RE: virus: Belief and Knowledge (was: The truth about faith)

Wade T.Smith (
Mon, 7 Jul 97 20:43:32 -0400

>Wade, the problem I THINK you're having is that you are looking for
>something you can get a hold of - something that can be shown, inferred,
>demonstrated to an outside person who has no background or training in
>the field - the way that one can SEE evidence of mass, motion,
>acceleration, force, and so forth. Am I correct in interpreting your
>position here? Please say if not.

You have once again raised a very tattered strawman. I am not looking for

>Yet the proponents of Zen and enlightenment all insist that there is
>nothing physical to be measured, nothing concrete to be observed, it is
>an INTERNAL process/result/function (I am stifled by a lack of a correct
>word/concept here)


>and must be experienced, directly and thoroughly by
>each individual, to be understood.

Well, the problem I think _you_ are having, is, you believe them... that
you lend credence to this purely speculative and unfounded and biased
and, well, unprovable assertion.

>I am leaving out the accounts by
>various observers of Tibetan monks sitting comfortably while naked in the
>snow, controlling heartbeat down to the point of death, etc. as goals
>that were accomplished by "omphaloskepsis", a word I am repeating without
>looking it up here.

I have actually worked with Herbert Benson, who is perhaps the leading
'observer' of these things. There is nothing, once the _physical_
biological facts are laid out by an objective and measuring and
disinterested person, unaccomplishable by ordinary humans, in quite
prosaic ways....

Anyway, 'enlightenment' is not what I was looking for, no, I was much
younger then....

I was looking for what you mean by 'non-physical'. You _seem_ to mean
'mystical', and I am sorry, but that, to me, to be blunt, is bullshit.

If what you meant was the world of 'thought'- then you are also wrong,
for the Tibetan, and any other monastic/cult/priest class, has barely
scratched the surface of why the mind does what it does. Although the
world of thought may well be what 'memetic' is, I have little reason to
suspect any prolonged study of Tibetan yogic practices will greatly
enrich any memetic discipline.

And I am not for a second discounting any yogic/meditative practice.
There is good, substantive, experimental evidence, besides my own
anecdotal successes, that such practices, even _completely stripped of
their 'mystical' trappings_, have a beneficial and repeatable outcome.

Once again, the crux of my argument is twofold- one that you define your
terms, and two, that you supply some evidence for your extraordinary
claim of a 'non-physical world.'

And you are not alone in supplying to this list a statement barefacedly
absent of substantiating evidence....

Wade T. Smith | "There ain't nothin' you | shouldn't do to a god." |
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