Volume 4, Issue 24
Sun Tzu said that the greatest leaders win without having to fight. Solomon’s sarcastic remark about cutting the baby in half was an example of one tactic for conflict resolution. As was Jesus’ remark about ye who is without sin casting the first stone. May we continue to evolve ways of cooling down rather than escalating. Now that WMD are so available, living in a tinderbox would seem to require it.
It is easier to understand some sources of conflict than others. We have known since the Greek Golden Age and probably earlier about the tendency for hubris, how an individual’s rise tends to lead to megalomania. We today see the threat of North Korea in that light. We can be more empathetic when poverty is the seedbed for hostility, as in the recent splinter perversions of the otherwise upright Islamic version of the Abrahamic group of religions. (I know some readers will think about Muhammad’s own wars and color Islam with it, but every religion and nation has been embroiled in wars at least as far back as the advent of written language, which fomented Acceleritis.)
The war that is harder to understand, at least in our present day, is the war between science and religion, flaring up once again. In the old days it used to be religion attacking science, which is not as counter-intuitive as the recent eruptions of science attacking religion. And not only religion, today we even see isolated cases of scientists even attacking philosophy. One otherwise brilliant and charming scientist publicly calls people who believe in God “stupid” (although how “smart” is it to publicly insult 93% of the world population)?
Some media always call attention to controversy because “it sells papers”. The main dangers of such altercations are distraction, demoralization, and fuel for the fire of political conflicts. To the extent that civilization wishes to hold together against militant uprisings, it needs to also hold to civilized behavior.
Dichotomania is one result of Acceleritis — putting everything into black/white good/bad categories. To the extent that those disposed to cause trouble — the powers behind terrorism — can identify themselves as lovers of God and the scientific West/East civilization as anti-God (Satanic), the motivational drivers of kamikaze behavior are multiplied.
My great friend the artist Peter Sorensen just sent me a collection of articles from the British publication New Scientist. In these articles, leading scientists discuss religion from a more clearheaded perspective. One article by physicist and philosopher Victor J. Stenger vindicates what I have been saying for decades, that the existence of God can be treated as a scientific hypothesis. He goes on to say that no evidence has been collected in support of that hypothesis. In my dissenting view, this is because today’s science defines “evidence” in such a way as to exclude the experiences within individual consciousness that cannot be measured by external devices.
The hidden agenda of Materialistic Accidentalism — the splinter cult within science that practices reductionism, sometimes comes across as uptight, and has started up unnecessary fights with religion and philosophy — seems (perhaps only to me) overly concerned with absolute certainty, which I consider to be pragmatically unavailable. Even quantum theory is self-admittedly a construct with high predictivity, yet no one claims it is the final answer with absolute certainty. The certainty angle is the hidden reason behind the restrictive definition of evidence, excluding what we lay individuals can experience for ourselves without third-party instrumentation. This makes science a closed group excluding the mass of humanity from partaking in its ways, exactly like an ancient priest class. I feel we can all be scientists in the way we live our lives, keeping track of experimental results and changing our thoughts and actions accordingly.
I wrote my new book You Are The Universe: Imagine That to offer a third way of looking at things, outside of the classical religion vs. science context. The book is a theory, a set of hypotheses, intended to explain the universe in scientific terms as a single field of consciousness, and to define consciousness as, in effect, an energy computer of such an intelligence level as to allow self-awareness. This one Self manifests in many forms, living through each of us as a temporarily sequestered pseudo-identity.
The book details how this model actually supports the core beliefs of all religions. It is unique (insofar as I know) as a scientific/empirical approach that resolves the millennia-long appearance of a war and an at-essence incompatibility between religion and science.
Mine is neither the current science approach (demanding credentials and relatively rapid verifiability by instrumentalities in the consensus reality) nor the classic theistic approach (faith, belief, authoritarianism, doctrine). It is a third way.
In the book I offer an experiment that readers can perform and determine the pragmatic results for themselves. I’m more concerned with the pragmatic — finding a set of operating rules to optimize life, gain insight into self and others and into the whole of which we are each a part, and thus reach and stay longer in the highest Flow states.
I am hoping that many people experiment with this third way. Pleased with the results, they might then help damp down the unnecessary, distracting, demoralizing and dangerous ideological wars, and better enjoy life. They don’t even have to give up science or religion.
More about Materialistic Accidentalism in this one minute video interview I did with my daughter Nicole adds a relevant point. Krishnamurti beautifully explains why rooting exclusively for any partial system works against our highest collective interest:
“When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.”
— J. Krishnamurti
Best to all,
Follow my regular blog contribution at Jack Myers Media Network: "In Terms of ROI". It is in the free section of the website at Bill Harvey at MediaBizBloggers.com.
You Are The Universe: Imagine That is now available. Read an excerpt and watch my videos where I talk about the book. The E-book is coming in September.