Friday, February 20, 2009

Mysticism and Quantum Conflicts? -- Not really

Many of what I consider to be the leading thinkers from a cross-disciplinary perspective have shown we need to integrate the insights of mystical religion with the knowledge being derived from quantum insights. Perhaps they are different language for the same phenomena. However, the real issue, seems to me, is the question of consciousness in physical science and philosophy, since there is no explanation for it outside of the "mystical" explanations or "promissory science or materialism".
If we are to believe the research from physicists like Bernard Haisch (The God Theory) , Amit Goswami (multiples--but see God is not dead), or Mani Bhaumik (Code Name God) or science writers like Laszlo (Quantum shift in the Global Brain) or Braden (The Divine Matrix), or McTaggert (The Field), then we have to begin the discussion of what is the relationship of consciousness to materiality in all the various forms in which it is daily encountered (feelings, perceptional qualities, communication nuance, etc). Several researchers have had their work in non-locality, hierarchical entanglement, and discontinuity repeated multiple times with the same result. These three concepts appear linked to our material reality, but are effectively inexplicable in Newtonian physics. Hard data supports the existence of these "concepts" or "hypotheses". Thus they move beyond the realm of the incorporeal hypothesis and into the realm of working data with predictable testable results.
Astrophysicist Haisch, one of the co-developers of Newton's f=ma formula (which had previously been assumed to be true, but not provable), concluded the Zero Point Field (existing outside energy and matter) existed and provided a link to consciousness. Theoretical nuclear physicist Goswami concluded based on the three concepts and the research showing they are part of our physical world, that consciousness is the underlying structure similar to what physicist David Bohm had theorized decades earlier. Bhaumik, co-developer of the eximer laser concluded that without discontinuity effects, observed in semi-conductors, that there could be no contemporary technology.
The scientists I've mentioned are only a few of the huge number of scientists from a plethora of disciplines all concluding the same thing. Consider Measuring the Immeasurable, a compendium of various authors coming to the same conclusions from medical, physical, and social sciences. These are not hypotheses in the traditional sense of theory only. These conclusions are based upon replicated studies providing data that is anomalous with Newtonian physics and materialistically based biological concepts. (Hopefully I have not distorted your meaning or intention of hypotheses?)
All three of these above concepts have been the point and descriptions of mystical training and religious expression for millennia whether the system is a monotheist system (Judaism, Christianity, Islam), a philosophical system (various branches of Mahayana Buddhism and so Taoists), or religiously based self-exploration systems (various branches of Hinduism).
As a footnote story: It is said that two early Greek philosophers were arguing about how the earth, if it were independent of the heavens, was able to be suspended. The first philosopher asked the question and the second one answered: It is suspended on the shoulders of Atlas. The first then asked, if that's true how is Atlas suspended? The second philosopher paused and said, on the back of a turtle. He then paused for a moment and added to the first philosopher, you don't need to ask, it's turtles all the way down. There are a couple of points here. The first is that challenging the prevailing wisdom and dogma-that the earth was not separate from the heavens, carries with it a series of culture maintaining questions. The second point is that, some people, in support of the existing culture will ignore the problems with their own beliefs and expect someone else's theory to have all the answers, even if theirs does not. Thus the prevailing culture is reinforced even if the new theory works better (see Thomas Kuhn-- The Structure of Scientific Revolutions).
As a result, when I spoke of insights of quantum physics validating the mystical concepts, my argument was based upon the understanding presented by physical science experiments over the last 4 decades, from multiple disciplines, demonstrating things that the mystics have discussed, and depending on whom you believe performed, for thousands of years.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Why are there so many religions -- Part 1

I can remember back to my pre-teen years when I first started wondering about why there were so many religions in the world. For me, living in a small town on the eastern seaboard of the United States, that meant religious denominations, rather than specifically religions. In our little town there were churches for Methodists, Baptists, Catholics, Episcopalians, and a few smaller denominations.

People would argue about which of the churches had the right ideas about religious subjects. However they all shared the same basic perspective that came out of the western religious values systems derived from the Catholic Church and the Protestant Churches. As a result, it seemed to me that the problem was that people did not realize how much of what they believed was the same or nearly so. What they knew was merely the sayings of people that had been passed down from generation to generation with trivial variations being presented as having a substantial difference in people’s lives and in their salvation. What I learned was that simply informing people of the similarities was not adequate to bring about change. People perceived that there was a gulf between their thinking and the values of the other denominations or religions.

In subsequent years I learned of other religious systems besides the Western Christian based system. In college I learned about Buddhists, Hindus, Islam, and about Bahia. However, I really did not get the focus of what was going on until I started learning about the Bhagavad Gita, a variation of the earlier Hindu wisdom. In the Gita there were religious statements followed by explanations of what these words meant. As my friend and I (both interested in this topic) had a couple of glasses of wine and talked about the Gita, at a firepit in a tavern, I suggested he read me the words and I would give him the purport, or meaning, from the narrative of what it said. After about 30 or 40 minutes of this discussion we stopped and he said, or words to this effect, you were directly on target with what you said the lines meant. How did you know? Have you ever read the book? In answer to his questions I simply said I knew the answers well because I had helped write them. I had never read the book in the current time.

This confused him, but left me wondering for the rest of my life. Perhaps I had tapped into the scalar waves that Erwin Laszlo mentions in his books (for instance, Science and the Reenchantment of the Cosmos), or I entered a consciousness where I could see the discussions about meaning occurring in this or some other time period. Finally it is possible that I was remembering things from my personal previous lives, or my comments were based on hearing the discussions which I had forgotten until the wine and the words initiated my recall.

The way this relates to having so many religions is that the common denominator in all of these religious systems is faith and not dogma, or explanation, or ritual. Underlying all of these tools to understand what happens in life is the expectation that something grounds the person (grounds me) in daily life. Just as bread keeps the physical life together even in the midst of stress, so too is it with faith that keeps the links open between the use of the intellect of the brain and the emotional sensing of the heart.

So it is faith that is important and the common element in all religious systems. This thing called faith allows for several events or outcomes or aspects to occur. First is hope. I realize that not everyone can have hope for the future, or for the past if the studies of Alain Aspire (1982) [cited in Goswami, God is not Dead (p, 24)] have any meaning. It seems possible based on quantum physics that it is possible to change the past from the future. As a result we can change who we are and how we experience ourselves in the present by changing the events in the past that led to our current state of concern. By doing this we remove the inhibiting effect of the guilt and shame by sending it somewhere independent of ourselves and our future. Effectively we re-link the heart and brain together as a team again under the guidance of our consciousness.

However, let me make clear that this new freedom comes from sending the memories and associated behaviors and mind patterns to the original source of the issue and re-inventing them in the process of healing. This can be done by rechanneling the energy when it starts to re-assert itself. (My favorite phrase about this is the song by Dido: I will go down with this ship.) I will not let this situation dominate my life and change my beliefs. I am more than a few mistakes I’ve made.

This leads directly to the question of so many religion and religious systems, dogmas, expectations, ritual, and behaviors. We all make mistakes. Most of us cannot honestly admit to the mistakes. Our language tells us not to apologize since it shows a form of weakness. Yet honesty is one of the most important keys in trust and love. If you believe someone is honest, you will trust his or hers judgment. Additionally, so is gratitude an extremely important part of changing life focus. If we become thankful for the blessing we have received that we need not worry about the mistakes we’ve made because the mistakes provide the basis for the present gratitude. Finally the gratitude can only be reflected in the present moment. And this action and requirement further limits the ability of a mistake to manifest in the current situation and create a problem.

So one of the reasons we have so many religions and associated doctrines is to provide a screen behind which we can hide when we go to confront our own inadequacies before God. Just like Adam and Eve tried to hide their inadequacies from God by running and hiding in the trees hoping God would not see them. They did what they thought was “right”, based on the moral code they suddenly discovered by hiding their nakedness, rather than doing what was the good thing-coming to deity with their shame and guilt.