1.  Introduction to Deepermind
Part A

Overall Structure of a Human Being

In the diagram below, there are three items.  On the bottom the brown rectangle represents  the countless brain processes that are going on all the time.  Above these processes is our real self, the Experiencer, that which as awareness, that some people call the soul.

At the top is our reference, what we really believe in.  Some call it "God" and others their personal convections.

 

Brain Processes

In diagram below there are two brain processes.  One is an Inspection Process, and the other is the Goal Process.  The brain has a huge number of these processes.

To accomplish a goal, a Goal Process is started by creating enough motivation.  The goal is defined and the process of reaching the goal is performed by different types of reasoning and exploration.  When the goal is reached, brain hormones are released which provides pleasure and sometimes joy.

The Goal Process is monitored by the Inspection Process.  Is the goal in keeping with the person's overall goals? Is the process making progress?  If the Goal Process is not working very well, the Goal Process can be terminated.  During the period between birth and the early twenties, the brain is pruned in terms of brain cells perhaps as high as 80%.

Reversed Processes

If the inspector is entered backwards, it main mission is to control, not monitoring.  Entering backwards it takes the goal of the main process and reverses it.

For example, if one was thirsty, and the goal was some cool water, the motive is clear, the process starts and the water faucet and glass is the clarified goal.

But if some bullies comes along, they might knock the glass to the floor.  Thus they control first.  They do not monitor the process and help the person to drink the water.

Just as evil is life spelled backwards, evil is the undoing of a good main process.

Fractals and Processes

Fractals are self replicating images.  If you zoom down on a fractal, you will see another fractal similar to the first one.

Ons are similar to fractals.  Each component is made up of smaller ons.

Processes and Life

At the top of the brain's hierarchy, the top brain cells have goals.  These goals are communicated the lower processes.  If the brain is not tied together it works against itself.  Some parts of the brain will be at ware with other parts of the brain producing psychological conflicts.

If the top brain cells are weak, a coup can depose the current government.  For example, the brain cells that crave a certain substance can take over.

Finding a More Optimized Life

To have an optimized life, the real person, the experiencer, most understand they are not a product of the busy mind.  You, the real person can control your mind and thought patterns.

Cultural Bias Can Make Us Crazy

Most people are a victim of cultural pressures they are not aware of starting early in their lives.  Most people's religion and politics originated by indoctrination.

Christianity teaches love and that is a good thing.  But it also teaches the world is flat, that slavery is not such a bad thing, that words themselves are real things.  Atheist web sites can point out many problems, such as contradictions in the Bible.

Science can be like a religion, when one believes that science knows everything or will one day know everything.  Real science is not based in faith, but in ideas tested by experiment.  It is always changing.  Real science works well with the physical world, but things like consciousness are still a mystery to science.

We are Not Just Brain Tissue

Brains are made from atoms and atomic particles. There is no consciousness in atomic particles.  I don't think the brain is a consciousness making machine.  Consciousness, spirituality, experiencing the world is not based on some attribute of atomic particles as far as we know. Matter and consciousness are probably connected in some mysterious way, but we never greet people saying "hi there brain tissue."

We Can Control the Brain

If we do not control our brain, the brain chatters to us. When the brain is uncontrolled, the Goal Processes are processing weak goals or no goals at all.

The uncontrolled or non-directed brain is called the "the monkey mind".  It produces an unfiltered stream of consciousness.

A monkey mind is unpleasant and many treat the problem with alcohol and drugs.  Many people take psychoactive drugs which can be effective, but there is a method of stopping the monkey mind that has been known in the East for thousands of years.  This is meditation.

Meditation

Meditation is a primary method of controlling the brain. Why? Meditation allows us to be in charge of our mind.  

The monkey-mind can destroy our best goals.  It takes away our purpose and tranquility. 

The monkey-mind is often the result of our animal urges.  Daydreaming about food and sex are examples. Worry about someone who doesn't seem to love us, or someone who is sick are other examples. Living in the past, or future all the time is highly distracting.  Worry about bad things happening to ourselves can keep us up at night.

You cannot fight the monkey-mind straight on.  If you tell your mind to stop thinking about something, you are stimulating your mind to think even more about it.

Lina Grace has a wonderful video on meditation and sleep.

How Meditation Works

Basically there are two ways to get control over the mind.  First, because our conscious mind can only think one thought at a time, we can think about something we choose and keep thinking about it. Since we cannot think about more than one thing at a time, the money-mind chatter is turned off. 

Secondly, we can deflect a money-mind thought.  If we are worried about something we can use the rule, do what ever we can to solve the problem.  But then after we tried out best, and have done everything we can do, allow to problem not to exist.

Deflection examples include chanting one word over and over again, picturing yourself on a perfect beach, concentrating on the breath and going to each part of the body and telling it to relax.

Monkey-Mind Metamorphose

If we use these techniques long enough the money-mind force changes.  It matures.  It has to jump high hurtles. It now cooks up a truly wonderful thought, perhaps with what we might believe as perfect insight, something wonderfully creative, instead of some useless chatter.

Witnessing

What has been said about the money-mind can be said about our personal melodrama. We can name our circumstances and the thoughts about these things can be just witnessed, like watching a cloud let it pass by.

Wrong Technique

If we are trying to stop thinking about something directly we are making the problem worse. 

Do not think about a big pink elephant with a huge smile.  Hey you are thinking about it, right? 

Use distraction instead.  Think about something you want to think about.  The pink elephant went away, right?

More About Witnessing

Meditation is a tool, and being a mind tool it is not a end in itself. There is more.  What we are dealing with is our awareness, our being, our personal goals and beliefs.  Using meditation we can understand ourselves, and stand back and see how we can sort out who we are and all though thoughts.  This is a tall order. 

Most of our own personal beliefs and not shared by others unless we are in a group that attracts people of similar beliefs.  For example, if we visit a particular house of religion, we will find that they are followers of some authority.

Who Are We?

Most neuroscientists maintain that we mechanical and have no soul, nothing that experiences life.  The mind, brain and awareness are part of the same thing. Are we just 80 billion neurons, and 100 trillion synapses hooked together?

No.  We have a name, we experience life and we are not some mechanical machine. Proof: atomic structure has no awareness, just electrical charge, weight, spin, color and some other characteristics.

My Background

I was trained early in life about electronics and computers.  I repaired main frame computers for about ten years.  Then spent about 35 years as a technical writer.  I wrote about hard things, computers, telephone switching systems, radio telescopes, microwaves and robots.  Late in life I received a degree in psychology. 

My task here is to interrogate, science, philosophy and religion.  To find a common thread.  Some things do not connect to the thread.

Signal Flow

In electronics and computers, circuits and programs are recorded as processes.  Signals move on diagrams (called schematics) left to right and down the page.  Programs are written left to right and down the page too.

So, in order to understand complex processes within us I visualize a signal, or groups of signals flowing across a page. 

Our Body

Our body is designed on a molecular level. The chemicals, levers and electrical impulses.  Our brain is part of our body, and it is a computer like calculating machine. If we have a problem, the brain will try to find the answer. But we are not our brain any more than we are our little finger.

We are, our should be the master of our brain. The commanding force at the controls.  We have beliefs, interests and goals.  We send these idealized directions to our brain, something like a computer programmer instructs a computer by writing code.

The code we send our brains are not ones and zeros, but concepts such has I want to be healthy, happy and find meaning in life.

The brain is built as hierarchy, with concepts at the time, and the mechanisms to solve problems at the bottom. Without this setup there were no controls and organization.  A person with conflicts, does not have a strong leader at the top of their brain. 

Each department in our brain has a task, and has autonomy to figure out how to do the task and how important certain things may be.  If a department takes over the person, the person becomes obsessed with one aspect in life, and is no longer in balance and harmony with life.

One could visualize that the brain requires a internal set of rules so that different parts of the brain work together.  If a certain department fails to find a solution, a supervisor sees what is happening and can take strong measures to fix the problem.

A large number of brain cells die between birth and our early twenties.  The brain cell circuits that do not work are weeded out.  Memories that are not useful and erased.

Brain scientists have speculated that people without the ability to cull out brain cells may become autistic.

Why the Four Agreements Work

Don Miguel Ruiz passed on Toltec wisdom in his book "The Four Agreements."

These are the Four Agreements:

1) Be Impeccable with Your Word

2) Don't Take Anything Personally

3) Don't Make Assumptions

4) Always Do Your Best

If Number 1 is followed (truth) the on is not cluttered with misleading, confusing, and labor intensive deceptions.

If Number 2 is followed (not taking things personally) the ego area of the mind does not interfere with the on's processing, allowing the on to be unencumbered with extraneous information.

If Number 3 is followed (not making assumptions) the processing of the main on is not over simplified and thus making the processing thin and weak.

If Number 4 is followed (always do your best) the processing performed by the main on is as good as can be.  As we go through life more problems are solved and goals are reached, building on each other. 

Our Brain is Not Our Self

The brain is a huge computer made up of ons.  Every thought, every idea, emotion and sensation is reflected in the brain. But it is no who we are.  We use our brain (our computer) to manage everything we do.  If we think of a box, the box thought is a pattern of ons in the brain.  If the ons are located in the conscious area of the brain, then we are aware of the box.

The other component of ourselves is the soul.  I use this word in a non-religious sense here, but our soul is mysterious.

We can define the word soul as that property that allows consciousness.  The soul experiences life.

Where do I get this idea?

We just don't say "Hi brain tissue.  Your atomic particles are looking good"

Without consciousness, there world be no words, no mathematics and no civilization or science.

Consciousness comes first.  It is primary.  There is no proof of this, because you need consciousness to think about proof.

Motive

Everything we do starts with a motive.  Every movement, every thought, every conversation starts with a feeling of wanting to do it.

Pure motive is all emotional.  We may use logic to create a motive to solve a problem, but it is an urge.

Thoughts are created with the energy of a motive.  If you control your thoughts, you can control your motivations.

It is a vast circle.  Emotions generate logic and logic generates emotions. Motives are emotional based and inspire a process which is logical. If the process is successful, then a goal is reached. The goal is has two aspects, the actual goal and the feelings associated in reaching the goal.

The process is monitored by the investigative layer.  This layer checks if the motive to see if it is worthwhile. It also checks the process to see if process is working  and important that watches the

Facts and Love

Many people believe that truth is the most important thing.  But if someone was hiding from someone that wanted to do harm, telling the bad person about where the victim was hiding would be wrong.  Facts are like points, and love is a vector.  Love has direction.  Mere facts are isolated.

Beliefs are principles we use to support higher functions of the brain.  Different people with different convictions have different upper brain structures.

When the upper brain structures direct the lower brain structures to believe as they do, things go badly.  For example, the Bible talks about a flat Earth, and the upper brain structures forces the lower brain structures to believe that way.  But this goes against science and can be shown wrong by experiments.

The bottom line that beliefs have to work with science where science can supply proofs.  In areas that go beyond science such as life after death, science has nothing to say, as there is no way to prove life after death is true or not.

But our reality is our special dream.  Reality is based the nature of things and conformation from others.

A regular dream when have at night can break the laws of nature and is not shared with others.

Valuable Postulates of Life

 In geometry, a postulate is a statement that is assumed true without proof. By assuming certain postulates are true, we can generate theorems that are the results of postulates.

My postulates of life I call "Ideas."

The first Idea is: One should always treat everyone with kindness and love.

Is there anything better than the truth?

If you blurt out the truth you can do damage.  Under certain conditions you could cause great harm by telling the truth. For example, you should lie to a person with a gun with intent to do harm.

What is better than truth is kindness and love.

So the second Idea is: Always be truthful, knowing we have the option to be silent.

But under normal circumstances it is best to be truthful.  In this way we can be closer to the truth, and not create a make-believe world.

Dealing with Delusional People

There are some people that have strong belief systems.  For example, people that believe in the Bible as the word of God may be your next door neighbor. 

So how can you work with them without upsetting them.

One way is to say through your filters I believe in the Bible etc.  This means to say I am also full of peace and love.

Of course, the Bible has conflicts, is X rated in parts, and promotes the idea that women are not as good as men and that that slavery is acceptable and so on.  Atheist web sites have much to say about this. But the Bible is a cornerstone of western civilization, and solace to millions of people.

 So an atheist might do harm in condemning what brings peace and happiness to so many people.  Naked truth (you opinion of it) could cause great harm and often has no direction.  Love has purpose and produces excellent effects.

So the third Idea therefore is: Love gives truth, direction and purpose.

 The next idea is: In the material world, scientific method is our source of truth.

By careful observation of the material world, it has been found that the way things move can be described in simple mathematical equations.

Our ideas that are not of the material world cannot be described in mathematical equations, but though life experience.

 Thus the fifth Idea is: Our beliefs are our personal truths developed through experience and contemplation.***

Science has showed us that our brains are made up of about 86 billion neurons. These neurons are somewhat independent, analyzing hundred, to many thousands of inputs from other neurons.

But we are more than a mechanical system of brain cells. These brain cells need prospective and purpose so that they can do their jobs. The brain has some type of overall government. This overall government has not been observed, but without it we would not be sane.

We also have consciousness, a feeling of being alive. We work our brain to serve us and what we believe... our purposes in life. What is this "we"? I call it an old fashion word "the soul".

The sixth Idea is: Beyond matter, energy, time and space, people have souls and souls enable consciousness.

In science we find the idea that everything in the material world is made up of atomic particles. For example, the brain is made up of these particles, which build up atoms and molecules. The molecules build up brain tissue.

But atomic particles have no feelings; no consciousness. Have you ever heard of an atomic particle that was happy or sad? Is there a particle out there that has feelings or consciousness? But everyone has feelings and consciousness. Hey something is missing.

Consciousness has been called the crack in the cosmic (scientific) egg.

Since consciousness exists, there must be a mechanism causing it. I will define this as the soul. The soul allows us to experience life. It is the mechanism that allows consciousness. Without a soul there could be no science as there would be no consciousness.

How the brain interfaces with the soul and consciousness no one understands. But it does.

The seventh Idea is: The brain and the soul work in hand in hand. What we do and think is reflected in both the soul and the brain.

The reason for the Idea above, is we can see the brain causing us to (1) lose consciousness, and (2) we can also lose consciousness through the soul.

(1) If the brain is physically damaged we can lose consciousness. A head injury can knock us out.

(2)If the soul is damaged we can lose the will to live. A sick soul can cause us to be depressed or cause other mental health problems.

When we sleep, both the brain and the soul seem to go into repair mode. During sleep we dream in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep.

During non-REM sleep, perhaps the brain slows down and almost stops, but the soul remains, keeping us alive.

The eight Idea is: The brain has 100 trillion brain cells and something needs to manage all these cells.

In addition to producing consciousness, the soul may be responsible to the organization of how different parts of ourselves work together. It may be the central organizing factor that help produce an overall government of these 100 trillion brain cells.

Without an organizing factor the brain would immediately fail. There would be no overall purpose. Different departments of the brain would fight. Barriers would be created making some departments walled off from others. Wars between departments would be common. People would have many personalities and the left hand might beat on the body while the right hand would try to stop the left hand.

There has to be something that is the head of all these cells. With this many brain cells, something has to keep all the cells to work together and not fight (conflicts within the mind) or isolate themselves (multiple personalities).

There must be a government of the mind to keep it working together. Otherwise some lower departments who only know one aspect of life would try to take over the brain. We see this in deviant people who only think about drugs or sex.

The ninth Idea is: There must be brain cells who are top managers in the government of the brain. These top brain cells must have simple basic standards to govern the brain.

In any government there is a president, CEO or top manager and so there must be top brain cells. These top brain cells must have a reference or set goals.

For any complex system there must be a loop between what is being done and the controls for the operation. There must be a reference that sets the standards.

A car on cruise control, has a reference speed. If the car senses it is going too fast, it will reduce the gas flow to the engine. If the car sense it is going too slow it will increase the gas flow to the engine.

Brain cells lets us know if we need water by telling us that we are thirsty. Somehow the amount of liquid in the body is measured.

In a similar way, the top brain cells need to measure the progress of the person. The top brain cells reference a standard of what is good and what is bad. This is our basic belief system. If this is taken away, we become aimless.

Each brain cell in the brain has a support network. The top brain cells are remote from the day to day activities of complex activities that occur in everyone's life. Exactly how to we wash the dishes. We just get the job done. It is done by lower brain cells.

So at the top, the top brain cells have to keep things simple. For example love and service may be our top purpose. Each organized religion has a small collection of simple beliefs that define the core of the belief system.

For example, the Unitarian Universalist Church has two main beliefs and those are love and service. Christians believe in love and the ten commandments. The newest world-wide religion, the Baha'i Faith believes the essential unity of all great religions, that we have an immortal soul, and the equality of men and women. Buddhists believe in prajna (discernment, insight, wisdom and enlightenment). Hindus believe that truth is eternal, Brahman is truth and reality. Hindus also believe that the Vedas are the ultimate authority, and that dharma must be observed.

 

The Way it Is 2/18/2016

Before we discuss religious and philosophical ideas we have to build up to it by going through some Ideas.  It will make things clear later.

The tenth Idea: The physical world as we know it is a dream.

Yes, the natural world exists.  But we only dream of the natural world. When we are awake we dream that we are in the world. But this world we think we are in is manufactured by our brain.

While we are awake, we dream we are awake.  As we shall see, the only way we can know we are awake and not asleep is that our waking dream is consequential and consensual.

The eleventh Idea: The real world dream is consequential and is based on cause and effect.

If we are awakened during a dream, will usually will not continue with the same dream.

If we take a nap, when we wake up we return to the place where we laid down and continue with our life. 

If we placed our keys in a drawer before we laid down to take a nape, they will be there when we wake up.

This although we dream we are in the real world, in fact we actually are in the real world because the real world is consistent and everything follows cause and effect and the natural laws.

But when we dream when we are asleep, anything can happen. We can fly, or  we do impossible things.

If we wake up in the middle of the night, we will not always return to the same dream. Thus the dreams we dream when we are asleep are not consequential.

The twelfth Idea: The real world is consensual in that we all see it more or less in the same way.

If we were to ask a group of people sitting around a table if they all see the table, they would all say yes.  We all experience the real world in more or less the same way. All parties are in agreement and thus our real world dream is consensual. (Of course, if the people were blind, they would have to touch the table.)

On the other hand, if ask many people report on their last night dream, no one would report the same dream.  The dreams of sleep are not consensual.

But aside from consequential and consensual aspects of dreaming, the waking dream and dreams we dream while asleep are the same.

In certain mental conditions, such in certain types of schizophrenia, one can have sleep dreams mixed in reality dreams.  The sleep dream content is called illusionary.  It could be visual or auditory.

The 13th Idea: Science relies on the consequential nature of the physical world.

Since the real world is consequential, we can study it using experiments.  We can discover the truth about the real world by doing experiments.  If we describe our experiment in detail, another person can perform the same experiment.  If the results of the experiment are the same, we can say the experiment has been replicated.

Only replicated experimental proofs are considered applicable to scientific inquiry.  

For example, if in our experiment we pass a dc current in a wire and place a compass over the wire, the compass will deflect.  If set up exactly the same way, the compass will deflect the same way and in the same amount very time.

 

 The 14th Idea:  Words by themselves have no effect on the physical world. Prayers, incantations and magic cannot break natural law.

God governs the universe by fixed and uniform laws, not only for the sake of order, but for human good... The fulfillment of every human desire would break up this order, and bring everything into disorder and confusion.
 -George Burnap

The 15th Idea: The laws of nature were the same a long time ago and will be the same in the future.

 

Geological processes occur following the laws of nature over the course of millions of years.  Most changes were slow.  Mountain building takes millions of years.  This concept is called uniformitarianism. 

The 16th Idea: The laws of nature are neither good or bad.

 A fire will burn and cook your food, but it can also burn down your house. 

The 17th Idea: Objects are "smart" and follow the laws of nature exactly, never making a mistake.

 If we throw a rock, it will move exactly to every law of nature. It will take in account momentum, air friction and when it hits the ground it will take into account elasticity and bounce and roll exactly.  Is the rock smart or is there a guiding hand?  I would say that all objects contain an aspect of God that allows them to follow the laws of nature.

The 18th Idea: Humans and animals have intelligence, awareness and a will that seem to break the laws of nature.

A human can pick up a rock and carry it at will.  Although we cannot break the laws of nature directly, we can use the laws of nature to our own ends.

The 19th Idea: Everything is a dream.

We are not in the world, but dream of the world.  If we touch a table, we excite the sensors in our fingers, and a signal is sent up our arm to our brain.  Everything we sense becomes an turns electro-chemical signal.  Our brain makes a model of reality and this illusion we take as real.

Thus everything is our imagination, but the real world dream is special and has consequences.  So we have to pay attention.

Starting Over

To become more spiritual and get closer to the truth of things, one must break free from the crystallization of our mind.  Everyone is subject to their culture, how they were raised and what they learned in school.

If we want to grow past our demystification, we have to start over.  We have to reset what we believe in and rebuild our beliefs based on our own decisions.

The first step after we stop believing, is to go back to the fundamental basic ideas.  These are simply love and service.

Now investigate.  Go to various religions.  Find out what resonates within you.  Take some of this and some of that.  Leave some stuff behind. 

Yin and Yang and Black and White Thinking

People are not all good or bad.  Look at nature.  In nature things are not usually turned off and on.  In nature most things are mixtures. Chemistry and physics are at work at the same time.

Consider abortion. Are you for or against it? How about the middle way?

Right after conception, there is not a human being but a collection of cells.  But eight months down the line, the baby is a little person and killing this baby is murder. The exact time when the baby becomes a person is that it is a gradual process.  This is a gray area. It is not a black and white issue.

The 20th Idea: We have been domesticated, told what to believe as children, and as adults we must rethink everything, and find our own truths.

 

How to Talk to God

We sense the world through our senses.  We look at an elephant and the image is pick up from the eye and goes into the brain for us to see.  The elephant is much too large to fit within our head.

So everything we see and believe is a model.  It is organized imagination.

To find God, imagine God.  Imagine that you have a Friend.

Now connect with God.  Praise God through prayer.  Like two computers connecting together, you must establish a link, a pipeline to God.  It is your bridge to God.  It is your communication pathway.

Now listen for God to reply.  Make sure its God.  Pray to the Creator, the God that has created the universe to make sure some other spirit is not disguising itself as God. God loves you and you should feel that it is so. 

Concentrate on your higher emotions.  Listen for God to respond to you. 

This is how all religions of the world were created.  People communicated with God. 

God wants you do your homework.  Learn about other religions and philosophies. See the progression in religious development. There are older religions and newer religions.

Some cults use hypnosis and other techniques.  Do not fall asleep but keep awake.  So many groups want to control your mind.   There is sea of propaganda out there.  Be careful not to fall back but make progress giving more love and service and helping people to gain insight. 

The 21st Idea: If we can imagine God exists, and open up a channel to God, we can talk with God and get answers.

Getting God's Message

Our character and our past will continue to play heavily on what direction we may choose.  Think of a schoolboy who is forced to learn spelling.  If it was up to the schoolboy there would be more important things to do.  There may be a need for a guru or counselor.  There may be a need to visit many houses of worship. It is good to get fresh experiences.

There might be a tendency for a person to think they are smarter and more spiritual than they were and now can make up their own religion and rules. Stay humble. See what your friends think of your new ideas.  Also find new friends and contrast their insights with yours and other friends.

God's message also must land on fertile soil.  God wants you to do your homework before asking questions.  It is important to get a broad education.  Read not only the Bible but holy books from other religions.  Read what the atheists have to say.  See if things are taken out of context.  It is easy to take the literal reading, and harder to see the layered meaning in religious texts.

See what is true across religions.  For example the golden rule (do onto others as you would have them do unto you) is found in many religions.

Try to improve upon what you find. In the same example, a better golden rule might be treat others the way they want to be treated.

The 22nd Idea: You must have a heart with fertile soil to allow the seed of God to grow.

Its People Not Magic

A child sees a church and might think God made it. All religion is made by people. How much inspiration is in the building of a religion varies a great deal.  Some religions are based on people believing things they do not understand and other religions are more universal. 

Having faith in magic is not good.  God Himself, did not write the Bible or any other book. All "holy" books are written by people.  But God did make the natural world, and by studying the natural world we get a hint of the glory of God.

All holy writings are filtered through the mind of the writer.  To understand what is written, you need to have the context, the culture and the history of the writer's environment.  Also you need to know the education and experiences of the writer.

The 23rd Idea: All that is religious is created by people.  The Bible and other holy books were written, selected, translated by mere people and are not the direct word of God.  Spiritual people  are our guides, and are not little gods.

Older Writings Are Inspirational

We will use the Christian Bible as an example:

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (Peace)

Psalms 42:1:3 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. (Comfort in God)

Philippians 4:9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Following God's teaching)

2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. (Strength)

Psalm 120:1 I call on the Lord in my distress, and he answers me. (You can talk to God)

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Loving God works)

Philippians 4:6-8 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. (Mind control)

Popular passages in the Bible have been found to be through counting web access at Bible Gateway can be found here.  Part of the journey is the selection of the best in the Bible or in life.

The 24th Idea: The best parts of the Bible can be very spiritual and inspirational.  The search itself is part of the journey.

How the Old Testament Came to Be

The formation of the Old Testament is "shrouded in the mists of history and tradition. " The documents which comprise the Old Testament were written by many different people over a period of approximately one thousand years. Originally, the material circulated in independent units. The present book-form (known as a codex) did not exist until after AD. 100. The books of the Old Testament were not a decision of any council or committee of the Church. While certain parts of the Old Testament include influences from Aramaic, the bulk was written in Hebrew.
The Law contained in the Old Testament was the center piece of Jewish Scriptural authority.

A Jewish synod called the "Council of Jamnia" met near A.D. 90 and discussed the works which were considered authoritative from a Jewish perspective. Around A.D. 170, Melito (the Bishop of Sardis), listed the works which had been accepted as "the Law and the prophets," including five books of Moses and all the other Old Testament works except Esther, Lamentations, Ezra and Nehemiah (Eusebius, Church History, IV, 26, 13,14). Melito's inclusion of Esdras undoubtedly referred to Ezra and Nehemiah and may have included Esther.



How the New Testament Came to Be

Today it seems that no one seems to ask how the New Testament came to be.  According to the New-New Testament written by Hal Taussig (2013) the answer is somewhat complicated.  Much of what is said in the following paragraphs are based on his book. 

The theologian Marcion made a list of what early "Christian" books one should read and everything save the works of Paul and some parts of the Gospel of Luke were in error.

Before St. Irenaeus (c. 202 AD) Christians differed as to which gospel they preferred. Irenaeus opposed heresies, Gnosticism included.  He was the first to designate Mathew, Mark, Luke and John as most authoritative gospels.  The reason for choosing four was that there were four corners of the earth and the wind blows from four directions.

The Council of Nicea in the fourth century did not produce a list, but did produce the famous Nicean Creed.  In this century, Constantine commissioned the historian Eusebius to make a list which divided the gospels into three categories, recognized, disputed and spurious.  Not all the books of the New Testament we know today

The Muratorian fragment in the fourth century recommended many of the books of the New Testament.  The church council of Laodicea in Asia Minor met in 363-364 reported to have recommended the same books that are in the modern New Testament except for one.  A council in Carthage in North Africa reported in 397 that The Hippo Synod, also in Africa, had produced a list of the same twenty-seven books in the modern New Testament.

Athanasius, a bishop in North Africa wrote the festal letter instruction the Christians of North Africa to read a certain twenty-seven book that came to be the New Testament.  What is interesting is that churches of Syriac and Ethiopian origins developed separate and more expansive lists and differ from Western Christianity as to what scriptures are authoritative.

By 405 CE Jerome translated the twenty-seven books from Old Latin into Latin used by the Church.  This translation became known as the Vulgate.  The first New Testament bound as a single book was produced two or three centuries later. 

The invention of the printing press in the early fifteenth century allowed the much less costly production of the Bible which was translated in the common language of the people from the Greek and Latin languages.

Questioning the Authority of the Bible and Other Old Writings

Just because people of believed something for ages, does not make it true.

As a simple example, take astrology.  Many believe that it is completely true and it has the power to make things better.

Astrology cannot locate the planets correctly.  The star Polaris night now is close to the projected North Pole in the sky. However, due to the precession of the earth, over thousands of years, the projected North Pole moves in a circle.  Thus the Earth is tilted differently over time.  Therefore every so often, you have to redraw your map of the stars and planets.  Most astrologers use an outdated sky map, Using the old map, a person born on August 27 would be a Virgo, yet the sun in modern times is clearly in Leo.  So all the sun signs are just wrong.

If astrology were true, astrologers would making money with their predictions.  They could play the commodities market and make a killing.  Yet they don't because it does not work. They continue to stay in the business of astrology chart making.  Astrology old as it is pure bunk!

For me I see religions as being in two extremes. The dogma is usually bunk, but the writings based on love, caring and helping others are extremely good and needed in fact for one to keep their sanity.

For example, believing in things that bear fruit, in things that do "good" and make people happy, things that relieve suffering are actually necessary for a happy life.

The Bible is Not Always the Word of God

Since believers cannot change the Bible, there has been no editing for thousands of years.  Some things are good, some bad and some are just impossible to understand.  Here are some of the things I find in the Bible that need to be fixed:

Immoral: Accepting slavery as normal.

Immoral: Lack of women's rights.

Immoral: God killing everyone except Noah's family.

The Bible can be very earthy.  For example:

2Kings 18:27 and duplicated in Isaiah 36:12  But Rabshakeh said unto them, Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?  -King James Version (dirty)

Leviticus 25:44-46 However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. -New Living Translation Version (slavery)

Ezekiel 23:2 She lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.
-New International Version (sexy)

Leviticus 19:19 Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material. -New International Version (silly)

Leviticus 19:27 Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard. (silly)
-King James Version

Deuteronomy 28:30-31,35 You will be pledged to be married to a woman, but another will take her and rape her. You will build a house, but you will not live in it. You will plant a vineyard, but you will not even begin to enjoy its fruit. Your ox will be slaughtered before your eyes, but you will eat none of it. Your donkey will be forcibly taken from you and will not be returned. Your sheep will be given to your enemies, and no one will rescue them. . . . The Lord will afflict your knees and legs with painful boils that cannot be cured, spreading from the soles of your feet to the top of your head. -New International Version (mean)

Revelation  This book begins with a view of Heaven where all manner of beasts and men worship God. In thanks for their worship, Jesus opens the seals on seven scrolls which release the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, a group of martyrs begging for Judgment Day, and penultimately, an earthquake. Finally, on the opening of the Seventh Seal, Heaven is quiet for about a half hour, whereupon God gives seven trumpets to the angels and the angels begin praying (not sure for what). One of the angels takes a censer filled with fire and hurls it at the earth resulting in earthquakes, thunder, and lightning. (weird)

This list goes on and on, so instead of repeating it here, you can turn to this website here or Google Bible Atheist.  If you want to verify Bible readings you can go to the Bible Gateway site.  This site gives you a chance to compare many Bible versions and read thing in context.

The 25th Idea:  The Bible has so many imperfections, it cannot be from the most perfect God.

The Baha'i Faith

One religion that has been created more recently is the Baha'i Faith.  Based on Islam, the Bahá'í Faith has rejected and changed the dogma found in Islamic tradition.

But first let's look at what it believes. It teaches that God has sent a series of divine Educators known as Manifestations of God that provided the basis for advancement of civilization.  These Manifestations have included Abraham, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad. Bahá’u’lláh, the latest of these Messengers, explained that the religions of the world come from the same Source and are in essence successive chapters of one religion from God.

It also believes:

  • Unity of God. God is One, infinitely transcendent, and cannot be equated with any person, book, or institution. Religious leaders are not infallible, because they are human. No one can claim authority to command people in the name of God for at least the next 1000 years.
  • Unity of Religion. All religions contain divine inspiration, but no religion is perfect or the "only way" to salvation. We are called to befriend and share fellowship with people of all faiths, shun no one and fight with no one over religious differences.
  • Unity of Humankind. All people are the children of God; we all have the divine spark within. It doesn't matter what is your race or ethnicity, nationality, or any other distinguishing feature; we are one.
  • Equality of Women and Men. Because God is both male and female, masculine and feminine attributes are equally praiseworthy and valuable. The age of patriarchy has ended; women must enjoy equal legal rights and freedoms.
  • Overcoming All Prejudice. People must strive to free themselves and society from all forms of prejudice, whether based on race, ethnicity, nationality, language, religion, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, social or economic class, etc.
  • Universal Education. All children must have the right and the means to receive a high-quality, broad, objective, informative education that will prepare them for a mature and productive life. Parents, governments, and nongovernmental institutions must ensure this.
  • Independent Search for Truth. All people are called to learn and seek truth according to their own conscience, on their own ongoing journey, without blindly following or imitating the beliefs, practices or ideologies of authority figures.
  • Harmony of Science and Spirituality. There is no inherent conflict between truth as discovered by science and spiritual concepts such as God, the soul, life after death, and nonphysical dimensions of existence. Religions must yield to scientific knowledge, and science must be open to phenomena that transcend present scientific conceptions of reality.
  • Institutions for World Peace. There should be lasting international cooperation and diplomacy rather than wars; the creation of an international tribunal with powers to enforce international law and bring justice in disputes and conflicts between nations; an international peace-keeping force; and an international interfaith democratic assembly representing all the peoples of the world.
  • Universal Auxiliary Language. One language, either an existing one or a new one, should be promoted as an international second language that all children will learn and all people will use as a standard means of communication between people of different linguistic backgrounds throughout the world.
  • Elimination of Extremes of Poverty and Wealth. Both within each nation and among the nations, extreme concentrations of poverty or wealth are undesirable and should be mitigated by moderating economic policies and regulations to create stability and benefit for all.
  • Secular Spirituality. Baha'ism does not have its own clergy, and Bahaullah prohibited Baha'is from practicing monasticism, asceticism, or confession of sins to religious leaders.

    Some of the ideas expressed on Deepermind are based on Baha'i teachings.  One of the books I love is Guy Murchie's book The Seven Mysteries of Life.  Murchie really knows science, and writes likes a poet and is a visionary.

    The Baha'i Faith is Not Perfect

    The Baha'i Faith has reputation for tolerance and liberal social teachings but it sadly shares a trait of almost all world's religion and that is fundamentalism.  By fundamentalism is the simple faith that all truth lies in certain books and this information can never be challenged by anyone.

    One of the teachings of the Baha'i Faith is a private search for truth.  But many Baha'is place great emphasis on the authoritarian and legalistic aspects of the teachings of its founders and the rulings of the House of Justice which are considered as infallible.  If one strays from the fundamentalism, the person is labeled a Convent Breaker. 

    So the search for truth is limited by forcing every idea to see if its one the Holy Baha'i Books.  Many Baha'is have left the Baha'i Faith because this limitation.

     

    If one could combine the Baha'i Faith with freedom, what a powerful religion there would be. 

    The Unitarian Bahá'í Association

    The Unitarian Baha'i Association is an attempt to combine freedom with the teachings of the Baha'i Faith.  Thus this association is considered as a liberal Bahá'í community.  It is composed as network of individuals, local groups, initiatives and resources, independent from the Haifa-based Baha'i Faith denomination. We teach and practice Unitarian Baha'ism, an understanding of the Bahá'í message that emphasizes the oneness and transcendence of God, the humanity and limitations of all religious leaders, the importance of inclusiveness and tolerance among Baha'is and people of all faiths, and the responsibility of Baha'is to engage with society to help build a better world. The UBA is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization founded in March 2010.

    Unlike most other Bahá'í organizations and traditions, the Unitarian Bahá'í Association welcomes openly gay and lesbian people, politically active people, all residents of Israel, all descendants of Bahaullah (including those who are shunned by other Baha'is), and people in Muslim countries who need to hide their Bahá'í faith and publicly practice Islam. Ex-Baha'is who have left the faith because of disillusionment with the authoritarian Haifan Bahá'í organization will find a welcoming home in the UBA. Unitarian Universalists who are interested in the Bahá'í religion will find the UBA to be a key resource and community for exploring Baha'ism from a progressive and freethinking perspective, within the UU church.

    The 26th Idea: The Baha'i Faith has much to offer, but lacks freedom to grow and change.


    The Temple within You

    We all have our motivations.  Our highest sources, our ideals, our beliefs define what we do, and how we inspire others.  Imagine that we all have a temple in our hearts.  This temple is where we go when we need courage, direction and idealism.

    Some inner temples are small. An atheistic might have a simple shack of skepticism, a materialist scientist an inner laboratory, and the non-idealist are devoid of a temple.

     Our inner temple is simply what motivates us.  Some use money as their prime objective, and then there are people who idealize love.

    People with temples within their hearts, can feel the resonance of truth in their bones.  Some have called these people "true believers", but to themselves they feel that they have the love of God and Truth filling their hearts deeply.

    So Where is the Truth?

    If we believe that God made the world (universe), then the world is a direct reflection of God.

    The pursuit of truth via science, gives us so might insight into the nature of God.  Nature seems to follow certain laws.  The study of physics allows us to calculate the motion of bodies very precisely.

    Human biology shows how incredible and wonderful how our bodies work to stay healthy.  For example motor proteins walk down microtubules within the human cell. Look at the movies here and here. There are many other stories about how the cell works, how proteins are created and how the cells reproduce.  The immune defense system is something to marvel over. 

    In astronomy we can look back in time billions of years ago.  We can study stars.  There are stars that hundreds of times the mass of our sun. There are stars that are thousands of times larger than our sun.

    Everywhere you look God has engineered an incredible universe.  If you want to study God, start with science.  Then you can understand that God is so far above us.  God has to be so loving and smart that we are only beginning to understand.  The old religions present God as some rejected parent who gets mad, and can be upset by the smallest things.  God is much better and larger than we could ever know.

    The 27th Idea: God is far greater than we could ever know.

    The Principle of Evolution

    Say you had millions of bacteria and they kept mutating.  But most mutations would not be beneficial, but some every once in a while mutated in such a way that they were more successful. For example, one flu bacteria might mutate and become immune to eradication by flu shot vaccines.

    It's a number game.  In higher animals, a slight color change, improvement in vision, a little smarter brain and bingo, these animals become successful and other species die off.

    Evolution is a process by which different kinds of living organisms diversify from earlier forms during the history of the earth.

    Darwin gave us a theory of gradual evolution over a long period by the natural selection of those varieties of an organism slightly better adapted to the environment and hence more likely to produce descendants. Combined with the later discoveries of the cellular and molecular basis of genetics, Darwin’s theory of evolution has, with some modification, become the dominant unifying concept of modern biology.

    Man also promotes evolution.  When a person selects only the best plant or animal we get nicer fruit, and fatter cows.  Nasty wolves are changed into loving dogs by taking the most friendly and smart puppies and allowing them to grow up and breed.  In around 10 generations you change a nasty wolf into sweet and intelligent dogs.

    In science the word "theory" means that what it says has been proven right.  The theory passes experimental tests over and over again.  We can use the theory to predict what will happen.  Put vinegar and baking soda in a glass and it will fizz every time.

    In common usage, "theory" can mean an untested idea.  I have a theory that there are little green men that push the earth and makes it spin.  This is not a "theory" in the scientific language. This is just a hypothesis or a guess as to how things work.  Newton's scientific theory says "A body in motion tends to stay in motion."  This is why the earth continues to turn.  But because of the tides, the earth's rotation is slowly slowing down.  That is why we add leap seconds to our clock every few years.

    The 28th Idea: Evolution is a proven scientific theory.

    The Second Evolution,  Evolution of Deep Spiritual Insight

    The difference between animals and humans is that humans have the capacity for insight.  Insight means deep inner vision.  Animals and humans have outer vision and can, of course, see the world.  Animals such as cat and dogs dream, so they have imagination and this is a primitive form of inner vision.

    New age and yoga people often see inner vision as imagination that can work magic.  Imagine a new car, and soon or later you will have one.  Of course if this imagination leads to action, and perhaps a job, then the magic works.  Everything we do starts with imagination and desire.

    Deep inner vision we can define as the vision of understanding.  Here the vision builds constructs and insight into how everything works, most importantly how we work. 

    Deep inner vision is divine as it comes from God.  Deep inner vision results through connection with God allowing God to provide answers.  Prayer produces a path to God, and once we get a connection, we can ask for understanding and guidance.

    Thus God creates within us understanding and guidance and this is the true basis for the Deep Creationism.  People who believe in Religious Creationism mix together the physical creation with the stories in Genesis.  In Deep Creationism, we gain insight directly from God.

    Just because you ask God for the answers, the answers you get are always tempered through your current understanding and although they feel wonderful, as you mature, you will continue to get deeper and deeper understanding if you work at it.  So by asking God for answers does not make you a instant sage.

    During the course of one's life, inner vision matures.  Our first understandings are simple.  They are concrete.  As we mature, we start to understand things through principles.  As we get greater insight we get a handle on unifying principles that connect and underlay our beliefs.

    Thus Deeper Insight grows deeper over time, if one works on it.

    In summary, we have two evolutions, one based on material science and the other based on what makes us human.

    The Soul

    The word "soul" has many definitions. Here we will use the word in connection with growth towards Deeper Insight.

     

    1) At the most primitive level, we just feel the need for insight.  This become truly apparent when things go wrong, and we are desperately looking for answers.  We want to feel peaceful and whole again.

    2) The next level is where we find what we think are the answers.  We blindly follow the insights of others, instead of working out our own insights.  At this stage, a person can be so convinced of what they believe, that they become judgmental and prejudicial.  Dogma, punishment and rules may be forced on themselves and others.

    3) At the third level, one breaks free from merely following other's insight.  Here they find complete freedom.  They can do anything they want and they can believe whatever they want.  The soul enjoys its freedom and happiness.  Life becomes an adventure and personal achievement is its own reward.

    4) At the fourth level, the freedom is not enough.  One wants answers.  This is the stage of the seeker, and life becomes more exploratory.  Questions are formed and pathways of understanding open up.

    5) At the fifth level, understanding begins to take effect.  One begins to find ways of achieving happiness and pleasure that are long lasting.  This involves considering empathy and understanding of how others feel.  We notice that people change and grow, and we find ways to teach, love and encourage others.  This results great improvement in relationships and intimacy.

    6) The last stage is difficult to understand.  It carries with in a profound understanding and knowing.  Few people reach this stage.  Developed souls are often called sages.  Even fewer are what the Baha'i call Manisfications such as Moses, Jesus and Bahaullah.  The Manisfications start religions and give civilizations spiritual substance.

    It is apparent that the soul needs the guidance of more advanced souls.  Often a person at a lower level, will only benefit from souls on the same level.

    The 29th Idea: There are two evolutions, the scientific and material evolution of the body and the divine evolution of the soul.  The body has evolved in stages and the soul too evolves in stages.

    Prayers and Magic

    No one has prayed and has had God change his laws of nature. Try it.  Mountains do not move.

    Saying words out loud or to one's self to fix a broken appliance does not work.  You cannot fix a television or computer through prayer. Try it.

    Saying words asking God for things like having a Jennie, just does not work.

    So what does work?

    Pray can transform the heart of the person praying to more closely resemble the heart of God.  It is not so much about getting tangible results from God, but rather an opportunity to get guidance from God.  To understand what God wants of us and to establish a lifelong relationship.  Pray humbles us, allows us to respect our very nature and to establish a lifetime relationship to our most idealize knowing, namely God.

    Prays can open doors.  If you are bored, having no purpose, prayer can allow you to see the doors that are there ready to be opened and once entered you and your life are transformed.

    Without breaking scientific law, prayers can produce miracles of the heart.  Prayers can fix broken relationships, give hope in seemingly hopeless situations.

    The 30th Idea:  Prayer works not in the material world, but in the world of the heart where there are relationships and hope.

    Words

    We have be careful of words. Words are not things in themselves, but they are labels that point to meaning. Only when defined do words have a single meaning.

    As taught by General Semantics, your meaning of a word may not be mine.  In order to communicate, we must agree on the meanings of the words we use.  If not we run into trouble.  For example, my God is better than your God.  Here we are talking with God1 and God2 and these words have their own meanings.  We have to find what is in common with God1 and God2 in order to have a conversation.  Then as talk we can modify the definitions or agree that we have two different words.  But our words, define anyway we want, only point to the actual meaning.  Words are labels.  We do not eat the menu. 

    The definition of "Allah" and "God" are very close to being the same.  Look up the word in Arabic and English. Allah is the greatest name for God according to the Quran.  In the Bible, God is known by many names including: Elohim, YHWH-I Am, Adonai, El Shaddia, Jehovah Shalom, and Jehovah Rohi. 

    Magical Words Mean Nothing

    Just because one has a fancy name for something does not make it real or important. The Catholic Church impresses its believers using Latin words such has "Summa Theological".  It would be better just to be simple and call "Summa Theological" by what it means, the teaching of Thomas Aquinas, and let it go at that.

    Impressive language tends to use long words that tend to be pompous. Some of these words can be in Latin or Sanskrit.

    What is important here is meaning.  Instead of hearing the words, hear the meaning behind the words.  Ask yourself, is it loving, logical and inspiring, or based on fear, hate and stupidity?

    Just because someone calls themselves "Christian" or "Spiritual" does not mean anything.  Look beyond the words to meaning.  If there is no meaning, then the words mean nothing at all.  This is the basic law of communications.  Words without meaning are referred to in computer jargon as garbage.

    The 31th Idea: Words point to things but are not the thing itself.  Words that have no meaning are simply garbage.

    So What is Deepermind?

    Deepermind is one of the middle ways.  It is in the gray area, but is a nice balance between the intellectual and the practical. It is based on Christian love, but not punishment.  Sin is missing the mark, not something that God sends you to hell forever.  It is based on contemporize Buddhism in that it tries to eliminate suffering, but instead of giving up, promotes making things better.  It is scientific and based on evidence whenever possible.  It is the best of all worlds.

    The 32nd Idea: Deepermind is the best of all religious philosophy and science.

     

    Walking Around Truth

    If we assume that everyone has at least some truth in what they see and believe, we can walk around the subject and see it from many aspects.  Consider the blind men and the elephant.  One blind man touches the elephant's tail and says the elephant is like a snake.

    Once we see something from another's viewpoint we can see what is truly right or wrong, or what is middle ground.

    The 33rd Idea: See "truth" from as many angles as possible.

    The Word "Meta"

    The word "metaphysics" means beyond physics.  Now many metaphysics people do not know anything about real physics, but they think they understand physics and now think they can go beyond it.  In a way, this is possible.  There are spiritual laws.  If you hurt someone, you will probably get hurt yourself.  You will pick on someone who turns out is more powerful than your are.

    Meta religious means that you can see the best of many religions,  be it Christianity, Buddhism and Judaism or some other combination.

    Here one looks for the best, the most beautiful, the most loving, the most logical, and the most heartfelt, from all religions, philosophies, psychologies, and artistic expression.   Exactly how you do it is up to you.  But with this attitude and motivation, many good things will happen for you.

    The 34th Idea: See "truth" by going higher and seeing ideas from a combined point of view.

    Hard Questions

    In science there are hard questions to be answered:

    What is consciousness?  This is the big question.  We don't know.

    What is the nature of God? I like to see God as a perfect being.

    Is there a spiritual dimension? Yes, it is the realm of the soul.

    What is the basis of right and wrong? God.

    The 35th Idea: We have some answers, but really we have a lot to learn.

    General Semantics

    General Semantics is the study of words and how words are maps of meaning.  Meaning is like a physical territory described by the map.  Words can be wrong or out of date.

    A map is a model of a territory.  Words model meaning.  Words are not the territory.

    So we must go under the words and think of the meaning being expressed by the author.  Saying a chair is just a chair, has little meaning. But saying "This blue chair I am sitting, seems to me comfortable." as much more meaning.

    Words exist in our brains, and meaning seems to exist in our soul.  Meaning has emotional value.  Words can be empty.

    Somewhere in our brains (exactly where does not matter for now) we have a vast network of words and meaning that connect to our soul.  Everything we know and believe is in this network.  

    When we use the word "is", like in the sentence "This is a chair." it seems simple enough, but is a bean bag chair really a chair.  The word "chair" just needs a definition or perhaps needs some explanation when we go off the basic meaning of the word "chair." 

    So the word "is" can lead us in arguments which are really about definitions of words.  Is this a real chair?  That is not the question.  Do we want to define a bean bag chair as a chair or not.  We just need a definition of the word "chair" and its boundaries.

    The 36th Idea: General Semantics teaches us about how words work.

    Science in the Material World or Distal World

    Without science we are lost in a world of confusion.  Anything might be true.  One person's notions are as good as another.

    Science comes to our rescue.  Science looks for evidence.  It verifies through experiment.

    But science works best in the material universe, where a mass can be weighed, where voltages can be measured, where things can be accurately measured.

    The distal world is the physical world outside our bodies.  It is "seen" though our nervous system and not directly.  Our brain receives impulses from our senses such as our eyes, noise and ears.

    The 37th Idea: Science builds a map of the material world.

    Spirituality in the World of the Heart or Proximal World

    Spirituality uses evidence from the heart.  The best evidence here is the pure heart.

    The pure heart senses God and love with awe and wonder.  The pure heart sees God in nature.  The power and beauty of nature is everywhere.

    The Proximal world is the world that we experience.  It is the visual field we see and the emotions we feel.

    The 38th Idea: Spirituality comes from the heart that feels love and senses God.

    Distal and Proximal Worlds

    I coined these terms as there were no solid terms for these worlds.  The inner and outer worlds might work, but these terms are more precise. They are based on medical terms with similar meanings:

    Proximal means close.  The ear is proximal to the head.  

    Distal means far away.  The head is distal to the feet.

    Using these words solves the mystery of the tree that falls in the woods and but nobody hears it fall.  Using these words we can simply say

    it makes a distal sound but not a proximal sound.

    The 39th Idea: There are two worlds, the distal (material world far from us) and the proximal world that we take for real.  The proximal world is a dream.

    The 39th Idea: The distal world is the world of science, and the proximal world is the world we experience.

    How Can We Tell if We are Awake and Not Dreaming?

    There are two proximal worlds, that of the experience when we are awake and that of dreams we dream when we are asleep.

    While we are awake we have a dream that has these characteristics:

        • Consistency:  if we leave a dish in the sink at night, it is always there in the morning.
        • Cause and Effect:  if we see a broken glass on the kitchen floor we can assume that someone dropped it.
        • Consensusness: If we see something with someone else, we can assume that both people see the same thing.
        • Collaboration:  If we ask for some help and someone helps, both of us work together on the same task.

    Types of Night Time Dreams.

    There are three types of night dreams:

        • Regular dreams are subconscious, illogical, limited sensory input, with little memory and imagination at work.
        • Lucid dreams seem more conscious, often logical, can incorporate some sensory information, and also use little memory and imagination.  
        • The reality dream (ordinary reality) is conscious, logical, uses the senses, the memory, and also the imagination and abstract thought. Ordinary reality can be considered as a special type of dream that has consistency and collaboration.

     

    We Dream We Have Emotions

    In the proximal world, we have emotions.  Emotions are described at length in this chapter.  In general, most emotions can be classified as positive or negative.  The may also be classified as lower (more animal like) or higher (more spiritual).

    Our higher emotions let us know if we are in love, fulfilled by the Spirit, at peace.

    We Dream We Have Self Talk

    Within in the mind there is a little voice that keeps talking to us.  It is our calculator-mind or monkey-mind that many of us wish we could control.   Through chanting and other practices we can learn to control it.

    We Dream About Things That Do Not Exist

    Science tries to give us a good model of the distal world.  But there are people who do not believe in science.

    Superstitious people might believe in astrology and numerology for example.

    We Can Dream Two Dreams and Both Are True

    If we have on polarizing sun glasses, we see things that others do not see.  With the polarizing glasses if we look at a car window we might see colors that we do not see without the polarizing glasses.

    The observer's dream is dependent on their senses.  We can argument our senses and see with different types of instruments.  We can use electrons, or different wavelengths of light.

    So the observer and the object cannot be separated.  Reality is part dream and part true.  It has to be true enough, or we can get into trouble.

    For example, if we are simply not looking we can have a car accident.

    The Gestalt View

    The Gestalt View is concerned more with proximal world rather than the distal world.

    In the gestalt view, concern in placed with goodness, morals, and common sense. Things are seen as wholes.  Historically the gestalt view was founded by Max Wertheimer as a rebellion against Wundt's molecularism.

    Table of Contents

    Updated November 7, 2015
    © George Norwood 2011-2015.  This web site is in copyright. No reproduction can take place without written permission.
    Revision 26

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