Wednesday, June 20, 2018

THE PROBLEM WITH SCIENTIFIC MATERIALISM





SCIENTIFIC MATERIALISM

Before we bow down at the Alter of scientific materialism, because of the things it gives us, let’s have a look at what it really is. What we call modern science, rooted in the metaphysics of materialism, is really very new on this planet. For a brief moment in history it is like a new toy on Christmas, a shiny object distracting us from the deeper mystery of reality, and most likely a passing fancy. Science is just one result of human curiosity, a poorly organized effort to find out what nature is hiding from us.


I don’t think it was an accident that that I discovered science about the same time I discovered that girls were hiding something very exciting under their clothes. The realization that there are exotic features of reality being hidden from us, is what motivates us to find a way to uncover them. The more exotic and unbelievable they seem to be, the more excited we get!


But what happens when you uncover the reality behind a mystery? It is no longer mysterious. We may choose to be satisfied with what we’ve uncovered, --for a while-- but eventually, sooner or later, we will be motivated to probe deeper, looking for new mystery. The excitement of having a new car wears off about the time it needs new tires, new seat covers, or a new transmission.

If the universe and the opposite sex were so simple that everything could be known about them, and if we could enjoy the luxury of a true “theory of everything”, We would not be satisfied. No, in fact, we would be quite disappointed. If the materialist scientist’s theory of everything could actually be realized, and everything that could be known about reality were known, it would be like discovering that the person you thought you couldn’t live without was actually a very boring reflection of your own empty self. But True Love is forever new, forever exciting.

Fortunately, reality is not just matter and energy interracting in time and space. There is something very, very exciting hiding behind the façade of dead matter, empty space, dissipating energy, and this moment in time, and that mysterious something, that exciting essence of reality, will forever lure us on, far beyond the disappointment of the merely physical, beyond the dead end of materialism. The finite physical universe ends with the finite light-speed spin of the smallest finite quantum of mass and energy; but Reality just begins when you step into the Infinite and science merges with spirituality. 





--ERC 6/20/2018

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

IQNEXUS JOURNAL PAPER BY CLOSE AND NEPPE




A new Neppe-Close paper on Science and Spirituality has been published in the IQNEXUS Journal. The publication date is given as 06/01/18 in the journal, but it has been updated since then, and may be updated again with minor detail in the near future. To read the paper, click on iqnexus.org/Graphics/Mag/IQNJ%2010-2%202018.pdf, or copy and paste into your browser.

If this doesnt work for some unknown reason --as you may know, computers are weird and may do unexpected things,-- so just in case, here's an alternative way to access the website:

Type iqnexus.org/mag.htm or just search for IQNexus Magazine. When you reach the website, scroll down to the latest issue, Vol. 10, No. 2, and click on the picture of the magazine cover. Inside the magazine, scroll down past the Table of Contents to our article, which is the first one:

Integrating Spirituality into Science: Applying the Neppe-Close Triadic Dimensional Vortical Paradigm

I hope you enjoy it!

Monday, June 18, 2018

AWAKE

 

CONCERNING THE ROLE OF CONSCIOUSNESS IN THE UNIVERSE
After my customary 5 or 6 hours of sleep, I follow a morning routine. It consists of a series of physical, mental and spiritual exercises. I believe this routine is what keeps me feeling young and healthy. I am not fanatic about it however, I vary the routine some from day to day and may skip parts of it, or even skip it altogether, if circumstances force me to. For example, it is difficult to do certain yogic exercises on an airliner flying from the US to the Middle East or Australia.

I am always working on one or more, sometimes several, math, logic and theoretical physics problems. I don’t see anything unusual about that, it’s just who I am. And there seems to be a part of me that continues working even when my body is asleep. It is not uncommon for me to wake from a deep sleep with the solution to a problem that I have been contemplating for days, fully completed in every detail in my head.

This morning, after about six hours of sleep, I did my routine and then began to write; longhand, pen and paper. I usually transfer such writing to my computer for documentation. This was no different, and now, I’m going to share this morning’s thoughts with you here.

BELIEF AND KNOWLEDGE
Belief is a two-faced trickster! A virtual Jekyll and Hyde: Belief can help you arrive at the truth, or it can totally keep you from knowing the truth. This is so because belief in something that is false can be just as strong as belief in something that is real and true.

How can we avail ourselves of the helpful Dr. Jekyll aspect of belief, and avoid the deception of the dark side of belief, the evil Mr. Hyde? We must start by looking at the nature of belief itself in a rational, pragmatic way: Given a certain belief, call it X, is there a way to test X? Is there a way to prove either that it is valid and true, or deceptive and false? The answer is yes, and such a test is the beginning of science.
But, you maybe surprised to find that even the idea that something can be tested, i.e., be proved true or false, -that very idea itself- depends on belief: the belief that there is an undeniable bona fide REALITY, against which any belief can be evaluated and tested. But, how do we know there is such an ultimate reality?

QUESTION: Can the belief that there is an ultimate, undeniable reality be tested? The question is, how can such a basic belief be tested? Against what?

But, wait! Surely this is just silly thinking. If I believe that I can fly by flapping my arms like a bird, I can certainly test that belief by jumping off the roof, out of a tree, or off a cliff. Which do you think I am going to decide is real: the belief that I can fly, or the broken bones and bloody pain I experience at ground zero at the bottom of the cliff?

What have we learned by this round of thinking about belief? I suggest that we have learned that there can be questions that appear to be perfectly reasonable questions to ask, that cannot be answered within the framework of the logic within which the question is asked. Questioning the existence of reality within the reality we can experience and know, is an infinite descent into absurdity, like trying to prove that reality does not exist.

But this realization is not new. A brilliant mathematician named Kurt Gӧdel proved this in1931! His proof is contained in the demonstration of the truth of two mathematical statements called the Incompleteness Theorems. The essence of the meaning of the proof is that logical questions can be asked that cannot be answered within the framework of the logic within which the question is allowed.

By asking a silly question, we have uncovered a deep truth: The truth or falsity of a belief can only be tested by direct experience. When I wake up on the ground in pain, I know that I can’t fly by flapping my arms like a bird in this reality. But mainstream science ignores direct experience, avoids it like the plague, as something subjective, and therefore unreal and untestable.

Mainstream science is based for the most part, on a firm belief in physicalism, better known as the doctrine of materialism, which says that everything can be explained as the result of matter and energy interacting in space and time, or in Minkowski space-time as updated by the theory of relativity. This belief system, a virtual religion for some, holds that consciousness is an epiphenomenon of matter and energy, and that without the existence of certain complex physical structures, consciousness simply does not exist. But this is a belief that is not provable within the physicalist paradigm, because a universe without consciousness cannot be investigated without consciousness. Because of this, materialism is unscientific, because for a hypothesis to be scientific, it must be falsifiable, and reality without consciousness cannot be verified without the existence of consciousness.

Let’s see if we can learn anything by asking another silly question:

WHAT IS CONSCIOUSNESS?
When one decides to study science, as I did, one is told about the scientific method (something that almost no scientist actually uses). We are taught how to observe, weigh, measure and question in a way that insures that we will be led to find what the instructors want us to find. If we find something different, we have to do the experiment over until we get the desired results.

But, this observing, measuring and questioning involves standing apart from that which we observe and measure. It is this forced separation, which is mistaken for and conflated with objectivity, that makes it so difficult for us to actually know anything! It is this imagined objectivity that leads us to ask such an absurd question as “What is Consciousness?” It is this pseudo-scientific method that causes us to believe that if we have a name for something, we actually know what it is! But having a word for consciousness does not mean that we know what it is. To begin with, consciousness is not a what.

When I entered the academic world in the 1950s, as a physics major, I was taught that real science consisted of the mathematically exact discipline of physics and maybe, somewhat peripherally, its less exact stepchild, chemistry. This teaching was not overt, but it was implied. Real science involved objectively observing, weighing and measuring real things, activities that required the use of mathematical tools such as algebra, trigonometry and integral and differential calculus.

Less demanding, and more logically vague disciplines like geology and biology involved little or no knowledge of complex mathematics, just the observation and labeling of things. From the viewpoint of physics, they were not real sciences, they were more or less hobbies, like collecting stamps or butterflies. Psychology was a pseudo-science with ramblings about vague things like feelings and emotions, things that could not be weighed or measured with any exactitude. And parapsychology, ostensibly invented by some wacky Englishmen, and just being introduced in the US by J.B. Rhine at Duke University, should be dismissed as fantasy, bordering on lunacy. ---Some scientists still see things this way.

So, as a budding physicist, I knew that I had to have a working knowledge of mathematics. But when I turned to the serious study of mathematics, by the time I had earned a degree in the subject, I realized that applied mathematics, the handy tool for dealing with the quantification of things, actually depends on real mathematics: Underlying applied math is a mathematical logic more basic than the counting numbers, rational fractions and transcendental numbers, and the fundamental operations of arithmetic. I found that real mathematics was far more interesting than the simple tools that scientists were using for solving quantifiable problems like the balancing of chemical equations or determining the parabolic flight-path of a rocket. I was excited that there was a deeper form of mathematics that depends upon finite distinctions drawn by conscious beings. I realized that at the root of real science lay the undeniably real functioning of consciousness. The reality we experience, is a world created by the conscious drawing of distinctions.

Once you realize that consciousness is, as Max Planck declared, the reality from which all things arise, including matter, energy, space and time, you know that the question “What is consciousness?”- A seemingly straight-forward reasonable question, is one of Gӧdel’s ‘unanswerable’ questions; that is, it is a question that cannot be answered within the framework of the logical system within which it is asked. So, does this mean that it can never be answered? No, we cannot jump that conclusion, because there may be another logical framework, expanded beyond the simple calculus of applied mathematics, a different paradigm, within the question can be answered.

In the prevalent materialistic paradigm, consciousness can have no meaning or independent existence of its own. If matter and energy, time and space are all there is, then the existence of life and consciousness are complete mysteries because there is no mechanism by which matter can become conscious, and even if there were, consciousness could not exist without a physical vehicle. But, I have direct evidence that this is not true.

I have direct experience of evidence that consciousness does not depend on the existence of matter and energy alone. I have had, as have many other people, the direct experience of my consciousness and other forms of consciousness existing independent of physical bodies. Let me be clear: I have experienced being consciously outside of my physical body, observing, without the benefit of physical eyes, things that were verified after I returned to my body. Not only that, the application of the calculus of dimensional distinctions, as posted in this blog, as well as in a number of peer-reviewed publications, proves that consciousness is fundamental and primary. Some form of consciousness had to exist before any finite distinction, specifically particles emerging from the big bang, could ever become stable enough to form atoms and life-supporting chemical compounds.

The knowledge that consciousness is primary makes asking the question about what consciousness is, completely improper. Like a fish in water, we are immersed in consciousness, and in addition to that, since consciousness is primary, everything is derived from consciousness, and our essence is consciousness. As consciousness embedded in consciousness, we have nothing with which to compare consciousness because we have no direct experience of anything other than consciousness.

Is it not curious that materialist scientists see it as their primary purpose to prove that the universe has no purpose, and that materialist psychologists and philosophers think hard to prove that thoughts are not real, and believe firmly that beliefs are meaningless? When will they wake and realize that their own consciousness is real and that it is part of a Greater Consciousness: The Infinite Reality that is manifested finitely as the physical universe?


Ed  Close 06/18/2018

Saturday, June 9, 2018

COMING HOME





COMING HOME!

Suddenly awake, I see soft light,

Billowing like an angel’s wings,


Unfolding now, within my sight.

Breath stops; and my heart sings.


I see the form of God’s White Dove

Descend, oh so softly, from above,


Two eyes become a single one,

Shining brighter than the sun,


Completely filling all I see,

As I expand away from me:


Soaring out through time and space,

I’m free, free, at last, to run the race


Across the universe of galaxies and quantum foam,

Bound for long eternities, I’m finally coming home,


Drawn in by the guiding light of the Holy Spirit’s Dove,

Into the joyful Realm of Peace, and God’s Eternal Love!

ERC 05/08/2018

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

EXPLORE THE MIND




COME EXPLORE THE PHENOMENA OF MIND
What do I mean by “the phenomena of mind”? I’m talking about mind as I experience it, of course, i.e., what I think of as my mind, because that is the mind I know. But, why would I be egoistic and self-centered enough to think that you might want to explore the phenomena of  my mind? What is different about my mind? Is it really worth spending your precious time and energy to try to learn about things that I have thought about or may be thinking? --Maybe.

In 1958, I had the rare privilege of visiting for a brief while with a man who, my friend, who introduced me to him, said was over 100 years old at the time. He was known as Dr. Mahija. I was an undergraduate college student, and because I was impressed with Dr. Mahija’s wisdom and knowledge, I expressed a desire to return and learn from him. His response was: “You can do as you wish, but I’ve found that most people know far too much to learn anything from me!”

More than 60 years later, being a senior citizen myself now, I appreciate the truth Dr. Mahija spoke that day far better than I did then: Most people are not interested in what you or I think. Most people are pretty much closed-minded and self-absorbed. That is only natural, however, because, after all, for most of us, it is our own life and immediate family and friends that are important to us and our happiness and success, or failure and frustration as human beings.

There is no denying that your own consciousness is all that you normally experience directly. Everything else, you must learn about very indirectly through reading, hearing, and a process of observation and inference. Images of the rest of Reality, the reality that exists outside of your own mind, is automatically filtered through the lenses of your own belief system, a unique system that has been carefully crafted by acceptance of authority, and to some extent, by your individual efforts to think about the world and your place in it.

That which does not appear to be understandable within your belief system, is generally ignored or rejected by your brain in such a definite way that you will give it no credence, and you may never even remember that you encountered it at all.  We’ve read, for example, of aboriginal tribes living on remote islands, who literally could not see massive sea-going vessels that anchored near their islands, because their brains had no images in them with which to compare these huge objects, and so their minds simply rejected the alien images as meaningless.

As human beings, our perceptions are very limited. We are only capable of seeing a very thin band of the spectrum of electromagnetic energy, and of hearing only a very limited range of vibratory sound. If, suddenly, we were able to see and hear the vibrational frequencies generated by things that exist in dimensional domains beyond those to which our physical senses have access, then, like the aborigines, our brains would ignore and/or reject the images generated by those unfamiliar energies, and remain ignorant of  the existence of the things that generated them. The human brain, and perhaps those of other sentient creatures, for purposes of creature comfort, protection and survival, are designed to fill in, and even pave over, i.e., replace, unknown images created by what we perceive, with images with which we are already familiar.

Among the 370-plus posts in my Transcendental Physics blog there are discussions, papers, proofs, poems, and ideas that I think may appeal to many. There are posts that will strike a familiar chord with you, and there may be things that will have no meaning for you, but I believe that there may be some things there that are important for you to know about, some things that are real, but that you might never encounter elsewhere. But just my belief that this is the case is probably not enough to motivate you to explore very many of the posts to be found there. Why should my posts be any more important or meaningful than the millions of other well-developed ideas and concepts that are out there to  be found on the internet today? I’ll try to answer that question in the following way:

Almost ten years ago, when I was 72, I learned that I had a gift. It  was a gift that, apparently, I had had all my life, but a gift I didn’t really know about. By a gift, I mean something one is ostensibly born with, that is so rare and highly developed, that it is far beyond that which the average person can experience. It seems that I had an extraordinarily high IQ. Not just a MENSA-level mental acuity, but a one-in-a-billion, extremely rare intellectual gift.

In my opinion, it was a blessing that I never knew that I was exceptionally gifted until late in life, because I’ve seen what happens when one person or a group of people come to believe that they are superior to everyone else. I lived through World War II, all the wars we’ve been involved in since, and more recently through the rise of political correctness. Belief in the absolute superiority of a person or group of people over everyone else, is very dangerous, and absolutely crippling for individuals, society and the progress of civilization in general.

Our country was founded on the idea that absolute power corrupts absolutely. The idea that there are kings, persons of royal blood, or divine descent, who by virtue of their inherent superiority, are entitled to tell the rest of us what to think, say and do, was rejected by our forefathers, who left other parts of the world, primarily Europe, to escape such tyranny.

The statement that "All men are created equal" was a basic part of the philosophy of those setting up the government of the United States of America. Historians have called it “the most important single phrase" of the American Revolution. Thomas Jefferson used the phrase in the U.S. Declaration of Independence, the declaration of independence from the British Empire. He committed it to paper in 1776 at the beginning of the American Revolution. After that, it was quoted in writings and speeches by many of the most important people in the early political and social life of our nation. The final form of the phrase was penned by Benjamin Franklin. His wording of the idea appears in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence as follows:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
But, what do these words actually mean? What did they mean to Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin? What did they mean to the King of England? What are they interpreted to mean today?
When these words were written, only 242 years ago, New England was dominated by a group of wealthy men, i.e., men who owned property. This group of men, to which Jefferson and Franklin belonged, were declaring their independence from the oppressive rule of the King of Britain and Ireland, King George III. Most of these men, including Jefferson and Franklin, in addition to owning real estate, also owned slaves.
The safety and well-being of women, children and the elderly, in an often-hostile environment, was the responsibility of these men, a responsibility which they took very seriously. While family members were not considered “property” in the same sense that houses, land, livestock, and slaves were, they were not considered equal to the men either. In the early days of our country, women, children, slaves and men without property were not entitled to vote. That right was reserved for property-holders, i.e. men, who, had a significant stake in the future of the country because they owned part of it.
Before you condemn these slave-owning men who were the founders of our country, bear in mind that this was a huge and important step away from the conditions prevalent in the rest of the world, where virtually no one had any rights except those granted to them by the ruling class of kings and priests, who were believed to be anointed and ordained by God to rule over them. In the many Kingdoms around the world, everything belonged to the ruling class, including even the subjects who were allowed to inhabit the kingdoms, and their personal circumstances, good or bad, were meted out solely at the pleasure of kings and priests. And our founding fathers didn’t invent slavery. Slavery existed throughout the rest of the world. It began in the dawn of human history as the practice of conquerors forcing the conquered to do the manual labor required to repair the ravages of war and to maintain the empire thus established.
Today, we’d like to believe that the idea that “all men are created equal” refers to not just men, but at least to all human beings, maybe even to all living things in some sense. But we also have to recognize that this equality can probably only be true in some sort of spiritual, or overall potential sense, not in the literal sense of physical or mental traits. Clearly, most of us were never physically equal, at birth, or any other time, to Shaquille O’Neil, nor are any of us intellectually equal to Albert Einstein or other geniuses of the past, or present. Jefferson and Franklin were not stupid men; they could look around and see that there were others who were their superiors in any number of ways. With these words, however, they were expressing an ideal upon which they believed a better government could be established.
To be gifted physically or mentally does not make one intrinsically superior to anyone else. But everyone should be free to use and develop their own unique gifts to the maximum extent possible in his or her lifetime, otherwise such gifts are wasted. But no one should be condemned or looked down upon for their gifts or lack thereof: Prejudice and reverse prejudice are two sides of the same evil coin, and should not be the basis of condemnation or avoidance.
So, please have a look at the ideas, poems, discussions, cogitations and proofs recorded in my blog, with an open mind. Maybe you’ll find something of value there. Please read and consider as many of them as you will. I don’t claim to be all-knowing or infallible. The possession of the gift of a  high level of intelligence does not preclude error or fallacy. The smartest person in the world can still be wrong, and wisdom is often simple and plain. But civilization moves forward with the fuel of new ideas, and my blog posts contain some new ideas, including the discovery of the mathematical and physical necessary of the existence of a non-physical aspect of reality we call gimmel. Each post in the blog has a list of Key Words and Phrases. Type in those that are of interest into the search box, or make up some of your own, and explore!
I will appreciate any feedback, questions and comments, positive or negative.
--Edward R. Close 6/6/2018

Sunday, June 3, 2018

THINK THE UNTHINKABLE






TO THINK THE UNTHINKABLE
The Sabbath is the time to reflect, to think of God and perhaps of the deeper truths of the Reality we experience. Pause for a moment and imagine the unimaginable: What if you didn’t exist? Can you imagine a world without you in it? It is reasonable to believe that the world existed long before you were born, and will continue to exist after you die. But, can you prove that it did, or that it will? Is it possible that you have always existed in some form?

I’ve seen my great-grandfather’s German Bible with his name and the date in the 1800’s inscribed on the overleaf, and I’ve read a message that was jotted in the margin of a book in 1637. I’ve seen Egyptian hieroglyphs and cartouches carved in stone; I’ve seen petroglyphs scratched in cliffs by stone-age people, and I’ve seen fossils encased in Ordovician geologic formations. But who’s to say it wasn’t me, or some spark of the consciousness that now inhabits my body that wrote those lines, or carved those petroglyphs? Who’s to say my bones weren’t among those that sank to the bottom of a shallow sea 400-plus million years ago? Perhaps all these memories are recorded in the DNA of our cells, the DNA scientists call “junk” because they don’t know what it is there for.

-Think the unthinkable-

I look out over a deep green valley and marvel at the beauty; trees waving in the summer breeze, white clouds on the horizon, the sun gleaming on flowing water far below. And nearby, the soft gurgling of a cool, clear spring. I ask myself: how many have marveled at the beauty of this scene, or another like it, in the past? But, were not those souls the same as mine? Who’s to say that they weren’t me in another form? 

-Think the unthinkable-

ERC 6/3/18


PEACE AT THE HEART OF REALITY



PEACE BEYOND UNDERSTANDING
In the beauty of nature, in the depths of Reality, find timeless peace beyond understanding, a knowing that transcends sensations and thought. Discover the door in your consciousness, the link between science and spirituality. Feel free to browse the archives of this blog of over 370 posts to find discussions of this link. Scroll down to “THE UNIVERSE IS GOD’S ULTIMATE MAGIC TRICK’ AND “GIMMEL, LIFE AND CONSCIOUSNESS” Type words like Science and Spirituality, Gimmel, Proof of the Existence of God, etc.