The Fabric of Cosmos and other things

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    Transit of Venus, Kathmandu



    The planet Venus passes in front of the sun as it begins to set behind the Goddess of Liberty atop the Texas State Capitol in Austin, Texas.

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    Lovely pics, Annie ๐Ÿ™‚

    Mari, I got around to listening to some of the ‘reknowned scientists’ re God, they all seemed to be saying the same thing, so I gave up half way through.

    The way I see it, they are just plain ignorant in that area. They’re all attacking a straw man. Which is GOOD. it’s a straw man which ought to be debunked. It’s the idea of God that is held and promoted by ANOTHER bunch of ignorant people, it’s the idea of God ‘created in our own image’, some sort of super-natural ‘person’ who created everything and controls everything and so forth.

    I don’t accept that idea of God at all, so, in that sense, I’m on the side of the scientists. But that doesn’t mean I think those scientists are correct. They have no idea what they are talking about, they’ve devoted themselves to their ( left brain, logos ) rationalist, materialist studies, rather than to trying to understand what God is, or what God – as a concept, even more, as an experience – might mean.

    Like Terence McKenna, they ought to drop some DMT, and then answer the question 10 minutes later, when all that sophisticated intellectualism and rationality has been blown away by a mind-hurricane, and they’ve returned to the womb and witnessed the Big Bang and met all their previous incarnations face to face, right back to the worms and amoebae, and so forth….

    Those people have very strong egos, very strong senses of identity and every question gets processed through their intellectual filters. That’s their job. It stops them finding God. The people whose job it is to seek God, mystics, shamans, seers, sufis, yogis, etc, know how to dissolve that ego, that identity, because it’s an obstacle, it gets in the way of knowing God.

    Now, If I was to say such a thing, to those scientists, they’d immediately claim that I’m arguing for some sort of mental disorder, some sort of insanity, because they can only think in those terms. Even Jung chickened out of letting go of himself. Coward. That’s what those heavy entheogens can do. They wash away all the conceptual structures and leave you trembling, facing into the Abyss, walking the tightrope of Being and Not-being. It is terrifying, nothing is more terrifying.

    Which is why meditation is superior. You approach the problem more slowly and gently, methodically, and learn each step, so it’s familiar, and it becomes less scary. But you still let go, and jump into the Abyss, as the ultimate goal, and discover, amazingly, how to be above life and death, being and not-being.

    None of those scientists know ANYTHING about ANY of this. They’re a bunch of conceited, arrogant wankers, lacking humility. Likewise, none of the loonies who think there’s a bearded humanoid sky-daddy ‘up there’ know anything either. ( I have some sympathy for some of them, because at least they are sometimes very nice sincere, humble folk. It’s not their fault that they are mislead by corrupt, institutionalised ugly bureacracies, and accreted historical nonsense.)



    They wash away all the conceptual structures and leave you trembling, facing into the Abyss, walking the tightrope of Being and Not-being. It is terrifying, nothing is more terrifying.

    This caught my attention right now in what you wrote. I’ve heard others mention similar things; Mooji talks about the fear of losing identity, how some people may get terrified when they get to that point. I think Alan Watts talks about it too.
    To me it’s interesting and confusing; I cannot see why there should be fear? Looking into the Abyss sounds liberating, the whole things sounds amazing instead of terrifying (to me). So I must have misunderstood something? Why is it so scary?



    Because, it’s the same reason why people fear death, annihilation of their ego.

    It is the same as death, but temporary, and not physical.

    With drugs, you’re thrown off the cliff, and it can be just as scary as being thrown physically off a real cliff.

    With meditation, it’s more like a bird learning to fly, step by step, so it doesn’t need to be frightening. It’s more like laying back in a warm bath and letting go of all your cares and troubles.












    Interesting physics publication: Light breaks with classical physics. “What our study demonstrated was that light can have both an electric and a magnetic field, but not at the same time. ” (Regrettably, I cannot find a description of the experiments, so we just have to take their word for it)
    Breaking frontiers of classical physics



    Hi Mari,

    I cannot claim to understand precisely what they are saying….



    Yes, it might be more complicated than I thought at first. Somebody else struggled to understand it too:

    The point was that light has quantum properties. “In classical physics, objects, e.g. a car or a ball, have a position and a velocity. This is how we classically look at our everyday world. In the quantum world objects can also have a position and a velocity, but not at the same time. ”

    Are the Magnetic Field and the Electric Field the same and the only difference between them is the reference axis ?

    Or, Magnetic and electric field are two DIFFERENT parts of electromagnetism. It is possible to have either one without the other. It is when part of radiation traveling through space that the electric and magnetic fields are perpendicular.

    Electric field produces a force proportional to the electric charge within the field. Electic force is in the direction fo the electic field. Magnetic force is proportional to electric charge AND the speed of the charge. The magnetic force is perpendicular to both magnetic field AND direction of motion. A charge sitting still will be affected by an electric field. It will not be affected by a magnetic field. A wire with current flowing through it will not be significantly affected by an electric field. The total charge in the wire is zero: same amount of positive and negative. Since only the negative charge is moving in the wire, it will be very much affected by a magnetic field.

    Dr. Ken Mellendorf
    Illinois Central College

    Magnetic and electric fields are not the same, although in electromagnetic radiation (light, U.V., infrared etc.) they oscillate at right angles to one another. However, it is possible to have a magnetic field (e.g. a permanent magnet) without an electric field, of an electric field (e.g. static electricity) without a magnetic field.

    Do magnetic and electric fields interact? YES! The interact according the the principles laid out in Maxwell’s equations governing those fields.

    Vince Calder



    My brain is a bit slow at the moment to think about such heavy stuff…..

    How does this relate to the photon being a wave and a particle, and consciousness determining which ? If you can solve that you’ll be instantly world famous…

    Probably best to keep the answer to yourself ๐Ÿ™‚ if you want a pleasant, peaceful life ๐Ÿ™‚ you’d probably be abducted by the Americans or N. Koreans and forced to work on secret weapons….



    Yeah, it’s a bit late for this stuff. I’ll have a look later on the Physics Forum, they may have discussed it.
    … no, not yet. The article has just been posted under “noteworthy articles”, so maybe a discussion tomorrow or later.
    By the way, the physics forum is quite wonderful. I watched the Mooji video “beyond consciousness”, and then, right after, I came over this thread:
    The combination Mooji and physicists was just beautiful
    and this catalogue is great





    A renowned scientist says he has spotted evidence that a universe existed before the Big Bang.
    Professor Roger Penrose from Oxford University says concentric circles discovered in the background microwaves of the universe provides evidence of events that took place before the universe came into being.
    The cosmic microwave offers us a ghostly look at the the universe just 300,000 years after the Big Ban’ – a microscopic amount of time compared to the universe’s estimated age of 13.7billion years.

    Read more:



    ‘Excitement about the Higgs boson is ramping up ahead of a hotly anticipated conference in Australia next month. But even if last year’s tentative signals of the particle are confirmed, a fresh analysis of data from a particle accelerator in California suggests that this may not complete the standard model of physics.’



    It would appear that the scientists investigating the ‘singing bowls’ were looking for some connection to quantum behaviour:

    “The droplet bounces on the slope of the wave
    emitted at the previous bounce and so receives an impulsive force in a speci c
    direction, along which it walks with a constant speed. Such walkers have both
    wave and particle components, and have been shown to exhibit quantum-like
    dynamical behaviour previously thought to be peculiar to the microscopic realm
    [37, 38, 39, 40]. Might such modern physics arise in our ancient bowls?”

    Reading the full article, for me, was like reading some ancient text in a language yet to be deciphered!

    I don’t ‘think’ that they found a connection as in their conclusion they write:

    “…However, stable walking droplets and their
    concomitant quantum behaviour were not observed. Nevertheless, in developing
    hydrodynamic analogues of quantum systems, the edge-forcing examined
    here may be valuable in presenting a lateral gradient in proximity to Faraday threshold.”

    However, I did find it interesting ๐Ÿ™‚



    I’ve been accused of having a scientismic worldview, so I tried to find out what scientism means. Turns out, as usual, there are different definitions. Which leaves the word toothless. Anyway, here is a post on coelsblog, discussing scientism.

    What does science in scientism mean?



    This is disappointing, because I’ve written about this a lot and I’d assumed you understood some of it.

    ‘scientistic’ worldview.

    First, understand that we all have belief systems. They come with the cultures that we grow up and live in. You can use alternative terms, such as world view, ideology, cosmology, religion, and so forth, all meaning much the same thing.

    It’s much easier to see belief systems clearly when ‘looking out’, so to speak, at other people’s, historically and geographically. So one can see the Aztec belief system, that required human sacrifice to keep the sun rising, or the Tibetan belief system, that sees the Dalai Lama as a reincarnation of a previous deceased lama, and all the many thousands of belief systems that have existed that anthropologists have recorded.

    What’s much more difficult to see, is the contemporary belief system that you happen to have been born and raised in, because that’s what you take as ‘normal’, the standard by which you judge others as being ‘odd’.

    Obviously, these days, there are many belief systems running concurrently, so in the UK, there are roman catholics, communists, pagans, hindus, atheists, etc, etc, all sorts, all with their particular world views and cosmologies. That’s the post-modern condition, a fragmented diverse cut-and-paste all-sorts muddle of many strands from many sources.

    Scientism is one of those belief systems. It’s completely different to science. Science is a methodology, a procedure, a project, with a couple of centuries of work behind it. Science is supposed to be based on rigorous empirical experimentation. Only that which can be demonstrated by observation and measurement and repetition is acceptable.

    Scientism, by contrast, is a faith, more like christianity, or communism. It’s an ideology that believes in certain fundamental tenets, but those tenets are erroneous, unwarranted, they have never been established to scientific standards, and in some cases, have been shown to be completely incorrect by science.



    I think it is necessary, if you want to get to grips with scientism, to get familiar with the history of the development of ideas. There’s people like Auguste Comte and the Logical Positivists whose thinking was very influential.

    When I accuse you and others of ‘scientism’, what I’m saying is that you are still subscribing to the belief system that derives from people like Comte, logical positivists, etc, which, I maintain, is obsolete. I agree with this, from that L P wiki page..

    “Most philosophers consider logical positivism to be, as John Passmore expressed it, “dead, or as dead as a philosophical movement ever becomes.”[18] By the late 1970s, its ideas were so generally recognized to be seriously defective that one of its own main proponents, A. J. Ayer, could say in an interview: “I suppose the most important [defect]…was that nearly all of it was false.”



    Really, if you stand back, what we have here is that old favourite mythos versus logos. Which may or may not be based in the right brain versus left brain dichotomy, but which, in any case, is apparent in cultural history, as for example, Rousseau’s ideas versus Diderot’s ideas.

    Some people think that existence can be, or can best be, understood by reason and logic. Some people think that it probably cannot be understood at all, but in so far as understanding is possible, intuition and myth and poetry are the closest we can get.

    These two positions are illustrated every day, and it drives me crazy. Is it any wonder I feel I’m in a world populated by idiots and lunatics ?

    To insist that one of these positions is right and the other wrong is insane. It’s like arguing over whether your left leg is superior to your right leg, or vice versa.
    We’ve got both. We need both.

    It’s like saying a bow is better than an arrow, or vice versa. Each is useless without the other.

    Bertrand Russell and Whitehead and Wittgenstein thought that it would be possible to pin everything down, logos, all neat and logical, via mathematics and precise use of language and so forth, and then we’d all be living in a tidy orderly world where everything made sense.

    It was worth a try. I’m not knocking it. I was a noble endeavour. But it turned out to be impossible. That’s not the way things are. It’s all much weirder than that. If you want ‘truth’, you may just as well sing a silly kiddies song, mythos, as read Principia Mathematica, logos. To reject one in favour of the other is just stupid.



    I doubt there are many who insist on one position only. Isn’t it rather that we stick to the beliefs we have been taught, until they don’t satisfy anymore. And then, begin to open up to other beliefs?
    I was religious in my youth, but ended up dismissing it because it didn’t make sense anymore. Today, I mostly prefer reason and logic, because it does make sense. But logic has it’s limits, so when I reach those limits, I’m happy to shift to mythos if that satisfies more.
    The stuff Mooji and Eckart is on about, is a bit mythical, isn’t it? And I find it very meaningful.



    “…we stick to the beliefs we have been taught,”

    Yeah, but I’m not like that. I rejected all I’d been taught, and then re-taught myself, so to speak. What I think is what I think not what I’ve been taught to think.

    I’d say Mooji is pure mythos. Tolle slightly less so, he explains the reasoning more.

    Look, I’m basically Soto Zen Buddhist. That means my fundamental position is more or less, what you might call, knowing nothing… in fact, even more fundamental, being nothing

    By that route, one becomes everything, so to speak. No boundaries. The whole universe. So, it’s kinda ultra-mythos, beyond mythos. But that doesn’t mean I become an uneducated, unintelligent, ignorant fool who cannot think rationally.

    I’d say that zen buddhism is a belief system, one derived from buddhism and taoism, but it’s a unique belief system, because it’s ultimate objective is to get beyond all belief systems, including its own.



    You sort of already answered this, but I’ll ask anyway:

    You must have chosen what to re-teach yourself. So, what made you choose those particular beliefs?
    And behind it, there must have been attitudes already present, that made you choose those beliefs?
    As Mooji would have said: “Who was the “I” that chose?”



    It was a long time ago. It was all messy, not a clear rational choosing at all. I read Kerouac in my early teens. Seemed a lot more attractive to be a Dharma Bum than what my peers were talking about, whether better to be a dentist or a solicitor ๐Ÿ™‚
    Kerouac wasn’t really zen buddhist, but he talked about it a lot.

    So, later, when I hit a really bad crisis, total mental meltdown, and was trying to get myself together, that word, zen, was sort of in my head. I read up on all the world’s religions and philosophies and ideologies, because I wanted to choose one that would prop me up, that I could turn to, for strength and inspiration.

    But I kept finding stuff that really turned me off. You know, like your Norwegian Lutherian tradition, if you read Luther, he said all the Jews should have their houses burned and be driven into the streets and killed. So much for following the teaching of Jesus, ‘Thou shalt not kill’.

    Same went for all the other belief systems I studied. Good bits and really horrible repugnant bits.

    Which lead me to conclude, maybe they are all crap ?

    So, then what ?

    So I came across teachings by zen masters. They seemed really crazy. Didn’t make any sense. But then, it wasn’t ‘ordinary’ craziness. They were obviously really deep people, who had studied and suffered and endured great hardships in pursuit of whatever it was, and yet they said and did very strange things.

    So, I dug into that tradition as much as I could. Eventually found what I was looking for.

    That gave me somewhere solid, fixed, reliable.

    Then I wanted to understand what was really going on in the world, what is it all about ? why is it like it is ? first via books, more recently the internet.

    I could have gone down the route of Mooji or Tolle and become a priest, tending to people, and so forth. But I’m not like that. I really don’t like people all that much, they really do piss me off ๐Ÿ™‚

    In any case, it’s people’s own responsibility to fix their affairs. I’m much more concerned about the natural world. Like the horseshoe crabs I saw mentioned a couple of days ago, have existed for 400 million years or somesuch, minding their own business, yet will likely become extinct because of US.
    There’s something seriously wrong about that, and somebody needs to wake up and take some notice. That’s the sort of thing that bothers me the most these days.

    People have the right to blow themselves out of existence in a nuclear armageddon, or with bio-weapons, or whatever, if that’s what they really want to do. It’s a bizarre and perverse objective, but people are bizarre and perverse. But they certainly do not have the right to kill off the biosphere which was here long before them, and to which they owe their existence.



    Interesting that you read Kerouac so early – I didn’t know about him until a few years ago, he seemed fascinating, but I haven’t read any of his stuff.

    The only book from my teenage years I can remember had an impact on me, was Carson McCullers’ “The heart is a lonely hunter”. The book is about lonely, intraverted people longing for a “soulmate”, someone that will understand their deepest nature. And they think they have finally found it in the deaf and dumb main character, John Singer, because he listens to them (what else can he do? he cannot talk himself). Turns out, he couldn’t care less about any of them, he doesn’t understand them, doesn’t like them. But they never find out.
    Singer himself finds “understanding” in his retarded brother (because the brother appears to “listen” by awareness). The truth is, the brother has no awareness, doesn’t care about Singer, and is only obsessed with cream cakes.
    After that book I felt happily cynical and liberated, and never anymore looked for a soulmate, someone to understand my “deepest nature”. Whatever that is. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Re your dislike for humans: Judith posted a good video by Tim Jackson yesterday. He has a more positive, hopeful belief in humans, saying that the current economical system only addresses a part of our soul – the wish for novelty and approval, and that a better system ought to address the “whole heart”.



    I have not watched it, but part of my attitude towards humans, is that I keep coming across guys like that, who are ‘positive’, ‘optimistic’, think we can ‘change the system’, blablabla…

    After a thousand years, the English finally got to their utopia, c. 2000, the 4th biggest economy; all with nice houses with running water and toilets, pension plans; no more smallpox, cholera, typhoid, leprosy, polio; paved roads and holidays in Thailand, etc, etc.

    The elite blew it. The Iraq/Afghanistan wars, greedy corrupt bankers, shallow ignorant people, etc.

    It was all built on exploiting and robbing other people in other countries. So, all those ‘basically good’ people, were not content, even when they got everything they wanted, and were happy to turn a blind eye to the costs they imposed upon their fellow humans and the rest of the biosphere…. and they voted for the present politicians, who talk every day of ‘the necessity for growth’….

    AND, to top it all, even though I completely reject the values and lifestyles of the mainstream, and have done for most of my life, when I turn to the supposed radical alternative… e.g. Unciv, what do I find ? a white supremacist, a christian fundamentalist, assorted other nutcases, and Dunning-Kruger exemplars… just a mess, really…. and every day the warnings and alarms get more strident and dire..



    Sure, there are some great people around. I admire Colin Tudge. I think he really understands nature, farming, food, etc. But when he writes his ideas in the Guardian, everybody rubbishes them. Nobody wants to do what they need to do.

    “But the broadest issue of all is the challenge posed by trees to the western conceit that we can โ€œconquerโ€ nature, or indeed control it. This idea truly took off in the 19th century, and yet is taken still as a mark of modernity. One long look at tropical forest is enough to reveal the nonsense of it. In the Neotropics, Mexico through Brazil, there could be 30,000 different species of tree, with up to 300 kinds per hectare. Contrast the US, with only 600 or so native species: or Britain, with a mere 39. Each kind of tropical tree may harbour thousands of kinds of insects and other creatures: I found myself up an old kapok in Costa Rica where biologists had counted 4000 other species, some just passing through and others entirely reliant on kapoks. We don’t even know how many kinds of tree there are in tropical forest, and are a thousand years away from listing all the interactions between all the trees and all their visitors; and even if we did list everything that’s going on (an impossible task) we still would not be able to predict how any of the interventions we may make will turn out, because cause and effect in such systems is โ€œnon-linearโ€. The rules of chaos apply. Outcomes are intrinsically unpredictable.

    In Oxford in 1879 Gerard Manley Hopkins lamented the felling of poplars: โ€œO if we but knew what we do When we delve or hewโ€”Hack and rack the growing green!โ€ We still don’t know what we are doing, and never can in any detail, but the hacking and racking continue more vigorously than ever. The only half-way sane approach if we want this world to remain habitable, is to approach it humbly. Trees teach humility. We need to take the world far more seriously. It would be a good idea to begin with trees.”

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