Thursday, March 24, 2016

It's like Scully and Mulder in my head, but more like Scully

Image Credit: The X Files
While it is the case that not admitting that there is more outside of the domain of science than we currently know today is narrow-minded, investigating the subject can be a slippery slope filled with charlatans such as Stuart Hameroff or  Deepak Chopra. 

Or, going back in time, Madame Blavatsky or G.I.Gurdjieff who made claims about magical kingdoms and mystical lands, which would be impossible to disprove  in the days when we had no GPS...

Cults take this pseudo scientific pursuit to another level, praying on the vulnerable and on the basic human need to search for meaning. "I want to believe", as Mulder from the X Files said...An obscurity cloud is used as a way to keep people in cults, such as Gurdjieff's Fourth Way, because what is discussed there is simply too crazy to be shared with others. However, the version given to the cult members is that this is sacred knowledge beyond the access of "ordinary" people.This is a very problematic approach in contradiction with the scientific method. 

So, while there is more to explore beyond the event horizon of science today, I am highly skeptical (this does not make me narrow minded materialist, by the way), of going about it by investigating so called ancient traditions, because they generally contain more nonsense than usefulness, and the two parts are intertwined in a way that is very difficult to separate by most. The question, then is: how does one go about investigating psi phenomena and other present day speculative subjects while keeping up with the scientific method (the best we've got so far). 

There must be some objective, repeatable criteria, which is missing from the "mystical" traditions. Recently I listened to Ben Goertzel's  talk on expanding science to include second person verification - this sounds promising. 

Also, studying secular meditation in a scientific setting sounds promising - we are faced with the barrier of subjective experience as the main obstacle, i think.

1 comment:

  1. Reminds me of the opening scene to _Guards, Guards_ by Terry Pratchett