Full Version: Any Ran Prieur fans out there?
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I find his thought fascinating; he seems to occupy a position that many of my philosophical heroes share: intense curiosity about the variety of experience, utter disgust at dogma and control in any form, and the ability to write about it convincingly and eloquently. I just finished re-reading his essay Science the Destroyer and it seems entirely in line with many opinions expressed here.

Quote:What we call "science" is not neutral. It's loaded with motives and assumptions that came out of, and reinforce, the detachment, lifelessness, uniformity, and central control of industrial civilization.

Science assumes detachment. This is built into the very word "observation." To observe something is to perceive it while distancing oneself emotionally and physically, to have a one-way channel of information moving from the observed thing to the self, which is defined as not being part of that thing. This kind of relationship is supposedly not only possible, but good. In fact it's not even possible -- science refutes itself at its most advanced stages, with theoretical physicists discovering that it does not make sense to talk about "what is" independent of perspective. Detached observation is not itself an observation or a fact, but a mental habit that we have learned and can unlearn. As Stan Gooch has noticed, "experience" is a healthier word than "observation" because it does not imply detachment.

Science assumes that matter is more fundamental than mind. This bizarre idea is rare outside Western civilization. Not only is it unprovable, you yourself experience it as false: your own awareness is more fundamental than "matter," which exists only as an idea shaped out of your awareness. Science gets around this by also shaping the idea of "mind" out of your mind, and sticking this idea in a spot dependent on the idea of matter, and simply telling the giant lie that the mindfulness that sees the whole thing is a function of the idea of mind, and not the other way around. This is too deep a shift to easily explain. I've just described it intellectually, but it cannot be practiced intellectually, only by directly experiencing your awareness, your perspective, your being, as fundamental.

And what is this "matter"? By definition, it is both objectifiable and dead, just bouncing particles and waves that can be viewed from an absolute detached perspective, but that do not require for their existence any perspective or mindfulness. Matter is mindlessness, and mindlessness is deeper than mind. Again, this is not something we can see, but a basic assumption that tells us how to look.

He also wrote another, more tempered essay on science called Grand Diversifying Theory which has greatly influenced me.

Quote:What we call "science," I call one kind of science, one grounded in the emotion of fear, and the political need to maintain stability. To be fair, so was the science it replaced, medieval Christian theology. And that science was worse in that it was more resistant to direct sense experience overturning established mental models.

But in other ways, medieval Christian theology was not as bad. I call our present science Cartesian science, after one of its founders, Rene Descartes, who got the idea from a non-ordinary experience in which an "angel" told him that the way to conquer nature is through number and measure. This is no different from JHVH telling Moses that the way to conquer other religions is by prohibiting graven images: It's a suggestion, of esoteric origin, to arrange experience in a specific way to cause a specific deep change in human mental models and human behavior.

Our descendants will marvel, not that Descartes saw an angel, but that he was so twisted that he consciously wanted to conquer nature. And his idea worked: Cartesian science, by focusing strictly on the measurable and quantifiable, calls forth the enormous power of machines, while excluding emotions and values -- except the emotion of taking pleasure in turning things into numbers, and the value of wanting numbers to be better.

So if you "love" the forest, that's worth nothing compared to even one of the millions of board feet of lumber we can produce by cutting down that forest. And if I prefer a hand-driven tool to a motorized tool that applies 20 times as many angular foot-pounds per second, but I have trouble putting my preference into words, let alone into numbers, my sentiments are dismissed. And if you'd rather live in a world where people make things at home, by hand, at their own pace, than a world where factories full of numb micromanaged laborers crank out 100 times as many things, all identical and built to commanded written specifications, then you are romanticizing an impossible and inferior past -- if possibility and quality are defined in exclusively Cartesian terms. And if, after a few years of this, some people feel that the whole world is somehow terribly wrong, then they're being ungrateful and irrational, because the numbers just keep getting better.

Thanks for your consideration!
I couldn't convince my atheist friend, even with this. I show him videos of proof of mind over matter and he still denies them.
(10-28-2015, 05:33 PM)IndigoGeminiWolf Wrote: [ -> ]I show him videos of proof of mind over matter and he still denies them.

But the point is not to convince him that he's wrong, IMHO; it's to show him that other ways of looking at the world and making sense of our experience are valid, and that science's need for universal explanation is a symptom of a specific mood and a priori view of the world and meaning.

So it's ok if he believes what he believes.  The point is not to change that belief, but to notice that it is a belief in the first place, not some objective truth independent of our existence.  Feel me?

Thanks for checking it out.
Indeed, efforts to convince and persuade are control-based, and not of the STO path.

We are to offer but never to force. This can be challenging, but ultimately people are ready when they are ready, and not before. Trying to force can generate reactance (i.e., opposition) making the person more closed to the possibility of a new perspective than before.

Instead it may be helpful to ask, "why am I so invested in what this other person thinks or believes?" Letting go of that with unconditional acceptance of ourselves and the other, whether right or wrong, can be helpful.

Although we often think we're right and they're wrong, it's helpful to recognize that even our amazing spiritual enlightenment is about 10% truth and 90% distortion, on a good day. The difference between our 10% and the other person's, say, 9.99% is not that great for us to think ourselves right and them wrong.
I cannot fave that comment enough, Stranger. 200% well said.