When we talk about reality, is reality the claims of the Bible, the Quran, the Bhagavad Gita? Or is reality the ruins of Gobekli Tepe, carbon dated to
10,000 years before the common era, or Catalhoyuk, dated to 8,000 years before the common era?
If the ruins of these ancient cultures are real, then what are we to make of our cherished belief systems - our holy books? Even outside these ancient
ruins, there's the complication of why devout believers of the Bible, the Quran, or the Gita, aren't perplexed or bothered by the inconsistencies
between the claims they make and the claims others make? Why must one be right and the others be wrong? Why couldn't it be that all sides are doing
the same thing: trying to cope with realities confusing conditions.
Wouldn't this be the most coherent formulation of the inconsistencies that exist between various religions, and between the religions that exist and
the scientific disciplines which study the behavior of matter (physics), living systems (biophysics), how these living systems work and evolve
(biology, evolutionary biology), and how they've become socially complex (primatology) in humans (anthropology) and how these creatures feel and think
(psychology)? The sciences are interested in how things work.
Why things work the way they do is a question that is best clarified by
understanding how we work
, since knowing how
has significance for improving our relationship to the question of why.
It's been said, and I generally agree with this formulation, that religion is about nurturing our spiritual needs as self-consciousness organisms. I
would also that our spiritual needs are not unrelated to our physiological and homeostatic needs as material organisms, since what we feel is largely
influenced by what we eat, when we eat, and how we eat (i.e. chewing, focusing on digestion)
, as well as the amount and quality of rest we get,
our exposure to pathogens, and the amount of physical activity we get.
I wrote a thread previously criticizing the concept of the resurrection of the dead, and although it seemed to be appreciated by a few people, many of
the people who responded, it seems to me, responded out of fear. For me, this is a matter of the science of psychology, and the way humans are
organized from the ground up, from birth onwards, to make sense of their experiences in the world with narratives. The following two charts may be
difficult to understand, but they capture the 'tensegrities', or tensions, that constitute our various connections with external parts of the
environment. The first diagram deserves to be studied, and any ideas which seem nebulous should be further inquired into.
This second chart is a little more complex. The bottom layer is about the way our bodily processes are fundamentally a function of symmetry dynamics
within the physical matter which composes us. We are dynamical systems that are controlled by symmetry and asymmetry. Symmetry produces feelings of
coherency: interest, alacrity, zest, joy, fun, love, and awe, are all experiences of a symmetry process between our physical system (our brain) and
the world of objects outside of us. Asymmetry sets up the unremarkable shifts in being (changes in any domain of experience - in vision, audition,
smell, taste, touch, interoception, proprioception), small conflicts ("what is that"?) which compel symmetry ("oh, its a squirrel") to resolve, and
more basic, diffuse, but powerfully reorganizing processes which act most powerfully upon us when we're infants and children, and which receives far
less emphasis and significance once we grow up into adults. The emphasis is so paltry and the significance so hackneyed that its metaphysical
significance in gating what it is we can and cannot know goes unnoticed.
As social beings, we are built through shame-pride processes, processes which stimulate and empower our experiences of being selves. In the
language-focused world we grow within, this part of our being is largely dissociated and perilously underemphasized, with disastrous results. The
reason has to do with what we idealize and desire, that is, in seeking only states of pride and refusing to interface with and know our states of
shame, humans create an imbalance within their unconscious - that part of our being which contains all our past experiences and processes them
unconsciously before we feel and cognize. Knowing what we need to regulate ourselves is the highest level of self-knowledge, whereas pretending we
have access to unalloyed truth, as if we don't have feeling needs deriving from the symmetry dynamics between our body and the world, deepens the
alienation between one another and ourselves.
Gobekli Tepe and Catalhoyuk are real. They invalidate the historical claims of the Bible. But this doesn't mean the Bible doesn't contain any
fundamental truths about what we are and what we need as spiritual beings.
Nurturing our biological natures is the heart and soul of what religion is. Caring for and helping those who suffer with our love, and learning from
our past mistakes to better the human beings relationship with reality is the mission we are all on, whether we're aware of it or not.
There is no "new earth" and new reality that is not THIS Earth and THIS reality. A New Earth is about a new relationship with reality
. Ends of
the world have always had this connotation in mind, and it has to do with the fact that the end of a world is the end of our body's dynamical
coherency with the world we knew.
A changing world is very much an end of a world for many people - excepting those very few who've come to
accept the very depth of reality. But even these latter people cannot know what dreams may come, what excitement reality may offer us.
No one can know what a world of loving humans is really like - what it does to a human body to live in such a world. None of us know it, because all
of us encounter the effects that shame creates for us - in generating fronts, masks, and other self-protecting mechanisms.
edit on 10-12-2019 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)