PRELUDE TO DEEPERMIND
Deepermind is designed to help people find a happier life and a deeper understanding of themselves. It has been created to help people find their own truth. It does so by getting to the roots of religion and philosophy.
Questions are asked such as: Who decided what was going into the Bible? Can you ground philosophy with science? Are there universal basic principles? How do you avoid suffering and find happiness?
Some things work better than others. Only if we are open to new and better ideas will we grow.
Here we will explore ideas concerning science, belief, truth and love.
Love and truth are connected. If something is true, we do not have to say it or act on it. Love gives thought and direction to truth. If someone is ugly, we do not say "Hey, you are ugly." Instead we find something good to say.
Our beliefs are often so dogmatic. Many of us talk in terms of absolutes. In nature things are seldom black or white. A zebra's fur is not completely black or white, but shades of gray. There is an absolute zero temperature, but we have never cooled anything this cold. Almost, but not exactly.
Nature is made up of shades of color and various intensities and sizes. At the atomic level light and elementary particles act as both waves and solid particles. The geological boundary between land and sea is constantly changing. Along the shoreline there is a strip of moist sand which constantly changes with the tides.
People of often black and white in their thinking. It is this way or the highway.
One could blame our brain cells. A neuron either fires or it does not. But the thousands of inputs (called dendrites) to a typical neuron contain electrical signal pulses. The neuron fires when it receives enough pulses. So the neurons are analog receives and produce a digital output.
When we perceive an "r", the detecting neuron says there is a 90% probability that it is a "r", and when the "r" is perceived in context with other letters, we are sure enough to read as quickly as we do.
At the higher levels of our brain, the certainty of the outputs of neuron, over many renditions, produce a conviction of certainty. Many of us are not just 90% sure of what we believe, but 100% sure.
Most of us just know that some things are right and good. The brain/mind has information that contains our deepest convictions. One could think of these convictions as reference information and things either do or do not resonance with this reference.
Thus for a religious Christian, the word "Jesus" is just not a mere word but something in itself, that strongly evokes truth, warmth and peace.
We all have our trigger words. For some it is "love" or "truth." The word "science" can be a trigger word. People focused on body pleasure have their own trigger words.
We define ourselves by trigger words. "I am a ..." and then we define ourselves. Patroits identify by trigger words. Sports people identify by their teams.
These trigger words can produce great conflict between different people. Wars are fraught, people die.
Thus have to be careful about faith. We can have faith in our little self and become hedonistic and whimsical, or have a deeper faith based on God and goodness.
A deeper faith promotes education, learning and progress. It promotes the holy within us.
We need a spiritual teacher for our inner lives. We need guidance. Without a spiritual teacher we are left to our own inner experiments. We are forced to experiment with love, beliefs and morality and all the consequences.
Yet we need not be enculturated either with blind faith. We can break away with our parents and teachers and rise above our local culture.
We lose about 7000 brain cells a day. This is nature's way of doing away with things that are not important or just plain wrong. We forget all the ways that we can lose tic-tac-toe. As we learn more, we stick with things that pan out.
We can make much better progress with a divine educator. We need to learn things we do not want to learn. As a child we probably hated learning to spell, but in adulthood we are certainly glad we can write an email.
We are not one homogenous person. We know the feeling of considering this and that. There are parts of us who wants to keep eating ice-cream, and parts of us that tell us never to touch the stuff. Then there is something inside us that looks at both sides and we eat what we consider the proper amount. If too much is black and none is white, the proper amount is gray.
But there are shades of gray. What is really the proper amount? We might not be completely white, but a very light gray. We can't be too proper all the time, as we would be stiff.
How to find what is proper for us can be cast to everyone's options and we can mope along. But there are some rules, some guidance that lead to our own consideration of what is good and proper for us. These are our gentle Ideas of life.
To help organize some of the concepts, we will punctuate these words with "Numbered Ideas.
Our first Idea is: One should always treat everyone with kindness and love.
In Sunday school I like to ask this question, "Is there anything better than the truth." Nearly everyone will agree there is nothing better than the truth.
But if you meet someone that is ugly, I mean really ugly, you do not say "You are the ugliest person I have ever seen." This might be your truth, but your truth leads you down a path. Here you might have to run away, with the ugly person at your heel.
But if we not impeccable with your word, you can also get into trouble. If you lie, then no one will trust you. So the trick is to always tell the truth, or elect to keep ones mouth shut if the consequence dictate it.
So the second Idea is: Always be truthful, knowing we have the option to be silent.
We can also be truthful and kind at the same time. We can pick our words for best effect keeping to the truth, but giving our listener some inspiration and affirmation. If I know someone believes that the Bible is the word of God, I could say, yes, The Bible is a love letter from God. Saying this, I am also saying that anything in the Bible that is not a love letter from God, is not as I define the Bible to be. Instead of being nasty and pointing out all bad things in the Bible (the contradictions, places where God kills everyone except those on Noah's Ark, that slavery is acceptable and women are less equal than men and so on) we can pick our words and gradually make our points.
What we say should promote the good in others, and be useful in guiding others and ourselves to better ground. This is one of the missions of love. This leads us to the third Idea: Love gives truth, direction and purpose.
The words of love triumph over words that burst out with anything that is true. If we tell a white lie, yet save someone from being hurt, we are still doing the right thing.
But if we are working in science, love is not as important as finding out the truth about nature. Love is very important in using science. Just because we might have learned how to blow up the world, love says don't. Our fourth Idea is: In the material world, scientific method is our source of truth.
How can we work with people of faith, and help them understand that science is part of the truth too. In the USA, about 70% of the people are Christian and most believe in the Bible. One way to bridge the gap, is to use the Bible to promote scientific understanding. We could point out that in the very first words of the Bible (these come first and are important), God made the world. Many other religions have similar beliefs.
This is a powerful introduction to the idea, that direct revelation from God is the Natural World. The revelations in the Bible come through people, but the natural world is the direct outcome of God's creation.
Thus to study science, is to study the works of God's creation. To ignore science is sinful, as you are ignoring the works of God. The words of God can be distorted though time, changed by people and can be mistranslated. The world of nature is the same for people around the world. There is no conflict with the laws of nature like there is between people of different religions.
From science we learn that God makes laws in the form of equations. So you have to learn mathematics to learn more about God. By understanding these natural laws, engineers have made all the gadgets you love, from cell phones to computers.
God created the most perfect system of natural laws that allows man to live on earth. These laws are always there for us to learn. Using the laws we can make ourselves feel comfortable with new inventions.
But science does not have answers to everything. We are far too complicated to use the laws of physics to find love and happiness. We need beliefs that go beyond what is known by science. For example, science does not know what consciousness is and how it works in any detail. But believing in high consciousness may not make scientific sense, but we can experiment with it and know its effect. If we are in low consciousness we tend to get into trouble. If we are in high consciousness we tend to suffer less and things seem to go better. If we believe that we are good, that good things will happen, that people love us and so on, we feel better. Thus the fifth Idea is: Our beliefs are our personal truths developed through experience and contemplation.
Science has showed us that our brains are made up of about 86 billion neurons. These neurons are somewhat independent, analyzing hundred, to many thousands of inputs from other neurons.
But we are more than a mechanical system of brain cells. These brain cells need prospective and purpose so that they can do their jobs. The brain has some type of overall government. This overall government has not been observed, but without it we would not be sane.
We also have consciousness, a feeling of being alive. We work our brain to serve us and what we believe... our purposes in life. What is this "we"? I call it an old fashion word "the soul".
The sixth Idea is: Beyond matter, energy, time and space, people have souls and souls enable consciousness.
In science we find the idea that everything in the material world is made up of atomic particles. For example, the brain is made up of these particles, which build up atoms and molecules. The molecules build up brain tissue.
But atomic particles have no feelings; no consciousness. Have you ever heard of an atomic particle that was happy or sad? Is there a particle out there that has feelings or consciousness? But everyone has feelings and consciousness. Hey something is missing.
Consciousness has been called the crack in the cosmic (scientific) egg.
Since consciousness exists, there must be a mechanism causing it. I will define this as the soul. The soul allows us to experience life. It is the mechanism that allows consciousness. Without a soul there could be no science as there would be no consciousness.
How the brain interfaces with the soul and consciousness no one understands. But it does.
The seventh Idea is: The brain and the soul work in hand in hand. What we do and think is reflected in both the soul and the brain.
The reason for the Idea above, is we can see the brain causing us to (1) lose consciousness, and (2) we can also lose consciousness through the soul.
(1) If the brain is physically damaged we can lose consciousness. A head injury can knock us out.
(2) If the soul is damaged we can lose the will to live. A sick soul can cause us to be depressed or cause other mental health problems.
When we sleep, both the brain and the soul seem to go into repair mode. During sleep we dream in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep.
During non-REM sleep, perhaps the brain slows down and almost stops, but the soul remains, keeping us alive.
The eight Idea is: The brain has 100 trillion brain cells and something needs to manage all these cells.
In addition to producing consciousness, the soul may be responsible to the organization of how different parts of ourselves work together. It may be the central organizing factor that help produce an overall government of these 100 trillion brain cells.
Without an organizing factor the brain would immediately fail. There would be no overall purpose. Different departments of the brain would fight. Barriers would be created making some departments walled off from others. Wars between departments would be common. People would have many personalities and the left hand might beat on the body while the right hand would try to stop the left hand.
There has to be something that is the head of all these cells. With this many brain cells, something has to keep all the cells to work together and not fight (conflicts within the mind) or isolate themselves (multiple personalities).
There must be a government of the mind to keep it working together. Otherwise some lower departments who only know one aspect of life would try to take over the brain. We see this in deviant people who only think about drugs or sex.
The ninth Idea is: There must be brain cells who are top managers in the government of the brain. These top brain cells must have simple basic standards to govern the brain.
In any government there is a president, CEO or top manager and so there must be top brain cells. These top brain cells must have a reference or set goals.
For any complex system there must be a loop between what is being done and the controls for the operation. There must be a reference that sets the standards.
A car on cruise control, has a reference speed. If the car senses it is going too fast, it will reduce the gas flow to the engine. If the car sense it is going too slow it will increase the gas flow to the engine.
Brain cells lets us know if we need water by telling us that we are thirsty. Somehow the amount of liquid in the body is measured.
In a similar way, the top brain cells need to measure the progress of the person. The top brain cells reference a standard of what is good and what is bad. This is our basic belief system. If this is taken away, we become aimless.
Each brain cell in the brain has a support network. The top brain cells are remote from the day to day activities of complex activities that occur in everyone's life. Exactly how to we wash the dishes. We just get the job done. It is done by lower brain cells.
So at the top, the top brain cells have to keep things simple. For example love and service may be our top purpose. Each organized religion has a small collection of simple beliefs that define the core of the belief system.
For example, the Unitarian Universalist Church has two main beliefs and those are love and service. Christians believe in love and the ten commandments. The newest world-wide religion, the Baha'i Faith believes the essential unity of all great religions, that we have an immortal soul, and the equality of men and women. Buddhists believe in prajna (discernment, insight, wisdom and enlightenment). Hindus believe that truth is eternal, Brahman is truth and reality, the Vedas are the ultimate authority, we should observe dharma.
About this site.
There are about twenty web pages on this site. This first page contains my most up to date ideas. Other pages may not be as current.
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