul? How do we define mature? What is the soul? How do you define essence? What is this essence? Does it exist? Where's the evidence? And so on, are inappropriate questions for empirical sciences. I would say the use of the word soul is higher than the use of the word 'self', which itself is a very nebulous and non-concrete term. Soul is very much in that vein of language as self. But soul could be understood, or expressed in discussion as the individual becoming greater or higher than his own self-sense. Beyond ego, in other words, to the fuller realization of not just his individuality, but his integration into the greater sphere of all reality. It would be like Mazlow's fully actualized individual, plus some. It is like Sartre's essence, word like being. These are descriptive terms, not things that the language of science looks at like cells and atoms, and whatnot.

 

What about Spirit? I'll throw it out there that how that is used, somewhere embedded in the various mythological expressions of them, as the ultimate essence of Being or existence, or the Ground of all external manifestation, nature itself. It is also viewed, expressed, and experienced by mystics as its ultimate reality. This is where you have expressions such as Tillich speaking of it as its Ground and Goal. Soul then, when talking of the integration of internal and external manifestation in the fully realized individual, is itself then transcended from any identification with manifest reality then being both enfolded into its Ground and unfolded into its Goal - identification with Godhead, or Spirit.

 

As far as the role of science, I embrace it. The fully realized individual cannot deny rationality and logic and knowledge of the manifest world. And likewise he cannot deny the reality, existence, influence and depth of all the interior nature of his "essence", or "soul", to use such terms. Can someone live a content life never going there in themselves? Sure, we all go where we feel drawn to go.

 

As far as integrating science and religion, I haven't read this book yet but I have high respect for the mind and insights of its author. This is someone's review of his book I just read a moment ago and it mentions several points that have come up in this discussion. For those who are of a mind to tackle these complex issues you may wish to read this. http://www.enlightenment.com/media/bookrevs/wilbersci.html

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As far as the role of science, I embrace it. The fully realized individual cannot deny rationality and logic and knowledge of the manifest world. And likewise he cannot deny the reality, existence, influence and depth of all the interior nature of his "essence", or "soul", to use such terms. Can someone live a content life never going there in themselves? Sure, we all go where we feel drawn to go.

 

 

One of the things I disliked so much about the church and the cult I was in, was their constant denial of my own experiences and their insistence that there was an objective reality which they had a handle on and I didn't. I hated they way they would say to me "no that is not what is happening here", although what WAS happening was as plain as the nose on their face. Our lives are objective AND sujective reality, and no one has the right to deny that subjective reality of others. We cannot and do not know what goes inside the SOUL of another.

 

Science can explain some things, but not everything, and it should not have to. The keening of my soul is what happens when I see the images of the current crisis in Japan, it is the part of me that loves kindness, hates the darker side of human nature, embraces acceptance. It is also the part of me that refuses to believe I can excuse my own bad behaviour because evolution caused it. Every time I hear "oh we behave like this because of x amount of years of evolution" I just want to scream get over it already and stop making excuses for still living like a damn caveman".

 

My soul is what makes me different from an animal, my higher order thinking gives me a choice about who I am. My soul is of major concern to me, not the approval of my peer group, not a shitload of money, not crossing all the right t's and dotting all the right i's to impress everyone else.

 

It seems to me that the further a person moves toward using logic as a benchmark, the less compassionate they become. They tend to ignore, or just plain not develop their feelings because they don't trust them and/or don't understand them. And perhaps, the further into logic one goes, the less one even needs a soul if everything is all about logic. There will always be thinkers and feelers, but life is about balance. TIpped too far either way is not helpful.

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I see no more reason to believe in an "eternal soul" than there is to believe in a personal god. Evolution doesn't enter the picture for me at all when I ponder the possibility.

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The problem with debating whether or not the soul is compatible with evolution is that if all religion is human-made, then the religious believers can make the soul be anything they want and explain how it works however they want. So as long as they come up with a convincing enough sounding word game, they can make the soul be compatible with almost whatever scientific theory they want. Trying to argue whether the soul is comptabible with science is like arguing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

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So as long as they come up with a convincing enough sounding word game, they can make the soul be compatible with almost whatever scientific theory they want. Trying to argue whether the soul is comptabible with science is like arguing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

You really think it's that simple? I guess you'd have to put me into the "nothing but semantics" pool then if you think so. Such an easy answer. One that falls rather short I'd have to say. I think your thinking is rather stuck, if that's how you see this. Your response actually surprises me somewhat for someone who has historically tried to see things from multiple perspectives.

 

Do humans have a nature? What does that word mean? Is there scientific evidence of our nature? Forgive me, this is so obvious to me it's surprising the difficulty I'm hearing here with this. Is understanding or talking about that nature compatible with scientific thought? Is it angels on the head of pin?? I just don't get this.

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[snip]

 

[snip]

Without going into what was written I'll just ask if these things are natural? What, and when, would their origins be? Do they cease to exist? Are they a part of, or separate from, humans (ie. are we like "hosts" to them)?

 

You're free to answer these questions specifically if your model allows for it but I'm looking for as much information as possible and hopefully these questions will give you an idea of what I'm looking for.

 

mwc

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You really think it's that simple? I guess you'd have to put me into the "nothing but semantics" pool then if you think so. Such an easy answer. One that falls rather short I'd have to say. I think your thinking is rather stuck, if that's how you see this. Your response actually surprises me somewhat for someone who has historically tried to see things from multiple perspectives.

 

Do humans have a nature? What does that word mean? Is there scientific evidence of our nature? Forgive me, this is so obvious to me it's surprising the difficulty I'm hearing here with this. Is understanding or talking about that nature compatible with scientific thought? Is it angels on the head of pin?? I just don't get this.

My point is that there is no objective definition of what the soul is and until the soul can be objectively defined and proven to exist, any discussion on whether or not it's compatible with something that does exist like evolution is meaningless whether arguing for or against it. Likewise, any discussion about God is meaningless until we can arrive at an objective definition of what God is.
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[snip]

 

[snip]

Without going into what was written I'll just ask if these things are natural? What, and when, would their origins be? Do they cease to exist? Are they a part of, or separate from, humans (ie. are we like "hosts" to them)?

Morning coffee response time... :)

 

I do see this is natural. I am. That is natural. What all constitutes that is what exists. Is it the external, objective world of objects? Does the external world of objects define all that is? If so, who decided that? What about the subjective world of "me"? Does that exist? What is its nature?

 

If I were to take the time to extend and expand everything and their relationships to each other; the subjective to the objective, the objective to the subjective, the subjective to the intersubjective, the intersubjective to the objective, the objective to the intersubjective, and so forth, then to tie evolution into not just the external, objective, physical world but the internal world of mind and consciousness, ideas, values, meaning, depth, etc (which can be demonstrated there as well), then tie all of it together within an overarching reality of all these realities that exists beyond, before and throughout it all, I would not call that supernatural, but rather more something like Intranatural. Throughout all of reality.

 

Now, how then can you look to that as an object? It is all objects, all realities. This can sound to be a statement of pantheism but not quite in how I see it, without going into elaborating the differences here.

 

You ask, "What would their origins be"? That is the same question for the empirical sciences. What is the origin of existence? Is that actually even a question for science? What is existence? What is being? What constitutes "beingness"? What is the origin of All? The Big Bang? Whatever the functions of the universe or a multiverse if you accept that as a theory, it is still what is, rising and falling, from and to. It is motion, action, becoming. Behind that is stillness, the isness of it all. It's that "isness", or to use another term, the "suchness" of it. It is that 'suchness' through which the internal nature of the external reality is encountered. It is not an object or a thing. It simply Is, neither rising nor falling. That Ground if you will has no origin. It is Origin.

 

You ask do they cease to exist? If you speak of the soul, in those terms previously described, I would say the soul is an expression or form of a realized nature of the whole individual, in mind, body, spirit, self. However there is a 'beyond soul' into Spirit, that Ground if you will. "Soul" is tied to the individual, as ego is. Again, for the benefit of Neon, as I pointed out in other posts, "Soul" is not a thing, an object, any more than saying the "essence" of someone is. Yet it is how we can understand something "essential" about someone or something.

 

In a sense it can be an "object" by virtue of it being symbolized in language. We interact with that concept linguistically in that sense and hence it can be talked about as an "it". But the confusion of it appears to happen for those who crawled out of the mythological systems of childhood who took this as conflation of language symbols with objective physical realities. As we understand more the abstraction of it, and the role language plays in taking subjective or abstracted concepts, ideas, and what have you, we start to understand the "nature" of what the symbols are pointing to, rather than mistaking the symbols themselves as the 'thing' itself.

 

So the 'soul' then, in how I see things is superseded by identity with the All. So to offer a sort of model as you asked for, the progression of evolution (both external and internal without going into huge detail), matter, body, mind, soul, spirit. Each successive stage builds upon the previous, transcending and including it into the next. Realization of the higher stages of mind cannot be apprehended without mind, or body, or matter. But the potential exists from the lowest stage, realized in the highest.

 

Do they cease to exist? As the ground is origin and goal, it never ceases to exist, but all forms or expression of that Ground pass or are transcended. It is my way of considering it symbolically that it is like that multiverse model of continual motion of creation and destruction from an ever immanent Source, in endless expression of Spirit, in an endless expression of being and becoming. This of course is a symbolic expression of what transcends form. As such there is no "it", just Is, Formless. Therefore, any symbol any word, is not That. As the saying goes, "Not this, not that".

 

So your question, "Are we hosts to them", as if souls or spirits are disembodies 'things' adrift in the supernatural realms. Not at all in how I talk about it. Those notions are reflective of the child-like mythological representation of these 'spiritual' concepts, reflective of those see symbolic language literally. I referenced a link the Cosmic Dance earlier in this thread. I'd suggest looking at that again to underscore what I'm saying here in making that distinction. At best I would say all that is, all that arises, all that evolves, are forms and expressions of That. Evolution is the movement of Spirit in creation, is one way to look at it.

 

And that ties right square back to the question of this thread. Does evolution do away with the idea of a soul? What it does do away with is a childish, literalist understanding of symbolic language into a greater, higher, deeper understanding. It "evolves" our understanding - if we don't simply ignore or dismiss the actual, experienced reality of the 'self' in its awakening consciousness inside us. To me, recognizing the progress of mind and consciousness, along with our biological evolution, is in fact very much compatible with observation, and consistent with internal realizations.

 

I could go on for quite a bit here, but I have to go do the work thing... ;)

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Okay. Some existential universal "oneness" concept is what I'm taking away from all this. The ocean becomes the drop. The drop the ocean. Individuals yet a collective. A collective yet individuals. An "energy" or "consciousness" or perhaps "soul" flows or connects all things. The "enlightenment" is the ability to connect or re-connect with universal whole as it were.

 

If this even remotely like where you're heading I know for a fact you can go on (and on).

 

But the bottom line is you can't really define it and you won't be able to demonstrate it. I'm not sure where to go.

 

mwc

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But the bottom line is you can't really define it and you won't be able to demonstrate it. I'm not sure where to go.

Not in the terms you may wish defined so you can apply science to it as though it were provable or unprovable objects. My point is reality is not defined as such, nor lived as such. So this come to the crux of "science vs. religion". My answer to that conflict is that it is not a reconciliation that needs to happen, taking spiritual concepts/expressions and putting them on the table as scientific things to be studied (i.e, reductionism), nor 'spiritualizing' science in some sort of pseudoscience. I see both attempts as opposite sides of the same coin, one trying to eliminate the fuzziness of the subjective by making it objective, the other trying to fuzzy-up the objective, giving it its infamous epithet of "woo-woo". I reject both as a viable solution. Reductionism and Woo-Woo are equally irrational, but both expressions of the same thing.

 

For me the key is to integrate them through transcending them as this versus that approaches. This comes to the value of what I found in Einstein's quote I came across recently by accident. It had been my holy grail search to try to reconcile science vs. religion, but it is impossible when each defines themselves without the other. In the terms you speak, religion = myth, science = facts. I disagree with both those equations. And those equations come squarely back to what I said before about a mindset of Absolutes, Authority, as Dogma. Those views are errant, as it places beliefs, views, opinions, interpretations as Supreme Arbitrator of Truth.

 

Reality is far too dynamic, far too fluid, to place one tool of mind as that Authority. There is more to man than his rationality and sciences in his discovery, or unfolding of truth. These are transrational, and into the spiritual nature of existence itself, transpersonal. Never violating reason, as in anti-rational (i.e., fundamentalism/Creationism), but rather including and transcending it into a more integrated way of looking at the world and ourselves, which in turn informs and transforms perception into reality, and how we do and approach our sciences and religions. This is what I saw Einstein was saying, and I agree with it.

 

What is spirituality but the pursuit and development of our whole selves? What is 'true science' but the pursuit of understanding the world through our whole selves. The spiritual in science is the developed self in the world applying perception and intuition from that transrational self into the study of the natural world that we are inseparable from. Reality is not flat. It is not "out there", but in here, out there, nowhere, everywhere.

 

 

P.S. Can it be defined and demonstrated? Yes. It is defined as the Unity of all things. The more unity experienced and expressed, the more it is demonstrated. Its existence is demonstrated in action, understanding, knowledge, peace, love, compassion, and so forth. But then again, those are all just chemicals and recreational highs that have no bearing on our actual, realized evolution, right? ;)

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Not in the terms you may wish defined so you can apply science to it as though it were provable or unprovable objects. My point is reality is not defined as such, nor lived as such. So this come to the crux of "science vs. religion". My answer to that conflict is that it is not a reconciliation that needs to happen, taking spiritual concepts/expressions and putting them on the table as scientific things to be studied (i.e, reductionism), nor 'spiritualizing' science in some sort of pseudoscience. I see both attempts as opposite sides of the same coin, one trying to eliminate the fuzziness of the subjective by making it objective, the other trying to fuzzy-up the objective, giving it its infamous epithet of "woo-woo". I reject both as a viable solution. Reductionism and Woo-Woo are equally irrational, but both expressions of the same thing.

What I see here is that you are telling me that an Invisible Colored Horse-like animal with a horn truly is in the room but we shouldn't try to examine it. We should all accept that it is here though. Perhaps it is Pink. Perhaps it is a Unicorn. To try to understand it in this way would not truly be in our best interest so let's avoid doing just that.

 

I have to question your use of "science" and "reality."

 

For me the key is to integrate them through transcending them as this versus that approaches. This comes to the value of what I found in Einstein's quote I came across recently by accident. It had been my holy grail search to try to reconcile science vs. religion, but it is impossible when each defines themselves without the other. In the terms you speak, religion = myth, science = facts. I disagree with both those equations. And those equations come squarely back to what I said before about a mindset of Absolutes, Authority, as Dogma. Those views are errant, as it places beliefs, views, opinions, interpretations as Supreme Arbitrator of Truth.

Declaring these views as errant you have placed yourself as the "Supreme Arbitrator of Truth."

 

Reality is far too dynamic, far too fluid, to place one tool of mind as that Authority. There is more to man than his rationality and sciences in his discovery, or unfolding of truth. These are transrational, and into the spiritual nature of existence itself, transpersonal. Never violating reason, as in anti-rational (i.e., fundamentalism/Creationism), but rather including and transcending it into a more integrated way of looking at the world and ourselves, which in turn informs and transforms perception into reality, and how we do and approach our sciences and religions. This is what I saw Einstein was saying, and I agree with it.

Am I being told how we shouldn't expect a certain type of invisible animal to be governed by any specific rules? All without explaining the animal or the rules? It appear that it's more just your general feeling on the idea of the rules which then somehow translates into a rule on how rules should work itself.

 

What is spirituality but the pursuit and development of our whole selves? What is 'true science' but the pursuit of understanding the world through our whole selves. The spiritual in science is the developed self in the world applying perception and intuition from that transrational self into the study of the natural world that we are inseparable from. Reality is not flat. It is not "out there", but in here, out there, nowhere, everywhere.

So "whole selves" would be what? Used but undefined here. And "true science" is something as opposed to just "science" or "false science?" I'm not even going to bother with reality.

 

P.S. Can it be defined and demonstrated? Yes. It is defined as the Unity of all things. The more unity experienced and expressed, the more it is demonstrated. Its existence is demonstrated in action, understanding, knowledge, peace, love, compassion, and so forth. But then again, those are all just chemicals and recreational highs that have no bearing on our actual, realized evolution, right? ;)

So "soul" is the unity of all things?

 

"Unity" then doesn't mean a simply "coming together" or something of that nature since the universe has already managed that quite nicely. Particles are bound on varying scale everywhere I look. Everywhere we examine there is "unity." There are few atoms in actual space that aren't bound together. And even on the sub-atomic level there is "unity." So it's just down to humans again? Just us? Not aliens? Not plants or animals? Not atoms or other particles? Just humans once more? In all the universe? We're it? Doesn't that get a bit old?

 

And "understanding, knowledge, peace, love, compassion, and so forth"? Where'd you pull that list from? The universe is an amazingly violent place. Deadly. For pretty much everything that's in it. Doesn't matter what you're made out of. So it seems these are contrary to the state of the universe. Shouldn't some cosmic "soul" reflect the cosmos itself? I do realize we humans are the extra special group of the billions up billions of, well, anything and everything, but I still think we should look at what we're "tapping" into. Maybe those who lack this "soul" are these anomalous creatures you describe and those who possess it are the ones who behave like the universe who spawned them?

 

mwc

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Not in the terms you may wish defined so you can apply science to it as though it were provable or unprovable objects. My point is reality is not defined as such, nor lived as such. So this come to the crux of "science vs. religion". My answer to that conflict is that it is not a reconciliation that needs to happen, taking spiritual concepts/expressions and putting them on the table as scientific things to be studied (i.e, reductionism), nor 'spiritualizing' science in some sort of pseudoscience. I see both attempts as opposite sides of the same coin, one trying to eliminate the fuzziness of the subjective by making it objective, the other trying to fuzzy-up the objective, giving it its infamous epithet of "woo-woo". I reject both as a viable solution. Reductionism and Woo-Woo are equally irrational, but both expressions of the same thing.

What I see here is that you are telling me that an Invisible Colored Horse-like animal with a horn truly is in the room but we shouldn't try to examine it. We should all accept that it is here though. Perhaps it is Pink. Perhaps it is a Unicorn. To try to understand it in this way would not truly be in our best interest so let's avoid doing just that.

 

 

Reality is far too dynamic, far too fluid, to place one tool of mind as that Authority. There is more to man than his rationality and sciences in his discovery, or unfolding of truth. These are transrational, and into the spiritual nature of existence itself, transpersonal. Never violating reason, as in anti-rational (i.e., fundamentalism/Creationism), but rather including and transcending it into a more integrated way of looking at the world and ourselves, which in turn informs and transforms perception into reality, and how we do and approach our sciences and religions. This is what I saw Einstein was saying, and I agree with it.

Am I being told how we shouldn't expect a certain type of invisible animal to be governed by any specific rules? All without explaining the animal or the rules? It appear that it's more just your general feeling on the idea of the rules which then somehow translates into a rule on how rules should work itself.

You're entire response above is absurd. It either demonstrates you simply are unable to grasp the concepts of what I'm saying, or you're being a insincere in this discussion, deliberately just trying to keep it going for the sake of whatever. I vote for the former.

 

Before I'm willing to continue responding I need you to demonstrate for me how you interpret the use of words like "self". I've asked this repeatedly of you and gotten no response. Can you show me scientific evidence of "self"? Your response to me above can equally be applied to someone speaking of their "self". Do you view that as some external object, like an invisible Pink Unicorn?? Perhaps you do.

 

Then let's expand that invisible ghost you image it as, that "self", and talking about our primal self, our civilized self, our advanced self, our higher self. Of course these are just all different shades of an invisible Pink Unicorn. Or are they ways to talk about experienced subjective reality in objective terms using linguistic symbols? Clearly that entire discussion I provided above went sailing straight past you.

 

Id, ego, superego. Freud believed in invisible unicorns! Thank you MWC for clarifying this for all of us. :)

 

 

What is spirituality but the pursuit and development of our whole selves? What is 'true science' but the pursuit of understanding the world through our whole selves. The spiritual in science is the developed self in the world applying perception and intuition from that transrational self into the study of the natural world that we are inseparable from. Reality is not flat. It is not "out there", but in here, out there, nowhere, everywhere.

So "whole selves" would be what? Used but undefined here. And "true science" is something as opposed to just "science" or "false science?" I'm not even going to bother with reality.

I've explained all this in great depth, and based on your responses your problem appears to be an entire conceptual framework, as it says in my signature line below. I don't imagine how we can discuss these things if you don't follow my thoughts. If you were to respond saying, "I understand concepts such as self, higher self, soul, spirit, etc, but I don't see a need to assign them to things like "God" or other religious symbols," then you would be demonstrating we are at least looking at the same thing! No, however, you imagine this is invisible unicorns, which shows you don't see it at all. Again, what is "self"?

 

As far as the use of "true science" as you just challenged me on, why don't use ask that question of Einstein who was the one who used it and I borrowed it from. What did he mean by it, and why do I feel that entire quote supported everything I'm saying?

 

P.S. Can it be defined and demonstrated? Yes. It is defined as the Unity of all things. The more unity experienced and expressed, the more it is demonstrated. Its existence is demonstrated in action, understanding, knowledge, peace, love, compassion, and so forth. But then again, those are all just chemicals and recreational highs that have no bearing on our actual, realized evolution, right? ;)

So "soul" is the unity of all things.

I question whether you've read/followed much of what I've posted here. I clearly stated that soul is superseded by spirit, which would be Union with all or the All.

 

"Unity" then doesn't mean a simply "coming together" or something of that nature since the universe has already managed that quite nicely. Particles are bound on varying scale everywhere I look. Everywhere we examine there is "unity." There are few atoms in actual space that aren't bound together. And even on the sub-atomic level there is "unity." So it's just down to humans again? Just us? Not aliens? Not plants or animals? Not atoms or other particles? Just humans once more? In all the universe? We're it? Doesn't that get a bit old?

We're not talking physics in any of these definitions of "self", "soul", or "spirit". How would you imagine I'm speaking, like Brundel Fly fused with his telepod? Yes however, I do believe in the physical interconnectedness of all things, but more specifically the spiritual is awareness, and internal, conscious, identification, or recognition. That is what this discussion is about - the internal aspects and evolution of that in nature.

 

And "understanding, knowledge, peace, love, compassion, and so forth"? Where'd you pull that list from?

Experience. Other's experiences. Developmental psychologists, etc. Again, what is "maturity", beyond some biological reference to certain stages of physical development; mature in the psychological sense of the word? What is maturity, and how do you demonstrate it? Exact same difference. I could go on at some length, but at the moment I don't see it would help make the concepts realized any better. You imagine they don't exist beyond their physiological component. There is no psychological, it's all just biology to you. I think that may be the whole problem in this discussion. You don't even acknowledge mind, how then could you imagine self, soul, or spirit?

 

The universe is an amazingly violent place. Deadly. For pretty much everything that's in it. Doesn't matter what you're made out of. So it seems these are contrary to the state of the universe. Shouldn't some cosmic "soul" reflect the cosmos itself? I do realize we humans are the extra special group of the billions up billions of, well, anything and everything, but I still think we should look at what we're "tapping" into. Maybe those who lack this "soul" are these anomalous creatures you describe and those who possess it are the ones who behave like the universe who spawned them?

 

mwc

I'll explain some thoughts to this for the benefit of others who would might like a way to look at this. First that we do experience and demonstrate things like love, compassion, etc, shows immediately that they are in fact a part of the universe, since we in fact evolved from this universe. Their potentials lie within the very fabric of the universe itself. To put it in simple terms, does the child already posses compassion as 2 year old, or it something that unfolds as he or she develops? Something that as you "mature" - which we would define as a greater awakening of themselves into the world, moving from self-absorptive narcissism, to social identification, to global-identification, that begins to become more and more exposed from within their "nature", the less and less the "self" is viewed as the center of the universe.

 

Why is compassion and love higher, because that is where it is most demonstrated in greater states of awareness, greater states of maturity. So where was it prior to man? Non-existent? It magically appeared like the Creationists special creation ex-nihol, out of nothing? Or did it emerge from the potentials of the universe itself, unrealized until certain levels of development, or to use the familiar term "evolution". Same with consciousness. Same with love.

 

If you were to imagine the material universe as the birthing ground, then clearly it's not going to demonstrate the higher levels of development or evolution, any more that a two year old demonstrates adult compassion. But that potential is obviously present and part of a higher-realized state. And why those like Tillich use the terms Ground and Goal, or Source and Summit. At the ground is unrealized potential; at the Goal is the full realization of those potentials. So yes, there is a great deal of destruction and violence in less realized states.

 

Love exists, even though you can't describe it as a "thing" to the satisfaction of those who need concrete evidence of existence, such as a physical body, or at the least some way to measure it as a thing in and of itself existing like a piece of organized matter, such as a stone. Since it can only be measured through human experience and behavioral changes, then it appears to be some non-reality thing, like an imaginary pink unicorn. But we call it love, we experience it as love, it is realized as love.

 

 

I'll be happy to continue this discussion if you can explain to me what the self is and how it does or does not exist.

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The soul is the flow of thoughts. (Just my silly input to the ongoing high level discussion. :))

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"Flow of thoughts" food? That touched me down to my very flow of thoughts. I worked at it heart and flow of thoughts. Just doesnt' have that "ring" to it. GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif

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"Flow of thoughts" food? That touched me down to my very flow of thoughts. I worked at it heart and flow of thoughts. Just doesnt' have that "ring" to it. GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif

:HaHa:

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Not in the terms you may wish defined so you can apply science to it as though it were provable or unprovable objects

 

I think the issue is more complex than this. Bottom line, I can tell you are a smart guy, so I give you the benefit of the doubt that you are on to something that I may not quite get. But as I've mentioned to you before, most of the time my mind just glazes over as I read your explanations of these things. The benefit of the doubt I give you comes from an understanding that all people don't learn or perceive things in the same way. Some feel, some experience, etc..., you know the drill. I, personally need a practical example. I get some things may not be quantifiable, but if you can offer practical examples, it would, I think, go a long way toward helping we non feeling types understand what the hell you are getting at with your mystical language. :D

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You're entire response above is absurd. It either demonstrates you simply are unable to grasp the concepts of what I'm saying, or you're being a insincere in this discussion, deliberately just trying to keep it going for the sake of whatever. I vote for the former.

 

This is an example of what I wrote above. I personally think MWC makes sense, but I often think that. Since guys like I and MWC don't get what you are saying, you are going to have to adjust your explanatory style to the way our brains work, not the way yours does, if that's possible. Again, we think in practical terms. I'm not stubborn enough to hold that practicalities are the end all, but clearly, if we are to understand the points you are trying to get across, you need to adjust your style if you can and use things we can relate to because honestly, I don't know what you are saying most of the time and I'm not usually easily confused.

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I, personally need a practical example. I get some things may not be quantifiable, but if you can offer practical examples, it would, I think, go a long way toward helping we non feeling types understand what the hell you are getting at with your mystical language. :D

Well of course I appreciate your respect. The feeling is mutual. I'll start by disagreeing you're a "non-feeling type". I think everyone is, except for those rarities who are outright broken.

 

I've tried to focus the understanding into a practical frame of reference using a very well familiar term to most every self-aware person, that of the word "self". Without any doubt when I say that word you understand it. Yet all the criticisms against the use of the word soul can equally be applied to the word self. What is "self"? Is my personality? Is it my body? Is it my job, my house, my car, my family? Yet there is no doubt whatsoever you treat the idea of self as an object, a reality, in fact you relate to and interact every day with this reality you see as 'self'.

 

If you can ponder that long and hard enough, you will see that reality, our sense of truth, of facts, are in fact created frameworks of perception that we create languages surrounding them to give them substance, or 'objective reality'. You look in the mirror and see "self", but what are you seeing? Is that "you"? What is "you"? Were you "you" when you were 5? 15? 25? 40?

 

Yet we don't normally question these 'realities'. We take them for granted as 'reality', as truth. Yet they are constructed realities created by symbolic representation of non-objective experiences, that become 'objective' by virtue of our interaction with the symbols: we relate to "self". But yet practically nothing is the same, your thoughts, your body, your surroundings, your understandings, your family, your community, the stores, the schools, your nation, the planet, etc. Yet you are still there. Who are "you"?

 

So I've taken the most familiar 'reality' we know "self" and demonstrated briefly how it is really a symbolic representation of experienced reality. And yet we assume all these as givens, as facts - as much as those of the past did with their symbols of God through their realities of interaction and experience with it. We accept these things as reality, as much, and no differently than those of the past who accepted all their current views as reflective of reality. Yet we chide them, as they chided those before them.

 

Have I lost you? I ask because to go further you'll have to grasp that at least in some fashion. I'll ask next what is the nature of that which is behind relating to reality on these symbolic levels, and do these symbolic levels change? The answer is yes, they change, but this "you" is always looking out at the world through all these symbolic realities, your "self" at 5, at 10, at 15, at 25, at 50, at 80; as an infant, an adolescent, a father, a grandfather; a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist, an Atheist; all these frames of reference to the outside related to the inside; reality through symbols, language, group relations, social and cultural, all informing truth to ..... who? Who has always been looking through all those things, all those experiences, all those realities?

 

Now we can take for granted all these realities as "our" truth, or "The Truth" as everyone through their own realities wish to frame it, understand it, and defend it, or we can not just accept these conventions and go deeper, beyond all the forms and frameworks into greater recognition and understanding of who is the one that has seen and experienced all these 'truths'.

 

In this is liberation; freedom.

 

 

Let me know if this makes any sense and I'll keep going, or take a step back to see if there is another way to talk about it. Bottom line however, when Rev R says its way to view the experience of living, this is a small bit of the backdrop as to why that is true. At the end of it all is profound simplicity.

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