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Posts Tagged ‘Science’

Naperville, January 2014

Happy new year. Hope you are all doing well.

As of January 2014 the main activities of the Alpheus web site will be conducted on the WordPress blog section.

The opening pages and posts are:

Welcome to the updated Alpheus
Introduction to the changed format and content of Alpheus.

About Alpheus (Amended)
Revised statement about its intentions.

The Jaynesian Paradigm and Beyond (Draft)
First article/blog taking Julian Jaynes’ definition of consciousness as an entry point into a reconsideration of esoteric philosophy and the teachings of Krishnamurti.

Entertaining, Type-II Error-prone, Axiomatic Skepticism: An Incomplete Form of Systemic Doubt. A justification of conspiracy theory based on evolutionary psychology by way of criticizing a problematic skeptical position. (Released earlier on the ‘old’ Alpheus).

Please sign up on the blog to keep informed about new material. I will for a while send updates through Yahoo groups.

Govert Schuller

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I’ve been trying to get evolution recently. That is: I’ve been trying to see whether I feel that Amit Goswami, in his book Creative Evolution, solves things for me. I’ve studied a bit of quantum mechanics as a chemistry teacher, and am perhaps a bit more equipped than most to see whether Goswami stays true to his roots as a theoretical physicist. The answer is, unfortunately, that to a very real extent he isn’t. (more…)

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Religion has a bad name in alternative circles. It’s associated with the Christian church and all it’s crimes (real and perceived). Religion is associated with dogma, stifling rules that don’t fit our day to day lives and worse of all: authority. A preacher to tell me what to do in my personal life? Never!

In my religion classes at Leiden University very different definitions of religion are taught. I’ll use a famous one by Clifford Geertz to sum up the point:

“Religion is (1) a system of symbols which acts to (2) establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in men by (3) formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and (4) clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that (5) the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic.”

[Geertz wrote in 1966, just before political correct formulations would have replaced ‘men’ by ‘people’.]

The basic point here is that religion is that which gives direction to our lives, helps us establish priorities (consciously or unconsciously) and helps us understand our lives – in such a way that our worldview and priorities seem uniquely realistic.

That definition actually includes spirituality. We have symbols: Ying & Yang, the Buddha and the Tibetan flag (1). We have ideas about the universe we live in which often include: holism, karma, alternative health, aura’s etc. (3). These ideas about life and the universe seem real to us (4) and therefore the lifestyle that comes with them does too (2, 5).

The obsession with the difference between religion and spirituality comes, I think, from the bad reputation the Christian churches has with many of us. Religion has often been defined as ‘organised religion’.

Spirituality – taking place in yoga classrooms, alternative bookstores and retreats – is not organized in the same clear way. One can be spiritual within any religious system. The main thing is that one hasn’t settled for dogma’s, thinks for oneself and keeps ones own spiritual and ethical growth as a top priority (2).

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