Archive for the ‘consilience’ Category

In terms of history, the events in Middle East, of ISIS and all of that, is just a speed bump on history’s highway. The Middle East is not very important. Silicon Valley is much more important. It’s the world of the 21st century … I’m not speaking only about technology.

In terms of ideas, in terms of religions, the most interesting place today in the world is Silicon Valley, not the Middle East. This is where people like Ray Kurzweil, are creating new religions. These are the religions that will take over the world, not the ones coming out of Syria and Iraq and Nigeria.

via Death Is Optional |

Gleiser begins by posing the question of whether there are fundamental limits to how much of the universe and our place in it science can explain, with a concrete focus on physical reality. Echoing cognitive scientist Alexandra Horowitz’s eye-opening exploration of why our minds miss the vast majority of what is going on around us, he writes:

What we see of the world is only a sliver of what’s “out there.” There is much that is invisible to the eye, even when we augment our sensorial perception with telescopes, microscopes, and other tools of exploration. Like our senses, every instrument has a range. Because much of Nature remains hidden from us, our view of the world is based only on the fraction of reality that we can measure and analyze. Science, as our narrative describing what we see and what we conjecture exists in the natural world, is thus necessarily limited, telling only part of the story… We strive toward knowledge, always more knowledge, but must understand that we are, and will remain, surrounded by mystery… It is the flirting with this mystery, the urge to go beyond the boundaries of the known, that feeds our creative impulse, that makes us want to know more.

via The Island of Knowledge: How to Live with Mystery in a Culture Obsessed with Certainty and Definitive Answers | Brain Pickings.

Mindfulness – CBS News.

Stop Making Sense


Stop talking to yourself about silence
and talking to yourself about stillness.
You need not talk yourself into these states.
You need only stop talking altogether
and allow the silence and stillness
that are already always present to be undisturbed.
Begin to talk about them, woo them, try to create them,
and watch them move away.
You need not do anything to create silence; rather,
only stop with all the doing, the talking, the wooing
and silence is what’s left.
You need not try so very hard to remain still; rather,
only cease with all the movement, the effort, the chatter
and stillness is already present.
Rest within that stillness, that silence,
already here, uncreated, unadulterated,
and you may glimpse Natural Awareness:
not mere consciousness, which is always consciousness of something,
walled in by the reference points of self and other,
but Awareness—vast, undifferentiated, without reference points.
Not self, but Self, beyond all notions of self and other.
Not this, but That, beyond all ideas of this and that.
Yet, again, talk about Awareness, try to describe it
or grab hold of it, and you move away from it.
You crawl back into the safety of the cage
of the little self, with its bowls of food and water,
each bowl labeled neatly with your name and your reference points.
Only ask yourself: is it your destiny to live in this cage forever?
Do you really need these little bowls of kibble
when the vast open field of Awareness is waiting for you
just outside the door of your cage?

The view of totality, its attendant conception of reality called “Total Being,” and the understanding of the dynamic of realization—the relationship between individual practice and realization—begin to articulate the nonhierarchical view of the Diamond Approach. As we plumb the depths of our immediate experience, at some point, we can begin to uncover the underlying implications of its view. From the vantage of totality, we can discern not only the distinctness, the validity, and the experiential universe of that particular view but also the relationship of one worldview to another. Doing so unleashes the inherent freedom of reality, and reality shows its delight by leading us to other views and further mysteries. This is the upshot of uncertainty: We are loosed from the search for final meaning into a life of limitless adventure.

via Newest Book by A.H. Almaas: Runaway Realization | Science and Nonduality.

VISION OF THE FUTURE – MARSHALL ROSENBERG – YouTube. Workshops also available on YouTube! More of this, please!

The fact is we all suffer from cognitive egocentrism. We all seem to intuitively assume that we have won what I call the ‘Magical Belief Lottery.’ We cherry pick confirming evidence and utterly overlook disconfirming evidence. We automatically assume that our sources are more reliable than the sources cited by others. We think we are more intelligent than we in fact are. We rewrite memories to minimize the threat of inconsistencies. We mistake claims repeated three or more times as fact. We continually revise our beliefs to preempt in-group criticism. We regularly confabulate. We congenitally use our conclusions to determine the cogency of our premises. The list goes on and on, believe you me. Add to this the problem of Interpretative Underdetermination, the simple fact that our three pound brains are so dreadfully overmatched by the complexities of the world…

via The Semantic Apocalypse | Speculative Heresy.

lw: Recognition of the Human Condition.

//A successful consilience, bringing an ideal mindset described in ancient literature into the light of contemporary humanities and cognitive sciences. //

EDWARD SLINGERLAND is Professor of Asian Studies and Canada Research Chair in Chinese Thought and Embodied Cognition at the University of British Columbia and the author of Trying Not to Try: The Art and Science of Spontaneity.

“The way we’re doing it at UBC is problem-based consilience. We bring together people who all care about the same issue, you know, “what’s the role of religion in human cooperation?” Coming from different disciplines and they want to answer more or less the same questions. They just have different tools. And if you give people a shared problem, it’s a much more productive interaction.”

The other way in which engaging with science helps on this particular issue is, I’ve been trying to pioneer these new approaches to studying texts. So instead of just picking passages that happen to support your position, we did a study where we actually pulled out every single passage. The nice thing is that the early China stuff is all online and searchable. It’s all in electronic form. We pulled out every single passage that had the word “xin” in it, which if anything means “mind,” it’s this word. It literally refers to the heart, sometimes translated as heart-mind. We pulled out every passage that had this word in it, and then we had teams of coders who were applying our hypothesis go and code how “xin” was being characterized in the passage.We developed this website where they’d click on radio buttons.”

via The Paradox of Wu-Wei |