Chapter 9, Buddha Science, Conclusion
Chapter 9a, Conclusion, Say again?
¶a2 “… The best we have is concepts. The “real” problem is that we get so enamored of our concepts that we begin to believe they are reality. …”
Now there’s an example of what I refer to as being, lost within one’s mindscape.
¶a3 “… to refresh your memory, these Buddha Science observations are interconnection, karma, impermanence, and illusion.
As we have seen, the idea of interconnection is simply that everything is connected to everything else. …”
¶a5 “… Complexity studies involve the idea of emergence, whereby new properties emerge from the complex interaction of many simple processes. …”
This is why taking the time to learn about Evolution is so important, because its insights have direct relevance to your self and how you get along with your self, your body, your internal dialogue, and dealing with your world?
¶a5 “… Biology tells us that we are collection of part from all over the universe, and that our bodies are the result of eons of evolutionary development. Consciousness itself may be an emergent property resulting from the interconnection of the human (body-)brain, experience, and meant formation. …”
I’m uncomfortable with that wording.
Our Earth’s constituent atoms, and minerals that do come from all over the universe, but then we have some mind boggling mineral evolution, then biology and life, that’s all homegrown, here on Earth. That’s big, and we don’t know of anything in the universe that can hold a candle to this planet Earth.
When are we going to own that - and start feeling a little pride for being a self-aware (or not) inhabitant of this overwhelming Earth with its biosphere and hydrosphere and cryosphere of interwoven always evolving life?
¶a7 “Ecology shows us the complex interconnections of organisms with their environment. Not only is the organism dependent on the conditions of the environment, but the condition of the environment itself is inextricably connected to and dependent upon the organism that exist within it. And these system are also dependent on their past, including all the evolutionary changes and interconnections that occurred to give them their current configurations of entices and functions. …”
Nicely said, worth repeating.
¶a11 “…We build our karma,, for better or worse, by every action we take.”
¶a12 “… third major observation, everything is impermanent. Everything is in the process of becoming, … Even the dimensions in which an object exists can change as a flat piece of paper becomes a paper ball.”
Change, expectations, fear of aging, fear of dying, fear of being an illusion. That’s why people need religion, more than they seem to need science.
I need science and observations and experience and fact based learning.
¶a13 “…Only process exists. ¶a14 “Yet the very impressions we receive are constrained by our narrow perspective and the limits of our recording apparatus. …”
Seems a very top down, expectation laden, perspective. The fantastical abilities we people possess, were slowly built up from simpler creatures who needed to adapt to ever more complex circumstances. Our human level of consciousness can only be truly appreciated by having some serious understanding of how over-all animal consciousness developed as creatures evolved.
Ed Yong wrote a book about creature sense that helps put some of these notions into perspective with the sort of rock solid supporting evidence, only scientists can come up with:
¶a14 “… Our sense organs record only a fraction of the physical world around us, and the most sophisticated devices we can create have only been able to measure 4% of the phenomena that science tells us must exist. Science can tell us very little about the remain 96% of the universe that is known as dark matter and dark energy. …
I don’t buy this. We live on Earth, not out in the cosmos, so okay, sure, dark matter/energy is beyond our senses.
How about a more down to Earth perspective, with humans, as physical specimens, working together, and being very formidable animals - even in the wild, even during primitive days. It’s fad to downplay human abilities. We shouldn’t. Heck, it’s what got us here.
¶a15 “… (fourth observation) our impressions of the seemingly solid and real world around us are illusory. Our impressions of Reality are at best, highly limited, …”
Change is real, even if it is ephemeral. I can’t help wondering why people come up with such notions. Change is what physical Reality is! Who are we to decide it’s an illusion because we ourselves can’t make sense out of it? Brings it right back to that self-absorbed attitude.
Change is what time does in the physical realm, nothing escapes that. That’s why it’s so important to live this moment to your best, it’s the journey, not the destination. Tomorrow holds no guarantees, and all that.
¶a17 “… evolutionary psychology and neurobiology tells us that the very belief in conscious control is an illusion. …”
That’s as disappointingly melodramatic over-simplification.
Listen to some pioneering experts on the topic. Spend a lazy rainy day binging on YouTube videos of Dr. Antonio Damasio and Dr. Mark Solms' enlightening lectures, that span many years and follow the developments in the field, then revisit this topic.
“… but our understanding of the mind shows us that complete objective may never be possible. …”
We should find this surprising? Every human, every being, has its own outlook upon the world, how can we expect “objective” or “truth” to exist within that.
Honesty is my gold standard.
Chapter 9, Conclusion, Pooling our thoughts
¶b1 “So where do we go from here? If our goal is to understand what Reality is, as we stated at the beginning of this book, it may seem like a fool’s errand. …”
I don’t think it’s a fool’s errand. It begins with a one, two punch.
Appreciating the Human Mind ~ Physical Reality divide, and gathering a better awareness of yourself and the evolutionary foundation of your consciousness.
Consider your legs and feet, arms and hands, like no other creature, carrying a superb skull, populated with sensing organs and topped with the most complex thing in all of creation, your brain, to orchestrate the show, that is your body interacting with the world.
It’s self evident that that’s not some accident, it’s endless generations of change in reaction to a changing Earth.
Then comes our mind, your thoughts, your me, myself and I, the thing called consciousness, or soul, it is produced by your living biological body/brain, and the better you understand that, the healthier you are apt to be.
Consciousness is your Evolutionary heritage. For any creature to function it needed to communicate with itself and also command its various components to do the correct job, at the correct times, or it wouldn’t survive to begin with. That’s the bottomline, philosophical pronouncements not withstanding, we have consciousness because we could have never evolved without it!
I mean neuroscientists are filming consciousness in action and it’s still not enough to satisfied philosopher’s impossibly “hard” problems, seems more about human vanity, intellectual competition, and good old chest thumping - than striving to understand human consciousness in context with our biological evolutionary heritage.
¶b14 “But this is still only the way that we can envision it, because we are limited to concepts in three dimensions … But of course, all this is only a concept.”
¶b15 “As I may have mentioned once before, concepts are not Reality. …”
¶b19 “ Yes, embracing the whole is complicated, messy, and incomprehensible at time. Yes, in order to see the larger Reality we must see pain and injustice and destruction. We must see the dark side of ourselves in order to see the light. But we will never see Reality by refusing to see any part of it. …
I’d encourage you to read Mr. Daut’s book and his conclusion chapter for yourself, I’ve chosen to side step the most of it here because I want this to remain focused on better conveying my Earth Centrist’s outlook.
¶b20 “In this book I have tried to capture a part of that collective striving toward understanding Reality. I hope that the concepts contained herein provide a reasonable map of two of those fingers - science and Buddhism - in their ongoing quest to point us toward the moon of Reality. I also hope that this book has piqued your interest for further study and provides a starting point for that study.
That’s about it Steve,
I appreciate your hospitality and our occasional email exchanges. Your book has been a wonderful discussion mate. Looking back on my pages, I feel my time was well spent. I do lean in on a couple items, but I also appreciate you were a messenger and those often repeated memes have been disturbed me for a great many years.
Thanks for stopping in at the CFI Forum and starting the ball rolling on this little personal journey. Thank you for writing out these concepts and I thank you for allowing me to share them in this virtual discussion with your book.
Buddha Science, ©2016, For a copy contact Steve Daut.
This has been another Cc's Student's Workbook, of sorts,
meaning a little repetition is to be expected,
honing concepts and descriptions.
Offering food for thought.
Is there anybody out there?
citizenschallenge at gmail