Tuesday, 15 October 2013
Written by Mathew Naismith
Sorry for this being a lengthy post but I thought I would share where the discussion on a Noetic site is going between me & a logically minded person, we all have our own concepts of understanding. The following discussion was brought about by one of my recent posts titled The Psychological Benefits of Spirituality. The following shows only the recent discussion between me & this other bloke so I’ve inserted the relevant link below for further reading if you are interested.
Again, I am pleased to see that you are willing to engage in a discussion in an investigative manner. This will moves us away from a debate of abstract terminology and allows us to construct a model shaped by mutual understanding.
You seem to be on the right track in your descriptions of spirit as it applies to the two examples. Spirit, as it applies to the concept of a team spirit or school spirit is a sense within an individual. There might be a collective synergetic energy that is created within the dynamic of the networked group, but the motivative for this is generated by the individual's mental perception of what it is they imagine they are participating in.
If we were to analyze the individual members of a sports team, and measure the total of their individual abilities, the sum of their collective abilities could be more than the sum of their individual abilities. A team's ability to generate this added accomplishment is sometimes referred to as "chemistry" being the individuals. This is what we might say is the spirit of the team, but as we can see it has a material explanation.
Might this be the case of what is referred to as a spirit with in the individual?
I can suggest that from a historical perceptive, spirit was a concept invented to define what was unexplainable to humans at the time. "Spirits" were assigned human like qualities and were assign to the unexplained to such as forces of nature forces, animal behaviors, and other things which we now have a material explanation. This same invention of spirit was also applied to ourselves. The essence of a person , both their subjective senses and their objective being was embodied in a spirit or soul. These essences of ours were thought to exits in a place where others that created the forces of life on earth dwelled once we cease to be alive, since they were not visible to us.
The term consciousness and psyche are similar terms. If we look at the term "eudaimonia" it too has a similar aspect to it that can serve to illustrate my point. While we may think the word means or refers to a persons happiness, it does so from an objective sense; others observe whether or not a person had had a happy life.
When we are afforded this historical perceptive for our understanding of our spirit, and can see that the concept was a human invention, shaped into its present understanding through many factors, mostly religion.
If we now turn our attention to how it is that we have come to develop our own personal understandings of spirit, we will find that it was acquired in much the same way that we acquired a language; spirit was spoken about, in particular ways, in the environment in which we were raised. This might be personal in that it was an aspect of our family and, or, in a more general sense in cultural ways.
Either way, our own understanding is not our invention, it is instead something that was shaped out of the elements that we find. Since there is not evidence of an actual soul or spirit, we can only speak of it in terms of an unsupported belief. One that might be explainable in a material sense, given our propensity to assign agency to the unexplainable.
All our perceptions came from learned behaviour even if we don't realise it so to a scientist their perception is going to be logically based because this is the behaviour that is expected of them but a religious person perception is based on faith. Each other’s perception is obviously going to be wrong to the other even though both have their basis of existence. Neither one is wrong or right over the other in my opinion because they both have their basis for existing however on occasions when they are joined by a person who is both a spiritual & science minded we get a different perception again.
Which perception is wrong? We have to choose for ourselves either as individuals or as a collective. At times certain perceptions are forced upon us in certain cultures which brings us back to learned behaviour which doesn’t make one right or wrong over all else just different.
Both science & spirituality were formed by other factors of perception, what will the perception of science & spirituality together give us? Just a different perception which will be neither wrong nor right but to a person with a different perception this of course will be wrong, human nature!!
There are scientific finding of sorts that hint on ourselves having a soul like measuring the body soon after death for example which isn’t sound proof but a theory but what hasn’t started out as a theory & been proven to be fact further on down the track when we latter on could measure such things scientifically? We have only scratched the surface to our own self-discovery as science keeps finding out as it evolves.
Re: Both science & spirituality were formed by other factors of perception,
But science limits it's investigation to understanding what is material. It has a framework that allows for self correction.
There are a myriad of spiritual models, each based on rather antiquated concepts, thousands of years old. These models require blind faith and speculate endlessly about an alternative intended to distract us from our current subjective existence.
Yes, science is limited to certain abstracts of life where’s spirituality isn’t as opposed to religion. The self-correction of spirituality is shown by its balanced approach to its environment & self, science doesn’t care what it destroys in there endeavours to reach a conclusion & of course it serves to feed the destructive consumerist materialistic form of life we have now as well.
Yes, science within its limited logics is self-corrective but only within its own deductive reasoning’s, it doesn’t correct itself when it devices destructive & harmful chemical products or weapons like we have seen lately for example.
The way most of us make babies is still the same from day dot but it doesn’t make it antiquated so why should the way we find a connection & peace within ourselves be any different. Science has proven to me that not all newly formed concepts are beneficial by far; chemical weaponry is a good example of this for starters.
You seem to be just into logics which can & does hinder one's objectiveness in what they see because it's limited, logics used on it's own is limiting just like spirituality on it's own is limiting. Modern day science derived from philosophy & mysticism, both philosophy & mysticism on their own are limiting but together they gave us science. Science on it's own like any deductive reasoning process is limited to it's basic concepts but joined together with another concept gives us yet another deductive reasoning process. We have always evolved through this process of different & sometimes opposite concepts coming together to form a totally different concept of understanding. Logics hopefully isn’t the be & end all otherwise we will stop evolving.
How do new science techniques come about? We now have quantum vacuum, physics & mechanics which are slightly different within their deductive reasoning’s & concepts especially from basic sciences, they evolved by taking on different deductive concepts of understanding. Not all of what quantum physics is about is of logics; there are some real strange theories bandied about.