Wednesday, June 1, 2016

There's Something There - Part 3


That is, the only way for you to find God is ...

For God to find you.

And how, do you suppose, would he do that?

By interacting with the universe.

Didn't see that coming, didja?

I just read this amaaaazing article on the brain on, so here's some bits of it:

"A few cognitive scientists – notably Anthony Chemero of the University of Cincinnati, the author of Radical Embodied Cognitive Science (2009) – now completely reject the view that the human brain works like a computer.

"The mainstream view is that we, like computers, make sense of the world by performing computations on mental representations of it, but Chemero and others describe another way of understanding intelligent behaviour – as a direct interaction between organisms and their world.

"... if we had the ability to take a snapshot of all of the brain’s 86 billion neurons and then to simulate the state of those neurons in a computer, that vast pattern would mean nothing outside the body of the brain that produced it ... Whereas computers do store exact copies of data – copies that can persist unchanged for long periods of time, even if the power has been turned off – the brain maintains our intellect only as long as it remains alive. There is no on-off switch. Either the brain keeps functioning, or we disappear.

"What’s more, as the neurobiologist Steven Rose pointed out in The Future of the Brain (2005), a snapshot of the brain’s current state might also be meaningless unless we knew the entire life history of that brain’s owner – perhaps even about the social context in which he or she was raised."

Which is to say (I'm back, btw. This is me now.) that each of our brains exists as a direct interaction with the life we have each lived, each brain unique as each life is unique.

Pardon me for a second. I'm going to make that really really large so that you don't miss it.

Direct interaction

Here's what humans do that is so cute. We look for the rules and regulations that make everything happen, and say to ourselves, wow, that's why everything happens.

Rules. Regulations. Laws of physics.

Here's what's curious about that.

Science has decided that religion is ridiculous.

But both science and religion make the same mistake.

Religion ... looks for rules for behavior. Human behavior.

Science ... looks for rules of behavior. Human behavior, ultimately, along with the behavior of everything else in the universe.

Neural circuits in the brain. Looks very much like a fractal.
Science finds its rules in the patterns of mathematics, and then in the patterns of everything. Or vice versa. Sometimes the math tells us what is happening (the Special and General Theories, Quantum Mechanics), sometimes we figure out the math so we can describe what is happening (Newton's Calculus).

But once we had the rules figured out, well, dang it, they stopped making sense about 116 years ago, in 1900, when Quantum Mechanics came on the scene, and then again in 1905 and 1915 when Special and General Relativity arrived, and then in 1961 Chaos Theory didn't help at all, and when Complexity Theory started to mess with Evolution later in the 1960s, well, that was not a happy moment.

The Rules, the Laws of Physics, sort of stopped helping us understand the way things worked. Instead, they didn't help at all.

Religion kinda has the same problem.

But it's kinda the same problem because it's kinda the same source.


We want things to make sense.

So. Let's say some guy comes along. Let's call him Isa. Or Joshua. Or Yeshua. Pick your language base.

And he says, alright, jerks, stop being jerks. Start being nice.

And the whole God thing? You really should pay attention.

So what do religious people do?

Instead of just, you know, being nice, they ask, what does it really mean to be nice? I mean, do we have to be nice to everybody? Or can we pick and choose?

And what does being nice really mean?

So then they made up some rules.

And before long, the religions all became to be about following the rules instead of, you know, being nice.

Buddhism does this. So does Hinduism. Judaism. Shintoism. Jainism. Islam. Paganism. Satanism. Witchcraft. Animism. All the -isms do it.

Christianity, too.

Not an -ism grammatically, but still an -ism. And it does it, too.

Somehow they all start with the interaction between God (or gods)(or no gods)(depending) and humans, and then, somehow, along the way,

They all become about the rules.

And here is what science is telling religion.

It's not about the rules.

It's about the interaction.

If the universe is all about interaction,

Then reality is all about interaction,

And the rules of nature come from interaction between particles and forces, and energy and mass and space-time, and observation and reality,

Then, well, religion ...

Is all about interaction. The interaction between us, and God.

So now we gotta figure out what the heck that means.

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