Saturday, April 07, 2007

A Meditation on the Nature of Reality

Einstein said it was an illusion. Nietzsche stated that there were no facts - only interpretations. Picasso was very far from it when he expounded that everything you can imagine is real.

Today on Thinking with Somebody Else's Head, a meditation on the nature of reality.

A few weeks ago, I sat down with my friend, Cesar Soos, a frequent contributor to this program, and we began a discussion about a subject I've pondered a lot since encountering Dr. Keppe's work a few years ago.

Keppe's first important discover was what he has called psychological Inversion, a process whereby human beings and humanity as a whole invert values and perceptions, seeing what's good as bad or dangerous or weak, and what's bad as advantageous in some way. As Dr. Pacheco said in our Podcast about the Pathology of Power, isn't it true that we see humbleness as weak, and arrogant and prestigious people as strong? Don't we have a common belief that we achieve development and peace through war? These are examples of an inverted view of life that all of us have to a greater or lesser degree.

When I first began to study this psychological phenomenon, I asked myself this: if we are inverted, which it appears we are, what are we inverted from? It stood to reason, I thought, that we must be inverted from something. That began my fascination with the nature of reality. What can we say definitively about reality? Keeping in mind what T. S. Eliot offered on the subject - "Humankind cannot bear much reality" - Cesar and I sat down to see if we could get reality in our sights and pin it down somewhat.

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6 comments:

sushil yadav said...

Richard Jones,

For most of its existence on earth the human species has done hard physical work. Mental work [desk job] has only come up in the last 100 years. The switch-over from physical work to desk job has changed our minds drastically.

In response to your views on "The Nature of Reality" I want to post a part from my article which examines the impact of Speed, Overstimulation, Consumerism and Industrialization on our minds and environment. Please read.

The link between Mind and Social / Environmental-Issues.

The fast-paced, consumerist lifestyle of Industrial Society is causing exponential rise in psychological problems besides destroying the environment. All issues are interlinked. Our Minds cannot be peaceful when attention-spans are down to nanoseconds, microseconds and milliseconds. Our Minds cannot be peaceful if we destroy Nature.

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment.

Subject : In a fast society slow emotions become extinct.
Subject : A thinking mind cannot feel.
Subject : Scientific/ Industrial/ Financial thinking destroys the planet.
Subject : Environment can never be saved as long as cities exist.


Emotion is what we experience during gaps in our thinking.

If there are no gaps there is no emotion.

Today people are thinking all the time and are mistaking thought (words/ language) for emotion.

When society switches-over from physical work (agriculture) to mental work (scientific/ industrial/ financial/ fast visuals/ fast words ) the speed of thinking keeps on accelerating and the gaps between thinking go on decreasing.

There comes a time when there are almost no gaps.

People become incapable of experiencing/ tolerating gaps.

Emotion ends.

Man becomes machine.


A society that speeds up mentally experiences every mental slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

A ( travelling )society that speeds up physically experiences every physical slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

A society that entertains itself daily experiences every non-entertaining moment as Depression / Anxiety.


Fast visuals/ words make slow emotions extinct.

Scientific/ Industrial/ Financial thinking destroys emotional circuits.

A fast (large) society cannot feel pain / remorse / empathy.

A fast (large) society will always be cruel to Animals/ Trees/ Air/ Water/ Land and to Itself.


To read the complete article please follow any of these links :

PlanetSave

ePhilosopher

sushil_yadav

Anonymous said...

Richard - its me again, the guy with a different world view.

First a reply to your last post:
"There is something deeper going on inside you and your reactions than you currently perceive."

This gets me quite frustrated for two reasons. 1 - it comes off very condescending. 2 (related to 1) you have no idea who I am, would you say that to a Nobel Prize winner? a professor of theoretical physics?

"I come from the point of view that there must be an integration again (as there used to be) between philosophy, theology and science."

Theology and science, by definition, are 2 conflicting worlds. Theology is old, unchanging dogma while science is a perpetual quest for truth (or increasing approximations of it). What exactly do you mean by theology? Christian theology? Pagan theology? Hindu? Buddhist.... etc etc You see, theology is by no mean a standard 'thing'. Granted they are all, in some way, searching for truth - but they have no method and they are not evolving. What has theology done for us in the last 500 years?

Now some comments on your latest podcast:


From what I understand about you - your background is in voiceover/broadcasting and not in sciences such as quantum physics/evolutionary biology. I have no problem with this, but when you make scientific claims - I expect you to back them up.


Quantum mechanics is a science - the mathematical formulae that model it have predicted results and measurements to unimaginable accuracy. Whatever philosphical implications YOU or OTHERS wish to draw from this science is up to you. You can debate about the physical meaning of the wave function - but at the end of the day...it works beautifully regardless of the meaning you wish to pin to it. So comments suggesting that quantum mechanics has "got it wrong" - are both wrong and irrelevant to what you are debating.


Your guest also suggested that quantum mechanics makes claims about what consciousness is...it simply does not. Neuroscientists are certainly trying to fit quantum affects into a theory of consciousness - but the theory alone makes no claims.

You mentioned something about the "transcendental world". Saying that it existed whether we believe it or not. Where is your evidence for such a world? What means of detection do you have of this world that I, or scientific instruments do not?

Your guest also mentioned something about Tesla extracting energy from space. While Tesla did propose some energy beam machines at the beginning of WWII - the proposed devices used energy concepts already understood to science - nothing new. If he did make claims about 'free energy' why is not in practise today?

Then your guest somewhow extrapolates taking energy from mass is like greater things coming from the lesser and that's why we think we came from monkeys... and of course...that is wrong.

Richard you asked me if I have any specific comments about your podcasts - I still have 6 minutes to go, but that is enough for me now. Yourself and your guest have showed an incredible lack of scientific knowledge, yet made some extraordinary claims. The reason Darwinists get so 'dogmatic' as you put it, is because the theory is very sound, the best explanation we have for speciation and is constantly being reinforced with new evidence. Suggesting we came from monkeys shows a wealth of ignoarnce. Evolution does not suggest that - rather we SHARE a common ancestor, that does not look much like either monkeys or humans. Evolution is as much a fact as Newtonian gravity is in light of relativity - it is insane to dispute it. That's why Dawrwinists get so bothered - its like I tell you this ball is round and you reply "no its not" - frustrating you might see.

As a whole - I think your podcast is riddled with logical fallacies - mainly argumentum ad ignorantium. If you cannot explain something or do not know something - IT DOES NOT PROVE THE EXISTANCE OF ANOTHER THING. Or more eloquently "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."

You wanted to know what problems I had with your podcast - well there is a breakdown of one. This is not about live and let live or each to there own. You are blatantly stating this is RIGHT and this is WRONG about science. You are 'picking the fight' with your listeners. Like to hear your thoughts about my comments.

Richard Lloyd Jones said...

Hey Sushil,

Thanks for sending me this. Interesting. Many of your perspectives are worth thinking about, and certainly we can see the implications of an incorrect social structure on all aspects of human life here on the planet - particularly in the so-called Third World. I hope you have checked out my other podcasts on sociopathology for more of our views here in Brazil at Dr. Norberto Keppe's International Society of Analytical Trilogy.

But I wanted to just draw your attention to the human pathological aspects, too, that you may not have considered in developing your thesis. After all, we are not exactly victims of our society; our human nature has structured it after all, and so we must begin to address the problems in the human psyche as well. I don't want to talk too much in this comment about this, since I'm already covering it in the Podcast, but I will guide you to the website of an organization closely connected with Keppe's Society that is doing much good work in exploring the root causes of human destruction: the STOP the Destruction of the World Association. Check them out at www.stop.org.br. And look soon for a video podcast I'm developing with excerpts from the STOP television program, featuring Keppe and Dr. Claudia Pacheco.

Thanks for listening, and taking the time to write such a detailed comment. Much appreciated!

Richard Lloyd Jones said...

Hello again, Mr. Anonymous. Thank you again for taking the time to write and explain your views.

I understand what you are saying, and I'll try to explain where we're coming from in this program. You are obviously someone who has studied science and its views, but you seem to have little understanding of the philosophical and scientific underpinnings that lie at the base of this Podcast, so I hope I can lay that out for you and that you can be open a little to exploring what we know. Maybe your readers would be interested, too ...

First point to make ... you say "Theology and science, by definition, are 2 conflicting worlds." Who made this definition? And is it a correct foundation upon which to try to understand the nature of things, and how things work? If science is the “perpetual search for truth” that you propose it to be, how can it simply cut out all the wisdom and findings from 3500 years of Judeo-Christian discoveries?

Science has limited itself in its search for truth by looking only at the material aspect of existence. Niels Bohr emphasized this limitation when he stated in effect that he didn’t care what an electron was (the “what it was”, he contended, was the realm of metaphysics and not relevant to physics), but only about what it did. This is a limitation to the scientific view that makes it incomplete in its search to explain reality or truth. Science, after all, came from theology and philosophy, and must include them to make any sense.

For one thing, there is lots of evidence of the existence of a transcendental realm (leaving out the considerable body of evidence being gathered in the field of para-normality), like the Aharanov-Bohm effect, which clearly acknowledges that the material reality is affected by an immaterial (dare we say, transcendental) reality. Why continue denying this? The answer is that we human beings are theomanic (meaning we have the desire to be like gods) and this makes us want to “create” reality, not submit to it. This is a psychopathological issue more than a physics or mathematical one, and to not consider this makes science very incomplete. Disregarding this fundamental understanding of the human psyche as irrelevant to science is not wise, because it is, in fact, very relevant to the truth.

You also ask me which theology I am talking about – pagan theology, or Buddhist or Hindu. For one thing, Buddhism and Hinduism are non-theistic, and therefore are philosophies of life, not theologies. Pagan theology is an oxymoron. The theology we rely on in our Podcast refers to the extensive body of knowledge amassed by the Judeo-Christian theologians and philosophers over the past 3500 years.

Theology does not need to evolve. By definition, it is about discovering, uncovering and articulating the reality of the universe that already exists. Theology is revelatory, not evolutionary.

And this highlights one of the key points of disagreement between you and the views put forward in this Podcast: you believe that all reality started from nothing and is slowly evolving through millions if not billions of years to reach our current level of evolutionary sophistication and complexity. We are coming from the view that there is a reality prior to man that exists independent of human consideration, and it is a reality that is complete; that is, with all its laws and processes already defined and absolute. Science from this point of view would be the process of revealing what already exists, and showing us how to work in agreement with that.

There is an abundance of philosophical thought to back this up, including Plato, Augustine and fairly recently, Max Scheler, who said that there is a beautiful, good and true reality that exists a priori, outside time and space, which was necessary and independent of experience – a contradiction to what some quantum physicists would have us believe in asserting that reality is dependent on our input.

A further idea underlying our work is Keppe’s discovery of psychological inversion, which is the process whereby the human being sees things upside down. This is an extraordinary discovery, actually, which adds considerably to the storehouse of human knowledge. Furthermore, all areas of human and social function are impacted by this, including science. Examples of ideas in science that are suffering from inversion would include the idea of chaos leading to development (war brings development), the Big Bang (spontaneous generation and the lesser creating the greater), E=mc2 (energy comes from material), Freud’s psychotherapy (our problems lie in sex), capitalism’s placing of capital above human beings, and evolution (complexity comes from simple organisms/one species becomes another). If we dis-invert those, we wind up with a completely different world and universal view. Before you just dismiss it, let me just state that Keppe’s clinical research into inversion, envy and theomania is comprehensive and complete, and gives us a thorough and complete map of the human psyche through which we can evaluate scientific, philosophical and theological thinkers and their theories, and point out the errors they may have committed. It’s a vast and intriguing body of work he’s put together here, and I would encourage you to investigate it.

Well, now my comment is beginning to be the length of a Podcast, so I’ll get out while I still can. But one final thing: you asked that if Tesla had made claims about “free energy,” why wasn’t it in use today? That’s a great question, which is answered in Keppe’s explorations about the pathology of power, which we have explored to some length in this Podcast. It’s not in use, because it’s not permitted to be in use. Human pathology is very strong, and it impacts us in all areas of our lives and in all theories and social structures. This is what we are trying to explore in our Podcast.

Sorry to take so long, but I wanted to really outline where we’re coming from here in the hopes that maybe you and other influential writers and thinkers can begin to study Keppe’s scientific/philosophical/theological vision and help others to understand it as well.

As always, thanks for listening.

Anonymous said...

Hi again - my name is Dan by-the-way. Thanks for taking the time to explain where you are coming from - sincerely appreciated. I certainly see where you are coming from - no problems there - but it is 'how' you are coming that I have some issues with. I will try and keep this short - but who knows how this will end up.

Yes I do have a science background and study philosophy and theology as a hobby. In this sense, I feel we are exact opposites - you come across as someone from the theology/philosophy side of the fence who dabbles in science - where I am (as Dr. Keppe might word it) 'inverted'. It is here that the conflict arises. The feeling I get from your podcasts is that you are trying to create some kind of paradigm shift in the way we view the world. Looking at things differently certainly has potential to improve our situation and bring happiness. I was once taught by a Buddhist monk to view ALL people that cause frustration in my life as teachers - purposely placed within my world to teach me about my weak points and provide insight to the origins of my suffering.

I am sure you agree that such a 'tool' can work wonders in day-to-day life and inject humour into unpleasant situations. My point is this - I know that God did not really send me a bunch of 'teachers' - but taking the point of view was beneficial. This is the view I have about the work you are doing - I can clearly see the benefits of looking at the world from your point of view - but it does not make them TRUE. I have no problem with how you see the world - that is your business, but dismissing HUGE branches of science in the process is both unnecessary and simply....well...wrong.

Now to some specific science points:

You wrote: "there is lots of evidence of the existence of a transcendental realm (leaving out the considerable body of evidence being gathered in the field of para-normality), like the Aharanov-Bohm effect, which clearly acknowledges that the material reality is affected by an immaterial (dare we say, transcendental) reality. Why continue denying this?"

I am very familiar with the Aharonov-Bohm effect and I am sorry to say that your statement regarding material reality effecting an immaterial reality is simply incorrect. The effect is well understood by quantum mechanics and many predictions have been made and observed regarding this effect. I don't want to get into nitty gritty scientific aspects regarding vector potentials etc so I will use Young's Double Slit experiment to make my point (the Aharanov-Bohm effect is somewhat of an extension of the double-slit experiment).

When a single electron passing through one of two slits interferes with itself - we simply do not know what actually happens. The equations tell us that the logic of the quantum world contains a superposition of possibilities - ie it is not a question of the electron will pass through slit A or slit B - but more 'the electron will pass through slit A or slit B or slit A and slit B. (hope you are not lost). My point is that reality at the quantum level is beyond comprehension of our minds - which evolved in the realm of BIG AND SLOW. I am happy to say 'I don't know what happens' - but like I said, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. You could quite easily speculate that the electron jumps to a new dimension, travels back in time, passes through the tail of an iguanadon in the Jurassic period and then returns to the slit. Such a claim is not falsifiable. This is a large problem I see with your work. You are free to speculate, but can you honestly claim concretely that you know (and push solid science out in the process)??

You wrote:
"Furthermore, all areas of human and social function are impacted by this, including science. Examples of ideas in science that are:" (note that you used the word 'ideas')

"the Big Bang (spontaneous generation and the lesser creating the greater)"

The Big Bang was not preconceived by an inverted mind - IT WAS DISCOVERED. Edwin Hubble looked at the data in 1929 and interpreted it the only way it COULD be interpreted - ie The universe is expanding from a point of origin. No ideas here - just raw data.

"E=mc2 (energy comes from material)"
Again - not an idea. This falls out from the theory of relativity that makes only 4 basic postulates for the formation of the entire theory. It is known as energy-mass equivalence therefore stating that it is a one-way process "energy from matter" is incorrect. Matter and energy are interchangeable - this is one of the basis of particle colliders - they smash high energy particles into one another and some energy is converted into new particles. My point again is that these are not 'ideas' created by inverted people - it is science - plain and simple.

"evolution (complexity comes from simple organisms/one species becomes another)"
Evolution - the big bee in my bonnet. Evolution is a fact. I could argue this point for another 10000 words - but I would simply suggest you look up 'evidence of evolution' on wiki. You cannot dismiss evolution as a scientific fact for fear that it has potential to make us feel insignificant and the product of a mechanical sieve. The truth hurts sometimes - what can I say.

That is all I wanted to say for now - I think a direct email might be more appropriate next time. Summary - I see the value in your work and your views, but I don't see why you need to attack science to state them.

Thanks again.
Dan

Anonymous said...

Richard Jones, Dan,

Just a quick note to let you know that I am enjoying your debate here on this blog tremendously - and that I was very sad to see that debate end here:

"I think a direct email might be more appropriate next time."

The respectful exchange of opposing worldviews is helping me (and perhaps others) form a more informed opinion on Dr. Keppe's work and the function (and use) of "truth" in society today.

Please continue posting your debate here for others to see - perhaps it will inspire others to join the debate with their views.

Thank you.