Check out this World Science Festival event from NYU's Eisner & Lubin Auditorium, Saturday, June 4, 7:45 PM - 9:30 PM ET.
Human consciousness and intelligence are properties of the universe. From an anti-anthropocentric (less human-centered) view, humans are actually a subcomponent/extension of a "CPU." We, humans, are just quasi-intelligent, quasi-conscious, limited to our devices and the human point of view such as rampant literalism in our metaphors/illusions/symbolisms/religious experiences/equations/physico-chemical laws.
Pantheism is way better than the literalism of Abrahamic religions. On the other hand, in history, many people converted to Islam and Christianity because pantheism and other religions were less personal; they were prone to ritualistic violence.
BOTH classical Abrahamic religions and Old Atheism are forms of anthropocentric, arrogant literalism of the beneficial metaphors/illusions in human experience (cognitive adaptation). That's the pantheistic/New Atheistic view.
I need help in supporting some street children. Pasensya na at di talaga kaya ng budget ko to support their nightly accommodation. I can only accommodate 3. Nakikitulog lang naman sila at umaalis sa araw para kumain sa DSWD. Kaya kung may konting space kayo, kahit sa garahe, you can make a big difference.
To those who are willing to help, just call toll free 1-800-UNICEF-childhelp.
See photo of the street children below. It will really melt your heart.
[I remember a few years back going thru garbage mail real quick; then I had to do a double take on the above email.]
In some respect, this is how religion/spirituality/blind faith has a beneficial value/survivality (but of course, not all the time):
1. Cognitive adaptation
2. Specific analogy:
Check out this checker-shadow visual illusion from MIT. Or this and that and more. (Isn't psychophysics an interesting field like metaphysics and theoretical physics? To my hysterical friend, they would constitute a sics-sics-sics ; LOL.)
An illusion is not necessarily false (or it is relatively true). It is useful/has a survival value in certain contexts. In the same way, blind faith, whether to Allah, Jehova, Bathala, Zeus, Odin, to the trees, the volcanoes, etc., creates: a sense of well being, hope, perkiness, a flood of endorphins, close family ties, self-fulfilling prophecies of success in love and money; morality/ethics/order in society, etc.
In the strictest sense, we can say that our perception of color and time is a consensus/inescapable human/biological illusion that helps us make sense of the world (like the checker shadow, for example). It helps us thrive as a species.
So what is technically defined as an illusion in the field of psychology (in medicine, hallucination is different from illusion, but for convenience, we call them all illusions) is in a way actually an illusion that does not have a survival value; an illusion that is deviant from the consensus illusion. (In as much as we can define illusion in terms of the word "perception," e.g., illusion in psychology is a distorted perception, we can also define normal perception in terms of the word "illusion," e.g., normal perception is a consensus illusion from the vantage point of the field of cognitive adaptation.)
Hinduism (the concept of Maya) must have been correct all along on this point.
Now this soliluquy calls to mind movies like Truman Show, Matrix, and Dark City. In these movies, the protagonists are having a "distorted perception" of reality.
The same, because we do hope that the future is rich in understanding that will have our disparate starting points collectively coming full circle (to the same, same thing, which, unfortunately, I do not know at this time. We can only hope it can avert cyclical idiocy and bloodshed).
4. CONSCIOUS METAPHOR/NEW CONCEPT OF GOD: laws of nature consciously and deliberately metaphorized (with a wink in our eyes) as an old god concept as if almost in a parody; but deep inside, seriously deconstructing/redefining god as the universe itself and its physical laws.
Biased: "I can't believe that life came out of intelligent design [intelligence here is classically, anthropocentrically defined]."
Both positions can be reconciled if intelligence is re-defined.
It’s supposedly the Armageddon, sortof, in America right now. Or Day 1, Year 1, AA* around here. :)
No other time could be more perfect to talk about bucket lists. Japan's recent apocalyptic triple whammy means that thinking up our ideal top ten must-do's must be vogueish.
Ah, bucket lists, missions, and goals. They give meaning to our existence, not just a clear straight line to the grave.
And yet, most missions are never complete. Nor every bucket list item is ever ticked.
That’s because keeping up with the Joneses (now reincarnated as Facebook envy) and the barrage of ads (power of suggestion) render such lists seemingly incomplete (“I want that, too.”), impractical, and a source of disillusionment.
Moreover, the forces of nature might just torpedo them all in one go.
Listen. Vacation plans can get totaled by an Ondoy. Grand designs can be imploded by an Al Qaeda jet. A view of the Boracay sunset can get inundated by a tsunami.
The dream/dream car shattered by an oncoming truck in the headlights. The booty call ruined by a patient’s call. The next one exploded by a meteor on impact.
Then, the mass extinction of happiness can ensue.
So what lists are we talking about when every moment is Armageddon material? Haha!
The urge to list needs to be cured by our appreciation of things as they are and as they come. I.e., seeing the sunnier side to the epic fail, and the poetry in the mundane.
Heck, I can channel Boracay vibes in the disgusting heat of the concrete jungle. I can eat isaw and bihod and call them offal and caviar.
Call them what you may -- defense mechanisms or rationalizations or what-have-you.
To me, it’s just going Zen on your asses.
Now compile them and voila, you have a retrospective spur-of-the-moment top ten.
One time, my white shirt caught a nasty stain, a stain not unlike some sort of end-of-days rust.
I said holy s#!+ but I was fine, noting it’s nothing compared with losing one’s wallet to pickpockets.
I still went on to pay courtesy call on some medical society bigwig.
Then, five days ago, kaboom, my wallet got stolen. That wallet was a gift from my brother.
Now I have to say oh that’s nothing. People die of hunger in Africa. (Argh.)
See? Events torpedo epic lists.
*AA = After Armageddon
(PS. Dear Gay, maybe I really don’t think too much of top tens, since I already won Time’s Person of the Year in 2006, remember?)