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The bottom line is rooted in the physical and NOT in the spiritual.

The debate between those who hail spiritual existence as the source of the universe, hence promoting religious fervor for the faithful masses, and those who strip reality of the magic of faith, and submit to the dry, factual, scientific physical nature of reality, is generations old. This debate affects the majority of aspects of modern civilization, as its fallouts impact the path of our civilization's progress. Yet as evidence is gathered and compiled to prove AND EDUCATE about reality, it becomes evident that FAITH is secondary to KNOWLEDGE, and that SCIENCE precedes RELIGION, and that HOPE can and should be a matter of real prospect based on calculated input. Faith and ceremony as means for comforting and consoling, of easing the pain of troubled souls, and for organizing an orchestrated pattern of tradition, of imagining a supreme parent figure who bears the real responsibility in a divine form etc... All these are constructs of the human mind. The mind, however, is a contruct of chemical and physical building blocks. Can anyone prove otherwise, without resorting to faith?

Topics: religion science
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  • Feb 5 2012: Yes Adriaan, I would and so does everyone else. If she says she loves me and then does many things that contradict that statement, although I am not asking for proof, it is proof that she does not in fact love me.

    And No ""sudden explosion of light "" this would not be evidence of her love. Loyalty, honesty, understanding, these are evidence of love and this evidence is discovered over time and shared experiences together.

    Nope. I have absolutely no idea what love is, as it takes many forms. I do know that when I see something I "love", I have a warm, tingly sensation inside my body. I believe (not know) that this sensation comes from the same place that interprets all my sensations. The neurological system.

    ""if this is all so physical and material, how come science can tell us THAT we think but not WHAT we think? (and please do not say 'Well, give them time'
    Even a lie-detector is not based on our thoughts but how our body reacts to them.""

    Science does not tell me THAT we think. I am thinking, that's what tells me that we think. Why would I be interested in science telling me what I think? I already know what I think. and That's right, a lie detector does not detect the lie, it detects your heart rate (and other stuff above my knowledge level), which is a physical response to the question being asked.

    In the long run, my disbelief in religion or supernatural is based on the fact that the origins of our religious beliefs are very dubious and filled with many culturally based superstitions.
  • Feb 1 2012: WE CAN NEVER DENY THE EXISTANCE OF THE SPIRITUAL ELEMENT IN THE WORLD, MY THOUGHTS ARE THAT WHAT HAPPENS IN THE PHYSICAL IS JUST BUT A RESULT OF THE SPIRITUAL
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      Feb 1 2012: Hi Thula,

      Can you prove that? can you show us that spiritual element that we can't deny?

      Thanks!

      JB
    • Feb 6 2012: HEY, DAMN IT, KEEP YOUR TONE DOWN.

      ''WE CAN NEVER DENY THE EXISTANCE OF THE SPIRITUAL ELEMENT IN THE WORLD, ""

      Since evidence is necessary in order to draw a conclusion about anything, then I can neither accept nor deny a spiritual element. I am saying I can not know. You seem to be saying that somehow, you do know.
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    Jan 24 2012: ANALYSING THE UNIVERSE CONTINUUM THROUGH THREE HUMAN PREFERENCES

    Yes, I’d like to tell you, God is exist.

    There are key words describing human life preferences as living reality : the Physical Universe, the Inner Universe and the Divine Universe respectively

    Look at URL http://bit.ly/s9ZNqR page 1 and page 3, all generated from the human life preferences just mentioned : the Physical Universe (obtained through “Thruth or Scientific-based”) – Inner Universe (obtained through “Knowledge-based”) – Divine Universe (obtained through “Belief or Faith-based”) respectively

    Through our KV measurement ( URL http://bit.ly/s9ZNqR page 1 ), it means to assessing hypothetically the intensity of Nature Knowledge consciousness element factor within Knowledge continuum in the Universe all at once complementing Energy and Matter of the Universe. Knowledge Value (KV) measurement is an act to do what so called as “Renormalization”, (cited from Stephen Hawking, 2010), a mathematical technique designed to make sense of infinities in quantum theories.

    It is noted there is an important evidence that “The function of Knowledge is to linking up Science (Physical Universe) with Religion (Divine Universe)”

    If Divine Universe is the domain of spiritual activities, therefore I’m in agreement with Stephen Covey’s ....“We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey.”
  • Jan 15 2012: Nehemia,

    I guess I am just as much amazed at the idea that you can possibly assume that your own thoughts are merely some sort of a chemical reaction in your brain, as you must be by my ignorance in assuming that my own thoughts could possibly have anything to do with something of a spiritual nature. We both my indeed look at each others perspectives on life and simply shake our heads thinking.. What a dimbo that guy is.
    But to take the starting point in the phenomenon of "thinking itself" In the midst of the full complexity of our being with its diverse feelings, emotions, thoughts, ideas, imaginations etc etc.... yes everything we perceive around us and then put together in some form of "construct" in our own mind ...some more or less logical than others depending on how much it is based upon scientific principles. What we can agree on is the scientific principles that lead us to our logical conclusions. Even the most fanatical religious person bases his arguments on some form for logic, although not always consequent...and the method that science approaches the world with is well and good. However, by imposing the self limited restrictions on observations within the physical world keep science from probing deeper under the surface of what lies behind the material world.
    Here is where I would like to propose a new perspective for you to consider. I know this won't go down easy. But just consider for a moment that your thinking is not some or another "emerging property" from some chemicals in your brain but rather the "spiritual activity" within your innermost being. To try to "prove" this idea becomes very interesting. The nature of thinking. Science itself rest its empire entirely on this activity of thinking. A considerably immaterial, uncertain, unsure tool that we hold to be the highest of our inner resources to find truth. Is it no more absurd to consider this activity as something "spiritual" then it is to say that it arises out of matter itself...
    • Jan 16 2012: If you receive a blow to the head, does your spiritual being disappear? No the chemical and biological processes stop functioning. If you are born blind, why does your spiritual being not see? Either your spiritual being is not connected to this "reality" without a properly functioning avatar or a spiritual being is just a construct of what we desire.

      Pearly gates. Gold brick laid streets. Sounds like "Man" to me.
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    Jan 15 2012: Wow I read this and thought, 'How male is that.' And then I smiled because all the respondents were male too:)
    Reality itself is a metaphysical concept.
    Epistemology is how we know and give meaning to the metaphysical.
    Esthetics allows us to operationalize parts of the abstract.
    Ethics allow us to determine rightness or wrongness.

    In short. Reality bites so we need the rest.

    Let me illustrate:
    Particle physics thinks that we are made up of mostly empty space and waves of energy called strings. At this point, this is theoretical physics because we don't have the technology to prove it. (But understand that not too long ago, atoms were considered theoretical physics). Somehow, a bunch of strings fashioned themselves into a being called me.

    Now if all I am is an elaborately fashioned bunch of molecules, why should it matter if people are starving? Who cares if a person is Marxist or racist or a murderer?

    So some bomb falls in some foreign country. A bunch of people die. I can tell my neighbor, "Look! That release of energy has rearranged all those energy strings and molecules into different atoms and molecules!"

    Be careful what you wish for. Reality devoid of epistemology, ethics, and esthetics, and all the varieties thereof, is not worth it.
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      Jan 15 2012: Linda, are you using the word "metaphysical" to mean of, or having the nature of, metaphysics (which is the branch of philosophy dealing with first principles and the nature of being and reality [ontology])? If yes, please explain how Epistemology, Esthetics, and Ethics are essential to understanding the nature of reality. It seems like you are saying I need to know math in order to spell correctly.
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        Jan 15 2012: Yes Mr. Long. You even used the words nature of reality as a definition for metaphysics.

        Reality simply is. Mr. Moskovitz calls it 'dry, factual, scientific'

        What reality means, is it beautiful, and is it good are innately human assignments to reality (epistemology, esthetics, ethics).

        That is why my friend, when bad things happen we struggle to find meaning within the tragedy. No other creature on the planet does this. Religion and faith are only one vehicle to assist us on this journey. There are others. We are human and that's what humans do.
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          Jan 15 2012: I think reality can be understood ontologically without understanding Epistemology, Esthetics or Ethics. Experimental knowledge of the whole does not require complete understanding each contributing factor. I understand an open flame causes pain and injury if touched by a bare hand. I do not understand the necessary ratio of oxygen to carbon dioxide necessary to support combustion. Thank you Ms.Taylor.
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        Jan 16 2012: I actually agree with you Mr. Long. Mr. Moscovitz posited the premise and asked us to discuss wether or not the mind is a construct of chemistry and physics or is it something more. Those are just examples of something more.

        In my business we view people as a whole. Understanding that the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts.

        That major premise can be exemplified in may ways. Faith, philosophy, understanding, cosmology. Whatever. My job in caring for the whole is to be able to do it within the framework of the person under my care, not to impose my framework upon them.

        Understand the implications of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It means that when you remove the parts, there is more. As Mr. Moscovitz continues his journey to the bottom, he may come to understand that. Or not. It's OK either way. It's his framework after all. And if he should come under my care, that is the framework I will work from. (Please understand Mr. Moscovitz, I would address this last part to you directly except that I cannot figure out how to do that within the construct of this discussion thread. It stops at three replies or something. My apologies if it appears I am talking about this without addressing you directly.)
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          Jan 16 2012: Thank you Linda for sharing some insight into your specialty which I now understand is dealing with people. I lack the discernment needed to effectively comprehand even the elements of human behaviour so I tend to avoid dealing with people. Please tell me I can continue without having to learn about Ethics and such. :--]
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        Jan 16 2012: Mr. Long, It seems like you have it together. If you avoid dealing with people you have no need for ethics. Ethics to me is simply a language we use to describe our morals. If you have no need to describe your morals to anyone, there is no reason to study it. I am with you completely. If you don't need to know it, it is simply useless information.
        I think perhaps Mr. Long, we are not all that different. The discernment of human behavior I have was acquired after much study and thought. It was not innate to me either. I just wanted that understanding and am in the process of conquering it.
    • Jan 15 2012: Wow indeed, dear Linda, your femaleship! How amazing is it indeed that we males are so "male"... Honestly, your accute distinction is irrelevant in the highest possible order. Yet, your labeling did get me bolder, or "maler" if you will, and I will say that it would have been only fair to start this idea with a straight forward claim, one that is not trying to sound sophisticated, one that is purely expressive, in the most epistemologically fashion, one that was originally derived from watching the amazing Drew Berry's video and the beautiful animations of the unforseeable biology: THIS PROVES, AGAIN, THAT THERE IS NO GOD. I failed earler to connect this thread of thought to what I have observed, and felt, and theorized, and gave meaning to upon watching this video: no religious person will ever attempt to SHOW the unseeable aspects of the existence of god. Not only it is not there to begin with, but religions, more specifically, the monotheistic ones, in fact mostly forbid inquiry of the unknown. So in the spirit of your labeling me as a male for thinking in a certain way, I will do similarly, and bluntly label any attempt to make me a believer as "how ignorant is that?". Yet, I can only imagine how this debate would turn sour with hurt and blame, just as a result of choice of words... Additionally, as far as assigning meaning, and beauty, and heart and all of the other wonderful features that distinguish sentience from the instinctual, indeed we humans are very special and smart and all... Still at the bottom line, at the very basis, we are what you , Linda, failed to mention when you recalled the string theory, MATTER. Maybe this very basic matter is the evidence of god, but I seriously doubt that.
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        Jan 15 2012: It was not the thought that exuded masculinity, it was the delivery:). I truly meant no disrespect but simply found joy in the difference.

        You set the parameters of the discussion. You asked us to discuss how the human mind could be more than molecules and processes without resorting to faith. I presented some facts to illustrate some possibilities.

        So while most life functions under the processes of the illustrations, we are more than that.

        It is somewhat disconcerting that you are so quick to dismiss the very real experience of so much of the population as the stuff of imagination? That is what happens when you resort to reductionist techniques to establish truth. It is not my job you prove to you there is a God. That my friend, is yours.
        • Jan 15 2012: Trust me, dear Linda, I rarely rejected compliments, and I will not start now. If you so spotted my delivery to exude masculinity, I guess my instincts are in good operational order... For that matter so are yours. Right?

          As far as the proof of the existence of god - I like your comment at the end there - indeed it is my job within the confounds of my own being, and I have proven to me that god is but a fable. The more important proof, for me, is that being free of the constraints of this fable, is an important catalyst for improving what remains of my time down here on earth, and the lives of my descendants. You are a sensitive and sensible, Linda, that much is clear. It should be clear to you then, that I am NOT dismissing anything, let alone other people's experiences. I have got enough brain power left to marvel at our ability to theorize like we do, to raise above mere bodily functions, to see soulfulness and even divinity in our existence, and to hold dear and sacred the very concept of freedom in all its forms and expressions, including the freedom to worship an oppressor. It seems like you have been so quick to judge me as dismissive, because you were eager to establish that spirituality is so paramount to you. Hey, I agree. But I was talking about THE VERY VERY BOTTOM LINE. Whatever happens above that line is - so I contend - to OUR credit. Not god.

          Be well, flourish, love and live. May you continue to find joy all around.
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    Jan 15 2012: All true, but scarcely relevant to the reality of the growing anti-scientific culture of the beginning of this century. Look about you to those media that color the thinking and beliefs of the majority of your fellows. If you believe that the truth (and it is truth) of scientific knowledge can obviate the need for mystical belief in the hearts and minds of the greater public you are very much mistaken. Our modern societies of nation states are all based on belief...despite the fact that it is rational science that provides the foundation for our very existence. There is very obviously a desire (need) deeply rooted in our psyches that allows the disconnect between rational understanding and mystical belief. Once, I, too, hoped that as our knowledge of the nature and function of the universe became clearer and founded on observation and experimentation that the need for religion would disappear. Now I see that it is inherent in our selves.

    The Soviet Union tried through rigid education in atheism to eliminate their people's need and desire for religion in exchange for a Marxist materialism and a (sometimes pseudo) scientific culture. Church attendance in Russia is huge, and spiritual healers are rampant.

    The best result that can be hoped for is to proceed with science without halt or constraint and accept the fact that the consolations of faith are outside the purview of rational thinking.
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      Jan 15 2012: You sound well-informed Jack. Thanks for your thoughts.It is without animosity or contetiousness that I ask you this question: Will you show me proof in Logic that it is rational to accept Evolution and the Big Bang theories as truth. Second, will you do the same showing it is irrational to accept the theory that God created and maintains the Universe? Remember to stay on topic which does not allow resorting to Faith as an explanation.
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        Jan 15 2012: Frankly Edward your asking sounds more like demanding to me. You are, I believe, intending this to be one of the endless and fruitless debates on the primacy of rationalism or religion.

        First off, I am not a logician, nor do I think that Logic has anything to do with either worldview. I am, if you will, an empiricist first and foremost. I have seen evolution in action and I must believe what I have seen. I have neither seen nor heard of what you call god. It is certainly a construct of human desire, and it served very well to "explain" the universe for a very long part of human history. Science, on the other hand, is relatively a new construct yet as it has grown and advanced it has been able to explain much of how the universe works.

        The difference in the two world views is this: Religion can brook no disagreement. It's pronouncements must (despite your caution) be taken on faith. Science, on the other hand requires a progression of human intellect from theory, to hypothesis, to observation to experimentation (or in some cases observation), to duplication of experiment or observation to publication. And the main difference between the two is this: Science can only explain on an "as far as we know now" basis. Despite the accusations of it's opponents, science cannot and does not demand adherence to a dogmatic belief. As a friend of mine says: "If you can't disprove it it ain't science."

        It is this requirement of falsifiability that if find appealing. While I am no logician as I said, there is one tenet of logical debate I remember from my very, very, long ago college days. The weakest argument is the argument from authority. That, precisely, is the demand of religion. And, again, despite the arguments of its critics, science does not require belief and the primacy of any scientific authority can only rest on empirical proof and is always subject to change as new facts come along.
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          Jan 15 2012: A question has a way of sounding demanding, sorry about that. I know I have no right to demand anthing of you. I was grabbing a fleeting opportunity to learn about a perspective other than mine from someone more interested in sharing their understanding than in destroying mine. Once again, I misjudged. My apology for wasting your time.
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    Jan 14 2012: Convince a man against his will and he remains unconvinced still. So, if the test of proof is causing a change in what is believed, then no, I can't prove otherwise to you. Just as you cannot prove beliefs opposed to yours are false. However, I still reccommend you read Michael J. Behe's book DARWIN'S BLACK BOX. There is more to all this than "a construct of physical and chemical building blocks." Thanks for sharing your opinion Mr. Moscovitz.
    • Jan 14 2012: 'However, I still reccommend you read Michael J. Behe's book DARWIN'S BLACK BOX.'

      Michael Behe along with every single theist who claims Biology supports theism has been refuted 500 times over, along with every argument (logical, philosophical or otherwise) from the theistic side.
      Take this from a life-long atheist who has spent the majority of his life in literally dozens of debates with christians and muslims and spends years scrolling the internet (especially youtube) for theistic arguments to refute.. Not a single one I have ever encountered has stood the test of scrutiny and actual evidence and I have a long list of other atheists, scientists and professors who also do the same who will back me up on this.

      Sorry to go into that rant, but trying to pass off 'Michael Behe' (the epitomy of easily refuted christian nonsense and not even close to the best of that senseless crowd, might I add) as any kind of legitimate response to actual evolution is insane, let alone trying to Bastardize the subject with unsubstantiated pseudo-intellectual metaphysical nonsense thats written by someone (Behe) with a clear lack of understanding of the facts he so widely argues against / attaches his notions onto.
      Especially when the likes of Dr Ken Miller (A christian BUT with actual credentials) had outright and easily ground the likes of him (and his cronies such as Kent Hovind) into dust years ago with ease.

      Theres a reason why Intelligent design has never even come remotely close to winning a court case against Evolution to be taught in schools nor has a single I.D paper ever passed peer review in all its years of claiming scientific validity; Ask yourself why that is.

      Nothing against you Mr Edward Long, not at all, but you might want to take your scientific knowledge from accredited and peer reviewed work, as opposed to those who have neither but act as if they do.
      Mainly because such people have a tendency to not have them for very good reasons; Usually because its nonsense
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        Jan 14 2012: Sorry for the confusion Xavier. I did not recommended the book to you but to Nehemia. Perhaps he will respond to your diatribe against my opinion, but I trust you will forgive me for not doing so. Again, sorry to waste your time.
        • Jan 14 2012: I'm fully aware of who the book was recommended to and therefore my point still stands.
          The works of Michael Behe and those of a similar nature cannot or willnot present any area of their books for intellectual scrutiny, such as peer review. There is a simple reason for this.

          As someone who studied Molecular Biology for several years formally and has known several of the writers of the likes of Talkorigins (a site devoted to debunking the likes of Behe's arguments) that not one such argument can stand against actual scrutiny within the field, hence why these individuals are simply laughed at by anyone who knows the subject and are limited to presenting their ideas (passed off as fact) to the public who are either unaware of how invalid the books actually are or have a pre-existing bias that anything is better than a reality which conflicts with their beliefs.

          I have no issue with your beliefs or opinions, merely the fact that you made a recommendation of a book that is verifiably nonsense and therefore you were called on it.
    • Jan 14 2012: Thanks mr Long. You are right, of course about CONVICTION. However, an important aspect of this debate is the fact that EVIDENCE is growing to support atheism and not the way around. In fact, theism is stagnant in faith, opposing ANY openness to discovery, diversity or change. While Theism sanctifies the past and promises a CERTAIN future as a consequence based on romantic view of morality - Science, despite of being seemingly subjected to the rules of physics and of universal nature, never closed itself to the possibility of discovering mistakes, paradoxes, and even conflict, embracing surprises, nurturing further inquiry and learning, welcoming change and diversity, always attempting to resolve and deduce, and always allowing for progress. I am not a scientist myself, but as a thinking being I realize that science and theism DO NOT MASH, and that atheism enhances understanding of reality. Consequently, I realize that theism does the opposite: it piles barriers to understanding reality, and provides powerful manipulative means to control. Theism and religion are social phenomenon which, when used diplomatically, provide power to those who know how to use it, like any well organized propaganda. Theism is not only inconsiderate of reality, it FIGHTS REALITY, it hinders the well being of humanity and nature itself.

      HOWEVER, I, for one, will fight to protect the right of anyone to choose faith, religion, and to experience freedom, or submission. I will NEVER engage in missionary agenda, or consider attaching absolute values, or qualify a comparison between points of views. Do not mistake this with the right, or duty, to state opinions in an open debate. I choose atheism, and ultimately, I find this choice comforting and "good" for me. Consequently, I find attempts to prove me wrong in favor of religion irritating, insulting, and saddening.
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        Jan 14 2012: Your question was, "can anyone prove otherwise without resorting to faith." I try do do that and now you say the very thing you solicit in your question is "irritating, insulting and saddening" to you. Are you confused?
        • Jan 15 2012: Thanks again mr Long. I may have been wrong to not emphasize enough that I speak for myself. I respectfully wish to make this clear: my observations, opinions and anything I say are products of the unique configuration which is me. I am (trying my best to remain) aware of (what I perceive to be ) the fact that my perception may not reflect the reality which exists in your perception... That may be an entire separate opera worthy of another debate. That maybe the reason for ( the appearance) confusion. I have had a previous encounter with MJ Behe's attempt to illuminate the darkness of the Black Box, which I found EXTREMELY manipulative and missionary, specifically because it wears a mantle of logical and deductive appearance. This book is hardly a proof of anything, other than (what I perceive as) the fact that like every other missionary pitch the arguments are basically Teutonic endless circles which leave me feeling that i should feel inconsequential and worthy of blame. I respectfully state here, therefore, that your attempt to answer my question is A. Welcome with respect and gratitude - I do not consider this exchange to be an opening for you to convert me, as you clearly stated above when you mentioned convictions... B. successful - as you did say that you cannot prove that the human mind is anything more than a construct of chemical and physical building blocks. Regardless of your reasoning for stressing that there is more to all this than merely science, the fact remains that what you, so I think, believe to be the validity of the Intelligent Design, is based exclusively on faith. And in that respect your responses prove my point, at least for me. I thank you again, respect your opinions, enjoy your expressions, and still think that you are not aligned with reality.
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        Jan 15 2012: In short, you are welcome to BELIEVE as you wish, what you KNOW is supported by evidence.
    • Jan 15 2012: Please know, mr Long, that I am very grateful for the contribution you made to this little debate here. Your brave pickup of the challenge, spawned, as you see, a stir that others are engaged in. Mind you, despite the fact that I and others too, strongly disagree with your position, and oppose what you try to represent, you are duly and proudly expressing yourself as YOU WISH, democratically, if you will. That is because here, in THIS CHURCH, no one will forbid you from having and exercising YOUR FAITH. I wonder, and please take this as gracefully as you took other assertions here, if this openness exists in YOUR CHRCH (or synagogue, or mosque) ... Most likely, I dare to believe, that this is not the case, as in your Sunday sermon today (or prayer), the pastor (Or Rabbi or Imam...) and leader of the faithful flock of your congregation will repeat yet again from the pulpit, in so many words, that arguing with god is forbidden, futile, sinful, and...punishable. Please, mr Long, I do not wish to hurt you, or your faith. I do wish, very much, to protect myself from being hurt by your faith. I hereby admitted to how powerful your faith is. Not your god, not you, and not me... Faith should not be (mis)used to submit. Am I making sense? Thanks again!
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        Jan 15 2012: Sorry Nehemiah, you lost me at "church". I am not associated with, nor do I attend any church. Such has been my situation since 1988. Your response is thoughful and peaceable, thank you. It is however a bit of a straw man. Your original question disallows resorting to faith. I have not resorted to faith. I merely suggested a book which also does not resort to faith. If you disagree that there could possibly be an explanation other than the one you embrace regarding to the yet-to-be examined phenomena of our universe just say so, but please resist the urge to malign and ridicule such opinions and beliefs. If we can return to topic I welcome additional dialogue.Thank you Nehemiah. God be with you.
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    Feb 1 2012: Hi Nehemia.
    Let's forget the spiritual altogether. As you link to Mr. Berry's animations, you obviously find them as wonderful as I do. These are physical systems, nothing spiritual about them. Science is rooted in the reality we can test, & see around us. I have spent a large part of my life designing engineering solutions to problems. what we see in these animations are engineering solutions par excellence. They are astounding by our standards. They did not get there by the blind forces of nature. It is amazing that they survive the rigours of decay we are all susceptible to; this is only down to all the built in safety, & self maintenance, well beyond anything we could manufacture today.
    So we fish around for an answer to where all this came from. There is nothing out there building & programming this sort of stuff today. There is no experiment we can do that would give us a clue. We are reduced to pulling things to bits & moving the bits around like children with a Lego set. Even if one day we crack it & produce life from a stone, what will we have proved ? "It takes intelligence to produce life." Spirituality (whatever that is) optional.

    :-)
  • Jan 29 2012: Daniel

    Your comment is exactly why I need science s explanation. You move freely through words and because they make sense to you, you think your words are truth and fact. We all speak from the position of (I am right), even though I know that some of the things I believe are incorrect. At least admit that you may be incorrect about your beliefs.

    ""The plant has something different than the stone. It is alive. It grows.""
    Dirt, essentially the building block of stones, has more microbial life in a shovel scoop than there are people on this planet. The stone, to me, is just like our own skeletal system. It provides a structure on which the more fleshy systems operate. Are you suggesting the skeletal system may not be alive? I hope not.

    ""Mankind is different than the stone, the plant and the animal. We have the material element. We have the life element. We have feelings as well. What we have over and above these first three things is self-consciousness and thinking.""
    You have to get in back of the line of people trying to tell me what animal has "consciousness" or not. Really well trained scientists, in all fields, and the religions have been discussing "consciousness" for a very long time, and a conclusion is not drawn.

    I think it is safe to say that humans have an ability to recognize patterns. If you are thinking of an elephant with polka dots, you are merely placing a pattern over an already existing form. It's called absurdity and it doesn't make that elephant or the idea real. We need this type of ability in order to survive in a constantly changing environment. (Evolution) Although I as well think that our ability to think and create is astonishing, I do not "guild the lily" by adding some unobservable outside force and then use empty arguments as proof.

    (" it doesn't make that elephant or the idea real.") The electrical contacts, the chemical exchanges, even thought itself is very real and can be used in some way, but not the polka dotted elephant.
    • Jan 30 2012: Stephen,

      Observation and thinking are the simple tool to gain knowledge. I am all for the scientific method. .. never said otherwise.
      Agree on the fact that dirt is full of bacteria. A stone however is still not alive. The mineral element is lifeless. Bacteria of course is alive but they are not the mineral either. They are also sharing the living, reproducing, growing forces that make them different than the mineral. As plant, as animal, as mankind also is. Bones are also "alive" of course. But they do heal far more slowly than skin for example. Nerves are also slower to heal which might suggest that nerves are less "alive" than blood or muscle tissue. Its a question of degrees. As a child heals faster than an old person. There is a strong "living activity" going on.
      If anyone tries to tell you that consciousness does not exist, then ask them how thinking exists. You cannot deny your own thinking activity. That would be a fatal contradiction. We think... and our consciousness is the stage where we think. It is also the stage where our feelings arise. Feelings that we can analyze with our.... once again... thinking !! ... although you may not be very "conscious" of it.
      As for the patterns of already existing forms. Of course we build our thoughts upon existing patterns... all the time. But there must also be new ideas that come into being.. otherwise there would be no development in the world, things would be extremely simple. Observations taken up in our thinking activity makes new inventions, new theories to work out, new areas of exploration.Of course, the fact that I can put two or more already existing concepts together doesn't make the idea "real" I never claimed that either. But through the nature of our thinking we are ...taking part... in a creative process in the world.
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    Jan 25 2012: When you ask the question, IS THERE GOD? I ask you, what do you mean by GOD.

    There is a distiction and a seperation of two things, that are part of a whole, made by most when looking for an answer to a very big question.The physical and the spiritual.
    Some have taken it further and called them religion and science. Science studies the physical and does it very well.. Religion is supposed to study spirtualism but so far as I am concerned, is doing a poor job of it. I think religion is, or has been made into by mans greed,a farce and fundementally evil. How can someone try to sell me their GOD , (who is BTW not for sale), in order to better his own cause for whatever reason?
    The combination of spiritual and physical is LIFE. Life is not one without the other. The harmonious entwinement of the physical matter that our bodies are made of and the spark of light within us that is spirit, is the most dramatic and wonderful thing in the universe. Kinda like a car that without gasoline, will not drive or a machine without electricity will not function, our bodies would not be without the addition and complete intermingling of a spiritual force.
    How could a book be so useful and powerful a thing that it is, if it were just pages of paper, without a written language written on those pages?
    There is no way that the thoughts and feelings I experience in this life of mine, are the product of a piece of meat with blood rushing through it, alone.
    My artwork and other things I create are testament to my being. What you see or feel when you behold that work is testament to our spirit. Without the universe we would not exist. Without us to behold it, the tapestry of celestial wonder we see when we gaze heavenward, would not exist. Embrace it. Feel it. There is always more to everything than meets the eye. If something is real, it is because you are witnessing it as being so.
    It is great to be alive.
  • Jan 24 2012: Thanks to all of you who participate in this exploration. Your ideas and expressions are apparent evidence that we all possess something that is greater than the sum of our physical existence. Sentience, in my opinion, is charachterized primarily by its inate "ability" to constantly surpass its own pereceived limits, to invent impossibilities, to formulate hope, to expect surprises, to dare beyond reason, to re-configure experiences into motivation, to interpret our instincts, to intrapolate and extrapolate, to progress CREATIVELY... (mind you, there are many more attributes to sentience, again: in my humble opinion, which are far less "gloriously positive" and may be labeled as "negative" such as the innate drive to possess power and control, to judge, to experience or inflict shame and guilt... to name a few.) However, this, for me, is far from becoming any proof that either 1. My sentient being (MIND) will continue to exist once my BRAIN dies. 2. That there is god, (and for that matter, that those who believe so religiously, know something that is truer and more valid...)

    In fact, I am more convinced now that it would be a lot more beneficial, to say the least, to adopt the idea that if humanity is destined, wired, channelled to preceive divinity, why not than assume and apply that god is the sum of our sentience, therefore making each of us EQUALLY RESPONSIBLE.

    Indeed, a novel concept, which many may suggest is already built into existing religions. However, we, the individual entities of this sentient hive, are still plagued with ungodly imperfections. We are driven to pursue dominance, to warfare, greedy to possess that which we cannot: EXCEED our MATTER, our physical being, defy the enthropy of our bodies, live after death... or in short: become perfect gods, conquer a perfect Olympus, and have fun forever.

    Not gonna happen. Nah!

    We should accept our transient existence, and make the best of it. For the sake or our descendants!
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    Jan 24 2012: Yes I think I can :
    -your reason is : the mind is a physical building blocks and how the faith and the ceremony is a construction of mind , you conclude : the root of this all is the physical not the spiritual.

    First : -I don't think your reason is correct because how the mind construct 'ideas' , you should get a logical relation between the physical and the spiritual , it meaning to answer to this question : how from physical appears the spiritual ?
    Second:- the faith (if you talk about the process of believing) is not the construction of mind in the sense of being the invention of it , it's more likely to be a feature of the mind like is the reason .
    - if by faith you mean a message , a sum of ideas you have to answer at my first on one hand ; on the other I can simply ask you : how do you know that the physical (therefore your mind) exist outside of the content of an idea ? because you think the physical therefore it is an idea .
  • Jan 22 2012: Mr. Md Santos,
    this is intriguing, to say the least. I am going to study what you wrote, but I wanted to let you know that I am grateful for your contribution to my experience. You will hear from me soon enough.
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    Jan 22 2012: THE NATURE KNOWLEDGE MOST LIKELY IS THE CENTER OF CONSCIOUSNESS

    Derived from our Human System Biology-based Knowledge Management (HSBKM) model framework, consciousness in broad meaning is the attribute of Knowledge which is priorly given broad meaning also. Knowledge itself as confirmed with its semantic, is the product of “knowing tools”.

    .....Human Knowledge consist of 3 knowing tools. The first is Human Senses (Peripheral Nerves System incl. Autonomic Nerve System) as Primary Human Knowing Tools producing “Knowledge with Lower Consciousness” (KLC) representing human sense-taste-feeling-feel-flavor-sensation (= human senses). The second is Human Brain (Central Nerves System) as Secondary Human Knowing Tools producing “Knowledge with Medium Consciousness” (KMC) representing human reason-mind-intellect-intelligence-way-idea (= human mind). The third is Human Genomic DNA (DNA Consciousness) as Tertiary Human Knowing Tools producing “Knowledge with Higher Consciousness” (KHC) representing human will – desire – wish (= human conscience)...

    Further, human Knowledge is the integral part of broad Nature Knowledge. Knowledge, either Human or Nature Knowledge by nature is dynamic entity continuum characterized as having consciousness element factor (CEF) structure.... http://bit.ly/s9ZNqR

    We developed Knowledge Value (KV) measurement as KM metrics applied to Nature Knowledge continuum which is representing the Nature Consciousness as an absolute value scaling ratio ranging from 10 -38 (Planck number) applied to Knowon, our new proposed 5th fundamental force and consecutively KV = 5.0 applied to human Knowledge with Higher Consciousness (KHC) or accumulated to KV = 9.0 as human maximum possible score en route to infinity or goes beyond human KV. Therefore, KV is mean to assessing hypothetically the intensity of Nature Knowledge consciousness element factor within Knowledge continuum in the Universe.... http://t.co/7qHeHdJe
    • Jan 24 2012: Dear Md Santos, what you suggest here, and in your apparently relatively vast resarch as is evident in the links you provided is intriguing indeed. I must admit that currently, I do not feel that I am adequately equipped to grasp all the intricacies of your arguments and your presentation, yet I will try harder. I would like to applaud the fact that FAITH does not seem to be a factor in the theory you laid out. That is so refreshing.

      So... tell me bluntly: IS THERE GOD?
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    Jan 22 2012: Hullo Stephen

    Consciousness is not in the brain, rather, I think the brain is in consciousness.

    An example: a fish is in water, never aware that it is in a wet environment as we see it. We can be aware of being aware, and we call that conscious awareness, but we are under the impression that consciousness is in the brain because we think of consciousness as mental.
    • Jan 25 2012: This is actually an absurd argument.

      '': a fish is in water, never aware that it is in a wet environment as we see it.''

      You are actually telling me what a fish perceives and then basing your understanding on that fact. Your evidence is lacking reality.
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      Feb 1 2012: Hi Patrick:

      Break the brain and "consciousness" goes away, now break "consciousness".

      Regards!

      JB

      FYI there are experiments with apes showing that they self conscious.
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    Jan 20 2012: The bottom line is in consciousness, in non dimensional reality, not in the body, psychology, or science. We live in consciousness, consciousness is not in the brain. We are each a unit of awareness, called to awaken to Spiritual Reality/Existential Reality

    Patrick
    • Jan 22 2012: Why then after a blow to the head do you loose consciousness? (still alive, no consciousness)

      Consciousness cannot see, otherwise blindness would not be an issue. My body s sensory system has to be fully engaged in order for my consciousness to even participate. I believe consciousness is just the brain.
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    Jan 20 2012: Hey Stephen, about the last comment, I just get worked up easily about my crazy ideas. Anyway, you asked what the creativity is like, and personally, I really appreciate the compositional kind of thinking. I spend a lot of time really depressed before creating anyything cause my ideas just arent in harmony. Once things start clicking, start moving, the inspiration comes; you know, I have my certain style and shapes, palette I stick to, and the images are what I appreciate from the past. The shapes and general style as well; I recognize it as just this language I have created over time, and I put it into practice when I paint, and that's sort of how I think about painting as a mechanism in my head: it's writing my own personal language through color and representing the ideas the language needs to encounter; and its the same for all artists in my opinion. I've always been interested in foreign languages, so when I create, or need to take a class I'm not used to like math, I just think about it as speaking a foreign language. I guess my reflection on that, makes me think I might not fully understand it as I speak it, just as people don't really understand what they are truly saying, wherever there is or isnt intention in the syntax. The actual painting process is very physical though; I use pretty big canvases and jump around to banging music when I paint, painting half the time, but exposing the whole place to the energy; and that stirring of energy that happens in front of the canvas when I dance around or whatever while I paint, is a big part of it.
    • Jan 20 2012: Interesting

      ""I have my certain style and shapes, palette I stick to, and the images are what I appreciate from the past. The shapes and general style as well; I recognize it as just this language I have created over time,""

      So I'm picking up some Eric Clapton songs and I'm just beginning to be aware of the fact that he uses the same chords or chord shapes in a majority of his songs, just as Carlos Santana dances around the same mode in different keys( I hope thats right. When they play, they are regurgitating sounds that they have appreciated from their past. When I play, it comes out as something I like to hear and it sounds a lot like them.

      Guitar and I suppose all forms of creativity is a language complete with accents and punctuation. That's why we recognize these artists when we hear them before we are sure it is them.

      I'm just babbling at this point but to me this observation has meaning on a larger scale about how the brain works and thus how we work.

      Thank you for sharing. It's as if I were talking to the man behind the curtain, when I talk to someone about the mechanics of their creativity.
  • Jan 17 2012: Nehemia, I would like to point you to my response to Stephen a little further down the comment line. I just wonder how you would explain the example I presented with the parachute jumper. If what your saying is true, that the physical matter is the "bottom line" as you say, what then is the difference between the different jumpers in the example. Is it not the actual consciousness within the mind of the jumper that determines the adrenaline flow ...or ... is the nervous fear and excitement in the adrenaline itself....?
    Now just what consciousness has to do with "spirit" we can come back to. But your thinking... on the stage of your consciousness is something that science has been struggling with for years and is still miles and miles away from an answer to this question. What is consciousness? What is thinking? Could these have anything to do with what we call "Spiritual"
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    Jan 17 2012: This video caught my interest because of a project last semester where I was contemplating on my paintings with thoughts of biological structures, and how they fit so geometrically: it is this geometric harmony that artists want their paintings to assume.

    It is understood that 'typically perceived' artists want their work to have value, and so they HOPE at first, and finally CALCULATE their path towards the success. (What's the first step of a problem? GUESS→FAITH.) I think the most important way for this to happen is for all disciplines in the education system to have more open pathways between one another. One pathway that I noticed was what I stated before; that paintings, in particular, want to have some natural harmony which not only involves the shapes of color, but which extend outside the painting into our minds. I don't necessarily have faith that any work I create will inspire, but I keep it in mind. What I do firmly believe in, which is all generated through physical processes of the mind, is that my intuitive reflective process of painting will one day reflect something in the microscope. I constantly fantasize that one day a scientist will look into a microscope and not be reminded of a painting, but look into the microscope because a painting minded him to. Maybe one day it won't be ridiculous to consider abstract paintings as intuitively created diagrams of process that already exist, instead of disregarded as aesthetic nonsense.

    'Visual art', where faith and intuition are bound by a fine line. As a proponent, I should reject the idea of a cycle where faith is omitted before any other product of the mind. If the mind is of physical matter, then it's products should be as well. But it is really the physical matter that is of the mind The next step in my contemplation, although characters running short, is to consider reforming our language to dismantle the negative context of having faith rather than debunking an ancient, atmospheric emotion
    • Jan 17 2012: Could it be said that the ability to paint is the ability to recognize visual patterns of information like a musician recognizes tonal patterns? What is your observation as a painter? As a musician, I'm not sure what is going on while I am finger picking but its cool to hear what is produced.

      This makes Art seem mechanistic but what this mind/body mechanism can do is nothing short of amazing.
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        Jan 19 2012: The way art and perception happens is the same across all forms of perception and senses. Let me say that my comment is more directed to what faith is, and what faith is in art. It is not about what my experience is as a painter, it is that painting for me is the creation of the new. It is my translation of my consciousness into the world, and god, or the non local consciousness, is most importantly what will be invited into my situation.

        Again to the OP, faith is eternal, because it is a product of the mind, it is a product of the consciousness which goes beyond physical barriers. There IS existence beyond physicality, and not all science is based in material, as you have been taught; it is just simply not true. When there is only a recognition of physical material, there are infinite paradoxes that will occur, and you can doubt me, but there is a realm of the mind, the universal consciousness, the mind that is not of the brain but of the universe, which encapsulates all physical matter. You only recognize the physical mater because your mind lets you, because consciousness provides that opportunity, that chance, that possibility.
        • Jan 19 2012: Hi Henry

          Yes well I was originally asking you about your observations as a painter but then you went on to tell me about how I perceive creativity. O.K.

          You make way to many claims about what IS to be correct about anything. The people at the leading edge of science or religion are having a difficult time with this question but you have the answer. MIT is looking for you dude.
  • Jan 16 2012: By the way Stephen, To say that a thought can arise out of matter is also a construct. Have you or anyone else ever seen a thought coming out of anything material? ... could be pretty hard to "prove" that one...
    • Jan 17 2012: Yes I'm not the guy but there is evidence to suggest that your nervousness and sweating are due to chemicals trying to prepare you for mating when you are around the opposite sex, during adolescence. Notice that after your peak reproductive period, males no longer have the same drive nor (limb here) are we being bombarded with those same chemicals.

      We tend to look back at those awkward moments and label them as love. I think and we all prefer the fantasy over this scientific approach. (unless your mind is blown by the current scientific ideas like mine).
      • Jan 17 2012: Hello again Stephen,
        Sure there are a lot of chemical, hormones etc. etc within us. The chemicals are all "triggered" by a thought or an emotion or feeling. We can't say that I am excited when falling in a parachute "because" of the adrenaline that flows through my system. The adrenaline arises from the fact that my entire sense apparatus is saying to me...Hey man, this is crazy!! What the h*** am I doing here!! I'm falling at 200 kph.. am I nuts or something!?? The chemicals are in a sense the "carriers" of the emotion. The chemicals allow the manifestation of the emotion to take place and arise on the stage of your consciousness. Your thinking is saying... Hey, get me down from here! ... and at the same time saying ... man, what a rush! A person who does not experience the excitement of the jump will truly not have much adrenaline in his blood either. A well trained jumper or a blind person or blindfolded person or perhaps a baby. But the "conscious" experience of the jump is the initiator or the chemicals. The consciousness of the fear and excitement must come before the chemicals and not afterwards... and what is adrenalin then without a nervous system and the blood to incorporate it. The emotion of the excitement or fear is just as "real" as the substance is it not...??
        • Jan 17 2012: Hi Daniel

          I do enjoy a spirited journey into metaphysical questions but when science makes claims about anything, they support those claims with something they would call evidence.

          ""Sure there are a lot of chemical, hormones etc. etc within us. The chemicals are all "triggered" by a thought or an emotion or feeling""

          This claim is very debatable between leading scientists in the field. I don't think anyone of them has a conclusion about where thoughts come from.

          It is not often that Neanderthal man parachuted, but he did fall and when he fell, awareness of his predicament overcame him in the form of adrenalin. This adrenaline gave the Neanderthal an extra chance at survival.

          When in the fight or flight mode, we become hyper sensitive to what is happening around us. Also a benefit to help us survive.

          If you are camping and are attacked by a bear, this fight or flight response puts you into action before you have a complete understanding of what is going on.

          If you have to wait for your logical mind to come up with the correct course of action in a time like this, you are bear food.

          These hormones and chemicals (that are operating before our logical minds) are what has kept us alive for the 4.49999 billion years before man ever farted.

          yes both the fear and the chemicals are real, we just don't know what to make of that information yet.

          Reading your comment to Nehemia, It seems like the question "If a tree falls in the woods and none was there to hear it......"
    • Jan 29 2012: As I look back on your question, I see the obvious was overlooked. We are made of nothing more than material so yes I see ideas coming from material all the time.
      • Jan 29 2012: Stephen,
        The stone is material.
        The plant has something different than the stone. It is alive. It grows.
        The animal is different than the plant and the stone. The animal has feelings and desires. It breathes. It has consciousness.
        Mankind is different than the stone, the plant and the animal. We have the material element. We have the life element. We have feelings as well. What we have over and above these first three things is self-consciousness and thinking.
        One has to differentiate more specifically all the phenomena in the world. Visible and invisible.
        An idea cannot arise out of a stone. That which is alive... as the plant is... still does not have the ability to think and come up with new ideas. Animals, to some degree, have a primitive form for thinking but is on a very low more instinctive level compared with the human being.
        One might argue that the idea has arisen from the material world and "up" but I see it as the idea working from the "above" down. The world of ideas is not dependent upon the material for it's existence. Think closely about this. Ideas are free from the world of the sense. You, in your own mind can create new ideas that absolutely no one has ever, ever seen before. Things that have nothing to do with what we call "reality" around us. Have you ever seen a pink polka doted elephant? ...no... but you can imagine one... and people are coming up with totally new ideas all the time. By interacting your concepts of pink / polka doted / elephant... you "create" a new concept that has no physical representation in the material world... So your thinking is free... amazingly....incredibly .... astonishingly .. FREE
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        • Feb 1 2012: Thanks for the thumbs up Adriaan,
          Here is an interesting link for you. By the way, there has started an interesting discussion on NDE's just now. Check it out.



          http://www.near-death.com/experiences/evidence02.html
        • Feb 4 2012: Adriaan

          God? Spirits? I do not claim to know. The only one telling me about God is man and I absolutely do not trust a word that a man can say about a place he has never ever been.

          "Swedenborg had an argument one time with a man in the world of spirits."

          Really? Just because you want it to be true, does not make it so.
  • Jan 16 2012: Hi Stephen,
    I can present two simple ways of looking at it. These may be simple but they get an idea across.
    Assume you have a TV set that's not working. There can be something wrong with the tubes in the TV... but there can be something wrong with the TV antenna too. The signal itself is of course not coming from either the antenna or the TV tubes, condensers, etc. etc. within the apparatus. But the signal is "out there" all the time ... What Nehemia is telling me is that the signal is of course coming from the tubes and condensers within the TV itself. .... Where else could they come from....?? For me to come here and say that there is actually an invisible signal coming through the air that is picked up by his antenna is in his mind preposterous... We are not too technically advanced and still somewhat primitive and therefore have no way of "proving it" one way or the other.... so our discussion leads to argument .. then violence perhaps.. somebody bleeds and all that messy stuff. He has made up his mind and I can not give any evidence as to proof of these so called invisible radio signals..
    Someday maybe we will be out walking in the nearby hills and discover a sender... who knows...

    example 2. As you came up with the blind person.

    Suppose you were born colorblind. You can only see shades of grey and black and white. We meet and I say to you "What lovely red roses there." You respond by saying "Red" .. "I see no red roses." They are grey just like the rest of things." Your physical body has no way of letting you in on my experience of the color red. Later on that month you go to the doctor and he operates on your eyes so you too can see the color red. Your first reaction is of course disagreement. Your experience is limited by your physical body's malfunction. It doesn't have to mean that your spiritual aspects of your being are not in place, it simply means that they cannot get through to share the experience of the perception red.
    • Jan 17 2012: Hi Daniel

      No I totally agree that either the signal is coming from within or without(?is that right) from outside. That is, after all the question.

      We could totally be brains in a vat controlled by a mad scientist or an all knowing, all loving being or

      not

      It seems that with the infinite amount of possibilities that could be the truth, making a specific claim about reality is pure speculation. Science IS, knowledge obtained by empirical study(which most probably will be found to be insufficient in the near future) so it's pretty much in the same boat as all other ideas. I prefer the scientific method (signal coming from inside) rather than from some outside force though.

      If we believe in some greater being that controls or manipulates our destiny, it removes our core responsibilities to one another. With the greater being idea, we just have to hunker down and wait it out to reach the other side. (where the grass is always greener) where God will save us

      Colorblindness, I would impose a guess, only effects the shades of the colors but not the aesthetic beauty or the symbolism of the rose.

      ""It doesn't have to mean that your spiritual aspects of your being are not in place,""

      No it does not but along with the spiritual aspects revelations comes a lot of superstition and it seems to be difficult to tell them apart from what is considered to be "truth".

      The truth is haha, if we had a book that actually contained "truths", we would not agree that they were. So in the end we really would not know.

      I'm not even sure it's a worthy question because of that belief yet I am drawn here still. That may be an interesting observation.
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    Jan 16 2012: The mind is a construct of human language. In our language there isn't such a word.
    To translate we have to look to the context to see whether we have to resort to either spirit, ghost or common sense.
    Most people in the world have to re-adjust their way of thinking if they learn the English language.

    Mental work is memory based on lived experiences and isn't unique to our species but to all living organisms.
    It's obvious that brains aren't necessary to do the job as most species lack most of it and live a happy life.

    The whole body is an acting/reacting unity within the environment that sustains it, with to humanity the main difference that by discriminating events and impressions and by labeling and archiving it in our construct of our world we have created time and order. By this feat we can anticipate events and delay and evaluate our reactions on any actuality.
    By this we have become independent of nature and replaced it by culture, and then created civilization to join power and knowledge.
    Faith and hope were and are important features to trust our fellow man by our common contribution to the group of humanity where truth and peace can make the human community flourish as a living space to express our love. Unfortunately however with time also fear came into play as love diminished. To control fear without love or trust you need to look for control and then for power to secure this position.

    Our soul being our natural design and our mind being our instigator of fear are conflicting, creating an unhealthy climate for both the body and our world. It is language that divides us and it's language that can unite by restoring love.
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      Jan 17 2012: Mr. Kellner, I really like what this post brings to the conversation and I am challenged to understand how language contributes to our understanding of the abstract. I know when I am using one language over another for an extended period of time, I have to switch how i think. This is a bigger task that just switching language. There is a little bit of lag time where both will overlap and I will struggle to find the right word in the appropriate language. But I never looked at how do i understand the abstract in detail. I fully intent to be more observant of this. Thank you.
    • Jan 18 2012: The mind is a construct of human language. In our language there isn't such a word.

      Which word are you talking about here? Please forgive my ignorance. What language do you speak from the Netherlands? (I could have looked it up, but I decided to learn this information from you and be upfront about my ignorance)

      I grew up in Florida, near Miami, and in High School a friend explained how he knew he had mastered the English language when he started dreaming in that language.

      And do you have a word for the Soul or spirit or fire within?

      These are straight questions. No judgements
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        Jan 19 2012: Mind is a word in English that comprises a lot of things and has no equivalent in our language.
        To translate "mind" into Dutch it can mean all sorts of things like: brains, head, thoughts, mentality, spirit, ghost, common sense, etc. which in turn are each somewhat shifted to the English counterpart.

        So in English the idea exists that the mind is something real but it’s a word like tool, it can mean anything.

        Spirit, soul and inner fire are words with reference to multiple ideas that are not always used in the same manner. Spirit we do translate standard as ghost though we sometimes use spiritus for alcoholic substances, soul is the same here but in German language it is often used as “goal”. Inner fire would become passion or enthusiasm.
  • Jan 16 2012: It is my thought that we have created a provinciat deity to rail for or against. This is a difficulty we seem to have with our ego.
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    Jan 15 2012: you just don't get it do you.



    What the bleep.

    Divine design.

    Enjoy your Ted points.