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Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox

Amos 27 Aug 03 - 12:51 PM
GUEST,Les in Chorlton 27 Aug 03 - 12:58 PM
Amos 27 Aug 03 - 02:36 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 27 Aug 03 - 03:33 PM
John MacKenzie 27 Aug 03 - 03:42 PM
Peter T. 27 Aug 03 - 04:35 PM
Bill D 27 Aug 03 - 04:37 PM
jacqui c 27 Aug 03 - 05:03 PM
Amos 27 Aug 03 - 06:42 PM
akenaton 27 Aug 03 - 07:24 PM
Amos 27 Aug 03 - 08:32 PM
akenaton 27 Aug 03 - 08:46 PM
Billy the Bus 27 Aug 03 - 09:15 PM
mack/misophist 27 Aug 03 - 09:24 PM
akenaton 27 Aug 03 - 09:41 PM
Mudlark 27 Aug 03 - 11:06 PM
mg 28 Aug 03 - 12:52 AM
Allan C. 28 Aug 03 - 01:52 AM
Amos 28 Aug 03 - 02:04 AM
Grab 28 Aug 03 - 08:19 AM
Amos 28 Aug 03 - 10:54 AM
Bill D 28 Aug 03 - 11:37 AM
fox4zero 28 Aug 03 - 02:18 PM
GUEST,Les in Chorlton, Manchester 28 Aug 03 - 02:25 PM
Allan C. 28 Aug 03 - 02:25 PM
Amos 28 Aug 03 - 02:26 PM
GUEST,John Hardly 28 Aug 03 - 02:52 PM
Amos 28 Aug 03 - 04:09 PM
Allan C. 29 Aug 03 - 12:15 AM
Mudlark 29 Aug 03 - 01:22 AM
Amos 29 Aug 03 - 09:11 AM
Bill D 29 Aug 03 - 10:31 AM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Aug 03 - 10:35 AM
Amos 29 Aug 03 - 10:53 AM
Bill D 29 Aug 03 - 01:48 PM
Allan C. 29 Aug 03 - 02:21 PM
Little Hawk 29 Aug 03 - 05:01 PM
Amos 29 Aug 03 - 06:55 PM
GUEST 29 Aug 03 - 07:07 PM
Little Hawk 29 Aug 03 - 07:12 PM
akenaton 29 Aug 03 - 07:21 PM
Amos 29 Aug 03 - 08:28 PM
GUEST,Wolfgang 30 Aug 03 - 07:58 AM
Amos 30 Aug 03 - 09:31 AM
Peg 30 Aug 03 - 10:26 AM
Bill D 30 Aug 03 - 11:06 AM
akenaton 30 Aug 03 - 11:11 AM
Little Hawk 30 Aug 03 - 12:22 PM
Amos 30 Aug 03 - 01:09 PM
Amos 01 Sep 03 - 09:52 PM
Stilly River Sage 01 Sep 03 - 09:54 PM
Amos 01 Sep 03 - 10:06 PM
The O'Meara 01 Sep 03 - 11:23 PM
Little Hawk 01 Sep 03 - 11:56 PM
Bill D 01 Sep 03 - 11:58 PM
Amos 02 Sep 03 - 12:07 AM
The O'Meara 02 Sep 03 - 01:17 AM
Wolfgang 02 Sep 03 - 06:45 AM
Peg 02 Sep 03 - 10:07 AM
Little Hawk 02 Sep 03 - 10:45 AM
Bill D 02 Sep 03 - 10:52 AM
Bill D 02 Sep 03 - 11:09 AM
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Wolfgang 02 Sep 03 - 11:45 AM
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Amos 02 Sep 03 - 12:48 PM
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Little Hawk 02 Sep 03 - 02:36 PM
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Subject: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Amos
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 12:51 PM

DEATH

In the last analysis, it is our perception of death which decides our
answers to all the questions that life puts to us.

                   Dag Hammarskjold


A powerful proposition. For consideration: is there a relation between your perception of death -- what it is, what it must be like, how it works-- and how you choose to respond to events in your life?

Where do the living get their perceptions of death?

A


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: GUEST,Les in Chorlton
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 12:58 PM

Oh, just a bit. People who believe they are going somewhere else may just tend to behave slightly differently to those who do not.

Where do we get ideas from? Parents knees and books. Why, when their are so many books in the Library, do some people decide to believe one to the exclusion of all others? Why do some people consult a car maintenance manual to understand cars and religious books to understand natural history?


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Amos
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 02:36 PM

Good points, Les.

I think a distinction must be mad,e though between thoughts about death (vague concepts picked up second hand) and what Dag H says in the quote -- a perception of death. I don't know for sure whether DH meant to make such a distinction or not, but it is al ot more interesting to assume he did.

I love your question!! I guess it is because to some religions all natural history is a religous phenomenon.

A


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 03:33 PM

Rather a queer statement isn't it?


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 03:42 PM

Scopes


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Peter T.
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 04:35 PM

I think the original quote is misguided, a sort of 50's existentialism. For a start (and in spite of Heidegger) most people are not oriented towards or away from death. They assume they are going to be alive unless proved otherwise -- especially in our society. Second, people faced with death who does not have a strong belief system seem to be stunned or abashed, and certainly not given any answers. Death raises far more questions than answers, and the answers are not forthcoming (unless, as I say, you have strong beliefs one way or the other). Faced with death and dead people, I have learned nothing except that death seems to have nothing to recommend it (as Woody Allen said, I don't mind dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens).

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 04:37 PM

One of the defining aspects of being human is that we can contemplate our own death and what happens before & after we exist. This contemplation is what leads to theories of afterlife. Some can emotionally tolerate the idea of "nothingness", and some cannot...and I strongly suspect that those who cannot will simply look for (or accept) the most 'comfortable' explanation.

I don't believe I am going "somewhere else"...but I still want to live this life as the best person I can be and hope that others can do the same.
Most of my 'perceptions of death' now have come from my own internal consideration of what I have been told versus what seems reasonable and likely. I have a great deal of difficulty in imagining "not being here" any longer. I am inexhaustibly curious about what will happen to the curious planet and its crazy inhabitants and I don't want to go till I know!
...but I shall, nonetheless, and I doubt I shall be widely missed. Perhaps all the thousands of posts in Mudcat will be the best record of my essential character.*grin*


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: jacqui c
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 05:03 PM

I agree with you Bill as I always want to know what happens next and the idea of not seeing how things unfold is frustrating.

While reading this thread I was thinking that, when we die we are kept alive by the people who survive us and the influence we might have had on other lives, for good and bad.

I have my own perception of what will happen when I die and it probably is a way of coming to terms with my own mortality. Like everyone else I've experienced the death of people close to me and have found it difficult at first to accept that I won't ever be able to see that person again. Like any loss we have to go through the various stages before we come can to an acceptance of the death and yes, I do think that the way that we deal with death does reflect the way that we deal with life. We have to accept that we will die, we just don't know when and we should make every day count, because it might be the last one that does.

Maybe that is the way to work out your true priorities. If you knew that you would die tomorrow, next week, next month what would you do and not do? Working on that I've given up on housework!!!


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Amos
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 06:42 PM

Interesting that this thread itself is now appearing to fulfill its own assertion -- that is, those posting to it are responding to it based on their perceptions of death. Anyway, I suppose there are as many ways to view death as there are opinions -- some see it as a blank wall, a zero point; others as a transition to some other-worldly state. Some see it as just a phase in a repetitive cycle. Some people think of it as a sort of summer vacation between levels at a university that never seems to hold graduation ceremonies! :>) Some see it as a sort of emulsifying blending back into the molecular river of space time. Some fear it as a sort of enforced haling before some kind of highly critical judgement. Some are certain it is an opportunity to review one's own decisions for oneself, a kind of break from some sort of stretched-out productivity....

Chacun a son gout , I guess.

And Jacqui, an interesting question. I'd start finishing every undelivered message I could think of, especially those of esteem and affection.

A


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: akenaton
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 07:24 PM

I see death as tha most important part of the natural cycle,as you all know every living thing must die ,plants ,insects,fungi...everything.
Regarding personal perceptions,I believe the answer lies in the human ego. Most people just cant bear to think that one day they will be gone and the world will keep turning. It scares them too much to think that they are no more powerful, in the long term, than other animals or even plants.Also after theyv taken that truth on board it brings a load of questions about our society, that most people dont want to think about...Best wishes Ake..


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Amos
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 08:32 PM

Why should the part labeled "Stop" be more important than the part labeled "Start" or the part seen as "Continuing" ?? They are all in separable phases of the life-cycvle, and anyone who locks in to one of them is pretty sure to go through all three...

A


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: akenaton
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 08:46 PM

I simply made that statement because folk tend to close their minds to the idea of death,instead of embracing the cycle in its entirety.
Peple have been filled by superstition and fear over the centuries and find it hard to be rational...Ake


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 09:15 PM

It's all a 'Bit of a Dägg' really - He was a fine guy!

Cheers - Sam


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: mack/misophist
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 09:24 PM

It seems obvious to me that people are afraid of death because it's an unknown. It's the not knowing that hurts. Many could come to terms with going to hell, if they knew that's what was going to happen. It's just that damned uncertainty.


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: akenaton
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 09:41 PM

misophist...People have been conditioned to fear death through the different religions ,and especially Christianity. In the older cultures (Aberigional,American native,ect),death was excepted with peace and without fear.
All one needs for peace of mind is a knowledge that each one of us is a tiny part of a huge machine and our deaths wont stop the engine....Ake


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Mudlark
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 11:06 PM

At this end of my life I take my perceptions of death from the natural world I live in. I am somewhat literal minded and I have always had trouble getting my mind around the concept that matter doesn't disappear, just its forms. But the idea of returning to stardust appeals, and after 40 years a gardener, compost seems as good a way to look at death, and the hereafter, as any.

As for the death of others, it is the acceptance of the finality of death that is difficult...that such mundane things as their clothing, and papers covered with their handwriting, can still exist, yet the genesis for all these personal "things" is inexplicably and emphatically gone.

With compost as my belief, I have no formal religious idea of afterlife, and yet...and yet...I've been visited a couple of times by the recently dead. Mental abberation borne of the above mentioned difficulty with acceptance? It sure didn't seem like that, but the subconscious is a wild and wonderful place...

In the end, I'm comfortable with not knowing. We don't even know, in intricate detail, how our own bodies work, a mystery among many. And if I had a chance at a time machine, I think I'd be more interested in taking a look at the past.


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: mg
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 12:52 AM

I would love to know that we just stopped when we die and there was no judgement day, purgatory, hell etc...I am a Catholic raised by a fire and brimstone Baptist mother..it should have made me very religious but I am marginal at best but still quite paranoid about it all. mg


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Allan C.
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 01:52 AM

It always seemed to me that if we accept the theory that energy can be neither created nor destroyed, then that energy we all have within us MUST remain (somewhere) after we die. The question (to which some of us CLAIM to have the answer) is where does that energy, a.k.a., spirit go? I don't have the answer and you can talk to me until you are blue; but I will never believe YOU have the answer either.

Philosophically, I see death as an adventure - a step toward the unknown. Perhaps when the time comes to face it, I may suddenly develop a different philosophy - many people do, I am told. But from the current vantage, I see nothing to fear.

Does this view skew my thinking about all other aspects of my life? I can only say, perhaps. Perhaps Dag had it figured right.


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Amos
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 02:04 AM

IF humans are capable of experiencing separately from their bodies, and there is a strong thread of evidence to the effect that they are, one's cosmology would have to take that phenomenon into account. Including the notion that death as it is experienced by the body is NOT identical to the experience of death that the "I" goes through.

A


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Grab
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 08:19 AM

Allan, the "energy" meant in the theories of thermodynamics is a very different "energy" to what spiritualists/psychics are referring to! The former is measurable and quantifiable using standard physical methods. On death, all this energy that was stored in your body is dispersed - body-heat is dissipated into the surroundings, and stored energy in chemical reactions is used for food by various organisms or dissipated as chemicals break down naturally. The latter is utterly unquantifiable and cannot be detected by any instrument, and indeed its very existence cannot be demonstrated by any process.

Or in short, physical scientific principles don't apply when the concepts are religious, philosophical or metaphorical, rather than physical! :-) I agree with you though, there's no way anyone can know the answer, bcos there's no evidence either way. That's exactly why death is the great adventure.

From a personal POV though, if there is a judgement day and God's sitting there saying "you've been a bit bad but you can go to Heaven, but you've been a little bit worse so you can go to eternal torture", frankly I think I'll be organising the militia to go and beat the crap out of Him. My God is *not* a jealous God...

Grab.


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Amos
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 10:54 AM

Grab:

I'm not sure it works that way!! LOL!!! SOunds a bit anthropomorphic to me.

A


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 11:37 AM

"IF humans are capable of experiencing separately from their bodies, and there is a strong thread of evidence to the effect that they are, "

ummm..Amos.. there may be a bit of equivocation in the use of the word "evidence" among various opinions. As you might expect, I have a pretty narrow view of the matter.

..Allan C.refers to the concept that matter & energy are not destroyed, but merely change locus and configuration, but that hardly supports a theory that some sort of 'identity' remains after death.

There IS, however, lots of evidence that the mind is capable of rearranging its memories and neuro-chemical patterns in fascinating ways. (Hypnosis, visions during fasting, psychodelic drugs, trauma...etc.) 'Reality' become pretty slippery sometimes.


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: fox4zero
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 02:18 PM

I was taught that the way to approach Death is to "run zig-zag and then kick him in the balls".

Larry


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: GUEST,Les in Chorlton, Manchester
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 02:25 PM

DEATH

In the last analysis, it is our perception of death which decides our
answers to all the questions that life puts to us.

                   Dag Hammarskjold

I am still wary of people who think they will get a second chance somewhere else especially when they have read some book and talked to some people that tell them they are special ......

....and so I agree with Dag.


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Allan C.
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 02:25 PM

I totally agree with your thoughts about identity, Bill. While some may be hung up on the concept that after we die we might be "reborn" as new humans, I see no reason why we should limit that idea to animate things or even to things on this planet. After all, it seems doubtful that gravity would have much effect upon that sort of energy.

By the way, I do understand the differences in the definitions of energies. Still, I believe the theory applies to the spiritual energies in much the same way.


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Amos
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 02:26 PM

Well, Bill, you get into a vicious circle if you require spiritual phenomena to be constrained to mechanistic criteria. But aside from that, there is evidence, yes. The indication from the data I have seen is that viewpoint and material particles interact, but are different things. Thing is, it is powerful easy to create the opposite impression, as well. With something as malleable as a viewpoint, it is arguable that there is no way to get hard-edged repluication of evidence. Minds don't seem to work that way.   

A


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: GUEST,John Hardly
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 02:52 PM

finally "identity" is brought up.

I understand resignation to the unavoidable -- but what I find interesting in this discussion is:
1. How little we seem to believe in our own personhood -- though it's the greatest reality we have ever experienced, and
2. how much the discussion so far would lead one to believe (outside of one comment by m.g. about fear) death to be of little consequence, and
3. How absolute we are here that nobody could have an answer (or know any better than we do what's really up)....

....reminds me of the terrific quote I just read t'other day-- "An agnostic is someone who doesn't know whether there's a god, and says you don't, either." :^)

Finally (that'd be #4 I s'pose), that this is a gathering of intellectuals, and intellectualism is at least as aimed at comforting the uncertain as any religion is. *grin*


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Amos
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 04:09 PM

I don't think it of little consequence -- it is certainly a simportant as anyother nameable event in a lifetime, wouldn't you think? If Dag's quote is to be taken seriously, it is a defining part of the whole string!

Personhood is an interesting thing, because it works in layers of construction, but there is always some center that is apparently an unchanging transcendant center no matter what other moral, cultural or tribal beliefs you buy in to. Your style and mindset may melt away after death, I believe, but the core of Thou remaineth undeterred to pursue other adventures.

'Course, Dag would say I am just defining how I am going to handle life's twists and turns.

Hmmm....


A


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Allan C.
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 12:15 AM

Now read the quotation while replacing the word, "death" with "life". The result seems to me to be equally as interesting an observation.


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Mudlark
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 01:22 AM

It seems that even the essential Thou may be in question. There is a lot of speculation verging on evidence that very early childhood does some profound rewiring.I resist that idea, myself.

Regarding reality...in a documentary on vehicle dwellers I saw an interesting card in the window of a bus..."Perception is not necessarily reality."


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Amos
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 09:11 AM

That's for sure!!!


A


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Bill D
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 10:31 AM

Allan C...."Still, I believe the theory applies to the spiritual energies in much the same way."

Amos.... "...require spiritual phenomena to be constrained to mechanistic criteria"

I see your point(s)...but I see nothing that convinces me that 'spiritual energies and/or phenomena' are anything more than linguistic twists in an attempt to come to terms with unusual manifestations of physical phenomena.
People DO have experiences that they need to interpret, and often they have religious, cultural and familial background templates already in place when these experiences (or ideas) occur. (many backspaces here)...

Why do we obviously *grin* intelligent, concerned people differ on these issues and concepts? This is almost as interesting to me as the question of WHETHER spiritual constructs have any sort of 'reality'. Are we hard-wired at birth to process information certain ways? Does excesses of various hormones partially determine our moral and 'spititual' values? I truly do not 'know', but every year I see more & more articles from medical research about DNA controlling more than we'd like to think.

The whole thing becomes a meta-issue, where the very discussion may depend on analysis of what basic precepts we accept, and why.

Or, as my wife says, maybe my 'receptors' were never developed due to my refusal to eat eggs & onions as a kid!~ *grin*


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 10:35 AM

"a sort of 50's existentialism" - what's the date ever got to do with whether a way of thinking is valid or not?


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Amos
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 10:53 AM

but I see nothing that convinces me that 'spiritual energies and/or phenomena' are anything more than linguistic twists in an attempt to come to terms with unusual manifestations of physical phenomena

Psychic and spiritual phenomena -- events that are so labeled, anyway -- tend to stand outside the normal model of space time based on what is essentially Newtonian space-time, and they can be very disconcerting to minds whose filters are predominantly based on that view and model. Some explanations base themselves on the "unfathomed complexity" proposition which argies that the details of the phsyical universe, EMF vibrations and quantum phenomena are so complex that the explanation for these phenomena will be eventually found as that complexity is plumbed.

The other argument for the same discrepancy is the "incomplete model" proposition which says that a model which includes only matter, energy, space and time is incomplete and that in order to explain the anomalies one has to posit an additional component to existence, usually referred to as "thought", "spiritual energy" "elan vital", or other names depending on the bias of the proposer.

Personally I think both things are true -- there is a lot to be unfolded and uncovered about the universe at a quantum level which will change how we look at things AND there is a major component which is spiritual rather than material in its nature and therefore has different qualities and laws than those which seem to govern particles and waves.

A


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Bill D
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 01:48 PM

"...minds whose filters are predominantly based on that view and model."

Yep..I can see that! And I immediately am asking how one GETS filters and whether 'filters' can be flawed...and how would one test for a flawed filter...etc..

"Personally I think both things are true ...... AND there is a major component which is spiritual......"

And in the final analysis, it comes down to that "I think", doesn't it? I am certainly aware that I have not proven that spiritual phenomena don't exist (that is, independently of subjective awareness of them)..but neither has anyone 'proved' that they do! To me, there are far too many implications to believing without a better notion of the nature what I would be believing in (if that makes any sense).

There are whole areas of Philosophy devoted to the relation of our linguistic constructs to 'reality', and though I am not deeply grounded in this, I see the general concern of the area. For some people, just being able to have a concept and verbalize a concept endows that concept with a certain 'existence', and gives validity to the debate. Needless to say, I am not in that camp.

Whether, indeed, further exploration of quantum mechanics will allow us to find the basis of phenomena we now call 'spiritual' is interesting....I wish I could expect to live to see a resolution: but what I personally expect, is that there will BE no resolution, and that some will continue to see, hear, feel, experience..and believe in, phenomena that I and my ilk cannot. (I get told regularly that I need to 'open myself' to the experiences...*grin*..which sort of means to me "give up and let your imagination go, like the rest of us") *shrug*....naaawww, if them spirits wants me, let 'em come GET me!


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Allan C.
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 02:21 PM

All such discussions eventually boil down to the question of definitions of terms. When examining concepts such as death, about which we know nothing, or life, about which we may eventually discover we know nearly nothing, definitions cannot possibly be hard and fast. This means that our discussion can only remain on the level of opinion. Empirical evidence is not to be found on this plane. IMHO


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 05:01 PM

I think DH made a very good point, and it may indeed be the very crux of human consciousness, as he suggests. That's why religions and philosophies are so concerned with death, possibilities of afterlife, the transitory nature of things, and so on.

This is what happens to a consciously self-observant creature, which is what you have in the case of a human being. I don't think animals worry about death in an abstract sense...for them it is always NOW, so they only worry about an immediate threat or discomfort, but not about what may happen tomorrow, a year from now or twenty years from now.

This sets us humans apart. We fantasize and worry about possible futures, and a great deal of the worrying we do (if not most of it) concerns possible futures that never even come to pass as we imagined they might! In other words, most of our worrying is a waste of time and energy. :-) It would make more sense to take action than to worry, wouldn't it? Or if you can't do anything about a situation, then why worry, because the worrying won't help?

Now I can look at the way my ideas about death shaped my existence...

As a young child I hardly thought about it at all. I felt that my life was endless, so my attention was mostly on having fun, satisfying my boundless curiosity about almost everything, and avoiding various unpleasant situations. In other words, I was behaving a lot like a young, playful animal would. I was mostly carefree and happy, because I felt immortal.

As an adolescent I did begin to worry about mortality some, but I didn't believe in anything religious or any afterlife or anything like that at all, so my main attention was on a number of pressing problems:

How to avoid being bullied by other youngsters.
How to avoid being oppressed and harried by my father.
How to survive school, which I hated.
How to deal with romantic loneliness, which was driving me crazy.
How to be special and win the respect and love of other people.
How to tolerate being (apparently) utterly powerless in the face of those things.

Obviously, I was beginning to worry about death (an eventual end to my hopes and dreams) and passing time, since every week and month that went by without my finding my Mecca (a girlfriend) and my Medina (the respect of other people) signaled failure and doom in my mind.

Ugh! I hate to think of it now. What an awful state of mind I was in, giving over all my power to the approval and acceptance of other people. It was essentially the fact that I believed in death as a final end to my existence that I was in that pickle. Had I thought of myself as immortal, I wouldn't have been in nearly so bad a spot.

In my twenties I began an informal inquiry into religion and spiritual philosophies. All of them appeared to lead to the conclusion that death is not the end. I was very curious about that. They also led to a feeling of my own intrinsic worth regardless of the opinions of other people.

But...it was a long struggle to move from a scientific objectivist who thinks death is the end and physicality is all there is to a spiritual philosopher who thinks death is simply a doorway into further life.

It took until I was about 50 before I actually became pretty much independent of relying upon other people (their love, their opinion of me, their respect for me) for my happiness...or upon outer objects (which give a brief sense of happiness when you acquire them, but it doesn't last long).

I no longer have to be "a success" at anything to be happy. I no longer need to be famous or even well known. I no longer need some particular special possessions or property. I no longer need a lover to be happy. I no longer need a reputation of some kind to be happy. I need a certain basic level of comfort, of course, where necessities are met, but that's pretty obvious and there are practical ways of managing it.

I am happy (much of the time) because it is natural to be happy, and because I am that I am, as someone else said, and that is the total justification of exactly what I am, and it is not going to end with my physical death...

I'm just going to leave this stage at that time, that's all, and you won't see me around if you still have a part to play here.

Yup. One's ideas about death are absolutely crucial to one's consciousness.

Cheers!

- LH


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Amos
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 06:55 PM

Bill:

Well, I can assert my beliefs as true for others as well, if you prefer, but I was taught it was bad manners to do so. As to where one gets filters, they are by products of one's own creative power.

Pragma, noun: a term in S/W operating system technology for basic structures in logic which define what will consitute data to that system, and what will not; a logical definition of what will get in as recognized information.

To a large degree the "pragma" of your own mind are postulated constraints, held in place by your own energies and capable of being changed. They, in turn, define what kinds of perceptions will consittute data to your own consciousness in the universe. Some of these limits or filtering decisions are born out of voluntary agreement, some out of enforced agreement and some just out of the biggest miracle -- self determination.

They are not binary, and the "logic" they use is much different than computer science's version.

That's how it looks to me, anyway! :>)

A


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 07:07 PM

Great thread.

Thanks to those more articulate and probably wiser than me who have posted.

Bill D, you talk a lot of sense. It's a shame we can't prove it, but WYSIWYG wouldn't believe us anyway (silly moo)


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 07:12 PM

Yeah, that's right. Self-determination is the biggest miracle. Find a person who truly thinks for him/herself and you have found a rare person. Most people's "pragma", as defined above by Amos, are hand-me-downs from various other people...who may or may not know what they are talking about. One thing you can be sure of...they don't know all that there is to know yet and they probably haven't applied 5% of it.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: akenaton
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 07:21 PM

All this talk about "What is there after death".Well Iv seen lots of dead people and i can assure you they are just like any other dead animal.Its wrong to say, that because we dont Know for sure about an afterlife,this validates all the religious theries. We must try to think sensibly about this and the chances of "life after death" are miniscule.Little Hawks correct in my view,referring to the human brain being the problem.Its far to big for our own good and much too inclined to fantasy.Of course these traits are used unscrupulously by the organised religions,politicians,and power hungry war-mongers.
As i stated already the ego is the problem,people just seem to need to think that they are indispensibe..


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Amos
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 08:28 PM

The chances of "life after death" are miniscule

Akneton, how did you calculate this probability and come up with the answer "miniscule", as a matter of curiosity?

The admission of a single datum -- that being is a spiritual rather than physical event -- raises its probability to near certainty. The admission of a single datum -- that all existence is material and life, including awareness of life, is just a compounding of mechanics -- reduces it to near-zero. But how did you establish that one of these premises was more persuasive than the other?


A


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: GUEST,Wolfgang
Date: 30 Aug 03 - 07:58 AM

Subjective weighting, Amos, in a very similar way to you saying that there is 'a strong thread of evidence' to the effect that humans are able to experience separately from their bodies whereas I looking at the same set of data would say close to nil evidence.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Amos
Date: 30 Aug 03 - 09:31 AM

Quite so, Wolfgang -- subjective weighting. Hard enough to shake it, even in the most mechanical of experiments.

A


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Peg
Date: 30 Aug 03 - 10:26 AM

The human intellect is what separates us from the so-called "lower" animals. Along with literature, art and music, philosophy and science, the ruminations about the nature of death are part and parcel of this experience we call life on earth.   Our brains are capable of considering it; therefore we consider it. And consider it. So much of what humans believe about the world around them has to do with what they have been shown, taught or given in this life. Their family, culture, climate, experiences, dreams, occupations, hardships and illnesses, loves and disappointments.

I have wrestled and struggled with a fear of death most of my life and it has been brought into stark relief in the last several years. I have at least begun to accept that it is inevitable. I still fear it's coming too suddenly or painfully.

As to whether our consciousness continues on...part of me wishes   that to be true. Another part of me is satisfied that the idea that I have lived on this beautiful planet, thought the thoughts I have, enjoyed the people I have had in my life, that that is enough and the world and its inhabitants will somehow hold that small piece of existence that is/was me in some sort of perpetuity, as it does all of us. Some more than others, of course (Shakespeare, da Vinci, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, John Lennon, Princess Diana, etc.) It may well be our awe at the memories of the works and peronas of such people which lends us hope that we too   might continue on in the hearts and minds of others.


Three documents which have led me to some intense musings on the subject include the films Waking Life and Donnie Darko and the book Death: the Great Adventure by Alice   Bailey.

The first purports a strong connection between the consciousness   that defines dreaming and that which defines the state of being dead, and suggests they are very, very similar...the idea that   one's consciousness continues after death in the same way we are sometimes able to enter and experience the dreams of others    on the astral plane, and able to see those who have gone on before us in dreams, would seem to support this.

Anyway, I highly recommend it.


peg


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Aug 03 - 11:06 AM

Peg...your last sentence is long and the punctuation not all that clear. It 'seems' to be stating that ".. we are sometimes able to enter and experience the dreams of others on the astral plane..." etc. I would hope that I am wrong, and that you are not claiming that as a fact, but merely as a theory or idea.

Amos...woke up to your post about 'pragma'...pondering on it and the implications of the concept. But my off-the-cuff reaction is that 'pragma' and 'self-determination' merely add a level to the analysis, without providing substantial closure.......and perhaps that is the point. Perhaps there is, finally, NO solution to the question of ultimate/remote cause,(both in physics and in metaphysics) except linguistic constructs, some of which are easier to grasp than others.


"Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite 'em,
And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum.
And the great fleas themselves, in turn, have greater fleas to go on;
While these again have greater still, and greater still, and so on."

....attributed to Augustus De Morgan


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: akenaton
Date: 30 Aug 03 - 11:11 AM

Amos ...Surely Everything we do conscious and sub-conscious is a product of the brain..therefore everything is ultimately "physical".
I dont think anyone really knows how the brain works ,but as we find out more Im sure a natural answer will be found .
In saying that, Ihave had an experience of "mental telepathy" which could not have been coincidence..This experience gave me cause for thought ,but finally came to the conclusion that the power involved was natural ,not super-natural...I think we have a long way to go before we fully understand all the brains secrets   Ake


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Aug 03 - 12:22 PM

That which we observe consciously and subconsciously is observed and in some way registered by the brain, but is not a product of the brain, no more than a radio program is produced by the radio. The brain is a tranmsmitter/receiver, it is not the source of the program.

People's beliefs are generally based on two things: direct observation and basic assumptions about the nature of reality. Those basic assumptions = faith. If someone assumes that reality is strictly physical, then his direct observations of it are interpreted only through that assumption. That appears to be your position, akenaton, and given that, your reasoning appears flawless within (and only within) its own established parameters.

When people observe something directly that confounds their basic assumptions, they are astounded. The end result of such an incident is: a) they change their basic assumptions b) they forget about it or discount it or explain it away as soon as possible and retain their basic assumptions.

Dead people, indeed, are exactly like dead animals (when we speak of the body)...a decaying hunk of meat and bone, devoid of consciousness. That's because the motivating consciousness has left the body. This is just as true of animals as it is of people, despite the fact that the consciousness of the animal is a bit less developed in some respects than a human consciousness.

Life force is immortal. Bodies are mortal. Life force uses a body for awhile, then moves on...and expresses itself in some other way. You can't destroy energy, you can only alter the way in which it is manifesting itself.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Amos
Date: 30 Aug 03 - 01:09 PM

...Surely Everything we do conscious and sub-conscious is a product of the brain..therefore everything is ultimately "physical".


The reverse -- that the brain and all the activity is a by-product of consciousness -- is equally tenable. It is not certain at all that consciousness is a product of the brain. It does seem true that the brain acts as a filter and amplifier, but there is a big difference between the source of thought and the mechanisms it gets into being relayed.

Imagine getting confused and believing that conversations were coming out of the telephone, and concluding that it wasn't comprehensibvle because the wiring was so complex -- but nevertheless it was obviosuly the source of all communications because it is obviosu, you hold it up to your ear and it starts talking to you. I have been accused of being meretricious usinfg this analogy, but the point underlying it is important -- the correct source must be included in considering the problem, or the whole solution goes haywire.

A


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Amos
Date: 01 Sep 03 - 09:52 PM

Welcome back!

A


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Sep 03 - 09:54 PM

We're all beating a path to our favorite threads to revive them after the drought, eh?

SRS


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Amos
Date: 01 Sep 03 - 10:06 PM

Actually this one was outside in the dark hiding under a rock mewling pitifully to be refreshed, so I couldn't very well ignore it!

A


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: The O'Meara
Date: 01 Sep 03 - 11:23 PM

Many years ago I occasionally hung out with a group of Jesuit scholars and a discussion similar to this one, physical vs spiritual, came up. Being a Smart-ass Mick teenager I announced that if you could not sense something with your 5 senses it had no physical presence and therefore did not exist. So there!
   
"Aha!" says one of the guys. (Note: I have learned that if you're arguing with a Jesuit scholar and he says "Aha!" you might as well pack up and go home right then.) "Do this," he said, "Show me two." When I held up two fingers he said "No, don't show me two of something, just show me two."

"I can't do that," says I.

"Right," says he, "But when I say two, you know exactly what I mean. The concept of two exists without any physical presence at all. And if that can be, what else can be?"

I think about that every once in awhile. Especially when the topic is life after death, or the existence of God. If that can be, what else can be?

O'Meara

ps That particular Jesuit went on to own a Ford dealership in ST. Paul MN. Thought you might like to know.


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Sep 03 - 11:56 PM

Great story, O'Meara! Thanks for that. Nice to be back, isn't it? There I was thinking we'd all have to "get a life"... :-)


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Bill D
Date: 01 Sep 03 - 11:58 PM

" The concept of two exists without any physical presence at all."... Plato claimed that we got all our concepts that way, but others merely shrug and argue that we ONLY have a concept of 'two' from having seen "twoness" in reality and abstracting it FROM real things...and from there it is only a step to assigning 'twoness', etc. to things we have NEVER seen..and away we go!


(my brain is WAY too fried to add more intelligent comment tonight)


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Amos
Date: 02 Sep 03 - 12:07 AM

I spent some time being a wiseass myself, OMEara -- I came similar pratfalls along the line as well! :>)

A


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: The O'Meara
Date: 02 Sep 03 - 01:17 AM

I think it's called "youth" or maybe "childhood." Amazingly, many people survive it.

Does Mudcat exist when it's not on line?

Does Mudcat exist when I'm not on line?

Do I exist when Mudcat's off line?

Oh, never mind.

O'Meara


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Wolfgang
Date: 02 Sep 03 - 06:45 AM

The brain is a tranmsmitter/receiver, it is not the source of the program. (Little Hawk)

In one respect that is trivially true and in another respect that is completely wrong.

Of course, for instance the sound of the waves is produced outside of the brain and is registered by it. The stars and not the brain are the real source of the night sky percept. That is the trivially true part (though some philosophers would already disagree and state that without anybody listening there is no sound of the waves).

In sharp contrast to the action of a receiver/transmitter, the brain actively processes and alters the information input. In that respect, a better comparison is to a computer program, for instance in a scanner, that tries to make sense of the physical input and uses a stored information bank to alter the input according to 'best guesses'. If I forget to change the language in my scanner from English to German, the same physical input can lead to different best guesses of my program.

Our brain replaces partly missing information from stored patterns, our brain guesses to make sense weak input signals (and sometimes goes spectacularly wrong), our brain uses expectations and prejudices to fit the incoming information into a big picture. The brain as a transmitter (where to, by the way?) is a completely misleading metapher.

And, of course, the brain sometimes even is the source of the program, in dreams, in thinking, in schizophrenia, in some extreme states (e.g. in sleep deprivation) when we cannot differentiate between our thoughts and outside input. Only the most extreme behaviourists would have claimed that there is no brain activity except as a reaction to an input signal.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Peg
Date: 02 Sep 03 - 10:07 AM

welcome back everyone.

BillD; to respond to your earlier comment, in my experience, it is a fact that people can and do share in each other's dream experiences on the astral plane (or where/whatever you wish to call it), not a mere theory or idea. I realize many may think this is not possible and I suppose I did not until I experienced it for myself. (Was it Little Hawk who suggested we believe in things because we have experienced them directly?)


If one believes Jung was correct in positing a collective unconscious, it doesn't seem too far to go to imagine that thought forms and energies generated during the dreaming state can also affect others. We spend a full third of our lives sleeping and a good portion of that dreaming. Without sufficient REM sleep, people can start hallucinating (this has happened to me) and sleep deprivation is one of the quickest routes to death, not merely because of its physical effects but its mental ones; the brain needs this activity or it cannot function properly. I think it well worth exploring the constructive possibilities of dreaming. Some people cannot recall them at all or claim not to dream, but there are various techniques to help develop better recall.


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Sep 03 - 10:45 AM

Good stuff there, Wolfgang. Agreed. The brain not only transmits and receives information from outside (and inside)...it processes and alters information and manufactures new information...like a computer.

However, it's not the physical brain that does that, it's the living energy that is making use of the physical brain (as an interface with the rest of the physical body) which does that. That living energy is the life force I was referring to. Some call it "the soul", and some call it "the mind" or "intelligence".

Now if you remove that living energy from the physical brain, the brain can no longer transmit, receive, process or alter anything. It can only decay. Just as when you turn off or unplug the computer (and remove its battery) it can no longer transmit, receive, process or alter information. It becomes inert.

Therefore, I submit that the physical brain is not the source of thought or intelligence or imagination, it is simply the mechanism through which thought passes along the conduits of the nervous system to the rest of the physical body. (Obviously, it's a very valuable mechanism for the purposes of being alive in a physical body.) Without it my fingers could not have been instructed to type this post.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Bill D
Date: 02 Sep 03 - 10:52 AM

Peg...it seems to me that the operative parts of your answer are "If one believes.." and "..to imagine that .."

If one doesn't believe & imagine these things, what then?

In one place you say "I experienced it for myself." In another, you acknowlege what hallucinating can do...The point is not whether or not you had an experience (I don't doubt that you did!), but rather the real cause of that experience, and this unfortunately is not usually subject to verification.

There is a good reason to apply the principle of Occam's Razor to many of our experiences that are difficult to explain...but no one can insist that people do this, especially when some explanations are just clearly more 'interesting'.

I, myself, have had dreams that upset me, thrilled me, confused me and referred in strange ways to my concious life, but I have NEVER had one that could not be explained by random firing of neurological memories as my brain coped with it's stored patterns in different levels of sleep. Of course, I could find more complex explanations, and much more interesting ones...*grin*...but although they 'might' be true, I am constituted to need something pretty convincing.


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Bill D
Date: 02 Sep 03 - 11:09 AM

oh...I got lost in typing and left out one thought: to say that
"it is a fact that people can and do share in each other's dream experiences on the astral plane" supposes a highly subjective definition of 'fact'...and this is why so many debates go nowhere.

You & I may differ on whether you do or do not have these experiences, but in order to discuss it much further, we would have to have a common notion of what constitutes 'fact' and 'proof'. The scientific method tries to codify this, but we humans have the ability to ignore rigid 'rules' and simply state "I don't choose to accept that definition in all circumstances".

*shrug*...I suspect that we cannot argue this point without first doing the meta-argument about 'fact'.


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Sep 03 - 11:12 AM

"I have NEVER had one that could not be explained by.."

Either Bill D must remember his dreams a lot better than most people, or he means he "cannot remember ever having had a dream that could not be explained by..."


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Wolfgang
Date: 02 Sep 03 - 11:45 AM

Though formally correct, to replace each 'never' by 'cannot recall ever' makes the language awkward.

Like Bill, I see no good and convincing reason for a dualistic approach to 'mind'. Others obviously see a good reason for such an interpretation. What disturbs me is that to them it seems to be more than just one possible interpretation.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Bill D
Date: 02 Sep 03 - 12:20 PM

*grin*..well, as a matter of interest (not 'fact'), I remember all too many dreams....not the details, but rather, snapshots I can flip thru like a deck of cards. I can sometimes hit 40-50 in one 'session'....but, yeah, McGrath, I am sure some old dreams are 'gone', and I can only apply my explanation to the dreams I remember. I did make a generalization from that and by definition, I don't remember the ones I have forgotten, so..... *insert necessary disclaimers here*.

Remember, "the burden of proof is on the assertor" When you claim something, YOU need to show why and/or how it might be...if you don't care about proof, but are just content to believe, then the discussion/debate/argument is reduced to "no you didn't" "yes I did".


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Amos
Date: 02 Sep 03 - 12:48 PM

them it seems to be more than just one possible interpretation

In matters not readily susceptible to hard statistics, like most folks, I think we choose along a sense of highest probability based (as you have pointed out before, Wolfgang) on subjective weighting. So it takes on the apppearance of a more probable explanation even if not the only one.

A


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Peg
Date: 02 Sep 03 - 01:44 PM

Bill wrote:


"Peg...it seems to me that the operative parts of your answer are "If one believes.." and "..to imagine that .."

If one doesn't believe & imagine these things, what then?"
--I can't answer that in detail since it is such a subjective question, but the most obvious response seems to be: that's your   choice. And if I CAN and DO imagine and believe these things, then that is MY choice.


In one place you say "I experienced it for myself." In another, you acknowlege what hallucinating can do...
--are you suggesting my experience was the result of hallucinating? That is inaccurate and presumptuous of you. Also, I did not   "acknowledge what hallucinating can do"; I said that sleep deprivation/lack of REM sleep can lead to hallucinating.


"The point is not whether or not you had an experience (I don't doubt that you did!), but rather the real cause of that experience, and this unfortunately is not usually subject to verification."
--what sort of verification is needed? It happened. I can describe it in detail. I am convinced of its veracity, as is the other person involved. I know others who have had similar experiences. You really don't seriously expect that phenomena connected to dreams and psychic activity can be somehow empiricaly verified through machinery or some other "scientific" means, do you? *YAWN* Why take part in this discussion at all if all you want to do is play the know-it-all skeptic?
As for the "real cause" you seem to be implying that I have somehow manufactured or imagined a cause for this phenomenon that is not its "true" one. I don't know what "caused" it and to be honest I don't think it matters all that much, because I am sure the answer is a complex and ambiguous one.


"There is a good reason to apply the principle of Occam's Razor to many of our experiences that are difficult to explain...but no one can insist that people do this, especially when some explanations are just clearly more 'interesting'."
--I am not trying to be "interesting," merely truthful. Some peoples' truths are more interesting than others, I will admit that. Your life, I'd wager, is probably way more boring than mine, but that is just my opinion based on your narrow-minded and, I'm afraid, rather patronizing, dismissal of my experiences. I am a creative person, attuned to creative impulses and thought-forms. These arise from all sorts of unexpected sources. It's an exciting way to go through life.


"I, myself, have had dreams that upset me, thrilled me, confused me and referred in strange ways to my concious life, but I have NEVER had one that could not be explained by random firing of neurological memories as my brain coped with it's stored patterns in different levels of sleep. Of course, I could find more complex explanations, and much more interesting ones...*grin*...but although they 'might' be true, I am constituted to need something pretty convincing."
--again, it's your choice. I personally find the process and its resultant effects fascinating and very useful, often inspiring. You can do whatever you want with your dreams.


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskjold Paradox
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Sep 03 - 01:55 PM

Pedantic drift: Actually it's spelt Hammerskjold.

I know that because we've got a Hammerskjold Road near where I live in Harlow. The only word or name I've ever come across with "rskj" in it. (And of course Amos got it right in his post itself.)


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Amos
Date: 02 Sep 03 - 02:13 PM

Kevin:

It is trimmed in the thread name only because of the characters (number of) limitation -- same reason it is 'Thought a Day' instead of the usual Thought for the Day.

A


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Sep 03 - 02:36 PM

Yeah, we assess probabilities as best we can in formulating our most basic ideas about reality. After all, this entire thread may be simply a hallucination or a dream (caused by the random firing of neurons) that I am experiencing and all of you may not actually exist. Mudcat Cafe may not really exist. This could be an extended dream in a life in which I am actually an accountant in Schectady whose wife has just purchased a chihuahua, and who has fallen asleep at his desk imagining that he is Little Hawk. Or maybe it's the other way around, and I am a hallucination that you are experiencing, Bill.

But probably not... :-)

Now, where in the World did you get the idea that neurons fire "randomly"? (smile)


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Bill D
Date: 02 Sep 03 - 03:49 PM

well, Peg, I tried very hard to NOT be "narrow minded" and "patronizing" as I pointed out other possibilities and explanations for certain phemomena and experiences, nor did I strive to "dismiss" your experiences, but only to note alternative notions....and I DID note that if someone states that they will damn well interpret their experiences the way they wish, then there's little else I can say directly. *shrug*...

so...I will go on and live my boring (*grin*..you wouldn't believe) life and not address you directly about this again, as you take it pretty personally. I did not intend to insult or ridicule you, and I offer my regrets if it seemed I did..I always understand that 'disagreeing' in these matters does not prove anything..one way or the other.

(If you should wish any further discussion, perhaps a PM, hmmm?)


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Peg
Date: 02 Sep 03 - 06:19 PM

Bill;
one can disagree without discounting another person's beliefs. By stating that something I have experienced cannot be verified or proven, well, that seems like ridicule at best, or, worse, accusing   me of lying (or was it "hallucinating"?)

It would help if you stated that these are YOUR beliefs, and that they are BELIEFS; but, by speaking generally, you imply the rest of the (thinking) world must needs agree with you, and by relying on rhetoric in which only hardline "facts" and empirical "evidence" and "proof" (when the very subject we're discussing is intangible) will convince you of the veracity of my claims, well, it's a set-up. It then becomes a situation in which anyone with experience of the paranormal will be unable to sit at the table.


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Bill D
Date: 02 Sep 03 - 07:29 PM

I can only repeat:
"You & I may differ on whether you do or do not have these experiences, but in order to discuss it much further, we would have to have a common notion of what constitutes 'fact' and 'proof'."
.....you did say ".. in my experience, it is a fact that.... not a mere theory or idea." ....I merely suggested that, since in other's experience, it is not a fact, we cannot debate further without a common notion of 'fact'.

As to my "beliefs"..isn't there a difference between my having a belief and simply expressing doubts about some belief? There are things that, presumably, neither of us would doubt.. "the fire is hot" "the sun rose this morning".., and we can test and 'prove' those. You assert that there are other things that can't BE tested this way, and I have difficulty comprehending how this works. (I did NOT assert that they do not exist, so I do not exactly 'believe' in something.) How can I explain?? "Doubt" is not the same thing as DISbelief....I am not asserting that you are wrong, lying, hallucinating, or even confused...merely that there are other ways to see the issue, and that subjective 'facts' are hard to deal with.

You are reading an awful lot into what I said and finding 'ridicule' where none was intended. I am sorry that I am unable to reassure you about this. It might be easier sitting at a table discussing this face to face so we could clear up points as we go. (or...maybe not...)

(I do babble on after I say we can't discuss this further, don't I?)


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Sep 03 - 07:49 PM

"I am not asserting that you are wrong, lying, hallucinating, or even confused..."

As read it, as an uninvolved observer, it read very much as if you were asserting that, Bill, so I'm not surprised Peg if read it that way too.

And I can't remember any dreams of mine that would make me call in fancy explanations either. But that's another matter.


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Amos
Date: 02 Sep 03 - 08:51 PM

Obviously as a group our net conviction about death is that it is an entanglement that cannot be readily sorted out! :>))

As to the matter of beliefs versus mechanics it is very important to keep in view the inherent "plasticity" of thought, a flexibility not shared quite by material things; for example, it is easy for thought to convince itself it is solid and thus experience life as a solid; but it does not appear anywhere near as easy for solids to take on the conviction that they are thought and thus become light, understanding and flexible. It is not a two-way street. Once this is clear it seems to me that the argument gets a little clearer as a result.

A


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Bill D
Date: 02 Sep 03 - 10:05 PM

"as an uninvolved observer, it read very much as if you were asserting that, Bill, so I'm not surprised Peg if read it that way too."

*sigh*...I re-read it several times, and guess I can see the places where you might get that impression if you are inclined to , but I still feel a fair reading of what I said makes it clear I was responding to a claim, not attacking Peg or her integrity. And if my first remarks were not entirely clear, I tried several times to restate what I meant so as not to leave the wrong impression... My focus for 45+ years of discussion like this has always been on issues, and when I encounter a claim like the one I questioned, made in a public forum, I am tempted to enter the discussion and do justice to alternative views. If I did not do a good job of showing that I meant nothing personal, I truly regret that! All my posts for 7 years are available to read, and I have always tried to express a strong opinion without a 'charge' or animosity, (except for a few brief debates with trolls and purveyors of hate).


Amos....."it is easy for thought to convince itself it is solid and thus experience life as a solid"

nice expression..I wish I'd said something more along those lines, *wry smile*...I might not be in such hot water now..


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Amos
Date: 02 Sep 03 - 10:11 PM

Aw, Bill, not to worry.    We know who you are! :>)

A


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Wolfgang
Date: 03 Sep 03 - 05:11 AM

I once have told here my personal experience with a confidently told but incorrect personal experience. That's one of several reasons why I am wary of reports of personal experiences even if accompanied by assertions like 'it happened' or whatever.

Another personal experience I repeat as often as possible is to ask people that have been with me at a stage magician's show after the show what they have seen. Since I know some of the tricks of the trade I know sometimes where to look at in the crucial moment (which doesn't prevent me from being as dumbfounded as others when I don't know how it is done). The reports about the events seen often make me smile. "He never ever has been close to the envelope and so he can't have switched it". "There was no way he could influence which card was drawn except by collusion". It is interesting to see how the brain can be fooled.

That are some of my personal experiences with personal experiences.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Amos
Date: 03 Sep 03 - 08:59 AM

Well there is no question that the brain can be fooled, WG; we have all been amazed by legerdemain and we've all puzzled over optical illusions.

I don't think that has much bearing on what Peg is talking about which seems to be an extensive experience which was confirmed by another person, not just a single trick.

A


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Bill D
Date: 03 Sep 03 - 10:39 AM

I have just spent about an hour reading the "3 crop circles in Orilla" thread which one gets to by following Wolfgang's link. I have seldom read a better set of discussions and explanations of BOTH sides of this issue.

There are posts by Wolfgang, Naemanson, Escamillo, Grab, myself and several others, which do a good job of drawing out necessary distinctions....and in reading it, I remembered that Wolfgang does some serious work in these areas, and I really appreciate how clearly he explains the issues.


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Amos
Date: 03 Sep 03 - 12:58 PM

Bill,

I just don't understand how I stayed out of thast thread!! :>) I concur.


A


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: GUEST,heric
Date: 03 Sep 03 - 02:00 PM

I've just been prompted to read it and now I am dismayed nay perturbed to contemplate the possibility that that rabbit never attacked Jimmy Carter's boat.

It is an important subject, because "How you see the world is who you are." (Unknown.) This is very empowering.


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Wolfgang
Date: 03 Sep 03 - 03:16 PM

The Hammarskold Paradox that puzzles me right now is Amos' explanation for the missing 'j'.

When I start a new thread (and abort the attempt later) repeating Amos' title but inserting the 'j' the title fits well into the line with 2 or 3 blanks to spare. This is at odds with Amos' explanation.

What has happened here?
(1) Error of perception: Amos has actually tried it with the j and to him it looked too long then.
(2) Error in testing procedure: When Amos did insert the 'j' the title was actually too long but only because at the same time he used 'thought for the'.
(3) Error of memory: He never did try it with the 'j' included but now truly believes he has.
(4) Outright lie: He has misprinted the title (thought knowing better in principle, as demonstrated in the first post) but doesn't want to admit it and therefore comes up with the first lie that seems believable without scrutiny.
(5) Parallel worlds: In his world the title was too long, period. Doubters will never have access to this world without first hand personal experience of a similar kind.
(6) Following the wrong theory without putting it to test: Amos has never actually tried whether the correct spelling would fit. He thinks he knows how many characters are allowed in a title line and follows closely that theory without questioning it empirically.
(7) Altered state of world: Max has changed the rules of layout in the last couple of days.

Of course there are also some boring interpretations like
(8) Title lines look different in different browser and therefore it was actually too long for him or
(9) "Everybody makes tiny slips at least twice daily without being able to explain when asked how that happened so please stop asking me why I made a particular action of extremely low relevance this way and not the other. Who cares?"

Wolfgang :-)


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Amos
Date: 03 Sep 03 - 04:36 PM

Wolfgang, you are too much, but impeccably so!

The first time I tried typing the whole title, "Thought For The Day: The Hammerskjold Paradox" it did in fact (remembered fact, anyway) overflow the buffer allocated for title characters. I believe what "must have happened" is that I then deleted more characters than I really needed to in a zealous effort to get on with it. I just tried it again and it only accepted up to "Pa" in "Paradox" so my original perception is vindicated, as well as my memory of it.

A


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Bill D
Date: 03 Sep 03 - 06:28 PM

I, for one, have grumped quietly several times that the box for entering titles is slightly larger than the allowable text. Is it font related? Actually the wrong size, thus deceiving us? Variable according to browser? Can it be altered easily?

Pene?


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 Sep 03 - 09:18 PM

Yes, this is something that should be improved upon. It's sometimes hell trying to come up with a thread title that adequately conveys the idea of the thread properly. One resorts to abbreviations and other hopeful tactics, but still...

Nice to hear about the crop circles again. If you should get a chance to look into some good recent books on the subject you will discover a truly astounding photographic record of them...including numerous ones that were clearly done by people (hoaxers or advertisers or whatever), others that may have been done by people, and still others which absolutely could not have been (as far as I and many others more well-informed than me are concerned). Who or what made the latter crop circles? And how? And why? I have absolutely no idea.

- LH


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