Well it's not actually outdated. If you're ill sometime, I'd just go with it. It works, on the whole.
Yes, it is very practical, but so is Newtonian mechanics - only ontologically it is wrong. Now, that it has been well established by quantum mechanics that reality is quantum - then obviously the reality of the body is quantum too. Like I said it has taken a very long time for the other disciplines chemistry and biology to come up to speed with physics, biology has been the slowest - but now that we know that quantum coherence continues up to the the maro scale to the cellular level - now quantum physicists even believe that photosynthesis to navigation of birds are quantum processes. So future biology will no longer be based on a classical paradigm, it will be based on quantum biology - very much like Ayurveda(which is based on Samkhya's quantum field concept and the quantum processes of the gunas, which in medicine become the doshas)
I am sure you are familiar with Rupert Sheldrake? He is also on the skepticdic hit list. Well Sheldrake is one of the pioneering scientists of the quantum biology field. His theory is there is a quantum field which organizes the flow of biological information which he calls the morphogenetic field He has come to this conclusion based on empirical experimentation and observation of biological phenomena at our classical level - how perfectly coordinated for example a school of fish are, or a flock of bird or how processes in the body are perfectly coordinated not only with each other but also with the earths magnetic field. Nothing actually happens randomly in the body, it is a very well synchronized, interdependent, interconnected network of processes not just within the body, but coordinated with processes outside of the body. We cannot open up the body and see this invisible network of processes - but obvious it is going on the fundamental quantum level.
Classically, we have thought of causality as a simple process, which the British master logician and mathematician Whitehead called "simple location" So we isolate single causes for all phenomena(gravity, magnetism, electricity etc) We assume reality works in a simple binary manner - but we know it does not now from quantum physics - it is a complex network of entangled processes - such that a single change at one place will immediately cause the entire system to resolve for it. How can we apply this wisdom practically? Yoga and Ayurveda are positive applications of these principles: They recognize for example how everything is interconnected - so in Ayurveda for example the environment is seen as a major factor in biological phenomena - such that when the seasons change it immediately affects the chemistry of the body - if the lunar and solar cycle change it immediately effects the body. Understanding the nature of disease as a quantum imbalance, the aim of Ayurveda is to restore the balance through a range of means(lifestyle, diet, psychology, drugs, environment) Whatever Ayurveda does - works - as there are many clinical trials into Ayurvedic treatments which show Ayurveda has higher efficacy in treating and curing many diseases that modern Western medicine consider incurable(arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, AIDS)
Yoga is based on exactly the same theory of the quantum - It recognizes the processes in the body at the fundamental level are coordinated and it has given names to these quantum processes: prana, chakras, kundalini energy etc
Yes, we infer the existence of atoms by firing particles at them. I said this. I also said we can't fire particles at prana or chakras, nothing is bouncing off them into any instruments, and yet you believe them because they're in some texts and you feel them to be true, as far as I can gather, added to which you have a lot of confusion (deliberate self-hypnosis, probably) about what doubt is.
Like I said we do not study all things with particle accelerators(!) We have a range of research methodologies. Now, how do you study something which is invisible and cannot be physically measured? You use either logic or mathematics - this is the field of theoretical physics. Quantum mechanics and string theory are entirely theoretical. We cannot physically measure the quantum, and nor can we physically measure an extra 6 dimensions of reality - but we infer it from the effects we can see. Similarly, Samkhya says exactly the same thing: "That which cannot be observed, is known through inference of its manifest effects" So the quantum field, observer, and quantum processes like prana are all inferred entities(though Yoga claims they can be directly experienced)
Yogis call "prana" the flow that moves around your body and regulates everything and this flow can be controlled directly. Anybody who does Yoga knows that they can simply by thinking of it send "flow" to that part of the body - think of your big toe, now your small toes, the ankle, the heel, the whole foot, the calf, the knees, the thigh, the whole leg, the waist, the spine, the front of the spine, the back of the spine, the shoulders, arms, fingers, the neck, mouth, eyes, nostrils, the forehead, the crown of the head, the whole head, the whole front of the body, the whole back of the body, the whole body. Now move your attention quickly up and down the body bouncing it from top to bottom.
The more you do exercises like this the better you will be able to control this "flow" in your body. As your sensitivity increases you will be able to feel how this flow moves freely in some parts of your body and in others parts it is obstructed - we call these pranic blockages. You will also note that certain parts of your body will be felt more strongly such as when you pulse the flow up and down your spine, these roughly correspond to the root of the spine, the sexual center, the solar plexus, the heart, the throat, the forehead and the crown - we call these chakras.
The aim of Hatha Yoga which is largely based on the anatomy of the chakras and pranas is to liberate the flow of prana in your body. This is done through four means
1) By increasing its flexibility
2) By directly stimulating points in your body where flow is obstructed
3) Through breath regulation
4) Through changing thinking patterns
Disease from the yogic point of view is understood as blockages of prana(the flow) in the body, when the blockage is serve it manifests as disease in that part of the body. For instance a blockage in the thyroid region can manifest as hyperthyroidism, speech impediment; in the heart it can manifest as heart disease etc. Literally, if you have any kind of disorder - you will be able to detect it through the obstructed flow of prana. A lot of these diseases are psychosomatic. Just as you consciously control the flow of prana to areas of your body - diseases are the result of subconscious and unconscious thinking habits. So as I outlined in an earlier example. If you have an aversion to say "balloons" Whenever the stimuli or associated stimuli of balloon arises, your subconscious and unconscious reacts by activating the sympathetic nervous system causes symptoms of anxiety, fear and anger.
Another thing every part of your body stores memories of thinking patterns - for example somehow is very jealous and worrying all the time is constantly putting stress on their heart, so the heart stored these memories of jealousy and worrying and is constantly under stress - eventually this can manifest as heart disease.
A lot of this understanding which is ancient Yoga knowledge is only started to recognized by modern psychology and medicine. We are discovering exact physical correlations to everything Yoga says about chakras, prana, nadis, emotional and mental blockages: The endocrine system roughly corresponds to the location and function of the chakras; the alternating nostril breathing cycle, the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system corresponds to the nadis ida and pingala, emotional and mental blockages to psychosomatic and cellular memory.
There is nothing supernatural about chakras, prana and nadis - they are simply the quantum equivalent processes of the anatomy of our body. They can be directly experienced by yogis - in fact I myself have experienced them very vividly and I know many other yoga practitioners have. The more you practice and the deeper your awareness becomes - the more you will become aware of the processes going on in your body.
Yes, but it is not widely accepted. The Louise Hays and Bruce Liptons and Rhonda Byrns and James Rays of this world obviously don't mind milking it for all its worth, but that's another matter.
Louise Hay I am familiar with and her book "You can heal your life" but I have not read it. Others I don't know, except for Bruce Lipton. Now, tell me what is your problem with Bruce Lipton? I know he is probably on the hit-list of skepticdic.com, but that is begging the question, tell me exactly what he has done which is wrong other than believing in PSI?
No. I said that I put my other thoughts and experiences and learnings up against the fact that there are fakers, and from all of that I consider it likely that there are in fact no real gurus with superpowers. There's a difference, but I don't expect you to admit it.
You cannot establish likelihood of an unknown phenomena. As I argued earlier we can only establish the probability of something if we know all the variables - in the case of an ideal coin we know there are only two outcome heads or tails - there is a 50/50 chance of either coming up. Even if the coin was tossed 1000 times and it came up heads, the probability of it coming up heads again on the next toss is still 50/50.
We often commit the probability fallacy when dealing with science. For example we say such and such theory is "highly probable" because it has been verified 10,000 times. However, as soon as we falsify it even once it goes immediately from highly probable to zero probable. Similarly, when dealing with psychics - you might find 10,000 people you investigated in the past were all faking it and you might conclude "It is highly probable the next psychic claimant is faking it too" But this is a probability fallacy - as you don't know every variable you cannot determine the probability. The only way to know whether your next psychic is faking it - is to impartially investigate them. If you begin with the prejudice "Yes, he is probably faking it" you are not really being an impartial scientist. It's like "guilty till proven innocent" fallacy.
Well it is. And a philosopher should see that quite easily. I'm surprised you still bring it up. It's highly embarrassing for you. If I put mystery substance X in a bunsen flame, and the flame turns yellow-orange, and I know that sulphur does that, you're saying I can conclude with certainty that mystery X is sulphur? Are you serious? This is the crux of the doubt in science and the sceptic's critique of all sorts of claims: there may be another cause of the observed phenomenon. If you can't see that, you need help of a different kind.
You are again being an inconsistent skeptic. You either accept science or you don't, but it seems like you have range of double standards where you will accept some science and reject other science despite it being based on the same epistemology. Colour flame tests is science and is based on the scientific method - it is used in forensic analysis and chemical analysis. Like I said, there are more advanced tests like chemical spectroscopy, but it is based on exactly the same principle we observe certain substances give of certain wavelengths(like certain substances produce certain colours in the flame test) and we infer from the wavelength given which substance is present.
The same is true in medicine - we notice that certain symptoms and related to certain disease - so when we observe the symptoms, we infer the disease(diagnosis) and the treatment - which is turn is based on noticing in experiments that x drug affected the disease.
The same is true in physics - we know from the bounce of the particles the mass, shape, charge of the particle our particle has bounced from and from that we discover new particles(if we discover a new mass and charge) or can know which particle we had detected.
The scientific method is a study of inference patterns and it is performed by doing controlled experiments so we can see exactly which variable is concomitant with the result. If we do not have a control present then we cannot isolate the variable.
The problem of induction is definitely a valid criticism of the scientific method as as of yet nobody has been able to solve it. So I do not deny your criticism - but you need to apply it consistently. You either accept the problem of induction and cast all scientific knowledge into doubt or accept scientific knowledge. You can't have your cake and eat it as well. I am sorry to say your near total ignorance of how the scientific method works is why I think you are scientifically near illiterate(like calling the colour flame test "dumb" - say that to a chemist and you will be laughed at)
Well all I can go on is what you said about it just now, something about using it to clear away doubt. And now you're in favour of doubt again. Jees.
I don't think you actually make attempts to understand things or when you see seeming contradictions. You have a very simplistic, almost childish way of seeing things. I never actually said doubt was a bad thing and I don't doubt. Remember how many times I have told you "Everybody is believer about some things and a doubter about others" I told you recently doubt is the beginning of all investigations.
You set up these false dichotomies of "beleiver" and "skeptic" without realizing that nobody is absolutely either one. We all doubt, even children doubt - and we all end up believing certain things to. The reason you set up these dichotomies is to create this false image of yourself as somebody who is a critical thinker and give your beliefs more value because they are based on your critical thinking. Implying that our beliefs have less value because they are not based on critical thinking. This is what makes your beliefs religious - for it just like a Christian telling a Muslim his beliefs have more value because they are more "true" It's circular reasoning.
In the end all beliefs, mine and yours, have to meet the same standards of evidence and reasoning. In fact on the contrary, I don't think your beliefs are critical, as I can identify a host of assumptions you are making that you are not at all critical about. I also don't think you reason consistently - I can point out constant inconsistencies.
Oh yeah, I remember doing a bit of that. It's just more belief, the belief that doubting everything will eventually bring you to Enlightenment.
It's lose-lose with you isn't it? So if you are a doubter you are damned and if you are a believer you are damned too First of all whatever you think you know is a belief - so you will never get out of believing things. Jnana Yoga is based on the principle of "neti neti" or the principle of negation or process of elimination - it a constant doubt applied to all beliefs to negate everything we know such that after the negation process what remains, however so improbable, is the truth(Sherlok Holmes). It is similar to how scientific knowledge progresses - negating theory after theory - approximating to the truth.
Jnana Yoga is a life long path - it is a lifetime of constant doubt - it is doubt of anything and everything we know. Isn't that what you are advocating here "Doubt and keep on doubting"? Jnana Yoga is not just theoretical doubt it is also practical doubt - you use it to clear away your worries, anxieties, fears, limiting beliefs.
OK, but then you believe in purusha and prakriti.
Actually, look at my scheme of worldviews again. I actually ultimately doubt Purusha and prakriti. Brahman is the ultimate reality - meaning infinite pure consciousness. I have arrived at this final understanding after 10 years of philosophical analysis. It is not just some blind belief I adopted - it is a labour of deep intellectual analysis, covering a vast terrain of philosophy East and West. Vedanta has the been the highest summit I have reached and my knowledge is now complete theoretically. It is 100% about practice now. I have no more doubts about the nature of reality.
No, that's you. I keep reminding you, using your own words. You're the absolutist. Cearly. Undeniably. And yet you keep denying it.
I am not denying it at all - I am definitely an absolutist, but I recognize every lower worldview as well. Hence, I recognize reality can be apprehended from multiple angles, but the higher your vantage point the greater your view.
No, I'll say again, I'm quite happy to consider any alternative view, even that "external" reality doesn't exist. I just don't find the arguments or evidence at all convincing, and I see a lot of psychological evidence for people believing it irrespective of its truth.
There are two possibilities why this maybe the case
1) The evidence and argument is inadequate
2) Your intellect is inadequate to engage with the evidence and arguments
Here - below - you're responding the crucial question I asked you - how you know absolutely something you feel is true. Now, first of all, notice that if I was wrong above, and you were the relativist and I the absolutist, you would say "of course, you can't know absolutely". But you don't. You accept absolute intuitive knowledge. And so you respond:
So you provide an example (Archimedes) of when someone's intuition appears to have turned out to be true. That's an anecdote.
I never said it was not an anecdote However, it is a well known example of somebody attesting how they discovered something. In fact if you read up on a lot of scientific discoveries they have been discovered through intuition rather than experiment or sometimes even in a dream. Einstein discovered GTR through sitting one day daydreaming near his window, the sunlight peering in through the window, and thought popped in his head what it be like if he chased a beam of light and through that realizing the relativity of time and space - how light coming to us from the stars is coming back back in time. In fact it is said Einstein's mind was already naturally mathematical - when he would look out into the world he would see mathematical relationships between things.
The great modern Indian mathamatician Ramunjana who made major contributions to the field of set theory and modular functions, crucial in string theory, did not give a single proof for any of his theorems and his only mathematical education was an old school text book - he said he got all his knowledge given to him by the "goddess" in a dream.
The founder of the chemical structure of Benzene revealed how he got his knowledge - he had a dream of a snake eating its own tail - he woke up in the morning and realized that he was symbolically being told what the chemical structure of benzene is.
Indeed, this is not limited to science - it happens in every field. In art, artists dream of great symphonies or paintings. What is common in all these anecdotes is in each case the knowledge is not arrived at by any experiment - it is revealed by something other than the conscious mind. In fact think about it - where does knowledge come from in the first place? You read a book for example, but the book is just blots of ink on paper; you hear somebody speak for example, but speech is just a series of sounds - how does that become meaning and knowledge?
There is a natural intelligence within us from where all genius comes from - from where all knowledge comes from. This knowledge is mediated through any of our ordinary means of perception, inference and testimony - it is immediate and direct - revealed.
So you appeal that we all know when our intuition is true. Gut feeling.
So do you deny that people ever feel they know something with certainty, because it's that kind of gut feeling, and it turns out to be false when tested against reality?
Yes, not all knowledge that we think is intuition is intuition. Generally though our gut feelings are right. It is a relatively common human experience that we get a "knowing" without actually knowing how we know - and in most cases it turns out to be right. Sometimes these "knowings" save people lives. Like all of sudden you know that you should not go down the alley way - next day you learn somebody raped in that alley way - or all of a sudden you know your loved one is in trouble.
To tell the difference between genuine intuition and just ordinary thoughts, worries or anxieties one needs to develop sensitivity. In Yoga that is what we do - we silence the mind by simply observing it. We can start to tell the difference in the quality of a thought. Intuitive thoughts have a very different quality. The proof is in the pudding.
Well I find that an unsupportable assumption. It is virtually the conclusion you're trying to arrive at.
It can be supported in fact - because knowledge only ever takes place in the human mind. It might be triggered by observing reality and interpreting - but it is still taking place in the human mind. Remember, while consciously your mind can process a discreet amount of data at a time, unconsciously your mind is coordinating and processing a complex array of physical processes in your body. Your mind already knows how nature works. It already knows about the light receptors in your eyes and how they receive light from different space-time. It already knows about atoms, subatomic particles, quantum etc. This is the secret of Yoga: A Yogi does not have to perform a single experiment - all they do is watch nature in their own body and they directly see how it is working. The more acute their sensitivity the more they can see - and the more they can control.
If this was not true then explain how somebody could dream the structure of the Benzene ring, how a mathematician would get entire mathematical theorems given to them in a dream? How Einstein could discover GTR by simply noticing a beam of light? We know in fact that some people are born with the natural ability to do mathematics: They compute numbers instantly without actually consciously trying to do it. Studies with animals have shown us chimps can compute mathematics instantly and they outperform even the most intelligent humans. Why? Only one answer: We have a natural intelligence. The reason animals can use that natural intelligence and we cannot is because we have ego.
We know animals can get precognition of impending earthquakes and we know animals can detect subtle changes in the earth magnetic field - humans are just more advanced animals and we have far better developed brains and nervous systems - why can't we do it? We can, we do get precognition as well and we do detect changes in solar, lunar cycles and magnetic field BUT unconsciously. Unconsciously our mind is maintaining the coherence of our entire body so that it does not disintegrate the next moment, all the quarks are spinning in fixed ratios and electrons and appearing and disappearing seemingly randomly - yet we know it is not random because otherwise the body would fall apart. We know that the at the sub-atomic level the ratios and constants of the universe are perfectly fine-tuned, that if even a single one was off by a infinitesimally small margin(0.000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 * trillions * trillions%)
The entire universe would fall apart. Now appreciate, every action that you consciously do even lifting a finger has to be in perfect coordination with every physical process taking place in the universe. So unconsciously you know about every single physical process going on at every moment in the universe.
More assertion. You'll be able to tell me the exact temperature of the centre of alpha centauri then, I mean, advanced yogis will be able to. Advanced yogis ought to whisper in Professor Hawking's ear and sort out some of his pressing concerns. They can stop us wasting vast amounts of money on research into cancer cures, no doubt, what with the body being a quantum field, solve the energy crisis, cool the atmosphere, bring world peace...why are they not solving all our problems? Why do they let the ignorant Westerners struggle with all this, Surya Deva? It's cruel.
What about all the false beliefs of various yogis - or anybody? How come the world is stuffed full of people with absolute convictions from gut feelings, and with all sorts of deep philosophical explanations for why those must be true? One simple example - yogis, you say, knew about evolution. But I read that they considered humanity to be billions of years old. Did they have a gut feeling about that?
Again whatever scientific knowledge we find today we find in ancient Yogic India. As for humanity to be billions of years old - actually this is not true. The time-scales and I have no idea how this knowledge was worked out, it baffles me. They modeled the universe in terms of "human years" taking the average human life span to 100 years old. So the universe life span in terms of 100 human years is 311.4 trillion years old; one day and night is 8.64 billion years old. Each day and night is turn divided into cycles of life called Manvantara each manvantata is 306.72 million years. Each manvantara begins with a partial creation that lasts 1.728 million years and a partial destruction of 1.728 million years. In each manvantara there is ruling species on this planet is called a "Manu" and the end it is partially destroyed and a new species arises. There have been so far 6 such species on our planet before us, we are the 7th(there will another 7 after us)
Again, I have no idea how these time-scales were arrived at or where they they come from - Samkhya and Yoga philosophy does not predict them - though are based on Samkhya concepts. They appear in Hindu mythological lore - supposedly containing a record of a very ancient but forgotten past going back billions of years. It is debatable how long humans have been on this planet - it is all based on fossil evidence - and I have seen fossil evidence that goes back further than the current accepted figures for how long humans have been here. Lets not go into that topic though - it will open up a whole new can of worms.