What does a "post-materialist" world look like...

#2
I think the philosophical consequences of 'leaving materialism behind' are quite severe. I think one of the biggest changes will be the removal of a, what I like to call, sphere of influence. Even though materialistically there is acceptance that everything is 'intrinsically linked', and these might seem quite profound like "we are all stardust". It is a mere shadow of what is meant by 'intrinsically linked' in a post materialistic (from the skeptiko perspective of mind as independent entity) world. The limiting factors like the speed of light and other laws of nature, including time, are no longer applying to the concept. If all the evidence that we accumulated is correct. What you say, think and how you act are immediately felt everywhere. It will drastically change our psyche.

However we as Westerners have conditioned ourselves to not think about and not confront ourselves with the consequences of our actions. Our capitalism for instance is causing major poverty and pollution, it is extremely wasteful. We ban it from our mind, we have to. The philosophy of materialism allows us to put time and distance between us and our consequences. Besides that, it also allows us to think that morals, meaning and purpose are not extending beyond our own minds. Whatever they are, within materialism their value is limited and we get to pick and choose where we apply it. Which is another instance of where materialism is impacting our sphere of influence. Then there is the whole concept of hierarchy, which is not so clearly linked to our materialistic worldviews. But our concept of hierarchy is linked to how big the sphere of influence is. And in a world where one can't say, "my mind reaches further than yours", undoubtedly there will be an impact on how we hierarchically structure society and religion.

As such I don't see this happening at any point in the near future. Some cultures are much more acceptable to these views than others, but as human race we are currently busy with things like health, prosperity, and literacy. A lot of people on this planet are busy surviving instead of 'living'. We are just starting to feel the effects of our ideologies 'at home' and we are in the process of changing all these things. This is a slow process and we are making just small steps. Living in a post-materialist world is not something we are going to see in our lifetimes or in the lifetimes of our children. The ideas and views that we as proponents have are nothing but another ideology, a driving force behind our actions. One that for us overrules bigger and more powerful ideologies like religious or political ones. As it stands today, we have absolutely nothing to say nor have any representatives in these arenas. So, don't bet on it. [This is basically where we are at.] We're trying to find ground in philosophy, which usually is the first step towards expanding ideas and ideologies. The NDE studies are the first 'paranormal' studies to find traction within mainstream and this has only really been going on for the last decennia or so. It has been mainly because of our concerns with health, finding new resuscitation techniques and getting a deeper understanding of the dying process. It was not a quest to prove that the afterlife existed, instead it was a 'materialistic' inquiry. This is all despite of the fact that 'paranormal' research has been going on for a century, it is not an extension of 'paranormal' results. We've put NDE logically as an extension of these results, but for most of the world the 'paranormal' research simply does not exist. Conclusions made from the NDE research in mainstream are made without any knowledge of the PSI-sciences. It's only after they made the 'right' conclusions that they might possibly consider looking at that data.

So we will not see much 'paranormal' conclusions being drawn from this. Even though it seems so obvious for the people familiar with the psi-sciences. This obviousness is not coming out of the NDE research and it's a consequence of the overview we as proponents have on all the aspects of the PSI-sciences. I'm certainly not expecting a snowball effect to come out of this venture into mainstream, it just barely started snowing. We have to appreciate how far at the forefront skeptiko actually is. Predicting the future of all this 'new' knowledge is maybe a bit premature. But that this knowledge is up against some major ideologies, and that these major ideologies have an enormous impact on our lives. It's pretty clear in my mind that moving into a post-materialistic world is a very slow, but also very drastic change.
 
#3
A post materialist world would be one where it was recognised that there was a whole realm of reality - mind-stuff - that had barely been explored. We would be rid of the automatic assumption that the mind is bound by the physical restrictions imposed by its being a 'computation' performed inside the head. This would allow science to attack a whole range of phenomena that currently it can only try to debunk. Debunking is OK if a piece of research is badly flawed, but normally science progresses best when others do experiments to test/extend new ideas.
 
#4
I think it would be a new synthesis of naturalism and psychism. As long as our bodies are material and interact with material objects and processes, we will be materialists. But a post-materialist culture would also realize that soul/mind/psyche is, as Carl Jung said, the sine qua non of our total experience, material and nonmaterial. As Osho said, the ideal humanity would be "Zorba the Buddha" - posessing the full realization of material existence in all its vividness and sensuousness ("Zorba"), meshed with the full realization of the depths of the soul and all its levels, including the level where "Atman is not separate from Brahman" ("Buddha").
 
#5
It would be a massive step back in our understanding of the world. Not that that step back isn't necessary, but much of what we already know would be fundamentally challenged.
 
#6
It would be a massive step back in our understanding of the world. Not that that step back isn't necessary, but much of what we already know would be fundamentally challenged.
I think that would be remarkably similar to previous scientific revolutions! Our deepest understanding keeps on changing, but we can still go on using the old knowledge when it makes more sense. Nobody would use QM to explain the motion of a mechanical clock, or a bicycle, but it is supposed to apply to both! The curious thing is that this has happened several times, and each time all the fundamental things change, but existing knowledge doesn't become useless. Think of:

The Copernicus revolution, Newton's laws of motion and gravity, Maxwell's laws, QM, Special Relativity, General Realativity, etc. etc. People still navigate by the 'fixed' stars - using knowledge that has been handed down from ancient times! Even a string theorist lost in the desert would be advised to use that same navigational knowledge!

David
 
#7
I think that would be remarkably similar to previous scientific revolutions! Our deepest understanding keeps on changing, but we can still go on using the old knowledge when it makes more sense.
Even a string theorist lost in the desert would be advised to use that same navigational knowledge!
However, the string theorist might also have been advised to avoid getting lost in the first place by taking a GPS and possibly a satellite phone on their trip.
 
#8
It would be a massive step back in our understanding of the world. Not that that step back isn't necessary, but much of what we already know would be fundamentally challenged.
I was wondering what the implications were for the man on the street... Do we need to reconsider government? religion? markets? Would there be a "Psi elite" made up of those who could harness the power? What if a terrorist organization became adept at psi?
 
#9
I don't think that a lot would change. As Dean Radin points out, all you're really doing is putting awareness in the position of being the most fundamental property of the universe and leaving everything else in place. You still have to treat the world in a materialistic fashion for day to day living, so there's no getting around that.

I think that there would be an initial burst of excitement and innovation followed by the crushing reality that this consciousness stuff is very, very hard to tame. Psi has already been around literally forever, most of the world already lives on the assumption that it's real. That hasn't changed much. Psi warfare has already been tried, psi gambling has been tried and pretty much anything else you can think of. It's not and never will be a sure thing.

The problem with controlling it is that there are a huge number of external factors that affect it, including global consciousness and where the frigging center of the galaxy is in the sky and whether it's a full moon. It's also not really possible to shut out people's unconscious intent, which can really muck things up. It'll take a long time to sort things out.
 
#10
I think that there would be an initial burst of excitement and innovation followed by the crushing reality that this consciousness stuff is very, very hard to tame. Psi has already been around literally forever, most of the world already lives on the assumption that it's real. That hasn't changed much. Psi warfare has already been tried, psi gambling has been tried and pretty much anything else you can think of. It's not and never will be a sure thing.
Well, that's looking at things from the point of view of using PSI in order to achieve our worldly goals. But anyone who has looked at more than a couple of NDE accounts might consider that to be perhaps putting the cart before the horse, or allowing the tail to wag the dog. Maybe rather than using our physical selves to shape and control consciousness, we should be allowing our consciousness to control our physical selves.
 
#11
I don't think that a lot would change. As Dean Radin points out, all you're really doing is putting awareness in the position of being the most fundamental property of the universe and leaving everything else in place. You still have to treat the world in a materialistic fashion for day to day living, so there's no getting around that.

I think that there would be an initial burst of excitement and innovation followed by the crushing reality that this consciousness stuff is very, very hard to tame. Psi has already been around literally forever, most of the world already lives on the assumption that it's real. That hasn't changed much. Psi warfare has already been tried, psi gambling has been tried and pretty much anything else you can think of. It's not and never will be a sure thing.

The problem with controlling it is that there are a huge number of external factors that affect it, including global consciousness and where the frigging center of the galaxy is in the sky and whether it's a full moon. It's also not really possible to shut out people's unconscious intent, which can really muck things up. It'll take a long time to sort things out.
That's all a bit depressing then surely? Without "taming" it and proving it's a sure thing, it becomes very difficult to promote the psi position to a wider acadeamia, let alone move to that post-materialistic world...
 
#12
Well, that's looking at things from the point of view of using PSI in order to achieve our worldly goals. But anyone who has looked at more than a couple of NDE accounts might consider that to be perhaps putting the cart before the horse, or allowing the tail to wag the dog. Maybe rather than using our physical selves to shape and control consciousness, we should be allowing our consciousness to control our physical selves.
I'm sure it's me, but I don't really know what that means...:confused:
 
#13
I'm sure it's me, but I don't really know what that means...:confused:
That's fine. I realise it wasn't very clear.

Unfortunately, I don't know how to put it any more clearly - I've definitely got clear thoughts on the matter, but it doesn't translate very readily into words, without using huge numbers of them, And frankly, that isn't something I feel I should be doing, as I'm pretty sure others have already said it, and better than I could. I'm quite happy for this to be ignored or dropped.
 
#14
That's all a bit depressing then surely? Without "taming" it and proving it's a sure thing, it becomes very difficult to promote the psi position to a wider acadeamia, let alone move to that post-materialistic world...
It's not necessary to promote psi to a wider academia. It's necessary for wider academia to understand the importance of a non local conscious universe in their work and to make the necessary adjustments, whatever they are.

Parapsychology for example, takes the experimenter effect very seriously. 85% of their studies are double blind. Other sciences should follow and assume that many things can be affected by it.
 
#15
Consider what would happen after this wish is fulfilled:
When belief in the existence of psi functions become more widespread in academia, there will still be enormous debates. In fact, the debates will be even more vociferous than they are now, because the pseudo skeptics will have much greater and more widespread opposition than they do now. (So far, we are small fry!)
This will happen for a generation or more: I am reminded again of Planck's saying about the rate of adoption of new theories.
 
#16
I was wondering what the implications were for the man on the street... Do we need to reconsider government? religion? markets? Would there be a "Psi elite" made up of those who could harness the power? What if a terrorist organization became adept at psi?
There I think there might be a change! I'd guess there might be serious attempts to change things by brute mental force. Assuming that this force is more effective if everyone believes in the 'magic' (an idea that seems quite common), large groups of people might be able to do remarkable things!

I tend to think there may be a vast, almost unexplored continent out there!

David
 
#17
Russia will probably ban advertisments by psychics and magicians (look here, here and here)...

How does it relate to the topic of the post-materialist world? Directly!

The problem of the modern market of psi-and-magick services is the fact that they are not recognized as "real" by the authorities. That's why, their position towards them tend to be close to the one of two extremes - they are either totally unregulated ("this nothing but pure faith without any basis, so let's leave them alone"), or supressed ("they are total frauds who prey on the gullible ones, and we shouldn't let it happen").

If the existence of psi phenomena, as well as the efficiacy of spiritual practices, will be recognized, it would be possible to set the play-rules for the market, or at least inform people how they can distinguish the real psychics/magicians from frauds, wannabes and mentally disturbed persons.
 
#20
It would be a theocracy, led by a council of illuminated mediums and cities would be littered with 40-foot statues of angels and saints, people would buy small statues of Dean Radin and rub his bald spot (basically his entire head) hoping that their wishes would come true... There, happy? :)

PS- It would stay mostly the same.
 
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