Actual Freedom – Selected Correspondence by Topic

Richard’s Selected Correspondence

On Science


RESPONDENT: Do you believe that there is good scientific evidence for global warming?

RICHARD: Presuming that you are referring to anthropogenic global warming (and not geological global warming) you may find the following informative:

• [Richard]: ‘... what I was mainly searching for, over about three weeks, were the facts upon which the currently-popular ‘Anthropogenic Global Warming’ hypothesis was (purportedly) based ... and the reason why it took that long was because I could not find any (being based upon unverifiable-in-the-laboratory quantum mathematics it is not all that surprising, with the benefit of hindsight, that there be none)’.

What I did find, however, was that in 1900 Mr. Knut Ångström put as much carbon dioxide in total as would be found in a column of air reaching to the top of the atmosphere into a tube and sent infrared radiation through it yet the amount of radiation which got through scarcely changed whether he cut the quantity of gas in half or doubled it.

(...)

RICHARD (to Respondent No. 23): As that [sixteen clinically depressed geriatrics undertaking a remedial weight-lifting regimen three times a week for ten weeks] is an example of scientific evidence it is no wonder (modern) science is in the parlous state it is.

RESPONDENT: I have also found no evidence of human causes driving global warming after looking closer at the evidence. Why then do the majority of scientists endorse this view?

RICHARD: As it is questionable both whether there is any global warming and whether a majority of scientists do endorse the view that humans are the effectors it would be better to respond generally ... to wit: more than a little of modern science could be categorised as being opinion-based ‘science’ (rather than evidence-based science).

RESPONDENT: Maybe I am getting way too far outside the scope of this message board but given the discussion about what is real science and what is distortion, do you think there is any validity to the claims that the World Trade Towers including building 7 could not have fallen due to structural fire in such a rapid and neat manner without explosives being used that were already planted in the buildings. Also consider almost everyone interviewed mentions hearing explosions just before the collapse. I guess the whole science, global warming, oil-wars stuff got me on this subject. Just curious what you think.

RICHARD: As I have not looked into that claim (nor am I likely to) I am in no position to comment.

In regards to verification (as in your ‘what is real science and what is distortion’ phrasing): one of the problems with science today is that, as there are over 100,000 scientific journals published each year, containing more than 6,000,000 articles, no single person can ever even read them all ... let alone make sense of them (no single person could possibly have cross-disciplinal expertise in all areas of scientific research as there are over 1,000 areas of specialised study).

This era is truly the age of information overload.


RESPONDENT: Correspondent No. 30 is a wonderful example of brainwashing.

RICHARD: Just so there is no misunderstanding of what you are referring to I will provide the following examples of what that word can mean:

1. ‘brainwashing: intensive, forcible indoctrination, usually political or religious, aimed at destroying a person’s basic convictions and attitudes and replacing them with an alternative set of fixed beliefs’. (American Heritage® Dictionary).
2. ‘brainwashing: a forcible indoctrination to induce someone to give up basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes and to accept contrasting regimented ideas’. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).
3. ‘brainwash: systematically and often forcibly replace established ideas in the mind of (a person) by new (usu. political) ideas’. (Oxford Dictionary).
4. ‘brainwash: to make (someone) believe only what you want them to believe by continually telling them that it is true and preventing any other information from reaching them’. (Cambridge Dictionary).
5. ‘brainwash: to impose a set of usually political or religious beliefs on somebody by the use of various coercive methods of indoctrination, including destruction of the victim’s prior beliefs’. (Encarta Dictionary).

RESPONDENT: I wonder how he did it. While on the first page he asks some very sensible questions about AF and science – knowing the usual popularized canon ...

RICHARD: For an example, from that page, of the first definition (enumerated, for convenience, as No. 1 above):

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘If the theory that universe is finite is found to be true (backed up with evidences, predictions etc. using scientific method), and a spaceship that leaves in one direction comes back from the other direction after some time, won’t we be in a position but to accept it?
• [Richard]: ‘You seem to be talking about Mr. Albert Einstein’s curved space here ... whatever you do, do not hold your breath waiting for that to be demonstrated (24 to 28 billions years of travelling at the speed of light is too long a journey for any human being to make and come back alive so as to provide a factual report)’. (Wednesday, February 13 2002 AEDST).

As an example of an intensive and forcible indoctrination aimed at destroying my co-respondent’s basic convictions and attitudes, and replacing them with an alternative set of fixed beliefs, my technique does appear to need a lot of polishing, non?

For an example of definition No. 2 (also from that first page):

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Deductive logic works like a chain; if you agree that each ring of the chain to be valid, you reach the last piece of the chain which is not apparent if you did not follow the process. (...)’.
• [Richard]: ‘The validity of each link in a deductive chain is dependent upon the initial premise being correct’. (Wednesday, February 27 2002 AEDST).

As an example of a forcible indoctrination to induce my co-respondent to give up their basic beliefs and attitudes, and to accept contrasting regimented ideas, my methodology does seem to leave a lot to be desired, eh?

For an example of definition No. 3 (again from that first page):

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘They [Quantum cosmogony/Einsteinian relativity] are not commonsensical at all, agreed. But experimentation (please refer to: Michelson Morley kind of experiments for relativity, double hole experiments for quantum mechanics) has shown that the common sense understandings do not carry well in very high speeds as well as very small scales, and one is forced to theorize with the set of facts, and predict from the theory, and verify, and verify and verify, till the theory is found to be useful (like nuclear reactors, space ships, cosmic rays).
• [Richard]: ‘History shows that a model can be found to be useful without it necessarily being correct ... and such a model is later discarded when another model can be found to correspond more accurately to the facts.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Then the philosophical or metaphysical question arises: this is the theory that is arrived through scientific method to explain certain idiosyncrasies of nature, and works quite well, what does it mean?
• [Richard]: ‘It means what you just said ... it ‘works quite well’. (Wednesday, February 27 2002 AEDST).

As an example of systematically and forcibly replacing established ideas in the mind of my co-respondent by new ideas my performance does look to be severely lacking in efficacity, does it not?

For an example of definition No. 4 (yet again from that first page):

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘A question for you: what subset of modern science you are willing to admit?
• [Richard]: ‘That which is sensible, practical and in accord with the facts ... I am also willing to be wrong in the many areas which lie beyond my expertise. I am a lay-person when it comes to physics as I am a high-school drop-out. I started working for a living at age fifteen and have never pursued these matters beyond what is available in the popular press ... if you are looking for an advanced discussion you are talking to the wrong person.
My expertise lies in the area of human consciousness only (via self-observation)’. (Wednesday, February 27 2002 AEDST).

As an example of making my co-respondent believe only what I want them to believe, by continually telling them that it is true and preventing any other information from reaching them, would it be fair to say that my modus operandi does give the impression of being far from perfect?

For an example of definition No. 5 (still from that first page):

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘... [what subset of modern science you are willing to admit]. Darwinian theory if not big bang?
• [Richard]: ‘The science of evolution fits well with the facts ... the ‘big bang’ theory is shot full of holes.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Expanding universe?
• [Richard]: ‘No.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Black holes?
• [Richard]: ‘No.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Atomic theory (Bohr’s atomic model with nucleus and protons and electrons)?
• [Richard]: ‘The jury is still out on this issue ... as a model it works well enough for now’. (Wednesday, February 27 2002 AEDST).

As an example of imposing a set of beliefs on my co-respondent by the use of various coercive methods of indoctrination, including destruction of their prior beliefs, it could be said that my tactics could do with a major overhaul, could it not?

RESPONDENT: ... he then goes on, after 4 years, to write: [Co-Respondent]: ‘Just thought I should express my appreciation for these discussions on modern science ... Richard’s answers and Respondent No. 60 & Respondent No. 27’s questions throw a lot of light on these matters. Very stimulating. What I understood (from Richard’s mails mainly) so far is that: a direct experience is the final arbiter and while logic/mathematics can sharpen the directly experienced, they are subservient to the direct experience. This is in contrast to the theoretical physicist/mathematician’s viewpoint which is: logic/mathematics is the final arbiter – direct experience is prone to error. Please correct this appraisal if necessary’. [Richard]: ‘No correction necessary ... you have hit the nail right on the head’. [endquote].

RICHARD: As you seem to have overlooked the inclusion of my clarifying postscript I will re-post it here for reasons of integrity in communication:

• [Richard]: ‘... the empiricism/ rationalism debate has a long history. [quote] ‘empiricism: the doctrine or theory that all knowledge is derived from sense-experience; the doctrine or theory that concepts and statements have meaning only in relation to sense-experience; (opp. rationalism)’. And: [quote] ‘rationalism: the doctrine or theory that reason rather than sense-experience is the foundation of certainty in knowledge; (opp. empiricism). (Oxford Dictionary)’. (Saturday, January 24 2004 AEDST).

RESPONDENT: Correction is indeed necessary.

RICHARD: Perhaps it might be handy to first ascertain just what my co-respondent made of my full response? Here are the relevant portions of what they wrote 26 days later (they wrote the above on Friday, January 23 2004 AEDST) to another:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘I had realized long ago [two years previously] when I corresponded to Richard that I was defending science based on my strong belief in scientists (no other discipline relies on objectivity and explicitly stated goals and experiment as the final arbiter) and decided to step out of my defence till I understand them myself to a great detail (I have good mathematical and scientific training and I have the toolkit to expand my knowledge if I find it necessary).
(...)
One can divide one’s experience into everyday stuff where one uses common sense and when it comes to subatomic world one says: oh I can’t use my common sense, it is beyond my understanding, here is some mathematical model explaining and predicting stuff that goes as far as creating an atomic bomb, sending space crafts: so I give up my common sense and use logic and mathematics here.
And then comes a stage where one says: Logic and Mathematics have succeeded where a common sense approach have not (in explaining subatomic stuff and fast moving stuff). Therefore I will buy the consequences of Logic and Mathematics even if it means that I have to lay down my common sense. I will use the same principles that helped me to get beyond in the subatomic and fast moving universe and extrapolate and apply to this everyday world (and probably justify my spiritual fantasies).
This is where Richard says (I think): Direct experience of the everyday world [sic] if you are willing to lay down in favour of your success in micro-worlds, you land up in imaginary world justified by mathematics and logic. The current models may be great in predictions but they are useful models ... that’s all ... do not justify one to jump to imagination sacrificing the common sense. Moreover these models that are based on logic and mathematics themselves use common sense at some level and nothing is just a standalone ‘logic and mathematics’ (as in there is no God that is running the world according to ‘logic and mathematics’)’. (Wednesday, February 18 2004 AEDST).

And again 4 days later (also to somebody else):

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘... all the mathematical models I was positing exists only in the mind not in actuality ... if human beings don’t think about them, they don’t exist’. (Sunday, February 22 2004 AEDST).

Bearing in mind that English is not my co-respondent’s first language is it nevertheless clear enough that they grasped what was conveyed (that mathematical models have no existence in actuality) by the comparison of empiricism with rationalism ... as exemplified by their usage of the word ‘standalone’?

Furthermore, as the topics being specifically referred to – the subjects which the co-respondents numbered as 60 and 27 were querying – were, respectively, the origin of the Einsteinian relativity theory (and, thus, the ‘Big Bang’ ex nihilo/’Big Crunch’ ad nihil’ theory) and the situation that, facts being rather thin on the ground, it is mainly the hypothesis/theory which gets most of the attention, are you so sure a correction regarding what was plainly categorised for convenience as the rationalist position, that reason is the foundation of certainty in knowledge (rather than concepts and statements having meaning only in relation to sense-experience), is indeed necessary?

RESPONDENT: While theoretical physicists aim for elegance and simplicity and let themselves guide by intuition, these are by no way the final arbiters.

RICHARD: Here is what those questions and answers being referred to – the subjects which the co-respondents numbered as 60 and 27 were querying – more or less revolve around:

• [Richard]: ‘Mr. Albert Einstein (well-known for his ‘imagination is more important than knowledge’ quote) had this to say, in 1920, when reminiscing about the birth of his relativity theory in 1907: [quote] ‘There occurred to me the ‘glücklichste Gedanke meines Leben’, the happiest thought of my life ... for an observer falling freely from the roof of a house there exists – at least in his immediate surroundings – no gravitational field. Indeed, if the observer drops some bodies then those remain relative to him in a state of rest or uniform motion, independent of their particular chemical or physical nature (in this consideration the air resistance is, of course, ignored). The observer therefore has the right to interpret his state as ‘at rest’. [italics by Mr. Albert Einstein]. (page 178, ‘Subtle Is The Lord’, by Abraham Pais; ©1982 Oxford University Press).
The observer (irregardless of the ... um ... the ‘right’ to subjectively interpret what is actually occurring as being a state of rest) is, of course, objectively falling at a rate of thirty two feet per second per second because of the very gravitational field Mr. Albert Einstein somewhat solipsistically intuited/imagined did not exist for such a person’.

RESPONDENT: Every theory strives to make a prediction which can be empirically measured.

RICHARD: Whereas what I was pointing out, in those questions and answers being referred to, is epitomised by a particular query and response (re-posted further above):

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Deductive logic works like a chain; if you agree that each ring of the chain to be valid, you reach the last piece of the chain which is not apparent if you did not follow the process. (...)’.
• [Richard]: ‘The validity of each link in a deductive chain is dependent upon the initial premise being correct’. [endquote].

The initial premise in question is, of course, that happiest thought which Mr. Albert Einstein ever had in his life ... because an edifice erected on quicksand, no matter how ornately adorned, is bound to eventually sink without a trace.

RESPONDENT: The science game involves the promise that when the prediction is not in accord with reality, the theory will be regarded as ‘refuted’ and dismissed.

RICHARD: I will draw your attention to something else re-posted further above (from that first page on which, you claim, some very sensible questions were asked):

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘They [Quantum cosmogony/ Einsteinian relativity] are not commonsensical at all, agreed. But experimentation (please refer to: Michelson Morley kind of experiments for relativity, double hole experiments for quantum mechanics) has shown that the common sense understandings do not carry well in very high speeds as well as very small scales, and one is forced to theorize with the set of facts, and predict from the theory, and verify, and verify and verify, till the theory is found to be useful (like nuclear reactors, space ships, cosmic rays).
• [Richard]: ‘History shows that a model can be found to be useful without it necessarily being correct ... and such a model is later discarded when another model can be found to correspond more accurately to the facts’. [endquote].

And the reason why I draw your attention to it (if it be not already blatantly obvious that there is a vast difference between a theory being useful and being in accord with the facts) is also because of what you go on to say immediately below.

RESPONDENT: To use No. 60’s story of the poor dogs, metaphorically: At the beginning, in 2001, correspondent No. 30 still could distinguish a circle from an ellipse. In 2005, he can’t anymore. Woof, woof!

RICHARD: Presumably you are referring to this article:

• [Mr. Duen Hsi Yen]: ‘Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936) also had dog troubles of his own, as described by one group of researchers working in his lab: [quote] ‘In a famous experiment by Shenger-Krestovnika, published in 1921, a dog was trained to salivate to a circle but not to an ellipse. The ellipse was then made progressively more like a circle. When the ratio of the axes of the ellipse was reduced to 9:8, the dog could discriminate it from a circle only with great difficulty. It showed some signs of success on this problem for about three weeks, but then its behaviour was disrupted. It was unable to respond correctly not only on this difficult task, but also when presented with obvious ellipses and circles that had given it no trouble in the earlier part of the experiment. What is more, instead of coming to stand quietly in the apparatus of the past, the animal now showed extreme excitement, struggling and howling’. [pp.119-120, ‘Ivan Pavlov’ by Jeffrey Gray; ©1979 NY: Viking]. This work was brought to my attention by a University professor/psychotherapist, who also informed me that this dog eventually had to be put to sleep! It never was able to recover from the ‘experimental neurosis’, induced by Pavlov. This result is even more amazing because the conditioning did not involve punishment! The dog was merely trained to perform a discrimination. When it couldn’t do it, it went crazy! Later, he and his co-workers discovered lots of other ways to create neurotic dogs. These results were so remarkable, that at the age of eighty, Pavlov launched himself into an entirely new career in a different field, to understand psychopathology. He soon was visiting psychiatric wards several times a week, discussing the various cases with the psychiatrists! What is even more insidious, is that our entire educational system, as it exists today, is based on this type of learning! Children daily are asked by teachers to make discriminations that they cannot make, and when they make a mistake, they are punished! (The process is often referred to as ‘operant conditioning’ or instrumental learning)’. (www.noogenesis.com/malama/punishment.html).

How that example of operant conditioning/instrumental learning even remotely relates to my co-respondent comprehending that mathematical models do not describe the universe/ have no existence outside of the ratiocinative process simply defies sensibility.

Perhaps a personal anecdote may be of assistance: when I was but a lad in high school (at 12-15 years of age), when learning about atomic theory, it was expressly explained that the model then being taught – a nucleus made up of protons and neutrons surrounded by electrons – was just that (a model) and was not, repeat not, to be taken as really being the case.

And then came, thick and fast, in the ensuing years a bewildering array of sub-atomic postulates with peculiar names and properties wherein they were sometimes matter and sometimes energy – which otherwise causeless state apparently depended upon the human observer – only to be followed by the ‘String Theory’ ... a ‘string’ of energy so tiny that if it were to be compared with the magnitude of the known universe it would be but the size of a tree (if it had form). Predictably, it was being posited as being the smallest ... um ... ‘thingamajig’ beyond which there is no smaller and it, too, was to be the ultimate source of all things (if only it were real).

Your commentitious allegation regarding ‘a wonderful example of brainwashing’ (not to forget your distinctly pointed operant conditioning/ instrumental learning allusion) rather begs the question as to who it is indeed that is thus brainwashed/ conditioned – and by whom and how and when – rather than anything else.


RESPONDENT: You are now a blood and bones body just like the rest of us ... that is all, and you admit it yourself.

RICHARD: Yes ... I fully acknowledge the fact that I am this flesh and blood body as an actuality.

RESPONDENT: ... and you totally believe that that is all there is to life when scientist themselves say that 98 percent of what is in existence is unseen and unseeable (unknowable).

RICHARD: I am none too sure of your 98% figure but the hoary myth that only 10% of the brain is being used and the other 90% is unused has long ago been dispelled forever by scientific research. Furthermore, as I understand it no scientist has been able to locate ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul (by whatever name) despite all their RI scans (Radio Isotope), CAT scans (Computerised Axial Tomography), CT scans (Computed Tomography), NMR scans (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance), PET scans (Positron Emission Tomography), MRA scans (Magnetic Resonance Angiography), MRI scans (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), and fMRI scans (functioning Magnetic Resonance Imaging). Thought activity (thinking, reflecting, planning) can be tracked ... but the ‘thinker’ (‘I’ as ego by whatever name) has not been located. The affective feelings (emotions, passions and calentures) can be traced ... but the ‘feeler’ (‘me’ as soul by whatever name) has not been located. Scientists tend to disagree among themselves, of course, yet there is sufficient research to allow for a reasonable supposition to be made that thought and thinking is primarily sourced in the neo-cortex and that the affective feelings are primarily sourced (in what is popularly called the ‘lizard brain’) at the top of the brain-stem/base of the skull.

RESPONDENT: Really?

RICHARD: Yes, that is really what scientists have repeatedly established through research.

RESPONDENT: Is that a fact, or do you just agree with that supposition – believe it because it upholds your theory of an ‘actual’ happening?

RICHARD: It is fact that thought and thinking is primarily sourced in the neo-cortex and that the affective feelings are primarily sourced (in what is popularly called the ‘lizard brain’) at the top of the brain-stem/ base of the skull. That I called it a ‘reasonable supposition’ is only for those who are yet to investigate for themselves ... it is called establishing a ‘prima facie’ case (having enough evidence to warrant further investigation).

*

RICHARD: I would suggest that ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul (by whatever name) will never be precisely located ... although I have read that there is a place (popularly dubbed the ‘God Spot’) that can be electronically stimulated to give the oceanic feeling of ‘Oneness’ so beloved of religionists, spiritualists, mystics and metaphysicalists for at least 3,000 to 5,000 years of recorded history.

RESPONDENT: I see that you have totally dismissed the fact that the observer is the observed; that the thinker is the thought.

RICHARD: No, I have not dismissed them: when ‘the observer’ died, when ‘the thinker’ became extinct, the ‘observer is the observed’ event and the ‘thinker is the thought’ occurrence vanished forever of their own accord.

*

RICHARD: As for consciousness itself ... my experience (and subsequent reading) leads me to propose the ‘Substantia Nigra’, located in the upper third of the ‘Reticular Activating System’, as being the ‘seat of consciousness’. ‘Tis only a proposal, mind you.

RESPONDENT: I have no idea what you are talking about.

RICHARD: I am responding to your observation that I ‘totally believe that that [that Richard is a blood and bones body just like the rest of us] is all there is to life when scientist themselves say that 98 percent of what is in existence is unseen and unseeable (unknowable)’ . Just because you have ‘no idea’ what I am talking about does not mean that what I am talking about is not valid or accurate or that other people do not know about it. However, scientists have been wrong before and will be wrong again – just as I have – and in this particular sentence I specifically stated that it was only a proposal, based upon my experience and subsequent reading, that the ‘seat of consciousness’ be located in the upper third of the ‘Reticular Activating System’ in what is known as the ‘Substantia Nigra’.

The encephalitis which developed in some hapless peoples, subsequent to the world-wide outbreak in 1918-19 of what was then dubbed ‘Spanish Flu’, ate away at their ‘Substantia Nigra’ ... with the consequent loss of conscious awareness (their ‘seat of consciousness’). This event was popularised in a movie starring Mr. Robin Williams and Mr. Robert De Niro wherein, with massive doses of a substance called L-Dopa, some patients briefly ‘came to’ with full conscious awareness ... yet with no awareness of all those years having gone by of there being no conscious awareness (what could be called a vegetative state). And, as I have said before, although scientists tend to disagree among themselves, there are some who hold that encephalitis cases such as these thus demonstrates where the ‘seat of consciousness’ resides (this ‘conscious awareness’ is not to be confused with ‘I’ as ego or ‘me’ as soul by whatever name).

Again: it is only a proposal, though.

RESPONDENT: You have a lot of knowledge upon which you can base your repudiation of that which you know.

RICHARD: Aye ... I did a lot of research so as to better present my experience to my fellow human being and thus establish a ‘prima facie’ case for them worthy of further investigation (‘self’-investigation) rather than capricious dismissal.


RESPONDENT: The same you done for Buddha Jesus, by call him a flat earth god man, etc.

RICHARD: Are you saying that Mr. Gotama the Sakyan and Mr. Yeshua the Nazarene knew that the earth was an oblate spheroid in orbit around the sun?

RESPONDENT: I really don’t understand why is so important for you to call Jesus a flat earth dogman ...

RICHARD: Oh? What is it about the word ‘omniscient’ (having infinite knowledge) that you do not comprehend?

RESPONDENT: ... in the moment you don’t respect science yourself.

RICHARD: You have raised this topic before (less than two weeks ago):

• [Respondent]: ‘You reject the whole science ...
• [Richard]: ‘I do not reject science ... I reject pseudo-science and/or science fiction masquerading as science and factoids. (September 22 2003).

And maybe you missed this one as it was in an exchange with another (from three weeks ago):

• [Richard]: ‘... I am on record more than a few times as having said that I appreciate the benefits brought about by both applied mathematics and practical science. (September 10 2003).

I could provide some more examples but maybe this will do for now?

RESPONDENT: The same you said for U.G. Krishnamurti.

RICHARD: You have lost me here ... are you saying I said Mr. Uppaluri Krishnamurti was ‘a flat earth god man etc.’ or are you saying I said he was enlightened when I (apparently) should have said he was ‘truth etc.’ or are you saying I underestimated him by ‘using certain sort sentences of him’?

RESPONDENT: And many other people scientists or not.

RICHARD: This has become so vague as to be unanswerable in its present form ... just what is this ‘the same’ you are referring to in regards Mr. Uppaluri Krishnamurti and these many other people be they scientists or not?

RESPONDENT: You have a tendency to disagree with everybody.

RICHARD: You may have misunderstood my oft-repeated ‘everybody has got it 180 degrees wrong’ statement ... it, of course, refers to matters of consciousness studies in general and, specifically, to where the answer to the problem of the human condition lies (in the world and not away from it).

It is not meant to refer to all fields of human endeavour.


RESPONDENT: I should like to tell you, that the moment you are speaking about consciousness, PCE, etc., and that you perceive the infinity of the universe through apperceptive awareness, then you have already entered the field of metaphysics.

RICHARD: No, the unmediated experience of infinitude – the apperceptive awareness of boundless space, unlimited time, and perpetual matter (mass/energy) – is not a metaphysical experience ... the metaphysical experience, during the eleven years of spiritual enlightenment and called by some as being ‘choiceless awareness’, was of a timeless and spaceless and formless ‘infinitude’ known as god or truth or ground of being or implicate order and so on.

When I am speaking about consciousness I am referring to the condition of a flesh and blood body being conscious (the suffix ‘-ness’ forms a noun meaning a state or condition) as in being alive, not dead, awake, not asleep, and sensible, not insensible (comatose), and when I am talking about pure consciousness I am referring to the condition of a flesh and blood body being conscious sans identity in toto – both ego-self (the thinker) and the feeling-self (the feeler) – which means that perception is bare perception (unmediated perception) ... the term ‘apperceptive awareness’ is but another way of referring to this simple perception (aka naïve perception) and being thus direct it is non-separative (not separated from the physical).

Thus there is nothing metaphysical about being apperceptive ... indeed, if anything the normal way of perception – a mediated, or indirect and thus separative, perception – being once-removed from the physical, is arguably already well on the way to being beyond time and space and form.

RESPONDENT: I define metaphysics as ‘meta ta physsika’, a Greek word meaning beyond nature and physics.

RICHARD: As the word ‘physics’ – plural of ‘physic’ from the Latin ‘physica’ from the Greek ‘ta phusika’ (‘the natural’ understood as ‘things’) – is derived from the Greek ‘phusis’ (‘nature’) it properly refers to the science of the natural world (as in knowledge of the physical world of animal, vegetable and mineral) ... thus to say nature *and* physics is to separate it from the physical.

And I am not just nit-picking over the meaning of words here as it is glaringly obvious that the late nineteenth-century/ early twentieth-century physics departed from being a study of the natural world (the physical world) and entered into the realm of the mathematical world ... an abstract world which does not exist in nature.

Indeed the word ‘metaphysical’ also refers to that which is ‘based on abstract general reasoning or a priori principles’ (Oxford Dictionary) as well as the more common meaning of that which transcends matter or the physical (as in immaterial, incorporeal, supersensible, supernatural and so on).

And quantum theory, for an instance of this, is most definitely based on a mathematical device (Mr. Max Planck’s ‘quanta’) initially designed to solve the hypothetical problem of infinite ultra-violet radiation from a non-existent perfect ‘black-box’ radiator and never intended to be taken as being real (until Mr. Albert Einstein took it up for his own purposes).

RESPONDENT: You have entered in a field beyond science.

RICHARD: As science is the state or fact of knowing – knowledge or cognisance of something physical – based upon observed facts, and/or with demonstrated truths, in that it is both an intellectual and practical activity encompassing those branches of study which apply objective observation (the scientific method) to the phenomena of the physical universe (the natural sciences), in what way is determining that the universe has boundless space, unlimited time, and perpetual matter (mass/ energy), by both intellectual reasoning and direct observation entering into a field beyond science?

As you cannot be saying that all those people with the scientific training sufficient to qualify for the title ‘scientist’, who also say the universe is infinite, eternal, and perpetual, are not operating in the field of science (and only those people with the scientific training sufficient to qualify for the title ‘scientist’ who say that the universe is finite, temporary, and depletable are operating in the field of science) it would appear that, according to your rationale, only non-apperceptive observation (a mediated, or indirect and thus separative, perception) is within the field of science and apperceptive observation (an unmediated, or direct and thus non-separative, perception) is not.

In other words, for it to be scientific, observation must be done by an entity within the flesh and blood body, eh?

RESPONDENT: You are perceiving something with other means than body senses.

RICHARD: First of all, as I am ‘body senses’ I am unable to perceive ‘with’ them – I perceive *as* them – and as there is no identity in situ inside this flesh and blood body I would be most interested to hear your theory as to what ‘other means’ you say I perceive with.

Meaning that as there is no affective faculty whatsoever operating in this flesh and blood body – thus no epiphenomenal imaginative/psychic facility – there are no other means than sensorially (and reasoning therehence).

And sensible reasoning at that.


RESPONDENT: I have heard of an observation of primates, in which a group from one isolated geographic locale (Galapagos Island?) began using a new tool in a novel way of to achieve some end. Suddenly, primates in geographic locales separate and far away from the original ones began likewise using the tool. These observations provided the same results as the rat experiments, except the participants were not subjected to pain by their human observers.

RICHARD: In the 1950’s primatologists in Japan discovered and carefully documented the spread, from monkey to monkey, of a particular feeding behaviour within a group of macaques (rhesus monkeys) on Koshima Islet. The primatologists supplied a group of free-range macaques with sweet potatoes. One young macaque discovered that washing the potatoes in the sea or in a stream removed the dirt and sand. Gradually some other macaques in her group learned to wash their potatoes, which learning demonstrated, according to the primatologists, a ‘pre-cultural’ transmission of technique.

However, it was alleged by Mr. Lyall Watson in his book ‘Lifetide’ that suddenly and spontaneously and mysteriously monkeys on other islands, with no physical contact with the potato-washing group, started washing potatoes. Was this really monkey telepathy or wishful thinking by the author? In 1979 Mr. Lyall Watson claimed his information came from ‘personal anecdotes and bits of folklore amongst primate researchers’ and in 1986, in a response to Mr. Ron Amundson’s critique in the summer edition of the ‘Sceptical Inquirer’, 1985, pp. 348-356, Mr. Lyall Watson mentioned ‘off-the-record conversations with those familiar with the potato-washing work’ as being his source-material.

It makes for an alluring NDA story, but it is not factual: according to Mr. Robert Carroll (http://skepdic.com/monkey.html) after six years not all the monkeys on Koshima Islet even, saw the benefit of washing the grit off of their potatoes, let alone elsewhere ... the claim that monkeys on other islands had their consciousness raised to the high level of the potato-washing group has no basis in fact.

Mr. Markus Possel contacted Mr. Masao Kawai (one of the original primatologists):

• Mr. Markus Possel: [Are you] aware of any sweet potato washing or other skills that propagated more rapidly than would be expected by normal, individual, ‘pre-cultural propagation?
• Mr. Masao Kawai: No.
• Mr. Markus Possel: [Have you] heard any ‘anecdotes or bits of folklore’ among [your] primatologist colleagues regarding rapid behaviour propagation, and [do you] know of any contacts between Lyall Watson and [your] colleagues?
• Mr. Masao Kawai: No. [I believe] that the idea of telepathy may have been introduced by Western countries. (www.csicop.org/si/9605/monkey.html).

Undeterred by facts, the claim has lead to a burgeoning cult-movement known as ‘The Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon’. Vis:

• ‘The Japanese monkey, Macaca fuscata, had been observed in the wild for a period of over 30 years. In 1952, on the island of Koshima, scientists were providing monkeys with sweet potatoes dropped in the sand. The monkeys liked the taste of the raw sweet potatoes, but they found the dirt unpleasant. An 18-month-old female named Imo found she could solve the problem by washing the potatoes in a nearby stream. She taught this trick to her mother. Her playmates also learned this new way and they taught their mothers too. This cultural innovation was gradually picked up by various monkeys before the eyes of the scientists. Between 1952 and 1958 all the young monkeys learned to wash the sandy sweet potatoes to make them more palatable. Only the adults who imitated their children learned this social improvement. Other adults kept eating the dirty sweet potatoes. Then something startling took place. In the autumn of 1958, a certain number of Koshima monkeys were washing sweet potatoes – the exact number is not known. Let us suppose that when the sun rose one morning there were 99 monkeys on Koshima Island who had learned to wash their sweet potatoes. Let’s further suppose that later that morning, the hundredth monkey learned to wash potatoes. THEN IT HAPPENED! By that evening almost everyone in the tribe was washing sweet potatoes before eating them. The added energy of this hundredth monkey somehow created an ideological breakthrough! But notice. A most surprising thing observed by these scientists was that the habit of washing sweet potatoes then jumped over the sea – colonies of monkeys on other islands and the mainland troop of monkeys at Takasakiyama began washing their sweet potatoes. Thus, when a certain critical number achieves an awareness, this new awareness may be communicated from mind to mind. Although the exact number may vary, this Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon means that when only a limited number of people know of a new way, it may remain the conscious property of these people. But there is a point at which if only one more person tunes-in to a new awareness, a field is strengthened so that this awareness is picked up by almost everyone!’. (www.worldtrans.org/pos/monkey.html).

And again:

• ‘[The Hundredth Monkey Principal] implies that, theoretically, fundamental change can be catalysed by a small proportion of people – a 51% majority is not needed. This principle was coined during 1950s studies of Japanese macaques. A certain number of macaques on one island learned to wash yams before eating them, to protect their teeth. It was then discovered that macaques on other islands were suddenly learning this too – without inter-island contact. Thus arose the notion that a field of awareness exists, common to all macaques. When sufficiently impregnated with a new idea, this mind-field allowed other macaques to utilise that idea. Thus, things change when their morphic patterns change. Legislators, reformers and revolutionaries have all tried to change our world, yet resistance, corruption or disunity lead to unfulfilled objectives – what’s missing is a shift in the heart of humanity. What is crucial is that humanity can make such shifts only of its own free will – anything less makes new problems. At the Millennium, we know that changes are needed, but we know not how. Today, many people are conscious that things aren’t right. Not knowing where to start, we avoid starting. Psychic trash, heartache, angst and buried dreams obstruct healthy social functioning: we defend our patch against them, and we thereby misunderstand both them and us. The hundredth monkey principle suggests that our deeper psyches are implicitly connected and talk to each other. If someone gives out a strong, clear, wholesome enough message deep in their heart and soul, it is registered deep down in the world psyche. If many people do it, the signal emitted is infinitely greater than the sum total of all individual signals’. (www.newage.com.au/home/M100.html).

Editorial note: the text immediately above is no longer at that URL ... it remains here for its historical value and an example of how things come and go on the internet.

RESPONDENT: I would even venture that indigenous peoples could probably convey the fact of a connected consciousness – not just between humans but between all life. But, would the more conceptual human bother to ask and/or listen [to them]?

RICHARD: Well ... no (if by ‘the more conceptual human’ you are referring to yourself) in that it would appear that you have not ‘bothered to ask and/or listen’, or in any way demonstrated so far in your posts, investigated whether your concepts (like your ‘divided from their source mentality’ concept) are factually-based.

It seems that the motto of ‘pseudo-science’ is: do not let the facts stand in the way of the truth.

*

RESPONDENT: Maybe the non-factually-based conclusion which was arrived at in your example is an example of creating an example to prove one’s bias as well?

RICHARD: I unabashedly acknowledge my bias towards facts and actuality ... I am so hooked on facts and actuality that I can no longer see the truth. Nevertheless, will you demonstrate where the point I am making is a ‘non-factually-based conclusion’? Will you demonstrate where the facts I present are me ‘creating an example’ ?

RESPONDENT: At any rate, was there something simple you would like to start with and discuss? (Remember I have a short attention span).

RICHARD: Yes, there is indeed something simple to discuss: why does the truth need pseudo-science (misinformation and disinformation) to establish its veracity?


RESPONDENT: Richard, your post on ‘monkey business’ is interesting for me. I know what you mean with ‘pseudo-science’.

RICHARD: Good. The raison d’être of ‘pseudo-science’ is to never let the facts stand in the way of the truth.

RESPONDENT: Really I have worked with small animals on interneurons (brain paths), it was my PhD, it was a cruel nonsense, some day years ago it was so clear than I abandoned forever those paths and this university world, and so I am not now interested on arguing on experiments with animals.

RICHARD: But there is no ‘cruel nonsense’ about observing and carefully documenting the spread, from monkey to monkey, of a particular feeding behaviour within a group of macaques (rhesus monkeys) on Koshima Islet. The ‘cruel nonsense’ lies in how certain peoples have taken this scientific study and, falsifying the facts, bolstered the truth once more ... to the detriment of beginning to investigate the human condition in such a way as to bring to an end all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and sadness and loneliness and grief and depression and suicides.

Anyway, as what animals do to animals is ‘cruel nonsense’ and what animals do to humans is ‘cruel nonsense’ and what humans do to humans is ‘cruel nonsense’, why be fastidious about not discussing the ‘cruel nonsense’ that humans do to animals? It is the careful observation, recording and presentation of facts that is the issue ... not personal squeamishness and/or sentimental opinion. 160,000,000 people were killed by their fellow human beings in wars this century alone ... this is were the phrase ‘cruel nonsense’ means something.

RESPONDENT: But in that time we had wrote many papers in international high index impact journals. Also I guess you realize it is completely different publishing an anthropologic personal book and publishing a paper in a high impact journal.

RICHARD: In what way different? Are facts the basis of ‘international high index impact journals’ or not? Are facts the basis of ‘an anthropologic personal book’ or not?

RESPONDENT: Then, I am not making fun or becoming pretentious but pointing out I understand quite well what you mean and so asking you for forgetting unreal presuming affirmations like this one from No. 43 after I sent a K’s quote where a rat experiment was comment: ‘This is a trait of K-readers who generally lack academic training but presume the authority to speak on any and every subject advancing conclusions that are baseless and misleading’.

RICHARD: What is ‘unreal’ and ‘presuming’ about such a comment? Why is it important to you that I ‘forget’ it?

RESPONDENT: So Richard, I know quite well scientific national and international world, believe me or not, I am not going to argue at all on it with No. 43 or anyone other.

RICHARD: Yet I was discussing the pseudo-scientific ‘national and international world’ ... not science per se. The truth is an age-old opponent of the fact ... science, properly conducted, establishes the fact; pseudo-science, properly conducted, re-establishes the truth. Speaking personally, I prefer the authority of the fact over the authority of the truth any day.

RESPONDENT: Now, I am just interested in human brain-mind state, human conflict, my own state, and no in ‘scientific world’, something too much trivial.

RICHARD: But the point is that it is ‘pseudo-science’ that is ‘too much trivial’ – not science per se – and worse: it amounts to misinformation. Are you sure that all this you wrote above is not a way to dismiss any fact that stands in the way of the truth being perpetuated? In case you have missed it, with your blanket dismissal of science through your ‘cruel nonsense’ justification, the careful scientific observation and careful documentation of the spread, from monkey to monkey, of a particular feeding behaviour within a group of macaques (rhesus monkeys) on Koshima Islet, does not support the ‘pseudo-science’ truth about mysterious transmission ... the claim that monkeys on other islands had their consciousness raised to the level of the potato-washing monkeys has no basis in fact.

And to continue to promote this truth, after gaining access to the fact, is to deliberately spread disinformation.


RESPONDENT: Consider: if a man falls in a field, and there is no tree to hear him, does he make a sound?

RICHARD: May I ask? Are you on medication?

RESPONDENT: You really must discard the distorting filters of old-fashioned pseudo-scientific theories.

RICHARD: Who says I have them?

RESPONDENT: Why assume plants are not sentient?

RICHARD: I do not have to ‘assume’ ... plants are incapable of perception by the senses. They do not have that which has sensation or feeling. They are not that which feels or is capable of feeling. They do not have the power or function of sensation and are not characterised by the exercise of the senses. (The word ‘sentient’ comes from the Latin ‘sentire’ which means ‘feel’ from the Latin ‘sensus’ meaning ‘faculty of feeling’, ‘sensibility’, ‘mode of feeling’ and thus ‘perception’).

RESPONDENT: How does a plant feel where the light is?

RICHARD: It does not ‘feel’ as with feelings ... it is by photochemical reaction – a chemical reaction initiated by light – which will not proceed in the absence of light. Another important photochemical reaction is photosynthesis, in which the green plants produce carbohydrates and oxygen by the action of light on carbon dioxide and water.

RESPONDENT: Why does it respond to music?

RICHARD: Methinks I will let you sort that out ... you would only get offended again if I did, anyway.

RESPONDENT: Do you subscribe to a ‘mechanistic universe’ theory?

RICHARD: No ... I am an actualist.


RESPONDENT: Is there a division between the observer and the observed, fundamentally? I think what quantum physics points to is the lack of any real division between the two: there is none.

RESPONDENT No. 33: I don’t know what your educational background is, but it appears that you don’t have much understanding of quantum mechanics. I will suggest that you pick up some elementary reader on quantum mechanics and educate yourself before you make statements concerning quantum mechanics and draw inferences there from. Nowhere does quantum mechanics says that there is no real division between the observer and the observed. Despite the uncertainty principle and the wave-particle duality, quantum physics is an exact science and umpteen number of dedicated observers after making many, many observations of the behaviour of matter, fitted to rigorous mathematical models, have arrived at the principles of quantum mechanics which you seem to be referring to here, somewhat casually, in my opinion. It may take a while for you to come up to speed, but do spend some time reading some elementary high-school/college level books on quantum mechanics.

RESPONDENT: The illusion of separation is a self-propagated image of thought that creates a false sense of division between itself and the thing, between ‘me’ and the ‘other’. The existence of the illusion does prevent immediate relationship with anything because thought is acting as interference, as an interpreter of reality, instead of allowing for insight into actual existence.

RESPONDENT No. 33: This is NOT quantum mechanics and none of the conclusions that you draw above can even remotely be drawn from quantum mechanics. So, back to the basics: pick up some good college-level introductory text and educate yourself.

RESPONDENT: It is easy to mistake one’s own limited understanding for the whole picture, to mistake opinion for fact. To the mind versed in opinion, fact seems foreign.

RICHARD: I would ask whether this ‘the observer and the observed’ relationship in quantum mechanics (which relationship seems to carry more than just a little weight on this Mailing List) has any validity at all. Mr. Victor Stenger, for example, is very clear on the subject in regards to ‘conventional quantum mechanics’. Vis.:

• [quote]: ‘The seemingly profound association between quantum and mind is an artefact, the consequence of unfortunate language used by Bohr, Heisenberg and the others who originally formulated quantum mechanics. In describing the necessary interaction between the observer and what is being observed, and how the state of a system is determined by the act of its measurement, they inadvertently left the impression that human consciousness enters the picture to cause that state come into being. This led many who did not understand the physics, but liked the sound of the words used to describe it, to infer a fundamental human role in what was previously a universe that seemed to have need for neither gods nor humanity. If Bohr and Heisenberg had spoken of measurements made by inanimate instruments rather than ‘observers’, perhaps this strained relationship between quantum and mind would not have been drawn. For, nothing in quantum mechanics requires human involvement. Quantum mechanics does not violate the Copernican principle that the universe cares not a whit about the human race. Long after humanity has disappeared from the scene, matter will still undergo the transitions that we call quantum events. The atoms in stars will radiate photons, and these photons will be absorbed by materials that react to them. Perhaps, after we are gone, some of our machines will remain to analyse these photons. If so, they will do so under the same rules of quantum mechanics that operate today. (...) The overwhelming weight of evidence, from seven decades of experimentation, shows not a hint of a violation of reductionist, local, discrete, non-super-luminal, non-holistic relativity and quantum mechanics, with no fundamental involvement of human consciousness other than in our own subjective perception of whatever reality is out there. (... ...) The fact that the world rarely is what we want it to be is the best evidence that we have little to say about it. The myth of quantum consciousness should take its place along with gods, unicorns, and dragons as yet another product of the fantasies of people unwilling to accept what science, reason, and their own eyes tell them about the world’. ‘The Myth of Quantum Consciousness’; Victor J. Stenger (Professor of Physics); Published in ‘The Humanist’, May/June 1992, Vol. 53, Number 3, pp. 13-15. http://www.trancenet.org/nlp/physics/stenger.shtml

I am no physicist, and I am not particularly enamoured of quantum physics anyway, but the little I do understand of this – mostly mathematical and theoretical – physics tells me that it is the instruments which measure the sub-atomic ‘thingamajigs’ that affects these ‘thingamajigs’ being thus investigated ... not the human being (aka ‘the observer’).

*

RESPONDENT: The human being is behind the instrument, behind the measurement: as such, the instrument represents the observer.

RICHARD: Are you saying that, even if the imamate instrument is set up to measure and all the human beings then moved away – went home to bed even and slept through it all – and the inanimate instrument measured as automata in the empty laboratory, that the sub-atomic ‘thingamajigs’ would somehow suss out that ‘behind the instrument, behind the measurement’ there is a human being and somehow intuit that ‘as such, the instrument represents the observer’ ... and therefore be affected by the ‘observer’?

RESPONDENT: I don’t think science has found an independent means of observation free from this intrusion of the observer, as has been pointed out.

RICHARD: When I look at the inanimate instruments measuring ‘the observed’ on the planet Mars – and places even further removed – I do wonder how the ‘intrusion of the observer’ (the human being) can travel that far.

RESPONDENT: So some of us are saying that there is a limitation inherent to scientific observation.

RICHARD: What I am asking, then, is this: what is the nature of this limitation? What is it that the ‘observer’ does to the ‘observed’ in scientific measurements done with inanimate instruments when there are no human beings present while the measuring is going on?

RESPONDENT: Notwithstanding this fact, the individual must still ascertain the truth of the matter between the observer and the observed for himself, without the imposition of any ‘instrument’ to do so.

RICHARD: The ‘truth of the matter between the observer and the observed’ when measuring sub-atomic ‘thingamajigs’ is that, as the sub-atomic ‘thingamajigs’ exist only in the imagination of the ‘observer’ (the human being), then anything imaginable can happen ... and does. Mr Brian Pippard explains what the basic premise behind quantum mechanics is:

• [quote]: ‘the world of experience and observation is not the world of electrons and nuclei. The world of experience is in terms of visible objects, occupying definite positions at definite instants of time – in a word, the world of classical mechanics. When the atom is pictured as a nucleus surrounded by electrons ... there is no sense in which one can say that, if only a good enough microscope were available, this picture would be revealed as genuine reality. It is not that such a microscope has not been made; it is actually impossible to make one that will reveal this detail. (...) Whether electrons and nuclei have an objective existence in reality is a metaphysical question to which no definite answer can be given’. (Sir A. Brian Pippard. Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Cambridge; Cavendish Professor, 1971-82: © 1994-1998 Encyclopaedia Britannica).

Once the ‘no form’ and ‘no time’ and ‘no space’ basis of quantum mechanics is established, the mathematical processes involved unfold further mysteries accordingly. Vis.:

• [quote]: ‘The process of transformation from a classical description to an equation of quantum mechanics, and from the solution of this equation to the probability that a specified experiment will yield a specified observation, is not to be thought of as a temporary expedient pending the development of a better theory. It is better to accept this process as a technique for predicting the observations that are likely to follow from an earlier set of observations. There is, however, no doubt that to postulate their [electrons and nuclei] existence is, in the present state of physics, an inescapable necessity if a consistent theory is to be constructed to describe economically and exactly the enormous variety of observations on the behaviour of matter’. (Sir A. Brian Pippard. Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Cambridge; Cavendish Professor, 1971-82: © 1994-1998 Encyclopaedia Britannica).

Needless to say, once this ‘postulation’ is ‘accepted’ – and as ‘an inescapable necessity’ at that – then it is all to easy to predict what will happen. Vis.:

• [quote]: ‘The habitual use of the language of particles by physicists induces and reflects the conviction that, even if the particles elude direct observation, they are as real as any everyday object’. (Sir A. Brian Pippard. Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Cambridge; Cavendish Professor, 1971-82: © 1994-1998 Encyclopaedia Britannica).

Thus the sub-atomic ‘thingamajigs’ have become ‘as real as any everyday object’ ... and to a child Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny are ‘as real as any everyday object’ too. Also for a person who believes ardently in their god; for them their god is real – not actual, mind you – but real. Usually they say that their god is more real than ‘everyday reality’ ... that is how real their fervency makes of their belief.

Etymologically, ‘belief’ means ‘fervently wish to be true’.


Mr. Victor Stenger writes about the ‘holistic quantum mechanics’ advocates in rather mordant terms:

• [quote]: ‘Physicist David Bohm had proposed an alternative to the ‘Copenhagen Interpretation’ of quantum mechanics in which invisible ‘hidden variables’ were responsible for the wave-like behaviour of particles. John S. Bell showed the way to experimentally decide the issue. Now, after a series of precise experiments, the issue has been decided: the Copenhagen Interpretation quantum mechanics has been convincingly confirmed, while the most important class of hidden variables is ruled out. David Bohm, who died in October, 1992, had been the foremost proponent of a new holistic paradigm to take the place of reductionist quantum physics. The failure of his related hidden variable theory did not cause the proponents of the new continuity to loose faith. Rather they have turned the experimental confirmation of conventional quantum mechanics on its head by arguing that a basis has been found for super-luminal signals needed in a holistic universe. (...) The interpretation of quantum mechanics to which Einstein objected, and which Bohm sought to replace, still reigns supreme after being subjected to a similar period of rigorous experimental test, including the tests of Bell’s theorem. (...) Before the experimental results confirming conventional quantum mechanics came in, Bohm and his supporters had argued that conventional quantum mechanics should be discarded. Now that the results are in, the new holists argue that relativity must yield, since quantum mechanics provides a mechanism by which signals can move faster than light. Quantum mechanics is indeed ‘spooky’. So, bring out the spooks! An ethereal, universal field that allows for the simultaneous connection between events everywhere in the universe must exist after all’. ‘The Myth of Quantum Consciousness’; Victor J. Stenger (Professor of Physics); Published in ‘The Humanist’, May/June 1992, Vol. 53, Number 3, pp. 13-15. www.phys.hawaii.edu/vjs/www/qmyth.txt

I submit these quotes purely in the spirit of questioning whether quantum mechanics even remotely supports Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti’s ‘the observer is the observed’ proposal ... and not because I claim any proficiency in quantum physics whatsoever. I do note, however, that more than a few mystically inclined peoples have enthusiastically jumped upon the quantum band wagon by claiming that science now supports and proves what mystics have been saying for centuries. I also note that the recent probes to the planet Mars – and to all other destinations for that matter – were predicated upon and guided by the very ‘Copernican Principles’ and ‘Newtonian Mechanics’ and ‘Euclidean Geometries’ so scorned by the latter day ‘popular-press’ pseudo-scientists posing as quantum experts. Although I am more than willing to be advised otherwise on the matter.

RESPONDENT: The human being, when it is engaged in the activity of measuring, is also one of those measuring instruments and therefore affects that which is observed.

RICHARD: Yet the quote I provided (above) says:

• [quote]: ‘If Bohr and Heisenberg had spoken of measurements made by inanimate instruments rather than ‘observers’, perhaps this strained relationship between quantum and mind would not have been drawn. For, nothing in quantum mechanics requires human involvement’.

I took this to mean, along with many other articles I have read on quantum mechanics, that it is the inanimate instruments which measure the sub-atomic ‘thingamajigs’ that affects these ‘thingamajigs’ being thus investigated and not the human being (aka ‘the observer’) ... which is different to what you are saying (‘the human being ... is also one of those measuring instruments and therefore affects that which is observed’).

So I am still left with the question: whether quantum mechanics even remotely supports Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti’s ‘the observer is the observed’ proposal.

RESPONDENT: It is a participatory universe we live in, yes?

RICHARD: In what way ‘participatory’? This world called planet earth – and this entire infinite and eternal universe – was here long before I was born and will be here long after I am dead. It therefore irrefutably exists totally independent of me and my ‘participation’ ... let alone being affected by any of my observations and measurements or whatever antic I get up to.

How do you affect the universe? In what way do you affect the sub-atomic ‘thingamajigs’? And what sub-atomic ‘thingamajigs’ do you affect? And why? And is your affect beneficial? Or is your affect detrimental? And how do you determine the nature of this affect ... either way?

How did you find out about all this?


RICHARD: I submit these quotes purely in the spirit of questioning whether quantum mechanics even remotely supports Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti’s ‘the observer is the observed’ proposal ... and not because I claim any proficiency in quantum physics whatsoever. I do note, however, that more than a few mystically inclined peoples have enthusiastically jumped upon the quantum band wagon by claiming that science now supports and proves what mystics have been saying for centuries. I also note that the recent probes to the planet Mars – and to all other destinations for that matter – were predicated upon and guided by the very ‘Copernican Principles’ and ‘Newtonian Mechanics’ and ‘Euclidean Geometries’ so scorned by the latter day ‘popular-press’ pseudo-scientists posing as quantum experts.

RESPONDENT: I don’t think ‘quantum mechanics’ is trying to deny the validity of knowledge, only the misplaced importance science tends to give knowledge – which has proven very unfortunate indeed.

RICHARD: In what way has the ‘importance science tends to give knowledge’ been ‘misplaced’ ? What else can science give importance to except knowledge? How is it ‘very unfortunate indeed’ that knowledge be given precedence over ... um ... fantasy?

RESPONDENT: I think ‘quantum mechanics’ ties the proper place of knowledge, of matter, to a much broader spectrum of the universe, one which we have yet to fully realize.

RICHARD: Okay ... what is the nature of this ‘much broader spectrum of the universe’ (such that ‘knowledge’ and ‘matter’ must be tied to a ‘proper place’ in relation to it)? What could possibly have primacy over ‘knowledge’ and ‘matter’?

RESPONDENT: I also think it is a gross mistake for anyone to discount wholesale the work that such people as David Bohm have done in this area, work which may well prove to hold the keys to enriching our scientific understanding about how everything is interrelated.

RICHARD: Are you referring to his ‘implicit order’ wherein ‘information unfolds’ (from the region of ‘no form’ and ‘no time’ and ‘no space’) and manifests as ‘explicit order’ (into the region of time and space as form)?

It all sounds very, very familiar to me ... how will this re-hash of the ‘ancient wisdom’ possibly ‘enrich scientific understanding about how everything is interrelated’ and still remain science?

*

RICHARD: Although I am more than willing to be advised otherwise on the matter.

RESPONDENT: Let us see how one ignoramus can take it from another!

RICHARD: Oh, I am taking it very well indeed. I am also interested to find out in what way my thinking is ‘second-hand thinking’ and why my questions about the validity of ‘the observer and the observed’ relationship in quantum mechanics vis a vis Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti’s ‘the observer is the observed’ proposal is a ‘quasi-intellectual rehashing of someone else’s words’ ... as explained by yourself in another post? Also, what is this ‘predilection’ I have for ‘running off at the mouth’? Vis.:

• [Respondent]: I would call [Richard’s post] a quasi-intellectual rehashing of someone else’s words to fit one’s own predilection for running off at the mouth! Not that there isn’t some truth to it. But the way [Richard] slung those quotes around to include areas where they did not belong, to me, indicates second-hand thinking’.

What are these ‘areas’ where these quotes ‘do not belong’ ... is it an area somewhat akin to the ‘wonderland’ that one enters into when one steps through the looking-glass, perchance?


RESPONDENT No. 46: I refer you to the Heisenberg Principle as an excellent example – one cannot measure both the speed and the position of an electron simultaneously.

RICHARD: Firstly, are you saying that ‘the act of observation of an electron with an inanimate instrument perturbs the electron such that the inanimate instrument cannot completely measure both its speed and position’? Does the inanimate instrument give off ... um ... an electromagnetic field or some such similar force? If not, what is it that the inanimate instrument’s measuring activity is doing to the electron? Secondly, if I am to apply this ‘excellent example’ to a human being’s observation of themselves – as the applicable correlation – in what way does one’s observation of oneself cause what one is observing (oneself) to be perturbed? In what way, shape or form does this perturbation manifest itself? And why (as in what is the principle involved) would one be thus perturbed? And so as to be up-front as in regards myself, I have always enjoyed immensely finding out what made ‘me’ tick ... down to the finest, the most minute examination of the tiniest, the most trivial-seeming detail. After all ... it is me that gets to live this life.

RESPONDENT: I think the way in which this uncertainty (indeterminism) arises in such measurements is that matter itself has wave-like properties. These waves are too small (being in 10 to the power of -15 or so meters’ order) that they don’t interfere with ‘gross’ measurements (for example, motion of a baseball ball), but at the atomic and sub-atomic level, where the size of the particle is of the same order as the order of waves associated with the particle, it is not possible to determine simultaneously both the velocity and the position of the particle accurately.

RICHARD: I fully acknowledge there is matter such that cannot be ascertained with the naked senses and requires extensions to the senses (such as telescopes and microscopes and all the rest) but I am sure that you are aware that the ‘sub-atomic level’ is the realm of mathematical equations and has no actuality whatsoever?

RESPONDENT: At any given moment of time, the material world is but a probabilistic wave (function).

RICHARD: Yet this material world is what it irrefutably is each moment again ... there is nothing ‘probabilistic’ about actuality.

RESPONDENT: What I find intriguing is what is that gives this (apparently chaotic) mass-energy function a stability and order. I think Bohm refers to this order as the ‘implicate order’ of things.

RICHARD: His ‘implicate order’ is a dimension where there is no time or space or form ... and his ‘explicit order’ is the world of time and space and form.

RESPONDENT: In his world-view, the ultimate reality of the (material) world cannot be determined with any certainty, but the ‘implicate order’ of nature/universe can be grasped intuitively (and non-verbally).

RICHARD: Yes ... this is the same-same as ‘The Truth’ is ineffable and can only be accessed in a thoughtless mindless state.

RESPONDENT: The entity that thus grasps the ‘order’ is but that ‘order’ itself.

RICHARD: Aye ... ‘I am God’ or ‘I am That’ or (if one is really cunning): ‘There is only That’.

RESPONDENT: That is the best that I can do so far in explaining the observer-observed paradigm in Quantum Mechanics/ Bohmian terms so far. This view also seems to tally with the Vedantic view of the world (the inner reality being the same as the outer reality) that I posted on this forum two days back.

RICHARD: But of course it ‘seems to tally with the Vedantic view of the world’ because it is derived from Vedanta. In the west, the nineteenth century was optimistically called the ‘Age of Enlightenment’ (knowledge enlightenment) until eastern mystics came onto the world stage at the turn of the century with spiritual enlightenment ... busily being hell-bent on returning a burgeoning thoughtful part of humankind to the darkness of superstition. Western civilisation, which has struggled to get out of superstition and medieval ignorance, is in danger of slipping back into the supernatural as the Eastern mystical thought and belief that is beginning to have its strangle-hold upon otherwise intelligent people is becoming more widespread.

Prior to the recent influx of eastern philosophy, if one realised that ‘I am God’, one would have been institutionalised ... and, to some degree, rightly so. One has stepped out of an illusion, only to wind up living in a delusion. However, the trouble with people who discard the god of Christianity and/or Judaism is that they do not realise that by turning to the Eastern spirituality they have effectively jumped out of the frying pan into the fire. Eastern spirituality is religion ... merely in a different form to what people in the west have been raised to believe in. Eastern philosophy sounds so convincing to the western mind that is desperately looking for answers. The Christian and/or Judaic conditioning actually sets up the situation for a thinking person to be susceptible to the esoteric doctrines of the east.

It is sobering to realise that the intelligentsia of the West are eagerly following the East down the slippery slope of striving to attain to a self-seeking divine immortality ... to the detriment of life on earth. ‘Implicate order’, for example, is simply another term for ‘God’ (aka ‘The Truth’). At the end of the line there is always a god of some description, lurking in disguise, wreaking its havoc with its ‘Teachings’. I have been to India to see for myself the results of what they claim are tens of thousands of years of devotional spiritual living ... and it is hideous.

If it were not for the appalling suffering engendered it would all be highly amusing.


RESPONDENT: How can you look at yourself at the genetic level?

RICHARD: Speaking personally, in my investigations I first started by examining thought, thoughts and thinking ... then very soon moved on to examining feelings (first the emotions and then the deeper feelings). When I dug down into these passions (into the core of ‘my’ being then into ‘being’ itself) I stumbled across the instincts ... and found the origin of not only the affective faculty but the psyche itself. I found ‘me’ at the core of ‘being’ ... which is the instinctual rudimentary animal self common to all sentient beings.

RESPONDENT: Doesn’t make sense to me. It appears that you found the core of your being. The rest of it is extrapolation. Socrates is a man, all men are mortal, hence Socrates is mortal. But Socrates the mortal is not the same as Sai Baba the mortal.

RICHARD: I have never studied logic and never wish to ... I have always been a practical person. Which means: does it deliver the goods? Can you not have the objectivity of an ‘applied science’ scientist such as an engineer who has to ask: does it work?

Not that academia-land ‘pure science’ scientist who asks: is it a logical proposition?


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