Message Boards Message Boards

Science and Meditation

Sam Harris - Very Bad Wizards Podcast

Toggle
Sam Harris - Very Bad Wizards Podcast
Answer
12/17/14 4:45 PM

RE: Sam Harris - Very Bad Wizards Podcast
Answer
12/17/14 5:27 PM as a reply to AugustLeo.
You need to choose to practice meditation to be able to observe that you didnt have a choice in the manner. Its odd that you can observe that you dont have a choice.
PS
Can also add that if there is no choice why is Harris so mad at islamists? They didnt have a choice in the matter to blow things up or not. It was out of their hands. They do what they are suppose to do according to the circumstances. Also since hes proponent of torture for information, is it right to torture people who didnt have a choice? Or is torture not a choice either. Its just a consequence according to circumstances. Free will does not exist. Long live freedom from choice.
PPS
If the mind suffers from the non-choices the brain made, it gets a little odd. Torture the body, to punish the mind, that didnt make the choice, in hopes that the unconsciousness reveals the information.

RE: Sam Harris - Very Bad Wizards Podcast
Answer
12/18/14 4:07 AM as a reply to Andreas.
Andreas:
You need to choose to practice meditation to be able to observe that you didnt have a choice in the manner. Its odd that you can observe that you dont have a choice.
PS
Can also add that if there is no choice why is Harris so mad at islamists? They didnt have a choice in the matter to blow things up or not. It was out of their hands. They do what they are suppose to do according to the circumstances. Also since hes proponent of torture for information, is it right to torture people who didnt have a choice? Or is torture not a choice either. Its just a consequence according to circumstances. Free will does not exist. Long live freedom from choice.
PPS
If the mind suffers from the non-choices the brain made, it gets a little odd. Torture the body, to punish the mind, that didnt make the choice, in hopes that the unconsciousness reveals the information.
Our limited intelligence may have an irrational idea of what freedom and choice is. It may be inevitable for intelligence to become aware of an infinite range of inevitable options from which to respond and react to. To a more limited awareness such an intelligence may seem to be free/er, as it's own cannot see that unlimited range of inevitable options and may even fantasize that that more aware intelligence is metaphysically free of it's body.  

I don't blame him for being mad at Islamists. after all a belief system that veils it's women, censors education and dictates how people live in the privacy of their own home is radical shit and needs to get it's head read or it'll just keep breeding control freaks who use those insane beliefs to rationalise their inhumane crimes. Islam is a dead weight to humanity.      

RE: Sam Harris - Very Bad Wizards Podcast
Answer
12/18/14 9:44 AM as a reply to Alin Mathews.
There is a story about zen master Bokuju.
Bokuju was walking down the street, suddenly a man showed up and beat him to the ground with a stick. When people around them noticed the man dropped his stick and ran away. Bokuju saw that the man dropped the stick and picked it up and ran after him shouting, "you forgot your stick". When he catched up he gave the man his stick back. When people asked why he wasnt mad, Bokuju answered there is no difference between this man beating me with a stick and if it had fallen from a tree on my head.

RE: Sam Harris - Very Bad Wizards Podcast
Answer
12/18/14 10:52 AM as a reply to Andreas.
Andreas:

Can also add that if there is no choice why is Harris so mad at islamists? They didnt have a choice in the matter to blow things up or not. It was out of their hands.
Harris also doesn't have a choice!

RE: Sam Harris - Very Bad Wizards Podcast
Answer
12/18/14 1:04 PM as a reply to Andreas.
Andreas:
There is a story about zen master Bokuju.
Bokuju was walking down the street, suddenly a man showed up and beat him to the ground with a stick. When people around them noticed the man dropped his stick and ran away. Bokuju saw that the man dropped the stick and picked it up and ran after him shouting, "you forgot your stick". When he catched up he gave the man his stick back. When people asked why he wasnt mad, Bokuju answered there is no difference between this man beating me with a stick and if it had fallen from a tree on my head.

that analogy doesn't make sense. you can't give a stick back to a tree so it can fall on someones head again but Bokuju would give a gun back to a madman so he can shoot 150 kids again. Is he perhaps from a country that's overpopulated and deforested because its uneducateable or simply not using its intelligence? 

I think Sam Harris means we don't have 'absolute' freedom of choice, as that is what most people equate freedom with. but i don't think he is saying we have to remain a stick subject to gravity or an instinctively reactive animal either. he's interested in the awakening of intelligence which, from my own experience, can override instinctive reactions and reveal more benign options.  

RE: Sam Harris - Very Bad Wizards Podcast
Answer
12/18/14 12:49 PM as a reply to Andreas.
Andreas:
There is a story about zen master Bokuju.
Bokuju was walking down the street, suddenly a man showed up and beat him to the ground with a stick. When people around them noticed the man dropped his stick and ran away. Bokuju saw that the man dropped the stick and picked it up and ran after him shouting, "you forgot your stick". When he catched up he gave the man his stick back. When people asked why he wasnt mad, Bokuju answered there is no difference between this man beating me with a stick and if it had fallen from a tree on my head.




You and I clashed on the matter of Islam and Harris takes on it before. It seems that you didn’t bother listen to the podcast. Harris makes the exact same point in regards to hatred. To use his example, it makes no more sense to hold on the emotion of hate toward the person that has rapped our children than to hate a polar bear that would have mauled them. It might be a natural emotion.  This emotion might point at something inside us in needs of being processed and so forth, but the personal suffering that comes with the emotion of hate, detached of how we response to it, is of no fundamental value (the hosts of the show, a psychologist and a philosophy teacher, think otherwise, and that might say something of the state of those academic fields).

From Harris points of view, someone that ends up a suicide bomber is nothing more than an incredibly unlucky person subject to his genetic and social conditioning. Still, that doesn’t mean we cannot discuss those conditioning, how they arises, what potentiate them, etc.
Hatred is fundamentally a human emotion that finds his way in all sort of manners, piggyback on a vast array of ideologies, religious identities, national identities, family ties, etc. For instance, I have been raise in Quebec where there is a nationalism movement build around the French Canadian identity, and I have seen many instances of hatred for the “English” to find his way in this movement, and even being a very strong motivation, sometimes the sole motivation, for some.

Its turns out that at this point in history, there are significant strands and interpretations of Islam that have become quite efficient vehicles for hatred and potentiate tribal clash around the world. It isn’t helping much Sunnis and Shiite to find common ground. It isn’t helping much the various ethnic groups of Pakistan at harmonizing their relationship. There is a value in investigating why this is so. Isn’t religion supposed to help us live in harmony? What’s the core ideas that are worth sharing and would drive the world in toward less suffering? To what extend the idea of harmony is to be found in Islam? Is it conditional peace? Is it a peace that can only be achieved if everyone submit to a particular belief, or accept a specific authority? Are there wisdom that are less convoluted, wisdom that allow for a great deal of free thinking? Any idea that we promote is potentially, if not fundamentally, in opposition to some other idea. So, any assertion in this world will come with some implicit criticism, and thinking otherwise would be naïve. It can seems like a double-edge sword. How can we promote harmony by being critical? Unless we give up entirely the enterprise of promoting harmony and go live in cave, we are bound to play that game.

RE: Sam Harris - Very Bad Wizards Podcast
Answer
12/18/14 4:28 PM as a reply to Simon T..
Simon T.:

You and I clashed on the matter of Islam and Harris takes on it before. It seems that you didn’t bother listen to the podcast. Harris makes the exact same point in regards to hatred. To use his example, it makes no more sense to hold on the emotion of hate toward the person that has rapped our children than to hate a polar bear that would have mauled them. It might be a natural emotion.  This emotion might point at something inside us in needs of being processed and so forth, but the personal suffering that comes with the emotion of hate, detached of how we response to it, is of no fundamental value (the hosts of the show, a psychologist and a philosophy teacher, think otherwise, and that might say something of the state of those academic fields)

I must have missed it. But I can discuss anything that I'd like from what Iheard. I know he makes similar statements about locking people up, not for what they have done but for what they might. Not for punishment but for protection.
Also we didnt clash. I asked about how he viewed sufism you replied. You are clashing into me now due to you seeming to react very emotionally =). But you have no choice in the matter though just like an old branch falling of a tree.

RE: Sam Harris - Very Bad Wizards Podcast
Answer
12/18/14 5:50 PM as a reply to Andreas.
Andreas:
Simon T.:

You and I clashed on the matter of Islam and Harris takes on it before. It seems that you didn’t bother listen to the podcast. Harris makes the exact same point in regards to hatred. To use his example, it makes no more sense to hold on the emotion of hate toward the person that has rapped our children than to hate a polar bear that would have mauled them. It might be a natural emotion.  This emotion might point at something inside us in needs of being processed and so forth, but the personal suffering that comes with the emotion of hate, detached of how we response to it, is of no fundamental value (the hosts of the show, a psychologist and a philosophy teacher, think otherwise, and that might say something of the state of those academic fields)

I must have missed it. But I can discuss anything that I'd like from what Iheard. I know he makes similar statements about locking people up, not for what they have done but for what they might. Not for punishment but for protection.
Also we didnt clash. I asked about how he viewed sufism you replied. You are clashing into me now due to you seeming to react very emotionally =). But you have no choice in the matter though just like an old branch falling of a tree.
Fair enough. I went to read back my posts and I confused you with someone else it seems.

RE: Sam Harris - Very Bad Wizards Podcast
Answer
12/19/14 1:04 AM as a reply to AugustLeo.
Who are the best sufis nowadays ? All the Rumis and Sanais are historical figures, long gone, I never hear mention of sophisticated and enlightened muslims. Idries Shah, gone too. Who else ?
Is an enlightened sufi as good as an enlightened buddhist ? Do sufis have jhanas, A&P, stream entry etc ? (I'm guessing yes).
Where are the black mystics, for that matter ? Easy enough to google African Christians, shamen, Muslims - wouldn't know where to find enlightened Africans.

RE: Sam Harris - Very Bad Wizards Podcast
Answer
12/19/14 3:38 PM as a reply to Stick Man.
John:
Who are the best sufis nowadays ? All the Rumis and Sanais are historical figures, long gone, I never hear mention of sophisticated and enlightened muslims. Idries Shah, gone too. Who else ?
Is an enlightened sufi as good as an enlightened buddhist ? Do sufis have jhanas, A&P, stream entry etc ? (I'm guessing yes).
Where are the black mystics, for that matter ? Easy enough to google African Christians, shamen, Muslims - wouldn't know where to find enlightened Africans.
I think most races and nations still have strong emotional herd instincts and intuit that introspection - the kind required to examine their conditioning and awaken more intelligence - threatens the stability of their culteral beliefs. in nations where group think is strongest there's usually more poverty (unless they have oil) so ostracization for not thinking inside the culteral box also threatens their survival.

Even the more liberal cultures who claim to be open minded are still uncomfortable with those who think differently or aren't enamoured by their latest eastern psychological overlay. I actually remember being that way and probably still have unexamined remnants of it.        

RE: Sam Harris - Very Bad Wizards Podcast
Answer
12/19/14 8:27 AM as a reply to Stick Man.
John:
Who are the best sufis nowadays ? All the Rumis and Sanais are historical figures, long gone, I never hear mention of sophisticated and enlightened muslims. Idries Shah, gone too. Who else ?
Is an enlightened sufi as good as an enlightened buddhist ? Do sufis have jhanas, A&P, stream entry etc ? (I'm guessing yes).
Where are the black mystics, for that matter ? Easy enough to google African Christians, shamen, Muslims - wouldn't know where to find enlightened Africans.

An important point is to what extend the society they live in can acknowledge and accept their wisdom. When Bernadette Roberts said to her Mother Superior that her mind was free of thoughts during prayers, she was accused of being possessed, or something to that effect.

I come from a family that was historically quite religious, I have an uncle that is a Catholic priest and 3 of his sister were nuns. I have experience the peer pressure, being seen as a lost sheep, attempts at bringing me back in the faith, and when the words got out that I had some interest in Buddhism, that highlighted quite a bit of insecurities amoung the most religious. Hopefully in my case, a lot of those insecurities can go away by a simple discussion and connecting with people in a language they can understand.

Still, there are some environment where the peer-pressure is much higher and the consequence of saying the wrong thing might mean the difference between life and death.

There is probably quite a bit of wisdom from various tribe around the world that has been pretty much lost today. Magic play a major role in so many form of ancient spirituality around the world, talking with spirits, and so forth. That remind me something. They did a study on schizophrenia around the world and found that hearing voices saying negative things is something that happens much more in the West. In other societies around the world, the voices tend to be positive.

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/07/when-hearing-voices-is-a-good-thing/374863/
In an article for the American Scholar, Luhrmann describes one such patient, a 20-year-0ld Dutch man named Hans, whose inner voices were urging him to study Buddhism for hours each day. He cut a deal with his demons, telling them he'd say Buddhist prayers for one hour per day, no more, no less. And it worked—the voices subsided and he was able to taper his dose of psychosis medications.

RE: Sam Harris - Very Bad Wizards Podcast
Answer
12/19/14 3:19 PM as a reply to Stick Man.
John:
Who are the best sufis nowadays ? All the Rumis and Sanais are historical figures, long gone, I never hear mention of sophisticated and enlightened muslims. Idries Shah, gone too. Who else ?
Is an enlightened sufi as good as an enlightened buddhist ? Do sufis have jhanas, A&P, stream entry etc ? (I'm guessing yes).
Where are the black mystics, for that matter ? Easy enough to google African Christians, shamen, Muslims - wouldn't know where to find enlightened Africans.

http://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/88166

http://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/5570226/en

http://www.dharmaoverground.org/dharma-wiki/-/wiki/Main/MCTB+The+Progress+of+Insight/en

MCTB:
There are many less accessible maps of insight as well. The Tibetan Book of the Dead: Liberation Through Hearing in the Bardo requires some prior familiarity with this territory to sort out the wild symbolic imagery. A Twelfth Century Sufi map is given in Journey to the Lord of Power by Ibn 'Arabi, but again the medieval symbolism is somewhat hard to untangle unless you are already personally familiar with these stages. It also provides a very interesting if quite cryptic description of the higher stages of realization.

RE: Sam Harris - Very Bad Wizards Podcast
Answer
12/19/14 8:51 PM as a reply to Stick Man.
Regarding Sufis, just had this fascinating conversation with a Turkish professor who works in Istanbul who is very passionate about finding the Divine, The Ultimate, etc. and he hung out with a bunch of Sufis there and found that he didn't get a sense that they currently had very deep practice, but that sort of stuff was very underground from the 1920s or so until just recently and probably suffered for it. He did think that Iran was likely to have more advanced Sufis but hadn't checked them out yet.