Steve Briggs, Meditation and Indian Yogis Lead to ET |397|

#21
If I may, let me offer an example or two of extending consciousness beyond the norm.

1) Two summers back, my wife and I planned a trip to Switzerland. We both enjoy Alpine hiking and we had both spent a couple years in the Swiss Alps 45 years ago where, as teenagers, we had met our guru on extended meditation retreats.

A week before our European trip, I had a disturbing dream that my wife had died in an accident. I immediately told my wife about the dream... a look of disbelief came over her as I shared the dream. She told me that she had also had a dream that night, and that in her dream she had died suddenly. Being somewhat familiar with this sort of thing, we took the omens seriously, but there was no way were we going to cancel our vacation.

Despite jet lag, upon arriving at our destination, we embarked on a four hour hike in a spectacular region above an idyllic hamlet called Engelberg (mountain of angels). Near the end of the hike, we came to a rough, angular section of trail where my wife took a bad fall. She broke her wrist, but the greater injury was a blow to her right temple against a knee-high boulder near the trail.

At this point, I had one of those consciousness altering experiences where time seemed to suspend itself as alertness levels heightened. Within seconds, we were overtaken on the trail by a German doctor and his wife, a nurse. They knew exactly what to do, and after examining my wife, they arranged transportation back to Engelberg. On the drive back to town, I was acutely aware that my wife should maintain consciousness. She was past the shock of the fall and was not in a lot of pain, however her eyes were alarmingly vacant and she was moaning a bit. In the taxi van, she was repeatedly on the verge of nodding off, but I felt that if she were to fall asleep, we might lose her. We made it back to town where a physician put her arm put in a soft cast.

The following day we hiked a bit (at her insistence). Despite having to hold her arm in an awkward position, she hiked in the Alps for 3 weeks, never complaining about anything. In fact, she seemed more alive then ever. After our return to the States, she told me that she could have departed but that she didn't want to ruin everyone's vacation (we were meeting up with some friends we hadn't seen in years).
That story rather reminds me of one of the experiences of Andrew Paquette, in which he escaped a fatal attack by muggers in a foreign country by recognising the build-up to the attack from a dream that he had earlier. He avoided taking a short cut, and is still alive. You might want to read his book and/or contact him - you could send him a PM here on Skeptiko, but I don't know how often he logs in now.

I keep struggling to figure out what it is all for - I mean, we are here on earth, and sometimes we get useful clues to stay alive, or achieve something else.

David
 

Alex

Administrator
#22
That story rather reminds me of one of the experiences of Andrew Paquette, in which he escaped a fatal attack by muggers in a foreign country by recognising the build-up to the attack from a dream that he had earlier. He avoided taking a short cut, and is still alive. You might want to read his book and/or contact him - you could send him a PM here on Skeptiko, but I don't know how often he logs in now.

I keep struggling to figure out what it is all for - I mean, we are here on earth, and sometimes we get useful clues to stay alive, or achieve something else.

David
nice. yes, doesn't really makes sense from either angle :)

merry christmas David. thx for many great yrs :)
 
#23
what do you make of the politically controlled disclosure psyop of 12/17:

full interview:
The Grimerica Show: #289 - Leslie Kean & Alex Tsakiris
ET disclosure is huge because an ET element has been fueling the Shadow Government, providing certain groups with technology that allows them to maintain control. The NY Times or other mainstream media won't be leading the way to disclosure because they're controlled by the SG. Disclosure will come about as a result of military and/or intelligence community whistle blowers, the internet, and people talking to one another. What a massive irony that a guy like Trump may end up blowing the whole game wide open. How's that for cosmic sense of humor?

One question I grapple with is: how will the public deal with the knowledge of ETs and their extensive history of shaping our planet? Will it disrupt society if ETs suddenly appear openly? It's a delicate matter and I don't know the answer but I'd far rather have disclosure than continue with the status quo.
 
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#24
Unfortunately, as the historical and social knowledge proves us once and again (and again, and again, and again...), there are no results too strong and persuasive to ignore, deny or distort. Humans' proneness (and wilfullness) to push the undesirable observations and arguments away from their minds is truly exceptional - and, if being practiced collectively and even massively (as it is the case, respectively, with the modern academic community and the overall society in which it operates), it literally knows no limits.
I participated for years in experiments with collective consciousness where large groups ranging from 200-8000 individuals meditated together. In Fairfield Iowa in 1984, 8000+ people gathered from all over the world to meditate for world peace. The group was almost as large as the population of the town and additional housing had to be constructed to accommodate the group.
 
#25
I participated for years in experiments with collective consciousness where large groups ranging from 200-8000 individuals meditated together. In Fairfield Iowa in 1984, 8000+ people gathered from all over the world to meditate for world peace. The group was almost as large as the population of the town and additional housing had to be constructed to accommodate the group.
Did you feel that meditation worked?

My own (rather controversial!) view, is that the election of Donald Trump has been a step towards world peace. His announced withdrawal of troops from Syria is certainly a step in the right direction. These troops are supporting anti-Assad forces that are almost indistinguishable from ISIS, and extracting them is certainly useful. Obviously I didn't get a vote because I am a Brit, but he would have had my vote over Hillary, who wanted to intensify the war in Syria. He may well be making progress in defusing NK - I am not yet sure.

David
 
#26
Maharishi once said, 'this whole (meditation) thing is a big experiment.' In the end, the results were mixed. Some people flourished while others fell off the path. I definitely feel that large groups meditating together or marching peacefully sends a strong message to Nature. In a world where free will plays a leading role, our deeper intentions are felt and responded to by unseen forces. When I first learned to meditate in 1972, our family pastor tried to bring me back into the fold... even gave a sermon on it. Today, if you're not doing yoga you're out of touch.

A friend has a son who fought in Iraq. The son told his dad that military/intelligence people refer to Hillary as the anti-Christ, presumably because they are aware of who is behind the mask. As my wife once said, men are more transparent than women. If a man has bad intentions, it's fairly recognizable. If a woman is devious, she is far more adept at playing the game of making people believe otherwise. These sentiments might sound sexist, but I'm repeating my wife's words. IMO, what you see with Trump is what you get. He's a polarizing guy with a penthouse full of issues one can easily loathe. That said, he is not a Shadow Government puppet. It won't surprise me if he ends up either a national hero or an impeached president. I hope the former.
 
#28
Alex's question at the end of the podcast:

This seemed a wee bit convoluted and I'm not entirely sure I understood it, but for what it's worth:

once we get past taking on board the results of consciousness experiments (such as those performed by Dean Radin), how do we go on to process the information supplied by people like Steve Briggs in this interview? Information at a new level involving contact with beings seemingly very far beyond us?
It depends on the individual. Some people will think Radin's scientific results means it is possible that the stories about contact could be true, they may think Radin is on the leading edge of a new paradigm. Other people will have reasons to believe in contact without reference to Radin's work, they may think Radin is like Mendel studying pea plants while people telling us about contact are like Watson and Crick studying DNA.
 
#29
Can you elaborate a little? Why are you being viscerally challenged? I'm finding it a little difficult to understand where you're coming from when you say this, and why you conclude that we've got a long way to go.
Peterson, for me, takes a fairly raw approach to self-awareness - one that is confronting and challenging. His perspective is informed by an interpretation of Christianity I do not always agree with, but even so his interpretations are still provocative and engaging. In contrast the yogic approach is very different. Joseph Campbell observed that there was a distinction between East and West, noting that the West seemed to have a 'disconnect' with the Divine - something Peterson builds into his model of spiritual evolution. For me that's a sense of existential trauma that I don't find in the yogic tradition - something I haven't been able to take to as a 'path'. I am no fan of the guru tradition. But I do think that yoga has a better idea of our spiritual evolution.

For me we (Westerners) have a long way to go as a culture, and as individuals. I think we are still in the grips of existential trauma, and the yogic teachings tell us beyond the redemption business there's a heck of a lot of calm growing to be done.
 
#30
Five years back I bet a friend lunch that ET disclosure would occur by the end of the 2014. Lost that bet and realized that we still have a ways to go
Hi Steve. The notion of 'ET disclosure' is problematic, because that usually means universal awareness - but that just doesn't happen in one hit. We agree on many basic things about our shared reality, but they are things we are born into - like the sun and gravity. ET has been 'disclosing' for ages, and we might ask when that will be so done that nobody has any doubts - like the sun and gravity. Whose knows when that will happen. But what's the rush?

I have a bit of an issue about those who demand 'disclosure'. They imagine it will have a result that they imagine - and they may be wrong. Personally I am not bothered. I think awareness of ET is an evolving process - and not something that is tackled purely on intellectual grounds. I don't think we are mature enough to 'get it' in a way that matters. Sometimes we can be like children who demand things, only to discover that they aren't as we imagined.

So how do you think we still have a way to go yet? What do you think we need acquire or develop?
 
#31
Hi Steve. The notion of 'ET disclosure' is problematic, because that usually means universal awareness - but that just doesn't happen in one hit. We agree on many basic things about our shared reality, but they are things we are born into - like the sun and gravity. ET has been 'disclosing' for ages, and we might ask when that will be so done that nobody has any doubts - like the sun and gravity. Whose knows when that will happen. But what's the rush?

I have a bit of an issue about those who demand 'disclosure'. They imagine it will have a result that they imagine - and they may be wrong. Personally I am not bothered. I think awareness of ET is an evolving process - and not something that is tackled purely on intellectual grounds. I don't think we are mature enough to 'get it' in a way that matters. Sometimes we can be like children who demand things, only to discover that they aren't as we imagined.

So how do you think we still have a way to go yet? What do you think we need acquire or develop?
Michael, I like your comment, "what's the rush?" Perspective on life brings patience. Unfortunately that often doesn't come until later in life. Patience is a quality I observed frequently when with lamas and yogis. There were a few fiery types among the yogis, but that seemed to be the result of austere practices.

My Himalayan friend, Keshava, said "there is more love than oxygen on our planet, but who would know it?" I think humanity needs to tap into that love. Caring for others, meditating, that sort of thing. We need to keep growing the heart and find compassion for one another rather than reacting "like children who demand things" when things don't go our way. The many terrorist attacks in schools and shopping centers as well as the plethora of natural disasters are traumatic but they seem to awaken compassionate.

There are really only two emotions in the heart: fear and love. Before we can welcome our ET friends, fear needs to lessen. But that's asking a lot when network news feeds us fear 24/7. Our collective consciousness has been quarantined for so long that we've forgotten that we're members of a galactic society. The whole idea of our planet being carved up into countries was totally foreign to my Sirian friends. There is so much the Sirians and other benevolent ET groups have to share when the time is right. If we struggle to get along with the folks on the other side of the border, are we ready to embrace beings from a distant planet?
 
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#32
After I realized how special my Sirian friends were, I asked them: "Look at you, you have reached such a high level of life. How did it happen?” They replied, “We did it all at once.” I said, “It seems you've reached the pinnacle of evolution. What was the secret?” Sirians: “Love! Because we loved each other so much we all rose together.”
 
#33
Steve,
If you use the 'Post Reply' button, or highlight a bit of what someone has written and use the button that pops up, you will make it clear exactly whom and what you are replying to.
A friend has a son who fought in Iraq. The son told his dad that military/intelligence people refer to Hillary as the anti-Christ, presumably because they are aware of who is behind the mask.
Fascinating but believable. Hillary probably poisoned Obama's presidency, which started so well. While she was secretary of state, relations with President Putin were soured, Libya was turned into a failed state, and not in any way chastened by that failure, she was hell bent on doing the same in Syria. Whether or not she enjoyed the 'art' of Marina Abramović, her behaviour in power would be consistent with such a taste.
As my wife once said, men are more transparent than women. If a man has bad intentions, it's fairly recognizable. If a woman is devious, she is far more adept at playing the game of making people believe otherwise.
That is interesting because my partner offers a related comment. She points out (paraphrasing) that women politicians are so concerned with human issues, such as human rights, that they seem unable to recognise when these considerations are being cynically abused.
These sentiments might sound sexist, but I'm repeating my wife's words. IMO, what you see with Trump is what you get. He's a polarizing guy with a penthouse full of issues one can easily loathe. That said, he is not a Shadow Government puppet. It won't surprise me if he ends up either a national hero or an impeached president. I hope the former.
I hope his base of supporters grows and gets him back for another 4 years - and yes, that he becomes known as a hero.

David
 
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#34
Peterson, for me, takes a fairly raw approach to self-awareness - one that is confronting and challenging. His perspective is informed by an interpretation of Christianity I do not always agree with, but even so his interpretations are still provocative and engaging. In contrast the yogic approach is very different. Joseph Campbell observed that there was a distinction between East and West, noting that the West seemed to have a 'disconnect' with the Divine - something Peterson builds into his model of spiritual evolution. For me that's a sense of existential trauma that I don't find in the yogic tradition - something I haven't been able to take to as a 'path'. I am no fan of the guru tradition. But I do think that yoga has a better idea of our spiritual evolution.

For me we (Westerners) have a long way to go as a culture, and as individuals. I think we are still in the grips of existential trauma, and the yogic teachings tell us beyond the redemption business there's a heck of a lot of calm growing to be done.
Ah, thanks for clarifying.
 
#35
There is so much the Sirians and other benevolent ET groups have to share when the time is right. If we struggle to get along with the folks on the other side of the border, are we ready to embrace beings from a distant planet?
This is a point I think needs deeper exploration. We have been habituated to the belief that intellect is the superior attribute, and emotion the weaker one. I am old enough to recall the ideal of pure intellect, devoid of emotion, as the highest expression of human supremacy. And yet, for the most of my life, the wheels have been falling off that particular buggy. The allure of materialism is also the allure of intellectualism - the sense that we are making it on our own - sans God, sans sentiment and its attendant weaknesses of affections and moral qualms. Of course that crude bravado is no longer dominant, but it retains a residual infective influence. We haven't escaped into the alternative, though we aspire to it - we remain in, and tainted by, that heritage.

This problem is perhaps no more perfectly illustrated by the conceit that we are highly evolved and ready for ET. The demand for disclosure - as if governments know what is going on - is driven by a singular passion to possess tech that should have universal value that could/would transform our lives. It has an evident simplistic appeal if the claims about the tech are real. And provided the imagined benefits will play out the way anticipated. Now, I have no idea whether the ET tech claims are real. But I do know that imagined benefits never play out the way anticipated. And that's not always a bad thing. Sometimes, however, it is, and catastrophically so. All this means is that there may be influencers of a far higher order than we can imagine who have some say on what happens, and how things play out.

It has been repeatedly pointed out to me that humans are on a wide spectrum of awareness/development - so there can be no serious argument that what is good for some is good for all, without clearly articulating the anticipated good. We are, in effect, not all playing the same game - rather, there are many games which intersect only by accident or misfortune.

I read in yoga and Vedic metaphysics for years, and was profoundly influenced. But I could not conceive a passion for the practice aspect, despite efforts. Something was missing for me, and I am only now beginning to formulate a sense of what that is. Yoga is very much about inward directed awareness, and operates in realms where intellect has limited usefulness. You can get to talk to your Sirian mates because you have followed a path that strengthens and refines (ultimately) inner awareness. Still, its not a perfect path. The West has focused on outer awareness, also imperfectly.

Perhaps ET is talking to both? When I first read in anthropology in the 1980s I was struck by an account of the impact of introducing iron axes into indigenous communities in Queensland. The act broke cultures. In fact every intrusion into an indigenous culture seems to have resulted in traumatic disruption - and that trauma ripples through centuries as peoples are dislocated from the roots of their identities. The price of progress, apparently - but progress toward what? If we take the contemporary West as an example - its toward an angst of meaningless and a confusion of identity. If we heed the lurid conspiracy theories the one percenters are using their captured ET tech to escape the Earth because it has become so crap. That's hardly progress - evolve enough to shit in your nest so badly you have to leave it.

So, Steve, I want to tax your imagination here. Here's a scenario that makes sense to me. Let's say say there is ET who predominantly gets around in craft - ETphys - and there's ET (like your Sirian pals) who operate on a different level mostly - ETpsi. It would seem to me that ETphys would appeal to the materialistic types - fab tech - and might assist them to fly off into the cosmos on a pretty fruitless quest. They could make here a better place but they will not, because screwing up here equals profit and power. On the other hand ETpsi is more about relational interactions with Earthly kin of all creatures. For them love lets you fly without machine wings. Psi tech is different to fab tech.

I know this is is not a literal scenario. I wanted to contrast two situations that generate a lot of conflict about ET, and suggest that both might be true, or trueish. Between the two there is a watershed line - and most of us straddle it - with ETphys on one side and ETpsi on the other. You have lifted up your left foot and stood on the ETpsi side. Can you imagine what that's like - and describe it?
 
#36
This is a point I think needs deeper exploration. We have been habituated to the belief that intellect is the superior attribute, and emotion the weaker one. I am old enough to recall the ideal of pure intellect, devoid of emotion, as the highest expression of human supremacy. And yet, for the most of my life, the wheels have been falling off that particular buggy. The allure of materialism is also the allure of intellectualism - the sense that we are making it on our own - sans God, sans sentiment and its attendant weaknesses of affections and moral qualms. Of course that crude bravado is no longer dominant, but it retains a residual infective influence. We haven't escaped into the alternative, though we aspire to it - we remain in, and tainted by, that heritage.
Sorry, Michael, but here I disagree with you - quite strongly. With the emotion being placed above intellect, or at least granted an equal stance, any controversial issue in science and / or society would turn into an endless passionate conflict, with each side constantly appealing to sentiment and morality and yet conveniently forgetting that our morality, and our emotional responces, strongly depend on what we believe to be objectively true. And to clarify what is objectively true, after all, we should be able to set our affections, attractions and attachments aside and try to assess the evidence and argumentation in a manner that is as impartial as it is possible for an intrinsically passionate human being.

However, why I say "any controversial issue in science and / or society would turn into an endless passionate conflict"? Such issues do turn into conflicts, wrathful and hateful ones, based on mutual personal attacks and defamation, and seriously dangerous for the side of conflict that is not socially and academically dominant, since personal attacks easily turn into repressive measures if the attacker have enough power, wealth and / or fame at his or her disposal. Just look at the conflicts around anthropogenic global warming, HIV - AIDS causation, vaccine side-effects, GMO side-effects... or parapsychology.

P.S. Well, to be honest, I can't say I'm immune to moral arguments myself: for example, I reject biological racism ("our race's IQ test results are so much higher than yours!") because of my ethical choices and emotional preferences, rather than on a detailed assessment of a relevant research. Yet I:

1) do not pretend that I reject biological racism on scientific grounds - I'm honest that my rejection is a moral one;

2) do not demand persecution of people condcuting such research, or censorship of their works and publications;

3) do not perceive people conduting such research as insane or evil - I just did different moral choices, and thus support values that are different from theirs.
 
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#37
Steve: In an earlier interview on Buddha at the Gas Pump (RIck Archer's popular show) I mentioned how, as I progressed on my spiritual journey, I became more of a heart person. I remember saying something like, 'over time my awareness shifted from my head to my heart.' This shift was monumental for me and it occurred during my 7+ years living and working in India. It was also jump-started by Maharishi when he initiated me at a meditation retreat in the French Alps ('74). Maharishi advised shifting my meditation focus from my head to my heart at the time. To be honest, I wasn't very good at it, but as I worked in India, visited Nepal frequently, and made numerous pilgrimages to the Himalaya, the instruction began to make sense. I began to be comfortable with a new way of functioning.

As Amma (Kerala 'hugging' saint) once said, 'the intellect cuts things asunder like a pair of scissor, but the heart sews things together like a needle.' Generalities never do full justice. For me, Amma's words sum up much of the cultural differences between east and west. I encountered so much heart, especially in Nepal where being in the culture was like a rasayana (natural medicinal remedy). That said, the intellect plays a huge role in our progress.

Michael: I read in yoga and Vedic metaphysics for years, and was profoundly influenced. But I could not conceive a passion for the practice aspect, despite efforts. Something was missing for me, and I am only now beginning to formulate a sense of what that is. Yoga is very much about inward directed awareness, and operates in realms where intellect has limited usefulness. You can get to talk to your Sirian mates because you have followed a path that strengthens and refines (ultimately) inner awareness. Still, its not a perfect path. The West has focused on outer awareness, also imperfectly.

Steve: Maharishi used to talk a lot about 200% of life: 100% material and 100% spiritual. Growing up in upper middle class comfort, the 100% I craved was the spiritual side of the coin. Many of my TM friends seemed to put the 100% material side on equal footing, probably due to the practicalities of raising a family in America. I do not believe that Vedic philosophy demands an inward directed life. The path of Karma Yoga (yoga of action) appeals to dynamic thinkers and doers, and they have a great capacity to improve the quality of life for many. During the years that I was instructing corporate types in India how to meditate (huge irony that a westerner would teach meditation to Indians -- Maharishi kept reminding me that Indians like having their song sung by someone else), I repeatedly interacted with India's Fortune 100 CEOs. These people took their positions very seriously because in every case, the success of their companies meant food and shelter for literally hundreds of thousands of people. Very few can pursue a spiritual path if they are suffering from malnutrition or are homeless. Amma from Kerala tells her 'children' that many of her devotees are not skilled meditators, however they all engage in massive seva (service to others) such as disaster relief, projects for the poor and homeless, and such. It's impressive what she's done for humanity, and with just a 6th grade education.

MIchael: Perhaps ET is talking to both? When I first read in anthropology in the 1980s I was struck by an account of the impact of introducing iron axes into indigenous communities in Queensland. The act broke cultures. In fact every intrusion into an indigenous culture seems to have resulted in traumatic disruption - and that trauma ripples through centuries as peoples are dislocated from the roots of their identities. The price of progress, apparently - but progress toward what? If we take the contemporary West as an example - its toward an angst of meaningless and a confusion of identity. If we heed the lurid conspiracy theories the one percenters are using their captured ET tech to escape the Earth because it has become so crap. That's hardly progress - evolve enough to shit in your nest so badly you have to leave it.

So, Steve, I want to tax your imagination here. Here's a scenario that makes sense to me. Let's say say there is ET who predominantly gets around in craft - ETphys - and there's ET (like your Sirian pals) who operate on a different level mostly - ETpsi. It would seem to me that ETphys would appeal to the materialistic types - fab tech - and might assist them to fly off into the cosmos on a pretty fruitless quest. They could make here a better place but they will not, because screwing up here equals profit and power. On the other hand ETpsi is more about relational interactions with Earthly kin of all creatures. For them love lets you fly without machine wings. Psi tech is different to fab tech.

Steve: Michael, this raises a point that Alex probed but which I didn't fully address during our interview. Alex wanted to know whether I thought these extended consciousness abilities that are associated with ETs (both phys and psi) are inherently spiritual, or not. Alex asked, "Where is God in all this?" I was a bit slow on the uptake because I haven't given that much thought to the 'darker' implications of some of these abilities.

A high school boy who I council each week wanted me to watch Doctor Strange which I viewed earlier this week. Like so many films of this genre, supernatural powers are a big deal, and characters on both sides of the force possessed these powers in the movie. Star Wars, Harry Potter, Marvel Comic themes... everybody employs this theme. And that's a good thing, because, as I've mentioned, free will is a major player in the human condition. BTW: I've discovered that free will is not present in every ET civilization.

Getting back to ETphys vs ETpsi: both groups typically have abilities that dwarf current human capacities, but it's not the advanced abilities that determine whether a group is 'spiritual' or not. It's the intent behind the abilities. Years ago I read a series of books called, 'The Law of One,' dialogues between an American physicist and a group of ETs and their spokesman, Ra. In Ra's commentary on the polarities found in living beings throughout the cosmos, Ra states that some beings are intent on control/manipulation for the purpose of serving self (black magic falls into this category) while other beings are motivated by the desire to serve in ways that promote light/love and oneness with God (Jedi, Harry Potter are fictional examples). This is not new information, but it emphasizes that polarization of light and dark exists in our consciousness, and, as humans, that's what we need to sort out individually and collectively. That's our homework assignment... our PhD dissertation topic if we're a bit further along in our studies.

ETphys and ETpsi can be found in both positive and negative categories. Lesser evolved but loving ETs who fly over our cities may be ETphys but they might have a purer intent than some more developed ETpsi groups. That theme was touched on in Doctor Strange where dark sorcerers betrayed their master and stole secret spells, then tried to take control of the earth on behalf of their evil lord, Dormammu.

The ETpsi such as the Sirians seem to be firing on all cylinders. They are advanced technologically and spiritually. The greatest threat comes from those groups that are tech advanced but lacking in spiritual advancement. If I were to categorize one group that fits that description, it would be AI oriented ETs. AI, in my opinion, is a very major threat to humanity and the rest of our galaxy because it's soulless. Think global virus infecting/controlling all things digital. What if that AI infestation were more advanced than our cutting edge scientists? For me, runaway AI is a concern on the level of global atmospheric change, possibly bigger. As I watch humanity rely more and more on screens and less and less on face to face human interaction, I wonder where this is going. Taken to an extreme, humans may one day in the not too distant future opt for AI bodies that don't grow old or become diseased. What if that AI body can't accommodate our soul. Then what do we have?
Steve, it seems you posted three copies of the same post. I think, you should delete the first two, so people here won't feel confused!

And - I'm interested what you think about my position on the adverse effects of emotionality in examination and evaluation (and, most importantly, debate) of the controversial positions.
 
#38
Sorry, Michael, but here I disagree with you - quite strongly. With the emotion being placed above intellect, or at least granted an equal stance, any controversial issue in science and / or society would turn into an endless passionate conflict, with each side constantly appealing to sentiment and morality and yet conveniently forgetting that our morality, and our emotional responces, strongly depend on what we believe to be objectively true. And to clarify what is objectively true, after all, we should be able to set our affections, attractions and attachments aside and try to assess the evidence and argumentation in a manner that is as impartial as it is possible for an intrinsically passionate human being.

Steve: I think a balanced heart and mind is the key here. Too much emotion can spiral things out of control in a 1 on 1 exchange or in a group dynamic, while too much intellect can lead to cold, even cruel behavior at the extreme. That said, I don't equate emotion entirely with a heart oriented person My experience with Tibetan lamas opened my eyes to the fact that they were heart people' but also calm people, not necessarily displaying a lot of emotion, but quite sensitive and empathic to the other person.

However, why I say "any controversial issue in science and / or society would turn into an endless passionate conflict"? Such issues do turn into conflicts, wrathful and hateful ones, based on mutual personal attacks and defamation, and seriously dangerous for the side of conflict that is not socially and academically dominant, since personal attacks easily turn into repressive measures if the attacker have enough power, wealth and / or fame at his or her disposal. Just look at the conflicts around anthropogenic global warming, HIV - AIDS causation, vaccine side-effects, GMO side-effects... or parapsychology.

Negativity when fueled by passionate emotion gives life to our thoughts in potentially dangerous ways. One of my teachers explained that everything we think and feel is alive. The thought/emotion moves through the universe, and as it does, it gathers energies of a similar nature like a snow ball growing as it rolls down the hill. At some point, the thought/emotion circles back to its point of origin. Thus, undisciplined thought and emotion can be a big problem for a person because it's going to come back to them with more force than it began with.

P.S. Well, to be honest, I can't say I'm immune to moral arguments myself: for example, I reject biological racism ("our race's IQ test results are so much higher than yours!") because of my ethical choices and emotional preferences, rather than on a detailed assessment of a relevant research. Yet I:

1) do not pretend that I reject biological racism on scientific grounds - I'm honest that my rejection is a moral one;

2) do not demand persecution of people condcuting such research, or censorship of their works and publications;

3) do not perceive people conduting such research as insane or evil - I just did different moral choices, and thus support values that are different from theirs.
 
#39
Thanks for the heads-up. Hope I fixed it
The problem, Steve, is that you apparently deleted all THREE, not two, copies of your reply to Michael, thus eliminating it completely! Now you have to put one copy back... I hope you have saved the text somewhere, say, in the MS Word file (I usually do so, to prevent losing the text due to some problem or a mistaken deletion).
 
#40
Sorry, Michael, but here I disagree with you - quite strongly. With the emotion being placed above intellect, or at least granted an equal stance, any controversial issue in science and / or society would turn into an endless passionate conflict, with each side constantly appealing to sentiment and morality and yet conveniently forgetting that our morality, and our emotional responces, strongly depend on what we believe to be objectively true. And to clarify what is objectively true, after all, we should be able to set our affections, attractions and attachments aside and try to assess the evidence and argumentation in a manner that is as impartial as it is possible for an intrinsically passionate human being.

However, why I say "any controversial issue in science and / or society would turn into an endless passionate conflict"? Such issues do turn into conflicts, wrathful and hateful ones, based on mutual personal attacks and defamation, and seriously dangerous for the side of conflict that is not socially and academically dominant, since personal attacks easily turn into repressive measures if the attacker have enough power, wealth and / or fame at his or her disposal. Just look at the conflicts around anthropogenic global warming, HIV - AIDS causation, vaccine side-effects, GMO side-effects... or parapsychology.

P.S. Well, to be honest, I can't say I'm immune to moral arguments myself: for example, I reject biological racism ("our race's IQ test results are so much higher than yours!") because of my ethical choices and emotional preferences, rather than on a detailed assessment of a relevant research. Yet I:

1) do not pretend that I reject biological racism on scientific grounds - I'm honest that my rejection is a moral one;

2) do not demand persecution of people condcuting such research, or censorship of their works and publications;

3) do not perceive people conduting such research as insane or evil - I just did different moral choices, and thus support values that are different from theirs.

Steve I've taught tennis to children from 32 countries over the past decade. Although my sample size is small, I have noticed tendencies in my students that factor into their speed and preferred methods of learning. For example, my Chinese kids have an unsurpassed work ethic. My 3 boys from Bejing began taking lessons in the Fall, and by Spring they had advanced as far as my other students who had played for 3 years. My Indian students were far and away the most patient (kept their cool) in competitive situations and so on. I would be disappointed if my comments were interpreted as racist.

Maharishi used to say: We are citizens of the world... a global family. There are many flowers in the garden and each flower, though of different color, size, and scent, contributes to the beauty of the whole garden. No one would be happy if every culture were the same. The allure of International travel lies in experiencing different points of view, unique cuisine, art and music, varied geography and climates and such. Unfortunately, discussions that examine racial differences (as well as male/female roles in society) are like exposed nerves.. very sensitive.
 
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