1. The Gates of Horn and Ivory are Closing!
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Woo?

Discussion in 'Archipelago' started by Duke, Dec 28, 2009.


The Gates of Horn and Ivory

Two Gates the silent House of Sleep adorn; Of polish'd Iv'ry this, that of transparent Horn:
True Visions thro' transparent Horn arise; Thro' polish'd Iv'ry pass deluding Lies.

  1. Fa Shi

    Fa Shi Moderator Staff Member

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    It's just kinda odd, though. We are probably servants of the genes, yet the servants can defy the masters.
     
  2. Umaeril

    Umaeril -o-}}}X{{{-o- Staff Member

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    I guess it boils down to the fact that it is complex and who really knows...not science, not for sure. Science is limited. I had a couple sentences about the soul and creation but meh.
     
  3. Fa Shi

    Fa Shi Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, I don't even think there's such a thing as a soul, and creation myths are meh. =\

    And yeah, science is complex, which is why I'm curious what they will find or come up with next. Theories are just our best explanations about the world, but it's not like they're guaranteed to be 100% correct.
     
  4. Umaeril

    Umaeril -o-}}}X{{{-o- Staff Member

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    I love to read the BBC Technology and Science sections. They do stories on some amazing things coming up in the world. I can't wait for some of this tech to become available.

    As for souls, don't you come from a very religious country? Are you atheist? I am good with whatever you are, just asking.
     
  5. Fa Shi

    Fa Shi Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, I'm an atheist, even leaning slightly on anti-theism. >_> I like the philosophical religions, such as Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism to some extent. I just dislike the self-righteous monotheistic ones that teach people to judge and discriminate and act all holier-than-thou. =\

    Hopefully I don't offend anyone here.

    But anyway, I think after seeing how brain damage can change a person's disposition and behavior completely, it'd be hard to believe in souls. If souls are really our inner selves that dictate how we act and feel, then why does lack of certain brain functions deprive you of making rational decisions and/or emotional capacity?
     
  6. Umaeril

    Umaeril -o-}}}X{{{-o- Staff Member

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    That is a really interesting question about behavior and personality changes and the soul. There was a man who had a iron bar driven straight though his frontal lobes. Before the damage he had been sort of a dull man I guess, didn't do much of anything really. After the damage people said he was a completely different man, he drank, gambled, was coarse and vulgar. Did his soul change? It wasn't even his fault.
     
  7. Fa Shi

    Fa Shi Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, Phineas Gage was the first definitive proof of the nonexistence of souls for me. Then I later learned that many other people shared the same fate with Gage.
     
  8. Duke

    Duke Mental Oblivion

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    I was raised Presbyterian and went to a Christian school for half of my education, so I know exactly what you mean. Not everyone is like that, but so many are that it's very disappointing and gives society a dim view of religion. In fact, if I had never been forced to be at that school, I would probably still consider myself a Christian. I don't know what I am now, I still believe in God in some form, just not as portrayed by organized religion. I could go on about my religious views forever but I will refrain for the sake of everyone's sanity ;)

    That's a very interesting delimma, but I was doing some reading one day (I believe it was more from a Pagan viewpoint, which is what I've been studying lately) and the author was suggesting that if your soul is your center of consciousness existing on a spiritual plane, then your brain is just your "interface" with the physical world, and if there's something wrong with that interface (brain damage, intoxication, etc) then the signals from your soul would become confused and/or skewed. Kind of like trying to use a computer with a virus, there might be nothing wrong with the processor but it can't interpret the environment or execute commands properly because of the damaged code.

    Just something to think about.
     
  9. Murf

    Murf $$$$$$$$$$$$ Staff Member

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    I think that is a general sentiment. Problem is, is that there are still people that think that way, but forget about it when other people believe differently than they do. That was something I had to myself get over as a missionary. For the first little part I thought I was better than the people who didn't want to listen to me, but after a while, I realized that despite the fact that I want them to believe in what I believe in a ton, they are just as good, if not better people than I am, and that nobody is a worse person than me.
     
  10. Umaeril

    Umaeril -o-}}}X{{{-o- Staff Member

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    @Allen, re: "existing on a spiritual plane" See I have a problem with that right off, where is the spiritual plane? Why would you need an interface? Why does the soul need to reside in or interface with the brain anyhow? Why can't the soul be in the heart like the Egyptians and many others thought? Or my big toe for that matter.

    @Murf - there are people who are worse than you. There are wife beaters, child molesters and serial killers and they are all of them worse than you. Maybe you meant to say that if not better, most are not worse? There are what...6 billion almost people on the earth. Are the majority of them good? Wow, this world would be lovely were that so, I think. Are half of them good? A quarter of them? How many are not worse than you? Don't be so self-deprecating. You are a good person.
     
  11. Duke

    Duke Mental Oblivion

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    The spiritual plane being a so-called dimension that we can't see, pure energy. There are a few theories out there that refer to plasma lifeforms, maybe that has something to do with it. The idea being that there is a fluid, "plasma" existence that occupies the same space as physical matter. I assume we would need an interface for the same reason we have a nervous system to interface our brain with the rest of our bodies, and we need muscles to make our bones move. When you think about something, you can make your body do it. Well who is to say that your brain is the original starting place of that thought, and not just a mechanism by which to process and execute it? The human mind is a very powerful thing and I'm unconvinced that it doesn't transcend the physical. I'm sure there are problems with that theory and I'm not stating this stuff as fact, I was just trying to say there might be something to it. I believe you're thinking too physically about a soul. Why does it have to be a little pocket of air that's contained inside us and is released when we die? I think of it more as an energetic envelope, an aura if you will, that is around us, and IS us. Dieing merely separates the physical from the energy/consciousness that is bound to it. If you've heard of the idea of different frequencies of vibration for consciousness to be on, that's what I'm getting at. And if there's a god, I think he or she is simply a higher evolved energy life form that we don't understand yet, not some obscure ultimately righteous being that judges us when we die.

    I don't claim it makes sense or I have all the answers, but I think it's easier to imagine than conventional religious dogma, and more probable than simply rotting when we die. I just don't think that ideas like this should be completely dismissed as scientifically impossible considering how little we really know about such subjects. And a lot of people seem to deny things just because they think it might imply something else that they disagree with. I think the idea deserves some consideration.

    BTW what I think Murf was getting at is that no one should be considered inferior just because of what they believe about spirituality; I'm no better than you for believing something different than you, and you're no better than me for disagreeing. And that's something I totally agree with.
     
  12. Umaeril

    Umaeril -o-}}}X{{{-o- Staff Member

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    Ok well I won't post my scientific rebuttal since you set me up not to do that. However, plasma is a physical entity. I have to point that out to you, sorry. It's not going to reside in our space as the matrix of a place for plasma beings to live since it already resides in this universe...it is a state of matter. Sorry. If there is something in what you are saying it is most likely not borne of the plasma state.

    People get this like pseudoscience stuff and weave all sorts of weird stuff out of it. You have to watch out for that and test each idea you hear by examining it with an objective eye. Does it make sense. Does it fit with what we know. Is this person who is telling me the idea or "theory" credible.

    If you cannot run your ideas through different filters, including the filter of Science and Reason, then you verge on being gullible. I know you are not a gullible person, you are straight up and you do test your information critically. Like this:

    "I think of it more as an energetic envelope, an aura if you will, that is around us, and IS us." You know that you do have an energy aura, right?

    "I believe you're thinking too physically about a soul. Why does it have to be a little pocket of air that's contained inside us and is released when we die?" I never said it was a pocket of air. You said maybe it was an interface with the brain and I said why does it have to be there. You replied: "I assume we would need an interface for the same reason we have a nervous system to interface our brain with the rest of our bodies, and we need muscles to make our bones move. When you think about something, you can make your body do it. Well who is to say that your brain is the original starting place of that thought, and not just a mechanism by which to process and execute it?" So you are examining this concept, I understand that. But I am wondering what is beyond that concept. In other words, it seems to me that you are implying that the soul is a conscious entity that resides...let's call it "elsewhere" and is attached to us in some manner and can influence us. Did I get it right?

    Let me ask you one more question...do animals have souls? If you believe that they do, that maybe a gorilla has a soul or a chimp, what about lower invertebrates? Do insects have a soul?
     
  13. Duke

    Duke Mental Oblivion

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    You take me so literally sometimes it makes my head hurt, lmao (the pocket of air comment). I do get what you're saying about plasma though, and being something I don't know a lot about, I could have explained the theory wrong or not given an incredible amount of thought to it but this is also why I prefaced it with a big fat "maybe" lol. I wasn't trying to set you up for anything so rebut if you must.

    I don't mind you pointing out what's wrong with my theories at all, but understand that a lot of what I claim to "believe" this week comes from personal experiences over the years that I've tried to explain psychologically, physically, and spiritually, and the first two were deemed highly unlikely or impossible to me. Then those ideas mixed in with other beliefs that fit in with what I had observed, as opposed to the teachings of (for example) Christianity or Atheism, respectively. So I'm not going to be infallible or even always coherent because I'm still trying to figure out what to truly believe every day, this is just where I am right now.

    Yes, I do know we have an energy aura, which I find interesting but also not evidence of a "soul," since even plants have an electromagnetic field if I remember correctly. Basically you got what I'm saying pegged, but not so much of a conscious entity as consciousness itself.

    As for whether animals have souls.. I would have to say no, because I believe its directly tied with conscious thought and free will, and since most animals rely exclusively on instincts to govern their daily lives I think that would exclude them.
     
  14. Umaeril

    Umaeril -o-}}}X{{{-o- Staff Member

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    Oh this is such a juicy topic. I cannot do it justice just prior to bed though. But I must say one thing or 2 things. First, yes I know you did not mean a literal pocket of air. I too was speaking metaphorically or analogically I should say. But I did want to ask about the great apes, the Gorillas. We know gorillas and chimps think. They think, they plan, they laugh, they play jokes, they care deeply for their young and are bereft at the death of a baby, they use tools and Koko the gorilla can use sign language.

    I used to work in a clinic at a facility that cared for developmentally delayed persons of all ages. There were several there who were so profoundly retarded that they did not talk or walk or do anything other than blink and seize. There was nothing to these people, nothing in their eyes, they did not see not because they were blind but because the mind behind the eyes was incapable of perception. So how can these people who are so distant from us on so many levels, socially, emotionally, intellectually, have a soul, while those who are so close to us, socially, emotionally, intellectually, not have a soul?
     
  15. Duke

    Duke Mental Oblivion

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    I knew you were going there. You just couldn't resist. Well sure some animals think and learn, my dog learns the commands I teach him and thinks about how to not get caught doing stuff he's not supposed to. He knows when I'm sick, or angry, or sad, and whether I like or hate the person who just walked up to us. Hell, I think he's smarter than some of my friends. But if he was truly an intellectual being then he would learn that when I leave in the car, I AM coming back and not flip out when I return like it's been a week, and he might not try to do the same stupid thing 2 minutes after I told him not to. But hey, I've heard people talk about spirits of animals (read: mammals), personally I just don't see it.

    <tangent>However if you were to subscribe to the theory of a residual haunting, that repeated actions or emotional / traumatic events can leave an "imprint" in the energy of an area that could be picked up by people sensitive to that sort of thing, maybe you would be able to see an animal? Even if this was true, I don't think it has much to do with a soul, it just came to my mind.</tangent>

    As for the people you described I don't know what to say to that. Maybe I could point back to the statement I made earlier about fuzzy signals and such. It's certainly something for me to think about and consider, but my first thought on it is summarized in someone else's words that I found through my various reading:

    "The only thing that makes someone mentally handicapped is that their brain is unable to give them the control of their bodies that others have. They have the same kind of spirit that we all have."
     
  16. Umaeril

    Umaeril -o-}}}X{{{-o- Staff Member

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    Of course I could not resist when it is dangling right in front of me like a tasty candy! :D

    It is interesting you should bring up your dog. I am here at my mom's in Nashville and she has 2 of them and they do the same thing as your dog. I guess all dogs do that. Some dogs are pretty smart - on a doggy level. Some are exceptionally smart and trainable, like dogs that help disabled persons. But no dog can use a tool. None of them are smart on our level. I agree with you. My mom once told me that her version of heaven would be a nice place for her and a dog she once had named Sherpa. But if dogs don't go to heaven (since they do not have souls) then my mom would not have that nice place. However, my mother is an atheist so the point is moot.

    About that tangent paragraph: There may be something to residual hauntings. However, I doubt at this point that we could pick up any imprint. We have an energy aura, but we can't see it or feel it. We vibrate at the rate of 3m/s, yet we do not see it or feel it (and most people don't even know we do that). If humans are not equiped to sense the most basic examples of energy and vibration, how on earth are they going to unravel the incomprehensibly complex "imprint" of humans actions or emotions? I don't think anyone is sensitive enough to do that. Also what are these actions or emotions imprinting on? Air? Air moves so it can't be the air. Does it imprint in the walls, or the floor? The only reason I said there may be something to residual hauntings is because of that phonautograph machine made in 1857 that recorded sounds on a lamp blackened glass plate. Sounds are vibrations...we vibrate...one can extrapolate that something of us might leave an imprint. It is just that we vibrate so slowly and not very far so it is making a real stretch to even extrapolate.

    Well I will have to reply to some of this later on. I have to read again what you wrote about fuzzy signals, that is interesting.

    I still want to know what it is that makes a human human and a gorilla not human.
     
  17. Duke

    Duke Mental Oblivion

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    On another tangent, if you did believe that we had souls and dogs didn't, and if you could manipulate energy in the afterlife (personally I believe you can manipulate it now if you just know how) then could you not create a semi-intelligent construct of the dog to be your companion? But this is all non-physical and probably also moot, for various reasons.

    That was pretty abstract of you, I'm impressed! lol. And you asked the million dollar question: What is it imprinted on. I think if we can find a way to measure and analyze these "echoes", we will find a wealth of answers to questions that have plagued us for thousands of years. Personally I think its related possibly to an electromagnetic phenomenon but more to the concept that time is not linear when viewed from a higher dimension. And no that's not something I just made up, it shows up in both Christian and Pagan philosophy, and Edgar Cayce mentioned it several times. Before you dismiss him as a quack, just do some research on him (if it interests you), he led a very interesting life. His theories were one-of-a-kind in his time, and the impact he made on those around him was amazing.

    Let's see, gorillas... Scientifically I guess there isn't much difference, since they share most of our DNA according to the people who study that sort of thing. But to determine intelligence you would have to look at their lifestyle - even "cavemen" which I don't think were (very?) physiologically different than us just less learned, would have exhibited signs of intelligence far beyond all the other animals. Well to start on gorillas they don't have their own language (any more than birds or dogs), they don't build shelter or gather food, they don't collaborate their efforts any more than a pack of dogs... The thing I'm wondering about is you said one gorilla in particular can use sign language, and I've seen a program on TV about that, but I don't know enough about it to really speak on it. I mean I tend to think it's the sort of thing that if you were to ask "How tall is that tree", the animal would be completely stumped. As opposed to asking "how are you" or "who am I?" or "do you want food?", I'm pretty sure with enough training you could find a level of communication close to that with many animals, although I do think they have a more complex brain than most.

    I keep going back to dogs but that's what I know, and allow me to share some of the things I've taught to my dog instead of tricks. He is a 3 year old pit bull and has done most of this stuff since he was 8-12 months old, or younger. I can ask him "do you want food?" and he will start jumping around and run to the food bowl if he's hungry, or just wag his tail if he isn't. I can tell him "lets go for a ride" and he'll be at the door before I am and jump in the car when I say "get in." Once in the car, I can tell him "get in the back", and he will. I can even get him to go investigate sounds in the house. Sometimes I ask him "do you want to sit with me?" as opposed to continue whatever he was doing, and he will act accordingly. If I'm yelling about something, he might get tense because he thinks it's his fault, I can look at him and say "no, I'm not mad at you" and he will loosen up a little. If he wants to sit with me and I tell him "wait a minute" he'll walk away and come back shortly and "ask" again by looking up at me and wagging his tail. I can tell him to follow me, stay where he is, go up or down the stairs, go outside, even simply "go away" or "leave me alone". He judges new people by their mannerisms and tone to decide if he should be nice to them, avoid them, or try to bite them. I can tell him "go get your [stick, ball, rope]" and if I can focus his attention on another animal or person I can tell him to "get" that too. ("getting" another animal is usually playful, and "getting" a person is usually drenching them in slobber, unless he dislikes the particular animal or person) Like any dog, he has his own ways of telling me if he wants to play with the stick or just run around with it, if he wants me to pet him or just let him lie there. How is that really any less intelligent than gorillas? I think its likely that the gorilla uses trigger words to pick from a set of responses she has been trained to give, just like a dog.
     
  18. Umaeril

    Umaeril -o-}}}X{{{-o- Staff Member

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    Hey there Allen, sorry I ended up driving home today from Nashville. I have to go to bed so don't have time to do your very nice post justice. I adore this type of conversation, I used to have them all the time. Btw, I was once very interested in Edgar Cayce until there was some debunking done. But yeah I don't think everything was debunked. So much food for thought and I will try to get an answer to this tomorrow, but I might be on call and have to work extra so it might be the weekend. I know you are good with that so you don't need to let me know you are good with that. :lol
     
  19. hiyayaywhopee

    hiyayaywhopee Huzzah?

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    So this thread took a pretty sharp left turn.
     
  20. Umaeril

    Umaeril -o-}}}X{{{-o- Staff Member

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    Yes it did, feel free to join in.


    "Personally I think its related possibly to an electromagnetic phenomenon but more to the concept that time is not linear when viewed from a higher dimension. And no that's not something I just made up, it shows up in both Christian and Pagan philosophy, and Edgar Cayce mentioned it several times."

    Nobody knows what time is at this point. I have heard some interesting ideas, like time as a wave, I thought that was kind of cool. Perhaps there is some merit to what they say, I don't know.

    "Well to start on gorillas they don't have their own language (any more than birds or dogs)..."

    How do you know that gorillas don't have their own language? They are social primates... Many animals have language I think, I am pretty sure. Just because a language is limited to a dozen "words" does not make it any less a language. I am going to google this because I think it is an important point to know the facts. Ok I googled "animal language" and went to wiki 1st. They give several examples of animal language. Chimps talk to each other when they warn each other of danger and then climb trees to get away. Bees, squids, whales, birds all transmit information so that is language (but these are not animals, however, you lumped birds in with dogs so I think I am justified in mentioning birds can talk meaningfully - also what about that bird that got lost and told the people who found him his address) (ref: BBC News)?

    "they don't build shelter or gather food, they don't collaborate their efforts any more than a pack of dogs..."

    Dogs do not build shelters true, but what is a bird's nest if not shelter? What is the purpose of a beaver's dam? A wolf's den? I guess you are not familiar with the sleeping nests that chimps construct for themselves to sleep in (ref: Nat'l Geographic)?

    Apes use tools. Simple ones, but that has been demonstrated I believe in a very good book by Jane Goodall who studied them for decades. And I think there are other animals that use tools. Not very well though!

    "The thing I'm wondering about is you said one gorilla in particular can use sign language, and I've seen a program on TV about that, but I don't know enough about it to really speak on it. I mean I tend to think it's the sort of thing that if you were to ask "How tall is that tree", the animal would be completely stumped. As opposed to asking "how are you" or "who am I?" or "do you want food?", I'm pretty sure with enough training you could find a level of communication close to that with many animals, although I do think they have a more complex brain than most."

    Yeah, Koko. This gorilla keeps or kept cats for pets. She apparently knows 1,000 words in sign language, but she does not talk very well actually. She can sign meaningfully in context (like making the sign for "sorry" when appropriate) but apparently the longest sentence signed was "candy give me". "Candy give me" is pretty incredible though.

    [​IMG]

    About your dog, he sounds incredibly smart and very cool! If only my mom's dogs understood what I was saying! :D Yeah, I think dogs have the capacity to be pretty smart. I think that animals are smart in a lot of different ways though. So there is doggy smart and lion smart and so forth. Maybe you can't really compare them, I don't know enough about language to say. But I do know that the resources to find out are at our fingertips...but I am too lazy to read it, heh.

    And apropos of your dog...the following! :lol

    [​IMG]
     

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