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Re: Okay; see how far down this rabbit hole you'll go...

7/10/2003 10:05 AM
steve conner
Re: Okay; see how far down this rabbit hole you'll go...
I don't have a problem with any of it except the bits about free energy. I think that the laws that apply to matter and energy, like thermodynamics and gravity, are there for a good reason. Those laws allow the universe to develop and create order and structure. If it was possible to just draw energy out of nowhere then life probably could not exist.  
Of course I guess this neatly ignores the question of where all the energy came from in the first place... but show me a philosophy/scientific theory that DOESN'T
7/10/2003 5:24 PM

Hmm. I didn't have a problem with that part at all. Space, even 'empty' space, does contain energy. There is no such thing as absolute nothingness in the physical realm. So the idea of harvesting free energy does not strike me as odd in the least.  
And put into a spiritual context, this is also a principle of meditation. When you calm your mind and allow 'space' to expand within your consciousness, energy is 'created' along with it.  
But, back to the article. What I had a problem with was his over-use of the physical/mechanical model of the cube and the literalness of his interpretation of different planes and manifestation vectors. I don't know; it just seems that whenever somebody gets too attached to any particular metaphor, their ideas start getting 'sticky' and weird. And I really dislike what he said about scientific discoveries being basically miracles and that scientific agreement about them is what confirms and anchors them into 'reality'. That logic just seems lazy to me and a product of adhering to one logical model to the exclusion of all others.  
I like the idea of the cube and the focus and the manifestation vector as a fresh approach to thinking or to stimulate new ideas; I just don't want my mind to get stuck on that one way of picturing reality. It's only one way of looking at things, and by no means the least limiting way, IMO.  
I do believe in an objective physical universe whose properties can be observed. I also believe we create our own reality. The intersection is quite the key to figuring these questions out, isn't it?
7/11/2003 10:34 AM
steve conner

"the idea of harvesting free energy does not strike me as odd in the least"
uh-oh... sure you can claim stuff about mental and psychic energy all you like... but I doubt anyone has ever harvested "free energy" in the sense of gross mechanical or electrical energy in useful quantities.  
If you believe what it says in the bible, it's interesting to note that Jesus, arguably the greatest miracle worker of all time, got around by walking or riding on a donkey, and was known to build things from wood with crude hand tools. He most likely did not have a Honda Civic that ran off tap water. But then again he did go without food for 40 days and 40 nights... and where did the energy come from to do that... discuss
7/10/2003 6:45 PM
Mark Hammer

I went down it about half way or more, because everyone at work is off this afternoon at a nature outing (Hammer don't do outdoors), but not all the way because it was getting dreary.  
1) Please, everyone, when you have the chance, take a course in probability and statistics. Many cock-eyed theories emerge out of specious thinking about the probability of things. In particular, a great many theories of the supernatural emerge out of a poor grasp of the true and relative probability of things.  
2) Go beyond your intro-level science courses, and please study some *real* scientific psychology and ethology. Again, cock-eyed theories abound amongst those with a little knowledge and a lot of imagination.  
3) Stay away from the Blue pills kids. There is bad acid going around, so stay away from the blue pills. And while you're at it, don't expect anything even remotely associated with LSD, such as psychiatrists or other scientists who experiment with it or write about it to be even remotely coherent. *EVERYTHING* makes sense on acid, so the normal boundaries of plausibility blow away for these folks and everything is a tangent for something else.  
4) Don't place your trust implicitly in medical people, but don't place your trust implicitly in folks who make grandiose claims of any other kind either. The claims made for compounds at this commercial site (and that's what it is, a drug sales company) range from plausible (e.g., almost anything dermatological can have unambiguous observable results...or not) to vague and unverifiable (cognition enhancing anti-oxidants....yeah, *there's* something you can really tell if its working or not in an unbiased manner so you can ask for your money back in 3 weeks when it doesn't seem to be working). Exactly how *would* you know if something was enhancing your immune system or not? If you stay sick longer than you thought you ought to does that mean it doesn't work? If you get better faster than you thought you might, does that mean it DOES work? Who measures white cells for these things anyways?  
Methinks Mr. Wolke has been nibbling at his own pharmacy a little too much and too long.
7/11/2003 12:30 AM
Becky Thatcher
Mark, methinks mebbe you have been nibbling at your own physical science too much. Believeing in miracles requires transcendance from the physical into the spiritual. Until you get there, you won't understand.
7/11/2003 2:03 PM
Mark Hammer

Ah, grasshopper. Been there, done it, bought the t-shirt, worn it out and washed the car with it. My copies of the Zohar and Baghvad Ghita were well worn by 1971, and my old Baba Ram Dass "Be Here Now" book sits with a copy of "Psychedelic Review" under my desk counter at work as artifacts of a bygone era for storytelling to my younger coworkers.  
Besides, the physical IS spiritual. Why else would there be monasteries around the world where people make stuff each and every day? Why else would there be volumes of religious laws having to do with the mundane like eating or shaving? Why else would there be mathematicians and physicists who spend each day trying to systematize the abstract and unseeable...and losing themselves in the numbers of it?  
My sour demeanour here is coloured by the large numbers of students I have had who are simply not qualified to proceed to the spiritual because they have not mastered the comprehension of the physical. For them, skipping along to the spiritual domain is a reflection of the desire for a simpler story about the world that doesn't make their heads hurt. To my mind, leaping to supernatural explanations of the world because you can't do the math or chemistry for the other explanations is basically a cop-out. Some people are more at ease when they can invent explanations for things on the spot that can be completely disconnected from each other, living like lost tribes inside their head. Me, I am more contented by an understanding of the world which is internally consistent. I don't mind the rules changing on me, but they should be coherent and testable, not merely a convenient narrative.  
I certainly believe in the miraculous, which is a surprising quality of things/events, but I don't have to believe in miracles, which is an explanation of things.  
In English class, back in 1970, our prof tried to conduct a little "experiment" in class, in keeping with the spirit of the class and the times. He handed a book of art prints to one of our colleagues and asked her to come up to the front (I was never really sure about this student's gender because they had an ambiguous name and body; found out eventually it was a she), and asked the rest of us to concentrate. The student was going to randomly select a print from the book and "project" what they were lokking at. The book covered a broad historical spectrum in no particular order, so it was unlikely we could have any sense of the genre or period just from noticing how many pages she had flipped through before settling on one.  
Well, she picked one and stared at it. I was thinking "Sure, right" for a bit, then my hand shot up. "It is primarily black with yellow diagonal motion from upper left to lower right and red in the middle". She turned the book around to show us, and it was a modern abstract painting with a sort of yellow jagged lightening splotch going from upper left to lower right, superimposed over a medium sized red splotch dead centre behind it, all on top of an entirely black background. Never learned who it was by, but I couldn't have described it better if I was trying to report on an art show for a newspaper over the phone. Pretty damn startling. Psychic? Nah. Much like horoscopes, my description could have fit lots of things moderately well, even though it fit this one quite well. Was it a consequence of "thought waves"? Nah. How could such things exist and nobody else in the class receive them? Besides, there are no feasible mechanisms for such things to function, either as transmissions or received/perceptible messages. More than likely, her gaze and body language conveyed a great deal, since we were all staring intently at her in order to "receive" her message. You'd be quite surprised what sorts of cues are derived/interpretable from very subtle eye gaze motion and pupil size changes. I might point out that I was probably the only person in the room who had not experimented with drugs in any manner.  
As Wittgenstein said, never confuse the explanation of the thing with the thing itself.  
As Morgan's canon says, never opt for higher order explanations of biological/behavioural phenomena until you've successfully exhausted lower-order explanations.
7/11/2003 3:02 PM

"Been there, done it, bought the t-shirt, worn it out and washed the car with it."  
I Love you, Mark Hammer. And I'm not ashamed to admit it. Thanks for being yourself and sharing with the rest of us.  
ps-You don't do outdoors?!?

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