Raymond Blais

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Why are we not putting all of our efforts into discovering our universe and our place in it?

Most of us have what we need, so why are we so absorbed with things that lose value quickly and in our mortality which can best be understood with discoveries that have yet to be made.

  • Aug 7 2013: First we have to find intelligent life on earth....then let's worry about it elsewhere...
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      Aug 7 2013: I think we need to be braver. Not to be afraid of the unknown.
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      Aug 8 2013: This reminds me of Mahatma Gandhi's reply to the question "What do you think of Western civilization?" He said, "That would be a good idea."
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    Aug 19 2013: We need t start thinking like children more and make the earth happy.
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      Aug 19 2013: Raymond,
      I feel like the earth is naturally "happy". The earth adjusts, adapts and continues to sustain us in spite of our poor stewardship at times.

      Perhaps it would be helpful to be more like children with curiosity, respect, unconditional love and recognition of the gifts the earth gives us? It feels to me, like most of the discovering we need to do is in ourselves.
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    Aug 11 2013: Too few people are aware what makes them happy and even fewer have the courage to take the necessary actions to walk that path.

    On a macro-level, our societal system (mainly financial) isn't geared towards maximizing knowledge: if you don't have research funds, you cannot proceed your research. Today funds for fundamental research are scarce as they do not offer the perspective of a short term monetary benefit.

    Finally, I have a different view on your statement that 'most of us have what we need'. From my perspective, many people still experience a lot of lack in their lives: whether it's money and 'stuff', time, friendship, love, security or self-acceptance.

    I believe that is exactly what stands in the way of discovering the universe and and who we are in that equation. So first we need to look to solve that experience of 'lack', before we can move forward.
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      Aug 11 2013: Bruno,
      I agree that it takes awareness and courage to walk a certain path in the life experience. I also agree that our societal systems are not geared toward maximizing knowledge, and I agree that many people lack basic needs, all of which stands in the way of discovering the universe and who we are in that equation.

      The cycle keeps humanity in a cycle of dependence on certain people and societal systems, which oppress and control, which causes people to be less aware and courageous with less knowledge, lacking basic needs, so they become more dependent on societal systems, which continue to oppress and control, causing lack of basic needs, awareness and courage, which could help move people out of the cycle.

      I believe awareness is the first step toward change, so it helps to be aware of the cycles, which may keep us from exploring our universe and our place in it. When we are told what our place is, those who are telling us believe they have the power to control. It is when we have the courage to step out of that control, that we can fully explore and discover.....in my humble perception and experience.
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        Aug 13 2013: isnt it funny how obtaining and passing on knowledge is one thing we do so much better than other animals, yet we could do better.

        i guess some scientific knowledge clashes with religious beliefs.

        also science doesnt seem to be a big voter issue unless it involves xonflict with religion or financial returns for business.
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          Aug 14 2013: We are very good at passing on information Obey. Perhaps now we need to learn how to apply all that information to life:>)
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      Aug 12 2013: Exploring the universe is not to make people happy but to make them aware. Each person would have to decide for themselves if this is the road to their happiness.
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    Aug 10 2013: Because we don't actually know ourselves and we aren't actually here. We're on autopilot more often than not and “We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.” ― William Shakespeare, The Tempest.
    • Aug 11 2013: Agree with Daniel here, many of us live too consumed with our daily lives and perceptions of reality. Sometimes its hard to step back and really see what's important. (Unless you chance on going to space and see how small our fickle issues are)

      This cartoon pretty much sums it up - http://zenpencils.com/comic/33-edgar-mitchell-a-global-consciousness/

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overview_effect
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        Aug 11 2013: Nice cartoon, cool website. Since I'm not likely to "chance on going to space and see how small our fickle issues are" I remind myself in other ways how myopic our perception of reality is. Like everyone knows Neil Armstrong was the first man on the moon, and I didn't know Edgar Mitchell was even an astronaut and landed on the moon, but I take pleasure in telling everyone I know that Eugene Cernan was the last man on the moon, because nobody ever thinks about him.

        “If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite.
        For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern.”
        ― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
  • Aug 9 2013: I read this question and expected something entirely different.

    Well, do most of us have what we need? I don't believe that we do, no, but that's not the issue here.

    Is discovering the universe and our place in it the most meaningful thing possible? The only meaningful thing? So meaningful and compelling that we should all think about it all the time? I'd say that would detract so much from life that making any such discovery would lose some of its joy.

    You're asking about values, framing your question in such a manner as to instantly dismiss a large array of human experience. What is value, anyway? Surely, if something is to have value in the first place, it won't lose its value quickly! Well, if I am to take you at face value, you disagree and believe that things that absorb people have ever dwindling value. Am I to understand things have no inherent value, holding instead only transient, insignificant, momentary interest and the only thing with any value is discovering the universe and our place in it? But is this value not imparted by humans as well, is it not the same curiosity and the same kind of pleasure that motivates us to so many other things? Is it not as transient and momentary?

    And there we have it. Knowledge building for its own sake, inherent value... to be enjoyed transiently by easily distracted humans.

    Tough thing, value.

    Sometimes we need to clarify "what" before asking "why", if only to realise that answers are mulitfold and our premises might be flawed, or might imply the answer itself.

    Once we've established what might be valuable, then we might attempt to link it with human motivation. But you jump directly to ought, forgetting that human motivation might only partially overlap, if at all, with what we think might be valuable.
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      Aug 10 2013: Much too analytical for me. If everyone in the world was focused on one great quest, something that no one person can possess then we might start working together and stop hurting each other.
      • Aug 11 2013: Well, no. Human beings are naturally competitive and no amount of learning to cooperate from a young age or otherwise will completely extinguish that instinct. One single goal would leave no niches for people to pursue, which will lead to more competition...

        But not in the violent sense. You want less violence within communities? Stop poverty. Give people jobs. Educate and instill empathy. Thinking tools help, too.

        You want less war between countries? Yeah, that's a whole different can of worms.
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          Aug 11 2013: I agree Raymond, that we can learn, grow and evolve as individuals, while contributing to the whole...focused on one great quest as you say:>)
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          Aug 12 2013: Competitiveness is just as essential to discovery the universe as to anything else.
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        Aug 11 2013: Aite N,
        I see no reason to "extinguish" competitiveness, because as you say, it is a natural instinct. We can, however, learn to use competition for our own learning AS WELL AS a benefit to the whole.

        Competition does not mean violence, and violence does not contribute to the benefit of either individuals, or the whole.

        Making an effort toward reducing poverty and providing jobs for everyone is a good idea. However, those efforts do not necessarily end or reduce violence. There certainly are lots of people who live in poverty and are without gainful employment who are NOT violent. Just as there are many people who are living in luxury and gainfully employed who are violent. It is not true that poverty and joblessness causes violence.

        "Thinking tools" and empathy always help with any situation.....I agree:>)
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    Aug 6 2013: Let me rephrase the question... here is a spoon, how long will it take to empty the ocean...
    the size of the task is about the same and the tools we have are too.

    So, moral, ethical and all those other human values are really just simple speculation until we empty the ocean.
  • Aug 19 2013: Why are we not putting all of our efforts into discovering our universe
    Its over there
    and our place in it?
    we are in the corner, a little to the left

    Job done, next
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    Aug 18 2013: Could be a conflict of interest to some people.
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      Aug 18 2013: It could really well, be, especially if someone was to copyright the discovery.
      Everyone else would not be allowed to discover for themselves and they would have to worship the copyright, meaning we could end up wit a second God (not that we don't have enough Gods).
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      Aug 18 2013: ANYTHING can be a conflict of interest to some people, depending on what one's personal beliefs and interests are.
  • Aug 18 2013: I do believe that steps are being taken to undertake this matter but like everything else in life it's taking time and to gather the numbers interested in such a forum an continue the chain of getting people interested....time is a major factor. But as I mentioned it is being done.
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    Aug 18 2013: In order to achieve something like that , all of the world countries must gathers together and that kind of difficult because any country work for her self interest and we don't discover our earth and we don't save it , so we must learn how to work together with no Grudge .
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      Aug 18 2013: Ali,
      Perhaps that is part of TED's mission...to gather us together?
  • Aug 18 2013: We don't make it our priority. We keep ourselves busy with daily things that are not even necessary, such as watching TV, spending time on Internet or going out with friends.
    There must be a definite purpose to challenge our minds to see why it is important to discover self being. Really, why do we have to think into ourselves and look for answers for questions we don't understand. If we cut off from a normal daily life and everything that fills it, we will have a chance to think about it.
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      Aug 18 2013: Asan,
      We are here, now on this earth, and we participate in the activities you mention. I believe it is HOW we participate in life that is important and provides the opportunity to discover. We can go through the motions without thinking "into ourselves", and/or, we can live the life experience with awareness, curiosity and effort to discover more about ourselves and our place in the universe....in my humble perception.
  • Aug 18 2013: Behind abstract pursuits there has to be belief. Belief in their realisation. Belief in their worth. Belief in our worth. Belief has to be sustained somehow, and some days, that's just really hard. Magnify this the world over, and you'll find yourself asking much more modest questions..

    What you propose also requires a stable world. I doubt that will happen anytime soon.
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      Aug 18 2013: Aite,
      Do we wait for a "stable world" before we try to discover more about our universe and our place in it? Or can we live a life that is mindfully aware as individuals, which might contribute to a world that becomes more stable?
      • Aug 18 2013: No. We needn't wait. To try, that is. We can try and learn from the outcome, whatever it is.

        I don't see there's a direct connection between being mindful and reaching world stability. It's just not that simple. It is however a step in the right direction..

        My point is that completely committing to this kind of endeavour not only needs a lot of resources, but also a social climate that is different in many significant respects, perhaps most importantly in our view of human beings. It's also important that motivation exists, genuinely. Genuinely wanting something, for the right reasons, especially when its rewards are not immediate, or even foreseeable, is the product of a world where people have overcome the narrowness of everyday experience, where the economy is not completely divorced from reality, where our desires have changed substantially, and where we don't trick or force people into fighting over resources. A world where peace sustains itself.

        Or.. the only other way to ensure people work like this is manipulating them with ideology, which, to my mind, perverts the whole thing.I don't want that. I should hope no one else does, either.

        I must apologise for the lack of coherence.
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          Aug 18 2013: Oh Aite I agree...we needn't wait! Yes, we need motivation and genuinely wanting something for the right reasons. I believe we have begun:>)
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    Aug 17 2013: This a perfect idea and as the Raymond there should be many people thinking same way. this idea better than killing each other. People should know that there thousand planet and waiting for owners and many of them bigger than earth.
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    Aug 16 2013: i think today most of the people believe meanfull philosophy of life is to get wealth so that causes by lackiing of our wisdom
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      Aug 16 2013: Chasing wealth is a manifestation from wanting more and better. What our society values has made it so.
  • Aug 14 2013: We need to focus on the big picture of Life, Scientists are caught up studying the infinite details.
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      Aug 15 2013: Science investigates everything we don't know. That is being human. That is life.
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    Aug 12 2013: i suggest the optimal result may be a balance between looking at the big questions and the little ones.

    suggest its not ideal to spend all your time contemplating the meaning of life or day to day matters. but a mix of both.
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      Aug 12 2013: I think its best to just digest what has already been discovered then comply and end the lies and see what else might be uncovered.
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        Aug 12 2013: good point, we probably arent using what we know already very effectively to improve life , reduce suffering etc.
  • Aug 11 2013: Throughout the history, there have been many prophets, religious leaders, scientists and even novelists who tried to "understand" the universe as they saw it. Of course, they have become better and btter with the accumulation of past knowledge and better instrumentaion and experiments, but the universe is so vast and not completely observable or be comprehensible by an infinitessimal tiny "component"; i. e. the intelligence of any human being. For example, can an ant become knowledgeable of how the mother earth, it lives on, look like?
    More importantly, not every person is MADE WITH THE ABILITY OF THINKING OF ANYTHING BEYOND THE NEED AND COMFORT FOR HIMSELF. For many religious people, they have already "learned" or believed that the universe is consisted of a "present world" and an "after-life world"; hopefully the paradise or heaven, which is all they want or feel worthwhile to learn. I don't believe that you or I can change their mind regardless what is the reason of any persuasion.
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      Aug 11 2013: Hi Bart,
      I think an ant has a certain amount of knowledge (or maybe it's instinct/intuition) about the earth it lives on. Otherwise, how can an ant find a tiny crumb of food left on a picnic table? They DO instinctively find little crumbs of food and carry the food back to their nest. So, there seems to be a certain amount of knowledge or instinct involved in that process, and they seem somewhat familiar with their surroundings.

      I agree with you that some folks believe they have already learned all there is to learn (religion is a good example), and don't want to explore any more. Interesting concept you present....perhaps it is "all they want or feel worthwhile to learn"......feel worthwhile to learn.....are you suggesting that some people may get to the point where they say, I've learned enough....I am not worth learning any more? Very interesting and quite possible.....good point!
      • Aug 11 2013: Hi. Colleen.
        Thank you for your comment. My comment about the ant is applied to the concept of the view of the whole earth, not the part of the earth it lives in. Analogously, I hope that what Raymond said about the "universe" is the entire thing, at least a gross picture of it, otherwise we have already understood the earth , which is a part of the universe, quite well indeed.
        The second point you asked is quite legitimate. Let me reiterate that when I said "many religious people" certainly meant as part of the religious people. Many scientists are also religious, some of them are even experts in astronomy/physics. However,there are also some people, even in TED Discussions, they frequently raised questions about the modern theory on the universe, some even suggested teaching of the "Intelligent Design", or Creation Theory in schools. Of course, for many religious fanatics, they are thinking about the unverse is exactly as I described,.
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          Aug 11 2013: I think I got your point with the ant Bart:>)

          There are some people who only explore their own little part of the world, and there are some folks who like to explore as far as they can go, physically and emotionally.....yes?
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          Aug 18 2013: I think it funny that people think that all believes in God are so closed minded. I do think that some can't except that fact that we can not fully understand our Universe without taking the time to think. An yes most religious individual are stuck in the doctrine unable to embrace change.
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      Aug 11 2013: i agree our human brains maystruggle to comphend the quantum and cosmic scale of the universe and all its complexity.

      still i suggest we keep trying.
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        Aug 11 2013: I agree Obey....because exploring our universe and our place in it seems SOOOOO enjoyable:>)

        Nice to "see" your smiling face Obey, and I recall how and why it was created.....love it:>)
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          Aug 13 2013: hi colleen. nice to see you too.

          ill stick with r&d, not art.
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      Aug 12 2013: It comes down to; do you want to believe in a fixed universe where everything important is known or do you want to believe in a vast changing universe that we have only begun to explore.
      • Aug 12 2013: I certainly believe the latter case. Also, I didn't mean that we should quit exploring the evidence of the ever expanding reality of the "universe". (or "multiverse"?) I am only saying that considering our conception of the ever expanding dimension of the unverse, we are currently lagging far behind the pace of distance and speed of our advances (such as we have manmade spacecraft landiing only as far as Mars) in science and technology.
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    Aug 9 2013: We need to focus on the big picture of Life, Scientists are caught up studying the infinite details.
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      Aug 11 2013: What do you mean by 'the picture of Life', Christopher? All life is one. I've been listening to 'The Future of Life' by the preeminent Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson and it really has me thinking that there are no details. In every part of the world there is a reflection of the whole.
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    Aug 8 2013: Hi Raymond,
    Some of us are making an effort to discover our universe and our place in it, and I believe that is one of the main reasons for being human.....exploration and discovery of our "self", others, our world, and how it is all interconnected. My personal goal, is to explore the human life experience, learn, grow and evolve while contributing to the whole.

    One thing that I discovered years ago, is that many people do not have everything they need. Many people in our world do not have the very basics like water, food, shelter and safety. I think it is difficult for people to explore their/our world when every moment of the day is spent trying to survive.

    There are many of us who have what we need and much, much more, and those who do not have enough. I believe that part of our discovery as individuals and as a whole, may include learning how to balance and share resources.
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      Aug 8 2013: The fear of not having enough and wanting more than is needed is a cancer that must be overcome.
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        Aug 8 2013: I tend to think/feel that first understanding the fear, how it manifests itself, why it is a fear, etc., is more beneficial than trying to "overcome". Kind of like working from the foundation up.....you know?

        To overcome, or overpower something seems to deal with the obvious superficial aspects of something without addressing the underlying cause.....what do you think?
    • Aug 9 2013: I am not sure that anyone has much much more than they need. If they have, as you say, much much more than they need it seems an indication that they do not have what they need and are looking for what they need in the wrong place. People may have much much more than they need in a certain area but that indicates, to me, that they do not have what they need in another.
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        Aug 11 2013: I have more than I need Shawn, and it seems that many people in western cultures have more than they need. Have you traveled very much? Are you aware of many people in our world who do not have even the basics like water, food, shelter and safety?

        I agree that having more than we need could be an indication that we are looking for what we need in the wrong places.....good point!
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    Aug 7 2013: havent we already discovered a lot about the universe and our place in it over the last few hundred years.

    i suggest we can make apretty good go at understanding what we are, what drives us, and why. and whether there are better ways to live.

    evolution, biology and psychology provides a reasonable explanation for our greedy tendencies.

    we evolved in a competitive world. we are social animals with heirarchies. being resource rich makes us more attractive mates. etc. most of our evolutionary past we strggled to eat enough and not be eaten.

    that doesnt mean being greedy is the most satifying or beneficial way to live. we can use our intellect to figure out how to reduce suffering and improve the human condition.

    we should recognise our animal instincts and drivers, but not be slaves to them.

    i would add that the material universe and people in it are all we reasonably know to exist and it seems reasonable to focus on making a good life while we live.
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      Aug 7 2013: From what I have seen it is quit obvious that the more we learn the more we realize we don't know and with every discovery from the very small to the very large and distant the more I feel engaged and part of an adventure that is forever and has no end results. That stimulates me more than money, power or fame.
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        Aug 12 2013: i agree the more we learn the more complex the universeappears and there is a growing wave front of things we realise we dont know.

        but still we know so much more the 300 years ago.

        we know life evolved. that there are billions of galaxies, not just one. dna. vaccines. electronics, flight etc.

        the cup isfuller than before, bur bigger than we knew
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      Aug 8 2013: Re: "evolution, biology and psychology provides a reasonable explanation for our greedy tendencies. we evolved in a competitive world. we are social animals with heirarchies. being resource rich makes us more attractive mates. etc. most of our evolutionary past we strggled to eat enough and not be eaten."

      In other words, possession and control of resources (a.k.a. "greed") makes us more "fit for survival", more likely to pass on our genes and more likely to ensure survival of our descendants. OK. That's understandable. How does morality makes us more fit for survival? Isn't caring for sick and poor make society sicker and poorer? Why should we have mercy for evildoers and grace for the losers? How do evolution and psychology explain that?

      Intellect can make our lives better only if we know what "better life" means. And that knowledge does not seem to come from intellect or science, does it?
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        Aug 8 2013: Evolution does not work as fast as our intelligence would like it to. A just and humane society is not right around the corner but is closer than before. Just because life is a struggle should not stop us from searching for answers to everything and anything even when those answer just pose new questions.
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        Aug 10 2013: Hi I think we are some mix of instinct and reason. We have great intellect but also the instinctual drives.

        I agree we should try to promote reason.

        I suggest what a good life means is up to us to work out. Science helps us understand ourselves and the universe so it is perhaps part of the mix. Its also a mix of the mind- brain capabilities we have. We have the mental capability of empathy and we can think about what reduces suffering and improves the human condition.

        Its up to us work out what a good life is. I think we have a pretty good handle on it, but ois t is a challenge.
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          Aug 10 2013: Hi, Obey,

          You are very optimistic. I am fairly pessimistic about the ability of intellect to solve our problems. One may understand the problem, the source of it, but lack the will power to solve it. E.g. a smoker who has a lung cancer may not be able to quit the deadly habit despite the knowledge and understanding. Or, a person may have a great idea but lack the enthusiasm, energy, communication, and leadership skills to persuade and organize other people to realize it. On the other hand, a person who is "not the sharpest tool in the shed" may be very successful. The "Forrest Gump" movie is a great illustration.

          "Good life" is an elusive concept. What seems good at a first glance turns not so good when we try it. E.g. having plenty of food (like a free all-you-can-eat lunch buffet every day) may seem to be "good" (better than lacking food) but one can get very sick if he over-eats regularly. Children - another example. I'm still trying to figure out if they bring happiness or misery.

          At my age, I have a lot less confidence in my intellect than 30 years ago and I, for sure, do not "have a good handle" on what a good life is. I don't think, I have less intellect than 30 years ago, but I am not confident that it can bring me "good life".
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        Aug 13 2013: hi ag, i guess im optimistic that as a species we knowvenough to have a good go at developung a moral framework to reduce sufferingvand improvevthe human condition.

        im not so optimistic about our ability to agree on moral frameworks or implement improvementscwhen a lot of these issues are complex with pros and cons.

        i sometimes despair some still look to bronzec, iron age and medieval morailty emedded in scriptures not enlightment values etc, modern human rightsetc.
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          Aug 13 2013: I know, you are an atheist which means you are against faith and "beliefs without evidence". Yet, you believe that "as a species we know enough to have a good go at developing a moral framework to reduce suffering and improve the human condition." But that's a faith statement. There is no evidence for that. Moral frameworks don't seem to be developed based on knowledge. Besides, stealing and killing your competition could make good survival skills, from evolutionary standpoint. Intellect can successfully argue both ways. Some criminals are dumb, but some are very smart. Nerve gas and nuclear weapons have been created by very smart people. Intellect seems to have little to do with morality. Being smart is not enough to have good life or make other's life better.
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        Aug 13 2013: Good points ag.

        Actually I admit my position is an opinion, but I try base on evidence and reason.

        So I'm willing to update my view in the face of a compelling argument and evidence.

        Which is still quite different from a theist belief in divine command, especially where they assume their god is all knowing and all good. By definition then whatsoever their god concept is supposed to have done or said is good.

        Its not open to analysis or debate in the same way. God drowning the world was good. Heeternal suffering in hell is good. Kililling homosexuals is good. Regulated slavery is good.

        Whereas I have arguments to support my opinion that owning people is not reducing suffering. Killing homosexuals is not improving the human condition.

        Heck eating other animals is questionable from my perspective.

        I admit these views are not based on evidence as rigorous as scientific theories, but suggest it is better than assuming any particular religious dogma is flawless without examination.

        I would point out that while natural selection is competitive and a driving force shaping us I don't propose a dog eat dog society, because my assessment is there are better ways to reduce suffering.

        One of my tests is to put myself in the shoes of others to try and determine the impacts of positions. Wanton killing is not going to support a peaceful productive life in my opinion, based on reason, whereas when Yahweh performs or orders killing theists position is not based on reason, just divine command, and baseless faith.
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    Aug 5 2013: Some of us are busy solving problems created by those who have all they need.
    • Aug 6 2013: Linda, same opinion with you;-) Now, we are in the troubles because we could live in the better world. It might sound strange but in some aspect, it is completely true. We should not waste of time for useless things, focusing on your inner side.
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      Aug 6 2013: In my opinion all that one needs is food, water, shelter and freedom, everything else fails in comparison to what we could discover and experience on the quest that I propose here. Such a quest could unite the world in an adventure that could entertain and enlighten us all.
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        Aug 7 2013: OK Let's take water.
        http://nativetimes.com/news/environment/9060-agreement-quantifies-arizona-tribes-water-rights
        Phoenix diverted the water the tribe used to use and left 14,000 people to get water from one well. I happened to be at the senate hearing committee when this issue was brought forward to the senate from the tribe. They have been fighting to have water for YEARS. I might be able to get the senate transcripts if you're interested. Sometime around Easter, 2010
        Whose freedom? Whose water? When you clarify that, you find out how bad the problems are that are left behind as people seek to meet their 'need.'
        I could go on about food... Shelter...
        But my focus is health and those are the problems I am trying to address.Guess what, everybody dies. Is life on your list of needs? Why do some people die so young and not others? When you look into that, you REALLY find evidence of some people's 'need' usurping other people's 'need.' Leave cosmology to the cosmologists. Sit on you padded butt and contemplate the universe. Some of us are busy and our effort makes a difference.
  • Aug 19 2013: “The earth laughs in flowers.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
    The truth is I envision God laughing a lot like the Buddha or Dalai Lama

    "Look close and you will see love everywhere"- Keith W Henline
    If you don't see it either get closer or further away it will come into focus.
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      Aug 19 2013: That is SO true Keith....the earth laughs in flowers......yes indeed:>)

      That quote is etched on a stone in my garden.......I LOVE it.....and......I love to see the earth laughing in flowers:>)
  • Aug 19 2013: Why are we not putting all of our efforts into discovering our universe and our place in it?
    Because space has no celebrities.

    Most of us have what we need.
    Really - the majority my friend - simply dont. Poverty and all.
  • Aug 19 2013: I think we;ve progressed too-far out there already - evidenced-by our empty television-watching; we've forgotten our important social connections, and our own worth. We feel like there is nothing important we can do; so we seek nothing more than scratching our basic itches. Apparently this is our place in the universe until we get all our bases covered again.
    Tempting as omniscience & omnipotence is, mabye we're better-off learning lessons as we all make our collective mistakes.
    I think Stan Tenen said something about the need to have integrity - being morally transparent? I would think that to be more important than discovering our universe.
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    Aug 18 2013: Because there are more pressing matters. It is as simple as that!
    Just think of Maslow's hierarchy of needs!
  • Aug 17 2013: So far everything we have discovered, we have destroyed. The human race is next, we cannot break the law of Karma. The human race have been given dominion over the earth but we have proven beyond any doubt that was a mistake!
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      Aug 19 2013: : I disagree. I don't see that kind of destruction, some for sure, but we haven't gone over the cliff yet and if we start thinking differently we can change.
      • Aug 19 2013: I am not only praying you are right, my whole life has prepared me for one thing, changing the course of history. I and many others are doing our best to figure out and carry out that change. Before we can or will change there has to be a wake up call. That is where we are right now, waking up. A new generation with eyes wide open, no illusions.
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      Aug 19 2013: Keith and Raymond,
      I agree that we are "thinking differently" and "waking up". To have the ability to do this, suggests that we may not have "destroyed" everything?

      My glass is usually MORE than half full....call me Pollyanna if you wish:>)
      Where attention/focus goes, energy flows:>)
      • Aug 19 2013: Thank you Colleen, I believe we all have our place on the rope, you, me, Raymond and everyone else who wants to helps us pull the human race back from that cliff. No doubt we have not gone over it but most of us see it coming and have a ring side seat. It is our job (the elders) to buy enough time for our kids to set sail in another direction and give them as many tools as possible to build a new reality for themselves. Like it or not a good many will continue off that cliff it is inevitable, many have jumped and many more will. It is our job to put up signs and warnings that there is another way.
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          Aug 19 2013: Keith,
          I have no illusions about pulling the human race back from anything. I know I can only do the best I can in my little corner of the world.

          Have you read some of the comments made by young people here on TED? I think/feel THEY can help US sail in another direction.

          Reminds me...
          "The winds of Grace are blowing all the time. It is up to us to raise our sails"
          (Ramakrishna)

          Every single person in our world has the opportunity to raise their/our sails and discover whatever we choose. I believe that is what the human life adventure is about. Some will use the opportunity, and some will not.....it is a choice. Hopefully, some of us learn to sail with awareness:>)
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    Aug 17 2013: @Paul Lillebo

    For some reason I am not allowed to reply to Paul Lillebo directly, so I'll do it here. Your whole "one angelic party and one party of the devil" is itself an attempt to "delude others." Notice that I never said that, yet you were quick to insert those words into my mouth. There are good people in every party (and far more than just two parties, despite what the RNC and the DNC would like you to believe). There are also criminals in every party. That much is true, and I would not ever deny that.

    With this said, the two major parties in this country represent a dichotomy in modern politics: inclusion versus exclusion. One party wishes to include as many people as possible in our political process. The other party wishes to "conserve" that status quo, and prevent any new inclusions in our system. One party embraces science, and attempts to adapt to its lessons, while the other party goes out of its way to deny science, and certainly will not ever try to adapt to it.

    You can try to pave over my observations by saying that I have a short memory, or that I am inexperienced, but you cannot pave over the careful branding of each party. Democrats practice the politics of inclusion, and base their activity on science, something the TED crowd can appreciate. Republicans, on the other hand, practice the politics of exclusion, and are willing to spend millions of dollars in order block and deny science.

    Sure, G.W. TALKED about a mission to Mars (notice that he did not make it actually happen), and yes, Obama cancelled that plan. Obama also had a MASSIVE financial crisis to deal with, and politically speaking the time was NOT right for a high dollar mission to deep space. Call it pragmatism. Thanks to G.W. we spent SO MUCH of our national treasure on fighting wars that it just was not feasible, or possible, to undertake a Mars mission. I commend Obama for having the bravery to cancel a program that many in his party supported.
  • Aug 17 2013: The problem is that we have an economy based around jobs rather than production. We seem to believe that we need to keep everybody employed and busy so we produce inferior products that need replacing.

    We need an economic model based on production not employment – the truth is that we don’t need humans to make things anymore. Stop focusing on job – jobs are obsolete - and we all have time to contemplate higher objectives.
  • Aug 17 2013: Raymond,
    this is something my husband and I often ask ourselves. You are so right, we have everything we need.
    With materialism at an all-time high, it seems like the development of essential values (respect, communication, empathy to name a few) and 'the bigger picture' itself are being placed on the back burner... These obsessions with short-term money-making schemes, everybody's 15 minutes of fame and extreme extroversion is distracting us form what it's really all about. The media is powerful, too powerful.

    Yesterday, my kids and I took a little walk. We live in a rural, woodsy area, and take walks often, searching for treasures left by nature and asking questions about...well about everything. My daughter, who just turned 7, asked me, "Mama, is the earth happy?" I had to think long and hard about that one. I asked her what she thought. She said, "The trees are full of green leaves, the water is full of fish... and when the cars drive on the road, I think it tickles the earth." Then, she shut her eyes and listened, and said: "The wind is happy too. I'm happy. "
    What happens to us, between childhood and adulthood, that we forget how simple our place in the universe can be?
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    Aug 17 2013: Hi Raymond,

    What is your take on it?
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      Aug 19 2013: The sounds of nature are my favorite sounds, a hummingbird is my favorite vision, the smell of grass is my favorite smell, the touch of another person is my favorite touch, and sugar is my favorite taste. None of these are made by man. I believe there is a lot more pleasure to be discovered that is not of man.
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    Aug 14 2013: "Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the Earth"

    -Thoreau


    I just had too ;) I am with you Raymond, hence my conversation on Mars.

    Keep curiosity alive!!!
  • Aug 14 2013: By "discovering our universe and our place in it" are you talking about space exploration? I think space exploration is actually counterproductive to the advancement of humankind (I can elaborate if necessary).

    If you're speaking metaphysically, my first question is, how would we go about discovering our place in the universe? Secondly, what practical good would it do us if we found it?
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      Aug 15 2013: Your measuring what is not known against what is known. As far as space goes I think less space ships and more detecting devices on earth and in earth orbit. Although I think we should start sending supplies to mars for eventual colonization.
      • Aug 15 2013: Do you believe that colonizing Mars would be advancing the human race? I see that as doing more of the same thing we have always done: 1. Find new territory 2. Invade said territory 2. Strip said territory of resources 4. Repeat. Remember the movie Independence Day? Give us a few more centuries and we will be just like those aliens. I don't think that's something to be proud of.

        Technological advancement is easy, it's something humans have always done. Moral advancement - now that is a worthy challenge.
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          Aug 16 2013: Every species of plant, animal and insect has the natural extent to expand into territories that it can survive in. It is in our DNA. We just have to learn to be more considerate when we do so.
  • Aug 14 2013: Because We're busy destroying the planet and hence we won't be around to have a place. So the question is moot.
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      Aug 15 2013: Not very constructive. We have to do something so why not?
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    Aug 14 2013: There are more important issues to solve right now such as poverty and space exploration has huge expenses.
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      Aug 15 2013: You don't need to leave our planet to explore the universe, just and open and inquisitive mind.
  • Aug 12 2013: correction. Most of the developed world have what we need. So only useful for us (Europe/USA/China/Japan etc) to seek answering this question. All those in the developing world should contribute half their best and brightest minds on seeking this answer, with the other half in solving problems at home.
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    Aug 12 2013: I don't see the connection. One requires mostly mental capacity the other is just a matter of will. I don't think we have a food shortage problem. If we did then it most certainly would require all our efforts to produce more food.
    • Aug 14 2013: putting all our efforts on 'producing ' enough food is one thing but the issue but the problem remain one and the same "hunger" there are almost 24000 individuals die directly due to hunger and you are presuming it as an simple problem :you really surprised me ,sir.
      for details just google "deaths due to hunger each year "
      OR
      visit
      http://library.thinkquest.org/C002291/high/present/stats.htm
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        Aug 15 2013: Believe me I would do anything to eliminate all weapons and use those resources to reduce suffering but at this stage in our evaluation I think it would be easier to discover the meaning of life.
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          Aug 15 2013: Yes...perhaps we need to discover the real meaning of life before we are ready, willing and able to change those things that do not genuinely support life for everyone?
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    Aug 12 2013: I suggest for our kids and for us as well that we should keep aware of science and natural discoveries as they occur.
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    Aug 12 2013: Didn't NASA have volunteers cataloging interstellar object from space photos on-line not long ago?

    Google the word 'reCaptcha' and then click the link that says: Learn how reCaptcha works. It's an anti-bot feature to protect web sites developed by Google. But also, every time you use reCaptcha, you help Google to digitize books into a permanent, digital format. These are books that might otherwise rot away and never be seen/found again. So you wind up doing something really productive when you log a 'reCaptcha', say, when you use a credit card or whatever.

    If we can figure out how to make video games solve REAL human problems, only THEN will we be getting somewhere! Let's figure out how to make those virtual-world video games solve REAL problems. Let's figure out how to capture the human energy that goes into gaming, and make something real and worthwhile out of it!

    Do you think that video games could set up real world scenarios in virtual-space and teach people good life skills? Teach kids why high school is important by giving them problems that force them to learn something - and doing it inside a virtual game? Learn conflict resolution? Learn measurement & building skills in the virtual environment.

    What if in "Grand-Theft" auto the virtual reality was so detailed that you had to run your own chop shop! You could steal a car in a game, but to gain any levels, you'd have to chop it up & sell it for parts. To do that, you'd have to know (or learn) some auto-mechanics & body shop skill. You'd have to learn how to sort/sell/inventory account-for (as in bookkeeping) and lots of other good, real-life stuff. Without moving up levels (& learning something applicable in the real world to gain those levels) the Cops will catch you and put you in jail. Or maybe you get shot and have to restart your character. The goal? Get real skills for a real job!
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    Aug 12 2013: Hey Ray,
    Look into the Hollow Earth Theory, just search on it. Let me know what you think.
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      Aug 12 2013: Do you subscribe to the Admiral Byrd theory?
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      Aug 12 2013: I'm not a scientist but my inner gut says no. But it does deserve exploration.
  • Aug 11 2013: 1. We (Humans) are lazy
    2. Fear
    2.1. Fear of the unknown
    2.2. Fear that we will find out something we do not want to know
    3. Overwhelmed by petty concerns that everyone makes so important but is not
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      Aug 12 2013: I agree with everything but #1, being lazy.
      • Aug 12 2013: In my world, there are degrees of laziness. - 8>)) lets agree to disagree
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    Aug 11 2013: One word: Republicans.
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      Aug 11 2013: Hi Justin,
      I read your profile. With all of that experience and information, how can you boil this question down to "republicans"?
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        Aug 12 2013: Well, do you want the long answer or the short answer? Let's start here. Google the following: "Republicans + NASA".

        Consider that it was Kennedy who pushed us toward the moon.

        Republicans aren't necessarily against space exploration itself, it's just that they have yet to figure out a way to allow the military industrial complex to latch onto it. Newt Gingrich tried, with his "moon base" nonsense, but that was mostly a way of scoffing at President Obama.

        Republicans in the House have voted 40 times to repeal a law that they cannot feasibly repeal. The 112th Congress was the most obstructionist Congress in American history, thanks to the Republican party towing their party line, and trying to buck Obama, rather than doing their jobs and governing. The 113th is not any better. They would rather see the country fail than to see Obama succeed.

        On that same note, they refuse to fund healthcare for 30 million Americans who currently do not have it. They sure as hell aren't going to vote to fund exploration. Not only do they not want to fund new programs, they actually want their tax money back.

        I could go on and on, but I think that Google search string I opened with will tell you all that you need to know.
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          Aug 12 2013: Hi Justin,
          Thank you for the long and the short of it! I don't need to do a google search because I am aware, and agree with what you have written.

          Raymond does not seem to focus on only the US with his question, so I was not seeing the question as simply a US politics issue.....thanks.
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          Aug 12 2013: Political parties are just like minded people. So its the people not their title.
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          Aug 17 2013: The problem in this bit of partisan rant seems to be short memory or brief experience.

          The two main US political parties have been equally obstructionist, and they're both equally committed to destroying the program of the party in power. They're both equally crooked. I grew up in Chicago in the 50-60s, when crooked-to-the-core Democrats ran the city, as they still do. Most modern Illinois governors have been in jail, most of them Democrats. The last one went to prison last year, and this summer a Chicago Dem congressman reported to the pen. The influence of this corrupt organization has been pervasive in the current Chicago-based White House.

          It's easy to forget 1990, when the Democrat Congress shut down the government by sending a budget bill to Pres. G.H.W. Bush that they knew he couldn't sign. Determined to beat him in the '92 elections, they kept the gov't shut down until Bush blinked and decided that a functioning government was more important that his reelection, and signed a budget that he knew would cost him the election. And sure enough, in '92 the Dems beat Bush by accusing him of breaking his "no new taxes" pledge by approving the Dems' budget.

          As to space exploration, we might remember that G.W.Bush (jr.) announced a detailed manned Mars program for NASA, to run over 25+ years, and that Obama cancelled it.

          Mind you, I don't think the Republicans are any better than the Democrats. But those who imagine that we have one angelic party and one party of the devil are either deluded or trying to delude others, or perhaps both.
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        Aug 12 2013: I forgot one other important factor: the exploration of our universe holds the potential for discrediting the very foundations of the Christian faith, and that simply will not ever be allowed by the conservative right.
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          Aug 13 2013: we actually can not disprove invisible gods, or unicorns etc.

          we already know there is no evidence or good reason to believe the bible or other faith baded religious beliefs.
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          Aug 13 2013: i suggest science can not disprove invisible gods, or unicorns.

          however we already know there is no evidence or reason to support christian dogma or the supernatural claims of any religions or cults.

          generally gods of the gaps, argiments from ignorance, and other fallacies backed by subjective experiences and interpretations of these.

          we dont need science to fill in any more gaps to know there is no evidence or reason to believe the bible.

          we even know there are significant descripencies between the oldest greek scriptures and the later latin and english versions.
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      Aug 12 2013: monarchists.

      no seriously in regards to those aligned to the us republican party, i can see some themes of concern but im not sure democrats are the answer.

      unfettered capitalism is not great, but neither is collectivism on a national scale.

      again suggesta balance may be optimal but dont expect nirvana.

      some aspects of christianity concern me eg the dominionists, homophobia etc. but the main thing is all faith based religions im familiar with go against reason. science is just reinforcing the lack of reason and evidence..

      if believing what is reasobably true is worthwhile, faith based beliefs fail.

      there may be hints of solutions built in as they reflect the good and bad in society, but a scientific approach based on 21st century knowledge on modern human rights would be more effective.
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    Aug 11 2013: 'Why are we not putting all of our efforts into discovering our universe and our place in it?'
    I guess we are discovering our efforts.
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    Aug 11 2013: We are off to the right at 4.00 o'clock. It's time that is on peoples minds and the tension that is in your bellies as you realize the sudden availability of a lot of knowledge and the on going knowledge accumulation goes beyond your expected lifetime.

    Our kids have a bright future ahead of them, those that survive to pass it on, they will have access to better healthcare and genecare. What a great future.
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    Aug 11 2013: This is a question that a has driven many scientists and philosophers for a long time, the answer to this question can not be forced or perceived simply, we as the human race may not be ready or intelligent enough to understand the answer, sure we should pursue answering this question, but it is not the only question that needs to be answered, however it is one of the ultimate questions, the day we answer this question, will be the day that we cease to exists, because are purpose in life will be fulfilled.
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      Aug 12 2013: The question is not about understanding the universe but why we are not putting more of our mental capacity in understanding as much as we can about the universe. I hope we never completely understand it so we can continue to exist.
  • Comment deleted

  • Aug 9 2013: We've already discovered our place in the universe:

    "It's a great big universe
    And we're all really puny
    We're just tiny little specks
    About the size of Mickey Rooney.
    It's big and black and inky
    And we are small and dinky
    It's a big universe and we're not."
  • Aug 9 2013: Its very important to study the history. The earth is very old and it has been constructed many times and destroyed other times.
  • Comment deleted

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      Aug 9 2013: : I'm thinking more about discovering what we don't know that could some day help us not so much about social welfare, implementation and resource management.
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    Aug 8 2013: I'm not willing to go down without a fight.
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    Aug 8 2013: I think once a an engine has been designed which will travel a long way on very little fuel, then it will happen. Since the 1940's and maybe even earlier there has been research into how magnets can be used. I am certain this will happen in the not too distant future.

    Research is going on all the time. It is not fear of the unknown which is holding us back, but the necessary hardware and the finance to pay for it.

    Ever since humans have been able to think they have been looking up at the sky,(particularly at night when they can see the stars), and wondering what is out there.
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    Aug 8 2013: Because We're busy destroying the planet and hence we won't be around to have a place. So the question is moot.
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    Aug 8 2013: I am daily discovering myself and finding my proper place in scheme of things.
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      Aug 8 2013: You are much further along than I am.
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        Aug 8 2013: Raymond,
        My belief is that we are all on different paths of discovery....maybe not "further along".....maybe just different paths?
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      Aug 8 2013: Me too Adesh, and I find that as I move through the life experience, things often change, so it is a constant discovery. Thankfully, I'm a very curious person....makes the journey easier, in my humble perception:>)
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    Aug 8 2013: My place in the universe seems to be where I am.
    Now that this question is answered, where shall I put my efforts? :-)
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      Aug 8 2013: Discovering the universe is a learning process that we can all take part in. The most recent discoveries from the inner and outer spaces are very engaging. Recent discoveries within nature have brought about a belief that there is a level of intelligence that we can appreciate.
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        Aug 8 2013: Do you mean that we finally believe in our own intelligence? Or do you mean that there is a belief in an intelligence other than human?

        Quite honestly, I'm not sure how to define intelligence. So, I'm not sure what all these beliefs really mean.
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    Aug 8 2013: I believe we know our place. I also believe we are extremely distracted.
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    Aug 7 2013: To everybody on earth is putting efforts into discovering our universe and our place in it.
    Its just that we are all looking in different places.
    Some humans are looking out into the stars and universe, others inwards into their soil. We have those looking into our history and what happen before, and other to the future.
    Some find their place helping others or cheering for the home team,who is to say which one is correct or wrong.

    I believe I have found my path to finding my place in it, but I would not say you should follow my path for your place will likely be different then my place in it.
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      Aug 7 2013: Can't disagree with what you are saying. Learning more and more about my physical universe is the place for me.
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    Aug 7 2013: Im not sure if you are hinting at some future mystical discoveries. Or something after death.

    how do you know these things can best be understood by discoveries yet to be made?

    are these known gaps or simply arguments from ignorance, asduming there must be some hidden dimension based on wishful speculation, not evidence or reason.
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      Aug 7 2013: We too often seek the end results and don't appreciate or enjoy the ride. Understanding takes time and an open mind.
  • Aug 7 2013: I'll take a shot at this part:

    "... why are we so absorbed with things that lose value quickly ..."

    Old thinking habits. My parents grew up in the depression, when many people were literally hungry. Hunger is scary, even if your experience of it is just perceiving it. I remember a number of people who came to the USA soon after WWII, and they were all very concerned with material security. These attitudes get handed down to the next generation. Many people who should feel materially secure still have attitudes from the past.

    We evolved to deal with scarcity, and historically our affluence is brand new. It should not take too much longer for people to realize that the secret to happiness is not collecting more stuff.
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      Aug 7 2013: When we think we don't have enough when we do, wanting more will be forever.
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      Aug 7 2013: I sense a degree of fear in what you are saying. When I was young the geeks got to play.
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    Aug 6 2013: Hi Raymond.
    My life has been centred around who we are & what we're doing here; not to mention where is here? This led to Christianity, & I find myself surrounded by others whose main project in life is delving into this very topic.
    I find the apathy of most mystifying on a human scale. The bible explains this attitude on a spiritual level. I think we put too much emphasis on materialistic science, which proceeds at a very slow rate. We need to open our eyes to the magnificent miracle of creation around us & acknowledge our Creator. The very fact that we can understand any of it points to the fact that we are very special children of a very special parent.

    :-)
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      Aug 7 2013: Sounds like worshiping to me. I find it impossible to believe we are here to worship anything.
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        Aug 8 2013: One the contrary. Mankind is made to worship, most of us worship something. Wife, children, golf, cars, motorcycles, baseball team, sex, drugs, rock & roll, movie starts, pop stars, celebs, etc. etc......
        I merely propose that the Creator of the Universe is a worthy candidate.

        :-)
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          Aug 10 2013: We evolved to be hierarchical, after all our mamalian ancestors have been living in groups in a competitive world longer than we have been human.

          But we don't have to succumb to this. Just another instinct to manage.

          But there is no we evidence we were made.
        • Aug 13 2013: peter law i would be very greatfull to you if you could tell me the address of "creator of world " i want to thank him for "everything" he/she did ?
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        Aug 8 2013: I agree Raymond, and do not believe that "mankind is made to worship" anything. Perhaps that is part of the answer to your question Raymond?

        When we worship something or someone, it uses energy that could be used in the exploration of our universe and our place in it. Perhaps if one does not spend so much time and energy worshiping something or someone, one has more time and energy to explore our universe and our place in it?
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          Aug 8 2013: I think fear of the unknown is most likely the answer.
  • Aug 6 2013: You know, if there was a Garden,
    earth was it. We blew it.
    There is no other place to go or life to live.

    This was where we were given, by whatever, as a place to live in peace and comfort.
    Everything we needed to live, was free and was and is supposed to be free, not owned,
    controlled or kept from anyone who has the same needs as we all do.
    We blew it. That is what we have done.
    We have had ample time to create it, maintain it and help it grow and share it.
    We have had ample time to rid the world of evil. We haven't done it.
    We pretty much have refused to do it, to a man, or a woman. We haven't followed any wisdom.
    We have only followed lies.
    We have had ample time to do all the things people say we will supposedly do
    in another place, at another time, in or on another world of some kind,
    with what, different people, different life forms,
    for different reasons? No. We blew it.

    And by given, I don't mean a God or deity of any kind.
    This planet is jewel, or was, and we haven't found anything else like it.
    So the fact we are or were born here, is the 'given' part.
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      Aug 6 2013: I don’t think we blew it at all. From barbaric apes to where we are now after 20,000 years is pretty good. This would be a good time however to move into a new era away from the personal materialism and towards that of understanding and awareness. I, myself have found this approach to be quit refreshing.
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      Aug 6 2013: Hey Random,

      For a non-theist you show remarkable insite. You are spot on; " We Blew It."

      :-)
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      Aug 7 2013: hi random, i suggest we are at risk of blowing it, but its not too late.

      weve come along way from biblical dominion and waiting for the second coming.

      seems it is up to us to get a better balance.

      this realisation, that we can and should do better, and it is up to us individually and collectively is a good start at least.
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      Aug 6 2013: maybe because the material world exists in a way we can reasonably test and verify and magical souls and supreme souls are not verifable.

      also because we evolved in a way reflecting our survival depends on the material world.

      these biological drivers still influence. but even our evolved intellect and reason support focusing on life and the universe we reasobably know to exist and not concepts with no evidence or reason to support anything more than they may be true.
      having said that, a lot of people spend a lot of time on conflicting subjective xspeculative msgic beliefs,spirits, gods etc.

      as far as we know this life is all we have and it seems reasonable to make the most of it and not get too bothered about hell, hades, vagalla, or joining the supreme ju ju after we die.
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          Aug 7 2013: I would very much like to visit India one day, in this life.

          I am open to new evidence. however I would need more than subjective personal experiences to be convinced. It would need to be something more than different mind states or intuitive conclusions or scriptures.

          At best the kind of magical soul and spiritual beings and reincarnation is unverifiable.

          I think we would have heard if there compelling evidence.

          But before I jump to conclusions what sort of evidence would provide?
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          Aug 10 2013: I don't know deepak, but I wouldn't jump to believing in gods and spirits etc.

          I guess I would need better evidence than mysteries and meditationasl experiences.
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      Aug 8 2013: I believe we are supposed to be here, the question is what is here?
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      Aug 8 2013: Deepak,
      I respect the fact that you have certain beliefs, and it is apparent that your mission is to teach and promote your beliefs and the facility at which these beliefs are taught, as your profile said when you first came on TED.

      I do not think you can realistically speak for everyone. You write...
      "We do not belong to this place."

      I personally, believe that wherever I am, is where I "belong", so when you suggest that "we" do not belong, perhaps you are speaking for yourself......after all......you can ONLY speak for yourself and not for others. I honestly don't care how many conversations you have with your god....you still cannot speak for everyone.
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          Aug 9 2013: Deepak,
          When it comes to a religious or philosophical belief and practice, it is not a matter of being "right" or "wrong" for me. It is a matter of preference.

          I was born into a religious family, lived with religion, studied, researched and practiced various religious and philosophical beliefs for 60+ years, and in each and every moment, I make a choice regarding how I want to explore the universe and my place in it, which is the topic of this conversation.

          I respect YOUR beliefs as YOUR beliefs, and I am aware that you are here on TED to promote YOUR personal beliefs. What part of "I am not interested" do you not understand? Perhaps YOU need to get to a certain "depth" of consciousness to understand what another person is expressing.
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          Aug 10 2013: Deepak,
          We each have, what we believe is our "truth".

          The topic question is..."Why are we not putting all of our efforts into discovering our universe and our place in it?"

          If you believe that a god is part of your universe, fine. That is not what everyone believes, and your insistence to bring god and your beliefs into every single conversation is an attempt to promote and preach your personal beliefs, which you said was your mission when you first appeared on TED. I AM NOT INTERESTED. Apparently, there is some part of that statement which you do not understand.
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      Aug 8 2013: if where we are is our temporary stay,then where is the ultimate residence? Because we live in this material world,we can never retreat unless we die.
    • Aug 13 2013: so i tried hard to read the all coversation but i believe that it wont be possible for me or anyone to convince mr.Deepak about his beliefs or experiance or whatever it is ........
      I have only a question that is why we are discusing this 'coz if a man thinks that "a MOJO is making world and universe work and dont give a crap about the time-space,multidimentional world ,or whatever work that is being done by some open minded freaks(we call them scientists!) " plus everyone is losing the actual topic to be discussed & trigerred by mr.Raymond

      p.s.
      it wont surprise me if mr.Deepak would succefully convience us about rotation of whole universe around us and there is hell underneath us and heaven exists somewhere in the clouds and GOD will show me his wrath if i question his very existance!!!!
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    Aug 5 2013: Lot of people in the world go to sleep with hunger everyday , in such situation not sure whom you are referring by saying " most of us have what we need " ...,,..
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      Lejan .

      • +1
      Aug 6 2013: I assume he is referring to the 'first world average', from a closed 'inner circle' perspective. On that, he is right but missing the whole picture, which looks way different, on which you are right ...
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      Aug 6 2013: It would not require a great effort to feed and house every person alive today. All that is needed is the will to do so. There will always be short term famine due to war or natural disaster which would be the exception.
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        Aug 11 2013: Great, as you feel that will it take "great effort feed everyone alive" can it be the first priority....?

        With technological advancement we achieved so far I feel there is less chance of having famine due to natural disaster.....however so far most famines were caused by human act as you mentioned one of them like WAR.
      • Aug 13 2013: i have two things to say- 1.you might have mistakenly 4got about one of the most churned problem in the world or u are not considering the social problems those are supposed to be solved first and science development would go on all along .
        2.i am sure that i am having a contact with an alien which dont belong to our solar system niether milkyway and have no idea about the social issues that are being faced by human race on the planet called EARTH!
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          Aug 14 2013: Exploration and discovery have contributed more to the social well being of man then any other one thing, if not then what other one thing has contributed more? You can't say not to do something because something else is in dyer straits, you can ask will it help or hurt. I think it can only help.