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Everything posted by goldglow

  1. When,one way or another, most of our daily choices are, for the most part, quite trivial, does it really matter too much how or why we make those simple choices? Witnessing the heart-shredding anguish of those poor parents in Manchester and wherever else children are slaughtered, perhaps the only choice of any real consequence in life, when we are able to make a sane choice, is just to do no harm.
  2. Great link. Thanks. He can even make rubber-bands interesting!
  3. Yes.Thanks. To me, the canvas is our daily life, and whatever we are inside ourselves is what we add to that canvas - for better or worse. Thanks, too, for the Feynman post: he talks a great deal of good sense.
  4. It's clear to me that the only possible " canvas " we have to work on is each moment of our daily life, and whatever we are within ourselves is the colour we add to that canvas. Life is our relationship with each other and the world,and, as sane and sensible adults,when able to act rationally and make our own choices, whatever we bring to that relationship, be it love or hatred, order or disorder, kindness or cruelty, tolerance or intolerance, peace or conflict, or whatever else, is entirely our own responsibility: what we are within ourselves is what we project onto the world. Chaos within creates chaos without: look around around the world today and you'll see what that means. Peace without can only come from peace within.
  5. You're forgiven. Ha ha! Please don't get me wrong - i love science, but a purely scientific interpretation of the physical world just isn't fulfilling enough for me.
  6. Keats was actually complaining about philosophy, not science, when he wrote that: " Philosophy will clip an Angel's wings........and .....unweave a rainbow. " He also studied medical science for many years so i think we can give him some credence. I certainly wouldn't call him an idiot.
  7. For certain, we can philosophize about life, and philosophy has been a great help to me in my own life. Philosophers, poets and scientists, too, have long been trying to to give a clear, satisfying explanation for, and a description of, Life; but however sound the logic, however beautiful the poetry, however clever the science, the description is never actually the the thing described: the word " table " is not the table. Perhaps i should have been clearer when using the words " religious experience ". I didn't mean " religious " as in belonging to a religion,but " religious " as it derives from the Latin " religare " which, in one sense, means "bound together ". So when i say Life is the religious experience,i mean that i see Life as one whole movement in time and space, inclusive of everything. Yes, then,philosophy is a part of that experience, but is not the be all and end all of it. These are just my thoughts, though; i certainly don't see myself as an authority in these matters.
  8. I can appreciate this too, Prometheus: everything that exists in our universe is, in essence, a different expression of, and from, the same source. Some things occur naturally, others are man-made fabrications, but everything from a pen to a shoe, from a daffodil to a lobster, from an amoeba to a coral-reef, from an eyelash to Enceladus, even the universe itself ,has this common source, whatever that source is, or however science and/or religion try to explain that source. Nothing that exists is separate from the universe, and all exist in the same moment of time and space, and each part of the universe is the universe, just as each drop of sea-water is the sea, so i think we can be justified in saying that a pen or a shoe, or anything else is, in essence, the universe, regardless of scale. If i look at you and you look at me, isn't that the universe looking at itself? So, in this respect, i can agree with Randolpin and his ballpen. I think there is a " Catch 22 " situation here: if you believe in a god, you have to believe unconditionally that he created the universe, otherwise he cannot be god. Religiously-minded people may therefore see science as a threat to their belief-system, while scientists may see religion as irrelevant to the search for scientific understanding, so there is a conflict of interests. For myself, i think of life itself as being the religious experience and science is a part of that, but science cannot give all the answers and religion cannot give all the reasons, and some things may always be a mystery. Religion can't hide behind blind faith but science musn't reduce life to nothing but it's functions - " unweave the rainbow ", as the poet John Keats said. Another poet, Walt Whitman, in " Leaves of Grass ", wrote of how he left a tiring lecture on astronomy, wandered off into the night and "Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars ". Science can tell us how the stars came to be, but cannot tell us why we find them beautiful.
  9. Question answered. Thank you, Strange. ( And Mr. Lagrange! ).
  10. It's highly improbable, but i'm thinking of a binary star system wherein both stars are identical in all properties,( size, mass etc. ), but just not near enough to cause each other any gravitational disturbance or exchange of matter, and a planet is situated exactly at the barycenter of the two stars and , so, in effect, the stars are orbiting the planet ( sorry Copernicus! ). Would that planet be completely immobile in space and/or affected in other ways by the gravity of those stars?
  11. DrmDoc, please tell me if i've understood this correctly: Is it that, without the subconscious as a " go-between ", there would be no interaction of the conscious/unconscious brain functions? Yes: reading books or newspapers, i have often " read " a word in my mind that, looking back,wasn't the word on the page. Read your post a few times, TAR, and i would only add one thing: that conscious thought can also be abstract, not completely tied to the needs of survival. Apart from that, i agree with just about everything else. The apparatus of consciousness is the same for everyone, and much of it's content has common elements like hopes, dreams, ambitions, loves and fears etc, and we just add those personal ingredients that make up our unique selves: there are a lot of stations/channels showing similar shows, but we make, and mostly watch, our own programs. Memory is indeed imperfect, too - it is ,after all, imprinted on matter, which can easily be damaged, or simply deteriorate with time.The whole of Life, near or far, is in each passing moment and we just have to live that moment as best we can, with the help of every tool at our disposal, including that same " bevy " of senses, perceptual systems and brain cells. The honey? Take a tip from Winnie the Pooh and float beneath balloons, but take heed: " When you go after honey with a balloon, the great thing is not to let the bees know you're coming."
  12. I don't doubt for a moment,TAR,that you saw something in that driveway years ago, or that your then future brother-in-law has different recollections of what happened - my sister and i have very different memories of growing up in the same house together and of going to the same school at the same time. Police often tell,too,of eye-witnesses giving conflicting accounts of the same incidents. I've never had any " supernatural " experiences like that myself, but i would never scoff at anyone who says they have. I recall that, many years ago, shortly after my mother died, her young grandson, then about 3, was alone in our kitchen and, from another room, we could hear him talking as though he was having a conversation with someone; when he came in to us, we asked him who he'd been talking to, and he simply replied " Granny ", and went off to play with his toys. As that great genius Shakespeare wrote ( in Hamlet ): "There are more things in heaven and earth... than are dreamt of in your philosophy. " Having said all that, i'm still not convinced that we inherit memories, and from them our choices: i had to learn the language that my parents already knew how to speak, and picked up their accents at the same time. I had to learn,also, the traditions, customs and social mores of my town and country etc. though that didn't mean i would to conform to them if i " chose " not to do so: we all know that teenagers often " rebel " against the choices their parents or society try to impose on them. As an adult now, i " know " it isn't wise to pull a cat's tail, but unthinking toddlers wouldn't, and soon learn from their own painful consequences - not from my own painful memory of having done just that when i was a child. Specifically, i think the wheel arose from the ancient practice of using a " carpet " of logs, on top of which a sled would be laid and then pushed along the logs, with the logs at the back being constantly moved to the front of the " carpet " as the sled progressed. This was the method used then to transport large, heavy objects over land. I imagine that the poor fellow who had to keep moving the logs from back to front would take a rest, massage his back, rub his brow, grumble a bit and think: " There must be an easier way to do this! ". So, as you said, the perception of rolling logs provided the inspiration for the wheel,but that perception was actual, not a prefabricated memory, and the wheel was an " unknown " innovation.
  13. Very helpful reply. Thanks again, Strange.
  14. If i get up out of my chair and cross the room to open a window and then go back and sit down in the same chair again , taking about 20 seconds, is it sensible to say i have not, and cannot return, to the same space/time? Chronological time on my clock has obviously changed, but can i then say that the space i was in, before i got up to open the window, has changed too? Sorry if that's a naive question.
  15. Considered it TAR, and my logic still tells me i can't have a memory of something i haven't experienced. If i could, wouldn't my brain be swamped with millions of memories swirling around in everyone's head since Lucy was a girl? I had no memory of flying in an airplane until i had flown in one. Again, honeysuckle might smell lovely, but i wouldn't know until i smelled it - i can't smell someone else's memory of the honeysuckle perfume. Past generations, too, may have seen clouds before, but they didn't see the moving, changing clouds i saw today with my eyes. We may all have a common ancestry, but Lucy's consciousness isn't my consciousness: i have very fond memories of working on a traveling fair in America - i didn't get those from Lucy, or anyone else. Your post was really good, but i think we will have to agree to disagree. P.S. Was it " say "?
  16. If i'm wrong, i'm wrong, but are you really saying that you think the memory comes before the experience? So you knew what curry tasted like before you ate it, you knew what a tree looked like before you saw one, you could sing your national anthem before you heard it, you knew what wool felt like before you felt it and you knew what hydrogen sulphide smelled like before you smelled it ? By the same token, you knew what was in my post before i posted it, and chose to reply to it before you'd read it.
  17. Having digested the posts, i would suggest now, for myself at least, that the conscious/unconscious relationship is reciprocal, wherein i consciously make the first, original, subjective choices based on perception and, i hope, intelligence. These choices are then stored as memory in the objective unconscious which, in turn, " reminds " me of these choices when necessary. Without the conscious participation, nothing could be added to the unconscious, or come from the unconscious and, without the unconscious participation, i would not be able to recall my former choices, or any of my experiences. So, i can only say, in my (vain) opinion, that freedom of choice - if i am right, of course, is not an illusion.
  18. Thanks for the replies. All appreciated.
  19. Are encrypted files in my computer safe from cyber attacks of this kind?
  20. Good point. Though i think that the genetically inherited potentiality of the conscious/unconscious relationship is likely to be similar for everyone,the actual physical mechanism could definitely vary from person to person. After all, the brain is a delicate organism vulnerable to birth-defects or physical injury or a serious chemical imbalance, which could impair this relationship. Lack of proper education, too, or an exclusive indoctrination, would have a great affect on what is there in the unconscious, waiting to be accessed by the conscious. E.g. , the " brain-washing " of so-called religious cults, turning people into the unthinking machines of a single overarching idea which permeates the unconscious and so, in turn, the conscious mind.
  21. There is a lot to be agreed upon in these posts. No, we aren't " privy " to the action of the unconscious, only aware of the finished result of that action when it enters our perceiving conscious. Essentially,while the unconscious is working away " beneath " the threshold of consciousness, the perceiving consciousness can deal with outward perceptions and conscious thought until the response from the unconscious " rises " into consciousness. For both mechanical processes to go on at the same time, they must take place in different parts of the brain, and it seems that the unconscious part can reach the conscious part but not vice-versa, despite our synapses and neurotransmitters, ( is there some kind of one-way " butterfly " valve involved? ), and the unconscious, being dominant,can interrupt the conscious processes when necessary. So, even though the unconscious is mechanically more dominant,we must remember that it is not all-knowing or infallible and we can't rely on it to be omniscient all the time. I imagine the unconscious as a library where all our knowledge is stored in " books " of memory. We can't get into the library, so we have to leave it to the librarian to find the relevant book we need at that precise moment. Sometimes the book is found immediately, sometimes it's harder to find, especially if the library is large; sometimes we may even receive the wrong book. Once we have the book, however, the conscious mind can read it . Once read, it can go back to the library.
  22. If active,conscious perception is a mechanical process of the experiencing brain, then there is sometimes a need for conscious thought to interact with that process. So ,if thought does spring from the unconscious, then it is obviously the unconscious interacting with the perceived world, through the medium of conscious thought: e.g. if i see someone in the street, to simple mechanical perception it could be anyone, but my unconscious recognizes that someone and tells me " That's my sister ". But, without that mechanical perception, there is no outer world for the unconscious to interact with, so i think it must be a symbiotic relationship between perception and the unconscious.
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