Philosophical Jabber

August 7, 2010 on 4:43 pm | In Uncategorized | 1 Comment

There is a recent article on Alternet with the long-winded title, “Why Near-Death Experiences Are a Flimsy Justification for the Idea That We Have Immortal Souls”

The URL is below, if you’d like to read the original.

I started reading the comments. I rarely reply to comments, as good writing is time-intensive. One of the comments aroused me to the point of making this reply:

>Well here’s the thing… religion is about faith.

I disagree. Some religions, some of the time are about faith. “You have to have faith!” Faith is needed only when the actual experience is lost. Christianity started as an ecstatic group theogamy. It was a path – like many others, to bring a person to the experience of God/Tao/Gaea/Higher Power/Force. We hunger for this contact – that’s why the posts here are so heated!

The authentic religious experience – the perception (internal and intangible) of a larger reality is the manna, the well-spring, that fulfills and nourishes us. But it is not scientifically provable. It is a personal perception. For an exquisite explanation of this read R.D. Laing’s wonderful book “The Politics of Experience.”

Another great book is “The Tao of Physics” by (IIRC) Frihold Capra. It shows the convergence of ’science’ and ‘religion’ occurring in the realm of quantum physics. Reality is. It just is. If you understand it, that’s good for you, because your understanding will permit you to work with reality, rather then trying to oppose it. If you don’t understand it, reality still is – and it can bite your a$$!

There is a Zen saying that the intellect is a wonderful servant, and a terrible master. So too, the scientific method. It is a only a tool, to be picked up when appropriate, used, and then put down.

There are shovels and there are paintbrushes. Both are tools. I would not attempt to dig a hole with a paint brush, nor paint a picture with a shovel.

I am both a Taoist and a technologist. I believe in the validity of of the scientific method, and I believe in the validity of my own personal (unprovable) experiences. I would never attempt to persuade you by argument of a larger reality. Instead, I would try and help you have the experience of a larger reality yourself (if you wanted to try). When that occurs, there is no need for argument, and little need for words…

Ecstasy is from the Greek – ‘ex statis’ – out of the body. If such a state cannot exist, why do words for it exist in every language that I know of?

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  1. “If such a state cannot exist, why do words for it exist in every language that I know of?”

    That every culture created a word for an experience that fits nothing else they understood or could describe, still doesn’t prove the existence of any super-natural plane.

    The “out of body” experience is hardly rare, and can be facilitated, if not induced directly, by several methods, not all of which are based in religion. (LSD, fatigue, extreme stress, etc.)

    Your proof… on the basis of (the existence of) words in every culture for a similar experience… still isn’t solid. Most cultures had language which represented their (limited) understanding of the physical world, at the time.

    All the words that reference spirits or the supernatural in describing a more obvious (physical) state, still don’t “prove” that the supposition is valid.

    That many say “god bless you” today when someone sneezes, still doesn’t validate the _belief_ that a sneeze was your body’s reflex in trying to prevent an “evil spirit” from entering your body.

    Doesn’t matter one bit, in which language “god bless you” is expressed.

    Comment by Robert S. — September 7, 2010 #

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