Tag Archives: design

What is Life? The Greatest Problem of Science and Philosophy

WRESTING consciousness from the lords of scientific reductionism, where its mysteries have languished for decades, takes imaginative and fearless warriors.

Clearly the acclaimed Father of Modern Philosophy, René Descartes, cannot be counted among the truth seeking combatants.

Descartes held that non-human creatures must be reductively assumed to be nothing but mere automatons, signaling a tired materialism, not frontier science.

The Cartesian assumptions do not sit well especially with animal welfare advocates, environmentalists, especially not Theosophists who insist that consciousness is endemic to all kingdoms of nature, not just the human.

Possessors of sentient consciousness include, Theosophy says, such unlikely candidates as bacteria, minerals — and yes, even atoms!

Descartes held rigidly to the premise “I think therefore I am”— without ever explaining what a thought is, or explaining the ever-elusive, dogged persistence of consciousness. Whether awake or asleep, comatose or vegetative, its presence is in-dismissible.

One wonders if it doesn’t seem far more reasonable to assume in fact that the opposite is true, i.e. —I AM, therefore I think?”

Adherents biasedly line up on one or the other side of the issue. (Actually, Theosophy could argue both sides are accounted for by its teaching of the mind’s dual nature.)

In fact, the elusive, omnipersistent ‘mind’, is not a production of the brain at all, but an aspect of universal mind.

Over one hundred years ago, unraveling the mystery of the existence of the ‘soul’ was attempted by physical science, employing of course the expected material, reductionist methods — using a mechanical device to weigh it!

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Proof of the Soul thru Dreams

WRESTING consciousness from the lords of scientific reductionism, where its mysteries have languished for decades, takes imaginative and fearless warriors.

Not surprisingly, the acclaimed Father of Modern Philosophy, René Descartes, cannot be authenticated as a combatant truth seeker.

Descartes held that non-human creatures must be reductively assumed to be nothing but mere automatons, signaling a tired materialism, not frontier science.

The Cartesian assumptions do not sit well with animal welfare advocates, environmentalists, especially not Theosophists who insist that consciousness is endemic to all kingdoms of nature, not just the human.

Possessors of sentient consciousness include, Theosophy says, such unlikely candidates as bacteria, minerals — and yes, even atoms!

Descartes held rigidly to the premise “I think therefore I am”— without ever explaining what a thought is, or explaining the ever-elusive, dogged persistence of consciousness. Whether awake or asleep, comatose or vegetative, its presence is in-dismissible.

One wonders if it doesn’t seem far more reasonable to assume in fact that the opposite is true, i.e. —I AM, therefore I think?”

Adherents biassedly line up on one or the other side of the issue. (Actually, Theosophy could argue both sides are accounted for by its teaching of the mind’s dual nature.)

In fact, the elusive, omnipersistent ‘mind’, is not a production of the brain at all, but an aspect of universal mind.

Over one hundred years ago, unraveling the mystery of the existence of the ‘soul’ was attempted by physical science, employing of course the expected material, reductionist methods — using a mechanical device to weigh it!

Continue reading

Soul and the Juggernaut of Science

OUR modern objective science “is the hallmark of society today, and “it has an unrivaled power base.”

“Its description of reality has molded the modern world,” write Deepak Chopra, MD and Jim Walsh in their July 1, 2013 article in Huffington Post.

And, “its worldview holds sway over universities, governments and the public at large.”

“Everyone who participates in the consensus view of reality has been touched by it. But the role of the observer has puzzled and intrigued physics since the quantum revolution a century ago.,” say the Authors of the article The Consciousness Project – Hopeful Solutions for Epic Problems.

“We feel that this issue offers a crucial opening for expanding the role of science.”

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“As a counterpoint to the science juggernaut, there is another view of reality supported by loosely aligned groups in religion, philosophy, and a minority in science,” they write. “Their worldview is consciousness-based. Whatever their differences, supporters of consciousness place mind first in Nature and matter second.”

"Flying" - Lois Greenfield

“Flying” – Lois Greenfield

“Such a worldview has no significant financial backing comparable to mainstream science,” writes Dr. Chopra. “It has been excluded from experimentation in major universities and all but banished from respectability, depending on the rich heritage, East and West, of saints, sages, and seers who fall outside the scientific method.”

Wresting the domain of consciousness from the lords of scientific  reductionism, where it has been abused and minimized for decades, takes imaginative and fearless investigators.

Such would not have been included the proclaimed “Father of Modern Philosophy” René Descartes, who held that non-human animals could be reductively explained as mere automatons.

This is not a concept that sits well with consciousness-based views of reality, nor with animal advocates, environmentalists, including most Theosophists — who recognize that consciousness is inherent in all kingdoms of nature, not just the human. In their view, possessors of sentient consciousness include such unlikely candidates as bacteria, minerals — and atoms!

Decartes held famously to the premise “I think therefore I am”— without ever explaining what a thought is, or explaining the persistence and presence of the ever-elusive nature of consciousness. One wonders if it doesn’t seem far more reasonable to assume in fact that the opposite is true, i.e. —I AM, therefore I think?”

Adherents biassedly line up on one or the other side of the issue. (Actually, Theosophy would argue both sides are accounted for by the ancient teaching of the mind’s dual nature.)

In fact, the elusive, omnipersistent ‘mind’, is not a production of the brain at all, but an aspect of universal mind.

Over one hundred years ago, unraveling the mystery of the existence of the ‘soul’ was attempted by physical science, employing of course the expected material, reductionist methods — using a mechanical device to weigh it!

Continue reading

Through the Veil

MOST of us are so preoccupied with future expectations, we fail to see what’s right in front of us.

A famous attention experiment at Harvard showed that many people missed seeing a 200-pound gorilla walking through a small group of basketball players.

Not so for a clinically blind man, who clearly saw what he should not have seen. Surprised science writer, Andrea Gawrylewski, reporting in The Scientist, described the experiment and wondered:

“How much can you see with a non-functioning visual cortex?”

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“With lesions on both sides of his visual cortex,” reports a paper published in Current Biology, “he was able to flawlessly navigate an obstacle course.”

Biologists and neurologists are still searching for the hardware (neurons) responsible for this seeming impossibility.

“It remains to be determined which of the several extra-striate pathways,” the article comments, “account for this patient’s intact navigation skills.”

“It is not fully understood how this is possible,” according to the paper.

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This may be one of modern science’s many stubborn puzzles, but Theosophy easily sees the answer, through the use of a certain hidden sense.

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Auguries of God

SCIENCE now realizes that mother nature was ahead of her time in understanding the quantum universe.

A red rose, the dance of honey bees, spiral galaxies, Fritjof Capra’s The Tao of Physics, and Yogi Berra all get it right.

It’s back to the future all over again. Poetry, plants, religions, even materialists and atheists—all have a lot more in common as we’ll see.

Even celebrated artist and poet William Blake sensed he saw “a world in a grain of sand, and heaven in a wild flower,” and how you could

“Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour.”

Children at play—left to their own instincts and intuitions unsmothered by parental intimidation—engage the delights of spontaneous imagination. Theirs is an unselfconscious, non-ideological purity of intent.

Genius of originality in the young child is  hardwired, and when not managed by disapproving, arbitrary rule makers, their creations are joyful and  unpretentious. “The true sign of intelligence,” Albert Einstein once said, “is not knowledge but imagination.”

Mme. Blavatsky’s closest colleague, William Q. Judge, wrote of imagination as “the King faculty,” (Ocean of Theosophy, 139), because “the Will cannot do its work if the Imagination be at all weak or untrained.”

All life forms, like kids at play, are inseparably intertwined — yet consist, as does the radio wave spectrum, of  infinite individual frequencies .

(The Secret Doctrine)

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“Would to goodness the men of science exercised their ‘scientific imagination’ a little more,” Blavatsky wrote in her article Kosmic Mind,  “and their dogmatic and cold negations a little less.” 

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Seeing and Believing

MOST of us are so preoccupied with future expectations, we fail to see what’s right in front of us.

A famous attention experiment at Harvard showed that many people missed seeing a 200-pound gorilla walking through a small group of basketball players.

Not so for a clinically blind man, who clearly saw what he should not have seen. Surprised science writer, Andrea Gawrylewski, reporting in The Scientist, described the experiment, and wondered:

“How much can you see with a non-functioning visual cortex?”

¿

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Flesh of My Flesh

BECAUSE all organisms are related through similarities in DNA sequences, the whole of nature could be really one family.

New insights of epigenetics have lead to a revolutionary view of human biology. Theosophy concurs with many of these new findings.

“The failures of science and its arbitrary assumptions,” Blavatsky says in The Secret Doctrine (2:670), “are far greater on the whole than any ‘extravagant’ esoteric doctrine.”

The traditional geneticist’s view of evolution “is from the animal,” she reminds us, and “mind in its various phases” is viewed, erroneously, as completely separate from matter.

It follows, then, that the identical genes that were in our ancestor’s bodies, that Blavatsky called “The Life Atoms” —”are transmitted through their descendants for generation after generation…

“…so that we are literally ‘flesh of the flesh’ of the primeval creature who has developed into man in the later period.”

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