I fail to see why analytic capacity and discursive reasoning should cut one off from the deeper side of life.
Well, that's you
corboy. And it's a plus if
you are able to combine all these abilities.
I used to work for bankers (& yes, way back before the whole profession's reputation went down the toilet), as well as lawyers & doctors. You can try & figure out which one comes closest to your quote...
I'd simply like to point out that both (investment) bankers as well as lawyers have an above-average
ability for analytical capacity and, lawyers in particular, possess a highly developed & excellent
capacity for discursive reasoning. Most excellent indeed.
As to integrating the spiritual, well....
One of our truly high-calibre nationally known lawyers verily said himself last week on national tv that "Opus Dei had brainwashed the country's highest-ranking member of our parliament"
One only would try
to imagine such a statement made on US tv & most likely that
individual would've been torn to shreds, banished & been subject to a hate campaign of vitriol & 'dubbed' as a "conspiracy nut" or some other 'loony bin' title as is so much the custom with similarly established figures in the US landscape that dare to open their mouth about the nebulous influences on most of the "out on the frontlines" 'celebrities' (that includes politicians given that most revved up individuals in the public eye are almost without exception, treated as 'celebs' by the American media)...
Yes, so, this, if you like, could very well fall into the above-mentioned category as to lawyers' being able to "integrate" rational, discursive analysis with the spiritual & mysterious forces (pun intended) that show up in our lives.
Those who manage to integrate each of the above as referred to in your statement are not exactly a given majority in an otherwise highly intelligent, very well educated & most decidedly very crafty
I have had the very great fortune of meeting true scientists (one, notably, I met during my first ayahuasca retreat in Brazil & who happened to work for both the NASA as well as CERN in CH & used ayahuasca primarily to find solutions for his work in nuclear physics). For whatever reason, I have had direct & immediate dealings with scientists from CERN in different countries & they were all very different in their personality make-up; i.e., from the purely rational, mechanical scientific outlook to those being more inclined to let their humanity shine through.
I remember one meeting in particular I was asked to take part in due to my linguistic dexterity (which, I feel, is getting rusty). It was an imposing meeting indeed - top notch scientists discussing matter & anti-matter as well as the building of the then not as yet completed LHC Hadron collider (2004) which was 'up & running' for a short time but then had to be stopped because of technical difficulties in autumn this year. Cutting edge meeting indeed. Pictures, photographs & analysis of the work & developmental progress of the 'project' at hand.
The most engaging of all these scientists working on re-creating the black hole & its matter-anti-matter thesis was, as I have said, the bloke I met during my retreat in Brazil. There are quite a few serious scientists who use ayahuasca within the context of their work even if that makes you cringe.
Again, genuine scientists are the most open, curious & truly enjoyable company to be in because they don't take anything for granted & they are open to all options of interpretation of the universe we live in. And they're easy to talk to, enaging, knowledgeable, funny & just great for conversation, learning & expanding one's worldview. Better yet, if, like this particular bloke, they speak 5 languages fluently (not having studied them, just picked them up during his many travels).
An absolutely beautiful
person (& I'm not
talking phsycially although he was not a gorilla either). A true genius & yes, spiritual in that quirky way of his.
But, as I have said, this is more often the exception than the rule. There are few & far between.
I have another friend who also happens to be a scientist but who works in financial analysis. We can discuss matters that would, to a great degree, be most likely considered 'off' on this board because it's a taboo & considered way too radical (though, not
'extremist') for most people - just way out there.
One common arguement heard in New Age circles is that scientific thinking takes the wonder out of life and that critical thinking and testing hypothesis is actually incompatible with spiritual endeavor.
One can combine the two and get the best of both worlds.
I will answer this with one of Albert Einsteins's quotes:
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed."
Of course, he was, by all admission, an exceptional scientist, in a category of his own.
I haven't been around in "new age circles" in a long time. Maybe, if I do, it is once a year. And, that's about as much I can handle without wanting to do a "hit & run" for the exit.
Like I said, in the BK/ET thread, I can't stand the drivel for too long…
(What fitting initials! "ET" - "Extra Terrestrial" anyone?
All you need is a set of 'Spock' like ears & voilà! Now his followers can have their own genuine little garden gnome imported directly from Germany they can worhsip in the convenience of their own home! Troll puppets would probably sell well, too "Tolle the Trolle" - sounds kind of Scandinavian.)
Sorry, I digress... I just couldn't resist...
But one has to let science be done by the rules of science, not do bad science to back up one's theology. Real faith means living with contradictions between science and one's cherished religion.
As Einstein himself said:
"Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind."
"In order to be part of the sheepherd, one has to be an impeccable sheep first."
In the best of both worlds, one doesn't need
'religion' or the feeling of belonging to one faith or another.
Rather, one has the ability to carve one's spiritual relationship with the 'All-That-Is' without
having to listen too much to what others think it is, determines or manifests itself as or by. And, in that context then, spirituality, logic & rationale find their natural niche without this in any way being in contradiction to turn towards science as circumstances or opportunities present themselves.
In that understanding & natural integrative way of life then, there is room for everything & it can co-exist harmoniously without having to be or create contradiction. 'Outlandish' ideas or concepts are then also, an opportunity to ponder but if they don't hold up to one's own criteria or, on the other hand, credibility; one can just as easily let go of them without it causing unnecessary headaches or turmoil.
The ones who contend that intellectual rigor is incompatible with spiritual endeavor may have a vested interest in trying to devalue critical thinking so that we will not think to question who they are, what thier backgrounds are (as in, did you serve time in jail, or are you setting up as a guru because you were a psychotherapist in another state and fucked your patients and got your license yanked?)
And were it not for science, many of us would not be alive and aware enough to argue about all this.
Am I misinterpreting what I'm reading? I might, of course be wrong, but it seems as if you feel I 'attack' the rational model vs the emotionally based reactionary personality. Again, it must have been my cumbersome attempt to portray what I feel on a much deeper level, as mentioned in my examples above.
I am not in any way attempting to 'unmask' one 'value' over, or, in favour of another.
Everything has its value & its place in time & as necessary where we find ourselves on our individual process of development. Be that rational, logistical, religious, spiritual, medical, emotional or psychological – which continuously fluctuate from one or more levels interacting as a part of our whole Self.
I would have died of a cardiac arrest my first night after being born.
And because of a medical scientist who figured out the right ratio of oxygen to use in incubators for premature babies, I am not blind.
And because of the work of bactriology and industrial chemistry, they came up with an antibiotic that saved my life when I had double pneumonia following influenza, two years ago.
And, in hindsight, would you not say that you were truly darn lucky to have had the best possible trained professionals coming to your aid & rescue when you were most in need? It is a great blessing indeed to have it had so quickly & timely at your disposal - which, in the US, is far from being a given
I remember being in hospital for a few days in Atlanta, GA. The bill at the time came to a stately $10,000 (never mind the devalued 2008 US currency). Regular people cannot
afford 'good' science.
It is the most wonderful tool to have at hand & it can render the most unbelievable service. But boy
, it ain't for those who are uninsured in the richest country on the planet. As far as I know, they're still struggling to make ends meet down in Louisiana.
Id done all the natural remedies, had taken nothing to break my fever and after five days and nights of high tempretures and drenching night sweats, I was getting worse, not better.
24 hours after my first antibiotic tablet, my temp dropped and I was able to breathe normally again. Without the stuff I either would have landed in the hospital, died, or both.
I have the odd impression that you seem to think or believe that I am a 'closet new ager' but won't say so.
And, if I were coming more from my previous reactionary model prior to having undergone solid, scientifically based
therapy - no lackadaisical LGAT fraud therapy that would never see the light of day this side of our immediate vicinity - I would have probably bitten your head off by now.
I am not joking.
I have, by all attempts & purposes managed to avoid going there (& I am still working on this, knowing that I am far from where I would like to be but I am trying the best I can), not only because I have come to understand the source of my anger, but moreover because I consciously desist
from feeding a destructive energy that does nothing
to allow further exchange without extreme
difficulty. But I have never had a fear of so-called 'uppity' bonzos, gonzos, gurus or such like.
That fraudulent 'LGAT therapies' are even possible in America is enough to be grateful that our medical ethics & morale control system doesn't allow for as nearly as much room this side of the pond to destroy people's lives & their psyche to that degree.
I am not saying that there haven't been cases of serious maltreatment by therapists or doctors this side (England, much like the US, has a broader range of alternative therapies but at the same time more 'tolerance' for such quackery) but I do feel that there is a tighter check on professionals being bound by the Hippocrates code of ethics.
The healthcare system is imperfect everywhere on the planet, but reading about the abuse on this message board that seems to be more common rather than the exception truly makes me feel relieved that I am not exposed to it to that degree.
I certainly ran my shoes off, too, to find a therapist as well as a clinic with sound reputation – which wasn't easy because of my instinctive mistrust
born from having been betrayed one time too many by too many people I was supposed to trust for too long over a period of almost four decades.
Still, I was truly very lucky to 'stumble upon' an excellent, no BS therapist
who knew what he was doing & didn't even try to pull a funny one on me. Otherwise I would've just walked out & returned home. Period.
Last but not least, I feel that the ideal to strive towards is an ability to apply rational, deduction analysis, logic & recursive reasoning, emotional integration coupled with a natural spiritual inclination that doesn't need
'guru' worship or a kind of "stamp of approval" by members of a given belief system, faith or conviction.
This last quote by Einstein maybe sums up the integration & challenge to bring about the change not just within ourselves but through our individual process of gaining more insight of the complexity of our existence & trying to make sense of it all within the larger context.
"A human being is a part of a whole, called by us "universe" - a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."